Monday, December 28, 2015

The Headmaster's Half Term Report

This year's half term report comes from Ray Hyde :

A more succinct report than members have become accustomed to perhaps. This is the result of relying on a fledgling editor who has also been absent for all but 2 of the fixtures of the first half of this season. Here goes:

The 2014/2015 season culminated with significant successes for our club, with the A and B Teams topping Divisions 3 and 4 respectively. Less happy were our C and D Teams who struggled in Division 5. As things stand at this point in the 2015/2016 season there are fewer reasons to be cheerful.

The A Team said goodbye to Division 3 and boldly entered Division 2. This was always going to be a tough challenge but with our two highest graded players missing for most of the early fixtures it has proved doubly difficult. Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the next 3 or 4 matches a return to Division 3 beckons next year. We currently prop up the Division 2 table as does our C Team in Division 4. In contrast our B Team are joint leaders in Division 4 whilst our D Team sits proudly, with Cheddleton G, atop Division 5.

As regards Cup competitions, after 6 consecutive wins in the South Potteries Chess Challenge Cup we finally lost, going down 5-3 in our annual tussle with Meir. Perhaps not unexpected with two of our key players missing. Elsewhere, we reached the finals of, but did not win, the Gothard Cup and the Perry Trophy and lost in the semi-final of the Withnall Trophy.

Fenton players participated in a number of events throughout the year. Rob Taylor and Steve Emmerton participated in the British Championship sections and performed very creditably. We entered 2 teams in the Newcastle Rapidplay Jamboree where Robert West scored 100%. We also entered 3 teams in the NSDCA Doubles with some success: Stuart Hull and Mike Smith winning the Minor section and Fenton teams finishing second and third in the Major section.

It was a year for first-time events. Firstly the South Potteries Rapidplay Championship, won by Jacob Boswell (Cheddleton) and superbly run by arbiter Matthew Carr. The intention is to make this an annual event.

Secondly, we organised a simultaneous exhibition by GM Keith Arkell. He came, he saw, he conquered. GM Arkell played 28 boards and conceded only 4 draws, including our own Glyn Valentine, our newest member, whom we are delighted to welcome. Many thanks to Steven Walley for his generous sponsorship.  We will attempt to provide a GM event next year though sponsorship may be difficult to obtain next time.

Rob Taylor, not for the first time, won the Club Championship and Ray Hyde the Rapidplay Championship.

No Christmas Dinner this year although Steve Emmerton and Vanda laid on a superb buffet. Excellent food but poorly attended by only 9 members. Disappointingly, several members had said they would be attending but failed to turn up, without letting anybody know.

Finally it only remains to give thanks to Steve Emmerton for his industry and imagination as the factotum of the Club, to Stuart Hull for keeping us solvent, to the team captains for making the fixtures take place and to everyone for participating.

To everyone: ALL BEST WISHES FOR 2016