Friday, 28 July 2017

Preview - KCC at the 2017 British Championships

One day to go now before the 2017 British Championships get underway at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno. (Could that be any more Welsh?)  KCC will be directly represented there by:-

1) Paul, who is playing in the Championship itself (9 rounds), where he is, at time of writing, ranked 67th out of 102. Just the 13 GMs and 13 IMs for Paul to worry about, and he is highly likely to face one in the very first round,

2) Myself, playing in the Over 50s Championship (7 rounds), where I am ranked 10th out of 33. Number 1 seed just happens to be Grand Master John Nunn, former member of the World Top 10, who would be ranked 5th if he was playing in the main event. I think we can guess who is going to win the Over-50 title. (Clue - its not going to be me.)

3) Ben, putting the rest of us to shame with multiple entries:-

The Under-180 Championship - 5 rounds - ranked 14th of 29
The Morning Open - 5 rounds - ranked 31st of 35
The Rapidplay - 9 rounds - ranked 16th of 37

So Ben will just be playing the 19 games over 6 days. This compares very poorly with Joshua at Warwick University in 2015, when he managed 43 over 12 days. Some people just won't put the effort in, I'm afraid.

A number of Paul's Coventry Chess Academy juniors will be playing in various age group championships, and we wish them well. In particular to David Phillips in the U-14 event, who played once for our D team a season or more back.

As the only two active contributors to this website will be in action, its quite possible that a report or two from North Wales might appear here over the next 10 days. Unless things are going very badly, of course, when a diplomatic silence may well be in order.  Anyway, that will have to do for now. It's time for me to pack my bucket and spade, root out my favourite knotted hanky from the back of the wardrobe and slap on the Factor 50 sunscreen. A week at the British seaside paying chess - what could be better?!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

July 2017 Grades - KCC Report Card

The July 2017 ECF grades have been published today, so it must be time for my bi-annual summary of the progress we have all made - or not as the case may be - over the last 6 months. Here is the latest KCC Report Card:

Top of the Form

Roy +8
Carl +7
Paul +6
Rod +5
Mike D +4
The Club Organiser +4
Chris +2
Ben +2
Dave +2
Phil +2
Stuart +1

See Me After Class

Steve -1
Andy B -2
Tony -2
Nick M -3
Bernard C -4
Bruce -4
Andrew P -4
Mike J -5
Nick F -15

So from our 20 active players we had 11 risers and 9 fallers. Collectively we gained 43 grading points and lost 40, for a net club gain of 3 points, which shows that the anti-ageing tablets must be working!

Many congratulations to Roy for heading the table of improvers - all that money he's spending on lessons is clearly paying off! Great efforts, too, from Carl, Paul and Rod. And somehow Stuart managed to increase his grade despite never being seen anywhere near a chess match (or so it seemed to me!)

Poor Nick F has gone from star pupil in January when he burst onto the ECF grading list at a dizzyingly high 162 to July's classroom dunce, by dropping 15 points. Hopefully he will bounce back into the 150s by the time of the next list. Normal order at the top of the list has not quite been restored, as the seldom sighted (except when there is a curry and a pint on offer) Andy B clings onto the number one slot, by a single point from a resurgent Paul. A slight hiccup for Andrew P means that my dream of fielding a full 190+ team in the Leamington League is on the back burner once again.

These grades are, of course, more important than the January ones, as they determine eligibility and board order for the coming season. I will be in touch with all the match captains shortly to discuss player arrangements for next season, following which we'll let everyone know what the various team squads will look like. Much the same as last season is my guess!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Leamington Rapidplay Tournament Returns!

Excellent news! Thanks to the efforts of the Leamington League Committee (take a bow, Ben and Mike) and the sterling services of chief organiser Ed Goodwin, the Leamington Rapidplay Tournament has been revived. Details of the 2017 event are:-

Date: September 10th (Start 10.00, finish around 17.30)
Venue: The SYDNI Centre, 24 Cottage Square, Leamington CV31 1PT
Four Sections: Open; U-170; U-140; U-110
Six Rounds with a time limit of 20 mins per player per game, plus 10 seconds per move.

Entry Form downloadable from:

This is an excellent opportunity for some last minute pre-season practice, so please support this local event if at all possible.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Introducing The Gauntlet

We've now had two Thursday evening sessions at The Gauntlet subsequent to our recent move from The Engine. Early impressions are very favourable, and everything that Bernard said about the new venue has proved to be correct. In fact, so successful has the move been, that if Bernard decided to stand for the position of Club Organiser now, even I would vote for him! There is plenty of room, the tables/seats/lighting are all fine and the beer is good (and cheaper than we have been used to). What's not to like?

If you are of a certain age and a certain musical sensibility, then the pub sign of "a rose in a fisted glove" will instantly remind you of this song.

We had a respectable six people present in Week One, and a positively gargantuan crowd of nine last night - and already 13 different people have put in an appearance, with only Roy and myself being ever presents. And talking of Roy, the new venue has worked wonders on the quality of his play. He not only registered the first ever win at The Gauntlet (beating Bernard - not very friendly after all his efforts!), but followed up by beating me and drawing with Paul. Then last night he repeated the trick by trouncing me again. Mind you, he wasn't alone, as Ben weighed in with a 2-0 score-line against me. Hopefully this is just me getting all these losses out of my system during the off-season.

Apart from a few wins for me, all that's missing at The Gauntlet is a special chess set to use. Thanks to Nick F for finding this one, which exactly fits the bill!

No wonder the board's the wrong way round!

So if you haven't tried it yet, do come along to The Gauntlet during the summer - the more the merrier!