Rugeley Chess Club

Old Club News From 2013

Old News from 2013

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10th December 2013 Rugeley's Christmas Rapidplay tournament

Matt was the arbiter and organiser for this annual club event, for added spice and adventure it was decided that we should have a timed handicapped system to even out the chance of winning the Champagne for further details see

The event was pure madness, and great fun, it ended up with Gordon and Dave at the head of the table with 5 points each however, the ultimate winner was decided to be Dave as he won their match. Congratulations Dave!
Special thanks to Matt for arranging another enjoyable evening.

Catherine Hiley 10th December 2013

3rd December 2013 Rugeley v Wolverhampton B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Rugeley played their last 2013 match without their captain.

Board 1 Dave Amour v Peter Pearson-Jones. Dave would be first to admit that he came out of the opening with a slightly inferior position and despite several attempts to get level during the middle game, sharp positional play by his opponent resulted in a rare defeat for Rugeleys number 1. The rest of us tremble in anticipation of next week's quick play! (gulp), hope he's on the beer!.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Philip Porter. Despite getting out of the opening in a very promising position and dictating play, after a few forced exchanges I found myself on the backfoot with all sorts of mate threats unveiling at will - a reluctant resignation by myself soon followed. Teeth were most definitely gnashing.

Board 3 Patrick Waller v Peter Griffith. There was no Wolves match on tonight thankfully so we welcomed Patrick back into the team. Patrick played a very positional Queen's gambit and despite feeling that he perhaps had the edge opted for a draw around the 25 moves mark - a solid display..

Board 4 - Matt Carr v Gordon Sands. Matt admitted that he would be up against it as he's always found his opponent to be one tough cookie! After starting with F3, Matt managed to draw the sting out of the game and managed to get into a potential perpetual check of which resulted in his opponent agreeing a draw - another solid display.

Board 5 - Steve Heath v Geoffrey Rosser. Steve was playing the wily ole fox known as Geoff, and despite his recent success found that he was getting a master class performance by his opponent. The end game resulted in a Queen against 2 Rooks & 2 Bishops and despite Steve battling on the end result of a defeat was inevitable. Talk about being outfoxed!.

Board 6 Gordon Attwell v Barry Lewis. Rugeley's new (bloke?) kid on the block played a very steady opening and managed to pull off a fantastic win when his opponent failed to see a checkmate in 2!

Thus the match finished 2-4 to the visitors, and Rugeley head off into Xmas licking their wounds. Our Captain can't return quick enough!.(Thanks Rob -ed)

Rob Fell (deputising capt), Wolverhampton League Division 2

15th October 2013 Dave Wightman (165) v Steve Heath (117), Rock Cup Round 1

Dave Wightman travelled to Rugeley with some trepidation, to open this year's assault on the Rock Cup, having gone out of the competition at the same stage last year. As a result, he was probably unnecessarily cautious in the opening, which led to a modest space and development advantage as white, but nothing concrete. As the middle game developed, black enjoyed attacking chances against the advanced white centre and sacrificed a pawn in order to build up a dangerous attack. With the white king still trapped in the centre, black centralised his rooks and then sacrificed a piece in order to break the position open. In the ensuing carnage, white was fortunate to emerge unmated and with a rook for bishop material advantage. The position remained complicated but, with time running out, black misplaced a rook and resigned immediately. However, the narrowness of the winning margin belied the theoretical grading differential in what was in reality a very closely fought game. Thanks to Steve for an excellent game and good luck in the Bidgood Cup.

Courtesy of Dave Wightman

28th November 2013 Catherine Hiley v Mike Groombridge, Rock Cup

After playing rather aggressively on Tuesday, I decided to be a little more patient, I knew the timing of the sack was important, and I think I need a new watch! The game will be uploaded soon, I lost a very won game, congrats to Mike he defended admirably.

Click here to view the game

Catherine Hiley

26th November 2013 Mike Groombridge v Catherine Hiley, Rock Cup

My first encounter playing WDCL's esteemed secretary, I had the better of the middle game and had Mike on the defensive, however I tried to force my way through and perhaps should have been a little more patient. It ended in a draw, and we play the rematch in 2 days time.

Catherine Hiley

26th November 2013 Rugeley v Sutton Coldfield, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley's first encounter with Sutton Coldfield in many years, an unpredictable match for both teams.

Board 1. Tony Meakin v Nigel Byrne. Tony played well tonight and managed to secure an impressive draw.

Board 2. Mike Page v Noel Brown. Mike had an enjoyable game, click on the link to view.

Board 3. Gordon Attwell v Michael Darlow. Gordon seemed to be comfortable throughout the game, and won.

