Worcestershire Chess Association

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News in 2023-4 season

Last updated 24 May 2024

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Online Worcestershire Wolfpack to play in semi-finals

16 Apr 2024. Worcestershire teams stood top of both groups in Division 4 of 4NCL Main Online before the final normal round of the Spring 2024 season. Team A won 4-0 beating Dundee City F. Team B drew 2-2 with Bromley. Both teams play in Division 4 semi-finals on 23 April and there could be an all Worcestershire final the following week. The Cadets team lost to Bishop Blunders and completed the season in 16th position out of 33 teams. See full results and links to games.

Malvern secure Championship League with a match to spare

10 Apr 2024. Malvern beat Redditch in the fixture at Alvechurch increasing their leading the table. This result puts Malvern out of reach of second placed Longbridge.

Association former president and Droitwich CC secretary dies

6 Apr 2024. It is with sadness I report the death of Bill (WW) Watson, formerly secretary of Droitwich CC. Bill suffered a stroke two years ago bringing to a close a long playing career for Droitwich and Worcestershire. The earliest record of Bill's contribution to the association was in 1972 when he was elected treasurer, a post he held until 1976. Bill was President of Worcestershire Chess Association in 1989 and 1990. HE was team captain for the Worcestershire team in the Midland Counties correspondence tournaments in the 1980s. He played regularly over-the-board for Worcestershire II team in the 1970s and then in the u125 and u120 teams until 2016. He is survived by wife Wendy and two sons and two daughters.

Malvern have unassailable lead in Challengers League

3 Apr 2024. Malvern, with two matches yet to play, cannot be caught by either Longbridge or Worcester Rooks in the Challengers League. See result of latest Redditch Malvern fixture.

Online teams successful again

2 Apr 2024. Worcestershire teams again chalked up three match wins in the 4NCL Online season 9. Worcestershire Wolfpack A beat Cozy Tomatoes (an international team) 3-1; team B beat Wessex Some Stars F 2½-1½; and the cadets team beat War & Piece Nimrod 4-0. The Cadet team’s opponents this round included an ex-Worcestershire player Alan Ruffle. The A and B teams are top of their groups in Division 4 and it’s possible that there will be an all Worcestershire final if both teams again win in the final ordinary round of the Spring 2024 season. The Cadets team are thirteenth out of 33 teams in Division 5. See full results with links to games.

New chess club in Bewdley Library

25 Marc 2024, John Wrench reports. The club meets every Thursday afternoon 2:30 to 4:30 pm in the library at Dog Lane, Bewdley DY12 2EF.

Draw for Bennett Cup semi-finals

24 Mar 2024 Brian Turner reports. Joe Friar (w) plays Lee Davis and Ray Collett (w) plays Ian Clarke.

Wheatley Cup finalists decided

20 Mar 2024. Redditch beat Kidderminster and will play Worcester in the final. See Wheatley competition results.

11 Mar 2024. Worcester beat Shirley & Wythall on handicap and will play Kidderminster or Redditch in the final.

Online teams all successful

19 Mar 2024. All three teams won their round 5 4NCL matches. Worcestershire Wolfpack A beat East Kilbride E; Worcestershire Wolfpack B beat Charlton Cobras; and Worcestershire Wolfpack Cadets beat West Wickham. In Division 4, team A is 2 points clear of their nearest rivals in Group B, team B is 4points clear of nearest rivals in Group A. The Cadets team is placed 18th out of 33 teams in Division 5. See full results with links to games.

Worcestershire teams lead Wolverhampton League

14 Mar, John Wrench reports. Halesowen are at the top of Wolverhampton League Division 1. In second place is Kidderminster’s promoted team with two matches in hand.

Worcestershire player beats grandmaster

13 Mar 2024. Several county players travelled to Hereford to play GM Keith Arkell in a simultaneous exhibition. Only Scott Oxtoby (Worcester) was successful. Keith’s overall score was +33 -4 with no draws. The event was organised by Lee Davies. See more.

County teams in national quarter-finals

12 Mar 2024. All three Worcestershire county teams will be playing in the ECF national stages. Dates for the quarter final finals are 11 May in the Minor Counties and the u1450 competition and on 18 May for the u1650 competition. All semi-finals will be on 8 June and the finals on 6 July. This is the first year that Worcestershire has had three teams in the national stages.

Sad loss of county stalwarts

9 Mar 2024. Longbridge clubs has announced the death of Brian Allsop, aged 67. His funeral will be held at 2pm on Wednesday 17 April at Waseley Hills Crematorium. Brian represented Worcestershire in 23 county matches between 2016 and 2019. A tribute to Brian has been posted to Longbridge Club’s website.

2 Mar 2024. Halesowen has reported the death of Joyce Evans. Joyce played for Worcestershire in over 40 county matches between 2008 and 2020 and had been a member of Halesowen club since 1977. Her funeral is 11am on Tuesday 26 March at Stourbridge Crematorium. There is a tribute to her on the ECForum.

