Regular visitors to this site may be wondering what has happened to Wei Yi since our last bulletin. For the uninitiated, Wei Yi is a formidable talent in the chess world. In January he won the Tata Steel Challengers at Wijk an See with some sparkling chess (see Game of the Week 9) at which point he was ranked 49 in the world. Since then his star has continued to rise: in April China won the World Chess Team Championships (Wei Yi +5 =4 -0) and in May he won the Chinese Chess Championships. He is now ranked 30 in the world yet only last week did he celebrate his sixteenth birthday. Both Michael Adams and Malcolm Pein featured his Round 4 win against Ding Liren (ELO 2749) in their newspaper articles – probably because Ding had a higher grade and was the runner-up – but your correspondent, a lesser judge, preferred this one from Round 6, even though his lower-graded opponent could only finish twelfth.
White: Wei Yi (2718) Black: Liu Qingnan (2521)
(Chinese Chess Championships 2015)
This splendid chess set has been donated to the Club by Mrs Rowena Smith. It has been in her family for many years and, as no-one played the game any more, she was looking for a willing home for it. The pieces were bought by her father, who made the board and box, and gave it to her as a present for her sixteenth birthday. The board can be lifted out of the box and there are two drawers underneath for the pieces which resemble Chinese figures and are made of resin. It has been suggested that we award the set as an annual prize and a provisional name for it is the Richard Pilcher Prize after Mrs Smith’s father. Suggestions are welcome and, in the meantime, Reg is looking after the set. We would like to thank Mrs Smith for this generous gift and we fully intend to find a suitable purpose for it.
At the recent St Albans Congress two faces familiar to Broadstairs players were participating in their respective sections. Toby Stock (left) was a member from 2009-2011 before moving to Mexico to be with his girlfriend. Now married and a father, he is back in the UK living near Cambridge, and has started playing chess again. He was in contention for a possible prize in the Challengers (U180) before losing his last game to finish on 2½/5. Older players may remember Toby’s father, William, who played for Birchington for many years. After twenty years he has emerged from a self-imposed chess exile and is playing for Rainham where he now lives. At St Albans he scored 3/5 in the Minor section (U120).
On the right is Oliver Finnegan, who won the Goodall Cup (the club championship) in 2001 and played for Broadstairs for a few seasons at the start of the millennium. He now plays for Loughton in Essex and scored 2½/5 in the Major section (U160). He was disappointed and with a January grade of 158, that’s understandable. He asked after current members and said he saw David Wheatley and Clive Le Baigue recently. We may see him at the Thanet Congress in the summer.
Photographs by Brendan O’Gorman