Rugeley Chess Club

Club News

Latest News

You can also view older news articles at   News articles from 2019  News articles from 2018  News articles from 2017  News articles from 2016  News articles from 2015   News articles from 2014   News articles from 2013  and  News articles from 2012

Latest News

Rugeley Vs Tamworth 22/2/24

Knowing that Tamworth were on form we gathered a very strong Rugeley team to attempt to give the club their first loss.

B.1- Nikoli Walker Vs Andrew Smith. Nikoli was given an enormous challenge and he most certainly took the fight to Andrew, unfortunatly had to extend his hand to his higher rated opponent. 0-1

B.2- William Hulley Vs Mircea Marirus. These 2 players met before in the Home game this season. A tough game for the Rugeley side as William undoubtedly gave it his all but it wasnt meant to be. 0-1

B.3- Catherine Hiley Vs Andrew Taylor . Both sides were pushing for all they could, Black managed to get the upper hand though and Catherine had to resign. 0-1

B.4- Anthony Meakin Vs Patrick Kelly. Another Rugeley member out rated this was just not our night. As acting captain Tony was the star and stepped in for the team. His opponent didnt make it easy for Tony and he had to tip his king. 0-1

Final match score 4-0 to Tamworth. Thanks to all players and good luck to Tamworth in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 1 Captain

30/1/24 Rugeley Vs Warley Quinborne

A strong team was fielded to take on Warley as we tried to solidify our position at the top.

Nikoli forced a great draw on board 1 limiting his opponents chances to a minimum.

Both Matt & Bill on boards 2 & 3 were pretty comfortable in their games, and were able to convert their superior positions in the endgame.

Rob on board 4 despite dictating play and opening up his opponents castled kingside, fell to a sucker punch of a move which left him no option but to resign a few moves later. But it was yet another team win that keeps us in the hunt for the Div 3 trophy with only 2 games left to play now.

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

30/1/24 Rugeley Vs Bushbury

Confusion reigned initially for this match as nobody was quite sure if their full team was going to turn up. In the end, Bushbury managed to fill 3 boards and in a contest that matched top against bottom of the league the outcome was very pleasing if not a little predictable.

Matt secured the tempo early on playing board 1

Rob & Cath each went a piece up respectively on boards 2 and 3.

Luke was left frustrated with not having an opponent to face but hopefully this will resolve itself in our next home match. Well done everybody, fantastic result!

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

Rugeley Vs Rushall 25/1/24

After a streak of recent losses for us in this divison. We gathered up another fantastic team to try and get revenge.

B.1- Nikoli Walker Vs Steven Gaskell. Nik had a great game pushing his opponent in a grinding endgame where only one bad move by Steven let Black in with the pass pawns. White graciously resigned. 1-0

B.2- Matthew Carr Vs Steve Whatmore. Agressive chess from both players as both sides were attemtping to create chances on the enemy king. Steve was the pawn up but with Matt Knowing his rooks pawn end game managed to tie Black to defening and could not promote. 0.5-0.5

B.3- William Hulley Vs John Staniforth. A masterful display from Bill proving that solid chess is always a good idea against the stronger player. Bill held his own against John and the end game was very equal and so a draw was agreed. 0.5-0.5

B.4- Luke Sullivan Vs Alex Pready. Pieces swapped for a rematch from last years div 1 game. Luke took advantage of an early innacuracy and advaced connected pass pawns to infiltrate. With only 40 seconds left Luke had an overwhelming mating net and Black resigned. 1-0

Final match score 3-1to Rugeley. Thanks to all players and good luck to Rushall in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 1 Captain

9/1/24 Rugeley Vs Halesowen

A tight affair between 2 teams near the top of the league.

Nic uncharacteristically got his Queen trapped earlier on in the game, and despite fighting on had no option to resign as his opponent got on top.

Matt achieved another fine win on board 2 slowly applying the pressure on his opponent and threatning to win a piece in the middle game.

Rob managed to go a pawn up on board 3 after a Queen swap, and that passed pawn then became decisive in how the game panned out.

On board 4 Bob somehow managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory by moving his rook on the one square that resulted in him going a piece down rather than a piece up - extremely unlucky. So, a fair result in the end that sent Rugeley top of the league for now.

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

4/12/23 Rugeley Vs Rushall

A fantastic away victory was achieved here which I think caught everybody by surprise.

Nic sensed some opportunity's within his opponents pawn structure on board 1 and duly won.

On board 2 Bill played some steady chess & kept everything tight, a draw was the fair outcome.

On board 3 Rob went a pawn up after an opening trap and grinded out a win.

Board 4 ebbed and flowed but Tony finally was able to win some decisive pawns in the endgame and put the icing on the cake.

A nearly perfect team performance by everybody, well done!

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

21/11/23 Rugeley Vs St Georges

We welcomed St Georges to our club well aware of the threat they posed with them being top of the league. A strong team was selected to try and combat this challenge.

B.1- Nikoli was pitted against Mark Tallis and despite the early game looking solid for both sides, opposite side castling provided a strong attack for black. Added to some risky pawn pushes for white, a well-deserved victory was ensured for the Rugeley man.

B.2- Matt was playing against the Scandinavian defence opted by Derek Stockhall. Again though, opposite side castling proved the difference as Matt launched an onslaught down his opponents kingside and his passed pawn proved decisive. Another great win.

B.3- Bill's game against John Lunn ended in another draw quickly agreed. While the position initially looked even, was an opportunity missed by black to press his advantages home as his opponents position fell apart?

B.4- Rob up against Ken Wise was given a schooling in how to push home a small advantage. Carelessly losing a centre pawn early on, this proved decisive as each forced piece swap resulted in white's position falling apart. A poor display by the Captain but a well deserved victory for the St Georges man.

So Rugeley manged to win the match 2.5 to 1.5. An important win that keeps the team on course for the title, next up Stourbridge!

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

Rugeley Vs Rushall 6/11/23

With a total rating of 7100, our strongest rated team so far set out for a Division 1 match against the formidable Rushall.

B.1- Nikoli Walker Vs Steve Whatmore. Nik found a clever sacrifice and traded a knight for 3 pawns. It did look as if he was going to get an advantage with a possible new queen but Steve found the sacrifice right back and the game fizzled into a draw. 0.5-0.5

B.2- William Hulley Vs Arapu, Cosmin-Constantin . Bill was giving it his all and found himself in an equal end game. He only had to make one slight innacuracy for his higher rated opponent to promote. 0-1

B.3- Rob Fell Vs Steven Gaskell. The black position looked very fragile as he gave up the kings bishop and grabbed the exchange. Rob tried to surround Blacks king and threaten nasty tactics but unfortunatly gave up a knight in the process, a valient effort none the less. 0-1

B.4- Luke Sullivan Vs Alex Pready. Pirc from luke, he looked to attack White early on into the opening, With such a long time control Black left a hole which White exploited. Black was frozen and so white forced mate.0-1

Final match score 0.5-3.5 to Rushall. Thanks to all players and good luck to Rushall in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 1 Captain

4/11/23 Chase Trophy - Rugeley Vs Tamworth

We Travelled to Tamworth for the first round of the Chase Trophy knockout. We anticipated that this was going to be a massive challenge for all boards.

It was certainly a shock for us all when shown the rating difference we would face, showing no fear the team tried with all their stregnth to over come the challenge.

Catherine was holding her own against a 2000 stregnth but got respectfully outplayed in the end game. Luke went the exchange up but couldnt hold onto a draw being out rated 200 points. Tony was fighting only a pawn down and looked to be holding. His opponent just forced the issue with a better king. Dan on 4, made a statement and forced a draw preventing it from being a white wash.

Final match score 0.5-3.5. Well done to Tamworth and good luck in the Final

1/11/23 Rugeley Vs Telford

We travelled to Telford for our 2nd match of the campaign hoping to build on the previous win.

B.1- A very tight match ensured between Nikoli & Toby Neal. But approaching the endgame Nik managed to get a positional stranglehold and made his advantage pay by forcing a nice mate.

B.2- Bill was up against Roger Brown and again this game looked evenly matched. So much so, that a draw was agreed very early on in the match.