County online teams in 4NCL

5 Mar 2024. The county teams won two matches and lost one in the 4NCL online League in round 5. In Division 4, Worcestershire Wolfpack A team beat Chess Challengers A 3-1; Worcestershire Wolfpack B beat Hebden Bridge Three 3-1; and Worcestershire Wolfpack Cadets team lost 1½-2½ to Settle. At the end of the evening, A and B teams stand top of their groups in Division 4 and the Cadets team are placed 25th out of 36 teams in Division 5. See full results with links to games.

20 Feb 2024. In round 3 in Division 4, the A team beat Atticus from Liverpool 2½-1½ and the B team beat Bishop Trojans from Bishop Aukland 4-0. The Cadets team lost their Division 5 match against Calstock Killers 1-3. See full results with links to games.

Worcestershire players at Coventry

18 Feb 2024. The Open was won by former Halesowen player Finaly Terry-Bowcott, but now affiliated to Solihull in Warwickshire. Harry Evans and Ben Attwell playedat the congress and bot ended mid-field in their sections. See full results.

Former County correspondence team captain and Hagley Chess Club secretary

8 Feb 2024. The death is reported of Tony West at the age of He was for many years secretary and treasurer of Hagley Chess Club until it closed in 2016. Tony was also team captain for the Worcestershire Correspondence Chess team competing for the Brown Pond trophy in the Counties & Districts Correspondence Chess Championship. Jim Keen, Worcestershire’s current correspondence team captain wrote: "He was a team captain for the 2nd team Correspondence Chess for many years and assisted me in obtaining interested players. He only stopped playing [correspondence chess in 2014 when the county decided to enter one team only] ... Always very helpful and enthusiastic and loved the game in both formats."

Tony West

County online teams progress

6 Feb 2024. In round two teams A and B won their matches and the cadets team drew, but progress was marred by two defaults. Fortunately, the Cadets team's opponents also defaulted a board. See match score cards with links to games.

23 Jan 2024. In round 1 of the ninth 4NCL online season, there were wins from all three teams in spite of problems with logging on in the Cadets team. New player Dorin Luca (Worcester) won his game in the B team. See match score sheets with links to games.

Worcestershire players in Kidlington Congress

4 Feb 2024. Mike Hadley (Halesowen) finished mid-field in the Open as did Stephen Chadaway (Olton) in the Major and Peter Hughes (Mutual Circle) in the Minor.

County players at Birmingham Rapidplay

28 Jan 2024. IM Yichen Han (NED) won the Open outright with 6½ from seven games. Three county players entered the Open with Jo Friar (Kidderminster 4½ points), Kata Toma (Worcester, 3½ points), Harry Evans (Redditch, 3 points). Nigel Towers played in the Major (u2000) scoring 3½ points. Two Redditch players entered the Intermediate (u1750): Giles Stanton (3 points) and David Smith (3½ points). Five county players were in the Minor (u1500) with four of them scoring 4 points: Jon Asbury, Kim Gillbert, and Nigel Foster (all Shirley & Wythall). Andy Tipper (Longbridge) also score 4 points while Eddy Parton (Redditch) scored 3½ points. The event was organised by Alex Holowczak and 140 players competed. See full results.

Worcestershire u1650 lose to Linconshire

20 Jan 2024. The county u1650 team travelled to East Goscote, but lost 6½-9½. John Loynes made a welcome return to the team and won his game. Other winning players were: John Varilone (Kidderminster), David Cleak and Simon Berry (both Worcester). See full results.

Worcester & District League in the bag for Kidderminster

10 Jan 2024. In the District League, Kidderminster can now no longer be caught by second-placed Worcester after the latter lose an away match to Redditch.

First match results of 2024 are in

3 Jan 2024. Halesowen beat Redditch in the Championship League and in the Rapidplay League Redditch and Longbridge a match each in their fixture.

2 Jan 2024. Dudley and District Division 2 match between South Birmingham and Oscott was a draw.

Online team results

1 Jan 2024.Worcestershire Squad scored 17 points in Division 2 of the Juniors Counties’ team battle

5 Dec 2023. Worcestershire Wolfpack A and the B team won their 4NCL matches, but the Cadets team lost. Teams A and B were both placed third in their groups and will not play a semi-final for promotion. The Cadets team is sixth in Division 5. This means that teams can gain promotion only if teams placed higher in the tables do not compete next season beginning in January 2024. See full results with links to games.

4 Dec 2023. County juniors in the Worcestershire Squad organised by Nigel Towers and Simon Berry scored 42 points in the ECF Division 2 team battle and were placed fifth. See lichess for results and links to games.

