To be played over three Wednesdays (8, 15 & 22 June), two rounds per night. Byes available if you can only make two of these nights. Draw for odd-numbered rounds based on those present at 7.30 on the relevant night.
Thirteen players turned up for the end of season quickplay last night. The six round 10 minute tournament was dominated by Daniel who managed a perfect six. Chris was second on five. Full details on the summer events page.
Club stays open
Despite the completion of the league season the club will remain open for as much of the summer as its members wish. The organised part of the programme so far consists of an end of season quickplay next week, the June half-hour (as run last year) and the AGM and quickplay in September.
D complete clubs league season
The D team completed the Newcastle season on schedule, losing 1½ - 2½ against Creda C. James provided the point. There haul of 9 points from 20 games may seem modest, but it represents an improvement on last season when they propped up the table. They are also pleased to have avoided being whitewashed in any game.
Second division complete
The final second division table shows the B team joint fourth and the C team sixth. Looks like they will have to make another attempt to escape next season.
A Team finish third
Thursday nights victory for Stafford A means they leapfrog our A team into second place in division 1, leaving us third.
8 board team lose in final
Wins for Francis, Tim and Steve enabled the club to reach a respectable score in the 8 board final against Cheddleton tonight.
Leek D too good for our D
The D team were beaten but not disgraced in losing 1 - 3 at promotion chasing Leek D tonight, with Paul and James getting grade enhancing draws.
B end on a high
Wins for Chris, Tim and Diarmid enabled the B team to end the campaign on a winning note against Fenton A tonight.
C edged out again
Wins for martyn and John were not enough to save the C team from defeat at the hands of second division champions Holmes Chapel Knights.
A end with a flourish
The A team ended the season with a 3½ - 1½ win at Cheddleton C on Friday with the help of wins from Ralph and both substitutes Chris and Steve. They now have to wait on the postponed Stafford A v Cheddleton D match to find out whether they are to be second or third in the league.
D close again
James provided the win in the D teams 1½ - 2½ defeat by Leek C tonight.
D go close
The D team went down 1½ - 2½ at Leek A last night with Paul providing the full point.
Lucky escapes for A
In a tense match the A team beat beat Cheddleton B 3½ - 1½. Daniel and Barry won on the bottom boards, but the 1½ points gleaned on the top two are best described as fortuitous.
The highlight of the B teams draw with Rooks was the return to action of Diarmid. The match also featured Michael Roberts' first game for the club. Steve and Diarmid provided the wins.
Week starts with a win for C
In a week in which all the Newcastle teams play, the C team got the club off to a winning start with a 3 - 2 win at Fenton A - Johns win combining with 4 draws to have the desired effect.
A team go down fighting
The A team fought hard against Cheddleton A tonight, the first game not finishing until gone 10.15. However the final result was still a 1½ - 3½ reverse, with Daniel providing the ony win.
Good win for B
The B team won at division two leaders Broughton Arms last night thanks to wins by Steve and Nick.
Another point for D
Wins for Paul and james featured in the D teams draw at Kidsgrove B tonight.
No wins for C
Draws for Martyn, Francis and John were not enough for the C team to avoid defeat against Creda A tonight.
D fall short again
The D team were quickly dispatched on Friday by Leek B. Again it was left to James to secure the draw that prevented a whitewash.
8 board team reach final
The clubs 8 board team reached the final of the cup competition by defeating Holmes Chapel 6 - 2 in a match featuring wins for Chon, Allan, Daniel, Martyn and Steve.
James on song
James played a fine attacking game to obtain the D teams sole point in their delayed visit to Fenton B tonight.
Good point for D at Stafford
Wins for Paul and Mike enabled The D team to pick up a good point at promotion chasing Stafford B on Wednesday.
B win at Kidsgrove
The B team continue to miss Diarmid, but were able to pick up a win at Kidsgrove with a valuable draw by substitute Stephen Cooper adding to the foundations laid by wins for Steve and Tim. Stephen has now completed his permitted five substitute appearances.
A team hit form
The A team hit top form tonight, with Cheddleton being on the receiving end of a 5 - 0 scoreline.
C team fall to Rooks
Martyn was the only winner for the C team as they went down 2 - 3 at Rooks tonight.
James and Alan in the money at mini-congress
James and Alan were runners-up in their respective sections at the mini-congress held at the Bridge Club over the weekend. Reports, pictures and results start here.
Solid win for C
The C team won 4½ - ½ at Kidsgrove A tonight to move back to 50% overall.
Knight falls on Newcastle B
Steve was the only winner for Newcastle B at Knights last night, though substitutes Paul and Stephen gave good accounts of themselves on the bottom boards.
Cup disappointment for Newcastle
There was just one decisive game in the U135 cup semi-final between Newcastle and Creda, and it was enough to take Creda through to the final. Meanwhile draws for Chon, Alan and Allan were insufficient to dent Cheddleton A's 100% record.
Newcastle D eke out another point
Wins for Stephen and James enabled the D team to pick up another point, this time at Creda C.
Newcastle hold their end up
Five Newcastle players - Chon, Allan, Daniel, Martyn and Steve featured in todays county match against Shropshire, collectively scoring 2½ points with wins for Chon and Martyn. However this was not enough to save Staffordshire from defeat.
A team consolidate
The A team consolidated their position in the top half of the table, their win over Kings featuring wins for Chon, Alan and Daniel.
John, Peter and Martyn all played for the county U150s against Greater Manchester. All three won, providing significant support towards the teams 9 - 7 victory.
The D teams postponed match away to Fenton B has now been arranged for 28th Feb.
Its never too late to report good news - the D team completed the double over the Blind in division three with an emphatic 4 - 0 victory on Wednesday.
No joy for C at the Arms
The C team went down 1½ - 3½ tonight at Broughton Arms. All the games were interesting, but no wins.
Solid win for B
Wins for Chris, Steve and Tim together with a draw for substitute Stephen enabled the B team to get the better of Creda A tonight.
