[Home]Rotherington, Imelda

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Imelda Rotherington was unusual in being a noted feminist activist as well as a keen Mornington Crescent Player. By applying her post-structuralist anti-patriarchal feminism to the (at the time) allegedly entirely male-orientated Finsbury Park ruleset, she pioneered a non-linear approach to competitive play. Her most notable publications included "The phallic symbolism of the Northern Line Shunt" (1968), "Male domination fantasies in Mornington Crescent endplay"(1970) and "Men can't make proper use of the Bakerloo line" (also 1970). All these, and her many other works are out of print, with the exception of "You Sexist Scumbag" (1977) her account of the now ledgendary Rotherington vs Ruttsborough game in Ealing in the February of that year. (An account purporting to be by Ruttsborough, entitled "Put the kettle on luv, leave the serious play to us men, my dear" – now believed to be entirely spurious, as sexism was not generally believed to be among Ruttsborough's many faults, despite Rotherington's allegations – was sadly banned by the IMCS at the instigation of Mrs. Trellis. Rotherington, to the end of her days, never wavered from her belief that it was genuine.)


She carried on with her playing career after the narrow defeat of 1977, with some success: winning tournaments in Eastbourne, Haringey and Grenoble, the latter twice in successive years. But she never endeared herself to the IMCS, particularly as her radical feminism led her into making claims that even Mrs Trellis had "sold out the cause" to the rest of the administrative hierarchy (who, indeed, were at the time all male), upon publication of the [Chalk Farm '83]? ruleset and its better-known revision of the following year. It was to nobody's surprise that the cause of her death, aged 47, was a brain aneurysm aggravated by an apoplectic fit – shortly after yet another defeat under the new ruleset she despised. A defeat which came, ironically, after she had on principle eschewed use of a Northern Line Shunt that would have left her with a won position, in the deciding game.


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Last edited March 14, 2009 8:22 pm by Simons Mith (diff)