This weekened just gone was the East Devon Congress, held in Exeter. I had to cancel any plans to go and play/ watch owing to work and a cold (yes, I'm a wimp!), so I'm writing this based on the report on the excellent ChessDevon website. From what I can tell there was a pretty reasonable turnout (36 entrants in the open), and the winners of the open were Graham Bolt, Paul Helbig, Dominic Gibbs, and David Sully, all of whom scored 4/5.
I know it's very much the case that I'm in a glass house throwing bricks here, but it's a little disappointing that there weren't more entries from Somerset players. As far as I can tell only Gerry Jepps was representing Somerset in the open, and there were far more people that travelled down from Bristol for the weekend to play. Maybe it's the case that it wasn't well advertised amongst clubs in Somerset, maybe a lot of the top players were busy/ had work commitments, or maybe it's the case that there were more entrants from Somerset entered lower sections. Anyways, grumble over, the guys who organise this deserve a lot of thanks.
The next tournament is the long Easter- weekend tournament held in Exmouth (Friday 2nd April- Mon 5th). I'll say from personal experience it's quite a tough schedule with 7 rounds over 4 days, but it nearly always has beautiful weather, and is walking distance from the beach, bars, and restaurants, so if you fancy a short holiday combined with some chess, I'd highly recommend it.
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