Sunday 23rd June 2019


The 11th Annual Match was played at Wallasey on Thursday with Chester retaining the trophy.

Since 2009 the two clubs have fought for the D&A Cup, in an event that started with 8 players each. Over the years the numbers have increased and in 2013 the match was contested over 30-a-side ! The idea has always been to try and even the teams up as best as possible.

This year there were 24 players in each team and from the outset Chester looked to be hot favourites, having grade advantage on approx 20 of the boards. However Wallasey were not to be put off and duly went into an early lead 3-1 and gradually maintained their advantage with some superb results with a notable win for Gordon Sommerville on board 12 against Graham Bromley and some excellent draws from Tony Roberts, Jeff Povall, Leon Wolszczak, Ken Jones, and Colin Dougherty as all faced significant grade disadvantages. However the match swung late in Chester's favour as a number of players confirmed their grade plusses to put Chester in the lead 11-9 with 4 to play. As the games of the top boards closed out Chester increased their lead to win 14-10 in a match that was always closely contested.

So after 11 matches it is "all square" with 5 wins each and one draw as everyone looks forward to the 2020 Challenge due to be played at Chester.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:38am

Saturday 25th May 2019


Venue: Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ.
Start time: 8pm

The AGM is being held at the same venue as recent years.

(The venue may also be known as The Port Sunlight Mens Club or Lyceum Complex).

The Agenda will be issued in due course.

Posted by: David Hulme at 2:39pm

Monday 20th May 2019


The 2nd Crewe RP Congress attracted 91 players yesterday, with 4 sections over 7 rounds.

The local players to have success were in the Intermediate (U135) section where Anthony Tatar of Hoylake won 1st prize with 6pts, while Simon Layhe of Crewe finished joint 2nd with 5.5 pts.

In the Minor (U105) section, Radu Tatar of Hoylake and Nigel Gardner of Crewe were part of a 3-way tie for 1st place with 5.5 pts.

The Open Section with 16 players included one GM, two IMs and one FM and was won by GM Nigel Davies with a perfect 7/7, while his son Sam won the Major Section (U165) with a score of 5.5 pts.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:39am

Wednesday 15th May 2019

Chester KO Champions!

Chester wheeled out all the big guns to win the Wirral KO. Congratulations!

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 6:56pm

Saturday 4th May 2019

Alpha Zero Book Signing and Simul with GM Sadler

Chester Chess Club will host GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan on 11th May at 2pm in Hoole.

The two guests will talk about their new book, "Game Changer", which is about the Alpha-Zero chess program that taught itself then beat the leading chess engine "Stockfish". Then Matthew will take on multiple opponents in a simultaneous display.

At the same time, Natasha and club President Phil Crocker will take on the juniors in a tandem simultaneous display.

The talk is open for everyone. The main simul will cost £10 for adults, £5 for Juniors. The junior simul is free. However please book your place as spaces will be limited.

For more details, visit

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 3:55pm

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Pensby 2 Champions

Pensby 2 overcame Tattenhall to claim first place in division 4. Congratulations!

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:10am

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Wallasey 2 win 2nd division title.

Wallasey overcome Crewe to win title

A very strong Wallasey 2 team beat Crewe last night to confirm the title and promotion back to division 1.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 1:27pm

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Penyfford Champions

Congratulations to Penyfford unassailable Champions of division 1

Penyfford beat Wallasey 1 last night which confirmed their position of top spot in Wirral league division 1,

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 1:25pm

Friday 5th April 2019

KO final

Chester are the home team against Hoylake/Meols.

Match to be arranged by both teams on a date in May agreeable to both teams.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:30am

Monday 18th March 2019

Chester Chess Club Centenary Rapidplay

Chester Chess Club are to host a one day rapidplay event at Upton-by-Chester High School on 7th Apr.

Further information can be found at

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:44am

Sunday 3rd February 2019


Congratulations to the following local players:
Open Section - Tom Carroll of Hoylake - joint 1st

U 160 Section - Greg Hughes of Wallasey - outright winner
U 120 Section - Dave Price of Crewe - outright winner

Full results can be obtained from the "" server

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:02pm

Sunday 3rd February 2019

Semi Final Draw

Hoylake/Great Meols v Buckley/Mold, Chester v Wallasey to be played week beginning 01.04.19

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:25am

Sunday 3rd February 2019

Wallasey advance

Wallasey moved into the semi final after pensby defaulted failing to raise a team

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:15am

Thursday 17th January 2019


Venue: Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Cheshire, WA6 7QN.

Contact: Pat Ridley

Full details - see attached/below:

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:51pm

Monday 7th January 2019

Malpas & Oswestry 2 vs Chester K re-arrangement

Please note this match has been moved from 13th December to Thursday 7th March 2019.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:49am

Thursday 6th December 2018

Crewe v Wallasey 4 re-arrangement

This match has been moved to Monday 1st April and will be played at Wallasey as agreed by captains.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:54pm

Tuesday 30th October 2018

Chester M default

I echo the sentiment of the Tattenhall captain.

Chester M did not turn up but i would expect at least someone contacting Tattenhall to say they would not be attending.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:37am

Sunday 21st October 2018

World Youth Chess

Ifan Rathbone-Jones in Halkidiki

The World Youth Chess Championships is underway in Halkidiki, Greece. Representing Wales are Hugo Fowler (U16) and Ifan Rathbone-Jones (U14), who plays for Buckley/Mold in the Chester & District Chess League and in the Wirral Chess League. In round 1 yesterday Ifan got an excellent win as black against a 2120 from FYR Macedonia! Today he has White against a 2170 AGM from India.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 7:20pm

Saturday 20th October 2018

Mike Evans Memorial

Mike Evans Memorial rapidplay at Wrexham on Sunday 25th November 2018. venue Wrexham Chess Club.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 1:01pm

Monday 15th October 2018


There were 141 players competing at this weekend's congress in sections for Open, U165, U135 & U105.

In the Open section of 23 players there were no Wirral based prize-winners with the best performance coming from Buckley/Mold's junior Ifan Rathbone-Jones scoring a superb 3pts (from 5)with his only two losses to joint winners Dietmar Kolbus (grade 222) and Jacob Boswell (178). Also on 3pts was Chester's Chris Doran.
The Major section was won by Crewe's Karl Lockett scoring a perfect 5/5. There was an 8-way pile-up for 2nd place including organiser Neville Layhe on 3.5 pts. Steve Lloyd, our website officer, picked up a grading prize for his 3 pts.
The Intermediate section was won by Joe Nemcek of Chester with 4.5 pts, while Wallasey's Alan Kelly won another of the grading prizes with his 3.5 pts. Also on this score were Crewe's David Price and Chester junior Jack Yang who had to endure a first round pairing against his dad, Jixin, thanks to the computer orientated pairings.
The Minor section was won by Crewe junior Harry Gardiner with another perfect 5, with Wallasey players Lewis Chatten on 4.5 pts collecting 2nd prize and Martin Cockerill 3rd prize with 4 pts. Another Crewe junior - Lukasz Michalek earned a grading prize with 3.5 pts.
Congratulations to all of the above.
Full results can be obtained from the service or via the Crewe Chess Club website

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:32pm

Monday 8th October 2018

Re-arranged match

Buckley/Mold3 vs. Pensby2 now 2.11.18 at Pensby. Pensby2 vs. Buckley/Mold4 now 28.11.18 at Mold.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 8:44am

Sunday 30th September 2018

Change of Venue

Tattenhall will travel to Buckley/Mold 4 on Wednesday 3.10.18
Buckley/Mold 3 will travel to Tattenhall for november fixture. colours will remain as if the fixtures were reversed.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 2:45pm

Wednesday 26th September 2018


With immediate effect the new venue is:
The Carden Arms, Church Rd, Tilston SY14 7HB

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:25am

Monday 17th September 2018

re-arranged fixture

Malpas vs. Penyfford will now be played on 20.11.18

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:50am

Friday 14th September 2018

change of venue

Chester C v Hoylake/Gt. Meols 1 now at town crier. 22.01.19

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:40am

Friday 14th September 2018

change of venue

Chester C v Hoylake/Gt.Meols now at Hoylake 23.04.19

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:38am

Friday 14th September 2018

change of venue

Wallasey 1 v Chester A 22.01.19 now being played at hoole

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:33am

Sunday 2nd September 2018

UK Open Blitz Championship - Sat 8th September.

Qualifier takes place in Bolton Ukrainian Social Club starting 11am.

The time control will be 3+2 (3 minutes per game, 2 second increment per move).

For more information

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 3:51pm

Monday 30th July 2018


The League Secretary has asked me to announce that fixtures have now been published and are accessible and that ECF grades for July 2018 have been issued.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:07am

Thursday 19th July 2018


rearranging fixtures

Please note that in all cases of postponements the controller must be informed and may judge if this is necessary. in the event of a postponement an alternative date must be agreed within a fortnight.


Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:04am

Wednesday 20th June 2018

International chess

Phil Crocker dabbles

"Chester Chess Club President Phil Crocker has a three page article published in the June 2018 edition of the magazine "Chess", entitled "Playing Jesus Down Under" with an annotated game from his play in the Begonia Open in Ballarat, near Melbourne in which, in the style of Capablanca-Marshall 1918, he meets and refutes an interesting unusual opening and later explained the strange logic behind the opening."
Incidentally I am working an article on the Capablanca-Marshall 1918 game, to mark its 100 anniversary, for a later edition of the magazine.
Charles Lowick Higgie

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 12:06pm

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Crewe Congress

Stories of the events

Suggestion for Wirral League website

Mike J Surtees (2110) excelled himself to win the Open Section of the Crewe Rapidplay tournament with a score of 5.5 out of 6 on Sunday May 20, making it a double triumph for him as he won the Open at Rhyl the previous weekend.

In second place was IM Lawrence Cooper (2279) with 5 out of 6 and in third was Jonathan LB Blackburn (2194) with 4.5 out of 6.

The grading prize was won by Chester player Colm Buckley, who edged out Nathanael Paul (Newport, Telford and Malpas) by virtue of having a lower grade. Both finished on 3.5/6

In the Major Oleg Cukovs (161) was first with 5.5/6 followed by John Hall (164) on 5/6 and Richard Szwajkun(146) on 4/6. The grading prize was won by Micheal Owen(128) with 3.5/6.

The intermediate was shared between David Pickup(128) and local boy Karl Lockett(123) with 5/6. Karl plays for Crewe in the Wirral League. In third place was Michael J Fisher(123) and Any Townsend(ungraded) with 4.5/6. The grading prize was won by Philip Shaugnessy(108) with 3/6.

The Minor was also shared between Nick D Holmes (100) and Simon Layhe (85) with 5/6. Simon plays for Crewe in The Wirral League. 3rd was Andrew Beswick (97) and Terry Sulivan (84) with 4.5/6. The grading prize was shared between Richard Bohm and Stuart Hamilton who both had the same grade (77). Stuart last season played for Rhyl in the Chester League and Malpas in the Wirral League.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:44am

Monday 21st May 2018

Rhyll Congress

Wirral league stars

News for Wirral League website.
The Rhyl Chess Congress was played over 5 rounds, May 11-13. There were upsets in the Open where top seed, Oliver A Jackson, a FIDE Master and, at 203 the only player rated over 200, scored only 2.5 out of 5. He unexpectedly lost to Barry Hymer (168) in round 2 and then drew with Mike J Surtees (197) in round 4 and lost to local boy David Jameson (183) from Penyffordd in the last round. Surtees won the tournament with 4.5 out of 5 and Jameson was second with 4 out of 5. Equal third were Hymer and John S Shakespeare (176). A special mention to 13 year old Ifan Rathbone-Jones from Buckley/Mold (153) who beat Tim Hilton (173) in round 2 and ended on 2 out of 5. 11 players contested the Open.
32 players contested the Major (160 and under). First prize was shared between a Colwyn Bay player, Mark A Bastow(158) with Michael I Connor (145) from Great Lever with 4 out of 5. 3-5 places were shared between Ray Williams (140) Chester, Anton Petkov (146) Bangor and Stephen Williams (143) Cwmbrian).
36 players contested the Minor (125 and under). There was a triple tie for first place with Robert Owens (103) Woodvale, Jack Yang (124) Chester and Les Philpin (113) all finishing on 4 out of 5.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:33am

Wednesday 2nd May 2018


Hoylake completed "the double" last night after beating Chester in the Knock-out final.

Hoylake managed to win this Heavy-weight (in terms of grades of course ! ) battle to win the Cup for the first time in a few years, to add to their first division league title. The Cup draw fell correctly to allow the top two teams to emerge as finalists. This was truly a heavy-weight contest with Chester average grade of 188 being outdone by Hoylake's team average of 176.

Congratulations to Mike Stone and his squad at Hoylake/Great Meols.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:03pm

Tuesday 1st May 2018


Congratulations to Atticus on winning the 2nd division.

Atticus secured their first Wirral League title last night with a comfortable win over Wallasey 5. Their strength particularly on top boards has paved the way to promotion. Well done to Steve Philp and his squad.

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:16pm

Sunday 22nd April 2018

A View From Malpas

A Brave fight from Malpas but Chester are too strong

Nick Arkell, brother of chess Grandmaster Keith Arkell made a guest appearance on Board 1 for Malpas & Oswestry in the Wirral League Cup semi-final against Chester at the Old School Tea Rooms, Malpas by kind permission of Gemma Charlotte Moon and Gareth Moon on Wednesday April 18. The Malpas & Oswestry team also included guest appearances by two other players from the Newport Shropshire team, Nathanael Paul on 5 and Chris Lewis on 6, as well as four of their regular players. The Chester team was made up of the best players from the four sides Chester run in Division 1 of the Wirral League - John Carleton and David Robertson from Chester A, Phil Crocker and Ian McLean from Chester B Mike McDonagh and Colm BuckleyBuckley from Chester C and Daniel Savidgege from Chester D.
Chester out-graded Malpas & Oswestry on all board except the bottom board, and Dave Bennion's win over Ian McLean gave the home team an early lead. Their joy was short-lived as captain Charles Lowick Higgie lost on time on board 2 and Chris Lewis did the same on 6. Nat Paul then lost on 5. Brian Whyte pulled one back for the home side with a win over Danny Savidge on 3, but Richard Bryant lost on 4, then finally on 1 John Carleton managed to squeeze a win out of what had looked a very drawish opposite coloured bishop ending, to give Chester a 5-2 win.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 7:23pm

Wednesday 18th April 2018


Message from Graham Heath today:

Due to bereavement issues the above game has been rescheduled for Thursday 26th April to be played at Wallasey Chess Club.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:06am

Monday 9th April 2018

Crunch time!

The cup semi-finals are approaching fast. On Wednesday April 18 Malaps & Oswestry host Chester. Chester have the best from four Division 1 teams to pick from. However Malpas & Oswestry tend to get players from Newport in Shropshire to help them in cup matches, so the result is not a foregone conclusion. Currently there is no rule preventing such actions. The other semi-final takes place a week later, when Buckley/Mold entertain Holylake/Great Meols. Holylake/Great Meols have already won the league and have three of their players at the top of the Division 1 "Player of the season" lists, but Buckley/Mold 1 currently are in top position in Division 2 and still start with a handicap advantage."

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:45am

Monday 9th April 2018

Wirral Champion of Wales

Dave Jameson of Penyfford is joint champion of Wales

A Wirral Chess League player is now Joint Welsh Champion. David Jameson who pays for Colwyn Bay in the Chester League and Pen-y-fford in the Wirral League contested the 2017/18 Welsh Championship held in Cardiff over Easter weekend, there was a three way tie for 1st place between Gerry Heap, David Jameson and Sven Zeidler. The Championship has no play-off or tie break so they all share the title. David did have the best tie break however.
See tnr343228.aspx?lan=1&art=4.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:07am

Thursday 5th April 2018


Congratulations to Buckley/Mold 3 on winning division 4 with a game to spare.

Following last night's defeat of Tattenhall at the hands of Chester K, B/M 3 are assured of the title. This continues the North Wales club's fabulous season hot on the heels of their 2nd team winning division 3 recently. There is every chance of a rare hat-trick if the 1st team can hold onto their position at the top of division 2, although Atticus and Crewe may put a spanner in the works.
The club has also reached the semi-final of the knockout where they face a tough match against division 1 champions elect Hoylake, with a 2.5 pts handicap to make things interesting.

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:59pm

Thursday 5th April 2018


1. 06/11/17 Div 2: Wallasey 5 vs Atticus - postponement requested by Atticus.


Posted by: David Hulme at 5:59pm

Monday 2nd April 2018


Congratulations to Buckley/Mold 2 becoming champions with 2 games to spare.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 5:26pm

Thursday 15th March 2018

Hoylake Champions

Hoylake became champions following Chester B defaulting their match

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 7:07pm

Thursday 8th March 2018


I just thought it would be good to point out the outstanding season Buckley/Mold are having so far. Their 3 top teams are heading their respective divisions with a combined record of Pld 16 Won 13 Drawn 2 Lost 1.

Of course we are approaching that time of year, "Squeaky Bum Time" and it will be interesting to see how the land lies when all the matches are completed in a season that looks to be going on a little longer than normal.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:35pm

Thursday 8th February 2018

CSC Teacher Training

Chess in schools is holding a teacher training course at out Lady of Pity school

Chess in schools is holding a teacher training course at out Lady of Pity school, Greasby on 28.03.2018. Please contact for further information if you are interested in attending.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:52am

Tuesday 9th January 2018

rearranged match

Chester E vs. Wallasey 4 to be played at Wallasey on march 12th

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 4:58pm

Monday 1st January 2018


Message received from League secretary - see below.

Dear Members,

It is my sad duty to confirm that Rhyl & Prestatyn have now withdrawn from the 4th Division of the WCL with immediate effect. Their 2018 fixtures have now been expunged from the record and all hitherto results are now deemed null and void.

I wish to say that if any clubs have specific issues about player eligibility or other concerns they alert the League controller at the earliest opportunity. League officers are available to provide assistance and arbitrate in the event of real or perceived disputes. This process will help us to proceed in an orderly manner.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Graham Heath

Hon. Secretary, WCL

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:25pm

Friday 15th December 2017



i am strongly encouraging teams to re-arrange their postponed matches as soon as possible. it appears that most of these matches are because some teams are unable to field their strongest team. this should not be a reason to postpone, in my opinion. there are not that many matches to play in any event.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:04am

Thursday 14th December 2017


Pensby 2 vs. Buckley/Mold 2 postponed at Buckley/Mold request. new date TBA.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 6:40pm

Wednesday 13th December 2017


Pensby 2 vs. Buckley/Mold 2 postponed. new date to be arranged.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:11am

Saturday 9th December 2017


Wallasey 2 vs. Chester A match postponed at chester's request. new date tba.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:11pm

Thursday 7th December 2017


Wallasey 6 vs. Hoylake 3 postponed at Hoylake's request new date tba.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 4:51pm

Wednesday 8th November 2017


Hoylake 2 vs. Pensby 1 match postponed at Hoylake's request. new date TBA.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 7:51pm

Monday 6th November 2017

6.11.17 wallasey 5 vs. atticus postponement

atticus requested postponment new date tba

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 11:19pm

Sunday 15th October 2017


The Crewe Congress attracted 110 players over this weekend.

Amongst the prize winners were:

1. Ifan Rathbone-Jones of Buckley/Mold - joint 2nd in the Major (U165)
2. Steve Lloyd of Chester - Grading prize winner (Major)
3. Chris Rhodes of Crewe - joint winner of Intermediate (U135)
4. Brian Crompton of Pensby - grading prize winner (Inter)
5. Alan Kelly of Wallasey - joint 3rd in the Minor (U105)

Well done to all of these.

Full details of Results can be found from Crewe CC's Website News

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:35pm

Wednesday 11th October 2017


Report from Charles Higgie as follows:

Grandmaster Danny Gormally, the recently crowned English rapid Play Champion visited Malpas and played an exhibition match against 14 opponents simultaneously, from Cheshire, Shropshire and North East Wales at the Jubilee Hall, Malpas, on Sunday October 8. Amongst the players he played were James Lee and Ray Williams from Chester, Pat Ridley and Mark Cromwell from Frodsham, Brian Whyte and Richard Bryant from Oswestry, Peter Lovatt from Malpas, and Steve Rush from Rhyl, who hosted Danny. He beat 13 of his opponents, and drew one, to Charles Lowick Higgie, after which Danny entertained some of his opponents with interesting anecdotes about his life as a Grandmaster at The Old School Tea Rooms café.

For further details visit

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:31pm

Monday 25th September 2017


We have received the sad news from Richard Owens of Buckley/Mold CC that Dave passed away on Monday.

The funeral is on 6th October at Chester Crematorium at 12 Noon.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:19pm

Tuesday 19th September 2017



Top English Grandmaster, Danny Gormally has offered to visit Malpas and play a simultaneous game against all-comers in Malpas on Sunday October 8, 11am start.

The cost is £20 for adults, £10 for juniors (under 18 and full time students studying for first degree, if they have proof).

The intention is to use the Jubilee Hall for playing and Gemma Charlotte Moon's The Old School Tea Rooms for refeshments, analysis etc.

Daniel W. Gormally (born 4 May 1976) is an English chess Grandmaster. His peak rating is 2573, achieved in the January 2006 rating list.
He shared first place at the Politiken Cup in 1998 and in 2003, won the Challengers tournament of the 78th Hastings International Chess Congress.
In 2015 he tied for the second place with David Howell and Nicholas Pert in the 102nd British Championship and eventually finished fourth on tiebreak. Also in 2015, he appeared as a contestant in three episodes of the television quiz Fifteen To One and in one episode of The Chase.
Gormally played for the English national team in the 2005 European Team Chess Championship and 2006 Chess Olympiad.

Anyone wanting to play should contact Charles Lowick Higgie at 1 Well Farm Close, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8QW
Telephone: 01948 860083, Mobile: 07981074373, E-MAIL:

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:47pm

Sunday 10th September 2017


Welcome to the new season . The Handbooks containing all of the fixtures and directory information have now been posted.

Your respective club secretaries will receive them imminently.

The major changes are,

Atticus have a new venue and match night.

Tattenhall have a new venue.

Rhyl & Prestatyn will apparently be playing their Home fixtures in Chester, { as do Crewe. }

Please refer to your handbooks for precise details.

Would club captains please try to complete their fixtures on the scheduled dates. This will avoid fixture congestion later.

Thank you and enjoy the upcoming season.

Graham Heath,

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:37pm

Monday 14th August 2017


1. September 16-17: Staffordshire Congress at Leek - contact Matthew Carr

2. September 23-24: English Rapid-play at Liverpool - see news item below

3. October 13-15 Crewe Chess Congress - contact Nevile Layhe - or see Crewe CC website.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:05pm

Monday 14th August 2017

2016/17 Fixtures now available.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:03pm

Saturday 22nd July 2017

New Website Address

Please note the website address will switch to

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 3:59pm

Tuesday 18th July 2017

English Rapidplay Championships Comes to Liverpool

The 2017 English Rapidplay comes to the Cunard Building, Liverpool on 23rd and 24th of September.

This is a nine round swiss tournament with civilised starting times of 11:30 am, making it relatively painless getting to the venue on time, even on public transport!

There are four sections (open, u180, u150, u120). Top Prize £1500 in the Open, £550 in the Major, £500 in the Intermediate and Standard.

Further info visit

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:52pm

Friday 30th June 2017

Wallasey Chester challenge

Chester overcame Wallasey last night in the 8th annual challenge match to win the D & A trophy, 13 -

Once again Wallasey and Chester battled for the D & A trophy which has now been in place for 8 years. Every year a selected group of players from each club of comparable grade compete at alternate club venues. this year Wallasey were the hosts, and the match consisted of 24 boards. the grades ranged from 181 for Chester to 16, whereas Wallasey grades ranged from 166 to 59. Wallasey got off to a good start winning 3 games early on, but a surprise wins for M.Kustos (31) against D.Tomlinson (70), and M.Kitis (18) against T.Amos (67) gave warning signs that anything could happen. As the night wore on further surprise were in evidence, slightly favouring Chester. Solid wins from the A.Harkanyi, and M.Cockerill for Wallasey restored the status quo, but this was a brief respite as Chester fought back to edge ahead with wins for G.Bromley, P.R.Watson, Jixin Yang and S.Collinson. C.Rees for Wallasey took the points in his game against J.Nemcek, against the grades, and equally against the grades draws in C.Latham v D.Stuttard, L.Wolszczak v K.Emerton, G.Sommerville v J.Lee, and G.Harkanyi showed that the match would go to the wire. D.Savidge (181) claimed victory for Chester against M.Coffey (166) as expected, but draws in S.Lee v C.Doran, and K.Jones v S.Lloyd, pegged Chester back... a bit! with 3 games left to finish the score emerged 12 - 9 to Chester. Wallasey were up in 2, but close to defeat in the 3rd. the dust settled, and after a closely fought match, played in excellent sprit Chester emerged victorious. Never fear, we will be back next year.. for the game!

