Rugeley Chess Club

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19/12/2017 Christmas Handicap Rapidplay

Its been my pleasure for the last few years to organise this event. Many years ago I was asked to try and spice up the event at Christmas. My answer was a handicap event. The stronger the player the less time they have to find the win. Times are as follows.

Grading difference 0 – 10: 10 minutes each Grading difference 11-20: Weak player 13 – 7 Strong player Grading difference 21-30: Weak player 14 – 6 Strong player Grading difference 31-40: Weak player 15 – 5 Strong player Grading difference 41-50: Weak player 16 – 4 Strong player Grading difference 50+: Weak player 17 – 3 Strong player

The 2017 version was a strong one. We had more of our players in this event than we ever have previously. It was 13 players, now that might be unlucky for some but not for our tournament which I am pleased to say went without a problem. It was run using Swiss Manager to handle the pairings quickly and to calculate the results quickly. If we have a tie for first place we use the result between the two players as the tie-breaker. If we need more then I go get the committee. Having never needed them before I went into this was the confidence that I could be both arbiter and player. Round 1 was good fun, I was paired against Luke Sullivan. 16 vs 4 minutes. I went in there with good intentions then lost my queen on move 7. In the end it was the clock that got me aswell. These games for the strong players are fraught with danger. Not only from the opponents but on the clock. At least three games were decided with the clock showing less than 10 seconds. One game was even decided with two seconds left on the clock. In the end when the computer was asked to tally up the points. We had four players tied for first! It was at this point I got the committee in to decide what other method we could use. It was decided that since this was a handicap tournament the weakest player gets first and so on.

Therefore my congratulations to James Perks who took down me, Bob, Cath and Kieran to earn the victory. Followed by Luke Sullivan winning the bottle of Red wine and finally Rob Fell.

I look forward to next years competition and not to mention the AGM blitz tournament in the summer.

For the results table

IA Matthew Carr, (Tournament Organiser)

21/11/2017 Rugeley v Wolverhampton, Cannock Division 2

Wolverhampton came to Rugeley for our hardest home match this season in respect to grading.

Board 1 - Bob Edgar v Philip Porter. This top board battle was played by two equally graded players and was surely going to be an interesting match. As always, the away team was given white. They fought for a good amount of time and with the position equal it was looking like the outcome may be a draw for its majority. Unfortunately after a quick exchange of pieces in the end game it was Bob who had miscalculated the position and unknowingly became a bishop down to his disbelief. A few more moves were exchanged and black felt that his chances of a draw were slipping further into the abyss. Bob graciously resigned.

Board 2 - Mike Page v Aaron Ujjal. This was a battle of the ages as a young Wolverhampton player faced Rugeley's most experienced player. Mike had white and opened with e4, the reply was a Sicilian Nijdorf which Mike is certainly familiar with and has beaten many times. After the game went into the early middle game white was down a piece thanks to a sneaky queen check forking a piece. The Rugeley player resigned soon after this unfortunate blunder.

Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v Geoff Rosser. This wasn't going to be an easy match for the Rugeley player as he was outgraded and faced his toughest opponent to date. Nevertheless this was going to be a very creative and unique game. The experienced Wolverhampton player opened with E4. Luke opted for a different reply to his norm and chose E5. With an interesting idea for a queen exchange by black in the opening which was turned down by white this looked to be in black's favour with easy development and positional opportunities but having castled on opposite sides it was clear to see that white's pawn storm on black's kingside was just too strong which eventually left black cramped. This resulted in a forced rook sacrifice which lost black any chance of a draw. Resignation soon followed.

Board 4 - Dave Hadley v Default. Dave didn't play a bad move (courtesy of the Chairman).

Another tug on the heart strings for the Rugeley team with a 3-1 defeat, thanks to all who played.

Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

07/11/2017 Rugeley v Lichfield C, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Rugeley nearly at full strength welcomed Lichfield C for their home match. We expected a tricky exercise as Lichfield had gained some impressive results of late so we would need to be on our guard!

Board 1 Catherine Hiley v David Fone. This game looked like it was heading for a draw with our Rugeley lady playing the “gentleman of chess”. Although Cath had the slight edge in position it looked like it was going to be a drawn out contest until our friend, the clock, ticked for the last time before move 30 for David, resulting in a win for Cath. Time waits for no man and this was certainly the case.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Gary Monks. My normal aggressive style was muted by the extremely defence play of my opponent. If it wasn’t for winning a piece in the middle game this would have stagnated to a draw but fortunately I was able to make the material level count in the endgame and Gary duly resigned.

Board 3 Matt Carr v Pete Willett. This game proved to be extremely interesting as the overall match result depended on the outcome. Basically Rugeley required a draw to win the match and Matt although short of time initially seemed to be in the driving seat for the win. After precision play by Matt it was time for his opponent to struggle with the time controls and a honourable draw was agreed..

Board 4 Patrick Waller v Mike Hoare. After last times total destruction of his opponent Patrick entered this game in a confident mood. His opponent however restricted any opportunities of open line play and the more the game went on the realisation that black was playing for a draw and nullifying any threats that Patrick could muster soon became apparent. A draw was indeed a fair result.

Board 5 Bob Edgar v Kevin Gallagher. Another player on form, Bob also entered this game hoping for yet another fine result. Again dogged play by the Lichfield opponent ensured honours were even.

Board 6 Tony Meakin v Leon Graff. Tony was looking to emulate Patricks quick finish from the previous match. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened as Tony fell foul to a smart combination which resulted in him losing a piece and position very quickly and soon he has heading for an early bath. Lichfield’s only win of the night will make Tony determined to put things right in the next match. Meak by name but certainly not by nature!.

So Rugeley won the match 3.5 – 2.5 and we head off into the winter break in fine spirits. I am pleased with the teams form and believe that we will easily stay up in Division 2 this season – a few more players and we would seriously be challenging. Well done guys, enjoy the festive cheer!

Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

24/10/2017 Rugeley v Walsall Kipping, Wolverhampton League Division 2

After a fairly intense start to the season we were hoping for a hiatus in the losing streak, however without our strongest board 1, it wasn't going to be easy.

Board 1 Catherine Hiley v Mike Groombridge. Cath once more stepped into the breach of Board 1 and we anticipated this was always going to be a well matched “battle” and so the game proved. Both players got to a point where the position was level and neither wanted to over push to a detrimental affect – a draw was a fair result

Board 2 Rob Fell v David Friend. This game was played at a fast pace with white gaining the initial momentum which won a piece. Unfortunately a positional blunder soon followed which put white on the back foot and it did look like the game could be lost due to blacks advanced pawns. A draw was readily accepted as again like Board 1 neither player wanted to risk the position.

Board 3 Matt Carr v Michael Darlow. If the first 2 boards were evenly matched then this was the banker draw of the lot! Both players played steadily and kept a tight position where advantages were slight and few between. A quick assessment of the middle game came the realisation that it was going to become a long drawn out battle which neither player looked the probable of winning, again the draw masters of Walsall had done it again.

Board 4 Patrick Waller v Peter Nixon. Well the safe conservative usual style of Patrick was thrown out of the window as like a greyhound out of the traps he quickly manoeuvred his pieces to attacking devasting effect which left his opponents defences crumbling and subsequently mated by 8.20pm. And everybody though “Nixon”gate was a thing of the past – well done Patrick!

Board 5 Bob Edgar v Doreen Anderton. Bob was eager to play this game and although he played a combination out of order which resulted in him losing a piece, as quick as a “FLASH” (lol) this galvanised him into playing with attacking intent. His opponent despite being a piece up could not withstand such attacking play and soon succumbed to Bob’s advancing pieces and was quickly mated. Bob left feeling very satisfied.

Board 6 Tony Meakin v Victor Brown. Despite this being the last game to finish this was by no where any bit less enthralling. Tony who was battling against being a piece and a few pawns down somehow grinded out a draw from a helpless position – a true reminder to us all that even when the chips are down you can always reach for the jacket potato! A well deserved result with the effort and refusal to give in by our own Tony.

So Rugeley gained their first win of the season 4-2, hopefully we will be able to build on this going into the next couple of games – well done team!

Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

23/10/2017 Rushall v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

Board 1 - John Staniforth v Bob Edgar. With Bob as white, he faced his toughest opponent to date. Bob used a solid opening but played his moves in the wrong order in the middle game. Black stole a pawn and white found it incredibly difficult to gain it back. Moreover black had a very well placed knight which infiltrated white's position for the majority of the game. Bob tried to trap the knight with a clever plan but unfortunately black had enough momentum to save it. Black played very solid and didn't give white the chance to gain anything in the game. After a very long drawn-out battle, white felt the position was lost with potential mating threats and resigned.

