Brian Thew wins the 2017 NSW Correspondence Chess Championship

Avid player: Brian Thew has been playing chess since he was 13-years-old and recently won the NSW Correspondence Chess Championship for a third time.
Avid player: Brian Thew has been playing chess since he was 13-years-old and recently won the NSW Correspondence Chess Championship for a third time.

A lot has changed in the time since Brian Thew has been playing chess. 

Mt Thew used to wait six weeks to receive a response by mail from his opponent on their next chess move but technology has paved the way for a new instantaneous game. 

Mr Thew has just won the NSW Correspondence Chess Championship for a third time. The competition is played online with seven other players from around the state. Each person is played twice by the same opponent. 

The championships is run by the International Correspondence Chess Federation.  

Unlike a lot of other activities Mr Thew said chess is something people can keep doing for a lot longer. 

“Statistically I should be starting to play a lot less well than I am at the moment but for some reason I’m probably playing better now than I ever have been,” he said. 

“How long that will last I don’t know.” 

Mr Thew said the technology development of playing the game online has enabled him to gain experience through versing people from all over the country and the world. 

He said the online system records everything and cuts out all the transmission time between moves. 

Mr Thew said over the last decade the championships could last between two and three years but the new technology has meant the latest championship was completed after six months. 

At the moment Mr Thew has 40 different chess games which he is playing on the system. 

Mr Thew said it’s a complicated game. 

“In the initial position when you’re starting white has 20 possible moves of which 15 aren’t any good,” he said. 

“After each side has one move each you could have 400 positions on the board and it just keeps multiplying like that.” 

Mr Thew said people in the past have said that chess ‘is in danger of being solved’. 

However he doesn’t believe that will happen as the game is ‘too complicated’ for people to solve. 

Mr Thew has five bookshelves full of books dedicated entirely to chess. He also collects antique chessboards and playing pieces. 

As a former teacher Mr Thew said chess was valuable for teaching students patience, concentration and consequences. 

“I think it’s a great game for kids,” he said. 

Mr Thew is also a member of the Laurieton Chess Club and he said the players there ‘keep him on his toes’. 

The Laurieton Chess Club members meet every Wednesday at 6pm at the Laurieton United Centre. If you would like to join please Reg Wilkinson on 6585 5873.