Friday 15th May 2020
Message from League Secretary - Graham Heath
Given the profound health emergency that we are all facing and its attendant uncertainty,
the Executive committee has NOT , thus far , abandoned the 2019/20 season.
We are currently keeping our options open as the situation leading up to September
and beyond remains exceedingly unclear and unpredictable.
We are constantly monitoring the situation at the national level and intend to consult
members, including secretaries of the Wirral Chess League of the available options at the appropriate time.
In the meantime we trust everyone is keeping safe and well.
Monday 16th March 2020
All matches to be suspended until the end of Ap
first and foremost, greatest consideration needs to be given to the health and safety of the players and their loved ones, while we are undergoing the Corona pandemic. the government has today announced a new series of measures to create a safer environment. part of these measures is guidance to the population that they should avoid unnecessary contact and attendance at venues where large numbers may gather.
After some discussion among executive members, we have decided that the Wirral Chess League suspend all matches for one month when the situation shall be reviewed.
Leon Wolszczak, Controller.
Friday 13th March 2020
League Secretary, Graham Heath provides the following rep
On Sunday 1st March Thomas (Tom) Carroll of Hoylake Chess Club played 23 juniors (which included several of the Wirral Junior Squad). A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon resulted in Tom, the England Junior International grade 210, winning every game ! Ashvin Kumar was the last player to hold out and won a prize for his efforts.
Tom is planning on studying Medicine at University and we wish every success in his career. Special thanks go to John Smallthwaite, the Wirral League Junior Organiser for his conscientious planning. Thanks also to Trevor Amos, Matt Battersby, Dave Williams and Leon Wolszczak for their assistance and support. And not least to all of those juniors who met the challenge with great enthusiasm.
Friday 13th March 2020
Thursday 13th February 2020
BLACKPOOL CONGRESS - FRIDAY 13 MARCH TO SUNDAY 15 MARCH
1. Blackpool Chess Conference
44th Blackpool Chess Conference
The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool
North Promenade, Blackpool FY1 2HB Tel. 01253 623971
Friday 13th - Sunday 15th March 2020
£6700 in Prizes
Congress Director: Bill O’Rourke
Chief Controller: Lara Barnes I.A., ECF Chief Arbiter
Saturday 18th January 2020
John Smallthwaite provides the following upd
The Date for the above Simultaneous Display will be Sunday March 1st at Wallasey Chess Club.
Entry fee per Junior Player will be £2.00 payable on the day.
Arrival Time at Wallasey venue The Conservative Club, Manor Road Wallasey will 13.30 to 13.45 hours.
The Club bar will be open for Parents and Grandparents etc. Additionally we are hopeful we will be able
to provide a refreshment facility for Tea, Coffee and Biscuits.
If clubs wish to enter candidates please let me know names and numbers asap to my email address.
Monday 9th December 2019
Wirral juniors make the right moves in new chess tournament.
Thanks to Bob clark for the following report:
Saturday 30th November saw the first ever Wirral Junior Chess Championship run by Chess in Schools and Communities.
Eighty-three children from primary schools all over the Wirral competed in the tournament held at Our Lady and St Edwards Catholic Primary School in Birkenhead.
After six rounds of hard but very fairly fought games of chess, trophies and medals were awarded to the girls and boys who earned the right to call themselves the junior chess champions of Wirral. Presentations were made by Cathy Murphy, Deputy Head of New Brighton Primary.
Bob Clark, tournament organiser and regional director of Chess In Schools and Communities said:
"It was great to see so many children enjoying playing chess and particularly pleasing that the atmosphere was competitive but very respectful and friendly throughout the day even in the tense finale of the last round.
"I would like to thank Elaine McGunigall, the head teacher at Our Lady and St Edwards, for allowing us to use her school and also the school staff and Wirral chess tutors who gave up their Saturdays to allow the running of this very successful tournament."
Future tournaments that the charity is hoping to organise include their annual Merseyside competition at St George's Hall and a Girl Empowerment Tournament (thirty-three per cent of competitors at the Wirral tournament were girls).
Chess in Schools and Communities is a charitable organisation that teaches children how to play chess in their schools. They are popular in a number of schools in Merseyside and throughout the country which recognise the many other benefits, apart from the enjoyment of the game, that playing chess in schools brings.
