2020 is already upon us with many club members competing in the Australian Championships and the club's new programme is ready to unfold. 

We can look back on 2019 as another successful year for the club. Membership numbers were up and our tournaments were again strongly supported. The club championships, in particular, drew a record field. 

There are new names on our major trophies. Vladimir Feldman is our new Club Champion, new State Champion Jack Rodgers won the Purdy Memorial, Angelito Camer the Ford Greenwood Seniors, and Joshua Brown the Winter Classic. There was also a pleasing blend of prize winners between established players and emerging young stars; members of long standing and more recent arrivals. 

Our club members again had successes in individual events. We are proud to have the Oceania Zonal Champion and Australian Junior Champion within our midst - Max Illingworth and Sterling Bayaca. It was also pleasing to see the play-offs for both the State Championships and State Blitz Championships taking place between our members. 

The club was sorry to lose a Life Member, Phil Viner, during the year. His contribution to Australian chess was significant. 2019 also saw Max's retirement from chess competition to concentrate on coaching and writing. Anton Smirnov completed school and is making strides in international competition, crossing the 2600 mark. 

For the first time in the same year, Norths lost its grip on both the Kellner/Shaw trophy for the Big Board and the Centenary Shield for the Little Board, despite fielding very competitive teams for each. We will have to work hard to get both of these back. 

My thanks go to my colleagues on the club committee who worked tirelessly during the year and it was fitting that Life Membership was conferred on David Stern at our recent Annual General Meeting. 

Thanks to all our members for supporting the club and its various activities this year. I trust that you all had a enjoyable festive season and were not directly affected by the devastating bushfires. 

I look forward to welcoming you back to chess at Norths, ready for a year of competitive chess opportunities, which begins with a new event in our calendar, an Allegro tournament. Best wishes to you all for 2020.

Regards, Peter Abbott

Regards, Peter Abbott.