Here is Martin Taylor, regular supporter (and sometime winner) of the Thanet Chess Congress, photographed by Brendan O’ Gorman at last year’s event in which he came second. He has entered once again this year and will face stiff competition if he is to win the Open this time. Already two International Masters, last year’s winner Alan Merry and now Richard Bates, defending his SCCU Champion title won only two weeks ago at the Weald Congress, have signed up. With two and a half weeks to go, it looks like being a competitive Open Tournament and numbers throughout all five sections are encouraging. If you have not yet booked your accommodation, you are advised to do so as Broadstairs is very busy in the summer. For more information, entry forms and online entry, visit the congress website

While waiting for the Thanet Congress, our attention turns to the 2017 British Championship which has just begun in Llandudno. Among the various stars taking part is Broadstairs’ own David Faldon, who is in the Over 50 section. Whether he thought this was merely for players with grades over 50 is not certain but we hope he was not too surprised to be drawn against IM Paul Littlewood in round 2 against whom he achieved a draw which, together with his draws in rounds 1 and 3 represents a solid start. Unfortunately, none of David’s games is available so let’s turn our attention to the top seed (so far) at the Thanet Congress, IM Alan Merry. As I write, he has just won his round four game at the British and is currently on 3/4. Here is his win in round 1. For the latest news, go to

White: Alan Merry  (2427)     Black: Ashley Stewart (2111)

British Championships 2017

Back to the Thanet Congress and never mind the chess, I hear you say, what about the food? Well, take a look at the kitchen below which is a bit smarter than your average chess congress canteen. The analysis room is attached (see below) so there is plenty of room to have your lunch and go through your games.  Rook van Zugzwang, our culinary correspondent, reports:  “The food is good, well priced and the kitchen staff can cater for specific dietary requests – just ask. Here is a sample menu:

All hot lunches £4.50

Pasty, chips & baked beans

Pasta & meatballs with garlic bread & salad garnish

BBQ chicken drumsticks with chips and salad garnish

(V) Cauliflower and broccoli cheese bake with garlic bread

(V) Vegetable pasta bake with garlic bread

Burger & fries

                          Analysis room







Filled Jacket potatoes served with salad garnish

With one filling £2.30

With two fillings £2.90

Additional fillings 60p


Grated cheddar cheese

Tuna Mayonnaise


Baked beans


Puddings £1.70

Selection of cold desserts


You can also have breakfast:

Build your own Breakfast –  choose from the selection below 60p per item

Free range egg (fried or scrambled)

Pork sausage

Vegetarian sausage

Back bacon rasher

Baked beans

Grilled or Plum Tomato


Hash brown

Sauté potatoes

Fried Slice


If you were hoping for black pudding, bad luck but egg, beans, sausage, mushrooms and bacon for £3.00?! Who needs chess? If you’re staying elsewhere, give their breakfast a miss and eat here, I say.  If you haven’t booked accommodation anywhere, there is still room at the university. Go to the Congress website listed above for details of accommodation available.”


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