Counties Chess

Midland Counties Chess Union
News & Results

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



Current News Current Season From 2008 Before 2008 Obituaries


Most recent news at top. Current news is on the home page.
Last updated 30 July 2024

Older news in the 2023-4 season

Leamington Open results

19 May 2024. Elis Dicen (Warks) won the Open in fine style with 4½ points from her five games with Finlay Bowcott-Terry (Warks) leading the chasing pack on 4. Oliver Harrison (Warks) won the Major (u2000) with 4½ points. Jasmine Burgess (Oxon) won the Intermediate (u1750) and Mike Warden (Warks) made a clean sweep of the Minor (U1500). Over 120 players attended the congress at Warwick Trident, directed by Alex Holowczak with arbiters Richard Buxton, Dennis Dicen and Dipal Patel. See full results.

Worcestershire lose u1650 quarter final

18 May 2024. Surrey beat Worcestershire at Cumnor, Oxon by 9½-6½. See link to full results. Worcestershire had to pull out of the u1450 competition because of the difficulty in raising a team.

Lincolnshire progress to Minor Counties semi-finals

11 May 2024. Lincolnshire beat Bedfordshire 13-3, but Worcestershire lost to Sussex 8½-7½. See links to full results.

Nottingham Congress results

21 Apr 2024. IM Andrew Ledger (Yorks) and Samuel Walker (Bucks) shared first place with 4 points from 5 games in the Open. Gabriel Barr (London) and Paul Wheatley (Yorks) shared first position in the Major with 4½ points. Joseph Greco (Notts) won the Intermediate tournament with 5 points. The Minor was shared by Thomas Grantham (Wales) and Martin Winn (Notts) each scoring 4½ points. Noah Hicks (Gtr Manchester) won the Improvers tournament. Over 180 players entered and over £350 was raised for the Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal. The congress was organised by Nottinghamshire CA and chief arbiter was John Swain. Full results.

Cannock League’s 25th Anniversary

14 Apr 2024, Ray Dolan reports. Cannock & District Chess League was founded exactly 25 years ago by Robert Mayne, Brian Lynam, Robin Lewis and Ray Dolan. The league started with two divisions and has now grown to four. It also organises the Chase Trophy competition and the Robert Ward competition for trophy and plate. Ten clubs and thirty teams now play in the league. They celebrate with a rapidplay congress at Wallsall (see alongside). League Champions in 2022-3 were Wolverhampton, but Tamworth are in the lead this season. The current officers of the league are: Steve Whatmore (President), Peter Oliver (Secretary), Eunice Dolan (Treasurer), Ken McNulty (Web editor), Ray Dolan (Publicity), Peter Evans (ECF-delegate).

Clean sweep for Hebden at Peterborough

1 Apr 2024. Leicestershire GM Mark Hebden won all 7 games at the 4NCL congress held at Peterborough. Sharing second and third place with 5½ points were RM Sooraj (IND) and Sahbir Okhai (Leics).

Warwickshire She Plays to Win Rapidplay

28 Mar 2024. The Open was won by WGM Elmira Mirzoeva (London) with 4½ points from 5 games. The Secondary tournament was won by Siyao Ou (Warks) with 3½ points and the Primary was won by Arini Padala (Derbys). The event was held at Coventry, organised by Alex Holowczak, and the chief arbiter was Matthew Carr. See full results.

Midland team goes out in first National stage County match

27 Mar 2024. Staffordshire u1850 team travelled to Sheffield for the first match in the national stages and suffered a heavy defeat.

David Dunn Memorial Rapidplay

27 Mar 2024. Joseph Friar (Worcs) shared first place in the Open with 5½ points from seven games with Elis Dicen (Warks). Quraishi Shahab (Staffs) won the Major (u2000) with 5½ pionts. Three shared first place in the Intermediate: Rhys Edwards, Tayeb Kazemi and Sathya Vaidyanathan (all Warks) scored 5½ points. Usama Pervais (Staffs) dominated the Minor (u1500) with 6½ points. The event was organised by Terry Walker, the arbiter was Matthew Carr, and held at the Moseley All Services Club, Birmingham. See full results.

GM Kieth Arkell simultaneous

13 Mar 2024. Thirty seven players from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Wales took on GM Keith Arkell and former English championat Hereford. Keith's youngest opponent was 8 and his oldest 86 years old. The overall result, with the last game finishing at midnight, was 33 wins and 4 losses in favour of Keith. The winning club players were Paul Barker, Oliver Layton, Dillan Duke from Herefordshire and Scott Oxtoby from Worcestershire.

