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Published 15 January 2020

News in the 2018-9 season

Manchester Summer Congress

18 Aug, Ian Lamb reports. IM McPhillips won the Open with 4½ points from his five games after first seed GM Stephen Gordon (3Cs, GMC) lost to Ran Song (China). The Major tournament win was shared by Michael Fisher (Oldham, GMC), Vladimirs Bovtramovics (Surrey), and Robert Dean (Yorks) with 4½ points. The Knights competition was won outright by Aisha Benham (Tameside, GMC) on 4½ points. Grading prizes were won by Ray Ilett (u185, Cambs), Dean Hartley (u145, Amber Valley, Derbys) and the u110 prize was split Tim Allen (london), John Kelly (Stockport, GMC) and Ben Imrye (Northenden, GMC). Over 150 players took part, the congress director was Harry Lamb and full results are at chess-results.com.

Worcestershire Closed Championships

18 Aug. Jeremy Followfield (Shirley & Wythall) won the Worcestershire Championship and Julie Wilson (Stourbridge) won the Worcestershire Women's title.

Congress organiser wanted

18 Aug, Ray Dolan reports. Alex Holowczak has stepped down from his role as organiser of MCCU senior and junior tournaments. CEO Ray Dolan thanked Alex for his organisation and wrote: “A fantastic job well done!”

IM Brandon Clarke wins MCCU Open

12 Aug, Alex Holowczak reports. Former Leicestershire player Brandon won with 4½ points from his 5 games at Telford. Harry Evans (4½ points, Redditch) won the Major and Jack Huffer (4½ points, Warwick Uni) won the Minor. Full results linked from the MCCU congress pages.

Warwick Chess named ECF club of the year

24 Jul. Another Midland club bagged this award. Warwick CC have over 150 members, run a European team as well as five teams in the Coventry League winning the league championship, and run a popular rapidplay tournament. Congratulations to Louise Head, Jorel Ali, James Harrison, Paul Shelford, James Munns, Ed Andreescu Helen Cavanagh, Jack Huffer and other members of the club committee. Read the full citation on the ECF website.

Lincs and Staffs teams get national county titles

13 Jul. Lincs were paired against Devon in the national Minor Counties final, but Devon defaulted. This was a sad way to decide the title and deprives Lincolnshire players of a well-deserved triumph. Staffs returned in force to limited graded county competition. In spite of losing to Notts in the Midlands stage matches, they beat Notts in the under-100 national final. Use the County Matches menu item and then national stages to see match scores and links to MCCU team full results.

Shropshire re-enter county competitions

12 Jul. Matthew Clark reports. Shropshire intend to field an Open and an under-120 team in the 2019-20 MCCU team competitions. View the latest information on teams likely to particpate in the 2019-20 season.

Worcestershire hope to field under-100 team

30 May. At its annual meeting, Worcs received an offer to captain a u100 team in the MCCU competition to give lower-graded players the opportunity to play. At the same meeting, Worcestershire League adopted incremental time control for team matches and honorary treasurer Brian Turner received the Jim Friar award for services to Worcestershire chess.

Annual MCCU meeting approves new time control

15 Jun. Leicestershire’s proposal that the MCCU should have incremental time control for inter-county matches was approved subject to a slight grammatical correction. Tim Walker (Notts) was elected new Director for junior chess and two new Life Vice-Presidents were elected: Ray Collett (Worcs) and Andrew Leadbetter (Staffs). There is one vacancy, that for safeguarding, and in the meantime relevant issues should be reported to the CEO, Ray Dolan.

Lincs and Staffs teams get national county titles

13 Jul. Lincs were paired against Devon in the national Minor Counties final, but Devon defaulted. This was a sad way to decide the title and deprives Lincolnshire players of a well-deserved triumph. Staffs returned in force to limited graded county competition. In spite of losing to Notts in the Midlands stage matches, they beat Notts in the under-100 national final. Use the County Matches menu item and then national stages to see match scores and links to MCCU team full results.

County Semi-final results
Four Midlands teams through to finals and an all-Midlands u100 final

8 Jun. In the Open, Surrey beat Manchester; in the Minor counties Lincolnshire went through on board count to play Devon in the finals; in the u180 Warwickshire defaulted against Essex; in the u160 Nottinghamshire lost to Middlesex; in the u140 Worcestershire beat Essex and play Yorkshire in the final; the u120 result is awaited and both Midlands teams won in u100 with Nottinghamshire beating Warwickshire and Staffordshire beating Lancashire. The national finals will be held at Kettering Northants on 13 July.

