Categories: A to Z, Famous Players
Hector Framilode was born in 1899 in Newent, Glos. the son of an itinerant preacher and knife-grinder, whereas his father was an unemployed music-hall singer.
Little is known about Hector's early career - but he burst upon the scene in 1922 with a dramatic win in the "Three Choirs MC Festival" held that year in Hereford. A great theoretician, he was also the perfect gentleman. This latter trait was probably the reason that he did not achieve the recognition or success that his undoubted genius should have generated. Being such a gentlemanly player he often sacrificed a winning position in order to help his opponent out of a tricky spot. His was a game full of charm and delicacy. It was at the Worcester Intercounty Championships in 1931 that he first created his famed bung.
Framilode invented (or discovered) several other more-or-less famous moves including the cubic side straddle, the inverse mined glide (3rd order) and the glorious Diametric parallellogramatic glib which earned him the Prix d'Involution at Reims in 1935.
Everything seemed rosy in the world of Hector Framilode; However, sadly, Tragedy (with a capital T) was about to strike. The source of this tragedy (with a little t) was the demon (or possibly dEamon, if the reader will excuse the pun) known as Ruttsborough.
Somehow the two men had never met in competition until the fateful day in 1936 when they were drawn against each other in the semi-finals of the Eastbourne Challenge Cup. Framilode's gentlemanly play so unnerved Ruttsborough that he crucially lost his concentration at Victoria having straddled from Ongar. Framilode appeared just one move from victory, when from his armoury of offensive play Ruttsborough produced a dreadful combination of acid-striles that rendered Framilode unconscious and he was rushed to hospital with two broken legs. Ruttsborough was awarded the match by default, although his move would almost certainly have resulted in a won position anyway.
Framilode recovered quite quickly, but he was a changed man. He was determined to have his revenge upon the dreaded Ruttsborough. So he researched the dark side of the game - those moves that Ruttsborough himself was so brilliant at, in his evil way, but that few other players dared to even contemplate. The application of Framilode's genius in this way had dramatic results. Two years later - Framilode having played very few matches in the mean time - the two men met again. Ruttsborough was heard to sneer something to Framilode about needing crutches, but Framilode just smiled. The game went along convention lines at first, and Ruttsborough built a steady bulwark of highly effective and unpleasant craters and traps. It was as the game was moving towards what looked like a foregone conclusion of a Ruttsborough victory, that Framilode ventured upon the move which has become legendary... Framilode's Self-replicating Spike. The move exploded upon the board. The audience gasped. Young ladies screamed. Old ladies fainted. War-bitten generals were seen to tremble - and what of Ruttsborough himself? He emitted an ear-piercing screech, and fell to the floor with second degree burns to his arms and buttocks. Vengeance was sweet for Framilode - but it had taken its toll. Within a day or two of the victory, Framilode had a nervous breakdown, his dallying with the dark side having affected his brain's beta waves. Fortunately a short spell convalescing in a rest home in Cinderford led to a full recovery - but soon afterwards he announced his retirement from challenge matches, saying that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and children.
And so Hector Framilode slipped back into the obscurity from whence he had come. He was last seen, just a few years ago, pottering around The Forest of Dean, where he had decided to settle. It is quite possible that he is still alive, though now over a hundred years old.
Of course Framilode's Self-replicating Spike was immediately banned by every authority, and is proscribed to this very day. (Much to the disgust of Ruttsborough - who, when he had recovered, naturally saw great potential in it...)