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News in the 2017-8 season

Mancunian successes at Pula

30 Jun, Mick Norris reports. Andy Horton (3Cs, Oldham, GMC) and Joe McPhillips (Bolton, GMC) both qualified as IMs at the tournament in Pula, Croatia.

More Staffordshire teams next year

25 Jun, Ray Dolan reports. Staffordshire are to field an under-140 county team as well as teams for the u120 and u100 competitions.

Five Midlands teams in county finals

11 Jun, ECF website reports. Two Warwickshire teams are in the finals - u180 and u120 tournaments playing Essex and Norfolk respectively. Lincolnshire battle in the Minor Counties against Surrey, Nottinghamshire in the u140 against Yorkshire and Leicestershire were gifted a walkover in the u100 to play Lancashire in the final.
10 Jun, ECF website reports. Two Midlands team were in action on Sunday. In the u120 competition, Warwickshire just beat Middlesex and Leicestershire lost narrowly to Norfolk.
9 Jun, ECF website reports. Two out of three Midlands teams made it to the finals. Lincolnshire beat Devon in the Minor Counties competition and play Surrey in the final, Warwickshire u180 beat Middlesex and play Yorkshire in the final. In the u140 competition, Nottinghamshire beat Essex while Worcestershire lost to Yorkshire who play Nottinghamshire in the final. Other Midlands teams are playing onSunday 10 June in the u120 and u100 tournaments.

Midlands Chess annual meeting

27 May, John Grasham reports. The agenda for the annual meeting on 30 June has been published and members will discuss proposals from Leics & Rutland to alter the MCCU county team competition rules. John is standing down from the role of MCCU secretary this year. CEO Ray Dolan described his valuable work as a great asset to the MCCU thanked him for work over the last six years.

Seven Midlands county teams in national semi-finals.

20 May, ECF website reports. Warwickshire and Leicestershire have two teams each in the semi finals scheduled on 9 June.Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and Worcestershire have one team apeice in the semi-finals. Warks have appealed their result in u100 match against Essex, but the appeal was unsuccessful.

19 May. In the u180 fixtures both Midlands teams lost: Warwickshire to Middlesex and Notts to Essex. In the u140 competition, Worcestershire beat Hampshire and Nottinghamshire beat Lancashire. In the u120 tournament, Warwickshire beat Merseyside, Leicestershire beat Surrey, but Nottinghamshire lost to Middlesex. In the u100, Leics beat Notts and there is an appeal against a ruling that Warks fielded an ineligible player in their u100 match against Essex.
12 May. In their minor counties fixtures, Lincolnshire beat Norfolk at Peterborough, but Worcestershire went down to the Devonians and Warwicksire lost to Suffolk. In the u160 competition, both Midlands teams were eliminated Warwickshire losing to Middlesex and Nottinghamshire to Lancashire.
5 May. In the u120 matches, Warwickshire won thier preliminary stage match against Essex and Leicestershire their quarter final match against Surrey.

Rugeley half-centenary Rapidplay results

7 Apr, Matthew Carr reports. Rugeley club celebrated its 50 years with a rapidplay. Over fifty players entered the three 7-round tournaments and there was a strong field in the Open. FM Gary Kenworthy won the Open on 5½ points. The top two Midland players were Marek Mazek (Heywood, GMC) and IM Laurence Cooper (Staffs) on 5 points in second place. There was a tree-way tie in the Major for first place with 5½ points: Peter Collins (Lichfield, Staffs); Phil Bull (Wolverhampton) and Douglas Barnet (Crew). Robert Marks (Solihull, Warks) stormed to first on 6½ points in the Minor. Full results are at ChessResults.com and there is a report at Rugely Chess Club.

Manvith Sandhu wins Warks Junior tournament

7 Apr, Alex Holowczak reports. Talented 10-year-old Warwickshire youngster Manvith from Hallfield School, Birmingham was first on 4½ points in the A tournament for players graded over 75. Over fifty players took part. See other winners on the junior news page.

