Bakers dozen for E
The E team reached a final tally of 13 points for the season when wins for Steve and Derrick enabled them to draw with Alsager C.
E lose to champions
The E team went down at Cheddleton G last night despite Geoff's win on top board.
Alex rushes to victory
Alex proved unstoppable in the club quickplay on Wednesday finishing on a perfect 5. Fuller details to appear shortly on the internal events page.
D end on high
Geoff and Paul got the wins that ensured that the D team ended the season with a narrow victory at Cheddleton D.
Final goes pear shaped
Newcastles run in the 8 board cup came to an abrupt halt in the final as they managed only two draws against Cheddleton.
The clubs end of season quickplay will take place next week. Hope to see many members there.
Newcastle rushed to defeat
Holmes Chapel were far too good for Newcastle in the rapidplay league last night, with only Paul making a contribution to our score.
No home comfort for D
The D team lost at home to Cheddleton D tonight despite Pete's win.
C go down to Stafford
The C team went to Stafford on Thursday to play their final match, in which they went down 1½ - 3½, though I don't yet have full details.
Final flourish for B
Wins for Martyn and Geoff helped the B team to a 3½ - 1½ victory over Knights tonight.
E go down to Fenton
Despite Steve's win the E team were beaten by bottom of the table Fenton D in their latest match.
A team end with win
Wins for Alex and Alan enabled the A team to finish their season on a high note with a 3 - 2 win at Cheddleton B.
Win one, lose one
Two cup finals were played last night. In the U135 event Newcastle dispatched Cheddleton 3½ - 1½ thanks to wins from Michael, Francis and John, but the U110 team were on the receiving end of the same scoreline with geoff being our only winner.
B blast Caverswall
Martyn, Tim, Nic, Pete and Mostafa all won as the B team whitewashed Caverswall A tonight.
E glean a point
2 draws were enough to secure a point against Fenton C who turned up for the match a man short.
The C team have conceded tomorrows match against Alsager A due to lack of available players with transport.
3 man Stafford too good for E
Despite a late withdrawal leaving Stafford C with only 3 men, they were still too good for the E team who had no individual winners.
Not close enough
The A team went down 2 - 3 at home to Cheddleton A despite Barry's excellent win.
C dent Staffords title push
The C team dented Stafford Bs title push last night when wins for Chris, Diarmid and Michael led them to a 3½ - 1½ victory. Full details of this and Alsagers win at Rooks will appear on the site later, but I have updated the division 2 page.
The D team were confirmed third division champions when Fenton B, their remaining rivals for the title, lost at Cheddleton F tonight.
Tims win was instrumental in the B team gaining a draw at Cheddleton C.
D in devestating form
The D team were in fine form last night as John, Watson, Pete and Paul all won on their visit to Kidsgrove A.
Bad night for the Bs
The B team went down to Fenton A tonight, with Martyn being lucky to get a win, though Geoff and Mostafa on the bottom boards both deserved to get more than their zeroes.
E team hit top form
Paul, Mostafa, Stephen and Derrick all won as the E team raced to a maximum against Caverswall C.
E team unable to halt Cheddleton Surge
The E team were the latest 4th division side swept away by a Cheddleton team (G in this case) as their three teams gather at the top of the table to contest the title with Syafford C. Paul won his game to ensure that our E team at least got on the scorecard.
Fenton A called off last nights match against the B team, which has now been pencilled in for next week (28th).
The a team picked up two more points through a 4 - 1 victory over Macclesfield with individual wins coming from Alex, Ralph and Martyn.
U110 team to final
The Newcastle U110 team reached the final of their event when Stafford pulled out of Wednesdays semi-final, with alternative dates this side of 'far too late' being unavailable.
Another point for D
The D team collected another point towards their title bid last night; Geoffs win being the major contribution at Caverswall B.
Michael won the U165 of the mini congress held at the Bridge club over the weekend, despite the distraction of a foot injury which forced him to play with his foot up throughout. Mostafa came joint second in the U90 section, whilst Newcastle old boy James Rothwell, now fighting out of Ormskirk, was joint second in the U120 section.
Alan, John, Pete, Paul, Geoff and Derrick also played with varying degrees of success.
Point for E
Wins for Stephen and Mostafa enabled the E team to share the spoils at Alsager B last night.
C on the up ...
The C team hit their stride tonight running out 4 - 1 winners over Holmes Chapel Knights on the back of wins from Diarmid, Michael, Nic and Mostafa.
... as B decline
The B team fell out of immediate contention for the second division title as Stafford put 3½ past them. Martyn was the sole Newcastle winner.
E push hard
The E team pushed hard on their visit to Leek for the match against Cheddleton H, with the match in the balance until the later stages. Unfortunately they still lost 1½ - 2½ with Paul contributing the full point.
A team go down at Kings
The A team were unable to capitalise on several small edges as they went down at Holmes Chapel Kings with Martyn being our only winner.
Geoff gets the point
Geoff got the full point in the only decisive game as the D team took on Cheddleton E tonight.
Point for B
Geoff was the only Newcastle winner as the B team drew on their first visit to the Lodge in Alsager.