Board 4. Conor Verschoyle v Des Green. Conor fought hard in this game and almost ran out of score sheet, however his opponent got the points.
Another win that helps us climb the table, thanks to all who played.

Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 captain

19th November 2013 Brewood A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Back to back games with Brewood albeit with slightly different teams, we were hoping to replicate last week's success.

Board 2 Roger Grainger v Rob Fell. This game was over quite quickly, and a draw was agreed.

Board 4 Mike Jarocki v Matt Carr. Matt was faced with the French, and unable to break through, again a draw was agreed.

Board 6 Stephen Micklewright v Gordon Attwell. This game started out even and ended even, Gordon played safe and secured half a point for the team.

Board 5 Mark Binfield v Steve Heath. Tony beat Mark last week, and Steve had every intention of doing the same, it was a game worth looking at.

Board 2 John Fenby v Catherine Hiley. The two captains battled it out, I had a strong, advanced central pawn which dominated the game, John had very limited development and paid the price for it.

Board 1 Derek Laight v Dave Amour. Dave was the exchange up in this game, but Derek played a decent end game and managed to salvage a draw.

A fantastic win that puts us top of the league, thanks to all who played.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

12th November 2013 Brewood v Rugeley, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley had a good side out tonight against Brewood.

Board 1. Mark Binfield v Tony Meakin. Tony won.

Board 2. Peter Crozet v Steve Heath. Steve won.

Board 3. David Blower v Mike Page. Mike won.

Board 4. Daniel Binfield v Rob Matthews. Rob won.

Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 captain

5th November 2013 Rugeley v Kidderminster, Wolverhampton League Division 2

We encountered a very strong Kidderminster team tonight, with their board 3 player normally on board 1, however Rugeley aren't usually intimidated.

Board 1 Dave Amour v Jim Friar. A hard fought game for Dave, after a holiday and his normal early start to the day. His opponent played a solid game and neither player had the advantage and therefore a draw was naturally concluded.

Board 4 Patrick Waller v Mark Riley. Patrick admitted struggling in this game, it was a battle to stay on level-terms, but Patrick is becoming the King of draws and didn't disappoint tonight.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Maurice Bissell. Again, out-graded, but not out-performed, Rob was equal to his counterpart and happily took a draw.

Board 5 Matt Carr v Tim Yates. Matt bouyed by recent performances, was aggressive and confident, however, his opponent wasn't going to give up, and managed to scale down the attack to a point where Matt reluctantly agreed a draw.

Board 6 Steve Heath v Clive Billinge. From the outside, this looked rather drawish, but Steve possibly had a king-side pawn thrust that may have been advantageous, but was never to find out as his opponent ran out of time to play his 36th move.

Board 3 Catherine Hiley v John Wrench. I never felt comfortable from the opening, always felt on the back foot, it was one of those painful games where I knew what he was going to do but did my best to pin him back, but running out of time, I made a deliberate piece sack to alleviate any pressure.. it didn't work but I knew the team had secured a draw.

Thanks to all who missed the fireworks outside to enjoy the entertainment in the warmth, an excellent team display.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

1st October 2013 Bushbury B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

We welcomed Bushbury to our first home game of the season and felt confident after the first match, however, Bushbury had a team mix up and not quite sure who the captain was, we were assured that their board 1 would arrive.. he didn't.

Board 3 Patrick Waller v Robert Brodie. Patrick looked to have the better game, but his opponent wasn't accepting any gambits and played solidly throughout, in the end it was a battle of open files and weak pawn opportunities, neither player really having an advantage and therefore a draw was agreed.

Board 2 Catherine Hiley v Dave Molineux. Only played 19 moves in a dodgy-looking Ruy Lopez opening, I seemed to have the central position but fair play to Dave who threw the kitchen sink at me, gave me food for thought with his thrusting knights looking down on my King. I did have an escape route but I really didn't like the counter-attacking play on my struggling defences. I accepted his offer of a draw, but Fritz said I should have played on. I'm not going to argue with Fritz.

Board 4 Matt Carr v Simon Jones. Matt had a slight advantage towards the end and may have benefitted from sacking his knight for a pawn, however it was a tough end game battle which ended in a draw.

Board 5 Steve Heath v Sam Bentham. Steve was playing Oxford University's ungraded chess captain, his spider senses told him that this wasn't going to be an easy game, and indeed he was right, struggling after going a piece down. Steve fought to the end but couldn't get back into the game and eventually lost.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Phil Staley. Rob was feeling confident coming into this game and possibly tried to force the game too early.. despite being material down .. Rob had a lovely attack with his Rook, queen and pawns all bearing down on a poorly defended King. However a slight miscalculation from Rob let Phil's bishop on an excellent diagonal which helped thwart any further mate threats and Rob's grasp of victory fell away.

