A world-acclaimed chess Grandmaster from Bude has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship at Oriel College, Oxford. 

At one time ranked in the world top 10, Dr John Nunn, 68, won many prestigious chess tournaments over a long career, including the European Junior Championship and the British Championship. 

He retired from over-the-board play in the early 2000s and took up an interest in chess problem-solving, winning the world championship in that category three times, in 2004, 2007 and 2010. He recently returned to active play in senior (65-plus) events and in 2022 won the British and World Championships in that age category. In 2023 he not only retained his world title but added the European 65-plus Championship to his list of triumphs.

Dr Nunn was an undergraduate, researcher and teacher at Oriel and was given the College’s highest honour to recognise his academic and chess achievements. He first went to Oxford at age 15 and was then its youngest undergraduate since 1520. 

After securing a First he continued at Oxford, gaining his doctorate in 1978. The ceremony, on February 2 2024, was presided over by the Provost Lord Mendoza and other college academics.

Not surprisingly, he was warmly welcomed into Bude Chess Club when he and his wife Petra, also a distinguished international chess player, moved to Cornwall in 2019. 

The club, which meets on Thursday evenings at the Royal British Legion Club, has a dedicated junior section and welcomes all players. 

The Bude teams have had several successes in local events, winning the Cornwall online club championship three times and the Roger Grimes cup twice.