Members gathered at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate for our AGM Weekend Congress from the 14th to the 16th of April, 2023. We held our AGM on the Saturday evening. It was our first hybrid meeting, with members attending online as well as in person. The Annual Best Game Trophy for 2022 was presented to Steve Burnell. Richard Harrington received a thank you gift for many years of service as Periodicals Distributor. Norman Wragg stood down from the committee after serving for eight years as Secretary, followed by eleven years as Chairman. The meeting voted that he should receive Honorary Life Membership. Former Champion, Bill Armstrong was elected as our new Chairman.
There was also a five round Swiss tournament held over the weekend. Thirteen players competed in the Open section and ten in the Challengers.
The Open was particularly closely contested. After five rounds only 2 points separated the leader from the lowest scorers! New member Gary Hogan impressed everyone by finishing joint second with former champion Steve Burnell. The first prize was won by associate member Owen Phillips. The complete scores were as follows:
1st on 4 points Owen Phillips
=2nd on 3.5 points Steve Burnell and Gary Hogan
On 2.5 points Norman Andrews, Ian Blencowe, Colin Chambers, Mark Kirkham, George Phillips and Guy Whitehouse. Norman, Ian and Colin shared Grading Prize A, while Mark, George and Guy shared Grading Prize B.
On 2 points Bill Armstrong, Stan Lovell, Richard Murphy and Gary Wickett
In the Challengers section, Bittor Ibanez was a man with a mission! Having narrowly missed out on winning a trophy at our Autumn Tournament, he was determined to do better this time and he succeeded in winning all of his games! New associate member, Mark Cholij, also put in a good performance and won a grading prize in his first competitive event. The complete scores were as follows:
1st with a perfect score of 5 points Bittor Ibanez
2nd on 3.5 points Gill Smith
=3rd on 3 points John Osborne and Phil Rafferty
On 2.5 points John Fullwood, Tony Lawton and Abi Baker. Tony and Abi shared Grading Prize A.
On 2 points Mark Cholij, who won Grading Prize B.
On 1 point Richard Harrington and Eleanor Tew.
At the prizegiving, everyone expressed their gratitude to Steve and Hazel Burnell for organising such a great weekend. Thanks were also offered to arbiters Matthew Carr and David Clayton, and steward Tristram Cole for running the tournament so smoothly.