Despite us out-grading Bushbury on every board and having board 1 default, they managed to show great resilience as they pulled off an unlikely win after the earlier confusion of who is actually turning up and for which board.

The team felt very disappointed, but onwards and upwards to our next victims... Lichfield.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

24th September 2013 Mercia A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Rugeley headed off to Mercia full of expectation on the first match of the season.

Board 5. David Webb v Matt Carr. Matt hasn't played many matches in recent months but his form wasn't compromised as he quickly beat his opponent, before I had managed to get beyond my 15th move.

Board 1. Peter Thompson v Dave Amour. Dave was in control from the off and played a steady annhilation which is becoming a familiar Dave trait.

Board 6. Alan Cox v Steve Heath. Steve looked to have a positional advantage in the middle game with beautiful bishop diagonals, however a draw was agreed.

Board 4. Ken Francis v Patrick Waller. There didn't look to be much play for either side in this game, however I concede that I usually think this about Patrick's games.. I wasn't disappointed as he secured a draw for the team.

Board 2. Derek Perks v Rob Fell. This was a good game to watch, especially for the Rugeley capt., Derek was threatening mate in 1, but Rob played it to perfection and won rather calmly.

Board 3. David Jeffs v Catherine Hiley. My opponent was fighting on till the bitter end, and after struggling from the 11th move valiantly carried on till the 46th, and reluctantly resigned.

Thanks to everyone who played, what a fantastic start to the season. One delighted captain.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

17th September 2013 Rugeley v Lichfield, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley didn't fare very well against Lichfield.

Board 1. Tony Meakin v Alan Frazer. Tony didn't appear to be struggling against his higher graded opponent, in fact, Alan was going to accept a draw, but decided fortuitously to decline and Alan went on to win .

Board 2. Mike Page v Arthur Hall. Mike started brightly and had a great position, with lots of threats but Arthur was more than competent to parry Mike's attack and it ended in a draw.

Board 3. Gordon Attwell v Gary Haime. I can only assume Gordon had a lapse in concentration when his defended Rook suddenly and unnecessarily became undefended, it was unfortunately a lost game from there.

Board 4. Conor Verschoyle v Stuart Andrews. Conor went for an aggressive looking Knight only to leave it to be taken once attacked, it could have resulted in a very open attack, Conor learned that he needs to tighten up his game.

Catherine Hiley, Cannock League Division 3

4th September 2013 Cannock v Rugeley, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley were looking for a win to start the new season.

Board 1. T. Nabbs v Tony Meakin .The Rugeley captain faced the Cannock newcomer. A little shocked by the grading, Tony knew this was going to be tough. Although white, Tony was reactive in the opening but played steadily and developed well. His opponent attacked down the flank but the Rugeley player remained secure. Mr Nabbs seemed to take a long time to find his moves and with time running out launched an attack but lost an exchange in the process but with only the Queen advanced Tony only found repeated checks to secure a draw.

Board 2. Matt Carr v Steve Heath. Steve later described this as “The Beautiful Game”. This really was close with having a more advanced position, but Steve developed well and maintained a secure position. With the game advancing evenly the Cannock player was running short of time and Steve in benevolent mood offered his opponent a draw.

Board 3. Craig Horobin v Mike Page. Another close game. In traditional style, Mike attacked at the expense of his pawns (and their structure) each time the Cannock player parried, but the pressure told and Craig could with stand no more. A strong start to the season for Mike.

Board 4. John Carr v David Hadley. Board 4 for Rugeley was the newcomer, the Cannock old boy, David Hadley. David stormed into a piece lead with a check to win a Bishop. The Cannock player did not give up and won his piece back and then went on to win more material and went into the end game a pawn and a piece ahead and the Rugeley player resigned.

Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 capt

27th August 2013 - Club Championships

Another game was played in Pool B of the club championship, and Tony was seeking revenge on Rob Fell, indeed Tony had the better of the opening and had Rob in all sorts of trouble. But Rob has experience when fighting his corner, and robbed Tony of a victory by forcing a draw by perpetual check. Really must have that game for the website guys!

Also got interest from Dave and Tony re the Bidgood Cup, I will be putting in a group application for the cup so please let me know by tomorrow if you want to enter.

Catherine Hiley 2nd September 2013

21st August 2013 - Club Championships

A couple more club championship games took place last night between Patrick v Rob M and Mike v Steve. Patrick and Steve both won so it looks like Patrick has his eye on a place in the final unless someone can stop him!

The championship standings fo far can be viewed here - do shout up if any of the scores are not up to date.

Dave Amour 21st August 2013

15th August 2013 - Rock and Bidgood Cup

A reminder to all that the entries for the Rock / Bidgood cups are needed by the end of September. The Rock Cup is an individual knock-out tournament, open to all registered members of clubs playing in the WDCL for the individual championship. Round 1 of the Rock Cup will be seeded, and first round losers are automatically entered for the Bidgood Cup.

