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Devon & Exeter Institution Rendezvous.

Rendezvoused with Brian Hewson at the Devon & Exeter Institution in order to hand over the refreshment equipment I used at Salisbury in the Inter-County Quarter-Final, and needed by him for the Semi-Final against Warwickshire on Saturday. Also settled up financially.

The Institution is a wonderful haven of peace and tranquility in a busy world – to walk through a Cathedral Close packed with shoppers, tourists and assorted crusties, and enter their library is like stepping back 200 years, leaving all that mayhem behind.

In the 1960s and early 70s it used to be the venue for the Exeter Chess Club, when they had a small, cramped upper room for clubnights, but for weekend matches they could use the large tables in the Inner Library, where the furniture and shelves of ancient leather-bound tomes helped give the encounter an ambience of the 19th century.

His first match game was against A. R. B. Thomas, and I recall playing a former Exeter Champion (1956), the eccentric Pole Eddy Czerniawski, who appropriately enough played the Polish Opening.

Devon’s team for Saturday looks very competitive – it could go down to the wire again.

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