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Chairman: Alberto Gissi     Secretary: Richard Cantliff 01782 257176.
Site maintained by Martyn Harris

Newcastle are members of the North Staffordshire and District Chess Association, though its main league is usually referred to simply as the Stoke League. Information about our venue can be found under Clubs-Newcastle. Our Privacy Policy can be viewed under Misc-Privacy.

Rambling Rook's Diary

Last Article
8 Nov 2017

Newcastle Events

This Week (15 - 19 Jul)

S Chesh Sh: Alsager, home
Club Night: Friday

Following Week (22 - 26 Jul)

S Chesh Sh: Crewe A, home
Club Night: Friday

Rapidplay Jamboree

7.30 Fri 2nd Aug
Newcastle Bridge Club
Teams of four, Open and U130 sections.
Contact Alberto Gissi


Czech Thivyaa
13/07/19 Thivyaa is currently playing a schools teams event in the Czech Republic with her games available live on Chess Bomb. Czech her out.

County personality
13/07/19 Alberto has been awarded the title of Chess Personality of the year at the County AGM. He has also agreed to take on the role of Congress Secretary.

S Cheshire Loss
13/07/19 A fixture shuffle meant that the club played their first match a little later than expected, at Crewe B on Weds. Alberto won and Andrew drew, but this was not enough to gain a point.

Jackson Joy
15/06/19 Newcastle beat Cheddleton 2½ - 1½ in the final of the Jackson Cup with draws from Joe, John and Paul supporting Alberto's vital win.

Friendly Fun
15/06/19 Newcastle entertained Madeley for two quickplay games on Wednesday, running out overall winners 4 - 3. Chris, Dave A, Andy, Alberto and Louis all got a run out in at least one match and all but Louis picking up a point.

Alex Too Quick
04/06/19 Alex won the club's end of season quickplay last week with an unbeaten 4½/5.

Friendly Postponed
30/05/19 The club's home friendly with Madeley due to be played next week has been put back a week.

E Lose but Jackson Progress
23/05/19 The E team lost their final match of the season with draws by David A and Raj all they gleaned from their visit to Stafford. The Jackson Cup team provided better news with wins from Joe and Richard, backed by Paul's draw enabling them to progress to the competition final.

F finish with a draw
17/05/19 Wins from Alberto and Raj enabled the F team to round off their season with a draw at home to Stafford B.

Three for E
15/05/19 Pete, Nic and Dylan all won as the E team beat Alsager B 3 - 1 tonight.

15/05/19 Dylan won the U10/U9 section of the Staffordshire megafinal with a perfect score of 6.

D Downed
15/05/19 Div 4 champions the D team were cut down to size by Fenton C against whom they managed just two draws coming from John and Paul. Thus Paul remained unbeaten in his 12 games for the team, despite only winning once.

Withnall Woe
08/05/19 Newcastle went out of the Withnall Cup at the hands of Cheddleton last night despite a win and a draw from Nic and Pete respectively.

Friday Fits F
08/05/19 I've returned from a long weekend away to discover that The F team enjoyed their Friday at home to Cheddleton F, running out narrow winners thanks to victories by Dylan and Andrew and a draw from Dave A.

Perry Title
01/05/19 Newcastle won the Minor Cup for the Perry Trophy, beating Crewe A on board elimination after a 2 - 2 draw as board count failed to separate the teams. Nic and Jeff provided the vital wins.

Last Wednesday
01/05/19 With the Bridge Club needing use of all of their premises on Wednesdays the chess club will be switching to Fridays, starting Friday 21st June. The last Wednesday meeting will be 12th June. It is likely that one of the club's teams will play home matches on Mondays next season to provide games for those for whom Friday is a poor night.

End of Season Rapidplay
01/05/19 The club's end of season rapidplay has been provisionally pencilled in for Wed 29th May.

A end with win
01/05/19 The A team completed their season with a win over Fenton A with Reinhold and Myron providing full points and Thivyaa and Alan halves.

Ladies at the 4NCL
26/04/19 Thivyaa and Hambel both attended the 7 round Easter 4NCL congress with Thivyaa scoring 3 in the Open and Hambel 4½ in the U1825.

Quiet Week gets Quieter
26/04/19 A week with just one fixture became even quieter when Alsager defaulted their visit to the D team.

Catching Up on Busy Week
19/04/19 Events this week have rather passed me by. Time to catch up.

On Monday the E team won at Fenton C to keep their faint hopes of the division four title alive. Myron and Alberto won, with Watson drawing.

Their title hopes were dashed the next day when the D team won at Kidsgrove to secure it for themselves. Richard, Nic and Jeff all won, with Paul getting his usual draw.

Onto Wednesday, when the C team drew against Cheddleton D thanks to Barry's win and Nic and Paul's draws, and the F team lost to Meir C with Alberto and David A drawing.

Two Losses
11/04/19 Despite Alan's win the C team lost at home to Crewe C last night. The F team got closer to Cheddleton G but still went down as Dave A's win and Alberto's draw were not enough for a point.

