The league season is over with mainly disappointing results.
One of our best players was unavailable for all but one match because of work commitments and another was ill for most of the season, but that does not fully explain why our Stevenson Cup and En Passant Cup sides won only one match each.
Our Harvey Cup side had an average of six players unavailable for each match and did well to be in the running for a semi-final place until losing its last two matches and finishing in mid-table.
However, our Intro Cup side, which was the only team to have a settled side, won their division despite never fielding a team with an average grade of as much as 90 and being out-graded in most of their matches. The semi-final against Medway was drawn 2-2, but we lost on tie-break, Janis Elton having won on bottom board. Janis, with a season’s score of 7/11, will surely be seeing her grade go up substantially.
At Christmas our Harvey Cup side have a 100% record and are the only team in the competition to not have either lost a match or conceded two draws.
Our side playing against Petts Wood in the first match of the season was rather weak with six players unavailable. When one player could not find the match venue and arrived seven minutes after the default time prospects did not look good, but Janis Elton equalized the score with a fine win against a player graded 32 points above her and Chris Cheeseman won a piece and the game. One of Petts Wood’s good juniors brought the score back level, but then Ian McAllan ground out a win playing against a bad bishop and Lee Brockwell, having turned down a draw offer, won on time to complete a surprising 4 – 2 victory.
In the second match of the season against Charlton seven players were unavailable, but Tony Packham and Greg Edwards won and then Ian McAllan’s opponent got his own king trapped in a drawn position. On seeing this Lee Brockwell agreed a draw in an equal position to win the match 3.5 – 2.5.
The Intro Cup is close this year with no team unbeaten. Having beaten Lewisham, Petts Wood and Gravesend and lost to Eynsford we are top of the division at Christmas. Captain Janis Elton has the best individual score out of all the teams in the division with three wins out of four games played.
Jim had been a member of the club since 2000, although ill-health had prevented him coming to the club much for the last year.
Jim started playing chess in lunch breaks at Klingers, a local factory, and in retirement joined the local chess club at Swanley near his home, where he was an active organizer. When there ceased to be a chess club in Swanley he came to the club in Sidcup, attracted by the good range of playing strength. In his first full season he ran our sixth team and then ran the seventh team for the three subsequent seasons. Jim was very enthusiastic about chess. Sadly he had a variety of health problems, but he made the effort to come to the club, gamely struggling with the stairs from week to week.
Sidcup’s Bob Mitchell has become a World Champion in the under 1600 category at the ACO World Seniors tournament at the Fodele Beach Resort in Crete. Bob finished with a magnificent score of 8 points from nine games, remaining undefeated with seven wins and two draws.
Bob Mitchell with his winners trophy. Photo by Brendan O’Gorman
Chess at Sidcup remains outstanding value at £50 for 51 three-hour meetings. Even better, pensioners get a £5 discount and anybody whose yearly income is under £12,000 pays only £30. And the most outstanding value is for juniors under 18, who pay nothing at all! Joiners during the year pay pro-rata. This is even better value than the cups of tea or coffee available at 20p per cup.
In the Kent League this season we have four teams of various average strengths: three six-board teams and one four-board team. Members who intend to play in the Kent League should now renew their membership of the English Chess Federation (see the English Chess Federation website for details).
Like last year the club will run its knock-out tournament for all members bar the stronger (“over 120 grade”) players and an all-play-all handicap tournament where the handicap is that the stronger player has less time to make all the moves than the weaker player. Perhaps you will play a game worth showing on the website. If you have items for the website, continue to send them to Steve at email@example.com
The officers of the club elected for the coming year are Lee Brockwell ( chairman and second team captain), Ian McAllan (secretary and treasurer and third team captain), Dave Helps (club tournaments, marketing, and first team captain), Janis Elton (fourth team captain) and Stephen Moon (webmaster).