It was a well attended and lively meeting at Poole RBL. Ian Clark chaired and, together with Martin Simons, reported on the highly successful British Chess Championships in Bournemouth, Summer 2016. Ian and Martin, of course, had been instrumental in bringing the Championships to Bournemouth, but the B&DCL and Dorset League, plus clubs themselves, had made a crucial financial contribution to make it all possible.
Steve Peirson, Treasurer, explained that the Association finances were sound and income and expenses for 2016/17 were almost equal.
Weymouth A had again won County Div 1 and Wimborne C retained the Div 3 Championship after a very close finish. Poole edged out Purbeck to win Div 2. Poole has also won B&DCL Div 2 and the Handicap Knock-Out, completing an outstanding season for the club.
Some further teams plan to join Divisions 1 & 3, so the overall league picture is improving. This includes Poole moving to Div 1 following winning Div 2 last season, and Ringwood entering for the first time. Poole also mentioned that they are planning to enter a B team in Div 3. Weymouth B & Bridport had found fulfilling some fixtures difficult due to player shortages, but did well to still complete their programmes. Although Divs 1 & 3 look likely to be larger next season, it is not clear yet what the make-up will be for Div 2.
At Easter Allan Pleasants had become Welsh Champion at Cardiff playing some superb chess. Allan was congratulated on Dorset now having a national champion!
Junior chess under Eric Sachs has been active and progressive – Eric reported on a number of events, including the Inter-Schools competition. It was hoped to do more to bring on junior chess in the west of the county. There is some potential to work with schools in Dorchester and Chris Johns offered to become involved, which is much appreciated. Treasurer, Steve Pierson offered available funds for Junior chess if any new equipment or other costs are needed to develop and assist with the Juniors. Eric to advise if needed.
Ian Clark explained the 51st Dorset Open last December had a maximum 98 entrants and was won by the highest graded player, Gabor Horzath. The open now embraces the Dorset Closed.
This year the Congress will be at the Elstead Hotel Bournemouth and between 13-15 Oct. Full details, including on-line entry on the Dorset Chess website.
A 1st Dorset Blitz Congress is taking place Sunday, 17 Sept ’17 in Wareham and being run by Steve Peirson. Again, information on our website.
Martin Simons had once more efficiently controlled the Dorset Rapidplay, which took place in Ringwood last March. 60% of competitors won a prize. The 2018 Rapidplay will be on Sunday, 18 March, again in Ringwood.
The Handicap Knock-Out was run by Martin Simons and won by Poole, beating Purbeck in the final. In a semi-final match, Purbeck beat Highcliffe in what is believed to have been the closest match in the history of the competition. Please see top menu on this website for score details.
Phil Wallace, as County Grading Officer reported on new deadlines for him submitting results. He also explained the new ECF League Management System (LMS) is being trialled, by several leagues, including our own.
Mike Jay, Webmaster said that at some stage we would plan to integrate the ECF LMS into our own website, but this would not be at least until season 2018/19 and after the trials are completed.
Ian Clark reported on the ECF AGM – an important decision was that for new players the first 3 games for grading with any one chess league are free, but thereafter £16 – the Bronze membership annual subscription. There was nothing to report from the last WECU meeting.
Regarding next season, it was requested that clubs should let Mike Jay know their team plans as soon as possible to help the early planning of fixtures. Earlier in the meeting, Mike had asked if clubs could possibly try and move towards AGM’s to end of season for the future, just to try and help this fixture planning process – accepting that some changes may still be inevitable during the summer or even in September.
Eric Sachs explained there will be a fund raising chess events day for Steve Bailey of Poole Chess Club, on Sat 29 July at Poole RBL. The purpose is to try and raise funds for Steve, who is visually impaired, to go on a cricket coaches event in the West Indies in 2018.
Martin Simons was given permission to investigate the purchase of DGT Sensory Chess Boards for Dorset Congresses within a budget of £500 from each of B&DCL and DCCA. The meeting finally re-elected all current officers.