(Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport 9th-10th April 2016)
Following its highly successful first visit to the new-format National Club Championships in 2015 the Newton Abbot club this year entered a team for the Intermediate section which caters for teams with an average grade of under 150 (this is emphatically not the same as a competition where all players must be graded under 150 and there was an interesting contrast between clubs whose four players were graded e..g. 175, 165, 130, 110 and those who tried to field teams where all the players were closer to the 150 mark).
The Newton Abbot team consisted of:
1. Paul Brooks 158
2. Andrew Kinder 145
3. Vignesh Ramesh 146
4. Rob Wilby 140
Non-playing captain Trefor Thynne 168 (actually played board 1 in round 3 – but lost!)
Thus our average was 147 which was similar to two or three other teams.
We played four matches, two on the Saturday and two on the Sunday. The rate of play was all moves in90 minutes plus a 10 second increment per move.
Round 1: v Bedford Lost 1 ˝- 2 ˝ (Brooks ˝ Kinder 0 Ramesh 0 Wilby 1)
Round 2: v Braille Chess Association: Won 2 ˝ - 1 ˝ (Brooks ˝ Kinder 1 Ramesh 1 Wilby 0)
Round 3: v Sutton Coldfield Drew 2-2 ( Thynne 0 Kinder ˝ Ramesh 1 Wilby ˝ )
Round 4: v Newport (Shropshire) Lost 1 ˝ - 2 ˝ (Brooks 0 Kinder ˝ Ramesh 0 Wilby 1)
1st Redditch 8 2nd Newport 6 3rd Greater London CC 5 4th Sutton Coldfield 4 5th Bedford 4
6th Newton Abbot 3 7th Kenilworth 3 8th Warley Quinborne 2 9th Braille CA 2
So although our result does not look particularly impressive, all the matches were close and usually hung on the outcome of one particular game. The clock played its usual important part in depriving our players of half or whole points!
I can wholeheartedly recommend this competition to any Devon clubs who might be interested in entering. The organisation and venue were excellent, the Holiday Inn providing accommodation at the venue at a discounted rate. The attraction of playing new opponents is one of the reasons for our entry. Clubs can adjust their level of entry according to the grade profile of those members wishing to play. There are currently four options: Open (no grade limit), Major (under 175) Intermediate (150) and Minor (125).
Although the Birmingham location meant that the entry was heavily biased towards Midland clubs, the organisers are very hopeful of widening the national profile of the entry for 2017.
Details of this year’s event appear on the ECF website (www.englishchess.org)