Seven Midlands teams through to semi-finals.

18 May. Another three Midlands teams go to semi-finals. Worcestershire u140 beat Herts, but Notts u140 fall to Kent. Staffs had double victories over Norfolk in the u120 and the u100 matches. Notts beat Essex in the u100 competition.
11 May, Neil Graham and ECF report. Three teams go to semi finals.In the Open competition, GreaterManchester beat Sussex in their quarter final match, but Leics were knocked out by Middlesex. Notts lost to Devon in the Minor Counties quarter final, but in the Devon-Notts u160 match Notts squeezed through on the second tie-break after an 8-8 result. Manchester u160 lost to Suffolk. In the u120, Notts beat Kent, Derbys lost to Yorks.

Midland counties correspondence teams

1 May, Phil Morgan reports. Notts currently lead Division 2 of the Counties and District Correspondence Chess Club competition with 8½ points from 11 completed games, but Essex B have 7/7 points and seem likely to win the Sinclair Trophy. Warks B - on 5½/9 - and Worcs - on 3½/11 - also compete in the same division. Warks A compete in Division 1 (5/8 so far). Lincs (7½/9) lead Division 3 in the fight for the Butler-Thomas Trophy and Staffs (5½/10) also play in Division 3.

Derbyshire u120 through to quarter final

27 Apr. Derbys won their match against Herts and play Yorkshire next round.


24 Apr, Ray Dolan reports. The MCCU Annual Meeting will be held Saturday 15 June at Rolls Royce Derby. Papers will be sent to county secretaries, delegates and officers nearer the meeting.

IM Joseph McPhillips wins Bolton Easter congress

McPhillips (Bolton, GMC) had a clean sweep and was 1½ points ahead of the field in the Open. Martin Burns (Stockport, GMC) won the Major with 5 points and Arpad Busznyak (Bolton, GMC) the Minor with 4½ points. The Busy Person’s Blitz was a tie between GM Stephen Gordon and Joseph McPhillips with 7 points from 8 games. The tournaments were organised by Rod Middleton and attracted 140 entries.

Midlands Junior Champions

21 Apr. Kishan Modi (Leics Jun) was U18 champion with 6 points, The U14 prize was shared by Jason Lv (Leics Jun) and Pavel Marowski ((Oxen Jun) 4 points. The U11 winner was Jude Shearsby (Coventry Chess Acad) 4 points and the U9 champion was Elis Dicen (St Patrick’s Birmigham) Winners took home up to £300 in prize money. Full prize list and link to cross-tables..

Midland masters success in Rhodes

17 Apr. IM Robert Bellin (Walsall, Staffs) played board 1 in England 65+’s Silver Medal team placed behind Russia. In the Senior 50 team competition, GM Keith Arkell (Halesowen, Worcs) won an individual silver medal. See Stewart Reuben’s report..

Cannock & District League celebrate 20th Birthday

2 Apr, Ray Dolan reports. The league was founded in 1999 by Robert Mayne, Brian Lynam, Robin Lewis and Ray Dolan. It now has twelve clubs competing in three divisions and competitions for the Chase and Robert Ward trophies. Visit CDCL website.

Draw for national stages of county championships

30 Mar, ECF reports. The full draw is on the county teams' national page of this website. Lincs get a bye and free pass into the Minor Counties semi-final. Warks had to decine their nomination for the u120 and are replaced by Derbys and Worcs decided not to enter the u180 competition.

Final MCCU county match results spring surprise in the championship

23 Mar. With a chance to become Midland champions, Leics lose to bottom placed Worcs. In the u140, Lincs beat Staffs.

Midlands county teams in the national stages: late u120 substitution

23 Mar, Peter Sherlock reports. Worcs decided to withdraw from the u180 competition, Derbys replace Warks in the u120 and Notts confirmed as the third nomination for u100. The national stage rounds are scheduled as shown on the national web page of the this year's county matches. The full list is: Open MCCU1 Leics, MCCU2 GMC; MinorCounties MCCU1 Lincs, MCCU2 Notts; u180 MCCU1 Warks; u160 MCCU1 GMC, MCCU2 Notts; u140 MCCU1 Worcs, MCCU2 Notts, MCCU3 Leics; u120 MCCU1 Notts, MCCU2 Derbys, MCCU3 Staffs; u100 MCCU1 Warks, MCCU2 Staffs, MCCU3 Notts. Players in the national stages must be ECF members (in the Open gold membership) and captains are reminded to obtain from the national controller clearance for all ungraded players in grade limited sections. Good luck to all Midlands teams!
17 Mar, Peter Sherlock reports. MCCU have nominated at least two teams in the Open and each of the grade limited competitions. The u140 and u120 sections have three nominations and Notts have asked for a reserve place if available in the u100.