B.3- Rob managed to capitalise on his opponent Richard Thompson not developing his pieces quickly enough, and a forced mate ended up on the cards.

B.4- Bob playing against Ryan Baron managed to get a very closed position early on and this looked very much like a stalemate. Unfortunately for Bob, Ryan managed to break through down his castled king side, while many of his other pieces couldn't get into the game to defend the forced mate.

So Rugeley managed to win the match 2.5 to 1.5. Many thanks to all those that played & provided lifts for the match.

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

12/10/23 Rugeley Vs Walsall Kipping B

We travelled over to Walsall to start our 2023-24 season in Division 3 with two new debutants in the team. This year we have high hopes of gaining automatic promotion, and hopefully enjoying ourselves in the process.

B.1- One of our new players Nikoli was up against Andrew Perry and initially it looked a very evenly matched contest. However during the middle game, Nikoli started to gain control of the open files which proved decisive with the inevitable pawn push. A sturdy win for white.

B.2- Rob was pitted against Mike Groombridge and due to his opponents slightly slow development was able to slowly carve out a win by increasing the pressure on his uncastled king.

B.3- Bob was finally playing as white against David Friend. This was an interesting game which locked up in the middle quite quickly with regards the pawn structure. Neither opponent wanted to risk trying to force the win and leaving themselves exposed so a respectful draw was agreed.

B.4- Another new debut for Dan Turner against Victor Brown who played remarkably well to stay in the game despite being a material swap down. Dan managed to force it into the end game and a satisfying draw was reached.

This Rugeley won their opening match 3-1 against Walsall B, a great team effort all round!

Rob Fell WDCL Div 3 Captain

Rugeley Vs Lichfield A 22/9/23

We travelled to the infamous Guild Hall for our second Division 1 match of the season.

B.1- Nikoli Walker Vs Yuriy Slabodyuk. A pawn down, Nik pushed for the maximum compensation. White kept up the pressure along the A fie. After going the exchange up amongst having an unstoppable pass pawn Black resigned. 1-0

B.2- William Hulley Vs Ray Sawyer. A quiet game in which Bill slowly made subtle moves. Ray held on to make it complicated and with both players unsure of the position a draw was agreed. Bill later said he may have spotted a queen trap in the position. 0.5-0.5

B.3- Luke Sullivan Vs Gary Monks. Queens off in the opening, players found themselves right into a Rook and Bishop end game after just 12 moves. This being the last game to finish the clocks ran down to the wire but there was nothing in the position. 0.5-0.5

B.4- Catherine Hiley Vs Peter Rose. Cath was in control of so many squares, also having some seriously advanced pawns in whites camp. Peter exchanged material leaving his defence leaky. Cath attacked with a force gaining significant material advantage, forcing the issue.1-0

Final match score 3-1 to Rugeley. Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 1 Captain

Rugeley Vs Lichfield B 12/9/23

After Long last and much anticipation, Rugeley enter the first division 1 game of the season.

B.1- Nikoli Walker Vs Benjamin Farman. This was the final game to end on the evening. After a pieceful game the position consisted of same coloured bishops and equal pawns. Unfortunatly with only the slightest of miscalculations Nikoli was forced to resign. 0-1

B.2- Matthew Carr Vs David Hulme. Matt had some outstanding development and looked to take advantage of blacks double pawn, yet his higher rated opponent held on and fizzled the position into an equal end game, so a draw was agreed. 0.5-0.5

B.3- Robert J Edgar Vs Adam Routledge. kings Indian from Bob seemed solid untill he admitidly fell into a pin which proved to give Adam extra pawns. The pass pawn could not be stopped thus black had to Resign. 0-1

B.4- Luke Sullivan Vs David Fone. London From Luke but David knew his lines well preventing whites Knight on e5 causing too much Grief. However in the haste of battle and the self admitted loss of concentrating, Black bundered 2 Rooks.1-0

Final match score 1.5-2.5 to Lichfield. Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 1 Captain


At the annual Rugeley AGM it was decided that the club would host a second club night on Thursdays starting from August 1st 2023. This is going to help with the vast amount of club championship games. We welcome new members to Thursday nights at Rugeley Chess club also.

Latest News

11/4/23 Rugeley Vs Warley B

Its with a heavy heart I write this, as our final match of the season was a must win encounter to secure any chance of securing our league status in division 2. Had we just simply run out of time though?

B.1- Bill played admiringly well against A.Singh, and even swapped his queen for a rook to gain tempo and potential winning possibility's. Sadly he miscalculated that his opponent could defend the onslaught and ultimately resigned.

B.2- Matt continued his fine rich vein of form by matching his opponent J.Turner all of the way. This game was extremely tight with neither player being on top, another well earned draw.

B.3- Rob up against P.Maybury started to make inroads and initially looked like going a piece up. A few timely checks and repositioning of his opponents pieces though flipped the game over and he actually went a piece down. Despite getting it back in the end game, Rob had to resign with being 3 pawns down.

B.4- Luke continued to play solid steady chess against a worthy opponent in J.Fahy. The end position was fascinating with neither player being able to push for the win because it would have rendered them vulnerable. A classic drawn end game.

So sadly Rugeley lost 3-1 and our relegation for the season was confirmed. I want to express my thanks for each and every team member that contributed and gave it their all. We will bounce back.

Rob Fell WDCL Captain

14/3/23 Rugeley Vs Tamworth: Cup Final

We welcomed Tamworth for the final of the chase cup. Myself, Luke and Rory took up the challenge, as did Tony who stepped in for cath late notice.

B.1- Luke Sullivan Vs Mesesan, Mircea-Marius. Massivley outrated luke had nothing to loose. Luke allowed Miercea to attack on the king side while he focused on the open file against whites king. Black left all the tention possible to complicate and With both sides threatening massive advantage it was not clear who was winning so white accepted a draw. 0.5-0.5

B.2- Tony Meakin Vs Peter Oliver. A cagey start with Peter having a strong pawn centre. Black had the pawn advantage on the Queen side while Tony had controlled the kingside. Neither could convert their advantage. 0.5-0.5

B.3- Rory Melough Vs Andrew Taylor. After a nervy start both players developed well. After 20 moves the game was well balanced. Black had some counterplay, both going for mate. In time pressure Rory noticed his opponent had mate in 2 and had to resign. 0-1

B.4- James Perks Vs Patrick Kelly. Matirial was even untill move 25 where black had a bishop on both rooks. James had a decent time advantage and was hoping to pressure Patrick into a mistake. One tiny error from James and Black found a checkmate. 0-1

Final match score 1-3. Thanks to all players and congratulations to Tamworth on winning the Chase cup.

James Perks Chase Trophy Captain

13/3/23 Oscott Vs Rugeley WDCL Div 2

We travelled with high hopes on the back of our recent win, and the journey was relatively straightforward. The pattern of the journey did in parts mirror the outcomes of the games, but not quite what we had hoped for!

Board 1 - Our Bill was up against a tough opponent in Tony Hickey, but equipped himself to the task really well. Steady play in the opening enabled both to mobilise both their rooks on opposite open flanks, and after a little more play a well deserved draw was agreed.

Board 2 - Bob was also up against a strong opponent in Andy Lake, and found himself a pawn down after miscalculating a positional move in the opening. This proved decisive after the pieces eventually got swapped off, leaving a bishop v knight ending. A tight but unfortunate loss for Bob.

Board 3 - Matt was playing his usual "gung ho" chess against Keith Thomas and with good reason - his results lately have certainly been on the upturn. After sacrificing a rook for a bishop and 4 pawns, his opponents end game position crumbled adding yet another magnificent win to his belt.

Board 4 - Rob went into this game with huge confidence. Despite dictating play most of the game, and having a huge time allowance, he carelessly allowed his opponent Kevin Spillane an opportunity to attack his King and fell into the trap of trying to play even quicker to run the depleted clock down. As soon as his Queen was forked against the King he duly resigned.

So an opportunity was missed to claim a vital win, and all of the Captain's experience proved that on the day sometimes other factors can come into play.

