Hereford Chess Congress 23-25 August 2008

Report by Ray Collett

The 36th edition of this popular congress took place on Bank Holiday weekend, 23-25 August 2008 at Aylestone School, Hereford. The venue was excellent with parking next to the congress hall. The school is set in spacious grounds that allow a leisurely lunch-time walk and the playing hall offers excellent playing conditions. The tournament was controlled by Phil Mead: the bookstall was provided by CCF Mindgames. Nearly ninety players competed being split nearly equally between the three sections.

There were three tournaments: Open, Major (Under 150) and Minor (Under 115) each with 6 rounds. Each of the three days had a morning followed by an afternoon playing session with time control of 36 moves in 1½ hours followed by 15 minutes to complete the game. There was generous time for lunch to sample the refreshment counter, which was open before the morning play. The fruit cake most delicious!

The last game to finish was in the Open between Paul Wallace and Tim Kett. With less than two minutes on the clock Paul wrapped up an ending where he had a king and two rooks against a king and rook to gain a share in the second prize. In the major section younger players were to the fore; Rob Thompson winning and Sheila Dines among the runners-up.

Winners in 2008

Open: 1st Tyson A Mordue (Downend & Fishponds) 5; followed by 2nd-3rd placed Paul Wallace (Lichfield) and R S Jones (Swansea) on 4½. The grading prize was won by Roy Shapland (Barnstable) with 4.
Major: 1st, Rob Thompson (Newton Abbott) 5, followed by 2nd-7th placed Paul Barker (Hereford), Sheila Dines (Croydon), Roger Greatorex (Llangollen), Brendan O'Gorman (DHSS, London), Chris Purry (Frome), and Gary Rawlings (Hereford), all on 4. Grading prizes: Ray Collett (Worcester) and RE Jones (Swansea) with 3½.
Minor: 1st-2nd, G Darling (Newton Abbott) and Alex Freeland jnr (Cardiff), 5, followed by Ken Alexander (Tiverton), Alexander Harris (Perse School), and John Loynes (Worcester, Stourbridge) all on 4½. Grading prize: Hazel Welch (Seaton) with 4.

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