Board 2 - Adrian Dibble v Luke Sullivan. With Luke as Black he was up against an ungraded player. White was far too aggressive early on which almost resulted in his queen being trapped and so by move 10 was retreating to save his position. Black defended well with the Nijdorf and looked incredibly solid. White's aggressive queen movements resulted in a loss of 5 pawns in the middle game. After swinging his rook down to the 2nd rank, Black chose to exchange the queens and try and force white to resign. Luke couldn't see an immediate win so tried to wear white down, but yet again Luke found that his love for sacrifices are in vain. Black blundered a piece with an unnoticed backwards move from white's bishop. With black assuming he had lost, he made a second blunder which resulted in a mate in 4 black could just not defend. A very disappointing loss for the Rugeley player who could have easily got a point for his club.

Board 3 - Aaron Bails v Dave Hadley. Another game where an experienced member of the Rugeley team faced an ungraded player from Rushall. Dave as white played an opening he wasn't all too comfortable with but managed to stop black's aggressive moves early on in the game. As a new player likes to be aggressive he black found good lines and this was too much for white to handle in the middle game and this subsequently lost him a piece. White struggled to deal with the attacking player and resigned early on in the night.

Board 4 - Josh Hennion v James Perks. This was the last match to come to a conclusion and was a hard fought game where both players were clearly fighting for the win. Hennion had the white pieces and both were very solid throughout. White came up with a clever plan which black failed to notice, capturing a piece in the middle game with no chance of compensation or recapture. James fought like a warrior trying to cling to the hopes of a draw but alas white's attacking chances were just too strong... resignation was swift.

Final match score was 4-0 to Rushall, thanks to all who played.

Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

17/10/2017 Rugeley v Brewood, Cannock Division 2

Board 1 - David Blower v Mike Page. With Blower as white the position was fairly symmetrical for the first 10 or so moves as neither colour wished to advance early. Mike played extremely carefully and managed to grab a pawn. White became greedy and stole a pawn back but he failed to see that black could swing his knight into white's position, after this a nasty forced mate in 2 soon occurred. A very well planned game with correct move play to secure a victory for the home team.

Board 2 - David Buckley v Luke Sullivan. After facing each other last year at Brewood they faced off again, this time with opposite colours. Luke started with Nf3-D4. Black played solidly not grabbing the centre for the entire game. White wished to take advantage of the fact black had castled king side and played G6 and Bg7. White had a good plan of pushing H4 H5. Although the first mistake of pushing the pawn to far onto H7 had white snookering himself. Instead white should have took on G6 and opened black's king side creating an open file for rook. Black found a comfortable defence after this. After some time the game looked drawn but instead white blundered a piece and it all fell through. Resignation soon followed. A very unfortunate loss indeed.

Board 3 - Andrew Davies v Dave Hadley. The home team had black in this closely graded match. Andrew played a very clever opening as white and soon found himself a piece up. David struggled to gain the piece back and after it got to the end game black had no choice but to resign as it was clear there was more of an advantage with winning chances for white. Still a very courageous effort for the home team but an unfortunate loss.

Board 4 - Darren Chell v James Perks. James as white out-graded his opponent as Chell is currently UG. White looked to have full control of the game by move 20. Black struggled to find any advantage and white soon found a he had a winning position. All James had to do was keep his cool and not make any mistakes which he managed to achieve quite easily. Black knew he was in trouble and even offered a draw which was correctly declined. With a few more moves exchanged white was in a very strong position and had infiltrated his opponents king side. Resignation was swift.

Final match score was drawn, thanks to all who played.

Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

21/09/2017 Tamworth v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

Board 1 - Vadim Bancila v Bob Edgar. Bob (white) started with Nf3 planning to go into a Reti style opening while black just developed solidly. With both sides having a King's side fianchettoed bishop, the game looked drawn for some time. Black was soon material up and gained a pass pawn, it looked like a loss possition. Bob had one last attempt, as black missed the opportunity to secure the game. Bancila had to sacrifice his rook and try to force the draw, as white had a unstoppable mate threat. White took with the wrong piece causing a fork on the mating piece. White resigned. 1-0.

Board 2 - Peter Oliver v Mike Page. This game looked drawn for most of its entirety. Peter marched his white pieces on and infiltrated black's position but Mike was cool, calm and collected and managed to defend well. Black then went on to secure a very dangerous passed pawn but white had a perpetual check. White forced black to offer a draw which was accepted. 1/2-1/2

Board 3 - Default v Tony Meakin. Tony had a very easy win. 0-1

Board 4 - Chris Harrington v Luke Sullivan. The home team moved first in this epic 4th board battle. D4 was met with a Sicilian Najdorf in its full glory with some very aggressive lines. Luke gained the centre and had white struggling to decide which side to castle. Black had his plan, taking advantage of the exposed king which was pinned against the queen. White was forced to loose material and then struggled to find the space needed to defend the nasty attacking chances black had. After a few more moves white blundered the queen on move 24 and promptly resigned. 0-1.

Rugeley take home the win, thanks to all who played.

Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

03/10/2017 Rugeley v Kidderminster A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

After the previous match we knew we were in for another tough evening playing one of the stronger teams in the division. I knew that these results would not determine whether we stayed up or not so I encouraged the team to enjoy the evening and hopefully we may be able to spring a surprise or two?.

Board 1 Bill Hulley v Geoffrey Marchant. Our regular board 1 was back and boy did we need him! Steady play from both players resulted in an end game where the Kidderminster player had a slight advantage of being a pawn up. Bill missed an opportunity to draw if he had swapped the rooks off but in the end the one pawn advantage was decisive!

Board 2 Rob Fell v Maurice Bissell. Initially my aggressive play got me in a fortunate position where I was dictating play and looking good for the win. My new strategy - the "Virgin" attack soon had me "over excited" and then after what looked like a promising pawn to queen finish soon turned into a anti climax and was over in seconds...a draw was the eventual outcome much to my disappointment. I simply made a "pigs ear" of the end game which should have resulted in a win for white.

Board 3 Bob Edgar v David Close. Both players played solidly and a draw looked inevitable until Dave missed a pin and ultimately went a knight down prompting his resignation. A fantastic win for Bob even if the game did live up to his opponent's surname.

Board 4 Patrick Waller v John Chester. Patrick promised me it would be "all wight" on the night. Using the Bird's opening White had a pleasant position after 9 moves but then played the wrong move order. This lost the initiative and a few moves later the exchange. Patrick did get a big kingside attack but it was defended well and ultimately the White King became too exposed. After some brief counterplay on the queenside Black avoided all the traps and finished it cleanly for a victory to the away team.

Board 5 Tony Meakin v Alan Preece. After last weeks promising draw, Tony came into this game full of confidence. This was a game that ebbed and flowed for both players who had chances. In the end it was the odd pawn snaffling that cost our player going into the end game and he promptly resigned.

Board 6 Luke Sullivan v David Spowart. Luke thought he was playing somebody from "Hogwarts" and at times some of his play was "spell-binding". Unfortunately our player was so eager for the win that he pushed his position to an extent that it left opportunities for his opponent to exploit and a narrow defeat soon followed. A good performance never the less against a player that easily outgraded him.

So the eventual outcome was a 1.5 - 4.5 defeat by Kidderminster. Still like last weeks opponents Stourbridge, they are one of the favourites to go up and we did not disgrace ourselves in any way. Thank you for everybody that played, we certainly did not make it easy for them.

Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

27/09/2017 Stourbridge v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Rugeley started their 2017-18 campaign with a lengthy trip to Stourbridge. Hopes were not too high as it was recognised that we would be outgraded on probably every board so it was a chance to put in a good performance and shake some of the summer rust off. In the past Rugeley have always put a good account of themselves but perhaps the results have not reflected the overall performance, a similar theme did seem to follow here.

Board 1 Zibi Koncki v Catherine Hiley. Cath was playing an opponent who's previous grade had been in the 170's so this was always going to be tough! What started off as a Sicillian soon transcended into the "dreaded" french and soon Cath had lost control of the centre. A player of this calibre soon started to make steady inroads and the result was inevitable. Cath acknowledged the difficult task by turning to drink, and not even the renowned "rook bashing" drink Stella could uplift her mood - easier games will follow. Thank you Cath for bravely stepping in to the board one shoes.

Board 2 Greg Dyett v Rob Fell. My game was full of "what if's". An extremely open game with attacks on both sides. I played a certain move out of sequence and then the dangerous threats just faded away. Certainly if I had moved my king to safety first then the game become interesting......did a win slip from within my grasp?? Another win for the Stourbridge team though was the result.

Board 3 Dave Scriven v Bob Edgar. Bob put in a solid performance and had a really strong attack building against his opponents king. He felt that he probably should have sacrificed a minor piece to force the win but unfortunatly due to it being the first game opted for safety first and then the time pressure started to become a factor. Performance wise though was good and although a another loss to the Rugeley team it certainly was not easy!.

Board 4 Paul Sharratt v Patrick Waller. This game was also extremely close with both players seeming evenly matched. The end game went down to 2 rooks and a bishop, and a pawn break through from Patrick's opponent swung the game into Stourbridge's favour. Another brave performance with time becoming a factor, but a close one at that.