Worcestershire in near miss for Midlands Team Championship

3 Dec 2023. Captain Paul Sharratt has accepted an MCCU nomination to play in the national stages of the Minor Counties Championship in April next year.

2 Dec 2023. Led by WGM Kata Toma and team captain Paul Sharratt, the county team travelled to Sharnford, Leics to play for the Midlands County Championship against Lincolnshire. Worcestershire lost narrowly in a closely fought match where half of the games were drawn. Kata Toma (Worcester) and Phil Maddocks and Gavin Cartwright (both Longbridge) won their games. See full score card.

County players at Birmingham Congress

23 Nov 2023. Six county players entered the lists in this five round weekend congress held at King Edward VI Five Ways School, Bartley Green. Current county senior champion Darren Whatmore (Shirley & Wythall) scored 2½ points in the Open: Nigel Towers (Redditch) scored 3 points in the Major: Seamus Flynn (Worcester) scored 2 points in the Intermediate: Muhammed Mehmood (Mercia) scored 3½, Peter Hughes (Mutual Circle) scored 3 and Elias Angel (Longbridge) scored 2 points in the Minor tournament. The event attracted over 150 players and was organised by Alex Holowczak.

Joe Conway Lees wins Staffordshire Junior Championship

19 Nov 2023. Joe Conway-Lees, who plays for Stourbridge Chess Club, won the Staffordshire Junior Chess Championship. In a field of twenty players, Joe won all his games to finish undsputed champion.

Online team results

21 Nov 2023. Team A won, Team B drew and the Cadets team had their first defeat this season. At the end of the evening Worcestershire Wolfpack A are fourth in Group A and Team B are third in group B of Division 4. The Cadets team are second out of 32 teams in Division 5. To get into the semi-finals, Team A will need to win their round 7 match and Cozy Tomatoes will have to lose against Lenzie Basilisks. Team B cannot now make the semi-finals. See full score sheets and links to games.

7 Nov 2023. Worcestershire Wolfpack teams lost two matches and won one with the Cadets team winning against War & Piece Nimrod in Round 5 of 4NCL Main Online. The Cadets now stand top of Division 5. Worcestershire Wolfpack A are fourth in Group A of Division 4 and the B team are third in Group B. In spite of the less succesful night, the Cadets are good position for promotion and both Division 4 teams could still get promotion. See full score sheets and links to games.

Kata Toma appointed as new ECF Director

1 Nov 2023. WGM Kata Toma (Worcester) has been appointed to a voluntary Non-Executive Director post. Stephen Woodhouse (Redditch) writes: "Kata will bring her playing and wider international experience to bear when advising the [ECF] Board and working with the other Directors."

League leaders

27 Oct 2023. After the first two months of the season, Longbridge are top of the Championship League and Kidderminster top of the District League.

Worcestershire online teams successful again

24 Oct 2023. In 4NCL division 4, Worcestershire Wolfpack A beat Shropshire & Friends 5 in group A and Worcestershire Wolfpack B beat a team from Bishops Aukland, Bishop Trojans in group B and the teams are 3rd and fourth in their groups. Worcestershire Wolfpack Cadets drew against Witney in Division 5 and stand second out of 32 teams. Robin Hayles and Tony Shaw (both Worcester City) made welcome returns to the squad. See full score cards and links to games.

Bennett and Ball Cup competition entries up

23 Oct 2023. The Bennett Cup attracted nine players who play in two groups in the preliminary stage, which concludes before Easter. Pool A includes Edward Higgs (Worcester), Lee Davis, the current holder of the trophy (Malvern), Ray Collett (Worcester), and David Waud (Kidderminster). Pool B players are: Joe Friar (Kidderminster), Chris Lee (Worcester), Aiden Griffiths (Worcester), and John Varilone (Kidderminster). Finals and semi finals between the top two players from each pool should be completed by the end of June.

22 Oct 2023. In the Ball Cup seven players compete and play a six round all-play-all round robin tournament throughout the season and the top two placed players will face each other in a final. Entrants are: Peter Hughes (Longbridge), Chris lee (Worcester), Colin Vernon (Worcester), Giles Stanton (Redditch), John Varilone, last year’s winner (Kidderminster), Edward Higgs (Worcester), and Aiden Griffiths (Worcester).

Redditch third at Hull

22 Oct 2023. Redditch players Dan Lambourn, Harry Evans, David Smith , Nigel Towers and Giles Stanton travelled to Hull for the national club championships. They entered the u2000 competition and were placed 3rd on tie-break. The u2000 tournament was won by Hulll Chess Club.

Worcestershire players at Birmingham Rapidplay

22 Oct 2023. WGM Katarzyna Toma (Worcester) was placed third and scored 5 points from 7 games in the Open. In the Major (u2000), Joseph Friar (Kidderminster) was 3rd with 5 points and club mate John Wrench scored 3½ points in the same section. Worcester club mates Tony Shaw scored 3 points in the Intermediate and Simon Berry scored 4½ points in the Minor.

