Worcestershire Chess Association

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County news in 2019-20 season

Last updated 5 November 2020

Worcestershire are national Minor Counties Champions!

22 Aug. Worcestershire beat Somerset 6½-5½ in the 2020 final for the Minor Counties Online championship. This match was tougher for Worcestershire than the previous encounter in the group stage. On board 1 Kevin Hurney again faced IM Jack Rudd playing at lightning speed. This time Kevin secured a draw. Somerset scored heavily on the top boards, but the Worcestershire lower boards were again the engine for success. Worcestershire players with wins were: Julie Wilson and Hossam Aboushady (both Stourbridge), Tony Shaw and Matthew Holmes (both Worcester). See full results.


8 Aug. Worcestershire beat Berkshire in National semi-final. In the Minor Counties Open competitionworcestershire won 7-5 in a match of two halves. Berkshire dominated in the upper boards and Worcestershire won all the games on boards 8 to 12. Worcestershire winners included four players from Worcester City: Ray Collett, Robin Hayles, Tony Shaw, and Matthew Holmes with Hossam Aboushady (Stourbridge) and Ian Ellis (Greenlands) being the others to score for the county. See full results.


7 Aug. West Midlands Area League Summer Season starts on 13 August. Three Worcestershire club teams play in Division 1: Greenlands; Redditch; and Worcester 1. The other first division teams are Solihull 1, South Birmingham 1 and 2, and Sutton Coldfield 1. Ten teams play in Division 2: Greenlands 2, Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Worcester 2 from WCA who play Coventry Chess, Isle of Wight, Lichfield, Mutual Circle, Sutton Coldfield 2, and Solihull 2. Worcester 1 are in action on the first night in Division 1. The first night sees all four Worcestershire teams play in Division 2. Full fixture lists are available from the ECF League Management System.


3 Aug. Worcestershire go through to the finals for the Minor Counties Open. Worcestershire were pipped on tie-break by Shropshire who were held to a 6-6 draw by Hampshire, for the runners-up position in Open Division 2B of the ECF Counties Online competition. In spite of this, Worcestershire go through to the knock-out stage of the Open team Minor Counties competition. Worcestershire play Berkshire on Saturday 8 August at 6:30pm.


25 Jul. Worcestershire beat Hampshire 8½-3½. All four of Worcester City’s players in the team - Ray Collett, Robin Hayles, Tony Shaw, and Matthew Holmes scored wins - as did Kevin Hurney (Greenlands), Nigel Towers (Redditch), Russell Scott (Redditch) and Ian Ellis (Greenlands). Shropshire were held to a draw by Somerset and have the same number of match points as Worcestershire, so unless they lose against bottom-of-table Hampshire in their match next weekend Worcestershire won’t get to the finals.


25 Jul. WGM Katarzyna Toma picked for English Olympiad squad. Katarzyna (Evesham) is in the reserves for the Online Olympiad. Teams have six players of which at least three are female and two are juniors. England start their campaign on 1 August and you can watch play chess.com.


23 Jul. Alex Holowczak appointed Chief FIDÉ Arbiter for Online Olympiad. The FIDÉ over-the-board Olympiad scheduled for August was replaced by an Online Olympiad starting 25 July. Alex (Oldbury) heads a team of fourteen Arbiters for this tournament.


18 Jul. Worcestershire scored its first online win beating Somerset 8-4. Harry Evans (Redditch), Nigel Towers (Redditch), Stephen Woodhouse (Greenlands), Scott Russell (Redditch), Hossam Aboushady (Stourbridge), Robin Hayles (Worcester) and Matthew Holmes (Worcester) won their games. This win makes it possible for the team to progress to the KO stages of the competition. See full results.


4 Jul. Worcestershire lose to Cumbria. Although Worcestershire players have faced those from Cumbria in corresepondence chess, it’s possible that these two counties have never met in over-the-board play. Worcestershire again was unable to recruit many leading players and the team welcomed Kevin Hurney (Greenlands) to play on board 1. The match was played over 14 boards and Cumbria gained victory by a single point. Congratulations to Harry Evans (Redditch), Nigel Towers (Redditch), Hossam Aboushady (Stourbridge), Scot Russell (Redditch) and Arnold Kirkland (Droitwich) who won their games. There are now links to the game scores at chess.com for each game. See full results.


