Club Blogs

14th January 2015

The first match of the week last night was the visit by the H team to Alsager C. The hosts scored their first win of the season and the H team seemed to perform well below par. Teams are now packed so closely in the Fourth Division that this victory meant that Alsager jumped straight up to third place. Dave Rose was the only winner for the visitors.

12th January 2015

The Second 4NCL Weekend

Saturday and yesterday together brought the second 4NCL weekend of the season. The First Division matches were again played at Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire.

Cheddleton first team were without David Howell and Keith Arkell this time but welcomed back Vlad Hamitevici and also Elisabeth Paehtz and Dr. Luca Shytaj, two players who are only rarely available because of other commitments.

The first weekend had ended in two victories for Cheddleton but both had been closely fought matches and it was essential that this time, not only were both matches won but that they were won by bigger margins as the number of boards won is of considerable importance in the League tables.

Starting the day in third place in the table, Cheddleton 1 set about second placed Cambridge University with a will and soon had points on the board. After only three and a half hours, they had scored the four and a half necessary for victory and had converted this into six by the time the match finished.

The Sunday match was a much closer affair but again, the required four and a half was established comparatively early.

The weekend was particularly noteworthy for the performances of David Eggleston, Simon Williams and Jovica Radovanovic who all scored two victories in a satisfying couple of days’ work.

The second and third teams who both play in the Third Division North of the 4NCL had reasonable weekends at Shrigley Hall near Macclesfield with plenty of long games to get their teeth into. Paul Wallace and Alex Richardson both scored one and a half points for Cheddleton 2 and Chris Sizeland and Bill Armstrong both did the same for Cheddleton 3.

10th January 2015

A Good Start to the New Year at Home

Last night saw three matches all with good results.

Cheddleton G 3½ Newcastle C ½ The G team had a nightmare 2014, with the side consistently losing – something that they would have never expected at the start of the season. However, they have appeared to take advantage of the winter break, using it as time to refocus and recuperate, with the hope that the players could produce the quality that they showed last season, and that was evident in this match. Two of the players had already played with the B team on Wednesday which had done them no harm at all.
In the event, Newcastle C were completely blown away, with all of the Cheddleton players performing at the top of their game. Perhaps this victory can help the G team to kick on and achieve a respectable finish to the season. Only time will tell.

Cheddleton I 2 Meir B 2 There would have been low odds for this Fourth Division match to continue Meir B’s drawing sequence and end in a draw. Lo and behold - it did. Despite the fact it was Cheddleton’s first draw of the season, it was Meir’s fifth in six games, and leaves both sides in mid table, three points off the top - and also three points off the bottom of the league. The I team will need to be performing consistently if they want to get further away from the bottom than from the top but this was still a decent all round performance with Roger Walker showing considerable strength of character as he fought against a clock that seemed to go faster and faster as he manufactured a victory from frail looking chances. Laura Smith was also involved in a memorable game as she withstood all that her opponent could fling at her and came out with a very well deserved draw.

Cheddleton K 2½ Newcastle F 1½ Another match against Newcastle opposition, this time in the Fifth Division, saw a Cheddleton team again victorious. However, this match was much closer than the Division Three encounter above. The win saw the K team climb to the top of the table though probably not for long as they could fall back down to second if Fenton C win their game in hand. Nevertheless, Cheddleton K still must have a realistic chance of the title. David Rose played impeccably to give the home side the lead and after that it was a very even match with the points going eventually to the K team when young Joe Alcock ground out an excellent victory as the last to finish.

8th January 2015

Hostilities resume in the NSDCA

The North Staffs Chess League resumed last night after a two week Christmas and New Year break, with Cheddleton teams featuring in two matches. At first sight the results looked right to encourage a sombre mood in the club but were both greeted with some degree of satisfaction.

The young B team travelled to Stafford A in what was always going to be mission impossible against the League Champions. The gulf in class between the two sides was highlighted by the top board for each team. For Stafford it was International Master Lawrence Cooper and for Cheddleton it was thirteen year old Jacob Boswell. In addition, Stafford’s grade total was 920, whilst Cheddleton’s was a paltry 683. Therefore, the most important feature of the match was always going to be the experience that the visitors gained from it and the hope that it could be other than a whitewash. However, none of the five players were embarrassed in their games, and did well to stay competitive for as long as they did. After two hours, all five were still playing – though some were looking a bit shaky. The whitewash unfortunately was not avoided but at least they came home bruised but happy.

