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11th December 2015

The B Team go down at Home

There were two matches at home tonight in the NSDCA. The B team entertained Holmes Chapel Bin a Second Division clash. “Entertained” is probably the correct word as the Holmes Chapel players undoubtedly went home in a cheerful mood at the end of proceedings. Dave Buxton extracted a good win on the top board and Dominic Taylor held on to a draw on the bottom board, but, apart from that, it was Holmes Chapel all the way.

A Division Five match rearranged from late in January was also played and this resulted in yet another two all draw between the G team and the I team. Paul Shelley and Andrei Mihai bothwon for the ambitious G team whilsy David Hallen and James Wood replied for the I team. James played another long and interesting game and in the process, enhanced his chances of playing some more – and soon.

There were four extra boards included in the match but not counted towards the result. In these, Jamie Jones, Isabelle Rose and Christian Tattum all were successful whilst Richard Sheldon and Josh Brown thrashed out an honourable draw in the other game.


7th December 2015

More Success For G Team

Cheddleton G travelled to Meir C tonight and followed up their first win last week with a second that pushed the team up the Fifth Division table.

As is his wont, Paul finished quickly with a sound victory on board two. It was not long before David Rose added to this leaving the two juniors with the task of securing both points. For much of the match, both looked in better positions but, as the hands of the clock moved past ten, the situation began to change. In the end, it was James Wood making his debut in the North Staffs League who managed to claw back a draw by repetition on the bottom board to confirm the win.


4th December 2015

A Good Night at Westwood

There were three matches tonight in the North Staffs League.

The A team made a rare foray into the world of competitive chess by entertaining Holmes Chapel A in a match in that poor, thin group of teams that is so grandly known as the First Division. Poor as the League may be, it produced one of the best matches seen at Leek for a long time. Holmes Chapel brought a strong and experienced side and the A team was also a useful looking combination although without its captain, Simon Edwards, who was performing in the London Classic.

The games could hardly have been closer with a slight edge going one way and then the other in all of them. Significantly, three of the games went right to the wire.

It was a shame for such a match to produce any losers but, in the end, the home side took both points with wins by Dave Buxton and Bill Armstrong and draws for Rob Shaw and Jacob Boswell.

The match provided an excellent evening’s entertainment. The amusement came later when it was realised that the win took the A team, in one bound as it were, from bottom place in the First Division to the dizzy heights of top place. That is, of course until another match is played and everybody moves around again.

In the Fifth Division, there were two matches with the G team entertaining Crewe D and the I team upagainst Newcastle F.

The G team have started the season with four straight drawn matches and felt it was time for a change. Andrei Mihai and Joe Alcock continued their recent good form and there was a welcome and convincing victory for Ali Arshad on board three. With more of this, the G team may be in for a bit of a lift in the near future.

Across the room, however, the I team strove in vain as an experience Newcastle F bore down on them. Sandra Blackburn, pressed into service somewhat late in the day, performed magnificently to hold half a point on the top board and Oliver Snape also acquitted himself well on the third board. Sadly, in the final count, only Sandra’s draw was recorded in te plus column.


28th November 2015

William Barks – a Tribute

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William Barks was one of those tragically killed in the flour mill explosion at Bosley on 17th July. His funeral was held recently on 12th November at St. Edward’s Church, Cheddleton.

This dreadful explosion and its effects have reverberated around the world, and we thought we would pause a moment to remember Will as he was when we knew him well. Amongst his many other accomplishments, he was a gifted chess player and was a member of the club in its early years. Here we have a game played by the ten-year-old William Barks in a match between the Mount Methodist Primary School team and St. Margaret Mary’s R.C. Primary School of New Moston in the north eastern part of Manchester on 6th April 1974. The match was in the third round of the National Primary Schools knock-out tournament for the Ginn Trophy. Mount Methodist School won the match by four boards to two and Will played on board four.

The game is a typically swashbuckling affair played by a typically swashbuckling ten-year-old. In later times, Will played for the Cheddleton Club for several years. We hope this small contribution is a fitting tribute from the club as we join with all his family and friends in saying that we miss him.

