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News Items From the 2003/04 Season

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Swiss Rolls on
Friendly Foley
18/05/04 An 8 board friendly against Foley has been provisionally arranged for Wed 2nd June. I shall be recruiting the Newcastle team firstly from those who turn up on club nights.
Life after league
13/05/04 Ten people turned up at the club last night, proving that chess life continues even after the league closes down for the summer. So if you didn't turn up because you thought no-one would be there, shame on you!
Summer Activity
05/05/04 The club intends to remain open over the summer for as long as there is member support, and in order to encourage this we hope to create a programme of activities including internal quick and long play competitions and friendlies against other clubs.
Pavilion clinch clear second
05/05/04 Pavilion made the runners-up spot in the Margaret Hankey League their own with a 3½ - ½ home win over 3 man Nantwich tonight.
B team recovery short-lived
01/05/04 The B team reverted to losing ways last night at Cheddleton, with only Chris' win troubling the scorers for Newcastle B.
Broughton Default
01/05/04 Broughton Arms have confirmed that they are defaulting their match at Pavilion. Pavilion now need only a single point from the leagues remaining game to take second place in the competition.
Back to Wednesdays
29/04/04 With the season all but over, the Newcastle Club night is reverting back to Wednesdays from the Fridays that it occupied during the winter months.
Derby team secure title
27/04/04 The Derby league Creda/Newcastle team secured the second division title by drawing at Spondon tonight. They can still be caught on points, but have a vastly superior total board score to their rivals.
Hasty arrangements suit B
26/04/04 The B teams home match against Creda A was hastily arranged for tonight and switched to Creda. Despite fielding just 4 players with some communication stuck in cyberspace, the B team prevailed with wins for Chris, Diarmid and Tim.
Match Defaults?
21/04/04 Broughton Arms called off tonights MH league match against Pavilion. Although Pavilion hope to agree another date, it seems possible that Broughton Arms will default the match.
Meanwhile in the top division Stafford turned up for their rearranged home match against our B team, but their opponents didn't quoting uncertainty as to whether the new date had been confirmed. This close to the end of the season the B team will have little choice other than to default. Apologies to Stafford for messing them around.
Derby league team promoted
19/04/04 By winning their penultimate match tonight the Creda Derby league team which contains Newcastle's Alan, Martyn and Diarmid earned promotion to the top flight and left themselves in pole position to win the second division title in their last game.
Pavilion edge forward
18/04/04 Excellent wins for Chris and Tim enabled Pavilion to earn a point at Leek St Edwards B despite only fielding three players.
Newcastle keep Knight
07/04/04 Newcastle retained their Margaret Hankey league title, and so keep possession of the knight trophy, by defeating Leek St Edwards A tonight. The match was nowhere near as one sided as the score suggests with both Barry and Martyn being fully stretched before securing their wins.
A team end on a low
02/04/04 The A team finished with a defeat at Cheddleton A, with Gordons win standing in the way of an ignominious whitewash.
Newcastle in inhospitable mood
31/03/04 Newcastle played less than perfect hosts when Nantwich, the leagues newest club came visiting tonight. The visitors were sent back to Cheshire on the wrong end of a 4 - 0 scoreline.
Cup Joy for Newcastle U135
29/03/04 Newcastle used the maxim "win with white, draw with black" to good effect to defeat Creda 3½ - 1½ in the final of the U135 cup. Francis and Watson responded to the responsibility of the white pieces with wins. Daniel, Tim and John obtained the black piece draws. Well done.
Mixed progress in Margaret Hankey
26/03/04 Both the clubs teams saw action at Cheddleton tonight. Newcastle won 4 - 0 against Cheddleton, but wins for Chris and Tim were only sufficient for Pavilion to draw against Leek St Edwards A.
A win again
24/03/04 Alan, Francis and Daniel scored individual victories as the A team beat Cheddleton C 4 - 1 tonight to consolidate their position in the top half of the table.
D end on a down note
24/03/04 The D team came completely unstuck against Kidsgrove A, suffering a whitewash. However the team are as keen as ever and have vowed to practice hard over the summer to make themselves tougher opponents next season.
D draw at Blind
20/03/04 Wednesday nights match resulted in a draw thanks to wins from Nick and Brian.
A move into top half
19/03/04 The A team won at Cheddleton B tonight, in the process leapfrogging their opponents into the top half of the table. There were individual wins for Gordon, Martyn and Francis
Champions crowned at Newcastle
17/03/04 The first and second division titles were claimed respectively by Cheddleton A and Macclesfield when they beat our B and C teams at the Bridge Club tonight. Daniel was the only Newcastle winner.
Pavilion point at Broughton Arms
14/03/04 Pavilions draw at Broughton Arms on Thursday courtesy of wins by Steve and Tim did nothing to clarify the position at the top of the Margaret Hankey League.
Clubs bad run continues
10/03/04 After the brief respite on Monday, the clubs bad run reasserted itself again with Alan and James finding their wins insufficient to stop the Margaret Hankey and D teams respectively losing.
A team remember how to win
08/03/04 A less than comfortable win at Creda A enabled the A team to regain the winning habit, with wins for Barry, Martyn and Francis.
Double trouble
03/03/04 The A and B teams both lost tonight to Stafford A and Cheddleton C respectively, with only Barry for A and Steve for B securing wins. The B team now appeared doomed to relegation.
C team bad run continues
01/03/04 The wheel seems to have fallen off the C teams season, with Creda B inflicting a third successive defeat on them.
Not what I wanted to hear!
01/03/04 Having spent the weekend chasing personal glory in Exeter, I returned to the news that the A team had lost on Friday 1½ - 3½ against Cheddleton C. Will the team be pleased to have me back for the rest of the season, or blame me for not being there?
Have I used up all my good chess in amassing 4½ points at Exeter?
Questions, questions.
Bad night at the club
25/02/04 Home defeats for the B and C teams at the bridge club tonight against Stafford A and Cheddleton D respectively meant a lot of glum Newcastle faces, with only Tim picking up a full point.
