This is Michael’s second entry  for Game of the Week this season and it is interesting to see how White not only manages to extricate his Queen trapped for twenty moves but goes on to win the game. The win was vital because it helped Broadstairs win a narrow match against Margate (see earlier report).

White:   Michael Doyle (81)     Black: Roy McAloney  (83)

Walker Shield v Margate

Congratulations to Alan Merry who successfully defended his Open title won at last year’s congress. It promised to be a tricky ride with Martin Taylor (230), a previous winner on more than one occasion, and Richard Bates (232), keen to defend his SCCU Champion title retained only a few weeks ago at the Weald Congress. Alan conceded two draws in his first four games – I resisted the temptation to show you his 117-move draw with Martin Taylor – so everything depended on the final game and here it is.

White: Alan Merry  (240)     Black: Paul Kemp (185)

Thanet Congress (Open) 2017

After a surprise defeat in the first round to his clubmate Kevin Bowmer and a draw in Round 2, Richard Bates probably thought his chance of retaining the SCCU Champion title had gone. Only three wins would surely do. With 2½ points out of 4, Bates was drawn against Taylor (3/4) in the final round. Taylor was not only playing for the SCCU title but that of Kent Open Champion as well.

White: Richard Bates  (232)     Black: Martin Taylor (230)

Thanet Congress (Open) 2017

Richard Bates therefore retains his title of SCCU Champion, a position he has held since November 2015. Martin Taylor, meanwhile, has to settle for the title of Kent Open Champion, a position he has held on at least five previous occasions so everyone’s a winner.


One of the many pleasing things about this year’s congress from a parochial point of view was the performance of some of the local players. We have already highlighted Reg Pidduck (Broadstairs) winning the Oyster Shield in the Minor and Paul Arnold (Herne Bay), joint winner of the Intermediate. First place in the the Major section was also shared and once again one of the two was a Thanet player. Peter McGill of Margate was the joint winner with David Heath from Maidstone. Here is Peter’s win in Round 4.

White: Peter McGill  (144)     Black: William Grummitt (e134)

Thanet Congress (Major) 2017


David originally entered the Challengers when his grade was over 150 but I’m sure he is now glad that he changed to the Major when the new grades came out. Chess players seem to have a good line in self-deprecation: just as Paul Arnold was remarkably modest about his games despite finishing first in the Intermediate, when David submitted his games for inclusion on this site he claimed that they were all ‘riddled with errors’. Whether that is true or not, the point is that none of his opponents spotted them. You usually need a little luck to win a tournament and when David won this game in Round 1, he must have felt that this was going to be his weekend,  a feeling confirmed in the final game which David won in 13 moves.

White:   David Heath (143)   Black: Stephen Pike (134)

Thanet Congress (Major) 2017


Harry Sharples began the tournament as the number one seed in the Major with a grade of 150. However, it was not to be his weekend which he must have realised after this ambush in Round 1.

White:  Harry Sharples (150)   Black: Gavin Josephs (138)

Thanet Congress (Major) 2017

White to move.

  1. Bc2 : Qd5
  2. Re2 :


  1. ——– : Qh1ch
  2. Qf1 : Rd1 ch !!
  3. BxR : Nd3ch
  4. Resigns




The Oyster Shield is a special prize awarded at the Thanet Congress to the highest-scoring senior (over 60) Thanet player in the Minor or Intermediate sections. It was presented by Whitstable Chess Club in 2011 and in five of the seven years for which it has been competed, it has been won by our own Reg Pidduck. (Perhaps a word of congratulation is merited by the only two players to prevent Reg from achieving a 100% success rate – Tony Hargreaves and Michael Doyle.) With typical modesty, Reg does not feel the entire game is worth replaying as it was effectively won by move 16. Let Reg explain.

“This game won me the Oyster Shield for the fifth time with 3.5 points. It all centres on White’s 15th move. Neil Lang took 8 to 10 minutes looking at taking my b7 pawn. After taking so long I thought he must have seen the trap but no. He took it and I was a happy man. I won’t bore you, dear reader, with the next 30 moves, as I just kept it safe to ensure a win. White resigned after 45 moves.”

White: Neil Lang  (101)     Black: Reg Pidduck (107)

Thanet Congress (Minor) 2017

Paul Arnold is a past winner of the Minor section at the Thanet Congress and last weekend finished joint first in the Intermediate. When asked if he could submit one of his games for inclusion on this site, he whimsically replied that his computer ‘isn’t particularly impressed with any of them’! Nevertheless, he submitted all five of his games, sportingly including his last-round defeat to Peter Dirmauskas, fellow joint winner. It would be rather mean to feature that one now – although it will appear later! – so here is Paul’s third- round victory, a brief but entertaining encounter.

White: Paul Arnold  (121)     Black: William Stock (119)

Thanet Congress (Intermediate) 2017