Rugeley Chess Club

Old Club News From 2015

Old News from 2015

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22/12/2015 Christmas Blitz tournament

Rugeley held it's Christmas 6 round Swiss Tournament run admirably by our own 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 almost full club attendance with some notable new additions of John Carr and Luke Sullivan, to join in the chess festivities. We had enjoyed this system before and tonight was another feast of manic play, blunders, illegal moves and nail-biting end play.
All in all it was a lot of fun. Congratulations to Bob Edgar who won the tournament and Patrick Waller who nobly accepted 2nd place on grading difference, and Matt Carr for running the event.

For the results table

Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

01/12/2015 Brewood v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

Board 1 - Mark Keady v Tony Meakin. Tony on top board expected a hard game, he was outgraded by some 35 points. He played well and things were equal for the first 20 moves, then with some aggressive play by Keady, Tony lost a piece and resigned knowing to play on against a stronger player was pointless. Later asking how Tony felt playing on top board he said I was like Michael Caine at Rorkes Drift just waiting for the end to come.

Board 2 - Mark Binfield v Mike Page. A long hard game, went to the king and pawn ending. Things were close but the passed pawn won the point for Brewood.

Board 3 - Peter Crozet v Bob Edgar. The knights came out first in this battle, Bob seemed to have the advantage with a strong pawn chain deep into black's centre. After some piece exchanges a draw was agreed, Bob was happy to play and said he enjoyed the game.

Board 4 - Daniel Binfield v Dave Hadley. Young Binfield put up a good fight but Dave was winning for much of the game. However after some 40 moves, Dave made an error giving his opponent an easy win.

Thanks to all who played.

Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

24/11/2015 Mercia A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Last minute panic stations as our board 2 is unexpectedly unable to make it, so Mike heroically steps up to save us defaulting a board.

Board 3 John Phillips v Rob Fell. This looked to be a very entertaining game, very open and with counter-attacks abundant. If anything John's position looked more vulnerable, but after a carefully positioned rook move, all looked very precarious for Rob leading to a forced Queen for Rook exchange, it was an inevitable loss in the end.

Board 6 Chris Cox v Tony Meakin. Tony, again deciding to open up lines in front of his king. However neither side really got a hold on the game, despite much effort, this ended in a draw.

Board 5 Barry Smith v Mike Page. I'm afraid Barry's reputation for his chess "hem" was distracting for us all, yet Mike got a good attack going, and possibly could have won. However, a draw was accepted, and understandable after throwing away the game last week.

Board 1 Peter Thompson v Bill Hulley. Didn't get too much of a look at this game, but it looked rather drawish. Bill played on, and Peter's superior grade showed as he grabbed a win.

Board 4 Ken Francis v Gordon Attwell. Gordon was under pressure from the outset and continued to be throughout the game. Gordon isn't having the best of seasons and this game was no exception.

Board 2 Derek Perks v Catherine Hiley. One word can sum up my game.. "EMBARRASSING!!".

Thanks especially to Mike for stepping in at the very last minute, and to Tony for the driving. Better fortune hopefully is on its way.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

17/11/2015 Brewood A v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

The blustery storm of Barney wasn't enough to deter our ambitions of playing this match, we just hoped we wouldn't be blown away as we were out-graded on every board.

Board 4 John Fenby v Patrick Waller. Patrick was looking rather tired this evening, and was happy to take a quick agreed draw, there really wasn't much play in the game for either side so it was a fair result.

Board 3 Paul Wright v Rob Fell. Rob played a solid game, and his opponent made a mistake. Rob was the exchange up and looked menacing throughout the game, his opponent really had little comeback and was furious with himself, as he lost the game.

Board 5 Mike Jarocki v Mike Page. When I looked at Mike's game he was definitely material up and on the attack, I was fairly confident he was going to win. However, I hadn't really calculated the 'Page' phenomenon, (which, to those of you who don't know him) is to systematically give away 2 pieces for no reason, and lose.