Drawing towards a conclusion
21/02/04 Both of Newcastles Margaret Hankey teams drew this week, against Cheddleton and Leek St Edwards B. Given the variable strengths that all teams can field, the final result of this competition is still unpredictable.
Easily offended? Skip this item.
21/02/04 Former Newcastle player Richard Lee, now at Christs College Cambridge, has continued to play the game and is indeed captain of the college second team. However, since there are only a few players at the college, they have combined forces with Jesus College and call themselves (unofficially?) Jesus Christ.
D get first win
17/02/04 Wins for Nick and Carl put the D team on the path of their first win of the season at Foley last night. A reward for the enthusiasm they have shown throughout the year, this result will make them even more determined to gain greater mastery of our wonderful game.
B fight hard at Cheddleton
14/02/04 The B team put up a respectable performance in going down 1½ - 3½ at Cheddleton A. Chris secured his second win of the week, Ralph achieved a fine draw on top board, and the match also featured Tim's return to action after missing the whole of the earlier part of the season..
Newcastle edge past Broughton Arms
12/02/04 Newcastle gained revenge for their earlier defeat by the Broughton Arms by securing the points at Rode Heath tonight.
Pavilion dates
12/02/04 Pavilions home match against Broughton Arms has been rearranged for 21st April, with the return fixture pulled forwards to 11th March.
Swindlers Rule OK
12/02/04 Chris found a fortunate resource to turn round a dire position to secure a point for himself and a win for Pavilion in the Margaret Hankey match against Leek St Edwards A. The way he tells it, the game was not one for the faint hearted.
Mike prevents D whitewash
12/02/04 Mikes draw on board two prevented the D team from suffering a whitewash at the hands of Foley A in the last of the matches against any of the promotion contenders.
Rooks halt C teams run
11/02/04 The C teams 3 months unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt against Holmes Chapel rooks, who were also the last team to beat them way back in October.
Rearranged fixtures
08/02/04 A teams match at Cheddleton A has been rearranged for 2nd April, the D teams home match against Kidsgrove A is now on 24th March.
Club players struggle at Crewe
08/02/04 Martyn, Nick and Paul all found the Crewe congress tough going, with only Paul reaching 50%.
More county action
06/02/04 John and Brian were in action again last weekend for the county U125, but would prefer me to draw a veil over the teams and their individual results.
Mixed night for Newcastle
04/02/04 A good night at home for the club with 3½ - 1½ wins for the A and C teams over Cheddletons B and E respectively. The C team responded well to John's decision to rest himself for the night.
Away from the safety of the Bridge Club there was less good news when the D team visited Kidsgrove A. First Carl became unavailable at short notice so that the team had to default a board. Then they found the opposition too strong with only Nicks draw preventing a whitewash.
All off in the Stoke League
30/01/04 Tonights B team match was also called off, so although the club originally expected to participate in 4 matches this week they ended up pushing no pawn in anger. Lots of rearranging work for the captains. However the Creda/Newcastle team did play their game in the Derby league and 6 people made it to the Friday club evening, so it is not all bad.
Weather takes toll
29/01/04 Bad weather led to the postponement of last nights Pavilion v Broughton Arms Margaret Hankey League match. Tomorrows A team match at Cheddleton A has also been called off.
Close call for U135s
24/01/04 Newcastles U135 team edged their semi-final match with Cheddleton, wins from John and Watson being the highlights of their 3 - 2 victory.
Newcastle subdue Pavilion
21/01/04 Despite discovering at gone 7 that Barry had forgotten the match, Newcastle overcame a strong Pavilion team 2½ - 1½
New Date for C
21/01/04 The C teams home match against Macclesfield has been rearranged for 17th March.
First default
21/01/04 The D team were forced to concede the clubs first default as they went down 1 - 3 at Stafford B in last nights third division encounter. Nick however won on top board, so it was not all bad.
C teamers in county action
19/01/04 Three members of the C team have been in action for the county U125 team:
Against Worcs John and Brian both drew;
against Derbys John and Pete both won.
New dates for B
17/01/04 Stafford (away) postponed before Christmas will now be played Tuesday 27th Jan.
The B team match at Cheddleton A has been put back a week to Friday 13th February so as not to clash with Crewe.
B lose at Kings
17/01/04 Diarmid was pleased to have recovered sufficiently from illness to take his team to Holmes Chapel, even though he had to make up the numbers with a couple of reserves. Their 1½ - 3½ defeat mirrors the score that the full strength A team managed there.
More Experience for D
14/01/04 A 4 - 0 hammering at the hands of Kidsgrove B was another case of gaining experience for the D team. Morale remains high however - they will be back for more.
C v Macclesfield postponed
14/01/04 A shortage of C team players plus the D team playing the same night forced John to postpone the Macclesfield match.
New Dates for A
13/01/04 New dates for the A teams postponed matches have been arranged as follows:
Creda A (away) March 8
Cheddleton C (home) March 24.
A Happy new year
07/01/04 Happy new year for the A team through a 3 - 2 victory over Kings. The threat of relegation recedes further!
C double Knights
07/01/04 The C team completed the double over Knights last night with wins for Daniel, Watson and Pete.
Theres something about Creda...
07/01/04 The two imminent first division matches between Newcastle and Creda have been postponed, one by each club.
Alan goes Crazy
22/12/03 Alan was the clear winner of the clubs 4 round crazy chess competition last Friday, being distracted by neither the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune inherent in the contest, nor the supplies of mince pies and sweets.
D double their money
18/12/03 Well, not their money, but their points total. The teams confidence has grown with experience so that they were if anything disappointed only to draw their latest match (at the Blind).
Newcastle crash in MH
17/12/03 The Newcastle Margaret Hankey League team came a cropper against Broughton Arms, with only Alan managing a win.
Alan Best in Creda Doubles
16/12/03 Alan Paling (pictured) teamed up with John Newton to win the Creda Christmas doubles competetition last night.