1st Harriette Bissette (Dawpool) 5.5
2nd= Vivien Wilkinson (St. Bridgets) 4
2nd= Tia Elizabeth Anup (Greasby Juniors) 4
3rd Anna McKenna (Greasby Juniors) 3.5
1st Luca Eden (St. Bridgets) 5 (tie-break)
2nd Alexander Gregory (St. Bridgets) 5 (tie-break)
3rd Sam Davies (Dawpool) 4.5
1st Ava Prior (St Bridgets) 4.5 (tie break)
2nd Maiya Maguire (Our Lady and St Edwards) 4.5 (tie-break)
3rd= Ella Temple (Our Lady and St Edwards) 4
3rd= Eleanor Hughes (Our Lady of Pity) 4
1st Adam Lattern (St Bridgets) 5.5
2nd Harry Woodley (Ladymount) 5
3rd= Leon Pipala (Ladymount) 4
3rd= Luke Brandwood (Ladymount) 4
3rd= Jack Price (Our Lady and St Edwards) 4
1st Jessica-Rose Preston (Dawpool) 3.5
2nd Charlotte Prior (St. Bridgets) 3
3rd= Daisy Scullion (Holy Trinity)
3rd= Holly Shirley (Holy Trinity)
1st Ashvin Kumar (St Peters) 6
2nd Dylan West (Dawpool) 6
3rd Dylan Elder (Greasby) 4.5
Tuesday 3rd December 2019
Hoylake's Tom Carroll is to play approx 20 juniors during February 2020.
WCL Junior Organisor, john Smallthwaite is looking to arrange an event for Hoylake's young star to take on approx 20 junior in a Simultaneous Event. See below.
We are aiming to hold the simultaneous competition during February 2020. Tom Carroll from Hoylake Chess Club
will be facing approx 20 Junior Players.
February is the only month he can manage next year as he will be doing his A levels prior to going off to University.
I wish to find out which clubs are interested in sending Juniors to participate. This is to assist with picking the best
place which is central to those clubs who wish to participate.
Contact John Smallthwaite by phone on 0151 645 6723 or Mob 07505 145013 or email John.Smallthwaite@ntlworld.com
Friday 22nd November 2019
Ron’s funeral is on Tuesday 26th at 12.30 at Landican North Chapel if you can attend.
We have just received the sad news that Ron passed away recently following a long illness with Parkinsons. The funeral takes place this Tuesday.
Apologies for the short notice.
Monday 18th November 2019
Dave passed away peacefully on 9th Nov
The following information relating to Dave's funeral has been received by the league secretary via his good friend Peter Purland.
I now have the funeral details for Dave. It will take place at Landican Crematorium, Arrowe Park CH49 5LW at 12 noon on Friday 6th December. Afterwards we will go to the Grove House Hotel, Grove Road, Wallsey CH44 4BT for the wake where there will be drinks and a substantial buffet.
1. Public transport If you are getting the train to Lime Street.
Downstairs to Wirral Line - train to Hamilton Square. 471 gold bus to Heswall get off at Landican.
Or 471/472 from Sir Thomas Street Liverpool to Heswall, get off at Landican. Journey time approx 1hour.
2. Local Wirral taxis
0151 512 5222, 0151 201 1111, 0151 630 2020, 0151 639 6666
Once you are at Landican we can arrange lifts to the Grove House.
It would be great to see as many as possible of you there but I appreciate that distance and other commitments could make attendance impossible.
If you are coming to the Grove House please could you let me know by 1st December along with any special dietary requirements.
I hope to see you there to give Dave a good send off.
The Grove House has rooms and Sheila. Ian and us can manage 6 double beds?
Ps It is very hard to remember all Dave's many friends. Do not be afraid to pass the invite on.
The 4NCL website has the following:
POSTED BY: DAVID THOMAS 9TH NOVEMBER 2019
It is with great regret that we report the death of David Welch, the former Chief Arbiter of the ECF and the 4NCL. As is generally known, David had been unwell for some time and died peacefully early this morning.
Picture by Zeljka Malobabic 2009
Dave, as he was known to almost everyone, was born in Brampton, Chesterfield and attended the local Grammar School before going on to Queens’ College, Cambridge where he was the Librarian and Bulletin Editor for the chess club. He moved from Wallasey CC to Liverpool CC in 1968. He was eventually to become its President. He played a significant role in organising the Liverpool Chess Congress which in its day was a massive event.