23 Jun. South Birmingham and Warwick University get first online league honours. Worcestershire teams occupied the bottom three places in Division 1 and Stourbridge 1 was the most successful Worcestershire team in Division 2, finishing mid-table. Division 1 was contested by eight teams. Winners South Birmingham 1 had 19 match points. Worcestershire teams occupied the 5th, 6th, and 7th places: Redditch (9 match points), Worcester 1 (7 match points) and and Greenlands (6 match points) respectively. Division 2 was contested by ten teams and won Warwick University with 22 match points. Stourbridge 1 was the most successful Worcestershire team and placed 4th with 22 match points. Stourbridge 2 were 6th on 21 match points and Worcester 2 were 9th on 13 match points. See full Worcestershire teams’ results for the Spring 2020 season.


20 Jun. Worcestershire lose to Shropshire online. In the first match proper in ECF Online Counties Championship Open Division 2B, the county lost 7½ - 4½. Matthew Holmes (Worcester) had the only winning game. Click for full score.


Worcestershire trounced online by Gloucestershire

7 Jun. This match was played as a preliminary match in thge ECF online county competition so that players could familiarise themselves with online play. Worcestershire was soundly beated 3½-8½. Julie Wilson (Stourbridge) was the only winner, Nigel Towers (Redditch) scoring a useful draw against a much higher graded opponent. For detailed results, see here.


Worcestershire register for online county chess

28 May. Stephen Woodhouse has created an "ECF Worcestershire club" on chess.com and the county will enter a team in the ECF online counties championship to be played on Saturdays in June and July. To play for Worcestershire, players will have to have a freeor paid registration with chess.com and send an email to Stephen Woodhouse so he can send you instructions on how to join the ECF Worcestershire club. Play starts at 6:30pm on Saturdays and uses a time control of 60 minutes plus 15 seconds increment from move 1.


Worcestershire teams play first online league matches
23 Apr. Four county teams were in action. In Division 2 the two Stourbridge teams played each other and Worcester 2 drew one of its two matches.


ECF appoints Nigel Towers Manager of online chess

26 May. Not content with spearheading Worcestershire’s transition to online chess, Nigel Towers (Redditch) has accepted English Chess Federation’s appointment to manage online competitions for England.


County teams play in West Midlands Area on-line quickplay league

14 Apr. Greenlands, Redditch, Stourbridge, and Worcester clubs are fielding teams, which held its first practice matches to check that players could use the chess.com platform and captains deal with the IT administration. John Wrench’s Isle of Wight team has also joined the fray. Other clubs with teams are: Coventry Chess, Mutual Circle, Rugby, South Birmingham, Solihull, and Sutton Coldfield, and Warwick University.


West Midlands Area Spring Online League proposed

10 Apr. Players agreed to play a pair of 4-board matches each evening using a 15 minutes + 10 second increment on the chess.com platform.

7 Apr. Nigel Towers (Redditch) along with other players from neighbouring leagues has asked for expressions of interest in playing quick play matches online.


2019-20 League season void or to be continued into 2021

16 Mar. It was agreed that there would be no league champion team or Division 2 winner because an insufficient proportion of fixtures had been completed. Worcester and District Chess League and Dudley and District leagues have come to similar decisions. All completed game results will be submitted for grading. The secretary is consulting clubs about how to substitute for postponed association business meetings.


OTB games suspended in WCA and Worc&DCL

14 Mar. After consultation with other senior officers of the Association and the District Chess League, General Secretary Paul Sharrat has issued the following statement suspending league activities to club secretaries on 14 March 2020. "Dear Officers and Club Secretaries, In the light of the current Coronavirus pandemic and advice from the English Chess Federation, the officers of Worcestershire Chess Association and the Worcester and District League have decided to suspend all activities in relation to both leagues (including individual competitions) with immediate effect and until further notice. If clubs decide to proceed with fixtures already arranged, any results will not be included in the league structure; and any games played in such circumstances will only be submitted for grading on receipt of requests to that effect from the Secretaries of both participating clubs, as separate submissions on behalf of those clubs. I am sure that you will understand the rationale for this decision; the well-being of our members and their families, and the wider community, must be our prime concern at this time. We look forward to resuming normal activity in better times. Best wishes - Paul Sharratt (General Secretary)".


First results in KO competition for the Wheatley Cup.

14 Jan. A man down, Droitwich pulled of a good away win against Redditch.

3 Jan. Greenlands found themselves too over-streched to play and conceded to Kidderminster while Shirley got revenge for last year’s loss to Worcester by beating them thoroughly.


County League standings

2 Jan. All teams had match points on the Division 1 table at the start of 2020, and so far teams are evenly matched. In Division 2 only Kidderminster A is off the pace and we are in for an exciting second half of the season.


Worcestershire Juniors storm Warwickshire
1 Dec. The Warwickshire Under-12 Junior champions were Manvith Sandhu (Halesowen) and Silas Bowcott-Terry who both scored 6 points from their seven-round rapidplay event. The tournament was held at Kenilworth and organised by Alex Holowczak.


