For ten years I played in the second
team with a reasonable amount of luck. I say luck because
my knowledge of the game was still there but tactics
had changed and my opponents were often better players.
I still managed a few surprises though and started to
enjoy the game again.
The club had several good young players
and in 1980 I started to help with chess at The Sherard
Primary School in Melon Mowbray where our eldest son
had offered to start a chess club - run by his dad!!
This was the biggest move of my chess career for over
the next 20 years I became heavily involved in Leicestershire
Primary Schools Chess. This whilst playing for the county
third team and at least one club match a week would
eventually take its toll and I finished playing for
the county before I became too weak a player for them.
The schools chess was a real helter
skelter with me starting a club at a school and then
progressing (mainly after the upheavals in education)
to county primary schools coach and eventually secretary.
In that time I started an individual tournament which
eventually attracted around 250 entries. Also the county
team, a mixed under 11 one was added to by first a girls
under 11 team and then a mixed under 9 team.
|We managed to get
to the National Finals once with the U11 mixed team
and had a pretty good day at Ross-on-Wye. A full
bus load went down there and everyone had a medallion
to commemorate the occasion even if we did come
A Typical National Final
The under 9 team also made a National
Final when we hosted the event at The Ivanhoe School
With the girls team there was no qualification
and trips to Liverpool and Brean Sands for the finals
found them recognised as perhaps not the best players
but certainly the friendliest team around as were all
our county teams.
There were so many happy memories and
the Melton club also benefited from the influx of young
local talent with one team comprising of 8 - 13 year
olds and holding their own against adult teams.
The end of my chess life really started
after being diagnosed with bowel cancer. The primary
schools was proving a difficult thing to organise and
interested had dropped with the advent of computers.
I started to play again but found it hard to concentrate
over a 2 hour game especially as the Melton club had
folded and I was travelling to Ashby and then Birstall
for home matches!!
I handed over the primary schools reigns
a few years ago and received so many thanks from children
and parents which made it harder to make the break.
Paul who took over then revitalized the county teams
and in the next two years an under 9 and under 11 team
made the national finals.
Now I play on the Internet at Red
Hot Pawn and back to enjoying it whether I win or