Chess players from all over the North East came together at the Customs House, South Shields to compete for the honour of becoming the Northumberland and Durham Rapid Play Chess Champion. South Shields Chess Club this year are celebrating its 150th Anniversary, so our members organised a special Rapid Play Chess Tournament, incorporating Northumberland and Durham Chess Association Rapid play Championships.
75 players, from as far a field as Edinburgh, Carlisle and Manchester were attracted to the event. With many more sending in apologies due to holidays and conflicts with other tournaments, we may have had to limit the numbers but fortunately it all worked out in the end. It was the first time this particular cultural venue had held an event of type. There were other events been held at the Venue, a craft fair on the riverside and a burger stand giving visitors plenty of options at lunch time. The competition was graded and was run on single competition basis which enabled 9 rounds to be fitted in during the day, so there was plenty of chess played. Each match was played on a 10 minute plus 5 second increment.
The Eventual overall champion was FM Charlie Storey. The Major Champion was Mike Smith and the Minor Champion was 8 year old Yichen Han. The general consensus was that most people enjoyed the congress and there seems to be a hunger for more of these one day congresses. South Shields Chess Club would like to thank Lara Barnes and Alex McFarlane for all their efforts and for all the entrants to helping to make the event a very memorable day.