English Deaf Chess Association


Articles and reports for 2004

32nd EDCA Congress, Romford, 30th-31st October 2004

Following the “North”’s turn in hosting the EDCA Congress last year in Sheffield, it was now the “South”’s turn to entertain the EDCA members wanting to be part of the 32nd EDCA Congress. It was thanks to James Kelberman’s hard work in persuading Romford Deaf Club to host this Congress which came to fruition after several months of negotiation.

On the Friday afternoon, Ilan Dwek and myself tied up some loose ends on the organisational side and on the Friday evening we popped over to Romford Deaf Club to set up all the tables and chess equipment ready for the next morning. We had the unexpected pleasure of John Brown helping us out after he popped into our hotel room for a chat! The slap-up meal and drinks we had together was also enjoyable and certainly put us in the mood for the busy weekend ahead of us!

We had a slight hiccup once we arrived at Romford Deaf Club – the person who was supposed to let us into the premises hadn’t arrived yet! One by one, each participant had arrived but still no sign of the man with the keys! The clock kept ticking on then at last he arrived – apparently he was looking for the right material to make repairs to the pump so that we could drink in the bar on Saturday evening……….!

Despite the odd number of participants, we were determined to keep the Premier Section and the Major Section separate. While the Premier had 10 players, the Major had 7 players but our solution was to have an all-play-all format with 7 rounds with a bye available for each player in each round. In addition, there was a reduced time control for the Major.


Seeding         Grade
1. P.Gardner     157
2. C.Kreuzer     141
3. I.Dwek         130
4. A.MacLeod   127
5. B.David        125
6. M.Freund     124
7. P.Sharpe      120
8. L.Martin       117
9. J.Kelberman  96
10.D.Whiston     83

1st round
Phillip Gardner and Chris Kreuzer showed why they were the top 2 seeds with smooth wins against Michael Freund and Peter Sharpe respectively. The defending champion, Barry David also started with a win against David Whiston and so got a first whiff of a possible hat-trick of Premier wins.

James Kelberman defied the seeding difference in defending well against Alasdair MacLeod who tried his utmost to win with a very small advantage but to no avail and so a draw was agreed.

The shock of the round was seeing the young Premier debutant, Lewis Martin, 13 years old, who showed no sign of first time nerves in his win against Ilan Dwek. Martin bravely ignored Dwek’s kingside attack and pawn centre march by creating a huge counter-attack on the queenside. Dwek had to find the most accurate defence to win but Martin crashed through thanks to the decisive switch from using his queen from defending to attacking!

Leaders: Gardner, Kreuzer, David, Martin 1/1

2nd round
All eyes were on the intriguing board 1 clash between the experienced Gardner and the youngster Martin. As white, Martin showed that he was not afraid of taking on mainline chess theory when he played the Fischer-Sozin Attack against Gardner’s Najdorf. But experience shone through showing a better understanding of the opening and cashed in when Martin fell to a tactic losing his queen in exchange for rook and a small counterattack. Martin refused to give up in a lost position and just about had enough time to demonstrate a nice tactic to win a pawn but the material deficit was too much and far too late to save the game.

Kreuzer-David was a tight game with both players famed for their time trouble addictions …………and yes, their game did indeed go to the wire! It was looking drawish when Kreuzer decided to gamble for a win in a time scramble which paid off when David blundered at the end. MacLeod relished playing against Dwek’s Najdorf as he knew that it would be a good game – not like when you play against the French defence (!) Dwek’s inaccuracy in the opening allowed MacLeod to sacrifice his bishop for 3 pawns and a better position. Dwek did well to recover to get into a rook and pawn endgame a pawn down with some outside drawing chances but MacLeod kept his nerve for a win.

The shock of the round had to be Whiston’s win against Sharpe in a long tough battle with Whiston’s rook and 2 passed pawns against Sharpe’s rook and knight stuck on the back rank was enough to win. Freund-Kelberman was a very quiet game which ended in a draw.

Leaders: Gardner, Kreuzer 2/2

3rd round
The top board clash between the top 2 seeds was a quick draw agreed with Gardner feeling tired coming into the Saturday evening. On board 2, David-MacLeod was a French Advance with MacLeod opting for the black side after transposing from David’s c3 Sicilian opening. A mistake in David’s move order in the opening allowed MacLeod to hang on to his extra pawn and maintain his positional advantage until David blundered away a knight.

On board 3, Kelberman-Martin started quietly until Kelberman made an anti-positional move when he chose to allow doubled pawns which he could not hang onto. Martin finished him off cooly. Freund-Whiston looked like a friendly draw. The best game of the round was Dwek-Sharpe where Dwek’s handling of the white pieces in the French Advance opening was exemplary. He maintained control after an exchange sacrifice and a strong pawn centre which was too much for Sharpe to stop.

Leaders: Gardner, Kreuzer, MacLeod 2.5/3

4th round
It was a long time to wait – 8 years – but MacLeod finally got his chance to play against Gardner for the first time in a serious game with the white pieces having played 4 times before, all with the black pieces! (3 draws and 1 win for Gardner). MacLeod was determined not to waste his chance even after Gardner opted to avoid the main line Najdorf theory. Chances were balanced going into the middlegame and Gardner offered a draw. After some thought, MacLeod declined by playing a probing knight move which increased the pressure on black’s queenside. After a time scramble, a rook and pawn endgame with equal material came up but with white having a small advantage due to a passed pawn. After a couple of mistakes by Gardner, MacLeod missed an open goal in finishing off his opponent but soon after forced Gardner’s resignation. The first time ever that MacLeod has beaten Gardner in a serious game!

On board 2, Kreuzer opened with his favourite Scotch opening against Martin. He looked to be doing fine until he slipped into time trouble then lost the thread of the game and allowed Martin to launch a comeback. It was Martin’s 3rd win of the weekend – all with the black pieces!

On board 3, Kelberman must have been very hungry when as white, he punished Whiston’s slip in the opening, eating pawn after pawn and won the game. Dwek-Freund was another friendly draw. David was ruthless against Sharpe in unleashing an opening trap to which Sharpe fell into and so resigned a piece down after just a few moves.

Leaders: MacLeod 3.5/4, Martin 3/4

5th round
Going into the final round, MacLeod needed only at least a draw while Martin needed to beat MacLeod to become EDCA Champion. This crucial top board clash saw MacLeod play his favourite Dragon opening to which Martin decided to play slightly off-beat but still a potent attacking opening by castling kingside and initiating an attack down the f-file. In a long hard game, MacLeod took his time to maintain control of the position and after Martin failed to control the vital d5 square, MacLeod launched a queenside attack via the open b-file. After a blunder by Martin losing a pawn, MacLeod offered a draw to which Martin had little option but to accept facing a lost position. MacLeod breathed a sign of relief and punched the air – it was for winning the Premier trophy, not drawing the game!

Gardner and Kreuzer both won their final round games against David and Kelberman respectively to claim 2nd and 3rd spots on tie-break from Martin who was 4th – a fantastic achievement on his Premier debut.


As there were just 7 confirmed players for the Major tournament, the tournament organisers decided to turn this section into a 6 round all-play-all system. So there were 7 rounds and a bye available for one player in each round seeing as there were an odd number of competitors. In order to fit this into the Congress timetable, the time control was reduced to 1 hour for all moves.