Hat trick for Peter
Peter completed a hat trick of personal victories for the county U125 team last weekend in the drawn match against Worcestershire. John also played, doing the jobs board of protecting the rest of the team from the oppositions heaviest artillery even though he was not personally successful.
C avenge earlier defeat by B
Wins for Martyn, Watson and Peter put the C team on the road to victory against an illness hit B team. However Watson was hard pressed in his game as Owen gave a good account of himself in his first competitive game. The D team meanwhile found them confronted by league leaders Creda B who were out to avenge the dropping of one of their few points this year. This time the leaders made no mistake.
First Newcastle win of 2005
The A team got back to winning ways last night, with wins for Alan and Barry stting the team on the way to a 3 - 2 victory at Macclesfield.
New year angst for Newcastle
The A and D teams got off to a slow start to the new year with wins for Allan (A team) and James (D team) being insufficient to save their teams from defeat. At least the B and C teams shouldn't both start with defeats as they play each other in the first round of 2005 division 2 matches.
Alan and Tim tied for first place in the handicap quickplay at the club tonight. There then followed a brief excursion into crazy chess, Chris winning with a perfect score of 4/4. The chess kept not only us entertained, but our landlords also - the bridge players wanting some of whatever we had been drinking!
Newcastles leading performers so far this season relative to their grade have been
And another draw for C team
Martyn and Francis got the wins in tonights draw with Kidsgrove A.
Another draw for A team
Allan and Alan gat the wins that enabled the A team to draw at Kings last night and so maintain the teams 50% record in the top division this season.
Wins for Chris, Steve and Nick put the B team on course for victory over Kidsgrove A, thereby ensuring they go into the Xmas break in good spirits.
C team edge forward
Watson was the sole winner for the C team as they drew at Rooks tonight. I confess to being the sole loser. First time I typed that it read 'sore'. That as well!
A Draw, C lose
Wins for Ralph and Daniel featured prominently in the A teams draw against Cheddleton C, whilst Rooks used the well-known principle of win with white, draw with black to defeat the C team.
Newcastles turn to spring a surprise
Last night saw Newcastle D in action at Creda, and despite being outgraded by 30 points a board came away with a draw. Carl was the star who contributed a full point to the effort.
B team suffer again
A Diarmid-less B team lost again tonight, this time at Fenton. The result does little to clarify the second division standings.
More gloom at the Bridge Club
The B team lost their unbeaten record to Broughton Arms, and the D team succumbed to Kidsgrove B in another night that matched the gloomy weather from the Newcastle perspective.
Bad night at the Bridge Club
Creditable draws for Paul and James were not enough to save the D team from defeat against a strong Leek D side.
Meanwhile the A team were in action against a determined Macclesfield team, and, despite outgrading them on every board, ended up on the wrong end of a 3 - 2 scoreline. I trust there will also be some good nights to report in due course.
C team win at Creda
In a match with no quick finishes the C team prevailed at Creda by 3½ to 1½.
Chedd Combo Crush 'Castle
The Cheddleton/Leek combination proved far too strong for Newcastle in the U110 cup on Friday, with draws for Paul and James being all that Newcastle had to show for their efforts.
New date for Kings
Having rechecked their diaries, Kings found a hole on 26th January that had previously been overlooked. This hole is now filled by the Newcastle A v Kings match postponed from earlier in the season.
Newcastle U135 through to semis
Newcastle started the defence of their U135 title with a 3½ - 1½ win at Fenton. Last man to finish, Steve, had to play under the pressure of knowing that defeat for him would mean defeat for the club on board count. However he held his nerve in a rook and pawn ending to secure the victory.
Who will they field?
The usual guessing game as to the make up of an opposing cup team has an extra twist for the Newcastle U110 team this year as they prepare to take on Cheddleton. The moorlands club has split into two for NSDCA purposes this year, and with many of their lower graded players already tied to Leek, anticipating the Cheddleton team is even harder than usual.
The D teams fixtures with Kidsgrove B have been reversed, with Newcastle hosting the match on 24th November, Kidsgrove the return on 9th March.
A win against rusty Chedd B
Wins for Chon, Barry, Ralph and Daniel gave the A team a win over Cheddleton B for whom previous postponements meant this was their first game of the season.
Long delay for visit of Kings
Preliminary investigations suggest that the Newcastle A v Kings match, postponed in October because Holmes Chapel were unable to raise a team on the relevant night, will not take place until at least March because of other HC commitments.
First points for C team
Following two 2 - 3 defeats, the C team were pleased to get their season properly started with a 4 - 1 win over Fenton A last night.
D go down fighting
Drraws for Paul and Mike, and a determined display from James which was halted by the clock, enabled the D team to emerge with credit from their defeat at the hands of Leek A.
Paul rescues point for B team
Paul, substituting for Steve, carried the pressure of being last to finish to win a pawn endgame and thereby secure a point for the B team at Rooks last night.
Welcome back Chon
Chon Lee has returned to Newcastle from Edinburgh and has been attached to the A team, creating a solid looking six man squad. He was given a gentle reintroduction to the league tonight - his first opponent: Lawrence Cooper. Stafford edged past the A team, with Ralph providing the only Newcastle win.
Thunderbolts and Lightening
Very, Very Frightening. Plenty of entertainment at Newcastle tonight as the B team took on Knights. Forget the bit about quiet positional chess. All the players elected to slug it out in Utd-Arsenal style. When the dust settled it could be seen that the B team had triumphed.
After two seasons of close but not close enough against Stafford in the 8 man cup, it is good to report that another close match against the same opponents saw Newcastle go through 4½ - 3½, with wins for Diarmid, Daniel, Martyn and John, with Tim getting the half point.
Pete and John win in vain
Pete and John travelled to Leicester to represent the county at U125 level on Saturday, both winning while the team went down 7 - 9.
More points for D
Wins for Paul, James and Mike resulted in victory for the D team over the Blind.
Near miss for C
C team went down 2 - 3 again, this time to Broughton Arms. Pete was the only winner for Newcastle.