Another picture here.

B trip to Stafford after Xmas
15/12/03 The B teams match at Stafford due to played this week has been postponed to after Xmas.
Joyless night for A and B
10/12/03 The A and B teams succumbed respectively to the A and B teams of Cheddleton. No-one made a fool of themselves, but the matches were lost anyway.
3 play for county
07/12/03 Three members of the club have been representing the county in recent matches:
Diarmid gained a draw for the U150 team in their victory over Warwickshire, but was less successful in the open team against Shropshire.
John had draws in the U125 matches lost against Notts and drawn against Salop, Brian lost and won respectively in these two matches.
Present beat past
05/12/03 Pavilion posted a big win 3½ - ½ at Nantwich who included two Newcastle old boys in Dave Smith and Martin Frischer.
C extend winning run
04/12/03 A third successive win for the C team in their last match before Xmas, the postponed game against Knights, pushes their record above 50% for the first time this season.
B Black and Blue
29/11/03 The B team were left feeling blue when 5 black wins in their match at Cheddleton C left them on the wrong end of a 3 - 2 scoreline.
Brinton Werner
27/11/03 It is with very great regret that I report the death of Brinton Werner. Although he had only recently rejoined Newcastle Chess Club, having previously been a member in its Penkhull days, Brinton was largely instrumental in the clubs expansion to four league teams, acting as captain, top board and transport for the D team.
A real gentleman, Brinton will be missed at the club for his interest, courtesy and warmth. Most of all we feel for his wife and family for their untimely loss.
C on song
27/11/03 C team scored a comfortable victory on Wednesday, 3 wins and 2 draws adding up to a 4 - 1 triumph over Creda B.
Useful point for A team
26/11/03 The A team picked up a useful point at Stafford in a tense match in which two games went down to the last few minutes. A pleasing result as every pont gained reduces the chance of being involved in a relegation fight.
Moorland air suits C
24/11/03 The C team pick up their third point of the season, a draw at Cheddleton D being added to their win at Cheddleton E. Obviously the clean moorland air at Leek helps them to think clearly.
Oh no, not again!
17/11/03 Newcastle lost to Stafford on board count in the first round of the 8 man cup. Same as last year.
D take Foley all the way
17/11/03 An early win for Oliver on board 4 gave notice to Foley that this match would be tougher than the cup encounter. Carl, Mike and Brinton all made their opponents work hard to secure wins, the final 3 - 1 scoreline being flattering to the victors.
U135s progress in cup
12/11/03 Johns efforts to get the match played by moving the game to Holmes Chapel were vindicated when the team won 3½ - 1½. Next up Cheddleton.
Brinton prevents whitewash
10/11/03 The D teams season of gathering experience continued, with Brinton starring on top board with a draw that prevented a whitewash at the hands of Creda C.
U135s home at Holmes Chapel
08/11/03 The U135 first round cup match aganst Holmes Chapel has been moved to Tuesday at Holmes Chapel, as John was unable to raise a team for Wednesday. Newcastle will retain home team privileges, getting black on the odd numbered boards.
C join the party
08/11/03 Hot on the heels of the D teams first point come the first two for the C team, winning at previously unbeaten Cheddleton E. Daniel, Pete and Brinton scored the points.
D no longer for Duck
05/11/03 D team broke their duck with a 2 - 2 draw against Foley B, featuring maiden wins for Brinton and Carl.
A v B Part II
05/11/03 As last year, the B team got revenge in the rematch with wins from Chris and Steve.
Fridays are go
31/10/03 Mike has taken it upon himself to organise Friday meeting at the Bridge Club starting at 7 pm. These will provide the opportunity for discussion and friendly play that because of matches is unavailable on Wednesdays.
Rooks crow over C
29/10/03 Suzie-less Rooks were still too strong for the C team, edging through 3 - 2 despite wins for Daniel and John. Watson looked rather shame-faced after dropping a piece on board 2, Brian felt the full brunt of a violent attack and Paul seemed to be heading for calmer waters when he overlooked one of many threats.
A v B Part I
22/10/03 A team pleased to record a 4 - 1 victory in this important derby. 2nd part to come in a fortnight. Last year the A team won the first game only to lose the re-match, so the A team cannot call themselves the clubs top dogs yet.
U110s crash out at Foley
21/10/03 A two family team - Gawley + grandson and Werner + son + nephew gained valuable experience but only 1 point in the first round of the cup.
No joy for A at Kings
21/10/03 No wins and 3 draws for the A team as they lose at Kings. Must try harder.
Postponement for C team
21/10/03 Last Wednesday's match against Knights was postponed to a date to be arranged.
