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News Items From the 2011/12 Season

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B joint champions
31/05/12 With Cheddleton B holding Knights to a draw last night, our B team became joint division 2 champions.

Anonymous in the jamborees
29/05/12 Newcastle's Open and U130 teams scored 3 and 4 points respectively in the Jamboree tonight. ian top scored for the open team with 2 points, and Paul and Prabhath for the U130 with 1½ points each.

Quick Alan
09/05/12 Alan won the club's end of season rapidplay with a perfect score of 5 points, one clear of Pete.

B also wait
02/05/12 The B team completed their season with a narrow victory at Rooks thanks to wins from Alan and John. They now have to wait until the end of the months when Knights entertain Cheddleton B to see whether the former can win to deny our B team the second divison title.

D end with a draw
02/05/12 Martyn's win enabled the D team to draw their final match of the season - home to Kidsgrove.

Not Quite
27/04/12 The A team visited Cheddleton needing a win to secure the title, but could only draw despite Ian's individual victory. Needless to say there were plenty of 'if onlys'. The title will now be decided when Cheddleton visit Alsager in eleven days time. Meanwhile the D team were only able to muster a couple of draws in their last away match.

Just Pete
27/04/12 Pete was the only winner for Newcastle when the C team visited Stafford B last night, and this was not enough to prevent the team going down 1½ - 2½.

Default win
25/04/12 Alsager C have conceded tonight's game against the D team.

John can't save the Inters
18/04/12 John's win was not enough to secure the Intermediate cup for the club as the team went down 2 - 3 at home to Holmes Chapel.

D drop more points
12/04/12 The D team stay in contention for the third division wooden spoon thanks to another loss, this time at Stafford B. Martyn picked up the team's only point, though Paul thought he had blundered a rook in a drawn position, but hadn't!

Paul helps C
11/04/12 Paul's win helped a much changed C team pick up a point at home to Fenton B tonight.

B team edge forward
04/04/12 The B team's draw at Knights tonight on the back of wins from Alan and Ian gives the edge to their opponents in the hunt for the second division title.

B team still in the hunt
28/03/12 The B team are still in the hunt for the second division title after beating Holmes Chapel Rooks tonight with the help of wins from Alan, Ian and Richard.

E avoid wooden spoon
28/03/12 By beating Alsager D in what was effectively a wooden spoon play-off tonight, Pete and Hamid winning, the E team leapfrogged their opponents to avoid finishing bottom of the pile.

Motley win
21/03/12 A Motley collection of players consisting of one each from the B, C, D and E teams represented the C team tonight, and beat Holmes Chapel Pawns thanks to individual victories by John and Paul.

17/03/12 The D team's visit to Cheddleton C on 23rd March has been postponed. New date should be confirmed shortly.

E Excel
16/03/12 The E team excelled tonight with a 3½ - ½ victory at Cheddleton E on the back of wins by Martyn, Hamid and Scott.

B retain interest
14/03/12 The B team maintained their interest in the second division title when they beat Fenton tonight with the help of wins from Ian, Nick and Nic.

C lose at Alsager
14/03/12 Despite Pete's win on board three, the C team went down 1½ - 2½ at Alsager C last night.

Derrick stars
13/03/12 Derrick scored a good win in the Perry Trophy match against Cheddleton, but it was not enough for Newcastle to progress to the final.

Mixed night at Club
07/03/12 A mixed night at the club saw the Intermediate Cup side reach their final with a big win over Stafford, John, Pete, Nic and Richard all winning, but the E team go down to Meir B with no individual Newcastle winners.

E downed again
01/03/12 The E team lost again last night, this time to league leaders Fenton C. Steve provided a bright spot with a win on board two.

B lose at Macclesfield
28/02/12 Despite captain Nic's win on board three, the B team lost narrowly at Macclesfield tonight.

Cup Date
27/02/12 The Cheddleton v Newcastle Perry Cup match will now be played at Newcastle on Monday 12 March.

Paul prevents whitewash
24/02/12 Paul's draw was all the E team had to show for their visit to Cheddleton F tonight.

Back to losing for D
21/02/12 The D team returned to their losing habit when they went down at Fenton B last night.

Close call for C
16/02/12 The C team edged past Kidsgrove 2½ - 1½ thanks to wins by Sam and Pete.

Cup date
15/02/12 The Intermediate cup match against Stafford will now be played on Wed 7th March at the Bridge Club.

Winless A
15/02/12 The A team had no winners as they went down at home to Alsager A tonight.

D break losing sequence
13/02/12 Following four consecutive defeats the D team got back to winning ways at Holmes Chapel Pawns tonights, with individual victories for Martyn, Steve and Derrick.

D downed
08/02/12 The D team lost narrowly at home to their Cheddleton namesakes despite Martyn's win.

Replay defeat
08/02/12 The U150 team suffered defeat at the hands of Alsager with no individual Newcastle wins.

More points for A
02/02/12 Wins for Robbie and Martyn enabled the A team to add two more points to their division one tally.

