The AGM is traditionally the start of the season, an occasion for club members to meet up after the summer break, especially those who did not take part in the Congress. And what a year it has been. A glance at the number of trophies below suggests that the club must have won almost everything on offer and it certainly seemed that way. For the record, five league trophies were won: the Micklethwaite Shield for the Team Buzzer (for the third year in a row), the Team Quickplay Shield, the Julius Day Shield for the Jamboree, the Hargreaves Shield and the Mick Croft Cup. In addition, there were the four trophies won by Broadstairs players at the Thanet Congress and that does not include all the trophies awarded for club competitions.
If there is one club trophy that deserves celebrating more than any other, it is David Faldon’s record-breaking ninth success in the winning the Goodall Cup for the club championship. David has won or shared the trophy every year since he arrived at the club and this year faced probably his toughest competition yet. Nevertheless he prevailed again and here he is proudly receiving the cup again from the President, Reg Pidduck. The other prizewinners were as follows: Paul Johnson (Zielinski Shield and George Stiggers Trophy), Michael Doyle (John Cutting Cup) and Chris Stampe (Richard Pilcher Prize). Congratulations one and all.
The usual AGM business followed – the election of club officers, reports from the team captains, Treasurer and Secretary – and there is usually a surprise or two with this year being no exception. The change to the club championship was not exactly a surprise as it was tentatively agreed in the summer but needed to be ratified at the AGM. In short, we have struggled to complete all our Goodall games in recent years, the season continuing to August notwithstanding. We decided, therefore, to do what many clubs do and include specific rounds into our fixture list. Previously players arranged games with anyone at any time but now there will be fixed dates. If you want to know how a club championship with 22 players playing 21 matches works – or doesn’t! – watch this space. The genuine surprise at this year’s AGM was the decision to adopt Fischer time once again for the club championship. This is more widespread at top level chess and becoming more popular in congresses. The Thanet Congress has used it for some time and Broadstairs introduced it for one season a few years ago but it was voted out the next year because the Thanet League maintained a quickplay finish and it was felt we should do the same. However, as usual, Broadstairs leads the way forward.
The decision to enter a team in the newest Thanet League competition, the Steele Cup, had already been made and Paul Carfrae was confirmed as captain while Paul Johnson was elected captain of the Hargreaves Shield team. All other posts remained the same. We were sorry to lose Gary Hilleard at the end of last season. He has moved house and is joining Bridge Chess Club but we welcomed two new members to the club, Dominic Blundell and Niko Kouthouri-Whittaker. Both have joined the club championship so while they are ungraded at present, they are certain to be given a grade in the New Year. Finally, the Christmas Dinner was fixed for Monday December 16th at the Tartar Frigate and it could be a record turnout this year, especially as the club agreed to subsidise it once again.
The meeting closed at 10.02 p.m. after which many of us drifted along to Cramptons where Gareth, the landlord, was presented with his own ‘Johnnie’ as one of the three main sponsors of the 50th Thanet Chess Congress. Thanks to Ian Hames for taking the photographs.