Shropshire’s top woman chess player Kate Walker reached the women’s finals of the British Chess Championships, battling top opponents in an online tournament in which some games had a live commentary by a Grandmaster.
Kate, who plays for the Shrewsbury-based Telepost club, became one of 12 English players to make it to the finals after the qualifying rounds, and then faced seven gruelling games in the finals themselves. Anti-cheating protocols were so strict that women with long hair were asked to pull it back to check they were not secretly wearing headphones, and if players needed the toilet they had to notify the arbiter.
She ended up with a score of two from the seven games. “I was slightly disappointed with my performance in the women’s final as I felt I generally played well but I came across some very strong female players and I learnt a lot from them,” said Kate, who also played in the section for players with a rating of under 2000 – a strong standard – and in that scored four points out of seven.
Meanwhile Kate has raised the plight of a cafe in Shrewsbury which has been a venue for social chess. “The Nerdy Coffee Co. Cafe has been flooded for the third time in a year and they are crowd funding to stay in business during this tough time. They have been particularly supportive to Shropshire chess,” she said.
Division Three – Telepost D 3, Newport C 0: S Sweeney 1, D Lovegrove 0; J Holyhead 1, W Gormley 0; J Casewell 1, M Price 0.
Telepost E 1, Shrewsbury C 2: W Clarke 0, D Lockett 1; M Ayres 1, J Wilkinson 0; M Randell 0, 1 Salter 1.
Shrewsbury D 2.5, Oswestry C 0.5: I Salter 1, K Grice 0; J Birch 1, S Tulett 0; A Purser 0.5, A Evans 0.5.
Read more about Kate’s British Championships experience here – ed