Christmas Handicap – The Results!

The speed handicap tournament is a Crowthorne chess club Christmas tradition, with this year being its thirty first year. We had an amazing 29 players this year, which I believe is a new record. Because of the large number of entrants, the group stage was split into 4 groups of 7 or 8 players, the first time we’ve needed to have four groups.

The two top players from each group went up to play in the knock-out stage. These were: Richard Webb, James Love, Harvey Duckers, Andrew Kirby, Dave Hemmings, Scott Leadbetter, Robert Starley and Louise Head. After hard fought quarter- and semi-finals, we reached the final between eight times previous winner Richard, and Scott, entering the handicap for the very first time. The game was evenly balanced, before Scott allowed Richard to unleash a winning attack to win the game and the tournament.

Congratulations to Richard who adds his name to the Harvey-Ironside shield for a phenomenal ninth time, proving he still has the speed of mind and hand to win after an absence of nine years from the handicap. Commiserations to Scott, who nonetheless was the clear winner of the most Christmassy costume, with his eternally memorable snowman onesie.

At the opposite end of the results, the other knock-out was between Pradeep and Bob, in which Pradeep produced an opening novelty, an astounding king sacrifice, which secured him the wooden spoon and bottle of fine Harrods wine. Many thanks to Pradeep and the other parents who sportingly joined in.

Thanks to Christine for organising the lovely buffet, and thanks also to all those who helped set up the room and helped contain the evening’s chaos.

I will make a few amendments to the arrangements next year to make it easier to support the increasing number of players.

Christmas Schedule

Crowthorne chess club will be running as normal on Wednesday (December 19th), though in a festive mood, but we will be closed on Wednesdays the 26th December and 2nd January, and resume in the new year on Wednesday the 9th January.

Also, a reminder, the Christmas Handicap event is on Friday 21st December. If you’ve not already indicated to Jonathan that you’ll be attending please could you do so.

Berkshire League Fixtures are up!

The Berkshire League website has been updated for the 2018/2019 season, including fixtures, divisions, match captains and so on. You can check the details by going to the website directly, or by using the links in the Useful Links page.

Now the fixtures/tables etc are available for both the Berkshire and Surrey Border Leagues.

Back Home!

From 01 September 2018 the Chess Club will meet in its original location in the newly-refurbished maths block. This is the venue that we used prior to the 2017/2018 season. Please see the About Us page for detailed instructions and map.

Crowthorne players at the Berks and Bucks

The 54th Berks and Bucks Congress was held over the Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 August), with various Crowthorne players participating.

The star performer was George Green, who scored 4/6 to take equal 2nd in the Reserves A. In the Challengers, Andrew Kirby scored 3.5/6 with a performance rating of around 1670 – considerably higher than his current rating of 1437. Colin Purdon scored 3/6 in the Open, a result pretty much in line with his rating.

Full results are available at the tournament website

Louise Head at the Czech Open

Louise had a superb tournament at the recent Czech Open, held in Pardubice in the last two weeks in July. Playing in the top section, she scored 5/9 including a draw against a GM and wins against a WIM and an FM. Her performance rating for the event is an impressive 2382!

Here is one of her games from the event, played against a 2354 rated FM. It is a complex game, with both players going hard for the win.

Full results of the tournament can be found on the Chess Results web site.

Khyber Cup Photos

Here is a selection of photos from this year’s Khyber Cup. Host John Upham also acted as the official photographer:

If the images do not display (they require Flash to be enabled in your browser) you can view them directly on John’s smugmug site