Monday 26 March 2018

Project 30: New Event Announcement

We have a new announcement for Project 30.

The 10th Mike Closs Memorial Tournament will take place very soon and it will feature a number of core players from the Cleveland Chess Association A Division Champions, Redcar A.

Thus it will be a triple celebration.

The line up will be announced soon but it is all set to be a very strong tournament.

A report on the 9th Mike Closs Memorial can be found here.

Incidentally, last week Redcar A played away at Thornaby (Mike's last club) and I had the great honour of playing on the Mike Closs Memorial Board for the very first time.

Monday 19 March 2018

Project 30: Celebratory Tournament

Project 30: Celebratory Tournament and Meal

The original idea for this event was to invite players from my three chess clubs (Guisborough, Elmwood and Redcar).

All was set for a fabulous day. I had arranged the players into two strong all-play-all groups, with the winners of each group scheduled to play in the big final.

However, the weather threw a considerable spanner in the works and a combination of 11 inches of snow, cancelled trains and ungritted roads frustrated the intentions of no fewer than five of our players. Yet others had a clearer passage from home and contacted me to say they were confident of getting through. It was a busy morning on the phone, emails and Facebook as messages pinged in and out with alarming regularity.

I decided to wait and see who turned up before altering the format and I took along some trusty Swiss pairing cards just in case.

Eventually it became clear we had seven players able to make it through the snow and ice and I added myself to make it an equal number, then changed the format to make it all-play-all with 25 minutes on each clock.

The original plan included a lunch break but I didn't want anyone venturing out so I cleaned out McColl's on my way to the venue.

We hired The Buffs Social Club out for the day (The Buffs is the current Stockton chess club - the descendant of the now-defunct Elwmood) and the Function Room proved to be an excellent venue.

And so, the players were:
Sean Cassidy, Buffs and Stockton Library Supremo

Matt Jackman - the future Teesside No.1
Bernie Price - The Hartlepool Gamibteer
Peter Harker - former Hartlepool Junior and club stalwart
Mike 'Smiler' Creaney - one of the strongest
1 d4 players around
Paul Weightman - library chess tutor and all-round gent
Brian Whitaker - CCA Chairperson and
Thornaby Library supremo
Me - in a late switch from organiser to player
The games were extremely hard-fought and despite the tension created by the competitive aspect of the day and the reduced clock times, there were very few outright blunders over the course of the seven rounds.

The final scores were:

6.5: Sean Marsh (a draw with Bernie)
5.5: Matt Jackman (defeat against me; a draw with Sean C)
5:    Bernie Price
4:    Sean Cassidy
2.5: Brian Whitaker
2:    Peter Harker, Mike Creaney
0.5: Paul Weightman


Project 30 wasn't quite done for the day, as some of us headed directly to Borges for an excellent celebratory meal, where many a good laugh was had and, in one case, an authentic Teesside Parmo.

Thank you to everyone who supported either one or both events.

There is still plenty more Project 30 action to come.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Project 30 Update and Summary of Events

Project 30, my year-long series of celebratory events, is proceeding in excellent fashion.

Here is a summary of events.

Rapidplay Match Championship

After many exciting encounters, we are now all set for the six-game final, in which I will face Matthew Jackman.

KO Championship

We are now at the semi-final stage and the pairings are:

Andrew Smith vs. Dave Edmunds

Sean Marsh vs. Matthew Jackman

Harry Potter Evening

This special event at Stockton Central Library was a great success and a report can be found here.

30 Years Library Event

One of the best evenings of my life! A report can be found here.

Radio Tees

A full hour on Radio Tees with Bob Fischer! More here.

Simultaneous Displays

WFM Sarah Hegarty's simultaneous display at Ings Farm Primary School was one of the first Project 30 events. A report on this very memorable day can be found here.

GM Matthew Sadler and WFM Natasha Regan will be on Teesside soon for a very special event. Head here for further details.

Celebratory Tournament

A celebratory tournament will take place in March, featuring specially invited players from my three chess clubs (Guisborough, Elmwood and Redcar).

Outstanding Student

I have a prize for the outstanding student in each of our CSC Teesside schools, which will be awarded in the Summer term.

Problem Solving Tournament

Another brand new event for 2018, this will take place at Park End Primary School and children from all 16 of our CSC Teesside schools will be invited to pit their wits against each other.

Further details of the above events with follow in due course.