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9th December 2014

The J team came back from Friday evening’s catastrophe by gaining a creditable draw at Meir C last night. Roger and Caroline on the top two boards made no mistake this time whilst Sian and Beth held on for a long time before conceding defeat. Both should be pleased with these


6th December 2014

There were three visiting teams to Westwood College last night with three very eventful matches. Firstly came the G team entertaining Alsager B in the Third Division. Needing a victory to break their grim run of defeats, the team started off in the worst possible way when a misunderstanding with communications before the match left the team a board down after half an hour. This led to team captain Sam Beardmore trying to solve this problem during the match to no avail and consequently losing his concentration on his own game and only salvaging a draw.

Another excellent win by Jacob Boswell and a loss completed the scoring and an almost inexplicable defeat for the home side.

Almost as inexplicable was the loss by the J team at home to Meir D. It was not the fact that the match was lost that defied belief but the score. Libby Sherratt fought a brave rearguard action for almost two hours after going a piece down early on, This put the home side 2 – 0 down but confident of a draw with both the other players in commanding positions. Suddenly, in the space of less than five minutes, both the top boards blundered and the result was a 4 – 0 whitewash. It had to be seen to be believed.

The third match on Friday was equally odd. The K team entertained Fenton D and produced a very equal ding-dong battle. With no advantage gained in the early parts of the game on the top board, a draw was agreed leaving the two captains with some considerable time to admire the play on the other boards. Joe Alcock manfully battled it out on board 3 without much luck and eventually acknowledged defeat after a very long game. David Shiers equalled the score up with a difficult win on board two. On the night, Fenton took the victory with a win on the bottom board but it was afterwards discovered that when the ½’s arcane grading regulations were applied the visitors had exceeded their points quota and the result on the bottom board was reversed giving the home side a 2½-1½ win instead of their opponents. - Yes, I find it confusing too!


2nd December 2014

Last night the J team travelled to Fenton C. The team is definitely beginning to look as though it is built on the plan of the early Pride and Prejudice team in the 4NCL about ten years ago with an all-female team supporting a strong male lead on board one.

At Fenton, Roger Walker and Caroline Mountford took the top two boards whilst Sian Jones and Beth Woolliscroft took draws on the lower boards to win the match. In the volatile state of Division Five, this victory was sufficient to put them on top of the table – at least for today!


30th November 2014

The only home match this week was a grim affair for the K team who were humbled by visiting Meir D. The two debutants Jack and Oliver Snape both gave a good account of themselves but it was not quite enough on the night. At one stage or another, they each had winning chances which bodes well for the future. In the event, however, team captain Colin Abell was the only scorer with a hard-fought draw on the top board.


27th November 2014

There were three matches yesterday – two of them at Crewe. In the first of these two games, the D team faced a strong host team and put up an impressive display to bring home both points. The top board was a ding-dong struggle between the redoubtable David Hulme and Simon Edwards which ended in a fairly predictable draw whilst the visiting players held advantages in all the other four games. At last, Allan Beaumont playing his first game of the season, blundered in time trouble to spoil the score.

The other match at Crewe was designed to show the G team that they did not have a monopoly on things going wrong. The I team were already without their regular board two but Chris Baxter gamely agreed to play in his stead in spite of the fact that he was working that day in Nottingham - but far worse was to follow when team captain Matt Wyza heard that the boards three and four were both ill and unable to play. By that time, it was too late to find replacements and so the team went with two players, defaulting two boards. Understandably, Matt and Chris fought ferociously to try and draw the match but without a great deal of success.

The other match on Wednesday was another second division affair at Newcastle. Again the C team came up against a strong host team. Dave Buxton had an excellent win against a very difficult opponent and then Roger Edwards and Sandra Blackburn completed the victory. Caroline Mountford on the bottom board earned a well-deserved draw.


25th November 2014

Last night, Third Division champions, Cheddleton F, faced a difficult away trip to meet a strong Fenton side. The F team were left struggling against the top two Fenton boards of Ray Hyde and Rob Taylor. Although David Hallen was able to pull one point back it was in vain, as Kas Capatina sealed the match with a win on board three. As a result of this, Fenton leapfrog the F team into second place and the F team are now five points off the top, though still with three matches in hand.

Not far away, the G team who are languishing at the foot of the Third Division had another disastrous night at Meir A who are leading the table. Anything that could have gone wrong went wrong in another night to forget for the youthful team. At one stage it looked like the G team would come away with the win, with both Dominic Taylor and Jack Healings holding comfortable advantages, and Sam Beardmore and Jacob Boswell standing firm in their matches. However, all four boards took a turn for the worse and left the visitors with yet another heavy loss.


22nd November 2014

Cheddleton ‘F’ Climb to Second

The club returned to ½ chess this week, with Third Division sides Cheddleton F and G both back in action last night.

For the third week in a row, Stafford made the long journey to Cheddleton in the hope of coming away with something from the 2013/14 champions.

Despite losing recently 2½-1½ to bottom of the ½ Cheddleton G, Stafford would still have hoped for both points in the game. They fielded the same four players who were the bottom half of the eight man team who overcame a much stronger set of Cheddleton players the previous week. With weaker opposition on paper in front of them, the result looked a foregone conclusion, but it was not to be as Stafford B played out three draws and a crucial defeat on board two which saw them go home from Cheddleton empty handed, and the F team rise to second in the table.

It appears the G team gained nothing from the week’s rest. The team has severely under-performed this season but had managed to pick up a first win against Stafford B before the cup break. However, last night they were back to their old form against Kidsgrove and they were soon 2-0 down in the match. From then on it was an uphill struggle and ended in another heavy defeat.


21st November 2014

League Committee Meeting

The League – that is the North Staffordshire and District Chess Association or NSDCA – has decided that it is high time that its Constitution and Playing Rules were reviewed. To this end, a series of Committee meetings has been arranged to thrash out an up-to-date version of both Constitution and rules. The first version was written by Laurie Landon in 1947 and took the form of twin versions of each – one set for the Stoke League which was established soon afterwards and one set for the North Staffordshire League which was set up two years later. These two sets were combined under the banner of the NSDCA in 1979. The Constitution and Rules were again reviewed in 2004 and, since then, numerous amendments and alterations have been incorporated. Thus, a further re-write is now in motion. The first meeting was held yesterday evening at Fenton Chess Club and a large part of it was completed. Another meeting has been arranged for Thursday 5th February 2015 during which, it is hoped, the job will be finished. If not, then a further meeting or meetings can be called to complete it in time for the new documents to be presented at the next AGM of the Association on Monday 13th July 2015 at Fenton.



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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.