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:59am

Thursday 1st June 2017


Venue: Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ.
Start time: 8pm

The AGM is being held at the same venue as recent years.

(The venue may also be known as The Port Sunlight Mens Club or Lyceum Complex).

The Agenda will be issued in due course.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:26pm

Thursday 18th May 2017


This will be on Friday 26th May at 12 noon at the Holy Ascension Church,Church Lane,Upton,Chester.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:59am

Saturday 29th April 2017


The following message was received from Graham Bromley (chairman of Chester CC) yesterday.

I received the sad news earlier today that Geoff Townsend
had died suddenly at home this week: he was 89 years old.
This came as a great shock to me, as I was helping him put
a team together earlier this week for his team's match at Mold
on Wednesday.

Geoff was a loyal and hard-working member of Chester
Chess Club and it says a lot about him that, at such a great
age, he was still captaining his team and driving his team
members to matches.

Geoff had been member of the chess club since the 1970's
and had been Club President for ten years from 1992 to 2002.
He also coached children at one of the local schools and some
of them are now playing for Chester. It was fitting that one of
these children was playing in the match at Mold - a match for
which he didn't arrive.

But more than this, Geoff was a very caring person. Only
very recently, he took it upon himself to try and contact a
club member who had apparently disappeared in mysterious circumstances; at first phoning him, then driving to his house
some miles distant, and finally informing the police that he
was missing.

For many of us at the chess club and beyond who knew him,
Geoff's passing will be received with great sadness, and the
club will not be quite the same place without him.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:57am

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Chester F capture Division 3 Title.

After a tense season and with just one fixture remaining, Chester F squeezed ahead of the pack.

The runners-up spot has yet to be decided but with only a few weeks to go there were 5 teams in with a realistic chance of the Division 3 crown. Congratulations to Chester F. Player of the Year information will follow.

Posted by: John Carleton at 7:47pm

Thursday 13th April 2017

Divions 3 & 4 The fat lady prepares to sing

Recent results, Div 3: B/M 4, 3.5-1.5 v Frodsham, 12/04/17

Div 4, Chester L, 2-2 v B/M 5 7/04/17

Div 4 Cont.: Chester J, 2-2 v Rhyl & Prestatyn, 07/04/17

Those 3 recent results, which will follow in the usual way once the player data-base has been up-dated, have [a] left Division 3 tantalisingly placed with just 2 matches to be played and [b] mean that Chester J cannot be overhauled at the top of division 4. Congratulations to Chester J on winning Division 4. Division 3 has been competitive from the start but has settled to a tense finish with an excellent awareness of necessity to fulfill fixtures in a timely fashion. Pensby 2 have set a stiff target which Chester F could beat with victory in their last fixture against Wallasey 6 who themselves, with victory, would be squeezed out of the champion's spot on game points scored. Technically Chester G could also win the title if they win by a big score in their final game and Chester F do not win their match.
In Division 4 there are many fixtures outstanding and defaults may be anticipated.The player of the year sees contenders from several teams in each division and only the completion of the season will clarify the situation.

Posted by: John Carleton at 8:53pm

Sunday 2nd April 2017


I have been asked to post a further sad news item as Jim Hanson, the president of Buckley/Mold Chess Club and previous president of the Chester and District League has unfortunately died yesterday. (original post 30/03/2017).

Update 02/04/2017:
Jim's funeral is at 10.45am on Tuesday 11th April,at St Mary's Parish Church in Mold, followed by a cremation at Wrexham Crematorium at Pentrebychan, LL14 3EP, at mid-day. There will be a gathering afterwards at the Plas Hafod Hotel, Gwernymynydd, near Mold, CH7 5JS from 1.00pm.

Posted by: David Hulme at 7:25pm

Thursday 30th March 2017


Hoylake are Champions of division 1 after drawing with Penyffordd last night. Congratulations!

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 9:52am

Thursday 23rd March 2017

KO Final

KO Final will be Penyffordd or Atticus home against Chester KO

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 4:55pm

Monday 20th March 2017


Message received from Quentin Dodd to say Bill sadly died this morning. He was a member of both Buckley/Mold and Wrexham chess clubs and also served as the President of the Chester and District League from 2001 to 2004.

The funeral will take place at Wrexham/Pentrebychan Crematorium, Pentre-Bychan Road, Rhostyllen, Wrexham, LL14 4EP on Friday 31st March at 11.30am.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:03am

Wednesday 15th March 2017

The season so far

Hoylake 1 have taken a big step towards the 1st division title beating Chester's Junior D team last night. Only defending champions Penyffordd stand in their way as all other teams have colluded to drop points against each other. The title defining match between Penyffordd and Hoylake is scheduled for 29th March. Surprise package of the season is Wallasey 2 currently sitting in 3rd place in the table having outperformed a number of higher graded teams. At the deep end my own team Crewe look almost certain to be relegated.

Division 2 has developed into a shoot out between the top two - Hoylake 2 and Malpas with their big match scheduled for 28th March. Can Hoylake make it a club double against the formidable Malpas team. The bottom of the table sees Hoylake 3 struggling to make an impression after their voluntary promotion last season. They need at least one win in their remaining matches to have any chance of catching Wallasey 5.

Division 3 shows Pensby 2 currently top, but Chester G have two games in hand to make them favourites to take this title. However any of the top six could emerge as champions with so many games to be played and only 1.5 points separating all of these six teams.

Division 4 is more difficult to assess with Chester's J & K teams currently leading the way. Rhyl and Prestatyn have enough games in hand to overhaul the leaders and even Pensby 3 who sit in 8th place could climb to the top if they win all their remaining games.

The most pleasing aspect of this season for me is to see Buckley/Mold's commitment in running six teams in the league with an increased number of juniors playing in the 4th division. This has helped the trend of growing the League with 38 teams now taking part, compared to 26 just four years ago.

Last night saw the first Cup semi-final take place with Chester just overcoming Malpas by the narrowest margin, with the 2nd division team receiving a 2.5 pts handicap. The other semi will see Penyffordd play 2nd division Atticus.

Turning attention to the individual divisional awards for player of the year sees Chester B's Phil Crocker leading the way with a perfect score of 6/6 but only has 1 match left. Although other players can match this score Phil's 100% record would beat a lower percentage player with the same points. However lurking down the list is Penyffordd's Richard Burton also with 100% from 4 games and still has 4 matches to play so may emerge as the clear winner.

The Div 2 POY shows Charles Higgie leading the way with 6/7, but there is a glitch in the computer records as Hoylake's Mike Stoddart has scored 6.5/7 so far, due to an omission of his result in the original input of the match vs Wallasey 5. Hopefully our resident computer expert (Steve Lloyd) can fix this.

The Div 3 POY is currently headed by two juniors from Buckley/Mold with Sithika Medagedara on 4.5/6 and The Welsh U13 Junior Champion Ifan Rathbone-Jones on 4/4. Ifan's team have 3 matches to go while Sithika's have 2, so that makes Ifan the slight favourite to pick up the Div 3 award.

Division 4 POY sees 8 juniors in the top 10 currently, with Chester's Rutujay Chawda heading the list with 6/7 and Nethuli Saram in hot pursuit on 5.5/7. These two have a good lead but with so many matches left to play it could be a case of all change at the top.

Good luck to all players and teams for the rest of the season.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:07pm

Sunday 29th January 2017


Frodsham Congress is next weekend. Round 1 starts at 7pm on Friday 3rd Feb. See News for more.

Copied from Chester & District Website News:

The 14th Frodsham Weekend Congress will be held on 3rd-5th February, as usual at Frodsham Community Centre.

Sections: Under 120, Under 160, Open (FIDE Rated)
Fischer time controls
Part of the ECF Grand Prix
Chess Essentials bookshop
Parallel Go tournament on the Saturday with special arrangements for players in both.
Ample free parking
Refreshments available (limited on Friday evening)
Easy access from the M56.

The entry form is available from the ECF Calendar at and the congress website at

Entries can be sent by post, emailed to or by telephone, 01928 719787 or 07816 200512.

A list of entrants so far can be viewed at

Posted by: Pat Ridley at 12:59pm

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:09pm

Thursday 15th December 2016


Penyffordd vs Atticus
Malpas & Oswestry or Hoylake/Great Meols vs Chester A

Please would captains arrange dates and advise Leon Wolszczak in advance.

It is noted the remaining quarter-final between Malpas and Hoylake is scheduled for 31st January.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:52am

Sunday 27th November 2016

Divisions 3 and 4 Results

Many thanks to captains for their prompt reporting of results. Apologies for the delays in reporting

There have been only 2 postponements in the two lower divisions so far as I am aware, and 1 of those has been rearranged and played already I apologise for the problems in getting up to date results on to the website. I am having difficulties adding new players to the data-base [ this is almost certainly due to my incompetence but the matter is being addressed]. There follows a list of results not included to date:
2/11/16 Buckley//Mold 6 :3 Malpas and Oswestry 2: 1
18/11/16 Pensby 3 v Buckley/Mold; I have no information on this fixture
21/11/16 Wallasey 6 v Buckley/Mold 3 postponed at the request of Buckley/Mold
22/11/16 Chester H : 1.5 v Chester L: 2.5
22/11/16 Malpas and Oswestry 2: 1.5 v Buckley/ Mold 5: 2.5

in addition there are a couple of provisional results which do not figure in the tables and the statistics for the same reason. Please keep up your flow of information and please bear with me.

Posted by: John Carleton at 6:57pm

Sunday 16th October 2016


This weekend's Crewe Congress attracted 100 players with 27 of them representing various WCL clubs.

Brian Crompton of Pensby CC won 1st prize in the Minor section (U105), with Martin Cockerill of Wallasey taking a share of 2nd place.

In the Intermediate section (U135) Joe Nemcek of Chester finished joint 3rd along with Crewe's David Price.

In the Major (U165) John Gorman (Penyffordd) and Hoylake's Tom Carroll finished with a share of 2nd place.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:53pm

Tuesday 9th August 2016


DATE: 14-16 OCTOBER 2016
VENUE: IBIS HOTEL, Emperor Way, Crewe Business Park CW1 6BD.

For more details and entry form please see the link to Crewe Chess Club

Congress administrator: Neville Layhe (

Posted by: David Hulme at 7:27pm

Sunday 7th August 2016

Opening Fixtures Posted

First wave of fixtures added. Please bear with me while I add the rest.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 5:20pm

Thursday 14th July 2016

Wirral League AGM - Agenda

  1. Apologies

  2. Minutes

  3. Matters Arising

  4. Treasurer's Report

  5. Tournament Controller's Report

  6. Secretary's Report

  7. Junior Report

  8. Tattenhall Chess Club - Application for entry

  9. Format of the League

  10. Setting of League Fees

  11. Election of Officers

  12. Proposals:
    1. Motion from Crewe Chess Club (for Division 4 - Rule 17)
      "The maximum grade for any player may not exceed 100. The July/August ECF (or WCU equivalent) grade issued before the season commences shall be used for the entire season. Any player whose grade does not exceed 100 may play in Division 4, irrespective of playing on board 1 and 2 in higher Divisions. Ungraded players will be subject by the Controller to ECF or WCU archive research to establish any previous grade. The Controller may, if required, estimate a temporary and appropriate grade for the season."

    2. Motion from Crewe Chess Club
      "If a mobile phone makes a sound during a game, the player whose phone has made the sound will be given a warning and asked to silence his phone. If the player's phone were to make a sound for a second time during the same game then the opponent may claim the game by forfeit if he wishes to do so"

  13. Presentation of Trophies

  14. Draw for the Knock Out

  15. Any Other Business

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 9:15pm

Thursday 30th June 2016


Wallasey beat Chester on Tuesday by narrow score of 11.5 - 9.5 (21 boards) in the 8th Annual match.

Wallasey held their nerve to complete a narrow victory at the Town Crier as the match was only decided on the final board. An early landslide in Wallasey's favour with a 5 point lead looked like it would be a formality. However three of Chester's juniors (comprising 9 of the 21 team) fought back to pick up unlikely wins as Wallasey outgraded Chester by approx 250 grading points.
Congratulations to Wallasey, who lead the series by 5 matches to 2 with 1 draw as both clubs look forward to the 2017 challenge at Wallasey which is usually played over approx 30 boards.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:45pm

Sunday 5th June 2016


Venue: Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ.
Start time: 8pm

The AGM is being held at the same venue as recent years.
(The venue may also be known as The Port Sunlight Mens Club or Lyceum Complex).

The Agenda will be issued in due course.

Please make sure your club is represented.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:05am

Monday 30th May 2016

Second Merseyside Junior Chess Tournament

At St Georges Hall Liverpool 27th June 2016

Second Merseyside Junior Chess Tournament
At St Georges Hall Liverpool 27th June
The second Merseyside junior chess tournament takes place at St Georges Hall on June 27th.
The event is open to all primary schools on Merseyside.
For further information please contact Bob Clark (

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:57pm

Tuesday 10th May 2016

Divisions 3 & 4 Players of the Year Decided

Despite there being two fixtures still remaining in Division 4, the Players of the Year are settled

Division 3 sees a tie between Quentin Dodd of Buckley/Mold 2 and Angus Weir of Frodsham who each dropped just half a point in 6 games. Congratulations to both players and commiserations to Bahtki Vasiev of Hoylake/ Gt. Meols 3 who scored a fine 5/5.
100% scores featured at the top of the Division 4 Player table, with Nigel Hughes of new champions Rhyl and Prestatyn scoring 7/7 but just failing to match Pensby 3 captain Bennett Appleyard who scored 8/8. Congratulations to Bennett. The top 7 places in the player chart were filled by players from the top 3 teams who broke away from the pack, namely Rhyl and Prestatyn, Pensby 3 and Malpass Chess Mates.

Posted by: John Carleton at 4:32pm

Thursday 5th May 2016

Buckley/Mold 2 win Division 3 decider

The showdown Buckley/Mold 2 v Hoylake/Gt. Meols went the way of the home side.Detail to follow

Posted by: John Carleton at 11:09am

Wednesday 4th May 2016


Venue: Town Hall, North Wales Inn, 27 Wellington Rd, Rhyl, Denbighshire LL18 1BA

Contact: Mr S Hamilton Email: Tel: 07444355871
The 50th Jubilee year of the Rhyl Chess Congress. Entry fee remains at £26 for Platinum, Gold and Silver ECF members. For any player who is a member of a national federation, the standard fee is applicable. Bronze or unregistered players please add an extra £6 for grading fees. There is an increase in the prize fund from the reserve.
The format is a Swiss style 5 round event – 2 hours to complete the game – 3 sections – Open for all – Major players below 170 and a Minor players below 125. All games subject to ECF grading – The Arbiters decision is final. Entry forms can be requested

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:37pm

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Division 3 Title Decider on May 4th

The final game of Divsion 3 is on Wednesday May 4th and features that league's 100% scorers.

Buckley/Mold 2 entertain Hoylake/Great Meols 3 and will take the title in the event of a draw because of their superior game points total.The world awaits!

Posted by: John Carleton at 11:08am

Thursday 21st April 2016

Rhyl and Prestatyn are Division 4 Champions

Following their victory over Chester J on Tuesday Rhyl and Prestatyn can no longer be overtaken. Con

Posted by: John Carleton at 9:08pm

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Pen-y-fford Champions

Pen-y-fford Champions after Chester B default 5 - 0

Chester B defaulted their last game of the season against Pen-y-fford as they were unable to raise a full team apparently due to work commitments. As Pen-y-fford have a vastly greater points difference than any other team this makes them Champions. A somewhat disappointing end to the season, as this was the only default in this division, although congratulations to Pen-y-fford for a strong campaign.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 1:26pm

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Player of the year.

Dave Jameson of Penyfford wins player of the year for division 1 after achieving the immaculate score of 8 from 8.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 12:38pm

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Crewe win title

Crewe win 2nd division title after overcoming pensby

Congratulations to crewe who have won the 2nd division title after beating Pensby 3 - 2. their points difference means they cannot be overtaken.

Posted by: Leon Wolszczak at 10:10am

Saturday 9th April 2016

Chester A Out Of Title Race

Defending champions Chester A are effectively out of the title race after being held by Wallasey 1.

Meanwhile, any kind of win for Penyffordd on Wednesday will see them go top on game difference.

Chester A can still have an influential on who ultimately wins the division. By taking points off Hoylake, they can help set up a winner takes all match between Chester B and Penyffordd.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 4:54pm

Thursday 24th March 2016


With the Easter break upon us, David Hulme offers his assessment of the season so far.

Starting with Division 1, the headline news is that Chester "A" suffered their first defeat (in 38 matches since joining the league) at the hands of Penyffordd in a comprehensive score line of 4.5-0.5 delivering a major blow to Chester A's chances of a 5th successive title. In my previous report I mentioned it looked like a 4-horse race with Chester A as favourites, but the tide has turned with them in 4th position now. Assuming Chester A (which is no certainty) and Penyffordd win their game in hand on the top two, we could enter the final round of games with the top four teams all on 5.5 pts approaching their final matches, when current league leaders Hoylake 1 entertain Chester A and Penyffordd host Chester B (currently 2nd in table). As Penyffordd have a superior game point difference this makes them my favourites to win the title but any of the four involved could easily become champions depending on results in the final round.
Looking at the bottom end of table, Wallasey 1 have lifted themselves off bottom spot following the recent draw with league leaders Hoylake 1. Chester's junior D team has been cut adrift by 1/2 point and will need at least a draw in their final match against Wallasey 1 to have any chance of survival, which could shove Wallasey 3 into the drop zone. As Wallasey 3 have only one match remaining against title chasing Penyffordd it is hard to see them picking up any more points, so are dependant on their brothers in Wallasey 1 to keep them safe from the drop zone.
Looking at the POY table shows Dave Jameson is showing everyone a clean pair of heels with a perfect 6/6 to date and is unlikely to be overtaken.
Turning next to Div 2, I have to declare my bias here as the captain of Crewe. We head into a potential promotion decider next week when we visit Malpas. Charles Higgie's team continue to have a fantastic season as they remain unbeaten in both this league and the local Chester & District League. A win for Malpas will guarantee them top spot, while a draw or a loss to Crewe could open the door to my team or the chasing teams of Atticus (who still have to play Malpas) and Hoylake 2. At the bottom end of Div 2 Chester F look almost doomed unless they can beat closest rivals Wallasey 5 by a big margin before their final match vs Buckley/Mold 1. The POY award here seems to be between David Clark of Pensby and Malpas's Charles Higgie.
The division 3 title should be decided when the top two go head to head. The match between Buckley Mold 2 (4/4) and Hoylake 3 (5/5) has been postponed with the winner being almost certain of becoming champions. A drawn match would leave it too close to call with board points coming into the equation. It is great to see the POY top positions being held by players not involved in the promotion battle, with Wallasey 6's John Broomhall leading from Frodsham's Angus Weir, and Hoylake's Bahkti Vasiev very much in contention with his 100% record.
Division 4 shows Rhyl & Prestatyn in the lead with 5.5/7, while Malpas Chess Mates are on 5.5/8 (not yet showing a recent win in the table). It is most pleasing to see the expansion of this division which bodes well for introducing players to competitive chess. The POY chart shows both Bennett Appleyard (Pensby 3) and Nigel Hughes (Rhyl & P) on 5/5, making Bennett slight favourite with more games to play, while Phil Skippon has an impressive 5/7.
The first knock out finalist has been determined as Atticus, who beat Buckley/Mold on board count in their semi-final, to make it to a 2nd successive final, where they await the winners of the Pensby vs Chester 1 match.
Good luck to all players and teams for the remainder of the season

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:07pm

Wednesday 24th February 2016

Hoylake March Forward

Hoylake 1 beat Chester C to go top, whilst defending champions Chester A are stunned by Penyffordd.

Hoylake 1 are the new leaders of division 1 following a narrow 3-2 victory away against Chester C.

The visitors arrived with two regulars missing, and found themselves behind early on. The first game to end was between Mike McDonagh and new recruit Nick Martin on board three. Then Keith Emerton drew with Mike Stoddart, after the latter's promising looking kingside attack fizzled out into nothing. Soon, Chester C were in the lead when captain Steve Lloyd defeated up and coming junior Tom Carroll. However, Hoylake were stronger on the top boards. First, Dave Tebb defeated Jeff Smith and eventually Colm Buckley succumbed to defeat against Mike Stone.

Meanwhile, over at Hoole Community Centre, a strong Penyffordd took on a weakened Chester A, and came away with 4 victories and 1 draw. This puts them 1½ points behind leaders Hoylake, with a game in hand.

The battle for division one should be a close one. Chester A and Hoylake have potentially tricky ties against Wallasey 1, then must face each other. Chester B and Penyffordd have winnable games against Wallasey 3, then must face each other. Penyffordd's game in a hand is at home to the junior team Chester D, who have yet to win a game.

At the bottom end, all five remaining teams are in danger of going down. At the bottom, Wallasey 1 at full strength would be a match against most teams, but could find themselves having to defeat Chester juniors in the final week.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 7:13pm

Sunday 21st February 2016


Although I've never been a Man Utd fan, one can only be impressed by Alex Fergusons's saying !

With just over two months of the season remaining division one favourites Chester A sit top of the pile again. However some big obstacles remain in their way of a 5th consecutive title, as contenders Penyffordd and Hoylake 1 have yet to play against them. As well as these three teams, Chester B could benefit from any failings of the champions as the title looks to be a 4-horse race.
At the bottom end of division 1 we surprisingly find Wallasey 1 currently occupying bottom slot, albeit on the slenderist of game point differences from Chester D (the junior team promoted from div 2 last season). It is noted that Wallasey 1 have been without services of their top two players for nearly all this season but the return of Phil Davies could be the spur to save them slipping into Div 2. Wallasey 1 have only 3 matches to go (vs Chester A, Hoylake 1 and the mouth-watering clash with Chester D) to save themselves. Any positive result or a draw with Chester D could drag Wallasey 3 into the relegation mire, while Wallasey 2 have a potentially crucial clash with Chester D later this week.
Division 2 has runaway leaders Malpas & Whitchurch enjoying a fantastic season. They are currently unbeaten in both this league and the local Chester & District League so are potentially looking at a double promotion bid. They have strengthened their squad signifcantly this season and are strong favourites for promotion. With just two matches remaining they face contenders Crewe & Atticus in these matches. The other potential promotion contender is Hoylake 2 who have only dropped 1.5 pts so far. At the other end of the table Chester F sit in the trap door currently, but have a chance to escape in a relegation "6-pointer ? " against Wallasey 5 in their penultimate match.
Division 3 sees two of last season's top three fighting it out with 100% records each after four matches and the potential decider is on 23rd March when Buckley/Mold 2 entertain Hoylake 2, with outsiders Chester H also in the mix as they have to play both of the top two.
Division 4 sees the re-emergence of Rhyl & Prestatyn as leaders with 5.5/7. The chasing pack of Malpas Chess Mates and Chester L probably have too much ground to make up, while Pensby 3 may be the stiffest contender having dropped the same number of points as the leaders but played a couple of games less.
The league should be proud to boast the increased number of teams currently competing, having grown from 26 teams in 2012/13 to 37 this season.
The knockout competition has seen reigning cup holders-Wallasey eliminated together with all division one teams except Chester. The semi-finals will be Pensby vs Chester (where last season saw Pensby knockout Chester) and the all division two clash of Buckley/Mold vs Atticus (last season's beaten finalist).
Good luck to all players and teams for the remainder of this season.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:44pm

Monday 4th January 2016

Grading For Wirral League Matches

I will be submitting the results so far to ECF in the next few days.

Information will be extracted from the database that runs this website. Therefore please make sure ALL information is correct, including results and spellings of names.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:41pm

Wednesday 9th December 2015


Please send all queries,information, results, etc. regarding the K.O. to Leon Wolszczak.

This is to remedy the omission at the A.G.M. where the post of competitions controller was split and no arrangement was made to cover the K.O. Results may of course be entered directly on to the site in the normal way.

