Rugeley Chess Club

Rugeley Chess Club

Updated Tuesday 14th December 2021

Contact Details

Club Secretary & new members.
Contact Catherine on email at

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2019 - 20 Calendar | Printable Calendar

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Rugeley chess club usually meets every week on Tuesdays at the Lea Hall Social Club usually starting about 7:30 pm. We play chess socially for fun and we also participate in local leagues playing chess at various competitive levels.

Whatever your aim is we are sure to be able to satisfy your chess fix so why not pop down and give our club a try?

Interested in checking out the club contact Catherine on email at

Please see the Games tab where the club is building up a library of interesting games for people to review.

How to find us

Lea Hall Colliery Sports & Social Club
Sandy Lane
WS15 2LB

Please see the "Large Map" for an interactive Multimap of our venue.

Other areas of interest are the latest news and player profiles

Latest News

13/12/21 Rushall B v Rugeley CDCL div 2

We arrive at our final division 2 match of the season. Rugeley were mentally prepared for this tough match. Lets see how the players got on.

Board 1 - Manpreet Sangha v Steve Whatmore. Massively outgraded, Steve with white had nothing to lose and felt no pressure. Both light squared bishops occupied the same diagonal and it seemed to be looking equal for most of the opening. Manpreet had a very slight advantage until he misplaced his knight. Black lost his queen in the end game and it didnt take long for Steve to collect more material. Black respectfully resigned. 0-1

Board 2 - Joseph Wilcox v Catherine Hiley. The 2 knight - Max Lange attack variation was played. It was a very quick game and before you knew it most of the pieces were exchanged off on Catherines terms and white just couldnt push for any advantage. Black also knew there was nothing in the position after playing solidly so a draw was offered. Even in post analysis Fritz agreed this was a dead draw. 0.5-1.5

Board 3 - Shane Cooksey v Luke Sullivan. Luke imposed the London System, Shane chose to develop quietly. White was given a doubled f pawn early on but opened the rook file against blacks king. Black castled to safety but had to be very careful his queen did not get trapped. Some clever exchanges made it an equal middle game but a tactic of a knight fork later on cost black the exchange. Luke found a rook sacrifice on move 39 that eventually led black to resign. 0.5-2.5

Board 4 - Peter Turner v Tom Woodhall. Solid opening from both players. Lots of pawn advancement and rooks doubled on dominant files. Tom may have had a slight advantage but it was all about the pawns. Neither side really wanted to push their solid skeleton anymore than they already had in fear of exposing a weakness. White offered a draw which was accepted. Final match score 1-3

Thanks to all players who have played this season, we cant wait for the next one.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

08/12/21 Coleshill v Rugeley CDCL div 3

The conclusion of this short season, in which Rugeley traveled to Coleshill for the final game of division 3.

Board 1 - Gary Haycock v Robert J Edgar. White was gifted out of the opening when his opponent left a piece hanging. Bob did what he does best and exchanged as many pieces as he could, with tons of pressure in the centre he was dominating. Options were limited and resignation was given from black. 0-1

Board 2 - Malcolm Jones v Anthony Meakin. White was allowed the centre whilst Tony focused more on king safety. Malcolm piled immense pressure on Tonys king, although black was the exchange up with a piece for a pawn, Malcolm had an enormous tempo attack and Tony ran out of escape squares and couldnt avoid mate.1-1

Board 3 - Oliver Kettlewell v James Perks. This was a very edgy game as James had a pawn advantage but Black had strong compensation for this and was making it complicated for James to push for an advantage. White was up on time but only slighty with the extra pawn and by move 48 there was a complicated rook and pawn end game which neither side was clear on how to proceed. A draw was offered an accepted. 1.5-1.5

Board 4 - Des Green V Tom Woodhall. Both sides were slow developing pieces yet black had the slight advantage of going for the first attack. White lost a rook on move 17 and thought all hope was lost. 20 moved later white lost a rook and gave Tom the opportunity to push for a win. Once the queens were exchanged Tom scooped up more pawns and his passed pawn was too much. 1.5-2.5

Thanks to all players and teams who played this season and see you for the next one. We would also like to congratulate Stafford on winning the division.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

02/12/21 Lichfield B v Rugeley CDCL div 3

Back to the lovely Guild Hall for our penultimate division 3 game of the season. With complimentary refreshments the match was on.