C team overcome line dancers
Playing against a background of noise generated by the local line dance troupe was hardly to the advantage of either side as the C team took on Rooks in their own backyard last night, but once the dust had settled it was discovered that wins for Michael, John and Geoff had set up a 4 - 1 victory for Newcastle. Brings back memories of playing at Penkhull School in the last days there when a classroom just down the corridor from the chess players was given over to ladies' aerobics. Now there is an activity for loud music and shouted instructions. Not that they ever shouted anything useful like 'watch out for your f pawn!'.
Tomorrows games between the E team and Alsager C has been called off by Alsager.
Two draws equals no draw
The E team were only able to score two individual draws in their match at Cheddleton I, so the result was a 1 - 3 defeat.
U135s also reach final
Whilst the 8 board team had the advantage of a home draw in their semi-finals the U135 squad had to do the business away from home comforts. Wins for Diarmid and Geoff helped the team past Kidsgrove's challenge, the final score being 3 - 2 to the good guys.
Newcastle in 8 board final
Newcastle hve reached the final of the 8 board cup following their 6 - 2 win over Macclesfield in tonights semi-final. Alex, Barry, Alan, Tim, Pete and Paul all won their individual games.
1½ points for John
John was chauffeur for Martyn, Diarmid and Caverswall's Steve Hill for the county U150 match at Nottingham on Saturday. Although the duty seemed to interfere with his play, all the passengers drew.
2 - 3 again for A
The A team went down by the odd point in 5 against Stafford A tonight despite wins for Barry and Martyn. Meanwhile the D teams latest match was postponed due to illness in the enemy camp.
E miss their captain
The E team, minus captaon Paul went down 1½ - 2½ at fenton d despite a fine win for Stephen who was taking on top board responsibilities for the night.
A team push hard
The A team went down 2 - 3 at the home of defending champions Cheddleton A last night, with Barry winning and the rest of the team fighting hard.
All white on the night
he E team shared the spoils with Cheddleton I when all boards were won by white. Stephen and Derrick had the pleasure of the wins.
C off form
Having won with four players last time out, the C team this time lost with 6 as a full team plus sub turned out. It took Michael's win to prevent a whitewash at the hands of Cheddleton C.
The D team went down to their first defeat of the season losing 1½ - 2½ at Cheddleton F last night despite Geoff's win.
Not so poor for C
The C team were also playing on the poor night reported below, and things started badly for them when they found themselves a player short. However this obviously provided extra motivation as the remaining players were unbeaten, with wins for Diarmid and Michael enabling the team to get a narrow victory.
Poor night for Newcastle
The B team were unable to dent Holmes Chapel Knights' unbeaten home record, going down 2 - 3 with Martyn being the only Newcastle winner.
Meanwhile the E team were also losing, 1 - 3 at home to Stafford C despite Stephens win.
Robert returns to chess
Former Newcastle member Robert West has reappeared on the chess scene, turning out for Fenton D last night. Good to see that playing for us hasn't put him off the game forever.
The A teams match at Cheddleton B due to be played this Friday has been postponed.
The E teams visit to Cheddleton G scheduled for this Friday has been postponed.
The C teams home match against Caverswall A has been brought forward to next week from its original date in April.
Draws not enough for C
The C team managed three draws against Alsager A in a hard fought match, but over a five board match it was not enough to gain any points.
B end Fenton run
The B team brought Fenton A's unbeaten run to an end with a vengeance as wins for Alan, Martyn, Pete and Geoff helped Newcastle to a 4½ - ½ victory.
D team unaffected by break
Individual wins for John, Pete and Paul ensured that the D teams form didn't dip after the holiday break as they ran out 3½ - ½ winners over Fenton B last night.
B start the year with a win
The B team started the new year with a solid 4 - 1 win at Rooks with Martyn, Tim and Stephen supplying individual wins to the cause.
Draw hattrick for C
The C team got their third draw in a row on the backs of individual wins for Steve and Michael at Fenton A last night.
Caverswall too hot
Caverswall proved themselves too good for our rapidplay team, with only two draws to show for our efforts over the eight boards.
Neutral Newcastle (amended)
The date in the news item below is clearly wrong - the right date is 3rd January. I also have confirmation that the match will go ahead.
Newcastle may be hosting the fourth division Fenton derby on the 3rd December if this proves to be their only chance to play it before the end of January.
B slip lets in Stafford
The B team went down at Stafford tonight despite wins by Alan and Tim, allowing their opponents to have top spot over the Xmas break.
Bar goes soft
The bridge club are not renewing their drinks license after the end of this month, so from the beginning of 2007 only soft drinks will be available from the bar (and tea/coffee from the kitchen). People can of course bring in their own drinks if they feel unable to survive to the end of a match without an alcoholic fix.
3 - 1 to the D team
The D team gained their fifth successive 3 - 1 victory tonight, Kidsgrove A being on the receiving end of wins by Pete and Geoff.
C Scrape a point
The C team only fielded 4 players at Caverswall on Monday, burt earned a point on the back of wins from John and Nic.
John saves the day for C
A win for last to finish John coupled with one for Michael allowed the C team to draw with Fenton A.
B halt Cheddleton run
Wins for Alan, Martyn and Pete helped the B team to a 3½ - 1½ victory over Cheddleton C who had won all their previous 4 matches. Fenton A are now the only unbeaten team in division two.
Mostofa hasn't changed his second name by deed poll to something alphanumeric. We've simply decided it is time to give him an estimated grade so that others know why he is now playing on the boards he does.
