There were 19 members at the club last night. This is likely the lowest number we have had at the club for some time, probably due to it being the holiday season. Even so this is still a good number compared to most other clubs and there were a number of serious games played between those members that were in attendance.
Both semi-finals of the summer knockout competition were able to be played last night where both players with the black pieces managed to win. Simon Layhe won a piece against Dave Lambton and went on to convert this to a win, in the shadow of an appreciative crowd. In the other game Karl Lockett fell into the opening prep of Harry Gardiner and with his king unable to castle he soon lost. That means the final will be played between Harry and Simon, Wed 21st September 2022 the same night that we are hosting a pre season game between Crewe and Newcastle.
Both Harry and Simon have improved significantly over the last season and are now amongst the best players in the club. Harry for example has now won his last 11 graded games straight and is close to a 1900 rating, in fact the last time he lost a graded game was last March against Simon! So an interesting final is expected.
Several players took the opportunity to play a match in this new season’s Club Championship. Although this tournament requiring 10 games in total runs until next June, there wont be that many free nights due to NSDCA League matches etc. so its a wise decision to play these games when they are available. In division 1 Martin Burns huffed and puffed, and finally got the win against Neville Layhe and in division 2 Steve Ballantyne also playing white drew with Mike Keenan. Division 3 has yet to kick off. In addition to the above some members played graded games which will lead to a more established rating. Jacob Grabowski beat George Jellis but the most notable was the first ever victory in a graded long play game for Vicky Kelsall, may it be the first of many.
Next week sees the popular Time and Point tournament takes place. Harry the H pawn attempt to defend his title in the eagerly anticipated Time-and-Point Handicap. The winner will have the honour of having their name inscribed on a handsome trophy, which was recently purchased in memory of the much missed Les Hall. We hope to see you there, to maybe raise a glass to Les, and to enjoy what should be a riveting evening
This is a fun (but competitive) 5 round quickplay tournament where lesser graded players are not only given extra time on their clock but also receive handicap points. Any member wishing to enter, who has not done so already, please contact the Events Officer Dave Hulme.