Today's training day was not without its unusual aspects.
For example the much-hyped 'Beast from the East' made travelling conditions very difficult and caused a number of delegates to withdraw.
Then we had a picket line to cross at the university, a situation we handled with charm and aplomb.
There were other issues too, such as some chess sets not making it to the venue and sundry other problems.
It was therefore a great relief to see some people had made it through to room TR1 for the training - and to see the teas and coffees awaiting our indulgence (following our journey from Teesside that had lasted nearly two and a half hours) was a very welcome sight too.
Everything was fine once we started the chess!
The delegates worked hard all day on their various tasks and mini-games.
|Brian and John enjoying a mini-game
|Richard and Alan had more chess battles today than any other pairing of players.
|Siyan and Anu utilised the big board for their games.
Half-time! Christine brought in copious amounts of excellent sandwiches and promised an extra-large urn of tea for the afternoon refreshments.
Christine was true to her word...
We were fortunate indeed to have CSC Tyneside Co-ordinator Tim Wall there to help us with the day. Here he is, trying to make me disappear with a magic wand, having heard one too many puns for his liking.
Tim gamely took on the whole army of delegates in two special challenges - and won, 2-0!
King Tim of Wall.
The delegates were soon out to work on a written task.
A capacity crowd for this game of Maharajah Chess - the longest I have ever seen.
Alan was especially pleased to master, once and for all, the en passant pawn capture.
Thank you very much, everyone! None of the strange circumstances prevented us from having an excellent day.