The F team, reigning champions of the Third Division, were looking to get their season moving but were stopped in their tracks by new boys Crewe B – known as the Bishops. Crewe had two strong players on the top two boards which proved a problem for the visitors but the reliable Sandra Blackburn and captain David Hallen rescued the F team and made sure of bringing a point home.

20th December 2014

The Seven Seas Tournament

The Twenty First Seven Seas Tournament is the Cheddleton Chess Club Christmas Crazy Chess Competition (7 Cs!) and it has taken place during the last meeting of the club before Christmas every year since 1994.

The idea of the event is that play starts normally (sometimes). At intervals the controller will tell players to stop the clocks, and then he will change the rules, for example remove all pieces of a certain kind or from a certain place on the board. The controller's target is to make as many unhappy players as is possible in true Ebenezer Scrooge style. As the years fly by, he finds more and more ways of doing this. His hope is that not many people go home after it and so he won’t be the only miserable soul in North Staffordshire over Christmas Day!

Each game lasts exactly thirty minutes and each player has an extra ten seconds per move. This year there were again thirty-nine participants – exactly the same as last year. The very nature of the game is such that giant-killing is the rule rather than the exception and a player can be just on the point of declaring “mate” when a swift rule change turns the game right round. There was one excellent example of this in Round 2 when Jack Snape’ s hand was poised over a bishop to deliver mate when the controller announced that all bishops should be taken off the board.

At last the competition finished and the joint 2014 champions were Bill Armstrong and Sam Beardmore with four and a half points each and in joint third place with four points each were Keith Brownlee, Jacob Cartlidge, Simon Edwards and Jack Healings.

The Controller will be sorry to hear that everybody (well, nearly everybody) seemed to enjoy the event again and can’t wait for next year.

There will now be a fortnight without a club and it reopens on Friday 9th January 2015.

17th December 2014

Last night’s Division Four match was a bit of a tonic after Monday’s disasters as the I team visited Alsager C. The I team certainly did their best to make up for the shortcomings of the other three club teams with an unexpected whitewashing of the Alsager hosts. It was a tremendous performance with all four players producing outstanding contributions to the match and leaving a comforting feel about matters as they went into the Christmas break. If Cheddleton I can perform like this in every match, then they must be able to expect to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. Winners were Matthew Wyza, Colin Abell and Jacob and Laura Smith.

16th December 2014

Last night’s matches brought a miserable array of results in the Club’s final week of 2014 in the North Staffs Chess League.

The first of three games was in Division Two where Cheddleton C faced a tricky trip to last year’s runaway champions Macclesfield. Good wins by Dave Buxton and Jacob Cartlidge were in vain, as the rest of the team all looked distinctly below par. So, a run of three victories came to a sorry end but, nevertheless, the C team still enter the New Year level at the top of the table with Cheddleton D.

Another difficult away match was the F team’s visit to Division Three leaders Meir A. The hosts have considerable strength in depth and will prove very difficult to beat this season, so the star performance in the match was John Yee’s win over Steve Hill on the top board but sadly the only other Cheddleton player to achieve anything was Sandra Blackburn with a well-earned draw on board three which was all that the rest of the team could manage. This was a very disappointing result for the team as they now are well behind the league leaders and a hard struggle is called for the remainder of the season.

A bad night for the Club was topped off with a third defeat, this time in the Fourth Division for Cheddleton H at the hands of Fenton B. League leaders Fenton proved too much of a challenge for the H team, who struggled to make the match competitive. In the event, all four members of the team remained well in the match to the bitter end and young Joe Alcock was the last to finish in a very tight game on the bottom board. Karol Grzybowski and Dave Rose each finished with a draw to make the final score look for respectable.

11th December 2014

Last night’s match in which the A team should have entertained Alsager A was cancelled at rather short notice and finished with a default by the intended visitors and two cheap points for the hosts.

The young B team, however, came up against a very strong Holmes Chapel A side. All that can be said was that the home team gave a good account of themselves and, it is to be hoped, learned a lot from five fiercely fought but rather unproductive games. Jack Healings was the hero of the hour with a draw on the bottom board which in the long run was an extremely good result.


Puzzle of the Day

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

Club Chairman Robert Milner - 01782 550112.