Board 6 Paul Guest v Tony Meakin. Tony was kind enough to step up when called, not only that, he played with a beautiful aggressive style that had his opponent's king exposed, and in trouble. Minutes later I got the thumbs up from Tony.

Board 1 Matt Carr v Derek Laight. These two hadn't played before, and Matt was relishing the opportunity to take on the board 1 role, his game can be played out here, and wonderfully ended up in an unlikely draw as Derek got in serious time trouble.

Board 2 Mark Keady v Catherine Hiley. It has to be said, I did not enjoy this game one bit. I was immensely relieved that my team had at least got me the draw, which took the pressure off. Sadly time pressure took it's toll on me and I squandered a drawn position.

Thanks to all who braved the weather and the bus, I think we should have got all 3 points but I'm glad we broke our losing streak.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

10/11/2015 Rugeley v Sutton Coldfield, Cannock Division 3

Board 1 - Gordon Attwell v Noel Brown. Two evenly matched players, soon exchanged queens and minor pieces to leave a rook each, and pawns, Brown being a pawn up advanced his king deep into white's position. By placing his own rook on Attwell's second rank Gordon's king could not advance and just had to sit there and be passive, so after a long battle, the game concluded with Gordon's resignation.

Board 2 - Mike Page v Rob Marks. Mike, with white, had to face the Sicilian dragon, always a daunting prospect, but with an aggressive queen side castling move, managed to exchange blacks well-placed, powerful, fianchettoed, black bishop. Mike advanced his king side pawns, and with an open file for his rook, his queen and knight soon brought a look of anger to Mark's face. As the game continued an unexpected exchange rook "sacrifice" had black's king and queen forked by a well placed knight the ending came swiftly.

Board 3 - Bob Edgar v Blasej Radzimirski. Bob used the "French Defence" to face his younger opponent, and played a good steady game building up a better position with every move, the ending soon came. There was a very aggressive combo, perhaps winning, on move 14, however Bob proceeded with caution and recorded his first win for the club after his opponent fell for a trap. Well played Bob.

Board 4 - Dave Hadley v Des Green. With white, Dave played a cautious, steady game building up to a good position. His opponent, though out-graded, played confidently. Des agreed to Dave's offer of a draw, on the time control, the half point helped to gain the win for Rugeley.

Thanks to all who played.

Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

23-25/10/2015 Scarborough Congress

Four Rugeley members arrived for a weekend of chess at Scarborough, Matt brought 80 clocks, and we all brought hopes of success.

Matt and Catherine were in a tough intermediate section (U150), and Mike and Tony were in the 'pot luck' foundation section (U120) as you never quite know the playing strength of your opponent if they don't play club chess. Friday night saw success for Matt and Catherine, but they both lost their first games on Saturday. Unfortunately Matt had to unexpectedly withdraw from the congress on Sunday. Cath drew her third and fourth games and finished with a chaotic fried liver opening to complete a very pleasing 3/5. Mike and Tony had less favourable outcomes and finished on 2.5/5 for Mike, and 2/5 for Tony. Disappointed with the final stats but didn't let it ruin a good weekend.

Catherine Hiley

19/10/2015 Rushall v Rugeley, Cannock Division 3

Board 1 - Joe Wilcox v Matt Carr. Matt as white on top board had a tough game with the young Wilcox, dad Steve was keeping a keen eye on proceedings, Matt soon had a better position with an advanced pawn centre, dominating. He had the youngster on the ropes, he was given a choice as to resign or lose material, Joe with a firm handshake chose to resign, the first game to finish.

Board 2 - Keith Butler v Tony Meakin . After the game, Tony in angry mood said the game was “flat” and lacking in action. With the major pieces exchanged early all seemed equal, but Butler using the old adage “Passed pawns must be pushed” and managed to convert the game to a win after a long hard fought battle.