He joined the arbiting team of the British Championships in 1981 eventually becoming its Chief Arbiter and Manager. Within the ECF (and its predecessor the BCF) he was the Manager/Director of Congress Chess and Chief Arbiter. He was awarded the ECF President’s Award in 2007.
Internationally he was awarded the FIDE International Arbiters (IA) title in 1977 and the International Organisers (IO) title in 2010. He was awarded the FIDE Long Service award in 2016.
As well as being Chief Arbiter of the British and numerous local congresses, Dave had served as Chief Arbiter at the Gibraltar and Isle of Man Tournaments.
While in Gibraltar in 2017 Dave suffered a stroke, which left him debilitated. As a result of this he was unable even to visit a chess event and passed away in hospital at 6am on 9 November.
The above are the bare facts. They do not come close to giving an indication of the tremendous amount of work and effort and success David had in promoting the game he loved. Dave was just as happy working on the Minor Section of a weekend congress as he was being arbiter of a Grandmaster event. He was always happy to pass on his knowledge to less experienced arbiters who showed a willingness to learn.
Dave had no immediate family in the normal sense but he has left behind his family of chess players who will miss him greatly.
‘A great servant of British chess’ – Nigel Short
‘He loved arbiting at all types of events, whatever the format and whatever the strengths of the players’ – David Sedgwick
‘David Welch contributed so much to British Chess as an arbiter and organiser over so many years’ – John Saunders
‘It was always a pleasure working with him’ – Jack Rudd
Lara Barnes – click here for pictures and comment
‘A gentleman of the chess world’ – Howard Wood
‘He was always a great encourager of people; a good arbiter and an astute judge of character’ – Alan Atkinson
Dave was a great inspiration and mentor to me. I first met him in 1985 at the British in Edinburgh. We worked together every year after that at either the British, Blackpool or Hastings until his stroke in 2017. At one of the British Championships at Eastbourne we were using a complicated Swiss pairing system which was reserved for the British Championship only. The system was supposed to produce a unique pairing. We both came up with different pairings on one scoregroup. A check showed that both pairings satisfied the rules. When David saw my solution to a problem he thought it neater than his but not content with that he applied the same logic to a different scoregroup where a similar problem had existed. The outcome was a third version which became the published version. The special rules were abandoned at the end of that event!
David also had a love of beer. When we were at the Olympiad together in Baku I would go out and get some nice dark beers which we both preferred to the mass produced lager that was on sale in the hotel bar. We sat together most evenings , downing a beer or two, chatting and putting forward suggestions for revisions to what was to become the 2017 Laws of Chess. One of these suggestions, regarding illegal positions, appeared in draft version 7 only to disappear in draft 8 which appeared only a few hours later and before we had finished our beers!
— Alex McFarlane
David was born in Chesterfield on October 30th 1945. He was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School where he both played and organised chess which his father had taught him. After a successful career at school he moved on to Queen’s College Cambridge to study Physics. There he played for Queen’s at chess and, believe it or not, was a cox in the College eight. After four years at Cambridge he qualified with an MA and got a job at Liverpool College as junior physics teacher in the Upper School (current Y9 and above). He started in September 1968 which was also when I started. I taught History and Sport, especially Rugby and Swimming, in the Lower School (Ys 5-8) so at first we did not see a lot of each other. I had played chess at University and agreed to start some teams in the Lower School in 1969. I remember meeting Dave at “The Tram” the staff pub, and we both mentioned that we would be able to drive the minibus after half term. It was then we found out we were both born on the same day – but in different countries. David was living in a College Flat in Croxteth Road and when Ann and I got engaged I was lucky enough to get the flat above Dave’s. Dave remained the owner of his flat until his death although I moved to Wallasey in 2008.
After a couple of years running school chess during which time Dave became a BCF Judge he persuaded me to start doing Adult Congresses and I followed him down the path of International Arbiter and BCF Senior Arbiter. I remember Stewart Rueben saying that there would never be any law disputes when Liverpool College were playing! I am afraid I do not remember the exact dates when David moved up the arbiting ladder but he did become chief arbiter of the British Championships and also chief arbiter of the BCF (later ECF). We also started taking holidays together and travelled to Ethiopia, Libya, Jordan, Guatemala, Honduras, Crimea, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, up the Hurtigruten, Rumania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and many other places. We also took school holidays – Dave did the finance and was very cheesed off when the Euro arrived as it was far too easy!
