The Sean Marsh Chess Column
8th September 2001
It was good to be back in chess action following a lull over the summer. For most locals, the last event was the Middlesbrough congress back in July so it was with a feeling of new-season freshness that all the usual suspects entered the latest in the long-running series created by chess impresario Graham
21 players contested the Minor section (under-101 grade). Stan Johnson continued his run of successes with another great first place, dropping just half a point from six games.
Ron Ratter secured second place following a very tough last round battle with Colin Gilroy. Colin needed a win to share first with Stan - they had drawn their earlier game - but had to be content with third. Youngsters Vicky Crompton and Matthew Hammond both scored a terrific tally of four points and took a special junior prize each. This must come as a great relief to Matthew following a very difficult year for health reasons.
Andrew Killickwas the dominant force in the 16-player Major section, winning his first five games (including one against his own son, Robin!) and drawing his last one. Robin
Killick recovered well to take second place and Alan Trotter took third.
The Open was, as usual, small but strong; with seven players and six rounds, it was almost an all-play-all. Despite the low number, there was a good mix of players and styles, with highly promising juniors competing all the way with established stars. The young Eggleston twins are progressing swiftly and soon nobody will be
Your correspondent started with three straight wins but then slowed down and drew the next three. This was enough to share first place with Bret Addison, who did well to catch up after a slow start.
Jonathan Hawkins, the only one to have me in trouble before time-trouble allowed me to scramble a draw, is an excellent but sometimes overlooked player, because he is very quiet. He has been a tough competitor for a number of years and frequently does well in our local tournaments. Here he lost only to Bret and shared third place with Michael Round.
Well done to Graham Marshall and his team for keeping his long-standing series running. The next event will be at The Touchdown on Saturday 13 October.
The New League Season
Yes, it’s time to dust off your chess bits and get ready for the new
season. Promotion races, title battles and relegation dogfights will be upon us very soon. The fixture lists are available elsewhere on this site if you have not already seen them down at your club. The top of the A division will very likely be another battle between defending league champions Middlesbrough Rooks and cup winners Elmwood.
New boys Athenaeum and Darlington A will have their work cut out to establish themselves, but they both have good players and it will be interesting to see how they do. They both have a tough test in the first round of fixtures; Athenaeum have the pleasure of testing the strength of Middlesbrough Rooks and Darlington face Elmwood.
Elsewhere, last season’s sensations - Middlesbrough Knights - take on Redcar and Peterlee play Middlesbrough Bishops.
Follow the season here!
‘Chess pieces in our time’
Neville Chamberlain with an advance copy of the fixture list. The
Comment 17/7/2007Stone me...these old columns are bringing back quite a few momories.Note the prediction of the rise of the Eggleston twins and early recognition of the oncoming force of the chess monster now known as 'The Hawk', who won the Major Open section of the British Championship (matching an Alekhine achievement!) last year (in addition to all of his other 'Open' successes).A division newcomers Athenaeum went on to yo-yo between divisions over the years but just today I read that they have disbanded. Neville Chamberlain is still criticsied for making things easy for Mr Hitler but the truth is naturally more complicated than that.