Board 3 - Shane Cooksey v Mike Page. When these two players last met, Cooksey won in convincing style, so this time Mike was out for revenge! With an early pawn sacrifice bringing black's queen out, it was open to attack by Mike's developing pieces. He always had the better position with queen,rook,and knight attacking black's “g” pawn, it cried out for a “sac” but somehow Cooksey came back and with material equal seemed to be winning. He had a very advanced “d” pawn but with nothing to lose, Mike gave up his only knight for a rook, giving him 3 passed pawns, one of which was first to queen when it was all over. A long hard game but as they say “revenge is sweet”.

Board 4 - Josh Hennion v Bob Edgar. New member of the club Bob played well for most of the game, very evenly matched, Bob had a “wall of pawns” moving forward with both kings vying for the opposition, Bob placed his knight 'on-pris', and Hennion was fortunate to win the game. Bob said he is enjoying his chess again after a 30 year break and is looking forward to getting back to winning ways as the season progresses.

Thanks to all who played.

Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

15/10/2015 Lichfield B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Away to one of our neighbouring clubs, I was disappointed to see that Lichfield had recruited Terry Nabbs (previously from Cannock), I was offered a consolatory coffee (it didn't help).

Board 2 John Keaveney v Matt Carr. Matt was looking OK throughout this game and then 2 hours later seemed to completely capitulate, Matt was upset with himself and went home.

Board 3 Mike Maher v Catherine Hiley. I was feeling confident about my game, I decided to castle queen side and hurtle my pawns up against his king. I missed his intuitive counter-attack, I thought it would amount to nothing but I quickly got into serious trouble and will try and learn from the error I made.

Board 6 Mike Hoare v Bob Edgar. I was watching Bob's game with interest, he fell for an opening trap and was quickly a piece down, but his direct play meant that his opponent had to fight hard for the win. Bob's first match was lost but he enjoyed the challenge.

Board 5 Gary Monks v Gordon Attwell. Gordon seemed to struggle against his opponent, he was up against it with Gary having a superior grade and conceded the game.

Board 1 Terry Nabbs v Bill Hulley. I thought Bill was at a positional disadvantage, having centrally double-isolated pawns, however in true Bill style, he managed to get into an end game that looked very neutral and Bill accepted the draw.

Board 4 Gary Monks v Rob Fell. Rob hasn't had a good run of form of late, but seemed to play his solid black opening. His opponent was in a lot of time trouble, in the end Gary had 5 minutes left and Rob had 30 minutes, Rob was able to outplay him in the end and won convincingly.

Thanks to all who played in this match, we hope for better fortune next match.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

06/10/2015 Rugeley v Wolverhampton A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Our first WDCL match of the season saw us host the recently relegated team from Div 1, which is never going to be an easy match as they strive to bounce back.

Board 4 Rob Fell v Frank Wood. Rob struggled with his queen opening tonight and seemed to strangle himself down the queen-side, he struggled on but Frank was relentless and managed to capture Rob's queen. It wasn't going to be Rob's night tonight.

Board 5 Patrick Waller v Philip Porter. Patrick played solidly throughout the game and gave his opponent little to attack, but in doing so it nullified the game and a draw was accepted, a very satisfactory result.

Board 6 Mike Page v Gordon Sands. Mike was playing his normal aggressive game and then decided to retreat. His caution, appeared to lose him the game, which is ironic for Mike as we're always telling him to play with more caution!

Board 2 Matt Carr v Phil Bull. Phil was well-prepared to face Matt, and played the Borg defence? Star trek anyone? Matt unfortunately miscalculated a combination and lost but assured me he hadn't been assimilated.

Board 1 Bill Hulley v Parminder Sanghera. Slightly outgraded by a mere 53 points, Bill played well, and got through the opening unscathed. However the grading difference showed as his opponent made that 1 pawn advantage count.

Board 3 Gordon Attwell v Peter Pearson Jones. This ended up being a game of epic proportions, with great play and mistakes in equal measure, Gordon felt that he should have beat his opponent, but at this stage of the match, the loss really didn't matter.

Thanks to all who played in this match, we were outgraded on every board, but we made them work hard for their victory.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

22/09/2015 Rugeley v Wolverhampton, Cannock Division 3

Rugeley welcomed Wolverhampton to the club.

