I always feel the club season proper starts when I play the first game in my club’s all play all which  is the club championship. The competition is entitled the Rook and the trophy is a very fine solid silver Rook of considerable size.

One year , rather surprisingly, I was able to win this trophy and I was understandably proud. On returning home with this fine piece of silverware my pride was punctured with an immediate domestic decree that I would be polishing it myself!

So this season I began with a game against Phil Stimpson who is a very active player. He plays for a number of clubs and is always very well prepared. This was a very interesting game in a French sideline which he has tried against me once before.