Chess players battle tabletop prowess after Covid break

Brothers Jack and Jack Stone (Norwich Juniors) with John Wickham

Brothers Jack and Jack Stone (Norwich Juniors) with John Wickham (Chair of Norfolk County Chess Association) at the 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn. - Credit: Supplied by Jonathan Reeve

Chess players made a welcome return to tabletop games at a 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn.

Fifty-six players from Norfolk and beyond took part in the contest, with the championship section being won by Alan Merry from Bury St Edmunds.

John Wickham, organiser, said: "Norfolk County Chess Association and Norfolk Chess Clubs offer opportunities for young and old players interested in playing slow and fast games in friendly and competitive environments.

"Several people took up chess during the Covid lockdowns - hopefully, this latest event will help encourage others to start playing chess or return to it after a break."

Players were given just  20 minutes and an additional 10 seconds per move to complete all their moves in each of their six games. 

Runners-up were Francis Bowers of Peterborough, Roy Hughes of Broadland, David LeMoir of Fakenham, Jeff Dawson of the Norwich Dons and Stephen Orton of the Norfolk and Norwich club.

Anyone interested in joining a club can search at www.norfolkchess.org/clubs 

Heather Enid Walker from Broadland & Aylsham Chess Clubs and Cristina Casti from

Heather Enid Walker from Broadland & Aylsham Chess Clubs and Cristina Casti from Norfolk & Norwich Chess Club, at the 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn. - Credit: Supplied by Jonathan Reeve

From left, Ashley Robinson (Aylsham), John Wickham (Chair of Norfolk County Chess Association)

From left, Ashley Robinson (Aylsham), John Wickham (Chair of Norfolk County Chess Association) and Brian Cunningham (St John’s) at the 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn. - Credit: Supplied by Jonathan Reeve

Championship winner IM (International Master) Alan Merry and John Wickham

Championship winner IM (International Master) Alan Merry and John Wickham (Chair of Norfolk County Chess Association) at the 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn. - Credit: Supplied by Jonathan Reeve

Players taking part in the  'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn.

Players taking part in the 'rapid-play' congress held at Horstead's Tithe Barn. - Credit: Supplied by Jonathan Reeve