The players themselves have to be applauded for being good sports in accepting this change and were excellent competitors, keeping the competition going until the final round with pairings made quickly every round. I have to say a few words about some of the players in the Major – it was noticeable that some of them were making comebacks of different scales! For John Brown it was a return to the EDCA Congress after over 15 years’ absence. Richard Willson made a comeback after 7 years and Lou Nardi a comeback after just 3 years (!) – not quite on the John Brown scale of comeback there Lou, have to wait a lot longer next time!

The early leaders seemed to be a group of 4 players; Chris Williamson, John Brown, Lou Nardi and Richard Willson. As the tournament went on, it was clear that 2 players were looking very good – Chris Williamson, a former Premier player and Lou Nardi, a solid player worth a bet to win overall at this stage. Both Brown and Willson seemed to be not far behind.

In the critical penultimate round, Williamson beat Nardi which proved to be decisive for Williamson to claim the Major trophy and entry into next year’s Premier. Nardi felt demoralised after that defeat and gave his next game to Brown who claimed 2nd place.


At the prize-giving, Alasdair MacLeod was handed a cheque for £60 and the Cedric White trophy with Phillip Gardner receiving £30 for winning 2nd place on tie-break ahead of Chris Kreuzer and Lewis Martin. For the Major, Chris Williamson picked up the John Brown trophy and £40. John Brown himself won £20 for winning 2nd place.

A raffle of several chess books was held before the prize-giving which raised a healthy sum for the EDCA.

On the Saturday evening we helped celebrate EDCA member’s Albert Kelberman 70th birthday with a party and buffet. A good time was had by all with stories swapped about Albert and a large birthday cake with a football match depicted on the cake with one team’s players wearing red and the other blue. I think this was a reference to Albert supporting Arsenal and his son James supporting Chelsea!

We have to thank Romford Deaf Club for letting us have use of their premises – as is the usual custom, the EDCA gave a donation as a gesture of our thanks.

I would like to thank Ilan Dwek for taking most of the responsibility of controlling the tournament – mainly due to I having many long games to finish (sorry Ilan!). Additional thanks are due to James Kelberman and the unexpected volunteers who helped with the catering – very nice it was too!


Premier (10 players)

1st Alasdair MacLeod (London) 4 points
2nd Phillip Gardner (Letchworth) 3.5 “
3rd Chris Kreuzer (Teddington) 3.5 “
4th Lewis Martin (Swindon) 3.5 “
5th David Whiston (Sheffield) 2.5 “
6th Barry David (London) 2 “
7th James Kelberman (London) 2 “
8th Michael Freund (London) 2 “
9th Ilan Dwek (London) 1.5 “
10th Peter Sharpe (Dronfield) 0.5 “

Major (7 players)

1st Chris Williamson (Birmingham) 5 points
2nd John Brown (Kent) 5 “
3rd= Richard Willson (Romford) 4 “
3rd= Lou Nardi (Bexley) 4 “
5th= Richard Weinbaum (Herts) 1.5 “
5th= Mick Simmons (Sheffield) 1.5 “
7th Peter O’Connell (Leeds) 0 “

Alasdair MacLeod

EDCA Club Championship, London 4th September 2004

It was time to determine which English Deaf Chess Club would win the right to represent the EDCA in the next Europa Cup for Deaf Chess Clubs to be held in June 2005 in Slovakia. Unlike previous Club Championships, there were only 2 teams taking part with no “B” teams allowed following a motion passed at the EDCA AGM in 2003. So the EDCA decided to turn the tournament into a match format with London Deaf Chess Club facing Sheffield Deaf Chess Club. To make the day exciting and to give the opportunity of letting a club use a reserve player, there were 2 matches between the clubs with colours reversed. Sheffield Deaf Chess Club looked like a professional chess club by jetting in Ian Carmichael by plane from Scotland! The venue was London Deaf Chess Club’s ‘home’ in Central London.

The first match duly got underway on the Saturday morning with refreshments provided throughout the day. James Kelberman the LDCC captain, won the toss and chose the white pieces on boards 1 and 3 for the first match. The first game to finish was Kreuzer – Sharpe where in a flurry of tactics, Sharpe blundered away a piece. On board 2, Dunn remained calm against Carmichael’s Bird’s Opening where he patiently nursed his small advantage until he won a pawn and the game. On board 3, MacLeod – Gibson started off with a nice advantage for white but Gibson refused to give in easily and created a lot of counterplay in return for the loss of a pawn. MacLeod had no choice but to force perpetual check for a draw. On board 4, Dwek – Whiston was an interesting game with Dwek as black accepting perpetual check although there was a difficult way out to press home his advantage according to Fritz. So LDCC won the first match 3 – 1.

London Deaf Chess Club     3 - 1        Sheffield Deaf Chess Club
Christopher Kreuzer           1 - 0               Peter Sharpe
Richard Dunn                     1 - 0               Ian Carmichael
Alasdair MacLeod           0.5 – 0.5            Stephen Gibson
Ilan Dwek                      0.5 – 0.5             David Whiston

In the 2nd match, there was a quick result on board 3 when Gibson handed Dwek a very early Christmas present of a bishop to which he never recovered from. On board 4, David’s consistently patient handling of the white pieces gave him the advantage, initiative and eventually the game against Whiston. On boards 1 and 2, there were 2 exciting games which kept the audience entertained. MacLeod – Carmichael was a Najdorf where MacLeod was determined to exorcise the ghosts of his loss against the same opponent in the 2003 EDCA Congress in Sheffield. After a mistake in the opening by Carmichael, MacLeod pounced on by offering his bishop for 3 pawns which Carmichael declined, instead preferring to try for counterplay a pawn down. In the middle game, Carmichael fought back when it looked like he would win the exchange. As it turned out, it was an accidental exchange sacrifice by MacLeod who left both rooks en prise and instead made a pawn move. After that, the huge positional advantage was too much for Carmichael to stop and fell into a mate.

On the top board, we witnessed the best game of the day in Dunn-Sharpe. Watching towards end of the game, when a queen, rook and pawns were left on the board for both sides, it felt like a high-class game between grandmasters where we had the determined probing by Sharpe and the accurate defence by Dunn fighting back move after move. It was a great shame that Sharpe blundered into a mate in a promising position. So LDCC won the overall match and so earn the right to represent the EDCA in the next Europa Cup to be held in Slovakia this June.

London Deaf Chess Club          4 - 0              Sheffield Deaf Chess Club
Richard Dunn                          1 - 0                       Peter Sharpe
Alasdair MacLeod                   1 - 0                       Ian Carmichael
Ilan Dwek                               1 - 0                       Stephen Gibson
Barry David                            1 - 0                        David Whiston

Final Score: London Deaf Chess Club 7 – 1 Sheffield Deaf Chess Club

EDCA AGM, London, 5th September 2004

Just 9 EDCA members attended the AGM so narrowly achieving the quorum required for the AGM to take place. For further details of the AGM, please see the minutes sent with this issue separately.