Board 1 - Yuriy Slobodyuk v Robert J Edgar. Both sides opening involved castling and making life easier for themselves. Into a complicated middle game where Bob managed to get himself a free pawn. Black couldnt quite get the compensation for the pawn and this was enough for white to gain a couple more in the end game. It was too much however for Black and he resigned. The exact same time as board 2's result was announced. 0-1

Board 2 - Bowey Carter v Luke Sullivan. A quick end game with only 7 moves being played until the centre pawns and the queens were off the board. Although white had prevented blacks right to castle Lukes king was perfectly safe. White castled Queenside and tried to develop the rooks onto the open files. A miscalculation lost white a pawn and Luke had less isolated pawns. Luke stole 2 more pawns and once the perpetual had been stopped white kindly resigned. 0-2

Board 3 - Stephen Smithson v James Perks. James wanted to play the scotch gambit, black the philidor. The opening was very tense yet it was white whose attack was refuted. White mopped up 2 pawns and created chances by doubling rooks. The passed pawns were beneficial for white in the end game. James kindly resigned as the material imbalance was too much. 1-2

Board 4 - Ian Boddington v Tom Woodhall. Both players had fighting chances in the opening and Tom was ahead for most of it. Unfortunatly an error cost black a rook and whites queen was on the mating attack. White did not play accurately enough which gave Tom the chance to equalise. Time pressure was low and after a crazy exchange of pieces it only came down to a pawn race. Tom knew his pawn would promote second and seeing this plan respectfuly tipped his king. 2-2

Final match score 2-2. Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield B in future games.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

30/11/21 Rugeley v Rushall A CDCL div 2

The current top contenders of the division came to challenge Rugeley who havent won a game this season in division 2. Lets see how the chaos ensued.

Board 1 - I.A Matthew Carr v John Staniforth. John with white developed naturally whilst Matt took the initiative, and with quick development went for a direct approach. White managed to hold but had less time. Matt took a leap of faith and offered a draw in a very complicated and uneasy position where neither side wanted to give up squares.It was accepted by John respectfully. 0.5-0.5

Board 2 - Tony Meakin v John Grant. Slightly outgraded and bumped up a board number on short notice. Tony with black played a brilliant defensive game, countering all of whites threats. The position was a dead draw and so Tony offered a draw which was declined by the Rushall player. This would be a big mistake though as black put white under tremendous sudden pressure and forced resignation eventually. 1.5-0.5

Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v David Jarvis David Jarvis v Luke Sullivan. White gained the centre and tried to seize control of the position with c4 and d4. Black had a nice tempo after exchanging bishop for knight and had some nasty pin threats. This gave Luke the opportunity to pounce. Tactically Black was sound and in most variations was at least equal. It all came down to the fight of the b file. An error from white cost him a piece and the pass pawn was not enought to push for a win. The unstoppable pass pawn for black in the end game secured whites fate. 2.5-0.5

Board 4 - Rory Melough v Stephan Winman. Queens Gambit accepted was on the board again for Rory. This is becoming a favourite of the Rugeley player of late. Whites aggressive play had black on the ropes for the majority of the game. White gained a pawn and kept onto it until the end game. White did think it was possible to promote the pawn over time but with time running out black played really well and held on for the draw preventing promotion. Final match score 3-1.

Thanks to all players and good luck to Rushall in future games.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

25/11/21 Wolverhampton B v Rugeley WDCL div 2

This was our first Wolverhampton League game for over 20 months. New rules for this season mean that there are 4 players per team, and with 4 of our top 5 rated players available we out-rated Wolverhampton’s B team on every board.

Board 4 – Eddie Badger v Catherine Hiley – Cath took an early lead & held a piece advantage going into the endgame, but Eddie’s passed central pawn was her undoing & sadly she lost.

Board 3 – Geoff Rosser v Bob Edgar – Geoff is no stranger to playing Rugeley & always seems to perform really well against us. A hard-fought game resulted in a level position & a draw was agreed.

Board 2 – John Lee v Matt Carr – a very even game was decided by a mistake by John under pressure from Matt’s attack. After going the exchange up Matt took control with his opponent resigning shortly afterwards.

