The 12th Heywood, Lancashire, Chess Congress

June 17-18 2006


Town plays host to Peine visitors who take in the Heywood Chess Congress at the same time!

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This summer Heywood has played host to eleven chess players from our twin town Peine in Germany. Their visit was the latest in reciprocal visits that have been taking place since 1996. This time eleven visitors (grandfathers, mothers, fathers, young adults and also a 2 year old toddler!) made the journey.

Some Heywood chess club members took time off work to play host, and put up the visitors in their homes. Our visitors explored Heywood and the local area, and were very impressed with the improved Queen's Park. They also enjoyed Blackpool, the Trough of Bowland, Manchester and Liverpool. The visitors were surprised how much Manchester has changed in the last decade, and also thoroughly enjoyed the Beatles Exhibition and the Anfield stadium in Liverpool. Already Heywood chess club are busy making plans for the visit to Peine in 2007!

The congress attendance was large and boosted even further by the German contingent and the fact that the HEYWOOD ADVERTISER OPEN was also the North of England Championships and a qualifier for the British Championships. Held over two days at the Civic Centre, the German participants joined the Heywood Chess Club players in playing against other players who flocked from all over the UK from Scotland, Wales, the Midlands, Bristol and London. All the players were competing over five different sections for prize money.

Brett Lund of Preston finally emerged as the HEYWOOD ADVERTISER OPEN winner and the North of England Champion, winning a handsome silver trophy that has been fought for over nearly a century. In doing so he held off Grandmaster Nigel Davies and a particularly excellent performance from visiting German Helge Hintze, who finished equal second with the Grandmaster.

The DUNNES STORES MAJOR was an excellent competiton even though the main prize money was split four ways. Heywood player Bob Newton was just out of the prizes.

The ANTONIN WELEMINSKY INTERMEDIATE was a section run in tribute to 96 year old Heywood Chess Club player Antonin, who died last year. Fittingly one of the co-winners this year was Heywood player Jim Tennant-Smith, who played in the Intermediate and who at 78 years old became the oldest competitor in the congress. Another co-winner was 15 year Christoph Helmer from Peine.

The COVERSURE INSURANCE MINOR was even more closely fought, with unusually five players sharing first place, one of which was Chorley’s Rob Hart. Fortunately Holgar Schmidt of Peine was also one of the five.

Finally the KUMON MATHS & ENGLISH NOVICE also saw good performances from Heywood players, Peter Edhouse, Liam O’Rourke, John Crompton and Jason Chapman, but all just finished outside the main prizes.

Organiser Bill O’Rourke said "The local sponsors must be thanked, for they allow this event to take place - truly magnificent support from the Heywood Advertiser, Dunnes Stores, Coversure Insurance and Kumon Maths & English, without whom the event quite simply couldn’t take place."

 Helge Hintze from Peine Chess Club

Helge Hintze from Peine Chess Club

Peine visitors and Heywood hosts

Peine visitors and their Heywood hosts





1st Brett Lund (Preston and Northern Counties Champion) 4.5/5 £300

2nd= Nigel Davies (3C’s), Stephen Gordon (3C’s), Helge Hintze (Peine) and Chin Lee Lim (Rose Forgrove and British Championship Qualifier) 4/5 £57.50 each

Grading prizes: U180 Ernest White (South Bristol), Antonio Aguirre (Huddersfield), Malcolm Peacock (Preston), Martyn Hamer (Great Harwood) and Alan Barton (Hastings)

Edmund Spencer North of England U18 Champion: Dominic Rabbitte (Heywood)



1st= Simon Woodcock (Atherton), Lee Kay (Oldham), Malcolm Armstrong (Stafford) and Paul Evans (Blackpool) 4/5 £87.50 each

Grading prize: Peter Szalapaj (Ecclesall) 3.5/5 £20



1st= Jim Tennant-Smith (Heywood), Chris Wright (Bradford), Christoph Helmer (Peine) and M John Cawston (Lady Ann Middleton) 4.5/5 £70 each

Grading prizes: Michael Compston (3C’s), Richard Mounce (York RI), Carl Heald (Morecambe) and Richard Desmedt (Wombwell) 3.5/5 £20



1st= Robert Amos (PKA), Rob Hart (Chorley), Holgar Schmidt (Peine), Eric Prophet and John Sutcliffe (Caergwrle) 4.5/5 £56 each

Grading prizes: Vijay Sathiraji and Dave Colledge (Courier), David Scorer (Nelson), Peter Harrington (Blackburn) and Nathan Talbot (St Helens)



1st= Sam Towse (3C’s) and Robert Murray (Hebden Bridge) 4.5/5 £35 each

2nd= William Hart (Chorley), Jade Stirrup (3C’s), Peter Johnson (South Birmingham) and Henry Broadley (Chorley)


Puzzle competition winner: Peter Szalapaj (Ecclesall) £10

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