Hampshire Chess Association Junior Chess Championships 1978 - 1979

20th August 2021

Hampshire Chess Junior Championships 1978 - 1979

The Hampshire Chess Association junior championship for the 1978 / 1979 season had three tournaments:

Under 18 Championship

The HCA Under 18 championship was held at Chilworth with 27 players battling over 5 rounds. In the end two players were absent, but a number of players detailed in previous reports played.

These included Peter Wells, Ian Welch, Stephen Bell and Ian Upton among others. Another noticeable entry was Phillip Rossiter who would have been about 10 when this was played. A future FM, he was also a long time opponent of Michael Adams when they were juniors as detailed in Adams's book "Michael Adams: Development of a Grandmaster".


In this tournament Phillip struggled, just winning the one game, but obviously gained a lot of experience from the tournament.

The top seed was 14 / 15 year old Peter Wells, who was already graded 174 at this time. But after two wins he lost in the third round to eventual winner R.G.Cumming. This is not a player I know much about and I presume B.G.Cumming was a relation as well? If anyone has any other information on these two players, please let me know. 

Peter Wells had a last round draw and finished 3rd on tie-break with three and a half points with M.E.Vernon scoring half a point more and taking 2nd place. 

1978 1979 HCA Under 18

Under 16 and Under 14 Championships

A combined Under 16 and 14 championship was held, with a number of the players in the Under 18 who were eligible also participating. From the grades detailed this actually seems to have been earlier in the year than the under 18 Championship.

Although this is a combined tournament, the scans do not actually state who won the respective categories, but just the actual places in the tournament, Going into the championship Under 16 reigning champion from 1977 / 1978 Peter Wells would have been the favourite. But with two draws in rounds 3 and 5 he finished in 4th place on tie-break.  Ian Welch won the tournament half a point ahead of his friend Peter Wells and three others. Ian only dropped half a point, drawing with M.J Hampton who finished in 2nd place on tie-break.

Third place was J.A.S Tilley and J.R.Altwood also scoring 4 points, along with the previously mentioned Peter Wells and M.J.Hampton.

With 32 players, this tournament may have benefited from an extra round, but this was certainly an excellent result from Ian Welch finishing ahead of a number of strong players.

I noticed there were three members of the Ruff family playing, not players I am aware of but always good to see family members playing together. On the family side, Trevor Ruff had the best result, scoring 3 points.

1978 1979 HCA Under 16 and 14 Chess Championship

Under 14 Girls Championships

The final tournament held was the under 14 Girls championship. This was held over 6 rounds and it seems the Ruff family was quite large, as they had three entries in this as well. Julia Scotney came in as the highest graded player and also the previous year's champion. 

Retaining the title proved too difficult though, as despite winning three games, Julia also lost three and finished in the middle of the table. First place was shared between Terri Ruff and Emma Dove who both won five games and lost one. Emma lost to Terri and Terri lost to her sister Tina, showing there was no easy games between the siblings. 

Rather than the title being decided on tie break a double round play off was held between Terri and Emma and Terri showed her dominance by winning both games and therefore in total winning all three games between them in the tournament,


I would be interested in knowing if the Ruff family continued to play chess, as I have never come across their names in the time I played in the Portsmouth League and certainly seemed to be an active chess playing family in this period. 

The Hampshire Chess Association and particularly the organisers should be praised for having these tournaments, as a great way to grow Hampshire chess.

1978 1979 HCA Under 14 Girls


Currently no games available from the tournament but as mentioned 10 year old Philip Rossiter developed into a very strong player, as can be  seen from his games on chessbase including a win against to GM Tony Miles

Philip Rossiter


Tournament Scans