Thanks to John Doidge for writing this article, and both himself and the Torbay Herald Express for giving me permission to publish it here. The title to this post links to the Torbay Herald Express home page.
Although they were only reformed in 2005, Newton Abbot has certainly exceeded all their expectations this year. In the Torbay Chess League, with a 3.5-0.5 win over Teignmouth they have won the Division 1 title. Torquay, who are Newton Abbot’s next opponents, are in second place but cannot catch the leaders. In the second division it looks as if Plymouth will win the title but Newton Abbot, with a match in hand, could still catch the leaders. Plymouth, however, have the Torquay Grammar School as their last opponents and as the school have yet to win a match in this division the odds must be on the city club getting the title.
In Division 3, the Newton Abbot Pawns still lead the way having dropped only one point throughout the season. The Plymouth Lions, however, along with the Teignmouth Knights and the Plymouth Tigers are only 2 points behind, and the Pawns have to play the Lions later in the season. It could be an extremely interesting finale.
In the Rapidplay competition Torquay have secured the title after a very close 5-3 win over Newton Abbot. Oliver Demeger, for the home club was the only one to win his two games and Torquay, with a very strong team, were good value for their win.
The Knockout Cup has reached the final stages. Torquay, with a win over the Grammar School by the narrowest of margins will meet Teignmouth later in April.
In the Devon County Chess Association competitions, Newton Abbot has won the major prize – the Bremridge Cup. Needing a drawn match at Exmouth to secure the title, the Newton Abbot Club won very convincingly against strong opponents. The Newton Abbot secretary, Trefor Thynne, has played in this competition since 1964 and this is the first time he has had the pleasure of winning the trophy that will be presented at the annual meeting later in the year.
In the second tier of matches, the Mamhead Cup, Tiverton lead the way with a 100% record but Newton Abbot along with Exmouth are equal second, and Teignmouth are in fourth place.
In the Schofield Cup, Teignmouth lead the way and stand a good chance of winning the trophy, whilst in the junior section for the Bloodworth Cup the Newton Abbot Juniors and the Grammar School both have 100% records with games still to be played.
In the individual championships, Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot) has dropped only ½. point and leads the way with 7/8. Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) has also done well scoring 5/8. In the Intermediate Cup, Peter Halmkin and Bill Ingham, both members of the Teignmouth club, are in contention for the title.
The pride of place, however, must go to Freddie Sugden (Newton Abbot) who has won the Minor Trophy with a game to spare. A pupil at the Grammar School, Freddie takes his chess very seriously and is to be congratulated on a very fine season after earlier success in the Torbay Chess Congress.
Freddie also excelled at the East Devon Congress held in Exeter when he won the Minor tournament, with his Grammar School colleague, Alex Billings coming in a very close equal second.
This congress was again extremely successful. Robert Thompson (TBGS) had a very respectable 3.5/5 and won one of the grading prizes and there was further good performances from Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot) and Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) with 3/5 and Andy Dunn and Petre Jasyinskyj of the Torquay Club with 2.5/5. Robert Wilby of the Plymouth club was also successful in winning a grading prize in the major section of the congress.
The competition for the best club in the tournament and a prize of a new chess clock went to the Newton Abbot Club.
The final of the prestigious Peter Rooke Cup, played for by all the major clubs in Devon, will be between Tiverton and Newton Abbot. The match will be played in the middle of April and Newton Abbot will hope to successfully retain the cup that they won for the first time last year.
Looking ahead, the 63rd West of England Chess Union Congress is being held at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth from 2nd to 5th April. Those hoping to take part should get their entries in very quickly.
The 29th Teignmouth Rapidplay Tournament will be held at the Trinity School, Teignmouth on Saturday 17th April. With six matches to be played throughout the day, this has proved to be one of the most successful tournaments in the area. Entry forms can be found on the chessdevon website.
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