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

09/3/23 Tamworth Vs Rugeley

In the treacherous weather we travelled to Tamworth for our much anticipated final game of the cdcl season.

B.1- Matthew Carr Vs Mesesan, Mircea-Marius. Faced with a much higher rated opponet Matt prepared for blacks opening. White played it perfectly with a beautiful rook sacrifice forcing the ending with opposite colour bishops. 0.5-0.5

B.2- Catherine Hiley Vs Andrew Taylor. Super aggresive Cath with the advantage from the start. White couldnt keep up with the pressure and lost a rook, Cath may have let some counter play back in and had to give the extra rook back for the 2 pass pawns. 0.5-0.5

B.3- Luke Sullivan Vs Patrick Kelly. Luke bashed out the trompowsky attack and had to push for the win for the team. After 3 draw declines from black, luke found a nasty tactic in his opponents serious time pressure forking the queen also giving checkmate in 6. 1-0

B.4- James Perks Vs Dale Finnegan. James played a nice solid defence giving his opponent plenty of trouble. James had a super advantage and thought he had a draw. White had an unstoppable pass pawn in the end game. 0-1

We completed the season undefeated throughout. Thank you to all Rugeley players involved. Final match score 2-2. Thanks to all players and good luck to Tamworth in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 2 Captain

21/2/23 Rugeley Vs Mercia A WDCL Div 2

Fresh from our previous victory the other week, we anticipated a tougher examination against Mercia A. A narrow loss was genuinely what we expected.

On board 1 - Bob who was initially playing on board 2 had to step into the breach at the very last minute to deputise for Bill. A tough game soon ensured against Andrew McCumiskey. Despite playing extremely well and getting his main pieces down to 2 rooks against a queen, sadly he was picked off in the end game as his opponents' other pieces were more mobile

On board 2 - Matt had been practising playing black all day but unfortunately that went out of the window also. He did remember some advice from Cath though regarding his opponent Steve Tyler previously and went all out attack from move one! He was rewarded with a stunning victory which was never ever in doubt

On board 3 - Rob gave up 2 pawns in the opening to ensure he had the tempo with black. Unfortunately, as the game wore on and pieces were swapped off, he found himself struggling in the end game just to hang on! Thankfully his opponent Will Vout's clock was virtually down to the last minute, so was able to snatch a draw from the clutches of defeat

On board 4 - A vast exchange of pieces in the English opening lead to what looked like an equal game after both queen's came off. Luke was winning on the Queens side, but Barry Smith had good compensation with very active Rooks on the Kings side. A draw was offered and accepted as a fair outcome.

So, we exceeded expectations and managed to earn a well-deserved draw. Maybe Rugeley can escape relegation yet?

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

13/2/23 St George's Vs Rugeley WDCL Div 2

We travelled to St George's with slightly dampened spirits as results recently hadn't been going our way. Maybe with lower expectations the pressure would now be off?

On board 1 - Bill against Mark Tallis played a standard opening and quickly went the exchange down to gain an attacking tempo. The game fizzled out into a well deserved draw through a perpetual check.

On board 2 - Matt tried out a new weapon against D4 - The Wade Defence! However this should have been renamed to Attack, as against John Lunn he proceeded to demolish his opponent quite comfortably.

On board 3 - Rob soon got into a commanding position against Xabier Gutierrez, and it was only a matter of time before his defence was breached and a resignation soon followed.

On board 4 - Tony carved out little gains against Derek Stockhall resulting in a pawn up in the end game. However he found it increasingly difficult to transfer this into a win, and a draw was reluctantly agreed.

This resulted in Rugeley finally winning a match 3-1, and all the players were relieved that the long anticipated wait was over. Next up - Mercia A!

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

24/1/23 Rugeley Vs Walsall Kipping

New Division Contenders Walsall came well prepared but would they break our streak.

B.1- Rob Fell Vs Mike Groombridge. The time advanage for Rob proved crucial. After opposite side castling Whites conservative play left him a tempo down, eventually Blacks position became crushing.1-0

B.2- Luke Sullivan Vs Victor Brown Jr. White made a complete mess of the opening and had to fight to complicate. Blacks exchange of pieces cost him his positional advantage and Lukes H pawn storms to promotion. 1-0

B.3- Tony Meakin Vs Peter Nixon. Black played extremley agressivley gaining a huge amount of space. White made a go for gold on Tonys king. With black threatening mate Alex found a perpetual.0.5-0.5

B.4- James Perks Vs Alex Mcarthy. White went a pawn up very early on. James had a devestating attack on the weak G7 square and the attack proved to be winning. Black resigned as mate was evenvetable. 1-0

Final match score 3.5-0.5 to Rugeley. Thanks to all players and good luck to Walsall in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 2 Captain

3/1/23 Rugeley Vs Mercia

Would our quaint little club still go undefeated this season. Mercia came hoping for an epic night.

B.1- Catherine Hiley Vs Steve Tyler. What a game to spectate! This could have gone either way but Steve played a "cracking move" and threatened mate multiple ways. 0-1

B.2- Luke Sullivan Vs Andrew Snell. A very complicated middle game with whites knight plonked on D5.Luke had the advantage and maybe could have pushed on but it fizzled out into a drawn end game. 0.5-0.5

B.3- Steve Heath Vs Chris Sallard. Black had a clear winning chance from a very early point, white was struggling to hold on to equality. Steves passed pawns would claim the win. 1-0

B.4- Rory Melough Vs Ethan Patel. Yet again Rory takes every opportunity to smother his opponent. A very agressive check mate was in the centre of the board before you could say check! 1-0

Final match score 2.5-1.5 to Rugeley. Thanks to all players and good luck to Mercia in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 2 Captain

8/12/22 Stafford Vs Rugeley

Our club traveled in high spirits to local club Stafford in the hopes of retaining our current undefeated streak in the cannock league.

B.1- William Hulley Vs Nefyodov, Pavel. Bill had the advantage of 2 open rook files while his opponent had 1. White kept the tention well untimatley equalising againt his higher rated opponent. 0.5-0.5

B.2- Catherine Hiley Vs Kenneth Mcnulty. Caths super aggressive style was given the test as kenneth managed to win the exchange. Black tried to give all she could but succumbed to a mate in the centre of the board. 0-1

B.3- Luke Sullivan Vs Steven Luff. London Vs the Caro was the choice of openings, black played well but misplaced his knight, eventually blundering too much material for the end game (2 Rooks against Queen and Bishop). 1-0

B.4- Ryan Wood Vs Peter Evans. Ryan was just too strong for good sportsman peter as he quickly found himself a pawn down. Ryan used the advantage to eventually pin whites rook to the king and get a serious winning chance. 1-0

Final match score 1.5-2.5 to Rugeley. Thanks to all players and good luck to Stafford in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 2 Captain

1/12/22 Lichfield B Vs Rugeley WDCL Div 2

We travelled to Lichfield with high expectations of getting a result after fielding a near to strength full team.

Bill got a magnificent draw on board 1 against David Hulme which appeared to be a very locked up position.

Bob was unlucky to lose in an end game to Adam Routledge on board 2, as being a pawn down ultimately proved decisive .

Matt had a cagey affair on board 3 against Milenko Walner and managed to hold on for a draw with discaplined piece play.

On board 4 I had a rook swapped for a knight and bishop plus tempo, which enabled me to give the piece back later on as I went for the jugular. All in all, the 2-2 was highly commendable against a very strong team.

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

Latest News

22/11/22 Rugeley Vs Kidderminster WDCL Div 2

We anticipated that this match would be tough so knew that we all had to play well to stand any chance.

Bob on board 1 put up a great fight against Joseph Friar despite being severely out-graded, but as with playing these strong players it always comes down to the fine margins and ultimately lost in the end game.

A similar story unfolded on board 2, same circumstances and result but a stellar performance nether the less from Matt against John Wrench.

On board 3 I managed to edge a close game (no pun intended) against David Close, and on board 4 Luke managed to hold Alex Eaton to a draw which looked like an extremely tight contest.

Despite losing 2.5 to 1.5, I thought the team played brilliantly and can hold their heads up high.

