John Wrench on BBC Hereford & Worcester
9 Sep. Listen to chess interview on Malcolm Boyden's programme on BBC Sounds.
New joint league for 2021-2 season
7 Sep. An Extraordinary General Meeting of members at Droitwich extended for a further year the terms of current officers of the association. Later the same evening at a joint meeting, the county association and the district league agreed temporarily to run a joint league with five-board teams in Division 1 and four-board teams in Division 2. Players rated below 1850 will be eligible to play in both divisions. A second division team may not field more than one player rated over 1850 in a second division match and that player must play top board. A slightly faster time control was agreed to allow time for sanitising at the end of a match and players, except those with medical exemption, will be required to use face-covering, mask or visor when playing league chess in the 2021-2 season.
Longbridge Chess Club established
25 Aug. After losing their previous venue, the southern Birmingham club has relocated to the opposite side of the the road at the Austin Sports & Social Club. See more about the new club.
Worcester player wins national u1700 and GM Keith Arkell wins online British
7 Aug. Colin Vernon won the ECF online u1700 competition. There was a field of sixty and Colin was seeded ninth. He ended in sole first place scoring 5½ points. See full results.
7 Aug. Keith Arkell finished first on 7½ points above Michael Adams and Bogdan Lalic in controversial circumstances after two of his opponents were disqualified. See full results.
Change at Stourbridge
16 May. Dave Scriven, who has served for many years as club secretary has stepped down. Paul Sharratt takes up the reigns.
Longbridge are online league champions
25 Apr. Longbridge concluded a successful season with wins over Warwick University Alumni, whereas their nearest rivals Solihull conceded draws to Redditch. Longbridge second team were also highest placed worcestershire team in Division 2 ending up third behind champions South Birmingham and runners-up Isle of Wight.
25 Mar. Three county teams, Longbridge, Worcester and Redditch were on the Division 1 starting grid for the fourth online season. They battle Hereford, Warwick University Alumni and Solihull. In Division2, four Worcestershire teams - Stourbridge, Worcester, Kidderminster, and Longbridge - are joined by South Birmingham, Isle of Wight, Solihull and Mutual Circle.
Malvern starts online arena tournaments on lichess.org
10 Mar, Kieran Lappin reports. Following in the footsteps of the successful Marches Arena weekly tournaments, Brian Turner has set up a rapidplay arena for Malvern on Wednesday evenings. If you enjoy 10 min plus 5 seconds Arena format, contact Brian Turner.
Free ECF membership for new women players
20 Feb. The English Chess Federation offers free membership for the first year for female players over the age of 18 who have not previously been members. The scheme is known as Queen's Gambit Scheme Supporter. Under the scheme you have access to ECF online members clubs and events on Chess.com and Lichess, together with free online rating of all ECF rated online events, plus access to the various benefits and discounts available at the ECF.
Malvern Arena reaches 10th edition
17 Feb. Secretary Brian Turner organises a ten-minute lichess.org Arena tournament for members. The first trial tourney was held on 9 Dec and attracted 6 players. Since then, Malvern players have met every Wednesday evening. Six different players have have won a gold medal. The format is 10 min + 5 sec increment with no Berserking or extra points for winning streaks. If you want to join Malvern online, contact Brian Turner.
Junior Academy player scores well in 4NCL Open tournament
17 Jan. Worcs Jun Acad player Duke Dillan scored 2½/5. In the under-1400 tournament, Colin Vernon (Worcester) was second with 4½/5 points.
Longbridge close to WMA championship in third season
14 Jan. Worcester have dropped back failing to get four players to 'sit down' in both rounds in the New Year and Longbridge 1 lead by a nose.
Worcestershire players in ECF Caplin Online Championships
Dec-Jan 2021. In the championship WGM Toma Katarzyna (Evesham) and Harry Evans (Redditch) finished mid-table on 3½/7. Phil Maybury (Warley) was 4th in the Morning Major Open and Colin Vernon (Worcester) was 3rd in the under-1400. Dillan Duke was sixth in the under-14 rapidplay and youngest player Jung Yungeong (Greenlands) scored 3/7 in the under-10 championship.
County clubs lead West Midlands League into 2021
20 Dec. In Division 1, Worcester 1 lead with Redditch and Longbridge 1 not far behind. In Division 2 currently led by Mutual Circle, Kidderminster are fourth, Stourbridge fifth, and Worcester 2 is in bottom position.
chess.com crash stops West Midlands Area league
19 Nov. About thirty minutes after start of play in WMA round 2, the chess.com server crashed stopping play. WMA organisers are considering options and it seems likely that the abandoned matches will be re-scheduled after the last fixtures. Any completed games are likely to be submitted for grading but will not count for the WMA competition.
Worcestershire beat Shropshire
14 Nov. In the Midlands County team championship competition, Worcestershire beat Shropshire 8 - 4. Stephen Mellor (Worcester), John Wrench (ex-Kidderminster), Julie Wilson, Paul Sharrattt (both Stourbridge), Scott Russell (Redditch) and matthew Holmes (Worcester) won their games. You can play through winning games using links from the ECF League Management System.
Nigel Towers in English Blitz team
7 Nov. Nigel played for English Players Team in the 9th Americas vs Europe season team Blitz team competition scoring 6 out of 19 games against much higher rated opponents. The English team was in fifth place behind Russia, Serbia, Argentina, and Italy.
Worcestershire fall to Greater Manchester in Open competition
31 Oct. Worcestershire were again spooked by Mancunians losing 2½-12½. Matthew Holmes (Worcester) playing on board 13O was the only winner with Marcus Walsh (South Birmingham, Bd 1), Paul Sharratt (Stourbridge, Bd 10) and Ian Ellis (Longbridge, Bd 14) achieving draws. Full result with links to game scores.
