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03/02/2024

Lancashire and Inter-County Chess

 

When Cumbia met Greater Manchester in the NCCU under-1850, the match was played at a midway “neutral” venue in Lancashire, specifically Lancaster Bridge Club which is the venue of Lancaster Chess Club.  The person who opened up the premises for the match was none other than the new president of the Lancashire Chess Association, Richard Walsh of Lancaster Chess Club, who in conversation with one of the visiting chess-players commented on Lancashire’s prospects of returning to inter-county chess.

 

It transpires that at the next Lancashire CA AGM, in 2024, the idea of re-engaging with NCCU inter-county team competitions is expected to be discussed.  However, this writer’s informant got the impression that the president held the belief that it might be possible for Lancashire to enter the English County Championships directly, without affiliating to the NCCU and risking being knocked out at the Union stage, which idea is of course totally mistaken.  Unions can nominate counties to go forward to the national stage, with or without holding a qualifying tournament, but there is no “back door” bypassing nomination by a Union.

 

Lancashire’s administrative troubles started with Barclay’s Bank deciding to freeze their bank accounts in early 2022 due to inactivity.  That did finally get resolved in autumn 2023.  Meanwhile, the then president, Bill O’Rourke, had announced his intention to step down as president.  So, Richard Walsh and Carl Tillotson (of Preston CC) stepped in as Acting President and Treasurer respectively.  These two were formally installed in office at an AGM held on 04/11/2023.

 

There remained, however, a vacancy for the post of Secretary, which seems a vaguely familiar story affecting various chess organisations over the years.

 

It is not clear who is operating the Lancashire CA website, but that too has sprung back to life after a period of inertia said to have been occasioned by illness.