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

1/11/22 Rugeley Vs Lichfield B

Our Neighbouring Club Lichfield came to us for our much anticipated CDCL match following our recent draw against their A team

B.1- Robert Fell Vs Brian Homewood. White had admitted that he had not prepared for robs opening. After loosing a rook early on the attempts to mate blacks uncastled king was futile and brian resigned. 1-0

B.2- Luke Sullivan Vs Travis Hackett. Very aggressive opening from travis over extended his centre pawns. luke took advantage of a pin to blacks queen. While in an equal end game travis sacrifised his rook for promotion but mis-calculated. 1-0

B.3- Tony Meakin Vs David Fone. This was a very steady game where neither side wanted to be too agressive and open the position. Tony sacrifised a pawn for 2 pieces and tried to make something happen yet david used the extra matirial to win. 0-1

B.4- Rory Melough Vs Fred Biles. Rory had a firm grasp on the position from start to finish. his pressure kept mounting up around blacks king stuck on its home square. A clever mate from rory explioted this weakness. 1-0

Final match score 3-1. Thanks to all players and good luck to lichfield in future games.

Luke Sullivan Cannock Div 2 Captain

24/10/22 Rushall Vs Rugeley WDCL Div 2

We travelled to Rushall in anticipation of another closely fought match and we were not to be disappointed (apart from the result!).

Bill had a tough game on board 1, and although had 2 Rooks against a Queen in the end-game unfortunately lost on time.

Myself playing board 3 found the position locking up, and despite trying to make headway pushing for the win ending up with a perpetual draw.

Tony was doing exceptionally well on board 4 playing promising aggressive moves, until a rush of blood encouraged him to play G5 in front of his castled King and his position soon collapsed.

On board 2 Bob played pantomime villain to perfection ruining Steve Wilcox's 1,000 game by getting a well-deserved win. Thank you to all that played last night, now onto the next match!

Rob Fell Wolverhampton Div 2 Captain

18/10/22 Rugeley Vs Stafford WDCL Div 2

We headed into this match with reasonable optimistic expectations as quite a strong side was fielded. After narrowly losing in our last outing, we hoped that it would be all "white" on the night! As things go, that's pretty much what happened too.

Board 1- Pavel Nefyodov v Bill Hulley (1-0) Bill was up against an extremely tough opponent in Pavel and precision play would be the key. Unfortunately, a decision not to castle early on came back to haunt black, as white manoeuvred a commanding bishop and restricted Bill's options of utilising all of his pieces.

Board 2- Matt Carr v Andrew Mowat (1-0) Matt was the school swot in this game, as he admitted beforehand that he had done his homework on his potential opponent earlier and it worked a treat! Playing with controlled aggression, Matt carved out attack after attack and eventually was able to produce a delightful mate in one with no escape.

Board 3- Ken McNulty v Cath Hiley (1-0) This game could have been billed as "attack" against "attack" as both players went on the offensive in a bid to claim the win. The game at times was like a pendulum, swinging from white having the tempo to black. Unfortunately for Cath it came down to white having a more active knight against black's fairly inactive bishop, and the advancing pawns proved decisive.

Board 4- Rob Fell v Peter Evans (1-0) Both players were developing quite nicely until black decided to go extremely aggressive with his castled king's pawns. Lots of gaps soon appeared in blacks defence resulting in white winning comfortably.

So, the final result was a 2-2 draw, which was certainly an improvement on our last result. Many thanks for everybody that played and now we have something to build on against our next opponent Rushall B.

Robert Fell (WDCL captain)

17/10/22 Lichfield A Vs Rugeley CDCL DIV 2

Board 1- Robert J Edgar Vs yuri Slobodyuk. Bob Sacrified a pawn for some serious innitiative but always faced the problem of not being able to collect one back. The queens were here there and everywhere in the end game. Yuri had 1 minute left to Bobs seconds. With no attempt from either side to win Black was a true sportsman and offered the draw. 0.5-0.5

Board 2- Luke sullivan vs Michael Hoare. The slav Defence from luke saw the queens exchanged early. Mike tried to give Black a bad bishop but it also made his own bishop very bad. Luke found a tactic in what looked like an equal position and eventually trapped Mikes knight. A few moves later luke blundered the piece back and the position became dead drawn. 0.5-0.5

Board 3- Steven P Heath Vs Ray Sawyer. White played the scotch gambit, with both players out of book it was an instinctual game. Steve got the move order wrong and couldnt hep but misplace his pieces. Ray applied the pressure and steve resigned. 0-1

Board 4- James Perks Vs Phillip Sykes. James played cautiously and gave his absolute all into the fight despite being massivley out rated. The end game was enough to see a matirial advantage for white and James graciously resigned.

Final Match score 2-2 due to a rating limit breach from Lichfield A.Thanks to all players and good luck to Lichfield in Future matches.

luke Sullivan (CDCL Captain)

3/10/22 Sutton Coldfield Vs Rugeley - Chase Trophy

We Travelled over to Sutton for round 1 of the 2022 chase Trophy. Out rated on every board, Rugeley needed something special.

Board 1- Robert J Edgar Vs Marek Soszynski. 0-1 Robert played a rather suspect version of the reti which he has had good success with in the past. Marek played accurately which left white behind in development. The pressure caused a pin on whites knight and this won the game.

Board 2- Catherine Hiley Vs Roy Lawrence. 1-0 The usual style of unconventual openings from Cath where the position was isolated pawns and an exposed king. She was given the chance for some counterplay with great effect, causing massive time trouble and a queen blunder for her opponent.

Board 3- Rory Melough vs Robert Marks.1-0 Black took the initiative gaining a free pawn in the opening, however while concentrating on a pawn promotion, Rory promoted his own into a queen. What ever black played ended in a lost position. The counterplay came too late for black as his flag fell.

Board 4- James Perks Vs Steven Mildenhall 0-1 A series of exchanges unfortunatley lost James vital matirial. Back rank mate threats were attempted by black with the hopes of atleast winning the matirial back. Several attempts to win the matirial back was futile.

Rugeley WIN on Board count 2-2. Rugeley are now into the final.

James Perks (Chase Trophy Captain)

27/09/22 Rugeley Vs Wolverhampton WDCL Div 2

Rugeley's First home game of the season as we welcomed a strong sided Wolverhampton to our friendly club.

Board 1- Robert J Edgar Vs Phil Bull (0-1) Bob was up against an extremley Strong player in Phil and set out to very quickly lock the position and limit space. This game was pretty even, although an aggressive pawn move. Bob tried to set a trap but alas it wasnt meant to be.

Board 2- Matt Carr Vs Karthik Selvan (0-1) Matt had quite a tough game on board 2 as the first 9 moves could be described as the london system reversed. Despite having the initiative early on with tempo, his pieces were pushed back and a pin was ultimatly the decisive factor and Matt therefore Resigned.

Board 3- Rob Fell Vs Ioannis Stefanis (1-0) Playing the kings Gambit declined left black in an inferior position out of the opening, and whites advanced E pawn was causing all sorts of problems. Thankfully Ioannis miscalculated a rook-bishop exchange and a collapse of his position soon followed.

Board 4- Luke Sullivan Vs Andrew Adams (0.5-0.5) An extremley tight game ensued, which wasnt a surprise as both players have similar Ratings. Luke thought he had Won a piece but black had a great intermetzo for reply! With the end game as isolated pawns for black and doubled pawns for white a draw was readily agreed.

Final Match score 1.5-2.5 Many Thanks to all that played in the match, im sure next time we will get the desired result.

Robert Fell (WDCL captain)

Rugeley chess club have been saddened to learn of the passing of Simon A Jones of Bushbury and Andrew Leadbetter of Stafford.

Both were valued members of the chess community and will be missed.

Condolences go out to the friends and family.

6/10/22 Rugeley V Rushall CDCL DIV 2

We were disappointed to hear that Rushalls board 4 didn't show. Too their Captains credit he tried one last attempt to gain a player short notice.

