Newcastle on Tour
Several congresses in the last couple of months have featured Newcastle members. Hambel scored 2½/5 in the U145 section at Witney, Sam 3/5 in the U1900 at Leyland and 2½/5 in the Major sections at both Preston and Hereford, with Nic also getting 2½ at Hereford, but in the Minor section.
Alan was the sole Newcastle point scorer as the C team crumbled to a 1 - 3 defeat at Cheddleton C on Friday.
Pete and Paul led the E team to victory over Meir B last night, with both winning enabling Dylan's draw to prove decisive.
A win and a loss to report from the end of the week. The D team beat the Bishops with Chris and Richard winning, paul drawing, whilst the F team lost at Cheddleton H despite wins from Dylan and Louis.
The week started badly with the B team going down 1 - 4 at Macclesfield on Monday with Alberto's win being the only bright spot. There was only a small improvement the following day with the E team losing at Alsager B. Alberto again got on the scoreboard, this time with a draw, whilst Pete got a whole point.
The Inter Cup team won at Meir thanks to wins from Alberto, Pete and Dylan and a draw from Paul
Win One, Lose One
The club had two matches on Friday, with the B team winning at home against Crewe B and the D team losing at Cheddleton D. Joe and Hambel won for the B team, with Alan, Barry and Alberto drawing, whilst Chris and John picked up draws for the D team.
Three Man 'Castle Out of Perry
Pete, Paul and Watson all drew as Newcastle exited the perry Cup at Crewe on Wednesday.
The C team went top of division 3 with a win against Alsager A last Friday, with Alan drawing to support wins from Richard and Nic.
Wins from Dylan and Raj supported by Alberto's draw enabled the E team to edge past Crewe E on Monday.
Close and Closer
The A team lost narrowly at Cheddleton A on Friday, with Alan winning and Alex and Chris drawing. At the same time the major Cup team were defeated by Stafford on board count after Hambel and Richard won and Alberto drew.
Sanjana made her club debut at Crewe last night, with Andrew getting the F team's point.
Hull and Witney
Joe scored 3/5 in the Major section at the Hull Congress, and Hambel 2½/5 in the Inter at Witney.
Sprint Start for A
The A team won their second match, at home to Crewe A, to match their points total for the whole of last season. Alex, Barry and Alan all won, and Thivyaa and Chris drew.
Alam, Hambel and Nic all won as the C team ran out winners at Crewe C, but the E team did less well against the same host's F team with Watson's win and Andy's draw not being sufficient for a point.
The D team drew at Alsager A last night with Pete winning and John and Alberto getting draws, the latter against former member Tim Twentyman.
The F team started their campaign by giving competitive debuts to Louis, Devansh and Saranya. Old hand Dylan got the team's point.
B draw at Cheddleton
The B team picked up a point from their visit to Cheddleton with Alan and Hambel winning and sam getting the important draw.
Joe, Chris and Dylan made their way to the Birmingham Rapidplay Congress over the weekend with Joe and Dylan scoring 4/7 respectively in the Major and Minor sections and Chris 2 in the Major.
Two Narrow Squeaks
The A team edged past Holmes Chapel A 3 - 2 on Thursday with Chris and Joe winning and Alex and Barry getting draws. The following night Alan and Hambel won and Nic drew as the C team won 2½ - 1½ at Cheddleton D.
The E team won well at Meir C last night, with Alberto, Pete, Dylan and Andrew all winning.
B Begin Well
The B team started with a win against Fenton B tonight, with Barry, Alan and John all getting full points and Sam a half.
D Chop C
The D team beat the C in their opening fixture of the season with wins from Pete and Andrew. Alan drew with Chris as did Nic with Paul
Newcastle at Crewe
Joe won the 35 player Major section at the Crewe congress over the weekend with a score of 4/5, with Sam being in the 8-way tie for second a half-point further back and Chris getting some much needed practice to reduce the accumulated rust of years. Nic had a quiet time in the Intermediate (39 players), as did Dylan in the 32 player Minor.
Old boys Daniel Sullivan and James Rothwell plied their trade in the powerful 36 player Open, reaching 2½ and 2 respectively.
