Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Second Tuesday - Rd. 8

Weather: Last night I drove home amid teeming rain, spray and dense hill fog over the Haldon Hills. Coming in this morning it was exactly the same, with another day's rain forecast. The balloon has made only two solitary 20 minute ascents in the last 10 days, so the projected aerial match is looking very unlikely. Unless things improve in the next 3 days, this must go down, from the weather point of view, as the worst British Championship in history.

John Dunleavy: This event commemorates the contribution John Dunleavy made to British chess, especially his central role in creating the ECF out of the old BCF. My full biography is accessible from the front page of the event website. John's son, Malcolm and his family were unable to be present at the opening, but had agreed to come in this week, as they were on a camping holiday in the South Hams. They came in this morning and enjoyed meeting many of John's former colleagues. They had little connection with the highly-organised world of chess administration that John so loved, but enjoyed looking round the many different aspects of this big event.
Below: Claire and Malcolm Dunleavy, Jack (16) and Charley (11).

Around the Hall: So much attention is paid to the progress of the British Championship itself, that it is easy to overlook the many other sections going on in the hall at the same time. It's impossible to do justice to them all, of course, but here's a glimpse at some of them.
British Seniors Championship:
Former British Ladies Champion in her former existence as Dinah Dobson, (1967, '68 and '69 it says in the record book, but can't have been that long ago - someone's made a mistake here, surely!). Now Dinah Norman, she can look a bit serious at times but always raises a bright smile for the camera.

Below: Incidentally, of the 4 players involved in these adjacent games, 3 are women. Dinah is playing Caro Hunt, while another former British Ladies Champion, Gillian Moore, is next door. And there are a number of other women involved in this section.

Dr. David Toms retired to East Devon recently after a career as a senior psychologist in the Medical Dept. of Nottingham University. As a teenager he was an English Junior International, taking part in a tour of Germany.

Above: Diminutive Anna Wang playing her morning game in the U-10s, a game she won to bring her to 1.5/2. Anna comes from Oxford where she attends the Junior Dept. of Oxford High School. She is a member of the Cowley Chess Club. Two years ago she won the British U-8 title at Gt. Yarmouth but was unable to play in Liverpool last year.

Above: Rahda Jain, giving her morning game in the U-12s 100% concentration. Last year she won the Girls' U-12 title at Liverpool and hopes to make a successful defence. The prospects look good as last week she won the Girls' U-13 title, jointly with Anna Wang's sister, Maria.
See below the presentation by Peter Purland.