Board 5 Julie Wilson v Tony Meakin. Rugeley needed to stop the rot and stop it fast! Step forward Tony Meakin who put in a polished performance by controlling the centre to the detriment of losing the c file to his opponent's rook. After swapping off his opponent's good bishop, Tony felt that he had the better position but the draw was a fair result and in the end stopped the whitewash.

Board 6 Sam Bradley v Dave Hadley. Dave always knew he was going to be in for a tough time because the grading difference in this match was going to be massive. Our player though put in a performance to be proud of and it took a good 35 moves before he eventually succumbed to the inevitable. Thank you Dave for stepping in on a board that was close to being defaulted.

So Rugeley eventually lost 5.5 to 0.5 but like many things the result did not entirely tell the full story. One thing I have noticed with Rugeley is if we do go down - we go down fighting and that is what happend tonight. Thank you for everybody that played - better results will be around the corner!

Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

27/09/2017 Rugeley's 50th Anniversary celebrations

Rugeley Chess Club is proud to announce our own rapidplay tournament to be held at Lea Hall social club on the 7th April 2018.

Entry forms are currently being prepared and further news will be published as soon as plans are finalised. Please keep 7th April free in your diary! Should be a really fun day.

Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

21/09/2017 Lichfield v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

Board 1 - Mike Hoare v Mike Page. After a very long game it came to an interesting rook ending, a draw was offered by Mike Page (white) but declined. Hoare went on to secure a pass pawn and had a clear winning advantage.

Board 2 - Kevin Gallagher v Tony Meakin. After Tony (black) lost a pawn early on, Tony played accurate moves to gain his pawn back in the ending. The position was equal and possibly could have ended in a dangerous zugzwang. A draw was offered and was accepted.

Board 3 - Charlie Brown v Luke Sullivan. Luke (white) opened with Nf3. After playing the queens gambit, it was accepted. Black was soon the exchange up, taking white's queen side rook, but white had a plan. Black's queen was incredibly misplaced and after almost getting her trapped, black blundered a piece with a check from the bishop forking the knight. Luke then went on to gain a massive attacking advantage with both knights, a bishop, and his queen at the end. Black resigned on move 30.

Board 4 - Roy Smith v James Perks. James's (black) opening suffered an early disadvantage after being unable to gain his pawn back. When he went the exchange down in the middle game it was a lost game and unfortunately ended up in resignation.

Thanks to all who played, we were unfortunate not to get a point out the match.

Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

12/09/2017 Rapidplay chess tournament

Congratulations to Matt Carr who won our first internal summer rapidplay club competition.

If you want to check out the final results you need to click on the following link

Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

06/09/2017 Rugeley receives the Staffordshire Club of the Year presentation shield

Ray Dolan (Staffordshire County General Secretary) kindly presented the presentation shield to Rugeley Chess Club. He took the opportunity to say it was in recognition of the fact the club has been active for 50 years. Patrick (Chairman) was delighted to receive the award and thanked Ray and Staffs County Chess Association. Patrick announced that we are planning some celebratory activities over the next 12 months and hope to host our own tournament inviting members of the Staffordshire League.

  • Rugeley Shield presentation 2017
  • We also managed to fit some chess into the evening, I played Patrick in our club championship match. You can view the game here Catherine Hiley v Patrick Waller

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    02/08/2017 Rugeley is Staffordshire Club of the Year

    Rugeley was nominated and awarded Club of the Year as we start our 50th anniversary celebrations. Ray Dolan will be presenting us with our trophy in due course.

    The Staffordshire County AGM was held on the 18th July 2017 and the minutes can be seen on this link

  • Staffordshire AGM 2017
  • Please note that The Staffordshire Congress is on 16th & 17th September at Leek further details please see link http://Staffscongress2017

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    21/07/2017 FIDE rule changes

    FIDE changes or enhances the chess rules every 4 years. Alex Holowczak has been kind enough to upload his presentation on the website and can be found here Please take some time to look at the presentation and familiarise yourself with some of the new rules, they won't always be required for club matches, but the rules should be known by every chess player.

    Many thanks to Mercia Chess Club and Alex Holowczak for the link.

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    05/07/2017 Rugeley Rapidplay tournament

    This Summer, Rugeley Chess Club has decided to try out a rapidplay tournament. It shall be graded, so it's a bit more serious than a friendly battle (although I'm not sure friendly is the correct description!)

    If you want to check out the pairings and the results you need to click on the following link The link will also be displayed in the club champs tab.

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    27/06/2017 Rugeley archives

    The website naturally goes a bit quieter over the Summer months, even webmasters need a break! However the club is learning a bit more about it's history as we start thinking about celebrating our 50th anniversary. If you have any stories you would like to share we would love to hear from you.

    If you fancy a bit of a nostalgia trip to 1999, we feature in Wolverhampton League's archive It features a match when Mercia won Div Two easily in 1998/99 but their one defeat was this match at Rugeley. The game between Andrew McCumiskey against Bill Hulley can be seen too.

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    27/06/2017 Rugeley Rapidplay Club Championship

    The pairings for the Summer Rapidplay Club tournament has been drawn and a print-out can be found at the club. A link to the website will be published soon with all the details.

    Matt Carr, Club Tournament Controller

    09/06/2017 Rugeley Club Championship

    The draw for the 2017-18 Rugeley Club Championship has been done and can be found on the Club Champs section of the Website. Pool A is Bill, Patrick, Cath, James and Matt. Pool B, is Rob, Bob, Mike, Tony, Luke and Dave Hadley. Should any other members wish to join the competition please could you inform Matt.

    Matt Carr, Club Tournament Controller

    05/06/2017 Staffordshire Congress 2017

    The Staffordshire Chess Congress will be held at Leek on 16th/17th September 2017. Please click on the link for further info .It is being run by our very own club member Matthew Carr, I'm sure he would appreciate a good attendance from Rugeley, and it's always good fun.

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    05/06/2017 WDCL fixtures

    Please take a look at the new fixtures section for the upcoming WDCL season, and games you definitely cannot make I'm sure Rob would appreciate the info as captain for this year.

    The Cannock fixtures date is 11th July.

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    24/05/2017 AGM

    Please take a look at the AGM section (under the 'other' tab) for the minutes of this years AGM and please get back to me with any enquiries you may have, otherwise I will assume they have been read and accepted. Matt shall hopefully be informing us soon of the club champs set-up, that should be in 2 pools (as last year), and organise the Summer rapid play tournament. Details to follow.

    Having been to this years Cannock AGM, it was agreed to have 3 divisions which still means that we should be able to field a div 2 team (subject to similar grades). No change to fees.

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    25/03/2017 Club Championship tournament

    After an exciting series of three hard fought long games which finished level and a rapidplay decider, Catherine Hiley has won the Club Championship for the third time. Congratulations to her and also to runner-up Bob Edgar for making it the closest contest yet..

    Patrick Waller, Club Championship Tournament Controller

    12/04/2017 Bushbury v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

    Board 1 - Simon Jones v Bill Hulley. Bill played Simon Jones and told me it was a real tough game Jones put up one hell of a fight and had four pawns charging down the board almost unstoppable. In the end, Bill's better insight into the middle game proved decisive.

    Board 2 - Adrian Lissamore v Bob Edgar. Bob played a rather poor French defence but managed to survive to the endgame where Bob's bishop was more active than his opponent's knight. After Bob had declined the offer of a draw, Lissamore played a move which allowed Bob to fork his knight and rook, and so won the game.

    Board 3 - Jeremy Whitehouse v Tony Meakin. Tony on board 3, against Whitehouse did well to come away with a point as the start seemed to go against Tony but his better end-game technique won the day.

    Board 4 - Dave Buckley v Luke Sullivan. Luke on board 4 with the black pieces seemed to be giving Buckley a hard game but in the later stages he miscalculated and lost a whole piece, giving Buckley the win.

    Well done the team for turning up for this much re-arranged fixture.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    11/04/2017 WDCL Top 40

    A more than worthy mention goes to 3 members of the Rugeley Chess Club who made it on the WDCL Top 40 players this season. Congratulations to Rob Fell who is currently #1 played 9 won 5 drawn 2 and lost 2. Bob Edgar has also had a good season currently at #8 and Catherine Hiley who is at #30.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    28/03/2017 Rugeley v Brewood A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    Our last game of the season, and we needed at least a draw to stay in division 2, Brewood needed a win.

    Board 4 Rob Fell v Mike Jarocki. Rob stormed his pawns, bishops rook and queen down the King side which was becoming increasingly defenseless, after 30 minutes play Rob had a forced win. Fantastic play by Rob.

    Board 3 Patrick Waller v Paul Wright. I likened this game to a particularly sticky and stodgy toffee pudding, it's not to everyone's taste. Patrick felt his opening play wasn't too good, but Patrick knows how to stop a player advancing. Big STOP sign! You cannot continue from here, a much valued draw came from our board 3.

    Board 1 Bill Hulley v Derek Laight. Bill's game looked pretty drawish throughout, Bill was equal to any attack and had used the good strategy of nullifying his opponent's bishop by putting pawns and pieces on the opposite colour. Bill didn't look as though he could get his knight active enough and so agreed a draw but after continuing play may have regretted not playing on.