Captains Innings II
Nick was last to finish for the B team, his win against a higher graded opponent securing a draw for his team.
Captains Innings I
Mick Andrews was the last player to finish in the three matches played at Creda tonight, winning against a player who outgraded him by 49 points to secure a draw for the Creda/Newcastle team in the Derby league.
D open account
Wins for Paul and Stephen C enabled the D team to open their account with a draw at Leek C last night.
B edge past C
Wins for Steve and Diarmid for the B team and Pete for the C enabled the B team to edge the derby match.
Newcastle now has its own handbook featuring contacts, players, fixtures, extracts from the laws and league rules, and a section to record their own teams progress. Copies distributed at forthcoming matches. Feedback appreciated to Martyn or Alan.
Juniors at Stafford
Richard and Carl played in the U14 section at the Staffordshire Junior Championships today, with Richard coming joint 3rd with 4 points from 6 games. Carls haul of 2½ points was depressed when he ran out of time to press home the advantage in his last round game. Good to see him prepared to think carefully to create the position in the first place.
A team off to winning start
The A team ran out 4 - 1 winners in their opening match of the season against Cheddleton D, though the scoreline was a little flattering for what was a hard fought match.
D team opener
The D team opened the clubs 2004/5 campaign tonight with a 1 - 3 home defeat by promotion hopefuls Stafford B.
Friday Club Nights
We shall be using Friday nights for club nights whenever the Bridge Club is open, which is likely to be 2 or 3 times a month. The first one is October 1st. Others will be recorded above under Newcastle events.
Paul retains Leek title
A contingent of six Newcastle players attended the Leek congress, with Paul again winning his section as he did last year. Details on the Congresses-Leek page.
AGM and quickplay Reports
The club had one of its biggest ever turnouts for an AGM with a total attendance of 18. They politely listened to the ramblings of the various committee members in order to learn the answers to the important questions: what team will I be in, and how much will it cost me?
The discussion on teams was the longest item on the agenda, as we concluded that we were probably one division 2 or above player short of ideal. Fortunately though we were able to agree captains:
Fees were set at £25 (£12.50 for unwaged).
Use of Friday nights will start again at the beginning of October, though we will not use all Fridays, just those that the Bridge Club also use.
15 people stayed for the 5 round 10 min quickplay which resulted in a 4 way tie between Alan, Chris, Ralph and Martyn on 4 points each. Full details on competitions-summer events page.
The good turnout for the night bodes well for the future with so many members clearly wishing to be involved.
AGM and quickplay
The club AGM and quickplay will take place on Wed Sept 8th. If you are unable to attend make sure Alan knows your plans and wishes for the new season.
Grades for 2004/5
*Carls grade does not include the appropriate junior enhancement, probably 8 points.
Brian S and James have yet to play sufficient games for a grade, though each will be given a provisional grade shortly for use this season.
Oh no! Not again!!
Having gone out to Stafford on boardcount in each of the last two seasons in the 8 board cup, Newcastle were again drawn against Stafford for the 2004/05 competition.
The other cup draws were also made at the AGM, with Newcsatle due to visit Fenton in the first round of the U135 and Cheddleton (to confirm their entry) in the U110.
All three teams would then get home matches should they survive round 1.
Full draws on cups page.
Blanket finish to Swiss
Steve and Martyn tied first in the club ½-hour swiss, with three players a half-point behind them. Full details on the summer events page.
Swiss Rolls on
The club ½-hour Swiss continued with two more rounds and two extra players tonight. We even had a draw in round 4!
Swiss waits for first draw
The club ½ hour tournament started with two rounds of decisive games tonight. I have added a page Summer Events in the competitions section to record progress in this event.
Former member Stephen Cooper joined 6 current Newcastle players in providing a sizeable presence at the Leek rapidplay congress. Daniel Sullivan was our star performer with 8½ out of 9 in the St Edwards section for those graded under 100. Yes you did read that right. Somehow Daniel has acquired a rapidplay grade of 98. More here.
Club ½-hour tournament
To be played over the next three Wednesdays (9, 16 & 23 June), two rounds per night. Byes available if you can make only two of these nights. Draw for odd-numbered rounds based on those present at 7.30 on the relevant night. Club will be open before this for those wanting a warm-up game. I shall create a page in the competitions section to record results.
Fun with Foley
The planned friendly with Foley took place tonight. Unfortunately our visitors suffered a couple of late withdrawals, but Paul volunteered to guest for them to create a seven-a-side match. Games were played in a good but determined spirit and provided useful experience for the newer members of both clubs. A general invite has been given to Foley players to participate in our ½-hour tournament to played over the next three weeks.
I have decided to put all my reviews of the 2004/5 season together on one page of the competitions section.
The Staffordshire Megafinal was held in Leek today. A list of the title winners can be found on the Misc-County Juniors page
Many thanks to Alan P, Alex R, Bob P, Chris H, Diarmid, Geoff L, Gordon P, Gus, James, John A, John & Sandra, John D, Malcolm A, Mike H, Peter E, and Traci for keeping me abreast of developments. Apologies to anyone I have omitted. please continue to keep me informed!
Thanks also to those who have taken time to massage my ego by saying something nice to me about this site.
Finally thanks to all those surfers who ensured that my counter clicked over at the rate of over a 1000 visitors per month during the season. You make me feel that the effort on my part to maintain the site has been worthwhile.
I have updated the performances page (found via Misc) so they now cover the complete league and cup season.
The season was completed last night with Kings drawing with Cheddleton D to retain their precious one point advantage over their opponents. Of couse if we need to resort to a play-off to split Rooks and Broughton Arms (tied second in division two), then this headline is wrong.
What's the penalty?
Your opponent inadvertantly or otherwises transgresses against the laws of the game. What penalty can you extract? I have written a short article about penalties for the Misc section of this site. I emphasize that I am not an arbiter so the views expressed are very mich personal rather than official.
Andrew Leadbetter provides a report of the recent BCF council meeting at which changes were agreed which will radically alter the way our national organisation operates. I have put the report in the Misc section of the site.