Laurence Wheatley 1931-2020
23 Oct. Chess players learned of Laurence’s passing very belatedly. He was a stalwart of Greenlands Chess Club and Birmingham & District Chess League as well as Worcestershire Chess Association. The Wheatley Cup was presented to the association in memory of his parents and he organised an innovative team knock out competition with Worcestershire Chess Association. This competition handicapped stronger teams by requiring them to win by a margin based on the difference in grades between players in the opposing teams. The handicap applied was based on a formula derived from players’ grades and the effect of the handicap made it equally probable the either team would win.
Worcestershire players leading English chess
17 Oct. At the online English Chess Federation AGM, Nigel Towers (Redditch) was elected to the vacant home chess directorship. Nigel Alex Holowczak (Oldbury) remains Director of Junior Chess & Education and Stephen Woodhouse (Longbridge) reamains a Non-executive director. All ECF directorships are unpaid.
U-1825 Worcestershire lose to Greater Manchester
10 Oct. In the first ever MCCU competition online match, Worcesterhire lost 3½-8½. Captain Paul Sharratt (Stourbridge), Phil Maybury (Warley Quinbourn) and Dillan Duke (Worcs Jun Chess Acad) won their games. I was watching online and was impressed with Dillan’s mature patient play in an awkward middlegame and then quick to seize on his opponent’s error in the endgame. The team also thanks our other young player Jack for stepping in to play board 12 after a very late cancellation thus allowing the county to avoid a default. See full result.
End of West Midland Area’s Summer season
8 Oct. League champions were Sutton Coldfield first team who convincingly demonstrated their superiority in the last match against runners-up Solihull first team. Two Worcestershire teams improved on their positions in the Spring season: Greenlands first team and Redditch were both third sharing the same number of match and games points. Worcester first team just avoided relegation finishing above bottom markers Warwick Univ Alumni. Division 2 champions were Coventry Chess, just three game points ahead of John Wrench’s Isle of Wight team. Kidderminster were fifth, Greenlands second team sixth. Worcester second team were last but one. See detailed league tables and links to match score cards.
Greenlands becomes Longbridge
6 Oct. Greenlands chess club will play its last ever match on Thursday. The West Midlands Area Online League will host this historic event on 8th October. Members are moving across the road to the Austin Sports & Social Club as soon as current Covid restrictions allow. The club is mchanging its name to reflect the new venue and will be called Longbridge Chess Club with a new email address.
Nigel Towers candidate for ECF Home Chess Directorship
30 Sep. Nigel of Redditch Chess Club who has already volunteered three years of his time to act as Secretary to the ECF Board is standing in a by-election for the unpaid post of Director of Home Chess. Nigel has been a prime mover in establishing English online chess and is ECF Manager for online chess. He has organised competitions locally, nationally and internationally and has helped develop the ECF rating and grading systems. He was an organiser for over-the-board events such as the ECF Blitz, and ECF Seniors as well as Senior team events in Croatia and Hungary. Worcestershire players who wish to support Nigel’s candidacy should contact Worcestershire Secretary Paul Sharratt and their direct members representatives to express their preferences before 17 October. Voting will be at a Zoom meeting of Council members - union, county, direct members representatives and officers - to be held on 17 October.
Worcestershire teams in West Midlands Area
1 Oct. Redditch was the only team to win one of their two matches in fixtures this night. Redditch won one and drew one, but lost on aggregate. Greenlands and Worcester drew one match and lost one match each against Sutton and 1 SB1 respectively. In Division 2, Kidderminster beat Solihull 2, but Stourbridge lost to Isle of Wight and were nearly annhilated by Coventry.
24 Sep. Greenlands and Redditch drew in Division 1 so that Greenlands are now second in Division 1 to Sutton Coldfield. Worcester lost in a three-board encounter with Solihull and may face a relegation battle. In Division 2, Stourbridge beat Greenlands and Kidderminster lost to Lichfield. Stourbridge and Greenlands are mid-table but still have a chance of finishing as champions. Worcester lost a bottom-of-table fight with Solihull and are now firmly at the bottom of the table.
17 Sep. Two Worcestershire clubs gained places in the sixth round for Division 1. Greenlands 1 beat Warwick University Alumni and Worcester 1 had ist best night in the league beating Redditch. Greenlands 1 is placed second in Division 1 behind a very strong Sutton Coldfield team, but Sutton have amtch in hand. Worcester 1 are mid-table and Redditch shares the bottom spot with South Birmingham 1. In Division 2, Stourbridge beat Coventry Chess, Kidderminster 2 beat Worcester 2, and Greenlands drew with Mutual Circle. Sutton Coldfield lead Division 2 with Greenlands placed third, Stourbridge fifth, and Worcester just ahead of bottom placed Solihull 2. See full results.
Worcestershire field open and u1825 team in the Midlands online championships
20 Sep. Worcestershire have entered two teams in the first MCCU online team champoionships. These matches will be played on Saturdays starting at 6:30pm using the lichess platform and a time control of 1 hour with 15 second increments.
Worcestershire lose to Mancunians in friendly match to trial lichess.org
12 Sep. In the first county match of the 2020-1 season, Worcestershire lost narrowly to Greater Manchester in a thirteen board friendly to trial the lichess.org platform for MCCU county matches this season. See full results.
County players help North to a victory over Southerners
5 Sep. Five county players helped the North win. Kevin Hurney (Greenlands) and Matthew Holmes (Worcester) won their games and Tony Shaw (Worcester) drew his.