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

Rambling Rook's Diary

Last Article
8 Nov 2017

Newcastle Events

This Week (19 - 23 Mar)

B team: Cheddleton D, away, Fri
C team: Crewe B, home
E team: Cheddleton H, home
Club Night: Wednesday

Following Week (26 - 30 Mar)

B team: Cheddleton D, home
E team: Crewe E, away, Wed
Club Night: Wednesday

14th Newcastle Mini

14th and 15th April 2018
U160, U130, U100 sections
Details and entry lists


Four New Dates
17/03/18 The B team home matches against Cheddleton B, Cheddleton D and Rooks have been rearranged for 16 May, 28 March and 25 April respectively, whilst the C team home match against Cheddleton E is now scheduled for 23 May.

And one not so close
15/03/18 The team enjoyed themselves last night at home to Cheddleton I with Richard, Joe, Pete and Edward all winning.

Two close matches
15/03/18 Last nights matches with Crewe were both close run affairs, with home advantage telling in both cases. The B team lost at Crewe A despite Barry's win and draws from Reinhold and Nic, whilst Newcastle came out on top in the clash of the Ds thanks to Jeff's win, with John, Paul and Brian all drawing.

Joe Rules Blackpool
11/03/18 Joe scored a perfect 5 in winning the Standard section of the Blackpool Congress over the weekend.

Set back for E
11/03/18 The E team went down 1½ - 2½ at Cheddleton H on Friday despite a win from David and a draw from Pete.

Two Biggies
08/03/18 Reinhold drew and Barry, Alan, Hambel and John won as the A team proved unwanted guests for Stafford A, whilst the Perry Cup team of Pete, Paul, Brian and Jeff reached their final by whitewashing Crewe's A team at the Bridge Club.

Watson Secures the Draw
06/03/18 Watson's win, backed by draws from John and Richard secured a point for the C team at Kidsgrove last night.

All Off
03/03/18 All last week's Newcastle matches fell victims to the weather.. Could well be a case of "What are you doing in May?"

B Back on the Scoreboard
24/02/18 Following two defeats, the B team picked up their first point of 2018 as wins from Richard and Nic backed by John's draw enabled them to draw their match at Cheddleton C last night.

Mixed Night For Newcastle
22/02/18 Joe, Pete and David all won as the E team ran out winners against Meir B last night, but draws from Reinhold, Barry, Alan and Hambel were not enough to prevent the A team slipping to a narrow defeat at the hands of Holmes Chapel A.

Stafford Open up Newcastle
14/02/18 Stafford dumped Newcastle out of the Open Cup last night, with John and Reinhold maintaining our respectability with a win and draw respectively.

Major Progress
09/02/18 Newcastle progressed to the Major Cup Final on Wednesday at the expense of Crewe with Alan and Hambel winning and John, Richard and Nic getting draws.

E move up
02/02/18 The E team moved up the fifth division table thanks to their victory over Meir C on Wednesday. Joe, Pete and David all won, with Alberto drawing on top board.

D Demolish Leaders
31/01/18 The D team beat fourth division leaders Stafford B with the help of wins from Paul and Jeff and draws from John and Richard.

Black Night for B
31/01/18 On a night of five black wins at Macclesfield on Monday the B team of course had three whites, as befits the away side. Alan and Alberto were the lucky holders of the dark pieces.

Good Week for E
27/01/18 Fixture rearrangements left the E team with two matches in a week, but having picked up four points from the two, the E team will hardly be complaining. The second match saw wins from Pete and Edward backed by draws from Alberto and Joe enable the team to emerge victorious from their visit to Cheddleton I.

E Engineer a Win
25/01/18 Victories by Joe, Pete and David gave the E team a home win against Alsager C last night.

More Points for C
24/01/18 The C team picked up two more points at Alsager A last night to keep them well in contention for the division three title. Wins from Hambel and John supported by draws from Richard and Watson did the damage.

Thivyaa does the High Jump
23/01/18 The January grades have just been published, with Thivyaa's leaping from 146 to 176, putting Joe's also impressive increase from 93 to 111 partly in the shade. Well done both.

Full list for the club, with changes from August:

B Busted
18/01/18 Newcastle's weakest second division team for many years were no match for Fenton A last night, having just draws from Richard and Alberto to show for the evening's efforts. Many thanks to those who turned out despite there being none of last season's A team squad available to take the flak on the high boards.

