International Autumn Congress, Stafford 2004
19-21 November, 37 B.C.A members gathered at the Garth Hotel,
Stafford for our Autumn International Tournament. Four players
from India (D'Mello, Patel, Pawasker and Kharat) with their
guide, and Sean Loftus from Dublin, made sure that the event
was truly international. Steve Hilton from Greenock, proudly
wearing his Scotland sweatshirt, could also claim to represent
his country. Steve was playing in his first B.C.A event.
tournament began with a minute's silence in memory of Francis
Collison, a very popular B.C.A member who died on 26 October
players were divided into the Open section (27 players) and
the Minor (10 players) for those with a British Chess Federation
grade known or estimated at 80 or under. Gerry Walsh and Peter
Gibbs were the Controllers.
Round 1 (Friday evening), most results were as expected by
grading, with wins for top seeds Tyson Mordue, Chris Ross,
Graham Lilley and Steve Hilton in the Open. In the Minor,
Shirley Watkins, Richard Kidals (our Treasurer) John Kidals
(Richard's brother, an Associate member) won their games.
round 1, most of the party adjourned to the bar, where the
bitter at £1 a pint was widely considered a better innovation
than any seen over the board.
Round 2 (Saturday morning), Tyson, Chris, Graham and Steve
won again. John Gallagher kept up with them by also maintaining
a perfect score. In the Minor, the Kidals brothers 'did the
double' and were joined on 2 points by newcomer Mark Hague,
who defeated Shirley.
Round 3 (Saturday afternoon), the leading group in the Open
was reduced to three players. Tyson beat Steve in a short
game, Chris overcame stern resistance from John Gallagher
and Graham defeated the leading Indian player, Pawasker. In
the Minor, Richard Kidals moved into sole lead by beating
Mark Hague while John Kidals lost to Shirley.
evening saw a very successful bring and buy sale, in which
members snapped up some bargains and raised over £150
for the Association. Stan Lovell was almost knocked down in
the rush to snap up excellent braille sets at irresistible
4 (Sunday morning), saw the Open come down to two leaders
when Tyson beat Chris and Graham defeated B.C.A Secretary
Norman Wragg. Steve Hilton and Mr D'Mello (India) joined Chris
on 3 points with wins against Steve Thacker and Richard Murphy.
In the Minor, Richard Kidals made sure of at least a share
of first prize by avenging his brother's loss to Shirley.
Wins for Chrissie Brown and Mark Hague kept them just one
Round 5 (Sunday afternoon), Tyson and Graham agreed an early
thereby were assured of joint first place with an impressive
4.5/5. Tyson and Graham were also equal on first tie-break
(sum of progressive scores) but Tyson was awarded first place
and the trophy on second tie-break (sum of opponents' scores).
With wins against John Gallagher and Mr D'Mello respectively,
Steve Hilton and Chris reached 4/5 to come equal third and
fourth. In the last game to finish, Stan Lovell overcame Norman
with skilful endgame play and was rewarded with 3.5/5 and
the Group A grading prize. Junior member Yan Kit Chan scored
3/5 and won the Group B grading prize.
the Minor, Richard Kidals's victory against Geoff Patching
gave him first place and a 100% score. Chrissie Brown beat
Mark Hague to take second place on 4/5. Mark had the consolation
of the Minor grading prize with 3/5, while John Osborne and
John Kidals came out equal third and fourth on 3/5.
B.C.A can be proud of another successful tournament. Highlights
included welcoming our friends from India, our junior members
continuing to improve, and Steve Hilton and Mark Hague winning
prizes in their first B.C.A event.
B.C.A. Publicity Officer
29th November 2004