Worcestershire Chess Association

Worcs CA League Teams Clubs

Individual competitions and awards

Updated 6 June 2024

Individual competitions continuing from Worcester & District Chess League

On the merger of the district league with the county association prior to the 2022-3 season it was agreed that the competitions for the Bennett Cup and the Ball Cup should continue. The Bennett Cup is an open competition. The Ball Cup is for players rated below 1650. Traditionally games have been played throughout the season by arrangements between players. Recently both competitions have been arranged with two all-pay-all groups in the preliminary stages followed by progression of four semi-finalists into a knock-out stage. Entries for the 2022-3 season were lower than usual, probably because many players were still uncertain about risks from Covid. The controller for these competitions in 2023 is Brian Turner.

Worcestershire individual chess championships

The championship has been decided at a weekend congress in recent years. The last championships were held in August 2023. The county individual champions are

Read and see more about 2024 championships.

See results of congresses linked from the congress web page and winners from 1895 in the archive.

Joe Friar wins 2023-4 Bennett Cup

6 June 2024. Joe Friar (Kidderminster) beat Ian Clarke (Malvern) in the Final played at Worcester.

15 May 2024.Ian Clarke (Malvern) playing black beat Ray Collett (Worcester)

9 May 2024. Joe Friar (Kidderminster) became the first player through to the finals by beating Lee Davis (Malvern) at Worcester.

Semi-finals: Collett (w) vs Clarke (b) on 16 May and Davis vs Friar on 9 May.

There were ten entries for this competition. Preliminary group stage results:

Pool A              
Player Club EH LD RC DW SO Totals
Edward Higgs Worcester x ½ ½ 1 0 2
Lee Davis Malvern ½ x 1 1 ½ 3
Ray Collett Worcester ½ 0 x 1 1
David Waud Kidderminster 0 0 0 x ½ ½
Scott Oxtoby Worcester 1 ½ 0 ½ x 2
Pool B              
Player Club JF CL IC AG JV Totals
Joe Friar Kidderminster x 1 0 1 1 3
Chris Lee Worcester 0 x 0 0 w 0
Ian Clarke Malvern 1 1 x 1 ½
Aiden Griffiths Worcester 0 1 0 x 0 1
John Varilone Kidderminster 0 b ½ 1 x

Ed Higgs wins 2023-4 Ball Cup

9 May 2024. The final between John Varilone (Kidderminster) and Ed Higgs (Worcester) was played at Worcester. Ed gained a pawn, but chances were evenly balanced until Ed made a central pawn advance to provide a passed pawn. Pieces were exchanged leading to a major piece ending with John having play along the f-file attacking Ed’s king position. Getting short of time, both players were using their increments in a complex position when John allowed Ed’s rook to invade the seventh rank and force the win of a second pawn. After an exchange of a pair of rooks and the queens, it was purely a matter of time and technique before John conceded the rook ending.

The all-play-all stage was won by Ed Higgs who won all 7 games. Peter Hughes, Chris Lee and John Varilone were all on 3½ points as runners-up. On Gelbfuss tie-break, John Varilone, the current trophy holder, goes through to play Ed Higgs in the final.

There were seven entries. Preliminary group stage results:

Player Club PH CL CV GS JV EH AG Totals
Peter Hughes Longbridge x 0 1 1 ½ 0 1
Chris Lee Worcester 1 x 1* 0 ½ 0 1
Colin Vernon* Worcester 0 d x 0 0 d d 0
Giles Stanton Redditch 0 1 1 x 0 0 1 3
John Varilone Kidderminster ½ ½ 1 1 x 0 ½
Ed Higgs Worcester 1 1 1* 1 1 x 1 6
Aiden Griffiths Worcester 0 0 1* 0 ½ 0 x
* Withdrew after playing 3 games.

Peter Kitson winner of 2023 closed Championships

Sat & Sun 26 & 27 Aug. Peter Kitson (Worcester) won the individual Worcestershire Chess Championship competition. The other winners were: Julie Wilson (Stourbridge) Women's champion; Joshua Clarke (King’s School Worcester and Mavern) Junior champion; Darren Whitmore (Shirley & Wythall) Senior (50+) Champion; Lee Davis Veteran champion (65+); and Chris Lee (Worcester) Minor (u1650) champion.

Jim Friar award for services to chess in Worcestershire

This award was generously donated by Jim's family. Rather that it being awarded solely on the basis of performance in a competition, it is warded to a player who has contributed chess in Worcestershire over an extended period of time taking into account organisational contributions as well as playing ability.



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