Board 1 – Peter Pearson Jones v Steve – after taking an early pawn advantage Steve came under pressure but managed to get down to the endgame still a pawn ahead. Sadly, Steve was unable to convert this to a win so a draw was agreed resulting in the match finishing as a 2-2 draw.

Thanks to Wolverhampton for their hospitality..

Steve Whatmore, (WDCL Div 2 captain)

16/11/21 Rugeley v Wolverhampton CDCL div 2

The penultimate Home game of the season for Rugeley. Let's see how both clubs got on.

Board 1 Steve Whatmore v Geoff Rosser. Both sides played accurately and countered each other's threats with relative ease. Steve may have had a slight advantage with black at one stage but couldn't press enough. The final stages of the game consisted of a rook and pawn end game where neither side could push for a win. 0.5-0.5

Board 2 Catherine Hiley v Gordon Sands. A fairly straight forward French exchange, which Cath knew like the back of her hand. White managed to cause havoc for black's isololated centre pawns early on. Cath exchanged everything leaving both sides with Queen and Knights, but those central weaknesses of black played a huge difference in the advantage Cath had. Gordon played a good counter-attack but couldn't prevent Cath mopping up the weak pawns and resigned when he saw the plan. 1.5-0.5.

Board 3 Luke Sullivan v Ioannis Stefanis. Props to his opponent. This ungraded player out-played Luke in 7 moves. Luke had no choice in the matter and respectfuly accepted defeat after move 19. 1.5-1.5

Board 4 Rory Melough v John Dugmore. A strong opening and well prepared Queens gambit accepted. Black attempted to put pressure on early attacking vital diagonals. White held on and came up with a strong plan. White's rooks were well developed gaining control of the open D file and a weak exchange from black left him material down. There were no practical options for black to gain a draw. Final match score 2.5-1.5

Thanks to all players and good luck to Wolverhampton in their future games.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

03/11/21 Oscott v Rugeley CDCL div 2

This was a hectic late start as the journey was rammed with roadworks and then Catherine rang the capt to find out he had been involved in a car accident. This wasn't a good start.

Board 4 Sam Duffield v Luke Sullivan. Luke was understandably shaken from his accident and explained the situation to his opponent. After playing their initial moves, Sam was the honourable gent and agreed a draw. Luke left to deal with his situation. 0.5-0.5

Board 3 Les Andrews v Tony Meakin. This was a typical game from Tony nice and steady trying to gain a slight pawn advantage, however his opponent had a solid position and Tony, despite his open ranks was unable to get a definitive hold on the game. After denying his opponent his earlier offer of a draw it soon became clear that the draw was the only realistic outcome. 1-1

Board 2 Keith Thomas v Catherine Hiley.Keith Thomas v Catherine Hiley With 10 minutes already down on the clock, Catherine may have been a little hasty, and in 10 moves found herself in quite a pickle. Settling down, although material up her king was vulnerable, with steady play she managed to swap off most major pieces and take it into an end game where Keith tried hard to defend but struggled to stop the pawn queening. 1-2

Board 1 Tony Hickey v Matt Carr. Matt played an unconventional Ponziani opening, and mirrored the poor start to our evening by losing a piece early on. Matt doesn't give in though and valiantly played on finishing last. Time wasn't on his side though and played through a tricky endgame, and conceded after giving it all he had. Great effort. 2-2

Thankfully Luke managed to get home safely and wasn't injured, and a drawn game, in the circumstances, seemed a reasonable result.

Catherine Hiley, (Div 2 vice-captain)

02/11/21 Rugeley v Bushbury CDCL div 3

Bushbury came to Lea Hall for our 4th game of Divison 3, so let the madness begin.