Board 1 - Gordon Attwell v Geoff Rosser. Two well matched players quickly exchanged queens and rooks. So with bishops and knights and equal pawns, both kings came to the centre of the board, and nobody conceding any space, after a long game a draw was agreed.

Board 2 - Tony Meakin v Gordon Sands. A tough game for Tony with lots of action he seemed to have the advantage but with good end game play by Sands a draw was always the likely result.

Board 3 - Mike Page v Barry Lewis. With a well known Ruy Lopez start to the game all seemed well, but after a somewhat rash knight sacrifice (what a surprise! - ed) Mike found he was a piece down on move 10, so with nothing to gain by exchanging men, Mike played with renewed vigour pushing pawns in front of his king up the board with “gay abandon”, won the piece back and with both rooks and queen dominating the “F” file with a beautifully placed bishop won a further piece shattering whites defence around his king, so on move 36 Barry stopped the clock in a hopeless position.

Board 4 - David Hadley v John Dugmore. Again two players were very well matched from a grading point of view, a close game got underway. Dave was the first to attack with some good positional play, slowly built up a good strong chance of a win,it was a case of Dave’s two strong bishops on a clear board overcoming his opponent's knights. So after a long hard game at move 40 Dugmore resigned, well played Dave.

A final point.. Barry Lewis (when filling in the score card), asked if we had an away match on the same night? "No" I told him, he then said we did not seem to have a strong team out. I think he had a bit of a shock when the results were all in! Well done team!

Mike Page, Cannock Div 3 Captain

08/09/2015 Rugeley v Lichfield, Cannock Division 3

Rugeley's first game of the season started against local rivals, Lichfield. On paper it was looking to be a very close encounter.

Board 1 - Rob Fell v David Fone. Rob hadn't had much game play over the summer, and was disappointed to lose relatively quickly to David. Goes to show that there are no easy games in div 3.

Board 2 - Tony Meakin v Peter Willett. Back from his sunny holiday, Tony was looking bronzed and rested, thankfully the recharged batteries meant that he went a pawn up and kept the pressure on until he was significant material up resulting in a beautiful checkmate with the queen.

Board 3 - Dave Hadley v Stuart Andrews. Dave, playing black, accepted his opponents offer of a draw.

Board 4 - James Perks v Stuart Smitton. James debut match was a real grueller, having been a piece down early on, he fought hard to regain the piece back and eventually was a knight up, however he was under developed and this contributed to his opponent successfully counter-attacking, with lots of attention from the other chess players. It had been an intense and long game for James and although he had the advantage, he settled for a draw.

Many thanks to Rob for stepping in for Mike. Thanks to all who played, earning a well-deserved draw to start off the season.

Catherine Hiley, (Stand-in Captain)

08/07/2015 Cannock League AGM

Mike and Catherine attended this year's AGM. Cannock chess club is sadly no longer running. Everything else is staying the same.

The fixture lists and Calendar have been updated, please note that we are in division 3 Cannock League.

Catherine Hiley

21/05/2015 WDCL AGM

Catherine presided over proceedings in her final season, it has been an eventful year in the WDCL, and the AGM was typically opinionated, and thorough. The important bits can be summarised as: ECF fees will be increased Bronze £15, Silver £22, Gold £32. No increase in WDCL fees.

Matt was voted in as Vice President and was thanked for taking over the role as Grading Officer. The WDCL times have been increased to 30 moves in first 75 mins followed by 15 QP finish. Rugeley voted against the proposal. Steve Heath also got a mention for winning the WDCL website Christmas competition.

