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 (11 - 15 Dec)

B team:Cheddleton C, away, Fri, PP
D team:Crewe D, away, Wed
Club Night: Wednesday

Following Week (18 - 22 Dec)

B team:H Chapel Rooks, home
Club Night: Wednesday


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.

Points Shared
26/10/17 The A and D teams both shared points with their opponents Stafford A and Fenton C respectively last night. For the A team Martyn and Alan won, Hambel drew, whilst for the D team Paul's default win was backed up by draws from Brian and Jeff.

First to five
19/10/17 Hambel became the first North Staffs player to reach 5 games played, with Alberto and Crewe members Doug Barnett and Amy Lovatt currently one short of that landmark.

B And D don't make BAD
19/10/17 Newcastle chalked up two more wins last night, courtesy of the B and D teams. Wins by Reinhold and Nic, backed by draws from Alan and Hambel, secured the B team two points against Macclesfield, whilst at Crewe C John and Pete provided the wins and Paul and Jeff the draws.

C Continue good start
16/10/17 The C team made it a hattrick of wins, coming away with the spoils from their visit to Meir thanks to Hambel, Richard and Watson all coming first in their games. Or next to last as I believe it is sometimes known.

Five go to Crewe
16/10/17 Thivyaa, Martyn, Hambel, Alberto and Nic spent the weekend playing the Crewe Congress. Thivyaa braved the Open section and was rewarded with a 50% score for a 190+ performance. As is so often the case Martyn forgot the bit about draws, achieving four wins for a share of second place in the major section. Hambel also played in th major achieving 50% despite being one of the lower seeds. Alberto and Nic both played in the intermediate, scoring 3½ and 2½ respectively, so none of our contingent needed to feel sorry for themselves.

C continue on winning track
11/10/17 The C team entertained Alsager A on Wednesday, and following quick wins from Hambel and Richard, Alan secured the draw that ensured the match win.

Full Set in Three
05/10/17 With captain Richard unavailable, Alberto was was roped into the C team to play Kidsgrove for his third game in as many days, gaining the win that gave him a full set of results. John also won, so Watson's draw was enough to secure the match victory.

E show how to do it
04/10/17 Wins from Pete, Brian and Edward backed up by a draw from Alberto gave the E team a winning start at Alsager C last night.

Room for Improvement
03/10/17 The B team massaged down any expectations for the season by losing at Fenton A with Barry's win being the sole bright spot.

Winning Start
18/09/17 Thivyaa, our resident globetrotter (if thats not a contradiction in terms) is currently in Montevideo, Uruguay, playing in the U14 girls section of the world youth championships. She won her first game yesterday, and is due on board 5 today. As chessbomb showed 6 boards from this section yesterday there seems a good chance that we'll be able to watch her round two game live at 9.30 local time, which is GMT-3, though of course we are currently BST which is ... . Today there are two rounds, though most days there are only one. Except for the rest day. Simple.

Fixture change
08/09/17 The E team's vist to Crewe F has bee moved from 20th Dec to 2nd May.

Martyn Masters AGM Quickplay
08/09/17 Martyn slimed his way out of a number of dubious or downright lost positions to achieve 100% in the AGM quickplay. Full results on the internal events page.

Earlier in the only slightly significant development Alberto replaced Martyn as club chairman, being too young to realise that at such meetings the words "if no-one else will" are tountamount to an acceptance speech.

English Thivyaa
03/09/17 Thivyaa played in the English Womens Championship over the weekend, with the competition including several full England Women Internationals. Hence her score of 50% was creditable and enabled her to gain several rating points.


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.

Rich and Steve Bury Their Troubles
31/10/17 Rich Wiltshir and Steve Emmerton played in the intermediate section of the Bury St Edmunds Congress over the weekend to good effect. Rich came top, and Steve has doubtless been told several times already not to spend his one-tenth share of third prize all at once.

Crewe Congress
16/10/17 There was plenty of local interest at the Crewe Congress played over the weekend, making up about one-third of the roughly 110 entry. Playing conditions were very comfortable, and a team of volunteers supported chief arbiter Matthew Carr.