Inter Cup Postponed
01/02/12 Newcastle's Intermediate Cup match at Stafford tomorrow has been postponed at the request of the hosts.

Sam leads the way
24/01/12 Sam lead the B team to a win at Alsager B with a win which coupled with draws elsewhere resulted in a narrow 3 - 2 victory for Newcastle.

Draws not enough
23/01/12 The E team had two draws to show for their visit to Meir C, not enough for a point.

Newcastle lose in Hickman
23/01/12 Newcastle lost 2½ - 3½ to Walsall Kipping in the Hickman cup despite Sam's win.

C back on track
21/01/12 Wins by Pete and Paul helped the C team to a narrow victory at Cheddleto C last night.

B on form
18/01/12 The B team won their clash with Cheddleton B with the help of victories from Alan and Ian.

D disappoint
18/01/12 The D team went down to Fenton B tonight with the team having no individual winners.

Replay date
17/01/12 The major cup first round replay between Newcastle and Alsager will take place on Wed 8th Feb at the Bridge Club.

C close ...
14/01/12 ... but not close enough, as they went down 1½ - 2½ at Cheddleton D with three draws.

E bounce back
11/01/12 The E team climbed back off the bottom of the table by beating Fenton D at home tonight thanks to Hamid's win.

More points for A
11/01/12 Barry and Martyn both won as the A team completed the double over Stafford A.

C before D
04/01/12 The C team beat the D team tonight thanks to wins by Sam and Richard.

E sink
04/01/12 The E team sank to the bottom of division four when losing to Alsager D last night. Paul's win was the one bright spot for the team.

Point for C ...
21/12/11 Richard's win secured a point fo the C team at home to Stafford B tonight.

... but not for D
21/12/11 The D team went down to a narrow defeat at home to Holmes Chapel Pawns despite Martyn's fortuitous victory.

Lucky A
15/12/11 The A team had more than there fair share of luck as they beat Stafford 3½ - 1½ tonight, with Ian, Robbie and Martyn all winning.

Steve can't save Withnall
15/12/11 The Withnall cup team went down at home to Lichfield despite Steve's win.

Steve wins it for D
13/12/11 Steve won in the only decisive game as the D team edged to a narrow victory at Alsager C.

B battle past Fenton
12/12/11 Despite strong resistance from Fenton A the B team ran out 3½ - 1½ winners thanks to victories from Alan, Martyn and Sam.

07/12/11 Two close matches tonight as the B team drew against Knights and the E team lost narrowly to Meir C. Newcastle winners on the night were Ian, Sam and Martyn.

Double trouble
30/11/11 The A and C teams both lost tonight to Cheddletons A and D respectively. Individual winners were Robbie and Paul.

Excellent E
29/11/11 The E team recorded an excellent 3 - 1 win at Meir B last night on the back of victories by Hamid and Scott.

Hickman Date
26/11/11 Newcastle will play their Hickman Cup quarter final at home to Walsall Kipping on Mon 23rd Jan with a 7.45 start. The 3rd GP event will be moved forward a week to 16th to accommodate this.

Mixed night
23/11/11 Newcastle's two third division teams had contrasting fortunes, with the C team going down at home to Cheddleton C despite Richard's win whilst the D team picked up the points at Kidsgrove with Martyn, Steve and Derrick all victorious.

A Ambush Alsager
22/11/11 The A team ambushed their Alsager counterparts 4½ - ½ with wins for Ian, Barry, Martyn and Robbie.

Pete prevents whitewash
16/11/11 Pete's draw on top board enabled the E team to escape the threat of a whitewash by Cheddleton F tonight.

Definitely Drawn
16/11/11 All five boards were drawn when Newcastle visited Alsager in the major cup last night. A date for the replay will be arranged in due course.

Newcastle help Terriers
14/11/11 Newcastle not only provided the venue for the Terriers v Bulldogs clash, but also scored 2½ points for the team via their three players - Paul and Nic winning and Pete drawing.

Point for B
12/11/11 The B team picked up in their match at Cheddleton B with Ian being Newcastle's sole winner.

Withnall date
12/11/11 Newcastle's Withnall cup match against Lichfield has been arranged for Wednesday 14th december at the Bridge Club.

Newcastle's Night
09/11/11 Newcastle ad a good night with wins for both the C and D teams against Alsager C and Stafford B respectively. Individual winners were Sam, John, Pete, Martyn and Derrick.

Open out of cup
03/11/11 The Open team lost their opening match in the cup competition to Macclesfield despite wins for Ian and Sam.

Home Draws
01/11/11 Newcastle have received home draws in both the Hickman and Withnall cups for both the quarter finals, and should they win those the semis. It may turn out that matches are played at neutral venues. In the Hickman Walsall Kipping are our first opponents, with Stafford lined up to play the winners. In the Withnall Lichfield come first, with Meir travelling to the winners.

C's winning start seizes up
01/11/11 The C team went down 1 - 3 at Fenton B last night to bring their wining start to the season to a halt.

Full House
26/10/11 Martyn, Ian, Sam, Pete and Nic all won to complete a 5 - 0 victory for the B team against Alsager B.

