West of England Chess Union Chess Championship 1981
9th August 2021
WECU Chess Championship - 1981
The WECU Chess Championship has been running for many years, but has normally been held in more westerly counties than Hampshire. This is a logical decision, as Hampshire is a long way for Cornwall and Devon players to travel to.
However, in April 1981 Winchester was the destination and the cross tables are part of the Hampshire Chess Archives and therefore qualify (in my opinion) to be adding to the website.
There were six tournaments held, with three of them being all play all ones.
WECU Championship 1981
With four players graded over 200 from the 26 participants and one future GM (Peter Wells) and IM (Gary Lane) this was a high level competition. The tournament was held over 7 rounds and in the end the Champion was well known West of England player Peter H Clarke who would have been 48 at the time. He was strong enough player to play board one for England at the 17th Chess Olympiad in 1966 and played in all of the Olympiads from the 11th (1954) to the 18th (1968). Not a Hampshire player by any stretch of the imagination, but further details on him will be available on the West of England Chess websites and also in sites such as Wikepedia
In 2nd place half a point behind and undefeated was Peter Wells who would just be about to turn (or just turned) 16 years old and Steve J Shutler.
Looking down the list of participants I noticed Hampshire long time Chess Secretary John Wheeler's brother George, who no longer plays chess, but as per John was a very strong player for the Devon county team.
A number of Hampshire players apart from Peter Wells played, including A.R.Cullinane, J.Corfield and Martin Buckmaster.
WECU Challengers 1981
The WECU Challengers was also extremely strong with two players pushing ECF 200 and a number not that far below. Notable Hampshire players I recognise were Peter Miller from Winchester, Doug .Beer, Iain Stenhouse and John Jones. I am sure a number of the others were also Hampshire players, but I am not familiar with the names.
Although the tournament was stated as Challengers, this also included an Open. Looking at the winners of the Challengers, I presume this was an under 160, whilst the Open was as the name suggests open to other players. D.Bennett won the open with 5 points from 6 games and G.Leyton was half a point behind,
In the Challengers R.Burton also scored 5 points whilst P.Telfer was also half a point behind on 4 and a half points.
The WECU Reserves was held over 6 rounds with 24 players participating. Two players were 1st namely A.Richards and K.R.Walker with 5 points. Just behind on 4 and a half was J.C.B.Date. These are not players I am familar with, but I note that long time Southampton and Portsmouth player Martin Buckley participated.
WECU All Play All
There were three All play all sections split which look to have been split into graded categories. Although the C section also had a ladies champion, so I presume the three ladies were placed in this?
The winner of the A was L.Mouillaux, the B J.L Wheeler and the C A.D Rookes. Whilst Miss A Enstone was the winner of the ladies tournament in the C bracket.