The Rules and entry forms are displayed on the WDCL website or click here

Catherine Hiley 15th August 2013

14th August 2013 - Club Championships

Pool B took centre stage this evening with 2 matches taking place. Patrick eager to get his first game underway against Rob Fell, and Tony played Rob Matthews in a tense battle.

Patrick played the Kings Gambit against Rob , the game can be viewed here

It was a night that favoured the white pieces, an entertaining evening of chess was had by all.

Catherine Hiley 14th August 2013

6th August 2013 - Club Championships

With Conor and Matt looking like they may withdraw from the club championships due to lack of attendance/games played, Dave sealed his place in the final last night with a final win over Cath giving him a 100% record with 7 wins out of 7 games.

Conor and Matt are of course still welcome to play their games if they want to and can squeeze them in. Pool B needs some matches completing too so come on guys get the games in before the season starts and we get too busy!

The game between Dave and Cath can be viewed here (Sorry Cath)

Dave Amour 6th August 2013

30th July 2013 - Just one Match

Tonight saw a good turnout and just one club championship match between Dave and Mike. Mike got a very solid position out of the opening with the White pieces but went adrift with a few unforced errors which Dave was quick and grateful to capitalise on - just goes to show its sometimes not the great moves you play yourself, but rather the mistakes your opponent makes which decide the game.

The game can be viewed here

Dave Amour 30th July 2013

18th July 2013 - Farewell Summer League

Tonight was the last summer league match for us which was away at Wasall. We only had 3 players - Cath, Dave and Rob so had to default on board 4. With their top board being graded 106 though we were confident we could pull off our first Summer league win.

Dave won on board 1 with his second rook sacrifice this month but I think the heat got to Rob as somehow things went wrong and he ended up losing - oh well it happens to the best of us sometimes.

It was evidently a night to forget as the searing temperature also got to Cath who missed several opportunities to gain a victory but buckled under time pressure and threw away the game.

Dave Amour 18th July 2013

16th July 2013 - A trio of Club Championship Games

This evening saw three club championship games with white scorging 100% on all boards.

The games were as follows:

Dave Amour 16th July 2013

9th July 2013 - More Club Championship Games

This evening saw club championship games between Rob Matthews and Rob Fell and also betwen Dave Amour and Steve Heath

Rob Fell and Dave Amour both won. Championship standings can be seen here.

Otherwise it was a very quiet night with Mike having to go home with no one to play, come on guys please come down and give the club some support!

Dave Amour 9th July 2013

7th July 2013 - Sunday Training Session

The first chess training session took place on Sunday with a great attendance - more than many club nights in fact so thanks for everyone who turned up!

We looked at the Siciallian Dragon Yugoslav attack using a demo board and finished off with a team game on the big board playing a dragon with 9.Bc4. Black won which pleases me! I have input the game from memory so please correct me if I made a mistake.

We plan to do another session on Sunday 29th September which is Conor's birthday too. Not sure what topic to cover yet so let Dave know if you have any requests.

There will be no Andy Murray Wimbledon final to rush back for in the next session so we can take as long as we need next time.

The handout from the session cane be downloaded here.

Dave Amour 7th July 2013

2nd July 2013 Club Championship Results

Two more games took place in Pool A, and Pool B kicked off with a match.

Mike played Steve in a gripping match, it went right down to the dying seconds, as Mike's dropped flag had gone unnoticed by Steve.. he just had 2 more moves to make before Mike was mated however Steve's flag dropped and cruelly had to accept a draw.

Cath played Dave, according to Dave, Cath played OK until the 12th move and then it all went horribly wrong as the dragon breathed its fire all over her king (metaphorically speaking). Dave murdered me, ah well.

Rob Fell beat Rob Matthews in a real mismatch of grades, Rob M fought well but eventually struggled with momentum and material down. Rob F claimed his first win of Pool B.

Cath Hiley 2nd July 2013

26th June 2013 The Wolverhampton fixtures are now available

The new fixtures can be seen here

Dave Amour 26th June 2013

25th June 2013 Rugeley v Rushall, Wolverhampton Summer League Division 2

Rugeley faced Rushall, who made themselves feel at home.

Board 4. Rob Matthews v Josh Hennion. Rob was a piece up early on but Josh seemed to gain it back again. However Rob had the better game, and played solidly at the end as his opponent ran out of time.
Board 2. Patrick Waller v John Grant. Patrick enjoys the French opening but he wasn't firing tonight, credit to his opponent who gained material and eventually the game point.
Board 3. Tony Meakin v Shane Cooksey. Tony was playing well, and looked to have a drawn game, but uncharacteristically for Tony he tried to force the position, and ended up losing the game.
Board 1. Dave Amour v Roger Threlfall. Dave played a very patient game, it paid off in the end as Dave had a good time and pawn advantage, resulting in a drawn team match.

