Brian Eley

Edward Winter

From page 190 of the April 1973 Chess Life & Review:

pachman eley

The magazine stated that the photograph was taken after Pachman had played 14...b5. Eley won the game in 24 moves and annotated it on pages 266-268 of the June 1973 BCM.


In a detailed contribution on the Evening Standard tournament, Leonard Barden (London) informed us in C.N. 7668:

‘We wanted him [Pachman] to have an interesting first-round opponent, so Stewart Reuben adjusted the draw slightly so that Pachman was paired with Jonathan Speelman, then aged 16. Pachman won. Of course, he was not technically or psychologically prepared for a weekend tournament with three rounds on the Saturday, so it was no great surprise that the next day Brian Eley caught him in the “DERLD” [the Delayed Exchange Ruy López Deferred], which was then a much analysed opening in England.’

C.N. 7663 gave a photograph taken during Brian Eley’s well-known victory over Ludĕk Pachman at the Evening Standard London Chess Congress in 1972. The newspaper had a half-page tournament report on page 6 of its 16 December 1972 edition:

eley pachmann


From page 318 of the September 1972 BCM, following Eley’s victory in the British Championship:


Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) provides two further photographs, courtesy of the Hulton Archive:


eley pachman


The Eley v Pachman game shown above was discussed in C.N.s 7663 and 10988.


We had no correspondence with Eley apart from a few book orders. For example:


The entry for Brian Eley in Jeremy Gaige’s Chess Personalia (Jefferson, 1987) had only ‘c1946’ with regard to his birth. The unpublished 1994 edition stated that he was born on 6 July 1946 in Don Valley, England, and the entry amended his name from ‘Brian Ratcliffe Eley’ to ‘Brian Eley’. The source added by Gaige in the 1994 edition was ‘personal interview’.


The Wikipedia article on Eley includes a link to a webpage stating that he died in Amsterdam on 6 April 2022. However, we note too a page about Eley’s ‘reported death’ on the Yorkshire Chess Association website.

Latest update: 4 July 2022.

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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.