Wednesday, 26 June 2019

League AGMs Round-Up

The Leamington and Coventry League AGMs have now both been held, so I thought I should summarise the main changes for next season. There is good news and bad news!

We'll start with the good, which comes from the Leamington League, where a number of positive developments can be reported:-

1 Digital Clocks - it is now compulsory for the home time to supply and use digital clocks in Div 1 and the Open KO Cup. Hopefully in due course this requirement will also be extended to the other divisions and cups. It is, of course, quite possible - indeed encouraged - to use digital clocks in other divisions, and we will obviously continue to use them for all teams in all our home matches.

2 Time Limit - where digital clocks are supplied, the time limit will now be 80 minutes for all moves, plus 10 second increment from move 1. Where analogue clocks are used, the time limit will remain at 90 minutes for the whole game. Our Leamington League digital clocks are already re-programmed with the new time limit on setting 7b, which should be the only one we ever need.

3 Eligibility for the u-120 Cup - there will no longer be any requirement to have played 2 league games to be eligible for the u-120 Cup.  Anyone graded under 120 who is a registered member of the club can play.

4 Defaults - Teams will now be penalised one match point for every four individual defaults that they accrue during the course of the season. (So defaulting a whole match obviously scores -1 immediately - except in Div 4, where there are only 3 boards!)

The first two of these changes were proposed by me, and the second two by Mike, so KCC was at the forefront of the action - not to mention that Ben masterfully chaired and led the meeting!

5 - Less favourably, though not with too many practical concerns for us, it will no longer be possible for players to "play down" into a team lower than the one for which they are registered. I think we only did that twice last season, when Dave played for the C team twice at the start of the season, so it shouldn't be a big deal, and it at least makes the admin easier. Playing up is still very much possible, and that rule stays the same - so hopefully Ben can still play 25+ Leamington League matches if he wants!

6 - Banbury are moving and their new venue is to be St Mary's Hall. This is very central apparently, but has no bar! Full address/direction/parking details to follow when received from Banbury, and these will also be placed on the LDCL website, of course. Banbury are also changing their match night from a Tuesday to a Thursday. This will actually help us greatly by reducing potential clashes with our Cov League fixtures - though it will mean reduced attendances at the Gauntlet on the dates of away matches at Banbury!

And now on to the bad news, which affects fewer of us as we will only have the one team in the Coventry League next season. Regretfully, the rule change here is that the Coventry League time limit will now be all moves in 90 minutes. We do keep the option for an incremental time limit, but this - due to procedural bureaucracy - remains as before at 30 moves in 70 minutes, plus 10 minutes sudden death, with a 10 second increment from move 1. If only this option had been changed to G/80 + 10 secs as well, we would have been using the same time limits in each league and would not need separately programmed clocks and separate equipment boxes! Maybe next year...? Also it was decided that all clocks should be started at the same time, so there is no question of waiting for a late arriving opponent to arrive before starting the clock. When one game starts every game starts!!

So much for the heavy stuff. We had two trophies to collect at the LDCL AGM, and here they are!

Ben, standing in for Dave, receives the Division 2 trophy from Mike.
(I really must get a better phone - the photo quality is dreadful!)

I couldn't quite pull off the trick of snapping myself receiving the Open KO Cup from Ben, so instead you'll have to be content with a "morning after" photo of Captain and trophy.

The first ever selfie on the club website!! They're more difficult than I realised.
Eagle eyed viewers may be able to spot The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll and The World Guide to Beer in the background!
Any team member who would like to view the KO Cup chez moi (where it will be residing for the next 12 months) is invited to make an appointment. Though I can't guarantee your request will be successful!

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 6, 1985-87 - Salvation and Triumph!

At the end of Part 5 of this epic account of the club's early years, KCC was teetering on the edge of extinction, brought low by rampant expenditure on frivolities such as rent, score sheets and clocks. A rift had opened up in the committee over the way forwards, and the Treasurer had found himself side-lined as the Secretary's power bloc became the undisputed policy driver. What will the new season hold? The world holds its breath and prays that KCC will come through these dark days ……..