Board 1- I.A Matthew Carr vs Peter Leary. White was a minor piece up for a significant amount of the game yet Matt had the counter play on whites King. Peter had to give the material back to stop the threats of black promoting. A pin on whites King and a dominant position, Peter gave his hand. 1-0

Board 2- Luke sullivan vs Steve Wilcox. White sacrificed a pawn in the opening to gain the initiative, both Queens were attacked and both came off. Steve equalised shortly after, so with Luke a pawn down he had to play accurately in a drawn knight and pawn end game. Blacks knight proved more active and posed multiple winning ideas. Luke resigned on move 70. 0-1

Board 3- Rory Melough vs Roger Bray. With white successfully boxed in, he was left with two bad bishops in the middle game.White offered a draw, but it was declined and with the queens exchanged in the hopes of slowing blacks advance promotion for either h or g was inevitable. White eventually lost on time. 1-0

Board 4- Ryan wood claimed the win (def) 1-0

Final Match score 3-1.Thanks to all players and good luck to Rushall in Future matches.

luke Sullivan (CDCL Captain)

18/05/22 Rugeley Chess Club End of Season Blitz tournament

It's been a strange season following the Covid hiatus, and in order to bring some much needed "normality" Matt Carr generously hosted and played in the 5 mins blitz all play all event.

It was a fantastic night with some surprising results, here's how it panned out.

Congratulations to Matt Carr for winning the tournament whilst ensuring that the rules were meticulously followed. Quite the arbiter.

Catherine Hiley, (Club Sec)

16/05/22 Rushall v Rugeley CDCL div 2

Our final match of the div 2 season, saw us head to Aldridge social club where Cath eventually managed to park.

Board 1 – Manpreet Sangha v Bill Hulley. White kept the pressure up with every move. Bill played cautiously but unfortunately lost a knight to his significantly higher-rated opponent and black had no winning chances. 1-0.

Board 2 - Roger Bray Vs Catherine Hiley. Black was on the attack but with a relatively equal end game, white was struggling to find moves and with seconds left on the clock it wasn't enough for him to gain anything. 0-1

Board 3 - Shriya Pillay v Luke sullivan. Luke was definitely out of his comfort zone with his talented opponents choice of counter-play. Every move by white gave a greater response from black. Luke had to sacrifice a knight to create a forced perpetual check. 0.5-0.5

Board 4 - Stephan Winman v Tom Woodhall. Tom's naturally aggressive opening gave white plenty to contemplate. White found a nasty threat which unfortunately lost a piece. 1-0

Final match score 2.5-1.5

Thanks to all players who have contributed throughout the season and congratulations to Rushall on winning the league.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

10/05/22 Rugeley v Oscott CDCL div 2

Oscott came to us for our penultimate match of the season.

Board 1 – Bob Edgar v Ron Neal. Both sides played a steady game. Bob defended well and may have even had a slight advantage when a draw offer was made and accepted, early into the evening. 0.5-0.5.

Board 2 - Catherine Hiley v Kevin Spillane. It seemed as though black was on the back foot in the middle game where Cath had good chances to push. Alas a blunder from white cost her the game a few moves later. 0-1.

Board 3 - Tony Meakin v Leslie Andrews. Tony played cautiously not giving white any possibilities. Most pieces were exchanged including the queens, so a draw was offered by Black and accepted. 0.5-0.5

Board 4 - Luke Sullivan Vs Liam O'Connor. Not the most exciting of games with both players keeping solid. Black was a little hasty in his queen development but managed to not trap her. With most major pieces exchanged off the board, Luke accepted the draw in a position neither side could win. 0.5-0.5

Final match score 1.5-2.5

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

25/04/22 Lichfield v Rugeley CDCL div 2

We headed over to our neighbouring club for a vital Cannock league match.

Board 1 – David Hulme v Catherine Hiley. Black managed to cause Cath slight trouble with an isolated pawn, although Cath found a lovely square for her knight preventing it from ever being taken. Both players were surprised by each other’s play and showed respect with a well-deserved draw offer and acceptance. 0.5-0.5.

Board 2 - Travis Hackett v Luke Sullivan. White made an illegal castling move by touching the rook before the king. Luke quite legitimately insisted that the rook was moved only. Travis kept the tension well but in the middle game madness ensued and black found a nasty forced mating net. 0-1.

Board 3 - David Fone v Rory Melough. Rory Melough v David Fone With Black low on time and a pawn down it looked as if Rory was in a comfortable positon. Controversially, a spectator interfered informing David about the clock, Rory wasn't impressed with the disturbance, but managed to maintain his composure and convert the advantage to a win. A brilliancy under the circumstances. 0-1

Board 4- John Moughtin-Leay v James Perks. With the queen’s gambit on the board it was an open game creating chances for both sides. The young Lichfield player was just a bit sharper on the night and found a nice combination that forced James' hand. 1-0

Final match score 1.5-2.5

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

12/04/22 Mercia v Rugeley WDCL div 2

With a couple of club members struck down with Covid-19, we started the match against Mercia with only 3 players and with our opponents fielding a team of players all around the 1800 grade the outlook was bleak.

Board 3 Steve Tyler v James Perks. James put up a good fight on board 3 but with a significant difference just got over-powered around move 30.

Board 2 Callum Simms v Tony Meakin. Tony got off to a slow start and his opponent developed his pieces with good attacking options. Eventually, after parrying a number of attacks Tony launched an offensive of his own and with pressure mounting on his opponents king he snatched a pawn. With a long way still to go in the game but a pawn to the good Tony offered a draw which his higher graded opponent accepted.

Board 1 Andrew McCumiskey v Matt Carr. Matt, playing on top board against a fellow arbiter seemed to be having a tight tactical battle then inexplicably lost a bishop and fearing the worst Tony and James left for home. Amazingly, Matt battled on to claim a draw by repetition.

Board 4 – Defaulted due to sickness.

Mercia won the match 3-1.

Tony Meakin, (WDCL Div 2 captain)

05/04/22 Rugeley v Stafford CDCL div 2

It was good to see our local club Stafford come to us for another match in the Cannock league. .

Board 1 - Bill Hulley v Steve Whatmore. Both men had a well rounded game creating possible chances for each side. With no discernible advantage for either side Bill offered a draw late on, which was accepted by black. 0.5-0.5.

Board 2 - Catherine Hiley v Kenneth McNulty. After a pawn sacrifice in the Advanced French Cath quoted as 'fine', she managed to wriggle out of a decent attack in the middle game and came out on top. The attack from her was too much and black was running out of time. 1.5 -0.5.

Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v Evan Clark. Luke got his rook into trouble and lost the exchange. Evan had two rooks and Black had a well-placed knight, rook and 2 pawns. Full of tactical possibilities in a complicated end game, neither side knew how to proceed in time pressure. Luke accepted the draw offer. 2.0 -1.0

Board 4 - Tom Woodhall v Neill Harvey-Smith. Opposite side castling had both players causing chaos. Black gained a pawn and kept up the tempo with attacking threats. Tom tried to counter threat with a mating net but blacks attack came a tempo quicker. 2 -2

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

15/03/22 Rugeley v Lichfield A CDCL div 2

Lichfield came to Rugeley for our second division 2 match of the season.

Board 1 - Matthew Carr v Lukasz Walijewski. White took advantage after a weakening king side pawn push from Black in the end game. In the tense last second of the game a check mate was given. 0-1

Board 2 - Luke Sullivan v Peter Collins. After Peter played an exchange sacrifice early on it was only clear to Luke 20 moves later why it was justified. Out-played and out-classed White resigned in a bad position. 0-2

Board 3 - Rory Melough v Ray Sawyer. The position was equal for most of the opening but in a hasty exchange of pieces, Rory found himself a piece down. Ideas of a perpetual were not achievable later into middle game. Black graciously resigned. 0-3

Board 4 - James Perks v Jack Hitchman. Steady start from both players as neither could push for anything in the opening. James lost a pawn later on giving Black much more to gain. It was clear that this was only heading one way. White gave his hand. 0-4

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

10/03/22 Wolverhampton v Rugeley CDCL div 2

The new season has begun for Rugeley and to kick things off we headed to Wolverhampton’s classy venue for battle.