A respectable draw, thanks to all who played and to Pete Broomhall for being so welcoming!

Catherine Hiley Wolverhampton Summer League Captain.

Cath Hiley 25th June 2013

18th June 2013 Club Championship Results

Two more games took place in Pool A

Steve played Cath in a tense encounter, Steve had the better opening but Cath managed to squeeze out of trouble and Steve took a risky exchange, to gain momemtum but with the queens forced off the board, Cath managed to win the endgame.
A slightly less tense game was played by Conor and Dave, it was never going to be easy for Conor, he managed to pass 20 moves before finally conceding victory.

Cath Hiley 18th June 2013

11th June 2013 Rugeley v Bushbury, Wolverhampton Summer League Division 2

Rugeley welcomed Bushbury to their mid summer league fixture hoping that the grading advantage would lead us to our first win.

Board 1. Dave Amour v Phil Staley. Phil was in good spirits, and managed to (quite speedily may I add) secure a draw from Dave.
Board 3. Patrick Waller v Robert Brodie. Patrick seemed to lack his usual solid performance, and missed his opponent's attacks, resulting in an inevitable loss.
Board 4. Mike Page v Simon Jones. Mike historically does very well against Simon, but Simon seemed to be in control in this match and doggedly won the game and indeed the match for Bushbury.
Board 2. Catherine Hiley v Adrian Lissamore. Feeling slightly wounded by the team's loss I felt determined to salvage some pride and battled to the end game where my pawn and bishop advantage held firm.

Regretfully we lost another match but hope to have a strong finish to the summer league. Catherine Hiley Wolverhampton Summer League Captain.

Cath Hiley 11th June 2013

6th June 2013 Wolverhampton A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton Summer League Division 2

Rugeley faced a strong Wolverhampton side in their second encounter of this years Summer league.

Board 1. Jonathon Hunt v Dave Amour. Dave was in control from the offset in this game, a dominant bishop, and precision placing of pieces helped gain victory on board 1.

Board 2. Peter Pearson-Jones v Catherine Hiley . I was the last to finish in quite an entertaining game full of twists and turns (AKA errors) after a hard fought middle game my attack seemed to disappear and fade, a draw was a fair result.
Board 3. Gordon G Sands v Mike Page. These two met in last years Summer League match, where Mike won. Tonight was a very different game as Mike seemed to be struggling very early on and didn't recover.

Board 4. Geoff Rosser v Tony Meakin. I didn't get to see this game much but I felt they were evenly matched, the next time I looked Tony had lost.
Unfortunately we narrowly lost this match to one of the divisions strongest graded teams.

Catherine Hiley Wolverhampton Summer League Captain.

Cath Hiley 6th June 2013

28th May 2013 Club Championship Result

The first new season of the club championship took place today between Steve and Dave in Pool A

Steve was white and played a steady solid game, but Dave is in good form and had the edge in the end cementing his first win towards that beautiful trophy.

Cath Hiley 28th May 2013

22nd May 2013 Cannock v Rugeley, Wolverhampton Summer League Division 2

Rugeley's first Summer League encounter was with their closest neighbours, with a familiar (almost famous) face on board 2.

Board 1. Ray Dolan v Dave Amour. Dave had this match under control, but credit to Ray for giving a good fight, however time pressure resulted in some hasty defending and Dave took the win.

Board 2. Matt Carr v Patrick Waller. Matt must have felt that this game was over very quickly after his recent world record attempt, indeed Matt squeezed in a beautiful attacking combination, which Patrick couldn't defend.

Board 3. Danny Torbica v Mike Page. Mike needed to win this game to salvage a match point, however Danny was playing well, and Mike looked to be struggling, I couldn't bear the tension.. I really don't know what happened to Danny, but Mike managed to find a win.

Board 4. John Carr v Rob Matthews. Rob stepped up to play, however there was a fatal opening error made, and having been a piece down there was no chance of turning it around.

The match was drawn, thanks to all who played. Special thanks to Patrick who stepped in as captain.

Catherine Hiley Wolverhampton Summer League Captain.

Cath Hiley 22nd May 2013

15th May 2013 Rugeley's Matt Carr secures a new World Record

Matt finished playing Fraser Greenroyd in a staggering 44 (yes FORTY four) hours and 2 minutes. The monumental achievement took place in Keele University Library. Matt was featured on Stoke Radio, he played 108 games. for further details see

Congratulations to Matt, Fraser and Glenn Harding who oversaw the whole event..Respect guys!

