The 15th Heywood, Lancashire, Chess Congress

June 20-21 2009


15th Heywood Chess Congress attracts players from all over the country

The fifteenth Heywood chess congress held at the Heywood Civic Hall continued to pull in top grade players to Heywood last weekend from locally, regionally and nationally. There were participants from Liverpool, Scotland, Wales, Worcester, Stafford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Hull and London, joining Heywood and Lancashire players.

The HEYWOOD ADVERTISER OPEN was dominated by Heywood’s Grandmaster Keith Arkell, the current English Champion, followed in by Stafford International Master Lawrence Cooper and Rochdale’s Ben Hague. Young Heywood players Dominic, Liam and Michael Rabbitte were not far behind.

First place in the COVERSURE INSURANCE MAJOR was shared between young Mark Talbot of Wigan and Chris Doran of Chester. Heywood’s Bob Newton shared third place with Rochdale’s Armand Catz.

The ANTONIN WELEMINSKY INTERMEDIATE was only decided in the last few seconds of the competition after two day’s hard battle. Three players shared first place. Heywood’s Bill O’Rourke and Emlyn Dobson fought hard but finished out of the prizes.

In the ORB ASSOCIATES MINOR, there were also excellent performances from Heywood’s Harry Praeger, Liam O’Rourke, Ian Mitchell and John Crompton, but all missed out on the top prizes.

The KUMON MATHS NOVICE was won by 11 year old Stephen Chung of Skelmersdale, obviously one to watch for the future.

Organiser Bill O’Rourke said "Even during the economic crunch, little old Heywood has managed to fetch players here from all over the country. These players spend money in the local economy, at the market, Heywood shops and in the local hotels. We continue to raise Heywood’s profile to players and their families who readily admit they have never heard of Heywood before. The Albany Hotel was full with chess players all weekend, and players were in and out of local shops and the market all weekend. But it is the local sponsors that allow this event to take place - truly magnificent support from the Heywood Advertiser, Coversure Insurance, Orb Associates and Kumon Maths & English, without whom the event quite simply couldn’t take place. A special thanks from me to them".




1st Keith Arkell (Heywood) 4.5/5 £300

2nd= Ben Hague (Oldham) and Lawrence Cooper (Stafford) 3.5/5 £115

Grading prize: Martyn Hamer (Great Harwood) 3/5 £20


1st= Mark Talbot (Wigan) and Chris Doran (Chester) 4/5 £150 each

3rd= Bob Newton (Heywood) and Armand Catz (Rochdale) 3.5/5 £25 each

Grading prizes: U151 Clive Davies (Rose Forgrove, Leeds), Crystal Zhu (Urmston) and David Stephenson (St Andrews) 3/5 £6.66 each


1st= Mitchell Burke (3C’s), Robert Clegg (Huddersfield) and Dennis Horton (Urmston) 4/5 £93.33 each

Grading prizes:

U133-126 Rob Tokeley (Nelson) 3.5/5 £20

U126 Graham Pennington (Atherton), Richard Gavin (Oldham) and Joseph McPhillips (Bolton) 3/5 £6.66 each


1st= Brendan Boyle (Clitheroe) and Matthew Wedge-Roberts (Hebden Bridge) 4.5/5 £120 each

3rd= Ken White, David Buckell (Pendle) and Jade Stirrup (3C’s) 4/5 £13.33 each

Grading prizes:

98-88 Jade Stirrup (3C’s) 4/5 £20

86-80 David Biddulph (Stockport), Senik Solomczak (Rochdale) and Parshottambi Patel (Bolton) 2.5/5 £6.66 each

U80 Andrew De Santos (Preston) 3.5/5 £20


1st Stephen Chung (Skelmersdale) 4.5/5 £50

2nd Alan Jones (North Manchester) 3.5/5 £20

3rd= Lothian Innes (Crusaders) and Chris Fielding (Preston) 3/5 £5 each

Puzzle competition winner: Lawrence Cooper (Stafford) £10

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