Only E can catch D
10/04/19 Their victory at Alsager B on the back of wins from Joe and Richard and draws by Jeff and Paul means that the D team can only be denied the division 4 title by the E team.

B finish with a draw
10/04/19 The B team completed their season with a draw at Fenton B with wins from Alan and Barry and a draw from Nic.

Win for B
04/04/19 The B team secured their first win of 2019 last night when beating Cheddleton B on the back of wins from Myron and John and draws from Barry and Alberto.

F Encore
03/04/19 Following their excellent result at Meir last week the F team won well at Crewe F tonight with Nic, David A, Edward and Dylan all winning.

A and D Diverge
28/03/19 The A team's loss against Cheddleton A condemned them to the division one wooden spoon, though with Reinhold winning and Alan and Myron getting draws it was hardly a disaster.
Meanwhile the D team maintained their leadership of division four with a draw against Stafford A, a full point being provided by Joe and halves by Paul and Jeff.

F and C win well
27/03/19 The F and C teams won the club's two away fixtures for the week, with the F team whitewashing Meir B on Monday and the C team defeating Alsager A 3 - 2 on Tuesday. Pete won for both teams, with Nic getting a win and a draw. Alan won and Hambel drew for the F team, whilst Paul and Dylan both fully enjoyed the trip to Meir.

Point for B
24/03/19 The B team drew at Cheddleton B on Friday, with Myron winning and Barry, Alan and Nic all getting draws.

Better Wednesday
21/03/19 The week improved for the club on Wednesday with the C team beating Alsager A thanks to wins by Myron and David A backed by John's draw, and the Perry Cup team progressed to their final by beating Crewe B Nic and Paul winning and Jeff drawing. They will play Crewe's A team in the final.

Major Concession
21/03/19 The Major Cup team were unable to raise a side for their visit to Meir on Monday, so conceded the match.

F move forward
13/03/19 The F team advanced their points total with a narrow win at home to Crewe F tonight, with Pete and Andrew winning and David A getting the draw.

B close again
13/03/19 The B team lost their fourth successive match 2 - 3, this time to Macclesfield, with Joe winning and Alan and Barry drawing.

E stay in touch
09/03/19 The E team stayed in touch with the division four leaders by beating Kidsgrove at the Bridge Club, with Hambel and David A winning and Alberto getting a draw.

09/03/19 Two of next weeks matches have been postponed, the D team's visit to Fenton C and the E's to Stafford A will now take place on dates to be decided.

C lose to C
07/03/19 Despite Joe's win, the C team lost to Cheddleton C last night.

Week Deteriorates
01/03/19 Following on from the two wins reported below, newcastle lost the other two matches this week. The E team lost at home to Cheddleton's equivalent side, with David A winning and Alberto drawing. The A team's vist to Holmes Chapel saw Alan's draw preventing a whitewash.

D drive on
27/02/19 The D team picked up two more points tonight, this tome against their namesakes from Crewe, with Joe and Jeff winning and Richard and Paul getting draws.

F team off the bottom
25/02/19 A visit to Meir C brought the F team's second win of the season and took them off the bottom of division 5. Alberto and Edward won and Watson got the vital draw.

Win one, lose one
21/02/19 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.

C Draw
15/02/19 Alan and Hambel won as the C team shared the spoils at Crewe B on Wednesday.

B Bruised
12/02/19 The B team lost 2 - 3 at Macclesfield last night despite wins from Alan and Myron.

Jeff Delivers for D
10/02/19 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
07/02/19 Hambel won and Alberto and Nic drew as the E team picked up a point at Crewe D last night.

Another B near miss
06/02/19 The B team lost 2 - 3 at Crewe A tonight with Reinhold winning and Alan and John getting draws.

F Lose Again
02/02/19 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.


U100 Title
13/07/19 The Staffordshire County U100 team, the majority of whom are from North Staffs, won the National Final of their event, beating Nottinghamshire 7 - 5.

Midland Gig(a) for Jacob and Dylan
13/07/19 Jacob Boswell scored 5/6 to be joint winner of the 15-18 age group at the Midland Giga-Finals played last weekend, with Dylan Whitney being fifth equal in an U10 section with a score of 4½.

Minimum Movements
13/07/19 News of happenings at the League AGM has been slow to leak out, but there have been changes to the minimum counting grades which will now be 100, 90 and 80 for divisions 2, 3 and 4 respectively. The likely result is that the average grading difference between opposing players will increase.

North Wales
28/06/19 Joe Hirst scored 3/5 in the Major section at the recent North Wales Congress, with Julian Hawthorne, Malcolm Roberts and Michael Lee providing further North Staffs interest in that section. Les Hall was here too, playing the U120 minor.

S Lakes
11/06/19 Nic Wright was a joint winner of the Minor section at this year's South Lakes Congress, scoring 3½/5. Malcolm Roberts scored 2½ in the intermediate, where Les Hall playing up a section found the going predictably tough.

