Jack Rudd – a Profile of an International Master

(by Dr Roger Neat, Past President, DCCA)

1 October 2008


In September Jack Rudd of Bideford, Devon qualified for his well deserved INTERNATIONAL MASTER title! In fact he is the highest graded player in DEVON and also our only current International Master.

I have known Jack for six years after fully retiring to Devon in May 2000. It has been an honour and privilege to play board 2 for Jack’s small but elite Bideford team. Under his captaincy we have held the North Devon Classical Chess League Champion’s title for the last 4 years. Similarly we have been winners of the Annual ND Classical Chess Jamboree involving teams from Holsworthy, Ilfracombe and 2 from Barnstaple. We have also won the Annual ND Team Rapid competition for several years. During my time in Devon I have come to be a great admirer and supporter of Jack and also count him as a friend. We have lunch together periodically in the Burton Art Gallery and Museum in Bideford and talk chess. I am a lover of art.

Jack’s passion for ‘The Royal Game’ is of the highest order. Unlike some titled players Jack is willing to play anyone anywhere and is generous in victory. Like one of my heroines, Susan Polgar he ‘WINS WITH GRACE AND LOSES WITH DIGNITY.’ When he plays at the Barnstaple Club his opponents and fellow enthusiasts are graded from 60 to 150 only! Of course he plays for Bristol too in the 4NCL where he regularly takes on both IMs and GMs. On his day Jack is a formidable opponent who has to be treated with respect. He is also a competent Arbiter and runs the successful Yoevil Classical Chess Tournament (which I believe he founded) and is involved with Congresses in Bristol and Exeter amongst others. You will often see him assisting Arbiters between Rounds at various Chess venues as his mathematical orientated brain quickly computes and solves ‘pairing’ problems without the aid of a laptop program!

I interviewed Jack for a publication of mine in 2004 when his ambition was to achieve IM status. It has taken great determination and dedication for Jack to reach his goal. He has had to overcome some disappointments in achieving his norms; sometimes missing them by a mere half point. His persistence has now been rewarded. He is one of the fastest players over the board that I know. This is both his strength and weakness BUT Jack cannot change as his brain is wired for rapid response and action. He is a very creative attacking player; a pocket Morozevitch! You will see from the following ‘Profile Questions and Answers’ that his heroes are Alekhine, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov and ‘Moro’; all great attacking players. Four of them are my favourites too although I am a fan of Capablanca!

Jokingly I tell people that Jack is really a ‘triathlete’ because when he is playing over the board he makes his moves with the grace of a gazelle, circumnavigates the playing hall with the speed of a cheetah and will assist the Arbiter with the pairing of the next round of the lower section whilst en-route. He might even write your move down on your score sheet if you invited him to do so! Speed is his hallmark.

I am a fervent fan of Jack’s game and I can do no better than let you have a snapshot of this talented local DEVON based player as revealed in the answers to 14 questions I asked of him as listed below:


1. Date of Birth:

13 05 79

2. Place of Birth:


3. At what age did you learn to play chess?


4. Who taught you (introduced you to) Chess?

Nobody, I taught myself from a book.

5. What was the first tournament you won and at what age?

The England U-7 Championship, when I was just turned seven.

6. What chess training have you had?

Little real training – I had a few chess coaches, but none for very long. Just lots of practice and lots of reading chess books.

7. Who are your favourite chess players/heroes and why?

My favourites tend to be all-out attacking players: Alekhine, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov. My favourite amongst the current top players is Alexander Morozevich.

8. What major titles have you won since playing competitively?

West of England Championship: 2000, 2005 (and equal first in 2002)

Somerset Championship: 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2002

West of England U-18 Championship: 1992

Somerset U-18 Championship: 1997

Somerset U-16 Championship: 1991, 1992

Somerset U-13 Championship: 1989

Somerset U-12 Championship: 1987

British U-8 Championship: 1986 (this was before there was a separate U-8 Championship; I was awarded this as the highest scoring U-8 in the U-9 Tournament)

England U-7 Championship: 1986

a. For which counties have you played?

Somerset and Cambridgeshire (the latter only in 97-9, 98-99 and 00-01). I may play for Devon in the national stages this year.

9. What was the most satisfying achievement in your chess career to date?

Finally achieving the IM title at this year's British Championship in Liverpool.

10. What is your current goal?

Getting my rating up to 2400. (My October rating will be 2344.)

11. Are you currently working, in education or attempting to be a professional chess player?

Currently unemployed. There may be a job in chess in the offing.

12. What are your interests outside of chess?

I am a keen player of Bridge, Scrabble and Diplomacy. I am also a supporter of Newcastle United FC.

13. What music do you like?

My taste in music could probably best be described as ‘eclectic’. The most featured artists/bands/groups/whatever in my CD collection are: ABBA, the Eagles, Crystal Gayle, Billy Joel, Dusty Springfield, Weird Al Yankovic and Trisha Yearwood.

14. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three chess books would you choose in addition to your chess set?

            Hannak’s biography of Emanuel Lasker

            Kotov’s Think Like a Grandmaster

            Fischer’s My Sixty Memorable Games

(Interview questions asked by Dr Roger Neat, Past President of DCCA)

Having listed Jack’s achievements and interests I attach 3 important and exciting annotated games which were milestones on Jack’s path to the coveted IM title:

  1. Hinks-Edwards V Rudd (West Bromwich 19 Sept 2004)

  2. Andrew Martin (IM) V Rudd (4NCL Coventry 12 Nov 2006) – this was vital to Jack’s achieving his first IM norm!

  3. Rudd v Kakkanas Evanggelos (Hastings 1st Jan 2008) – This game won the brilliancy prize!

Click HERE to view games.

These games do the talking for Jack as a unique and creative player. I now want to see Jack move onto the quest for the GM title! He can do it.

STOP PRESS: You will no doubt have seen that Jack lost a fine game to Graham Bolt (174), Exeter Club Champion immediately after winning the John Parker Memorial Rapid. As usual he has bounced back with a great win against GM Jonathan Rowson (2596) former British Champion at the 4NCL Bristol1 v Guildford on 4 October. The moves of this game can be found after the 3 original games listed.


Please click on photographs for a larger version.

Jack sitting next to Sheila Dines Under 15 Girls tile winner in Liverpool

Jack receiving his IM award from Mayor of Liverpool

Jack holding his certificate.

Photographs courtesy of Bob Jones.


Roger Neat