July 1985 - but first we need to backtrack slightly, as Bruce's impeccable records have yielded absolute gold dust - a list of the attendances of everyone who ever attended a club night, from the foundation in 1976 till now. The all time top 10 is, in ascending order:-

10 Bernard Golding      106  (last attendance, 1982)
9   John Rowley            138  (last attendance, 1984)
8   Barry Rowe             142  (last attendance, 1981)
7   Sidney Searles        167  (last attendance, 1980)
6   Graham Brightwell   180  (last attendance, 1984)
5   Chris Aldridge          189
4   Dave Tilley               210
3   Geoff Temple           240
2   Bernard Rogers        315
1   Bruce Holland          317

Besides the top 5, only three others from the top 22 are still club members in 1985 - Ed Goodwin (16th, 73); Roy Watson (18th, 66) and Phil Evans (22nd, 61).

September 1985 - As decided at the AGM, Bruce writes to Kenilworth WMC. Chris, a WMC member, has already made overtures on our behalf, and a club delegation (including Bruce and Bernard) has been to view facilities, which have been deemed satisfactory. We are concerned, though, about maintaining our identity and independence, and the situation regarding juniors and women. How will tut' WMC Committee respond?

The club has 14 members and 5 non-participating members. (I think we know their type!) The KCC diaspora extends as follows:-

Kenilworth     8
Coventry       3
Leamington   2
Rugby            1

Sigh - the Radford Semele years are over (for good, I think). Ed has moved to Coventry, and John Rowland is now a non-participant.

Club grades are:-

Ed Goodwin         176
Joe Soesan          166
Bernard Rogers   152
Barry Ades           139
Adam Collinson   139 (already!)
John Skinner       135
Steve Burnell       125
Geoff King           109
Chris Aldridge     106
Bruce Holland     103
Roy Watson        103
Geoff Temple      102
Dave Tilley           99

October 30th 1985 - the WMC say yes! They will even close the pool table on a Thursday night for us. It is a new era for KCC, freed at last from the rent serfdom of the St Francis years. Financially, the club has just lost its major expenditure item. Given prudent fiscal leadership, the future seems assured.

December 12th 1985 - the club plays its first ever home match at the WMC - a Division 1 encounter against Banbury A, which we win by a crushing 3.5-0.5. There are wins for Ed, Joe and Barry, and a draw for Adam. Remarkably, the B team and the C team will also each win their first home matches at the new venue after Christmas, as does the KO Cup team.

May 1986 - Despite/because of the new venue, we win Division 1 on game points after tieing with Leamington A on 18/24. The B team finishes second in Division 2, just a point behind Banbury B, and the C team come 2nd= in Division 3 after a three way tie with Leamington D (champions) and Daventry. We also won the KO Cup, for our second double. There may have been a bit of a misunderstanding about the detail, but nevertheless it is very nice of the WMC to send us a congratulatory letter for becoming "Chess Champions of Warwickshire." We got knocked out of the National Club Major in Round 2 by "a very strong team".

The results of the club's internal competitions are also known - Joe Soesan wins the Tilley Trophy, with 4.5/6, closely followed by Adam Collinson on 4. (I think you can see which club player has the momentum here!) The Soesan Trophy sees a tie between Bruce and Roy, with 3/4 and once again Bruce triumphs in a play off.

July 1986 - Bernard got married! Congratulations from everyone at KCC.

September 1986  - The club persists with these September AGMs, and on the 4th of the month 11 people attend the latest edition (including Bruce, Bernard and Roy), with apologies from Joe Soesan. Chris is apparently not sorry to miss the meeting! One attendee who is new to me is George Cotterill - shame it wasn't George Botterill! Everyone is much happier than 12 months ago.

While membership seems to be stuck at 13/14, the move from St Francis' church half way through the season has massively improved the club's financial position and the Treasurer reports a £23 surplus for the year and a balance of £41.12. However, when it comes to subscription levels, he is conspicuously quiet and it is Bruce and Roy (the power axis of the future?) who propose 1986/87 subs of £6 (£3 for juniors), subject to a December review by the Committee of  a possible £4 supplementary fee. The meeting decides to purchase two new clocks, but then Geoff King offers to donate one.

The internal club championships will be revised so that two equal strength leagues will be formed, with the winners of each to play off for the Tilley Trophy. The highest placed players from the lower half  of the club, grading wise, would play off for the Soesan Trophy. The A team squad (Ed still Captain) for the coming season is the club's strongest ever and includes Bernard and Adam Collinson. Bruce is in the B team, with Chris and Roy in C.