Half and half for E
25/10/11 Half the boards were drawn and half lost as the E team went down at Fenton D last night.

A night of two matches
20/10/11 Differing fortunes for the A and D teams at the Bridge Club last night, with wins by Barry and Robbie helping the former to an excellent win over Holmes Chapel Kings whilst the latter failed to trouble the scorers against Cheddleton C.

Hollow victory
18/10/11 The C team had a somewhat hollow 3 - 1 victory at Holmes Chapel Pawns last night as the home team only fielded two players.

Terrier Nic
16/10/11 Nic turned out for the Terriers yesterday, to my eye having the better of the draw by creating a supported passed pawn.

D downed
14/10/11 The D team came off second best in the clash with their namesakes from Cheddleton despite Martyn's win.

B beaten, but ...
12/10/11 Wins by Alan and Nic were not enough to prevent he B team going down 2 - 3 at home to Macclesfield tonight.

... E make a point
12/10/11 Hamid won and Scott picked up his first draw as the E team took an excellent point at home to Cheddleton E.

Newcastle help U140s
08/10/11 Sam, Pete and John all turned out for the county U140 team today. John of course drew, the other two won.

C team joy
05/10/11 The C team picked up two more points helped by wins for Sam and Watson in their match at home to Kidsgrove.

E beaten at Fenton
03/10/11 Paul's draw was all the E team had to show for their visit to Fenton C tonight, though both Hamid and Scott were given practical demonstrations of the danger of traps in the opening.

C before D
29/09/11 The C team beat the D in the club's first match of the season, with wins for Watson and Richard countering that from Martyn.

25/09/11 Holmes Chapel Kings have agreed to switch their fixtures with Newcastle A so that the teams now meet first at Newcastle on 19th October and then at Holmes Chapel on 2nd February.

Fischer times
17/09/11 At the AGM on Wednesday the club voted in favour of all teams agreeing to requests to use the Fischer time controls, though this decision may be reviewed part way through the season should any member report difficulties resulting from their use.

Martyn takes shortened Quickplay
17/09/11 With the club AGM going on longer than normal there was only time for three rounds in the AGM quickplay. Martyn was the only player to reach 3/3, with the help of three wins on time.

Newcastle at Leek
12/09/11 Five club members - Martyn, Pete, Paul, Richard and Derrick - played at the Leek congress over the weekend, with Richard coming closest to glory with a score of 3½/5 in his section.

Club AGM
23/08/11 The club AGM will take place on Wed 14th Sept at the bridge club with a 7.30 start. As usual this will be followed by a 10 minute tournament.

Provisional grades
24/07/11 Provisional grades for the coming season are now available. Newcastle's are
Richard M108+3
Richard C102=

No doubt the definitive list to be published later will contain some small changes.
Former members listed include
Paul Wallace (Lichfield)205
Andrej Furjel (Weymouth)186
Richard Lee (Cambridge Uni)175
Geoff Marchant (Wallington)174
Mark Handley (Meir)160
Dave Cork (Crawley)151
Catherine Hiley nee Ashton (Rugeley)148
Nick Lowe (Altrincham)138
Derek Northage (Kidsgrove)137
James Rothwell (Ormskirk)135
Robert West (Fenton)101

Summer Half Hour Ends
14/07/11 Alex won the summer half hour with a score of 5½/6, a full point clear of Ian with Alan a further half-point back. I shall update the internal events page with full results shortly. (Done 15/07/11)

More Summer Half Hour
06/07/11 The summer half hour continued with a further two rounds played tonight. Currently Alex and Martyn share the lead with 3½/4, with Alan a further half point back.

Alex on TWIC
30/06/11 Alex' win at Heywood has made This Week in Chess where an article gives one of his games.

Summer half hour starts
30/06/11 The first two rounds of the club's summer half competition were played last night. Current scores can be seen on the internal competitions page. Players can join the competition next week, being awarded two half point byes for the rounds missed this week.

Summer half hour
20/06/11 This years summer half hour will take place over the three Wednesdays 29th June and 6th and 13th July. I shall email members shortly about this.

British Alex
20/06/11 Alex' attempts to take time out from chess has been thwarted by winning the Heywood Congress with a 5/5 score, his weakest opponent being graded 193. As a result he has qualified to play in this summer's British Championships at Sheffield.

Rapid Success
08/06/11 Newcastle's open team of Ian, Alan, Francis, John and Pete shared the spoils with Cheddleton at last nights rapidplay Jamboree. The U130 side - Sam, Prabhath, Hamid and Scott - were joint second in their section. Details here.


Final Performances
31/05/12 I've updated the performances page for the final time this season.

Honours List
Division 1Cheddleton ANewcastle A
Division 2Newcastle B
H C Knights
Division 3Fenton BCheddleton D
Division 4Cheddleton ECheddleton F
Open CupHolmes ChapelCheddleton
Major CupHolmes ChapelAlsager
Inter CupHolmes ChapelNewcastle
Perry TrophyCheddletonFenton

Cheddleton take the Jamborees
29/05/12 Cheddletons A and D won respectively the Open and U130 sections of the NSDCA's Jamboree tonight, with Stafford and Fenton B taking the runners up positions.