Warks u140 beat Derbys and Leics get 3rd place in national stage

16 Mar, Peter Sherlock reports. In the hotly contested u140 competition, Warks had a narrow home victory over Derbys. This weekend’s result means that Leics take the final Midlland’s place in the national stage.

Notts win Midlands under-120 team championship

9 Mar. The end-of-season u120 match between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire was crucial, but Warks needed a win whereas Notts only a draw. With a board down, Notts squeaked the draw.
9 Mar, Neil Graham reports. In the battle for the remaining two MCCU nominations for the national stages, Warks and Staffs just edge out Derbys.

Worcs win Midlands under-140 and Warks win under-100 team championships

2 Mar. In the u140 showdown, Worcestershire emerged victors, leaving two team to fight for the third nomination for the national stages. In the u100, Warwickshire had a convincing win against Staffs u100 to maintain a 100% set of results.

Midlands team championship hangs on final match

2 Mar. Leics beat Notts in the championship so the result of the final match of the season will decide whether Leics or Notts are champions.

County team results

23 Feb. In the u140 competition, Notts set up a championship showdown with Worcestershire next weekend with a win against Leics while Lincs beat Warks. In the u120, Worcs pick up a match point with a draw against Staffs.
16 Feb. In the Championship competition leaders Lincs fell to Warks. The remaining matches will be crucial. Leics u120 beat Worcs
9 Feb. Worcs u140 team book their place in the national stages with an away draw against Derbys.
2 Feb. Notts beat Worcs in the championship to join Lincs at the top of the table. Notts beat Leics and go top of the u120 table.

Solihull Club runs Chess 960 rapidplay

13 Feb. Solihull blaze a trail for ’Fischer Random’ rapidplay with an open tournament on 10 March (see top right). There will be grading prizes for ECF rapidplay graded players, but because Chess 960 is a chess variant, results in this tournament will not be graded.

Stockport Rapidplay results

27 Jan, Rod Middleton reports. Adam Ashon (3Cs, Oldham, GMC) and IM Joseph McPhillips (Bolton, GMC) were first in the Open with 5 points from 6 games. Phillip Seery (Bare Inst, Morecombe, Lancs) won the Major, Michael Norris (Manchester Mantihores, the Intermediate and Denzel Supatan (Bare Inst, Morcombe, Lancs) the Minor all on 5½ points. Just under 150 players took part.

Nottingham Rapidplay

31 Jan, Neil Graham reports. IM Ameet Ghasi (Warks) won the Open with six wins from six rounds: GM Mark Hebden was second on 5 points. Sam Davies (TIger Chess) and Ethan Rowe (Northampton Jun) shared first place in the Major on 4½ points. Matthew Bubis (Rolls Royce, Derbys) and Robert Mitchell (Shepshed, Leics) shared first in the Intermediate and Kajus Mikalajunas (Leics Jun) won the Minor outright on 5½ points. Over 120 players competed. For full results visit the Notts website.

New Year County team results

26 Jan. In the u140, Worcestershire beat Lincolnshire and remain unbeaten. Derbys beat Warwickshire in the u120. In the u100 Staffs beat Leics in an 11-board match.
19 Jan. Manchester beat Notts to claim the u160 Midlands title.
19 Jan. In the championshp matches, Warks beat Worcs and Lincs beat Leics.
12 Jan. In the u140, Staffs beat Derbys and Lincs beat Notts and in the u100 Notts beat Staffs. All three matches were close results.
5 Jan. In the championship, Leics beat Warks while in the u120 competition, Notts beat Derbys and Warks beat Staffs.

County u180 team entries invited

14 Dec, Peter Sherlock reports. County team competition controller Peter Sherlock has invited all counties to enter the u180 competition: deadline 31 Dec.