Congress round-up
04/06/19 Players from seven clubs took part in the annual UK v EU match, resulting in a resounding win for the EU:
198Alex RichardsonReinhold Heinlein187
161Michael Hancock01Bartosz Fajfer170
149Geoff LaurencePetru Floresc184
151Philip Cattermole10Kasian Capatina152
145Steve Hill01Joachim Trier136
128Douglas BarnettAlberto Gissi119
126Clive Ferry01Lukasz Michalek65
90Julian Cook01Dylan Whitney59

Congress round-up
30/05/19 Roger Walker was joint winner of the Minor section at the Huddersfield Congress with a score of 4½/6, with Les Hall scoring 2 despite being one of the lower seeds.

In the U2050 at the 4NCL Congress Sam Turner and Joe Hirst both scored 2½/7 even though they were both nominally heavily outgunned in that section.

Carl Gartside was down to play in the Open section of the Cotswold Congress, though they are being secretive about their results so I know not how he fared.

News Frome Crewe
23/05/19 Leading North Staffs performer at the 7 round Crewe rapidplay congress on Sunday was Nigel Gardner who won the minor U100 section with a score of 5½. Simon Layhe managed second in the Inter U135 with 5½, Jon Blackburn third in the Open with 4½ and Chris Hankey and Joe Hirst 4th in the Major U165 with 4½. Needless to say there was plenty of other North Staffs interest with those beating 50% including Neville layhe and Les Fancourt in the Inter and Lukasz Michalek and George Jellis in the Minor. Full results on

Meanwhile Steve Emmerton was playing at a more leisurely pace in the Frome Congress, scoring 3/5 in the U140 section.

Rock and Rhyl
15/05/19 Aging rockers Dave Price and Les Hall played in the minor section of the Rhyl Congress over the weekend with Dave ending joint third on 3½/5 and Les on a more modest score. Sam Parry contested the major section, reaching a final score of 3.

Honours List
08/05/19 Time to start listing all the honours for the season. I'll keep this list at the top of the column until complete, when I'll date it and allow it to sink with the rest of the news.
WinnersRunners up
Division 1H Chapel ACheddleton A
Division 2Crewe AMacclesfield
Division 3Crewe BCrewe C
Division 4Newcastle DNewcastle E
Division 5Crewe ECheddleton H
Open CupCheddletonMacclesfield
Major CupCreweMeir
Inter CupCreweCheddleton
Minor CupNewcastleCrewe PA

Bolton and Exmouth
26/04/19 Julian Hawthorne scored 3½/5 in the Knights section at the Bolton Easter Congress, with Doug Barnett and les Hall finishing lower down in this section with 2½.

Meanwhile Malcolm Roberts was on the south coast scoring 3/7 in the Major section at the WECU congress in Exmouth.

Mini Results
19/04/19 Leading scores from last weekends mini congress were:
U160: Pavel Nefyodov 4, Chris Hankey 3½, Hambel Willow 3.
U130: Harry Gardiner, Simon Layhe, Les Hall all 4.
U100: Lukasz Michalek 4½, Steve Szwajkun 4, Ben Harrison, Terry Knight, Martin Chadwick, Joseph Bussell all 3.

Senior Moment
11/04/19 Les Fancourt easily exceeded his seeding by reaching 50% in the over 50s section of the English Seniors over the weekend.

Open Cheddleton
10/04/19 Cheddleton won the Open Cup final against Macclesfield which was brought forward to Monday by a convincing margin.

Birmingham Rapidplay
03/04/19 Congratulations to Joe Hirst who won the Intermediate section of the Birmingham Rapidplay on Sunday with a score of 6½/7. Rick Renegade scored 4½ in the Major, and Neville Layhe 3½ in the Intermediate. Alberto Gissi, Les Hall, Dylan Whitney, Doug Barnett and Carl Gartside also played.

30/03/19 Joe Hirst, Sam Parry and Les Fancourt all played at the Nottingham congress last weekend, finishing with scores of 2½, 2 and 2 respectively.

03/03/19 A host of North Staffs players competed in the Blackpool Congress over the weekend. None made a fool of themselves with all scores lying between 1½ and 3½ inclusive. Best scores were from Fajfer Bartosz with 3½ in the Major and Jon Blackburn with 3 in the Intermediate.

First Title
03/03/19 Holmes Chapel are the first club to secure silverware this season, the division one title becoming theirs when the A teams of Chedleton and Fenton fought out a draw on Friday.

Doncaster and Warwickshire
03/03/19 Last weekend Roger Walker finished joint second in the Minor section at Doncaster with a score of 4/5, with Sam Turner scoring 2 in the Major section there. at the same time Les Fancourt was finding the going tough in the Intermediate section at the Warwickshire congress.

Winter in Bristol
19/02/19 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.

04/02/19 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
04/02/19 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.

Previous news items for 2018/19 here