Middlesex maul Staffs open
20/05/12 Middlesex put paid to the county Open team's hopes this year with a convincing 11½ - 4½ win.

Essex eject Terriers
20/05/12 Essex defeated the Staffordshire Terriers 7½ - 4½ in the quarter finals of the national stages of the U120 section of the inter-counties competition.

County Cup Finals
17/05/12 Last night was finals night at Stafford for the county cups competition, though the Withnall final was not played. Steve Emmerton has provided me with the scorecard for the final of the Jackson cup in which Fenton beat Lichfield 3 - 2, and tells me that he believes that Cheddleton lost the Hickman final on board count to Walsall but won the Gothard by beating Stafford. Congratulations to the winners.

Unfortunately the improved communication promised this year has not been fully realised as is shown by the Gothard semi-final results not yet apparently being in the public domain.

New date
09/05/12 Cheddleton B's visit to Fenton A in division two should now take place on Mon 21st May.

AGM date
02/05/12 The NSDCA AGM has been brought forward one day to Monday 9th July at Fenton.

Cheddleton win Perry
27/04/12 Cheddleton beat Fenton 3½ - ½ in the final of the Minor Cup for the Perry Trophy.

22/04/12 I've circulated club contacts with the news that there will be a rapidplay jamboree at Newcastle on Tues 29th May. As usual two sections, open and U130. Rapidplay grades take precedence over longplay ones, January 2012 over Aug 2011. In due course I'll get around to updating my rapidplay page to show this years entries rather than last years results.

Stafford out of Hickman
20/04/12 Stafford have lost to Walsall Kipping in the semi-final of the Hickman, who now face Cheddleton in the final.

Fenton out of Withnall
20/04/12 Fenton have lost 1 - 4 to Walsall Kipping in the semi-final of the Withnall Cup, so the final will be an all southern affair.

Another Week
20/04/12 The season has been extended by another week as the Knights v Cheddleton B match in division 2 is now to be played on 30th May.

More cups for Holmes Chapel
18/04/12 The Open and Intermediate cups fell into Holmes Chapel's hands tonight by beating Cheddleton and Newcastle in the respective finals. The Open final went to board count, which with the semis having also been tied at 4 - 4 meant that this year the most one sided match played in the competition was Macclesfields 4½ - 3½ win at Newcastle in round one.

Major Holmes Chapel
18/04/12 Holmes Chapel won the Major Cup last night, beating Alsager in the final.

Fenton into Jackson Final
17/04/12 Fenton have reached the final of the Jackson Cup (county U141) where they will face Lichfield by beating Cannock on board count. Details on county cups page.

More dates
103Alsager AvCheddleton ATue 8th May
209H C KnightsvCheddleton BWed 23rd May
417Cheddleton EvMeir CFri 20th Apr
Stafford B v Alsager C is the only remaining match for which I do not know the date.

16/04/12 The Newcastle D v Kidsgrove match will now take place on Wed 2nd May.

Meir out of Withnall
11/04/12 Meir have been knocked out of the Withnall Cup by Lichfield at the semi-final stage.

Another New Date
10/04/12 Holmes Chapel Rooks v Alsager B (Div 2) has been arranged for Tue 24th April.

New Dates
31/03/12 Several new dates to report:
102Stafford AvCheddleton AWed 25th April
118Stafford AvHolmes Chapel KingsThu 3rd May
235Fenton AvCheddleton BMon 7th May
348Alsager CvFenton BTue 15th May
372Stafford BvNewcastle CThu 26th April
27FentonvCheddletonFri 27th April

Better late than never
30/03/12 I've finally got around to sifting through my photos and putting together a brief report for the mini earlier this month.

Cheddleton E take division 4
28/03/12 Cheddleton E secured the point they needed to be fourth division champions when they drew at Fenton C on Monday night. Congratulations to Phil Birks and his merry men (and boys).

GP ends
26/03/12 This years series of quickplay GP events was concluded tonight, with the fourth installment being won jointly by Dave Buxton and Malcolm Armstrong on 3.5/5 each. Series winners, with best three scores counting, were John Booth and Alex richardson on 9.5 points each.

Top Dogs
25/03/12 The Staffordshire Terriers beat previously unbeaten Worcestershire in their final union stage match in the Inter-Counties U120 section to become Midlands Champions by virtue of winning this head to head. This gives them a home tie in the quarter finals of the national stage, though as it is against Essex (I believe), I suspect a neutral venue will be found.

One down bar postponements
23/03/12 Division one is complete now, or at least it would be were it not for the outstanding postponements, of which there are four from the original modest full list of 20 matches.

27 for 2
18/03/12 Not another poor start to an England Innings. Two matches, Cheddleton C v Newcastle D and Cheddleton A v Newcastle A have been rearranged for Fri 27th April.

All Lost
16/03/12 Cheddleton E became the final team to lose their unbeaten league record tonight, going down at home to Newcastle E.

