Fred Tatler passed away on 6 February 2001 while playing chess. His fast and enterprising play was difficult to counter. Whether he won or lost, Fred was a wonderful opponent, because of his infectious enthusiasm for the game. He was a stalwart of both Stourbridge and Hagley Chess Clubs as well as Worcestershire County Association. For many years he was Captain of the county side. When I moved to Worcestershire, and later became the team secretary, I could not have wished for a more knowledgeable and reliable captain. Whatever the weather and when players without their own transport lived some distance from him Fred would offer lifts to players. In later years Fred would travel as a non-playing reserve for the first team and even when starting well down on the clock due to the non-appearance of a player, Fred with his furious rate of play could hold his own against many opponents who were of national standing. Fred is missed by all, both team mates and opponents. Here are two games showing his attacking style.
Peter Gibbs wrote in his Birmingham Post column on 3 March 2001: [Fred] "was a member of the Hagley and Stourbridge clubs. He was a few days away from his 75th birthday. ... He was heavily involved in the formation of the Hagley club. He was very active as a player and had represented Worcestershire at county level and in his day could be a threat to anyone. I remember him once defeating Keith Arkell in a Birmingham Post Cup competition. In spite of considerable deafness he was a keen organiser, having been captain of Worcestershire first and second teams and representing the county at Midland meetings. In all this information i have not conveyed what a character he was. By the way some players may not know this but Fred was an accomplished dancer and an expert draughts player."
Played in a Worcestershire Division 2 League game in 1991.
Fred L Tatler - Ray Collett
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 (An alternative is: 8...Ng4 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Nc6) 9.0-0-0 Bd7 (Again 9...Ng4 is palyable 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.f4 Nxe3 12.Qxe3) 10.Kb1 (Other possible moves that have been played are 10.Bg5 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Ng4; and 10.f4 Rc8 11.Bb3 Na5 12.e5 dxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4) 10...Rc8 11.Be2 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 a6 13.f3 (To prepare the advance g4) 13...Be6 (Here 14...b5 was slightly better, for example: 15.g5 Nh5 16.Rhe1=) 15.h4 Nd7? (An error 15...b5 was better, but white's attack would be the stronger) 16.Bxg7 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 (Even better was 17.Bxf8!? Bxd1 18.Bxe7 Qxe7) 17...Kxg7 18.h5 Rh8 19.g5 Qb6 20.f4 h6 (20...Qc5!? was a better move) 21.hxg6 (Now white has a winning advantage) 21...fxg6 (21...hxg5 22.Nd4 fxg6 23.Ne6+ Kf6 24.f5 is also very strong for white) 22.gxh6+ Rxh6 23.Rxh6 Kxh6 24.f5+ Kg7 25.Rg1 Ne5 (25...Nf6 offers stiffer resistance) 26.Nd4 Kf6? (A mistake in a lost position, but 26...Nc4 27.Qc3 e5 28.Rxg6+ Kf7 is also winning for white) 27.Qg5+ Kf7 28.fxg6+ 1-0 (There might follow 28...Ke8 29.g7 Kd7 30.Qf5+ Kc7 31.Qxc8+ Kxc8 32.g8=Q+ Kc7 33.c3 when white is a whole rook to the good.)
Played in a under-150 Warwickshire - Worcestershire match January 2001
(reported by Peter Gibbs in The Birmingham Post 27 Jan 2001).
Fred L Tatler - Chris Lund-Yates
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 c6 4.d4 Nd7 5.Bd3 Be7 6.0-0 b6 [Better is 6...dxe4] 7.Bf4 Bb7? [Better is 7...a6, but white still has a slight advantage] 8.exd5± exd5 9.Re1 a6 10.Qd2 Kf8 [10...Ngf6? 11.Bd6] 11.Re2 h6 [Better is 11...g6±] 12.Rae1+- 1.5 12...Rc8? [Better is 12...Ndf6] 13.Rxe7 Nxe7 14.Bd6 Kg8 15.Rxe7 c5? [Hardly any better is 5...Nf6 when white retains winning advantage in material .] 16.Qf4 f6 17.Bg6 [Missing the pretty mating sequence 17.Rxg7+! Kxg7 18.Qg4+ Kf7 19.Bg6+ Kg7 20.Bf5+ Kf7 21.Qg6#] 17...Qxe7 18.Bxe7 Nf8 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 White mates in 3. 1-0