Poole D – A season Review

Last year, before the start of the season, we all got together for the AGM. I had completed my first season as captain for Poole D but had intended to reluctantly step down.

Alongside working full time, having two young daughters, playing chess, and running a lot, I was about to start University in September. I had decided that there aren’t enough hours in the day.

I meant it when I said I was reluctantly stepping down, because it really didn’t take much for my arm to be twisted into staying on as captain. I am glad I did because I have thoroughly enjoyed it and what a season it has been.

Evident by all the results achieved by Poole this year, as a club we have all gone from strength to strength and Poole D benefited. During the team selection process, the captains had a pool of skilled chess players to choose from, both seasoned and new, resulting in Poole D having something of a dream team. Our team’s strength and cohesion propelled us to greater heights this season.

Mike Rutter proved to be a valuable addition to Poole D, bringing with him his strength, experience, reliability, and friendly personality. He played the season on board 1 and managed to remain undefeated against some of the strongest opponents in the league, scoring an impressive 3.5/6. This was quite an accomplishment, given the caliber of the opposition he faced.

Leo, who was promoted from the youth team, proved to be a fearless and eager addition to Poole D. Despite his calm and amiable nature, underestimate him at your peril. Leo’s merciless approach to each game showed his tenacity and determination to win. He won an impressive 5 out of 7 matches, and as the season progressed, other teams and players were relieved not to have to face him.

Leo exhibited all the strengths of a strong chess player, and his approach to the game was uncompromising. However, what stood out most was his maturity in handling losses, showing great sportsmanship and resilience.

Leo had a fantastic season, and his performances made us all proud but in future, next time you are ill (Chicken pox), please not 3 days before our game in hand on the penultimate match of the season which we needed to win to stay within a chance of promotion haha.

Joining me for his second season in the D team was the ever cheerful and charismatic Tony Sanderson. A humble but exciting chess player, Tony went on to deservedly finish the season as the league’s top scorer with 5.5/7. I have really enjoyed playing chess with you this season. I did not enjoy the panic of driving to your house to jump start your car 30 minutes before we were due to sit down and play our most important game of the season away at league leaders Southbourne however.

Your generosity and willingness to always be available and the numerous offers of driving me to the matches purely down to geographical location has not gone unnoticed.

Special thanks to Tarik who brilliantly stepped in on board 1 twice scoring a praiseworthy 2/2. Not only have you stepped in over the board, but you have also had my back all season as our chairman which has certainly made my life easier in times of trouble.

Our very own Fox in the box, Simon, and Mr Mike Minvalla completes my final two special mentions and thanks for stepping in last minute to save my bacon away at Wimborne.

Poole D secured the second in Division 4, competing against the formidable Southbourne C team. Although we fell just short of claiming the top spot, I am pleased with our performance throughout the season. While we faced some hiccups along the way, which is expected for any team, it was a successful season. I extend my congratulations to Southbourne on their promotion.

We go again next year, and I am already looking forward to it.


P.s Leo is D team’s property. Hands off!

May 5, 2023