The Open was shared by occasional Holmes Chapel players Jonathan Blackburn and Stuart Clarke on 4/5, Jacob Boswell and Thivyaa Rahulan scored 2½ and Craigg Whitfield 2.

In the major Martyn Harris' 4 was only worth a share of second, Hambel Willow and Neville Layhe scored 2½ with Geoff Laurence, Karl Lockett, Rich Wiltshir and Jon Blackbun on 2.

Lukasz Holcman and Chris Rhodes did the host club proud by being in a four way tie for first on 4 points in the intermediate, with Alberto Gissi a half-point behind. Doug Barnett, Mick Renshaw and Sam Parry all reached 3, with Rick Renegade, Dave Price, Roger Walker, Julian Hawthorne and Nic Wright all reaching 2½. Ernie Wilkinson, Simon Layhe, Stuart Hull and Martin Gill found the going a little tougher.

Nigel Gardner was the best placed local in the minor, scoring 3 points, with Angie Renshaw amongst those on 2½, with Philip Wright, Dick Martin, Harry Gardiner and Patrick Curr close on their heels.

Numbers Crunched
01/10/17 I've crunched some numbers about the teams and players fielded last year. The results can be found lurking in the miscellaneous section here.

Blackburns on Man
29/09/17 Whilst the very heavy brigade are strutting themselves in the Isle of Man Open, Sandra and Jon Blackburn are also there participating in what are somewhat unkindly referred to as the side events. But they'll be back for the star of the season.

Fixture Summary
23/09/17 I have added an all fixtures on one sheet pdf file to those available from the fixtures downloads page.

Grades Booklet
22/09/17 I have compiled a North Staffs grade booklet in pdf format which can be downloaded from the fixture downloads page. Print pages back to back, fold, and you are in business.

Leek results leaked
18/09/17 Jonathan Blackburn, Craig Whitfield and Jacob Boswell were amongst the joint winners on 3½/5 of the Open Section of the Staffordshire Congress at Leek with Rob Shaw a half-point further back.

The Major title was shared by Jon Blackburn and Doug Barnett on 4. Rich wiltshir finished strongly to reach 3½ whilst Jacob Cartlidge reached 3. The pile-up on 50% included Alex Cartlidge, Richard Cantliff and Caroline Mountford, whilst Sandra Blackburn, Rick Renegade and Sam Parry all had quieter events.

Julian Hawthorne was clear winner of the minor section with 4½, with Ron Harrison and Joe Alcock in close attendance on 4. Martin Gill and Paul Shelley were amongst those on 3½ and Alberto Gissi, Joe Hirst, Roger Walker and Les Hall featured within the 3 bracket. With more modest scores I recognise the names Joshua Brown, Martin Chadwick, Philip Wright and Jasmine and Jamie Jones.

Nearly Local Simul
Those who enjoy testing themselves against a Grandmaster have the opportunity to face Danny Gormally at Malpas on October 8th provided there is sufficient interest.

Charles Higgie informs me that top English Grandmaster, Danny Gormally has offered to visit Malpas and play a simul here in Malpas on Sunday October 8, 11am start. Would anyone be interested? Cost is 20 for adults, 10 for juniors (under 18 and full time students studying for first degree, if they have proof).

Hopefully use of Jubilee Hall for playing and Gemma Charlotte Moon's The Old School Tea Rooms for refeshments, analysis etc.

Daniel W. Gormally (born 4 May 1976) is an English chess Grandmaster. His peak rating is 2573, achieved in the January 2006 rating list. He shared first place at the Politiken Cup in 1998 and in 2003, won the Challengers tournament of the 78th Hastings International Chess Congress. In 2015 he tied for the second place with David Howell and Nicholas Pert in the 102nd British Championship and eventually finished fourth on tiebreak. Also in 2015, he appeared as a contestant in three episodes of the television quiz Fifteen To One and in one episode of The Chase. Gormally played for the English national team in the 2005 European Team Chess Championship and 2006 Chess Olympiad.

If interested contact Charles through his facebook page Charles Lowick Higgie or by email .

Fixtures update
A couple of division 5 fixture changes to report: Crewe E v Cheddleton I moving from 20th Dec to 1st Nov and Crewe F v Newcastle E from 20th Dec to 2nd May.

Previous news items for 2016/17 here