Worcestershire u1450 suffer big defeat by Staffordshire

21 Oct 2023. New captain Aiden Griffiths (Worcester City) had a baptism of fire when the team travelled to Newcastle-u-Lyme for the Midlands u1450 team final with Staffordshire. Captains agreed to play over eight boards and Staffordshire won 7-1. The only Worcestershire player to score was Aiden. See details.

ECF re-elects Home Director and combines membership categories

15 Oct 2023. There were two contested elections for ECF directorships. Nigel Towers (Worcs), the incumbent Director for Home Chess, won an overwhelmingly. The vote for a vacant Non-Executive Directorship was much closer with WGM Katarzyna (Worcs) losing with 99 votes to WIM Sarah Longson (Greater Manchester) gaining 125 votes. A proposal from the ECF Board to merge silver and gold membership categories starting in September 2024 was narrowly accepted by 136 to 122 votes.

Worcestershire 4NCL online teams

10 Oct 2023, Round 3. The 4NCL online, there were two match wins and a draw. Paul Evans (Halesowen) played his first game for the squad. In Division 4, Worcestershire Wolfpack A won their match against Dundee City F in Division 4 and are fourth in group A: the B team drew their match against The Hemel’s Gambit and are fourth in Group B. The Cadets team in Division 5 beat Irish Jazz and stand second out of 31 teams.

Kidderminster chess champions

5 Oct 2023. President John Wrench won the 2023 club championship, his twefth time of winning after a tough final with Joe Friar. For Joe it was a rare defeat because he won five other trophies: the President’s Cup, The Shuttle Shield KO, Quickplay and Lightning championships, and the Graham Bunn trophy for the highest number of points scored playing for Kidderminster’s league teams. Dave Spowart won the club’s Handicap tournament and 14-year-old Henry Cameron (RGS Worcester) won the Minor Club Championship for the second time.

Kidderminster Chess Champions 2023

Nigel Towers second at Derby Congress

24 Sep 2023. Nigel (Redditch) played in the u2000 tournament at Derbyshire’s inaugural congress and was placed second with 4 points from his five games.

Worcestershire 4NCL online teams

26 Sep 2023. The second round saw another two wins for the teams. Worcestershire Wolfpack A beat Cozy Tomatoes, an international team with a titled player on board 2. Stephen Woodhouse (Longbridge) won his game against WFM Kueh and the match was won 3-1. Worcestershire Wolfpack B had ill-luck in their match against Calstock Killers when one of our player was unable to join the match and another player overlooked a mate in 1. The Cadets team saw new junior player Edward Higgs (Worcester) win his board 4 game in the match against Crowthorne A. Alan Ruffle and junior player Carlos Patterson-Navarro also won their games to give Cadets victory 3-1. See score sheets and links to games.

12 Sep 2023. In the first round of Season 8, two of the Worcestershire Wolfpack teams won. Team A lost to Lenzie Basilisks ½-3½ and team B beat East Kilbride B 3-1 in Division 4. The cadets team in Division 5 beat Chess Challengers C 3-1. Two Stourbridge players joined the squad: Hossam Aboushady, and Jeremy Humphries. At the end of round 1 in Division 4, Wolfpack A are near the bottom of group A and Wolfpack B are in the middle of Group B. The Cadets in Division 5 are ninth out of 28 teams competing. See score sheets and links to games.

David Pugh, President Longbridge CC

22 Sep 2023, Steve Crees reports. With great sadness, the death is reported of David Pugh, President Longbridge CC. David had been president of both Greenlands and then Longbridge CC. Steve has written a tribute to David on the Longbridge CC website.

Opening night for Worcestershire League season

7 Sep 2023. There were two fixtures on the opening night. In the Challengers, Stourbridge beat Longbridge and in the District League Worcester beat Longbridge, a good start to retain the District title. See ECF-LMS for details.

County team fixtures announced

7 Sep 2023, Paul Sharratt reports. Worcester play Lincolnshire for the MCCU county title on Sat 18 Nov at home. The two counties also face each other in the u1650 team tournament, but the u1650 team plays away on 17 Feb 2024. Worcestershire u1450 play Staffordshire away on 14 October.

Fast county players at Coventry

3 Sep 2023. John Pitcher (South Birmingham) was placed 2-3rd in the Rapidplay tournament scoring 5 points from his seven games. Redditch players Nigel Towers, Mihai Zbircea (both Redditch) scored 3½ points as did Chris Evans (Stourbridge). Seamus Flyn (Worcester) scored 3 points.

2 Sep 2023. Three county players from Redditch competed in the fourteen-round Coventry Blitz tournament. Dave Smith 7½, Mihai Zbircea 6½, and Nigel Towers 6 points.


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