D team make Kidsgrove sweat
16/10/03 For much of the match it looked as if the D team would get at least a draw, with Mike winning a piece and Brinton and Carl being at least equal. In the end however experience told against Brinton and Carl, though Mike nursed his advantage through to a successful mating attack.
Reserves rescue B team
16/10/03 Daniel Sullivan (C team) and Nick Wright (D) scored a win and a draw respectively to rescue a draw for the B team in Mondays natch at Creda A.
And they're off (IV & V)
12/10/03 C and D teams got to play this week, against Macclesfield and Stafford B, the respective favourites for their divisions. Unfortunately neither Newcastle team were able to spring a surprise.
And they're off (III)
01/10/03 The turn of the first division teams, with the A enjoying a 4 - 1 victory over Creda A and the B suffering a reverse by the same score against Kings.
And they're off (II)
24/09/03 Next off were the MH teams, involved in intraclub warfare. Chris was unable to field his full Pavilion team, but a whitewash was averted when, with the help of Brian's solid play, I proved that stodge reduces winning chances even more effectively than it does losing ones.
Diarmid Agrees
24/09/03 Diarmid has agreed to captain the B team, a decision that has met with all round approval, except possibly from Diarmid himself.
And they're off (I)
22/09/03 First out of the traps for the new season were the Derby League team run in conjunction with Creda. A bore draw for Clive Bradbury and a good win for Mick Andrews gave us a good start. Alan then completed a winning combination with the wrong knight, so drew. Thus it was left to me to secure the win by prevailing in an alarmingly double-edged position. Think I'll stick to the stodge.
Champion Paul
15/09/03 Congratulations to the C team's Paul Clapham (pictured) on winning the Westwood section of the 2003 Leek congress with a score of 4½ out of 5.
03/09/03 A friendly and reasonably short meeting, with Martyn, Alan and John being re-elected as chairman, secretary and treasurer respectively.
A teamAlan
B teamDiarmid, if he agrees!
C teamJohn
D teamBrinton
Newc MHAlan
Pav MHChris
8 boardAlan
It was agreed to have a club night on Fridays provided John can clear this with the Bridge club. Starting date to be arranged.
The meeting was followed by an 8 player four round 10 minute quickplay. Winner Martyn, second Alan.
28/08/03 A quick boast: The 4 way tie for first place in the U160 section at the Thanet congress held at Broadstairs on 15th to 17th August included yours truly.
AGM and Quickplay
14/08/03 The date for the club AGM has been set for Wed 3 September. As usual this will be followed by a quickplay tournament, assuming that the business of the meeting is completed reasonably quickly.
New Grades
01/08/03 Big Shock - Small Changes:
Previous grade in brackets
Barry Jones 158 (160)
Ralph Hayward 158 (168)
Alan Paling 157 (162)
Chris Hankey 151 (135)
Gordon Parker 148 (149)
Jeff Fletcher 146 (152)
Steve Bruce 140 (137)
Martyn Harris 137 (139)
Diarmid Gibson 136 (132)
Francis Westfield 133 (137)
Tim Stevens 126 (120)
John Day 124 (123)
Watson Fuller 115 (107)
Brian Wagstaffe 111 (102)
Nick Wright 99 (86)
Pete Shaw 92 (94)
Robert West 78 (71)
Paul Clapham 72 (76)
Pavilion Absorbed
01/08/03 Pavilion chess club is no more, with most of their players transferring to Newcastle. Their name will live on for at least one more year attached to a MH League team based at Newcastle.
27/07/03 Former Newcastle club member Chon Lee is joint winner of the British under 150 Championship. Chon is currently based in Edinburgh, as are this summers championships.
Provisional entries for 2003/04
10/07/03 4 league teams, 1 team in MH league, joint team with Creda in Derby league.
1 team in each of 8 man, U110 and U135 cups.
2002/3 Final Positions
june 03 A team 5th (div 1); B team 6th (div 1); C team 7th (div 2)
MH team 1st; Derby league team with Creda 1st (Div 3)


Leek Quickplay Reminder
27/05/04 Just a reminder that it is not too late to enter the Leek rapidplay congress on Sunday week (6th June). Robert Milner is still eagerly checking his post in search of new entries.
Rules Ready
27/05/04 Last night the committee put the finishing touches to their rewrite of the rules preparatory to presenting them to the AGM. Although the wording may still be a little stilted in places, they should be a better reflection of how the league operates.
Division 1 sorted at last
27/05/04 Confirmation was received last night that Newcastle B had conceded to Stafford A in their outstanding match, and that the Holmes Chapel Kings v Creda A match is to be scored as a double default.
10 minute chess
27/05/04 All captains know that results should be returned to results secretary Fred Spicer within 10 days of the game. Fred kept everyone entertained at the committee meeting by repeatedly complaining that he wasn't receiving results within 10 minutes. Touches of test match special.

