Counties Chess

News Archive

MCCU Home MCCU About Junior Chess Correspondence Chess County Matches Grand Prix Congresses Links Links Site Guide



Current News Current Season From 2008 Sep 2002 to Aug 2008, Obituaries


Published 8 September 2015

News in the 2014-5 season

Joseph Mc Phillips scores IM norm

28 Aug, ECF website reports. Bolton junior player Joseph McPhillips scored his norm in Kecskemet, Hungary.

Correspondence Chess News

26 Aug. Warwickshire A were third on 9½ one point behind winners Essex A, who beat Yorkshire A on tie-break in the Ward Higgs competition of the Counties & District Corresponsdence Chess Championship. Staffordshire shared third place in the Division 2 Sinclair competition. In Division 3, the Butler Thomas competition, Warwickshire C were second behind Surrey B. The National Correspondence Chess Club is offering free introductory membership for 2015.

Midlanders at the British

3 Aug, ECF & Mick Norris report. After the first week in the British Championships at Warwick University, Keith Arkell (Stourbridge, Worcs) leads the charge with 4½ points from 6 games and sharing fourth place. Mark Hebden (Leicester) our other GM is on 4 and followed by Doanld Mason (Shirley, Warks) on 3½, Martin Burrows (Wigston, Leics) 3; Mitchell Burke (Oldham) and Okahai Shabir (Syston, Leics) 2½; John Edge (Halesowen, Worcs) and Andrew Patterson (Nuneation, Leics) 2 points; and in his first British West Notti8ngham junior Jonah Willow is on 1½ points. Mike Surtees (Great Lever, GMC) finished joint first in both the British over 65 and the rapidplay. Steve Crockett (Redditch, Worcs) won the u125 Rapidplay.

Notts win national honours in u100 county final

4 Jul, ECF website reports. Only two Midlands teams, both from Nottinghamshire, made it to the county finals this year. In both matches the opponents were Kent. Nottinghamshire had a clear 7-5 victory in the under-100, but were one point short in the under-140 final.

Midlands Juniors at Konya, Turkey

3 Jul, ECF website reports. Two players from West Nottingham and one from Cheddleton & Leek represented England in the European Schools Tournament at Konya. Jonah Willow scored 6 points from 9 games, Aditya Munshi 5½/9 - both players from West Nottingham. Thivyaa Rahulan (Cheddleton & Leek) scored 4/9.

Tradewise sponsor new prizes for most-improved players

1 Jul, ECF website reports. New £300 prizes for up-and-coming club players will be available for 2015-6 season starting today. Read more.

Lincolnshire team's first national trophy win

21 Jun, Paul Colburn reports. Lincolnshire won the ECF Under-18 Minor Championship with Leicestershire in second place. The Leicestershire Under-13 Team were ECF Under-13 Minor Champions.

Annual meeting

20 Jun, Peter Sherlock and Ray Dolan report from the annual meeting.Current directors were re-elected and David Levens rejoins the team as Director for Junior Chess and ECF delegate. John Pakenham succeeds Andrew Farthing as Chairman and Matthew Carr as Non-executive Director. Andrew was elected a life vice-president of the MCCU. Members discussed the MCCU congress and agreed to hold one next season, but possibly at a different time of the year.The rules for entry to the union stage MCCU were altered so that counties not competing for the Open or Minor championships can compete for the under-180 title. Phil Ehr, CEO of the ECF attended and members quizzed him about future plans for English chess. Draft minutes are now available.

New directors required by MCCU

Papers for this meeting, including the proposed MCCU county rule changes and the ECF consultation on possible direct national entry are linked from the about page using the link to Admin Papers. Retirals mean that the union is looking for new chairman, ECF delegate, junior and events directors. Please contact CEO, Ray Dolan prior to the meeting if you are interested.

Keith Arkell and Fenton CC celebrate with five-hour marathon

11 Jun, Steve Emmerton reports. Fenton CC, Staffs,celebrated its 20th anniversary with a simul by GM Keith Arkell on Monday 15 June. Keith took on 28 players and clocked up 24 wins and conceding four draws only to Gerald Acey, Roger Edwards Karl Lockett, and Fenton player Glyn Valentine. Read full report on North Staffs CA's website.

Nottinghamshire celebrates finalists

13 June, Neil Graham reports. Both Nottinbghamshire teams, under-140 and under-100, progress to the National finals beating Hampshire and Essex at The Open University, Bucks.

