Old news items

Items prior to 1st June 2017 can now be found in the Archive


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.

AGM and Quickplay
28/08/17 Club AGM followed by a quickplay tournie will be on Wed 6th Sept.

Jonathan completes a sweep
28/08/17 Jonathan Blackburn won the summer half-hour with a perfect score of 6. Full scores on internal events page.

Quick and Friendly
19/08/17 Simon Edwards organised a five round quickplay friendly in which each member of a Cheddleton A team played each of the Newcastle A reps. 25 games in all, with no draws. Alex and Reinhold gave Newcastle a good start with 5 wins apiece, supported by Alberto on 3, Barry on two and Martyn on 1 as Newcastle ran out 16 - 9 winners. A fun evening of entertaining games which one might have liked to spend more time on, except of course the interesting positions wouldn't have arisen had we had more time to spend on them.

Newcastle Anonymous
17/08/17 Newcastle lost their final South Cheshire Shield match to return to 50%. John won and Brian drew as the team fell against Crewe A

Blackburn pulls clear
09/08/17 Jonathan Blackburn pulled well clear in the summer half-hour, reaching 4/4 as his potential main rivals dropped points.

Half-hour Starts
02/08/17 Ten players turned out for the first pair of games in the Summer Half-Hour last night; we're anticipating several more next week. Early leaders are Jonathan Blackburn and Martyn who both won their games. no prizes for guessing one of the pairings in round 3. Progress can be monitored on the internal events page.

Provisional Grades Published
27/07/17 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.
John D129+7

Former members listed include
Paul Wallace (Lichfield)213
Richard Lee (Cambridge Uni)197
Ian Jamieson (Newport)178
Andrej Furjel (Weymouth)171
Geoff Marchant (Malvern)167
Daniel Sullivan (Sheffield)167
Dave Cork (Crawley)156
James Rothwell (Ormskirk)156
Simon Maydew (Newport)151
Glyn Valentine (Fenton)148
Catherine Hiley nee Ashton (Rugeley)138
Nick Lowe (Altrincham)124
Derek Northage (Kidsgrove)113
Robert West (Fenton)95
Ivan Prikazchikov93

Shield Team Edge Forward
27/07/17 A win for Brian backed by draws from John and Nic gave our Shield team another point against Alsager last night.

Thivyaa Drawn Out
27/07/17 Thivyaa's record in the Robinson was played five, drawn five. Perfection of sorts!

International Thivyaa
25/07/17 Thivyaa is currently playing for England in Cardiff in the Robinson section (U14s) of the Glorney Gilbert International, competing against teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France.

Summer Half Hour
22/07/17 This year's summer half-hour for members and invited guests will take place ove Weds 2nd, 9th and 23rd of August. Two half-hour games per night, you don't need to attend every night.

John Prevents Whitewash
19/07/17 Johns win was all the Shield team had to show for their visit to Crewe last night, with the host's A team denting our title aspirations.

More Points
12/07/17 The South Cheshire Shield won their return fixture with Crewe B thanks to wins by Nic and Brian and a draw from John.

Point for Shield Team
06/07/17 A win by John backed by draws from Alberto and Nic gained our South Cheshire Shield team a point at Crewe B last night.

Winning Start to Shield Campaign
28/06/17 The started their South Cheshire Shield season with a win at Alsager, with Nic and Brian contributing full points and Alberto and John halves.

Jamboree Capers
21/06/17 Newcastle had three teams in the Jamboree last night, with each side including a guest. The open team in which Steve Hill supported Reinhold, Alan and Barry finished as joint winners. In the U130 our South Team of Pete, Paul and Derrick and guest Pete Windows came second, two places above our North quartet of John, Richard, Nic and Julian Hawthorne. Full details here.

15/06/17 John, Alberto, Richard, Paul and Nic represented the club in the final of the Jackson Cup against Lichfield at Stafford last night. Despite being outgraded on every board by an average of over 10 points Alberto won and John and Paul both drew leaving us on the wrong end of a narrow 2 - 3 scoreline. Indeed an extra half-point on any board would have given us the cup on board count. So close.


Fixtures published

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 higgiecharles@gmail.com .

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. 28/08/17 I've uploaded fixture files to my fixture downloads page. Inevitably they are uglier than I would like.

I spy Malcolm
28/08/17 Malcolm Armstrong played in the recent Abu Dhabi Masters. First time I've spotted his name since a quickplay in Hong Kong I think last year.

Cup draws
17/08/17 Dave Hulme and myself made the draws for the cups at Newcastle last night:
Cheddleton v H Chapel
Crewe v Fenton
Stafford bye
Newcastle v Macclesfield
Fenton v Cheddleton
Alsager v H Chapel
Crewe bye
Newcastle bye
Newcastle v Alsager
Crewe v Cheddleton
Newcastle bye
Crewe PA v Alsager
Cheddleton v Fenton
Crewe PB v Meir
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, except that Inter starts at semi-final stage.

New Season Entries
as at 16/08/17 I'll be writing fixtures on the basis of the entries below:
Div 1Div 2Div 3Div 4Div 5
Alsager x 2Alsager
CheddletonCheddleton x 3CheddletonCheddletonCheddleton x 3
CreweCreweCrewe x 2Crewe x 2
H ChapelH ChapelKidsgrove
MacclesfieldMeirMeir x 2
NewcastleNewcastleNewcastle NewcastleNewcastle

CreweCreweCreweCrewe x 2
H ChapelH Chapel

Thursday/Friday at the British
05/08/17 Alex has got back up to 50% with a draw and a win, whilst the North Staffs contingent managed 5 draws and a loss betweeen them in their two games each in the Major open.

