Thursday, November 01, 2018

In which I help Leicestershire win the county championship

These days I spend my time surfing the net looking for proof that I existed.

Reader's voice: Well you certainly don't spend your time writing about politics.

The other day there was a story in the Shropshire Star about a stalwart of chess in the county, Jim Samworth, who had died in Church Stretton aged 102:
Jim was one of the players in Shropshire’s historic win against Worcestershire in 1969 when his win against G. Elwell contributed to our first county-team win since 1916.
It made me realise I had taken the strength of Leicestershire chess rather for granted.

We won lots of games. In fact, I twice played in county finals - once for the second team (we won) and once for the third (we lost).

I have clear memories of the latter match, but few of our victory.

So thanks to the Southern Counties Chess Union bulletin for 1995-6 for immortalising it. I see we drew with Kent despite being outgraded on most boards and won on tie break. One of our winners, Romilly Ilersic, was also from the Market Harborough club.

I was on the way down by 1996. Ten years earlier, before I got on the council, my grading was a good 20 points higher.

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