Board 1 Robert Edgar v Adrian Lissamore. From the opening it seemed that white had a positional advantage as a miscalculated knight move from Bob came at a hefty price. The knight was whipped off. Bob fought on but already a pawn down and fighting for survival, Black's ideas of castling were also halted. Into the end game White was significant material up and Bob graciously resigned. 1-0

Board 2 Luke Sullivan V Jeremy Whitehead. Luke missed opportunities to take a slight advantage in the middle game despite having control of the open A file with doubled rooks. This gave Black every opportunity to defend well. Once the rooks came off, the Queen's position was vital. A tempo and attack on Black's knight cost him 2 pawns and the queens came off. White's king slowly improving towards the promotion square and black resigned. 1-1

Board 3 James Perks v Simon Jones. Aggressive play from both sides, with both sides castling king side the fight was on. James looked to be a piece up but Simon found a neat tactic to regain the bishop. James thought he had a winning combination but was unsure about the correct sequence. Once he made his move Black offered a draw which Simon gladly accepted. 1.5-1.5

Board 4 Tom Woodhall V David Buckley. Tom used his normal aggressive style early while David seemed to have the advantage of an extra pawn. White had significant compensation for the pawn but couldnt see an immediate win. After a little bit of shuffling it was too close to call. A generous draw offer was offered by Tom and this was accepted.Final match score. 2-2

Thanks to all players and good luck to Bushbury in their future games.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

26/10/21 Rugeley v Lichfield B CDCL div 2

Lichfield B's team came to Rugeley for another classical match. The 2 local clubs fought it out only the week before.

Board 1 Steve Whatmore v David Hulme. White opened with the English, while Steve replied with his beloved Caro. Black had a slight advantage after the opening but both players being very careful whittled the position down to an opposite-coloured bishop ending with both sides having a doubled pawn structure in their skeleton. After 28 moves after no progression a draw offer was a fair result. 0.5-0.5

Board 2 Robert Edgar v Gary Monks. Classic Bob and his English Reti system. Both players approached the opening phase with caution. Bob played rather too passively which gave Black the opportunity to put pressure on. With some resistance from white, Gary was heading towards a won end game. In desperation Bob tried to complicate the situation but Black responded with a mating net. 0.5-1.5

Board 3 Luke Sullivan v David Fone. Luke used his normal stuff but decided to become super aggressive far too quickly and underestimated a piece sacrifice David used to crumble Black's defenses early on in the night, resignation occured before White could mate. 0.5-2.5

Board 4 James Perks v Arthur Hall. Jame's idea of a calm Scotch gambit was refuted as Black played the Philidor. White found himself in a spot of bother when he had to give a queen for a rook and a bishop, James could not find a better alternative but it wasnt long before the Queen advantage became too much. White resigned on move 33. Final match score 0.5-3.5

Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield in their future games.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

18/10/21 Lichfield A v Rugeley CDCL div 2

We travelled to Lichfield's classy new venue for our first match of Division 2.

Board 1 Lukasz Waiijewski v Steve Whatmore. White opened with the Queens Gambit, which was accepted by Lukasz. While the opening was solid and level, Steve had a king side attack, this was refuted by Black after major pieces were exchanged and the game fizzled out into a natural drawish position. Whites draw offer was accepted. 0.5-0.5

Board 2 Peter Collins v Tony Meakin. Both sides saw the opening was fairly level when Peter lost a pawn it was up to Black to put some pressure on. Black made a miscalculation in the middle game losing material and structure fell apart giving White a big advantage. Tony resigned in class. 1.5-0.5

Board 3 Ray Sawyer v Luke Sullivan. This game was last to finish, playing on till just gone 10:00pm. Using the London System white gained nice development. Luke was a pawn up in the middle game but Ray was using good resources to hold. White found a rook skewer and if this was taken it ends badly for Black. Ray took a rook with 2 minutes left on the clock, then white delivered check mate not long after. 1.5-1.5

Board 4 Fred Biles v James Perks. This was a very aggressive Scandinavian Main line and both sides had very good chances early on. Fred castled early and was holding well with an extra doubled pawn. James had a bishop for a knight and so offered a draw which was gladly accepted in such a position. 2-2.

Thanks to all players for participating and good luck to Lichfield in the rest of the league.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

14/10/21 WDCL EGM

The WDCL was attended by myself to establish how we finish the 2019-20 season. The outcome of which can be seen on the WDCL website. Unfortunately the league has seen withdrawals of Brewood and Kidderminster (hopefully temporarily), and noticeable deaths over the last 18 months. We paid our respects and got down to this seasons business. 4 boards per team neutral venue can be agreed if preferred (Rugeley have Stourbridge). A leeway of 75 grading points has been established otherwise play on order of strength.

