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Midland Counties Chess Union
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Latest MCCU News

ECF Book of the Year

10 Oct. Chess for Life: Understanding how chess skills develop and change with the passage of time by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan. Available in paper, e-book or Kindle.

First county match results

8 Oct. In the Minor and Midlands Championship, Lincs beat Notts by a wide margin and Worcs beat local foes Warks.

ECF annual meeting and Midlands candidates

21 Sep, ECF website. The agenda, most papers and candidates' election statements for the 15 October annual general meeting have been published on the website. Alex Holowczak (Warks & Worcs), Traci Whitfield (Staffs), Julian Clissold (GMC) and David Thomas (Warks) are standing for re-election to the directorships of Home Chess, Junior Chess, Non-executive Chairman and Membership respectively. They are joined by Stephen Woodhouse (Worcs) who is standing for election as one of the Non-executive directors. ECF Directorships are volunteer posts.

Staffs withdraw from u140 team tournament

21 Sep, Peter Sherlock reports. Staffordshire have reluctantly concluded they have insufficient players to field a u140 team this season.

Lee Davis makes clean sweep in Hereford

18 Sep, Alan Leary reports. Lee Davis, recent newcomer to Hereford won the county championship, and two other tournaments at Hereford. He also won the Bennet Cup prize for the best individual player in Worcester & District Chess league.

Andrew Ward heads up Warks CA

3 Sep, Alex Holowczak reports. Alex has stepped down from the Warwickshire CA secretaryship and Andrew is his successor.

Midlands Tradewise GP winners

1 Sep, ECF reports. Mark Hebden (Leics) won the +180 Tradewise GP fighting off a challenge from Keith Arkell (Worcs) who was runner-up. Chris Fraser (West Bridgford) won the 120-139 section. Midland players also did well in the Most improved GP: Marco Ho (S Birmingham) won the u180 section, Athar Anseri (Newport Shrops) the u140 section and Jacob Boswell (Cheddleton & Leek) the junior over 140 compoetition.

County team entries for 2016-7

31 Aug, Peter Sherlock reports. Provisonal fixture dates will be issued in the next week or so. Warks have entered teams for the championship, u180, u160, u120, and u100 tournaments.
30 Aug, Peter Sherlock reports. Staffs have entered u140, u120 and u100. Derebys have entered the u140. Warwickshire have not yet entered.
28 Aug, Peter Sherlock reports. Four teams have entered the 2016-7 Union's County Team championship: Leics, Lincs, Notts, Worcs. In the graded tournaments, Gtr Manchester and Notts have entered the u160; Lincs, Notts, and Worcs the u140; Lincs, Notts, & Worcs, the u120; and Leics and Notts the u100 turnaments. The u180 competition entries will be sought in January.

Joseph Friar winner at Bewdley

28 Aug. At an informal charity rapidplay tournament at Bewdley, Joseph Friar (Kidderminster) was first on 6 points.

Manchester Summer Congress

21 Aug, Rod Middleton Reports. Brandon Clarke (Littlethorpe) and Adam Ashton (3Cs, Oldham) tied for first on 4½ points. Ray Sayers (Bucks) was winner on 4½ in the Major and Julian Hawthorne (Kidsgrove) on 5 points in the Knights tournament. Over 120 players competed in this event at Manchester University. Harry Lamb was one of the key organisers of this highly successful event.

MCCU@Walsall Congress

14 Aug. GM Mark Hebden won the open with 5 points. Robert Clegg and Richard Desmedt, both Yorkshire shared first in the Major and two Midlanders were first and second in the Intermediate: Athar Ansari (Newport, Shrops) 5 points and Karimi Qais (Lincoln) 4 points. Two Redditch, Worcs, players headed the Minor tournament with David Smith (Redditch) on first with 4½ points and Michele Clack second on 4. For pictures and more ...

Ameet Ghasi British Blitz Champion

31 Jul. Ameet Ghasi (Lincs) won with 9 points from 11 games. GM Keith Arkell (Worcs) shared second place on 8 points in this tournament at the British Championships at Bournemouth.

