Fundraising Dinner

At the request of Sue I’m writing a guest blog about the Fundraising Dinner held at Simpsons on the Strand. This was organised very efficiently by the English Chess Federation President CJ de Mooi. He managed the impressive task of bringing over the two players who dominated chess for 30 years, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. As most people are aware, Karpov is running for FIDE President and this dinner was in aid of raising money for his campaign as well as showing the support of the home countries.

The dinner was successful, helping to generate publicity for Karpov and chess in general as well as much needed capital for the British Chess Championships in 2011. On a personal note it was enjoyable meeting up with people again after our exile in the Southern Hemisphere! The food was good and there was lots of wine! There were a few different auctions which were fun to witness even if I don’t have the money to bid myself and CJ organised some interesting exhibition matches. There was a flashback to 1993 when Kasparov played a pairs game against Short in which, as 17 years ago, Nigel had Garry on the ropes just for Black to squirm out and take the point. Meanwhile Luke McShane and Terry Chapman defeated Mickey Adams and Allan Beardsworth in a long endgame grind. There were also a couple of blitz simuls but no surprises. The only chess I managed to play were a couple of friendly games with David Howell but I managed to take him 1.5-0.5 and I’m sure he’ll want revenge in Siberia J

The whole Olympiad team attended the event as well as our Captain and International Director Loz Cooper who has done so much work for us: arranging visas, booking flights and trying to make sense of the insane bureaucracy. If we eventually manage a good Olympiad it will be exclusively down to him. My book is almost complete, the first draft is done and I’m just editing it now, and hopefully it’ll be published around the New Year. After that I should be able to write on here a lot more, I’ve simply been too busy for the past few months with barely any spare time at all!