EDCA William Onion Lightning Championship, London, 5th September 2004

All those who attended the AGM also entered the EDCA Lightning Championship with 1 unexpected visitor, Lou Nardi. So we had a 10 player all-play-all Blitz tournament to find the winner of the annual EDCA William Onion Lightning Championship. It was decided to have an all-play-all format and it is here that I have to thank Peter Sharpe in devising a quick system where each player picked a random number from 1 to 10 and had to sit in the correct chair. Once everyone was sat at the boards we rotated round with one player staying in the same chair while he simply reversed colours for each round. This was a great time saver and enabled us to complete the tournament schedule on time and allow everyone to go home on time!

The tournament was held on the Saturday afternoon after the AGM and lunch. Blitz chess never fails to be fun and always produces a few shock results! The first shock was seeing Michael “Draw King” Freund as the early leader with 3/3. He was clearly not in the mood for draws! At the half-way point, Richard Dunn joined Michael as joint leader and looked to be in good form with his experience helping to wipe out most of his opposition. After a sluggish start which included the second shock result of the day - losing to David Whiston, Alasdair MacLeod managed to catch up with the leaders. Going into the final round Alasdair was in with a chance while Michael Freund succumbed to the pressure with his mood fading when he conceded some draws so allowing Richard Dunn to be sole leader with 7/8 going into the final round. So Richard was the hot favourite to take the EDCA Lightning title.

Alasdair won his final round game so taking his score to 7/9 – not enough I thought, surely even if Richard loses his last round he’d still be on the same score as me and was likely to win overall on tie-break. But James Kelberman was not in a charitable mood and produced the 3rd shock result of the day in defeating Richard in the last round. So there was a 2-way tie for 1st place and the need to apply the Sonneborn-Berger tie-break system arose. Fortunately the sharp mathematical mind of Ilan Dwek quickly worked out who the winner was – Richard: 27 1/4 points; Alasdair: 27 3/4 points – somehow I claimed my 2nd EDCA Lightning Championship by the narrowest of tie-break scores! It was dependent on how well the 2 different opponents who inflicted the single loss on both Richard and myself did in this tournament. David Whiston was 6th while James Kelberman finished 7th – how much more luckier could I get!?

Although the title was mine, Richard was very unlucky not to be champion.

Alasdair MacLeod

British Blitz Chess Championship, 4th April 2004

Remember reading about Phil Gardner’s flunctuating fortunes in his report of the 2003 British Blitz Chess Championship in the last Silent Rook? Well, I did mention after that report in an editorial note that Phil’s report was tempting me in taking part in the next one. Once I received the entry form for the 2004 event a few months later, I was still keen on playing!

Phil was again tempted in taking part and despite “advertising” the event in the EDCA Bulletin, no other EDCA member was interested in taking part which was disappointing……..well, in 2003, 1 EDCA member took part, in 2004 there were 2 EDCA members so in 2005, 3 members? 2006, 4 and so on (!)?…. Seriously, it would be nice to see an EDCA group taking part in chess events such as this.

This event was again held at BrunelUniversity – whilst it was no problem driving to Uxbridge which is just off the M25 just north/west-ish of London, the university area wasn’t easy to find due to the lack of road signs indicating where on earth it was! I wasted 10 minutes driving round in the rain looking until at last I saw a sign for Brunel University.

As soon as I had a little moan with Phil about the getting to the venue off my chest, we both duly got ready to face our first opponents. The format was the same as the year before but longer: 10 double rounds this time instead of 8. The number of entries and the strength of competitors in the field was considerably down on last year with about 70 entries including only 1 GM (Arkell) and 5 IM’s (the Zimbabwean Robert Gwaze, Richard Bates, Gavin Wall, Graeme Buckley and the famous eccentric Michael Basman who advocates opening with 1.g4! and weird black replies to white first moves). This was in contrast to last year where 114 players took part including 5 GMs (McShane, Arkell, Wells, Turner, McNab), 1 WGM (Houska), 5 IMs (Crouch among the rest) and 2 FM’s. Clearly the date clash with the St. Albans Congress hurt.

In the first round, like Phil’s debut against GM Arkell last year, I had a very testing first opponent: AP Smith graded 192! (grades were taken from Rapidplay ones rather than Slowplay!) As black in our 1st game, I unleashed the Sicilian Dragon only for Smith to ‘wimp‘ out with an off book move in the opening. He turned my dragon’s flames into ice and he cooly finished me off with ease in the endgame. That’s a good way to beat a much lower graded player I thought to
myself – play off book, get a better position, swap pieces then beat him in the endgame! I could not make much impression as white in our 2nd game which must have been forgettable as I can’t even remember what opening it was (!) ……Ahhh, now I remember, it was a Pirc which my opponent steered off book again and beat me in an easy endgame. Depsite losing 2-0, I enjoyed playing such a strong player where you can only learn from such encounters!

Phil enjoyed better fortunes than me in the 1st round winning his match 2-0…..but that was against a 50-graded player! Hmm, he’ll soon come crashing down to earth against a high-graded player I thought……he duly did so in the 2nd round losing 2-0 to Mark Lyell (184). It was my turn to face a lower graded player: a young boy, Luke Tomkins, (69) where applying AP Smith’s strategy helped me win 2-0 with ease but in the 2nd game I had to be careful in an opposite coloured bishop endgame 2 pawns up when he offered his bishop for nothing. Before touching my king to take it I noticed that if I took it, it would be stalemate – nice try kid but no thanks! This got me off the dreaded “zero” score and boosted my confidence.

So after 2 rounds Phil and I had 2/4 with similar flunctuating fortunes! In the 3rd round, Phil doubled his score to 4/6 with a nice 2-0 win over Peter Lord (112). I had a more testing opponent in Oliver Coddington (149) where after being outplayed in the first game I fought back in the opening of our 2nd game but somehow found myself defending a pawn down in a knight endgame after losing the thread of the game in the middlegame. There was a huge time scramble where we must have played about 100 moves altogether until I forced a draw. We both shared a little laugh over it then we saw our digital clocks - only 2 seconds left each! That little laugh became a couple of wide grins. So I wasn’t too downhearted with my 1.5-0.5 loss as my opponent had a respectable grade and was certainly a good young blitz player.

In the 4th round, I faced another strong opponent – Graham Wilkinson (162). Again I was outplayed in the 1st game but fought back in the 2nd game as black. I was winning until I was fast running out of time, made a couple of mistakes which cost me my advantage and then conceded the draw with a few seconds left on the clock. So another 1.5-0.5 loss for me but again I wasn’t losing any heart against a strong player who in the end won one of the U-170 grading prizes. Phil had a torrid time against a 97-graded player, Scott Kenyon who clearly was grossly under-graded as he beat a 131-graded player 2-0 in the previous round and later on beat a 133-graded player 2-0! Phil was left with a painful 1.5-0.5 loss.

In the 5th round, Phil could not bounce back with a pairing against a lower graded player – instead he was rewarded with a match against my 1st round opponent – AP Smith (192)! Phil found it as hard-going as me, also recording a 2-0 loss. I had a little more luck, being paired against Stuart Iles (104) – again I had a slow start, where I allowed my opponent to sacrifice down the h-file and found myself mated! Yet again I fought back as black and built up a nice position and was searching for a breakthrough – in a flash of inspiration I found it . I sacrificed my knight for 2 pawns and my queen invaded the area around his king then sacrificed a rook for a knight and forced mate with a nice pawn move to e3. Definitely one of my better games here! So a 1-1 draw for me. Having reached the half way stage, Phil and I were a little disappointed with our scores: 4/10 for me and 4.5/10 for Phil. Over lunch together we vowed to do better in the second half of the tournament! Scoring 50% or better was our final aim.

