English Correspondence County Champions for 2012/13 are Essex

As predicted, Essex are the County Champions with an emphatic 16/20 victory in the Ward-Higgs Division well clear of their nearest rivals. Runners up were Yorkshire with 13.5; Third were Warwickshire with 12.5; Fourth equal were Hertfordshire and Northumberland with 12. Unfortunately, my own county, Hertfordshire, who were placed second for quite a while, were eventually overtaken by Yorkshire and Warwickshire. Despite this, it is Hertfordshire’s best ever result in the Championship League, so everyone should be proud! Hertfordshires’s team for next season, which now consists of only 8 boards, will be Board 1 SIM John Rhodes (myself); Board 2 Fide IM Lorin D’Costa; Board 3 SIM Keith Kitson; Board 4 Peter Rice; Board 5 Steve Law; Board 6 Arthur Reed; Board 7 Barrie Saunders; Board 8 Mike Dyer.

Here is a game from Peter Doye, Board 7 of the Essex Team. I have played Peter several times myself and I am sure he will not mind me saying that he is a very solid player and very experienced at the French Defence. He is in his late seventies and once told me that he had beaten the leading contender, Dr Jacok Seitz, at Whitby in 1956 with black, also with a French Defence!  Seitz was ranked 47th in the World in 1924 and graded 2514 in 1928. Unfortunately, that game does not survive, but in the Whitby Museum in Pannett Park, is a soapstone chess set given by the late Baruch Wood for a chess tournament held in those premises.

John Rhodes