We started in September 2019 full of optimism with a record 6 teams in the Bury Area Chess League and 4 Roger Goldsmith teams. We enjoyed early success winning the Bury League Jamboree and knuckled down to the hard work of accumulating League points. However the League was suspended in March, and subsequently terminated by the AGM with positions decided on the basis of points at suspension, adjusted where necessary to take account of games played. Linton Lemurs were declared division 3 winners, with Linnets and Lapwings respectively winning the two Roger Goldsmith grade-limited competitions. Linton Lions were a whisker away from winning division 2.
As well as team success Oren Pilowsky-Bankirer won the third division Player-of-the-Year award, and the Game-of-the-Season prizes were won by Aarnavh Trivedi in division 1 and Giulio Sahinoz in division 2.
Perhaps the playing highlight of the season occurred over two weekends just prior to lockdown. In the East Anglian individual championships Chris Davison won the Open event with Aarnavh Trividi winning the junior title. The following weekend Linton won the East Anglian Team Championship, thus holding the main three regional titles.
With the suspension of over-the-board chess the club went online, thanks to the sterling efforts of Chris Davison. After initially playing in club tournaments we joined the Iceni League, covering Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, with members also competing in their individual championships.
Linton currently has over 30 active online players, and with teams in all three divisions offers members opportunities to play rapidplay team games or Classic slowplay individual games. So far Linton Pandas have won division 2 twice, and the Open individual championship has been won by Chris Davison and twice by Aarnavh Trivedi. The club is indebted to Chris and to Alan Wadsworth and Michael Osborn for their team captaincy and for their general support and promotion of our online activities.
The East Anglian Team Championships have been held online this year, and I’m delighted to say that we retained the title we won over-the-board last year.
Our success has been tempered by the loss of Patrick Ribbands from a heart attack in January. Patrick was an indefatigable chess organiser, Cambridgeshire’s County second team captain for 30 years among many other roles at club, county and regional level. At the Linton club he regularly captained teams and was always ready to fill a gap in the team sheet. He was a kindly and gentle man, a champion of the underdog, who always ensured there were opportunities for juniors and lower-graded players in any events he organised.