Fought hard we certainly did as I played more solidly by recording two more 1-1 draws against Colin Walker (110) and Joshua Hall (118) in the 6th and 7th rounds. Phil did the same in the 6th round against Valentin Gaudeau (100) but had a setback in the 7th round losing 2-0 to Phillip Makepeace (121) (in Phil’s case it wasn’t “Make War” (!)) . In the 8th and 9th rounds it was Phil’s turn to be solid, recording 1-1 draws against Nigel Johnson (133) and Yari Voropayev (116) but was left cursing his bad luck. A good example of that was in an easily winning position, he blundered by playing a illegal move with his queen which he only noticed just a nanosecond after pressing his clock! But it was too late – that’s the harsh reality of blitz chess.

In the meantime I had a timely boost with a 2-0 win over Rehan Ali Khan (100) in the 8th round and in the 9th & 10th rounds I held my ground against stronger players with two 1-1 draws; Sebastian Pozzo (144) and Jamie Hillman (161). I particularly liked my final game win against Hillman where somehow I won with rook and 3 pawns against my opponent’s rook and 2 pawns with just a few seconds left! I think I only just had warmed up by the end of the tournament! Phil finished with a respectable score of 9.5/20, (40th=), with a final round 2-0 win against Rahil Davda (100) while I was just half a point ahead thus achieving my aim of 50% with 10/20, (28th=) and was surprised to win one of the U-130 grading prizes.

IM Gavin Wall was the deserving overall winner with 16/20, receiving £400 and title of “British Blitz Chess Champion 2004”. Second place and £200 went to IM Robert Gwaze with 14.5/20. The most eye-catching performance was from Daniel Hall (137) who finished with 12/20 but was amongst the leaders earlier on! Like the 97-graded player this was another case of serious undergrading! But that’s Juniors for you, eh?

For full results of the event see: www.britishblitz.co.uk

I enjoyed the event immensely with a lot of tight games and only wished that more EDCA members could have taken part. Blitz chess never fails to be fun and it’s the same as the EDCA Lightning Championship with a similar format but with digital clocks! So let’s see as many of you as possible at the William Onion Lightning Championship and the 2005 British Blitz Chess Championship!

Alasdair MacLeod

EDCA members results;

Phil Gardner
1: Won 2-0 vs. Alain Gaudeau (50)
2: Lost 0-2 vs. Mark Lyell (184)
3: Won 2-0 vs. Peter Lord (112)
4: Lost 0.5-1.5 vs. Scott Kenyon (97)
5: Lost 0-2 vs. AP Smith (192)
6: Drew 1-1 vs. Valentin Gaudeau (100)
7: Lost 0-2 vs. Phillip Makepeace (121)
8: Drew 1-1 vs. Nigel Johnson (133)
9: Drew 1-1 vs Yari Varopayev (116)
10: Won 2-0 vs. Rahil Davda (100)

Alasdair MacLeod
1: Lost 0-2 vs. AP Smith (192)
2: Won 2-0 vs. Luke Tomkins (69)
3: Lost 0.5-1.5 vs. Oliver Coddington (149)
4: Lost 0.5-1.5 vs. Graham Wilkinson (162)
5: Drew 1-1 vs. Stuart Iles (104)
6: Drew 1-1 vs. Colin Walker (110)
7: Drew 1-1 vs. Joshua Hall (118)
8: Won 2-0 vs. Rehan Ali Khan (100)
9: Drew 1-1 vs. Sebastian Pozzo (144)
10: Drew 1-1 vs. Jamie Hillman (161)

ICSC World Championship and Congress (Malente, Germany), 23rd July-5th August 2004

There was a new record set for the EDCA when 3 of our members took part for different countries in the World Individual Championship in Malente in Germany.

England’s representative Phillip Gardner finished 18th out of 28 with a 50% score, 5.5/11 a very solid performance which could well have been a lot higher if just a couple of his draws were turned into full points!

The EDCA are once again indebted to the financial support given by the “Friends of Chess” and individual EDCA members’ donations which enabled Phillip to concentrate on his chess without paying anything out of his own pocket.

EDCA members David Guy (Wales) came 19th with 5/11 and Ian Carmichael (Scotland) came 27th with 2.5/11.

In the World Open, Richard Dunn and Chris Kreuzer carried the England flag – Richard started off brightly and even led the field for some of the tournament but slipped at the end to come 4th overall out of 31 players. Chris had an up and down tournament and finished a creditable 9th. EDCA member, Robert Burnett (Scotland) came 17th.

1st Veselin Georgiev (Bulgaria) 9/11
2nd Duilio Collutiis (Italy) 9/11
3rd Sergei Salov (Russia) 7/11

Georgiev was the deserving World Champion, successfully defending his title won 4 years ago in Poland. He beat both Collutiis and Salov in their individual games.

Olga Gerasimova (Russia) turned in a terrific performance demolishing the rest of the field with 10.5/11 to become World Champion.

Only 8 players participated in the first World Junior Championship – clearly it needs to time to establish itself alongside the other competitions.

Sirojiddin Zaynidinov (Uzbekistan) became the first World Junior Champion with 6/7.

More info. including photos and games can be found in www.dg-sv.de

ICSC Congress

I flew to Germany just for the weekend to represent the EDCA as delegate in the ICSC Congress.

Here’s a brief report;

*Subscription fee increased to 130 euros per annum for the EDCA (30% increase)
The ICSC proposed this motion, changing the system to one that no longer has a strong link with the size of the national deaf chess organisation. The motion was passed despite my objections. All delegates voted for it with the exception of England, Scotland and Holland (I don't think there was anyone else voting against). I wasn’t surprised the "poorer" countries voted for it but some other Western European countries voted for it as well: Germany, Italy, Switzerland. Now that clearly says it all – you can see that their own deaf chess organisation is a lot bigger than Scotland, England and Holland. They obviously have plenty of members and clubs to help pay the 130 euros proposed! e.g 7 clubs competed in the German Deaf Chess Club Championship; 67 men and women competed in Russian Deaf Chess Championship. Contrast this with 2 clubs competed in the EDCA Club Championship and 17 members in our National Championship!

*Successful motion: Change of name from “World Team Deaf Chess Championship” to “Deaf Chess Olympiad”. UPDATE: Italy as organisers for the next one in 2006 have rejected this so may be applicable as from 2010.

*Successful motion: Deaf/blind to have their own event with other events at World Individual Championship.

*Slovakia won the secret ballot to host the Europa Cup 2005 (against Czech. Rep). It will be held in Piestany near Bratislava. Provisional start date is in June.

*The 2006 World Deaf Team Championship will be held in Bozen nr. Verona/Venice/Milan i.e. Northern Italy.

*The 2007 Europa Cup will be held in Orebro, Sweden.

*The 2008 World Individual will be held in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Alasdair MacLeod

Articles and reports for 2003

31st EDCA Congress, 8th-9th November 2003

My first memory of the Sheffield EDCA Congress 2003 was on Friday when I arrived at Sheffield station, I had to walk uphill to my hotel, just round the corner from Sheffield Deaf Club with a huge bag with some EDCA material for the weekend. By contrast, on the Sunday after the prize-giving finished, I was kindly given a lift from Peter O’Connell to the station – luckily I caught my train with seconds to spare! On the train home I thought to myself – that summed up the weekend - hard work leading up to the start of the Congress with all the organising involved. But once the weekend was over, it was worth the effort seeing how much everyone enjoyed the weekend and were appreciative of the EDCA Executive’s efforts in making the weekend run smoothly as possible - with the helpful assistance from our Sheffield friends.

