A contingent of Battersea’s finest, plus myself, ventured north of the river last weekend for a night of chess like no other…
Fasten your seat belts, and I will explain.
Now if this doesn’t become an annual event we will be sorely disappointed, because it was a bloody riot.
The bash was held in the spooky depths of The Crypt Gallery, a venue underneath a church in Bloomsbury.
— Lennart Ootes (@LennartOotes) November 20, 2017
On the guest list there was unquestionably the great and good of British chess.
Firstly, our hosts the two Simons who run Ginger GM, Simon Williams and IM Simon Ansell.
But also IM Malcolm Pein, GM David Howell, the chess photographer Lennart Ootes, the commentator Fiona Steil-Antoni, World Championship semi-finalist Jon Speelman and fresh from playing blitz against Magnus, IM Lawrence Trent.
— Kristof Luysmans (@psychessdelia) November 19, 2017
GM Danny Gormally even came dressed as the only man more gloomy than himself, Darth Vader.
Oh yes, it was fancy-dress.
I managed to not realise, as did Ali, but Chris Beckett decided to go like this:
Yes, he’s Hugh Hefner, the PAWNstar. But my first though was Captain Birdseye.
However the prize for the best outfit of the night had to go to Dave Spence, sporting a monkey in a cage and, of course, playing the Orangutan 1.b4.
Much mirth was made when he played Speelman who – experienced campaigner that he is – remained resolutely unfazed throughout.
— John Saunders (@johnchess) November 19, 2017
Overlooking it all was The Godfather of chess organisation, our very own impresario Aldo Camilleri who helped organise it.
Chris and Ali did ok, but as you can see the chess didn’t go so well for me, although I blame the booze and being massively outgraded…