MCCU annual meeting

6 Apr, Ray Dolan reports. The AGM will be held at Derby on Saturday 30 June 2018 at 2pm.

Jonah Willow wins Midlands under-18 tournament

5 Apr. Jonah (W Nottingham) scored 5½ points from six games and Laura Davidson was highest scoring female player on 3 points. Finlay Terry-Bowcott (Halesowen, Worcs) and Abigail Weersing (Essex Jun) shared first on 5½ points in the under-14 tournament. Joe Hirst (Newcastle-u-Lyme, Staffs) got a clean sweep with 6 points in the under-11 with Jessica Mellor (Guildford) and Margarita Sanchez (Coventry Acad, Warks) highest placed girls. In the under-9 tournament, Lohia Sohum was first with 6 points and highest Midlander Kanav Monga (Coventry Acad, 4½ points). The highest scoring girls in the U9 section, were Elis Dicen (62, Warks) and Munkhdemberel Pagamdulam (100, Mongolia) who both scored 3½ points.

Resurgence of Midlands Correspondence Chess

4 Apr, Philip Morgan reports. In Division 3 of the County and District Correspondence Chess Championship in which 6 of the 11 teams represent Midland Counties - Worcesterhire A and B, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire B. ( The latter should be more accurately called Warwickshire D, as the county has 3 teams playing in the higher divisions of the competition A top quality Board 1 match between SIM Jonathan Tait, Notts, and IM David Anderton of Staffs. ended 2 draws. Lincolnshire sat on top of the table for some time with 9½ points from their 16 completed games. Worcestershire A have just overtaken them with 10 points from 14 completed games. They are being strongly pressed by Nottinghamshire and Essex D, each on 12 points from 9 games. An exciting finish seems in prospect. Full details on ICCF website.

Counties' draw for national stages

2 Apr, Peter Sherlock reports. The draw is published but some fixtures are awaiting results from regional matches delayed by the weather. See national stage county match fixtures 2018.

Graham Humphreys 1929-2018

27 Mar. I have been informed the funeral is at 3.30pm,on Friday April 13th at Gornal Wood Crematorium, Coopers Bank Road, Dudley DY3 2PT.
21 Mar. The death of Graham Humphreys was reported by Wolverhampton & Dist League. His services to chess extended from 1951 to 2010. His first appointments was in 1951 to help organise the Birmingham Easter congress. He was continuously Staffordshire's junior chess secretary - latterly with Traci Whitfield - between 1951 and 2010, the Midland Counties' Director for Junior Chess from 1954-2010, and a member of the British Chess Federation Junior Committee 1955-75. Staffordshire honoured his with a long-service award in 2011 and a Wolverhampton League trophy commemorate his contributions to chess. The obituary written by David Fone is on the Wolverhampton DCL website.

Midlands nominations for national team championships

31 Mar, reported by Peter Sherlock. The MCCU nominations for the u120 competition were revised to give Notts a place rather than Lincs as a result of the decision of the disputes committee.
26 Mar, reported by Pater Sherlock. The draw for the national stages will be held on 1 April.
25 Mar. Minor – Lincolnshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire; U180 – Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire; U160 – Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire (reserve Greater Manchester); U140 – Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire (reserve Derbyshire); U120 – Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire; U100 – Leicestershire and Warwickshire, (reserve Nottinghamshire).

Lincolnshire retain Midlands team championship
Nottinghamshire win u140 team championship
Leicestershire win u120 team championships

24 & 25 Mar. In the weekend matches in the championship, Lincs retain their title with a win over Warks and Worcs got an unexpected win against Notts to gain a chance in the national stages. Lincs, Warks and Worcs will be offered nominations for the national stages. The u120 championship was thrown into disarray because of a dispute in the Lincs-Notts match. With it impossible to convene a committee to hear evidence from both counties in time for the ECF deadline for nominations for national stages, the controller had to make a decision with four teams in the running. He ruled a match draw, but a disputes committee will review the decision. A very difficult end to an exciting u120 season.

Graham Humphreys 1929-2018

27 Mar. I have been informed the funeral is at 3.30pm,on Friday April 13th at Gornal Wood Crematorium, Coopers Bank Rd., Dudley. DY3 2PT
21 Mar. The death of Graham Humphreys was reported by Wolverhampton & Dist League. His services to chess extended from 1951 to 2010. His first appointments were in 1951 to help organise the Birmingham Easter congress. He was continuously Staffordshire's junior chess secretary - latterly with Traci Whitfield - between 1951 and 2010, the Midland Counties' Director for Junior Chess from 1954-2010, and a member of the British Chess Federation Junior Committee 1955-75. Staffordshire honoured his with a long-service award in 2011 and a Wolverhampton League trophy commemorate his contributions to chess. The obituary written by David Fone is on the Wolverhampton DCL website.