Leek D up
Leek D defeated the Blind on Wednesday to take the runners up spot in division 3. Meanwhile the fate of Kings and Cheddleton D, both fighting to avoid the drop from division 1, was extended by a further week as Kings were unable to beat Cheddleton A last night.
No Blind team turned up for the rearranged match at Creda C on Monday night, and the match will now not be played. Creda C intend to claim the match by default.
The performances page has been updated to include all games upto and including last night. (see under Misc.)
Creda B take division 3
Creda B secured the third division title in their final match, defeating Leek A 3 - 1. Either Leek A or Leek D will be second, depending on the result of the postponed Leek D match against the Blind.
Leek Rapidplay Congress
Entry forms for the 2005 Leek Rapidplay Congress on Sunday June 5th are now available.
Division 2 complete
The second division fixtures were completed tonight, Rooks' victory over Fenton A leaving a promotion conundrum with Rooks and Broughton Arms tied for the second promotion place. It could have been worse - Creda A and Newcastle B were only one point further back.
New site for Creda
Creda Chess Club site can now be found here. I have updated my links page accordingly.
FIDE are introducing a series of changes to the Laws of chess from 1st July this year. Perhaps the most important of these is that except when claiming a draw by repetition or under 50 move rule, a player must play their move before recording it. My comments on this and a few of the other changes are here.
"Last Chance" swells Megafinal
Over 30 juniors turned up to compete in the Last Chance Tournament at Hassell Street yesterday. Sandra Blackburn and I helped Traci run the event, which successfully provided opportunities both for competition experience and qualification to the Staffordshire Megafinal in Leek next month.
Finals gallery added
A gallery of pictures from finals night has been added here. Warning: approx 200k of jpegs.
Creda again did the league proud by hosting the finals of all the cup competitions tonight. This year two of the trophies were also present and were taken away by their winners. Several spectators also turned up, and availed themselves of the buffet as well as inspecting play.
5 clubs were again represented on the night, a repeat of last years spread, with Holmes Chapel and Kidsgrove replacing Stafford and Fenton in the list. This means that over the two years all the clubs who participate in the cup competitions have had at least one finalist, with the exception of the Blind. That so many clubs can aspire to winning trophies is surely good for the association.
The 8 board final was a match of what ifs for Newcastle. Your correspondent turned victory into defeat by the simple expedient of leaving a mate in three on, whilst solid positions on several other boards produced nothing. This however is often how stronger teams win matches - outlasting their opponents rather than wiping them off the face of the earth - and Cheddleton again showed their ability to get the upper hand in the fullness of time. Congratulations to them.
The U135 cup is sometimes thought as the cup competition aimed at second division players, so it was appropriate that Holmes Chapel were present to try to complete a league and cup double, Knights having won the second division title. Their team of two Knights and three Rooks gained an early advantage over Creda when John Hicks defeated Tom Healey. The hosts fought hard, and mostly long, but were unable to obtain an equaliser.
It was good to see Kidsgrove in the U110 cup final. Keeping to the players who had got them this far rather than calling on more of their eligible A team members their presence in the final despite all being graded under 90 gives hope of a day in the sun to all. Eventually it took Chris Fords draw to avoid a whitewash, but they made their opponents work hard for victory, with the match lasting as long as the other two finals.
Special thanks are due to Bob Perry for organising the night.
Details on the cups page; some photos to follow.
Broughton go second
Broughton Arms' victory over Kidsgrove on Wednesday takes them into the second promotion place in division 2. They can be caught, but not passed, by Rooks should they win their final match.
Site to move?
As my ISP is no longer part viewed as a core business of its parent company, it is being hived off into a separate vehicle. This will probably result in a change of the url for this site (and my e-mail addresses) sometime in the next couple of months.
Cup Finals - Spectators Welcome
A reminder that the three cup finals will take place at Creda on Monday:
U110: Cheddleton v Kidsgrove
U135: Creda v Holmes Chapel
8 board: Cheddleton v Newcastle
Seconds almost done
With one match to play and one result not yet to hand the second division table is close to taking on its final shape. Knights are champions; Newcastle C, Fenton A and Kidsgrove A are 6th, 7th and eighth respectively.
Cheddleton B down, Macclesfield safe
Macclesfield beat Cheddleton B 3 - 2 in their postponed match, a result that sees Macclesfield join Cheddleton C in joint fourth place and Cheddleton B relegated. With their intended top board unavailable for virtually all the season, Cheddleton B did well to reach their last fixture still with a mathematical chance of survival.
Last night of the firsts provides few answers
The last three scheduled first division fixtures were played simultaneously at Cheddleton on Friday night, but with 4 postponements outstanding only two teams know their final positions - Cheddletons A and C are first and fourth respectively, though in the case of the C team it may be a tied position. They will be separated by Newcastle A and Stafford A in some order. As for the bottom four places I suggest you examine the table and remaining fixtures for yourselves as the possibilities are too numerous to summarize here.
Blind v Fenton B moved from 30th Mar to 4th April, and will now be played at Fenton.
Performances page (Misc-Performances) now updated to include all league and cup matches upto and including 21st March together with Newcastle congress results.
One-Off Venue needed
Staffordshire are hosting the Northern Zone U11 qualifying for EPSCA championships in March 2006, so need a suitable venue.
In north of county, close to motorway
Playing area(s) for upto 260 players,
about a dozen additional rooms to be used as base areas one for each team with their supervisors, coaches, parents, etc.
Sufficiently early access that preparations can be complete in time for the event to run from 11 am to 5.30 pm.
Sounds like a Newcastle school.
Any ideas, please tell Traci directly or send to me to pass on to her.
The county U11s took part in the Northern Zone qualifying event of the EPSCA championships last Saturday, finishing 8th. A report can be found on the county juniors page.
Rooks v Fenton A has been further postponed. new date is now 19th April.
Knights up, but...
