Staffordshire Chess Congress
These pages provide historic information related to chess in Staffordshire and are no longer being updated.
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1965 - 1995
The first Staffordshire Chess Congress was organised by Ken Pittaway and Graham Humphries in 1965. The competition they created lasted 4 days (Friday to Monday). One of those days was just for players aged under 18, and there was a separate competition for teams of four players representing each of the youth clubs across the county. A coach was organised to collect those teams.
Although the youth club competition only lasted a few years, the popular Staffordshire Congress was held annually until 1995. From its start until 1994, the best Staffordshire player aged under 21 at the tournament was awarded the title Staffordshire Under 21 Champion.
The 1995 congress was held in Stafford University, where Roger Edwards from Chell Heath (Stoke-on-Trent) made sure everything ran properly on the day.
The congress was reintroduced in 2007, thanks to the efforts of Traci Whitfield, with help from Graham Humphries and a number of others. That 2007 Congress was held in Bloxwich Leisure Centre, where it was again Roger Edwards who made sure everything ran properly.
In 2007 and 2008 players competed in 5 rounds, played over 2 days (Saturday and Sunday). Entries are divided into three sections: The best players compete in the Premier section, while the less skilful compete in either the Major or Minor. In between rounds in 2007, many players took advantage of the venue’s swimming pool etc and other local facilities to help them relax and prepare for the next round.
People of all ages and playing ability can take part.
In 2007, 90 players entered, with local players competing against participants from Southampton, St Helens and Newcastle-upon-Tyne etc.
21 players won prizes, and a number of those prizes went to young players. Junior chess is becoming increasingly popular in the area around Staffordshire again.