A Postponed
15/01/18 The A team home match against Cheddleton A due to be played on 24th Jan has been postponed.

Point for E
15/01/18 The B team picked up a useful point on Friday against Cheddleton G, with Pete and Edward getting wins.

C Back to Winnning Ways
11/01/18 The C team got back to winning ways last night, with a convincing win over Fenton B thanks to wins from Barry, Richard and Watson and a draw by Nic.

D do the Business
09/01/18 The D team won at Fenton C last night, with wins from Pete and Brian backed up by draws from John and Paul.

B Off
06/01/18 The B team's home match against Cheddleton D due to be played Wednesday has been postponed at Cheddleton's request. Suspect it suits us too.

Inter progress
04/01/18 Nic, Paul and Joe all won as the Intermediate Cup team progressed at the expense of Alsager last night despite Richard and Alberto being unavailable.

Half for Hambel, Tough for Thivyaa
28/12/17 Hambel started her Hastings adventure with a draw, whilst Thivyaa, deciding to tough it out in the main event, came second in her first game. Nominally Thivyaa's game was on the live boards, but it appeared that a malfunction prevented all but the first few moves being broadcast live. Don't think she'll be on the live boards tomorrow, but fingers crossed she can get back onto them for at least one more game despite being one of the lowest seeds.

Hambel makes Hast(e) - ings
19/12/17 Hambel's name appears in the list of entrants for the Xmas pm tournament at the Hastings International Congress. Good luck; we'll be watching you - both a threat and a promise.

D Postpone
07/12/17 The D team have postponed their visit to Crewe D as travelling condtions are uncertain.

C come a cropper at Crewe
07/12/17 The C team lost at Crewe B last night despite Richard's win and Hambel's draw.

B Bash Rooks
01/12/17 A B team of Barry, Martyn, Alan, Hambel and Alberto enjoyed themselves at a noisy Holmes Chapel last night, with Barry drawing and the rest winning.

C Draw Short
29/11/17 It was the C team's turn to find themselves a draw short, with half points from Richard, Paul and Watson not being enough to get their side anything from the home match with Alsager B.

Alberto's Allegro
24/11/17 A reminder that Alberto is running a quickplay tournie at the club on Wed 6th Dec. The only excuse for not supporting him is that you're involved in the C team match at Crewe.

Not Enough Draws
23/11/17 Three draws, from John, Paul and Jeff, were not enough to gain a point for the D team at home to Cheddleton F last night.

22/11/17 The E team's home match against Cheddleton I due to be played next week has been postponed. New date to follow.

Newcastle win battle of Bs
18/11/17 Wins from Alan, Alberto and Nic enabled the B team to secure a narrow victory at Cheddleton B last night.

16/11/17 Newcastle's team of Alberto, Joe, Paul and Jeff progressed in the Withnall cup at Meir's expense last night, with Paul's draw sparing the opposition from suffering a whitewash.

Deja Vu
15/11/17 The E team drew at Meir again on Monday, this time with Pete and Jeff getting the wins against the host's C team.

C Chuffed
15/11/17 The C team were pleased with their excellent win at Cheddleton E on Friday, with Alan, Alberto and Nic all winning, and John taking a draw.

Just enough
09/11/17 The Open Cup team of Reinhold, Barry, Martyn, Alan, Hambel and Richard had just enough to beat Macclesfield in the first round with Alan winning and everyone else sharing the spoils on their board.

All White on the Night
08/11/17 Tne E team's visit to Meir B on Monday resulted in 4 wins for white. Alberto and Brian were the Newcastle players blessed with the pale pieces.

Another Open 50
06/11/17 Thivyaa scored another 50% in an open tournament, this time the 4NCL congress at Coventry. Her efforts deservedly gained her a rating prize.

A Struggle
03/11/17 The A team struggled at Holmes Chapel last night. Lots of long games with our heroes in with chances, but when the fat lady sang there were just Martyn's win and Hambel's draw on the board.

03/11/17 Newcastle will entertain Meir in the County Withnall Cup on 15th November.

Another Pair
02/11/17 The 18th October saw two wins for the club, the 25th two draws. This week it was two losses as the D and E teams went down visiting Stafford B and entertaining Cheddleton G respectively. For the D team Jeff won and Brian drew, whilst for the E team Joe won and Pete drew.