Cheddleton into Hickman Final
16/03/12 Cheddleton reached the final of the Hickman (County Open) cup last night with a convincing win over West Bromwich.

Fixture Nudge
14/03/12 Newcastle D's visit to Stafford  B in division 3 has been put back a day to Thu 12th April.

First to finish
13/03/12 Meir B became the first team to finish their league fixtures this season, completing their list without the aid of postponements.

12/03/12 Main results from the Newcastle mini-congress sponsored by Home Bargains and held over the weekend were

Open/U160: 1st= Doug Barnett (Alsager), Steve Hill (Meir), Daniel Sullivan (Sheffield) 3½.

U130: 1st Ben Scattergood (Holmes Chapel) 4½, 2nd Brian Birchall (Alsager) 4, 3rd David Price (Holmes Chapel) 3½

U100: 1st Jacob Cartlidge (Cheddleton) 4, 2nd= Derrick Jones (Newcastle) and Sam Beardmore (Cheddleton) 3

Best junior outside the main prize list in U110 was Dominic Taylor (Cheddleton) with 2½ Pete Shaw (Newcastle) won the Kangaroo Prize. A fuller report with pictures will appear in due course.

06/03/12 I've been asked to pass on the message that Simon Elliott's funeral will be held at St Thomas' Church, The Avenue, Kidsgrove, at 1pm on 12th March.

More Sums
05/03/12 Yes, I've been playing with the performances page again.

Peter Neal
29/02/12 The Macclesfield site sadly informs us of the death of Peter Neal, and provides an obituary for him. Although it is a few years since he played regularly in the North Staffs League there will still be many here who remember his enthusiasm well. I remember playing in an inter-league match that he organised, and to an outsider like me he appeared for some time to be Mr Macclesfield.

Simon Elliott
28/02/12 I was sorry to receive the message below from Julian Cook:

"I am sad to say that Simon passed away this morning after being taken ill at the week end.

I am sure that the records show that Simon had played for Kidsgrove for 40 years and for Electra before that.

Even though he was having difficulty playing through failing health, he still loved his chess and I was playing him just a couple of weeks ago at the club."

I've played Simon many times over the years and always found him very gracious regardless of the result - he truely played because he enjoyed the game rather than to massage his ego.

First final
24/02/12 The first of this year's cup finals to be set up is the Open, with Cheddleton beating Stafford on board count to join Holmes Chapel in it.

Fenton into Perry final
21/02/12 Fenton reached the final of the Minor Cup for the Perry Trophy with a 3 - 1 win over Meir.

Fenton progress in Withnall
18/02/12 Fenton beat Rushall 3 - 2 in the Withnall cup to reach the semi-finals. Details on the County Cups page.

More performances
09/02/12 Yes, I've been crunching numbers again.

New Grades to note
09/02/12 There were a number of people not on the August list who received a published grade in the January list. For these people the January grade should be used instead of any previous estimate. I found Steve Brown and Kamil Zak from Alsager now 126 and 159 respectively, Rafal and Lescak Stepien from Cheddleton now respectively 203 and 159, Derrick Wallace (Fenton) 128, James Topp (Stafford) 115. There may be others I missed. Unfortunately there is also a rumour that a corrected January list is in the offing, in which case some of these may be subject to further alteration.

One off, one on
06/02/12 Tonights match between Fenton A and Cheddleton B was postponed because of inclement weather. The Intermediate cup match between Holmes Chapel and Cheddleton has now been arranged for 14th Feb.

New Date
05/02/12 Cheddleton A's visit to Stafford will now take place on Thu 12th April.

Bad week for cups
02/02/12 I seem to have chosen a bad week to place some cup matches. First Cheddleton called off their Intermediate cup match at Holmes Chapel with player availability issues, then Stafford called off the other semi-final in that event with captaincy problems. Now I learn that Newcastle are short of players for their Minor Cup match at Cheddleton because of late withdrawals from a previously complete team (though I haven't yet had confirmation that this match is off). (Postponement now confirmed.) At least Holmes Chapel were able to take advantage to play a postponed league match.

January Grades
28/01/12 The January grades can now be found on the ECF's new grading site.

Five for Malcolm
23/01/12 The Queenstown Classic in New Zealand has just finished, with Stafford's Malcolm Armstrong getting a plus score of 5/9 to finish in the tie for places 42 to 61. As he was the 65th seed he will presumably be content with this, though as ever there will doubtless be tales of ones that got away.

One on, one off
17/01/12 The Cheddleton B v Fenton A match postponed before Christmas will now take place on Fri 23rd March. Alsager C v Fenton B scheduled for 14th February has been postponed - apparently some partners expect to do something else that night.

GP 3
17/01/12 Rafal Stepien won the third GP event of the year with a score of 4/5, a point clear of Alex Richardson and Simon Edwards. John Booth retains the series lead.

Knights - Rooks postponed
17/01/12 Tomorrow's match between Knights and Rooks has been postponed as the venue is unavailable.

More perfs
14/01/12 I've added another fortnight's worth of games to the performance charts.