Tradewise to sponsor English chess

10 Jun. Tradewise Insurance Company, sponsors of the international open tournament in Gibraltar, are extending their support for chess. They will help sponsor the annual Hastings tournament, more prizes for the ECF Grand Prix with more for club players, and assistance to promising players to help them achieve norms in England.

Rule infringement sees Warks u160 team to semifinal

30 May, reported by John Fahy and ECF Forum. Over the board, Warwickshire were beaten by Yorkshire, but Yorkshire had placed on board 7 a player graded more than 10 points below players playing on lower boards in their team. Several Yorkkshire board results were voided Warwickshire ended with the higher score after this decision. The controller has stated that he believes the appeal ruling, while in accordance with the current rules, is harsh on Yorkshire and he will be seeking a revision to the rules.

MCCU annual meeting, 20 June Cannock

21 May. Ray Dolan CEO has announced the annual meeting will be in Cannock on 20 June. Players who wish to lobby for changes at regional or national level please contact your county secretary or representatives. Issues are likely to include the ECF consultation about county chess and a discussion of the future of a Midlands congress.

Midlands winner at Rhyl congress

18 May, ECForum reports. Ali Jaunooby (Denton, GMC) shared first place in the open with 4 points.

Counties' quarter final killing fields

16 May. Out of thirteen Midlands teams in the counties' quarter finals only three go forward to the semi-finals. Warwickshire was the most successful county with wins over Sussex in the under-180 and Surrey in the under-120. Nottinghamshire beat Lancashire in the under-100 competition. Read more on the national page of the county match pages.

GM Arkell wins bronze in Greece

11 May, ECF website reports. Keith Arkell (Stourbridge, Worcs/Cheddleton, Staffs) won bronze in the over 50 European Senior Championships in Greece with 6 points from 9 games. Jon Nunn (ENG) was in silver position and Zurab Sturua (GEO), current World Seniors Champion, won gold.

Staffs under-120 go down to Herfordshire

2 May, Peter Evans reports. Staffordshire's Under 120 team lost their County Championship Quarter Final to a strong Herfordshire team. Staffs were out-graded on every board bar the top one and the only winner for Staffs was Nic Wright in the last match to finish. The game was played at a nice venue, Potterspury Village Hall, Northants.

Jonah Willow, aged 12, draws with Russian GM

20 Apr, David Levens reports. At the Nottingham Chess congress Jonah faced Russian GM Alexander Cherniaev in the last round and drew to take third place and win a place in this year's British Championships. The open was won by GM Cherniaev with GM Mark Hebden 2nd on 4 points. Five players shared first prize in the Major: Mark Kenyon (W Nottingham); Khaled Muflehi (Stannington, Sheffield); David Patrick (Courier, Halifax); Colin Davison (Macclesfield, Ches); Lewis Turner (Kirby, Leics). The intermediate first place was shared by Steve Crockett (Redditch) and Andrew Thompson (Gambit, Nottingham). The Minor saw a three-way tie: Gabriel Tshabango (Southampton Univ); Thomas Brown (Kirby, Leics); Matt Bailey (Wellingborough) and Ross Mackay (Notts). Just under 150 players took part in another successful congress organised by Richard Richmond.

Consultations on county match arrangements

20 Apr, Alex Holowczak. Alex, as ECF Director for Home Chess has invited comments whether the ECF should seek entries directly from county teams rather than the current situation where chess unions such as the MCCU nominate teams in most cases after a regional competition. Read more on the ECF Forum.

David Anderton retires from ECF

17 Apr, ECForum reports. David Anderton is retiring from the English Chess Federation after 50-year involvement. He joined the BCF Executive Committee in 1967. He retires from being pro bono Legal Advisor. Phil Ehr, current ECF CEO, writes: "[David has] deep knowledge of institutional history, current law and chess community practice, competing interests and personalities. David also serves on the International Senior Selection Committee, the Personnel Committee, the Charity and Recognition Committee and the Library Committee. He is also the senior trustee on the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust. David Anderton OBE will remain an English Chess Federation Honorary Life Vice President."

McPhillips leads Midland GP

13 Apr. Two close rivals fail to take advantage of Joseph's non-participation in the Staffs Congress. But Mike Surtees and Tomasz Sygnowski still have time to catch McPhillips.

Leics out of Minor Counties

11 Apr, ECF website reports. Cambridgeshire narrowly won. See national stage page for details.

Staffs Congress winners

12 Apr, reported by Matthew Carr. The open was shared by David Anderton (Walsall) and Michael Townsend (Weston-super-Mare) on 4 points. Richard Desmedt won the Major outright with 4 points and the Minor was shared by Chris Fraser (West Bridgford) and Nicholas Wright (Newcastle-under-Lyme) also with 4 points.

