Archive 2011-2012 Farewell to Oakham
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Farewell to Oakham
Written by Brian Stephenson   

Since 1995 the word ‘Oakham’ has meant the final of the British Chess Solving Championship (BCSC) to chess solvers all over the world. Sadly, the 2011-2012 final will not be held there. The long and friendly relationship the British Chess Problem Society (BCPS) has had with Oakham School came to an end a few days ago when the School informed us that their venue would not be available to us next February.

The use of Oakham School was brokered by Graham Lee (then teaching computer studies and chess there) at a low point for the BCSC: at that time we had no sponsorship (Winton Capital Management started their generous sponsorship in 2003-2004) and could not afford to actually pay for a venue. The report in The Problemist (March 1995), of the first final held there, said “We are extremely grateful to Graham for arranging the best venue we have had so far - a superb, airy, quiet room, with a large table for every competitor.” There were also free biscuits and drinks available throughout the solving and a substantial buffet meal before the prize giving.

I would like to thank Oakham School, and Graham Lee, for the 17 wonderful finals that took place in the Barraclough Hall at Oakham School. It really was the perfect venue.

The BCPS is actively seeking a new venue for the final and is currently investigating two possibilities. I’ll announce the outcome of those investigations on this website as soon as I possibly can.

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