Cannock and District League

11 Jul, Ray Dolan reports. Sutton Coldfield were League champions. Rushall and Lichfield shared the Division 2 title and Rugeley won Division 3. Two new clubs, Coleshill and Norton Canes will join next season and the league will have four divisions in 2016-7. The Robert Ward trophy was won by Rich Wiltshir (Rushall) and the Plate by A (Sandy) Wilson (Boldmere).

Medals for Midland senior GMs

3 Jul, In the World Senior Championships at Dresden, England A won bronze for team position behind Germany 1st and Armenia 2nd. There were individual medals for Mark Hebden (gold) for 7½/9 on board 3 and Arkell (silver) with 6/7.

County team championships: Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire teams win titles

2 Jul, ECF website reports. Worcestershire under-140 won its first ever national final beating Surrey. In the all Midlands under-120 final Nottinghamshire beat Warwickshire. Lincolnshire in the minor counties' final lost out to Norfolk. The national county team champions are Yorkshire, soundly beating Middlesex. See county matches national page for scores and links to full Midland match results.

MCCU annual meeting

25 Jun. Derbyshire hosted the annual meeting at Rolls Royce, Derby. There were few changes in officers. Andrew Davies (Staffs) takes over from David Levens (Notts) as Junior Director and Eunice Dolan (Staffs) takes over from Drag Sudar (Notts) as one of the two non-executive directors. Minor changes were proposed by Notts and Derbys to the county team competition rules were approved. The union also agreed to adopt the safeguarding policy, procedures and code of conduct recently circulated by the ECF.

Jim Friar

13 Jun. Jim Friar, 2015-6 captain of Worcestershire's 2015-6 Minor counties team died on after a short battle with illness at home on 27 May. A requiem mass to celebrate his life at St Wulstans & St Thomas of Canterbury, Stourport-on-Severn, was attended by well over two hundred mourners including over twenty chess players from at least three counties. Tributes to Jim can be viewed on the ECForum. Our condolences to his wife, Teresa, and gifted chess-playing sons James and Joseph.

Four Midland teams in county champ finals

11 Jun, Paul Sharratt and ECF report. In the minor counties, Lincs beat Cambs; Worcs beat Notts in the u140 reversing the earlier MCCU stage result, and there will be a an all-Midland final in the u120 — Notts-Warks. In the u100, Notts lost to Essex.

England 2016 Olympiad team

6 Jun, ECF website reports. Michael Adams, David Howell, Nigel Short, Luke McShane, and Gawain Jones are in the Open and the women's team is: Jovanka Houska, Dagne Ciuksyte, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, Sarah Longson and Kanwal Bhatia.

Click "News" on the menu bar above for other recent items.

For details, visit links from here or Congress and Junior Events pages

Upcoming in the Midlands

Sun 16 Oct. Birmingham Rapidplay. Six rounds 10:30am to 6:30pm at Quinborne. Open, 170 max, 140 max and 110 max tournaments.

Next National Event

English Chess Federation AGM at Britannia Hotel, Birmingham

Next Midlands & national junior events

Sat & Sun 20, 21 Aug. Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal. Invitation only. Loughborough Grammar School, Leics.

The "chess counties" forming the MCCU

MCCU counties

Eleven "Chess Counties" form the Midland Counties Chess Union and cover the areas shown in the map on the right. A small Board of volunteer directors currently led by Chief Executive Ray Dolan (Staffs) is elected annually by delegates from member chess counties. The Board organises regional competitions based on policies agreed annually by delegates from member chess counties.


The current webmaster is Ray Collett (Worcs). The website's policy is to report results of the MCCU competitions, principally the MCCU county team tournaments and the Midlands Grand Prix. Brief results of chess congresses held in the MCCU area and and links to organisers' websites are on the "News" pages. A calendar of upcoming chess congresses is on the "Congresses" pages. Some important national and international chess events will also be reported if there is a "Midlands" interest. In the menu bar above: "About" gives more information about the MCCU and has links to rules and administrative papers; "Guide" explains the site's organisation and provides links to most of the site's key pages.

Please send news of Midlands chess events, corrections, notifications of broken links, and suggestions to improve the website to Ray Collett.