Board 1 - Ioannis Stefanis v Catherine Hiley.Catherine Hiley v Ioannis Stefanis Catherine used her might at the board to overwhelm Black pretty much out of the opening. Not only did she have a 2 pawn advantage in the middle game but one of those had a clear route to promotion. 0-1

Board 2 - John Lee v Tony Meakin. Tony was extremely cautious and it paid off when his opponent lost a piece from a clever combination. Black played well which earned him a win late into the middle game. 0-2

Board 3 - Geoff Rosser v Luke Sullivan. Luke Sullivan v Geoff Rosser Unfortunately black misplaced his knight in the opening and after an exchange, a tactic from Luke was costing black a piece or check mate. The extra piece eventually proves too much and check mate was delivered. 0-3

Board 4 - Andrew Adams v Tom Woodhall. After a valiant effort from Tom, his opponent played well beyond his grading strength. Tom felt outplayed and graciously resigned. 1-3

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

20/01/22 Stafford v Rugeley WDCL div 2

Our 2nd away Wolverhampton League match of the shortened season saw us travel up the road to local rivals Stafford. With both teams pretty well matched it promised to be a competitive game.

Gabor Somogyi v Tony Meakin on board 4 finished first with Tony overwhelming his opponent & quickly going a full rook ahead. 1-0 to Rugeley.

Board 3 – Bob Edgar defeated Ken McNulty. After winning a bishop in the middle game, Bob got into a great position which led to an unstoppable mating attack shortly afterwards. 2-0 to Rugeley.

Board 2 – Matt Carr was defeated by Andrew Mowat – with level pawns in the endgame Andrew took advantage of his Queenside majority & there was no way for Matt to halt the on-rushing pawns. 2-1 to Rugeley.

Board 1 – Steve Whatmore had a mammoth tussle with Pavel Nefyodov which culminated in Steve’s rook & 2 pawns v Pavel’s bishop & 5 pawns. Sadly for Pavel his time expired with the position on a knife edge but pretty level according to my chess engine. A 3-1 victory for Rugeley.

We therefore top the early Division 2 table with a win & draw from our first 2 games. Thanks to Stafford for their warm welcome & the friendly competitive game.

Steve Whatmore, (WDCL Div 2 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to all players who have played this season. We would also like to congratulate Oscott on winning the division, and we cant wait for the next one.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

08/12/21 Coleshill v Rugeley CDCL div 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Wolverhampton for their hospitality..

Steve Whatmore, (WDCL Div 2 captain)

16/11/21 Rugeley v Wolverhampton CDCL div 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

03/11/21 Oscott v Rugeley CDCL div 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine Hiley, (Div 2 vice-captain)

02/11/21 Rugeley v Bushbury CDCL div 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 2 captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

30/09/21 Stafford v Rugeley CDCL div 3

Rugeley paid their close neighbours Stafford a visit in our second local league match of the 2021 season. Despite guiding our club secretary around stafford town centre's road works via mobile and grabbing a coffee, we managed to sit down on time. Then the madness began.

Board 1 Gabor Somogyi vs Catherine Hiley. Cath lead on time but let her advantage slip away in the middle game. Unfortunately white missed an opportunity to draw allowing Gabor to promote his pawn and this ended Caths night. 1-0

Board 2 David Barker Vs Luke Sullivan. Taken completely out of book by move 10 Luke controlled his nerves. Considering very little material had been exchanged late on into the game, a sudden strike in the centre cost Luke his winning chances and David was on the attack himself. Luke tried one last trick in hope that his opponent would take with the wrong piece and it worked! A draw was a fair result for 2 hard fighting gentlemen. 1.5- 0.5

Board 3 Evan Clarke vs James Perks. No holds barred in this game, as both opponents were swinging for the advantage with open lines and aggressive moves. It was going to be a short game. James decided a late castle was appropriate but cost him a bishop around move 10, and with a bold push from Evan, Black was mated on move 19, but a brilliant effort from both. 2.5- 0.5

Board 4- Stephen Luff vs Tom Woodhall. This was the last game to finish in the evening and it was very tense to watch. Both players were relatively equal in material despite Rugeley having the extra piece. Tom made a tactical error in the middle game causing his king to become slightly weak and Stafford pounced. Rooks got exchanged and Tom made his final move. Unfortunately forgetting his opponent had mate in 1. 3.5-0.5

Thanks to all players for participating and good luck to Stafford in their future matches.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

28/09/21 Rugeley v Norton Canes CDCL div 3

The first match of the 2021 season would have seen Rugeley taking on Norton Canes. Prepared and eager to start we awaited a much anticipated match. Sadly due to unforeseen circumstances Norton didn't arrive and therefore defaulted on all boards.

Thanks to the members who waited patiently, onto the next challenge.

Luke Sullivan, (Div 3 captain)

14/09/21 CDCL AGM

The CDCL was attended by Steve Luke and myself to establish how we finish the 2019-20 season. It was good news all round for Rugeley as we were declared joint winners with Oscott for div 2 and outright winners for div 3. Also Steve Whatmore was voted as Patrick's replacement as Vice President.

The fixtures for the forthcoming season are online and Luke Sullivan is captain both divisions.

Catherine Hiley, (Club Sec)

07/09/21 2021 AGM

Our AGM was held tonight we had a good turnout and lively debate for such a small club, we were decisive on going ahead with competitive chess as we have all missed it.

The details can be found on the 'OTHER' Tab. Please take a look and let me know if there have been any glaring omissions, otherwise I will assume all is well. The website will be updated with new season in next week or so.

Catherine Hiley, (Club Sec)

26/08/21 Internal competition

An all-play-all rapid internal competition is due to take place on 31/08/21.

We have decided to hold an internal all play all, ECF rated, Rapid tournament. Our first of anything competitive since we returned a few weeks ago. We're expecting a good turnout and it should be nice to see the improvement of players over the season. With an incremental time control of 5+6 we are hoping at least 6 games played!.

Hope to see you there at 7:30 prompt start. Good luck, have fun!

Luke Sullivan, (Chess fan)

19/08/21 Rugeley Chess Club, on their travels.

Rugeley friendly v Stafford.

We played a pre-season friendly on 19.08.21 - our first outing as a team for nearly 18 months. Tony captained our squad & arranged with Peter Evans his counterpart at Stafford for us to visit them. Luke got lost & Steve Luff, Stafford's board 5, volunteered to wander around the town to try to find him. They eventually joined us after about 15 minutes of 'I'm by a big island - am I close?' & 'I can see Sainsbury's from here' (ever heard of google maps Mr Sullivan?)

The challenge was set up as 2 x 25 minute games with 10 second increments per move over 5 boards. In game 1 the opponents were (Stafford named first):

Andrew Mowat (1743) v Steve Whatmore (1825)

Ken McNulty (1698) v Matthew Carr (1705)

Andrew Leadbetter (1548) v Luke Sullivan (1525)

Evan Clark (ungraded) v Tony Meakin (1585)

Steve Luff (ungraded) v James Perks (1300)

Tony finished 1st, although he came 2nd but then James won (possibly helped by Luke's tactic of wearing his opponent out earlier in the evening) to tie the scores at 1-1. Wins by Steve & Luke made it 3-1 & then Matt had a draw to make it 3.5-1.5 at the half way mark.

Peter then made a tactical substitution & another Stafford newbie Gabor Somogyi joined on board 4 in place of Ken, with Andrew & Evan moving up a board.

Things began well with Andrew cornering Matt's King in a corner with a 3-fold repetition offered but Matt decided to play something more adventurous & the gamble backfired 0-1. James won his 2nd game of the night - he's been practicing a lot with his sons & it shows - & then Tony added a victory to make it 2-1, meaning that we had won the overall game. Luke then won again (helped by Evan missing a mate in 2 in a complicated position & under time pressure) & then Steve agreed a draw so Rugeley also won the 2nd half 3.5-1.5 to take an overall 7-3 win.

It was so good to get our competitive juices flowing & it will be good to try to organise a return fixture before our respective league seasons hopefully get under way in the Autumn.

Thanks to Stafford for hosting us & being so welcoming & hospitable.

Next up is another friendly at home to Lichfield on Tuesday.

Steve Whatmore.