Cath Hiley 15th May 2013

14th May 2013 Rugeley's AGM

Mainly upbeat atmosphere around the club. Significant changes were to reinstate the Cannock League div 2 team after a year break, and to increase the subs to £22 (adults) £11 (juniors).

Cath Hiley 14th May 2013

8th May 2013 Wolverhampton Summer League

Please note the fixtures are now out, see the fixtures tab for details as the Walsall match has been rearranged.

7th May 2013 End Of Season Blitz Tournament

With several players available to play for a bottle of wine, and 2 eyeing up the Dairy Milk.. the 10 minute games started.

Games of note were between Rob F and Patrick, where Rob forgot his rook was en pris.. Patrick took full advantage and mated him.

Similarly Conor saw and took a mating opportunity against Mike who conceded his game only to find out it was salvageable.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening which led to Dave convincingly winning the prize, and Conor to bag the chocolate for some good positional play.

16th April 2013 Club Championship Result

Rob and I played the second leg of the Championship final, with the pressure firmly on Catherine to win, she tried to force it. With a sudden last throw of the dice decided to gamble and sack a bishop for an all out win. Rob calmly soaked it all up and claimed the trophy for a second year running. Well done Rob!

2nd April 2013 Club Championship Result

The winners of their respective pools start the battle for the trophy.

Rob drew white, and it's fair to say I had the better of the opening and by the 10th move I felt confident of a win with 2 pawns up, however, looking back at the game I should have had it sewn up completely and overlooked becoming a piece up.. not to worry, 15th move ... not to worry, 18th move Fritz says don't panic, I did!! 20th move I resigned.

I really should never have come away from that game without a win, but credit to Rob he made it entertaining. We have another game to play.

19th March 2013 Kidderminster B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Our final match of the season and the only thing to play for was pride.

Board 3. Tim Yates v Catherine Hiley. I was brimming with confidence, and looking forward to playing white. I gave away the exchange and struggled to regain control, there was little point in prolonging the agony and I resigned.

Board 2. David Close v Rob Fell. Rob was also looking forward to the game and played infinitely better than his captain, an early trap won a piece and a victory soon followed.

Board 4. John Varilone v Patrick Waller. Patrick's game looked familiar and followed his current run of draws, as the closed position halted any active play.
Board 5. Clive Billinge v Steve Heath. Steve's game looked like a certain draw, but he uncharacteristically gave a knight away allowing his opponent an unexpected win.

Board 1. Mark Riley v Dave Amour. Dave was well prepared for this game, but went the exchange down, you can see the game for yourself on the 'games' tab.
Board 6. Terrance Pountney v Gordon Attwell. Gordon played well in this game and after giving his captain a tense 10 mins as he neared the first time limit, a well-deserved draw was agreed.

Thanks to all who made the long journey, and for making the season a success.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2 capt.

13th March 2013 Bushbury B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Our penultimate match and we were looking to pick up at least a point to secure our position in division 2.

Board 3. Alf Schroeder v Patrick Waller. This was very much a stonewall affair, and had a draw written all over it very early on.

Board 4. David Molineux v Steve Heath. Steve had a slight positional advantage but was running very short on time, and Steve's offer of a draw was rejected. David played quickly to keep up the time pressure on Steve, but as cool as you like, Steve found a sweet mate combination.

Board 5. William Pinfold v Mike Page. Mike must have been slightly unwell as there wasn't even a hint of a sack, his opponent's solid play led to Mike accepting a draw.
Board 6. Martin Thorpe v Rob Matthews. I didn't manage to see a lot of this game but Rob seemed to be coping well with the higher graded opponent, he certainly gave him plenty to think about as Martin lost on time on the 30th move, forgetting the time controls of 36 moves.

Board 1. Phil Staley v Dave Amour. This seemed to be a very one-sided game as Dave had black's pieces on the back rank with the king hemmed in, Dave just played a patient game. Leaving Phil with very limited options which ultimately led to a forced mate.

Board 2. John Button v Catherine Hiley. The match had already been won but that didn't distract me from a complex strategical rook, knight, queen and pawn combination, it looked a bit risky and my opponent was in time trouble, it had to work, and it did..he lost a rook, John resigned.

A very pleasing team result, couldn't really ask for more!

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2 capt.

26th February 2013 Rugeley v Boldmere St Michaels A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

It was an unusual line-up as the bottom 3 boards had only played 1 WDCL game all season, but they were all eager to play and set out to win.

Board 2. Rob Fell v Loxley Bennett. Rob played a solid opening and was more than a match for his opponent's early attack, Rob suffocated black's bishop and opened up beautiful lines for his own rook, a quick win for Rob.