So how did the weekend go? Read on…………….

On the Friday evening a few LDCC members popped into the Deaf Club to sample the atmosphere of seeing Sheffield Deaf Chess Club play a League match. I was thinking to myself, hang on a minute, that’s not fair, the Sheffield lads are getting extra practice for the Congress the next day while us London lads were having a few beers (!) But of course, some of the Sheffield team had a nice pint of bitter or Guinness positioned handily next to their chessboards! One LDCC player, Barry David offered to play for Sheffield but was politely turned down!

The tournament controller responsibility was shared between myself, Ilan Dwek and James Kelberman. Looking at both the Premier and Major entries, the first tough decision was what to do with the total odd number of participants as we also had the unexpected pleasure of 2 arrivals on the day who we welcomed with open arms – Frank Wood from Liverpool whose dedication to EDCA is renowned and had only just celebrated his 80th birthday a few months earlier! There was also Peter O’Connell from Leeds – brilliant, I thought, the more participants the better!

It was a good mixture of participants – in addition to Peter O’Connell and Frank Wood there was also John Wassell and Chris Williamson from Birmingham. A nice addition to the London and Sheffield contingents! Of course, we mustn’t forget our Scottish friends, Ian Carmichael and Robert Burnett! Just before the start of the Congress, we decided to turn the Congress into an Open tournament.

The Open format meant that for the 1st round, Premier players were paired against Major players so there were no surprises…..except Richard Weinbaum managing a draw against the Scottish champion Ian Carmichael!

The 2nd round saw a few Premier players paired against each other – it looked like very bruising battles here, a good example was my blunder after some good opening play by Ian Carmichael and myself! But no complaints, Ian played very well! Barry David beat Ilan Dwek and what I thought was one of the best games of the weekend – James Kelberman against Robert Burnett. There was some excellent play by James in the opening which was countered by Robert’s famous resourceful defence and even counterattacked James! It was a great shame that James blundered into a mate when it was looking equal. The shock of the 2nd round was seeing Peter O’Connell beat former Premier player Chris Williamson!

Leaders after 2 rounds: Burnett, David 2/2, Carmichael 1.5/2

The 3rd round saw some very cagey play on the top 2 boards – Burnett-David and Freund-Sharpe saw quickish draws. Carmichael joined the leaders with a win against Wassell. Ilan Dwek, James Kelberman and myself bounced back into contention with wins against Frank Wood, Richard Weinbaum and David Whiston respectively. Peter Sharpe maintained his solid form to join them and a surprise name joined in them as well, pressuring the leaders – Peter O’Connell, who scored his 2nd win in a row against Des Masterson.

Leaders after 3 rounds: Burnett, David, Carmichael 2.5/3, Dwek, MacLeod, Kelberman, O’Connell 2/3

In the 4th round, on board 1 David took no risks and played solidly against Carmichael and a draw was agreed. Dwek – Kelberman was a very interesting game which was agreed drawn but James understandably did not want to risk continuing in an unbalanced endgame although Fritz thought James had a slight advantage – but us humans aren’t computers! Peter Sharpe and myself increased our confidence and joined the leaders with nice wins against O’Connell and Burnett respectively.

Leaders after 4 rounds: David, Carmichael, Sharpe, MacLeod 3/4

As you can see, coming into the 5th and final round, it was very close with 4 joint leaders – myself, Ian Carmichael, Peter Sharpe and Barry David. But we all knew one thing: Barry had the slight advantage of having a better tie-break. The pairings looked good for David and Sharpe – both had white against MacLeod and Carmichael. No prizes for guessing who got a confidence boost there! But chess is a funny game, anything could happen!

After the opening, I was clearly worse having taken a gamble in a new opening as I wanted the full point not a half point! Unfortunately for me David knows the c3 Sicilian backwards and had analysed Gardner-Krasnov from Kiev 2003 which had some similarities in the opening! My only hope was for David to blunder away his clear advantage while on my left Carmichael looked like he was struggling positionally against Sharpe’s powerful opening attack. Soon Sharpe was triumphant and so all eyes was on David-MacLeod – I knew was everyone was thinking “Barry David will be EDCA Champion if he controls his nerves and doesn’t blunder!”. But David stayed cool enough and when he eventually played his final move, I immediately congratulated him on becoming EDCA Champion, shook his hand and then stopped the clock! Then everyone was able to join in the congratulations and back-slapping!

So Barry David successfully defended his EDCA Premier title and the Cedric White trophy after his win in Glasgow 2002. Peter Sharpe was 2nd and Ilan Dwek beat Robert Burnett in a very impressive rook and pawn endgame to take 3rd place. The Major tournament was dominated by the most experienced Sheffield players, David Whiston and Mick Simmons on 3/5 but Whiston emerged triumphant on tie-break and so was handed the John Brown trophy.

Looking back, it was a successful congress with 17 entries (1 up on Luton 2001 - could well have over 20 entries if the usual "definites" could play!). Alongside the prize-giving, there was a raffle of a signed copy of Garry Kasparov's new book which raised a nice sum for the EDCA. I had to queue to get 2 copies of that book at the Chess & Bridge shop (one copy for myself of course!!). Scarily, I was near the door (about 50 people were already inside the shop!) when Kasparov arrived and posed for photos outside the shop with Malcolm Pein, IM and owner of the shop! He was only 2 feet away from me! Then when I finally got to the front of the queue (after nearly an hour’s wait!) I passed my 2 copies of his book for him to sign, shook his hand, said “Thank you” then walked out of the shop via a side entrance. It was worth the wait! Anyway, I’m digressing here (!)………

The next EDCA Congress will be from 30th-31st October 2004 in Romford. The more EDCA members there the better in making it an EDCA Congress to remember! Will Barry David be able to make it a hat-trick of titles? Only one way to find out for yourself at first hand – join in the fun!

Looking back on the Sheffield weekend, there were 2 main things that I learned from the experience;

1. Good teamwork is VITAL in making the Congress a successful.weekend.
2. NEVER arrange a holiday to Las Vegas the day after a Congress! (Was home at 11pm on Sunday then was up at 4am the next day for my flight! To say that I was stuffed when I arrived in Las Vegas is an understatement (!)) In my defence, the dates for Las Vegas were arranged before the Sheffield dates were announced (!)

Finally, I ought to thank my EDCA Executive colleagues for their support and of course our Sheffield friends in making our job easier in arranging refreshments and the venue facilities – special thanks there should go to Ian Sheldon, our chef for the weekend! Last but not least, many thanks to all those who competed during the weekend – remember it’s the participation that counts not winning!

Alasdair MacLeod

A.G.M./William Onion Lightning tournament, Luton, 8th February 2003

Only 10 E.D.C.A. members turned up despite having the carrot of the Lightning tournament dangled in front of you all! This was disappointing especially when it was Phillip Gardner and Michael Freund’s final day in their long stint as Secretary and Treasurer of the EDCA. I thought that the location was sensible given that most EDCA members came from either Sheffield or London. I guess the date wasn’t suitable for most of you despite it being announced well in advance or is it that the mere mention of 3 little letters: A, G and M that scares you off?