Newcastle old boys Geoff Marchant and Richard Lee continue to play chess. Geoff, graded 160, is now at Wallington (Surrey) - Chingland has their website - where amongst others he rubs shoulders with a pair of Lalics. Richard (142) is at Cambridge University and is co-editor of Dragon, Cambridge University Chess Clubs magazine.
Another old boy Dave Cork, also 142, plays for Crawley, and is a regular visitor to the Leek Congress in September.
Not misspelt French, though perhaps it should be as the E team put in their worst performance of the season, needing Pauls draw to prevent a whitewash at the hands of Fenton C.
Newcastle out of Withnall
Despite wins for Paul and Mostafa Newcastle fell 2 - 3 to Fenton in the Withnall cup (county U101) tonight.
B beat Rooks
Wins for Alan, Tim and Geoff enabled the B team to win 3½ - 1½ against Rooks despite Martyn discovering that his good looking attack in fact lacked substance.
Good win for E at Kidsgrove
Paul and Derrick were to the fore as their individual wins set the scene for a 2½ - 1½ win by the E at Kidsgrove B.
B get bragging rights
The B team came out on top in the B v C rematch on the back of wins by Martyn and Geoff, so get the bragging rights for the season as the first match was drawn.
Little joy for E
the E team went down at home to Caverswall C tonight, Stephen's win being he only bright spot for the side.
Good night (bad Day) for D
The D team picked up another two points with a 3 - 1 win at Fenton B thanks to individual wins for Watson, Pete and Geoff, though captain John Day came second in his game.
First rapidplay wins
Newcastle picked up their first wins in the rapidplay league, beating Kidsgrove in both legs of the fixture. Pete, Derrick and Mostafa all recorded individual wins
A team draw with Kings
22/11/06Ralph and im got the wins that enabled the A team to draw with Holmes Chapel Kings tonight.
135 team safely through
Individual wins for Diarmid, Michael, John and Nic against Fenton secured the clubs safe passage into the semi-final of the U135 cup where a visit to Kidsgrove awaits them.
D team do it in threes
The team made it three wins in three starts with a 3 - 1 win at Cheddleton E last night. Individual winners were Pete and Paul.
Last minute problems cost C team (possibly)
The C team found themselves with only four players at Knights and went down 2 - 3 despite wins for Michael and Nic.
More points for E
The E team picked up more points last night with a 3 - 1 victory over 3 man Alsager B thanks to wins from Paul and Mostafa.
A team back to winning ways
The A team picked up the points at Macclesfield tonight thanks to wins for Alex, Alan and Martyn.
The Newcastle U119 ream progressed to the semi-finals of their competition when Caverswall were unable to raise a team for the first round.
8 board through
The clubs 8 board cup team safely negotiated their first round match at Fenton to reach the semi-finals where they will meet either Alsager or Macclesfield who play their match at the end of the month. Fenton put up stiff resistance but were unable to bridge the large gap in playing strength.
B Good C Breeze
The B team were good enough to beat Alsager A 3 - 2 tonight with the help of wins by bottom boards Pete and Geoff, whilst the C team breezed to a 4 - 1 victory (its never that easy of course) against Rooks thanks to wins by Chris, Diarmid and Michael on the top three boards.
Or at least equality for the E team at Alsager C tonight as wins for Derrick and Mustapha secured a point.
The A team suffered at the hands of Cheddleton B tonight with only Alan gaining a point despite tough play on every board.
Double delight for Newcastle
Both the D and E teams won tonight against Cheddletons F and H respectively. There were individual wins for Pete, Geoff, Dave and Brian.
Away day for Paul and Geoff
Paul won and Geoff drew for the county U100 B team in their away match to Worcestershire. Unfortunately this was not enough to stop the team going down 5 - 7.
A team start with a win
The A team started the season with a solid win at Stafford featuring individual victories for Ralph, barry and Martyn.
Newcastle made their first foray into the rapidplay league, losing both legs of their fixture with fenton. Brian was the only winner.
B battered at Caverswall
The B team went down 1 - 4 at Caverswall tonight, with no individual victory to lighten the gloom.
C lost at C (Cheddleton)
Michael was Newcastle's sole winner as the C team went down 1½ - 3½ at Cheddleton C in a match that also featured a welcome return to the local chess scene of former Penkhull member Martin Davies in the Cheddleton side.
There were mixed fortunes for the club tonight. The D team made a good start to their campaign with a 3 - 1 win over Caverswall B featuring individual victories for Watson and Pete, but the E team suffered a narrow defeat to Kidsgrove B despite an excellent win for Derrick.
Newcastle derby opens league
The first match of the new season took place tonight, with the B and C teams sharing the spoils. Alan won for the B team, Nic for the C.
Newcastle at Leek
Seven Newcastle players attended the Leek Congress over the weekend. Alex and martyn played in the top section. After a slow start Alex moved through the field and finished with a draw against Lawrence Cooper. Martyn'c erratic performance included pulling defeat from the jaws of victory against ex-member Dave Cork who now plays for Crawley.
Nic was our sole representative in the middle section, and as one of the bottom seeds in it can be confident his performance will help push his grade up.
In the bottom section Paul achieved a draw which could best be described as 'by discussion' on his way to 3 points, and James bored his way to a similar score by drawing 4 of his games. Derrick and David found the going tougher, though each had the pleasure of winning a game.
