The Gazette - May 2014

Sponsored by The Ulverscroft Foundation
Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

The AGM Tournament at Harrogate by Roger Waters

This annual event was held at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. I felt this to be the best hotel I’ve visited for our chess events. Hotels are judged largely on the quality of their staff and food and both of these were excellent. The central location was ideal for those who wanted to explore this popular town. Playing conditions were excellent.

We were joined at the AGM and for the evening meal by Julia Scott and her husband, Roy. Julia was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the BCA. Roy helped to read out her acceptance speech which was very warmly received by those who attended the meeting.

There seemed to be a generally held view that the present Committee has proved itself to be of exceptional quality. Everyone I spoke to felt the members’ interests were being very well looked after, and confidence in the future is high.

The arbiters at the Tournament were Roger Edwards and Matthew Carr, and I was the steward. I was thus able to follow many of the games closely and was once again impressed by the combative nature of many of the games.

In the Minor, though well out-graded by some stalwarts of our congresses, Dan Rugman began with a draw against Steve Thacker, but then gained four impressive victories to finish on four and a half points, and to win the Minor. Steve Thacker was unbeaten and took second place on 4 points, and third place went to Mark Hague (also unbeaten) on three and a half points. A special mention should go to Gill Smith who, in only her second BCA event won her last three games to finish fourth. I can honestly say that the general standard of play was the best I have seen in a Minor.

In the Open Chris Ross took a bye in round one, but thereafter made steady progress to gain yet another tournament success, finishing on four and a half points. Other players were often a bit erratic in their play and there were more draws than usual. By the end Bill Armstrong, John Gallagher, David Hodgkins and Les Whittle had all scored 3 points to finish equal second. Mark Kirkham played very solidly throughout, and can be pleased to finish on 2 points with a win against Steve Brown, and draws against Ian Blencowe and Stan Lovell.

Sheila Milsom once again organised a very successful raffle which raised about £120. To Sheila and those who provided the many prizes, a big thank you.

The event ended with the Prize Giving Ceremony. Steve Burnell, the Tournament Organiser, thanked all who helped. He in turn, was thanked for all his efforts in bringing the event to fruition by Moira Whittle.

Final scores:Open 1 Chris Ross 4.5

2= Bill Armstrong, John Gallagher, David Hodgkins, Les Whittle 3

6= Steve Burnell, Stan Lovell 2.5

8 Mark Kirkham 2

9 Ian Blencowe 1.5

10 Steve Brown 0.5

Grading Prize A was shared by John Gallagher and David Hodgkins

Grading Prize B was won by Mark Kirkham

Minor1 Dan Rugman 4.5

2 Steve Thacker 4

3 Mark Hague 3.5

4 Gill Smith 3

5= Jim Cuthbert, Voldi Gailans, George Phillips, Gary Wickett 2.5

9= Richard Harrington, John Osborne 2

11 Michael Lowery 1.5

12 Eleanor Tew 0

Grading Prize A was won by Jim Cuthbert

Grading Prize B by Gill Smith