    Board 5 Catherine Hiley v Roger Grainger. It felt like I was playing Bob, the good old Reti opening. White just couldn't get going, his king seemed vulnerable even though his fianchettoed bishop was doing a fine defensive job, in the end my pieces were dominant and it showed with an impressive forced mate at the end. The win secured division 2 status next season.

    Board 6 Bob Edgar v Andrew Lenz. Bob looked like he was heading for a drawn match but he had cleverly calculated a forced win after timing the swap off of the remaining pieces and bringing his king forward to secure a pawn promotion, black thus resigned.

    Board 2 Matt Carr v Mark Keady. The pressure was now off Matt, knowing we had won the match and having battled hard against someone graded 12 points higher. Matt was feeling that a drawn game was slowly becoming less likely, and resigned.

    Well done to the entire club who have contributed in no small measure keeping us in div 2, where we belong. This match goes to prove that we can punch above our (grading) weight.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    14/03/2017 Club Championship tournament

    Congratulations to Catherine Hiley who has recently won Pool B and therefore qualified to meet the winner of Pool A, Bob Edgar in the final. Thanks to everyone who played in this year's championship - the total of 35 games played to date was more than double the number managed last year.

    Patrick Waller, Club Championship Tournament Controller

    14/03/2017 Rugeley v Brewood, Cannock Division 3

    Board 1 - Bill Hulley v David Blower. Bill out graded his opponent by some 30 points and I expected him to have the best of things, but Blower played with skill and determination taking Bill to the full time control at which point a draw was agreed.

    Board 2 - Bob Edgar v Stephen Bird. Bob seemed to have the better game right from the start, winning a whole rook by move 12. Bird battled on but with Bob's position improving after each move the result was in no doubt. A good win from Bob sealing Brewood's fate.

    Board 3 - Tony Meakin v Andrew Davies. Tony on board 3 was well matched against Davies, the game was a fine example of attack and defence as both players were giving nothing away a draw was agreed after a long struggle .

    Board 4 - Luke Sullivan v Default. Luke was disappointed in not having a game, and found it strange that Brewood could not field a full team. I explained that these things sometimes happen and it may have been down to the grading limit, as like Rugeley, Brewood are one of the smaller clubs.

    Thanks to all who played and well done. Another win for Rugeley keeping us near the top of the table.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    08/03/2017 Boldmere St Michaels v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    This was going to be another tough match as on paper we were outgraded on every board.

    Board 1 Tony Hickey v Matt Carr. Matt played the London System and played it to the best of his ability, which is all a captain can ask for. Matt battled well but miscalculated the exchange and was defeated by the better player.

    Board 6 Arthur Kent v Tony Meakin. Tony had a nice French defence position, beautifully placed pieces. However, what seemed to be a natural h pawn move for Tony, stifled his advantageous situation. An important lesson learned in this opening for Tony, who never looked in trouble and was happy to settle for a draw.

    Board 3 Mike Biddle v Rob Fell. In form Rob is enjoying his chess at the moment. He had a superb attack on his opponent's king which was keenly defended. Mike offered draws in a desperate attempt to salvage something out of the game, but Rob was intent on the win, and proved it.

    Board 2 Keith Thomas v Patrick Waller. Patrick really had a tough game, but was equal to anything his opponent offered in the way of an attack. A draw seemed to be on the cards, but unfortunately Patrick's stifled yawns seemed to suggest he was tiring. He missed the opportunity to take the draw and under immense time trouble lost the game.

    Board 4 Malcolm Phipps v Catherine Hiley. Quite an unorthodox opening d4 d5, e3 Bf5, Bd3 e6 led to White having double isolated central pawns by move 7, leaving them very vulnerable so that by move 20 white was 2 pawns down. From there on it was only ever going to be a win for black.

    Board 5 Kevin Spillane v Bob Edgar. Bob played an interesting endgame leaving himself a bishop and 4 pawns to black's rook and 2 pawns. It looked like a draw, but Bob missed that bringing his king into the game to support his pawns, in fact pinned his own pawn. An unfortunate error, that meant we lost the match.

    I thought it was a valliant effort from every member, we played with spirit and tenacity. I thought we deserved a point out of this match, but alas chess isn't always fair.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    21/02/2017 Rugeley v Rushall, Cannock Division 3

    The match was the first to be played in the upstairs computer room this is larger and brighter than our usual venue and made for a better atmosphere.

    Board 1 - Bill Hulley v Keith Butler. Bill as black, was up against a strong player from Rushall.The game was a standard “Ruy Lopez” all was set for a good battle. White played with skill and originality, the queens were exchanged by move 9. As the game continued, Bill's position looked the better with 2 strong rooks in control and a powerful black bishop with open lines, later Butler lost a piece and resigned on the spot. Well played Bill on top board.

    Board 2 - Tony Meakin v David Jarvis. Tony with the white pieces played the “Meakin b3 Trust opening” he knew well, but as ever on second board Tony was in for a hard game. Slowly as things continued all looked equal with Tony's 2 knights up against a knight and bishop. The game was heading for a draw which was agreed on move 36.

    Board 3 - Dave Hadley v Shane Cooksey. Dave played a good game during the early stages but with Cooksey getting a stronger position as it progressed... Dave’s lady was lost during a “discovered check” move, the end soon came.

    Board 4 - Luke Sullivan v Josh Hennion. Well prepared Luke was buzzing with anticipation hoping to continue his winning run of games. He played well from the start and by move 20 both players were about equal, the game was the last to finish and the result would determine the match. So “no pressure” as Luke calmly pushed his pawns up the open files his opponent was shaking his head in despair as he faced a now unstoppable new queen well played again Luke this result won the match for the home team.

    A good result again against a strong team. Thanks to all for playing and well done.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    13/02/2017 West Bromwich v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The league leaders have won all 6 of their matches, with such formidable form, we knew we would have to bring our 'A' game to compete.

    Board 1 Nicholas Walker v Bill Hulley. Bill struggled in his game to get any decisive play, his opponent played aggressively and had Bill's King trapped on its home square. The 44 grading point difference was a tough ask and Bill was mated by a Queen and bishop combo.

    Board 4 Moin Uddin v Rob Fell. In form Rob was looking forward to his challenge and thought that his on-pris rook, wasn't a sound capture for his opponent. Patrick and I were mesmorised by this fascinating game, as the West Brom player's king was exposed, and there seemed to be countless combinations. With a rook down Rob needed to play with precision, but unfortunately his valiant efforts lost him another rook, and as the game progressed, there was no return. Great effort though!

    Board 3 John Crump v Patrick Waller. This looked like a game that Patrick had under control, but Patrick said that he was under considerable pressure throughout the game, and it sounded as though his opponent had the better placed pieces, which earned his team at least a drawn match.

    Board 2 Dave Davies v Matt Carr. Matt was prepared, and unleashed the French defense, and was surprised by his opponent's evasive moves. At move 16 White had 15 minutes left on his clock with double isolated pawns. Matt's attack turned to the queen-side and as Matt tried to stay warm, his opponent was trying to turn down the heat in the game by stopping Matt from getting a great attack and so offered Matt a draw, which was accepted.

    Board 5 Derek Backhouse v Catherine Hiley. The Giuoco Piano was played and black seemed to have the better opening, with the main line being played. However, he struggled to get his bishop off the back line and his pawn advantage soon diminished with a miscalculated pawn thrust, I saw a combination that gave me the exchange up and dominated the board, with time pressure my opponent made an error and took his eye off the back row, swiftly my Queen swooped in for a checkmate.

    Board 6 Carlos Bryant v Bob Edgar. Bob played against an unfamiliar flank reply to his French defense, the queens were swapped off early, and Bob looked to be fairly even for awhile. Opportunities arose for both players to seek the advantage, but Bob managed to have the stronger endgame play and romped his pawn to promotional victory.

    It was a super team effort, against a team who out-graded us by at least 20 points on every board, yet we almost took a point.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    01/02/2017 Stourbridge B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The long trip to Stourbridge meant that we didn't want to leave without at least a point.

    Board 2 Ron Evans v Patrick Waller. This game opened with the Blackmar-Diemer for further reading see; Patrick decided to try an alternative 'out of book' reply which meant that it looked very drawish, very quickly, and indeed a draw was agreed.

    Board 6 Martin Berridge v Tony Meakin. At an initial glance this looked to be an interesting French exchange game. Tony's opponent was pushing pawns forward towards the king but in doing so, allowed Tony to swap off, leaving the game in a drawn position.

    Board 1 John Foxall v Bill Hulley. This looked like a draw early on to me, I didn't see the ending, but Bill is very good analysis, and if he says it's a draw... it probably is.

    Board 3 Sam Bradley v Rob Fell. Rob's opponent was short on time, and looked like there was no quick win for the Stourbridge player. So under pressure a draw was agreed which was the honourable outcome.

