Holme Valley Chess Club
Tournament Report 2007
The Tournament had grown from last season, with 10 members participating, and it got off to a good start, despite Neil Hardy becoming unavailable immediately [replaced by Leo Keely]. However it soon hit problems - Graham Hughes became unavailable on Tuesdays, and it became a problem to rearrange his games. Fixture congestion meant that there were no free weeks, so that it became difficult to get any continuity in the Tournament. Most rounds were played at the very beginning, and then squeezed in the very end of the season. Often players were unavailable, even Stewart Thompson and Leo Keely, who were otherwise ever present, were away at the end of the season. Joe Froggatt was often away. Roger Tuddenham, James Grist and Norman Battye were almost always available. Sometimes only two games could be played at the White Hart, for the £10 booking charge, and other rounds had to be postponed when only one game could be played [canceling White Hart at short notice]. Games were often switched to my house to avoid £10 payment, or fit in with players becoming unavailable on certain scheduled dates. All this required innumerable phone calls back and forth.
After losing to Stewart Thompson, Reg Atkinson dropped out of the Tournament.
The problem was compounded when Kevin Haigh also dropped out.
I found all this frustrating and depressing [it’s a character defect, one of many I am reliably informed]. There was one person who was ever present - myself.
Luckily Stewart Thompson, who had already played both Reg and Kevin, emerged as a clear winner. The point being that, even if the other players had played and beaten Kevin and Reg, they could not catch Stewart Thompson’s score.
Stewart V. Thompson with the Trophy that he has won twice in the last four years.
The following games were unplayed:
Joe Froggatt v Graham Hughes
Leo Keely v Graham Hughes
Graham Hughes v Roger Tuddenham
Graham Hughes v Peter Douglas
Stewart Thompson has recommended a KO Tournament in future, but this would mean that players such as Norman Battye may be knocked out in round one, and not get a chance to play all the other players.
For any future Tournament I would recommend the following : a maximum of 5 rounds.
[A] With 6 [or less] entries have a 5 round all-play-all Handicap Tournament [or 4 round etc. depending on the number of entries]
I would estimate that we would expect to have 7/8 entries.
[B] With 7 or more entries then a Five Round Swiss Handicap Tournament
on 5 fixed dates identified in the Fixture list. Each player is allowed one half point bye if unavailable on one of the dates [+ the handicap score, up to a maximum of 1 point in total. Example in the game Stewart Thompson v Leo Keely, if Stewart Thompson was unavailable for this game both players would score 100, instead of the 90, 100 that they actually scored with a Leo Keely win]. If unavailable on a second or third date then this is a loss. There is nothing to stop players rescheduling games themselves if both players agree. Note the half point bye would mean with an even number of participants that there would be another player without a game. He would have to be given a one point bye [as in the Stewart Thompson Leo Keely example above]. Note it is possible to “cheat” here by becoming “unavailable” against an opponent you do not fancy playing, and getting a half point, though the half point bye system is standard practice in every weekend tournament nowadays.
I would also recommend throwing the Tournament open to anyone who wishes to enter. These players would pay, say, a £5 associate member fee [or £10 full membership as Roger Tuddenham did last season].
Reg Atkinson’s win against Graham Hughes,
Kevin Haigh’s win against James Grist.
Graham Hughes’ win against James Grist
Stewart Thompson’s lucky win against James Grist in a dead drawn position, when James spurned the draw and lost.
Roger Tuddenham’s excellent game against Leo Keely when he narrowly failed to win a won position and drew.
Finally the game that really decided the Tournament - Stewart Thompson’s fine win against Roger Tuddenham.
Just a note about Reg Atkinson dropping out of the Tournament.
One should not take chess too seriously.
This is a danger.
With chess, if one puts pressure upon oneself, then inevitable dashed hopes and expectations lead to depression and disillusionment.
Once you are playing with a fear of losing, and dwindling self confidence, it is a slippery slope where one may endure shattered nerves and loss of pride, even illness. As you go down that slope, chess becomes suffering and not enjoyment.
I've been there with golf, as well as chess.
H.G. Wells said "If you want to destroy a man, teach him chess!"
Remember chess is a board game. That's all it is.