The B and E teams drew respectively with the A and D teams of Crewe last night. Thivyaa and Barry won for the B team, with Joe getting the vital draw, whilst for the E team David won and Myron and Pete both drew.
Joe's performance at the British Rapidplay over the weekend in conjunction with that at the British over the summer has seen him added to the National Junior Squad. Congratulations.
The Old Win One Lose One
The Club sent two teams to Cheddleton last night with the hosts winning the battle of the As and the visitors that of the Fs. Thivyaa and Barry scored wins for the A team as did Alberto, Henry and Dylan for the F.
I have decided to increase Myron's estimated grade to 140, to take effect no later than Fri 30th November.
First Bragging Rights to E
The E team beat the D on Wednesday. John drew with Hambel, Myron and Pete's wins for the E team were answered by Brian's for the D.
Another case of win one, lose one
Wednesday saw two matches at the Bridge Club, with the C team losing to Crewe B despite Barry's win and Hambel's draw, and the D team beating Fenton C on the back of wins from Joe, Richard and Jeff and a draw from Paul.
B win, E lose
Catching up with results since a brief time away I find that the B team won last Thursday at Rooks, but the E lost at Cheddleton E without troubling the scorers. Alan, Barry and Myron all won for the B team, being well supported by draws from Hambel and Richard.
D and F Differ
The D team won 3 - 1 at Crewe D tonight, with John and David winning, Paul and Jeff drawing. The F team were on the wrong end of the same scoreline when entertaining Crewe E, with Alberto being the club's sole scorer.
Joe won the U1825 section of the 4NCL International Congress that ended yesterday with a score of 6½/9, unbeaten except against a competitor who zoomed to 8/8 before having all their results scratched presumably for being caught employing technological assistance. Thivyaa found the going considerable tougher in the Open, eventually reaching 2½. Ex-member Ian Jamieson also played the Open, withdrawing on 3/8.
The Open team were knocked out of their cup competition by Holmes Chapel on Thursday, with draws from Alan and Hambel all we had to show for the trip north.
A treat for Stafford B tonight as the F team's tricks failed to prevent a whitewash.
The C team went down narrowly to Meir A last night despite a win from Hambel and draw from Nic. Meanwhile the D team got their season underway with a healthy win against Cheddleton E with wins from Joe, Richard and Jeff and a draw from Paul.
Henry and E off to winning start
The E team won 3 - 1 at Kidsgrove last night with full points from Myron, Watson and debutant Henry.
Perry team through but A lose
The Perry Cup team resched the semi-finals of their competition with 2½ - 1½ victory last night based on wins from Jeff and david backed by a draw from Paul. However draws by Reinhold, Barry and Hambel were unable to save the A team from defeat by Holmes Chapel A
Newcastle at Crewe
Three members turned out for the five round Crewe Congress over the weekend. Alberto scored 3 and Joe 2½ in the Intermediate section and Dylan 2 in the Minor.
The C and F teams both lost against Crewe C and Cheddleton H respectively last night. Alan and Hambel drew for the C team, Alberto and Dylan for the F.
Newcastle whitewashed Kidsgrove in the intermediate cup on Tuesday in a match that was brought forwards from the end of the month. Richard, Myron, Alberto, Pete and Nic were responsible for the carnage.
Barry to the fore
Barry's win led the C team to a 2½ - 1½ victory at Cheddleton D on Friday.
B Start Well
The B team got off to a winning start against F/enton B last night thanks to wins from Thivyaa and John and draws from Hambel and Joe.
The club's first match of the league season should have seen the D team at Kidsgrove last night, but that was postponed. The honour now falls to the B team tonight.
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 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Social media addicts will be pleased to learn that the club now has a facebook page which can be found here.
The Club AGM will be on 5th September, usual 7.30 start.
Dylan Draws on Debut
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.
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
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
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
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
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 Prikazchikov||97||
| Robert West (Fenton)||93
Shield Side Remain Unbeaten
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
The club's South Cheshire Shield team picked up two more points at Stafford last night thanks to wins from Myron, Alberto and David.
Former club member Diarmid has just finished competing in the Scottish Champioships, scoring 4/9.
Joe Goes Close
Joe scored 4½/6 in the U11 boys section of the Midlands Gigafinal on Sunday, leaving him joint third.
Thivyaa in a hurry
Thivyaa won the St Edwards section of the Leek rapidplay Congress on Sunday with a score of 5½/6. Congratulations to her.
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.
More of the Quick Stuff
The British rapidplay was played over 9 rounds at Ilkley over the weekend. Sam parry was the leading North Staffs light with a score of 8 in the minor, with Joe Hirst amongst those on 6½. After his success at Bolton I'll simply say that Jacob Boswell found the going tougher this time out.
Half a dozen North staffs players turned out at the Bolton Rapidplay on Sunday. Jacob Boswell scored 4½/6 for a tie for second in ther open, while the same score for Neville Layhe earned joint third in the Knights section where he was a half point clear of Les Hall. In the major Bartosz Fajfer scored 3½, Geoff Laurence reached 50% and Doug Barnett didn't.
A check through the matches played so far reveals that five players have each played more than three games without having joined the ECF, contrary to league rules. These count as ineligible players and the match scores have been adjusted accordingly though of course results for grading purposes are unaffected. Eight matches have been affected, including four in which the consequence is a loss of league points.
As things stand the Association is currently on the hook to the ECF for a total of £80 for these five non-members, and whilst this will disappear when the players concerned do join, it should not find itself in this position.
First Sight of Performances
I've put up the first version of the performances page for the season, which will be updated at irregular intervals.
Malcolm on Tour
Malcolm Roberts has spent time on the Devon coast, playing both the Beacon seniors in Exmouth and the Torbay Congress. Between the two he managed plenty of draws.
Sam Parry and Sam Turner both scored 5/9 in the minor section of the 4NCL International Congress played at Telford, with Les Fancourt and Julian Hawthorne both on 4. Rich Wiltshir stopped on 2½ after 5 rounds in the major.
Eight North staffs players made it to Scarborough for the annual congress at the Spa Centre over the weekend. Simon Gilmore scored 3½ in the Open and Malcolm Roberts 3 in the Intermediate. Jon and Sandra Blackburn both reached 50%, as did Hambel Willow, but Sam Parry, Simon Edwards and Les Hall didn't.
Change in Estimate
I have upped the estimated grade for Dylan Whitney from 38 to 50.
Crewe had two 100% scorers at their congress over the weekend, with Karl Lockett winning the Major and Harry Gardiner the Minor section. Neville Layhe was involved in an 8 way tie for second behind Karl. The intermediate was dominated by incomers, but Jacob Boswell was involved in a three way tie for first in the Open.
Chessresults.com is showing Jonathan Blackburn as having gained both Candidate Master and FIDE Master titles for his efforts at Batumi. Hope this is correct.
A squad of Jacob Boswell, Sam Parry, Joe Hirst, Joe Alcock and Corben Rowbotham competed in division one of the first weekend of this year's junior 4NCL. After a tough Saturday they drew both of Sunday's matches.
Jonathan Blackburn is currently playing board 2 for Wales in the Olympiad at Batumi, Georgia. Games can be watched live on Chessbomb and other live games sites. Results available via chess-results.com
Stafford to move again
From the beginning of October Stafford will be meeting at the County Staff Club, 77 Eastgate St, Stafford, ST16 2NG
I have added in pdf format a booklet of North Staffs grades to the downloads page.
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.
A small contingent of North Staffs players partook 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.
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.
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.
With the help of Stafford CC Dave Hulme made the draws for the cups last night:
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.
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
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 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
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 ...
... can be found here.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.