William Barks (Mount Methodist School, Leek, Board 4) v Vincent Riley (St. Margaret Mary’sSchool, New Moston)
1.e2-e4 e7-e5 2.Ng1–f3 Bf8-c5 3.c2-c3 Ng8-f6 4.d2-d4 e5xd4 5.Nf3xd4 Nf6xe4 6.b2-b4 Qd8-e7 7.Bc1–e3 0–0 8.b4xc5 d7-d5 9.f2-f3 Ne4-g5 10.Qd1–e2 b7-b6 11.c5xb6 a7xb6 12.h2-h4 h7-h6 13.h4xg5 h6xg5 14.Qe2-f2 Bc8-a6 15.Bf1xa6 Ra8xa6 16.Nd4-c2 Nb8-d7 17.f3-f4 Nd7-c5 18.Nc2-b4 Ra6-a4 19.0–0 g5xf4 20.Be3xf4 Rf8-d8 21.Nb4-c6 Qe7-f6 22.Nc6xd8 Ra4xf4 23.Qf2-e2 Nc5-e4 24.Rf1xf4 Qf6xf4 25.Qe2-f3 Qf4-c1+ 26.Qf3-f1 Qc1–e3+ 27.Kg1–h2 Qe3-g3+ 28.Kh2-h1 Ne4-f2+ 29.Kh1–g1 Qg3-e3 30.Qf1xf2 Qe3xf2+ 31.Kg1xf2 f7-f5 32.Nb1–a3 g7-g5 33.Nd8-e6 g5-g4 34.Ne6xc7 Kg8-g7 35.Nc7xd5 Kg7-g6 36.g2-g3 Kg6-g5 37.Kf2-e3 b6-b5 38.Na3xb5 f5-f4+ 39.g3xf4+ Kg5-h4 40.f4-f5 g4-g3 41.f5-f6 Kh4-h3 42.f6-f7 g3-g2 43.f7-f8Q Kh3-h2 44.Qf8-g8 g2-g1Q+ 45.Ra1xg1 Kh2-h3 46.Qg8-g3 1–0

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Photograph of some of the prize winners at the 1974 Leek Junior Chess Congress. Will Barks is sitting on the edge of the table on the left.


27th November 2015

C Team Consolidate

Two tough matches again tonight at Westwood. In fact, it seems that every match is extra tough this season. The C team were at full strength against Newcastle B in a Second Division clash and still the visitors matched them punch for punch until the later stages of the evening’s entertainment. Roger Walker had been the first to give the scorers anything to do and then the match carried on for a long time without any noticeable advantage either way. As things began to draw towards an end, however, Roger Edwards and Bill Armstrong began to find some chinks in their opponents armour and, following Simon’s agreed draw on the top board, both these games were decided to the home team’s advantage. This result gives them a slight but clear lead at the top of the table going into December.

The H team were also in action tonight as they entertained Division Five table toppers Fenton D. The undoubted star of the show was Jacob Smith who continued his recent good form with a memorable victory on board two. Caroline gave away a very good position on the top board as she strove to even up the match score after two early defeats and she finally fell a victim to the evil clock.


25th November 2015

A Pointless Trip to Newcastle

Good wins by Dave Buxton and Sam Beardmore were nowhere near enough to pick up the points for the B team at Newcastle C tonight in the Second Division. A determined Newcastle side comfortably disposed of their visitors.

At Stafford, the D team engaged in a top-of-the-table tussle with Stafford B in the Third Division. In the end, honours were even with Jon and Sandra sharing the spoils and Bill Armstrong gaining a neat win on the top board.


23th November 2015

F Team Win at Fenton

The F team continued their good start to the season in Division Four tonight with a productive visit to Fenton C. Andrei and Joe both continued with good runs and Karol backed this up with a faultless performance on the top board to clinch a victory for the visitors.


20th November 2015

All Hands to the Pumps

There were three rather uninspiring results tonight on a night when attendance at the club was decimated by other pressing engagements and by illness in several cases. Expressions like “all hands to the pumps” and, in one case, “scraping the bottom of the barrel” sprung to mind.

In the Third Division, the E team who started the match against Alsager A at the bottom of the table did little to lift themselves away.

Dominic continued his up and down season with a refreshingly brisk and business-like win on the bottom board and Phil played a captain’s innings on the top board, grinding out a win on the board that was the last to finish in the room, thus scraping a draw for the team.

Two other matches were played in Division Five. The G team played a match against Meir D in which all boards were won by the player with the black pieces. Dave Rose won for the G team and there was another masterly performance from Joe Alcock which resulted this time in a richly-deserved win. Isabelle Rose made her debut and played a useful game on board four but unfortunately without success.

The least successful team was the I team, also in the Fifth Division. They changed places with Crewe D in the bottom spot after a somewhat comfortable whitewash by the Crewe team.



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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.