Posted by: John Carleton at 3:45pm

Tuesday 1st December 2015

Change of Fixtures

Please note the following fixture changes scheduled for the Hoole Centre involving Chester A and F

The following fixtures will take place, still in the Hoole Community Centre, but on the Tuesday of the originally scheduled week:

Now on Tuesday 23rd February: Chester A v Penyffordd
also now on 23rd February: Chester F v Hoylake/Great Meols 2

Now on Tuesday 5th April: Chester A v Wallasey 1
also now on 5th April: Chester F vWallasey 5

Posted by: John Carleton at 10:37am

Monday 28th September 2015

Chester K Team withdrawn.

All matches vs this team cancelled.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 1:55pm

Saturday 12th September 2015

Chester D [Chester's Top Juniors] Up and Running

Despite an average grading deficit of 29 points per board Chester D held Champions Chester A

The celebrated junior team impressed spectators and their somewhat older opponents in their first fixture in division 1 last night at The Hoole Community Centre.All the games were fiercely contested and a drawn match seemed eminently fair. Chester A were relieved that this is a league where you play each team only once per season!

Posted by: John Carleton at 9:01pm

Thursday 27th August 2015


See entry form

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:26pm

Thursday 30th July 2015


Address : The Sandstone, Nantwich Road, Broxton, Cheshire, CH3 9JH
Telephone : 01829 782333

The new venue is closer for nearly all teams travelling to Malpas.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:46pm

Thursday 30th July 2015


News appeared on the ECF website on 28th July 2015 naming Chester as ECF "Club of the year"

The award mainly reflects the efforts made by Chester to encourage an all inclusive membership. With some 40% of the club being represented by juniors, the award is the culmination of a long-term effort made especially by Graham Bromley to develop the junior club. In recent years Graham has received invaluable support from Jixin Jang amongst others, and the progress of the current junior "D" team has been the icing on the cake. Another aspect of the award comes from Chester's willingness to adopt an alternative venue to allow disabled players to participate when confronted with issues at it's long-standing venue.

Many congratulations to Chester.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:10am

Thursday 23rd July 2015


The AGM was held last night with significant changes to the committee (See Below).

1. Changes to the committee include:
New Secretary - Graham Heath (Wallasey)
New Fixture Sec - Colin Hughes (Wallasey)
New Results Sec - Leon Wolszczak (Wallasey) for Divs 1 & 2
New Results Sec - John Carleton (Chester) for Divs 3 & 4
New Grading officer - Steve Lloyd (Chester)

2. Rhyl & Prestatyn rejoin the league after a season's absence - to play in Div 4

3. Crewe admitted to the league - to play in Div 2 - all matches will be played at existing WCL venues.

4. League Divisional structure:
Div 1(9)- as last season with Chester D added, Buckley/Mold 1 to Div2
Div 2 (10) - as last season with B/M1 & Crewe added, Frodsham & B/M2 to D3
Div 3 - to be confirmed - either 7 or 8 teams. (B/M2, Frods & Wallasey 7 added)
Div 4 - to be confirmed -either 8 or 9 teams. (B/M3 and Rhyl & Prestatyn added)

Divs 3 & 4 should be confirmed by 31st July.

5. Knock-out Draw:
Prelim round: Chester A vs Hoylake/Gt Meols and Atticus vs Malpas/W'church

Quarter - Finals: Penyffordd vs Atticus or Malpas & W/c ; Buckley/M vs Chester B; Pensby vs Crewe; Chester A or Hoylake/GM vs Wallasey

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:55pm

Monday 6th July 2015

Website Downtime Planned this Friday

Please note, this website may become inaccessible for a little while after 8pm Friday.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 6:44pm

Thursday 11th June 2015

AGM to be held on WEDNESDAY 22ND JULY 2015

Venue: Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ.
Start time: 8pm

The AGM is being held at the same venue as recent years.
(The venue may also be known as The Port Sunlight Mens Club or Lyceum Complex).

The Agenda will be issued in due course.

As a reminder the league is looking for a new secretary and Results Secretary/League Controller.

Please make sure your club is represented.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:47pm

Monday 1st June 2015

Merseyside Junior Chess Tournament (Primary School

At St Georges Hall Liverpool 29th June

This is a new junior tournament organised by CSC at St Georges Hall in Liverpool on June 29th.
This team event is open to all primary schools in Merseyside.
For further information please contact Bob Clark (

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:47pm

Monday 1st June 2015


Wallasey beat Chester last night by score of 16.5 vs 12.5 in the 7th Annual Challenge Match.

It was sweet revenge for Wallasey last night as they ran out comfortable winners in the 2015 Annual Challenge. Wallasey now lead the series by 4 matches to 2 with one draw since inception in 2009. Last season was a landslide to Chester winning 15.5 to 6.5.
After 7 matches the total board scores are 75.5 to 74.5 in Chester's favour !
Next season the match will be played at Chester.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:46pm

Monday 1st June 2015


Wallasey beat Atticus last night in a very close match that could easily have gone either way.

Wallasey started the match as favourites with a grading advantage of approx 30 points per board and early indications showed they should retain the trophy as clear gains appeared on five of the seven boards and the other two with no apparent advantages to Atticus (at least that was the writer's assessment). Approx 90 minutes into battle the first casualties appeared as Wallasey's Greg Hughes and Phil Brine won swiftly and soon followed Stu Smiley's win to make it 3-0 to Wallasey with Atticus handicap keeping them in contention. The match seem to swing around the two hour mark as Atticus' Steven Phelp unveiled a devastating knight fork of two rooks when trailing by a couple of pawns. Steven quickly put Wallasey's club champion Jeff Povall to the sword with a smooth conversion of Rook and 3 pawns vs a Knight and 4 pawns into an easily won ending. This put Atticus in the lead with their handicap. On board 3, Steve Burge's early pawn gambit had created plenty of activity against Steve Lee's accurate defence. Peace was agreed as Steve B's several Q-threats were defended one at a time by Steve L.
As we passed the 35 move time control, only Bd 1 and 4 remained. Mike Coffey asked his captain if a win was needed in a position that was looking drawn against Jim Wiseman. The reply from Leon was "preferably" which raised a few chuckles from the gathering spectators. Over on bd 1, Brian Ewart had gained a pawn advantage vs Phil Davies and seemed to be gaining the upper hand with R,B and 5 vs R,N and 4 but the clocks were running down. Back on bd 4 Jim pushed a pawn to try and break through, but following a straight forward exchange of pawn and minor pieces found his King unable to defend a backward pawn which would be rounded up and leave a passed pawn to walk the walk. Jim graciously resigned in the knowledge a draw had been there for the taking ... and left the score at 4.5 vs 1.5 (excl handicap) to Wallasey, so now a draw in the final game on bd 1 would be enough for Wallasey. With the pieces and pawns still on the board, the last 5 or 6 minutes approached when Phil Davies had advanced his minority pawns to create a pass pawn opportunity. Brian looked to stop his opponents pawns first in the hope his own centrally advanced pawns would hold sway. As the position got more complicated Brian ran out of time picking up Phil's passed pawn and giving up his own central pawns. And so the Cup was retained by Wallasey in a case of what might have been .... for Atticus.

Congratulations to Wallasey and commiserations to Atticus.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:45pm

Monday 1st June 2015


This bank holiday weekend has seen the final rounds of the 4NCL season.

Spirit of Atticus 1st team under the captaincy of John Carleton has secured promotion to division 1, where they will face the elite of British Chess and Grand Masters galore. David Robertson has played most of the rounds for the Spirit A team, with Mike McDonagh making a couple of appearances.

Other league players have also played in the 4NCL as follows:
Div 1 for south Wales Dragons - David Jameson, Jeff Smith
Div 3 for Holmes Chapel - Bob Clark, Chris Doran, Charles Higgie, Ray Pearson.
Div 3 for Spirit of Atticus - Colm Buckley, Steve Connor, David Hulme.

Full details can be found on the 4NCL website included under the Links heading on this website.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:44pm

Wednesday 29th April 2015


Chester's junior D team clinched promotion to Div 1 after hard fought draw with Buckley/Mold 2

The draw was enough for Chester D to clinch the division 2 title on game point difference. Buckley/Mold pushed the juniors to the limit as a tense match unfolded. An early win by BM's Gordon Somerville raised the pressure on the Chester team before Daniel Savidge made it 1-1. The match was in the balance as BMs Quentin Dodd gained a pawn advantage, while the Yesudian boys both won exchanges for Chester. The evergreen Frank Salt put Rohan to the sword when the his Kingside attack broke through decisively to make it 2-1 to BM. Lucky for Chester his brother Riyaan was gifted a queen and a win to make it 2-2. On bd 4 it looked like James Lee had sacked a piece unwisely but found a way to equality with great activity and a draw was agreed, securing the junior team promotion.

Congratulations to Chester D's juniors.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:44pm

Monday 27th April 2015


We have joint winners with John Carleton and David Robertson having identical scores of 6.5/8

Congratulations to both of Chester players John & David who narrowly beat Mike Coffey (Wallasey) in 3rd place with 6/8.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:56pm

Friday 24th April 2015


Chester's F team won the promotion battle at Hoylake last night 4-1 to overtake their rivals.

Both teams previously had 100% records and so something had to give, with Hoylake going into the match with a better game point score. The advantage with the grades suggested Chester would be slight favourites and this proved to be the case.

The Div 3 Player of the Year Award was also decided in this match as Dave Hulme emerged with a 100% record of 6/6 to pip team rivals Ian clayton and Jixin Yang by 1/2 point.

Congratulations to Chester F on winning promotion to Division 2.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:00am

Thursday 23rd April 2015


Please note that following positions are open for next season:
1. League secretary
2. Results secr

After many years David Farley is retiring as League secretary.
And David Hulme is retiring as Results Secretary.

The league will be looking for volunteers to take on these positions at the forthcoming AGM.

If anyone needs more information on these roles please contact the retiring officers or any other member of the committee.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:22pm

Tuesday 21st April 2015

E's Ease Into First Place

Chester E defeat Pensby 1 to reclaim top spot in Division 2.

They can now only be caught by Chester D or Wallasey 4, who face each other this Thursday.

Meanwhile Dave Ashton's hopes of finishing the season on a perfect 9 out 9 were dashed as he was held to a draw by Steve Williams.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:42pm

Monday 6th April 2015


Wallasey came through their semi final match at Buckley/Mold last night to make it to the final where they will defend the cup as holders against 2nd division Atticus.

The final has been arranged for Thursday 14th May at Wallasey CC.

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:37pm

Friday 3rd April 2015


Chester junior Greg Harkanyi secures player of year award thanks to another junior,Ben Barnes of BM3

An outstanding performance by Buckley/Mold's Ben Barnes helped his team put champions Wallasey 7 to the sword for the only time this season. The future looks promising as Buckley/Mold's 4th team of all juniors defeated the promotion bound Wallasey team. Ben's win against Wallasey's Trevor Amos, not only deprived Trevor (5/6) of the POY award but assisted Chester's Greg Harkanyi (5/5) to win the award.

Posted by: David Hulme at 2:27pm

Wednesday 1st April 2015


I have received news from Phil Crew at Rhyl & Prestatyn CC to say they intend to rejoin the league next season and wish to play in division 4. Arrangements have already begun for Buckley/Mold to host their home matches again.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:58pm

Wednesday 1st April 2015


It's still all up for grabs - to see who wins Divs 2 and 3, with many sub plots for Players of Year

The div 2 title race has developed into a three horse race, with the current leaders Hoylake 2 destined to be toppled. Last night's win by Wallasey 5 has removed Chester E as my favourites, with Pensby 1 probably slight favourites now. The fixture secretary has conjured up the spectacle of potential title decider between Pensby 1 (6/8) vs Chester E (5.5/8) as their final match. Even then both teams have to wait and see if Chester's junior D team can overtake them with their final two games scheduled afterwards. I would hazard a guess that a full strength junior team should succeed, but these juniors have many other commitments that may prevent them from playing in the crunch matches at the nd of April.

The div 2 player of the year has already been secured by the outstanding Dave Ashton from Pensby. His record of 8/8 to date means he cannot be caught and I cannot recall any player achieving 100% from all matches in a season in division 2 since I was League Controller.

Division 3 is now a two horse race between the top two teams who both currently boast 100% records. Again Graham Heath as fixture secretary has saved the crunch match until the final fixture for div 3 when Hoylake 3 host Chester F. Third place Buckley/Mold 3 have yet to play Hoylake which could effect the outcome.

The div 3 player of the year competition is wide open with 10 players still in contention with the majority involved from Chester & Hoylake, while Buckley's junior Robert Goodwin performing admirably to be in contention.

While the div 1 and div 4 titles have been decided, the player of the year awards are still to be decided.

Good luck to all in pursuit of promotions and player of the year awards.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:56pm

Tuesday 17th March 2015

Chester A win division 1

Chester's A team retain the 1st division title with a game to spare.

Chester A completed their 4th consecutive 1st division title after a hard fought win vs Wallasey 3.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:46pm

Tuesday 17th March 2015


The all division two clash was won by narrow score of 4-3.

Atticus will travel to either Buckley/Mold or Wallasey in the final.
Congratulations to Atticus on reaching their first knock-out final since joining the Wirral League in 2011.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:56am

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Chester Juniors Go Top

Understrength D Team defeat Frodsham and go top as promotion race hots up.

Chester D's 4.5-0.5 victory over struggling Frodsham moves them, temporarily at least, top of division two on game difference. However Chester E could retake top spot with anything other than defeat. We await the result.

Although probably not considered contenders at the start of the season, Chester D may just have enough to surprise everyone and take promotion, especially if they can put out their strongest team in their final two games.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:38pm

Saturday 28th February 2015



The division 2 promotion race sees four teams in contention - Chester E, Hoylake & GM2, Pensby 1, and Chester D with just one point between them all. First up Chester E face a tricky obstacle against Malpas & Whitchurch. On paper M&W may be the strongest team in this division but results have not generally gone their way so far. On the same night Chester's junior D team travel to Frodsham and while this might appear to favour Chester they do not always travel well and Frodsham have their own battle if they want to avoid the drop to division 3. Pensby 1 are revitalised this season and with two fixtures against the promotion chasing contenders matters are in their own hands with the last match possibly pivotal at Chester E. Hoylake & GM2 probably have an easier run in but need contenders to drop points while Chester D are the outsiders and like Hoylake need the top teams to drop points. It's anyones guess who will gain promotion to division one.

Division 3 has developed into a three-way battle between Hoylake & GM3, Chester F and Buckley/Mold 3. Thanks to the skill of our league fixture secretary they have all to play each other in the run in and all unbeaten so far. Perhaps Hoylake are favourites here with their superior game point advantage, but it is the hands of each individual team to win promotion. If any of these three win all their remaining games they cannot be overtaken.

Good luck to all as we await the unfolding drama.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:12pm

Tuesday 17th February 2015


Wallasey's 7th team secured 4th division title with a game to spare after a home win last night.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:19am

Tuesday 3rd February 2015


Friday 13 Feb 2015, 12:15pm at Hope church, 1;30pm at Pentre Bychan (Wrexham) crematorium and ...

12:15 Service at Hope Parish Church (LL12 9PH)

1:30 Cremation at Pentrebychan Crematorium (LL14 4EP)

Followed by refreshments at The Red Lion, Penyffordd (CH4 0JR)

Please can we give Bob Clark an idea of how many are going to attend, so he can liaise with Dave Parker-Williams.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:51pm

Sunday 1st February 2015


Please note Peter Holian is currently acting captain.

Posted by: David Hulme at 7:55pm

Thursday 29th January 2015


I have just received this message from Bob Clark at Penyfforrd.
David was a founding member of WCL.

Update 28/1/15:

Message to Bob Clark from Dave Parker-Williams,

Dave Dickson’s funeral is provisionally booked for Friday the 13th Feb but I have no times yet as there is to be a service at Hope church and then cremation at Pentre Bychan. Dave’s daughter has asked me to find out how many may be coming to the funeral as there will be refreshments, could you let me know at a later date after you have told people how many may come from your end.

Sad news, Dave Dickson died last night peacefully in hospital.
Sorry I don't have any further details.
Could you post a message on the league websites for me please.
Dave could you pass this along to his old colleagues at Wallasey please.
I will update you with details of the funeral in due course.



Message received 29/1/15 from Steve Connor:

It's a sad day for local chess and more widely for UK chess. Dave Dickson was always a force for good, and had his heart in the right place. Don't forget that he was instrumental in bringing Kasparov to Chester for that historic simul in 1989 and did a great deal to encourage many younger players to take up the game. He was always seeking new ways to improve the opportunities for chess to be played with his own brand of congresses and weekend events. Always a gentleman and a good player too.

Posted by: David Hulme at 7:02pm

Tuesday 27th January 2015

New Grades Released!

The January 2015 ECF grades are available to view.


I will update the database later.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:25am

Monday 19th January 2015


Venue: Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham, WA6 7QN

Contact Angus Weir for details of congress and entry forms

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:43pm

Sunday 4th January 2015

Wirral League Website - Submit your own results

To All Captains & Secretaries

Steve Lloyd has re-set the facility to allow captains and secretaries to input results directly, if they wish to.
This is in preparation for next season as I will no longer be inputting results after the end of this season.
For anyone wishing to input results themselves Steve has sent out an email with instructions on how to register and input.
If anyone has been omitted please let Steve or me know and we will arrange for instructions to be issued to you.
In the meantime I will continue to input results as normal for anyone that prefers the existing method.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:21pm

Tuesday 16th December 2014


Buckley/Mold vs Wallasey
Atticus vs Pensby
Dates to be agreed by captains and advised to G.Heath

Last night saw the remaining quarter-final won by Atticus in convincing style. The 2nd division club beat Chester's 1st division squad comfortably, and would have won even without the handicap on board count following the drawn match.

So we have an all 1st division and all 2nd division clash in the semi-finals, meaning the final will be contested with a 1st division team at home to a 2nd division team.

Good luck to all teams.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:48am

Wednesday 12th November 2014


Pensby batter Chester and Buckley/Mold beat Hoylake

A few weeks ago the K.O started with the surprise result of Buckley/Mold beating Hoylake. I understand this is the first time B/M have beaten Hoylake's 1st team. Quentin Dodd was disappointed this was not mentioned earlier, but I had no intention of posting many news items this season.

But after last night's (bigger) shock result of Pensby beating Chester's top string team I could refrain no longer. From all accounts the result was flattering to Chester and Pensby deservedly won.

Congratulations to both Buckley/Mold and Pensby.

Next week sees the 3rd qtr final between Wallasey & Penyffordd and Atticus play Chester's 2nd string in December.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:49am

Tuesday 4th November 2014


Atticus CC have moved to:
Everyman Bistro 3rd room, 5-11 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BH

Please note the new venue with immediate effect.

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:29pm

Tuesday 28th October 2014

2014 A.G.M

See Items 1 to 5 below

1.Secretary's Letter
2.Agenda for 2014 AGM
3.Minutes of 2013 AGM
5.Controllers repo

The 2014 AGM is to be held on Thursday 10th July commencing at 8pm.
Venue: Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight, CH62 4UJ.

The agenda has been issued to club secretaries.

Please contact your club secretary if you require any details, which can also be obtained from the league secretary (Dave Farley) or myself (David Hulme).

The documents below are available in word documents which can be requested from the league secretary or league controller.


Item 1. Letter from league secretary to club secretaries:

Dear Club Secretary,

Annual General Meeting 2014

The AGM will take place on Thursday, 10th July, 2014 at the Port Sunlight Village Social Club, Bridge Street, Port Sunlight CH62 4UJ, starting at 8 o’clock.

The Agenda is attached and the Minutes of last year’s AGM will be circulated at the meeting (or in advance upon the Wirral League Website if this is possible).

I hope that your club will be represented at the meeting because it is here that you can elect the officers for the forthcoming year and influence the running of the League.

If you have any motions to be put to the AGM then please let me know as soon as possible so that I can circulate them to the other Clubs. There are currently 3 motions on the agenda, 2 of which require to be seconded if they are to be considered by the meeting.

In addition, I would be grateful if you could advise me of any relevant obituaries that should be mentioned at the AGM.

The Wirral Chess League’s 50th Anniversary is in 2014 and proposals regarding how we should celebrate this will be presented.

Attached to the Agenda for discussion under Item 16 - Any Other Business, is a complaint from a former member of Wallasey Chess Club. Although, strictly speaking, this is an ineligible matter, the Executive Committee wish to be open about such things and have therefore put the item before the meeting (having confirmed this with the complainant).

On a personal note, after quite a number of years as League Secretary, I now wish to stand down and hand over to somebody with new ideas and renewed enthusiasm. Therefore, I am giving 12 months' notice of my resignation in order to give time for a replacement to be appointed - although if somebody wishes to take over before then or even straight away then I will be delighted!

I look forward to seeing you on the 10th.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Farley
Honorary Secretary


Item 2. Agenda for 2014 AGM

1. Apologies

2. Minutes of the Previous AGM – 17th July 2013

3. Matters Arising (not covered on the agenda)

4. Treasurer’s Report

5. Tournament Controller’s Report

6. Secretary's Report

7. Junior Report

8. Election of Officers

9. Format of the League for 2014/15

10. Setting of League Fees for 2014/15

11. Disabled Access to Chess Clubs

12. Motions to the AGM
a) Proposal from Chester Chess Club - that in the Knockout Competition the existing tie-break rule for a drawn match of bottom board elimination be replaced by board count (with bottom board elimination then being the second criterion if board count is level).
b) Proposal from Buckley Mold Chess Club and seconded by Chester Chess Club - that in Division 3 no player graded above 150 be allowed to play if they have already played in Divisions 1 or 2.
c) Proposal from the Executive Committee - that the current exception to the Wirral Chess League's membership requirement (that all players be members of either the ECF or WCU) be clarified. Namely that the existing wording of "apart from those who may play very few games" be replaced by the condition that once players have played 4 games then they must apply for membership of the ECF or the WCU before a 5th game is allowed.

13. Presentation of Trophies

14. Wirral Chess League – 50th Anniversary in 2014

15. Draw for the Wirral Knockout

16. Any Other Business
- including a complaint from a former member of Wallasey Chess Club.


Item 3. Minutes of the 2013 AGM are shown below

Wirral Chess League

Annual General Meeting

17th July, 2013

8.00pm at the Port Sunlight Village Social Club


1. Apologies

A Nandi, J Gorman, D Rennie, C Higgie, K Watson, S Burge, R Williams

2. Minutes of the Previous Annual General Meeting – 24th July, 2012

Accepted as a true record – nem con.

3. Matters Arising (Not Otherwise on the Agenda)

It had been suggested by John Carleton that from a procedural point of view it would be more appropriate that Election of Officers should take place before Format of the League etc. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that this was a sensible move and that from the next AGM the Agenda would be revamped to reflect this.

4. Treasurer’s Report (Mark Spriggs)

The Treasurer presented a written statement of accounts. The balance remained healthy and there was no need to change the League fees.

There also still remained a sum relating to the Expanding Horizons Grant and this was ringfenced to be spent in accordance with the funding agreement.

The accounts were agreed nem con as a correct statement.

5. Tournament Controller’s Report (David Hulme)

There had been 4 bulletins issued during the season and these had been displayed on the website. There had been no disputes during the year and few defaults - 2 in Division 1, 2 in Division 2 and 3 in Division 3.

Chester 1 had again done the double by winning Division 1 and the Knockout, although there had been a close battle in the League, with the margin of victory being just ½ point ahead of Wallasey 1 and Penyffordd 1. Hoylake 2 became Division 2 champions only on the last night, ½ point in front of Wallasey 5, who had been the season's surprise package. In Division 3, the youngsters of Chester 7 had dominated, winning 6 and drawing 1 of their 7 matches and had a cushion of 1½ over the runners-up, Wallasey 6.

Thanks were given to Steve Lloyd for his excellent work on the website and also the Captains for reporting results promptly.

The meeting thanked David for performing his duties so well.

6. Format of the League (Graham Heath)

In Division 2, Hoylake 2 who had finished in first place did not wish to be promoted and therefore it was proposed that Formby who had been bottom of Division 1 should not be relegated. Division 1 would therefore remain with 9 teams.

Malpas & Whitchurch had applied to join the League and in view of their playing strength it seemed appropriate to place them in Division 2. This would result in 10 teams in Division 2. There was some discussion about all this and Graham therefore asked for a vote in order to gauge the feeling of the meeting.
For 5
Against 2
Abstention 2

Division 3 would consist of 9 teams following the introduction of an additional Chester Junior Team.