Board 4. Matt Carr v Michael Harrington. Matt hadn't much match practice but that doesn't stop his fighting spirit and he went for the jugular one move too quick, it all ended rather disappointingly badly.

Board 1. Rob Matthews v Philip Jones. This was never going to be an easy game for Rob, as he was outgraded by over 50 points, but credit to Rob he stuck it through, and went down fighting all the way, couldn't have asked for more.

Board 4. Gordon Attwell v Sandy Wilson. I predicted this would be an interesting encounter, and indeed it was. Sandy had the advantage, but towards the end a few poor moves evened it up and a draw was accepted.

Board 6. Catherine Hiley v Mike Biddle. We had a poor opening game, a very complex middle and a satisfactory drawn result.

Board 5. Dave Amour v Andy Lake. Dave played solidly throughout, and had the upperhand in a closed Sicilian game, which culminated in a superior 2 pawn endgame which Dave won, saving the match.

Sincere thanks to all that played.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2 capt.

19th February 2013 Club Championship Result

Tony and Mike played their match in Pool A.

This was a match filled with twists and turns, I left thinking Tony had the advantage, but Mike fought hard and the inevitable sacking of the rook (Mike's speciality) was served up to Tony with devastating results.. Mike won.

The result makes no difference to the final but Mike needs a few grading points.
Another match of note was Steve Heath playing Peter Nixon in the semi-final of the Bidgood cup. Unfortunately Steve got hit by a sucker punch, it was a good game but Steve eventually lost on time. There's always next year!

18th February 2013 Rushall v Rugeley, Cannock League Division 3

The evening started badly. Rob turned up to pick up Tony and... No Mike! A phone call later Mike had forgotten. Finally arriving at the venue ten minutes late, a text from Steve, he was lost and turned up a further ten minutes later. Then at last Mike arrived losing 30 minutes from his clock. All players now under time pressure the match began.
Board 1. Roger Threllfall v Steve Heath. Recent form made Steve the natural board 1. Steve began steadily and in the main they seemed pretty even. However, the home player managed to push a pawn which won a piece and from then on it was an uphill battle.

Board 2. David Jarvis v Tony Meakin. A steady start by both players. The Rushall player played the Stonewall opening which gave him a weak kings pawn. Tony created an advantage and both players attacked. The endgame came with Tony one pawn ahead however with time running short and both rooks restricting the kings involvement a draw was agreed.

Board 3. Alexander Jarvis v Mike Page. With 30 minutes missing from his clock Mike was always going to attack. Mike did attack with everything but the kitchen sink and sacked a piece to draw out the king. Mike completely dominated the game but his opponent didn't crumble and before he could drive in the final nail the flag dropped.

Board 4. Josh Hennion v Rob Matthews. A regular matchup. Rob had not had the best of previous encounters. Rob managed to win the exchange and created a passed Rook's pawn which he advanced but didn't promote. In giving his opponent so many things to think about, time was eventually up for the Rushall captain and Rob came away with a deserved win.
Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 capt.

13th February 2013 Kidderminster B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Unfortunately with Dave and myself off sick I couldn't get a full team together for tonights match, therefore it was agreed to be postponed.

12th February 2013 Club Championship Result

Rob and Patrick played their 2nd leg of Pool A.

Patrick played quite cautiously, allowing Rob to control the centre with his pawns. The pawns got swapped off which opened the game up but each threat was cancelled out and the game ended in a draw.
This draw was all Rob needed to proceed into another final with Catherine.

5th February 2013 Club Championship Results

Tony and Patrick played their 1st leg of Pool A.

I was late observing this match, but Tony looked happier than Patrick about the draw it keeps Patrick's hopes of reaching the final alive but he needs to win all of his next games.
In Pool B Catherine played Conor in a game to forget, Conor's concentration wasn't at its best and a swift win for Catherine ensured her place in the final.

29th January 2013 Rugeley v Stourbridge A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

We faced strong opposition with our best possible team, and prepared for a tough match.

Board 6. Steve Heath v Heather Kirkby. Steve had the upperhand throughout this game and beat his opponent with conviction, just the start we were hoping for.
Board 2. Dave Amour v Jeremy Fallowfield. Dave had a tough game, but didn't make it easy for his the end the grade difference was just too much for Dave.

Board 1. Rob Fell v Nicholas Fallowfield. Again it was a tough game for Rob, unsurprisingly it was a slow, calculated, crush from the higher graded Stourbridge player.

Board 4. Bill Hulley v Steve Jukes. The first game of the season for Bill, and he had the beating of Steve, just one slight misjudgement meant that Steve escaped defeat and got away with a draw.

