Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chesswith; THE KNIGHT

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Chesswith; THE KNIGHT

Article excerpt

A MEASURE of a player's strength is their grade. The average player has a grade of 100. Beginners may have a grade of 20. Strong First Division players may be graded 150+ Very strong players 175+. Top players in the First Division players 200+. The greater the grading gap, the more likely the higher graded player will win.

How then do you organise a cup competition for all of these players? One option would be to make the higher graded player play with a reduced set of pieces. This can work but has the unsatisfactory element that it doesn't feel like a proper game of chess. The current Knockout Cup competition for teams from the Northumbria League initially had 24 teams of four players representing the different clubs. The Handicap system employed enables all of the games to be played with a full set of pieces but depending on the grading gap between two teams drawn to play each other, the weaker team gets a start. In the last round, Forest Hall B played against South Shields. The Forest Hall team had significantly higher graded players so had to give South Shields 3.5 points start. In each game, a winner gets one point, the loser zero points, and if the game is drawn, both players get 0.5 points. Consequently,

it required only one of the South Shields players to draw his/her game and South Shields would win the match.

What happened in the match? Stuart Skelsey (FH) won a good game against Jay Steel (SS). Jay played well but Stuart had the better technique. South Shields 3.5-Forest Hall 1. Then Mike Smith (FH) won his game against Stan Johnson (SS). They have played each other many times and the games have usually been very close, this was no exception. SS 3.5-FH 2. Raj Mohindra was making his debut for Forest Hall and also had a tight match v Tim Wilton-Davis. Again good technique prevailed. SS 3.5- FH3 . So it all came down to the last game. Eddie Czestochowski (SS) v Chris Goodall (FH). …

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