18/08/21 Rugeley Chess Club, UPDATE

Updated chess news in Rugeley.

The AGM is scheduelled for 7th September at 7:30, if you're not able to attend please make your availability for the upcoming season known to the committee.

Anyone interested in playing chess just to let you know that Rugeley Chess Club is back. We're still in the Computer room upstairs and there are no restrictions in place regarding numbers etc. You can wear a mask should you wish to and people will fully respect this decsion.

There is still Rugeley Chess Club online on Lichess for those members who dont quite feel ready to come down to Lea Hall. Play online chess

Rugeley Library Chess Club is still suspended until further notice, but hoping to get back soon.

Catherine Hiley, (Secretary)

20/07/21 Rugeley Chess Club, Covid-19

Updated Coronavirus and chess in Rugeley.

Lea Hall has now announced it is opening the doors back to the club. Which means we can finally play socially face to face on the 20/07/2021 (international chess day) #InternationalChessDay #chess and get back to over the board mayhem. Prior to that there will be a process of sanitising all the equipment, ready for use. We're pretty excited about meeting up again, and we will have to look at competitive chess when and as able. We're still in the Computer room upstairs and there are no restrictions in place regarding numbers etc. We may have lost some regular members but hope to gain some new interest, and welcome new members.

There is still Rugeley Chess Club online on Lichess for those members who dont quite feel ready to come down to Lea Hall. Play online chess

Rugeley Library Chess Club is still suspended until further notice.

Anyone interested in reading the ECF guidelines for clubs please refer to ECF

Catherine Hiley, (Secretary)

20/04/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

The final report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The final report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    06/04/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The sixth report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The sixth report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    24/03/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The fifth report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The fifth report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    09/03/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The fourth report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The fourth report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    23/02/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The third report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The third report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    09/02/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The second report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The second report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    27/01/21 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The first report of the 3rd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The first report 4NCL season 3
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    18/11/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The final report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The final report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    03/11/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The sixth report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The sixth report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    20/10/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The fifth report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The fifth report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    06/10/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The fourth report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The fourth report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    22/09/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The third report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The third report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    08/09/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The second report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The second report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    25/08/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The First Report of the 2nd season of 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The first report 4NCL season 2
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    07/07/20 Rugeley Chess Club, Covid-19

    Updated Coronavirus and chess in Rugeley.

    Lea Hall has now announced it is now open for drinks only in the lounge area and other rooms are currently not in use, including snooker area. In terms of over the board chess it means that we are unlikely to reconvene as a club until September which will have significant implications on closing our current season and starting a new one. We also need to probably start with an AGM. Prior to that there will be a process of sanitising all the equipment, ready for use.

    The committee recommendation remains that all future chess games are played online, until the situation is resolved. There is a Rugeley Chess Club online on Lichess Play online chess

    Rugeley Library Chess Club is suspended until further notice.

    Anyone interested in reading the ECF guidelines for clubs please refer to ECF

    Catherine Hiley, (Secretary)

    11/06/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    The Final Report 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • The final report 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    09/06/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 10 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 10 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    02/06/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 9 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 9 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    26/05/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 8 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 8 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    19/05/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 7 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 7 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    12/05/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 6 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 6 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    05/05/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 5 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 5 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    28/04/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 4 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 4 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    14/04/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 2 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 2 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    07/04/20 Rugeley Chess Club, ONLINE

    Round 1 4NCL Online via Lichess

    Please click on the link below for details of this tournament.

  • Round 1 4NCL
  • Rugeley Chess Club will remain digital until further notice.

    Matt Carr, (Tournament Controller)

    19/03/20 Rugeley Chess Club, Covid-19

    Coronavirus and chess in Rugeley - Committee meeting minutes.

    Lea Hall currently remains open but with reduced hours from 7-11 on a Tuesday evening.

    However, normal meetings of Rugeley Chess Club are suspended until further notice. All Wolverhampton and Cannock League chess matches have also been suspended.

    We are in the process of setting up a free online chess club for members only and hope to run the summer rapidplay tournament using it (without ECF grading). Members may if, they wish to and are healthy, play outstanding club championship games either at home or at Lea Hall using the club’s equipment which will remain there. No member is under any obligation to play such games. If a clock or other equipment is needed to play at home please contact Matt Carr.

    The club’s AGM is postponed at least until 23 June (provisional date) and the club championship will be decided by the result of matches played on or before 9 June.

    Rugeley Library Chess Club is suspended until further notice.

    Catherine Hiley, (On behalf of the Committee)

    10/03/20 Rugeley v Kidderminster A, WDCL Div 2

    Unbeaten Kidderminster A brought an excellent team, out grading us on every board.

    However, we were pleased to come away with 3 draws from the 6 boards with Steve (1), Matt (3) & Rob (6) each achieving half a point. Steve's Caro-Kann defence gave a tight position but his opponent was marginally on top, Rob managed to get into a fixed position where neither player could really advance & Matt had a very complicated Rook ending that could have gone either way. Sadly Bob (2) miscalculated in the middle game, Cath (4) went for victory but came up just short & Tony (5) was the victim of a ferocious attack on his King side, with each sadly losing.

    Overall Kidderminster A came out on top 4.5 - 1.5 meaning we stay 5th in the table with our 3 local rivals to play to end our season.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    03/03/20 Rugeley v Norton Canes, Cannock League Div 3

    After a very successful debut season and beating Norton in our first encounter, I was feeling confident about securing the div 3 title.

    James started positively with a piece and pawn up and looked very secure in victory until his opponent queened a pawn however James managed to settle his nerves and managed a win, not for the faint-hearted.

    Mike was playing with his usual confidence and sacked his bishop (a Mike speciality) for a certain draw, or so he thought. Mike struggled to gain play from then on and his opponent punished him.

    Luke was prepared for battle on board 1 and gave Mike Hoare a very good game, full of threats and counter-threats it was an interesting game to watch. Luke did well to sustain such pressure but eventually lost.

    It was all down to young unbeaten Ryan, and he was a pawn up from the middle game and managed to make it count in the latter stages of the game after declining multiple offers of a draw, Ryan managed to spare Rugeley's blushes by winning.

    We're still at the top of division 3 but unfortunately our position is tenuous with 2 Lichfield B games left. Still proud of our achievement this year especially Ryan who has played with maturity beyond his years.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    27/02/20 Lichfield A v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 3

    Rugeley's penultimate match of the season and with a good solid team line-up I was feeling positive.

    Tony looked to be on top with a 2 pawn advantage, however things took a drastic and sudden turn for the worse as black conquered the battle of counter-play. Tony resigned in a very open match.

    Following Tony's defeat Mike and James appeared to go on a simultaneous pawn-thrusting campaign, Mike won with his passed pawn, James felt a little less certain and accepted a draw. Dave's game was rather obscure, although he said he enjoyed it. However I felt that a draw was justified, and both players left happy.

    Lichfield played well to draw, and we manage to stay top of the league. One happy captain.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    18/02/20 Rugeley v Mercia B, WDCL Div 2

    Mercia sadly were only able to field 5 players so we started the evening 1-0 ahead. After looking at the line-ups we out-graded each of our opponents so felt confident that we could get a result despite Bill, Cath & Bob being unavailable.

    After a strong attack Rob’s opponent on board 4 resigned before he was mated while Patrick on 5 unfortunately lost to an outside passed pawn which he could not prevent from Queening without significant loss of material. Steve on 1 took advantage of a strong opening exchange & went a Pawn ahead, but lost a bit of momentum & his opponent looked set to take back a Pawn & possibly more with his Queen on Steve’s 2nd rank looking menacing. When he offered a draw, Steve was more than happy to accept. Tony (despite suffering from a nose-bleed courtesy of achieving the dizzy heights of board 3) battled well & went into the end game with a Knight v Bishop & several Pawns each, but despite Tony’s Knight being very active a draw appeared a fair result with Pawns on both sides of the board normally giving a Bishop the slight advantage. With the score 3-2 to us Matt on 2 was last to finish. He had an excellent attack brewing & was set to go material ahead, but was persuaded by his opponent to accept a draw meaning that we were able to take both points – a very gracious gesture by Matt putting the team ahead of his own personal goals.

