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Paul Durrant receives ECF President's Award for Services to Chess

We are very proud to announce that, at the English Chess Federation annual general meeting of 15th Ocotber 2016, Paul Durrant was awarded the President's Award for Services to Chess.

People within Surbiton Chess Club have known how hard Paul works for the club and to promote chess, especially to juniors. What is really wonderful is that the citation that persuaded the ECF to give Paul the award came from Nick Grey of Kingston Chess Club. So you dont have to just take our word for it!

We are very grateful to Nick and reproduce his citation in full below:

Dear Stewart [Reuben],

I would like to nominate Paul Durrant, Chairman of Surbiton Chess Club, for the President's Award for Services to Chess.

As far as I'm aware he has been playing chess since the early 1960s, for Surrey CCA, Surbiton, & Mushrooms Chess Clubs. I first came across Paul in the mid-1980s when I started to play chess for Battersea in the Surrey and Thames Valley leagues. Also at the Surrey Easter Congress when held in Sutton. A stronger player than I, a gentleman, & captain of their teams.

When I moved to the Kingston area, then had children, the only games I could play for family reasons were away to Kingston and Surbiton, and for the County. I eventually joined Kingston on the basis it was 5 minutes walk less, after long conversations with Paul and Chris Clegg from Kingston. At that time Kingston was running 7 teams and Surbiton running 2 teams. Some 25 years later Surbiton is thriving with about 8 or 9 teams, junior chess too, and Kingston has 2. Surbiton have been very active in supporting Kingston in the last 10 years.

Paul has been Mr Surbiton for years. That is a quote from Graham Borrowdale who hosted a County Quarterfinals this season. Recently they have been very successful. Joint 1st in Thames Valley division 1 last season, & winning outright for the 1st time this season. Two teams in the top division. They have won the knockout Trophy the last [3] seasons. Next season they will have two teams in Surrey's 1st division. Their second team won [Surrey 2nd divison]. In Thames Valley division 3 they have won [and] so will play in division 2 next season. They also have a team in the 4NCL. Not many small clubs have that.

Paul serves on Thames Valley's committee. His memories of why some old rules were brought in is helpful to me (stopping teams parachuting strong players in towards the end of a season when effecting league titles). The club have been very supportive when nobody else was coming forward after Alan Marshall's retirement.

Paul enjoys his chess, works most weekends so has not been able to play County Chess but have certainly helped Surrey get some old and young new players into our teams. I hope others have put their nomination in to you for him. I know that Paul has a number of excellent people supporting him, and an excellent facility to play in, through his work.

Nick Grey, Kingston Chess Club, Surrey CCA, Thames Valley League Secretary

Congratulations to Paul from everyone at Surbtion!

(Webmasters note: I understand Paul is still awaiting the formal ECF communication (hopefully with large cheque enclosed!!) so the photos I have selected are of Paul with his hands on both individual and team trophies in recent years)