Victory at Broughton Arms last night secured promotion to the first division for Holmes Chapel Knights. But who will join them? With most teams having only one game left you might expect the answer to be simple, and indeed it is if Creda A win their last match, as then they too will be promoted. However going through the ifs and buts that can occur if Creda don't win I discover that it is still possible for there to be a four way tie for second place!
The county U9 team qualified from the northern zone competition held at Hyde (Manchester) last Saturday. They will now take part in the national finals at Nottingham on 23rd April. More details on the county juniors page.
I've updated the Performances page (Misc-Performances) to include all league and cup matches played before this weekend, excluding Knights v Kidsgrove A for which I do not have a scorecard. I have also included the results from the Newcastle Mini-Congress, because I can.
Cups on course
All the cup semi-finals have been completed, so the finals should all take place together at Creda on April 11th:
This site was unreachable for much of yesterday due to a power failure at Redbus Interhouse's Docklands facility - one of the internet 'hotels' that house the servers belonging to ISPs. The idea is that such facilities are meant to guarantee physical security and a continuous power supply!
Cheddleton A lose to win
Cheddleton A lost their postponed match against their B team last night, but with Cheddleton C beating Stafford A at the same time they became champions anyway. Second place however is still very much up for grabs, as are the relegation places, so that all the other first division teams still have something to play for.
A flurry of new dates
Div 1: Cheddleton B v Cheddleton A will be played this Friday (25th Feb)
Div 2: Rooks v Fenton A has been put back from 8th to 22nd March
Div 3: Blind v Fenton B: 30 March
Fenton B v Blind: Mon 18 April
Dates for the following matches are unknown to me:
Div 1: Cheddleton B v Macclesfield, Stafford A v Cheddleton D
Div 3: Creda C v Blind, Blind v Leek B, Leek D v Blind, Leek A v Blind
The Blind have no match on 13th April (Leek A?) or on 27th April. Hopefully they will double up in one week by playing Creda C on a Monday at Blythe Bridge. 20th April is also free in their diary, though they are to play at Fenton on 18th as mentioned above.
With the last scheduled first division match being for April 1st (when else?!), I imagine that there will be little difficulty in rearranging the outstanding matches in that division before the end April deadline.
Fenton B captain Carl Mustafa has had to temporarily relinquish his post. The clubs secretary Pete Tideswell is stepping into the breach.
Congress day 2
Finally got a report together which I have posted on the Newcastle Congress page, and other pages linked from it.
Congress day 1
Haven't got time to write a full report of the first day of the Newcastle congress as I don't wish to risk oversleeping and missing the start of day 2. In brief everyone turned up, which relieved my fears of being stranded.
Section leaders at end of day one:
U165: Malcolm Armstrong 2½
U120: Rob Moruzzi 3
U90: Megan Moruzzi and John Newton 2½.
Hope to have the energy for a fuller report tomorrow or Monday.
Blind backlog lengthens
Venue problems have forced the Blind to postpone tonights match against Fenton B, taking to seven the number of matches they have outstanding.
Second Division back on schedule
Last nights playing of the postponed Rooks v Broughton Arms fixture means that there are now no outstanding postponements in the second division. Neither the first nor the third are currently able to share this boast.
And then there were four
Creda became the fourth club to get a team through to a cup final by beating Newcastle 3 - 2 in the U135 event.
Holmes Chapel into final
Kidsgrove were unable to make it a hattrick of cup wins in a week when their U135 team were beaten at Holmes Chapel, who thus become the third club to get a team to a cup final this season.
Kidsgrove through to U110 final
Kidsgrove followed their 5 - 0 win over the Blind last Wednesday with a board count victory tonight in the semi-final at Creda. Attention now switches to the U135 semi-finals being played tomorrow (Holmes Chapel v Kidsgrove) and Wednesday (Newcastle v Creda).
County Open lose to Shropshire
A weakened county open team lost 6½ - 9½ today to Shropshire, thereby going out of this years competition.
The Cheddleton and Leek U110 team became the first to reach one of the associations cup finals last night by squeezing past Holmes Chapel on board count. The progress of the other half of the draw in this competition is uncertain.
Lap of honour for County U100
Having belatedly got around to updating my county page with cross-tables of results I can now see what is going on it each section. The U100 team look like being the stars for Staffordshire this year, having won their section of the MCCU stages with a game to spare. Their match against Shropshire will thus take on the aspect of a lap of honour.
The U125 and U150 sections are still unclear, but Staffordshire still harbour hopes of advancing to the national stages of each.
In the Open a win over Shropshire is needed to reach the MCCU semi-finals.
Good to see all the teams retain an interest in the competitions at this point of the season.
The Rooks v Broughton Arms matched postponed before Christmas has been rearranged for 3rd Feb.
Tonights draw between Cheddleton C and Holmes Chapel Kings consisted of 5 draws. What makes you think the teams are evenly matched?
Meanwhile it was a black day for Leek - the derby match between their B and C teams consisted entirely of black wins, including the non-counting board 5!
Anyone for a slow bicycle race?
This years second division looks like following recent tradition, providing a close contest between teams who would mostly wish to remain in the division. At the moment two points cover the top six teams, yet they cannot afford to switch into slow bicycle mode to try to avoid promotion since the seventh team, Fenton A, are in touching distance - relegation could be even less popular than promotion.
Blind ride again
Following 6 consecutive postponements, the Blind were able to play again tonight. However their opponents Leek A showed little sympathy for their plight, running out 3 - 1 winners.
BENTLEY MOTORS OFF
Roger has reluctantly been forced to call off this years Crewe congress as he has been unable to secure confirmation of the availability of the venue.
First Rumours of 2005
I have heard rumour that Knights visit to Fenton A has been put back a week, and that Fentons Pete Sargeant may make the odd appearance for the club in 2005 despite getting a job 'down south'
For the really bored ...
... I have created some puzzles (NOT chess problems) on a more or less chess theme. they can be found under Misc-diversions.
Many thanks to the many people who have passed results and other information on to me. This site would only be a shadow of itself without their input. As ever, I'm always willing to hear from others too.