David retired due to ill health in 2000 but this did not stop him travelling or running chess. He did go to Azerbaijan for the Olympiad. Both of us had been involved in chess at Gibraltar from the start of the tournament and visited over 65 times. Sadly it was in Gibraltar in August 2017 that Dave suffered a severe stroke. He survived it but was left totally paralysed down the right side. He went in to Arundel Park Care Home where his many friends visited him. Gradually his health deteriorated and on 7th November he was rushed in to Royal Liverpool and passed away peacefully on Saturday 9th November.
He will be remembered as a true gentleman, polite, caring, hard working and with an excellent brain. His contribution to English Chess has been immense and he will be sorely missed.
— Peter Purland
I have just heard the sad news of the death of David Welch, who contributed so much to British chess as an arbiter and organiser over so many years.
Dave was born in Brampton (Chesterfield), Derbyshire, on 30 October 1945. After attending Chesterfield Grammar School, where he captained the chess team, he took a degree at Cambridge University before taking up a teaching job at Liverpool in 1968. Also starting teaching the same day at the same school was Peter Purland, who like Dave was to become an equally distinguished servant of British chess over the past half century. The two spent their entire teaching careers at the same school, and often worked in tandem as arbiters and organisers over the same period of time and long into their retirement from teaching.
Dave joined Liverpool Chess Club in 1968 and eventually became its president, and organiser of the Liverpool Congress. He became involved in organising and arbiting at British Championships in 1981, later taking on roles as chief arbiter of the British (later English) Chess Federation and director/manager of congress chess. He was also chief arbiter of the 4NCL for some years. He was awarded the FIDE International Arbiter title in 1977 and the FIDE International Organiser title in 2010. He received the ECF President’s Award in 2007.
I first came into regular contact with Dave at the Isle of Man and Gibraltar tournaments where he also officiated as chief arbiter for some years. His vast experience of chess organisation made him a safe pair of hands, and almost the automatic go-to man when a major congress needed someone to take charge, as happened at the Monarch Assurance Isle of Man tournament when Richard Furness passed away. Dave’s firmness of resolve and stentorian voice (albeit not quite matching the molto fortissimo of his Welsh colleague Peter Purland) will remain a particular memory of these events. These schoolmasterly traits gave way to a more whimsical personality, and a wicked sense of humour, when off-duty over a pint in the bar at the end of play. One small example: when musing over the experimental one-game knock-out tournament format being proposed by Stewart Reuben for the Hastings Congress in 2004/5, Dave told me, “if it works, we will call it the Hastings System. If it doesn’t work, we will call it the Reuben System.”
Dave died on 9 November 2019 after suffering a stroke which left him greatly debilitated some two years ago. His is a great loss to British chess. I shall miss him greatly. RIP.
— John Saunders
Sunday 17th November 2019
You can now download your team or club fixtures into 'ics' format for use in (e.g.) Google Calendar.
Do this by clicking on your team name in "Fixtures" then clicking on the iCal link at the top. This file can then be used in Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird etc.
Tuesday 5th November 2019
please be aware that Atticus play at a pub The Cross Keys, in Liverpool. Apparently under 18s are not allowed to play at this venue due to Police policy.
Saturday 12th October 2019
Wallasey 1 vs. Hoylake 1 now playing 22/10 at Hoylake.
Friday 4th October 2019
30th November at Our Lady St. Edwards School. Price Street, Birkenhead, CH41 8DU
The first CSC Wirral Junior Chess Championship will take place on November 30th at Our Lady St Edwards School in Birkenhead.
Please note this event is only open to juniors attending Wirral primary schools.
The Entry form is attached, please contact Bob Clark (Bob_clark76@hotmail.com) for further details
Entry form to be added later (hopefully by Steve Lloyd as I can't get it to work)
Monday 23rd September 2019
As agreed between team captains today, the following changes will take plac
1. Crewe vs Wallasey 3 moved to Wallasey's venue and brought forward one day to Monday 21st October.
2. Crewe vs Wrexham - venue reversed so match will be played at Wrexham on Tuesday 3rd December.
In both cases Crewe will retain home team board colours.
Sunday 8th September 2019
The league rules have been added. Find under the about section.
Sunday 25th August 2019
The new website will operate for the upcoming season. Check back here later for additional content.
The old site is available at https://wirralchessleague.uk/oldsite