Kirby Castlers
chess pieces

Update 2

The 2017 AGM was held at our normal time of the year on 22 June 2017.
At the AGM it was decided that due to our diminished strike force it would be sensible to only field 2 teams for the 2017/18 season in divisions 3 and 5 respectively. Our diminished strike force was due to the loss of the twins Ian & Fraser who were lured by other interests of a more attractive nature, Geoff White who was unable to continue due to ill health and Tom Brown whom the club had helped and encouraged since he started playing. Needless to say that club members were sad that Tom allowed himself to be poached by Richard who persuaded him to play his league chess for Braunstone. Que Sera Sera.
Although some might say that we have sufficient reason to feel otherwise, the truth is,
KCCC is happy for both Tom and Richard to continue using the club to play friendly games either with other club members or between themselves.

Shortly after the LRCA had arranged the league fixtures our strike force was more than adequately replenished when we were joined by John Whitmore, Osian Apgarth, Kevin Dalley and Richard Smith, this was very good news and they were all welcomed in our customary way; with open arms and warm hearts.
However, in order to accommodate the desire for league chess for all of our members, we were then faced with trying to get another team admitted to the league at the very last minute; it was touch and go whether it would be possible to include another team at this late stage, but our thanks should go to all the league officials whose unanimous co-operation ensured that we do indeed have 3 teams playing league chess again this season. We should also thank Ray Townsend for contacting all the teams we will be vying with this season to arrange the inserted fixture dates. The only down side is that we have 2 teams in division 5 and none in division 4, but bearing in mind that the LRCA reduced the number of divisions from 6 to 5 for the 2016/17 season onwards, KCCC is happy with the outcome.

Regretfully it was noted that the club championship trophy which had previously been considered to be temporarily misplaced whilst in the custody of Ewan, had indeed now to be accepted as permanently lost. We strongly suspect that the custodian has already felt personal remorse over this episode and being mindful of the circumstances prevailing at that time, we wish to make it very clear that there are no aspersions, recriminations, insinuations repercussions or anything else emanating from the club attaching to the loss of this trophy.
However we feel that it would be wrong not to mention its departure without acknowledging the fact that it would have been the envy of every chess club in the British Isles.
Being made entirely of solid brass and hand crafted to a very high standard, the writer can recall when it first arrived at the club and he tried to casually lift it up with one hand, fortunately for him he was quick enough to grab it with his other hand as well, before it had completely managed to slip from his grasp and amputate his toes. The jokes about the first winner of this trophy having to rush home to reinforce his mantelpiece, etc etc were all well founded.
Anyway it was indeed a magnificent one-off trophy and we are all sorry a to see it go, especially the previous winners whose names are proudly inscribed on it, but we will take pride in our wins and make light of our losses, sob, sob, as we look forward to another season of playing this incredible game.

Of the 3 teams we entered for the 2016/17 season, in divisions 3, 4, and 5 respectively, the first and third teams in divisions 3 and 5 would both have been runners up if the final league placings had been printed in reverse order. ‘The first shall be last sayeth the Lord’ presumably the same applies to second place, in which case these two results could possibly be construed as good, albeit somewhat disguised.
But then…the second team, who were remember, runners up in the previous season and once again ably captained by Jim Cowley (whose fingers are still numb from gripping the club championship trophy in 2011) amazingly did what nobody except Jim thought was attainable, he forced his men on to heights they hadn’t realised they were capable of, as they beat their nearest rivals Ashby by one point to secure the fourth division title. Such was Jim’s determination to win yet another cup to adorn his reinforced mantelpiece.
Well Done! To all the team for so many very good individual successes.

On 26 September 2017 the LRCA annual presentation was attended by the writer who went to collect the Cup and individual medals for the second team’s league success, Jim Cowley was unable to attend due to a calf injury, which unfortunately still persists today. I was safely escorted by Dave Walton and Gijs Kruitbosch who were both very instrumental in securing top position and keen to hold their trophy aloft amid the clamour and cheers with blinding camera flashlights going off all around them, so imagine their disappointment, when KCCC’s turn came to be presented with their cup, guess what?…….Heathcote, the previous winners could not return the trophy because they had lost it. Yes! Some things are just not meant to be Eh?
Only four individual medals were handed out by the LRCA, one each to my two disappointed escorts, one to Eddie Hill and one to Jim Cowley. Jim will find his waiting for him at the clubhouse when his calf injury has improved sufficiently for him to get there. Sadly there were no medals for Paul (1/1) and Ray (3/3) but we appreciate the minor roles they both played.

Finally to bring this resume up to date the, team that we entered for the Birstall Cup finished their season on 14 September 2017 with a dramatic final at home against an extremely strong side from Syston, narrowly losing by 3 – 3½ that seems reasonably impressive so long as nobody mentions the 2½ point handicap that we started with. Ahh Well! There’s always tomorrow.