Club Blogs

30th October 2015

Busy Night at the Club

There were three matches at Westwood tonight in the North Staffs League. The C team entertained a very strong-looking Crewe A side in Division Two. Roger Edwards was the first to finish and at that time, the match looked very evenly placed. However, first Roger Walker and then Simon Edwards swung their games round to put the home side out of reach. Dave Millington sensibly agreed a draw in a very tied up position leaving it to Bill Armstrong to fight it out to the bitter end on board 2. The final result was excellent if a little flattering.

In Division Three, the D team played Newcastle D. Two fine wins by Jacob Boswell and Jon Blackburn and a draw by Sandra made certain that the D team remained handily placed in the table.

A Fifth Division match saw the I team play their first of the season –against the G team. Honours were even at the end with a board won by each team and the other two both drawn.

26th October 2015

B Team Win at Fenton

After getting used to teams with exotic names in the European Clubs Cup, for the last fortnight, it was time to return with full concentration on to the North Staffordshire League tonight.

The match was as close as one always expects when in competition with Fenton teams but Dave Buxton and Jacob Boswell eventually emerged victorious. Two close draws involving Sam and Jack on boards three and four then clinched the match and movedthe B team to the place they wish to be in the Second Division.

24th October 2015

The European Clubs Cup Concludes

Cheddleton’s first venture into the European Clubs Cup ended today much as it began – with a somewhat below par display against an Austrian team.

In spite of this, the experience has been immensely valuable and the team has done itself proud in the tournament as a whole.

Today’s opponents were a club from a small town with a long and colourful history called Maria Saal in the southern part of Austria. Maria Saal play in the Austrian Bundesliga and are one of the country’s leading teams and so were very worthy opponents for us in the last round of the European Chess Clubs Cup.

The teams were evenly matched but with a slight grading advantage to Cheddleton. In the event, however, this counted for nothing with only Keith coming out of the match victorious. David, Alex and Fiona all drew to give a result of two and half to Maria Saal’s three and a half points.

The players have all had successes during the tournament and deserve a great deal of credit for representing Cheddleton and Leek so well on the European stage. Ezra, who so nearly achieved an IM norm was outstanding but most plaudits must go to Alex who came through the tournament undefeated and was the seventh most successful player in the whole event. Losing the last two matches did not help the team’s final placing which had been tenth after five rounds. They finished up in twenty second place but only just outside the eighteenth place in which they were seeded to finish.

All the players – David, Vlad, Ezra, Alex, Keith, Malcolm and Fiona - played exceptionally well during the tournament and held their own with the best in Europe from beginning to end. Morale and team spirit were second to none and the credit for much of this must go to Fiona whose leadership, as always was inspiring.

The eventual winners of the ECC were the Siberia club based in Novosibirsk, Russia, who sprung a minor surprise in Round 5 by defeating the reigning champions and favourites, Socar. Socar are based in Baku and take their name from the fact that they are sponsored by the Azerbaijani state oil company of that name. In the last round, Siberia were forced all the way by the impressive Italian national champions, Padova.

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David Howell prepares to make the first move against Andreas Diermair of Rapid Feffernitz in the first match of the European Clubs Cup last week.

23rd October 2015

Draw for H Team

Back at Westwood, the H team entertained Newcastle F in a North Staffs League Fifth Division match and emerged with honours even . Laura gave the team an early lead with a good win on the bottom board, but the match was always too close to call and only Oliver managed to add to the tally before time was called.

23rd October 2015

Back to Earth

All good things must come to an end and today Cheddleton’s three successive victories were followed by a narrow defeat at the hands of a very strong Beer-Sheva side from Israel. Only yesterday, Beer-Sheva amazingly demolished the powerful German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen by six-nil yesterday. All six of the players are GMs and substantially outgraded us on all boards bar the top one.

David Howell, on the top board, did in fact give us a short period in the lead when he was the first player to win. The ever-dependable Alex Colovic was a later winner but, apart from that, only Vlad added a draw. A narrow defeat is still a defeat, but the nature and the narrowness of this one against one of the competition’s leading teams brought great credit to the Cheddleton players.

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Alex Colovic

22nd October 2015

Three in a Row

In a match that was almost a carbon copy of the match yesterday against Expik. Cheddleton won their third successive match by four boards to two.

Today’s opponents were Swedish champions SK Team Viking who are based in northern Stockholm.

Cheddleton took an early lead with a draw by David on the top board and a win – this time by Vlad. This lead remained for several hours before wins by Fiona and Alex and a draw from Ezra all came thick and fast to bring the match to a close.

This third successive victory raises Cheddleton to tenth place in the competition. This also means that the last two matches will be against other very strong teams from the top of the rankings.

21st October 2015

First Division Campaign Opens

The A team made a start to their season tonight with a visit to Stafford. There was nothing much between the players on any board all night. In the end, Simon Edwards grabbed a win for the visitors and was followed by Ken McNulty for the home team. Rob Shaw, Dave Buxton and Simon Gilmore on the other three boards were all unable to break the deadlock leaving the match with honours even.

Meanwhile, at Newcastle, the F team were visiting Newcastle E. Paul Shelley set the pace for a good result with an early victory and then Jack Healings and Dave Rose both settled on draws leaving Karol to work hard for a final victory on the top board.

21st October 2015

Another win for Cheddleton in Skopje

Today’s opponents in the Fourth Round of the European Clubs Cup were the Expik team from Pristina in Kosovo. There are several strong clubs in Kosovo and Expik are one of the strongest.

The team settled in well and most of the players looked to be comfortably placed. Keith gained an early advantage and with David settling for a draw, soon afterwards, Keith converted his position into a win. The team held on for several hours with this lead of 1½ - ½ and then the results came in thick and fast with Vlad and Ezra both winning and Alex adding to his tally with a good draw.


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.