Friday, August 6, 2010

Marshall Attacks - Season Preview 2010-2011

A new chess season dawns and once again Trowbridge will be striving for victory against the finest that Somerset and Wiltshire can muster. Club Captain Tony Ransom can call upon a squad mostly unchanged since last season. Roy Ludlow (player-manager and chief scout for the minor league team) will be looking to repeat last year’s success and unearth another promising new target to rival Louis Burton.

One noticeable absence will be Paul Hatvany who has completed his high profile switch to bridge. Also unavailable for most of last season and unlikely to return are Andy Cooper and Paul Girdlestone. Paul’s loss will be felt all the more with his grade soaring back above 200. All of which will leave Trowbridge looking somewhat light on the upper boards. The ever reliable Derek Rothwell will once again be called upon to lead the line alongside Mark Leonard who comes fresh from a strong 2009/10 season that has raised his grade above 150.

If this year is to be a success then Trowbridge will probably be heavily reliant upon the middle boards, fortunately Tim Woodward is preparing to join Roy and Tony on the professional circuit. The mercurial talents of Dave Weston (chess maverick!) will no doubt come in useful and keep the fans entertained. With Gareth Williams providing witty banter and psychoanalysis in equal measure the spine of the team looks strong.

Whilst Tony Ransom may have only limited choice with his selection Roy Ludlow can continue to call upon an all star line up across the lower boards and minor leagues. Nigel Crucifix was solid throughout last season and Louis Burton is many pundits tip for the player to watch this year. With super-sub Adrian Davies lurking in the wings with his menagerie of animal based openings it is no surprise to find that Trowbridge are the bookies early favourites in both minor divisions. After a transitional season under the new grades Tony will surely be targeting league glory and an extended cup run to keep the fans happy.

Trowbridge’s pre-season warm up was badly affected with high profile tours to Russia and China both falling victim to the Icelandic volcano. A series of friendlies against the combined forces of Westinghouse and Swindon were scheduled instead. The first found a confident Trowbridge on inspired form sweeping all before them with a show of aggressive free flowing play. Was this the first fruit from Paul Girdlestone’s new Dutch football inspired ‘Total-Chess’ coaching system? We may never know.

One thing the fans will enjoy this year is the introduction of electronic clocks on multiple boards in Trowbridge home matches. After several contentious clock based results during the last few seasons, this technological step forward should help silence some of the critics. Reports of slo-mo video replays being made available to the match referee are as yet unconfirmed.

So once again there is plenty to look forward to as we enter the 2010/11 season. Your faithful reporter will endeavour rather more than he managed last season. Best of luck to all our competitors.
Come on the Bridge!!

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