Exmouth chess champion realises boyhood dream with world title victory

Meyrick Shaw (centre) won the world senior amateur chess title in Crete for his ranking class. Pictu

Meyrick Shaw (centre) won the world senior amateur chess title in Crete for his ranking class. Picture: Geraldine Shaw - Credit: Geraldine Shaw

An Exmouth chess master has spoken of the ‘exhilarating’ feeling of being crowned a world champion at a recent international event.

Meyrick Shaw, 55, realised his boyhood dream when he walked away from an international amateur chess tournament in Crete with a world championship.

He was crowned the best in his category at the Amateur Chess Organisation’s world senior championships, beating players from across the world over the age of 50.

Meyrick won eight of his nine games to beat competition from Germany and Norway.

The Withycombe accountant told the Journal that being a world champion was something he dreamed back when he was a youngster.

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He said: “Most kids will say they want to play football for England one day.

“When I started playing chess, I wanted to be world champion one day.

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“As I grew up it is not something I ever strived for – it’s not quite the way I envisioned it.

“To win was absolutely exhilarating. It’s just an unbelievable feeling.”

Meyrick began playing chess with friends at junior school eventually taking his hobby on to senior school where he joined a chess club.

He added: “We just had a chessboard at school and used top play among ourselves.

“When I went to the senior school I joined the chess club there.

“That’s when I started playing more competitively.”

At the age of 17, he finished seventh in an under-21s championship in Scotland.

Current chess grand master Julian Hodgson and one of the most successful players Nigel Short also played in that event.

In his 20s Meyrick drifted away from chess, before rediscovering his love for the game after moving to Exmouth in 2005.

Since then, he has become a member of Exmouth Chess Club, which meets at the Holy Tree pub in Withycombe Village Road.

Meyrick has been back playing chess for eight years, claiming 35th place in the World Chess Federation senior chess championships in 2015 and was also nominated for a player of the year award.

He currently organises the West of England Union Congress held each year in Exmouth.

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