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2nd October 2015

The NSDCA Season Begins

The new season got off to a good start at Westwood tonight as the B team entertained the C team in a Division Two match and the F team took on Crewe C in Division Four.

Internal matches are always difficult to predict and often finish as anything but tame draws. This was no exception.

First blood was drawn by Jacob Boswell who was at his best and put the Bteam ahead. Soon afterwards Dominic and Sandra decided that discretion was the better part of valour and agreed a draw. Dave Buxton then put the B team further ahead and was closely followed by Roger Walker pulling one back for the C team.

This left the two captains battling it out on board 3. The game went first one way and then the other with Roger Edwards finally gaining the win after 10.30 to level the match.

Across the room, the F team were slightly out-graded but never over-awed by Crewe C.

Andrei put them ahead early in the proceedings and Karol added to the score not long afterwards. The other two games swung from positive to negative all evening before Dave Rose finally old-headed his opponent into a vain attempt to queen a knight’s pawn which was doomed to end in stalemate. Colin Abell then attacked his position with renewed vigour and eventually won to give an impressive final score.

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Our new club secretary getting to know G.M. Raymond Keene O.B.E. better at Simpson’s in the Strand


25th September 2015

The Forty-Third AGM

The Chairman, Robert Milner welcomed fifty nine members to the 43rd Annual General Meeting tonight.

In his report, he referred to the fact that the Cheddleton 1 team had finished in third place in the 4NCL – their highest place ever – and were going to the European Club Championships at Skopje in Macedonia in October. Cheddleton 2 had also had a good season, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Second Division.

At a local level, two of the club’s teams finished in first and second places in the Second Division of the NSDCA whilst the Major Cup and the Staffordshire under-160 Gothard Cup were also captured.

The treasurer, Nicky Woolliscroft, reported that the club’s finances were comparatively healthy.

There were several changes amongst the officers elected. Jo Healings was thanked for her work as secretary following her retirement from the position. Anne Sanzeri was elected in her place. Nicky Woolliscroft also retired after several years as treasurer. Her place was taken by Steve Alcock. Amanda Whittingham was elected to the position of Publicity Officer and Simon Edwards became the new Club Captain.

The meeting heard that the ECF had recommended that all clubs had in place a Child Protection Policy. Jo Healings had worked extremely hard to roduce this document and the club committee had approved this earlier in the season. It was now brought before the AGM and approved without dissention.

A mission statement and a Club Code of Conduct were also both approved although it was agreed that both should be adjusted before being placed in front of next year’s AGM.

Teams were agreed for the forthcoming season and it was agreed that the club should enter a team in each of the Staffordshire Cups.

Sam Beardmore, who had run two League teams and a cup team as well as writing a column for the local newspaper not to mention successfully negotiating school exams, was awarded the June Whitehead Memorial board as clubman of the year.

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The Knackered Knight

After the excitement of the Annual General Meeting, thirty-five members adjourned to the playing room where the tournament for the Knackered Knight took place.

Four rounds brought a two way tie between Simon Edwards and Rob Shaw – each with four points. Jacob Boswell gained Three and a half to finish third whilst four players finished in equal fourth place with three points. These were Sandra Blackburn, Sam Beardmore, Dave Millington and Colin Abell.

A play-off was then arranged for the trophy and this resulted in a win for Rob Shaw who carried off the trophy once more.

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The play-off with Simon Edwards as guardian of the white pieces and the famous knackered knight watching the board with interest


18th September 2015

Rob Shaw Stars Again

This year’s summer ten-minute Grand-Prix was concluded today.

The last tournament of the season ended with a win for Rob Shaw with a perfect score of four out of four. However, a stunning three and a half points by Beth Woolliscroft lifted her into second place. Beth recently took the eye when she drew with England Women’s Champion Akshaya Kalaiyalahan in an inter-schools Championship match and proved today that this was no flash in the pan.

In equal third place were Dave Buxton, Jacob Boswell and Andrei Mihai who all scored three.

The Grand-Prix title was shared between Dave Buxton and Rob Shaw with eleven points each, Bill Armstrong was third with ten points and Jacob Boswell fourth with eight and a half. Josh Brown and Beth Woolliscroft finished in equal fifth place with eight.

