On Sunday 21st January a Memorial Chess Game took place to commemorate the late Ivan Gromov who died in a tragic accident last Easter holiday.

Dr. Gibbons, Ivan’s House Master, started the event by addressing those present and talking about Ivan and his passion for chess, mentioning how much the game meant to him as well as highlighting some of his contributions to the community during his time in the school. Then Grandmaster Dr. John Nunn played 30 students from both Eton College and Berkshire Junior Chess Association in a simultaneous display, which allowed some to demonstrate their prowess and for James Xu to end his game in a draw, ultimately winning the prize for the best game.

During the games Mrs. Gromova kindly agreed to a small interview in which she spoke about how chess was an absolutely vital part of Ivan’s life. It had brought him great joy not only to play the game and to succeed at it, for instance getting onto the school’s A team, but also to teach it to fellow schoolmates and see them progress. Mrs. Gromova explained that for those reasons she chose the caption on the trophy to be “Chess is life.”

The games were followed by a talk, in which Dr. Nunn discussed a chess game and several puzzles showing the people attending several extremely unexpected plays and challenging them to try and solve the puzzles themselves. The event concluded with Dr. Nunn and Ivan’s parents handing out the prize to James Xu.

Daniil Filatov

Photos: Oliver Riley-Smith