04/01/12 It's early in the new year, but late enough that I can't use a new year's eve hangover as an excuse. I have corrected the post below to reflect the true state of affairs in the Open Cup. Hope I didn't raise any false hopes.

First Finalists
04/01/12 Holmes Chapel became the first club to reach a cup final this season when their Open team beat Macclesfield on elimination last night.

January Grades Reminder:
01/01/12 When the new grades come out (much) later this month, the beginning of season grades will continue to hold sway for our purposes. However for previously ungraded players (including those possessing only an estimate), the January grades will be used. Those who have still played too few games to get a published grade may nevertheless have their estimates revised by Robert.

Performances to Christmas
22/12/11 Unless thee are any rearranged matches of which I am unaware, the performance charts now contain all pre-Christmas results.

Performances Updated
17/12/11 Performance stats now include all matches upto this weekend.

05/12/11 Weather and illness restricted the second GP eevent to 6 players, with John Booth and Dave Buxton sharing the spoils with 3½. Full scores on the GP page.

Pulled Forwards
30/11/11 The Macclesfield v Holmes Chapel Open Cup match has been moved forwards from 21st Feb to 3rd January.

Alsager Concession
28/11/11 Alsager have conceded defeat in their attempt to raise a team for their Open Cup match at Stafford on Wednesday, so Stafford go through to the semi-finals.

Stafford ousted from Jackson
28/11/11 Stafford lost 1½ - 3½ to Lichfield in the Jackson Cup (county U141).

26/11/11 First performances chart of the season is now up.

Try again
22/11/11 Stafford and Alsager will make another attempt to play their Open Cup match on Weds 30th Nov. To accommodate this the Kings v Stafford First Division match is moving to Thursday 5th January.

Terriers secure bragging rights.
14/11/11 The Terriers beat the Bulldogs 6½ - 5½ at the Bridge Club in the all-Staffordshire inter-counties U120 clash.

GP 1
08/11/11 A select field of six players contested the first event in this year's GP series, with Alex Richardson and John Booth sharing first place with 3½ points in the resulting all play all contest. Full results on the GP page. Next event is on 5th December.

Return of the Rook
03/11/11 I've finally got around to scribbling in my diary again. October is now ready for viewing from the link above right. Hope to fill in the missing months in due course.

Turkish Craig
02/11/11 Craig Whitfield top scored for the England team at the World U16 Olympiad in Turkey with 6½/10 on board two.

County cup draws
01/11/11 Full draws for the county cups are available on the county cup page.

Terriers win
16/10/11 The Staffordshire Terriers started their 2011/12 campaign in the inter-counties U120 section with a 7 - 5 win over Nottinghamshire at the Bridge Club yesterday. Its not too late to let captain Denis Nesbitt know you would like to be involved in future games.

County U140 start with win
08/10/11 The county u140 team started their campaign with a narrow win by 8½ to 7½ at home to Derbyshire today.

Hunt the Terrier
26/09/11 Denis Nesbitt has taken over the running of the Terriers (Staffordshire U120 team) and is on the look out for players interested in Saturday afternoon chess. Fixtures are
15 OcthomeNotts
12 NovhomeBulldogs
7 JanawayWarks
11 FebneutralLincs
24 MarawayWorcs
with more to follow if the team qualifies for the national stages. The first two matches will be played at Newcastle with 1pm starts.

Denis can be contacted by email on his account (d.nesbitt prefix) or by phone 07791 770 035.

Match moved
17/09/11 Match 215, Cheddleton B v Holmes Chapel Knights has been moved from Nov 18th to Dec 2nd.

Meir A dissolved
03/09/11 Work commitments have forced Meir to withdraw their A team from division 2. I have altered all the relevant fixture download files to reflect this (I hope!).

Grade booklet
03/09/11 A booklet of North Staffs grades is now available in pdf format via the downloads page.

Rooks v Knights moves forward
27/08/11 The second division match between the Holmes Chapel teams Rooks and Knights has been moved forward a week to 28 Sept to avoid holidays.

John Donaldson and Douglas MacMillan
24/08/11 Mick Andrews is organising a charity chess competition in memory of John Donaldson on Mon 5th September at the British Legion Club, Meir at 8pm. The format is pairs, alternate moves with no conferring, 10 minutes each pair on the clock. Pairs are drawn on the night, though 'draw' might be too random an expression as in previous years the highest graded player has been paired with the lowest, and so on.

Players can volunteer donations to the Douglas MacMillan home, though there are no expectations of any amount as this is more about JD's memory. Mick will donate the trophy and pay for the food on the evening. Donations from non-cmpetitors also welcome.

The competition is open to anyone in the chess league who wants to remember JD and have a bit of fun too.

Anyone wishing to play should email Mick.

Fixture update
24/08/11 I've been rumbled - the published fixtures show a couple of Open Cup matches taking place in Feb 2011 (and not even on the correct day). Fat chance. I have amended the download files to show the correct dates (fingers crossed).

Fixtures now available
22/08/11 Fixtures for the coming season can now be downloaded from the fixtures downloads page. Note that the cup fixtures need to be downloaded separately.

