Graham Hillman sends this report on an interesting tie-up between Wimborne and Dartford chess clubs.
For over one year now we’ve had a small forum of players from Wimborne and Dartford Chess club meeting every Thursday evening (Dartfords’s Club night).
When the lockdown first started Wimborne like many of its other Dorset clubs struggled to get even 50% of their membership to play online. Those that did play online were of such a grade disparity it was initially difficult to arrange matches and competitions where you felt you had a competitive game. Of course now the great stuff from Ringwood and 4NCL has meant there’s the opportunity for everyone. As you already know we have a Tuesday slow play for the players graded U125 ecf and this has continued.
The other Wimborne evenings chess was initiated by myself in April 2020 and was aimed at players with grades between 120-140 ecf, but why Dartford ? Well I played at Dartford Chess club from 1974 to 2015 prior to moving away from the South East to live in Dorset. I knew they had a lot of players in the grade band and I was looking to establish a regular event. So I contacted Mike Wiltshire who has been their club secretary since 1974 (!) and well the rest is history.
We generally get between 8-12 players each week and I can genuinely say everybody has won the event at some stage. It’s a 10+5 format and lasts 2 hours from 7-30 pm. The fact it went on for over a year was celebrated on a Zoom call a few weeks back where some of the Wimborne players got to see the Dartford players in person. We even got one player from Dartford playing for us now as he moved to Broadstone a short while back. We also had a Wimborne player based in Denmark participating with a few Danish players – that was interesting too!
If other people are interested to join the only criteria is to be within the 120-140 ecf grade band. Anybody interested can simply email myself ([email protected]) and I will send the link to the Lichess Arena where we play.