Catherine Hiley

19/05/2015 End of Season Blitz tournament

Rugeley held it's end of season Blitz Tournament. Matt Carr had planned the event, and had a 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 were some epic performances from Patrick who managed a mate with 2 seconds to spare, Tony managed to play an illegal move and in another game...check mate himself. I'm still reeling over my game with Matt, where I was a rook up, gave it away.. should have lost the game but the game was drawn as Matt lost on time and I had insufficient mating material.
The arbiter's lesson for the evening was not to take the King (which I did, after an illegal move) only for the arbiter to copy my error in a later game! All in all it was a lot of fun, and look forward to the next mad tournament. Congratulations to Mike Page who won the tournament, and Matt Carr for running the event.

For the results table

Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

27/04/2015 Rushall v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

Rugeley's final game of the season.

Board 1 - John Staniforth v Gordon Attwell. I knew that Gordon was in for a tough game when I saw who his opponent was and when I saw he was the exchange down I thought the result was a foregone conclusion. However Gordon continued in his usual unflappable manner. John checked with his rook and Gordon moved his king and next move skewered his opponents King and rook. Gordon went on to win against a very good player showing the value of persistence and being alive to tactical opportunities which can turn a game.

Board 2 - Rich Wilsher v Steve Heath. Rich managed to open the c file for his rooks to operate on . I thought I had managed to nullify this threat and offered a draw which was declined. I have to work on my mentality a little I often convince myself games are draws, from which my position becomes passive and lose able. Rich made a valid point never accept a draw if you can win a position or can learn something. However that said with the match won already for Rushall the spoils were shared between Mr Wilsher and myself.

Board 3 - Shane Cooksey v Mike Page. Mike and Shane have played many times over the years with Mike informing me that he was the victor more often than not. Sadly from a Rugeley perspective, not to be tonight. Shane managed to gain two connected passed pawns which were unstoppable as they headed towards promotion Mike resigned.

Board 4 - Keith Butler v Karl Blanks. On checking with Karl after this game he said he found it to be an extremely hard game struggling to calculate the possibilities within the the time parameters. With his opponent material up and still several moves to go to make time control Karl resigned. If its any consolation there's no easy games and we've all been there. Keep going.

Thank you to Rushall for their hospitality.

Steve Heath, (Stand-in Captain)

23/04/2015 Tamworth v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

Tamworth 3 Rugeley 1.

Board 1 - Simon Walton v Tony Meakin. Tony took the heat on board versus his 150 graded opponent. Tony played very solidly and his opponent was happy to take a draw. On speaking to Tony he felt comfortable throughout the game and believed he had a slight advantage but as time marched on a draw was accepted with the match result already being decided.

Board 2 - Peter Oliver v Gordon Attwell. Looking across in this game my first thought was I'm glad I'm not playing that for either side. Knight versus bishop ending with both players passing fifty moves and both in time trouble. Gordon struggled valiantly on but his opponent managed to push advance pawns on both sides of the board which eventually led to victory.

Board 3 - Patrick Kelly v Steve Heath. Having played Pat earlier I was looking forward to the rematch. Pat gained a obtained a nice attack with lots of potential which I thought I had nullified and offered a draw, which was declined. We played on and I managed to cement an extremely useful knight and prevent any further advance towards my monarch and a draw was agreed as we headed towards three fold repetition.

Board 4 - Peter McConnell v David Hadley. Dave considerably out graded lost a piece early on and struggled with his king uncastled and his opponents rooks marauding. Again, with Dave it is possible to see his potential but with such a gulf in grading he was always going to find it tough.

Many thanks to Tamworth for their hospitality and apologies for our slightly late arrival due to our infrequent visits.

Steve Heath, (Stand-in Captain)

14/04/2015 Rugeley v Sutton Coldfield. Cannock Division 2

Rugeley welcomed Sutton Coldfield.

Board 1 - Tony Meakin v Marek Sosynski. Boards 1 and 3 saw good draws by Tony and Mike against two very solid opponents.

Board 2 - Steve Heath v Nigel Byrne. Still with seven moves to make before time control and one minute left and with his opponent hoovering pawns Steve called a halt to the inevitable loss.

Board 3- Mike Page v Jan Chudzinski. Good draw

Board 4 - David Hadley v Ian Morley. Congratulations to Dave Hadley on his first league win. A strong bishop was the key to Dave's victory allowing his pawn to advance towards the eighth rank before his opponent succumbed to pressure of his attack.

