Monday may be Day 2 of the congress, but it marks the start of the 5 Rd. Morning Tournament. Three factors encouraged the organisers to split the entry into 2 section, for the first time. Firstly, the entry for the morning event has been slowly growing over the years, as some players prefer to get the torture over by midday and have the rest of the day to relax, while others prefer to have two games a day, morning and afternoon. Secondly, the grade ceiling for the morning has gradually been raised, in order to increase the entry, and thirdly, there was a feeling among the lower ranks that they stood little chance of any prize against this stiffer opposition.
Therefore, the Boniface Section went from grades 179 down to 130, while the newly-named Thynne Section was open to all players U-129 and below, and with a £750 prize fund for them alone. This appears to have been a popular move.
However, the shock of the day, if not the congress so far, was found in the afternoon’s Premier, where top seed, Grandmaster Danny Gormally, lost to WECU’s retiring President, John Wheeler. On the adjacent board the other GM, Keith Arkell, was being met with stout resistance from Steve Dilleigh until early evening.