Meanwhile on the grading front Robert Milner reported that players have an (unpublished) grade as soon as they have played one game.
A later suggestion that we run a cup for ungraded players met with the riposte that it wouldn't work because nobody would be eligible to play in the second round as they would all have a grade from playing in the first!

Sussex down Staffs
21/05/04 The only Staffordshire team to reach the national stages of the county competitions, the Open team, lost out 6 - 10 to Sussex in the preliminary round.
Committee Meeting
17/05/04 League Committee meeting on 26th May at Creda in preparation for AGM in July.
Junior trials
14/05/04 County U13 and U15 trials are scheduled for 17th July at Hassell Strret.
Mega Brats
14/05/04 In the recent Staffordshire MegaFinal of the UK Land Chess Challenge 20 members of the junior squads qualified for the GigaFinal, including 100% scorers Ravi Patel, Rory Corden, Des Leung and Anne-Marie Moruzzi. Good luck to all in the next stage. Full list of squad qualifiers on the Misc - Staffs Juniors page.
Division 1 ends with a whimper?
05/05/04 Although there is as yet no official confirmation, the smart money is on the last two division one matches being defaulted, Newcastle B to Stafford A, Creda A to Holmes Chapel Kings. It would be nice to discover though that I have jumped the gun on this one.
U9s find final going tough
01/05/04 The county U9s found the going tough in the final of the national inter-association event, finishing well down the field of 19 teams. They will however be all the better for the toughening experience. Some of the details can be found on the English Primary Schools Chess Association new website.
Cheddleton into Hickman final
22/04/04 Cheddleton have reached the final of the Hickman cup with a 4½ - 1½ victory over Stafford in the semi-final last night. They will face opponents from the south of the county in the final.
First division crawls on
19/04/04 Another rearranged first division match was played tonight, leaving five outstanding as the seven month season nears its end.
What a Performance!
15/04/04 How went the season for you?
With the aid of my trusty computer I have calculated grading performances for competitors in the 2003/04 NSDCA events. They can be found in the miscellaneous articles section under Performances.
Titles Round-up
07/04/04 The Associations seven trophies have been shared amongst 4 clubs:
Division 1Cheddleton A
Division 2Macclesfield
Division 3Foley A
8 board cupCheddleton
U135 cupNewcastle
U110 cupCheddleton
Margaret Hankey Lge  Newcastle
With Kidsgrove B, Stafford and Creda being runners-up in Div 3, the 8 board cup and U135 cup respectively, there is an extensive list of clubs having had very successful seasons. Indeed this list may yet be extended as Holmes Chapel Kings and Broughton Arms may yet finish second respectively in division 1 and The Margaret Hankey Memorial League.
Division 3 completed
01/04/04 The final division 3 match was played last night with Kidsgrove A drawing at Stafford B.
Thanks Creda
29/03/04 Creda hosted all three cup finals (and even played the perfect hosts by losing the one they were involved in). This meant their were plenty of spectators to lend atmosphere to proceedings. Thanks also to Bob Perry who kept a record of the scores for me whilst I was playing in the wilds of Breadsall.
Staffords board count run ends
29/03/04 Stafford have won three 8 board cup matches on board count in the last two seasons, but their luck finally ran out when Cheddleton got the better of them on board count in this years final.
Cheddleton U110s do their club proud.
29/03/04 Cheddleton ran out convincing 4½ - ½ winners in the U110 final against Foley. All the Foley players had contributed to their A teams promotion winning season, so it was nice to see a different set of players laying claim to some silverware.
Near Miss for County U11s
28/03/04 Staffordshire finished 6th out of 10 teams in the the northern zone of the EPSCA U11, with 5 teams qualifying for the final. Since the final clashes with the Staffordshire Megafinal of the UK Land Chess Challenge, the team cunningly avoided the embarrassment of being unable to raise a team for the final.
27/03/04 As the season draws to a close and repairs to buckets and spades move towards the top of the agenda, it is worth checking that you have noted the date of the league AGM in July. So this is a VAW (Very Advanced Warning): the AGM is scheduled for Tues 6th July at Creda. Be there to make sure your views are heard.
Finals reminder
27/03/04 Nothing to do on Monday night other than keep out of the way of she who must be obeyed? Then drop in on Creda where the three cup finals are to be played. Should be some close encounters.
Division 2 completed
27/03/04 The second division fixtures were completed last night with a typically close encounter in which top team Macclesfield beat bottom one Cheddleton D 3 - 2.
