Kingston launch an online arm

FM Julian Way spearheads start of a monthly online club that aims to complement the weekly in-person meet-ups

Sunday 16 January saw the start of what we are grandiosely calling Kingston Chess Club Online. It does what it says on the tin: it’s the club meeting in online form, initially once a month, to back up our weekly in-person meetings. FM Julian Way, a pillar of the Kingston club for 30 years, is the driving force behind the initiative, and gave the opening talk, based on a game former world champion Mikhail Tal played against the East German international master Reinhart Fuchs in 1964.

The game was not one of Tal’s attacking gems, but a relatively quiet positional game where he won a pawn early on and proceeded to win very simply and smoothly. A textbook example of how to exploit a space advantage, judge an endgame plus, and make a bishop count against a increasingly desperate knight. An instructive game by a great master.

The idea is that we will use the monthly online meet-ups to study games, work on openings, look at endgame studies and commission talks, while holding online club tournaments and simuls by visiting expert-level players on some other Sundays in the month. The club wishes to thank Julian for facilitating the online club, which meets by Zoom, and for offering to help run it in the future. It promises to be a hugely important addition to Kingston as it seeks to emerge from the pandemic and develop as an organisation that wants to cater for both experienced league and tournament chess players and the new generation of chess wannabes that got interested in the game during lockdown.

Kingston Chess Club online will now settle into a monthly pattern – meeting on the last Sunday of each month. Michael Healey will lead the next discussion, looking at the life and games of Russian grandmaster and former Soviet champion Yuri Averbakh, who will be 100 years old on 8 February.

Stephen Moss