Picture credit: Hereford Chess Club website

GM Keith Arkell at Hereford Simultaneous exhibition

South Birmingham win BDCL lightning tournament

13 Mar 2024. South Birmingham A team dominated section A. Mutual Circle C won section B and Olton D won section C. The event was held at Tyseley WMC and organised by John Mildenhall.

Midlands county teams eligible for national stages

29 Feb 2024. Lincolnshire are eligible to participate in the Minor Counties, u1850 and u1650 competitions; Worcestershire are eligible to play in the Minor counties, u1650 and u1450 competitions; and Staffordshire in the u1850 and u1450 competitions. The deadline for nominations is 24 March. The dates for matches have been published by the ECF: 27 Mar u1850 Prelim: 11 May for Open, Minor, u1850, u1550 quarter-finals; 18 May for the u2050 and u1650 quarter-finals, 8 June for all semi-finals and 6 July for the finals.

British Universities Championships at Leicester

25 Feb 2024. In the rapidplay team championships Oxford beat Cambridge on tie-break both teams having 16 match points. Warwick University won the Plate, LSE the Bowl, and Bristol 3 the Shield tournaments. Eighteen universities were represented and each team played nine rounds. Midland universites sending teams were: Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. An individual Blitz tournament was held and Wing Ki Kwong (UCL) was first of 130 players with 8½ points from 9 games.

Coventry Congress results

18 Feb 2024. The Open was won by Finaly Terry-Bowcott (Warks) with 4½ points from 5 games. The major was won by Arav Baid (Gtr Manch, 4½ points); the Intermediate first place was shared by Dinuga Basnayake (Notts) and Jerome Stellio (Staffs), both on 4 points. Three players shared first place in the Minor: Granville Hill (Liecs), Shivam Patel (Warks) and Gregory Kornilovich (Warks). Over 120 players competed in this congress organised by Alex Holowczak See full results.

Lincolnshire three time Midlands champions

17 Feb 2024, Peter Sherlock reports. Lincolnshire u1850 beat Staffordshire on board count to become MCCU u1850 team champions. Lincolnshire won all three competitions they entered. See full results.

Nottingham Rapidplay

4 Feb 2024, Simon Scott reports. GM Mark Hebden (Leics) shared first place with IM Jonah Willow (Notts) with 5 points from 6 games on the Open. First place in the Major (u1900) was shared by Julian Tarwid (Leics), Edouardis Ter Gevorkin (Yorks) and Alexander Linton (Cambs) all on 5/6. Four shared first place in the intermediate (u1700): Angel Monterde (Yorks), Sanketh Basnayake (Notts), and Ana Williams (Notts) all with 5/6. Max Dooley (Notts) won the Minor (u1500) outright with 6 points. Hatle Mehta (Leics) and Miheli Gunarathne (Notts) shared Impovers tournament with 5½ points. Over 180 players took part. See full details.

University of Warwick Rapidplay

3 Feb 2024. Remarkably there were no shared first places in tournaments at Warwick University. The Open was won by FM Sam Chow (AUS) 7 points from his 7 games; The Major (u1800) by Shrihan Koppuravuri (Bucks) with 6½ points; and the Minor (u1500) by Amir Grant (Warks) with 7 points. The event was organised by NA Sidharth Panicker, chief arbiter was NA Sam Foster and there were over 130 players.

Birmingham Rapidplay

28 Jan 2024. IM Yichen Han (NED) won the Open outright with 6½ from seven games. Karan Kukreja (Warks) won the Major (u2000) with 6 points. Dhairya Pandya (Warks) won the Intermediate (u1750) and Rowan Eccleston (Lancs) the Minor (u1500) both with 6½ points. The event was organised by Alex Holowczak and 140 players competed. See full results.

East Midlands Congress results

28 Jan 2024. Matthew Dignam (Herts) claimed first prize in the u2400 competition with 4½ points finishing above GM Keith Arkell (Worcs) on 4 points. Jacob Liu (Herts), Mihir Sharma (Northants), Piers Hinds (Notts) and Kevin Williamson (Beds) shared first place in the u1900 tournament. Tara Tamilselvan (Leics) won the u1500 competition outright with Warwickshire junior Siyao gaining a rating prize. The event was held at Northamton University, organised by Joshua Morris, and chief arbiter was IA Adam Raoof.