Thank you to Sutton and those who played for Rugeley.

Steve Heath (Stand-in Captain)

24/03/2015 Alan Dobson

Rugeley Chess Club were saddened to hear the passing of a former club member Alan Dobson last year. Alan was a quiet man, but enjoyed helping teach the game to others. He was inspired by Tigran Petrosian, and endeavoured to mimic his playing style ie highly successful at avoiding defeats, and thus earning the RCC nickname of the "draw master". He last played in 2010 for Rugeley when he drew 7/9 games.

Catherine Hiley, On behalf of Rugeley Chess Club

24/03/2015 Rugeley v Brewood A, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Our last WDCL match of the season saw us host an eager Brewood side, our board 1 cancelled late in the day so Matt and Rob both stepped up a board.

Board 4 Gordon Attwell v John Fenby. Gordon was fairly well matched grading-wise, but his opponent's central pawn attack dominated proceedings and forced Gordon's King into being abandoned in the middle of the board, the end wasn't pretty and so Gordon resigned.

Board 5 Tony Meakin v Mike Jarocki. This was a game between Tony's knights and his opponents bishops, Tony ended up with the dreaded double isolated pawns, but felt that he could grind out a draw, however sortly after, he blundered away his knight and lost the game.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Mark Keady. Strange game where only 1/2 the board was being utilised, his opponent was under time pressure, but played a blinder in the end. Rob couldn't force the win and so a draw was agreed.

Board 3 Bill Hulley v Roger Grainger. Bill has not played most of the season, but he didn't show much sign of rustiness here, his opponent didn't have a lot of play and so didn't trouble Bill too much. in the end his opponent was in time trouble, and left his rook en-pris, Bill accepted his resignation soon after.

Board 6 Steve Heath v Steve Micklewright. Rugeley Steve, struggled throughout his game and looked likely to lose the game, however with sheer determination Steve managed an unlikely draw, Brewood's Steve probably felt robbed.

Board 1 Matt Carr v Derek Laight. Matt knew at this stage that we were 2-3 down and pushed for a win, although perhaps a draw was more achieveable. It was a frantic affair at the end but Matt came off worse.

Thanks to all who played in this match and throughout the season, we had a disappointing finish to the season but a respectable position in the league.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

17/03/2015 Rugeley v Lichfield B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

Tonight was a local derby between 3rd and 4th in the league tables, neither team can be promoted, but that didn't dampen our desire to win.

Board 5 Steve Heath v Ron Crellin. Steve struggled early on in the game against the former Rugeley player, and continued to struggle as he went a piece down. Unable to gain positional advantage Steve conceded the game.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Mike Maher. This turned out to ba a very exciting game, there were sacrificial possibilities, forks, pins, and it seemingly gave Rob's opponent a bit of a headache, however, it didn't pan out in Robs favour (unfortunately I lost the record of the game).

Board 1 Matt Carr v Alan Giles. Matt's game appeared to be a close encounter, I still haven't the foggiest what opening was played but Matt played reasonably well until it got to a complex pawn, rook and queen position. After a few weaker moves, Matt's position capitulated and white inevitably won.

Board 6 Mike Page v Danny Torbica. Mike didn't realise he was playing tonight until the last minute (ie after he had set the boards up). Fortunately Mike is having a good season and playing with an air of confidence, and it showed tonight as he was a piece up. Danny seemed to be on the back foot for much of the game, and Mike came away with a very much needed win for the team.

Board 3 Catherine Hiley v David Fone. It was a battle between the President and Vice-President of the WDCL. David played well, and it was looking very drawish, however in the end game, David didn't realise his knight was trapped. This led to another won game to try and level the match.

Board 4 Gordon Attwell v Michael Hoare. Gordon's game looked very level, however his opponent managed to sneak a couple of pawns towards the end, giving Lichfield the advantage. Gordon fought on but it was too little too late.

