Thanks to the technological wizardry of our splendid Webmaster (Joshua, in case you couldn't recognise him from my description!), there was a seamless continuation of our weekly club nights yesterday, as four trail-blazers took part in the first ever KCC online gathering. Paul, Lionel, Joshua and myself were the intrepid souls who gathered in a virtual Gauntlet to play - in best club tradition - a series of increasingly awful games, first at 15 minutes and then at 5 minutes. Yes, it was controversial not to adopt an incremental time control, but for the first session we wanted to stay as close as possible to the normal Thursday evening comfort zone.
I can claim the prize for the first mouse slip of the new era, substituting the move b6 for my intended bxc6, which left me a whole rook down in about 8 moves against Lionel. And it was against the same opponent that I won the prize for the first act of self delusion, rashly announcing "Kapow" to the whole club after my Nd7 move that forked a queen and rook - only to have to eat humble pie when the move Nh3+ in response saved the exchange and won a pawn.
And yes, you did read that right, we were all in constant audio contact thanks to our Webmaster's great knowledge of the best free apps out there, so all the usual banter was in evidence. Alongside the frequent agonised moans of "Oh no!" as another blunder was perpetrated by one or other of our hapless crew. In fact, the only things missing on the normal banter front were Roy's use of the vernacular and Bernard's regular chorus of "Another drink, chaps?". But hopefully the second wave of our recruitment drive will remedy those omissions pdq!
I will send out another e-mail to all members over the weekend with instructions on how to sign up for the KCC online club, and hopefully we'll have a much bigger turn out next Thursday. And in fact there's no reason why KCC Online shouldn't meet every night of the week, whenever there's at least 2 people who want to play and/or chat. I think a club tournament or two is also on the cards once we get ourselves used to the technology and up to a critical mass. As an added incentive, our most distant (lapsed/former) member, Carl Pickering, has been in touch and is planning on joining us when he can. Just the 8 hour time difference to factor in for him!
These are dark days, but thanks to Joshua we are at least able to shine a little bit of light onto the precious corner of our lives that is chess. Come and join in at KCC Online. It's just like a night at the Gauntlet, except you have to supply your own beer and you don't have to walk home afterwards!