This has been one of the most successful seasons I can recall. First and foremost six new members joined during the season are now regular League players: James Briginshaw, James Cole, Peter Jones, Simon Marsden, Konrad Scheffler and Greg Thompson. Without them we would not have achieved the same success over the board.
In September Linton won the Bury Jamboree. Whilst this is not unusual, this season we won every game, a perfect 12/12. A much more significant challenge was defending the East Anglian Club Championship in November. We entered a team in each of the rated sections: the Tigers (Liam Varnam, James Cole, Alan Richardson and Mark Lim) won the Open with 8/12, the Zebras (Paul McMahon, Neil Greenwood, Simon Jackson and Michael Osborn) shared first place in the U7200 with 7/12 and the Pandas (Anthony Chan, Simon Marsden, Ben Varea and Greg Thompson) romped home in the U6200 with 9.5/12.
In the Bury League the Lions were second in division 1, the Llamas and Leopards were first and second in division 2, whilst the Lynxes won division 3. The Llamas deserve a special mention. After a shaky start they won every match in the second half of the season with Ruben Evans winning the division 2 Player-of-the-Year award, closely followed by Anthony Chan. High-scoring Linton players in the third division were Vikram Banerjee (8/9) and Greg Thompson (9/11). In the Roger Goldsmith tournament the Larks finished second in division 1. In division 2 the final match saw a remarkable 3.5-0.5 win for the Lapwings against a stronger Bury team, which resulted in a triple tie for first place between the Lapwings, the Linnets and Bury Beehive. All in all a highly successful season!
A memorable Christmas treat was provided by Anthony Chan who kept us busy over the festive season with a puzzle collection to work through. And throughout the season we ran the club championship, with Paul Kemp winning the Jim Carr trophy, and Nate Weersing the John Dawson trophy for lower-rated competitors.
Away from the chessboard the club received a substantial bequest from the estate of Patrick Ribbands, who passed away in 2021. At the club’s AGM on 2 May it was agreed that the club would remain open throughout the summer for the Ribbands Rapidplay summer special and a programme of special events; a significant investment would be made in junior chess, perhaps in partnership with local schools; and the club would support and sponsor other local chess events and tournaments that benefitted Linton members.
In conclusion I must thank the club’s officers, especially Michael Osborn, our Secretary/Treasurer, and the team captains: Paul McMahon, Oded Pilowsky-Bankirer, Alan Wadsworth, Michael Osborn, Alan Richardson, Anthony Chan and Nate Weersing.