    Board 5 Jeremy Humphries v Bob Edgar. Bob played his Reti opening to good effect, his opponent left little holes open for a bilateral flank attack, shortly his opponent became the exchange down and from there on it was won game for Bob.

    Board 4 Tony Shaw v Catherine Hiley. Feeling slightly jaded I went for the attack, however my opponent's intuitive counter-play meant that I needed to defend. Having made a calculated decision to continue aggressively I realised that my opponent could switch the attack much quicker than I could respond and therefore my attack was nullified, and defeat was certain.

    I'm afraid the captain let the side down, sorry guys! Many thanks to all who made the effort to play, and Patrick for volunteering to drive.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    17/01/2017 Rugeley v Wolverhampton, Cannock Division 3

    Rugeley anticipated a tough match against Wolverhampton in the Cannock div 3 league.

    Board 1 - Bill Hulley v Frank Wood. Bill was well matched against Frank Wood both played well and Bill as black seemed to be defending for much of the game, that went to a full time control. After a draw was agreed I asked Bill for his comments and he said that both had good attacking chances and a draw was a fair result.

    Board 2 - Mike Page v Geoff Rosser. My game with Rosser was a very well played match with white having much of the play during the start and middle game. My opponent seemed to be taking too much time and coming up to the time control was moving very quickly, when he exchanged queens I moved instinctively on his time shortage and in doing so “gifted” him a whole rook after which I resigned in disgust!

    Board 3 - Tony Meakin v Michael Oakes. Tony on board 3 played a sound game and seemed to be in a solid position, after most of the pieces came off it was Tony's knight against Oakes' Bishop with pawns about equal. However the black king came charging up the board right into Tony's net of pawns and was surprised when Tony's agile horse delivered a very pretty mate! Well played Tony.

    Board 4 - Luke Sullivan v John Dugmore. Luke with white played well and after twenty moves seemed to have a commanding position a good three pawns in the centre, his king safe and other pieces well placed. I did not see the last part of the game but Luke often plays good attacking move and has been known to “sac” material for a better position. He may have done this to no avail as when I asked him how his game went, his reply “I lost”, just told me that as a young improving player he still has much to learn.

    Thanks to all who played and well done Bill and Tony.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    20/12/2016 Christmas Swiss tournament

    Rugeley held it's Christmas 5-round Swiss Tournament run by our resident arbiter, Matt Carr. He organised a computer system that meant the greater the grade difference = greater time difference. Obviously the lesser graded player gets more time, the maximum being 17 mins v 3 mins. It's quite a good levelling system, because believe you me it can be very hard to win in 3 mins.
    There was a good club turnout with one new addition Ian Voisey, to join in with the chess festivities. This was another feast of manic play, blunders, illegal moves and nail-biting end play. Any contentious results ended amicably with the arbiter reminding everyone that "The arbiter is always right, even when he's wrong!"
    Another enjoyable mad evening of chess was had. Congratulations to Catherine Hiley who won the tournament, and Matt Carr for running the event. Thanks to all members for your continued support.

    For the results table

    Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

    07/12/2016 Kidderminster A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    A very late change in team, meant that most of the team played on a higher board, and Mike won star of the month for agreeing to play at short notice. We were outgraded on every board, Kidderminster A clearly meant business.

    Board 1 John Wrench v Bill Hulley. I'm not certain this game ever came out of the opening. After 15 moves, it was all over, as Bill had trapped his opponent's queen and forced 3-fold repetition. A great draw considering the grading difference.

    Board 3 Maurice Bissell v Catherine Hiley. The less I say about my game the better! I didn't play in my usual style, still I had nothing to worry about until I literally Christmas wrapped my knight, and gave it away.

    Board 4 John Varilone v Tony Meakin. Tony understandably struggled in this game after losing ground in the opening. With a 41 grading point advantage for his opponent, clearly Christmas was coming early for Kidderminster.

    Board 2 Joseph Watson v Rob Fell. Rob had an interesting game, but felt he missed a mating opportunity. Rob played really well and was initially pleased with his draw but perhaps deserved more.

    Board 6 John Gittus v Mike Page. Mike could do no wrong in the captain's eyes, he fought well, and had quite an open game. Mike came away with a welcome draw for his efforts - well played Mike.

    Board 5 John Chester v Bob Edgar. With a long journey ahead of us, and the match unfortunately lost I was hoping for a quick agreed draw, however his opponent carried on and refused the draw. In the end Bob lost on time and his opponent claimed a win in a drawn position, but as Bob had not claimed the draw in the last 2 minutes, the fact his flag dropped counted as a loss. It's a good reminder for all of us.

    Well fought match, we certainly made Kidderminster work for their win. Many thanks to all who made the effort to play.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    22/10/2016 Rugeley v Kidderminster B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We had an influx of players to choose from tonight, our opponents made the long journey to Rugeley and prepared for a good game of chess.

    Board 6 Luke Sullivan v Clive Billinge. It was Luke's WDCL match debut, and he showed great courage facing his opponent who was a very able player. Unfortunately Luke got into a bit of a pickle in his opening, none of the pieces really gelled together, and his opponent was a rook up as Luke got distracted. Crucially a lesson or two was learned in this defeat, and should help in Luke's future games.

    Board 4 Catherine Hiley v David Waud. I seemed to get out the Caro-Kann opening unscathed but then miscalculated a pawn combination which nullified any advantage I may have had. When my opponent went on the attack I just forced off the pieces leaving very little opportunity for either player and at 21 moves a draw was agreed.

    Board 3 Rob Fell v David Close. Rob was offered a draw in this game which was declined, Rob felt that his pieces were more active and went on to prove his theory was correct. Rob managed to snaffle a few pawns, and with his opponent in serious time trouble, Rob took the win.

    Board 5 Gordon Attwell v John Whitehead. Gordon seemed quite relaxed in this game, and commanded the board with his 3 pawn lead. There was little to stop Gordon's advancing pawns and Gordon calmly claimed victory to help the team.

    Board 2 Patrick Waller v Alan Preece. I'm really beginning to enjoy Patrick's games these days, there's a lot more domination to Patrick's play. Although he didn't feel so confident during play, the fact that he was a pawn up, and had his opponent all hemmed in.. secured a win for Rugeley.

    Board 1 Matt Carr v David Spowart. Matt played his favoured French defence, he came out of the opening well, and was having a decent middle game, until he blundered away his bishop. However Matt had options, and with his king swiftly brought into play went into the end game with at least a fighting chance of queening a pawn at either ends of the board, with both players having less than 5 minutes to go, a draw seemed a fair outcome.

    Our first win of the season, finally a bit of breathing space in the tables. Thanks to all who played.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    15/11/2016 Rugeley v Lichfield, Cannock Division 3

    Rugeley welcomed their neighbours Lichfield in the Cannock div 3 league.

    Board 1 - Jamie O'Donovan v Catherine Hiley. Cath as black, with many years of chess experience, had to face Jamie, one of Lichfield's “rising young stars”. The stage was set for a good game, White played with skill and originality getting a strong fianchettoed white bishop, as the battle continued by move 20 no exchanges had been made making for a very crowded locked up board. However Cath, as ever, only had a win in her sights managed to take complete control of the open “A” file with queen and rook bearing down on white's king with nowhere to retreat to. Finding that the likely continuation being an exchanging of queen for a rook, he resigned. A good win with vast experience getting the better of youth. Well played Cath on top board.

    Board 2 - Tony Meakin v David Fone. Tony with the white pieces played the “Queens gambit” against David Fone, who was graded some 25 points above him knew the game would be tough. Slowly as things continued black's position improved and Tony just had too many threats to contend with, so in a lost position, resigned.

    Board 3 - Dave Hadley v Stuart Andrews. Dave fought hard against Andrews by playing the “Dragon variation” of the Sicilian defence, but had to contend with the dragon being slayed. By move 20 he was a rook and two pawns down now finding his uncastled king being attacked by all of white's well placed army - the end came quickly.

    Board 4 - Luke Sullivan v Roy Smith. On form Luke played well from the start and by move 20 both players were about equal. Then during the middle game Luke gained the advantage with some good exchanges, the end game saw Smith with a lone knight against Luke's powerful long range bishop, Luke remembered the old adage about pushing pawns with 2 beautifully connected passed ones, Smith had no other choice but to lay his king on its side and shake hands with his very pleased opponent, well played again Luke.

    A fair result against a strong team Thanks to all for playing and well done. Cath's fact of the day - It's too early for the captain to be playing Jingle Bells in his pocket.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    A fair result against a strong team Thanks to all for playing and well done.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    09/11/2016 Boldmere v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

    Rugeley travelled to Boldmere in the Cannock div 3 league.

    Board 1 - Arthur Kent v Bill Hulley. Bill played the “French” in reply to his opponent’s e.4, but in watching the game on board 2, found that Bob had to face the French in reverse. Bill's play soon had Arthur Kent in trouble, with some powerful open files and well placed minor pieces, Bill controlled much of the game to give “mate” in less than the 30 move time control. Well played Bill.