All told, some useful pre-season practice.
Belated AGM report
Wednesdays AGM went smoothly, with no changes in committee or fees to report. Francis announced that he wouldn't be playing any long play games, but Nic quickly suggested a way of covering his absence.
A: Alan, B: Martyn, C: Nic, D: John, E: Paul.
8 board: Alan, U135: John, U110: Paul, Rapidplay: Geoff, Withnall: Paul.
Ralph duly won the after meeting rapidplay.
Club AGM will be on first Wednesday of September, which on my calculations is the sixth. Please let Alan (or me) know if you are intending to play this coming season but are unable to attend the AGM.
One further titbit emerges from the data. Steven is 15 years old. Happy birthday!
We have provisionally entered five teams in the league next year. The changes in the league structure that enable us to do that can be found under Misc-New Rules. Our 8 board cup team start with a bye, our U135 and U110 cup teams start the defence of their trophies with a visit to Fenton and a visit from Caverswall respectively. Full details of the cup draws can be found within my report on the Association's AGM under Other News to the right.
Hanging on in half hour
One point separated the top 5 players in the clubs half hour event, with yours truely holding on to top spot. Full details on internal events page.
Half hour continues
Despite the counter attraction of world cup matches the clubs June ½-hour event continued, but still no draws. Full details on internal events page.
drawless half hour
Every game in the first two rounds had a decisive outcome - see internal events page. Those wishing to join in week 2 (21st June) can clain two half-point byes for this weeks games.
The performances page has been updated for the final time this season to include all league and cup matches together with games played in the Newcastle mini congress.
I am sorry to announce that Kris Chesters died suddenly last week. His funeral is at Henbury Church on Friday week (ie 8th June) at 11:45. Kris represented Macclesfield and played a number of times in the Stoke League over many years.
Who won what 2006/7
|Division 1||Cheddleton A||Cheddleton B|
H C Kings
|Division 2||Cheddleton C||Stafford B
|Division 3||Newcastle D||Fenton B
|Division 4||Cheddleton G||Stafford C|
|8 board cup||Cheddleton||Newcastle
The table below shows the 'Big Fish' - those with grades at least 20 more than the average limit - who played in divisions 2 to 4. The last column gives the number of times each played. There was just one match remaining when I compiled this list. If necessary I shall make alterations after the last match is played, though I won't make a separate news item out of it. (none needed: 30 May)
|Simon Hood||Alsager A||188||6
|Gerald Acey||Stafford B||181||1
|Dave Buxton||Cheddleton C||179||1
|Pat Bennett||HC Rooks||174||1
|Andy Raeburn||HC Knights||164||13
|Malcolm Armstrong||Stafford B||164||6
|Suzy Blackburn||HC Rooks||155||2
|Ryan Palmer||Fenton A||152||2
|Alan Paling||Newcastle B||151||15
|Bill Armstrong||Cheddleton F||148||1
|Roger Edwards||Cheddleton F||145||3
|John Yee||Cheddleton E||139||7
|Chris Simpson||Cheddleton D||134||5
|Molly Moruzzi||Cheddleton D||131||8
|John Harvey||Cheddleton E||131||1
|Andy Stott||Fenton B||130||2
|Bill Armstrong||Cheddleton G||148||1
|Andrew Pitcher||Alsager C||140||15
|Andrew Leadbetter||Stafford C||126||1
|Keith Brownlee||Cheddleton G||119||1
|Simon Crowley||Cheddleton G||119||1
|Rob Moruzzi||Cheddleton G||118||3
|Michael Williams||Fenton C||118||2
|Martin Gee||Cheddleton H||117||4
|John Amison||Fenton C||117||1
|Kasik Wozniak||Stafford C||116||7
|Vlade Luzajic||Cheddleton G||115||2
|Danny Griffiths||Fenton D||113||1
|Dusan Grujic||Stafford C||111||2
|Colin Abell||Cheddleton I||110||18
|Martin Davies||Cheddleton G||110||1
I've made my end of season update to the facts and figures page, although there are still 4 fourth division matches remaining. None of the figures has changed much since the March calculations.
Dates for all
With the first three divisions now complete it is also good to see that all the remaining fourth division postponements now have new dates, even if there appears to be a danger of one or two results not making it to be included in the next seasons grading calculations.
Poles share cup spoils
Honours were even in the county cup finals with the north taking the Hickman (open) and Withnall (U101) through the efforts of Cheddleton and Fenton respectively whilst Lichfield and Boldmere St Michaels secured the Gothard (U151) and Jackson (U121) for the south of the county.
I seem to have got a little behind with updates and proper email replies in the few days, but I will catch up, even if I have to put off mowing the lawn yet again.
Mid May Performances
Performances page now updated to include matches upto 11 May.
Cheddleton retain 8 board cup
Cheddleton were far too strong for Newcastle in the final of the 8 board cup on Friday, running out comfortable 7 - 1 winners.
Three to finish
The top three divisions should all be completed this coming week with Holmes Chapel Kings entertaining Stafford A and Cheddleton C visiting Alsager A on Thursday, and Cheddleton D playing Newcastle D on Friday.
Kidsgrove give AGM OK
Kidsgrove have confirmed the availability of their room for the league AGM in July with the Neuchapel club now under new management.