The fixtures for the forthcoming season will be done via email by 20th November. No relegation or promotion as this is a one-off season, then hopefully normal rules will resume.

Catherine Hiley, (Club Sec)

12/10/21 Rugeley v Lichfield A CDCL div 3

Our second home match was against Lichfield A. Punctual as ever, and clocks started, the match was on.

Board 1 Tony Meakin v Ray Sawyer. Tony opened aggressively and had white on the back foot early on. A draw offer by black in the middle game was declined although later White made a positional error giving Tony a very dominant square for his knight. Upon realising there was no breakthrough for either, a draw was offered and this time accepted. 0.5-0.5

Board 2 Luke Sullivan v Fred Biles. Luke opened with the Reti and an early kingside castle. Black played very solidly but had 4 pawn islands to white's 2. Queens got exchanged on whites terms. This proved to be fatal as a misplaced rook maneouver had Luke in an unsolvable problem and he couldn't stop a unconnected passed pawn from queening. 0.5-1.5

Board 3 Rory Melough v Stuart Andrews. Andrews opened agressively but black had castled safely. The battle was for the centre, and so Black's rooks dominated the controlling files and pushed for an advantage. The pressure was too much for white and Rory collected the victory after his oppnnet lost his queen. 1.5-1.5

Board 4 Tom Woodhall v Keith Milner.Tom Woodhall v Keith Milner Just like Toms previous game this was the last to finish in the evening. Very little material was actually off the board by the time the middle game had come, with open lines for both and 2 bishops for white. Keith was extremely short on time. Tom found a beautiful forced check mate and black resigned before the fatal blow.

Final match score 2.5 - 1.5. Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield in the remainder of the League.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

Latest Games

- Rugeley players are shown in BLUE or View All Games

Season Competition Fixture Players Result
2022 Club Champs Luke Sullivan v Steve Whatmore Luke Sullivan v Steve Whatmore (1 - 0)
2021 Cannock Div 2 Rugeley v Rushall David Jarvis v Luke Sullivan (0 - 1)
2021 Cannock Div 2 Oscott v Rugeley Keith Thomas v Catherine Hiley (0-1)
2021 Cannock Div 3 Rugeley v Lichfield Tom Woodhall v Keith Milner (1-0)
2019 -20 Wolverhampton Div 2 Bushbury A v Rugeley Bill Hulley v Lee Grinsell (0-1)
2019 Christmas Simultaneous David Howell GM v Matt Carr David Howell v Matt Carr (1-0)
2019 Christmas Simultaneous David Howell GM v Catherine Hiley David Howell v Catherine Hiley (1-0)
2019 Christmas Simultaneous David Howell GM v Steve Whatmore David Howell v Steve Whatmore (½ - ½)
2019 -20 Cannock Div 2 Rugeley v Tamworth James Perks v Alexis Edwards (1-0)
2019 -20 Wolverhampton Div 2 Rugeley v Warley Quinborne Steve Whatmore v Dave Jeffs (1-0)
2019 -20 Chase Cup Wolverhampton v Rugeley Peter Pearson-Jones v Tony Meakin (0-1)
2019 -20 Club Champs Bill Hulley v Tony Meakin Bill Hulley v Tony Meakin (1-0)
2019 -20 Club Champs Luke Sullivan v Catherine Hiley Luke Sullivan v Catherine Hiley (½ - ½)
2019 -20 Wolverhampton Div 2 Kidderminster B v Rugeley Catherine Hiley v John Whitehead (1-0)
2019 -20 Wolverhampton Div 2 Kidderminster B v Rugeley Steve Whatmore v David Waud (1-0)
2019 -20 Cannock Div 3 Rugeley v Lichfield Luke Sullivan v John Fryer (1-0)
2019 -20 Club Champs Luke Sullivan v Rob Fell Luke Sullivan v Rob Fell (1-0)
2019 -20 Club Champs Catherine Hiley v Steve Whatmore Catherine Hiley v Steve Whatmore (½ - ½)
2019 -20 Club Champs Catherine Hiley v Rob Fell Catherine Hiley v Rob Fell (1-0)
2018 - 19 Chase Cup Wolverhampton v Rugeley Gordon Sands v Luke Sullivan (0-1)