This year's congress was again held at it's usual venue of Westwood College.
The Alton Towers section featuring 27 players resulted in a tie for first between the top two seeds Robert Shaw (High Peak) and Gavyn Cooper (Newport). Robert's Cheddleton connections resulted in him winning the Landon Memorial Trophy for the highest placed North Staffordshire player. The slow starters prize left the area, going to David Cork (Coulsdon), though as he is a former NSDCA player with Newcastle we'll let him off, particularly as it is the closest thing to a Newcastle prize this year.
A H Brooks & Co sponsored the middle section, for players graded upto the mid 140s, which was also the largest with 31 players. There was a three way tie for first between Vlade Luzajic (Cheddleton), Chris Lewis (Newport) and Steve Jones (Warrington). Kevin Engelbrecht from Wimbledon shared the slow starter prize with Sandra Blackburn from Holmes Chapel.
The final entrant count in the Moorlands Housing Section was 30, with Dean Madden from Spondon being clear winner ahead of David Hallen (Cheddleton), Patrick Coleman (Lytham), Keith Hodgson (Bramhall), Ellen Scattergood (Holmes Chapel), Sellick Davies (Newport) and Karl Walklate (Fenton). Of necsessity there was a wide range of ability in the section with newcomers to competitive chess rubbing shoulders with experienced players boasting grades upto 112. Proving that chess is a game for all was the sight of a game between octogenarian Arthur Banks and Skye Wiggins, a tenth of his age.
Newport took the team prize.