May 1987 - Coventry City win the FA Cup …… and Kenilworth A win Division 1 ...….. and Kenilworth B win Division 2 ...…… and Kenilworth C ………... come 2nd in Division 3. Just one match point away from an unprecedented quadruple!! The A team finishes 7 points clear of Leamington B, while the B team are also decisive winners of their division, 3 points ahead of Leamington C. We missed out on the double by losing in a replay of the KO Cup final to Leamington. On the individual front, Ed won both the League individual and the League speed play (?) titles. We went out to Nuneaton in the second round of the National Club Major.

September 10th 1987 - A bumper turnout of 15, including Bruce, Bernard, Roy, 2 Collinsons, Joe Soesan, Steve Burnell and John Skinner. Ed and Geoff King are sorry they can't attend, but Chris, once again, apparently is not.

Membership had fallen to as low as 10 at the start of the season, but was now at a much healthier 18.

Ed had won the Tilley Trophy, but a play off between Geoff Temple and Geoff King to decide the Soesan Trophy was still outstanding. The Chairman was not happy about the number of games that were not played.

Bruce resigns as Secretary! Probably satisfied with having won the power struggle with Bernard back in '85, he is now focussing on bigger fish through his work as League Chairman and Treasurer of Warwickshire County Chess Association. But reading between the lines, I think he will clearly be the power behind the throne at KCC!

Bernard disgraces himself yet again by presenting accounts that show a loss of £26, even though we now have zero rent! The Cov B.S. balance is down to £15. Although he is a busted flush as far as I can see, he then proposes subs of £6.50, with a possible supplementary fee of £3.50 if needed, with Juniors half price. Possibly out of sympathy, the meeting votes this through, but Bernard then does the decent thing and resigns as Treasurer. No surprise there, he's simply not a numbers/money kind of guy and it was unfair to put him in charge of such a big budget - the club needs income of £100-110 pa to break even! I think we have to deduce it was just too much for him.

Fresh from his "triumphs" as Treasurer, Bernard stands for the post of Secretary and, incomprehensibly, is voted in by the meeting. Still, as Bruce proposed him, I guess that no one dared stand against him! Our new Treasurer is Geoff King while Ed stands down as A team Captain to be replaced by Barry Ades. For the third year running Roy will be C team Captain.

There is a tie when we vote on entering the National Club - half the meeting wants to be in the Intermediate (u-150) and half in the Major (u-175). Crucially three abstain. It is resolved to leave the decision to the Captain, but as that is John Skinner (proposed by Bruce!), who proposed entry in the Intermediate, I think we can see which way the club is going on this!

The experiment with the internal club tournaments will not be repeated, and we revert to the old system of two competitions, split according to grade. Finally, in an unexpected outburst of volunteering spirit, Bernard offers to organise a club quick-play tournament, and Roy a club ladder in summer 1988.

So, although the crisis was survived and the club's playing fortunes flourished after our move to a new, rent-free venue, the finances remain shaky. Moreover, with Bruce no longer Secretary, will the club records be maintained as assiduously by Bernard? We'll find out this, and more, in the next exciting instalment of "From the Archives"!

Friday, 21 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 5, 1983-85 - KCC in Crisis!

Is there no end to this historical excursion? Apparently not! Its Part 5, and we still have decades to go!

September 1983 - the Club has 16 members who reside as follows:-

Kenilworth         9
Coventry            2
Leamington        2
Radford Semele 2

That only adds up to 15, of course. Our 16th member, Barry Ades, does not have an address, but can be contacted by calling Coventry Police Station and asking for the Cell Block! Hopefully he did not live there.

Anyway, good to see that Radford Semele is still a hot bed of chess!

October 1983 - Ed Goodwin wins the LDCL Individual Tournament. In an all-Kenilworth final he beats KCC Chairman, John Rowley, 3-1.

April 1984 - The Club has organised an internal competition in two all play all sections of 8. In the top group, Ed wins the Tilley Trophy with 6.5/7, ahead of Joe Soesan on 5. Bernard scores 3, but only played 6 games.  The B section, for the Soesan Trophy, sees a tie between Bruce and Dave Tilley with 5/7. There is to be a play off (which Bruce wins!). Chris finishes close behind on 4.5, while Roy scores 4.

And Ed is top-dog in the LDCL Individual (again!) as well, beating Andy Price 1.5-0.5 in the final.

