Win one, lose one
Newcastle's two cup matches this week have both gone to board count. On Tuesday the Jackson Cup team got the better of Rugeley, with Joe winning and John and Alberto both drawing, whilst on Wednesday in the Intermediate Cup Cheddleton progressed despite draws from Richard, Alberto and Nic levelling the score with the help of David A's default win.
Alan and Hambel won as the C team shared the spoils at Crewe B on Wednesday.
The B team lost 2 - 3 at Macclesfield last night despite wins from Alan and Myron.
Jeff Delivers for D
With Joe, Paul and Nic all drawing, Jeff delivered the vital match winning point when the D team visited Cheddleton E on Friday.
Point for E
Hambel won and Alberto and Nic drew as the E team picked up a point at Crewe D last night.
Another B near miss
The B team lost 2 - 3 at Crewe A tonight with Reinhold winning and Alan and John getting draws.
F Lose Again
The F team suffered another narrow defeat last night, this time at the hands of Cheddleton H, despite David A winning and Alberto getting a draw.
The team ran out 3½ - ½ winners at home to Kidsgrove last night with Paul drawing whilst Joe, Richard and Jeff all secured wins.
The C team won at Meir A on Monday thanks to wins from Myron and Pete and draws from Alan and Nic.
Fenton have called off tomorrow's division one match between the clubs.
The club played and lost two matches last night with the B team going down narrowly to Rooks despite a win from Myron and draws from Joe and Richard, and the F team having only Alberto's draw to show for their trip to Crewe E.
The E team turned up at Alsager tonight to find no home team waiting for them, resulting in a walkover win for the visitors.
The D team's match at Kidsgrove tonight has fallen victim to the weather.
Derby Revenge for D
The D team took revenge on the E team for their defeat earlier in the season, running out 2½ - 1½ winners this time round. Richard and Jeff won for the D team, Myron for the F, whilst captains Paul and David A drew.
Nic goes South
Nic continued his good start to the year, scoring 3/5 in the Minor Section at the Somerset Congress at Clevedon over the weekend.
The D team's match at Kidsgrove that should have been played at the start of the season will now take place on 22nd January.
E ease into New Year
The E team enjoyed a narrow victory over Stafford A to start the New Year with Myron and Dave A winning and a returning David Meakin getting a draw. The D team's match was postponed as Alsager were unable to raise a team.
New Year, New Nic
Despite being one of the lowest seeds Nic scored 3/5 in his section at the Shropshire Congress. Well done. Newcastle old boy Simon Maydew was also present in a higher section, but didn't threaten the prize list.
Hambel too found herself lowly seeded, this time at Hastings, so 2/5 was a perfectly respectable score. Also at Hastings Thivyaa was dipping her toes in the open, reaching 3½/9 before leaving one round early. Wouldn't be school getting in the way would it?
E set the tone (we hope!)
The E team led the club into 2019 with a victory over Fenton C thanks to wins by Myron and David and a draw from Nic.
Scoring 6/9 Joe came 4= out of 80+ entrants in the major U12 section at the recent London Junior Championships.
C draw at C
The clash of C teams at Cheddleton last night finished honours even with Pete winning and Hambel and Nic getting draws.
Three for Two
Two of the clubs teams picked up three points between them as as D team won at Stafford A on the back of victories by Richard and Paul and a draw from Brian, whilst the F team drew with 3 man Meir B with Alberto winning.
A off the Mark
The A team recorded their first victory of the season at Fenton last night, thanks to wins from Thivyaa and Reinhold and draws from Barry and Richard.
The F team fell to defeat at Cheddleton G despite Dylan's win and Alberto's draw.
This week's matches for the B team at Cheddleton B and the E team at home to Alsager B have been postponed.
Winter in Bristol
Thivyaa Rahulan and Sam Turner both outscored their status in the Bristol Winter Congress over the weekend, with Thivyaa reaching 3½/5 in the Open section and Sam 2½ in the Major.
The set of performances I put up over the weekend were strange in places. I'd like to claim computer error, but the truth is of course human error in use of computer. Now corrected (I hope!).
The Price is Right
Dave Price won the U120 section at the Frodsham Congress over the weekend with a score of 4½/5. Julian Hawthorne came joint second on 4, with Les Hall further down on 2.
Meanwhile in the U160 section Geoff Laurence came second on 4, with Andy Raeburn, Michael Lee, Phillip Colvelle and Doug Barnett all on 3 and Neville Layhe on 1½.
Nic Wright scored 2½/4 in the minor section at the latest 4NCL Congress at Harrogate, having to skip the last round to get to his band practice. Sam Turner came just below half-way in the Major, whilst in the same section Malcolm Roberts had the sort of weekend after which things can only get better.
Cheddleton continue to organise a team to play in the Junior 4NCL, with the side winning the top division at the most recent event held at Solihull last weekend. Jacob Boswell scored an excellent 4½/5 backed up by Sam Parry 4/5, Joe Hirst 2½/5, Joe Alcock 1/4 and Dylan Whitney 0/1. One aspect not shared with the main 4NCL is the provision of a reserves competition which encourages reserves to travel in the knowledge they will get games. In this Dylan scored 3/4. The final event for the season will be held in Daventry at the beginning of March.
Julian Hawthorne scored 2½/4 in the Minor Section at the Somerset Congress at Clevedon.
In the Hastings Masters Jacob Boswell and Malcolm Armstrong both scored 5/10, Carl Gartside had mixed fortunes in his second week events, and Matthew Carr took a break from arbiting to play in the blitz in which there was quite a bit of power on display.
Meanwhile this weekend saw a North Staffs invasion at the Shropshire Congress, at least as far as the middle two sections were concerned. In the Major Jon Blackburn reached 50%, just ahead of Neville Layhe, with Sam Turner achieving a score commensurate with someone playing a section up. Julian Hawthorne was top North staffs scorer in the Intermediate with 3½ and a tie for fourth. Doug Barnett, Sandra Blackburn and Simon Layhe were half a point worse off, with a similar further gap down to Chris Rhodes. Les Hall also played despite being eligible for the Minor, which explains his finding the going tough.
Carl Gartside came joint second with a score of 4/5 in his first of his Hastings events, designated an Xmas one. Now for the New Year ones.
Thivyaa Rahulan, Jacob Boswell and one time Stafford stalwart Malcolm Armstrong all drew their first round games in the masters event at the Hastings International Chess Congress, with Jacob and Malcolm to meet in round two. Carl Gartside is down to play in several of the side events, and Hambel Willow will join the fun in the New Year.
After 3 rounds in the FIDE open running alongside the London Chess Classic, Simon Edwards is above 50%. May not sound much, until you look at the field.
Eight North Staffs players featured in the Preston Congress over the weekend. Sam Parry and Pavel Nefyodov competed in the major scoring 3 points and 2½ respectively over the five rounds. Neville Layhe and Sam Turner both scored 3½ in the minor, and were matched by Julian Hawthorne in the Standard section. The latter section aslo saw Dave Price and Nic Wright score 2½ and Les Hall 2.