Worcestershire Chess League

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About Worcestershire Leagues

Published 20 September 2022


The Worcestershire Chess Association has four leagues, one being a rapidplay league, and a team handicap knock-out competition. The Championship League trophy is the Bonham Rose Bowl - Reg Bonham was a noted Blind player and head of Worcester College for the Blind. The league championship was inaugurated after the First World War and Worcester City were the first league Champions in 1921. The Challengers’ League trophy is an unusual chess box and small in-laid board donated by Lord Cobham as a challenge trophy for working men’s clubs in 1895, but has been used for the Division 2 champions between 1922 and 2019. In 2022, the Worcester & District Chess League merged with the association and teams in the Worcester & District League compete for the Worcester & District shield. The Rapidplay league was started in 2022. There is also a team handicap knock out competition for the Wheatley Memorial Cup inaugurated in 2004. See honours rolls for team championships.


Summer team competitions

At the 2023 annual meeting, members agreed to organise a summer competition. Steve Crees (Longbridge) was appointed controller and four teams competed for two trophies, one for open teams and the other for team with players rated below 1650. Four teams competed in the first season of this new competition: Kidderminster, Longbridge, Redditch and Worcester. The event was run in August with a semi-finals and finals for both competitions. See rules for Summer Cup competitions.


Championship League

Six teams entered the 2022-3 competition: Halesowen, Kidderminster, Longbridge, Malvern, Redditch and Worcester. Teams have 5 boards and play each other home and away. There are no maximum rating restrictions. Playing sessions are usually 3 hours except where club venues require an earlier finish when a session of 2½ h is played. The time control ist 60 min + 30 sec (45min + 30 sec for the shorter playing session). Longbridge has notified that its home matches begin at 7:15pm and Worcester and Redditch have stated that the playing session at home matches will be 2½ hours.


Challengers' League

Six teams entered: Kidderminster, Longbridge, Malvern, Redditch Stourbridge and Worcester. Teams have 4 boards and play other teams home and away. Except for board 1, players shall be rated below 1850. A player of any rating may play on board 1. The time is 45 min + 30 sec. Longbridge has notified that home matches will start at 7:15pm.


Worcester & District League

Three teams entered: Longbridge, Redditch and Worcester. Teams play others home and away in 4 board matches. Team captains have agreed to limit players in District League matches this season to a maximum rating of 1650. The time control is 45 min + 30 sec. Longbridge has notified that home matches will start at 7:15pm.


Rapidplay league

Four teams entered this new team competition: Kidderminster, Redditch, Stourbridge and Worcester.

23 Aug 2021. Teams play home and away with four boards and in each fixture, players will play two games the second with colours reversed. The annual meeting decided that players on boards 2, 3 and 4 must be rated below 1850 and players on board 1 may have higher ratings. The time control will be 20 min + 10 sec. The two matches of a fixture will be scored separately.


Wheatley Cup team handicap KO

Only two teams entered: Redditch and Worcester. The teams will play a final for the trophy in 2022-3. Teams have four players who must play in order of rating. There is no rating maximum for players in the Wheatley Cup. Teams play a knock-out format with a single fixture at each stage. A new handicap tariff using the current four digit ratings and making draws impossible was approved. Ray Colltt is the controller for this tournament.


Eligible Clubs

The League Secretary and Rating Officer is Paul Sharratt (Stourbridge). The Membership of the Leagues is open to clubs affiliated to Worcestershire Chess Association based on the pre-1974 boundaries of Worcestershire, which included Dudley, Warley, Halesowen, and Stourbridge, and other clubs approved by Worcestershire Chess Association Executive Committee. All games in Worcester Chess Association team competitions are ECF rated. The playing session should be at least 2½ hours and the 2019 association AGM recommended incremental time controls for team matches, but here is provison in the rules to allow play in league matches when digital clocks are not available. Clubs are responsible for any fees for players who are not ECF members. Team entries and player registrations are normally requested in August and fixtures are usually agreed in September.


Team captains and registered players

Team captains and players for each club are shown in ECF LMS and here.


Applications to join the league and team entries

Club Secretaries should notify the County Association's General Secretary, Paul Sharratt, of their club's intentions to compete prior to the August Executive Meeting of the County Association. Clubs not already affiliated to Worcestershire may apply for membership of Worcestershire Chess Association and admission to the league. League entry fees are fixed at the Worcestershire Chess Association AGM and there is a payment holiday for the 2022-3 season. Fixtures are usually arranged at the meeting immediately following the Association's Executive meeting in August.


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