May 1984 - The A team finish 3rd in Div 1 behind Leamington A and Evesham. The B team are 7th, well clear of Alcester in bottom place. The C team is 4th of 5 in Division 2. We were knocked out of the KO Cup in the semi-final by Leamington. The Leamington League lost a friendly against the Worcester League, but managed a first win for some time against the Coventry League.

September 13th 1984 - What is it with these September AGM's?? Far too late in my opinion. 11 attend. The 3 usual suspects are all there, as are Roy and Joe Soesan. Ed sends his apologies. Bernard reports that room rent had gone up from £3 per night to £4 and that two clocks had been purchased as replacements for two that had broken down. (They didn't make things to last in those days, did they?) Nevertheless, income was up to £211.16 and we had made a surplus of £33.79. The balance at the Coventry Building Society now stood at £82.42. That's what you get when you put a professional in charge of the money!

Bad news on the competitive front, though, as we are forced to drop our B team from Div 1 to 2, and our C team from Div 2 to 3. The C team will be juniors only for home games! John Rowley steps down as Chairman, and is replaced by Geoff Temple. But the real power doubtless remains with Bruce and Bernard!

The meeting agrees to buy another clock and it is to be one of the new battery type. Call us cutting edge Kenilworth! Only 4 members helped out at the Carnival, so just £3 was raised, making it unlikely we would participate in 1985. In a major development, the club is to enter the National Club Major in 1984/85, with Bruce as Captain. Bernard and Chris are also in the squad. There is a tantalising reference to possible international competitions, but nothing specific is mentioned.

October 1984 - The LDCL Teams are formed. A first mention of Adam Collinson, who is part of the C team. He goes on to have a peak grade of 225 in 1997!!

May 1985 - The A team finishes second, 2 points behind League champions Leamington A, while the B and C teams each finish 4th in Divs 2 and 3 respectively. We went out in Rd 1 of the KO Cup to Stratford.  Joe Soesan wins the LDCL Individual, beating Rob Gill in the final. Ed's defence of his title ends early at the hands of Colin Searle. Joe also wins the Tilley Trophy, beating Ed in a play off after they finish tied with 5.5/6. Bernard scores 3; Bruce 2 and Chris 0.5. Adam Collinson gives  a sign of things to come by scoring 6/6 to win the Soesan Trophy, with Roy fourth on 3. But who is Brian Perry, who scored 3/3 (including a win over Adam) but then seemingly withdrew? Good league performances from some of our current members - Bernard 12.5/19; Roy 11.5/17 and Bruce 7/17. But I'd better not mention Chris's 2.5/14! In the National Club Major, we beat Rugby in Round 1; sailed through Round 2 (bye!); and then bit the dust against Cowley in Round 3.

September 5th 1985 - AGM time, and only 7 people attend, including a first appearance by future Leamington stalwart Steve Burnell. A hushed crowd (well, more of a huddle, really) hears the Treasurer (Bernard, of course) report a loss of £64.41 for the year (possibly the first ever) with our balance now down to just £18. Membership and attendance had both fallen, while expenditure had clearly got out of hand - new scoresheets had been ordered for goodness sake! What were they thinking of??

The club is in financial crisis and there is a massive difference of opinion over the future fee structure. Geoff King and Bernard want a flat fee of £1 per attendance at the club, while Steve B and Bruce want a £5 membership fee, plus 50p for each attendance, including away matches. This is incendiary stuff, and the meeting votes for Bruce's proposal. This is a massive rebuff for the Treasurer, and I strongly expect him to walk away from KCC for good after what was in effect a vote of no confidence. Mark my words, you won't be hearing any more about Bernard Rogers in Kenilworth Chess Club! A successful Bruce/Bernard proposal to charge juniors 30p per night hints at a rapprochement, but I'm not convinced. I'm still expecting Bernard to leave for good. Trust me, he'll never feature in the records of KCC again.

But no, I'm completely wrong! A few minutes later Bernard is re-elected as (a lame duck) Treasurer, with massively reduced authority after his resounding defeat by the Holland power bloc on Kenilworth's night of the long knives. Bruce stays as Secretary (but clearly club top dog now in my eyes!) and Roy achieves high office for the first time when he is appointed C team captain.

And it appears that we are finally fed up with the never-ending room hire increases at St Francis Church, and the AGM decides to approach the Working Mens Club as a potential new venue.