    Board 2 - Gordon Barron v Bob Edgar. Bob has been improving of late, and held his higher graded opponent to a draw. Well Played Bob.

    Board 3 - Stuart Wood v Dave Hadley. Dave was out-graded by some 25 points, so fought hard with a player who seemed to have taken much of his time on the early moves. Dave only used 20 minutes in total to mate his opponent and add to a winning team.

    Board 4 - Geoff Harman v Luke Sullivan Luke, as often with youth, set out with all guns blazing, going a piece up on move 20 but seemed reluctant to exchange material to win the game. Harman offered a draw close to the time control but with an extra piece Luke declined, going on to win without too much trouble after 32 moves. Well done Luke another fine win for Rugeley.

    Mike's fact of the day - Arthur Kent used to play for Rugeley some years ago before moving to Sutton Coldfield.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    25/10/2016 Rugeley v Mercia A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We welcomed Mercia to Lea Hall, they had their big guns out on the top boards, and were definitely up for grabbing at least a point, but we had our strongest team out too, and so battle commenced.

    Board 3 Patrick Waller v John Phillips. Patrick played his Sicillian dragon opening, however it all seemed to be locked up and drawish after the 17th move and so a very prompt draw was agreed. With his opponent almost 20 grading points higher, a draw was a rather welcome outcome.

    Board 4 Rob Fell v Derek Perks. Rob promised me to seek revenge for my absolutely appalling game last time I played Derek, and Rob carved his king wide open with a very impressive attack, it was beautiful to watch from a Rugeley perspective, and the captain was starting to smile once Rob won.

    Board 1 Bill Hulley v Peter Thompson. Bill seemed to struggle from the offset, and was a pawn down, with little signs of counterplay. The 30 grading point advantage was a little too great this time round and Bill conceded after a hard-fought game.

    Board 6 Bob Edgar v Barry Smith. Bob's game reminded me of Tony's final game in Scarborough, all the pawns were locked up in a 'w' formation, with little opportunity for either player to penetrate behind enemy walls, a draw was naturally agreed.

    Board 2 Matt Carr v Andrew McCumiskey. Matt was up against it with an uphill challenge to get anything out of this game. Yet sheer determination and fighting spirit made his opponent work, and Matt took it right to the end where he thought there might be a possibility of a forced draw but it wasn't to be this time.

    Board 5 Catherine Hiley v Ken Francis. I'm not convinced I played the Queen's Gambit well, and I was relieved to get out of the opening relatively unscathed. Once I had castled and had a bit of breathing space, my opponent missed a rather nasty attack on his queen which lost him a piece and from that point on I wasn't going to let go of that advantage. Ken lost on time in the end.

    Another tough drawn match, this is a very competitive division. Thanks to all who played.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    21-23/10/2016 Scarborough Chess Congress

    Three go to Scarborough.

    It was that time of year again, when Mike, Tony and myself made the substantial trip to Scarborough "for the craic". None of us had any aspirations to win any prize money, just to enjoy the adventure, go round in circles (courtesy of Mike's driving), and hopefully enjoy some good chess. We all had a good steady start to the congress, at the start of the final day, we were all in the running for some prize money. Tense? Absolutely! Did it go to the wire? You bet it did!

    If I won my last game, I was going to win 1st prize in the Minor, I played as well as I could but I was outplayed by a Junior who played well above his grade 121, I took home best overall female prize and a grading prize. Mike had a chance of going joint 3rd, and with a feisty endgame battle he was left with a knight and pawn, it was certain victory.. he couldn't.. no he wouldn't... (the rest of the language has been edited) STALEMATE! Mike still went home with a grading prize for his 3.5/5 effort.

    It was all down to Tony, he'd had a gruelling last match and this was proving to be another match of epic proportions. Tony was on top, his pawn structure had made his opponents king obsolete, there was no way through. However Tony was feeling under considerable time pressure and tried to force the wrong side of the board with his pawns, which ultimately resulted in a draw. With an impressive 4/5 under his belt Tony walked away with joint 3rd prize. It was a successful and memorable congress, we hope to return next year.

    Catherine Hiley, (on behalf of the trio)

    13/10/2016 Tamworth v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

    Rugeley travelled to Tamworth for the first game of the new season in the Cannock div 3 league.

    Board 1 - Simon Walton v Bill Hulley. Bill’s game started slowly with both players building up a good position. With castling on opposite wings, the gloves were off. Bill did seem to have better attacking chances with an open file against the black king a win was on the cards for Bill, however just prior to the time control a surprise draw was agreed. Well played Bill.

    Board 2 - Peter Oliver v Bob Edgar. Bob told me his game was a good battle after coming out of the opening with a few problems. Thinking that he had a lost game on his hands, he moved up a gear to get back into things, as the last to finish the whole board was locked up with pawns with no scope for rooks or bishops so another draw was agreed. Well Played Bob.

    Board 3 - Chris Harrington v Mike Page. With the white pieces I played e4 and after 3 moves the opportunity arose to play the “Fried Liver” attack, well how could I not play it? My opponent, after a long think, accepted my sacrificial knight With a wry smile “He must know this line well I thought to myself. And yes the next few moves were all as the book gives as best, Black's king was in the middle of the board surrounded by white's army, then his offer to exchange queens would leave me a piece down this is not good I told myself, at this point I had a long think and found a knight move that after he took my queen I won a bishop with check and then exchanged his last bishop with check again before taking his queen, The stage was now set with two powerful Bishops against two knights the extra power of the bishops won two pawns and with the rooks produced a “mating net” After my opponent resigned he said the game was a real “Stonker” he really enjoyed the battle and thanked me for it.

    Board 4 - David Smith v Tony Meakin. Tony had a 50 point advantage with the grade but gradings can be deceptive after twenty moves all seemed equal then Tony had a “Bobby Fischer moment” he played a rook sacrifice that could not, and was not accepted but laid white's king wide open move after move. Tony played like a demon more “sacs” followed forcing Smith's resignation. Well played Tony.

    So will we again be top of the table this year? Thanks to all for playing and well done.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    6/10/2016 Lichfield C v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    Our first away match of the 2016-17 season was at Lichfield, and with grades reasonably matched, we felt that we had to gain at least a point.

    Board 4 Peter Willett v Catherine Hiley. The Rugeley captain was feeling a little low on confidence, and the game that transpired left little to gain on either side, a draw was quickly concluded.

    Board 1 Bernard Baptiste v Bill Hulley. Bill looked to be in trouble, but this is a good example of perseverance and a bit of good old fashioned luck.

    Board 5 David Fone v Gordon Attwell. Gordon was the exchange down but with a little stoic play, made it very difficult for his opponent to gain any advantage, and indeed a valuable draw resulted.

    Board 3 Yuriy Slobodyuk v Rob Fell. This was a fascinating game, it looked at first as though the Lichfield player had the upper hand, but the counterplay from Rob was aggressive and decisive, with a queen, rook and knight bearing down on black's king. It was a cagey end-game but the ultimate victor was Rob, well played!.

    Board 2 Jamie O'Donovan v Patrick Waller. This looked evenly balanced throughout, but the game was poised with white having a slightly advanced position, with 6 pawns and a rook each, the draw looked likely. Patrick defended as well as he could, but his opponent had the better placed king which won the game. An unfortunate defeat for Rugeley's board 2.

    Board 6 Kevin Gallagher v Tony Meakin. This game was closed and painful to watch, with central play gridlocked the only action was down either flank. I think Tony tired towards the end, and had a lapse of concentration which lost him the game.

    Another tough match. This season is proving to be quiet a challenge, thanks to all who played.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    03/10/2016 Club withdrawal

    It has come to my attention that St George's have withdrawn from the league due to lack of available players, this really is sad news for the local chess community. Although there is a thriving internet chess scene, it doesn't really compare to playing a real player over the board.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    13/9/2016 Rugeley v Rushall A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    Our first match of the 2016-17 season started with a bang. Quite literally, the heavens opened and the Midlands witnessed an almighty thunderstorm, yet this didn't deter Rushall from playing.

    Board 2 Rob Fell v Steve Wilcox. This game never started for Rob, struggled to have any counter-play. His opponent can be formidable and tonight was no exception, Rob resigned.

    Board 6 Mike Page v Shane Cooksey. This familiar pairing always leads to an interesting match, Mike looked to have more space yet couldn't seem to capitalize on it. Shane played well and got his knight on a dominant square, and the end was nigh for Mike.

    Board 5 Tony Meakin v Keith Butler. Tony looked rather comfortable in his game despite forgetting he had a match on tonight, he held his position and offered a draw which was accepted.

    Board 4 Bob Edgar v Alexander Jarvis. Bob dominated this game throughout, yet the young opponent forced Bob to think, eating away precious time, there was a point where Bob either needed to defend some advancing pawns or play a little more aggressively, he took the former approach and regretted it.

    Board 1 Matt Carr v Manpreet Sangha. This was always going to be a tough challenge for Matt, and battled hard to stay in the game. Matt gave it his best shot (as usual) but had to admit defeat by a higher-graded opponent in the end.