A move forward
The A team's match at Cheddleton A (106) has been moved forwards from 29th to 8th November
Friendly Win, Unfriendly Loss
The club lost their final South Cheshire Shield match at home to Crewe B despite Nic's win and Joe's draw. At the same time they also took on Crewe in a friendly which with the help of a win for the visitor's Philip Wright playing for us we won 4½ - 2½ with the other points coming from Chris' draw and wins from Alan, John and Sam.
Alex takes Summer Half
Alex won this year's summer half-hour competitin with a score of 5½/6, ahead of Myron on 4½.
At the fifth time of asking the South Cheshire Shield team opened their account with Chris, Alberto and Andrew all winning in the match at Crewe A.
Joe won and Dylan drew as the Shield team went down again, this time at Alsager.
Provisional Grades Published
The first draft of grades for the coming season were released recently. 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
| Richard Lee (Cambridge Uni)||192
| Geoff Marchant (Malvern)||178
| Ian Jamieson (Newport)||172
| Daniel Sullivan (Chesterfield)||171
| James Rothwell (Atticus)||160
| Martyn Harris (Kendal)||160
| Dave Cork (Sussex)||159
| Glyn Valentine (Fenton)||143
| Simon Maydew (Newport)||140
| Catherine Hiley nee Ashton (Rugeley)||134
| Nick Lowe (Altrincham)||124
| Prabhath Amarasinghe (Medway)||121F
| Derek Northage (Kidsgrove)||105
| Ivan Prikazchikov (G Man Jun)||93||
| Robert West (Fenton)||88
A pre-season match against Crewe will take place alongside the final South Cheshire Shield match on 20th September.
This year's club AGM will take place on Friday 13th September and will as usual be followed by a quickplay.
Summer Half Hour
This year's event will take place over the three nights Friday 16th and Wednesday 21st August, and Wednesday 4th September. As ever two games per night, with no need to play all nights. Hope as many as possible will turn up to encourage Alberto to continue to run such events.
Hambel and Joe in Torquay
Hambel and Joe have each played two five round events at the British Championships in Torquay. Hambel scored 2½ in the Soanes weekender (middle of three sections) and an excellent 4 in the U1750 to come 4= in a field of 83. Joe managed 1½ in the U1900, and a half point more in the presumably tougher U2050.
Another Shield Loss
Newcastle lost to Crewe B last week with John winning and Nic drawing.
John Prevents Whitewash
Newcastle's slow start to the South Cheshire Shield season continued against Alsager on Friday, when it took a daw from John to prevent the team being whitewashed.
Thivyaa is currently playing a schools teams event in the Czech Republic with her games available live on Chess Bomb. Czech her out.
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
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.
Newcastle beat Cheddleton 2½ - 1½ in the final of the Jackson Cup with draws from Joe, John and Paul supporting Alberto's vital win.
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
Alex won the club's end of season quickplay last week with an unbeaten 4½/5.
There have been plenty of congresses over the last couple of months that featured North Staffs players.
Jonathan Blackburn scored 5½/9 in the FIDE open at the London chess Classic, with Simon Edwards on 2½/5 in the Weekend Open there.
Malcolm Roberts had his own tour of the South-West, scoring 2½/5 at the Royal Beacon Seniors in Exmouth and then 2/5 at Torbay.
At Preston Pavel Nefyodov scored 4/5 to finish joint second in the Minor Section, with Les hall reaching 2½ in the Standard section.
Sam Parry came second in the Major at the Bolton Rapidplay with 4½/6. Goeff Lawrence unfortunately finished below average in this section, as did Doug Barnett in the Knights section.
With apologies to anyone whose performance(s) I have overlooked.
I have belatedly produced the first set of performances for the season, which I shall update from time to time, probably without reporting so.
Petru Floresc and Steve Emmerton won the North Staffs Doubles over the weekend with a score of 8/10, ahead of Jonathan Blackburn and Isaac Stanley, Ian Bates and Michael Lee, Dave Price and Julian Bulbeck all on 6.
