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25th July 2015

Leek Agricultural Show

The Chess Club tent and stand at Leek Show today was a resounding success.

The idea of putting this on for the first time in the club’s history started, as Amanda says as “a small seed of an idea as, to get the people to the club we needed to take the club to the people". Once this had been decided upon, it quickly grew in the fertile minds of club members. Through a great deal of hard work and dogged determination eventually there was a display to run with at the Show. There was a Gala Tent, all the Promotional material and, of course and most importantly, the volunteers.

Work began yesterday and resumed early this morning. The weather was with us and exceptional work was done by Nicky Woolliscroft , Karen Crick, David Jones and Caroline Mountford stretching back for weeks. Today, they were joined by the juniors who, as always, were the jewel in the crown of the display, playing chess enthusiastically for the entire event.

The crowds descended and as the club was promoted and it became evident that many were not only interested, but astonished that they had such a prominent club in the town.

The outdoor chess set kindly loaned by AH Brooks and Co. through Cathy and David Hallen was a great draw for the children.

The transport of tables and chairs - which were kindly loaned by Westwood College - was arranged by Whittakers of Leek and the tent was loaned by All Saints’ School. The assistance of Suzanne Sheldon should also be acknowledged.

The club also received great publicity during the run up to the show with a slot on Moorlands Radio, and great networking has ensured that we have many more opportunities for publicity and promotion on the near horizon.

Above all, the event was brilliantly co-ordinated by Amanda Whittingham and Michael Brown and all in all it was a massively successful event.

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Outside the tent looking in during a quiet moment at Leek Show


24th July 2015

A Seven-Minute Tournament?

It was a very peaceful evening at the club tonight with the calls of Leek Show not to mention annual holidays etc. keeping the numbers severely down. After much thought, it was decided to try a seven-minute tournament as a bit of a novelty. With only twenty-one members present, it proved very easy to manage and was quite a success. Rob Shaw and Simon Edwards finished in equal first place with four out of four, whilst Jacob Boswell and Sam Beardmore shared the bronze medals – you don’t seem to get many draws at this kind of thing, somehow!


22nd July 2015

The Staffordshire County Chess AGM

The County AGM was held tonight at Stafford Chess Club. On the whole, it was a good-tempered affair with very little controversy in evidence. However, there were several matters that were left unresolved which gives something of an air of dissatisfaction to its memory.

At different times over the last few months, both Roger Edwards and David Anderton have made it known that they were giving up all their chess organisational positions. Roger has held many positions in the North of the County stretching back into the 1960s and has also been very much a part of the County scene over the years. He has also been prominent in ECF affairs and served a term as the President of that august body.

David has been similarly prominent in the South of the county – also back into the 1960s. He was very much involved with the beginnings of the County Congress and has played a major part in it ever since, appropriately being the joint winner this year. He has also been a major figure in first BCF and later ECF affairs especially on the International scene.

Both will be greatly missed although they will both, of course, continue to play. In their absence, they were both applauded and thanked for their work over the years.

Problems were pin-pointed in the County Cup competitions yet again and the lack of interest throughout the county was again commented upon. As the event controller, Steve Emmerton is keen to look at alternative ways of organising these.

It was agreed to run the under-160 team this year instead of the under-140 but it proved impossible to appoint a captain either for the new team or for the Open team.

Matthew Carr will continue to run the County Congress and is confident of having it as a FDE-rated event acting as a qualifier for the British Championships.

The County officers were re-elected en bloc.

Bloxwich junior chess club was selected as the club of the year and Andrew Leadbetter received the award as County Personality of the Year.


17th July 2015

The 10- minute Grand Prix Continues

Tonight saw the third 10-minute tournament in the club’s summer Grand Prix as well as the fourth coaching session.

The 10-minute tournament was again won by Dave Buxton with four points and the runner-up was Caroline Mountford with three and a half. Bill Armstrong and Andrei Mihai were joint third with three points.


14th July 2015

Andrew Leadbetter

Andrew Leadbetter has been the Chairman of the North Staffordshire and District Chess League since 1996 and his association with the League goes back almost twenty years before that. From the late 1970s he has been the Staffordshire County treasurer for almost forty years and is continuing to flourish in that role and he was also for many years the President of the Wolverhampton and District Chess League. In addition to that he has served the county as a delegate to the MCCU and the ECF since the 1970s.

His desire always to get to the root of anything that crops up, no matter how many directions it needs to be approached from has always been his stock in trade. His service to the North Staffs Association over the years has been second to none and it is to be hoped that he continues to be actively involved in all the Association’s affairs for many years to come. I have been proud to consider him a friend for well over thirty years and I trust this will continue for many years to come. His dedication to his chess duties could not be better demonstrated than by the fact that he came to the AGM of the North Staffs Association almost immediately after the death of his dear Jo to whom he had been devoted for so many years.

We would all, I am sure, wish to offer him our condolences as well as our thanks for his service to us and we all wish to see a great deal more of him in the future.

Robert Milner


13th July 2015

The North Staffs and District Chess AGM

The Association AGM was held at Fenton this evening. Somewhat unexpectedly, the meeting was fairly uneventful and dealt mainly with the acceptance by the Association of the revised Constitution and Playing Rules over which the Committee members have spent so much time this season.

At the meeting a few minor amendments were made to the new Playing Rules but otherwise, both documents were passed by majority votes.

Changes to the officers etc. were more than usual and these now consist of:-

  • Honorary President: Roger Edwards (Cheddleton)
  • Chairman: David Hulme (Crewe)
  • General Secretary: Robert Milner (Cheddleton)
  • Treasurer: Peter Evans (Stafford)
  • Results Secretary: Steve Emmerton (Fenton)
  • Fixtures Secretary: Martyn Harris (Newcastle)
  • Publicity Officer and Webmaster: Steve Emmerton
  • Events Secretary: David Hulme (Crewe)
  • ECF Rep: Andrew Leadbetter (Stafford)
  • County Reps: BobPerry (Meir) and Peter Evans (Stafford)

10th July 2015

More 20 Minute Matches

The third and fourth rounds of the 20-minute tournament were held this evening and, at this stage of the proceedings, it is a complete shock to report that in the lead is Rob Shaw with four points and in joint second place are Dave Buxton and Simon Edwards with three points each. Perhaps the next two rounds will produce the real surprises!

Meanwhile the tuition course successfully continued with the grant provided by the Staffordshire County Council through Councillors Atkins and Worthington.


8th July 2015

Staffordshire Committee Meeting

A County Chess Association Committee Meeting was held at Stafford this evening, mainly with the purpose of preparing for the Annual General Meeting on 22nd July. The chief problem that arose in the plans for the AGM was the perennial one of team captains for the various County teams. This has always been a matter that caused a lot of discussion, but, in recent years, the lack of volunteers to run teams has become a major source of worry at county level. It is no comfort to think that many counties are in more trouble over this than are Staffordshire, there are still probably three vacancies for captains in the forthcoming season. If anyone is at all interested, please let us know.



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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.