Players enjoy thrill of competing again
ON Saturday, November 27, Wells Chess Club hosted it first Chess Jamboree.
Clubs across Somerset had been invited to send teams of six to compete in a fun three-round team event at the White Hart Inn in Wells.
The players came from a Trowbridge, Wellington, Yeovil, Sedgemoor and South Bristol as well as Wells fielding a full team of six. The usual Somerset Chess League has been on hold for two years and while online chess has been thriving, everyone has missed the excitement of playing over the board. The jamboree also coincided with the start of the Chess World Championships in Dubai which added to the buzz of excitement around the day.
Unfortunately, Storm Arwen swept through the country on the morning of the jamboree. One team and a few other individuals were unable to attend but we still welcomed 24 players to Wells for the day. With the change in numbers some teams merged into four teams of six players.
Despite the two-year hiatus there was a friendly intensity to the atmosphere as everyone settled down to play. Scores were fairly even after the first round, but Wells took the lead with a strong second round of 5.5 from six points. However, after lunch it was the combined ‘Ronins’ made up of Sedgemoor, South Bristol and extra Wells players who took six from six and won the day. There were plenty of interesting and dynamic games to watch and lively conversation between players who had not competed in a long time. Everyone enjoyed the day immensely and plans are in place for a follow up jamboree in February.
Wells Chess Club has seen a growth in membership over lockdown and is keen to welcome anyone who would like to join. They meet at The Globe Inn on Wednesday evenings. Juniors at 6pm and adults from 7.30pm. They can be contacted via their Facebook page.
• Picture: Wells players Chris Strong (left) and Matt Goatcher about to pit their wits against each other