And bad news from the Leamington League, where Barford, one of the founder members, withdraws as its small membership cannot cope with a massive rise in room hire.

I have to say, the club records for these years are exemplary. Many thanks and congratulations to Bruce for this impeccable administration. And I'll try not to keep you waiting too long for part 6 of this series. No doubt you are just as anxious as me to discover whether the club will survive its financial meltdown and arise, phoenix like, from the ashes.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

A jolly time was had by all at the Thai Kitchen on Wednesday evening, as we celebrated KCC's two trophy winning performances (Open KO Cup and the B team's Division 2 title) from the 2018-19 season. As usual, it proved much easier to get people to a social occasion than to an away match at Nuneaton on a winter's evening!

Happy campers! - (l to r) Paul, Andy, Phil, Bruce, Joshua, Roy, Bernard, Algis, Mark, Ben and Dave

Many thanks to Phil for organising the event, and instantly becoming the best Social Secretary we've had for many a long year. (Ever?) A few hardy sorts continued the celebrations with a  post-prandial visit to the newly opened Ale Rooms, where most of us seemed to be having a good time.

Spot the Grump! And yes I do mean you, Josh! Anyone would think you were desperate for an early night because you had a train to catch at 6.00 the next morning.

Amazing how the photo makes Kenilworth (almost) look like Manhattan!

Anyway, let's all sing along with Kool and the Gang. One, two, three, four.... "Celebrate good times.....

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 4, 1982-83

Hope you aren't finding this too boring. Bad news if you are, as it now transpires that there are still several more articles' worth of material in folder number 2! I'm actually finding it all great fun, which probably says quite a lot about me. None of it particularly favourable!

March 1982 - KCC are fighting for the Division 1 and 2 titles, and the town is agog with excitement!

Kenilworth Weekly News, March 12, 1982 - before it went tabloid!

You may be interested to know that this was a week when you could have bought a 4 bedroomed house in Windy Arbour for £59,950, or in Malthouse Lane for £49,500!!

Results went our way and we won both Division 1 and Division 2, and also the KO Cup - truly a Golden Year for the club! So we will have two teams in Division 1 in the 1982-83 season. Top A team scorer had been Miles Dunn (a new one on me) with an unbeaten 6.5/9. Bernard had contributed 4/4, but missed many games while away at University.

1982 AGM - 11 people attend. The only ones I know are - surprise, surprise - Bruce, Bernard and Ed Goodwin. Chris is presumably at Coventry Police Station arranging bail for a valued client!? The meeting learns that the club made a profit on the year of 19 pence! Talk about running a balanced budget. Despite previous reports, the Club had not gone cash-only, but had actually replaced the bank account with a building society account (the Coventry) which showed a balance of £37. Affiliation costs to the BCF had gone up from 5p per player to 50p per player. Crikey - that's Venezuelan rates of inflation. Despite this, Bernard recommends no change to club subs or weekly board fees. Another clock was to be purchased. (That makes 5 by my count!) Then as now, the Club is at the centre of the Leamington League power nexus, with Bernard as League Treasurer and Bruce as Assistant Secretary. Whatever happened to that latter role? Should we have one??

1982-83 - The Leamington League Division 1 consists of Banbury A, Evesham, Stratford A, Kenilworth A, Kenilworth B, Leamington A and Leamington B. Division 2 consists of Alcester,  Barford, Stratford B, AP A, and Banbury B, and in Division 3 are AP B, AP C, Kenilworth C, Leamington C and Stratford C.

September 17th 1982 - Geoff Temple is unable to play in the first two Kenilworth B league matches of the season, and actually writes a letter to Bruce to tell him! Imagine that, a club member taking the trouble to inform a match captain about his availability. I predict this will never catch on.

September 23rd 1982 - Do you know what you were doing on this day in history? Probably not, but I can tell you that Bernard was available to play (if selected) for Kenilworth B against Kenilworth A! Maybe history is about to repeat itself in September 2019?

Nov 29 1982 - A match is held between the Leamington League and Worcestershire League at Alcester. We lose. (We also lose an inter-league match against Coventry.)