Under-120 teams all have chances

10 Mar. In the u120, Notts beat Leics and Derbys beat Lincs. In the final match of the u100, Warks clinch a chance in the national stages with a draw against Notts.

Bad weather hits counties fixtures

1 Mar. With some of the worst weather conditions in the last 50 years, all three county matches scheduled for 3 March were postponed. The pair of Worcs-Notts matches have been rescheduled for Sun 25 March and the Warks-Lincs match for Sat 24 Mar.

Midlands team championship result

24 Feb. In a home fixture, Derbys u120 smashed Worcs.

Ameet Ghasi is double Midland Champion

18 Feb. The Midlands Open Rapidplay was won by Ameet Ghasi (Grantham Sharks 4NCL) with 8½ points from 9 games. GM Keith Arkell (Cheddleton 4NCL/Halesowen, Worcs) shared 2 and third places with Tomasz Sygnowski (Sutton Coldfield, Warks) on 7½ points.

17 Feb. In the Blitz, first seed Grantham Sharks' player IM Ameet Ghasi won the title in style with 8½/9. In second place was Halesowen/Cheddleton player GM Keith Arkell with 8 points. The tournament attracted over forty players.

The weekend was organised by IO Alex Holowczak and attracted 79 players. Results of all sections and links to full results.

Midlands team championship results

17 Feb. Nottinghamshire win u160 team championship with a narrow home win against Warwickshire. In a u120 match run in parallel at Bramcote, Notts u120s beat Staffordshire.

10 Feb When battle for the u140 champion was resumed in the new year, Notts broke the mould with a 9-7 win while Worcestershire, luckily gifted a default, turned in another narrow win this time against Derbys. The decider Worcs-Notts is next month. The u120 match between Leics and Warks finished in an wild time scramble to decide the match with the game going to Leics.

3 Feb. In the u120 competition, Worcs beat Notts comfortably.

Stockport Rapidplay results

28 Jan. In this six-round event, Nigel Davies (Lancs) was first on 5½ points in the Open. Mark Hann (GMC) shared first place on 5 points in the Major with Andrew Jaques (GMC). First in the Intermediate was Richard Renegade (Cheshire, 5½ points) while Sam Hayman (GMC) and Andrew Beswick (GMC) shared first in the Minor also on 5½ points.

County team results

27 Jan. In the u160 Warks beat GMC 9½-6½ to get a place in the national stages. In the u120, Staffs beat Warks and in the u100, Staffs had a home win against Notts.

20 Jan. In the Midlands team championship, there were two very close results. Nottinghamshire lost at home to Lincolnshire and Worcestershire won at home against Leicestershire to get their first match points of the season. In the u120 matches Lincs beat Warks and Derbys beat Notts

First county match results for 2018

13 Jan. In the u120 competition, Leics had a convincing win against Staffs.
6 Jan. Also in the u120 competition Lincs narrowly beat Worcs and in the u100 Leics beat Warks.

Shropshire Chess Congress

7 Jan. IM Alan Merry made a clean sweep with 5 points in the Open with IM Amit Ghasi (Lincs) and GM Stephen Gordon (3Cs, GMC) second on 4 points. The Major was shared by Chris Lewis (Newport, Shrops) and Glyn Pugh (Telford, Shrops) on 4 points. Four players: Dominic Barefoot (Oswestry), David Gilbert (DHSS), Colin Mace (Wellington, Shrops), and Richard Szwajkun (Telford, Shrops) shared first in the Intermediate and promising junior Chinmay Monga (K EdWard's Sch, Birmingham) won the Minor with 4½ points. Nearly 150 players participated. See further results.

Midlands masters at Hastings

5 Jan. GMs Mark Hebden (Leics) and Keith Arkell (Worcs) and IM Steve Mannion (Staffs) scored 6 points from 9 games and shared 6th prize in the Hastings Masters.

