Players set for battle at Doncaster Chess Congress

Chess players from all over the country will converge on the town for the annual Doncaster Chess Congress which starts tomorrow night at Hall Cross Academy.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th February 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:07 am

More than £2,000 of prize money is up for grabs at the three-day competition, played over five rounds, which is in its 25th year.

Players are split into four sections according to ability with the first round starting at 7pm tomorrow night.

Late entries may be accepted on the night if players arrive early enough, subject to a £5 surcharge.

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Former British champion and chess grandmaster Jonathan Hawkins has won the Open section several times in the past and dozens of local league players are expected to be among around 200 competing for prizes.

n The Doncaster Chess Association season is well underway with a trio of different teams currently topping the table in the three league-based competitions.

Defending champions Barnby Dun lead the way in the main league, Dons A top the table with a 100 per cent record in the Bell Trophy, while Dons B lead the handicap league with a similar winning streak.

The Sam Haystead Cup semi-finals will both be held next Wednesday with Wombwell entertaining Catholic Club while Three Horseshoes are at home to holders Barnby Dun.

Dons A top board Sean McDonald leads the individual race for the Appleby Cup with six wins, followed by Barnby Dun’s Nick Mahoney with five, Wombwell’s Daniel Sullivan and Three Horseshoes teammates Alan Smith and Phil Battye with four apiece.

n The pre-season handicap rapidplay tournament, held at Barnby Dun Club, produced a three-way tie for first place with speed chess specialist Alan Charlwood making a remarkable comeback to competitive chess after an absence of more than three years.

Charlwood led the competition after the first four rounds and finished joint winner alongside Sean McDonald and Phil Battye.

Alan Smith, who clinched a shock first round win over top rated player McDonald, collected the grading prize.