Based on performances on at least 5 games the leading lights from each club so far this season have been:
I have no grade for Erich so I have used the performance I calculated for him for last season. All highly unofficial, just like my site!
I have updated the Misc/Performances page to show player grading performances to Dec 15 2004 (omitting Knights v Broughton Arms match for which I do not have team lists).
All teams are go!
Kidsgrove A became the final team to break their points duck with a draw at Newcastle C, so all 27 teams are off the mark.
Just to annoy ...
I've starting writing a short Xmas report on the progress of each club and placing them on the relevant club page. Not all done yet.
Good win for county U150
The County U150 team beat Warwickshire 9½ - 6½ at Stafford today despite having the weaker team on paper.
Another Blind Postponement
Last nights match between the Blind and Leek D was postponed, taking the number of league matches that the Blind need to rearrange to 4.
The Knights v Broughton Arms fixtures have benn reversed. Broughton Arms visited Holmes Chapel last Tuesday (which led to my confusion over the postponed rooks match), with Knights going to Rode Heath in the new year.
traci again organised the trials for the county U9 and U11 teams which took place at Hassell Street today. Over 40 children took part under the watchful eyes of selectors Bill Armstrong, Malcolm Armstrong, Lawrence Cooper, David hallen, Martyn Harris and Alex Richardson.
Blind fixture pile up
Third division games involving the Blind have been postponed for three weeks in a row, creating a backlog that will be impossible to clear quickly.
The information I received that the Rooks - Broughton Arms match had been rearranged has proved to be incorrect.
Creda - Stafford match brought forward
Stafford Bs home match with Creda B due to played on 15th December has been brought forward two days to Monday 13th December and will be played at Creda so as to ease Stafford's fixture congestion (they also play in Cannock and Wolverhampton leagues).
Torquay triple trip
So I had a trip to Torquay, where I tripped over some opponents to score a modest 50 percent. And my absence tripped up this site, delaying the weekend update until today. However it is my last such trip before the mid season break!
The Rooks v Broughton Arms match postponed in October has been rearranged for 30th November, giving both teams two matches that week.
Kidsgrove A Mutch Stronger
Steve Mutch, originally tied to Kidsgrove B, is now tied to their A team. He has not played for the B team this season.
Slow down Colin!
Colin Abell (Leek C) leads the race to be the highest scoring league player (i.e. ignoring cup matches) with 6½ points from 7 games, giving him a healthy 1½ point lead over Creda Cs John Newton (5/6). Alan Smith (Cheddleton A) and Yangshan Yu (Cheddleton C) both have 4½ from 5, and Paul Clapham (Newcastle D) has the same total from 6 outings. Of the five players on 4 points Ralph Hayward (Newcastle A) and Suzy Blackburn (Holmes Chapel Rooks) have needed only 4 games.
Everyone knows higher graded teams win
... but hot on the heels of Macclesfield's victory over Newcastle A comes news of a win for Cheddleton B over Holmes Chapel Kings.
With their captain abroad, the Blind found themselves unable to raise a team for yesterdays match with Creda C. Consequently the fixture was postponed.
Holmes Chapel derby
Knights won the club bragging rights in the first Holmes Chapel derby, beating arch rivals Rooks 4 - 1. Roll on the re-match.
The result takes them 1 point clear at the top of the second division table from Newcastle B and Broughton Arms who by some quirk of fate meet next Wednesday (25th).
Apparently I so enjoy writing fixtures that I have invented a cup draw for the U110 which includes a non-entered Leek team and a possible Cheddleton team instead of a combined Leek and Cheddleton team. It remains to be seen whether the official AGM minutes drawn up by the league secretary will prove that the notes I took at the meeting are wrong, but the official league site has already been changed to reflect my incompetence.
Tied lists now available
Tied lists for the season are now available, and I have added them to the downloads page in both Word and CSV format. Note that these files contain only the lists of tied players, not the lists of club contacts.
Webmaster escapes again
Your webmaster ran away to Weymouth over the weekend, but has returned safely (boos off).
The Newcastle C against Kidsgrove A fixtures have been reversed, with Newcastle now at home in December and away in February.
Draw for U135 cup semi-finals
With first round matches complete the semi-finals are now known to be
Creda beat Cheddleton/Leek combine
Creda reached the U135 cup semi-finals beating a Cheddleton team reinforced by Leek players 4 - 1. The association rules do allow players to represent different teams in different competitions in this manner provided that they obtain prior permission from the league general secretary. (Article 2 rule 2 in the rules)
Leek will not be playing in the U110 cup this year - my guess is that they are content with the amount of chess they get from this years third division schedule - so Holmes Chapel progress straight through to the semi-finals in January.
No ducks in div 3
The last two sides pointless sides in division 3 met tonight. The resulting draw means that all the teams in this division have now broken their ducks.
Cheddleton B suffered there third postponement of the season on Friday, but are hopeful of starting their campaign against Newcastle A this Friday. Another example of troubles coming in threes? On the other hand, had their match been played on Friday I would be wittering away about third time lucky. Truely we have sayings for every occasion.
Manchester too strong
The Staffs open team were overpowered by Greater Manchester on Saturday by 11½ - 4½. Full gory details on county page. However a win over Shropshire in the next round of matches would still enable them to reach the Midlands area semi-finals.
The Kidsgrove Chess Club website is now available to be viewed here. The .tk url comes from those nice people of the Tokelau Islands, just north of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean.
Uniquely amongst the current North Staffs Chess sites, Kidsgroves contains a forum for the exchange of ideas. Presumably it is provided for topics of potential interest to Kidsgrove members, but since it doesn't say otherwise I assume non-members may post there too. So if you want to know whether others agree that division 3 now provides an ideal number of matches, perhaps this is the place to post your views.
I blame Man U
The Crewe Alex supporters, also known as Broughton Arms, called off their game at Rooks on Tuesday, being unable to raise a team. That very night Man U played Crewe in the league cup. Obviously Fergie wasn't asked nicely enough to postpone that match.
The trials for the U9 and U11 county junior teams will take place on Sat 4th December at Hassell Street School.
