GM Matthew Turner dominates the Dyfed Congress

At the Dyfed Congress, taking place at Fishguard Hotel over February 16-18, GM Matthew Tuner won the Open section and the Saturday evening Blitz competitions with perfect scores.


Open Section (47 took part)

1st: Mattew Turner (Street) 5/5

2nd equal: Max French (Wells), Adam Musson (Neath), Francis Rayner (Hastings) and Jane Richmond (Swindon) 4/5

Grading Prizes:

Under 1900: Tony Haigh (Cardigan)

Under 1750: Andrew Divetta (Bridgend),  Roger Greatorex (Llangollen), Malcolm Probert (Llanelli) and Michael Whale  (Colwyn Bay)

Major Section (19 took part)

1st equal: Les Philpin (Swansea) and Paul Scott (Abrgavenny) 4/5

3rd equal: Scott Hammett (Steynton) and Peter Watkins (Barry) 3½/5

Grading Prize:

Under 1200: Kevin O’Rourke (Caerphilly) 1½/5


This year’s Dyfed Open Congress, our 47th and held as usual in the Fishguard Bay Hotel overlooking the harbour, attracted a more than satisfactory entry of sixty-six.  As in previous years, it was strongly supported by players from all parts of Wales, by a number of Welsh exiles and particularly by local Dyfed enthusiasts.  Moreover, for the first time in a while, our ambition of attracting more juniors and other players without Welsh connections down to the wild west, showed signs of being realised.   What was less of an aspiration was for those competitors to carry off a good chunk of the prize-money available in the Open Section. They were led by Grandmaster Matthew Turner who won the tournament with a clean score to take the £300 first prize.  In the two games where he was given a run for his money, by Gerry Heap (Carmarthen) and especially by Mike Waddington (Dorchester), he serenely steered his way through distinctly choppy seas to land the full point.  And the junior contingent in the tournament, from Millfield School, supplied one of the  quartet finishing equal second, namely the highly promising Max French.

Another feature of the Open was the difficulty the top ten players, apart from Matthew of course, experienced in asserting themselves and only one, Jane Richmond, succeeded in finishing among the prize-winners.

In the Major, Paul Scott’s run of nine consecutive wins in the tournment he first entered last year came to an end in the last round when he lost to Les Philpin and so had to share first prize with him.

Unlike other Welsh weekend congresses, only a small minority of competitors can conveniently commute daily to this event.  And so with so many chessplayers present at the hotel throughout the weekend, the event has become a social occasion with a chance to renew old friendships and make new ones. In addition, last year for the first time a seven round FIDE-rated Blitz Tournament (three minutes for all moves with two second increments) was organised on the Saturday evening.  This year the experiment was repeated, attracting enough enthusiastic entrants (26) to ensure that the Blitz will become an annual event.  Matthew Turner sportingly entered that too, giving a number of players a chance to say that they had for the first time in their lives played a grandmaster (and to lie about how close the game had been).  Matthew won the tournament of course, again with a clean score.

Many thanks to Kevin Staveley for controlling the tournament with his usual efficiency and good humour.  Even the Open competitor, who was defaulted his game by Kevin at move 14 when his mobile phone had rung (with a most arresting tune), took his fate in good part.

Full results are available from this page of


Howard Williams