Unique event is worth checking out as competition reaches 30th year

FULL CONCENTRATION: Bury's Edmund Player
FULL CONCENTRATION: Bury's Edmund Player
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A hushed silence filled the town’s Apex Theatre this weekend as the venue once again hosted the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress.

The competition, celebrating it’s 30th year and recognised as one of the UK’s leading congresses, hosted 134 entrants, each playing five games in four separate graded sections.

A unique feature of both the sport and its competitions is the difference in ages between competitors, this time including a player as young as five, in the form of Jeff Tomy, through to the other end of the scale with 88-year-old John Dawson.

With more than £2,000 of prize money up for grabs, competition proved fierce with Harriet Hunt finally coming out on top in the main open event to scoop the top individual prize of £450.

It was a somewhat disappointing display from the county’s players with Bury St Edmunds’ Scott Taylor and Newmarket’s Charles Richmond faring best to take joint second in the Intermediate category.

Cambridgeshire’s Ed Kernohan took the honours in the major competition ahead of Philip Hutchings, while the minor title was clinched by Wisbech’s Jelena Tjurina.

There was also a strong field in the junior section, where 20 entrants, all under the age of 18, took part, again highlighting another successful event for the ever popular tournament.

n Meanwhile, in the Bury Area Chess League, Bury Scarabs hosted reigning champions Linton A, and secured an impressive victory courtesy of wins from David Spence and Ed Player, along with a draw from Richard Lamont.

Linton did, however, return to form in their second fixture with a 5-0 win over Cambridge Oddfellows, while Scarabs could not collect consecutive victories, going down 4-1 to Cambridge Examiners.

Cambridge Academicals lead the way in Division Two after three matches.

In Division Three, Bury St Edmunds E and Cambridge Gowns currently occupy the top two places.