See below for a full event report.
|Round||Game||Players||Play Through||.gcg file download|
|1||1||Martin Harrison||Mike O'Rourke||Play Through||Download|
|2||1||Nuala O'Rourke||Paul Richards||Play Through||Download|
|2||2||Mike O'Rourke||Phil Robertshaw||Play Through||Download|
|4||1||Nuala O'Rourke||Phil Robertshaw||Play Through||Download|
|7||1||Phil Robertshaw||Mike Whiteoak||Play Through||Download|
|8||1||Martin Harrison||Mike Whiteoak||Play Through||Download|
|9||1||Mike Whiteoak||Mike O'Rourke||Play Through||Download|
|11||1||Nuala O'Rourke||Martin Harrison||Play Through||Download|
|12||1||Phil Robertshaw||Mike Whiteoak||Play Through||Download|
Twenty-eight players descended upon the beautiful Cheadle House in Cheshire for the first of Amy Byrne's events with the renowned business conference company De Vere Venues. Cheadle House is a Victorian mansion fitted with modern facilities and it certainly lived up to its gowing reputation; the huge bedrooms would be more accurately described as 'suites' with the bathrooms alone being the size of an entire bedroom in some hotel chains. The playing room was a modern business meeting room with free tea, coffee and chilled water always available and free wireless Internet access anywhere in the building.
27 players were split into three divisions playing round robin groups followed by extra rounds of Swiss pairing. One no-show player caused a minor headache by not letting us know he wasn't coming; having been included in the pairings for the first round his absence meant other players had to endure occasional byes throughout the weekend. The tournament otherwise ran smoothly and in very good spirits, helped by excellent food and friendly staff.
In Div A Mike O'Rourke was the man to beat for the first few rounds but his form fell away and it become a battle between top-rated attender Phil Robertshaw, the omnipresent Mike Whiteoak and local man Paul Richards playing his first event for several months. Going into the final round three players were leading 8-4; Phil Robertshaw's natural ability was rewarded with an easy win against Paul in the final round to take the top division.
In Div B the two main contenders were Steve Balment and Peter Ashurst, who between them held the top spot for most of the weekend. Steve beat Peter narrowly on two occasions but in the end it was the Blackburn man who prevailed.
Div C was a foregone conclusion by lunchtime on Sunday; Marjorie Smith was so far ahead of the field she could not be caught with two rounds left to play. Colin Nicol and Barbara Lukey jostled behind her but in the end Christine Tudge, the lowest-rated player present, finished off an excellent performance to nab second place.
A few of the more interesting words played included ARMIGERO, HIRUDINS, VITAMERS, EASEFUL, FUNSTER, ATAXIA, AIRWOMAN, SUREFIRE, IANTHINE, ACIDOSIS, OUVRAGES, COTTERING (a nine-letter double-double through TE) and the handy new five-letter GRENZ.
It was universally agreed that Cheadle is a marvellous venue and should be used again. With an absence of rated events in the North West after October the venue has been booked again for 3rd-4th November and it is hoped this will then become an annual event.