The tournament was again a great success although the numbers were somewhat down this year with only forty-five members playing in it. Josh Brown closed an otherwise impressive run of having played in every single game by not being able to attend the last tournament tonight.

Another star of the event has been Cathy Hallen who has controlled most of the rounds.

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Beth Woolliscroft

The regular Friday evening junior coaching sessions which are sponsored by the Staffordshire County Council continued tonight but are now drawing to a close. It is to be hoped that more money can be forthcoming to ensure they continue in the future.


15th September 2015

NSDCA Committee Meeting

A meeting of the League Executive Committee was held tonight at Fenton Chess Club’s headquarters at Dresden. The main business of the meeting was for the new Chairman, David Hulme of Crewe to introduce himself to the rest of the Committee members and to outline his vvision of the League’s future.


13th September 2015

Close of the Congress

This evening saw the end of the sixteenth Leek Congress, marked by a roomful of games being fought to the death.

In the A.H. Brooks section, Oliver Jackson held on to the lead by drawing both games today and was joined by Alex Richardson of Newcastle who won both games to finish on four points. Alex is crowned as the NSDCA individual champion as the highest-placed eligible player. In equal third place with three and a half were Craig Whitfield of Cheddleton and Harry Russell. The slow starters’ prize which is awarded at this Congress to compensate for the lack of grading prizes was shared by Tony Soames of Macclesfield, Pat Bennett of Holmes Chapel and Ray Ilett of Peterborough.

The Croda section was won jointly by Reg Clucas and Kevin Dalley with Mick Connor of Great Lever, Richard Wiltshir and Hambel Willow of West Nottingham in joint third place. Alan Papier of Bristol and Clifton, Bill Armstrong of Cheddleton and Peter Windows of Meir all had a part of the slow starters’ prize.

Finally, the lower Westwood College section also resulted in a tie for first place with Ron Harrison of Belper, Gary Hall of Wallasey and Thivyaa Rahulan of Newcastle each scoring four points. The slow starters’ prize went to Les Fancourt of Derby.

Whilst numbers were down, in many ways the Congress was the best – certainly the closest fought – ever to be held at Leek, until next year proves to be even better!

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Presentation to Roger Edwards by David Anderton (left)

Before the fifth round today, a presentation was made to Rog Edwards who is retiring from the position of chief arbiter. The presentation was made by David Anderton who has also recently retired after fifty remarkable years in chess administration.

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Round 4 begins this morning


12th September 2015

The Congress Livens Up

After two more rounds today, the Congress leader boards are being to take shape. Yesterday’s hero, Oliver Jackson of Poynton, is now in the lead with three out of three, closely followed by Harry Russell of Louth and Dave Buxton of Cheddleton each on two and a half.

The Croda section is led by Sam Beardmore of Cheddleton, Reg Clucas of Altrincham and Hale, Kevin Dalley of Derby and Richard Wiltshir of Rushall all with two and a half points.

There are six joint leaders in the lower section, all with two and a half points – meaning that only Oliver Jackson is on a full score of three after the second day.


11th September 2015

Leek Chess Congress

The Sixteenth Annual Leek Weekend Congress opened this evening at Westwood College Old Hall – arguably the most attractive chess venue in the country. If you’ve never been there, you’ve missed a treat so make sure you remedy it next September!

There are eighty four entrants which is rather less than the organisers would like. Roger Edwards is again the chief Controller and the three arbiters are Matthew Carr, Andrew Davies and Jim McPhillips. Chess Direct are running their usual book stall.

The top section is sponsored by A.H. Brooks and Co. and tonight provided something of a shock when last year’s joint winner and a regular attender at the Congress – Ali Jaunooby – lost at the hands of another regular – Oliver Jackson.

The middle section is sponsored by Croda Chemicals and got off to a quiet start with fifteen byes being taken in the first round and the lower section was similarly rather low key.


5th September 2015

At Action West End Fun Day

The Club had a stall at the Action West End fun day which was well-attended and always had a group of people sitting around playing chess – either at one of the boards or on the grass. A good time was had by all – another triumph for Amanda Whittingham and family who organised it all.



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The Cheddleton and Leek Chess Club, Westwood College, New Hall, Westwood Park Avenue, Leek, Staffordshire.

Club Chairman Robert Milner - 01782 550112.