It was proposed that a new Division 4 should come into existence and this should have particular conditions that would encourage junior and less strong players to participate. After some debate, the consensus was for 4-player teams with a time limit of 1¼ hours per player (28 moves in an hour then allegro finish of 15 minutes). There would be a grade limit of ECF 105 (or WCU equivalent).

The creation of the new division was put to the vote and it was unanimously approved.

7. Secretary's Report (Dave Farley)

There had been concerns during the year that the exemption from ECF game fee for WCU members could be about to end as the existing arrangement was due to lapse. However, thanks in no small part to Pat Ridley, successful initial negotiations had taken place and the exemption would continue for the time being, pending future talks with the ECF. Thanks to Pat for this.

The position regarding non-ECF or non-WCU members had improved and only about 3% of games in the Wirral League games were played by non-members. Nevertheless, there were still a small number of players who had played significant games but had not become members. This meant that there was still a possibility of the ECF invoicing the League for game fee for these people - and this would be passed onto the relevant Clubs to pay.

8. Junior Report

Duncan Rennie had been nominally the Junior Organiser but had not been active in this field for a number of year and he wished to stand down.

There was no Junior Report as such but again it was mentioned that a junior congress or some junior activity could take place using the Expanding Horizons money. A note regarding Chess for Schools had been circulated and this was perhaps an area where we could help in future.

9. Motion to the AGM

Proposed by Chester Chess Club
Seconded by Wallasey Chess Club

Under the Rules Governing the Knockout Competition (on Page 15 of the Handbook for 2012-13) there are a number of exceptions to the Rules Governing League Fixtures (eg number of players in a team, what to do about a tie and what the handicaps are).
There is one exception that no longer seems necessary, namely, Item 1 - A player may only play for one team
(but this does not have to be the same as their League Club).
It is proposed that this exception be deleted.

There was quite a lengthy, and at times passionate, debate about the background to and the merits of this proposal.

On being put to the vote, the result was
For 8
Against 1
Abstention 1

9a Presentation of the trophies


Division 1 Chester 1
Division 2 Hoylake 2
Division 3 Chester 7

Knockout Chester

Players of the Year

Division 1 J Gorman (Penyffordd 1) 6½/7
Division 2 D Hurley (Atticus) 5½/6
Division 3 D Savidge (Chester 7) 6½/7

10. Election of Officers

There being no other nominations, the incumbent officers and Committee were re-elected nem con. The post of Junior Organiser remained vacant.

Steve Williams had been the League's Grader for about 30 years and hoped that somebody else (possibly younger) could take over. He would carry on for another year and then review the situation.

11. Wirral Chess League - 50th Anniversary

The League had been founded in 1964 with 4 teams - Capenhurst, Port Sunlight, Unilever Research and Wallasey. In 1971 the Knockout was introduced and in 1972 a second Division became necessary.

Best wishes were expressed for founding member Dave Dickson who was currently unwell.

Following a suggestion from John Carleton, the line being pursued for an event to mark the 50th Anniversary was for a match of youngsters versus "Old Stagers", including if possible long standing members (or former members) of the League. A suitable venue would be found and refreshments provided for players and spectators. A firm proposal would be brought to the next AGM.

12. Draw for the Wirral Knockout

Penyffordd v Chester 2
Wallasey v Buckley / Mold
Hoylake / Great Meols v Pensby
Chester 1 v Atticus

13. Any Other Business


The meeting closed at 10.03pm.


Item 4 - complaint from Tony Blades

To be Considered Under Item 16 - Any Other Business

28 March 2014 17:06, to David Hulme
Dear David, I hope you're well?
Before proceeding, may I stress that this letter is NOT any criticism of you personally; I consider you a man of honour & integrity, a good player & a good sportsman.
I want this letter (in full) to be forwarded to the President of the Wirral League please, (since I have no email address for him).
Relevant fact:- I have RESIGNED from Wallasey CC for the reasons below, & a couple of other personal reasons.
My 2 strong criticism:-
1. Wirral League allows the breaking of FIDE laws, seemingly without caring about it in the least. FIDE rules state that "the playing area must be large and comfortable for the players".....
Hoylake chess club venue is so HOT that it's like a Turkish Bath; visit it, if you don't believe me! Many players, myself included, simply refuse to visit Hoylake CC for this reason. Surely chess matches deserve reasonable conditions??
2. At many Clubs, Rule 15 is simply ignored. Fide Rule 15.1.d states:- "It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any way whatsoever." I and others have suffered loud talking, laughing, F-word remarks, foot stamping, verbal pestering, etc, many many times at Wallasey and I have now had enough of it* (see below).
The Club Captains seem unwilling to do anything about it.
Such behaviour at tournaments is immediately reported to the Arbiter and is punished appropriately. At Clubs? Nothing happens, so players either leave the Club or give up complaining about it.
These are my 2 angry complaints. I speak on behalf of many players, who wish to be anonymous. They all feel that complaining won't change anything. I hope that it might?
Therefore I suggest that the League takes action now about these issues. For example, bring in a NEW RULE which requires each Club to appoint a Laws Officer (supplied with a copy of Fide Laws) to be present at each club session with the responsibility to discipline anyone breaking the rules, and with the power to report offenders to the League.
It saddens me that I have to write this letter, but I love chess and will only play competitive chess in REASONABLE conditions.
*I'm now confining all my competitive games to ECF tournaments, where all the Fide rules are strictly enforced, as they are meant to be!
I wish to receive a reply from the League President, please. If printing or photocopying costs are involved, please tell me, David and I will post the money to you!
I'm very upset about these issues, and I feel that it will benefit the aims and reputation of the Wirral Chess League to have them resolved. I speak for those who are scared to speak out!
Yours sincerely, Tony Blades. (Ex-Wallasey CC, now Clubless
ECF Regional Coach, & travelling miles to Tournaments).

Item 5


This is my 3rd and final report for the 2013/14 season.

This season has seen the league expand with three new clubs joining the league namely Malpas & Whitchurch, Irby, and Rhyl & Prestatyn with the total number of teams increasing to 34 from 26 previously and the commencement of a new fourth division to encourage players of all ability to participate in the league. It remains to be seen whether the WCL can continue this encouraging trend in contrast to many leagues which are struggling to avoid reductions in the numbers involved. The league’s website shows that 225 players have participated this season representing 12 clubs.

It was with great joy and personal satisfaction that I saw the 4th division commence. This saw players as young as 8 years old representing Buckley/Mold and Chester and saw the league’s president return to competitive chess for the first time in over 20 years according to my recollections. I hope I am not biased to my own club in showing great delight as the two junior Chester teams finished as the inaugural champions and runners-up. Great credit goes to Wallasey and Buckley/Mold in supporting this new venture to supplement the new arrivals from Irby and Rhyl & Prestatyn. Next season will see some changes with teams withdrawing but I am hopeful overall numbers can be retained, but this will not be known until the AGM.

Before turning my attention to the other league divisions I would like to report on the Knock-out competition which saw underdogs Wallasey beat strong favourites Chester by virtue of the tie-break rule (on bottom board elimination). Despite being outgraded by approx. 200 points on the night and the late withdrawal of their board 3 player an unbelievably tense match concluded in uncertainty as a potential draw claim had to be resolved. Agreement was made between the two captains which prevented a contentious ruling having to be made by myself over a potential FIDE rule 10.2 draw claim. Notable personal results were achieved by Atticus pair Steve Burge and Tom Lawton beating strong Chester player’s in the 1st round, almost knocking out the holding champions.

Division 1 has seen Chester A retain the title to make it a hat-trick under the captaincy of John Carleton. The team has only dropped 7.5 board points over the season and continues to dominate division one. The engine room of Robertson, Lasheras, Connor & Stuttard covered for any failures of Captain Carleton. Penyffordd 1 finished as runners-up having dropped 2 ½ points against other top teams with their top scorer Bob Clark scoring 6½ from 8 and board 1 Dave Jameson unbeaten. Chester B were pipped as runners-up only on board points as they found themselves missing all three top players in their final match losing at Hoylake. Wallasey 1 finished 4th with captain Phil Brine leading their cause scoring 6/8. Hoylake 1 came next with top board David Tebb unbeaten. Next came three teams all finishing on 2 ½ points from Chester C, Buckley/Mold 1 and Wallasey 2. Regrettably Formby finished their final season in the WCL in bottom slot. After many years of travelling from Formby they have decided it is time to withdraw from the league.
On behalf of us all I can only say Formby will be missed and we wish them well for the future.

Div. 1 player of the year was unsurprisingly dominated by the engine room of Chester A players. David Robertson won the award ahead of Juan Lasheras and Bob Clark.

Division 2 saw an exciting battle at the top of the table with Wallasey 3 emerging as champions by just ½ point from Buckley/Mold 2 and Hoylake/Geat Meols 2. Wallasey 3 had completed their fixtures and had to wait and see the result of Hoylake 2 vs. Malpas & Whitchurch in the final week of the season before knowing their fate. This division had accommodated an extra team this season making 10 teams in all with very little to choose between the top 7 separated by only 2 points. I was much happier to see Chester teams play more consistent squads this season and delighted by Malpas’s commitment to field a competitive team in the title deciding match at Meols.
Buckley/Mold 2’s aim was to secure second division status and ultimately they came close to promotion finishing ahead of Hoylake 2 on board points, who topped this division last season. Atticus finished fourth and was always in the mix. Wallasey and Chester teams’ occupied places 5 to 8 with new comers Malpas & Whitchurch finishing above bottom placed Pensby 1. It should be noted that only 3 years ago Pensby 1 were in the top division
and continues to show the improving standard of the league.
Div. 2 POY was won by Wallasey’s Colin Hughes with a fine score of 7.5/8 with Malpas’s Charles Higgie as runner-up. If only Charles had taken his team to play Wallasey 4 he may have ended with POY to go with his similar achievement in the Chester & District League.

On a personal note one of the highlights of the season for me was meeting Hoylake’s John Hanson for the first time in over 36 years. John and I were both members of Wallasey juniors in the early 1970s and our paths had not crossed since approx. 1977. Strangely he was playing against Chester’s juniors on that night – a fitting way to meet again !

Division 3 has seen Frodsham win the title and securing promotion to division two. I have previously mentioned several times that Frodsham play in this league for social purposes more than competitive purposes and so was both surprised and delighted to see them win this division. Close behind was Chester F & Penyffordd 2 trailing by just ½ point. Chester F’s captain Jixin Yang was gutted when having to default a board at home in the penultimate match as a regular player forgot to attend and ultimately destroyed the team’s chance of promotion. Penyffordd 2 had to deploy stronger players on several occasions than they would have preferred in order to put out 5-man teams and this undoubtedly propelled them to within a whisker of top spot. Buckley/Mold 3 continue to field as many youngsters as they can finishing ahead of Hoylake 3 and Wallasey 6. Chester’s G & H junior teams sandwiched Pensby 2.

Div. 3 POY award goes to Chris Goy just beating Jim Hanson, while special mention should be made of Buckley/Mold’s 10 year old Ifan Rathbone-Jones who finished 3rd with 5 ½ from 6 and may have won the award had he played all games.

Div. 4 POY award goes to Iniya Anand scoring 4 points, ahead of a clutch of players on 3 points.

In summary congratulations go to the following:
Div. 1 champions – Chester A captained by John Carleton
Div. 2 champions – Wallasey 3 captained by Duncan Rennie
Div. 3 champions – Frodsham captained by Jim McPhillips
Div. 4 champions – Chester K captained by Graham Bromley
Div. 1 POY – David Robertson 7.5/8 (Chester A)
Div. 2 POY – Colin Hughes 7.5/8 (Wallasey 4)
Div. 3 POY – Chris Goy 6.5/8 (Frodsham)
Div. 4 POY – Iniya Anand 4/5 (Chester J)
Knockout winners - Wallasey

NEXT SEASON 2014/15:
Changes for next season will see the withdrawal of Formby and Irby and hopefully just a temporary withdrawal of Rhyl & Prestatyn while it is hoped other teams may emerge from Chester and Pensby to add to Malpas’s intention of introducing a 2nd team for division 4.

Please note this is my final report as League Controller as I am resigning from this role at the 2014 AGM. It is my intention to assist only as a Results Secretary in future (if required by the league).
I would also like to put on record my thanks to Steve Lloyd who operates the league’s website, for his help and assistance. The creation of the website by Steve has been a major factor in the development of the league in recent seasons.

David Hulme
WCL League Controller.

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:32pm

Friday 10th October 2014


I have received the following message from Quentin Dodd at Buckley/Mold Chess club.


I am sure that you all will have heard of the sad passing of our friend in Chess Gerry

The funeral service will held at 2pm on Wednesday 15 th October at Wrexham crematorium, Pentrebychan.

Officers of the club will be attending the service, however such was the popularity of one of the Club founders that some of our long standing members may wish to attend the service personally

Best Regards

Quentin Dodd

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:44pm

Sunday 28th September 2014

Photos from Anniversary match and AGM

Available at

Originals available on request.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:12pm

Tuesday 16th September 2014



The idea to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WCL was instigated by David Dickson back in 2012. David was a founding member of the league in 1964, is an ex-president of the league and served as Tournament’s Secretary for nine years. He was so keen for the event that he donated a special trophy for the occasion, “The David Ingram Dickson Cup” to be awarded to the victorious team. Sadly he was unable to attend due to ill health, but he was very much the driving force and instrumental in encouraging the league’s committee to organise the event for the 50th Anniversary.

And so it was decided at the 2014 AGM that the League should celebrate its 50th anniversary by holding a match between “Old Stagers” and “Juniors” as suggested by John Carleton of Chester CC. The committee asked David Hulme also of Chester CC to organise the event and select players for each team. The plan was for teams to be arranged with approx. 20 players per side and with even ability if possible. With the event taking place in Chester arrangements were made by Graham Bromley, chairman of Chester CC to book the venue to accommodate for disabled access as it was likely some disabled players would like to attend.

The event was opened at 2pm by league president Barry O’Brien who firstly thanked the committee for arranging the event and thanking Graham & Brenda Bromley for providing refreshments and to David Hulme for co-ordinating matters. Mr O’Brien explained that there was a special trophy for the match being donated by David Dickson, a founding member of the league in 1964. He continued by saying that he had been the president of the WCL for approx 23 years and that the league had grown from its original 4 clubs and 6 teams in 1964 to the current day of 9 clubs and 33 teams showing how popular chess was in the area. He then handed over to David Hulme to announce the teams and before the match commenced David asked all attendees to thank Barry for his efforts in guiding and stewarding the league to its current prosperous state during his reign as president.

The match commenced at 2.15pm with 22 players per team taking part. There was a wide range of ability in both teams as players from 8 different clubs represented the two sides. The juniors team was organised by Graham Bromley and Quentin Dodd of Buckley/Mold, while the old stagers were organised by David Hulme. The junior team’s players ranged in ages from just 8 to 13 years old. The match was extremely close fought with scores level at 9 ½ each with the final 3 games remaining. In the end the match was tipped in the old stagers favour who had a significant grading advantage of some 375 points over the 22 boards, and completing a narrow win by the score of 12-10. A fully detailed result sheet is attached. The match concluded at approx 4.15pm.

Shortly after the match completed, The David Ingram Dickson Cup was awarded to Charles Higgie captain of the Old Stagers, who thanked the organisers and the players for taking part in the event.

The event was witnessed not only by the 43 players (detailed on the result sheet) but several other committee members and league players as follows:
Quentin Dodd - secretary and long serving member of Buckley/Mold
John Carleton - match scorer and captain of Chester’s 1st team
David Farley - league secretary and event photographer
Fred Ashworth - former president of the league
Barry O’Brien - league President
Graham & Brenda Bromley
Parents of several junior players

NB. Photographs and scoresheet to be added at later date (hopefully).

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:08pm

Wednesday 14th May 2014


Wallasey's underdogs emerged triumphant over Chester's higher graded team to win the KO final.

A dramatic finish last night left the match at 3-3, with an outstanding claim to be resolved.

Following discussions this morning Chester captain John Carleton agreed to concede the remaining game should be declared as a draw, and accordingly the final result is a drawn match, with Wallasey winning by bottom board elimination.

Congratulations to Wallasey !

Chester fielded the strongest KO team in recent WCL history with an average grade of 186 only to be overcome by Wallasey's battling team with average 162.

Wallasey were hit by a late withdrawal of their board 3 to bring Leon Wolszczak off their subs bench and a reorganisation of the team to move Phil Brine to board 3 and face the biggest deficit in grading on the night.
Early indications were that Chester seemed to hold the upper hand on five of the boards, with Wallasey ahead on one board only. The digital clocks would become focus of some games as time pressure arrived on several boards. For Chester, Jeff Smith and Richard Bryant converted advantages into positive results, while Stuart Smiley did the same for Wallasey and Greg Hughes took advantage of a time-pressure-induced mistake to gain a full point. With draws on boards 1 and 3 the scene was set for the drama to unfold.

With the last remaining game in play on board 4, both players knew what they had to do to secure the result, with a draw leaving Wallasey victorious and only a win for Chester would be good enough by virtue of the bottom board elimination rule (noting that board count would have given Chester the advantage of just needing the draw, if it were applicable).

With this knowledge in hand Mike McDonagh attempted to keep the position alive despite being down one pawn (Q & 4P vs Q & 3P). Steve Lee maintained the material advantage with a defensive strategy to hold the gains, while Mike pursued the attack to complicate matters with the clocks running down. As both players entered the final minute, McDonagh was struggling to break down Lee's defence with the Wallasey player feeling secure and with just few seconds remaining on both clocks, the clocks were stopped.

Having slept on matters overnight, Chester agreed the draw was the fair result and so sent congratulations to Wallasey.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:54pm

Monday 12th May 2014

Rapidplays at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool

Two rapidplay tournaments organised by Mind Sports International to take place 7th and 8th June.

The Saturday event is a 6 round open tournament with a first prize of £100 and £200 in additional grading prizes and is intended to be a warm up for the Sunday event which is a 6 round tournament with 3 sections (Open, Major (u160) and Minor (U120)) with first prize in each section: £80 + Free Entry into Mind Sports International Chess World Championship (worth £150).

You can play in one or both of the tournaments. There will also be coaching sessions and other games that can be played, including scrabble. For more information visit:

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:08pm

Thursday 8th May 2014


Following Chester's win in last night's semi-final, they are through to the final where they take on Wallasey. The match is scheduled (at short notice) for Tuesday 13th May at The Hoole Community Centre.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:26am

Wednesday 7th May 2014


Congratulations to South Wales Dragons on promotion to Division 1, and Spirit of Atticus to Div 2.

Congratulations to South Wales Dragons on promotion to Division 1, where they await Grandmasters galore ! The Dragons came through a tense final round to secure promotion with assistance from Penyffordd players Dave Jameson and Silvia Lochte. Jeff Smith from Chester missed the final weekend having played previously.

Spirit of Atticus have been running two teams in division 3, competing with approx 60 other teams for the 2nd half of the season since the northern teams joined up with the southern based teams. Their "A" team has secured promotion to division 2 by finishing 2nd under the captaincy of John Carleton. A number of other Chester based players have played for the Spirit teams including Juan Lasheras, Dave Robertson, Richard Bryant, Steve Connor, Dave Stuttard and David Hulme.

Holmes Chapel also playing in division 3 had a good final weekend with performances from Chris Doran (Chester), Ray Pearson (Penyffordd) and Charles Higgie (Malpas), while Bob Clark (Penyffordd) missed the final weekend.

Full details can be obtained from the excellent 4NCL website which is included in the "Links" section of this website

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:42am

Wednesday 7th May 2014


The final league match of the season was played last night as the re-arranged div one match saw Buckley/Mold 1 defeat Chester C by narrow score of 3-2 for both teams to end up on 2.5 pts for the season.

A blunder by the League Controller, David Hulme gifted Dave Aldridge an early win to set Buckley-Mold on their victorious way.

My last report of the season will be issued in due course, after the knockout competition has been completed.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:24am

Wednesday 30th April 2014


Congratulations to Wallasey 3 and captain Duncan Rennie

Following Malpas & Whitchurch's win over title contenders Hoylake 2 last night, Wallasey 3 have secured promotion back to division 1.

Charles Higgie, captain of Malpas & Whitchurch sent this report:

Malpas & Whitchurch Chess team finished their Wirral League fixtures for 2013-4 with a flourish, beating Hoylake/Great Meols 2 away, 3.5-1.5 even though Hoylake/Great Meols 2 finished second in the 10 team Division and Malpas/Whitchurch finished ninth.

First to finish was board one, when Peter Lovatt beat Dave Picken (130) with the white side of a Caro-Kann, two knights variation, in just 25 moves. Next to finish was board 2, where Charles Higgie beat Peter Holian (135) with black in just 15 moves. Peter Fisher on board 3 offered an early draw to John Hanson (131), who perhaps later regretted not accepting; as he went on to lose, to make it 3-0 to the underdogs. On board 5 Klaus Tekniepe was two pawns up against Peter Inward (126), until he made a massive mistake just after the time control. With nothing left to play for, a draw was agreed on board 4 between Ian Mawhood and Gordon Shaw (124).

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:29am

Tuesday 29th April 2014


Congratulations to Colin

Wallasey 4's Colin Hughes completed the league season with a draw tonight at Chester. He finishes with 7.5 from 8, having missed one match and losing his 100% record in the final game.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:50pm

Thursday 24th April 2014


Congratulations to David.

Chester A's David Robertson completed the league season with a win last night, to take his score to 7.5 from 8. Only Phil Fisher (Formby) with a draw deprived David of a 100% score playing on board 2 throughout the season.

Closest contenders were Juan Lasheras (Chester A) & Bob Clark(Penyffordd 1)
finishing with 6.5 pts each.

Just one match remains in division one, with Chester C hosting Buckley/Mold 1 on 6th May.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:10pm

Tuesday 15th April 2014


Congratultations to Frodsham on winning division 3, and Chris Goy for winning the Player of Year.

Frodsham secured top spot in division 3 with a win in their final game of the season last night. With just one match (in Div 3) remaining they cannot be caught by the chasing pack, with Penyffordd 2, Buckley/Mold 3 and Chester F fighting over the runner-up position.

Chris Goy completed the season with another win and has an unbeatable score of 6.5 pts.

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:36am

Monday 7th April 2014


Frederiks, 32 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BX

With immediate effect Atticus CC new venue is:
Frederiks, 32 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BX
phone 0151 - 708 9574

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:27pm

Tuesday 1st April 2014


The division 3 promotion race looks like going to the wire in the final month of the season.

Five teams are in contention with favourites Frodsham leading by 1/2 pt from Buckley/Mold 3, Chester F and Penyffordd 2. Also in the mix is Hoylake 3 a further point behind but with a game in hand.

If Frodsham win their final game vs Pensby 2, the division 3 title is theirs, but any other outcome will bring out the calculators to see who has the best board score.

good luck to all involved !

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:47pm

Sunday 23rd March 2014


Welcome to my 2nd news bulletin of the season.

Division 1 has seen Chester A retain the title to make it a hat-trick under the captaincy of John Carleton. The team has only dropped 6 board points in 7 matches and continues to dominate division one. The engine room of Robertson, Lasheras, Connor & Stuttard have covered for any failures of Captain Carleton. Wallasey 1 are sitting in 2nd place having completed their campaign with 5 points from 8. They are the only team in the league to use the same 5 players for each match, and this is for the second season in a row captained by Phil Brine (their top scorer with 6/8). In 3rd place are Chester B having won 5 of their 6 matches to date, with the only loss to the champions. With two matches to play they are favourites to finish as runners-up. Their points have been shared around using 8 players to date. Penyffordd 1 sit 4th in the table having dropped 2 ½ points against the top three, but had three comfortable wins in their other games with their top scorer Bob Clark on 4 ½ from 6 to date and board 1 Dave Jameson unbeaten. Hoylake are 5th and comfortable in mid table with four players being ever present (Tebb, Stone, Stoddart & Picken) and 3 other players sharing out the duties. Notable here is top board David Tebb who remains unbeaten. Wallasey 2 are sixth and safe from relegation with two points in the bag and three matches remaining. Top scorer for Wallasey 2 is captain Ed Taylor on 50% from 5. Chester C occupy the first of the relegation threatened spots and hope to achieve safety in their remaining matches for whom Jeff Smith is another unbeaten board 1 player. Next comes Buckley/Mold 1 on the same points as Chester C with 1 ½ points from 6, with a key success in their win over Formby. Buckley have so far used the most number of players in the division with nine, spreading the opportunity for first division competition. Currently sitting in the drop zone is Formby, who just have one more match to play before bowing out of the Wirral League after many years. It saddens me that Formby will no longer participate in the WCL after this season, but was inevitable at some point as the squad ages and travel takes its toll.

