The FAP Gene Support Group

(Familial Adenomatous Polyposis)

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On leaving school I played for the old boy's team before giving up playing just before I entered the RAF. Even at the age of 18 the enjoyment had disappeared and everything revolved around winning and analyzing games to see what you had missed.

My abstinence lasted until I was at RAF Sharjah in the Persian Gulf. With about 12 of us to a room our attentions turned to the Friday night WRVS games evenings. For a small fee each one of us entered a different competition and any winnings were pooled for a night out. Seemed they never had a chess player in the room before.

Chess always seemed a bit like poker to me with an important part being not to let your opponent sense any weakness or excitement in you. So on the first night I was told I would have the white pieces to give me a chance against the usual winner Tony!! Nothing asked about if I had ever played before or the option of a choice of colour. With my nerves a bit on edge and rather put off by being assumed to be there for the taking I not only beat Tony but won the competition that night.

I must give Tony his due as he then asked where I had learnt to play and afterwards we became keen but friendly opponents. Think on average quite a bit of money went in the kitty over the next year.

It wasn't until about 1972 when we moved to our own house in Melton Mowbray whilst serving at RAF North Luffenham that I was tempted to play again. The local chess club had moved premises and I eventually plucked up enough courage to have a look. Serious chess was far from my thoughts but found an ex-school mate one of the clubs star players. So I was hooked.

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