May 1983 - Kenilworth A have won Division 1 for the second successive year, with 19 pts from 12 games, two points ahead of Leamington A. Ed Top scores with a Pink-esque 11/12. The B team, for which Bernard scores 6.5/10, finish in a very respectable 5th, while Banbury A come last with just 5 points. Not a scenario that is likely to be repeated in 2019-20! Meanwhile our C team finish 2nd (of 5) in Division 3, losing out to Leamington C by 1 game point after both finish on 10/16. We had been forced to default one match due to transport problems, which cost us the title. Nevertheless, the LDCL subsequently promotes us to Div 2 anyway.

September 1st 1983 - Another very late Club AGM. 12 people attend including Bruce, Bernard, Ed Goodwin and …… a first ever mention of Roy Watson! Chris is sorry he can't attend. Shock news is given to the meeting - Bruce has mislaid the minutes from the previous year's AGM. (Luckily, they are subsequently found, as otherwise there would be a big blank space above in this report!) On an income of £138.91 we have made a surplus of £11.25 for the year, taking our positive balance to £48.66. Even so, the Treasurer is planning for a rainy day, and argues successfully for subs to rise to £2, plus 40p per night board fee, but with this to rise to 50p (students and juniors half price) from Jan 1 1984, because the church hall rent is going up again. Bernard is obviously viewed as slightly dodgy, as apparently for the first time ever the accounts have been independently reviewed. I don't like the sound of this, so let's not have any ideas about auditing the books while I'm looking after club finances!

Friday, 7 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 3, 1977-81

The KCC saga continues...……

October 1977 - Sir John Cornforth gives a simul for the Leamington League on Oct 13th.

November 1977 - The Club holds a Thursday evening Duplicate Endgame Swiss Tournament. All boards set with the same endgame position; 5 mins preliminary study; 10 mins on each clock. 4 rounds. I do not propose to resurrect this idea!

May 1978 - The club AGM is held on May 4th, with 13 people attending. The usual suspects (Bernard, Bruce and Chris) are there. We had successfully taken on all comers at Kenilworth Carnival until (future IM) Chris Baker turned up! There had been problems during the season with teams not turning up; noise; and with the refreshment arrangements. Nothing changes! We had £25.40 in the bank, but for some reason still owed Sir John Cornforth £2.50. I wonder if he sent the heavies round to collect? The meeting decides to voluntarily offer to pay a higher rent, and the nightly attendance charge is consequently to be raised to 25p for adults, but stay at 10p for students. Bruce is elected Chairman, and Chris Secretary.

May 1979 - Its AGM time again, and 11 attend including the usual suspects! Bizarrely we had played with A and C teams in Division 1, and our B team in Division 2. The club now owns 3 clocks. Our stint at Kenilworth Carnival raised about £5. Membership was claimed to be around 30 (this does not ring true!), although at least 8 of these were likely to leave. The cash in hand is down to only £1.73, and to address this precarious position the club needs to make changes. An annual sub of £1.00 is introduced with nightly fees raised to 30p and 15, but the idea of charging for playing in away matches is voted down. The club bank account (at the Midland) is to be closed and we will in future run on a pure cash basis. Annual turnover was reported at £132.29, with the biggest outlay being rent at £92.00. The club would close for the summer months. It was reported that "we didn't always get our strongest teams out." All these years later, nothing has changed!

May 1980 - The AGM is held on May 22nd, with only 9 turning up. Bruce is there, but Chris and Bernard have better things to do. It is reported that the A team won the League by 3 points, with Paul Benson (who I remember well from Coventry League days in the 1970s) scoring 10/12. (Watch out Joshua!) Graham Brightwell is off to King's College, Cambridge. (A well known hot-bed for Soviet spies!!) The Treasurer reported a surplus for the year of £22.02, despite expenditure of £1 on a photographer and £1.38 on tea and milk, and reduced turnover of £99.50. Our rent was going up to £3.75 for a 3 hour session. 13 people had paid the annual sub and the average attendance at club nights was 8.5. Subs to go up to £2.00 pa, and attendance fee to 40p/20p. Anyone attending 5 times would be asked to cough up the £2. Are there problems below the surface, I wonder, given the comment in the minutes that "we should attempt to foster club spirit"?

1980-81 - The Leamington League Division 1 consists of Banbury, Stratford, Kenilworth and Leamington. Teams play each other 4 times a season! Division 2 consists of Alcester, Fire Service, Kenilworth II, Stratford II, Automotive Products, Leamington II, Banbury II and Daventry. We have asked for no matches on the last Thursday of each month, which will be a pure club night.

