Ken Pittaway 2001
Ken Pittaway is well known in the Staffordshire chess world for his untiring efforts in administration and organisation. In 1955 he was elected secretary of John Thompson's Chess Club, a position he held until the club disbanded in 1999. In 1960 he was elected secretary of the Wolverhampton League, a position he held until 1984, during which time he diligently performed his secretarial duties. He has played an active part on many other local committees including the National Chess Week Committee (incorporating Beatties Lightning Chess Tournament) and the Staffordshire Chess Congress Committee.
Ken first became interested in chess in 1949 when John Thompson's first entered a team in Division Two of the Wolverhampton and District Chess League. Thomson's were promoted to Division One after only one season and were encouraged to enter a further team in Division Two. As a result of this expansion of the club Ken was one of the new recruits enlisted for the second team. He won his first league match against Brinsford Lodge on 6th October 1950. At the end of the season it was obvious that Thompson's had found a useful player for his match results consisted of eight wins, one draw and only two losses. The last league he played was against Goodyear's in March 1999.
Ken played county chess from his first season as a chess player and has successfully represented both Staffordshire and Worcestershire. In 1965 he was the losing finalist in the Worcestershire Intermediate Cup, in 1967 he lost in the final of the Bidgood Cup and lost in the final of the Rock Cup in 1970.
Amongst Ken's other interests are philately, cricket and gardening. He was a keen member of the Dudley Philatelic Society and his collection of British and USA stamps have been exhibited to several local societies. His cricket interest found him at first playing for John Thompson's and then later umpiring matches in the Wolverhampton area during summer weekends. Following him attaining his cricket umpiring examination in 1962 he became umpire of the Midlands Club Cricket Conference.
The Chess World will be hard pressed to find another person so willing and competent as Ken to contribute so much time and energy to chess over the past 51 years.