The 2016 Open in action (photo courtesy of Brendan O’ Gorman)

Encouraging numbers of entries are already coming in for the 48th Thanet Chess Congress at Canterbury Christ Church University, Broadstairs, from August 18th-20th 2017. The attraction of free entry for IMs and GMs had already been noted and we are delighted to welcome back last year’s winner of the Open, IM Alan Merry. Here he is the picture above, possibly surveying the opposition although more likely simply returning to his chair on the number one board.  It is also hoped that the offer of a reduced entry of just £5 for U15s will encourage several of the strong Kent Juniors to take part. Facilities are excellent: a comfortable and air-conditioned playing area, a well-priced, stylish canteen – how often do you hear that about a chess congress? – offering a varied menu and excellent breakfasts. The canteen combines as an analysis room (see picture) and accommodation is available at the venue but book early if you want to take advantage of this as rooms are limited. See for further details including online entry.

                 The canteen and analysis room

Twenty-nine years ago your correspondent was fortunate enough to win the Minor section at the Congress.  Some might consider that use of the word ‘fortunate’ is false modesty but not so. No matter how well you may be playing, there is always that element of luck that you need – the draw, mistakes by an opponent, rivals faltering at key moments – that invariably play a part in ultimate victory. The Thanet Congress has taken place at several venues over the years – none as smart as the current one – and this was the last to be held at Holy Cross School in Broadstairs. Here is the decisive game in the final round. My opponent was on 4/4, half a point ahead of me so that essential good fortune was needed.

White:  Joe Farrell (113)   Black:  Robert Page (100)      

Thanet Minor 1988 Round 5




Broadstairs ‘A’: Bob P, Nick, David , Paul

All hail the conquering heroes! Broadstairs ‘A’ won the Team Buzzer for only the second time since 1990 with a storming performance against all the other…er…two teams (one of which was Broadstairs ‘B’).  It was disappointing that none of the other Thanet League teams turned up but well played Broadstairs in managing not only to be there but to put out two teams. Indeed, as Colin Gregory wryly pointed out early in the evening, it looked as if only two teams turned up and Margate would come third.

For those unfamiliar with the format of the Team Buzzer, it is quite simple.  Once players are paired, a buzzer sounds every ten seconds and players must move on the buzzer – not before and not after or you lose the game. An illegal move also results in a loss as does failure to recognise a check when the king can be taken and the game ends.

     Broadstairs ‘B’: Jordan, Bob C, Tim, Viktor

It was decided that the competition would be an all-play-all double round and the ‘A’ team began with an excellent 3½-½ win against Margate but round two between the two Broadstairs teams saw the first surprise when Tim beat David on Board 1. Fortunately, the other three ‘A’ team boards managed to hold on for a 2½-1½ victory and the last two rounds were 4-0 formalities. The ‘B’ team did not disgrace themselves and it was a good evening for the Selyukovs as Viktor also managed to win a game, defeating Clive Le Baigue. Indeed, Viktor proved to be a tough opponent in all his matches, achieving an excellent draw in the first game with Paul Carfrae. 

The last time Broadstairs won the Team Buzzer was in 2012, once again with an ‘A’ team consisting of David Horton, David Faldon, Nick McBride and Ian Hames. Before that we have to go back to 1990 when Broadstairs won with Mac Greaves, Bob Page, Hugh Hosking and Alek Zielinski. Many thanks to all those who played and the trophy will be presented at the Thanet AGM in July.

                                                              Final Table

Pts Game Pts
Broadstairs A 8 14
Margate 4 7.5
Broadstairs B  0 2.5


Broadstairs  3         Herne Bay  1 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½    Paul Johnson (113)
2 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0    Ronnie Melhuish (96)
3 Michael Doyle (90) 1-0     John Heath (48)
4 default ½-½     default

Reg Pidduck writes:

By a coincidence both teams turned up one player short which ensured everyone got a game and the match began with each side on half a point for the default.

BOARD 1. DOWN TO THE LAST PAWN. Paul Johnson’s Sicilian Defence paid off as he forced me back and it was only in the middle game that I was able to swap off and get down to a pawn ending. Five pawns each, then four, three, two then one each, both on my h-file. Paul got there first but I was able to get my king to h1 and hold for a draw. An exciting game (thanks Paul).   Score now 1-1

BOARD 3. QUEEN FOR TWO ROOKS. The swap left our Michael with the two rooks which he used to full advantage while John Heath’s queen was the other side of the board making its own threats. The two rooks paid off and Michael won.  2-1 to us

BOARD 2. SOLID BOB. Game Ronnie Melhuish had to counter so many threats from our Bob that in the end after a queen swap off, Bob was left with three passed pawns and Ronnie resigned.   A 3-1 win for our final game.

Played 8  Won 3  Drew 4  Lost 1.  A good season but unable to hold on to the Walker Shield. Thanks to all the team and congratulations to Margate.

And thanks to Reg, Andy (Hargreaves Shield captain) and David (Millar Cup captain) for their entertaining match reports this season. (Ed) 

Broadstairs  3         Woodnesborough  1 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0     David Erwee (108)
2 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0    Mark Towlson (101)
3 Michael Doyle (90) ½-½     Bryan Rodwell (90)
4 Michael Jenkinson  (83) ½-½     Susan Green (52)

Reg Pidduck writes:

BOARD 2.  ESCAPE PART 1 .  Our Bob, after losing an exchange fairly early on to quick-playing Mark Towlson, looked in peril until Mark gifted him a rook for nothing . Bob duly accepted and the roles were reversed. Bob then made no mistake and opened our account. 1-0 to us.

BOARD 1. ESCAPE PART 2.  David Erwee pressed me from the start, all my moves were defensive and my king was under threat from his queen and two knights. My only chance was to sac a knight to get a discovered check . This worked as David had to waste a move by moving his king. I was then lucky to find all the correct moves to get back with an advantage and David resigned. 2-0 to us

BOARD 4 . BLOCKED GAME. Michael J  and Susan Green  had hardly taken a piece off the board after one and a half hours so both sides were well and truly blocked in . After another hour a few pieces came off but still no progress so a draw was agreed and Michael gave us the half point to win the match. 2½-½ to us

BOARD 3. TO AND FRO. At first I thought our M.D. had the advantage . Then back came Bryan Rodwell . It see-sawed like this until a draw was agreed. 3 – 1 win for Broadstairs.

Well done team and thanks to the Woody team. We now have two wins four draws and one loss with one to play in the Walker Shield.


The Summer Swiss is a long-standing competition for Broadstairs members to keep them busy once league and championship games have been completed. Not everyone enters as there are five rounds and with three bank holidays occurring between now and the end of the season – the club is open but some members prefer to give chess a miss on bank holidays – those with five or more Goodall (championship) games still to play tend to opt out. Ideally, the competition probably needs at least twelve players to make it work but the difference with the Summer Swiss is that there is no prize for the winner! Instead, there is a grading prize for the best performance so uneven pairings are not a major problem and, anyway, as we are always told, it’s only a game….The draw for Round 1 has been made and matches have to be played by May 15.

Round 1

Reg Pidduck (107) v Nick McBride (171)
Bob Page  (141) v Michael Doyle  (90)
Michael Jenkinson (83) v Paul Carfrae (131)
John Couzens (125) v Fredy Reber (e50)
Jordan Leach (46) v Andy Flood (117)