With only one postponed game left I hope to be reporting soon the completion of the third division. However those big bad boys in the first have allowed a backlog of several matches to build so that some teams will have difficulty fitting all games in by the end of April unless all Easter leave is cancelled.
Sussex next for County Open
23/03/04 The county open teams next match is at home to Sussex, placed third in the Southern Counties section of this national event. A quick look at scorecards from earlier rounds show that the Sussex playing strength tends to just make it down to the 160s on the bottom board. Tough match.
Withnall Northern Semi win for Cheddleton
23/03/04 Cheddleton defeated Foley 4 - 1 in the Withnall Trophy (U101) semi final played last night. Almost a dress rehearsal for next Mondays U110 cup final at Creda between the same two clubs, I suspect one of them will be hoping for a different result!
Leek rapidplay details
18/03/04 The Leek rapidplay on June 6th is a 3 section 9 round 15 minutes per person per game event. More here
Cheddleton A again
18/03/04 Roger Edwards and his (sometimes) merry men, also known as Cheddleton A, retained their first division title with two matches to go by winning at Newcastle B last night. Well done again.
Macclesfield back in the Top Division
18/03/04 Congratulations to Macclesfield on their return to the top flight after a one year absence. Yesterdays win at Newcastle C enabled them to win the second division title with one match to spare.
Staffs Juniors see more action
15/03/04 Staffs Juniors were in action in a friendly against Derby and the qualifying round of the EPSCA U9s county/district tournament. Yes they qualified. More under Misc - Staffs Juniors
Staffs dominate Midland U12s
15/03/04 At the Midlands Chess Championships held at Syston on the 6th March, Craig Whitfield won his section to became the Under 12 Midlands Champion, with Neha Patel becoming the Under 12 Girls Champion. Well done both, but if you ever play me do forget your precocious talents for the duration.
Creda reach Jackson Final
15/03/04 Creda reached the final of the Jackson Cup, the county competition for players graded at most 120, with a 4 - 1 win over Cheddleton.
Kidsgrove B second
15/03/04 Kidsgrove B completed their campaign with an emphatic 3½ - ½ win over Foley B to ensure they finished runners up in division 3 just one point behind champions Foley A.
Cheddleton E promoted
15/03/04 Cheddleton E gained the point they needed to secure at least second place in the second division by drawing with Rooks on Friday. Of course during the close season they will mysteriously transform into Cheddleton D.
Foley A first trophy winners
11/03/04 Foley A became the first team to secure a trophy this season when victory over Kidsgrove A last night in a match pulled forward a week gained them the title of division 3 champions. Congratulations to all the players involved.
Creda B first to finish
08/03/04 Creda B became the first team to complete their fixtures with a win at Macclesfield. Amazingly their 10 point haul (in 12 games) may not be enough to avoid relegation.
Staffs edged out in MCCU open semis
02/03/04 Good news and bad news.
The bad is that the county team lost 7½ - 8½ to Warwickshire in the midland semi-finals of the counties open competition.
The good news is that they still qualify for the national stages as the midland counties third representatives in which they will play a preliminary round match against the third team from the southern counties.
Last team to lose
01/03/04 Cheddleton A became the final team to taste defeat this season, going down 1½ - 3½ on Thursday at Kings. The result also puts the Kings into the thick of the battle for second place in the top division.
Final Finalist
26/02/04 The last of the cup semi-finals was played last night with Creda defeating Kidsgrove 3½ - 1½ in the U135 competition. Details on cups page
The six finalists are drawn from five clubs, with the line-up as follows:
8 board: Cheddleton v Stafford
U135: Newcastle v Creda
U110: Foley v Cheddleton
Ten to five
25/02/04 Sweetness and light ruled at last nights committee meeting at which the league rules were discussed, which increases the chances that a revised set will be ready in time for submission to the AGM.
It being standard practice, certainly in congresses, to arrange for the time controls to fall at six, it was suggested that words to the effect that clocks should initially be set at ten to five for both players be included in the rules, and this prompted a brief animated discussion.
No last team to win
23/02/04 Earlier today there were still two teams without a league win - Creda A in division 1 and Foley B in division 3. By the time that the dust had settled at Creda tonight each had recorded their first victory, Cheddleton B and Creda C being the respective victims.
Another finalist
23/02/04 Cheddleton edged Stafford 3 - 2 in the U110 cup to fix up a meeting with Foley in the final of the competition.