Lincolnshire win u1650 team championship

20 Jan 2024. Lincolnshire playing at home beat Worcestershire. This makes Lincolnshire double champions having also beaten Worcestershire in the Open competition. See score card.

Shropshire Congress results

14 Jan 2024. Adithya Vaidyanathan (Warks) was first in the Open with 4½/5 followed by Martin Lewis (Worcs) and Nigel Ferrington (Shrops), both on 4 points. The major tournament was won by Joe Rastall (Worcs) 4½/5 with Andrew Leak and Toby Neal placed 2-3rd with 4 points. In the Intermediate, Dhairya Pandya (Warks) was first on 4½/5 and Andrew Flavell (Shrops) and Andrew Roger (IRL) 2-3rd on 4 points. The Minor tournament was shared between Alex Brims and Andrew Jones (both Shrops). See congress result details.

Midlands winner at Hull and East Riding Rapidplay

7 Jan 2024. Samuel Milsom (Lincs) shared first prize in the Open scoring 4½/6.

Midlands players at Hastings

6 Jan 2024. The Caplin Masters was won by Abhijeet Gupta (India) with 7½/9 and sharing third to eleventh position English players were Ameet Ghasi (Warks) and Shreyas Royal (London) on 6½ points. There were numerous tournaments in addition to the Masters. Amrik Singh (Warks) was placed third in the Hastings u1950, Hambel Willow (Notts) third in the New Year u1800 tournaments. IA Matthew Carr (Staffs) controlled the Blitz tournaments.

Lincoln Rapid results

9 Dec 2023. GM Matthew Turner, 5 points, just pipped GM Mark Hebden (Leics), on 4½ points, in this six round tournament. The u1900 tournament was won outright by Danny McMenamin (5 points, Lancs) and the u1600 tournament was won by Callum Cosens (5½ points, Lincs). Nearly ninety players took part.

Lincolnshire win MCCU Team Championship

3 Dec 2023. Both Lincolnshire and Worcestershire have accepted MCCU's nomination to play in the national stages.

2 Dec 2023. In a hard fought match at Sharnford, Leics, Lincolnshire beat Worcestershire 9-7. See score card.

UK Open Blitz at Leamington

2 Dec 2023. Sixteen qualifiers played in each of the Open and the women’s championships. Two young Covetry Academy stars tied on 11/15 points, with 12-year-old Elic Dicen winning the women’s title on tie-break. Eight year old Bodhana Sivanandan was runner up. Eldar Gasanov won the Open with 11½/15.

New officials at Staffordshire CA

29 Nov 2023, Ray Dolan reports. At the annual meeting, Ray Dolan becomes General secretary, Peter Evans is the new Treasurer, and new MCCU delegates were appointed: Eunice Dolan and Stephen Smithson. Meir chess club was named the club of the year and Sports personality of the year was Jonathan Blackburn.

Massive pile up at Birmingham Open

26 Nov 2023. No fewer than five players ended on top of the Open tournament with 4 points each: John Potter (Derbys), Russell James (Warks), Kajus Mikalajunas (Leics), Benjamin Larkin (Warks) and Ruqayya Rida (Essex). The Major tournament was won by Santiago German (Philippines) with 4½ points; the Intermediate was shared by Tomek Dziedzic (Oxon) and James Thomas (Wales) who scored 4½ points and the Minor was won by Nicholas White (Bucks) with a clean 5 points from his games. The congress was held at King Edward VI Five Ways School, Bartley Green, Birmingham, attracted over 150 players and was organised by Alex Holowczak.

Midland success at Witney congress

5 Nov 2023. Okwose Obi (Warks) was first in the u2000 tournment with 4½ points.

Nottinghamshire Centenary tournaments

3 Nov 2023. GM Eldar Gasanov (UKR) won the Grandmaster International tournament with 6 points. IM Jonah Willow (Notts) was placed 2nd-3rd with Thomas Beerdsen (NDL) on 6. The parallel junior tournament was won by Furkan Bahtiyar (TUR) with 9 points and two Nottinghamshire juniors, Senith Gunarathne and Dinuga Basnayake tied for 2nd and third place on 7. The event was organised by Tim Wall.

WGM Kata Toma appointed ECF Non-Exec Director

1 Nov 2023. WGM Kata Toma (Worcs) has been appointed to a voluntary Non-Executive Director post. Stephen Woodhouse (Worcs) writes: "Kata will bring her playing and wider international experience to bear when advising the [ECF] Board and working with the other Directors."