Newcastle D lose to Italy
Confronted with the difficult choice of holidaying in Italy or staying here to play Newcastle D, some of the Leek A players chose the former. Consequently Wednesdays fixture between the two teams has been postponed, probably to Nov 3.
Apolologies for slow update
Apologies for the delay in updating the site this weekend, but I decided to run away to Scarborough. Can't hide anywhere these days - Alan Smith, Rob Shaw, John Yee and Sandra and John Blackburn were all there too.
New Cheddleton Site
The latest in the line of Cheddleton & Leek Chess Club websites can be found here.
Gus Brain would like to hear from visitors to the site, particularly if they spot any mistakes.
Draw for 8 board semis
With the completion of the first round matches, the semi-final draw for the 8 board cup is now known to be Newcastle v Holmes Chapel and Cheddleton v Fenton. Details of all the first round matxhes can be found on the cups page.
Holmes Chapel ease through in cup
Holmes Chapel became the first club to win through to the semi finals of the 8 board cup (Cheddleton have a bye to that stage) by beating Creda tonight. details on cup page. The semi final line-up should be completed on Wednesday when Kidsgrove entertain Fenton and Newcastle visit Stafford.
I currently have no contacts from the Blind, Knights, Broughton Arms, Kidsgrove B or any of the Leek teams to e-mail me details of their match results. Anyone willing/able to fill these gaps, please do so!
Still space in the county U125 team.
Geoff Rosser, the county U125 captain, would still like to hear from anyone interested in playing for this team. In their last match the teams grades went down to 88, so all you people in the hundreds, one tens or low one twenties should be putting your names forward now, if not earlier.
More postponements in division 1
Cheddleton D v Cheddleton C and Newcastle A v Holmes Chapel Kings have both been postponed. The former has been provisionally rearranged for 29th October.
Worcs no-shows devalue Staffs effort
Staffordshires Open team got off to a winning start in this years county competition by winning 10½ - 5½ at Worcester. However the home team conceded three defaults, simultaneously wasting the time of three of the visitors and significantly reducing their own teams chance of success. Match details on the county page.
Chedd B start delayed
With Cheddletons usual match room required by their landlords last night, and the reserve room at bank House only able to hold 2 matches, the Cheddleton D v B fixture was postponed. With the Cheddleton A v B already postponed, the start of Cheddleton B's campaign is much delayed.
Rumours of new sites
Rumour has it there are two new local chess sites about to be launched, one for Kidsgrove, the other a new Cheddleton one.
County Junior Congress
This years event was attended from 80+ juniors from all over the county (and one or two from without, who were not eligible for titles). A list of the main prize winners can be found on the Misc-Staffs Juniors page.
First division opens
Two first division matches opened the season tonight at Cheddleton. Their A team will count themselves fortunate to sneak past their C team, whilst Cheddleton D will feel that the scoreline against Newcastle A does not reflect their play. Meanwhile in the house a many boarded match was played between Leeks A and C, with the A team taking the honours over the boards that count.
Leek boosts NSDCA players in Grand Prix
Following their good showing at the Leek congress local players Suzy Blackburn (Holmes Chapel), Molly and Megan Moruzzi (Cheddleton), Kristian Chesters and Alan Millward (Macclesfield) and Paul Clapham (Newcastle) feature high on the leader boards for the 2004/5 Grand Prix which concludes at the British Championships on the Isle of Man next August. More details here on the BCF site.
Madeley Chess Club
This new club will be of particular interest to those seeking more experience outside of a league environment. Details under Clubs-Madeley.
Season opens with a draw
The first competitive match of the season was played at Creda tonight. Unfortunately for the visitors Fenton it was an U110 cup match, and Creda won on board count.
Message from Treasurer - League fees due
League fees for the new season are now due - see here for details of charges for each club. A similar document can be found in word format on the downloads page for those of you who like such things.
Creda Southern Champs
Creda beat Fenton 6 - 2 on Monday to win the South Potteries Challenge Cup kindly donated by the landlord of The New Penny, Fenton's latest venue.
Site now Leek D Compliant
I have now updated all the pages and downloads to take account of the appearance of Leek D. This affects all third division teams and the Newcastle B v Broughton Arms match in division 2. And yes, the downloads for division three are there - I have noticed that on Monday I had simply reloaded the old fixtures.
Cheddleton probably out of Margaret Hankey
Cheddleton are likely to withdraw from the Margaret Hankey as they now have eight teams to cater for in the main league. Tonights Pavilion v Newcastle match has been postponed until the immediate future of the competition is resolved.
Cheddleton spring another Leek
Leek D are joining the third division this year, taking the division up to 11 teams. I have updated the third division files on the downloads page with their fixtures and 6 other changes needed to accomodate them, but have yet to change the club files on that page, or indeed the club or division 3 pages.
There is also one second division change needed:
Newcastle B v Broughton Arms is put back a week from 17th to 24th Nov. This change is not yet recorded elsewhere on this site.
Nantwich withdraw from Margaret Hankey League
Headline says it all. Unfortunately Nantwich are unable to raise a team.
Double A for Cheddleton at Leek
Two As, Alan Smith and Alex Richardson were joint winners of the big boys section at the Leek congress. Well done to both. Other section winners included Suzy Blackburn of Holmes Chapel and Newcastle's Paul Clapham. More details on the Congresses-Leek page.
A Touch of the Crucible
The snooker fans cry of "Come on Alex" was resurrected during the second round of the Leek Congress as Alex Richardson turned over GM Mark Hebden. Definitely a result to dine out on.
I have added a page to the congress section of the site giving some details of this event which takes place on Sunday 31st October.
Craig Whitfield was Staffordshire's only representative in the 41 player Terafinal of the UK Land Chess Challenge (original entry 70000+) played at Sheffield as Molly Moruzzi, the county's other qualifier, was unable to attend. Finishing as best Under 9 he earned the title Super Ultimo and a nice cheque.
Two new sites
Two new sites for you to explore:
the new official league site can be found here, whilst the county now has a site here. Both these sites have been added to the links page.
