After some delay due to the Covid situation, the 2021 Atticus Summer Tournament finally kicked off on Monday evening. The format has been adjusted this year to a six round Swiss due to the limited entry.
Board 1: Steve Kee v Sanjoy Banerjee
In a reverse Dragon, I took the fight to Steve with a swashbuckling kingside attack. He defended manfully and we eventually agreed a peaceful conclusion after 29 moves.
Board 2: Ben Ellington v Luke Boumphrey
Ben and Luke reached a queenless middlegame in the Dragon with Ben an exchange up, which he later converted to a rook for three pawns. But with time running out he was unable to see it home and Luke used his experience and guile to harvest the full point.
Board 3: Colin Horton v Mark Wadsworth
Colin appeard to seize a middlegame advantage and never relinquished it.
Board 4: Tom Webb v Mike Coffey
Tom was two pawns ahead, and both kings were exposed, but Tom's king was central and Mike increased the pressure to smash through.
Board 5: Brian Ewart v Steve Winstanley
Steve put up a valiant fight, but Brian proved too strong.
Draw for Round Two:
1. Luke Boumphrey v Brian Ewart
2. Mike Coffey v Colin Horton
3. Steve Burge v Steve Kee
4. Sean Kane v Brendan Kane
5. Sanjoy Banerjee v Peter Jenner
6. Steve Winstanley v Ben Ellington
7. Mark Wadsworth v Tom Webb
This was a sparsely attended AGM with 3 clubs [Hoylake, PKA, Waterloo not attending, the meeting was however, quorate . St Helens(formally Widnes have withdrawn from the League)
The following items were discussed
1 Lessons from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season
Every one agreed that the 2019-20 season had been abandoned although Liverpool still have a strong sense of injustice and feel they won the Division 1 title. Their actions after the closure of the season claiming certain matches as forfeiture was condemned by an Atticus representative and their demand that that the Web controller withdraw his email was also rounded on. Discussion was curtailed by the chair and moved onto the next season.
Representatives of Liverpool felt that the time limit set for the on-line league was too long and that this had put off many players from their club which is why they didn’t enter the competition. Discussion ranged around the topic but it was generally agreed that the time limit worked well. All agreed that Martin had done a marvelous job in setting up and running the competition in a very professional manner.
For next season the priority would be to establish over the board [OTB] chess and there were no current plans to run an on-line league, although the possibility of ad hoc on-line tournaments may be run if there is sufficient time, capacity and interest
2 Treasures Report
The bank balance is extremely healthy with £7,000circa in the bank with no outstanding debts
For 2021-2 the ECF have said they would prefer individuals or for preference, clubs pay for membership…the Club should collect the fee and pay in batch. For this reason, the MCA will in future, not be collecting and paying ECF fees
By way of note the current lowest membership [Bronze] is £18 and if paid before August will run until Aug 2021
Action Point for Atticus decide on ECF fee and Club membership fees
For 2021 -22, due to the healthy finances of the MCA there will be no board fees. This should help clubs revitalize their own finances or reduce membership fees
3 Election of Officers
The following decisions were reached
President Russell Cowell
Vice President Tom Webb
Secretary Nick Martin
Treasurer Leon Wolszcak
Website and fixtures Martin Blasczyk [if he is prepared to continue]
Tournament controller Dr Will Cook [if he is prepared to continue]
NCCU Delegate Nick Martin
Junior Organiser Jim Gallagher
Child protection Kevin Sartain
Committee Members The same as this year [if they are prepared to continue] i.e.
Graham Heath [Wallasey], Gareth Ellis [Widnes], Alan Kelly [Wallasey],
Luke Boumphrey [Atticus], Mike Clarke [Liverpool] and Bart McHugh [Skelmersdale]
Grader Vacant Action Point is anyone in the club prepared to take on this role?
4 Leagues and Cup competitions
Division 1 [7 Boards]
Controller Dave Whitby
Division 2 [6 Boards]
Controller Leon Wolszcak
Division 3 [6 Boards]
Controller Jim Moran
Division 4 [6 Boards]
Controller Russell Cowell
600 and 440 Leagues
600 League [4 Boards]
Controller Dave Whitby
All teams play each other once
440 League [4 Boards]
Controller Luke Boumphrey
All teams play each other once
Knotty Ash Cup and John Ripley Leagues
Both competitions have 10 entries for 2021-2
5 Any other business
Playing and Covid protocols
Quite a broad ranging discussion but in summary
Any ECF guidelines would be adopted
Captains arranging games would confer with their opposite number any specifics
In general the clubs would have to follow the house rules of the venue
Promoting chess across Merseyside
Generally thought to be a good thing! Some discussion on widening across social media
Russel Cowell, the new president, has some initiatives in mind
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to report that my good friend Jim Wiseman passed away today the 28th April.
Jim’s body had fought off Cancer a couple of years ago but alas the beast returned and despite his best hopes and various treatments he succumbed to the second wave today.
People do not fight Cancer, no more than people fight a broken leg. It is an illness that sometimes your body with the help of medicine and science can overcome. If it were an act of pure will then hardly anyone would die of it. Sometimes the disease just takes you.
Jim knew this and bore the second wave with epic Stoicism and good humour right to the bitter end.
In these comments I won’t go into his many good qualities and deeds but in terms of Chess I will say this…
He loved chess, in fact he was obsessed with it and that passion was infectious. Indeed, his last game was on the Monday night before he died, less than 36 hours before his demise
I won’t embarrass folk by naming them but most of Atticus Chess Club have learnt or been inspired by Jim’s play and attacking ideas on chess.
Over the board he had built up a great wealth of theory and would often bang out the opening at a shocking rate. He was always clever if not downright devious with his moves and his chess imagination was, stunning. Some of the combinations he came out with, over the board, were just works of beauty. His skill with rooks and knights were always something to behold. In later years I even began to develop a feel for a ‘Jimbo’ position. There would be a majority of bits for Jim around/have access to the opponents King, locked centre and ideally his opponent was just about to launch their own attack. You just knew something was about to happen and then bang one sacrifice followed by a minimum of one or two later sacrifices and the opposition were once again in tatters. Fantastic to witness
He loved playing the Kings Gambit with White and sometimes he even played it as Black, the Latvian. It just showed his style, a complete contempt for counting material advantage, ‘Just give me the attack. Let me demolish them’
Over the board you always knew you were in for a game. Jim’s style was always fearless., If he saw the right path he had to take it regardless of his opponents grade, status or supposed superiority. I guess that’s why he took so many scalps, he always played the board as he saw it.
At the end of the game Jim, with a pint [or four] in hand, win or lose would always be decent, funny and self- effacing…even though you might just see that little twingle in his eye when he demonstrated a little marvel or novelty
As for chess achievements well, we could list the tournaments he won, the teams he led to glory in cup and leagues championships and promotions but I just think his legacy will be his eternal enthusiasm for the game and his supportive and sympathetic approach to players just starting out or going through a fall in form. If you spoke with Jim about chess, you always left energised
Jim leaves his lovely wife Sue, many friends and the world a poorer place
To my lifelong brother for all that shared joy much thanks, happy memories and warm reminisces.
You were simply the best friend anyone could ever have had
With the recent improvement in the outlook for playing chess, the MCA is considering a resumption of over-the-board competition in September. We would like to gauge the interest of Atticus players in playing over-the-board league chess in the coming season. Please get in touch either with your team-captain or with a member of the committee to indicate your interest in playing. Likewise if you have any concerns please let us know.
Note: The Cross Keys will be available for us to use from May 17th. The playing-area upstairs has been completely refurbished.