It was a good even match that was fought in good spirits on every board, special thanks to Mike for playing at a moment's notice.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

03/03/2015 Rugeley v Halesowen B, Wolverhampton League Division 2

The Halesowen captain had already informed me that they would be forced to default 2 boards due to players tied to other teams, so I was pleased that they made the lengthy journey to honour the fixture, even though a result in their favour was unlikely.

Board 4 Gordon Attwell v Joyce Evans. Gordon was literally graded x2 higher than Joyce, and the gulf in grades showed as Gordon chequemated his opponent.

Board 2 Rob Fell v Paul Evans. Again the away side was at a distinct grading disadvantage, but held his own until his concentration waned and blundered away his rook, Rob was happy to take the victory.

Board 3 Catherine Hiley v Dave Etheridge. Dave played well but made a tactical error of castling queenside which invited an onslaught of pawns. All hemmed in and his King pinned in the centre of the board, Catherine kept up the pressure until White couldn't hold on any longer and resigned. He said I was lucky.

Board 1 Matt Carr v John Asbury. Matt played the Budapest defence, I didn't get to see much of the game, but Matt was satisfied with a draw, as the match had already been won.

Board 5 Tony Meakin v defaulted.

Board 4 Steve Heath v defaulted.

It was always going to be an uphill battle for the visitors, but credit to them all, they didn't give up and we wished them a safe journey home.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

17/02/2015 Rugeley v Tamworth, Cannock Chase Cup

Rugeley don't get to play Tamworth very often, so we didn't know much about our opponents other than their grades, they had 2 strong top boards so we knew it was going to be a decent match.

Board 3 Gordon Attwell v John Howlett (123). Gordon has been in good form of late, and in his game he was material up fairly quickly and dominated the game to bring the first win for the home team.

Board 1 Dave Amour v Andrew Smith (170). Dave played a solid game, and at first glance it seemed a close encounter which looked destined for a draw, but his opponent was able to attack Dave's pawns aggressively in the latter stages and Dave suffered a rare defeat.

Board 4 Mike Page v Chris Harrington (78). This was a game of errors, where Mike was a piece up very early in the game, and then managed to give the piece back, then it looked like Mike was going to lose, but his opponent was feeling generous and gifted Mike an unlikely win.

Board 2 Catherine Hiley v Simon Walton (152). I was a rook up in this game, and had it all under control, Simon was trying a few moves but didn't give me much trouble. However I think I had a meltdown in the end game, we were both in time trouble, and I missed a perfectly obvious defensive move that against all odds lost me the game, but I guess that's why chess is so fantastic.

A very disappointing result in the end, which ended up with us losing the tie on board count, congratulations to Tamworth and we wish them luck in the final versus Lichfield.

Catherine Hiley, Cup Captain

12/02/2015 Wolverhampton B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

The journey over delayed by traffic congestion from an earlier accident, possibility of players being stranded on buses, it hadn't been a good start and then we took our coats off, and quickly put them back on again! Freezing!!.

Board 3 Lewis Clarke v Rob Fell. Lewis is proving to be a very competent junior chess player, he gave me a good game in the Rock Cup. Rob seemed to get in a lot of bother with advancing pawns and Lewis's formidable knights. Credit to the youngster, he played well, and managed to scalp Rob, who will want to quickly forget this game.

Board 5 Paul Walters v Tony Meakin. This game really didn't go anywhere, Tony's piece's were still camped at base and Paul didn't have a convincing attack, it quietly dissolved into a draw.

Board 1 Geoffrey Rosser v Dave Amour. Dave was in control from the start in this game, and after being material up managed to ease his way through the game into a win.

Board 2 Gordon Sands v Matt Carr. Matt had opted for the French Winawer opening, not sure what variation it was, and I think Matt might have made up a new variation. Gordon seemed to deal with it very well, and both sides rather cancelled each other out, and so Matt accepted the draw.

