Ken Neat

Mick Riding, the Congress Directory, has just sent out the following post to players who had already sent in their entries:

Hi,

I have met with the Mercure Hotel today and agreed that the 2020 Durham Chess weekender has to be cancelled. Given the complexities of rescheduling this year and the importance of staking out ‘our weekend’ we now should look forward to May 7 – 9, 2021. I am awaiting a contract to sign but the venue is booked (-:

With respect to entry fees you can ask me to return or hold over for the 2021 congress. For return I will need your Account Name, Bank Sort Code and Account Number.

With respect to Mercure accommodation bookings please contact the hotel – h8911@accor.com or 01325380222 and they will organise your refund. Or you can change your booking date for next year.

Some of you may have pre-booked and paid for alternative accommodation on a non-refundable basis. The best advice I can offer is to try and change your booking date if your hotel plays hardball over a refund. And please share your experience with me to pass on to our chess colleagues, particularly if your refund request is successful.

In the coming weeks I will update the website, entry form etc to reflect the 2021 dates. Entry fees and prizes will remain the same. Just please God the government doesn’t mess around with Bank Holidays again! Thank you again for your support and believe me, I share your disappointment it has come to this.

Kindest regards – Mick

Bryan Bainbridge, the DCCA President and League Secretary, has sent this message to all clubs:

In view of the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus situation, it has been decided to suspend all matches in the Durham County League from Tuesday 17 March. The situation will be reviewed mid-April and a decision will be made at that time.

South Shields A have clearly won the A Division, and South Shields B are all but mathematically certain to win the B Division.

The final rounds of the Ron Evers Tournament, due to be played on Tuesday 17 March, have also been postponed.  It is hoped to play the final rounds in the summer on an appropriate date.

The future of the DCCA Congress, due to be held in early May, must also be seriously in doubt, though at the present moment no definite decision has been made.

The ECF has posted their guidance to leagues: this can be read at ECF and coronavirus guidance

Any comments please let me know. Please inform everyone in your club.

Kind regards, Bryan

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Bryan Bainbridge has been sounding out clubs for their views, and for the moment it has been decided to go ahead with the Ron Evers tournament on Tuesday 17 March as well as league matches scheduled for the next couple of weeks. Of course, the situation may change rapidly.

The North East League matches due to take place on Sunday 22 March have been postponed.

And it has now been decided to postpone the Durham County Junior Championships, which were due to be held on Sunday 29 March.

Good news! Michael Siddle of Bishop Auckland Chess Club has volunteered for the post of Durham County Chess Association Secretary. Michael’s contact details can be found under the list of officials.

An Executive meeting of the DCCA will be held next month.

The Executive Meeting of the Durham County Chess Association, due to take place on 14 January, had to be postponed. A new date will be announced shortly.

Ken Neat writes:

I am very sad to report that George Whitfield died a couple of weeks ago. His name probably won’t be familiar to many, as he played for Hetton for only a short period between 2015-7 before health problems forced him to give up chess. But back in the late 1950s to early 1960s George and I were both members of the Sunderland YMCA club and we were great friends.

George’s funeral will be held at Sunderland Crematorium on Monday 30th December at 1.30 p.m.

International Master Andy Horton is giving a simultaneous display this coming Monday, 9th December. This will be held at 6.45pm in Durham University’s Elvet Riverside building (postcode is DH1 3JT). It will be a fairly informal evening (no entry fee).
In addition to the students who have expressed interest, 10 more players can be accommodated. All local players are welcome, but please email chess.society@durham.ac.uk in advance to claim a spot.

Please note that Keith’s funeral will take place at 10.30, not 10.00 as previously announced.

David Smith has written the following tribute to Keith:

Keith Smith has been a member of Hartlepool Chess Club for many years. He was our current Treasurer and was a regular A team player both in the Cleveland and Durham leagues. He was also the Treasurer for DCCA for a number of years and attended the committee meetings regularly, mostly travelling by bus to and from the venues.

Several years ago Keith was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder which he fought bravely. He was given the all clear but developed some side effects which led to him being hospitalised recently. Despite a number of blood transfusions the doctors were unable to save him, leading to his passing away on 1st November.

Keith was a private person and spoke little of his family to anyone. He will be greatly missed, being an asset to our club.

Keith will be cremated at Stranton Cemetery, Tanfield Road, Hartlepool, TS25 5DD on Wednesday 20th November at 10.30 am. All are invited to the Travellers Rest pub, which is close to the cemetery, afterwards.

RIP Keith.

Support the DCCA Congress!

From Mick Riding:

I am organising the Durham Chess Congress for May 1-3, 2020, at the Mercure Hotel in Darlington. More will follow on this. For now I’d be delighted if you could (please) support our bid for some funding from the Venator initiative. Link below. You can vote three times (for us, so that’s please please please!) but obviously support any initiative you think worthwhile.

Click here to vote!

If we win a prize the money will go towards increased prizes and/or securing the basis for the 2021 Congress.

Voting closes 29 November. Please share with club members and encourage support to help ensure we have two nailed on weekend congresses on our door step from 2020 and beyond.