Sutton Coldfield win three National Club championships

12 Apr, reported by ECF website. Sutton Coldfield beat West Bromwich to win the Open championship, and were first in the Intermediate and Minor championships.

McPhillips retakes GP lead

5 Apr. After Bolton Easter Congress, Joseph McPhillips (Bolton, GMC) overtakes Tomasz Sygnowski (West Bromwich). See GP leader board for details.

Bolton Easter congress winners

5 Apr, Rod Middleton reports. Alberto Portela (Spain) won the Open. There was a three-way tie for first in the Major between Nathan Gittins (3Cs, Oldham, GMC), Robert Clegg (Hiddersfield), and Stephen Lloyd (Chester). Noel Boustred (Gosforth) won the Knights tournament. In the popular Busy Perons Blitz, local players Joseph McPhillips (Bolton, GMC) and Andrew Horton (3Cs, Oldham, GMC) shared first prize. Over a hundred players took part in standard play competitions and 80 in the Blitz.

Draw for counties' championships published

29 Mar, team captains report. The national controller, Andrew Zigmond has sent all captains information about the national stages and they are shown on this website. Use County Matches > National Stages.

Staffordshire under-100 team squeeze in to national stage

26 Mar, Andrew Zigmond reports. The Southern counties' union 'jumped' at the chance to compete in the national stages and this will allow MCCU's third nomination, Staffordshire also to play in the quarter finals.

Tomasz Sygnowski takes Midlands GP lead

16 Mar. With results in from Walsall and Warwick congresses, Tomasz (West Bromwich) is half a point ahead of Joseph McPhillips and several players are within striking distance of these two players.

MCCU Walsall congress

15 Mar. Tomasz Sygnowski (West Bromwich) was placed first in the open with 4½ points from his five games. Junior player Jonah Willow aged 12 from West Nottingham shared third prize with a tournament performance of 191. Dean Hartley (Amber Valley, Derbys) and Nicholas Walker (West Bromwich) shared first prize in the Major. Marek Piedel and Laurence Tarbuck (Grendon) shared first in the Minor tournament. Ray Dolan was tournament organiser who has almost single-handedly restored this event to the calendar after a lapse of several years. . Mattew Carr and Neil Grahamwere arbiters. Click for winners, detailed results, and pictures.

Midlands nominations for national stages of county team championships

15 Mar. The Midlands stage controller, Peter Sherlock, has published the following list:

Open Staffordshire
Minor counties 1st Lincolnshire; 2nd Worcestershire; 3rd Leicestershire
Under-180 1st Warwickshire; 2nd Nottinghamshire
Under-160 1st Nottinghamshire; 2nd Warwickshire
Under-140 1st Nottinghamshire; 2nd Staffordshire
Under-120 1st Lincolnshire; 2nd Staffordshire, 3rd Warwickshire
Under-100 1st Warwickshire, 2nd Nottinghamshire, Possible 3rd nomination Staffordshire

See county match pages for details.

Close result in the Midlands u100 county team tournament

14 Mar. Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire drew the last county match in the Midlands stages making Warwickshire title holders in this section. After board count, the Notts and Staffs were still level. Notts just edged it after elimination of lowest boards to gain the MCCU's second nomination for the national stages. Given the closeness of these two teams, the controller has asked the ECF to consider a third nomination from the Midlands because other chess unions have not taken up their places.

Warwickshire congress results

1 Mar, Warks website reports. James Jackson (Chess Mates, Northants) won the Open tournament with 4½ points pushing Mark Hebden (Leics) into second place. Paul Colburn (Braunstone, Leics) Nicholas Walker (West Bromwich) shared first place in the Major; Richard Weston (Witney) was first in the Intermediate; and Laurence Tarbuck (Lichfield, Staffs) was first in the Minor tournament. The event was organised by Alex Holowczak, and controlled by David Thomas.

Birmingham League stalwart dead

17 Mar, Chris Evans reports. The funeral of Mike Walker, former secretary of Birmingham & District League and Mutual Circle Club was held on Tuesday 17 March. Mike has written a short obituary.

Lincolnshire are Midlands u120 team champions

7 Mar. Staffs and Warks have a fighting draw to catch Lincs at the head of the u120 table, but Lincolnshire beat both of these counties in individual matches so become 2015 Midlands u120 champions. Staffordshire are second having a better board count in their drawn match with Warks.