Midland win at Scarborough

29 Oct 2023. Golam Ali (Warks) shared first place in the Major with 4½ points.

Birmingham Rapidplay results

22 Oct 2023. There was a clean sweep by Warwickshire players in this event. IM Ameet Ghasi won the Open tournament scoring 6 points from 7 rounds. The Major (u2000) tournament was won by Furcan Ancar (Warks) with 7 points; the Intermediate (u1750) by Steve Edwards (Warks); the Minor (u1500) by Omar Khemoudj (Warks) with 6 points. The event was organised by Alex Holowczak and attracted 150 players. See full results.

Staffordshire u1450 blast Worcestershire to take Midlands team title

21 Oct 2023. Captains agreed to play an eight-board match for the u1450 Midlands team championship at Newcastle-u-Lyme Bridge Club. Staffordshire nearly had a clean sweep with only Worcestershire`s captain able to score. See score sheet.

ECF re-elects Home Director and combines membership categories

15 Oct 2023. There were two contested elections for ECF directorships. Nigel Towers (Worcs), the incumbent Director for Home Chess, won an overwhelmingly. The vote for a vacant Non-Executive Directorship was much closer with WIM Sarah Longson (Greater Manchester) beating WGM Katarzyna (Worcs) by 125 to 99 votes. A proposal from the ECF Board to merge silver and gold membership categories starting in September 2024 was narrowly accepted by 136 to 122 votes.

GM Hebden wins Derbyshire Open

24 Sep 2023. Mark Hebden (Leics) had a perfect 5/5 score to win the Open tournament. Other winners were: Major (u2000) Dragoljub Sudar (Notts) 4½, Intermediate (u1800) Matthew Bubis (Derbys); Minor (u1500) David Dunne 4½ (Yorks); Foundation (1350) Jonah Tomsett (Notts) 4½. A total of nearly 150 players competed in this inaugural Derbyshire event. See full results.

MCCU Generation Game at Walsall

23 Sep 2023. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the MCCU, Ray Dolan (CEO MCCU) organised a massive 56-board match between young and old players at the Rycroft Community Centre Bloxwich.

MCCU generation game

Cllr Mark Statham (standing left) ready to make the first move to start the Generation Game board 1 game between Keith Thomas (Oscott CC) vs Stephen Gaskell (vice-captain of the Bloxwich Junior CC) with chief arbiter Ham Patel, and arbiter Andrew Lambert.

Warwickshire junior initiative

13 Sep 2023, Alex Holowczak writes. Warwickshire Primary Schools Team Championship is a new initiative, and I am hopeful that those of you who work in schools in the LEA areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire can enter this tournament. The rough format is to have zones of 5 or 6, with a 1-day Final on a Saturday in the Spring. We will firm up those arrangement once we know how many teams enter.

Counties square up for new season

7 Sep 2023, Peter Sherlock reports. Only three counties have entered the county team competitions. Lincolnshire and Worcestershire play for the Midland counties title in November. In the rating-limited tournaments, Lincolnshire u1850 play Staffordshire, Lincolnshire u1650 play Worcestershire and the first county match will be between Staffordshire u1450 and Worcestershire. Warwickshire is not fielding a team this year and Shrops, Notts and Leics have not returned to the competitions. Counties still have the opportunity to compete for the u2050 Midlands title because the entry date is not until the end of January. See list of fixtures.

Blitz qualifiers from Kenilworth

3 Sep 2023. In this ECF regional Blitz qualifying event, IM Jonah Willow and GM Mark Hebden (Leics) qualified for the Open finals and Elis Dicen (Warks) and WGM Kata Toma (Worcs) qualified for the Women’s finals.

Fast play at Coventry

3 Sep 2023. Coventry Rapidplay. IM Yichen Han completed the double with a win in the Rapidplay Open scoring 6 points from seven games. The Major (u2000) was won by Callum Davies (Wales) with 6½ points; the Intermediate (u1750) by Yaseen Rajjoub (Warks) wth 6 points and the Minor (u1500) by Vassily Sagyama (Warks) with 6½ points.

2 Sep 2023. Coventry Blitz. IM Yichen Han (Oxon) won the Open with 13 points from fourteen games. Nathanael Paul (Shrops) won the Major (u2000) with 11½ points; the Intermediate (u1750) by Pranav Mathur and the Minor (u1500) by Vihaan Mathur both from Warks Junior scoring 13½.


For earlier news use the left menu buttons.