On the evening of 5 September 2020, on chess.com, the epic North v South Challenge took place, over no fewer than 108 boards. The last time this challenge was played was 1894, which followed the first such match in 1893. One wonders what would have been the reaction of the players who participated in either of these matches if they were told that it would not be renewed for over 100 years and that, by then, all the players on both sides would contest the match without even leaving home.
On publication of the match sheet, for this third encounter in the series, it was clear that the North had the advantage on the grades, which was borne out by the match result of North 60½-46½ South (with 11 games decided by default and one 0-0). Remarkably, this score is a close reversal of the previous meeting: in 1894 the South won by 64½-43½, also over 108 boards, but in those days, no games were declared void because one game could not get started despite both being on line at various points.
Results of 20 Essex players – games below – with apologies for any we’ve overlooked:
|4||PotatoeTheCat||FM Andrew Lewis||B||Lost|
|22||Ashfreez||Ashley Freeman||B||Won by default|
|58||Grebes64||Peter K Smith||B||Won|
|63||US255||Mike Wickham (Barking)||W||Drew|