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The 2010 B.C.A. A.G.M. and congress took place at the now very
familiar Derby Hallmark Hotel, formerly known as the Midlands
Hotel, from the 5th to 7th March. The event was very
well attended with 14 players in the open event and 12 in the
minor section. On the Saturday night, the peak night for room
bookings, we had a total of 41 of our members staying at the
hotel. We had a couple of newcomers to welcome at the event,
young Michael Lowery from Newcastle
and veteran chess player and Uncle to Mark Kirkham Lewis Jones.
Both of these players benefited from schemes designed to encourage
B.C.A. membership by giving free tournament places to the under
25’s and free or reduced cost of a place for a newcomer’s
first B.C.A. tournament.
tournament organisers, Lea and I would like to thank Stan Lovell
and the members of the tournament sub-committee for all their
assistance, and also Gill Smith for her assistance with the
bookings and financial side of the tournament. I would also
like to thank Gerry Walsh and Julie Leonard for their faultless
organisation of the chess tournament
and Sheila Milsom for organising
the raffle. I must also thank all our sighted B.C.A. members
whose kind help and assistance to visually impaired members
made the whole weekend flow smoothly. Also a big thank you must
be extended to Derby Lions who supplied 6 magnificent trophies
for the open and minor tournaments, one of which I am now a
proud owner! They also generously supplemented the prize fund
which ensured there were many good prizes to be won, by a high
proportion of the chess players.
like to say the weekend went without a hitch but regrettably
the hotel, now under new management, appears to be doing its
level best to lose its 4-star rating. After the weekend it became
apparent that many had suffered long delays while being served
their evening meals and as a consequence some had to miss their
last course to be in time for the evening chess round. There
were also complaints about the lack of staff available to help
at breakfast times and the quality of the food on the Friday
and Sunday evenings. These complaints are now being addressed
by the committee and it is hoped the hotel will be able to guarantee
better quality and service before being booked for subsequent
events. It would be a great shame to lose this conveniently
located venue as it has served us so well in the past, especially
as Dawn, their events organiser, is one of the best facilitators
I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
Hopefully expert organisers like Stan can apply pressure
on the hotel management to rectify these complaints.
for the chess, I myself had a terrifically exciting chess tournament
in the minor competition. At the end of round 4 I had 3.5 points,
George Phillips had 4 and Phil smith and Gary Wickett
were both on 2.5. Going into my last game with George I knew
if I beat him I would take first place, 2nd if I
drew and probably 3rd place if I lost, so you can
imagine my nerves were all a jangle at the thought that at last
I might win the minor, a goal I’ve had ever since I started
playing in the tournaments. Alas I’m afraid it wasn’t
going to be my hay day as George, playing black succeeded in
outwitting me by playing the relatively rare Albin
counter gambit which went 1 d4 d5, 2 c4 e5. Tragically, for
my 3rd move I played C takes ?D
instead of the essential move D takes E and consequently by
move 7 I’d lost material and from then onwards my game
went rapidly downhill, as did my aspirations for the tournament.
However as it turned out I had previously won games against
Geoff Patching and Richard Harrington who both finished with
good points which resulted in me managing to pip Phil in the
tie break to take 2nd place, my best ever placing.
open was won by Chris Ross with a clean sweep. On the tie break.
Tristram Cole came 2nd, Steve Hilton third
and Bill Armstrong 4th all finishing with 3.5 points.
Other players who had good tournaments were David Hodgkins, Roger Waters, Geoff Patching and Lewis Jones
who all won grading prizes in their respective groups.
and I both enjoyed organising the
tournament and it was made so much easier by the many people
who assisted us with the task. It was a great relief for me
having Lea to do the speeches, as I dislike this task and luckily
for me she has a real flare for this duty. Lea comes across
naturally and has the ability to find the right words to suit
the occasion, a real gift in my opinion. In the run up to the
tournament it was relatively easy to collate people’s
room requirements and work out chess groupings by plugging all
the data into an Excel spreadsheet for reference. The task of
organising a tournament is not too
arduous, so if you fancy a try at organising an event, or would just like to be the lead
for a single tournament then please contact the B.C.A. committee
as they are looking for possible organisers for the British
and Steve Eastwick-Field Memorial tournaments.
A.G.M. Tournament 2010 - Final Standings and Prizes
and Armstrong 3.5,
3 (grading prize A),
Les Whittle, John Gallagher 2.5,
S. Brown(shared Grading Prize C) 2,
(Grading Prize A),
(Grading Prize B),
Osborne, Harrington 2,
were taken by Julie Leonard
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