Opponents have twice overlooked a fixture against Kidsgrove this month, with Alsager B in the fourth division and Stafford in the rapidplay failing to read their fixture lists correctly.
The 8 board final between Cheddleton and Newcastle will take place on Friday 11th May.
Cheddleton beat Stafford in the last of the cup semi finals last night, to reach the 8 board final in which they will host Newcastle.
Division 3 dates
Dates for the 2 remaining division 3 matches have now been arranged. Newcastle D will entertain Cheddleton D on May 9th, and visit them on the 18th.
Cups for Newcastle and Kidsgrove
Kidsgrove were delighted to win their first trophy for many years when they beat Newcastle in the U110 cup final. Newcastle did however retain the U135 trophy. Congratulations to both.
County cup finals
The finals of the county cup competitions take place at Stafford on 16th May:
|Jackson||(U121)||Boldmere St Michael||v||Rushall
Performances page updated again.
County Congress results
A brief report and a list of prize winners of the 2007 Staffs Congress can be found under Congresses - Staffs
Semi date suits all
The date of the outstanding 8 board cup semifinal between Stafford and Cheddleton has been fixed for the 26th April. This (presumably) suits not only these two clubs, but also Newcastle who await the winners as it rules out any possibility of them having to play three finals on one night and also allows the postponed Cheddleton B v Newcastle A match to go ahead on the 27th.
Site breaks for Exmouth
The lack of updates to the site over the Easter weekend was due to my running off to participate in the Exmouth congress. I've got to get my 100 games a year somehow.
Don't forget ...
... to get your entries in for the Staffordshire congress which is now just a fortnight away. 10 a.m. starts make it a commuter friendly congress. You can advertise lifts available or wanted on this page if you wish.
I've just uploaded my latest update to the performances page.
Cheddleton A fall on handicap
They say you can prove anything using statistics, so as Cheddleton A have already won the first division (you did know that didn't you!) it is time to prove they haven't and can't. Cue handicaps.
Allegedly differences in grades can be used to predict the outcome of a series of games using
%age score of stronger player = 50 + difference in grades.
Thus a 10 point difference gives a 60% score to the stronger player, which over 5 games is a 3 - 2 win. Applying the same idea to a 5 board team, using the average grade difference, we could regard this as a draw on handicap.
Rounding the average differences to the nearest 10 and comparing with the appropriate score for a draw on handicap (3 - 2 for 10, 3½ - 1½ for 20, etc,) gives the following table:
So Cheddleton A haven't won after all. Proving that Newcastle have could take a little longer.
06/07 in figures
Wondering about teams for next season if we continue with the experimental scheme? I've crunched some numbers to gain an insight into the strengths of teams and boards fielded this year. Yours to view under
Misc - 06/07 in figures.
Mini results and pics
I've finally got around to writing a few words as a report on the Newcastle mini congress on the Congresses - Newcastle Mini page.
Another Performance update
Performances page now based on results upto and including 13th March, including the mini congress.
A fuller report on this seasons mini congress will appear shortly once I've sorted out a few photos.
U165: 1st Michael Roberts (Newcastle) 4, 2nd Ryan Palmer (Newport) 3½.
U120: Ben Zitha (Fenton) 5, 2nd James Rothwell (Ormskirk) & Stuart Hull (Fenton) 3½.
U90: Eliot Green (Hassell) 4, 2nd Mostafa Soleimani (Newcastle), Conrad Green (Hassell) and Nick McLean (Cheddleton) 3½.
Edward Davies picked up the junior prize, Matthew Wyza the Kangaroo prize.
Overheard on completion of a game starting 1 c4:
Black: 'I never like playing the English.'
White: 'I'm Welsh!'
Lists of current entries can now be found on the Congresses - Newcastle Mini page, so those who like to check that there is someone 'their size' in the competition before entering can do so. The U90 section already includes five juniors of varying degrees of youth and inexperience (why does my dictionary include seniority but not juniority?), with at least a couple more hopefully 'in the post'.
I've had a weekend break in Exeter - hence the lack of updates over the last couple of days.
Kidsgrove Chess Clubs new site can be found at www.kidsgrovechess.co.uk. Do drop in for a visit.
Performances page now updated to include all matches played upto and including 19th Feb.
Cheddleton in U135 final
The U135 cup became the first of the cup competitions to know its finalists when Cheddleton beat Caverswall last night to set up a visit to Newcastle.
The 8 board cup semi-final between Stafford and Cheddleton has been postponed. The eventual winners of this tie will entertain Newcastle in the final.
Kidsgrove first finalists
Kidsgrove beat Fenton 3 - 2 in the U110 cup semi-finals last night, simultaneously thwarting my alternative fully alliterative headline.
First win for County U150
Third time lucky for the County U150 team as they secured an 8½ - 7½ win at Nottingham.
First to 20?
Having updated the performances page again to include all matches upto and including 2nd Feb, excluding Stafford B v HC Knights, I see that the race to be the first player to 20 games is nearing its conclusion with Dave Ross (Alsager) and Pete Shaw (Newcastle) leading the way on 19 ahead of Stuart Hull (Fenton) on 18. All are likely to be involved in fixtures this week.