Div 1 player of the year is unsurprisingly dominated by the engine room of Chester A players. David Robertson currently leads the pack with an excellent 6 ½ pts from 7, but is by no means certain of picking up the award with several teams still having more games to play.

Division 2 has just seen Wallasey 3 re-emerge at the top of the table(with 6/8) following their midweek win over previous table-toppers Atticus and are now slight favourites for promotion back to division one. Despite losing early season to Wallasey 5, they have gone on a seven match unbeaten run to lead the way. An unbeaten trio of Captain Rennie, Wolszczak & Farley has supported the promotion push to date. Buckley/Mold 2 sit second in the table a point behind the leaders. This team has used 11 players so far with top performer being Brian Lowens with 5 ½ from 7. Atticus sit 3rd with 5/7 and may catch Wallasey 3 on points, although have a slightly inferior board point score. Atticus have increased the number of players used in the WCL this season with 12 so far. Leading scorer is Dave Hurley currently unbeaten in the league and who won last season’s POY award. Wallasey 4 sit fourth and are probably now out of the promotion race having recently lost to Chester’s junior D team. They have had a very settled squad with only one game missed by Captain Heath, and the outstanding division’s performer being Colin Hughes on a superb 100% record of 7/7. In 5th place are Hoylake 2 with 4/6 so far. With two games in hand on the leaders they could go top of the table if they have big wins in these matches. Last season they opted not to take promotion and I wonder if they would take the same decision again if they win the division. 10 players have so far been used spreading the opportunity for club members.

On a personal note the highlight of the season for me was meeting one their players again – John Hanson – for the first time in over 36 years. John and I were both members of Wallasey juniors in the early 1970s and our paths had not crossed since approx. 1977. Strangely he was playing against Chester’s juniors on that night – a fitting way to meet again !

In 6th & 7th places are Chester’s E & D teams. Survival in division two was the objective at the start of this season and both have achieved that. Ray Williams selections are often dictated by limited availability of players repeatedly calling on 3rd division players, while the D team are considered to be the Jewel in the Crown at Chester with high hopes for these youngsters.

I would like to make special mention for one of the D team, that is 10 year old Riyaan Yesudian who has been selected to play for England in the forthcoming World Amateur Chess championships in Rhodes during the summer.

Next in the table are newcomers Malpas & Whitchurch led by Charles Higgie. The captain is on an impressive 5/6 and also having a great season in division 2 of the Chester & District League. The club was only formed last season and shows encouraging signs of growth with 10 different players already used. Charles has already indicated that they will add a second team to the league to play in Division 4 next season.
Pensby 1 sit in the relegation spot and have now completed all their matches with three draws. Four of the other matches have ended in narrow losses of 3-2 and have lacked that bit of luck at vital times as well as missing top player David Clark on a couple of occasions. Should Pensby 1 drop down a division, I am sure they will bounce back at the first attempt if all players are available.

Division 2’s POY is led by Wallasey’s Colin Hughes with the only maximum in the league this season as noted above. Nearest challenger is Buckley/Mold’s Brian Lowens who is unable to overtake Colin’s score and Malpas’s Charles Higgie who may equal it provided Colin loses his two remaining games.

Moving on to the 3rd division sees surprise leaders Frodsham on 5/7. Chris Goy has been their only ever-present picking up 5 ½ pts so far to head the division POY chart. Frodsham’s team has been regularly described as a “social team” by captain Jim McPillips, so he probably shares the surprise performance so far. Buckley/Mold 3 sit second in the table half a point behind the leaders and may pounce if Frodsham drop anything in their final game, but Buckley/Mold’s final game is against 3rd place Chester F next in the table with a game in hand. Buckley’s captain Jim Hanson is their only ever-present and had used a mixture of youth and experience in making up his teams using 12 other players to date. Buckley/Mold have a fine pool of junior talent emerging and have given these youngsters opportunity in this division and div 4. Chester F have had a fairly settled team based on Jixin Yang and the ex-Capenhurst trio that got relegated last season and are therefore keen to seek promotion if possible for whom namesake Dave Hulme has been leading performer with 5/6. Fourth in the table are the experienced squad of Wallasey 6 marshalled by captain John Broomhall. Speaking to John the other day I sense he is disappointed the team have been unable to mount a promotion challenge this time round after being so close last season, despite his best efforts with 4.5 from 6 to date. Next come Hoylake’s 3rd team who have a settled team led by John Smallthwaite and Pete Steeples as their top scorer with 4/6. Chester’s G team is made up from the remaining adults at Chester with captain Pete Ashley acting as vital team driver, despite his ability to play at a higher level. Pensby 2 sit next in the table with a creditable two draws to date, with some new players emerging at the club. Youngster Euan Herd is making quite an impression scoring 4.5 from 6 so far. Occupying bottom slot is Chester’s H team, another all junior squad where 7 year old Jack Yang is the lead scorer with 3/7, and the team using 11 youngsters to date.

POY is led by Frodsham’s Chris Goy as mentioned above with Dave Hulme and Jim Hanson in close contention. The most pleasing aspect here is the inclusion of youngsters in the top 10 players. Special mention is therefore made of Ifan Rathbone-Jones and Macey Taylor from Buckley/Mold and Euan Herd of Pensby.

Turning to division 4 it has already been noted that Chester’s junior K team have won the inaugural division with an average age of 10. Runners-up are Chester’s other junior team J which has a settled squad in the main. Over half of the matches have ended up as drawn with just 4 players per team. Wallasey 7 have given debuts to several new players as well as drawing league president Barry O’Brien out of a long-term absence from the chess board. Rhyl & Prestatyn had made a major commitment to play in this division and have arranged a larger-scale friendly with Wallasey. Buckley/Mold have used this opportunity to introduce another batch of juniors to league chess, with an average age of even less than Chester’s K team. The efforts being made by both Buckley/Mold and Chester to develop junior talent are commendable and give us some hope the future is full of promise. And finally to mention the Irby Chess Club introduced to the league by Bennett Appleyard who have had difficulty in fulfilling fixtures and will therefore not play in the league next season. It is expected that Bennett and one of his squad will plan to join Pensby next season.

POY is currently led by Iniya Anand of Chester with 4/5. Only a couple of players can catch Iniya now, which include Barry O’Brien
and Ron Calvert of Rhyl & Prestatyn.

In the knockout competition Wallasey have made it to the final where they await the winners of Chester and Penyffordd in the other semi-final.
Changes for next season will see the withdrawal of Formby and Irby (as both mentioned above) while it is hoped other teams may emerge to add to Malpas’s intention of introducing a 2nd team for division 4.

Good luck to all players for the remainder of the season.

David Hulme
WCL League Controller.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:47pm

Wednesday 19th March 2014


Following last night's result, Chester's A team made it a hat-trick of Division one titles.

This success adds to the junior "K team" that have won division 4. This junior team used 8 players with the youngest (Greg Harkanyi) just 7 years old and the eldest a ripe old age of 14, and the average being 10 years old.

Congratulations to John Carleton and Graham Bromley's squads.

There will be a News Bulletin issued in next few days with an update on all the divisions.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:37am

Tuesday 25th February 2014


Wallasey through to KO final

A busy night at The Conservative Club saw Wallasey successful on two fronts. The KO team managed to edge out local rivals Hoylake in the first of the semi-finals by the narrow margin of 4-3 to make it through to the final where they await the winners of Chester and Penyffordd.

In Division 2, Wallasey 3 defeated a weakened Malpas & Whitchurch team to go to the top of the league on "goal difference" (or whatever it should be called). This sets up an intriguing clash with Atticus on 20th March in what look likes the promotion decider, although both teams have other potential banana skins to face in the run in.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:09am

Saturday 22nd February 2014

Juniors Edge Wallasey 4 in Close Match

Chester D defeat Wallasey 4 3-2 in triple-header at Hoole Community Centre.

In Division 2 Chester D took on Wallasey 4, whilst in Division 3 Chester H played Wallasey 6 and in Division 4 Chester K played Wallasey 7.

As for the games themselves, after barely half an hour Chester K had raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to a win on board 4 from Greg Harkanyi against Dave O'Farrell, which reached an endgame pretty quickly, and a nice smothered mate from Nithilan Sivanand against Dennis Tomlinson on 3. Meanwhile in the Division 3 match, Wallasey 6 went 2-0 up with wins on boards 4 and 5 thanks to John Higgins and Eddie Love respectively.

By 9:30 all matches in divisions 3 and 4 had finished. For Wallasey 7, League President Barry O'Brien defeated Adam Harkanyi to give them a glimmer of hope of possibly drawing the match, but hopes were dashed when Abhijay Chawda defeared Trevor Amos. Abhijay at one point actually offered a draw whilst being the exchange up, which was obviously declined.

In the Division 3 match, the game on board 1 between Arjun Balasubramaniam and James McCabe ended as a draw with the position being 3 pawns each and opposite coloured bishops. Wallasey 4 then secured victory when Martin Corkerill beat Robbie Fisher. The victory was then extended when captain John Broomhall defeated Alex Forrester, although it seemed Forrester may have had chances.

Back to the Division 2 match. On board 1 Chester's Daniel Savidge absorbed Ken Jones's Barry attack and eventually went a pawn up. Jones had used a lot more time and the time of his resignation had less than 5 minutes compared to Savidge's 50.

On board 5 Seth Collinson (Chester) drew with Graham Heath. The game seemed to be level throughout and ended with Queen, Rook and Pawns each on the board. Almost at the same time, James Lee (Chester) and Viv Oldham also agreed a draw, although looking at the position it seemed Lee may have been better pushing for a win. Despite being the exchange down (2 rooks vs rook and bishop), Lee had more than enough compensation in the form of 4 extra pawns, 2 which were passed.

Chester D later clinched the match when Rohan Yesudian beat Mark Spriggs. The game began as a Queens Gambit Accepted and late was somehow able to win the exchange. As the game progressed into the endgame, Rohan was able to win a pawn. The game eventually came down to K2P vs KP which was successfully converted. Wallasey 4's only victory came on board 3 when Colin Hughes beat Riyaan Yesudian. Final score 3-2.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:04am

Tuesday 28th January 2014

New Grades Released

The January ECF grades are out!

Check yours at

I've slowly began updating the players database with the new grades, starting with the first 3 clubs in alphabetical order. For these clubs there is a new column, 'ecf (jan)' and grades are now sorted by the January grades. The results pages will now show the new January grades in brackets for games played in 2014. Grades in italics are the now old grades.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:07am

Sunday 12th January 2014


More information below

Please contact congress organiser Pat Ridley (details in handbook)for more

Frodsham Weekend Congress, 7th-9th February 2014: Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Cheshire WA6 7QN.


5-round standard play tournament with Under 120, Under 160 and Under 210 sections, with Fischer time controls. There is special arrangement for those wishing to play in the parallel Go tournament (The Cheshire) on the Saturday"

Entry Form

An entry form can be obtained by going to the following link:

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:38am

Sunday 22nd December 2013


welcome to my 1st report of the season, much later than has been customary in recent seasons. With the website providing upto date information my role is almost redundant.

To be different I am going to start this report with a mention for our new Division 4, commenced this season with the aim of bringing new comers to league chess with a little less competitive edge than the top three divisions. Teams comprise just four players each with a max. grade of 105 and so it was with great delight that new clubs from Irby and Rhyl/Prestatyn entered teams to join other new teams from established clubs at Buckley/Mold, Chester and Wallasey. With half of the season’s fixtures played all six teams have drawn at least one match each, with only two matches not being drawn so far. At one end of the spectrum we have juniors as young as 8 years old playing in this division. In contrast, the league’s president Barry O’Brien is amongst several players who currently have 100% records in this division, but has made a return to league chess after some 25 years I believe. It is great that we have such opportunities to allow players of all ages and abilities to compete in such a friendly spirit and it is my hope than this division expands in the coming seasons.

Moving on to Division 1 next sees reigning champions Chester “A” setting the pace with a 100% record after four matches and only dropping 3 board points so far. Clearly it is a massive challenge to other teams to topple them, but I suspect we will not be short of attempts from Wallasey 1, Penyffordd 1 and Chester B in particular. It was a surprise that Chester B could outgrade the “A” team but ended up with a most disappointing defeat to them. Wallasey 1 currently sit second in the table and face Chester A early in the new year. It would be an upset in form if Wallasey 1 could beat Chester A, but this would open the door to stop them making it a hat-trick of league titles since John Carleton’s squad joined Chester in 2011. Wallasey 1’s record of 3 wins and a draw keeps them in striking distance, while Penyffordd 1 and Chester B need to rely on others to assist the battle. The mid-table group is made up of the usual suspects namely Wallasey 2, Hoylake 1, and Chester C with the latter looking most in danger of joining the relegation battle. At the bottom end Formby find themselves pointless after four matches, but hope to grace their final season in the WCL with a flourishing finish. Buckley/Mold 1 gained an excellent draw at Hoylake last week, with thanks to both clubs for moving the fixture from the unavailable room at Mold to Great Meols clubhouse on an “abnormal” club night for Hoylake/Great Meols to host.

Division 2 saw the arrival of another new club to the WCL this season from Malpas & Whitchurch, captained by Charles Higgie. This is another excellent development for the league which means we now have 10 teams in this division. The current league table shows Buckley/Mold 2 leading the way having already played 6 matches and obtained 4 points. Their objective this season is to fulfil all their fixtures without defaulting a board and it is should be noted they have increased their commitment to the WCL significantly with the introduction of additional teams in Division 4 and the KO. They are ahead of Atticus on game point difference, with the Liverpool based club on another 100% record after 4 matches. This achievement is noteworthy as they have been out-graded in every match to date. The players are performing above their expected rating and creating a wonderful team spirit. After a recent match in Chester, two of the players (Jim & Dave) were so happy that they missed their train back to Liverpool, and at considerable expense returned home in the early hours. Wallasey’s 4th team have made solid progress to sit 3rd in the table ahead of Chester E and Wallasey 3. As mentioned previously it is not long ago that Wallasey 3 & 4 were playing in division 1, so their current standings show a marked increase in the league’s standard of play over the last two or three seasons. Chester E look quite formidable on paper, but have been undone by league leaders Atticus. Wallasey 3 for the second consecutive season have lost to the lower ranked Wallasey 5, but are otherwise unbeaten. Chester’s junior team (D) have made a steady start to life in division 2 and have a 50% record from 3 games to date. Wallasey 5’s early win over Wallasey 3 is their only win so far, being supplemented with one draw from 4 further games. Hoylake 2 have one point from 3 games so far, while newcomers Malpas have a similar one point but played 2 games more than Hoylake. Pensby 1 currently sit in the basement position pointless from four matches and face a big month in January with three home games.

Looking now at Division 3 shows Frodsham’s social team still glowing brightly at the top of the pile with 4/6. I wonder if they will still be there at the end of the season but suspect captain Jim will just be pleased to fulfil all their games in their usual wonderful spirit. Next come Hoylake 2 who will no doubt be happy and surprised with progress to date, as much as Buckley/Mold 3 in third place. Chester F and G, along with Penyffordd 2 all have points in the bag and likewise will be more interested in enjoying the games rather than chasing promotion. Pensby 2 have one draw from 3 games, with Chester’s young team H currently holding the fort with one draw from 5 games. It would be great to see these bottom teams pick up some more points through the 2nd half of the season.

Looking at player of the year positions, the current leaders of the pack are:
Div 1 – Dave Robertson 4/4, Stuart Smiley 3.5/4
Div 2- Brian Lowens 4.5/6,Colin Hughes 4/4
Div 3- Chris Goy 4.5/6, Dave Hulme (not me) & Frank McGuigan 4/4
Div 4 – Trevor Amos, Efe Kitis, Barry O’Brien & Joshua Thweny; All 2/2
Full details of course shown on the"players" section of the website.

In the knock-out, Wallasey, Hoylake, Chester 1 and Penyffordd have all made it through to the semi-finals. All the big guns made it through with the biggest scare probably being for Chester 1 who got through by the narrowest of margins vs Atticus 2nd division team with outstanding results for Steve Burge & Tom Lawton both beating 1st division players graded approx. 50 points higher each.

I would also like to mention that Malpas & Whitchurch's Charles Higgie is looking for friendly games against existing division 4 teams, with a view to possibly adding another team in this division next season.

Finally just to wish all players and their families a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Best wishes – David Hulme
WCL Controller.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:56pm

Tuesday 17th December 2013

Wallasey join Penyffordd & Hoylake in semi-finals

Chester KO1 make up the quartet of semi-finalists

Penyffordd have beaten Chester's 2nd KO team to set up a semi-final with Chester's 1st KO team, following their win by 5 1/2 pts to 4pts (incl handicap).

Hoylake beat Pensby by the score of 6 to 3 1/2 pts (incl handicap) to secure a place in the semi-finals and await the winner of Wallasey and Buckley/Mold in the remaining quarter-final.

Wallasey became the 4th semi-finalists following their 5-2 win over Buckley/Mold last night.

Chester KO 1 won their quarter final back in September, but only after 2nd division Atticus put up a mighty fight losing by just 1/2 point.

The semi final dates are to be agreed between clubs and should also advise fixture secretary Graham Heath in advance.

The semi-finals are:

Chester KO1 vs Penyffordd/Malpas & Whitchurch

Wallasey vs Hoylake/Great Meols

Posted by: David Hulme at 5:18pm

Tuesday 29th October 2013


Atticus moved to the top of division 2 last night with a narrow win over Wallasey 5.

Last season's promotion contenders look like being in the mix again for 2013/14.
Plenty of competition will ensure an interesting struggle, especially as it is early doors and this season we have an extra fixture now with the added team.

Posted by: David Hulme at 3:38pm

Tuesday 29th October 2013


Hoylake's 3rd team went joint top of div 3 last night following their win over Frodsham.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:32am

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Cheshire & North Wales Junior Chess Championships

To be held on Saturday 5th October 2013 at King's School, Wrexham Road, Chester.

The competition is open to all juniors under the age of 18 who are eligible to play for Cheshire & North Wales. There will be 5 sections (under 9, under 10, under 11, under 14 and under 18) with 6 rounds in each. The time control will be 25 minutes for all moves.

For further information including entry forms visit

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:48am

Tuesday 24th September 2013


Frodsham have made an amazing start to the new season in division 3 with two big wins in 5 days.

A note to captain Jim: Go careful now, you could be in danger of winning promotion LOL.

This of course is just a light hearted note to put the spotlight on the smashing social team from Frodsham !

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:01am

Thursday 29th August 2013

Riyaan Yesudian Scores Well at Terafinal

The Chester youngster scores highly in the Challengers A section at the 2013 UK Chess Challenge.

Riyaan scored 4.5 out of 6 and was undefeated, with his best performance in round 2 where he beat a 16 year old graded 173!

To see the standings visit

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 1:08am

Tuesday 27th August 2013


1. Full league fixtures now on site

2. Executive committee have agreed:

a) Penyffordd KO team may include players from Malpas & Whitchurch

b) Chester's 2nd KO team captained by Ray Williams has been granted 2nd division status, subject to any player having maximum grade of 147 .

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:19pm

Friday 9th August 2013

Riyaan Yesudian Equal Second in British Under 10's

Chester's Riyaan Yesudian finishes equal second, just half a point behind the winner.

See all results here

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:45pm

Friday 2nd August 2013

Success For Doran at British Championships

Chester's Chris Doran wins U180 Section at the British Championships in Torquay, scoring 4.5/5.

Chris followed up his round 1 draw with 4 straight wins to claim the title. Richard Bryant, also of Chester, scored 3.5 in the same section.

In the Under 8 section, Chester's Jack Yang scored 3.5/6. Next week, Chester Juniors Daniel Savidge and the Yesudian Brothers Rohan and Riyaan will compete in the U14, U12 and U10 Sections respectively.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 6:45pm

Tuesday 9th July 2013


The AGM being held on Wednseday 17th July will be considering applications from THREE new clubs to join the league

1. Malpas & Whitchurch (aka Carden Arms)

2. Irby Social

3. Rhyl & Prestatyn (expected to play games at Buckley/Mold).

It would appear that the anticipated Division 4, comprising four board teams, with a maximum grade to be agreed (approx 100-110) will comprise 6 teams:

Buckley/Mold 4
Chester 9 & 10
Irby Social
Rhyl & Prestatyn
Wallasey 7.

All subject to agreement at the AGM.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:58pm

Friday 14th June 2013

Wallasey Chess Club website

Colin Hughes of Wallasey CC writes ....

I was hoping that you would be able to post a quick note on the Wirral League site to let people know that our new website is up and running (nothing fancy but it is there!). The web address is

Posted by: David Hulme at 2:49pm

Sunday 9th June 2013


An end of season match arranged by Buckley's Quentin Dodd and Chester's Graham Bromley, saw the two clubs juniors play over 2 legs.

The 2nd leg played at Chester on 7th June was won by Buckley/Mold by the narrow score of 5.5 to 4.5

The 1st leg match was played at Buckley last month with Chester's juniors gaining a narrow victory 5-4 over 9 boards.

The League looks forward to seeing many of these players participating in future seasons, and we can be optimistic that chess in this region is fortunate to have a rich seem of junior players. thanks to the organisors Quentin and Graham.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:24pm

Saturday 8th June 2013


The annual challenge match between Wallasey and Chester was played on 16th May at Wallasey,

The host club won the "30 board" match by 16-14 to retain the trophy.

This is the 5th year this Match has been held with Wallasey now victorious on three of the five occasions. with one win to Chester and one drawn match.

Next year the match will be played at Chester, who will be keen to seek revenge.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:14pm

Thursday 6th June 2013

Local Juniors Success at Cheshire Megafinals

Jack Yang, the Yesudians and Susan Gorman amongst those who qualified for the Northern Gigafinals.

Several players took part in the Cheshire & North Wales Megafinals of the 2013 UK Chess Challenge, held at Cheadle Hulme School on the 12th May.

Chester's Jack Yang and Buckley/Mold's Ifan Rathbone-Jones both scored 6 points and qualified from the U7 and U9 sections respectively. Both boys were awarded the title of "Supremo" for finishing 1st, Meanwhile in the U8 section, Buckley/Mold's Robert Goodwin also qualified as "Supremo", scoring 5.

In the U10 section, Macey Taylor of Buckley/Mold was "Suprema", scoring 5.5 points. Also qualifying was Chester's Riyaan Yesudian, who scored 5.

In the U11 section, Seth Collinson (Chester) was "Supremo" with 5 points, ahead of Robert Fisher (also Chester) who also qualified with 4 points.

In the U12 section, Chester's Rohan Yesudian and Daniel Savidge both qualified with 5 points, with Yesudian being award the "Supremo" title.

Finally Susan Gorman of Penyffordd was "Suprema" in the U17 section, scoring 2.5.