    Board 3 Catherine Hiley v Rich Wiltshir. My game wasn't dissimilar to Mike's, in that I had all the space, but couldn't seem to get an attack going. I managed to break down white's king-side defence, but at a timely expense, and with 14 seconds remaining, I blundered away my queen and resigned before my opponent managed to capture her.

    A really tough debut match, where we were out-graded on every board by 20 or more points on 5/6 boards. Still Rushall had to play well to get those points, it was closer than the result suggests.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    04/08/2016 Club Championship tournament

    The Club Championship has got off to a fast start this year with half of the pool games already played in Group A and several in Group B. The draw, results so far and rules can be found here. Some of the games have been very interesting and five of them can be played through from the Games tab. Particularly notable was Luke Sullivan's win over Matt Carr. There is still all to play for in both groups and, hopefully, quite a few more games will be played before the league season starts next month.

    Patrick Waller, Club Championship Tournament Controller

    31/05/2016 End of Season blitz tournament

    Matt Carr again organised another blitz tournament which was an all-play-all 9 round Swiss tournament. The time control was 3 minutes with a 2 seconds increment, which was a new experience for the majority of the club members.
    Typically, there were many blunders, illegal moves, and frantic mayhem, it really did live up to expectations. Congratulations to Rob Fell who won the tournament and Matt Carr as runner-up and our heart-felt appreciation for running the event.

    For the results table chess results

    Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

    19/5/2016 Wolverhampton & District Chess League AGM

    Rugeley chess club was represented by Matt Carr and Catherine Hiley. Both proposals to reduce the leagues cash surplus by rebating each club £5 per team per season and that a fund of upto £750 to assist school chess or new comunity based chess initiatives were carried. Also in Rule 13. to be added.. If both teams agree before the start of the match, and sufficient digital clocks are available, all moves in 75 minutes with an increment of 10 seconds for each move made. There was also some discussion about the ECF announcing that clubs needed to comply with the ECF safeguarding children policy, and because it was a little vague it was agreed that the committee will decide on how to advise further.

    Catherine Hiley

    10/5/2016 Cannock League AGM

    Unfortunately this could not be attended by any of our members, but Matt Carr has the trophy.

    Main points are that there will be 4 divisions - Div 1 with total team grading less than 641; Div 2 with total team grading less than 551; Div 3 with total team grading less than 461; Div 4 with total team grading less than 371. •Where teams are tied at the top of a league, the winners will be determined on the following basis - (i) result(s) of the match(es) between those teams; (ii) games difference (i.e. games won minus games lost as per goal difference); (iii) the greatest grading profit in the match(es) between the teams (i.e. the team with the lowest grading total will be declared the winners.) [N.B. This has been brought in because of the tie this year between Rushall and Lichfield in Div.2, which would have gone to (iii) to decide] •Drawn matches in the Chase Trophy will be decided as follows: (i) Board Count; (ii) Discounting of bottom board(s); (iii) if still tied (which would only happen if all four games were draws) the match will be awarded to the away side.

    Catherine Hiley

    10/5/2016 Rugeley chess club AGM

    Disappointingly few members turned up for the AGM this evening, still there were sufficient numbers to go ahead with the decision making. You will be pleased to learn that the subs remain as they were last year £25 which includes Lea Hall membership and bronze membership to the ECF. We are still going to field a team in the Cannock and Wolverhampton leagues and if you would like to enter the Club Championships then please in form the newly appointed Club Championship tournament contoller, Patrick Waller. Please see the Minutes for further details.

    Catherine Hiley

    3/5/2016 Club Championship Final

    Congratulations to Rob who beat Matt in a thrilling match to win the Championship Trophy for a third time.

    Catherine Hiley

    18/4/2016 St George's B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    Our last match of the 2015-16 season saw us being welcomed at St George's. I finally arrived after a 30 minute dash through Birmingham, their captain jokingly offered a draw 3-3 to finish off the season.

    Board 6 Phil Dyson v Tony Meakin. This game finished rather early in the evening, I thought a little prematurely, but Tony felt that the game had reached a drawn finish.

    Board 4 Mark Tallis v Patrick Waller. This game may be called the failed dragon perhaps, most of the attacking play was suitably quashed and the draw was a fair result.

    Board 3 Derek Stockhall v Gordon Attwell. An evenly matched pairing in this game, and after a flurry of initial swaps there was little manoeuvre for either side and a draw was agreed.

    Board 5 Roy Gough v Mike Page. Roy almost complained that Mike was very aggressive in his game, I replied "clearly not aggressive enough.. he only drew!". I'm sure there was no sack either, Mike must have been taking it easy.

    Board 2 John Lunn v Rob Fell. Rob had an interesting game, full of counter-threats. However after a few of his opponents crafty checks, Rob was material down, but credit to him, he didn't give up and battled on until there was no hope left.

    Board 1 Victor Osondu v Catherine Hiley. I was white, and played a cagey Sicillian advance, but I went on the defensive, and stayed defensive, for ages... perhaps months! I offered a draw at least x7 (even Fritz said it was a draw) and in the end, as the flag was beginning to tilt, I gave in.

    Thank you to all who made the journey. Hope to see you again for another season.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    15/3/2016 Rugeley v Stourbridge B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We were forced to rejig the normal order of play due to last minute work commitments of our board 1, so the captain stepped up to the mantle and previous preparations went out the window.

    Board 3 Rob Fell v Eric Horwell. Rob seemed to struggle throughout this game, but his opponent had used up significant amount of time, however it didn't cause much problem as Rob's queen was looking decidedly vulnerable. An inevitable onslaught ensued, meaning that Rob lost.

    Board 4 Patrick Waller v Paul Sharratt. Patrick is enjoying playing with fire and handling the dragon with success, feel free to look at the game and enjoy.

    Board 2 Matt Carr v John Foxall. It's safe to say that Matt enjoyed this game, it was poetry in motion, and he's shared the game for you to see.

    Board 1 Catherine Hiley v Dave Scriven. The Ruy Lopez opening, I quite like playing with this opening as black, and I felt pretty comfortable chasing Dave round the board with his rooks. Do I go a pawn up or is his weak central pawn poisoned? I took the bait and regretted it. C'est La Vie!

    Board 5 Mike Page v Ron Evans. Mike's game looked a lost cause, he was material down and there was a queen, rook and a passed pawn all bearing down on his king. Mike has this uncanny habit of getting out of trouble with counter mate threats, it worked a treat and got away with an unlikely draw.

    Board 6 Tony Meakin v Sam Bradley. Tony agreed to play at the last minute, and wanted a quick game this evening, he got the polar opposite. After a lengthy battle Tony managed to get a draw which secured a point for the team.

    Thank you to all who played. A fair result in the end. Safe in the 2nd division for another season.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    1/3/2016 Rugeley v Boldmere, Cannock Division 3

    Board 1 - Gordon Attwell v Arthur Kent. Two evenly matched players, soon had a good game going. All seemed equal, however with black's position, slowly getting better with each move the game concluded with Kent’s resignation.

    Board 2 - Tony Meakin v Sandy Wilson. With white, Tony played a cautious steady game building up to a good position. His well seasoned opponent, played confidently, and after agreeing to Tony's offer of a draw, the half point helped to gain the win for Rugeley.

    Board 3 - Mike Page v Kevin Spillane. Mike, with the black pieces, faced a well known line in the Ruy Lopez and seemed to be equal for most of the early part of the game. However, white played an unexpected rook move gaining a bishop and knight for his Rook and pawn, with an open King as a target. Black was defending for much of the game, but with his time running out black was still able to counter White's many mate threats. The game concluded with a Black pawn promotion and mate however white had mate on his next move also, so a real cracker of a game with a worthy winner in Kevin Spillane.

    Board 4 - Bob Edgar v Colin Thomas. Bob said this game was not too hard to win, his opponent grade being only 63. Thomas lost a knight around move 18, so Bob soon exchanged to gain a good win for the club and a big smile on his face, well done to all.

    Thanks to all who played. Just out of interest Boldmere’s board 1 player Arthur Kent used to play for Rugeley around 1990 before moving to Sutton Coldfield.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    29/2/2016 Rushall A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We were anticipating a tough match against the 2nd placed team in the division, however, the home team played a weakened side. Grading-wise we were evenly matched and so in the arctic conditions we battled.

    Board 3 Peter Leary v Rob Fell. Rob was feeling quietly confident about his game and it did look to be his familiar sort of game. Yet Peter managed to force his pawn into a queen and Rob's counter-attacking play, although looked promising, couldn't withstand the might of 2 queens on the board.

    Board 6 Alan Cross v Tony Meakin. I looked at Tony's game and thought he had all the space, and better pawn structure. Tony's natural game is fairly pawn-dominated, and he will be disappointed to have weakened his position by advancing his infantrymen. Tony in his own words "crumpled like a crisp packet!".