Bloxwich Juniors on the move

2 Mar, Ray Dolan reports. After being at St James Church Bloxwich, for the last three years, we have outgrown the room we use. The increase in numbers of children wishing to learn the game means we were at full capacity and we are so sad to leave. Our New Venue is Ryecroft Community Hub starting 7 March.

Lincolnshire make Midlands chess history

21 Feb. In the Midlands Team Counties' final at Sharnford, Leics, Lincs beat Worcs 8½-7½ to take the title for the first time. In the play-off for the third Minor Counties place in the national stages, Leics beat Greater Manchester. See details on County Matches > Open page.

Nottinghamshire win Midlands u160 team championship

7 Feb, reported by Neil Graham. Notts beat Greater Manchester to take the u160 title at Newcastle-under-Lyme.

GM Jahongir Vakhidov wins Birmingham 4NCL Open

2 Feb, reported by 4NCL website. Uzbekistan GM won this first 4NCL FIDE-rated international congress with 4½ points just pipping Mark Hebden. Four other GMs and an IM competed in a field of 11. Andrew Horton (Gtr Manchester) was on 3½ points. Midlanders Steve Crockett (Redditch, Worcs) and Parin Suckak (Syston, Leics) shared first prize with three others in the Minor tournament.

Warks under-100s head for national stages

31 Jan. Warks u100s maintain 100% record with a win against Leics

Adam Ashton wins Stockport Rapidplay

25 Jan, Rod Middleton reports. Adam Ashton (Urmston, GMC) scored 6 points from his six games to win the Open. Rita Joao (3Cs, Oldham, GMC) won the Major with 5½ points; Geraint George won the Intermediate with 5½ points and Steve Crockett (Redditch, Worcs) added to his string of RGP victores with a clear 6 points to win the Minor tournament.

Mark Hebden wins Nottingham Rapidplay

18 Jan, Notts CA web site reports. Mark Hebden (Leics) won the Open with 6 points from 6 games. Matthew Wilson (Wigston, Leics) won the Intermediate with 5½ points and Steve Crockett (Redditch, Worcs) won the minor with 6 points.

Lincs and Worcs to meet in Midlands Final
Leics play Manchester for 3rd place in national

24 Jan. In the inter-zonal matches, Worcs narrowly beat Leics and Lincs beat Greater Manchester. Meanwhile Warks beat Notts away to become u180 champions. In the u-140 competition, Notts are champions and Staffs accompany them into the national stages.

GM Mark Hebden perfect rapid winner at Nottingham

18 Jan, Neil Graham reports. Mark (Leics) won the Open with 6 points from 6 games. Other winners were: Major - Nathanael Paul (Newport, Shrops); Intermediate - Matthew Wilson (Wigston, Leics); and Minor - Stephen Crockett (Redditch, Worcs)

Notts win u140 Midlands team championship

17 Jan, Denis Nesbit and Neil Graham report. Nottinghamshire beat Staffs decisively to take the Midlands u140 title.

Local winner at Shropshire Congress

3 Jan, Shrops CA website reports. Nigel Ferrington (Shrewsbury Telepost) shared first place in the Open with Ryszard Maciol (West Bromwich), Gordon Scott (Norfolk) and John Cox (Middlesex) with 4 points in the five-round tournament. In the Major, Ian Emery (Warley Quinborne, Birmingham) shared first place on 4½ points as did Marco Ho (South Birmingham) in the Minor. See full results...

Warks have early Christmas wins

14 Dec. Two splendid victories for Warks beating Manchester in the u160 and a depleted Notts in the u100.

Lincolnshire and Worcestershire (just) top zones in minor

6 Dec. In the East, Leics beat Notts, while Derbys and Lincs drew making Lincs top and Leics runners-up. In the West, Greater Manchester had a big win against Warks and Worcs beat Staffs.

Midlands juniors in Brazil

5 Dec, David Levens reports. Aditya Munshi (Nottingham) and Max Miller (Northants), both under 11, represented England in the Worls Schools Championship. Aditya scored 6½ points to win a medal and Max 5½ points from 9 games and well up the table.

Steve Crockett again leads RGP

16 Nov. The only player to participate in both RGP events so far leads. Is there anyone to stop him winning yet again? Paul Heeney is second on 5 points.

Bolton Rapidplay results

9 Nov, Rod Middleton reports. The Open was won by Allan Beardsworth (Stockport area) with 5½ points from 6 games with Andy Horton second on 5 points. Richard Betts (Northwich, Cheshire) and Peter Hepworth (Hudderfield) shared top place in the Major and Stephen Crockett (Redditch, Worcs) won the Knight (u130) tournament.