Jacob Boswell won on Thursday in the U16's, Sam Parry drew on friday in the U12s.

The midweek competitions came to their conclusions, with Les Hall being our star, a further two wins taking him to second place in the U120 section with a score of 4/5. Somewhat perversely he could only reach 2½ in the U100s. Julian Hawthorne recorded four wins over the two days to reach 3/5 in both the U140 and U120 sections. Joe Hirst had a win in each of his two sections to reach 2½ in the U120 and 3½ in the U100 section. The latter was enough for a share of 4th place. Malcolm Roberts and Sam Parry had late consolation wins in the U140 section. A good learning experience for Sam in a section in which Malcolm and Michael Lee ended with modest totals.

Wednesday Winners
03/08/17 North Staffs winners in their games at the British yesterday were Simon Edwards and Jacob Boswell in the Major Open, Michael Lee in the U140, and Les Hall in the U120. Throw in eight draws and it was a much better day than Tuesday.

Tuesday at the British
02/08/17 A bad day for North Staffs at the British - six draws and eight losses, with a solitary win from Joe Hirst in the U100s.

Monday at the British
01/08/17 Alex Richardson got his first win of the championships to return to 50%, alongside amongst others a couple of GMs. Only Jacob Boswell with a draw will be happy with me mentioning the Major Open today.

In the juniors Jacob drew in the U16s and Sam Parry won in the U12s.

Malcolm Roberts' half point bye was the North Staffs highlight in the U140/1750 section. The madness of trying to convert between FIDE ratings and ECF grades especially for juniors was highlighted by Julian Hawthorne's opponent being rated 1272 and graded 145. Les Hall started both his U120 and U100 campaigns with wins, Julian had a default win in the U120s, and Joe Hirst, who we hope will be a future member at Newcastle gained a point in the U100s and a half in the u120s.

First Sunday at Llandudno
31/07/17 Alex Richardson got off the mark with a draw in round 2, so should be safe from a forced bye for a few rounds. Simon Edwards is one of 6 players on 2/2 in the major open, though both Colin Davison and Jacob Boswell picked up blobs to leave them off the early pace.

In the weekender Julian Hawthorne, Martin Gill and Les Hall finished respectively with scores of 3½, 3, and 2½.

Jacob Boswell won his first round U16 game, whilst Sam Parry started with a draw in the U12s.

The midweek competitions are grading/rating restricted, with ratings taking precedence, which results in one or two sharks playing in unreasonably low sections due to a low rating. The U140/1750 will be played in the afternoons and features Malcolm Roberts (claiming a round one bye), Michael Lee, Julian Hawthorne and Sam Parry. Amongst the sharks you are allowed to boo are Robert Clegg and Brendan O'Gorman. U140? You jest. Julian Hawthorne is well into this congress lark, playing also the U120/1600, which conveniently is scheduled for mornings. He may trip over Les Hall who is also lurking in the field for this event, but who in the afternoons will be playing in the U100/1450.

Good luck to all.

And They're Off
30/07/17 The ECF's annual Summer Congress is up and running, this year at Llandudno, with a smattering of local interest. In the British Championship Alex Richardson started with a loss against IM James Adair. Easily done. Today he has black against Brian Hewson. In the Major Open Simon Edwards and Colin Davison both won, Jacob Boswell drew. Both the Championship and Major Open last until next Sunday, playing one game a day.

Into the juniors. Jacob Boswell kicks off his U16 campaign today as the sixth seed. No pressure. Still with a seven round morning event and 9 round afternoon one to keep him busy he'll have no time to ponder what he is upto. Sam Parry starts off as an anonymously middling seed in the U12, another 7 day event.

First weekend events include the Yates in which after three rounds Julian Hawthorne and Martin Gill are on 2, and Les Hall on one. The parents of one of the competitors couldn't resist the temptation to name their offspring Atticus Fear. Could you?

Sheffield Pile-up
04/07/17 Roger Walker and Sam Parry were involved in a seven way tie for first on 4/5 in the Minor Section of the Sheffield Congress played on the last weekend of June. Well done both.

21/06/17 A lower than normal eleven teams rolled up for this year's jamboree. The Open section was a close affair with Stafford and Newcastle tieing on 5½, just clear of Cheddleton A on 5. At half time the u130 section looked likely to equally close, but a storming 4/4 by Crewe in the second games left them clear winners on 6½, ahead of Newcastle South on 5 and Fenton on 4½. Full details here.

South Cheshire Shield
07/06/17 I've somewhat belatedly got around to resetting my South Cheshire Shield page ready for this years action.

Five go to the Lakes
07/06/17 Jacob Boswell, Rich Wiltshir, Malcolm Roberts, Julian Hawthorne and myself all sampled the South Lakes congress at its new venue in Kendal over the weekend. Although Rich, Malcolm and myself all featured on high boards at some stage, none of us had the staying power to reach the prize list. The playing area was a rather echoey (is there such a word?) sports hall which with approx 140 players was only half filled, but Kendal is pleasanter/more fun to explore than other places one could mention with leisure centres, so I intend to return.

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