Last Thursday the club held its Centennial Dinner at The Architect. Well situated in a private dining room 18 of our members enjoyed excellent food and a few celebratory drinks.
First team captain and elite junior coach John Carleton was the main speaker, regaling the group with stories since the club’s founding in 1919. He entertainingly led into the pop classic “It’s fun to play at the YMCA” (the YMCA being the club venue for many years).
The other highlight was the presentation of a lifetime service award to Graham Bromley. Graham has helped develop the club over many years and held several official roles including president, treasurer and junior organiser.
Thanks to Paul Watson and Ray Williams for organising a fantastic evening!
On Sunday April 7th the club hosted a rapid tournament to celebrate its founding a hundred years ago in 1919.
The organisers’ target was to attract 100 entrants, one for each of the years. After a worryingly slow start there was a late surge in entrants with the target hit with just minutes to spare.
Chester was well represented with 17 players young and a bit older. UK players came from as far as Halifax, Colwyn Bay and Birmingham to play. Internationally we had entrants from Brussels (former club member Tom Wiley) and three of the finest players from the Brombach club in Chester’s twin town in Germany near Basel. Polish, Spanish, Swiss, Bulgarian, Irish and Slovakian chess federations were also represented
The atmosphere was unusually jovial for a chess tournament, helped perhaps by the cut-price coffee and flapjacks on offer. Notwithstanding the pleasant environment, the tournaments were all hard fought.
In the Open Grandmaster Stephen Gordon triumphed with 5/6 closely followed by Chester’s number one John Carleton, former member Paul Townsend and Henrik Stepanyan on 4.5/6. Chester player Steve Connor finished just a half point back on 4/6.
In the Major Michael Connor and Philip Zabrocki finished on 5/6 with Paul Watson being the top Chester player on 3.5/6.
In the Minor Robert Owens finished clear first on an impressive 5.5/6. Nick Pendlebury was the top Chester player on 3.5/6 with Ben Woodfinden and Jack Yang the top Chester juniors on 50%. Chester juniors and brother and sister Ethan and Caitlin Challoner both did well to score 2/6 in their first adult tournament. Seren Fletcher was the youngest Chester participant also playing her first adult tournament and gaining some useful experience.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the tournament happen: Mike McDonagh (overall lead), Graham Bromley (finances and more) supported by Chris Doran and Steve Lloyd (multiple other tasks). On the day Matthew Carr kept everything running smoothly and Jixin Yang helped out invaluably. And last but not least the catering provided by Melinda Crocker got many 5 star reviews and attracted no end of celebrating winners and despondent losers.
A selection of further photos follow, and we look forward to seeing everyone again for the 150th…