Cup semis approach
Most of the cup semi-finals take place in the week 12 - 16 February, with Newcastle and Stafford entertaining Macclesfield and Cheddleton respectively in the 8 board cup, Kidsgrove and Cheddleton home to Newcastle and Caverswall respectively in the U135 cup, and Kidsgrove visiting Fenton in the U110 event. The remaining semi-final between Stafford and Newcastle in the U110 is a month further into the future.
About 30 children turned up for the U9 and U11 county trials held at Hasell St today in preparation for joining forces with warwickshire for inter-county events.
Forward to the fifth?
I have put together a few thoughts about creating a fifth division in the miscellaneous section of the site. Comments welcome.
County open team progress
A 12 - 4 victory over Lincs on top of earlier 13 - 3 and 12 - 4 wins over Derbyshire and Worcs enabled the county open team to win the second division of their Midland Counties competition in style. The team go forward to the national stages of the minor counties event.
County cup news
Fenton went out of the Jackson cup losing 2 - 3 to Boldmere St Michaels of Sutton Coldfield.
Cheddleton take final cup semi place
Cheddleton took the last of the cup semi final places in the U135 cup when Alsager withdrew from their first round tie.
What, no pumpkins!
No clubs need fear turning into pumpkins for failing to meet the end January deadline for intra-club fixtures, with the final two Cheddleton derbies played last night.
performances page now updated to include all matches played upto and including last night except for Alsager B v Kidsgrove A
Thursday's severe weather resulted in the postponement of the division one match between Holmes Chapel Kings and Cheddleton B and the division four match between Alsager C and Caverswall C.
Extra point for Knights
As Alsager A inadvertently fielded an ineligible team against Knights in their match just before Christmas, the result is a draw rather than the 3½ - 1½ victory for Alsager suggested by the board scores.
Honours were even as the county's U100 A and B teams met at the Bridge club today, the 6 - 6 draw giving both sides their only point of the season.
Martin intrudes on family affair
Martin Gee could be forgiven for feeling a bit of a gatecrasher as he teamed up with three Hallens for Cheddleton F in their match against the four Moruzzis of Cheddleton D. Obviously Martins presence undermined team spirit as the D team won.
... to John Amison, John and Sandra Blackburn, Gus Brain, Paul Clapham, Julian Cook, Peter Evans, Andrew Leadbetter, Bob Perry and Mark Whitby for their frequent contributions; and to all those who have fed through results and other information on a more occasional basis. Without your input the site would be a mere shell devoid of interest.
As ever progress in the various competitions is being slowed by postponements. Of the leagues the first division is well behaved, with only one postponement out of its 12 pre-Christmas fixtures, and that has a new date arranged. Division two is also going well with one postponement out of 29, though I don't think a new date has yet been agreed. Division three is three games behind after a scheduled 18, and division four is 8 games short of its target of 45 matches played by Christmas. The third and fourth division postponements include 4 derby matches between teams from the same club, which need to be played by the end of January.
Of 11 first round cup matches only one is outstanding, though the rapidplay league is doing less well with two of the first six fixtures outstanding.
Xmas performances update
Performances page now includes all pre-Xmas games bar Knights v Alsager A.
Does anyone know ...
... match results and/or Individual scores for Knights v Alsager A (13th Dec) and Alsager B v Alsager C (14th Dec). If so pleases mail me using the link at the top of the page.
Performances updated to 11th Dec
On the limit OK
As the experimental rules only state that there are team grade limits of 650, 440, 360 for divisions 2 to 4, but don't expressly state that teams have to be under these limits rather than not above, there is an ambiguity over the legallity of a team 'on the limit'. Although I think it was the intention that teams should be under the limit, and so far all have, it seems right that if a team finds themselves having to hit the limit the more generous interpretation of the rule should hold sway. i.e. that 360 is a legal total in division 4, etc. Canvassing committee opinion on this has drawn no dissenters so far.
First sighting of performances
With some of the leagues most active players having already reached double figures of games played I've decided its time to do my first calculations of performances so far this season. Follow the links to Misc-Performances.
Macclesfield complete 8 board line-up
Macclesfield took the last place in the 8 board cup semi-finals when they won 4½ - 3½ at Alsager last night. They will now visit Newcastle in February.
County open close in on promotion
The Staffs Open team have beaten Derbyshire 13 - 3 leaving them needing a win over Lincolnshire (who have already lost to Derbyshire) to secure top spot in their section.
County U100B push Shropshire all the way
6½ - 5½ to Shropshire was the final score on Saturday as the county U100 B team fought hard despite being outgraded on most boards.
U135 cup starts
Three first round matches in the U135 cup were played on Monday with wins for Caverswall, Kidsgrove and Newcastle. The semi-final draw is Kidsgrove v Newcastle, Alsager or Cheddleton v Caverswall.
The first cup week of the season saw action in the 8 board and U110 competitions resulting in semi-final ties of Stafford v Cheddleton and Newcastle v Alsager or Macclesfield in the 8 board, and Newcastle v Stafford and Fenton v Kidsgrove in the U110.
New map for Caverswall
I have added a map to the Caverswall page showing their latest venue at the Creda Cricket Club in Blythe Bridge.
Caverswall back to the future
Caverswall are on the move again, this time to Creda Cricket Club, which is close to their old venue at the Creda Sports and Social Club. I shall update their club page shortly to reflect this.