On the Saturday morning we held the Annual EDCA AGM which was quite a placid affair without the fireworks of the previous AGM!

EDCA officials
Chairman: James Kelberman (re-elected)
Secretary: Alasdair MacLeod (new)
Treasurer: Ilan Dwek (new)
Executive officer: Mick Simmons (new)

The long service (over 40 years' combined!) of both our old Secretary, Phillip Gardner and old Treasurer, Michael Freund was commended. Again, we thank them for their hard work towards deaf chess in England. Fear not, they both haven't 'retired' just yet - Phil is the new I.C.S.C. Secretary whilst Mike is its Treasurer. At the time of writing they are both settling into their jobs with their sleeves rolled up and taking on the enormous challenge before them. Good luck guys from the EDCA!

The most important ones to take note of:
1. It was agreed that "No second club teams should be allowed to take part in the E.D.C.A. Club Championships". i.e. no more South Yorks. "A" & "B" and or London "A" & "B". Only one team each for SDCC & LDCC, I’m afraid!
2. "A person outside the E.D.C.A. Executive should be appointed to collate results in E.D.C.A. events and send to the B.C.F. grader once a year before May". As yet no volunteer has come forward for this job – so it looks like I will have to send the results of the EDCA Chess Congress to the BCF grader!

Many thanks to our retiring Secretary for his time and efforts in organising the AGM papers.

William Onion Lightning tournament

As for the Lightning event, it was certainly livelier than the AGM! It was again well organised by Phillip Gardner with assistance from Michael Freund’s SwissPerfect software on his laptop for the speedy pairings for each round! It was a double round all-play-all so we all played each other twice with colours reversed.

David Guy sped into the early lead hotly pursued by Phillip Gardner/Richard Dunn and he never looked back with his Welsh Dragon fire too hot for the rest of us. At the end David deservedly won the tournament with his usual brand of attacking chess - well done David! In both our individual games, we played the Sicilian Dragon where I was thoroughly outplayed with both colours by David! (Thanks for the free 10 minute coaching there on the Dragon, David (!)). Lots of laughs were had and there the usual recipe of blunders was common – that’s all part of the fun of blitz chess though!

Phillip Gardner finished runner-up with Richard Dunn 3rd. As reigning champion, I could not get myself into contention towards the end despite a strong finish and came 4th. But David was a worthy winner of the William Onion Lightning shield and I take my hat off to him.

Alasdair MacLeod

Captain’s Report on Europa Cup at Kiev 2003.

This was my 3rd time as captain for the Europa Cup for Deaf Chess Clubs in Kiev. The first was in Budapest 1999 and the second was in Lisbon 2001.

Firstly I want to look back at the start in Wakefield for the EDCA Club Team Championship. My first team selection was: P Gardner, C Kreuzer, R Dunn , A MacLeod and myself. But R Dunn didn’t want to play in the Europa Cup at Kiev so I Dwek replaced him. Then P Gardner was unavailable for LDCC in the Club Team Championships which left four of us. I was very proud for our London team in winning overall, beating London ‘B’ and South Yorkshire. Very well done and brilliantly controlled.

After Christmas there was the sad news that Chris Kreuzer could not join us for Kiev because of work reasons in taking the necessary time off what with his plans to visit Australia. So M Freund replaced him as an ‘emergency’ reserve. We were all disappointed for Chris’ unavailability. But we all remained positive in that we can do well in Kiev. For our chess preparation, we had several London League, Congress, Blitz and Club Championship games. I am pleased all players did their best with as many games as possible under their belt but it wasn’t really enough before going off to Kiev.

At the airport we felt good team spirit with the confidence to aim for top of the table. We were all thinking of who would be our first round opponents - most of us hoped for St. Petersburg. We arrived after 9pm and missed the draw for the first round but Mike was there on behalf of LDCC as he had arrived earlier after a flight to Warsaw and then a train to Kiev. He made the draw for London - we were correct, it was against St Petersburg. We were very excited and still positive. I decided on the board order: Board 1: P Gardner, 2: B David, 3: A MacLeod, 4: I Dwek and 5: M Freund.

1st Round.v St Peterburg ( Russia ) Lost 1 - 3

London team was: 1. PG 2. BD 3. AM 4. ID . We all performed very well. First to lose was B David then I Dwek lost then P Gardner lost then grandmaster Alasdair won in the blitz finish. He was the second person to beat Russia. First was Simon Andersson at Budapest. Congratulations to Alasdair.

2nd Round v Trieste ( Italy ) Won 2.5 - 1.5

Same team as before and also for the rest of the tournament! I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get more but 2.5 points was important and also no-one lost. Ilan played very well against the strong ELO-rated Goran Cehic. He should have been on no 1 board!

3rd Round v Rikis ( Lithuania ) Drew 2 - 2

Phil gave a great performance, Alasdair and Ilan did well with draws - stable and solid. Barry should have found the killer moves and wiped out his opponent! Sorry ! I am pleased that all players accepted my error.

4th Round v Orebro ( Sweden ) Drew 2 - 2

It was a draw for the 2nd time in a row. All played well with Phil again performing well with his 2nd win. Alasdair and Ilan drew: remaining solid and unbeaten in this match. Barry lost, poor performance , I should have won again! I am glad that Phil, Alasdair and Ilan kept positive with their solid chess. It is important for the team.

5th Round v Hlohovec ( Slovakia ) Drew 2 - 2

Drew for the 3rd time in a row! Phil had a very exciting game and it looked possible for him to win 3 in a row but had a well fought draw. Barry won in 13 moves, mate and it was his first win!! Very easy. Alasdair drew, it was a poor performance but did well to get back on equal terms after a poor opening. Ilan lost to a strong opponent - it looked like that their no 4 . should be their no 2 !!! I was annoyed by our team’s poor performance.

6th Round v St Gallen ( Switzerland ) Won 3 - 1

Great 3 - 1 win , wonderful 3 points, felt like an extra bonus. Phil drew a tight game and did well. Barry was two pawns up but could only draw because of time trouble and the presence of opposite coloured bishops - but no excuse! Alasdair and Ilan: very brilliant perfomance with their wins. I was very pleased and they deserved it, especially for Ilan as it was his 1st win at last!

7th Round v Sofia ( Bulgaria ) Drew 2 - 2

Sofia expected to beat us 4 - 0 . But we were very confident that we could beat Sofia! It was one of the most thrilling and fabulous matches. It ended a 2 - 2 draw but there was one time when it looked like a 3.5 - 0.5 win for us! First, Barry lost with some wasted chances, he should have found the killer moves and finish his game but went wrong. I felt it was a big giveaway. 0 -1 to Sofia. Then Phil, Alasdair and Ilan kept control very well with the clock ticking away. With less than 5 minutes left both Alasdair and Ilan won their games in blitz finishes. Unbelievable! Well done to both of them. Phil played very well against the World Champion Georgiev but lost. It was our best match. A shame it wasn’t 3.5 - 0.5.

