Having finished as runners-up in the EACU County Championships (see report here), the Suffolk First Team will play Somerset, winners of the West of England Chess Union competition, at Milton Keynes on Sunday 18 May. The match will be a quarter-final in the Minor section, for which there is a maximum average grade for the team of 180.
Ian Wallis, team captain for the EACU competition, has handed over the reins to me (Bob Jones), and I have been in contact with the Somerset captain to agree the venue and timings. Milton Keynes is roughly halfway between Ipswich and Bath; it takes about two hours to drive there from Ipswich. The match will commence at 13.00.
It also falls to me to select the team. 18 players have said they are available (what luxury, not having to chase people to play!), so two will be disappointed. I will be sending out the team list shortly. Our opponents are likely to have quite a strong team. In their last WECU match on 8 March against Hampshire, Somerset fielded a 212 and 211 on the top two boards, and the full team averaged 179.
Unfortunately I will be on holiday in Scotland on 18 May, so Ian will return to the captain’s role for the day. If we are successful we will go forward to the semi-final, which is scheduled for Saturday 14 June (although it could be arranged for the following day, by agreement). The Final will definitely be on Saturday 12 July, but perhaps it’s a bit early to start thinking about that.