Failing to escape
Can't go anywhere to escape detection these days. Though I'd have a nice anonymous weekend in Scarborough, but my cover was blown when seeing Simon Hood and Alan Thomason (both Alsager), Vlade Luzajic, Rob Shaw and Craig Whitfield (all Cheddleton) and Fenton's Ben Zitha there. Vlade and Rob will be the happiest to be asked how they fared.
County junior congress
This event was played at Stafford on the 8th October with nearly 100 competitors competing in various age groups. A list of the leading results can be found under misc - Staffs Juniors. Many thanks to those who volunteered to help at the event.
The county U150 match due to have been played last weekend was called off by opponents Leics. The fixture may be rescheduled for a later date.
No county U125s
Staffordshire have withdrawn from this years inter-counties U125 competition.
Updates over the weekend were delayed as I went away for the weekend.
New junior venture
A Newcastle under Lyme Junior Chess Club is being formed with meetings on Thursdays 6 - 7 pm during term time at Hassell School, Barracks Road, Newcastle, ST5 1LF. Cost £2 per session. The club is being organised by Traci Whitfield (01782 623361), who is well known for her work with juniors throughout the county, with coaching support provided by established league players. Ideal for juniors who are not yet prepared to face an adult club.
Board count win for Caverswall
Caverswall won the annual South Potteries Challenge match against Fenton on Monday on board count after the match finished 4 - 4.
8 in 8
Macclesfield have entered the 8 board cup, bringing the entry up to a highly convenient 8. Their first round match will be at Alsager.
New webmaster for league site
John Anison is passing maintenance of the league website on to Mark Whitby. Once Mark's version is ready for viewing John will place a simple redirect on his site so that users will not need to find a new url. Many thanks to John for establishing a high quality site, and for the help he has given the Newcastle one. We give Mark our good wishes for the venture - John is undoubtedly a hard act to follow.
Fixture Summary added
For those who like everything on one piece of paper I have added a summary sheet to the downloads page, giving a calendar of all fixtures in all competitions.
Landon for Shaw
Rob Shaw won the Landon Memorial Trophy, the NSDCA's most prestigious individual award, by being the association's leading player at the Leek Congress last weekend. He did it in style, by winning his last round game to take first prize in the top section at the congress. For more about the congress see Congresses-Leek.
Some bills from Bill's sums
Details of fees payable for the season for each club can be found here (new window). Calculations assume payment by 1st November so as to take advantage of the early payment discount.
Fixture changes and additions
The pages and download files on this site have been updated to reflect the changes:
206, Cheddleton C v Newcastle C moved from 13/10 to 6/10
308, Cheddleton E v Fenton B moved from 27/10 to 20/10
451, Cheddleton H v Newcastle E moved from 2/2 to 2/3,
and additions made to the fixture lists in order to include Cheddleton I in division 4
Official grades released
The ECF grading page now contains the official grades for use in the coming season. Stafford, Newcastle, Fenton and Caverswall seem to have escaped any changes from the provisional list published earlier. Another North-South divide?
9 lives for Cheddleton
Well nine teams anyway. Cheddleton I will join the fourth division. Their fixtures together with a small number of changes needed to accommodate them will probably be published tomorrow once I have changed all the relevant pages and download files. The changes - as opposed to the additions - affect only Cheddleton, Newcastle and Fenton.
Chris Ford (Kidsgrove) heads the list of grade increases for people who have played in the associations events, his grade leaping a massive 24 points. Up by 20 points are James Lobo (Macclesfield), Carl Mustafa, Andy Stott (both Fenton) and Yangstdi Yu (Cheddleton). Then come James Rothwell (Newcastle, up 14), Tony Roberts (Holmes Chapel, up 13), Roger Edwards, John Harvey (both Cheddleton, both up 12) and Andy Raeburn (Holmes Chapel, up 11).
I have added some details about this September's Leek congress to the relevant page
Fixtures for the coming season are available for download from the competitions-Fixtures downloads page.
Fenton will host Newcastle in the first round of the 8 board cup.
Cheddleton's D team will play in division three in the coming season rather than division two as provisionally planned.
Entry forms for this years Leek congress should be dropping through letter boxes in the near future, if not sooner.
Chapel double two
Both Rooks and Knights will be playing in division two this year. I keep track of the latest entry situation at the bottom of the Misc-New Rules page.
Fenton have decided to enter a fourth team in the league this coming season, the extra team to appear in division four. The club also hopes to make a late entry in the 8 board cup.
Alsager expansion confirmed
The expansion of Alsager (formerly Broughton Arms) to 3 teams next season has been confirmed.
New grades are out, and with them comes news of the first change to league entries - in this case an extra entry from Stafford to play in division 2. Excellent.
Good News. The UK Land Chess Challenge site is now reporting that Yangshan won her section in the Gigafinal on a split-tie rather than losing by this method as reported earlier.
First stab at grades
The initial version of the new seasons grading list is available on the grading page of the ECF site. Hopefully there will no (significant) changes to these.
Roughly 50 Staffordshire Juniors took part in the recent Northern Gigafinal of the UK Land Chess Challenge. Craig Whitfield, Yangshi Yu, Conrad Green and Henrik Stepanyan gained Ultimo titles in their age groups. Yangshan Yu also finished joint first, but missed out on a title through a tie-split. Jade Lawton and Astghik Stepanyan came third in their sections. Also of interest is the runner-up performance of Cheshire's Ellen Scattergood as she plays for Holmes Chapel in the NSDCA.
