King Roger beats charity challenge

Morpeth Chess Club's best player, Roger Coathup, thinking about his next move during the charity event where he took on 16 players all at the same time.
Morpeth Chess Club's best player, Roger Coathup, thinking about his next move during the charity event where he took on 16 players all at the same time.

MORPETH Chess Club’s top player took on 16 people all at the same time in a special charity event.

Roger Coathup moved from board to board to make moves in turn against each opponent, who were all talented players.

He lost just three of the 16 games at Morpeth Rugby Club’s premises and in the process raised £100 for the Braille Chess Association.

Roger plays on the top board for Morpeth A Team and is one of the North East’s strongest players, having won the Northumberland Chess Championship three times.

“Taking on this number of players all at once is hugely challenging but immensely enjoyable,” he said.

“I think everybody involved had a great night and it’s marvellous that we raised £100 for charity.”

Lifelong Morpeth resident and Chess Club President Les Whittle, who is blind, was one of the players who earned a hard-fought draw against Roger.

He said: “Blind and partially-sighted chess players need special equipment to compete on level terms with fully sighted players.

“This £100 will be a huge boost for the association, allowing us to buy special boards, pieces and chess clocks, which will make all the difference to chess players who are blind.”

The three players who beat Roger were John Horton and George Ellames, who both play for Morpeth Chess Club, and Alex McFarlane (Tynemouth Chess Club). They received chess book prizes to mark their achievement.

The full set of all 16 results was as follows (1 = win for Roger Coathup, 0.5 = match drawn, 0 = loss): Alan Hutchinson = 1, Geoff Loxham = 1, Rob McEwan = 1, Christopher Cox = 1, Hugh McLaughlin = 1, David Watson = 1, James Turner = 1, Alan Welsh = 0.5, Dennis Patterson = 0.5, Clive Waters/Mike Smyth (alternate moves) = 0.5, Lara Barnes = 0.5, Les Whittle = 0.5, Harry Robinson = 0.5, George Ellames = 0, John Horton = 0, Alex McFarlane = 0.

Morpeth Chess Club meets every Wednesday evening at 7.15pm on the first floor at Morpeth Rugby Club. For more information about its activities, visit www.freewebs.com/morpethchessclub