Chess club gambles on congress at casino

ONE of the country’s oldest chess clubs is to take a gamble next year to celebrate its 160th anniversary by holding its annual chess congress with a stunning £1,000 for the winner – in a casino.

Normally congresses are held in the most austere, monastery-like conditions of total silence where players have even been chided by officials for chomping mints too loudly thereby distracting their opponents.

But this one championed by Huddersfield Chess Club will be rather different.

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Organiser Nigel Hepworth is hoping that the tournament to be held over one day in April next year will generate a lot of interest including that of Grand Masters from across the country.

Johnny Hampsey, sales and marketing manager at Grosvenor Casino, near Huddersfield town centre, said he was keen to follow up the success of a recent darts tournament held there when around 250 people turned up.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it. Obviously it is going to be a bit different but hopefully if it goes well it may become a regular event.”

Mr Hepworth said the £1,000 top prize on offer for the tournament would easily dwarf the first prize recently paid out at the British Rapidplay Championships held in Halifax. “It’s not a bad prize for a day’s work” he added. Other prizes will be available too.