The Capes Trophy

Even though the Capes Trophy was not originally an official NCCL tournament, it has always had very close links with the League and most of its entrants and winners are teams that play or have played in the League. 

The competition came about because John Capes was relatively new to chess and had been introduced to 5-minute chess by W.B.Hasse. However the older members of Enfield CC disliked 5-minute chess - too noisy, damages clocks etc. So he organised the Capes Trophy. The first was held upstairs in the George pub (the spiritual home of the NCCL), it attracted eight entries and was won by Finchley. It was never intended to be an annual competition but somehow the tournament has kept going ever since, even during the eight years where John virtually gave up chess! 1984 is the only year where the event wasn't held, due to problems finding a venue. The best attendance has been 27 teams! All the entry fees are put back into prizes and John hires the venue out of his own pocket.

Even though John has played in every event, probably the only player to do so, he has only won it once in 1968 (see picture below).

The trophy itself was designed by Henry Callaghan, then Chairman of the League.

At the 50th anniversary tournament John Capes handed the tournament and trophy to the league on the sole proviso that it remains a not-for-profit tournament with all entry fees going back as prizes.

John Capes (left) in the winning team in 1968. The other members of the team, from the left are John Smith, Percy Scholes and Bill Hartston. The trophy was not available that year so Hector Lawrance presents a clock instead.

Capes Trophy Winners
hyperlinked years have more details
1960 Finchley 1976 Wood Green 1992 Barnet2008Hackney and Wood Green
1961 Finchley 1977 Wood Green 1993 Powdermill2009Wood Green
1962 Islington 1978 Wood Green 1994 Powdermill2010Barnet Elizabethans
1963 Islington 1979 Wood Green 1995 Wanstead2011Wood Green
1964 Islington 1980 Wood Green 1996 Powdermill
1965 Islington 1981 Wood Green 1997 Powdermill
1966 Islington 1982 Wood Green 1998 Barnet
1967 Islington 1983 Barnet 1999 Barnet
1968 Enfield and Wood Green 1984 Not Held 2000 Chingford
1969 Finchley and O.E.S 1985 Barnet 2001 Imperial Knights
1970 Finchley 1986 Barnet 2002 Powdermill
1971 Alcazar 1987 Hilltop 2003
1972 Wood Green 1988 Wood Green 2004 Powdermill
1973 Southgate 1989 Barnet 2005 Powdermill and Hackney IK
1974 Hilltop 1990 Powdermill and Barnet 2006 Hackney IK
1975 Wood Green 1991 Powdermill and Hilltop 2007 Barnet Elizabethans