Board 6 John Dugmore v Steve Heath. I did look at this game, but it looked rather even. Not sure how things transpired but Steve was the favourite in this game as the grading difference of 50 points proved and Steve secured the win.

Board 4 Steve Wilson v Catherine Hiley. This was an unconventional Bishop's opening, Steve was pleased to isolate my a and h pawns but my solid pawn structure was impenetrable, and Steve was all hemmed in with fewer squares to place his pieces, with 5 seconds left on his clock and little manoeuvrability, he resigned.

It was a bitterly cold evening, but Wolverhampton put up a good fight considering they were significantly outgraded on every board. Thanks to all who played.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

29/01/2015 Rugeley v Lichfield Cannock Division 2

A 2- 2 draw in the end. Quite a surprise as I expected us to go down 1-3 as I looked at the positions on the boards but Rob in his usual style managed to save the day by winning a hopelesley lost game!

My game has been immortalised at!

Board 1 - Dave Amour v Alan Giles This was a pretty wild game where I sacrified some material for a lead in development, uncastled opponents king and lots of open lines. In the end it proved too much and black never developed his remaining pieces and played most of the game with just his queen. A nice queen sacrified was played and accepted which led to a beautiful mate in 6 but even if the queen sacrifice was refused it was mate in 13 anyway.

Board 2 - Yuriy Slobodyuk v Rob Fell Rob did his usual thing of castling late queenside and pusing all his pawns at his opponents king. Rob was completley and utterley lost but played on and thanks to some bad technique from his opponent he actually went on to win and save the day!

Board 3 - Gordon Attwell v Gary Monks Gordon played a very good game and had his opponent under a lot of pressure in the centre and on the kingside. Gary managed to skillfully defend though and win a pawn and Gordons position went downhill from there.

Board 4 - Michael Hoare v Karl Blanks I missed seeing the start of this game so just saw the endgame wher Karl was material down and had a bad bishop against a good knight. Michael displayed patience and good technique to secure his win.

Well played everyone, some exciting games if full of mistakes, mine included!

Dave Amour, Rugeley Capt

21/01/2015 Rugeley, Chase Cup Division 2

It has been arranged for Rugeley to play the Semi-Finals v Tamworth at home on 17th February 2015. The grading limit is 550 over 4 boards. Any offers of availability will be welcomed.

Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Capt

14/01/2015 Bushbury B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

The first team match of the New Year, we were feeling quietly confident, and then we realised that we had to think over loud music as Line Dancing was being taught in the main room.

Board 5 Jeremy Whitehead v Patrick Waller. Patrick seemed to have good rook files and in with a strong chance of winning, but the music was very distracting and Patrick found himself losing concentration. He offered a draw, before he made an error of judgement.

Board 6 Simon Jones v Mike Page. You never can quite tell with Simon if he's going to play well or not. He drew with Matt last year, but tonight he let Mike open him up, and Mike doesn't need much of a dangled carrot! Mike managed to queen his pawn and after a double mating combination, Simon was forced to resign.

Board 1 Dave Amour v Phil Staley. Dave wasn't particularly prepared for tonight's event, but he felt confident enough against the Sicilian to ease forward into a winning position. Phil battled on, but there was a certain inevitability about the doomed outcome for the Bushbury captain.

Board 3 Bill Pinfold v Rob Fell. Rob wasn't familiar with the opening played, and felt fortunate to get away with a win, although having watched the game I thought Rob had the upperhand throughout.

Board 5 Adrian Lissamore v Catherine Hiley. Even though I was in a quieter room than boards 4 + 5, I still struggled to concentrate and knew I wasn't playing my natural aggressive game. Having toyed around trying to seek a tactical advantage, it all fell apart with an enforced swap, leading to a despondent offer and acceptance of a draw.

Board 2 David Molineux v Matt Carr. Matt was unlucky not to gain more than a draw from this game, and having realised that everyone else had finished.. accepted the draw, saying that a better player may have won the game.

It was a difficult environment to play chess in, thanks to all who changed out of their pyjamas to brave the bitter weather.

Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2