Chairman's Review of 2018-19 Season

Just as the 2018-19 league programme began, we were faced with an unexpected move from our spacious upstairs room to a bar area on the ground floor - suplanted by a salsa dancing class. While this must have provided welcome revenue for the Oak House Club, it unfortunately had an adverse effect on our finances. For, after the initial match was played, with a thumping salsa beat coming through from above, it became very clear that a new venue, for matches at least, had to be quickly found. From then on while continuing our weekly meetings at the Oak House Club, we rented Holy Trinity Church Hall for league matches.

That match played to the accompaniment of Latin American rhythms - Leamington 'A' versus the eventual league champions, Olton 'A' - ended in a narrow defeat when a draw had seemed a distinct possibility. Unfortunately, this presaged a really dismal season for our 'A' team. Nothing seemed to go right, and we ended up adrift at the bottom of Division One, and relegated, with just two points, from two drawn matches and twelve defeats. A bye took us through to the second round of the League Knock-out Cup, whereupon we were duly despatched by Kenilworth.

It has to be said that Division One is an unforgiving environment, and it was not uncommon to find the opposition's Board Four had a higher grade than our Board One. But I'm not sure this fully explains such a total collapse. The only player to emerge from the debacle with any credit was the captain, Tom Darling, who drew most of his games, starting the season on Board Four, later moving up to Three. And Tom must also be warmly congratulted on winning two League Individual competitions - the Open and the Rapidplay.

Our 'B' team, in Division Three, captained by Alex Kagkalis, also started off with a run of defeats, but recovered well to finish sixth out of eight, with twelve points - five wins, two drawns matches, and seven losses.

Despite everything, the weekly club nights continued to be well supported. Members, and potential members, could be assured of finding an opponent for a casual game, or a more competitive one in the club's knock-out compeitions. Peter Leggett won the Plate, defeating Alex Kagkalis in the final, while Rob Gill claimed the Open Knock-out for the first time in twenty-one years. In June, Tom organised a one-evening tournament for our junior members, which was won by Sihan Zhang.

This brings me to conclude on a very positive aspect of the past year - the emergence of an enthusiastic junior section. This is an unexpected and welcome development - and something we have not had before, certainly not in the 45 years or so that I have been associated with the club. For this we must really commend Tom Darling for the time and energy he has put into supervising and instructing the juniors.

Previous Reviews

17/18 Review

16/17 Review

15/16 Review

14/15 Review

13/14 Review

12/13 Review

11/12 Review

10/11 Review