Following on from the earlier Blunder of the Week – see April 1st – it did not take long to find a worse calamity than the one that befell your correspondent.  Step forward Lithuanian WGM Deimante Daulyte. The following position is taken from her game with Polish WGM Monika Socko at the recent World Championships.  Commenting on the position, GM Michael Adams said that White could win in any number of ways, adding dryly that 1. b6 mate had much to recommend. However……..

White: Deimante Daulyte (2397)                     Black: Monika Socko (2463)

Women’s World Championship Sochi 2015

1. Qa5??          Qxa5


Blunders…been there, done that etc but how do you handle them? Do you slink away into a quiet corner to weep, or laugh and let the whole world laugh with – or, more likely, at – you?  Here’s an example of the latter approach from the St Albans Congress.  To experience the full extent of White’s tragedy you need to resist the urge to dive in at move 44 and instead start at the beginning because – whisper it quietly – White had played pretty well up to the point at which his roof fell in which makes the pathos of the situation all the more palpable.

This could become a regular feature if enough players with the requisite thick skin can be found to advertise their failings to a wider audience.  In the meantime, sit back with a glass of schadenfreude and enjoy. However, don’t laugh too loudly because the next time it could be you.

White: Robert Page (145)        Black: William Phillips (158)           St Albans Major 

John did not want this game to be considered as a Game of the Week as the thirty point difference in grading suggests that it was not an especially outstanding performance on his part.  However, he felt it was not without interest and definitely worth a look so here it is.

White: Leon Garfield (101)          Black: John Couzens (131)

(Hargreaves Shield v Margate)  

Thanet players with long memories will remember there used to be a Best Game Prize. This was a competition run towards the end of the season whereby anyone who had played what he thought was a particularly fine game could send it anonymously to the league secretary who would gather all the entries – usually about six – and make copies to distribute to the various clubs in the league for members to discuss and vote on during a club night. Clubs would then place the games in order, send their results to the secretary and the scores were then added up.  The winner would be revealed at the league AGM, given his prize and, although this I don’t remember, would then be invited to go through the game to those assembled.   The competition gradually faded out owing to a combination of factors: the usual lack of interest, the unwillingness of some clubs to give up an evening or even part of an evening to go through the games and, of course, the games were not completely anonymous as those who had submitted entries could not really comment on their own games.

However, in the digital age, it is to be hoped that these problems can be overcome and therefore it has been decided to revive the Best Game Prize with immediate effect. David Williams has agreed to ‘host’ the games on the Thanet website and anyone in the Thanet Chess League who has played a notable game this season considered worthy of winning the Best Game Prize is invited to send the game to David and he will publish all those he receives at the end of the season.  He has asked for games to be in pgn form but if you are unsure about that, a game typed out (correctly!) in algebraic notation should suffice. The difference now is that the games can be played at your leisure on your computer and the only thing to be decided is whether individuals send their results or we continue to vote as clubs.

In the meantime, if you have played a particularly outstanding game this season – preferably not one submitted to this site for Game of the Week! – send it to David Williams whose email address is  More information is on the Thanet site and while you are there, you might like to read James Essinger’s interesting article, reprinted from Chess magazine, about chess generally and a recent game of his against Bob Pooley.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. No truer words have ever been said if the 46th Thanet Chess Congress is to take place this summer.   If that sounds a little melodramatic, let us put everything in perspective.  We have the usual venue which is booked.  We have sponsorship and we can expect a relatively healthy entry to cover all costs and probably make a small profit. We have a team of volunteers both within and without the committee who will arrange everything beforehand and clear up afterwards. We should have a controller although that is not confirmed yet. However, we need a congress co-ordinator (who does most of the arrangements beforehand), a congress treasurer (who sorts out the money) and a congress secretary (who deals with entries and enquiries).  This is a simplified job description and full details are available. If my opening remarks sounded sensational, they were nevertheless true: if these three posts are not filled within the next month then this year’s Thanet Congress will not take place and it is hard to see it being resurrected in the future.  So to all keen chess players both within and without Thanet, if you can help out in any way – and it is not onerous – please use the ‘Contact Us’ button or email John Clarke, the Thanet League Secretary at