The B.C.A. Autumn International Tournament, at the Moat House
Hotel, Bedford, November 14-16, lived up to its name, with
players from the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Romania as
well as the UK. This was one of our largest ever Autumn Tournaments,
with 29 players in the Open and 16 in the Minor. We were very
pleased to see 8 junior members taking part, including 3 in
Open looked from the start like a battle between the four
Cumbers (Sheffield), Gavril Draghich (Romania) Dacian
Pribeanu (Spain) and Chris Ross (Huntingdon), all graded over
175. The Minor was even closer, with Michael Meaney (Limerick),
Jim Cuthbert (Sidcup), Richard Allen (RNIB New College, Worcester)
and Tony Murray (Dublin) graded 65-70.
Round 1, on Friday evening, all four seeds in both sections
won their games. In Round 2, on Saturday morning, the top
seeds in the Open maintained their 100% scores, but Michael
and Richard pulled ahead in the Minor as Jim and Tony drew
with Darren Paskell and Simon Ledwith (both New College)
3 that afternoon saw some decisive games. Gavril won against
Norman Wragg, while Chris and Dacian drew their top board
clash in an exciting finish and Paul drew with Phil Doyle.
This left Gavril in the lead on 3/3 with Chris, Dacian and
Paul on 2.5. Les Whittle and Roger Waters won their
games to join the group on 2.5.
the Minor, Michael Meaney kept his 100% score by defeating
Richard Allen. Tony stayed half a point behind by beating
Darren. Simon joined Tony on 2.5 with a win against Jim Cuthbert.
evening saw a break from the chess, with singing in the bar,
most notably by Michael Meaney and his friends from Ireland.
round 4 on Sunday morning, Gavril maintained his lead and
his perfect score by defeating Chris Ross, but Paul and Dacian
kept up the pressure with wins against Roger and Les respectively.
In the Minor, Michael suffered his first loss, at the hands
of Tony, who moved into the lead on 3.5/4. Simon
drew with John Osborne and Richard defeated Geoff Patching.
Simon and Richard joined Michael on 3/4.
left several players with much at stake on Sunday afternoon.
In the Open, Gavril and Paul drew on Board 1 while Dacian
overcame Phil Doyle on Board 2. Chris and Les defeated Roger
Waters and Stan Lovell respectively.
These results left Gavril and Dacian equal first and second
with 4.5/5, but Gavril took the trophy on tie-break (sum of
progressive scores). Paul was third with 4/5. Chris and Les
finished on 3.5/5, joined by John Gallagher (Leeds) and Ernie
McElroy (Dublin). John and Ernie won grading prizes, along
with Roger, Yan Kit Chan, Richard Murphy and Robin Williams
the Minor, Richard defeated Tony, Michael bested Simon, and
John Osborne won against John Busbridge. This left Michael
and Richard equal first and second on 4/5 with the same sum
of progressive scores. Tony and John took
third and fourth place on 3.5. They were awarded third place
prize and a grading prize respectively. Simon also won a grading
people made a huge contribution to this successful tournament,
which could not have taken place without them. Stan Lovell
organised the event, including all negotiations with the hotel.
Controllers were Peter Gibbs and Julie Leonard were the tournament
controllers throughout the weekend.
photos by Julie Leonard.