Monday night chess club has taken on a new appearance with the restrictions placed by the Coronavirus outbreak. With plenty of club members already playing online, it did not take long for the idea of a Monday evening online tournament to take off. Credit for this must go initially to Richard who proposed the idea and then to Arnaud who took up the baton and set up the first mini-tournament on last night. For those who were new to lichess, it took a bit of getting used to but the important thing is that we were all able to play some chess with those we would normally be playing at the club on Mondays. Already eleven players have signed up which is over half of the club and it would be encouraging if we could add some more so if you have not already done so, sign up now!

What of the chess? Well, first of all there were some strange names so it was not clear at first who you were playing. There was Coolhand, Bogstairs, Pugmug and Wasplake for a start. It was billed as a tournament but for some of us it was simply a chance to play some chess and lose a few games. In the end, I think Wasplake –  who I think is David – was the overall winner and BobbyPG (whoever he is) finally got a win with his last game. It was a pleasant surprise to welcome back Nick McBride (Bogstairs), formally of this parish, and perhaps if he enjoys himself enough in these online sessions he might be persuaded to rejoin the club when/if we return to normal over the board play.  If any Broadstairs members (or guests) would like to join us, first you need to register with lichess (we also have a club group set up with which we might try next week and you don’t have to pay for either site) then choose a user name and password.

Don’t forget that the Candidates Tournament is in full swing in Russia and there will be a report on it here in due course. Daily commentary can be followed on Chess 24 and other sites. In the meantime, if you did not catch Trefor’s puzzles emailed out recently, here is one for you to solve.

White to move. Which pawn is the weak point in Black’s position?

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