ECF President’s Award – Ihor Lewyk (oh, and the Paralytic Games)

ECF President’s Award

The ECF have recently announced the recipients of the annual ECF President’s Award for Services to Chess. We are delighted to announce that website editor Ihor Lewyk is one of this year’s recipients!! This is what the ECF had to say:

Yorkshire Chess Association President Ihor Lewyk

For many years he has organised chess for adults and juniors. He is the President of Yorkshire Chess Association and has introduced a new website. Ihor is a county captain of the Open team and Captain of Bradford. On a wider front he competes in Congresses and has introduced juniors to the 4NCL. He is captain of White Rose teams and assists with both. He is always conscientious and very hard working. An active member of the ECF, he believes in fair dealing and is knowledgeable on many topics.

Anyone who visits this website will be familiar with Ihor. He works tirelessly to promote and organise chess in the local area. As well as being captain of many teams, he also organises the annual Bradford Congress and is a regular arbiter at the British Rapidplay Championships. Somehow he still maintains a very high standard of play! I’m sure you’ll all agree that he is a worthy recipient!

Also, our congratulations go to Tony Paish who was the second recipient of this year’s ECF President’s Award.

Paignton Congress 2012 – The Paralytic Games

Ian Thackray, Geoff Smith and Ihor Lewyk went on their annual outing to Paignton Congress at the beginning of September.
Day one started badly, with Ian unable to get a shower due to a power cut in his street. After a swift decent from Bradford to arrive in record time to our destination. This meant the social networking would begin a couple of hours earlier than usual which led to Ian Christening the tour, The Paralytic Games.

John Hickman, Ian Thackray, Geoff Smith and Roelof Westra


The following day began around mid-day which was still far too early for the most fragile of our party. Armed with pen in hand and little else we all headed to the plush Oldway Mansion to play the first round. Disaster loomed for Ihor who spurned winning the exchange and fell apart in a clearly won position. Crusty was rusty and agreed a quick draw while smug Ian comfortably took his opponent to the cleaners.

At least on day two Ihor managed to win his game. A rust free Geoff clinically outplayed his opponent with a neat temporary Bishop Sacrifice to win. Ian took the draw but still kept boasting rights. The following morning we decided to look at the games asking Fritz to show us the right path. Ihor was totally crushed when Fritz pointed out a missed mate in 4, not once but twice! Cue even more smugness… Later in the afternoon the full squad met up with the legend that is Roelof Westra. It wasn’t meant to be a rest day but Geoff won in 10 moves, Ig drew quickly and Ian forgot to keep his queen safe. Finding a pleasant beer garden we were treated to a few hours of pure comedy gold as the genial Dutch legend and honorary Yorkshireman regaled tales of past years in his life and chess in general. This included the best chess joke ever told but which cannot be posted on this, a family site. We are currently checking with our solicitors to see if we are able to sanitise it enough for it to be cleared for public viewing.

Seeing as the ECF CEO was present at the tournament in Paignton, it seemed a great opportunity to attempt to explain the complexity of the ECF membership system to a couple of players who shall remain nameless. However Ian Thackray and Geoff Smith can authenticate this tale as true. It was explained how in future tournaments players would have to give a monetary sum, £6 pounds to an ECF official at any congress they take part in. Still there was confusion even though one player had a degree in Maths and the other is a semi professional gambler! It was only clarified when the penny dropped upon explaining that it may only apply if they have a lower grade than them and the current month has an L in it.

Scores after Round 3:
Geoff 2.5/3
Ian 1.5/3
Ihor 1.5/3


Features editor for the Yorkshire Chess website. I collate and write atricles about all the latest chess activities in Yorkshire and beyond. I've also been known to shove some pieces myself from time to time!

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