Several other local players took part and qualified. For a full list visit: Megafinal Qualifiers.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:35am

Monday 13th May 2013


Report by John Carleton covering both local leagues (WCL and Chester & District)

At the conclusion of the half-year report we were awaiting some big games in the cup competitions, anticipating some season-defining games in the Wirral League and struggling to keep in touch with leaders Wrexham in the the Chester and District Chess League. The first trophy to be denied us was in the Chester &DCL. The combined Chester K.O. team was almost at full strength for our semi-final against Wrexham and we entered the fray in high spirits. In the event we were edged out on board count after the match score finished 3-3. For me personally this was the most disappointing result of the season; my defeat to Richard Dineley was the second in successive years lost to the Welsh international in a cup competition and had I not collapsed from a reasonable position Wrexham may have been denied. Wrexham went on to beat Rhyl and Prestatyn 3.5-2.5 in the final and thus retain the K.O. Cup.
The Wirral K.O. semi-final was played in the same week as the Chester & DCL semi-final and with another strong line-up we bounced back to beat Hoylake over the 7 boards of this competition by a flattering 6-1. This trophy was retained by us in our final match of the season on May 10th by beating the battling 2nd Division Pensby [who started with a handicap of 2.5 points] by 6.5-3.
Just after Christmas in the Chester & DCL we were a win behind Wrexham who had a run of big scores on the run-in and were threatening to have settled the title regardless of the result of the last match of the season against us. In their penultimate game Wrexham were pushed all the way by Chester 3 before winning 3-2. This meant that if we could win 4-1 in that final game then Chester 1 could steal the title. An early win for Wrexham made this possibility largely academic and they coasted to a comfortable 3.5-1.5 victory. Throughout the season Wrexham were the best team in the Chester & DCL so their "double" was richly deserved : we will fight manfully to collect at least some of the silverware next season. We draw scant consolation from being the only team to defeat them over the season.
The Wirral League was far more open between the 3 contenders: Wallasey who had scored four heavy wins [including against Penyffordd who although not at full strength edged an advantage on gradings; the 1-4 result was a surprise to most people] were playing the same 5 players every match and looked the team of the moment. Penyffordd headed them in the table by dint of having played 2 games more and we headed them by virtue of having an extra result in [effectively the draw with Chester 2]. Then in Wallasey's 5th and our 6th match we really hit top form and scored an emphatic 5-0 victory. The way the season unfolded saw Wallasey complete their fixtures whilst we still had two remaining. Our penultimate game was against Penyffordd who were playing their final match. Because Wallasey had surprisingly drawn with Buckley-Mold in their final match, victory for Penyffordd would win the League for them. A quick victory for Bob Clark over me was equalised by our new big hitter Juan Lasheras[score 7.5/8 for us and a total of 12.5/13 in Chester colours] and the stage was set for a nail-biting finish. Steve Connor and Dave Stuttard drew their games in their own distinctive styles and then David Jameson and Dave Robertson were left in a fight to the death. A certain random element crept[charged?] into the play and the spectators were soon sweating profusely. At the end of three hours, the players had run out of ammunition and the game and match were drawn. This meant victory in our final game would enable us to retain our title; we made no mistake, beating Formby 4-1.
Our second season at Chester thus saw us facing stiff competition throughout and unable to reach the dominance of last season. Thus last year for the Club to win "only" three of the top four trophies available seemed somewhat disappointing at the time whereas this year we were relieved for Chester to end up with two of these trophies. This second season also sees us in an area where something of a revival in chess seems underway. I don't think it is a Magnus factor comparable to the 1970s Bobby factor, mainly because Magnus, unlike Bobby, is pleasant and easy-going[ but like Bobby in his time seems to play a different form of chess from everyone else]. One factor is that there is something of an upsurge in junior chess. At Chester we are particularly proud of our juniors. The Chester 7 team that so convincingly won Division 3 of the Wirral League is, we hope, just the vanguard for further success. Even more gratifying for the chess community at large is the fact that Chester is not the only club where juniors in the region are catching the eye. Long may the work of those bringing on this young talent continue!
There are many other local organisers who deserve our thanks. At the pinnacle of this organisational pyramid may I mention Bob Clark, controller of the Chester & DCL, who filled the vacancy at very short notice, David Hulme, his counterpart in the Wirral CL and Steve Lloyd who gets results onto the websites just as the players are shaking hands on the completion of the final game in a match. Thanks to one and all.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:15pm

Monday 6th May 2013


Welcome to this report which follows the finish of our league season this week. Firstly congratulations go to divisional winners Chester 1, Hoylake 2 and Chester 7, with player of the year awards going to John Gorman, Dave Hurley and Daniel Savidge.
Unsurprisingly Chester 1 retained their league title with an unbeaten finish to the season. Having occasionally stuttered along they took a major step in February with the 5-0 win over contenders Wallasey 1, and holding their nerve in a hard fought draw with Penyffordd 1 in their penultimate match, which left them needing a draw against Formby to ensure the title which they managed to better.
The title was a 3-way battle for most of the season, with Wallasey 1 setting off like a house on fire with four big wins before the demoralising crash to Chester 1. Two further wins kept them in contention before their final match with relegation threatened Buckley/Mold 1. An excellent battle by BM1 held out for a draw with W1 thereby practically eliminated Wallasey from the title chase. From Penyffordd 1’s view point the season became a hard contest after an early season defeat to W1, partly induced with the absence of top player Bob Clark. After BM1’s draw with Wallasey, Penyffordd had matters in their own control when facing defending champions Chester. This match could not have been closer or more tense as Penyffordd outscored the champions on top four boards, only to find a new recruit to Chester by the name of Juan Lasheras scored a vital win on board 5 to draw the match. In this match Bob Clark inflicted the first defeat on John Carleton’s WCL career and in doing so helped team captain John Gorman secure the div 1 POY award.
In mid table, newly promoted Chester 3 finished slightly ahead of C2 and Hoylake 1, greatly assisted by winning both of these duels. A final score of 50% was a sound achievement for Steve Lloyd’s team. The C2 team suffered from absence of top players Rokas Valantinas and Chris Doran to work commitments on several occasions and could not therefore mount a serious title challenge. Hoylake 1 ended up with the same score as C2 and finished comfortably ahead of the relegation zone. Wallasey 2 picked up two points against teams in the bottom zone to ensure safety while BM 1 and Formby were left to sweat it out in their final matches. BM had beaten Formby earlier in the season but an unexpected win by Formby over C3, and a further draw against C2 looked like it would be enough to save them. However BMs fighting spirit earned a draw against W1 to leave matters on a knife edge and ultimately the bottom slot was only decided on game point difference.
I was pleased to see W1 use just five players for the season, the only team in the whole league to manage this.

Division 2 saw the tightest finish to a season I can remember with teams knocking spots off each other left, right and centre. When Chester 4 had three matches to go it was still possible for the bottom team to achieve promotion but ultimately this did not work out. When it came to the final night of the season any one of three teams could still have won promotion (Wallasey 5, Atticus and Hoylake 2). In the end H2 came up trumps with a crushing win over C4 to leave C4 consigned to relegation, and to take H2 to the top division along with their 1st team brothers ! It is unusual for a team to win a division when losing two of eight matches, but when it mattered they beat the teams in contention. One of their losses was a 5-0 whitewash by C5 whose captain (Graham Bromley) decided to strengthen his team when sitting bottom of the table at Christmas. I was not happy to see a club’s 5th team bring in several 1st division regulars and have sought assurance this will not happen again next season. Wallasey 5 came 2nd following a brilliant season marshalled by the competitive Ron Champion. Early season success in both Wallasey derbies was a surprise to all involved and set the tone for an exciting promotion race. W5 certainly hold the bragging rights after finishing above both of the other Wallasey teams. Atticus came close to achieving promotion but became a casualty of the C5 reinforcements, and ultimately fell short in their final match against W3. I have been delighted with Atticus introduction to the league last season and believe this has improved the standard of the division and the spirit in which they participate. W3 finished fourth after a shaky start losing both derbies to W4s and W5. As the season drew to a finish they were precariously placed but then picked up two outstanding wins against a strong C5 team and the promotion-chasing Atticus. A season of two halves saw C5 bottom at Christmas but they quickly assured their division 2 status with the reinforcements. W4 finished 6th in the division, and just to underline the change in standards, this team was in division one just two seasons ago. Captain Graham Heath may well be in the transfer market during the close season. Buckley/Mold 2 and Pensby 1 scored a respectable three points each. BM’s main objective is to maintain a team in each division and the BM2 team shared out playing duties amongst a dozen or so players, with captain Quentin Dodd making 7 appearances and then several players with 3 and 4 respectively. Pensby 1 had to watch nervously after completing their fixtures with a solitary win and four draws, but have a big knock-out final to come yet. C4 complete division two by finishing bottom much to my surprise.
Division 3 was won handsomely by the juniors from Chester 7. They finished as runaway winners winning all but one matches (the other was a draw) in complete contrast to the previous season where only one draw was achieved ! Junior Manager Graham Bromley has high expectations for this team with the oldest player just turned 12. Promotion was secured with a big win over nearest rivals Wallasey 6 who finished 2nd. The strongest team on paper was Penyffordd 2 but they came unstuck too often in the early part of the season. Last season’s top team BM3 continued their policy of providing chess on a “bottom-up” basis and obtained a pleasing four points. Next came the league’s latest arrivals Hoylake 3 who gained a 50% return and used just 6 players all season. Captain John Smallthwaite was disappointed when Penyffordd fielded three players of approx. grade 150 and over in their final game, believing it was against the “spirit of the game” in the 3rd division. While I support John’s view on this matter, it is important to note that keeping teams and players involved is the higher priority. Chester 6 gave league debuts to juniors Robbie fisher and 6 yr old Jack Yang, who are likely to feature in a new Chester junior team next season. Frodsham and Pensby 2 saved their best til last and may well both be playing in a new division 4 next season designed for social players and to introduce beginners to league chess.
I trust that all clubs can attend this year’s AGM which I hope will see several new teams including a new division 4 for season 2013/14.

Best wishes – David Hulme

Posted by: David Hulme at 2:05pm

Wednesday 10th April 2013


Hoylake 2 beat Wallasey 4 last night to go joint top of division two.

with just 3 matches left to play in division two, both promotion and relegation issues hang in the balance. The picture may be a little clearer after next week's clash between relegation threatened Chester 4 and promotion hopeful's Wallasey 5. It will however all be decided on the final night (30th April) when the current top two play at home. Atticus face Wallasey 3, who were my pre-season favourites for promotion and Hoylake 2 face Chester 4 in a match that is certain to have impact on top and bottom of the table.

Also up for grabs is the player of the year award with Atticus' Dave Hurley assured of the award if he wins his final game. Other contenders include Hoylake's John Hanson and Colin Hughes of Wallasey 5. A number of other players are also in contention if the leading players slip up, with outsider Dave Hulme currently in 11th place needing two wins to have a chance.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:35pm

Wednesday 10th April 2013

Drama In Division 1!

Wallasey 1 out of the title race - Buckley/Mold Safe from Relegation (Probably), after drawn match.

Wallasey 1 could only draw with relegation threatened Buckley/Mold 1. Although not mathematically out of the title race, it is now no longer in their hands.

In the game itself there was an early draw between Stuart Smiley (Wallasey) and Stephen Dunning. Dunning declared draw by repetition however Smiley seemed unsure. Luckily league controller David Hulme was there and the two players played out the moves. The conclusion being the draw claim was valid. Then the away team took a surprise lead after Mark Thomas defeated Greg Hughes on three. However the home team were soon level when Mike Coffey beat David Pearcey on two.

The two remaining games had both reached end games. On four Buckley/Mold's Liam Jefferies won a pawn ending against Phil Brine to give the visitors at least a draw. However that's all they could manage. Andy Barber was a rook for 2 pawns up against Phil Davies, unfortunately both of these pawns were passed and he could do nothing to stop both.

Buckley/Mold still remain bottom having played all eight games, yet 8th placed Formby must face contenders Chester 1 in their final fixture. If Formby can avoid defeat they will survive. However, a 3-2 defeat would put them equal with Buckley/Mold.

At the top end, the title decider should be between Penyffordd 1 and Chester 1, being played this Wednesday night. Should either team win they would be crowned Champions. A draw and Chester 1 would need another half a point to be finish first, ahead of Wallasey 1 by the narrowest of margins.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:29am

Tuesday 9th April 2013

Chester 7 win Division 3

Wallasey 6 lower boards choke as juniors cruise to a 4.5-0.5 win.

Chester 7 are celebrating winning division 3, a massive turnaround considering they finished bottom without picking up a single win just a season ago.

When I arrived at around a quarter-past 8, the game on board three between Riiyan Yesudian and Eddie Love was already into the end game. In fact Wallasey player Eddie Love was soon asking me to put the clocks back 15 minutes. The game soon fizzled out to a draw, with both players left with a knight and four pawns each.

Meanwhile over on board one, Chester's leading player Daniel Savidge took control after James McCabe's mistake cost him two pawns. Daniel soon converted the material advantage to give Chester the lead.

Over on board two, Chester's Rohan Yesudian was quietly building up pressure against Mark Cockerill. However on boards four and five Wallasey had the advantage and it seemed the home team may have enough to sneak a win.

The game between Arjun Balasubramiam (Chester) and John Higgins seemed to be slightly in Higgins's favour. However disaster struck after Arjun played Qe1+. John had a number of ways to get out of check, and found the worst possible move Ng1?? The g1 square was covered by a bishop allowing Qxg1 checkmate. This gave Chester at least a draw, which was probably enough for them to win the division, providing they could get at least a point against Frodsham.

However there was still time for better. Back on board 2 Rohan Yesudian had managed to convert his positional advantage into a win, leaving the game between James Lee (Chester) and David Williams to decide the final score. Williams was a whole knight up going into the endgame but inexplicably dropped a rook. Williams still had extra pawns and it seemed like he might have been able to hold on. Instead it was Lee who emerged victorious.

Chester 7 remain the only team (besides Chester 1) yet to lose a game this season. Daniel's win puts him back on top of the players chart with one game to go.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:53pm

Wednesday 3rd April 2013


A nail biting finish saw Atticus tip the scales in their favour 3-2.

Atticus improved their promotion chances with a hard fought win over struggling Chester 4 last night. The promotion race is now between Atticus, Hoylake 2 and Wallasey 5. It will all boil down to the last matches on 30th April with Chester 4 playing Hoylake 2, and Atticus playing Wallasey 3. In between times Chester 4 have another big match vs Wallasey 5, while hoylake 2 play Wallasey 4 next week. We also have the important Pensby 1 vs Buckley/Mold 2 match this Friday.

Dave Hurley's win last night takes him into the lead in the Div 2 player of the year award, keeping up his perfect 100% record to date with 5/5.

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:51am

Friday 29th March 2013


It's like christmas all over again as Wallasey teams hit top spot in all three divisions.

Wallasey 1 returned to the top of division one last night with a resounding win by 4-1 over Chester 2. So we go into the final month of the season with Wallasey teams leading the way (W1 in div one, W5 in div 2 and W6 in div 3).
The question is, "how will it all finish ? " It's anyones guess in the most exciting finish to a season during my time as league controller.
Good luck to all teams in the various promotion and relegation fights !

Not to mention the knockout final on 10th May where Pensby take a 2.5 pts lead against Chester.

ENJOY ......

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:31am

Tuesday 26th March 2013


Penyffordd 1 win at Wallasey 2 to go back top of Div 1, while Atticus win to go joint 2nd in div 2

Last night's results still leave all promotion and relegation issues in the balance.

In division 1 Penyffordd went back to the top after a comfortable win at Wallasey, with captain John Gorman keeping up his 100% record to take the lead in the player of the year competition. Its still a 3-horse race for the title with Chester 1 currently having matters in their own control. With the crunch clash to come between the top two Wallasey 1 will be hoping for a draw or Penyffordd win to leave the door wide open for them to take the league title on a possible game point differential basis.

Wallasey 2's loss completes their fixtures and leaves them powerless if Buckley/Mold 1 and Formby can pick up one point and a half respectively in their final matches, although this is probably unlikely.

Division two has seen all teams falling over each other with every team dropping at least two points. The promotion race seems to be between Wallasey 5, Hoylake 2 and Atticus who all have to face Chester 4 in the final month. The Chester team will not relish this task as they currently sit bottom knowing that Buckley Mold 2 and Pensby 1 above them also play each other. Bizarrely it is still possible for Chester 4 to win the division with a freak set of results !

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:45pm

Sunday 24th March 2013


The Wallasey 6 vs Chester 7 match has been moved to Monday 8th April.

The crucial match in the division 3 promotion race has been moved from 4th to 8th April. The winners of this match will be division 3 champions. A draw would leave matters open as Chester 7 have one game scheduled for later in the month, while Wallasey 6 will have completed their fixtures.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:42am

Wednesday 20th March 2013


Tonight saw Buckley/Mold overcome a weakened Wallasey 3 team.

The battle to avoid division two relegation took on another twist tonight as Buckley/Mold's win sent Chester 4 crashing into bottom spot. With Buckley's final fixture against Pensby, they all need points to ensure survival.

What an amazing finish we will have at both ends of division two, with all promotion & relegation issues in the balance.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:54pm

Wednesday 20th March 2013


Discussion document and ideas

WCL – Possible Expansion in League for 2013/14
I have been in discussion with most clubs with a view to possible developments for next season.
The first item to note is that we have received indications of two new clubs wishing to apply to our league:
1. Carden Arms Chess club (a recent recruit to the Chester & District League), captained by Charlie Higgie expect to have a team available to play in our league. Based at Carden Arms near Tilston they are approx 20 minutes outside Chester and expect to field a team with at least division two strength based on 2 players graded 160-170, one at approx 130, one approx 100 and another player or reserve of lower ability. All clubs would need to consider
travel arrangements as this is a little outside the Wirral catchment area. Flexibility may be needed by both Carden Arms CC and others to accommodate this team.

2. Irby Social (a club to be formed) led by Bennett Appleyard (formerly of Wallasey Chess club) are keen to join our league in the lowest division available. With a squad of probably just 5 or 6 players they may struggle to field a 5-man team, and so I would ask the league to consider the adoption of a new division 4 to allow teams of four players each (see later options with possible division 3 and 4 scenarios).
3. Discussions with Frodsham Chess club (Jim McPhillips) show that meeting the five player commitment has proved most difficult this season and therefore have had to use stronger league players than they would have liked. Accordingly the possibility of playing in a new division for 4-man teams seems a good option.
4. Discussion with Buckley Mold (Quentin Dodd) finds that BM can field 3 teams provided no more than one team plays in any division.
5. Discussion with Chester (Graham Bromley) has found that this club expect to field at least one new junior team of 5-players next season, as they are hoping the existing junior team (no 7 in division 3) may well get promoted to division 2. With a junior membership of more than 30, Graham would be keen to introduce a further team into a 4-player division allowing more juniors (of lower ability) to commence playing league chess.
6. Discussion with Wallasey (Graham Heath) shows that one or two players currently do not play league chess and may be able to introduce a further team (No 7) into a 4-player division.
7. Discussion with Penyffordd (John Gorman) shows that this club may struggle to continue with two 5-man teams following the proposed joining by Carden Arms (as some players play for both clubs). They have an established strong 1st team and may be happy to play in a 4-man division rather than the existing 5-man division. This has not yet been discussed with the 2nd team captain Mike Friel who may or may not wish to retain the 5-man team.
8. Discussion with Pensby (Brian Crompton)shows that Pensby struggle to maintain 5-players in their 2nd team and currently find division 3 very tough. An option to play a 4-man team in division 4 may be more attractive.
9. Hoylake CC currently have 3 teams in the league (one in each division). There is a possibility (quite uncertain) they could set up a junior-based team in a new 4th division, depending on travel issues and possibly time issues.
10. Atticus CC do not expect any change in their commitments to WCL for next season.
The purpose of this note is to gather the preferences of all clubs/teams (existing and potential) to be able to have firm proposals to take to the AGM to propose/decide on structure for next season. At this stage all of the above are just thoughts and ideas and no decision can be made until proposals are formally put forward to the league AGM for voting and deciding upon.
In summary the league currently runs 26 teams (9,9,8) with possible additions of 6 new teams for next season (most optimistic scenario). The league is keen to retain its current structure of 5-man teams in divisions 1,2 and 3 and depending on overall numbers may suggest that teams play home and away in division 3 and a new division 4. Again this is only a suggestion at this stage.

Additionally as league controller I have some ideas that need discussing before possible ideas can be put forward to the AGM for consideration.
A. The rule for player eligibility in the knock-out be amended in line with league rules so that a player may only play for one club in any season. (This followed a request by one club to use a player against that player’s own club this season. As controller I could not prevent this as the rules allowed.)
B. There have been some team selections which I would consider as unfair to all clubs in division 2 this season. Accordingly I would like clubs to consider the following idea:
i) All division one teams should nominate and list 3 players for selection (if that club has more teams in other divisions). These players could not then play for any lower team. My concern is that we do not prevent clubs from fielding other teams
ii) The existing top two player rule continues for all other teams outside the 1st division.

C. The tie-break rule for the knockout (in the event of a drawn match) be amended so that the priority be given to board count first, before bottom board elimination.
Please would club secretaries and/or captains ensure these ideas are discussed at club level before the end of this season. If there are any further ideas or suggestions from clubs then please let me know.
I will then contact all clubs again prior to the pre-AGM meeting to enable any necessary item to be included in the league’s agenda at the AGM (normally held in 2nd or 3rd week of July).
David Hulme
WCL Controller.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:29pm

Wednesday 6th March 2013

Exciting Finish In Prospect for Division 1

There's a three-knight race for the title between Chester, Wallasey and Penyffordd.

With two games to go, this season's Division 1 championship looks set to go right to the wire.

Early pacesetters Wallasey 1 saw their unbeaten run of four wins in four come to a devastating end after a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of defending champions Chester 1, who moved to the top of the league for the first time this season. However, following their 4-1 defeat of Formby, Wallasey moved into second place just half a point behind the leaders. Their next game is a tricky home game against Chester 2, followed by another home game against struggling Buckley/Mold 1.

The proverbial 6-pointer (or, should that be 2-pointer) will see third place Penyffordd 1 host leaders Chester 1 in April. Penyffordd are level with Wallasey, but have a slightly weaker game difference. This match seems difficult to call as Penyffordd have the potential to put out a side which will match Chester on almost, if not every board. However before that they most first play away against Wallasey 2.

Chester's final game will be at home against struggling Formby, a match they should surely win, so their game against Penyffordd is vital. A win for Chester would effectively hand them the title, while a defeat would more than likely see them out of the title race. Then we would have a two-horse race which could come down to game difference. Chester could possibly get away with a draw and still finish first due to their superior game difference.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 7:52pm

Wednesday 20th February 2013

Chester 1 Mid Season Report

Report by John Carleton covering both WCL & C&DCL

Chester 1 Mid-Season Report 2012-13

At one of our famed planning and strategy meetings held pre-season the hope was expressed that Chester 1 would produce better chess in the forthcoming season although there was an anticipation that even with that eventuality it would be extremely unlikely that we could aspire to the success of season 2011-12.

With the completion of our match on 15th January we were half way through our league fixtures and had played a full part in the Club's progress into the semi-finals of each of the K.O. competitions. We are assured a busy second half of the season whatever happens and hope that the schedule includes the appearance of 6 teams in those cup competitions for Chester teams, 4 of which to include Chester 1 personnel [The winner of Hoylake v Chester will play against Pensby in the final of the Wirral K.O. The semi-final line up in the Chester & District League is Chester K.O. 2 v Rhyl and Prestatyn and Wrexham v Chester K.O. 1 There could be an all-Chester final although there are certain hurdles in the way. We for our part will try to put as many obstacles in the way of an all-Welsh final as we can!]. Due to the fact that I have delayed composing this report for a few weeks we are well into the second half of the Chester League fixtures but do remain at the halfway stage of the Wirral League fixtures.

Right from the start of the season we got the impression that other teams were going to pull out all the stops to ensure we did not have an easy time [This is known in other circles as the Manchester United effect. This was confirmed almost immediately, when having turned over Chester 2 in fine style in our opening match in the Chester League we had to rely on quite a huge slice of good fortune to scramble a draw in our opening Wirral League fixture against the same opponents.] Without reaching the heights of last season we managed to keep the results, trickling, if not actually flowing, until the end of November when Colwyn Bay lowered our colours in a deserved 3-2 victory. So, after 15 months of competition in Chester colours we had our first defeat in either League. Although we were involved in the exciting Chester K.O. final at the hands of Wrexham.

Come December we had the chance to redeem ourselves and although not at full strength we did just that in a nail-biting match against Wrexham where matters were finally clinched at the end of a nerve-racking time scramble by a Graham Bromley win to make the score 3-2 in our favour. It was thus only on "goal average" that we were inferior to Wrexham as Christmas arrived and the other danger team Colwyn Bay were slightly off the pace since they had fallen to defeat against newly promoted Chester 3.

Any feelings of growing confidence were banished as we started the return fixtures in the Chester League; we were for the second time in the season outplayed by|Chester2 who this time had the rub of the green in the luck stakes and demolished us by the convincing scoreline of 3½-1½. Thus we are level on points with Wrexham who as well as a game in hand have a much superior points difference. Colwyn Bay are in the mix too in a similar position to ourselves in relation to Wrexham. All in all Wrexham are in the box seat but it is not over until the fat lady sings... You may rest assured that we will endeavour to fight to the end even if some claim to have heard the said lady practicing her scales.

The situation in the Wirral League is also problematic for us but the title seems to be, as with the Chester League, between 3 teams: Wallasey 1, with the only 100% record in any of the three divisions and an excellent game points record to boot; Penyffordd 1 who lead the table with 5 points from 6 games having lost once only but heavily to Wallasey 1; we make up the trio but our points difference and dropped draw mean that, to have a chance of the title, we need to win our remaining four fixtures including the two against our main rivals. Our aim is to do just that and we are fortified by the knowledge that at Chester we have the ability to call upon very able reserves as the need arises.