Board 6. Patrick Waller v Colin Woodall. Patrick's excellent run of games came to a disappointing end tonight as he lost his first game in ages.
Board 5. Catherine Hiley v Dave Scriven. My game was full of errors but it kept the game exciting and more complex than it needed to be. Dave was tired at the end as we both scrambled to reach the first time constraint, unfortunately what proved to be a very enjoyable game ended in a blunder from Dave and gave me a great advantage. It went preliminary for adjudication, but Dave soon resigned as his position proved to be beyond salvation.

It proved to be as tough a match as we anticipated and the higher graded team won but we made them work for it.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2 capt.

23rd January 2013 Boldmere v Rugeley, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley were looking to bounce back from their latest defeat.
Board 1. Sandy Wilson v Steve Heath. Steve accepted the promotion to board 1 due to good form throughout the season. The two opponents seemed pretty well matched and Steve seemed to have greater space and opportunity, but there was no material difference only a huge time advantage for the Rugeley player. With no obvious way forward Steve agreed a good draw.

Board 2. Arthur Kent v Mike Page. Mike was renewing old acquaintancies with the old Rugeley player Arthur. Mike was clearly still under the influence of the christmas spirit and was in a generous mood as around move 10, Mike was the victim of a discovered check which revealed an attack on an undefended queen, and the lady was lost, and although Mike fought on for a while the game was lost too.

Board 3. Sam Duffield v Tony Meakin. Captain Tony started slowly being distracted by events on other boards. His opponent was given a strong centre and developed a Bishop to prevent the Rugeley player castling. Suddenly, Tony decided to attack the centre and his opponents defence crumbled under the better developed pieces.

Board 4. Malcolm Carrington v Conor Verschoyle. Conor played some good moves early on attacking an undefended Bishop which his opponent failed to notice. But Conor failed to capitalise instead moving a pawn in front of the castled King which proved to be his undoing.

We hope to have a better result in the next match.

Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 capt.

22nd January 2013 Club Championship Result

Tony and Rob played their 2nd leg of Pool A.

I wasn't around to observe this interesting match, Rob felt that Tony was definitely up for this one and felt lucky to get a draw, but a point was all he required to secure his place in the final.

16th January 2013 Boldmere St Michaels B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

We arrived in arctic conditions at our away venue, and the temperature outside wasn't much warmer.

Board 3. Dave Brelsforth v Patrick Waller. It was Patrick's first match since September, and has an impressive record of 16 consecutive undefeated games to date. It was an interesting, open game but quickly turned flat with cautious play. Patrick accepted the offer of a draw.

Board 2. Stephen Fryer v Catherine Hiley. I played solidly and I think the cold must have affected my opponent's concentration as he defended poorly, gifting me his queen after 20 moves.

Board 1. Sandy Wilson v Dave Amour. Sandy did himself no favours by playing slowly against Dave, putting himself under considerable time pressure, he failed to reach the time control, so Dave won with a comfortable board position.

Board 4. Peter Loach v Steve Heath. Steve was comfortable throughout the game and probably had the upperhand in the end game however I was suffering from hypothermia and was eager to finish the match, so Steve accepted the draw.

Board 6. A Kent v Tony Meakin. Tony played his favourite move B6, it proved to be his downfall as his game careered into a lost position, however, credit to Tony it lasted a lot longer than it should.

Board 5. Malcolm Phipps v Mike Page. Mike played quite well and looked to secure a draw, however a miscalculaton at a pivotal point in the end game resulted in Mike blundering away his knight.

A slightly disappointing draw in the end but its another point keeping us mid table.
Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2 capt.

8th January 2013 Rugeley v Rushall, Cannock League Division 3

Rugeley welcomed Rushall in Cannock league 3, for the first game in 2013.

Board 1. Tony Meakin v Steve Wilcox. Previous meetings between these has resulted in some dramatic finishes. This was a more placid affair. The away player hugely higher graded, started attacking from the off. However, a cheap check from the home captain resulted in the queens coming off and other pieces soon followed, with Tony's pieces more central.. the Rushall captain reluctantly accepted the draw.

Board 2. Mike Page v Keith Butler. Seems that both players decided to attack. Mike seemed to have more control and options in the game but his attack had a price and pawns were lost in the formation of the attack and when Mike failed to deliver the killer blow the material advantage was telling.

Board 3. Gordon Attwell v Joe Wilcox. A steady build up to this game saw both players develop well in the early exchanges. As the games developed, the Rushall player threatened Gordons major pieces on a regular basis, the preasure told and pawns were lost which was to be the difference in the end.

Board 4. Rob Matthews v Peter Greenwood. A close encounter. Both players were positive trying to make inrodes. In trying to attack and position pieces to enable an open contest, Rob lost control of pawns and there were casualties. This proved to be too much for Rob to defend against and the end was nigh.

We hope to have a better result in the next match.

Tony Meakin, Cannock League Division 3 capt.