PANDEMIC WAS THE SPUR

t is almost exactly 40 years since Lichfield secretary David Short wrote a book about the amazing chess achievements of his young son Nigel.

Entitled “Chess Prodigy” it outlined his progress as far winning the TV Master Game title at 13 but despite being a talented and often amusing columnist who never shied away from controversy, it is only now that he has got round to writing a chess book.

It was the pandemic that eventually prodded Nigel into researching and writing his book “Winning”, which makes an unusual contribution to chess literature. Nigel traces his successful path through eight major tournaments including comments and information about many of his famous opponents.

Chess has taken Nigel to an astonishing 129 countries but for the last 16 months he has been virtually housebound in Athens and unable to accept playing invitations and commentating roles and his commitments as vice president of FIDE. Vaccinated and liberated at last he is in Sochi, Russia, commentating on the chess World Cup.

Chairman retires

Peter Collins has stepped down after an incredible stint of 37 years as captain of Lichfield Chess Club’s first team playing in the Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Derby Chess Leagues. Peter has also played with some credit in numerous English Chess Federation’s annual veteran’s championship.

At the club’s annual meeting this month, held outdoors, because of Covid restrictions, in the garden of fixture secretary Brian Homewood, Peter also resigned as Chairman and President of the club, positions he has held throughout the decade.

He is succeeded by David Fone,secretary of the Wolverhampton Chess League, who becomes chairman for a second time. The positions of chairman and president have become undistinguishable in recent years and as a result the meeting decided to discontinue the President title.

(posted on 12th june 2021)

Big Decisions at August meeting

Three big decisions need to be taken at a Special meeting which will be called in August.

  1. A proposal from the treasurer to split the subscription with the English Chess Federation fee for playing league chess becoming the responsibility of the individual rather than the club. If passed, the club scubscription will cover hire of premises, league admission fees, engraving of traophies, web site fee, tea/coffee/soft drink, secretarial expenses, etc.

2. A decision whether to stay in the Guildroom or seek alternative premises. It is not yet known if the Council will impose a limit on numbers or whether the club can absorb increased hiring charge.

3) How many teams should be entered and in which leagues. Clubs will likely to be given a chance to indicate which leagues they would like to enter and have the required strength to support that application. At the moment it would appear that Lichfield could make out a case for teams in the first and second divisions of the Birmingham League, but with several members declining to play in leagues which involve a lot of travel it is possible that there will be no Lichfield teams in Divisions Three and Four. Both these teams had serious selection problems last year.

There is no news as yet as to how the other leagues intend to operate.