A small contingent of North Staffs players - Sam Parry, Malcolm Roberts and Les Hall - all scored moderately in their respective sections at the Scarborough Congress over the weekend.
I have agreed to adjust Roman's estimated grade to 150.
A small contingent of North Staffs players particpated in the latest 4NCL congress at South Normanton over the weekend, with Joe Hirst scoring 3/5 in the major and Julian Hawthorne and Les Fancourt having a quieter time in the minor.
I have added a booklet of NSDCA grades to the downloads page.
Needless to say there was lots of local interest in the Crewe Congress, so I won't mention everyone or repeat the performances of the Newcastle players mentioned left. Jonathan Blackburn and Bartosz Fajfer were best placed local in the Open with 3/5, Carl Gartside was in the pile-up for second on 3½ in the Major. Julian Hawthorne won the Intermediate section with 4½, with Rick Renegade and Roger Walker amongst those tied 4th on 3½, as were Derek Whitehurst and George Jelliss in the Minor.
Two new dates:
505 Alsager B v Cheddleton G has been moved to 12th Nov
207 Rooks v Macclesfield to 19th Dec.
Malcolm Roberts finished in an 8 way tie for first in the Morning Under 135 section at Paignton with a score of 3½/5.
Fixtures now available from the downloads page. Other pages will be updated gradually in due course.
Thivyaa Rahulan, Hambel Willow and Julian Hawthorne all played in the Midlands Congress last weekend, respectively scoring 1½ in the Open, 3 in the Major and 2 in the Minor.
Entries for the Jamboree were well down this year - presumably the August date fell foul of too many holidays. Stafford won the Open and Cheddleton the U130 section. Full results will appear on the appropriate page when I have my next burst of enthusiasm.
Nic Wright, supported by Colin Abell, has agreed to taken on responsiblity for operating the LMS, and Pete Evans supported by Peter Windows will be maintaining the website.
Meeting at the beginning of the week confirmed the existence of a division 6. Teams consist of at least 4 boards as agreed by captains on a match by match basis, with all boards counting. All players graded at most 80, with usual 15 point rule to determine board order.
I'll keep a record of entries for league and cup here.
League entries as at 12th Aug 2019
|Division 1||Division 2||Division 3||Division 4||Division 5||Division 6
|Cheddleton||Cheddleton||Chedd x 2||Chedd x 2||Cheddleton||Cheddleton
|Crewe||Crewe||Crewe||Crewe||Crewe x 2||Crewe
|H Chapel||H Chapel||H Chapel||
|Meir||Meir x 2||Meir
|Newcastle||Newcastle||Newcastle x 2||Newcastle||Newcastle
Cup entries as at 15th Aug 2019
|Crewe||Crewe||Crewe||Crewe x 2
Hambel and Joe were not the only North Staffs contestants at the British in Torquay (see left). Carl Gartside won the Soanes over the first weekend with a perfect 5, then scored 3 in the U1900 and 1½ in the U2050. Sam Parry reached 3 in both the Soanes and U2050, and still has a game left in the U14s. I've also spotted Sam Turner, 1½ in U2050; Malcolm Roberts with the same score in the U1900 and Harvey Murray-Smith with 3 in the U120. I trust they have all enjoyed their time on the south coast.
Steve Emmerton has stepped down as Webmaster and LMS Administrator. The job title may not sound as grandiose as that of those who like to pontificate from the top table, but the role is considerably more important in terms of enabling the Association to run sensibly.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
UK v EU
Players from seven clubs took part in the annual UK v EU match, resulting in a resounding win for the EU:
|198||Alex Richardson||½||½||Reinhold Heinlein||187
|161||Michael Hancock||0||1||Bartosz Fajfer||170
|149||Geoff Laurence||½||½||Petru Floresc||184
|151||Philip Cattermole||1||0||Kasian Capatina||152
|145||Steve Hill||0||1||Joachim Trier||136
|128||Douglas Barnett||½||½||Alberto Gissi||119
|126||Clive Ferry||0||1||Lukasz Michalek||65
|90||Julian Cook||0||1||Dylan Whitney||59