As those who are familiar with Oldway will know, the Torbay Registry Office is housed in an adjacent room in the mansion. Its grandiose architecture makes it one of the most popular wedding venues in the county and Saturdays are the most popular day, notwithstanding any odd chess congress that might be trying to share the venue. Today there were ten weddings booked in, and a conveyor belt approach was necessary. When any one group was in the Registrar’s room going through the ceremony, the previous group was outside on the steps having their photographs taken while the next group was assembling in the marbled foyer below, the nervous laughter of bridesmaids intruding on the concentration of the players nearest the door. Tattooed arms and smokers were everywhere… and that was only the girls, many tottering around on steepling heels. This morning, there must have been some sort of delay in the early fixtures, for by mid-morning a tight queue had formed and three wedding parties had gathered in the entrance hall, intermixing and eyeing up the dresses and fashions of the other groups.
Meanwhile, in the Ballroom everyone had remembered the earlier start (9.30 a.m. – not 2 p.m.) and amid excitement of a different kind, the prizes were being sorted.
At the top of the Ron Bruce Premier, Torbay residents were paired on top table, Keith Arkell and Dominic Mackle. The former is noted for his long endgames in which he is able to nurse the tiniest of advantages to an eventual win. This has always been one of his great strengths. Recently, however, he seems to have been unaccountably infused with a touch of whimsy and has been playing sharp, snappy games involving weird openings and Queen sacrifices, (no, honestly!), and he has been having successes with it. Today he played 1…b5, the Polish Defence, and finished with a queen & knight each, and the interplay of his two pieces brought off a nice, and relatively quick finish, leaving him in clear 1st place, and back-to-back tournament wins.
In the Rowena Bruce Challengers, local junior Robert Thompson was hoping to avoid the final round disaster he had in yesterday’s Morning event, in which he lost in time trouble and missed out on a prize. However, he managed to do it once again, losing the game, but at least he could only be caught and finished 1st=, pocketing a cheque for £217 instead of the £350 he seemed sure of at the outset.
In the Minor, congress veteran, Dave Burt, was on fire throughout the week and finished clear first, and it was nice to see three lady players all in the prizelist in this section.
Here is a summary chart of all the winners.
|GP U-2130||Ian Clark||2071||Wimbourne||4½||£13|
|Dominic Mackle||2065||Newton Abbot||“||“|
|Slow starter||Ken Gregory||2059||Cosham||3½||£20|
|1st=||Robert Thompson||178||Newton Abbot||5½||£217|
|Richard Webster||172||W. Bridgford||“||“|
|GP U-168||Colin Costello||167||Carlisle||5||£50|
|Slow starter||Mel Young||159||Hastings||3½||£20|
|Mark Stone||134||Petts Wood||“||“|
|GP U-140||Matthew Wilson||136||Wigston||5||£50|
|U-133||Peter Grant-Ross||133||Kings Head||3½||£12|
|Faye Ainscow||132||Kings Head||“||“|
|Slow starter||Philip Gordon||127||BCA||3½||£35|
|GP U-114||Doreen Helbig||109||Keynsham||4||£17|
|Slow starter||Vincent Brady||102||Metropolitan||2½||£20|
|5-Rd. A.M. (U-180)|
|1st=||D. Siddall||162||Austin Friars||4½||£275|
|3rd=||J. Wells||179||N. Norfolk||4||£50|
|GP U-155||Ray Gamble||152||Spondon||3½||£17|
|M. R. Stone||134||Petts Wood||“||“|
|Slow starter||P. Foley||135||Upminster||2½||£20|
N.B. All scores out of 7 except the morning event.
N.B. Rd. 7 games may be accessed here:- http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag117/base.htm
Remember – here is a summary of where games may be accessed, as and when they become available
|Rd. 1 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag111/base.htm|
|Rd. 2 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag112/base.htm|
|Rd. 3 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag113/base.htm|
|Rd. 4 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag114/base.htm|
|Rd. 5 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag115/base.htm|
|Rd. 6 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag116/base.htm|
|Rd. 7 games → http://www.chessdevon.co.uk/HTML/pag117/base.htm|