Worcestershire u140 demolish Derbyshire
22 Nov. Eleven Worcestershire players won their games played at Alvechurch: Sam Bradley (Stourbridge), David Waud (Kidderminster); Jon Asbury (Olton); Tony Shaw (Worcester); Eric Horwill (Stourbridge); Ian Truscott (Greenlands); Giles Stanton (Redditch); Matthew Holmes (Worcester); Arnold Kirkland (Droitwich); Jeremy Humphries (Stourbridge); and Terry Radford (Droitwich). For full details, see MCCU website.


2019 County Junior Champions
17 Nov. Joshua Clarke (King’s School, Worcester/Worcestershire Junior Chess Academy) is the 2019 junior champion. He was unbeated in the five-round tournament. Dillan Duke (Hereford/Worcestershire Junior Chess Academy) was runner up on tie-break from Sasha Eaton (Alvechurch Middle School). The Worcestershire Girls Champion is Michele Zhu (King’s Hawford School, Worcester). Worcester News published a report with names winners of under-13, under-11 under-9 and under-7 trophies.


Worcestershire u100 beat Nottinghamshire Juniors.

9 Nov. Congratulations to Steve Crees and Stephen and Monty Woodhouse for steering the new team to a handsome 10-2 victory. Monty (King Edward School, Edgbaston) won his game on board 1 and was supported by wins from Terry Pountney (Kidderminster); Richard Collett (Greenlands); Paul Thomas (Kidderminster); Andy Tipper, Tom Sherwood, Matt Rowe, Yunyeong Jung (all Greenlands) and Joyce Evans (Halesowen). For details see the MCCU website.


Worcestershire u140 beat Nottinghamshire

2 Nov. In the home match played at Alvechurch, Worcestershire won 12-4. Sam Bradley (Stourbridge), Ian Ellis (Greenlands), Tony Shaw (Worcester), Eric Horwill (Stourbridge), Matthew Holmes (Worcester), Arnold Kirkland (Droitwich) won their games over-the-board while Mike Kitchen (Kidderminster), Steve Alcock (Stourbridge), Terry Pountney (Kidderminster) and Terry Radford (Droitwich) won by default. For details see the MCCU website.


Worcestershire u120 lose to Staffs

26 Oct. Worcestershire, playing away in their first match of the season, were beaten by Staffordshire 4½ - 7½. Simon Berry (Worcester), Arnold Kirkland (Droitwich), and Tom Sherwood (Greenlands) won their games. For details see the MCCU website.


Worcestershire lose to Warwickshire in the Midlands Championship

19 Sep. Worcestershire lost 7-9 in their away fixture at Moseley, Birmingham. Neither team included their highest graded players, but Worcestershire were badly outgraded on the lower boards where Warwickshire drove home their advantage. Nic Fallowfield (Shirley & Wythall), Dustin Bowcott (Halesowen), Ian Clarke (Malvern), and Harry Evans (Redditch) won their games. The county fielded two junior players on the lower boards: Silas Bowcott Terry and Monty Woodhouse who despite putting up strong fights went down to much higher graded opponents. See full results on the MCCU website.


Worcestershire u140 beat Staffs

12 Sep. Worcestershire in their away fixtureagainst Staffordshire at Bilston had a comfortable 12-4 win. David Waud (kidderminster), Tony Shaw (Worcester), Ian Truscott (Greenlands), Matthew Holmes (Worcester), Arnold Kirkland (Droitwich), Richard Wilkinson (Stourbridge), Terry Pountney (Kidderminster), and Terry Radford (Droitwich) won their games. See full results on the MCCU website.

New book from Alan Ruffle, Worcestershire player and chess coach

7 Sep. Alan has published a new book The Chess Scene. It is "A light-hearted look at the way the game of chess is played and organised... [It provides]... a streamlined approach to improving the play of a new and enthusiastic novice chess player". Alan formerly played over-the-board for Worcestershire and now plays in the Worcestershire correspondence team. The book is available from the author price £14.99 via Paypal or from Amazon.


Worcester & District Annual meeting

5 Sep. The league decided to follow the example of the County League and move to digital time control. The District League has seven teams in Division 1 and eight play in Division 2. Both divisions play a single round.


County Association and League news

22 Aug. The Executive confirmed Worcestershire would field four MCCU county teams in the new season: Minor Counties, u140, u120 and u100. Contact Stephen Woodhouse if you want to be selected to play for the county in Saturday afternoon matches. Four teams enter Division 1 and play a double round tournament. Six teams play a single round in Division 2.