Rugeley Chess Club

Old Club News From 2016

Old News from 2016

Back to main news - Current News

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