Ghent 2024

The 2024 Club trip was to Ghent, Belgium, from February Friday 16th to Sunday 18th. Eight players made the trip. The team travelled by Eurostar from Euston to Brussels Midi, then changed onto a local train to Ghent. Accommodation was the hotel Den Briel, located a twenty minute walk from the historic old medieval town centre. Ghent is a popular tourist destination, criss-crossed by canals and waterways. Two local clubs were played.

Friday 16th, Evening. Match v De Mercatel

The match format was a rapid play, double header, playing the same opponent with alternate colours. The overall result of the match was 8-8.

De Mercatel Team

1. Mardoek Thienpondt  2033, F1988
2. Elias Verhalle  1954, F1925
3. Jan Watte  1877
4. Bert Tollenaere  1801, F1686
5. Jeroen Vanacker  1689, F1701
6. Mels Claproth   1250
7. Tom Van Muylen 1695
8. Joannes Raepsaet 1594

Saturday 17th, Afternoon. Match v KGRL

The Royal Ghent Ruy Lopez club are the biggest chess club in Belgium, with around two hundred members. The match was preceded by a buffet lunch at our host’s venue. The time control was 40 moves in 90 minutes plus a 30 second increment. The match result was a 5-3 win for the team. In the evening, three KGRL members joined the rest of our team for a meal at the excellent “Mosquito Coast” restaurant.

Match Result v KGRL

1. Jeremy F-M 2087 (B)

1 - 0

Merlin Van Volsem 2240 (W)

2. Ian Gooding 2099

1 - 0

Gunter Deleyn 2120

3. Paul Lawrence 1911


Alain Mauquoy 1937

4. Ian Cross 1698


Valere Debuck 1780

5. Lubomir Botev 1687

0 - 1

Guy Vincent 1935

6. Chris Pines 1612


Ava Vandekerckhove 1680

7. Stephen Taylor 1544


Aleksel Abramenko 1424

8. Ray Claret 1467


Gerald De Caluwe  1172





Sunday 18th

The schedule allowed some free time for site seeing in Ghent. Five members joined up for lunch in  the “Beer Centre” restaurant before visiting the nearby city Cathedral. The team met up at the hotel prior to departure home.