Report for NSDCA 2006 AGM
17 Association members plus county secretary Andrew Davies, who wished to see how we do things up north, attended the AGM at Kidsgrove last night. Numerous apologies were received - had they all attended it would have been a record turnout. Officers reports were commendably brief. Apparently a scheme similar to the northern membership scheme may be coming our way soon, though probably not soon enough for the coming season. There were pleas for more clubs to enter county events, and the search for a new U125 captain is on-going.
The usual suspects got re-elected to their posts - that is your fault for not turning up and volunteering to relieve them of their duties.
The unplayed second division match between Broughton Arms and Creda B has been declared defaulted by both teams. Both clubs have since changed there names - to Alsager and Caverswall respectively - perhaps in an attempt to distance themselves from this debacle.
The four trophies present were awarded two each to Leek St Edwards (divisions 2 and 3) and Newcastle (U135 and U110 cup). The whereabouts of the big boys trophies (div 1 and 8 board cup) are unclear. Correction: Gus walked off with the division 1 and 2 trophies on behalf of Cheddleton and Leek. It was decided to continue with the rapidplay league, for which there is not currently a trophy.
The treasurers proposals for a simple formula for league fees - £7 plus £2 per fixture for four board teams, £9 plus £2.50 per fixture for five board teams were accepted, as were his suggestions to leave cup fees unchanged and to charge a late payment fee for monies received after November 1st.
The intermediate time control has been removed from the rules, so that the standard rate of play is now all moves in 85 minutes.
In all cups the semi-finals are
winner match 1 v winner match 2 and
winner match 3 v winner match 4.
Entries to the Rapidplay league have been made by Caverswall, Fenton, Holmes Chapel, Kidsgrove, Newcastle and Stafford. They may be joined by Cheddleton and/or Macclesfield.
As a one year experiment the association has decided to run its league competitions in line with the proposals I had put forward. See Misc-New Rules for more information.
Next years AGM is set for Wednesday July 4th, provisionally at Kidsgrove.
Despite all that the meeting finished at 10.30 - well done Andrew Leadbetter for keeping things moving from the chair.
NSDCA AGM reminder
The Associations AGM takes place this Wednesday at Kidsgrove. Amongst the items on the agenda are suggestions for reorganising the associations main competition as a series of separate competitions on a grade limited basis applied to a teams total grade. With luck people will have discussed these suggestions with those whose opinions they value so that we can quickly get through to voting and get home at a reasonable hour.
Winners at last months Leek Rapidplay Congress were
Cheddleton Section (U190): Andrew Legge (Wallasey) and Mike Surtees (Bolton).
Leek Section (U145): Yangshi Yu (Cheddleton)
St Edwards Secrion (U100): Stephen LLoyd (Chester).
Dave Buxton (Cheddleton) won the Alan Wilshaw Memorial Rose Bowl as leading player from North Staffordshire and District.
Staffordshire junior Henrik Stepanyan (Sutton Coldfield, don't ask) put in a notable performance in fivishing tied second in the Leek section.
Staffordshire are on the lookout for a captain for the U125 county side for the coming season. Any volunteers? - let me know and I shall pass the info on.
Earlier start for county cups
The county cup competitions should now be starting earlier in the season, hopefully making it easier to fit in fixtures.
County Club and Personality of the Year
Fenton have been awarded the county 'Club of the Year' shield for season 2005/6, citing their continued growth which clearly shows they are doing something right in attracting people to our game. They also give a warm but unfussy welcome to visitors, work with outside organisations and participate in county events.
Craig Whitfield is the county personality of the year. Lack of space means I cannot give a full run down on his achievements, but simply representing England means that he has done a lot to remindingg the rest of the country of Staffordshire. Although I have no knowledge of who the other leading contenders were, I suspect that Craig only just beat his mother whose work both with juniors and the county U100 B team has contributed to moving the county forward.
Without the help of my many correspondents this site would be nearly empty. So with apologies to anyone whose name I omit, thanks go to John Amison, John and Samdra Blackburn, Clive Bradbury, Gus Brain, Paul Clapham, Julian Cook, John Day, John Donaldson, Peter Evans, Clive Ferry, Mike Hancock, Geoff Laurence, Andrew Leadbetter, Bert Loomes, Alan Paling, Gordon Parker, Bob Perry, Pete Shaw, Alan Thomason and Traci Whitfield. Mistakes and presentational inadequacies are of course my own.
My proposals for replacing the league by a series of grade limited competitions can be found under Misc - New System?. They can also be downloaded in Word format here.
Who won what
|Div 1||Cheddleton A||Stafford A
|Div 2||Leek A||Cheddleton C*
|Div 3||Leek D||Fenton B
|8 board cup||Cheddleton||Holmes Chapel
|U110 cup||Newcastle||Holmes Chapel
|Rapidplay||Creda & Holmes Chapel
* Assuming that Broughton Arms v Creda B is a double default
League site back
Headline says it all! (See item below)
Host loses league site
The hosting company for John's league site have mislaid his domain name. They say they are working to reestablish the connection, so rest assured his site will reappear in due course.