County match results

9 Dec. In the u140 tournament, both Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire retain 100% scores beating Warks and Staffs respectively while Leics beat Lincs. In the u100 tournament, in an 11-board match Leics beat Notts.
1 Dec. In the Championship, Lincolnshire beat Worcs and Notts beat Warks. In the u120, Staffs beat leaders Derbys to open up that section.
24 Nov. In the u140 competition, home teams had a good day: Notts beat Warks, Derbys beat Leics, and Worcs beat Staffs

MCCU players at Bled World Seniors Championships

24 Nov. Keith Arkell finished 7½/11 in 9th position and Lee Davis was on 4½ points.

Bolton Rapidplay

18 Nov, Rod Middleton reports. The open section was dominated by Paul Macklin (Chorlton, GMC) with a 100% score of 6pts. The key game was a 4th round encounter with Ali Jaunooby, where Paul who was over 5 minutes behind on time, blitzed an ending with less than a minute left on his clock. Szilard Tamas (Sheffield) was the sole winner of the Major. The Knights finished in a tie between Alex Sosnowski (Eccles) and Steve Whatmore (Birmingham). The eventwas held at the Bolton Ukrainian Social Club and 76 players competed.

County match results

17 Nov. Warks defeated Leics and remain the only winning team in the u100 competition
10 Nov. In the u140 competition, Leics beat Staffs and Notts beat Derbys
3 Nov. Two u120 matches this weekend: Warks drew with Leics and Notts beat Worcs.

Dates for centennial county team competitions

31 Oct, ECF reports. Mark Murrell, Director of Home Chess has published the default dates for national stages of this year's centennial inter-counties competitions.

Preliminary Rounds – Saturday 27th April 2019
Quarter Finals (Open, Minor, Under 160, Under 120) – Saturday 11th May 2019
Quarter Finals (Under 180, Under 140, Under 100) – Saturday 18th May 2019
Semi-Finals – Saturday 8th June 2019.
Finals – Saturday 13th July 2019

County match results

27 Oct. Warks u140 beat Staffs, Worcs beat leics and Derbys beat Lincs
20 Oct. Derbys beat Leics in the u120 and Warks beat Notts in the u100.

ECF annual meeting seeks fee increases

13 Oct. Council approved the strategic plan, but it was confirmed that any fee increases would need a positive vote at a future meeting. Alex Holowczak (Worcs) was elected unopposed as Dirctor for Junior Chess in succession to Traci Whitfield (Staffs).

First county match results of the season

6 Oct. Lincs and Notts fought to a draw in the championship, while Warks beat local rivals Worcs and Staffs drew with Notts in the u120.

England placed 4th in the Batumi Olympiads

6 Oct. In spite of a convincing win against Kazakstan, England just missed out on a podium in Georgia and were unable to overhaul Poland. In fourth position, the team performance is a marked improvement on the last few years and David Howell on board 3 had a particularly good tournament. China won both the Open and the Women's team event and much-fancied USA were unable to make good on thier number 1 seeding in the Open.

Keith Arkell wins 4NCL Nottingham Open

30 Sep, Neil Graham reports. Keith was first on 4½ points in the Open. The first prize in the Major was shared by Joshua Pink (Stockport, GMC) and Ismael Lafuente Molano (Spain). The Minor first prize was also shared: Roy Hadfield (Leamington, Warks) and Sajjad Dehghan-Afifi (Manchester). Entries for this event were closed early because the venue capacity had been reached and over 150 players competed.

Midlanders' successes at UK Chess Challenge Terafinal

16 Sep. FM Jonah Willow shared first place in the under-18 section with 5 points. Highest scoring Midlander in the under-14 trournament was Finaly Bowcott-Terry (Worcs) with 4 from 6 games and Edison Xu (Warks) shared first place in the under-12. Warwickshire players also did well in the under-8 tournament with Jude Shearsby sharing first place and Ellis Dicen was the highest girl player.

All change in Worcestershire

23 Aug. Worcestershire CA has a new management team and a new website. New secretary is Paul Sharratt and new team captains are: Stephen Woodhouse (Minor Couties team), his son Monty (u120 team) and Tony Shaw takes over Worcestershire u140 team. Ray Collett retired as general secretary at the county's AGM in May and he received the Jim Friar award for services to Worcestershire Chess at their executive meeting in August. Worcestershire's new website is at http://www.worcestershirechess.org.uk/