So how will our planners and strategists evaluate the progress to date? It has to be admitted that so far we have not played to the standard of last season although we have recorded some attractive victories. We continue to enjoy the struggle and admire the camaraderie of many of our opponents particularly those on the outskirts of the Chess empire resolutely retaining their enthusiasm and opportunities for those wishing to play our great game.

John Carleton
Feb 15th 2013

[Details of all the above matches are available on the Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League websites.]

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:04pm

Sunday 10th February 2013

BULLETIN No.3 2012/13

Welcome to Bulletin no.3 of 2012/13 season.

I am going to start this report with congratulations to Pensby on reaching the Knock out final for the first time in many years following their success against Atticus in their semi-final. This is great news for Pensby with their league teams having just had one success in nine attempts so far this season. They will face the winners of Hoylake vs Chester and play the final with a 2.5 pts handicap start !

Meanwhile Division One has seen a change at the top with Penyffordd 1 on a run of four successive wins to be a point clear with 5/6. Wallasey 1 still remain as probable favourites with their 100% record of 4/4 but have not played since mid November. Their next match with Chester 1 may well be pivotal in the championship outcome as the defending champions have 3.5 pts from 4 matches. Hoylake 1 sit 4th in the table with 50% from 6 matches and should be safe from the relegation squabble of teams below. Chester 2 while currently sitting 5th will probably need another half or full point to secure 1st division status, while their Chester 3 brothers only have two matches remaining and are nervously placed on 2 points and share indentical records with Wallasey 2. These two teams play each other next month in the knowledge that avoiding defeat should secure their 1st division life. In 8th place Formby have made big progress in picking up a win and a draw against Chester teams but face tough matches against title contenders in the run in. Currently in bottom position are Buckley Mold 1 with a game in hand on teams above them but also face title contenders (Wallasey 1 & Chester 1) in the run in plus Chester 2, needing to make up a half point to catch Formby.

Moving onto Division Two, it is anybodys call to work out who is favourite for promotion with contenders including Wallasey 4 & 5, Hoylake 2, and Atticus. Wallasey 5 are still at the top but following defeat to Hoylake 2 recently matters are no longer in their own control. Hoylake 2 maybe slight favourites but all matches are so closely fought anything could happen. It is noted that Hoylake 2 fielded a much stronger team than normal in their latest match against promotion rivals Wallasey 5 and with this team could probably achieve promotion. With Wallasey 4 on an unbeaten run since the opening game of the season and a match to play against Hoylake 2 these maybe the most likely contenders. Atticus recently suffered their first defeat at home to an outrageously strong Chester 5 team fielding several players normally playing 1st division chess, as captain Graham Bromley fights to avoid being relegated. The next match for Chester 5 vs Hoylake 2 will be interesting to see how these teams line up. Wallasey 3 currently in 5th position have failed to meet my expectations as I would have made them pre-season favourites. Just shows you cannot take anything for granted in this division. Pensby 1 in 6th place have 2/5 and probably need another half or full point for safety, then comes Chester 5 who seem determined to avoid relegation. Buckley/Mold 2 have the same 1.5 pts as Chester 5 so again will need to bag some more points to remain safe. Chester 4 are currently anchored to bottom position with 1 out of 4, but with a game in hand will feel they can avoid the drop.

Division Three shows Wallasey 6 still top of the pile but following a recent defeat to the strong Penyffordd 2 team now have the dynamic Chester Juniors (7th team) in hot pursuit. The juniors have a game in hand and trail by half a point with just two matches remaining. The fixture on April 4th at Wallasey should determine which team achieves promotion. Next come three teams on 50% from 5 games – Hoylake 3, Penyffordd 2 and Chester 6. In any other season this Penyffordd team would be good enough for division two, so shows how well this batch of teams have to perform. The group at the bottom of this division are vital in providing chess for all, and I salute Buckley Mold, Pensby & Frodsham for fulfilling their fixtures in such a sporting manner.

Player of the Year (POY) for Div one is developing into a wide open race. Current leader and previous winner John Gorman has the perfect score of 5/5 but only has two more games to play. In second place is Dave Tebb who has a cupboard full of previous awards trailing by half a point then we have Ed Taylor’s impressive 4/6 obtained with five blacks. A clutch of players have 3.5 pts including members of Wallasey 1 and Chester 1 that still have four games to play.
In Div Two Colin Hughes currently heads the list with 4/5 but only has two more games to play, and in second place we have three players a half point behind. These include Dave Hulme playing for the team at the bottom of the division with Ken Jones & Jim Wiseman having played one game more. We have seven players close behind on 3 pts each.
Division Three is led by the promising junior Daniel Savidge with 4.5/5 including a win over a player graded some 80 points higher ! The chasing pack include David Bennion, Ron Ledgard, James McCabe and Eddie Love all on 4 pts. A further batch have 3.5 pts.
Good luck to all players.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:42pm

Sunday 10th February 2013

Mixed Results at Frodsham Congress

Ex-Capenhurst player Mike McDonagh wins Intermediate with 4.5/5

At least 20 players from the Wirral League attended this event, which was held between 8th and 10th of February at Frodsham Community Centre.

In the Major (U220) Section, which was won by Mike Surtees of Bolton, Chris Doran of Chester was the best scorer of the locals with 3.5/5. Also involved were Jeff Smith, Richard Bryant (both Chester) and Ray Pearson (Penyffordd) who all scored 3, and Peter Lovatt (Penyffordd) who got 2.

In the Intermediate (U160) Section, Steve Lloyd (Chester) recovered from 0.5/2 to score 3.5/5 and win the the slow starters prize. This prize was added last minute thanks to the increased number of entrants. Also from Chester were Colin White (3), Joe Nemcek (2.5) and Ray Williams (2.5). Other players from the Wirral League were Tony Roberts (2.5) of Wallasey, Dave Ashton (2) of Pensby, and Celeste McCrann (2.5) of Penyffordd.

The Minor Section (U120) was won by Jonathan Mahoney of Leeds. Frank McGuigan, Angus Weir (both Frodsham), Mike Friel (Penyffordd) and John Lawton (Atticus) all scored 3, John Grady (Formby) scored 2 and Ian Clayton (Chester) scored 1. The youngest competitor was Jack Yang from Chester Juniors. He had the misfortune to win one of his earlier games by default which meant he was always up against stronger opposition. He ended on 1/5.

Chester missed out on winning the team prize as they were beaten by half a point by Wigan. Chester might have won it had they arranged their teams better or if results in the final round went a different way. In the final game of the tournament, Wigan member Paul Talbot was somewhat fortunate to escape with a draw in what looked to be a losing endgame.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 8:21pm

Friday 11th January 2013

Chester 7 March On

The juniors impress against a strong Penyffordd 2.

Chester 7 move to within half a point of leaders Wallasey 6 after defeating Penyffordd 3.5 - 1.5 at home.

Early on the visitors appeared to be on the upper hand. On board two Chester's Rohan Yesudian's ambitious attempt at a Kings Gambit accepted backfired against the experienced David Bennion, and seemed to spend most of the game fighting off attacks on his kingside. Bennion eventually won after an hour and a half.

The game on board five between James Lee and Penyffordd's captain Mike Friel was a Closed Sicilian. Friel seemed to have the upper hand after sacrificing a piece for three pawns, then won the piece back in exchange for just 1 pawn. Lee was able to trap Friel's Bishop leading to R+B+5P (Friel) vs (R+B+N+2P). Then somehow Lee was able to win another piece.

On board three Riyaan Yesudian played a Sicilian against David Parker-Williams. Later Riyaan had advanced his queenside pawns and had trapped David's white squared bishop, and was able to win a couple of pawns. David later resigned to level the scores at 1-1.

Meanwhile back on board five, the rook, bishop and pawns endgame eventually boiled down to a KP vs K endgame, with Lee the holder of the pawn. He was able to queen it and Friel resigned. 2-1.

Over on board one Daniel Savidge opened with an Hyper-accelerated Dragon (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6), which his opponent Charles Higgie helped transpose it into a Maroczy Bind. What followed was what seemed to be a complicated tactical battle. At one stage Savidge offered a draw which Higgie declined. Then a few moves later, Higgie offered a draw! However Savidge now seemed confident enough that he could score a positive result and declined the offer. Savidge then won two pawns for no compensation, leaving him with a pawn on g2. Higgie was in trouble, and after a mistake Savidge exchanged his knight and knight for a rook then combined his queen and rook to threaten to win the white queen on the backrow, forcing Higgie's hand. 3-1.

The final game to finish was between Arjun Balasubramaniam and Celeste McCrann. Arjun was able to win the exchange after almost trapping Celeste's queen on f8. Somehow Celeste won the exchange back and had an active knight vs Arjun's less active Bishop. However once the minor pieces came off it seemed a draw would be the most likely result. Arjun got a passed c pawn 2 moves away from queening, but was unable to make the most of it due to the constant checks. Eventually a draw was agreed.

Chester 7's next scheduled fixture is against leaders Wallasey 6 in what should be a winner takes all match. However Chester 7 must also fit in an away match against Pensby 2.

In the player of the year chart, Daniel Savidge's win moves him up to equal first alongside John Higgins. Riyaan Yesudian and James Lee also feature in the top ten. Meanwhile David Bennion's win puts him equal third, half a point behind the leaders.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:45pm

Wednesday 26th December 2012



Welcome to Bulletin no. 2 for 2012/13. As we have just about reached the half-way mark of this season, Wallasey sit proudly at the top of the Christmas Tree in all three divisions, ready to tackle the challenges that the new year will no doubt thrust at them in all leagues.

To start with div one, Wallasey 1 have maintained their 100% record with a further win over mid-table Chester 3 and sit one point clear of nearest rivals Penyffordd 1. The table is a bit disjointed at present as the title holders (Chester 1) have only played two games (sitting 5th in the table) and had a postponement just before the break to leave them with a “Fergie-style” fixture congestion of having 13 league matches and a possible 4 cup matches covering their local leagues in a time span of 4 months. Hoylake 1 although currently in third place will not realistically expect to challenge for the title as they have already lost to both stronger teams above them. Chester 3 are sitting in fourth with two points from five games and could easily end up in the relegation pool. Chester 2 having a disappointing one and a half points from four games and would expect to pull clear of relegation, but nothing should be taken for granted in this cut throat division. Below Chester 2 (6th position) we have three teams all fighting for survival with one point each namely Buckley Mold 1, Formby 1 and Wallasey 2. BM have the advanatage of four away games to come which gives the extra white game including a vital match with Wallasey 2. The winners of this game are likely to be safe as Formby have the most difficult fixture schedule of the bottom clubs facing the three likely championshiop contenders and Chester 2. As The Formby captain said after beating Chester 3, at least “we have a fighting chance now we are on the score board”.

Turning next to div two sees the unlikely leaders Wallasey 5 top of the Christmas pops, with four points from five games. I suspect they started the season thinking about survival but are now serious contenders for promotion. In 2nd place we have Atticus who are the only team to topple Wallasey 5 so far. With a game in hand and a point behind they could overtake Wallasey 5 early in the new year. Atticus certainly seem to be enjoying home advantage as their three wins have all come “over the water, with the extra black games”. Wallasey 4 sit third and will have a big say in who gets promotion as they have to play Wallasey 5’s rivals and may do their club a big favour if they can get positive results against Atticus and Hoylake 2 (in 4th position). Hoylake 2 have a crucial match next against Wallasey 5 and have it in their own destiny to gain promotion with a successful outcome of their remaining matches. BM2 and Pensby 1 are both on one and a half points from four games and need further points to be safe from the bottom. They play each other later on during the season and any points gained should see their clubs reach safety. Surprisingly Wallasey 3 sit 7th in the table following their two derby defeats against their owm club teams but have emerged with a solid victory against Hoylake 2. I would expect Wallasey 3 to pull further up the table and leave the two Chester teams fighting to avoid the drop. So far Chester 4 have got one point from three, with Chester 5 struggling with just a half point from four.

Div three shows Wallasey 6 top of the pile, to conclude the current Wallasey whitewash across the divisions. A perfect record of 4/4 (like their Wallasey 1 brothers) has shown the remainder a clean pair of heels so far. Tough competition may well come from Penyffordd 2 who have the ability to field exceptionally strong team on occasion, while nearest rivals are Chester’s junior 7th team currently unbeaten. With newcomers Hoylake 3 making steady progress in this division I suspect Wallasey 6 will be difficult to overhaul. The remaining teams from BM (3rd team), Chester (6th team), Frodsham and Pensby 2 are more interested in providing chess to all rather than seeking promotion.

With respect to player of the year (POY) positions, the div one race is now wide open as nearly all players have dropped at least half a point. Although the Wallasey 1 players still occupy five of the top eight places, there is only half a point between the top eleven players. At the top we currently have Mike Coffey, Phil Davies and Rokas Valantinas on all three and a half from four and sitting back in 15th position is last year’s POY John Carleton (2/2) who is now the only 100% record in the top 15 along with previous winner John Gorman (3/3). Unfortunately John Gorman has missed one game and this may prove crucial in the final count.

Div two shows Colin Hughes (Wallasey 5) and Jim Wiseman (Atticus) sharing the lead with three and a half from four, but Jim has the advantage of four remaining games compared to Colin’s three. With three players just behind on three points (Dave Hurley and john Lawton of Atticus, and Ken Jones of Wallasey 4) this competition is too tight to call especially as there are several players with games in hand.

Division three shows the experienced John Higgins (Wallasey 6) leading the way with a similar score to div one and two pace setters of 3 ½ from 4, with Ron Ledgard (Hoylake 3) and James McCabe on 3 points each. Next come a trio on 2 ½ points including Chester’s promising junior, Daniel Savidge together with Eddie Love (Wall 6) and allan Clarke (Hoy 3).

Drawing attention to the knockout’s matches in November saw two 2nd division teams come through against 1st division opposition. Congratualtions to both Pensby and Atticus who face each other in one semi-final while div one contenders Chester and Hoylake play in the other semi-final. I reckon Hoylake beating Wallasey was an equal surprise to the division two teams overcoming 1st division teams.

Next I would like to remind clubs of the postponement procedures. It is the responsibility of the club asking for postponement to ensure the match is rescheduled within 14 days of the original fixture. Of five postponements agreed only one has followed this rule. Therefore would captains please re-arrange the postponements and inform me accordingly.
As always good luck to all players.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:21am

Thursday 13th December 2012

Atticus (3.5) vs Pensby 1 (1.5)

Report from Tom Lawton

The last match of the year for Atticus in the Wirral League. It was a cold night for Pensby’s visit but the room soon warmed up as did the chess. Steve Burge and Liam Cadigan agreed an early draw on Board 2. Jim Wiseman faced David Ashton’s King’s Gambit and achieved an early advantage which ended in a win for Jim. Not sure what was happening in John Lawton versus Colin Higgins but John won. My game versus Brian Crompton was quite a slow, strategic affair but Brian spotted a tactic which won him a pawn and my position went to pieces. Once Brian had the edge, he held it, pressed, won a piece and won the game in fine style. Dave Hurley looked uncomfortable early on against Adam Hodgson. Dave has been having a great season in all competitions but this game looked like a struggle. Dave only just made the time control with about a minute to spare and the exchange down. He looked glum and didn’t look like a man who would convert the point. However, when he knew we had at least drawn the match, he tried to mix things up a bit. This worked as Adam missed a trick and lost Queen for Rook and resigned. A great match, and very tense.


Tom Lawton

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:44am

Friday 7th December 2012


Report by David Hulme: Formby 3-2 vs Chester 3

Formby threw themselves a lifeline in the division one relegation battle by overcoming Chester 3 last night. From the outset things looked promising for Chester 3, having the edge with three whites while holding the two black boards quite comfortably. My first assessment of the match after approx 45 minutes showed slight advantages on all boards for the Chester team. As I became engrossed in my game believing I had the upper hand against Bob Platt, I suddenly found myself facing a mate in one threat after an exchange of central pawns and a badly judged sacrifice. In trying to fend off the mate with a counter-attack I left myself wide open to another mating threat which Bob duly found to put Formby 1-0 up just after 9 o’clock. This was my first defeat in the Wirral League in 17 games since February 2011, so an excellent result for Bob who had missed much of the past year with illness. So it was time to drown my sorrows as I shuttled off to the bar.
On my return to the room the overall view was still good for Chester despite my failure. Chester’s bd 1 Richard Bryant had gained a good pawn against Dave Williams, Jeff Smith on board 2 had gained an exchange and a pawn against Phil Fisher, Joe Nemcek was a pawn up against Kevin Howard with opposite coloured bishops but the pawn structures looked like this could be converted to a full point and the battle of the captains on board 5 saw Formby’s Mike Barrett outwit Steve Lloyd with some aggressive king side counter attack that left Steve’s king vulnerable to numerous threats in the centre. After winning some decisive material Mike was allowed to deliver mate, and take Formby into a 2-0 lead. Next came the shock of an agreed draw on board 2 as Phil managed to create sufficient havoc with his Rook & Night and advanced pawns to cause Jeff to use too much time. In the end Phil looked good value for the draw despite being the exchange and a pawn down. So with two games in progress Formby were guaranteed at least a draw.
As the games went into the final 10 minutes, Richard had gained an extra pawn to go two pawns up and then in the inevitable time melee gave one back to leave the game on a knife-edge. To make matters worse he also missed a neat trick making an illegal move and so gave an extra two minutes to Dave. Meanwhile over on board 4, Chester’s Joe Nemcek had gained a 2nd pawn in what seemed to be a decisive advantage only to allow the opposite squared bishop to block any further advances and so a draw was reluctantly agreed to ensure Formby gained their first full point of the season. And in the final minutes Richard had created enough to deliver mate and make the final score 3-2 to Formby.
This now leaves three teams on 1 point (BuckleyMold 1, Wallasey 2 and Formby) and throws up a mass of possible opportunities for all to avoid the dreaded trap door, and drags Chester’s 2nd and 3rd teams into the possible mire. Formby will be pleased with gaining this vital point so they can look forward to 2013 with optimistic belief that they can retain 1st division status. Christmas dinners will sit a little more heavily on all the affected teams !

Posted by: David Hulme at 4:52pm

Saturday 1st December 2012

Digital Clocks

A note for those unfamiliar with the DGT digital clocks.

The clocks are designed to automatically go back 15 minutes on BOTH sides when one side's clock has reached zero in the first time control. The DGT 2000's and DGT 2010's do NOT count how many moves have been made.

When using the DGT 2000's, when one side has reached zero a little minus sign appears. This does NOT mean that the clock has gone into negative time, but an indicator to show which side has taken the clocks into the second time control. If that person has failed to make 35 moves, he has lost on time.

On the DGT 2010's, the minus sign is replaced by a flag. Again that person has only lost on time if he has failed to make 35 moves.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:21am

Friday 30th November 2012

Savidge Strikes Again

And helps Chester 7 to a home draw against a strong Hoylake 3.

Early on Hoylake gained an advantage on board 4 when Allan Clarke won a minor piece against Arjun Balasubramaniam following a pawn fork in the centre. Meanwhile over on board 2 Chester's Rohan Yesudian had cleverly managed to win a knight against John Smallthwaite. After about an hour, Rohan had increased his material advantage in the endgame, forcing Smallthwaite's resignation.

Hoylake were soon back level. Allan Clarke kept hold of his extra piece all the way through the game, then won by checkmate after Arjun allowed his King to get trapped. The win for Clarke put him equal first in the overall players chart

Over on board 1, Chester's star performer Daniel Savidge got into a good position against John O'Reily following a French Winawer opening. Later Savidge was able to go a couple of pawns up and opened up John's kingside. John soon resigned, giving Chester a 2-1 lead. The win also meant Daniel Savidge had joined Allan Clarke at the top of the players chart.

The two remaining games could have gone either way. In the game between Peter Williams (Hoylake) and David Norris (Chester) on board 5, Norris was already a couple of pawns down when he allowed Williams to get a second queen. However Norris had some good chances of counterplay. First a rook sac, threatening to come in with the queen and threaten mate if the rook was captured immediately. Instead Williams checked with his new queen, but it seemed to be the wrong check. Once the checks had stopped, Norris had what seemed like an unstoppable mate threat if he played the right move. Unfortunately he did not, and Williams combined his two queens to checkmate.

The final game on board three seemed as though it would end as win for Hoylake when Riyaan Yesudian dropped his knight in the endgame against Ron Ledgard. Ledgard then increased his advantage by capturing a few more pawns. However Ledgard had misinterpreted the digital clock, thinking he only had a couple of minutes left when in actual fact there were another 15 minutes to be added on. In his haste he allowed his two remaining pieces to fall. Eventually it came down to King & Rook (Riyyaan) vs King and Pawn. Ledgard got his pawn to the 7th rank and offered a draw, which was accepted. However later analysis showed that Riyaan could have forced mate if he had moved his king instead of checking with the rook.

Overall a fair result, and another excellent performance from the junior team.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:46pm

Tuesday 27th November 2012


Report by Leon Wolszczak (Wallasey captain). Match drawn, hoylake win by count back.

On grades this match promised to be a tight struggle, and so it developed. All the games progressed through cagey openings as each played laid out their stall. Early on however Jeff Povall stole an early advantage against Helena Griffiths which rapidly moved the game to a positive conclusion for the Wallasey player. The match then became nip and tuck as a succession of blunders on all sides led to a finish with everyone around 1 board. Steve Lee and Mike Stoddart seemed to be trading blow for blow and looked to be heading for an early draw, until a rook was left on prix by Steve, and the result went to mike. Mike Coffey was patience personified as he pressed an attack against Dave Picken, which eventually paid off as Dave missed the fact that his bishop was going to be blocked and lost for a pawn. Advantage Wallasey. Nick Martin played methodically and positionally until he found a lovely series of moves leaving him in a winning position with a piece advantage, and the game. This was quickly countered as Greg Hughes found himself besieged by a clever combination from Mike Stone. Two pieces were threatened and it seemed inevitable that Greg would go a piece down into an endgame, but he found a way to reduce his losses, which left only the past pawn. Mike may have planned for this as it could not be stopped and the game was won. A titanic struggle ensued on top board as a resurgent Phil Davies took on ‘ the old master’, Dave Tebb. As is often the case Dave found the moves in the endgame which gave him just enough of an advantage to win the game. Phil later said he always felt Dave was slightly better but he had hope!
This left the match poised on 3 – 3, and Wallasey needed the win. Ed Taylor was in a tight match against John Hanson, which looked very drawish, although John was also very short on time. With seconds left John met time control, with possibly a slight advantage of a past pawn. Ed was fighting back though and decimated blacks kingside pawns, leaving an open route to Queen. John also had an open route for his past pawn which Ed would have to sac his rook for to win. An extra check left his rook with nowhere to go though and a draw was agreed, as Hoylake took the match on countback.

