B.C.A. International Autumn Congress, Stafford 2004

From 19-21 November, 37 B.C.A members gathered at the Garth Hotel, Stafford for our Autumn International Tournament. Four players from India (D'Mello, Patel, Pawasker and Kharat) with their guide, and Sean Loftus from Dublin, made sure that the event was truly international. Steve Hilton from Greenock, proudly wearing his Scotland sweatshirt, could also claim to represent his country. Steve was playing in his first B.C.A event.

The tournament began with a minute's silence in memory of Francis Collison, a very popular B.C.A member who died on 26 October aged 82.

The players were divided into the Open section (27 players) and the Minor (10 players) for those with a British Chess Federation grade known or estimated at 80 or under. Gerry Walsh and Peter Gibbs were the Controllers.

In Round 1 (Friday evening), most results were as expected by grading, with wins for top seeds Tyson Mordue, Chris Ross, Graham Lilley and Steve Hilton in the Open. In the Minor, Shirley Watkins, Richard Kidals (our Treasurer) John Kidals (Richard's brother, an Associate member) won their games.

Following round 1, most of the party adjourned to the bar, where the bitter at £1 a pint was widely considered a better innovation than any seen over the board.

In Round 2 (Saturday morning), Tyson, Chris, Graham and Steve won again. John Gallagher kept up with them by also maintaining a perfect score. In the Minor, the Kidals brothers 'did the double' and were joined on 2 points by newcomer Mark Hague, who defeated Shirley.

In Round 3 (Saturday afternoon), the leading group in the Open was reduced to three players. Tyson beat Steve in a short game, Chris overcame stern resistance from John Gallagher and Graham defeated the leading Indian player, Pawasker. In the Minor, Richard Kidals moved into sole lead by beating Mark Hague while John Kidals lost to Shirley.

Saturday evening saw a very successful bring and buy sale, in which members snapped up some bargains and raised over £150 for the Association. Stan Lovell was almost knocked down in the rush to snap up excellent braille sets at irresistible prices.

Round 4 (Sunday morning), saw the Open come down to two leaders when Tyson beat Chris and Graham defeated B.C.A Secretary Norman Wragg. Steve Hilton and Mr D'Mello (India) joined Chris on 3 points with wins against Steve Thacker and Richard Murphy. In the Minor, Richard Kidals made sure of at least a share of first prize by avenging his brother's loss to Shirley. Wins for Chrissie Brown and Mark Hague kept them just one point behind.

In Round 5 (Sunday afternoon), Tyson and Graham agreed an early draw and
thereby were assured of joint first place with an impressive 4.5/5. Tyson and Graham were also equal on first tie-break (sum of progressive scores) but Tyson was awarded first place and the trophy on second tie-break (sum of opponents' scores). With wins against John Gallagher and Mr D'Mello respectively, Steve Hilton and Chris reached 4/5 to come equal third and fourth. In the last game to finish, Stan Lovell overcame Norman with skilful endgame play and was rewarded with 3.5/5 and the Group A grading prize. Junior member Yan Kit Chan scored 3/5 and won the Group B grading prize.

In the Minor, Richard Kidals's victory against Geoff Patching gave him first place and a 100% score. Chrissie Brown beat Mark Hague to take second place on 4/5. Mark had the consolation of the Minor grading prize with 3/5, while John Osborne and John Kidals came out equal third and fourth on 3/5.

The B.C.A can be proud of another successful tournament. Highlights included welcoming our friends from India, our junior members continuing to improve, and Steve Hilton and Mark Hague winning prizes in their first B.C.A event.

Richard Murphy
B.C.A. Publicity Officer

Monday 29th November 2004


Tournaments Results

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B.C.A. 2004