The 4th Heywood, Lancashire, Chess Congress

June 20-21 1998


Record Heywood Chess Congress attendance

Throughout last weekend the Heywood Civic Hall in Lancashire was packed with 201 competitors for Heywood’s fourth chess congress, the biggest entry yet. Competitors from as far as Russia, Germany, Glasgow, Cardiff, London, Devon and Cornwall were present, though pride of place went to 9 competitors from Peine Chess Club, Heywood’s twin town chess players. One of their players, Peine President Erhard Hentzschel, came within minutes of winning a first prize. Both Erhard and Uwe Schmidt won prizes as the highest scoring Peine players.

Bill O’Rourke, Congress Director, reported: "Heywood can be proud of this event. The Civic Hall was again a magnificent venue, and the event showed a magnificent increase of 10% in numbers over last year, owing a great deal to the sponsorships supplied by the Heywood Advertiser, Barclays Heywood, the Freemasons Arms Hotel and Orb Associates, and to the support given this year by the Metropolitan Borough Council. This year we have had a Grandmaster (Keith Arkell), and two International players (Scotland’s Steve Mannion and Russia’s Alexander Cherniaev), which can only help to enhance the status of this congress".

Shortly before 9 a.m. the Mayor Harry Hardacre got the games under way. In the Open, Arkell (chasing Grand Prix points) and Cherniaev had several tough games but managed to battle their way through to joint victory with 4/5. Performance of the congress came from young Craig Hanley of Lancaster, drawing with Arkell in the Open, and grabbing the British Championship qualifying place on offer with 3.5/5. Youth was also predominant in all the other sections; Alexander Longston shared first prize in the Major with Robert Taylor winning a grading prize, both from 3C’s; 14 year old David Shaw of Urmston ran away with the Intermediate with a maximum five points.

Heywood chess club confirmed their growing status with four players winning prizes; 14 year old Adam Wiseman won the Novice section for a second time with another outstanding performance, only just followed by Andrew Martin who took the second prize. In the Intermediate section, Heywood Congress organiser Bill O’Rourke clinched a share of second prize with a win in the last few seconds of the competition. But the biggest cheer at the prize-giving went to Antonin Weleminsky, who won a grading prize in the Minor section at the tender age of 90. The total prize fund of £1810 was presented by the sponsors and the Mayor.





1st= GM Keith Arkell and IM Alexander Cherniaev 4/5 £225 each

3rd= Craig Hanley (Lancaster), Steve Mannion (Crowwood) and Oliver Jackson 3.5/5 £26.67 each

Grading prizes: Ben Hague (Rochdale) and George Ellison (Poulton) £20 each

Craig Hanley qualifies for the British Championships in Torquay

22 entrants



1st= Andrew Horton Kitchlew (Rothamstead) and Alex Longston (3C’s) 4.5/5 £150 each

3rd John McBride (Preston) 4/5 £50

Grading prizes:

Richard Clissold (Central), David Levens (Stapleford) and Andrew Lewis (3C’s) £6.67 each

Robert Taylor (3C’s) £20

38 entrants



1st David Shaw (Urmston) 5/5 £160

2nd= Paul Evans (Bray Valley), Mark Low (East Cheshire) and Bill O’Rourke (Heywood) 4/5 £40 each

Grading prizes:

Jonathan Fish (Manchester Grammar School) and Brian Shaw (East Cheshire) £10 each

John McKeown (Southport) £20

43 entrants



1st= Martyn Hamer (Great Harwood), Clive Wooley (Urmston) and David Curtis (Frodsham) 4.5/5 £83.33 each

Grading prizes:

Clfford Hanson (Nelson), Antonin Weleminsky (Heywood) and Michael Horne (Crusaders) £20 each

Stephen Montgomery (Chorlton), Anthony Starkey (Bolton) and Maziar Jalani (Inner Circle) £6.67 each

67 entrants



1st Adam Wiseman (Heywood) 5/5 £40

2nd Andrew Martin (Heywood) 4.5/5 £20

3rd= Malcolm Plant (Heywood) and Richard Neale (Cleveleys) 4/5 £5 each

33 entrants


Top scoring Peine chess players: Erhard Hentzschel and Uwe Schmidt £10 each

Puzzle competition winner: David Aspinall (Oldham) £10


Total entry = 201 players (10% increase on 1997 congress)

Total prize fund = £1810

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