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Surrey win the County Championship with the help of five Surbiton players

On July 13th 2013 the Surrey Open team beat Middlesex 8.5-7.5 in the final of the ECF Counties Championship to become English County Champions and thereby winning the prestigious Lowenthal Cup.

Throughout the 2012-2013 season Surbiton Chess Club made a substantial contribution to Surrey's success with no fewer than five of our players playing in various matches for the County Open team. The players who took part from our club (from left to right) were Angus James, Steven Jones, Mark Josse, Chris Briscoe and Paul Shepherd. To put Surrey's win into perspective its worth noting that prior to the last three years (won in 2011, runners-up in 2012, won in 2013) the last time Surrey won the County Champsionship was in 1954! It was a great achievement to be part of and we should all be very proud.

For those with an interest in history you might like to know that the Lowenthal Cup goes back to the 1870's. It was originally awarded for victory in a 1878 individual tournament in the St Georges Chess Club, London. This continued until 1895. It seems it then became a county championship trophy. It was formally presented to the British Chess Federation in 1922 for the purposes of being presented annually to the County Champions of the land. BCF has now morphed into ECF and so it now goes to the English County Champions.

A further historical perspective of the Lowenthal Cup is provided in a blog by Martin Smith of Streatham and Brixton Chess Club. Evidently the Cup appeared in a painting from the 1870's by a Mr Rosenbaum. It depicts many famous players of the time such as Staunton, Anderssen and Morphy. An amusing quirk is that not all of the players in the painting were alive at the time it was produced!!