39th Blackpool Chess Conference

WEBB AND ARKELL SHARE THE SPOILS

This year adds another new name to the trophy with Matthew WEBB from Bradford sharing first place with GM Keith ARKELL on 4.5pts. They drew their game in round 3 which gave the sole lead to GM Mark HEBDEN but in round 4, Matthew WEBB with the black pieces beat HEBDEN and held his nerve in round 5 to finish off a very impressive victory in only his second visit to the Blackpool Open. 47 players took part.

In the under 181 Major section Richard BRYANT from Oswestry seemed to enjoy his time on the top board and held onto the lead sharing first place with Oleg CUKOVS from Poulton Chess Club. 70 players took part.

In the big under 155 Median section, we had our first outright winner with Darren LAWS from Tynemouth coming out on top with 5pts. 82 players in this section.

The under 135 Intermediate section was shared by 3 people, Ahmad DARYANTO a member of staff at Lancaster University in his first tournament was joined by Gary WHITE from Priorslee Lions and veteran Barry SANDERCOCK from Bucks who all finished on 4.5pts. 71 players took part.

In the under 115 Minor section we had another outright winner. John MACDONALD from the Kings Head Chess Club upheld his top seed position and finished on 5pts winning the section and the best veteran prize in the process. 68 players took part.

The event was another success and was held in a very busy Imperial Hotel, the chess congress shared the weekend with the 1st Para’s regiment re-union who were based in the usual function room that the chess uses which meant the chess was played across 4 function rooms. The Open, Major and Minor sections played in the Impressive Washington suite, it was still a little dim in places despite our best efforts to light the room. The use of this room is a work in progress and with the hotel management the lighting will be improved for future events.

The Median and Intermediate sections had their own rooms on different floors of the hotel and after early problems directing players to their correct locations the congress proceeded without any major hiccups.

I would like to thank the arbiters and the rest of the control team for the fine work throughout the weekend. I am also grateful to Bill O’Rourke and the other members of Heywood Chess Club who came along to set up and pack away, they also managed to get in some great games of chess. One Lancashire and Heywood player did get into the prize money when Nugith JAYAWARNA scored 3.5pts to share a grading prize and the junior prize.

The event had 338 players this year.

Next year the event is booked in for the 11th– 13th March 2016 at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool.

Simon Woodcokck, Congress Director