Kidsgrove out of U130
18/08/11 Kidsgrove have withdrawn form the Intermediate cup as they have insufficient players at this level to create a team.

Meir changes
16/08/11 Meir have decided to change their league entries to one team in division 2 and two in division 4. Entry summary lower down the page adjusted to reflect this.

Best guess
15/08/11 Cheddleton's best guess as to their league entries for the coming season now includes a second third division team.

Low fives
04/08/11 No further entries have been attracted by division 5 since the provisional grades have been published. Consequently it has been decided not to run this division this year. Of the original entries Cheddleton and Fenton have decided to transfer their teams to division four, Newcastle to division 3. I have amended the entries list lower down the page to reflect this.

Champion Craig
31/07/11 Craig Whitfield won the British U16 Championship with a score of 6/7, a clear point from his closest rivals. The event at Sheffield finished yesterday. Congrats to him.

Secretary Incommunicado
20/07/11 League Secretary Robert Milner is having computer problems, so is unable to reply to any emails at the moment.

Two for Tuesday
17/07/11 Alsager and Macclesfield Chess Clubs have both changed their match nights to Tuesday. Alsager have also moved to the Alsager Cricket Club. I have updated their page accordingly.

Not the AGM Minutes
12/07/11 The true record of last night's NSDCA AGM will of course appear in the minutes; what follows is my unofficial version. Sections in italics are additional comments not necessarily made at the meeting.

With Hassell withdrawing from the league, representatives of all remaining nine clubs were present amongst the 21 attendees at the NSDCA AGM held at the Fenton Sports and Social Club. The acoustics in the room were rather poor (or I've become deafer than before), but once everyone had drawn into a more tightly knit group there were few requests for people to repeat themselves.

In his report the Secretary highlighted a reduction in the number of graded games since 2005/6 and also suggested that the first division was ripe for an overhaul. When asked on this latter point he said that Cheddleton's players had not been able to dredge up much enthusiasm for the competition, treating it as a series of friendlies. The other clubs involved reported that they had found it enjoyable as all the matches were anticipated to be close. Further there was no longer a single dominant team in the way that the Victory Club, Electra and Cheddleton have assumed the role of in the past.
On the first point the way teams are divided amongst the leagues has a bearing. On creating a fifth division for season 2008/9 we went from having 11 teams in division 4 to having 7 teams in division 4 and 6 in division 5. 11 teams in a division creates 110 matches; the 7 and 6 teams set up gives 42 + 30 = 72 matches. 2 extra teams but 38 fewer matches (so 152 fewer graded games). Last year's withdrawal of Fenton A from division 2 after one match accounted for 15 lost matches or 75 lost graded games.

Steve Emmerton had taken on the Publicity/Website role vacated by Mark Whitby, and thanked people for sending him results promptly so that he could quickly include these on his site. He asked that people should continue to do this and also to send in any other items relating to local clubs or their players that they would like to see appear. He also commented on the high quality of the local websites - the new Alsager and Stafford ones, the remodelled Fenton site and the existing Macclesfield and Holmes Chapel ones. I decided not to take umbrage at the omission of my site from this glorious list, but I will if people stop sending me results!

On county matters Andrew Leadbetter indicated that some changes had been made to the county cups, and he hoped that these would make the competitions more attractive and so get more entries from the north of the county. He also emphasised that clubs did not have to lie geographically within Staffordshire to enter, it being sufficient to compete in one of the member leagues of the county. Andrew outlined some of the changes, I added more, as did Andrew Davies, making this list:

  • A new controller with access to email and a less dogmatic approach.
  • A Wimbledon style draw so that all possible future fixtures are known at the outset.
  • Pre-announced deadlines for each round and a specified date and venue for the final.
  • A fifteen point board order rule.
  • Clubs more than 25 miles apart may insist on the use of a neutral venue (though this does not mean that final can be played privately).
  • Time limit now all moves in 85 minutes (sounds familiar).
  • Substitutes allowed within the first 60 minutes of play.
As a legacy from the previous controller we are required to register players in advance, but usually this will simply mean sending a list of all club players to the controller. However as players may represent different clubs in different competitions it may sometimes be necessary to vary this.

Newcastle are hoping to enter a couple of the cup competitions as a consequence of these changes, and I hope that other NSDCA clubs will respond positively too.

Wearing his ECF rep hat Andrew tried to talk a little about the ECF's possible plans to fund itself by replacing game fee with a membership scheme, but as there are as yet no firm proposals on the table it was difficult for him to say much beyond the ECF are hoping to do this in some way.

Steve Emmerton was voted in as Publicity Officer and later as a league rep on the county committee. I acquired the Results Secretary hat to go along with my fixture Sec one. This created an extra space on the committee which Alan Thomason was happy to fill. There were no changes to any other elected or appointed post.