New seasons fixtures can be downloaded from the fixture download page.
Unless there are unexpected problems I shall be reinstating the downloads page in the next few days so that you can download fixtures for the coming season.
Am taking a trip to Scarborough (guess why), so site won't be passing go for a while.
The Rules and Constitution of the Association can now be found under Misc - Stoke League Rules.
I have started the process of transferring 2003/4 records to the archive, so several pages will now be relatively empty until the start of the new season.
The Gigafinals of the UK Land Chess Challenge took place in Manchester last weekend. Staffordshire were well represented, with 21 players scoring at least 50%. Of these 7 qualified for further competition: Craig Whitfield and Molly Moruzzi by winning their sections go on to the Terafinal (the final final!) to take place in Sheffield in August; and Ravi Patel, Anne-Marie Moruzzi, Neha Patel, Megan Moruzzi and Yangshan Yu qualify for the challengers at the same venue.
Traci has been busy arranging trials again - yesterday saw the U13 and U15 age groups converging on Hassell Street to compete under the watchful eyes of several selectors.
I have changed my Congresses - Leek page to look forward to this years event in September. The report on last years event has been transferred to the archive.
Is it reasonable? Would it Work?
I've decided to switch into provocative mode.
The increase in league entries revealed at last nights AGM has resulted in a ten team third division, with an unchallenged assumption that this would mean an 18 game season. Welcome in some quarters, this extension in the third division fixture list is liable to cause logistical problems for some clubs if history is a guide. My question then is should we be looking to have a 13 game season in division 3?
Complete a round robin of 9 games by ¾ way through January (a normal rate of progress). Then starting in late February, the top five teams play the return fixtures against each other, as do the bottom five, thus giving the other 4 matches. Since these are return fixtures the number of homes and aways that a team plays will depend on which teams finish in the same half of the table as them after the round robin. In the final league table the top five places will be filled by the five teams in the top half end-January but placed in order according to points gained in all 13 fixtures.
Does this run counter to the idea that the Association should be promoting the playing of chess in the area? I could run an U100 swiss in the weeks freed up, provided venues can be found. Am I empire building?
So would it work? Is it reasonable?
Lots of questions. Answers on a postcard, or an e-mail.
Peace breaks out at AGM
Tonights AGM must rate as one of the most peaceful in recent history - perhaps a side effect of the committee memebers having had three meetings during the year to thrash out their differences.
Under elections John Amison (Fenton) accepted the post of Publicity/Website with other officers and committee members being reelected unopposed.
The proposed Rules were approved with only a couple of minor amendments as flagged in my comments about articles 5 and 8. (See article on Proposed Rules and Constitution below), whilst the Constitution went through with the proviso that 10 Dissolution is initially temporary for one year so that the wording can go through committee before being represented to the AGM next year in accordance with the constitution. Once I have a copy confirming the new wording I shall remove my temporary pages and place them under Misc - Stoke League Rules.
|H C Knights
|H C Kings
|H C Rooks
| Leek St Eds A
|Leek St Eds B
| Leek St Eds C
Only four teams declared themselves at the meeting for the Margaret Hankey Memorial League - Cheddleton, Nantwich, Newcastle and Pavilion - though others may be added later. It was decided that the clubs involved would decide the exact format between themselves and would abide by the treasurers decision as to the appropriate fee.
The cup draws have been made and I have placed these on the cups page, with the 2003/04 cup results now in the Archive.
League fees are £49 per team in divisions 1 and 2, £45 in division 3, with a £3 discount on each for early payment. Andrew Leadbetter tried to point out that the third division would be getting 72 boards for their money, the first two divisions only 70, but either everone was too busy being agreeable to notice or felt that history suggests that the chance of a third division team withdrawing is sufficiently high to warrant the apparent anomaly.
Cup fees of £8/£5 per team in 8/5 board matches respectively were set, with £1 early payment discounts.
Default penalties were set to 0 for the coming season. Yes, that is not a typo on my part. Zero pence for defaults in 2004/05.
The Leek Rapidplay Congress was added to the list of events to which the Association makes a £25 donation.
Dates for next years meetings were set. I have put these on the NSDCA page.
Proposed Rules and Constitution
I have added two temporary pages that open in new windows for the proposed Rules and Constitution. In each case I have included a few observations of my own. (Links removed 25th July 04. Rules and Constitution can now be found under Misc - Stoke League Rules.)
No more Foley, Long live Fenton
A move to The New Penny, Goldenhill Road, sees Foley change their name to Fenton. John Amison promises a new site to go with the move.
Cheddleton complete 4NCL adventure
Cheddleton finished 6th out of 18 teams in their first season in the 4NCL. This is a marathon event involving eleven matches spread out over five weekends over the course of the season. It is a test of the persuasive powers of team organisers and the dedication of the players as well as of chess playing ability. Full details of the league can be found on the 4NCL site. With a years experiemce under their belt look for the club to be pushing for promotion next year in this national competition that attracts entries from established clubs and counties as well as from some teams formed especially for the event.
League AGM drifts back 1 day
The league AGM has been put back one day to Wed 7th July, giving everybody an extra 24 hours to recover from Euro 2004, Wimbledon and sundry other sporting events.
Alan Wilshaw trophy for Simon
Congratulations to Simon Edwards (Cheddleton) who won the Alan Wilshaw Trophy for the best placed North Staffs player in the Leek Rapidplay with a score of 6½ out of 9 in the top section.
Leek viable at first attempt
The First Leek Rapidplay took place today, with enough entries to avoid a loss. A good basis for building on in future should the arbiters have recovered sufficiently to try again. Some details here.
Fixtures link deactivated
I have decided that it is about time that I deactivated links to the fixtures download page. They will be reinstated when the new seasons fixtures are available.
Promotion and Relegation
During the season people often ask about which teams will be promoted and relegated, and are surprised to be told that such matters are decided each year at the AGM. I have created a page under Misc - Promotion & rel to describe how the league succeeds in operating in such a fashion.