We've reached the mid-point of the season in both the Leamington and Coventry Leagues ..... assuming we don't find ourselves suspended again in the New Year. That would be a great pity, as KCC has had a stellar first half of the season, as can be seen by a summary of our performances
Kenilworth A - Played 5, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 0 - Points 9, Position 1st
Kenilworth B - Played 5, Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 2 - Points 5, Position 2nd
Kenilworth C - Played 6, Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 1 - Points 8, Position 2nd
Kenilworth D - Played 4, Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 1 - Points 5, Position 2nd
Kenilworth - Played 5, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 0 - Points 9, Position 1st
And if that isn't enough, we're also through to the semi-finals of all three Leamington League KO Cups, which has never happened before in my time with the club, as far as I can remember. And we didn't get a Round 1 bye in any of them. The same again in the second half of the season will do very nicely, because at the moment we are only half way to paradise!
In the truncated season 2019-20, we had 24 different players turn out for us at least once. Inevitably things have changed a bit since then, with people like Algis and Drago departing for pastures new - and very distant - and some long standing members not returning post-lockdown. To compensate for that, though, we have had a renewed surge of enthusiasm from some former members, and the online chess explosion (or was it The Queen's Gambit?) has sent several new members our way. So in the first half of the season we have had 19 different players make at least one competitive start - from a much reduced fixture list - and I would hope that four more (Andy, Andy, Ed and Vincent - I daren't even dream about Paul playing!) ) might be cajoled to the board in the second half of the season.
But that's quite enough about our teams, club spirit or any other of that soft emotional malarkey - chess is an individual game, and what we all really want to know is how are we doing in the Player of the Year competition. Now normally, you would need to play a minimum of 10 games to qualify, but with a reduced fixture list for all our teams (except in the Coventry League) that won't do this season. I think maybe 6 is an appropriate minimum requirement, so at half-time, really anyone and everyone has a chance of meeting this thresh-hold. (Assuming we don't get stopped in our tracks again!) The top 10 - containing some surprising names, and some surprising omissions, currently looks like this:-
4 Roy 90%
5 Andrew 88.9%
6 Hector 83.3%
7 Will 75%
8 Mark 72.7%
9 Ben 70.8%
10 Bernard R 66.7%
Where, oh where, I hear you cry, is the only ever double winner of the POTY award, J. Pink, Esq? Languishing with the also rans, is the answer after losing 2 games in the first half of the season. (Though it should be noted that he did do the decent thing and lose to me in the Coventry League!)
So, its all to play for - as long as we are allowed to play. We may well have a new name on the cup - from the current top ten, only Roy (2015) and Andrew (2016) have previously held the POTY. One thing I can definitely predict, though, is that no -one will play as many games as Mike when he won the trophy in 2018 - an amazing 42!!