Last year on the 2nd December a group of friends and I made our first visit to the St. Nicholas Parish in Prestwick for the Malawi Charity Chess Allegro. This was the third year of the event and we had such a good time we made a return visit last Saturday (1st December 2018).
The day got off to an excellent start with a full Scottish breakfast and several cups of steaming hot black coffee at Buckley's Café/Bistro, just a few hundred yards from the venue. The quality of the food and service was superb and very reasonably priced - I'm sure we'll be making a return visit.
After breakfast we moved on to the venue and five rounds of chess. Each game had a 15 minute time control and a 10 second increment, a faster game that classical, but great fun. This year's event attracted a record number of competitors with 68 players of varying ability and ages taking part. All the players were placed in the appropriate groups to reflect the individuals playing standard, ranging from relatively new players to International Master Andrew Greet. Andrew won the even last year and managed to successfully defend his title on Saturday.
The organisation of the event, the quality of the catering, and the objective to raise money for those less fortunate, made the day a huge success with over £900 raised for the St. Nicholas Malawi Initiative. The St Nicholas Church is twinned with Phiri Congregation which lies south west of Nkhata Bay in rural Malawi. Phiri has been led by Rev Margaret Kalimanjira since December 2014. However, the Partnership was originally agreed between REv Joseph Chimembe and Rev George Fiddes, and the Twinning Agreement was signed in 2009. Phiri Congregation consists of the Main Church at Phiri and nine remote Prayer Houses. I'm sure all the money will be gratefully received and help to improve many lives.
If you enjoy a game of chess, and you'd like a day in Prestwick, I would highly recommend a visit - hopefully we'll see you there next year.