On Thursday, 14th of April 2016, a small but enthusiastic
party met at Liverpool Street station for the annual visit to Haaksbergen. The
group consisted of Jim Cuthbert, Mike Murphy, Gary Wicket and myself
(Norman Andrews). Thanks to Mike's efficiency
the journey went smoothly. Travel
disasters are not infrequent and they make good reading, but are
nevertheless best avoided. The ferry
crossing was smooth and the cabins clean and comfortable.
On Friday we travelled by train to
Hengelo, where we were met by our host families. We were taken to their respective homes,
where we were treated, as usual, to their kindness and hospitality. For forty two years now, the people of Haaksbergen have hosted chess players from European
nations for the annual chess congress, and I am sure that many BCA members
have happy memories of their visits.
The chess began on Saturday with two
rounds being played. Players were
divided into groups of four of approximately equal strength and each one
played the other three in the group.
The final round took place on Sunday morning. Gary, on his first visit to Haaksbergen, scored two and a half points and won a
small bird table and a jar of bird peanut butter, as did Jim with two
points. Mike and I fared less well
with half a point between us.
The rest of Sunday was spent with our
host families, and, on Monday, after a leisurely morning, we were taken to
the station for our journey back to the ferry. The crossing was, once again, calm and
comfortable. On Tuesday morning we
took the train to Liverpool Street, where, after a first class breakfast,
we went our separate ways. It was a
most enjoyable time, enhanced by the friendliness of the people we
encountered. I would recommend Haaksbergen to anyone.