Friday, 7 May 2010

Torbay Herald Express Chess Column, April

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.

With the chess season drawing to a close, the Torbay final leagues are beginning to take shape.

In Division 1 Newton Abbot cannot be overtaken and have won the main trophy with a five-point margin over Teignmouth and Torquay. The Boys’ Grammar School, for the first time, entered a team in the top division and, whilst their season ended with only one draw to show for their labours, at times they played some excellent chess and if the team can be kept together should do well next year.

Plymouth are the new champions of Division 2 and a final emphatic win over the Grammar School ensured the cup would be travelling to the city. Newton Abbot also had a fine season and finished in a very creditable second place with Teignmouth, South Hams and Torquay not too far behind.

With one match to go it looks as if the Newton Abbot Pawns will get the Division 3 title. The Plymouth Tigers, having got a 2-2 draw at Newton Abbot, are equal with the Pawns on 10 points each but the Pawns still have a game to play against Torquay and just a draw will ensure they will finish as winners.

Torquay with Newton Abbot in second place has won the Rapidplay tournament after a late winning run.

The final of the Knockout Cup will between Teignmouth and Torquay and will take place on 4th May.

An extremely fine day was held at Teignmouth for their annual Rapidplay Tournament. Attracting competitors from many parts of the south of England, the event was superbly organised by Ray Chubb and his colleagues at the Teignmouth Club. The overall winner was one of the top players, Ben Edgell of Sedgemoor, but Peter Halmkin of the local club was successful with a grading prize.

Charles Keen of the Exeter Club won the Major tournament, but John James (Plymouth) and Freddie Sugden (Newton Abbot) were successful with grading prizes.

A junior tournament also took place at the same time that attracted many schools from as far away as Bude and the best local player to achieve a grading prize was John Fraser (Torquay Boys’ Grammar School) in the Under 11 tournament.

As reported last month, the Grammar School had played well to beat Millfield School in the Schools Championship. They were then drawn to play one of the top teams in the country, Wellington School, but were beaten by 4.5 to 1.5. To get this far in the competition was a feather in the Grammar School’s hat and they can be proud of their efforts.

One of the players missing from the Teignmouth event was one of their top players Alan Brusey. He was playing for HM Revenue and Customs in a very big tournament at Nottingham. The opposition was one of the best in the country but Alan did extremely well to finish with 8 points from his 11 games.

The final of the Devon County Chess Association major tournament, the Peter Rooke Trophy, was held at Tiverton and resulted in Newton Abbot retaining the cup they had won for the first time in 2009. The match finished in a 4-4 draw but a board count brought the cup to the visitors.

In other County events, Newton Abbot has won the prestigious Bremridge Cup with Teignmouth in second place. Exmouth has won the Mamhead Cup but Newton Abbot did well to finish in third place just behind Tiverton.

Newton Abbot has also won the Schofield Cup although Tiverton and Teignmouth finished with the same number of points. Again, numbers of games won throughout the season brought the cup to Newton Abbot.

Teignmouth have had another fine season both in the Torbay and County matches, and their win in the Moyle Cup brought a well-earned trophy to the club.

Newton Abbot won the Bloodworth Cup with the Grammar School Bishops just two points behind.

The individual championship has reached an interesting stage with Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot) in top position with 7 points, with Alan Brusey (Teignmouth) just 2 points behind but having played a game more. There are a lot of games to be played and the winner will probably not be known until mid-summer.

In the Intermediate competition, the two Teignmouth players, Peter Halmkin and Bill Ingham, have dominated this. Halmkin, however, has a game in hand and a win over Ivor Annenetts of Tiverton will give him the trophy.

Freddie Sugden (Newton Abbot) has won the Minor competition with a better game score than Stephen Thorpe-Tracey (Tiverton). Remembering that Sugden is still playing in under 16 year old tournaments, his success in this tournament is to be applauded especially when one realises he was also playing against strong opposition from the Plymouth player, Tony Tatam and Teignmouth’s John Arriss.

The British Championships are being held in Canterbury this year and known competitors taking part in August are the Newton Abbot team of Dominic Mackle, Trefor Thynne, Alex Billings and Freddie Sugden. We wish them well.

The Diamond Jubilee Congress will be held at Paignton from 5th to 11th September. Further details will be given next month.

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