Three Suffolk clubs play in the Bury Area Chess League – Newmarket (Div 3), Stowmarket (Div 3) and Bury St Edmunds (all three divisions).
Newmarket have had a great start and look favourites to win Division 3. Boosted by the arrival of two established players (Colin Gardiner ex Falmouth and Fraser Jones ex Ely) they have started the season with four straight wins and 17½ points.
Not such good news for Stowmarket, who have had difficulty fielding their strongest players. They currently lie in joint last place on 6 points.
Bury St Edmunds field seven teams in the League – two in Division 1, two in Division 2, and three in Division 3. Four Ipswich members form part of the squad for the Scorpions, one of the Division 1 teams (Shaun Munson, Ian Wallis, Sam Brennan and Andrew Shephard). This gives these players an opportunity to play different opponents from usual, from Cambridge, Ely and Linton.
Most of the Bury teams are mid-table. Cambridge and Linton tend to dominate Division 1, with some extremely strong members. In one recent match between Bury Scarabs and Linton A, the top two boards all featured players graded over 200. David Spence (207) beat David Coleman (215) and Ed Player (208) beat Kevin Clark (202). There can’t have been many occasions, in either league, when this has occurred before.