Plenty go to Blackpool
11/03/18 There was plenty of North Staffs representation at the Blackpool Congress over the weekend. Best scorers were Joe Hirst in the Standard Section with 5, Andy Raeburn in the Intermediate with 4 and Sam Parry and Chris Rhodes with 3½ in the Minor and Standard respectively. Dave Price beat par with 3, whilst Jacob Boswell, Mick Renshaw and Jon and Sandra Blackburn all reached 50%. Also spotted were Ken McNulty, Malcolm Roberts, Michael Lee, Les Hall, Simon Layhe, Philip Wright and Angie Renshaw.

Kidsgrove CC at Kidsgrove CC
08/02/18 Kidsgrove Chess Club have found a new home at the Kidsgrove Cricket Club, Kinnersley Ground, Clough Hall Road, Kidsgrove, ST7 1AN. They will continue to meet on Tuesdays except for the last one of each month. I have added a map to their club page.

First, Second and Supporting Acts
05/02/18 Several of the leagues players saw congress action over the weekend.

Rich Wiltshir took a bye during the Kidlington congress, meaning that he went into the final round a half-point off the lead held by his opponent on 4/4. Rich duly beat him to end up outright winner of the U145 section there.

Meanwhile at Frodsham Jacob Boswell shared second place in the Open section with a score of 3½. Chris Rhodes and Joe Hirst achieved the same score, this time in the U120 section, but it left them outside the main prize list, as did the 3s of Karl Lockett in the U160 and Julian Hawthorne in the U120.

More modest success pointswise was achieved by Andrew Raeburn, Doug Barnett, Sam parry, Michael Lee, Les Hall and Philip Wright, though their personal views of their performances will doubtless vary according to expectations based on their current grades.

Kidsgrove Homeless
31/01/18 Kidsgrove have been turfed out of their venue to make way for a restaurant conversion. Hopefully it won't be too long before they find another home.

N Staffs in Zomerzet
15/01/18 Julian Hawthorne scored 3/5 in the minor section at the Somerset New Year Congress in Clevedon over the weekend, leaving him just short of the prize list. Rich Wiltshir amassed 4 points in the intermediate section, leaving him in a tie for first and a few shekels better off, whilst yours truely slimed his way to 3½ in the major for a share of third prize.

Christmas Performances
20/12/17 I've updated the performances page to include results of all games played up to and including 19th Dec - I believe that there are no more matches to be played before the new year.

Spotted at Northwick
19/12/17 The Northwick Park (between London and Watford) Open featured not only Jacob Boswell who seems to get almost everywhere, but also a certain Malcolm J Armstrong displaying no club affiliation.

Update Gap
17/12/17 Sorry for the gap in updates folks. However I seem to be up and running internetwise in my new abode in Kendal, so I should now be able to make a reasonable attempt at keeping abreast of matters.

Ladies First
02/12/17 The latest performances chart shows that Sandra Blackburn and Hambel Willow are currently the leagues most active players, with 11 games each, ahead of Jon Blackburn on 10.

Preston Pleasure
28/11/17 This year's Preston Congress saw North Staffs success, with Julian Hawthorne winning the Standard Section outright with 4½/5 and Jon Blackburn being in a four way tie at the top of the Minor with 4/5, with Rich Wiltshir on 3½ and Sandra Blackburn and Sam Parry on 3.

The Major was a North Staffs free zone, whilst in the Open Jonathan Blackburn scored 3 as did Newcastle old boy Daniel Sullivan, now fighting out of Sheffield, and lowly seeded Thivyaa Rahulan reached 2.

23/11/17 I've put up my first chart of performances for the season. Already 151 players have participated in league and/or cup, with 46 of them having fitted in the minimum of 5 games necessary for me to give them a performance grading.

Switching Horses
22/11/17 Having played twice for Crewe at the beginning of the season Michael Williams has, with the blessing of the league secretary, switched allegiance to Alsager.

Julian sent to Coventry?
06/11/17 Or did he go of his own accord? Kidsgrove's Julian Hawthorne spent the weekend at the 4NCL Congress in Coventry, finishing anonymously in the middle of his section.

Previous news items for 2016/17 here