Standardised penalty for illegal moves

1 Jan, SCCU reports. New FIDE rule 7.5.5 comes into force: "for the first completed illegal move by a player, the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent; for the second completed illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player's king by any possible series of legal moves." This rule applies whether Blitz, rapid or standard play.

County match results

17 Dec. Warks enjoyed a double win over Worcs in Minor and u120 matches at Olton.
16 Dec. Leics beat Notts in the championship and u120 Derbys beat Staffs
9 Dec. In the u100, Leics had a comfortable win against Notts and Warks soundly beat Staffs.
2 Dec. In the u140, Derbys beat Lincs. The u140 competition is fierce with no match being decided by more than a single point.
18 Nov. In the Midlands championship, Lincs beat Worcs and Warks beat Leics.
11 Nov. In the u140, Notts beat Derbys in a close match to join Worcs in the lead. In the u120s a dramatic finish gave Warks a close away win against Notts.

Bolton Rapidplay

5 Nov, Rod Middleton reports. The open was won by Paul Macklin (Chorlton) with 5/6 points; Robert Hanson (Preston, 5 points) won the Major and Doug Barnett (Alsager) and Alex Sosnowski (Eccles) shared first place in the Knights tournament.

First county team results in u100, u140 and u160

4 Nov. Six teams were in action with wins for Notts in the u160, Worcs in the u140, and Leics in the u100

Wins for Worcs and Warks in the u120

28 Oct. Sorry about the delayed details for the Warks-Derbys match caused by scrambled comms: full details now uploaded.

Warwick University win Midlands 2020 Qualifier

22 Oct. Warwick University A team, 15 points, just pipped Sutton Coldfield CC, 12 points, in this 20 minute team rapidplay competition.

Notts win first county match

21 Oct. Notts get the season underway with a win against Warks in the Midlands team championship.

Dr Brian Dudley 1931-2017

20 Oct. Chess players from clubs in Worcestershire and Staffordshire joined family members at the funeral in Stourbridge. Brian was a former president of Worcestershire Chess Association, captain of their first team in the 1970s and a vice-president of the MCCU. A short obituary has been published on the Birmingham & District Chess league website.

Birmingham Rapidplay: MCCU president gains a second place

15 Oct, Alex Holowczak reports. IM Ameet Ghasi (6½/7) won the Open beating GM Keith Arkell (Worcs, 5½). Colm Buckley (Chester) and Florian Biermann (Nottingham Gambit) shared first in the Major on 5½; Mark Radford (Nottingham Cent) shared first in the Intermediate also on 5½ points; Imogen Dicen (South Birmingham, 6½) won the Minor with MCCU President John Pakenham (Warley) in sole second place on 6 points.

Halesowen, national chess club of the year.

21 Sep.The English Chess Federation selected Halesowen from six other nominated clubs as 2017 Chess Club of the Year. Read the club's submission from the link in the news column of their home page.

Staffordshire Open results

17 Sep. A multiple pile-up in the Open led to four sharing first place on 3½/5 points: Jonathen Blackburn (Holmes Chapel), Jonah Willow (W Nottingham), Craig Whitfield (Cheddleton), and Connor Boswell (Cheddleton). In the Major first was shared by Jon Blackburn (Cheddleton) and Douglas Barnett (Crew) both on 4 points. Julian Hawthorne (Kidsgrove) won the Minor outright with 4½ points. The event was controlled by Matthew Carr and attracted over sixty players.

Rugeley - Chess Staffs club of the year

6 Sep, Ray Dolan reports. Chairman Patrick Waller received the award from Ray Dolan for the fifty years' services to Staffordshire chess.

Three new teams in MCCU county team competitions

3 Sep, Peter Sherlock reports. Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire have entered additional teams for the 2017-8 season. Warwickshire entered a new u140 team and the u120 competition has two extra teams: Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Like the previous season, all counties competing for the Midlands Team Championship decided to enter the Minor Counties, but the top two teams will be offered the chance to compete in the Open section of the national stage.

MCCU-Natcor correspondence match starts September

30 Aug. Fourteen players from six counties represent the MCCU team led by CEO Ray Dolan. Methods of play include web-server, e-mail and post. Play commences 3 September with each players having two games against the same opponent and games will be played until a result is agreed. See details on correspondence chess web page.

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