Bill Armstrong put forwards a proposal to extend the rule governing time control by adding:
As an alternative, where both captains agree to the use of the Fischer time system and suitable clocks are available, the time limit shall be 75 minutes with an increment of 10 seconds for each move made.
After a little discussion to explain exactly what this meant to those unfamiliar with Fischer timings, and careful checking that no team would be forced to use them against their wishes, the motion was passed 9 - 2.
It was also checked that this meant that any decision to use Fischer timings would apply to the whole match, not just individual boards, and that the decision would normally be made on the night before commencement of play.

I find it difficult to get too carried away one way or the other over this. That these timings mean that a player will always have time to complete a reasonably straightforward win can be counted as a plus or a minus depending on whether your experience is of having to accept draws through lack of time or sliming draws through opponents lack of time. Part of me objects to the idea that within a single competition different matches may be played under different rules, but this is hardly like the FA allowing clubs in their cup to decide whether they wish to resolve ties by penalty, replay or extra time should the match be unresolved after 90 minutes. I imagine that if a clock is incorrectly pressed (eg by a player on a neighbouring board) then the other side of the clock will also be pressed and the players get an extra 10 seconds each rather than faffing around taking 10 seconds from the clock.

The ECF will be introducing a long play January grading list this coming season. Roger's proposal that we ignore this for our purposes except for players not on the August list was quickly passed.

A mysterious third proposal that had been received too late for inclusion on the agenda but accepted for discussion then came up, except that it was withdrawn before being stated.

League and Cup trophies were now presented (one rapidplay trophy was presented at the event, the other passed on at the county AGM), with the exception of the Open Cup, which had not been brought to the meeting.

The treasurer's proposals for the fees for the forthcoming season were accepted and represent the first increase for a few years. The new scale of charges is:

  • Recent jamboree: £3 per team
  • Open cup: £8
  • Other cups: £5
  • 5 board league teams: £12 plus £3 per fixture
  • 4 board league teams: £9 plus £2.50 per fixture
  • Late fees after early Novemeber stay at £1 per cup entry, £4 for league entry.
Expenditure was agreed to support local congresses, topay for an entry in the ECF yearbook and to support Craig Whitfield in an international event.

Provisional entries for league: (Amended 16/08/11 to show Meir changes.)
Div 1Div 2Div 3Div 4
CheddletonCheddletonCheddleton x 2Cheddleton x 2
FentonFentonFenton x 2
H ChapelH Chapel x 2H Chapel
MeirMeir x 2
NewcastleNewcastleNewcastle x 2Newcastle
There is time for changes to these when the new grades are published as I do not start writing fixtures until mid-August. My guess at the moment though is that we will not be having a division five, with Newcastle moving their team to division three, Fenton theirs to division four along with at least one Cheddleton team. It would also not be surprising to see a second second division Cheddleton team.

Cup draws:
byevH Chapel
H Chapelvbye
H Chapelvbye
FentonvH Chapel
Before the draws were made Kidsgrove indicated that they would be likely to be withdrawing one of their cup teams depending on their member's grades. Intermediate team withdrawn 18.08.11 and removed from draw above.

Next year's AGM has been set for Tues 10th July at Fenton.

Leek Rapidplay
29/06/11 Leading scores at the Leek Rapidplay Congress played on Sunday were:
Cheddleton Section (U200) - 32 players
1 Steve Jones (Padgate) 5/6
2= Malcolm Armstrong (Stafford), Peter Mulleady (Atherton), Jeremy Fallowfield (Stourbridge) 4
Slow starter prize:- Martin Sheard (Barnsley) 4
The Alan Wilshaw Memorial Rosebowl went to Malcolm Armstrong.

St. Edward's Section (below 145) - 57 players
1 Michael Connor (Great Lever) 6
2= John Yee (Cheddleton), Aloysius Lip (South Birmingham), Catherine Hiley (Rugeley) 5
Slow starter prize:- Steve Crockett (Redditch) 4

The 93 entries and 89 players represented the biggest entry in the Congress's history and the Congress was a great success in all respects. The arbiters were Matthew Carr and Alan Ruffle with Roger Edwards being Chief Arbiter and Robert Milner the Congress Director.

AGM reminder
22/06/11 As decided at last year's meeting, this year's league AGM will take place at Fenton on Tues 12th July. The secretary will be distributing relevant information as soon as he can persuade his provider to get his broadband working again.

Alsager leisure change
22/06/11 I hear that Alsager are now planning to play at Alsager Cricket Club, rather than at the leisure centre.

New venue for Kidsgrove
14/06/11 Kidsgrove Chess Club have moved to an upstairs room at the Royal Oak, 42 High St, Harriseahead, ST7 4JT, retaining Wednesday night for their meetings. I shall update the Kidsgrove page shortly.

Open team fall to Surrey
12/06/11 The County Open team lost to Surrey 6½ - 9½ in the semi-finals of the national stages of the inter-counties. Surrey's grades averaged just over 200, so hardly a bad defeat.

Jamboree Results
08/06/11 Newcastle and Cheddleton shared first place in the open section of the jamoree with 6½ points each, a half point clear of Stafford. Fenton A ran up a huge score of 7½ in the U130 section, with Newcastle and Cheddleton B distant joint seconds on 4½. For more details see here.

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