Visit to Cologne 2019

The St. Albans overseas trip this year was to Cologne in the Rhineland, from February Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th. There were five players in the touring team this year; our team (in board order) was as follows:

  1. Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell ECF 189 ELO 2112
  2. Ian Gooding ECF 175 ELO 2000
  3. Tim Thurstan ECF 171 ELO 1968
  4. Paul Lawrence ECF 155 ELO 1840
  5. Ian Cross ECF 142 ELO 1736

SK Altenkirchen Match - Friday evening, 22nd February

The team met up for breakfast at St. Pancras International station prior to catching the 9 am Eurostar to Brussels-midi. It was then a 3 hour journey by train to Wissen via a change of trains in Cologne.

On Friday evening our first opponents were the SK Wissen-Altenkirchen club, based in Wissen near Cologne. They had booked a room in our hotel to host the match. It was decided to play one long-play game; 60 minutes with a 15 second increment per player. St Albans were White on odd numbered boards. The match was keenly contested and ended in a draw 2.5-2.5.

The match was followed by a meal with our hosts. Following a leisurely meal, the team adjourned to the home of our host’s Club President. We were entertained there by playing blitz chess and drinking a few beers before returning to the hotel. In the morning after breakfast we checked out of the hotel in Wissen, and then travelled by train to check into a hotel located near Cologne Cathedral.

KSK Dr Lasker Match - Saturday afternoon, 23rd February

On Saturday afternoon our second opponents were the Koln SK Dr Lasker club. Their venue was located in the South of the city. St Albans were White on odd numbered boards again. It was decided to play one long-play game; 60 minutes with a 30 second increment per player our hosts proved too strong for the team, and won by 3.5-1.5.

The match was followed by a meal with our hosts. The meal was followed by a 12Round-Robin Blitz tournament; with 3 minutes plus 2 second increment per player. This proved to be a real fun event. Afterwards the team had a few beers en route to our hotel in the old town.

Cologne Free-time - Sunday 24th February

On Sunday, the team had some playing free-time to enjoy the tourist sites around the city of Cologne. The team met up at 4 pm to travel from Cologne to Brussels. It was then a 2 hour return trip from Brussels to St. Pancras International on the Eurostar.