County match results

8 Nov. In the West zone, Worcester held the Mancunians to a surprising draw and Staffs beat Warks. In the East, Lincs beat Leics and Notts beat Derbys.

Arkell pipped on tie-break for World Senior title

3 Nov. Midlands GM Keith Arkell scored 8½ points and shared the lead with GM Zurab Sturua (GEO), but lost out for the title with the Buchhlotz tie-break. The title was decided by the last game to finish. Fellow Midlands GM Mark Hebden scored 7 and was placed eighth. GM John Nunn, on points, won the bronze medal. Reda more on the ECF website.

Notts and Warks lead under-100 counties

1 Nov. Notts beat Leics and Warks beat Staffs.

Shrops drop out of u140 inter-counties tournament

27 Oct Roger Brown reports. Shropshire are unable to field a team and have decided to withdraw.

Midlands winners at Scarborough Congress

26 Oct, Neil Graham reports. Steve Alott (Grimsby, Lincs) was first in the Intermediate tournament. Tim Kendall (Nottingham) and William Egan (Scunthorpe, Lincs) shared the Minor tournament first prize. Jason Madden (Leamington, Warks) won the Foundation tournament.

Arkell and Hebden in world Seniors

23 Oct. Midland GMs Mark Hebden (Leics) and Keith Arkell (Worcs) join the English contingent John Nunn, Stewart Reuben and Ingrid Lauterbach at Katarini in Greece The tournaments finish 5 Nov. Follow latest news and live games.

Upsets in the championship

25 Oct. Unfavoured Worcestershire beat Warks.
19 Oct. In the championship, Manchester win their first match against Staffs. Does this presage a revival of a slumbering giant? In the East Zone, Lincs beat Notts.

Winners at Birmingham & Dist Rapidplay

15 Oct, Alex Holowczak reports. Ameet Ghasi (Grantham) showed other competitors a clean pair of heels with 6 points from 6 games and two ponts clear of the field to win the Open. Sharing second place were Ryazard Maciol (W Bromwich), Don Mason (Shirley & Wythall) Pablo Padilla Cabero and Golam Ali (both Sutton Coldfield). Over 100 players competed.

Midlanders in the Isle of Man Congress

12 Oct. Gary White (Priorslee Lions, Shrops) won a grading prize in the Minor tournament. GM Nigel Short (7½ points from 9 games) won the Masters with both MIdland GMs Arkell and Hebden finishing on 5 points and mid-field in a tournament with 25 GMs.

Vacancy for Midlands Director for Junior Chess

12 Oct. It is with regret we report the resignation of David Levens who has been the Midlands Director for Junior chess since 2010. Ray Dolan, MCCU CEO, writes: "He will be sadly missed, I would to like thank him for all his time working for the MCCU and for Chess as a whole." President Peter Gibbs writes: "I am very grateful for all his hard work on behalf of juniors whilst in post".

English Chess Federation annual meeting

11 Oct. A proposal to make games where there is a possibility of adjudication ineligible for grading were defeated at the annual meeting. Two Midlanders stood for election as Director of Junior Chess & Education and Traci Whitfield (Staffs) was elected defeating David Levens. Andrew Farthing (Worcs) was elected an Honorary Life Vice-President of the national body for his well-regarded stint as ECF CEO.

Notts take lead in u160 competition

11 Oct. Notts beat Warks away in their u160 encounter.

Midlands GP

8 Oct. After the first two rounds, Joseph McPhillips, the young player from Bolton, leads with 8 points.

First county match result in

4 Oct. On the first weekend Warks convincingly beat Notts in the u120 tournament to record the first result in 2014-5. In the same tournament Worcs drew against Lincs.

ECF Secondary School Team Chess Challenge

Neil Cooper reports: This year sees three regional finals in the MCCU area in early November. The regional finals are at Bolton, South Manchester and Birmingham. Schools can enter up to two teams of four pupils in Year 6 and above. The national final will be on 22 Apr at Imperial College, London. For further information see the competition website.

King Edward's School Edgbaston top Midland School

14 Sep, ECF Website. Midlands counties were represented by only two schools at the ECF Secondary Schools team event held at Eton College. The Warwickshire school were placed 6-8th with 18 out of a possible 30 points. King's School, Grantham, Lincs ended 13-8th out of 38 schools with 16½ points. Read more.

Inter-counties controller ill.

1 Sep. Peter is back home convalescing.

28 Aug. Good news! Peter is on the mend and hopes to get home soon.

27 Aug Dave Bull reports from Lincoln. We understand Peter Sherlock has been admitted to hospital.


Archived news from the 2013-4 season