Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jessie Gilbert Celebration International

Scott Freeman emails:
All of you will be aware that in July last year, Chess lost one of its finest young players in Jessie Gilbert. For us at Coulsdon, the loss of Jessie was a particular blow and not just because of her chess playing ability. Jessie had been with us since the age of 8 and we had watched her grow, not just as a chess player but as a person. As you can imagine, her absence has left a big hole in our club.

We have recently agreed with Angela (her Mother) to start what we hope will be an annual open GM norm tournament to be held at Coulsdon in her memory. This will replace our normal medly of all-play-all events for August that have run for the last 3 years (the Christmas and Easter events will continue to run as all-play-alls as previously). The August event has traditionally provided a free entry for an IM norm tournament to the winner of our winter club championship. This year, we are giving 3 international "credits" (£100-£50-£25) which will be used towards this event for the top 3 (anything left over can be used for other events).

With Jessie having played in our club championship and also having scored her first WIM norm at CCF, we felt this was a perfect way of linking the club and the international scene to run an annual event that would honour her memory and allow the many chess players whose lives she touched to be a part of. In this regard as well, it is our hope that the event will also raise money for the NSPCC (Childline), a charity which Jessie activly supported during her life. Angela has been working very hard since the loss of her daughter to seek that Jessie's loss should not be in vain and is delighted at the concept of what we are planning.

Further details will be available soon on our web site and it is our intention to book at least 6 GM's early and advertise their particiaption. The event will run to finish with the 10th round on the August Bank Holiday each year (just in time for our annual August Blitz event that evening!). In 2008, this means it will start on Saturday 16 August and finish on Monday 25 August. Rounds will begin at lunch time (exact timing tba but probably 1pm). Grand Masters who wish to play are welcome to express interest (please advise what conditions you would be seeking and we will assess accordingly).

We hope that the Chess community will come forward and support an event that we hope will run every year, plugging a much needed gap in the British Chess Calendar, as well as supporting a Charity that does a lot of very important work in our community and which was close to Jessie's heart. Further information will be available shortly on the CCF web site.
The CCF website is here.

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