    Board 2 John Grant v Catherine Hiley. In recent years John hasn't lost to Rugeley including Dave Amour, so I had quite a game on my hands, it was an interesting open game. I was surprised that it ended in a draw by repetition.

    Board 5 Devan Patel v Mike Page. Mike was a piece down in spectacular style, and a loss looked on the cards against the youngster. We were already 2.5-0.5 down at this stage, and Mike fought on to gain an unlikely blistering attack and somehow managed to mate his opponent.

    Board 4 Alexander Jarvis v Patrick Waller. This was another rollercoaster of a game, Patrick seemed to be comfortable, and then the teenager looked to be in total control, but under significant time pressure. Patrick just needed to hold on, it was a tense rook and pawn endgame, and Patrick's king was much more dominant. There seemed to be passed pawns aplenty, but Patrick managed to win on time just before queening an inexhaustable pawn.

    Board 1 Steve Wilcox v Matt Carr. You never know what game you're going to get with Steve, but this was an epic affair. Matt was pretty dominant throughout, being the exchange up, but Matt was struggling on time and Steve wasn't going to make it easy. Indeed Matt's blood pressure almost audible, he played the last five minutes so quick I struggled to notate for him. Instinctive end-game play saw victory for Matt and consequently the team.

    Thank you to all who played especially Tony who agreed to play at short notice. We were fortunate to win, but as we all know, it's not over until that flag has fallen, it was a splendid comeback display.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    16/2/2016 Rugeley v Walsall Kipping B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    With a few of our main players missing and our current league position we knew the importance of recovering maximum points from this game, so into battle we commenced once more!

    Board 1 Bill Hulley v Lukasz Marcin Walijewski. This was an unusually quiet game with barely a murmur coming from the board apart from a baby crying! That’s right – Bill had only forgot that he was babysitting that night hence the empty seat so it was a quick 1-0 loss to the Rugeley.. .

    Board 2 Rob Fell v David Friend. My game started off really exciting with both players on the attack from the offset. Somehow the position got locked up in the middle game with no room to breakthrough and a stone wall draw was quickly agreed. Alan Dobson would have been proud.

    Board 3 Gordon Attwell v Richard Wilkinson. Another game where both players were playing solidly not giving an inch. When games are as tight as this sometimes players are reluctant forcing the issue with detriment to their own position so an agreed draw was always the likely outcome.

    Board 4 Patrick Waller v Mrs Doreen Anderton. Patrick to his relief at playing white abandoned all notions of playing the “dreaded French” and quickly ended up against the Sicilian dragon. Playing the dragon he was able to carve out opportunity after opportunity which was too much for his opponent and she was duly slain. Arise Sir Patrick!

    Board 5 Mike Page v Robert Bye. At first Mike was delighted that he had got a “bye” but then soon came down to earth when he realised he had to play a game after all. Up against the “fried liver” Mike was feeling hungry and dispatched his opponent with minimum fuss.

    Board 6 Bob Edgar v Mel James. Bob was enjoying his game and near the end of the match he was content on promoting pawn after pawn – his opponent did the honourable thing before there was 3 white queens on the board!.

    Thank you to all who played and to Cath for making me “stand-in” captain.

    Further to this game, the league secretary noted that Mel James is not a registered player in WDCL, and therefore breaching the rules. This has yet to be confirmed, but shouldn't affect the game being graded, or the result of the match. However his name may not be published on the WDCL website.

    Rob Fell,(Stand-in Capt) Wolverhampton League Division 2

    02/2/2016 Rugeley v Boldmere St Michaels, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The writing was on the wall, as our 2 top boards were unable to play meaning that everyone had a very hard match. Our opponent's 5th board was higher graded than Rugeley's top board!

    Board 2 Rob Fell v Keith Thomas. Rob struggled from the opening in this game, they seemed to play rather quickly. Unfortunately Rob was feeling the heat as he lost a piece early on, and then managed to lose another piece, but opened up his opponent's King. Rob was unsuccessful with his last ditch attempt to find an unlikely win.

    Board 4 Mike Page v Michael Harrington. The two Mike's battled it out in a fairly balanced game. However it came to a conclusion when Mike having taken the opposition, found himself in zugzwang, consequently having to retreat his dominant king. The advantage then switched in favour of the Boldmere player, and there it stayed.

    Board 5 Tony Meakin v Mike Biddle. Tony was outgraded by 23 points, but he wasn't out-played. Tony stook to his plan and played to his strengths, and having had a recent wobble in form managed to get a draw from the game.

    Board 3 Gordon Attwell v Malcolm Phipps. This looked a very even game throughout, and it looked as though a draw was definitely achievable, however, Gordon missed the chance and lost the game.

    Board 6 Bob Edgar v Arthur Kent. Bob had a tough game, and thought long and hard about his moves, proving to be in serious time trouble towards his 31st move (only had 10 minutes left) and therefore missed a couple of winning combinations. The time was a big pressure and was the factor that lost him the game.

    Board 1 Tony Hickey v Catherine Hiley. This was a very interesting game, quite open, and I felt I had the better play, in fact I was disappointed to draw. Feel free to draw your own conclusion.

    Thanks to all who played, it was a tough match, it's a pity the result doesn't reflect how well we fought.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    21/1/2016 Lichfield v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

    Board 1 - Bernard Baptiste v Catherine Hiley. The game went to full time and despite Catherine having 2 passed pawns she couldn't force the win with opposite coloured bishops, and so a draw was agreed after a hard fought game.

    Board 2 - Arthur Hall v Tony Meakin. Tony, with black, was in good form for his game with Arthur Hall but after losing said he was suffering from "Blackitis" as he has lost his last few games as black but Tony, as ever, will soon get back to winning ways.

    Board 3 - Fred Biles v Mike Page. With a combined age of over 150 the battle was all about who made the first mistake. Biles played the Sicilian against Mike's e4 and after 15 moves seemed to have the better game. Mike's king was attacked by 4 of Biles men and it cried out for a piece sacrifice but the "sac" did not come and white, in defending, went a rook up leading to a queen exchange and an won end game.

    Board 4 - Brian Jones v Bob Edgar. Bob was "gifted" a knight on move 4 so always had the advantage. Jones played on, giving Bob a long tough game, but the extra piece made itself known in the ending and Bob was a worthy winner and says he is enjoying his chess.

    Thanks to all who played.

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    14/1/2016 Tamworth v Rugeley, Chase Cup Trophy, Semi-finals

    Board 1 - Pat Kelly (137) v Bill Hulley. Bill had settled into a lovely king-sided attack from the start. His opponent had trapped his own bishop and king in the corner and was defending Bill's pawn onslaught. However there was the Page phenomenon, ie; where Bill unexpectedly sacked his rook in an unsound manner and consequently lost the game.

    Board 2 - Peter Oliver (125) v Catherine Hiley. I really did have a lucky escape in the end where time pressure actually worked in my favour this time and Peter missed trapping my queen, I was so relieved I offered a draw and it was accepted.

    Board 3 - Peter McConnell (120) v Tony Meakin. Tony worked hard to gain an advantage in this game, it was all pawn strategy.. but his opponent was more than capable of thwarting off any attack, and a draw was declared.

    Board 4 - John Howlett (116) v Bob Edgar. Bob put up a splendid defensive display and took it all the way to a rook and pawn end game. Neither player could get a solid advantage and therefore a draw was agreed.

    Thanks to all who played.

    Catherine Hiley, (on behalf of Tony Meakin, Captain)

    12/1/2016 Rugeley v Bushbury B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The first match of 2016, saw us welcoming Bushbury to our venue, I had high expectations as we out-graded them on every board.

    Board 2 Catherine Hiley v John Button. It was a strange, transposed French exchange opening. I felt quite at ease, but John kept exchanging pieces at every given opportunity leaving me with an isolated central pawn to attack. He had little choice but to go for a draw and achieved this by repetition.

    Board 3 Rob Fell v Adrian Lissamore. Rob had a big time advantage in his game, clearly making Adrian think over the position. The ending was one of advanced pawns and Rob was unstoppable, Adrian resigned before the inevitable pawn promotion was achieved.

    Board 1 Bill Hulley v Phil Staley. Phil played the English opening and clearly played a solid opening. Bill may have had the advantage but played quite cautiously, and a draw was agreed.

    Board 4 Gordon Attwell v Jeremy Whitehead. This looked even-stevens all the way, and with Gordon's latest run of form, was happy to take the draw.

    Board 5 Mike Page v Simon Jones. Simon had told us prior to the match that he had beaten Mike recently in the Derby league. Mike took a lot of pleasure in getting his revenge, advancing his pawns with gusto. Joy to watch!

    Board 6 Tony Meakin v Paul Guy. Tony managed to trap his opponent's knight, and apply enough pressure to eventually win the piece. With material up, Tony kept up the pressure to secure a well-played victory.

    Thanks to all who played, hopefully our first win won't be our last of the season.

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    5/1/2016 Bidgood Cup

    Congratulations to Tony who beat Peter Nixon (Walsall Kipping) to reach the semi-finals in the Bidgood competition.

    Catherine Hiley