Sept 1981 - The club AGM is held very late, on September 10th. 9 people definitely turn up (the usual suspects are all present and correct, plus Ed Goodwin) and one other may have, but the Secretary is not sure and marks him with a question mark! How difficult could it have been to identify the attendees?? We hadn't been that successful in the league after losing some strong players, and we lost in the KO Cup Final. Mike Johnson appears for the first time as a player. But we (including Bernard and Ed) had helped Warwick District Council win the Warwickshire Olympics! Notably, during the season Ed had drawn against IM Paul Littlewood. Financial stability for once, as subs are to remain unchanged. Average take per club night was £2.70 with average attendance down to 6.75. The Church had helped us out by not always taking the full rent! Turnover is up at £126.81 and the club makes a profit of £12.96. Rent accounts for £101 of our £113.85 expenditure. There must have been a lot of tea drinking, as that cost has risen to £3.30.  Another clock is to be bought - finally we have enough for a match!

For the first time, the future Mr Kenilworth Chess Club (Bernard, of course!) is elected to office as Treasurer. Bruce remains Chairman, but Chris stands down as Secretary to return to the backbenches. Ed Goodwin is Club Captain. This year participation in the Carnival had raised £6 or £7. Good luck to the new Treasurer on inheriting that sort of financial control.

Bruce, who has moved from Windy Arbour to Bertie Road, is mandated by the AGM to try to recruit some junior members by writing to the Headmaster of Kenilworth School.

An undated club membership list reveals our geographic spread around this time. Our 23 listed members reside in:-

Kenilworth             14
Leamington              3
Coventry                  2
Radford Semele       2 (Who'd have guessed it was such a chess hot-spot?)
Balsall Common      1
Leek Wootton          1

I trust the Secretary was GDPR compliant with this information!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

From the Archives - Part 2, 1976-77

And back we go for a further delve into KCC in days of yore...…

September 1976 - at the LDCL AGM we propose the adoption of sudden death play-offs after 30 moves, to avoid adjournments/adjudications. Did our oratory sway the assembled multitude? Almost certainly not, as the topic is back for discussion the following year! What we do know is that there are to be 8 teams in Division 1,  and after Rugby C seemingly withdraw, there are 7 teams in Division 2.  Additionally, we have arranged a Centenary Match (theirs not ours, I guess!) against Rugby for May 1977.

October 1976 - The LDCL is charging us £1.25 for our team in Division 1; £1.00 for Division 2; and £1.00 for the KO Cup. Additionally, we will be charged 5p per member for registration with the Warwickshire Chess Association. Glad I wasn't Treasurer in those high stakes days! Grading news - Bernard is 125J, Bruce 119 and Chris is 115. The club's highest graded player is John Rowley at 151. The highest graded player in the league is A Whitbread of Stratford (190) ahead of Rugby's John Turner (187).

May 1977 - In our second league season, the A team finishes 4th in Division 1 with 50%. Banbury win easily with 21 pts from 14 games. The B team is third in Division 2 with … 50%! Bizarrely, the Club is trying to organise a friendly match against Leeds University. It never happens.

June 1977 - it is KCC AGM time. 12 members attend, but 5 don't. And they couldn't be bothered to send their apologies either. A mystery is solved - the previous AGM was not able to pass the proposed Constitution because of insufficient attendance. But there is no indication that the subject is revisited this year. Bruce reports that membership is static and the Club is not proving attractive to casual players. John Rowley had been the winner of the Club's internal KO cup. The Treasurer reported that the majority of expenditure had been on room hire, but we had managed to buy our first chess clock! (I am now confused - how had we been able to play a full league season? Maybe people brought their own clocks? How very American!) Bruce vacates the Secretary's role, seemingly not very happy at having been lumbered with this the previous year when he was not present! Chris succeeds him. Bernard offers to organise club events. How quaint - a volunteer! I predict that idea did not catch on.

July 1977 - The KWN reports that the club's two teams finished mid-table in Div 1 and Div 2, and that a third team is planned for the following season. Just like now, it seems that they will print anything you send them! Membership entails a "small subscription" plus 40p (20p for those in full time education) per evening. We do something for the Kenilworth Carnival. Quite what, I have no idea!

Now, don't get your hopes up and think this is the end - there are at least two more instalments worth of material in the files. And quite possibly even more. You have been warned!