As we approach the end of the season, some of the big beasts who have been carefully circling each other have begun to lock horns. Two of those are the defending club champion, David Faldon, with 12/12 hitherto and Richard Clement on 15½/17. Both were undefeated when they played each other on Monday. Of course, if the leading players leave their games until the end of the season, it makes for a potentially exciting finish, especially if the top two play in the final week. The following game was worthy of such a clash and it is generous of Richard to allow a second loss in as many weeks to be featured as Game of the Week. Thanks also to him for his comments with a few additions from his opponent.

White:   Richard Clement (145)    Black:  David Faldon (177)

Goodall Cup

                                        Broadstairs   2      Sheldwich  2                       

1 Andy Flood (110) 0-1 Felix Coker (e85)
2 Bob Cronin (103) 0-1 Oli Garrett (76)
3 Michael Doyle (91) 1-0 Zeno Burns (45)
4 Fredy Reber (52) 1-0 Joshua Hayhoe (21)

Capt Mike Doyle writes:

Slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune tell the Shakespearean story of Broadstairs’ demise in last night’s final Walker Shield match of the season. The outstanding juniors from Sheldwich Primary School, outgraded on all four boards, showed an impressive performance in a draw. Their hero, 10-year old Felix Coker, was superb as he defeated Andy on board 1. Another half a point and Broadstairs would have gone into second place in the final league standing. However, Felix had Andy under the cosh all through the game to win eventually with bishop and pawn. The usually reliable Bob C fell earlier, miscalculating his kingside attack. It left his king exposed in the middle and nine-year-old Oli Garrett was left to plunder with a rook and a queen, having created a passed pawn. Things looked more promising at the start with Mike, on board 3, and Fredy on board 4, winning against two impressive juniors, Zeno and Josh, who are underrated. Well done to the boys from Sheldwich, and judging from the whole of the season, well done to the Broadstairs lads who finish third in the Walker Shield. Next season it’s our turn to win the shield! Here’s hoping.

Editor’s note: Capt Mike was right to praise the Sheldwich boys who have benefited enormously from the experience of playing in the Walker Shield. The top two boards won impressively in this match and it should be remembered that the grades listed are July grades – Oli Garrett’s current grade is 94 and he is 52nd in the country for his age. Both he and Felix Coker are ones to watch and full credit to the boys and their coaches.


Congratulations to Michael Doyle on another excellent win, this time against Richard Clement in Round 1 of the Summer  Swiss. This is a competition that takes place towards the end of the season when many clubs go into hibernation (or estivation to be more accurate). It gives those players who have completed their club championship games something else to play for and this year we have attracted a good turnout of fourteen players. The prize goes to the player with the best grading performance over the five rounds  – so Michael is already in a strong position – and the competition ends in August.  Michael’s victory is another notable scalp as Richard has been in excellent form this year. Already his grade has risen from 129 to 145 and as there has been no let up since January, it may well improve again when the next list comes out. With 15½/17 in the club championship, Richard may not quite be the leader in the clubhouse yet with two games to play but he is probably approaching the 17th green. However, he has two strong opponents in Arnaud Wisman and David Faldon still to play and both like Richard are hitherto unbeaten. As for Michael, he is clearly playing above his grade and he will be hoping to finish the league season on a high note with a win in our final match of the season on Monday against Sheldwich. Victory would secure second place in the Walker Shield.

White:  Michael Doyle (86)        Black:  Richard Clement (145)

2019 Summer Swiss  

It is no secret that chess is played by considerably more men than women. The reasons for this are many but the question is how can women be encouraged to play (or return to) chess and is the situation the same worldwide? Hammersmith Chess Club is doing its bit by holding a chess month during May in which there will be various events to promote the game with women in mind.  These include a series of lectures by Women’s FIDE Master Maria Manelidou, a women’s rapidplay tournament with £250 in prize money and special offers on membership for women players who wish to join the club during May. The initiative is supported by the ECF (see here) and Chris Fegan, ECF Director of Women’s Chess wrote: “It is (at least to my knowledge) the first ever such month-long series of activities specifically designed for women that an English chess club has ever put on.” Full details can be found on the Hammersmith Chess Club website.

As regards female participation in chess worldwide, there was a very interesting blog posted recently that is recommended reading for anyone interested in the topic. The article is entitled ‘The Best (and Worst) Countries to be a Female Chess Player” and is prefaced by this summary: ‘Female participation rates are higher in countries that are traditionally patriarchal. Various theories are discussed. Federations seeking to boost female participation should concentrate on teaching chess to girls in or before primary school, as well as encouraging young adult women to stay in the chess world.’

The article is too detailed to comment on further here but you might be surprised by the research and conclusions that the author, David Smerdon, provides. As a taster, try this question for starters: guess which of these countries have the highest percentage of female chess players: Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam.

Intrigued? Then read the article here.


Trefor receives the Micklethwaite Shield

Congratulations to the Broadstairs A team who won the Team Buzzer tournament for the third year in a row. Sadly, as has become routine in recent league events, only three teams competed and two of those were from Broadstairs so we should be grateful to Margate for at least making it a competition.  Had they been at full strength it would have been closer than it was but the absence of one or two of their stronger players together with (or perhaps because of) the fact that buzzer events – you have to move every ten seconds on the buzzer – are not everyone’s cup of tea meant that the real competition was for second place.  Here Paul Johnson justified his selection on Board 1 for the B team by drawing with Trefor Owens – the only individual game that the A team did not win – and twice beating Peter McGill, the Margate number one.

It is to Broadstairs’ great credit that not only could the club count on eight players to take part but that two others offered to stand by if needed as reserves. Indeed one of those, Paul Carfrae, stepped in at the last minute. This is the club’s fourth trophy this season after the Team Quickplay, the Mick Croft Cup and the Hargreaves Shield. With second place in the Millar Cup and the possibility of second in the Walker Shield which concludes on Monday, it has been an excellent season. Many thanks to all those who took part and to Margate for their hospitality.

A team: Trefor Owens, Shany Rezvany, David Faldon, Ian Hames

B team: Paul Johnson, Bob Page, Paul Carfrae, Michael Doyle

Team Played Won Drawn Lost Game Pts Match Pts
Broadstairs A 4 4 0 0 15½ 8
Broadstairs B 4 2 0 2 4
Margate 4 0 0 4 2 0

Full details of individual results can be found on the ECF LMS site.