Five players turned up to the Södermalm chess and beer championship. A surprisingly low number since the chess title was up for grabs due to Brissles’ late withdrawal. The unluckiest man in Söder missed his second off-season competition due to vinterkräksjukan. In the starting lineup for the chess comp was two time runner up Murf, triple semi-finalist Larry, this winter’s grand slam possibility JR, the dark horse Rappa and the white knight Bobby Love.
There was controversy straight away when Rappa wanted JR reported for touching one of Rappa’s pieces, and then called for redraw due to the chess clocks not being calibrated. After cutting through the red tape the competition could continue. JR looked like a winner early on but was forced into a stale mate against an outnumbered, but never outgunned, Murf. Larry, inspired by the recent chess world championship, beat JR on a queen sacrifice. At the end of the round robin Murf was minor premier, going straight to the grand final, with Larry and JR facing off in the semi-final.
The break before the finals was used to crown the Södermalm homebrewing champion. Last year’s winner Duel Brewery failed to submit an entry so it ended up being a tussle between Liquid Courage Brewery and O’Larrys. LCB submitted a keg of ‘Heavy Metal Lager’ and O’Larrys fancied his chances with a ‘Ruby Tuesday’. After sampling and spitting O’Larrys stood victorious, for the second time since the competition started. Although the heavy metal lager got special mention for head retention.
After losing to the fossil in the round robin JR had devised a new strategy for the semi-final and was determined to win. But like the best laid plans of mice and men this one went agley and JR had to settle for third spot.
It was time for the Grand Final. For the first time in 7 years there would be a new chess champion in Södermalm. And it was a big one. It was Rocky vs Ivan Drago, it was Tonya Harding vs Nancy Kerrigan, it was Söder vs Solna, it was Sweden vs Finland in ice-hockey, it was David vs Goliath, it was Ali vs Frazier, it was Jamala vs Dami Im. Too bad the match was over after 1 minute. ‘Tunnel vision’ Larry made a blunder a put a bishop in front of Murf’s queen and that was all she wrote. A Snoz in good form was never going to let go of an advantage like that. By verbally coaching himself into tranquillity he managed to pick off Larry’s pieces and finally claim the title he’s coveted so much. Big congrats to the man who used to be special. Now he’s just like you and me, he’s on the Söder honour roll.