John congratulating David Pinch

The Major tournament was the smallest section within the Thanet Congress and, not surprisingly, the closest where everyone seemed capable of beating everyone else (unless you have a weekend like your correspondent and fail to win a game).  Consequently, there was a four-way tie for first place and only 1½ points separating top from bottom. Rob Woolacott was one of the winners and as a member of Swale Chess Club, he wins the title of Kent Major Champion. As a former member of Folkestone Chess Club, Rob’s victory should count as yet another triumph for the Thanet and East Kent Chess League. The other winners were Ian Cross (St Albans), Phil Foley (Upminster) and David Pinch (Steynton) who drove all the way from Wales to play at the congress.

“I play for my club in the Dyfed League (West Wales).  Steynton is a village outside Milford Haven.  We play against teams as far afield as Aberystwyth, Cardigan and Carmarthen.  Our club has no good players, all mediocre at my level, so I play board 1 or 2.  Cardigan board 1 is Howard Williams, 18 times Welsh Champion, board 2 is Iolo Jones, one-time Welsh Champion and currently a Wales over-65 International, Carmarthen board 1 is Gerry Heap, current Welsh Champion.  I have to play all of these and others similar.  I really enjoyed the tournament, there was a nice friendly atmosphere.  At the moment I am intending to come next year.”

White:  David Smith  (119)    Black:  David Pinch (146)

 Thanet Major 2018



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