Yorkshire Chess History



Brian Ratcliffe Eley











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



06/07/1946, Don Valley


06/04/2022, Amsterdam


Non-Chess Life


The birth of Brian R. Eley was registered in the Don Valley during the third quarter of 1946.  His mother’s maiden name was given as Ratcliffe, which generally quoted as his middle name.


His parents would appear to have been Harold Ely and Jessie E. Eley, née Ratcliffe, whose marriage was registered at Nottingham in the second quarter of 1944.


He made a living selling chess equipment, books etc. from premises in Bolton-on-Dearne.




It appears he played in the British under-21 championship in 1964.


He played in the British Championships of 1969 to 1974, and in 1978, winning the title in 1972, at Brighton.  He possibly played in other years as well.


In 1971 he played in the Slater Young Masters tournament sponsored by J. D. Slater.


In 1971/72 he won the Yorkshire Individual Championship.


He appears to have represented England versus the Netherlands at Vlissingen in 1972.


He was one of the home players in the 1972-73 Hastings international tournament.  William R. Hartston, with 9½ out of 15, was the highest placed of the home players.


He was second reserve in the England team at the European Team Championships in Bath, 1973, drawing all the 5 games that he played.


For a while around the early 1970s he wrote some chess articles in the Sheffield Morning Telegraph (then still a daily morning paper, but later changing into a weekly publication).


The Dark Side


What he is best known for, now, is being wanted by the police after breaking bail, after arrest by the police in July 1991 on suspicion of sexual offences against an underage boy, which turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.  He was believed to be hiding abroad somewhere, probably Amsterdam.




A report in 2022 of his death in Amsterdam at first looked possibly false, but eventually proved correct after research in Amsterdam by an investigative journalist.  (See https://www.patreon.com/posts/strange-history-71470170 and https://www.thearticle.com/brian-eley-the-jimmy-savile-of-chess.)  He had evidently misled people into believing he was a fairly reputable person avoiding British police because of some financial matter, not paedophilia.





It is with severe reservations and unease that I include this person among these pages.





Copyright © 2012, 2023 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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