Foley wait on venue
23/02/04 The Foley Arms, venue for Foley Chess Club, has changed hands leaving the club with a nervous wait to discover whether they will become homeless. Short term Creda have agreed to host their matches if necessary, so that Foley are not in danger of extinction.
More Withnall
21/02/04 Cheddleton also progressed in this competition, at the expense of Creda, to join Foley in the next round. Since this county trophy seems to be played on a zoned basis, Foley and Cheddleton will presumably play each other next.
Staffs Juniors make encouraging debut
17/02/04 The Staffordshire U9 and U11 made encouraging competitive debuts in the Midland Counties junior teams championships finishing 4th and 3rd respectively in their sections. More here.
Foley advance in Withnall
15/02/04 Foley continued their succesful season by progressing in the Withnall Trophy (the county U101 cup competition) winning 3 - 2 against Stafford.
Division 2 hots up
11/02/04 One point covers the top three teams, two points the bottom four. With only seven teams in the division everyone has something still to play for.
Local players dominate Crewe
08/02/04 Local players Robert Shaw (Cheddleton), Steve Brown (Broughton Arms) and George Scattergood (Holmes Chapel) won three of the 4 sections at the Crewe Congress. More here.
Committee reminder
05/02/04 The next league committee meeting is imminent, being scheduled for Tues 24th Feb at Creda.
Foley's super-sub
05/02/04 Richard Tunstall (Foley B) completed his allocation of 5 substitute appearances for the A team with a total of 3½ points. Obviously he has played an important part in Foley As excellent season.
Foley's First Final
26/01/04 Foley reached their first cup final with a convincing 4 - 1 victory over Creda to follow up their first round win over Newcastle. Indeed Peter Tideswell tells me that until this season they have never won a cup match as Foley or in their Angel Inn days. Thoughts of buses.
Same again for 8 board cup
26/01/04 Holders Stafford overcame Holmes Chapel in the 8 board cup to secure a repeat of last years final line-up against Cheddleton.
Super Sub
26/01/04 John Yee (Cheddleton) became the first player to complete his allocation of 5 reserve games when he turned out for the A team against Cheddleton B. Not only is he a willing substitute, but an effective one too as his score of 3½/5 as a substitute shows. A super sub indeed.
No clean sweep in cups
24/01/04 Cheddletons win over Creda in the 8 board cup together with Newcastles defeat of Cheddleton in the U135 ensures that no club will have finalists in all 3 cup competitions.
Frodsham Rapidplay confirmed
24/01/04 This years event will take place on Sunday July 4th at the Frodsham Community Centre. Entry forms from M Regan Tel 01625 586675.
Cheddleton first to finals
20/01/04 Cheddleton became the first club to get a team to a 2004 cup final with a 7½ - ½ demolition of Creda in the 8 board event. Gory details will appear on the cups page when I get them (done 21/01/04).
Cups Coming
15/01/04 The semi-finals of the cup competitions ahould be played over the fortnight to end of January. Currently Cheddleton and Creda remain in all three competitions. Outside of those two clubs people will be hoping for semi-final results that ensure the trophies are shared around.
Staffs win again in County Open
12/01/04 Staffs secured a comfortable win against Worcestershire in the latest round of county matches. For details see county page.
Gap in division 2 table Shock!
07/01/04 This weeks three matches have resulted in a three point gap opening up within the second division table. Is this the end of the divisions reputation as a free for all?
2004 Crewe Congress
04/01/04 The BCF Calendar reveals that the 2004 Crewe Congress will be on the 6th to 8th Feb. Whether you have received a new diary, personal organiser or Pop Idol calendar for Christmas, mark the Crewe dates in. Do it immediately before swmbo finds you an alternative engagement. You know it makes sense!
Meanwhile it seems likely that the Cheddleton matches arranged for the 6th Feb will be postponed.
Next Match: Next Year
18/12/03 Unless one of the 9 outstanding postponed matches is played over the holiday period, the next NSDCA game will be in January. The week 5 - 9 January sees highly unpredictable matches such as Cheddleton B v Stafford A in division 1, the top of the table clash Foley A v Stafford B in division 3, and three matches in our very own division of death, the second. Interesting times coming back soon!
3 into 2 for 3 to 2.
18/12/03 Three teams - Foley A, Stafford B, Kidsgrove B - have broken well clear at the top of division 3, so it looks as if they have to squeeze themselves into the two promotion slots available to the second division.
Christmas Credits
14/12/03 With only a handful of matches left to be played before Xmas, now seems a suitable time to give credit to all those people who have enabled me to maintain this site this season.