London: Won 2 Draw 4 Lost 1

             Played     Won      Draw      Lost
Phil            7           3           2           2
Barry         7           1            2          4
Alasdair     7           3           4          0
Ilan           7            2           3          2

Alasdair was undefeated. First LDCC undefeated players were Phil and Simon Andersson at Budapest 1999 then Richard Dunn in Lisbon 2001.

Overall, I thanked all the players for their great attitude and their respect towards me as captain . Our play was fantastic. Confidence is a big factor obviously but we played with massive confidence. I was delighted that our London team came 7th with total 14.5 points - very good, only 4 points behind the winners, Kiev on 18.5 points. At Budapest were 15.5 points and at Lisbon 13.5 points for 5 games.

I must thank M Freund for his wonderful laptop which helped us prepare for our opponents and it felt like an extra bonus.

For the next Europa Cup in 2005, London can go for top because the players have improved and can only get better.

Thank you all very much for keeping the London flag flying high.

Barry David ( Captain )

Guy-Gardner II, London, 13-14th September 2003

This boxing style rematch was set up following their drawn first match in Letchworth back in February to try and find the England Deaf representative for the World Individual Championship in Hamburg, 2004.

I was the match controller and my first task was simply to ensure that this match will never be drawn! So I came up with the idea of using the rules used in FIDE World Championship Knockout mini-matches:

• 2 slowplay games, 40 moves in 2 hours then 15 mins quickplay finish.

If still drawn then;

• 2 rapidplay games, 30 mins for all moves

If still drawn then;

• 2 quickplay games, 15 mins for all moves

If still drawn then;

• 2 blitz games, 5 mins each.

and then finally if it was still drawn then a sudden death blitz shootout game with colours decided on a toss of a coin with White having 5 mins, Black 4 mins BUT White has to win to go through.

All this had to be arranged inside a whole weekend. Thanks to the use of London Deaf Chess Club’ premises, I was able to make the necessary arrangements for the weekend of 13th/14th September.

David won the toss and chose white in the first slow-play game. In a Sicilian Najdorf game, Phil was slightly better out of the opening after a slip by David allowed Phil to win a pawn and later 2 threatening central passed pawns but David's eye for tactics made them disappear and he defended well to turn it into a drawn rook and pawn endgame by the 40 move time control (see Game 1 score).

In the 2nd game, Phil as white, chose c3 to counter David's Sicilian defence..Out of the opening, Phil was slightly better, threatening to win a pawn but more importantly, had an attack ...however, David again conjured up another defence which, helped by Phil's slight inaccuracies in missing a couple of possible chances to gain the full point, fizzled out to an agreed draw after 28 moves.

So this necessitated the first of the play-off rapidplay (30 min each) matches. Phil won the toss and chose white. David surprised Phil when he employed the Scandinavian (or Centre Counter) defence. Unfortunately for David this turned out badly as he seemed to play too fast in the opening and blundered horribly when he lost a whole bishop for a mere pawn. Phil's smooth technique did the rest of the damage as he cruised to victory with a minute and half on the clock left......Technically David lost on time but he was dead lost anyway. 1-0 to Phil.

2nd game: David as white again faced the Najdorf and he needed to win this game to stay in contention. He seemed to have a promising position out of the opening when he took his time longer, but he again blundered horribly when he missed Phil's reply to his combination. Psychologically that was damaging as instead of choosing the best defence he chose to sacrifice his queen for bishop and an attack. But that didn't last long as Phil poured a bucket of water over the Welsh dragon's flames.

So Phil deservedly won the match 3-1 and will be the EDCA's rep. in Hamburg. We all wish you the best of luck in your preparations Phil!

The match was sometimes as lonely as David Blaine in his box (Phil even paid him a little visit earlier on the Saturday and I later found out that by co-incidence Blaine played a game of giant outdoor chess with someone down below using ‘gestures’ at around the same time on the Sunday!). But there were a couple of visitors during the weekend – Ilan Dwek and his son who watched some of the action and had a go at some outdoor chess….on the balcony (well, it was a very hot weekend!)…….I also cannot forget to include Michael Freund who is one of the most dedicated EDCA members for sure! Well, he did come over on the Sunday morning – for an hour where even helped me set up the equipment and made a speech as LDCC Chairman but due to an afternoon commitment, he swiftly disappeared off into the North London sunset! Hats off to him everyone!

All in all, it was a smooth match, no problems and the players had food and drink provided by me throughout the match. It was a pleasure to control this match which gave me some experience but the real test will be at Sheffield for November’s EDCA Congress!

Alasdair MacLeod

British Blitz Chess Championship, 23rd March 2003

Out of curiosity, I decided to enter the British Lightning Championships at BrunelUniversity, Uxbridge. Perhaps the choice of date was not appropriate - it was a beautiful sunny Sunday, and the Aussies were thrashing the sorry Indians at the one day World Cup cricket game, breaking several records in the process. Still, I was looking forward to what would await me, and I was looking forward to the occasion. Memories of Brunel University flooded back for the wrong reasons - it was about 20 years ago that the London Deaf Chess Club members turned up for a British Championship match only to discover that they were the only ones to show up!

On arrival, I found myself in a field of 114 players that included 5 GMs (McShane, Arkell, Wells, Turner, McNab), 1 WGM (Houska), 5 IMs (Crouch among the rest), 2 FMs. Seventy seven boards - wow. Yet in the first round I found myself paired on Board 3 - against GM Keith Arkell, graded 241! I was to play two games with him, and would begin with Black. The thought of playing a GM sure did bring plenty of butterflies to the stomach but incredibly I was able to produce some sparkling chess in a Q-pawn set up. I thought I was getting the better of him, but I had a more formidable opponent, the darned digital clock! Two clocks actually, and I could not understand how my clock was going "faster" than his! I had twelve seconds left and was ready to deliver mate in three. And whilst ignoring his innocent queen move, I confidently made my first check on his exposed king but the truth dawned to me that Arkell had got there first - I found myself checkmated! Damn! But I was proud of my heroic efforts, and I sensed a sigh of relief from my opponent. On to the second game, I knew he would play the Caro Kann so decided to give it a try. But it didn't last very long, I allowed to leave a bishop en-prise and rather than insulting his intelligence by playing on till the very end, I resigned. No points so far...

The next round saw me spiral downwards to the bottom boards. I was paired with a 99-graded player, Mr. Constable. I played unconvincingly yet with extreme caution, desperate not to step on a banana skin. With the White pieces, I employed the Morra Gambit yet allowed myself to wade into unchartered waters, and just delivered mate with seconds to spare. I managed to bring my overall score to 50% with another win in a Closed Sicilian set-up.

The third round found me playing a tiny Chinese player with just a two letter surname, Wu but with a whopping grade of 180! I got the better of his Trompovsky and was outplaying him until I delivered an illegal move - I had a whole point brutally snatched under my nose. And whilst I was reeling with shock, I allowed this pint sized player to smash my favourite Morra gambit opening! Thank goodness, we had a one-hour lunch break, I had needed time to recover to my senses! Only two points out of six so far....