Posted by: David Hulme at 1:17pm

Wednesday 21st November 2012


Report from David Hulme: Chester 3 (1.5) vs Wallasey 1 (3.5)

Current division one leaders Wallasey 1 visited the Town Crier last night to play Chester 3, and for me it was time to meet old acquaintances as I had been a member of Wallasey for many years from 1972. I was delighted to find that among their squad was Greg Hughes who I knew back from a season playing for Broughton Arms in the Staffordshire League back in 2000/01. So with the friendly preliminaries out of the way it was down to business, and I found myself playing on old adversary mike Coffey on board 3. Now to be honest I had prepared for this and reviewed our previous 14 encounters dating back to 1991 !! I had to laugh to myself when on move 1 Mike played a different move to all of our previous games, and jokingly said to Mike “you’ve moved the wrong pawn”.
It was not long into the match when I took my first walk around, and my initial view was that Wallasey were gaining upper hands on all odd boards with whites, where Chester had better control of their two white games. Phil Davies on board 1 appeared to have great control with dominant long range bishops against Richard Bryant; Jeff Smith seemed to enjoy a spaceial advantage aginst Greg on board 2, Mike was oozing control against me as I had over-extended and left my position riddled with weaknesses, Gary Gillespie appeared have some central control against Wallasey captain Phil Brine and Chester captain Steve Lloyd (who up until this point was star performer for his team) seemed destined to lose a piece against Stuey Smiley after an exchange left a discovered attack on another piece.
As I settled down to play in my uncomfortable position, the bad news started to roll in. Firstly Captain Lloyd was sunk without trace, then board 1 also followed as I understand Phil played some devastating sacrifice to beat Richard, and Wallasey captain Phil Brine had managed to gain big material to force Gary into resignation. So with the match lost I offered mike the draw as I was in inferior position, and Mike cooly declined asking his skipper and reassuringly said even if he loses it is okay for the team win ! Board 2 continued into the end game with Jeff clearly ahead by some pawns but the mystery of the clock brought the usual frantic finish under time pressure, as Jeff retained his composure to get Chester on the scoreboard with a full point. It only remained for mike to continue to pressurise but somehow I had emerged with at least equality and the draw was agreed so we could retire to the bar.
Overall a well deserved win for Wallasey 1, by 3 ½ to 1 ½ to take them two points clear at the top of the table with a 100% record after four matches. Not surprisingly the player of the year table is dominated by all of this squad, with Mike Coffey and Phil Davies both on 3 ½ points and the remainder on 3 points each. However it should be noted that several other players have 100% records including previous winners Carleton and Gorman, so it is far from certain where the POY award will go.
Wallasey 1 now have a clear lead at the top of the league table and have laid down the gauntlet to defending champions Chester 1. Their match in February could be the title decider.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:03am

Saturday 17th November 2012


Thursday night saw Wallasey packed out as they hosted three matches with Wallasey 2 vs Formby in div 1; Wallasey 4 vs Pensby 1 and Wallasey 5 vs Buckley Mold 2 in div 2. A brief report from Formby’s Mike Barrett is shown below while Wallasey 5 stay top of division 2 and Pensby rejoiced in their draw with Wallasey 4.
Mike Barrett reports:
Formby now occupy bottom position on their own after losing narrowly to fellow strugglers Wallasey 2.
The relative gradings suggested a close match and so it turned out. The first three results were draws but there was attacking chess being played on top and bottom boards. Eddie got his attack in with his two rooks before Mike could do likewise and forced resignation when Mike was a move away from being mated. This left the fight on top board to determine the match result. Nick was in his usual extreme time trouble but had an attack which posed a more immediate threat than that of Dave and was able to force a perpetual check for a draw and the team win.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:48am

Wednesday 14th November 2012


Report from Mike Barrett (Formby): Formby 4 vs Pensby 5.5 with handicap

Pensby gained ample revenge for last season's whitewash although it has to be said that Formby contributed quite strongly to their own downfall.
There were early wins on the bottom two boards and then Phil turned a one pawn advantage to a win when Liam was forced to swap off rooks and without any defence to passed pawns. Dave had been well ahead (with Fritz subsequently giving him a several points advantage) when he made a complete blunder losing him a rook and the game. Kevin's win kept us on course but Mike Fraser who had the time to consider strategy seemed to panic and gave up his advantage. The skipper had been under the cosh for some time and with the outcome at best being a draw resigned.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:38am

Wednesday 14th November 2012


Report by Atticus captain, Tom Lawton: Atticus (5) with handicap vs Chester KO2 (4.5).

It was a pleasure to entertain Chester 2 this evening in the first round of the Wirral Knockout Cup. Having looked at the players available to Chester 2, I didn’t think Atticus stood much of a chance against such strong opposition. However, with the 2.5 Handicap, I thought we may just have a sniff of success. It’s a shame I didn’t fully grasp the implications of the Handicap …

Martin Blasczyk on Board 1 had a tough game against Chester’s Graham Bromley. Graham has lost only one game in the last six. Martin fought bravely and perhaps over-pressed, and Graham duly converted the win.

Steve Burge had a fantastic attack versus Colin White but couldn’t quite finish with a checkmate. It was a fascinating (and distracting) game to watch as they traded punch and counter-punch. Steve went into a superior endgame and should have gone on to win but winning a won game can be tough. Steve asked me if a draw was okay. I saw that Dave Hurley was doing well against John Sutcliffe, who had been under pressure from early on and was way down on the clock. I misunderstood the technicalities of the Handicap and agreed with Steve to offer the draw; which Colin gladly accepted. Under extreme time pressure, John made things as difficult as possible for Dave but the time pressure ruled and John duly succumbed to the inevitable, allowing Dave Hurley the full point. It was at this point in the match I discovered the true implications of the 2.5 point advantage when my opponent, Steve Lloyd told me what we really needed to win the match; a red face for me!

Howard Sleeman faced David Hulme on Board 3 and looked like he was doing okay for a while. David spent quite a bit of time in the middle-game in intense concentration and worked out how to take the full point for Chester 2.

Jim Wiseman on Board 2 had a superb game against Chester’s Captain, Ray Williams. It was a tough, hard-fought battle but Jim’s tenacity in the endgame brought home the full point and thereby winning the Match for Atticus; to my huge relief!

My game on Board 5 versus Steve Lloyd was a calm affair until around move 22. I have seen Steve’s games in the past and I know he is a tenacious and fierce competitor, despite his relaxed demeanour. I was unable to rest for a second – which meant, as is usual for me, to get into a bit of time pressure approaching the control. When the dust settled I was a pawn up and had good chances. Steve’s vision and speed in the resulting endgame scramble were quite phenomenal! Despite the fact that I had seen his mate-threat on move 49, I still managed to fall for it on move 53.

John Lawton on Board 7 dropped a piece for free very early on but didn’t give up and battled hard against Chester 2’s Steve Williams. Steve kept his calm, held on to the extra piece, and as expected, converted his early advantage to a win.

Many thanks to Chester 2 in their efforts in making for an exciting, nail-biting, enjoyable Match.

Tom Lawton

Posted by: David Hulme at 8:58am

Tuesday 13th November 2012


An excellent result for Wallasey 6 last night saw them beat last year's Div 3 champions Buckley/Mold 3 by the apparently convincing score of 3.5 to 1.5.
Outstanding results on top two boards for Jim McCabe drawing with Liam Jefferies, and Eddie Love beating Gordon Sommerville with the Wallasey pair outgraded by some 30-40 points each. Wallasey's chances were improved from the outset as BM were a player short. With John Broomhall drawing with Jim Hanson (last year's div 3 player of the year), the other game saw a draw between Buckley's junior Macey Taylor and Wallasey's John Higgins. According to reports Macey was an exchange and a pawn up when the draw was agreed.
This result puts Wallasey 6 at the top of the table, and shows Messrs Higgins & Love as joint leaders in POY.

Posted by: David Hulme at 10:44am

Friday 9th November 2012

Chester 3 Go Fourth After 3-2 Away Win

Chester 3's win over Buckley/Mold 1 means they are, for now, the highest placed Chester team.

The first game to end was on board one when Chester's Richard Bryant defeated Frank Salt, who was filling in for Andy Barber, after a strong kingside attack. Then Jeff Smith was held by Buckley/Mold's Mark Thomas on two.

Over on board five, Chester captain Steve Lloyd took on Stephen Dunning. During the game Lloyd blundered away the exchange after forgetting that playing g5 revealed an attack on his knight on h3. However there was some positional compensation including a potential threat against Dunning's king side, which he failed to deal with correctly. The game later reached an end game of two Bishops (Lloyd) vs Rook (Dunning) and was over when Dunning's attempt for tricks backfired and he dropped his Rook.

The result of the match was decided when David Hulme (Chester) agreed a draw with Liam Jefferies on three. Hulme had earlier declined a draw as the result on board five was not yet certain.

Buckley/Mold were able to pull one game back after David Pearcey defeated Joe Nemcek.

The result puts Chester 3 fourth, and the win from captain Steve Lloyd puts him equal fourth in the players chart.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:29am

Wednesday 7th November 2012


Following the latest result with Atticus beating Buckley Mold 2, all divsion 2 teams have now dropped at least one point. So the promotion race continues with any of the top 8 in with a great chance of reaching the hallowed land of division one. Only Chester 5 appear to be out of contention and a review of forthcoming fixtures shows difficulties ahead for this team with Chester's first five teams all due to play on December 11th.

With Wallasey 4 having two matches to come this month, they could be top of the table after a disappointing opening defeat to Wallasey 5. So its all to play for and impossible to predict at this stage of the season. Long may it remain so wide open and subject to changes at the top !

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:15pm

Wednesday 31st October 2012

Chester 2 Still Looking For Win

Chester 2 remain on 1/2 a point following a narrow 3-2 home defeat to rivals Penyffordd.

Chester 2 were effectively eliminated from the title race and pushed into a possible relegation battle following last night's home defeat to fellow title contenders Penyffordd 1. This was a clash between 2009/10 (Chester) and 2010/11 league champions (Penyffordd).

In the game itself, the two teams were level at 1-1 following an early grandmaster draw on board 4 between Watson & Higgie, shortly followed by an agreed draw on board 3 between Bromley & Pearson (a recent target in the transfer market from Chester to Penyffordd). Then Chester took the lead when Rokas Valantinas converted his pressure into a win against Bob Clark on board 2.

In the battle of the captains on board 5 John Gorman equalised for Penyffordd by beating David Bryan, leaving the game on board 1 between Chris Doran (Chester) and David Jameson (Penyffordd) to decide the match. Jameson had declined at least two draw offers as the game reached a king and pawn ending, which Jameson was able to win.

The win for John Gorman puts him on 3/3 as joint leader in the player of the year, with Rokas Valantinas in the chasing pack with 2.5/3.

The result puts Chester 2 7th and Penyffordd joint 2nd.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 11:06pm

Wednesday 31st October 2012


Last night saw the top two teams Hoylake 2 and Wallasey 5 lose their 100% records.

Division 2 looks like it will be full of twists and turns following last nights results. Only Buckley Mold 2 are now unbeaten and Chester 5 are suddenly marooned at the bottom of table. The big result of the night saw Atticus' Jim Wiseman beat Phil Brine (brought in as replacement for Wallasey 5 top board). According to Tom Lawton the match result hinged on the bottom board as namesake John won a tense end game against Wallasey 5 skipper Ron Champion.

The match between Hoylake 2 and Wallasey 3 saw wins for all Wallasey whites, with draws in the other two games.

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:44pm

Tuesday 30th October 2012

Buckley Mold beat Formby in Div. 1 basement battle

Report from Mike Barrett: Formby 2 Buckley Mold 3

This was a match that Formby needed to win to avoid going bottom of the table . As can be seen from the gradings we were evenly matched on the first four boards with draws being agreed quite early in the evening. No Formby player felt confidence of more in their positions. So it turned on board 5 where for a long time Eddie held firm before, in seeking to maintain pressure whilst in some time trouble, he missed a combination that lost him a piece. He carried on for some time before his resistance was broken and mate ensued. David Hulme adds that Formby's next matches with Wallasey 2 and Chester 3 look vital in the fight to avoid relegation.

Posted by: David Hulme at 2:18pm

Wednesday 24th October 2012


Dear Chess Friends,

Welcome to my first bulletin of the season. Hopefully you will have already noticed the increased activity on the website with various News items reporting on matches and general items of interest. I am keen to use the website to promote the league and generally provide more interest to all players connected with the WCL. So if anyone wants to provide reports or further items of interest please send your note to me or Steve Lloyd for including on the website.

Starting with division one, current leaders Wallasey 1 have made a storming start to the season with three big wins, notably against expected title contenders Penyffordd. The addition of Greg Hughes has strengthened their team and with Phil Davies in the form of his life, must put Wallasey 1 as potential champions to dethrone the Chester 1 team. With Chester 1 being lucky to avoid defeat in their derby with Chester 2, Wallasey have it in their control to win the league. I am sure Penyffordd will be waiting for any slip ups, as with their strongest team they must be potential title chasers too. Hoylake 1 have made a strong start with two wins, but already suffered at the hands of Wallasey 1's conquering team. With Chester 3 having picked up one point from their two derbies and Chester 2 with a half point from their draw with reigning champions, both of these teams will be looking to avoid relegation rather than aspire to be champions. We currently have three teams waiting to get off the mark, Buckley Mold 1, Formby and Wallasey 2. As Mike Barrett mentioned to me recently it looks like a tough season ahead for these three teams.

Division two sees Hoylake 2 lead the way on board difference with two wins so far and surprise package in Wallasey 5 having been victorious in both derbies with Wallasey 3 and 4. With Buckley Mold 2 having won their only game so far, these three look favourites in the promotion battle. No doubt it is too early to be sure as Wallasey 3 will be looking to bounce straight back to the top flight. It suggests to me that Division two is getting stronger all the time and this is no doubt supported by the fact that Pensby 1 and Chester 4 have already suffered early season losses. As Atticus, Wallasey 3 and 4 have only played one game so far, Chester 5 are currently in the trap door position with two losses. It should be noted that Chester 5 have already used 9 players, as the Chester club were faced with having to raise 5 teams on 16th October, including matches at Colwyn Bay and Rhyl.

Division three sees Chester 7 (all juniors) with a perfect start of two wins, these being their first successes since entering the league last year. Junior manager Graham Bromley must be delighted with progress and hopefully these juniors will remain in the game for some time and bring some desperately needed new blood into the local chess leagues. Penyffordd 2 have a 50% record after three games and can produce extremely strong teams on occasions as witnessed this week at Frodsham. With Wallasey 6 and Hoylake 3 having won their only games so far, there will be much excitement to come as the promotion race develops. Last seasons division three winners Buckley Mold 3 have already suffered one defeat more than all of last season, as they employ the principle of providing chess to all including juniors where possible. With Frodsham aiming likewise, I am pleased there is an extra team (Hoylake 3) providing more chess for the league. Pensby’s 2nd team have yet to get off the mark and Chester’s 6th team have one draw.

The early season Div 1 player of the year competition is dominated by the Wallasey 1 squad with Mike Coffey and Greg Hughes on 3/3, and Phil Davies and Dave Tebb (Hoylake) with 2.5/3. John Carleton (Chester 1) and John Gorman (Penyffordd 1) have100% records and are likely to be in contention all season. Division 2 POY sees Hoylake’s John Hanson and John O’Reilly, lead the way with Chester’s Steve Lloyd, but with so few matches played it is very early to be calling potential award winners. In division 3 the top three all come from Penyffordd, with Susan Gorman (Cheshire under 17 champion) on 2/2 and Mike Friel and David Bennion on 2/3.

Overall it is pleasing to see all games so far been played on scheduled dates, with competition very tight in all divisions and the latest arrivals (Hoylake 3) adding to the teams in the league.

Best wishes to all players.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:54pm

Saturday 20th October 2012



Hoylake 2 won handsomely at Pensby last night as captain Mike Stoddart delighted in his son's success. Mike reported that "The best news of the night for me was my Adam’s win on board 5. He’s only 12 years old. He was joint winner of the Under 12s Cheshire and North Wales county championships recently too. My report to Dave Picken said.... Donal managed to get a promote a pawn with just rooks and a few pawns on the board so Dave Ashton resigned. Mine was pretty dull. Dave Clark knows what he is doing and I couldn’t find a good attack.John Hanson had an awesome attack which ended in a back rank mate.John O’Reilly won on time but was in a good position.Adam lost a couple of pawns but his opponent blundered away a knight pointlessly so he was lucky to an extent. I thought he might get hammered so I was delighted with that. Regard Big proud dad

Posted by: David Hulme at 6:49pm

Friday 19th October 2012

Chester 7 Win "Battle of the Juniors"

Chester 7 defeat Buckley/Mold 3, who had three juniors, 3-2 to go top of the league.

Chester 7 made two changes. David Norris and James Lee, who was making his debut, replaced the Yesudian Brothers. Buckley/Mold brought in three juniors.

Chester 7 got off to a great start when James Lee easily defeated Robert Goodwin. Then Chester 7 seemed destined to go 2-0 up when David Norris went material up against Ifan Rathbone-Jones on board 3. The two had met last season with Rathbone-Jones was the victor, however this time it seemed likely the the result would be reversed. Norris did eventually win but made heavy work of it.

There was a girl vs girl clash on board 4, when Chester's Catherine Savidge met Buckley/Mold's Macey Taylor. The game was fairly even until it reached the endgame. Both players had Queen, Rook and Pawns and Catherine had threats on a mating trap. However she missed the opportunity and instead swapped Rooks, then fell victim to a cruel backrow mate to give Buckley/Mold a way back into the match.

The final two games were very close and could have gone either way. On board 2 Buckley/Mold captain Jim Hanson met Arjun Balasubramanian. The two eventually got to a King, Rook, Knight and Pawns endgame. Jim had a pawn advantage but Arjun's advanced pawns and more active pieces meant he probably had the advantage on the board. However disaster struck when Arjun walked into a Rook and King fork! All was not lost though, as now one of Arjun's pawns was close to the promotion square. Unfortunately for him he did not play it correctly and ended up losing the knight, and the pawn, with no compensation. Buckley/Mold had levelled the match at 2-2.

In the final game, Daniel Savidge (Chester) took on Brian Lowens. In the game neither player seemed able to gain a significant advantage. However Lowens had used a significant amount of time compared to his opponent. With less than 40 seconds on his clock, a mistake from Lowens allowed Savidge to deliver Nf2 smothered mate!

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 10:53pm

Thursday 18th October 2012


Report from Phil Brine (Wallasey 1 captain)
Penyffordd 1 (1) vs Wallasey 1 (4)

Wallasey 1 continue storming start to season with Greg Hughes stepping up to board 2 for the first time, put Wallasey in the lead with an early defeat of Ray Pearson. This game was finished before I could see it to comment on. This was followed not long after by a win from Stu Smiley over Dave Bennion following an oversight, although it appeared Stu always had the upper hand. John Gorman against myself (Phil Brine) always looked to be a loss for myself in a long drawn out game where I never gained any counterplay. After dropping the exchange I squirmed another hour or so, but the result was inevitable and deserved. Mike Coffey against Charles Higgie was offered the draw and asked me if a draw would do. Leading 2-0 I wimped out, and without looking at his position advised a draw was fine, just for Mike to decline and play on. After my loss, next to finish was Phil Davies and Dave Jameson, Dave losing on time. Phil had two rooks to one at this stage, while Dave had passed connected pawns on the 5th and 6th, and though threatening, this looked to be Phil's game in any case. Last to finish were Mike and Charles. Mike was now several pawns up, with a passed pawn on the 6th rank, while Charles had a passed pawn on the 7th, Mike had a clear edge, but there was always danger of tactics and time, as both players were now in time trouble. With time bearing down, Mike declared a check, only for Charles to add "mate". An excellent result for Wallasey 1, massively helped put by the addition of Greg to the squad, and Phil's fantastic form on board 1.

Posted by: David Hulme at 12:01pm

Wednesday 10th October 2012

Cheshire & N. Wales Junior Champs 2012 Report

Local Juniors do well at event played on 6th October at Kings School Chester.

In the U21 Section, Penyffordd's Susan Gorman was U17 County Level Champion.

In the U14 Section, Hoylake's Adam Stoddart was second overall and was U12 County Level Championship. 4th Overall was Chester's Arjan Balasubramaniam, who was awarded the prize U12 3rd Place. Also involved were Daniel Savidge (4/6) and twin sister Catherine (3/6), Rohan Yesudian (3.5/6), James Lee (3/6), Jack Walker (3/6), Alex Forrester (2/6) and Mariam Littler (2/6) - all Chester.

Chester's Riyaan Yesudian won the U10 section with a score of 5.5/6 with Buckley/Mold's Macey Taylor finishing 3rd on 4.5/6.

In the U9 Section, Ifan Rathbone-Jones of Buckley/Mold was the winner with a perfect 6/6. Also involved was seven year old Jack Yang (Chester) who scored 4/6 and was awarded U7 School Champion.

A more detailed report can be found here.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 7:43pm

Tuesday 9th October 2012


Wallasey 5 overcame the Wallasey 3 team by the narrowest of margins to win 3-2, despite being outgraded on every board. Wins for Colin Hughes and Ron Champion were enough to edge out Wallasey 3's only win by Leon Wolszczak. Captain Ron Champion wants the team to pick up another half point to almost ensure their Division 2 status, while a more optimistic outlook could see them challenge for promotion.

Posted by: David Hulme at 11:06am

Wednesday 3rd October 2012

Chester 3 Score Narrow 3-2 Win

The newly promoted team score narrow win over Chester 2.

Chester 2, who were unfortunate not to have beaten champions Chester 1 in their previous game, were without top board Chris Doran. This meant the 3rd team were stronger in terms of grade on the top two boards.

Early on, Chester 3 scored their first win after Jeff Smith beat Paul Watson on board 2. Next, last years Division 2 player of the year David Hulme, agreed a draw with Graham Bromley on board 3. Bromley was not feeling 100% and offered a quick draw in order to go home. Hulme eventually accepted, believing Bromley to have a slight edge.

The other games went on. Eventually 3's Richard Bryant agreed a draw with Rokas Valantinas on board 1. Then Chester 2 captain David Bryan beat Joe Nemcek on 4 to level the scores at 2 all. Nemcek was the exchange down, but after blundering away another piece he soon resigned.

The final game saw Chester 3 captain Steve Lloyd play Ray Williams. The two had met before the previous week in an internal tournament with the same colours, with Lloyd coming out as winner. The opening moves were identical until Lloyd deviated.

Towards the end of the first time period, Lloyd was in a bit of time trouble and had to blitz the remaining moves. However kept up the pressure and forced Williams to use up his excess time. Steve Lloyd managed to pick up a pawn just before the 35th move. Then Williams, trying hard to win back his pawn missed that Lloyd could win the exchange by pinning the Rook to the King. Williams later resigned when it appeared Lloyd could either win a pawn or a Bishop.

Chester 3 will be "away" to League Champions Chester 1 in 2 weeks time.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 12:03am

Tuesday 2nd October 2012


A tense derby saw both captains sacrifice themselves to put out their strongest team as Champion Ronny outfoxes Gunner Heath. While the top two boards produced predictable draws, Wallasey 5's engine room of Colins overcame higher graded opponents on Bd3 and Bd4 to produce big wins. Wallasey 4's captain Heath was last seen walking towards Rake Lane Cemetry while Ron Champion was seen flying unaided over the River Mersey !

Posted by: David Hulme at 9:31am

Saturday 22nd September 2012

Chester Juniors Celebrate Famous Victory

Chester 7 Defeat Chester 6 3-2

Chester 7, a junior team with an average age of just under 11 years old, defeated Chester 6 despite being outgraded on all but one board.

The opening victory came early when Catherine Savidge defeated Barry Kelly on board 5. The two met in the same fixture last year, with Kelly coming away with a fortunate win. This time however things were different. Catherine was able to break through on the kingside and win two pieces. After exchanges Catherine was a knight and rook up in the endgame. This advantage increased further when Catherine was able to queen a pawn. She was then able to find checkmate.

Some time later, Chester 7's Arjan Balasubramaniam was able to recover a two pawn disadvantage on board 4 against Geoff Townsend. The two eventually agreed a draw.

On board 3 Ian Clayton faced 9 year old Riyaan Yesudian. Ian's solid Colle system was well attacked by Riyaan. The material was level with a slight positional advantage to Riyaan. However a trick from Ian meant Riyaan was forced to drop his bishop or be mated on the back row. Despite being a piece down, Riyaan fought on for a win rather than settling for a draw. He was able to pin Ian's bishop and get a pawn as far as e2. Ian may have had an opportunity to force a draw but allowed Riyaan to queen the pawn and soon resigned.

This meant the juniors were assured of at least a draw, however had hoped for more. On board 2 Rohan Yesedian was a piece up against Harry Bullard and Daniel Savidge was in a close battle with new captain Jixin Yang on one. Savidge and Yang got down to KN vs KP and eventually agreed a draw.

Chester 6 were able to salvage some pride back when Harry Bullard beat Rohan Yesudian. Despite being a piece down, Bullard's extra pawns proved decisive. He was able to win back the piece and force checkmate.

Chester 7 will face early leaders Buckley/Mold 3 at home on 5th October.

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 1:34am

Monday 23rd January 2012

Chester 7 Do Well vs Pensby 2

This was a fine all round performance by the Chester team:

Daniel had a great win on board 1, out-playing his opponent in the opening and middle-game and then transposing into an easily won ending. His opponent finally blundered, allowing a backrank mate.

Catherine and Arjun will both be disappointed with their result Arjun had a very comfortable position before allowing his advantage to slip and Catherine completely outplayed her opponent and had a forced win. Both can take some consolation from the fact that they both played very well in the early part of their games.

David on board 4 played very patiently and eventually broke through on the kingside and check-mated his opponent with a double rook combination.

Joel was the last to finish what was a very tense encounter with the advantage swinging one way and then the other. With both players short of time, they agreed a draw as Joel was about to capture his opponents last pawn leaving only the kings on the board.

Report by Graham Bromley

Posted by: Steve Lloyd at 5:39pm