First Alan Paling, who has always been willing to make use of his own circle of contacts to help fill any gaps. Thanks too are obviously due to said circle, whoever they may be.

Information about Stoke League matches have been passed on at least occasionally and in many cases regularly by John Amison, Bill Armstrong, Malcolm Armstrong, John and Sandra Blackburn, Clive Bradbury, Julian Cook, John Day, Simon Elliott, Peter Evans, Diarmid Gibson, Mike Hancock, Geoff Laurence and Bob Perry.

Mick Andrews has forwarded copies of Bert Loomes' Derby League newssheet to enable me to keep abreast of progress in thet league.

I have also cheated sometimes by checking the websites of other local clubs, so their maintainers are also guilty of helping me.

Thanks to all these people, without whom the content of this site would be poor indeed. Any mistakes, inaccuracies and failings in presentational style are of course my own.

Second Best (II)
10/12/03 Unless there is a late rush to play postponed matches, only one division will have completed its pre-Christmas schedule on time. Step forward the second, best again.
Second Best (I)
10/12/03 The first division can lay claim to the highest standard of chess, but for close competition the second is best. At the halfway stage the table of points goes 9-8-7-6-5-4-3. Clearly nothing decided yet.
Staffs Smash Salop
09/12/03 Staffordshire scored a big win over Shropshire in the county chamionship open section. Details on the county page.
Frodsham and Leek quickplays
06/12/03 In the item immediately below this one, I have suggested that Leek are taking over the Frodsham rapidplay. In fact it is intended to continue with such an event in Frodsham, but at a slightly later date than usual. The early June date that they have vacated in the calendar is being used by Leek for a rapidplay at St Edwards (The first Leek Rapidplay). i.e. it is the date rather than the event that Leek are to takeover. Apologies for the wrong impression given below.
Frodsham, Leek and Alan Wilshaw
25/11/03 Frodsham are unable to host their usual rapidplay next year, so the event will be held in Leek instead, at St Edwards school on the first Sunday of June. The family of Alan Wilshaw have indicated that they would like to sponsor a trophy in his name for the best performance in this event by a local player.
Committee fail to imitate Brussels
24/11/03 Tonights committee meeting failed to initiate a raft of new regulations, though the promised review of league rules and constitution should include provision for the earlier circulation of contact and other information. Meanwhile if any club officers or team captains would like or are willing for their contact information to appear on an appropriate page on this site, let me know.
Kidsgrove A join the fun
24/11/03 Last Wednesday (19th) Kidsgrove A became the last of the 30 teams in the leagues to break their duck, with a convincing 3 - 1 victory over the Blind Social Club. All teams now have at least one point.
Some like it close
08/11/03 After a total of only 11 matches in division 2, every team in it has experienced both victory and defeat. Competetive or what?
Postponements in fashion
05/11/03 Last week was a bad one for postponements with Cheddleton A v B, Kings v Creda A and Leek A v Broughton Arms joining Foley B v Creda C on the to be arranged list. From the look of the number of Foley A players who turned up to support their B team at Newcastle tonight Blind v Foley A was also off.
Power cut in Fenton - one match postponed
27/10/03 Well, thats the sort of headline we amateurs are attracted to. Tonights third division match between Foley B and Creda C fell victim to a power cut - presumably it was too late to transfer en masse to Creda
Cheddleton complete U110 SF line-up
27/10/03 Cheddleton ran out 4 - 1 winners at Kidsgrove to complete the semi-final line-up for the U110 cup. Draw:
Creda v Foley
Stafford v Cheddleton
U110 wins for Stafford, Creda
23/10/03 Stafford sneak past Holmes Chapel 3 - 2, Creda apparently have an easier ride at the Blind, winning 5 - 0.
Dave shows up at Nantwich
22/10/03 Dave Smith, often of Newcastle, has turned out for Nantwich in the MH League, leading them to their first win. Nice to know he is still interested in the 64 square game.
Staffs Open team draw with Greater Manchester
16/10/03 Having won the minor counties title last year, the new season started with a teat against the might of GMCA. Details here provided courtesy of John Blackburn.
Blind Start
13/10/03 Pleased to report that The Blind SC have been able to start the season at their new premises, fielding their usual team and running out 3 - 1 winners over Creda C.
Contacts wanted
12/10/03 If your teams results are late to appear on my site it is probably because I have no contact to pass on the results to me. I regard contact as a two-way process: send me your results and in return I'll send you any results I know from your division. Mail me through this link, which is also available on my links page.
Nantwich venue
04/10/03 Nantwich venue is the Red Cow in Beam Street, near the bus station (not the Bowling Green that for some reason I had thought was the case).
Cheddleton Rumours
18/09/03 Truth will out on the publication of the tied lists, but rumour has it that Cheddleton are to make small adjustments to their playing line-ups: Roger Edwards and Yahgshi Yu to move from C to A team, Alex Richardson and Bill Armstrong from A to B, Conrad Westmoreland from B to C. Also joining the C team are Mark Greenwood and Olsen, a new strong member.

There is a further suggestion that John Harvey will be appearing for Creda, though the Creda site was silent on this point when I looked today.

With Jonathan Blackburn not expected to feature for Holmes Chapel Kings the changes could mean that 6 of the first division teams - Cheddleton B and C, Newcastle A and B, Kings and Stafford (when minus Lawrence) are relatively evenly matched gradewise leading to lots of close games.

Macclesfield go digital
15/09/03 Macclesfield won the team prize at the 2003 Leek congress, the prize being a digital chess clock. Sod's Law applies - the club had just invested in some new clocks. Still, if a woman can never be too rich or too thin, then a chess club can never have too many clocks.

More on the Leek congress here.

Creda switch
09/09/03 Creda have switched their third team from the Margaret Hankey league to the third division, giving an ideal 8 teams in the third. Fixture download files have been updated.
No Kidsgrove in MH
03/09/03 Kidsgrove have reluctantly concluded that they would overstretch themselves if they tried to field a team in the Margaret Hankey league this season. However this still means a healthy eight teams in in the competition.
Nantwich Wednesday
30/08/03 Nantwich are to play their home matches on Wednesdays. I have amended the downloads files accordingly.
Minor Counties Champions
28/08/03 Slightly old news this, since the final was played on July 5th, but better late than never! I can report that Staffordshire won the BCF Minor counties title for 2002/03. A little more info is available on the county competitions page.
New Fixtures
26/08/03 Fixtures for the new season have been released and are displayed on the relevant pages. Downloadable files in Word and CSV format are available on the fixtures downloads page. Note that we still do not know Nantwich's home night, so they have been allocated Tuesday until they tell us otherwise.
Blind Move?
30/07/03 The Blind Social Club has moved to new premises in Hanley, their old ones in Elsing St now being up for sale. There seems considerable doubt however that the chess club will be able to play at the new premises.
Broughton confirm
27/07/03 Good news - Broughton Arms have confirmed their entry for the forth-coming season in the Margaret Hankey league. There was a little doubt originally as they were unable to attend AGM.
Nantwich switch
27/07/03 Nantwich have decided to switch their entry from division 3 to the Margaret Hankey league for the coming season. I have altered the league compositions below.
Composition of league for 2003/04
10/07/03 Division 1:
Cheddleton A, Cheddleton B, Cheddleton C, Creda A, Holmes Chapel Kings, Newcastle A, Newcastle B, Stafford A

Division 2:
Cheddleton D, Cheddleton E, Creda B, Holmes Chapel Knights, Holmes Chapel Rooks, Macclesfield, Newcastle C

Division 3:
Blind SC, Foley A, Foley B, Kidsgrove A, Kidsgrove B, Newcastle D, Stafford B

MH League:
Broughton Arms, Cheddleton, Creda, Kidsgrove, Leek St Edwards A, Leek St Edwards B, Nantwich, Newcastle, Pavilion

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