I somehow felt rather humiliated being paired with a 40-graded girl laded with a much longer name: Anandajeyarajah. Take away the last ten letters, and you have a familiar name - Anand! I wasn't sure whether she was a relative of the famous Viswanathan, but certainly she gave me the hardest round of all. It was a French Advanced set-up and I was feeling drained of energy for I had desperately searched in vain for a breakthrough. Until she had incorrectly castled queenside. I confronted her gently, asking to make a correct move. But she couldn't understand what I was saying in my low voice so the arbiter was called over. I was dumbfounded that I was awarded the full point because she had castled wrong! Yet at the same time relieved not to be spared an egg on my face! I managed to win the next game to make it four out of eight. Then came another confusing one-hour lunch break! No complaints there - this enabled me to watch some of the fascinating World Cup cricket final.

Feeling somewhat inspired, I outplayed my next opponent, G. Lock (174) in our two games yet frustratingly allowed him to escape with points shared. This was down to the slow co-ordination between my brain and my right arm. I went over to watch the elite players demonstrate the perfect art of blitz chess - I was drooling at the 100 mph flying hand movements between Luke McShane and Craig Hanley! Hmm..time for a change of chess technique I had thought, and perhaps I would start playing like the poker faced Alasdair MacLeod...

Now for the stiff test - against Davey, graded 200. I simply blew him off the board! I was indeed still on Cloud Nine when we played our second game and was destroying him once again until I walked into a bottomless pit on one of those clouds. I couldn't believe I had lost! I was devastated to allow myself slip up again, and remained on the cursed 50 per cent. The next two rounds were nothing to write home about, I played erratically against 160 and 169 rated opponents, only managing a half point in the process. Out of sixteen games, I had only recorded six and a half points, finishing well down the order. But jolly good fun. And it would be nice to bring along some EDCA friends next time to make it a more enjoyable affair.

I went over to the hard working organiser to praise him for his efforts and warmly shook his hand. And before parting, I asked him who had won the £400 first prize. He looked rather sheepish with his reply, uttering "My son". At first I wasn't sure who he had meant until my senses came round – I hadn't realised the organiser was Luke McShane's father! A silly question perhaps?

I must face the harsh facts - I'm not really cut out to be a blitz player. Perhaps I should concentrate more on the slower game...

Phil Gardner

Articles and reports for 2002

Scottish Chess and Draughts Association of the Deaf, 100th Anniversary Congress, Glasgow, 29th - 31st March 2002

The English Deaf Chess Association was invited by their Scottish counterparts, the Scottish Chess and Draughts Association of the Deaf (SCDAD), to help them celebrate their 100th Anniversary – the oldest organisation of its kind in the world! The EDCA decided to combine their annual congress with this special weekend.

The weekend was also blessed by the presence of Anthony J. Boyce, the President and G. Westerveld, the Secretary of the International Committee of Silent Chess to witness the SCDAD’s 100th Anniversary celebratory event.

The event started on the Good Friday, with international chess matches between England ‘A’/’B’ and Scotland ‘A’/’B’ and also for the first time the international Deaf draughts team match again between Scotland and England.

For the W.R.Leitch Trophy, the English 'A' team triumphed 7-3 over the two games the Scottish 'A' team and for the Ada Fenwick trophy the English 'B' team narrowly defeated the Scottish 'B' team 5½ -4½. See the full results below:

Scotland ‘A’ 2½ - 2½ England ‘A’
1. Ian Carmichael 1 – 0 Ilan Dwek
2. Robert Burnett 1 - 0 Peter Sharpe
3. William Greig 0 - 1 Richard Dunn
4. Eddie McRobbie ½ - ½ Chris Kreuzer
5. Gordon Bennie 0 - 1 Alasdair MacLeod

Scotland ‘B’ 1½ - 3½ England ‘B’
1. John Christie 0 - 1 Albert Kelberman
2. Frank Duffy 0 - 1 Stephen Gibson
3. John Dearie 1 - 0 Desmond Masterson
4. Andrew McLean 0 - 1 Frank Wood
5. David Whiston ½ - ½ Hubert Carrick

Scotland ‘A’ ½ - 4½ England ‘A’
1. Ian Carmichael ½ - ½ Richard Dunn
2. Robert Burnett 0 - 1 Chris Kreuzer
3. William Greig 0 - 1 Peter Sharpe
4. Eddie McRobbie 0 - 1 Alasdair MacLeod
5. Gordon Bennie 0 - 1 Ilan Dwek

Scotland ‘B’ 3 - 2 England ‘B’
1. John Christie ½ - ½ Stephen Gibson
2. Frank Duffy 0 - 1 Albert Kelberman
3. John Dearie ½ - ½ Frank Wood
4. Andrew McLean 1 - 0 Hubert Carrick
5. David Whiston 1 - 0 Desmond Masterson

Total Scotland ‘A’ 3 - 7 England ‘A’
Total Scotland ‘B’ 4½ - 5½ England ‘B’

However, the Scottish draughts team (four player team) won the match but very closely 16½ - 15½ (each player to play each opponent over the two games). See the results below :

              England           Albert            Barry         Phillip          Tony Boyce &
Scotland                     Kelberman        David         Gardner        Michael Freund
1. Edward Mitchell           1 – 1             2 – 0          1½ - ½                2 - 0
2. Michael MacMahon      2 – 0             2 – 0          2 – 0                 2 – 0
3. Alex Wilson                 0 – 2            0 – 2          0 – 2                  1 - 1
4. Reggie Hill                  0 – 2             0 - 2           1 – 1                  0 - 2

Total score 16½ - 15½ to Scotland.

In the evening, there were talks given first by Phillip Gardner on the Scottish Deaf draughts history and the second by Tony Boyce on George D. Campbell's biography with a demonstration of Campbell's best games. Then a quiz was organised by Catherine Carmichael, the wife of Ian for all the players who were split into several teams. This was very enjoyable – especially for the winning team led by Albert Kelberman who basked in the glory with his arms aloft – he took it more seriously than the chess!

Over the next two days, Saturday and Sunday there was a combined Scottish and English Chess Congress with the three different individual sections - Premier, Major and Minor. Each section had a very healthy number of entrants which contributed to the fierce competitiveness of the occasion.

The controllers were Tony Boyce for the Premier and the Major sections and Graham McLellan for the Minor section.

After many bruising chess battles, the results were as follows;

Premier (5 rounds)

1. Barry David 3½
2. Robert Burnett 3½
3. Chris Kreuzer 3
4. Phillip Gardner 3
5. Richard Dunn 3
6. Michael Freund 2½
7. Ilan Dwek 2½
8. James Kelberman 2½
9. Alasdair MacLeod 2
10. Stephen Gibson 2
11. Ian Carmichael 1½
12. Peter Sharpe 1

Many congratulations to Barry David, the new English Deaf Chess Champion!

Major (5 rounds)

1. Albert Kelberman 4
2. John Wassell 4
3. Eddie McRobbie 3½
4. Gordon Bennie 3½
5. John Christie 3½
6. William Greig 2½
7. Frank Duffy 2½
8. Mick Simmons 2½
9. Gerrard Westerveld 2½
10.Frank Wood 2½
11.Edward Mitchel 2
12.David Whiston 2
13.John Dearie 1½
14.Jack Giffen 1½
15.Desmond Masterson 1½
16.Andrew McLean ½

Minor (5 rounds)

1. James Bunyan 3½
2. Hubert Carrick 3½
3. Billy Rogers 3½
4. Len Mellis 3
5. Brian Fraser 3
6. Michael MacMahon 3
7. Colin Keetley 2½
8. Brian McLeary 1
9. Charlie Molloy 1
10.Jack Smith 1