2018 saw tense FIDE elections, excited speculation about Alpha Zero’s chess learning ability – with publication of a few jaw-dropping wins and brow-raising losses against Stockfish, and all the while Magnus calmly saw off Caruana with an unpopular decision to draw the 12th game and send the match into rapids.
But, more importantly, here are the league standings over here in the South West:
How are our predictions looking?
We picked a winner for each division, as well as a ‘Dark Horse’ pick for insurance, and we are well on track! We could well prove correct in all 4 divisions:
Our top pick Horfield are still one of the 5 horses in the Division 1 race – but it is our ‘Dark Horses’ Bath in pole position – only dropping one match in nine.
Again the Dark Horses (North Bristol A) have dropped just one match and look well on course for the title, with our top pick Clevedon B in 3rd.
It’s not looking so good for our Dark Horse pick here (South Bristol B) but the top pick Cabot A is doing the business! Come on the Cabot!
Clevedon C lie in 2nd currently behind Harambee A; but I’m afraid newcomers and our Dark Horse pick Congresbury have had to withdraw – so looking pretty unlikely there!
Grade? What Grade?
We give a shout out to those who are way out-performing their own grades:
James Sutton (Keynsham): +36
Alex Vaughn (University): +34
Alan Warne (Clifton): +34
Dave Tipper (Downend) is unbeaten: +32
Jerry Humphreys (Grendel) is on 7 from 7: +29
Draws are for wimps
A special mention to those swashbucklers who would rather battle on than make treaties (rules: must have played 8 games, and won and lost at least 1 game)
Matthew Wilson (Clevedon) 5/0/6
Richard Kirk (Hanham) 2/0/7
Derek Pugh (Horfield) 4/0/4
Rob Attar (Horfield) 3/0/6
James Facey (Horfield) 6/0/4
James Sutton (Keynsham) 5/0/5
Mike Minshall (Thornbury) 3/0/5
Lester Moon (Yate) 3/0/6
Best of luck to all in the new year – for those super-keen (like me) come along to Downend’s Buzzer tournament (10 seconds a move) on New Years’ Day!
Mike is co-editor of the Bristol Chess Times and plays regular league and tournament chess