Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chesswith

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chesswith

Article excerpt

Byline: THE KNIGHT

THE 52nd Northumbria Chess Congress took place at the Parks Leisure Centre, North Shields, last weekend. This is an excellent venue which has comfortably staged this event over the past few years.This year an unexpected and unprecedented problem emerged . Too many people turned up to play!! Obviously all of the players who had pre-booked by sending in entry forms were given priority and the earliest arrivals of the last minute potential entrants were accommodated. But there came a point when the organisers simply had to say "Sorry we have no room left". to a good number of aspiring competitors. This could not have been anticipated and the organisers did a brilliant job in creating the opportunity for a good number of the extras to take part. And happily the event was able to start on time and run to schedule. The more than usually crowded conditions were cheerfully accepted by all involved and there was a wonderful atmosphere throughout all of the three days.

A chess congress has an amazing atmosphere possibly not replicated by any other event. Firstly it is remarkably quiet. Now there is not even the ticking of clocks which used to be clearly heard. The modern digital clocks are silent. At the start of each round there is a quiet, slightly tense feeling, as the controller gives out the last minute instructions ending with "Black please start White's clock." Then there is the hum of whispered niceties as players shake hands and wish opponents. "Good luck"," Have a good game", or the like. This is swiftly followed by the sound of about 100+ pieces being picked up and moved forward. Mostly these will be Pawn to squares e4 or d4. Also a lesser number of Knights to f3. And a few slightly eccentric, free spirited characters who will try the unusual Pawn to b4 or the rarer Pawn to a3. The replies will usually be fairly quickly played. As will the next few moves but soon people will be in uncharted territory demanding careful thought and the already low noise level decreases further. …

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