Thursday, 6 August 2009

2nd Thursday Rd 10

Penultimate Rd;
Late last night Wells beat Eggleston to reach 6.5, but Eggleston's assured 2nd IM norm was some compensation for him.
Conquest's win yesterday puts him back on top board with White against Howell, sole leader on 7.5. Will Howell be content to drift to the finish with 2 draws and see what the following pack can do? Williams is clear 2nd on 7/9 with Black against Wells. How will he be seeing the situation? He is on fire and a win would put him level with a drawing Howell. And Hebden having white against lower rated opposition must be fancying his chances, a win would put him on 7.5, although his opponent Rendle will have his own views on the matter. Surely the eventual champion must come from these 6.

Last year's Girls' U-12 Champion was Rahda Jain. On the way out of the hall this morning, she told me she'd won again and I ventured to say she was likely to defend her title successfully. "Oh no, not that", she replied "I'm after the overall title this year". I was truly put in my place.
Below: Rahda at Liverpool 2008

A Storey of Salvation Through ChessBase:
38 year old Charlie Storey, playing in the British Championship, was brought up in Newcastle-on-Tyne where he had a difficult upbringing. He admits to failed academically at school, leaving with no qualifications. On the other hand, he was excellent at sport, playing centre forward for Blythe Spartans and having trials with Oldham Athletic, though the manager, Joe Royle, didn't rate him.
He didn't have much of direction in life in his late teens, but gradually got into chess and joined the Jesmond Chess Club. He then purchased an early version of the computer program ChessBase3 and things really took off. He quickly developed a great love of chess and knowledge of computers. He was very competitive and has won about 60 Open Tournaments over the years.
He also found he had the gift of communicating his chess skills to large numbers of young beginners. He wrote a chess syllabus called Bandana Chess, and has his own website at
As his reputation as a chess coach grew, so did his reputation in computer skills and he was encouraged to enroll at university where, at the age of 37, he recently graduated with a 2:1 in "Informatics Forensics" (i.e. messing around with computers).
He puts all this down to the redemptive powers of chess; it's taught him to use his brain, to concentrate, persevere and constantly strive for self-improvement. If the basis was chess, the tool was ChessBase, which enables players to harness the twin powers of human and artificial intelligence. He reckons they have been his salvation - without chess he could have been condemned to a life of aimless drifting.
What of the future? Andrew Martin has offered him the post of coach to the ECF U-16 team in the junior Olympiad in Turkey (24th Sept - 2nd Oct.). He's also had an excellent job offer from the Civil Service which would entail moving south, out of his natural habitat in the North East. So who knows what the future holds for Charlie Storey.

Below: Charlie at the start of Rd. 10 - he loves a good party.

Game of the Day (Rd. 8)

Above: I know I'm getting deaf, but did someone just call out my name?

Below: Yes it's true, John Littlewood - you've just won the Game of the Day prize.

Birthday Party: Mention has already been made of one birthday present offered here at Torquay - today there were more celebrations as one of the juniors celebrated her 17th birthday, joined by a crowd of Britain's top juniors.

Below: Lateefah Messam-Sparks (centre) surrounded by some of the best juniors here at the British. Much cake was consumed by all. Hats were retained for play during Rd. 10.