I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these curious times. The impact of the COVID pandemic on club and league chess shows no sign of easing as the traditional start date of the season approaches. I am sure that you have already worked out that face to face chess is one of the most difficult sports to adapt to social distancing and all the other preventive measures designed to stop the transmission and spread of infection.
Our playing venue, Culcheth Sports Club (CSC), was in financial difficulties prior to the pandemic and the lockdown and subsequent restrictions have only made that situation worse. We were recently faced with a demand to pay our full annual subscription even though we could not use the venue for chess. Tom, Andy and I decided that we would not pay until we had greater certainty about the resumption of league fixtures and whether the venue met health and safety standards. Initially the CSC reacted by asking us to remove our equipment from the storage cupboard, but following a spot of negotiating they withdrew their request – at least for the time being.
I am sorry about the lack of positive news but rest assured that as soon as I get any you will be informed without delay.
*Below are a few games played recently online by club members for your enjoyment*
On the other end of the time control scale, Keith Maudsley sent in this nice win played at 3 mins each time controls I am told. From a quiet looking opening position Keith develops a strong kingside attack which ends in a nice checkmate.
Finally Damian had a couple of interesting correspondence games with Steven Jones. Both games ended up as drawn. The London system game was most interesting which followed a similar pattern to a game I played against Mike Rotchell in the league season, Steven however captured upon c5 early which led to a more unbalanced game: