Hello and welcome to the Newcastle-under-Lyme Chess Club website.

Chairman: Alberto Gissi     Secretary: Alan Paling 01782 616257.
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 (17 - 21 Sep)

S Cheshire Sh: Crewe A, home, drew 2 - 2
Club Night: Wednesday

Following Week (24 - 28 Sep)

Club Night: Wednesday


Just enough
20/09/18 Wins from Myron and John secured the draw against Crewe A that the South Cheshire Shield team needed to win the trophy by a single point. Well done to all the players who turned out over the course of the season.

Richard's AGM
13/09/18 Richard was elected club secretary at the AGM, taking over from long serving Alan Paling. He then proceeded to win the AGM quickplay. Everyhing went smoothly, with Joe being pronounced minor player of the year.

Newcastle stay ahead
12/09/18 Newcastle retained their one point advantage over Crewe A at the top of the South Cheshire Shield table ahead of the last game of the season clash between the two at the Bridge Club next week by beating Alsager with the help of wins by Pete and Jeff and a draw from Alberto. Standing room only for spectators next week methinks.

Thivyaa at English
03/09/18 Thivyaa played in the English Women's Championships over the weekend, finishing joint 7th in a field of 30 with a score of 3/5.

Alex and Reinhold halve the summer half
31/08/18 Alex and Reinhold shared the spoils in the summer half-hour with 5½ each, with Steve Hill a distant third on 4. All told nineteen players participated.

President John
21/08/18 John has taken over the presidency of the North Staffs Chess Association from Roger Edwards. No doubt he will have to endure plenty of false sycophancy.

Club Secretary
14/08/18 Alan has asked me to place the following statement on the site:

"I've been thinking recently that although the role of secretary is no longer very demanding, it is time someone else took it on. I undertook the role sometime in the 1980s when Tom Swain stepped down. Back in the day computers had not taken off and there were numerous administration tasks expected of the secretary. Many thanks for making the job much easier go to the departed Martyn, John and all the team captains, particularly Nic and Paul. Alberto has carried on Martyn's exceptional work and the club is in safe hands. I've enjoyed the role immensely but feel now is a good time to pass on the baton. In this respect at the AGM I will be nominating Richard to replace me. Any other prospective candidates can give it some consideration in the next few weeks. I'm not intending to play chess any less and continue to be willing to captain and transport teams. Many thanks for many enjoyable years.


Comment: Alan has certainly done more for the club as secretary than may be immediately apparent to newer members. Certainly we would have struggled to have survived the dog days of Stoke Kings and the necessary rebuilding at the Arts Centre without his drive and enthusiasm. I am sure that both Richard and Alan will agree that Alan's nomination of Richard is not an attempt to sew up the succession but simply a device to make sure that the position will be filled even if no-one else is willing to take on the responsibility. If other members are interested in the post they should certainly put their names forward as no stitch-up is intended.

Midland Championships
12/08/18 Thivyaa scored 2/3 in the Open section of this weekend's Midland Championships, with Hambel getting a similar score in the Major section. Amongst those a point ahead of Thivyaa was club old boy Ian Jamieson.

12/08/18 Social media addicts will be pleased to learn that the club now has a facebook page which can be found here.

Club AGM
10/08/18 The Club AGM will be on 5th September, usual 7.30 start.

Dylan Draws on Debut
09/08/18 Dylan's debut draw alongside those from John and Joe provided enough backing to Myron's win to enable the shield team to pick up two points at home to Alsager last night.

British Weekdays
08/08/18 Joe completed a busy British Championships by scoring 4/7 in the U12 age-group and 2½/5 in the U1750 rated section, whilst Thivyaa turned out to score 2/5 in the morning open section.

Shield form Continues
02/08/18 The club's good form in the South Cheshire Shield continued with a 3 - 1 win at Crewe B last night thanks to wins from Richard, Nic and David.

British First Weekend
31/07/18 Joe scored 4/5 to come second in the Yates section for players graded U120 in the first weekend of events at the British, whilst Hambel reached a highly respectable 3½ in the Soanes section for players rated U1825.

Summer Half Hour
28/07/18 Alberto will be running the summer half hour at the club in its usual format on Wednesdays 15, 22 and 29 August. Do support his efforts.

Provisional Grades Published
27/07/18 The first draft of grades for the coming season has been released. Changes shown in the table below are relative to last August's rather than the January list. Don't be too surprised if there are changes to these before the season starts.

Former members listed include
Daniel Sullivan (Sheffield)188
Richard Lee (Cambridge Uni)186
Ian Jamieson (Newport)182
Geoff Marchant (Malvern)180
James Rothwell (Ormskirk)170
Martyn Harris (Kendal)167
Dave Cork (Coulsdon)156
Simon Maydew (Newport)148
Glyn Valentine (Fenton)145
Catherine Hiley nee Ashton (Rugeley)138
Nick Lowe (Altrincham)130
Derek Northage (Kidsgrove)113
Ivan Prikazchikov97
Robert West (Fenton)93

Shield Side Remain Unbeaten
27/07/18 A win for John backed by draws from Joe and Alberto enabled the South Cheshire Shield team to pick up another point on Wednesday, this time at Crewe A.

More points for South Shield
20/07/18 The club's South Cheshire Shield team picked up two more points at Stafford last night thanks to wins from Myron, Alberto and David.

Scottish Diarmid
15/07/18 Former club member Diarmid has just finished competing in the Scottish Champioships, scoring 4/9.

Joe Goes Close
11/07/18 Joe scored 4½/6 in the U11 boys section of the Midlands Gigafinal on Sunday, leaving him joint third.

Thivyaa in a hurry
26/06/18 Thivyaa won the St Edwards section of the Leek rapidplay Congress on Sunday with a score of 5½/6. Congratulations to her.

Second Again
05/06/18 Newcastle lost to Cheddleton in the Withnall Cup Final last night by 1½ to 2½. Alberto, Nic and Paul all drew. That makes six runners-up spot for the season.


Stafford to move again
20/09/18 From the beginning of October Stafford will be meeting at the County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate St, Stafford, ST16 2NG

Grade Booklet
17/09/18 I have added in pdf format a booklet of North Staffs grades to the downloads page.

Brian Hitchins
17/09/18 Several people may still be unaware that Brian sadly died earlier in the year as I believe there was no general announcement of this within the chess world.

01/09/18 A small contingent of North Staffs players parttok of the delights of the Leyland Congress last weekend, with Carl Gartside scoring 3½/6 in the major section. In the minor Dave Price reached 50% but Les Hall didn't.

27/08/18 Cup and league fixture files are available for downloads from the downloads page. Separate club fixture lists will be added soon, with updating my divisional pages also on my to do list.

Manchester Champ
21/08/18 Roger Walker was joint winner of the Knights section (U125) at the Manchester Summer Congress over the weekend with a score of 4/5. Julian Hawthorn scored 3 in the same section, which also featured Les Hall and Lukasz Michalek.

Jon Blackburn was North Staffs' highest scoring player in the Major (U165) with a score of 3, with Doug Barnett, Neville Layhe and Sandra Blackburn less successful.

Cup Draws
17/08/18 With the help of Stafford CC Dave Hulme made the draws for the cups last night:
Macclesfield v Crewe
bye v Fenton
Cheddleton v bye
H Chapel v Newcastle
Alsager v Crewe
bye v Fenton
Cheddleton v Meir
bye v Newcastle
bye v Crewe
bye v Stafford
Newcastle v Kidsgrove
Alsager v Cheddleton
Crewe PA v Fenton
Cheddleton v Meir
Alsager v Crewe PB
Newcastle v Stafford
In each competition the semi-finals are winner of first match v winner of second, and winner of third v winner of fourth, with the winning team from the top half of the draw being at home in the final.

Midlands Champ
12/08/18 Julian Hawthorne was joint winner of the Midlands Championships Minor section held this weekend with a score of 4/5. Jonathan Blackburn scored 3 in the Open section.

Stafford Move
08/08/18 Stafford Chess Club have moved to a new venue at the Stafford Constitutional Club, 5 Lloyd Street, Stafford, ST16 3AS. Hopefully they will find that this more central venue makes attracting new members easier. I shall add a map to the club page shortly. (Done, 12 Aug)

N Staffs Grading File
28/07/18 If you have been checking the online grading database for your N Staffs results and can't find them, don't panic. Steve used the LMS to create the grading file, including the 2017 South Cheshire Shield results with the N Staffs 2017/18 ones. This has resulted in the file showing up under 2016/17 games labelled NSDCA League & Cups on the database, though the games are all correctly dated and have been used in the calculations of the latest grades.

For example Alberto is listed as having played 58 games in the last 12 months, with his grade calculated on that number, though only 26 of them appear in the 2017/18 menu. The other 32 are in the database as described above and have obviously been used in the latest calculations.

Full Jamboree Results ...
16/07/18 ... can be found here.

4NCL Congress
15/07/18 Thivyaa Rahulan scored 2/5 in the open section of this weekend's 4NCL Congress at Telford, including a draw against Malcolm Armstrong who finished on 3. In the minor section (U135) Julian Hawthorne scored 3½ despite being outgraded every game whilst Joe Hirst scored 2.

15/07/18 Crewe, with the help of guest Alex Richardson, and Cheddleton shared the spoils in the open section of the Jamboree held at Newcastle Bridge Club on Friday, whilst the U130 section saw Crewe A pip Cheddleton B by half a point to the title. Full results to be added shortly.

AGM Update
20/06/18 Hot on the news of the NSDCA AGM I've received another email stating that in fact the AGM will be held at Meir Chess Club, 7.30 start on 9th July.

League AGM
19/06/18 The league AGM will take place on Monday 9th July at Fenton Chess Club. All members are entitled to attend and speak, but voting is restricted to two members per club. See above article!

North Staffs at the Lakes
05/06/18 There was plenty of North Staffs interest at The South Lakes Congress over the weekend. Alex Richardson and Joe Hirst scored 3½/5 to come respectively joint second and joint fourth in their sections. Richard Cantliff and Sam Parry reached 50%, Martyn Harris, Malcolm Roberts and Nic Wright didn't.

Previous news items for 2017/18 here