    So, we won 3.5 - 2.5 & stand on 8 points after 6 games – 3rd in the table. However, we now have the difficult challenge of the 1st, 2nd, 4th & 6th placed teams to play to end our season, but are happy in the knowledge that our Division 2 status is secure for next year.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    12/02/20 Bushbury v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 2

    Through the bitter weather we travelled to Bushbury for our penultimate game in the Division 2 season.

    Board 1 Steve had a huge grade advantage. Keeping his pawn advantage white navigated his attack into a knight v knight end game pushing the extra pawn to victory.
    Board 2 Saw our newcomer to the division, Rob Fell, get off to a flying start. It seemed like he was doomed after going 3 pawns down in the opening. Yet managed to hold fire for one move and surprise his opponent with a sneaky checkmate.
    Board 3 Luke with white opened with the English. A draw was offered after 20 moves yet Luke declined due to the current match result. 40 moves in, Black made a mistake that cost him a bishop and from there a mating pattern was inevitable.
    Board 4 James with black took to board 4 playing an old foe. James gave up the knight for 2 pawns in the opening but shortly into the middle game succumbed to a skewer on his rook.

    Final match score 3-1 Thanks to all players.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    28/01/20 Rugeley v Stafford, Cannock League Div 2

    A long awaited match between the Stafford and Rugeley chess clubs.

    Board 1 Tony with black had a steady game on board 1 gaining a pawn in the middle game. The position was looking very drawn and neither colour wished to advance so a draw was agreed.
    Board 2 Patrick on board 2 for his club played 1.f4 the birds opening to absolutely nobody's surprise. Gaining space, both sides were equal in their camps and defended each of the others attempt to infiltrate. A fairly drawish and level game.
    Board 3 Luke had black and gained space with an aggressive attack early on. There were pins, pieces lost and forks threatened against white. White's last minute attempt to create checkmate fell short and didn't have the combinations needed to survive.
    Board 4 Mike typically sacrificed pawns on board 4 in the middle game to create opportunities. Mike managed to gain an important piece for his panws. Black tried for perpetual check but handed over a hand shake when it didn't work.

    Final match score 3-1 Thanks to all players.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    16/01/20 Wolverhampton v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 2

    Wolverhampton was the destination for our away game to play our rescheduled division 2 match. This was going to be a test for us knowing they can put out a strong team.

    Board 1 Steve had a fantastic game against Michael Oake which ended rather early in the night. Steve out-graded his opponent and with white made sure the opening pressure was too much and black's un-castled king was too weak to defend.
    Board 2 Tony faced a relatively new player at their club. Tony was holding his own as he does yet unfortunately Black miscalculated and lost a knight. Tony had to resign.
    Board 3 Luke with white also faced a new player. Pieces were exchanged rather early on in the English opening, leaving white with a strong bishop and Black a weaker knight and pawn. The pressure was rising for the Wolverhampton player and sadly blundered, allowing checkmate in 2.
    Board 4 We were quite surprised after the match to learn that our board 4 actually played the highest grade. James was a pawn down for the majority of the game and was close to resigning at one stage. Yet he held his nerve and pushed on to see his opponent forfeiting a rook after a clever exchange.

    Final match score 3-1 Thanks to all players.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    08/01/20 Bushbury A v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    Our first Wolverhampton League game of 2020 saw us travel to play a very strong Bushbury A team. Our highest 6 graded players were available so we travelled with optimism, but on seeing our opponents team sheet this quickly evaporated – their board 4 was higher graded than Bill on our board 1!

    Rob quickly won his game on board 6 & then I managed a draw against my flued-up opponent on 3. With Cath then agreeing a draw on 5 we were actually 2-1 ahead with the other 3 games looking fairly level. However, Matt misplaced a Rook & had it forked to his other Rook by his opponent’s Bishop on 2 & then Bill missed a discovered check resulting in him losing his Queen.Bill Hulley v Lee Grinsell. At 3-2 down it was then left to Bob on 4, but in his endgame he had a Knight to his opponent’s Bishop & with Pawns on both flanks & under time pressure Bob sadly got over-run & we ended up losing 4-2.

    Overall, we can all feel pretty pleased that we competed well against a much stronger team who seem destined for promotion & can look forward to games against more evenly matched opponents going forward.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    07/01/20 Rugeley v Lichfield, Cannock League Div 2

    Kicking off the first match of the 2020 year, a local derby as Lichfield B team came to Rugeley. It was warming to see the friendly humour between players before we started our clocks, but this was after all… a battle.

    Board 1 Mike Hoare v Tony. A fascinating last game of the evening with the entire club gathered around. No knights on the board and a full army of pawns late into the game, White offered the queen exchange to Tony's liking and with one clever rook manoeuvre saw whites potential crumble into a drawn position.
    Board 2 Our resident chairman played in usual fashion on Board 2. Patrick gained open files for the rooks and eventually castled long. Unfortunately, he miscalculated a pawn grab that just ended any of his advantage and once a second pawn was taken in the queen end game, Black's passed pawn was unstoppable and White resigned.
    Board 3 You guessed it, Luke as black on board 3 was given the chance to play the Black lion attack against a much higher graded opponent. White played some unusual moves and managed to hold on for dear life against the oncoming threat. David managed to get into some time trouble, yet the pressure of Blacks position and neither side wanting to make any moves. A draw was a fair result.
    Board 4 Mike had one of his best games in recent times on board 4 against a slightly lower graded opponent. This really was an incredible game as Mike sacrificed a pawn for some dominant counter play against the black king, sadly for the Lichfield player he couldn’t calculate away out of the problems that lay before him and after seeing a mating pattern, resigned.

    Final match score 2-2 thanks to all players and have a wonderful New chess year.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    17/12/19 Rugeley Christmas Crazy

    Every year it is customary for Rugeley Chess Club to hold what has become known as the Rugeley Christmas Crazy. Traditionally this is a 6-round handicap event where the stronger players are handed less time on the clock against the weaker players with the unlucky ones being given 3 minutes to defeat the opponents 17 minutes thinking time.

    This year it was my turn as tournament organiser to go crazy and in my wisdom (or insanity, take your pick) I changed the format quite dramatically. I decided to invite a strong player down to Rugeley to play all the chess club in a simultaneous display. The club players were feeling quite confident but then I announced who I’d got, Grandmaster David Howell. This was met with words like “Wow”, “No way” and “Ill still ave him.”

    David Howell is an English grandmaster and has been part of the England team at world events for many years. At the time of asking he was the strongest player in England. When it came time for the match he was the England #5. While this sounds like we had a bit more of a chance, the strongest player we had to put against him was 144, David’s grade is 269 and his FIDE rating is 2676. We were in for a tough fight despite the handicap we handed him. David would have to play everyone at the same time with no time to think, he would have to arrive at a board, make his move and move on to the next player. The Rugeley players would get the amount of time it took him to come back to them to think on what move they wanted to play.

    So on to the night. We had 16 willing victims/volunteers assembled for battle. Players were told only to make their move when David was at the board and that they were allowed two passes (if they wanted more time to think on what they wanted to do) any more than that they would have to beg or bribe David. Prizes would be awarded at the end depending on various parameters. With the rules clarified, the battles began.

  • David Howell 2019
  • Everything started without too many problems. As David got to the last of the boards, the entire left side of the room erupted into laughter and cries “did you tell him about us?” David had by pure luck (I assure you) had played our club chairman’s favourite opening (The birds) against him. In my defence the only thing I told David about Rugeley is that we are a fun group of people, completely barmy and have a wicked sense of humour. David simply smiled and said, “Ill fit right in then.” To illustrate just how barmy the tournament organiser had gone by this point, here is my game against David. David Howell v Matt Carr.

    The games were going well, our juniors especially giving David a good run for his money. I was later informed that one of them was at least even and was causing David a lot of trouble. Sadly, David managed to outplay him once the player made a mistake in the middlegame.
    The night progressed and several of us had bitten the dust, it looked like nothing was going to stop David until in quick succession we had gasps and cheers from the right side of the room. One of our players had proudly announced “Stalemate”. I was so sorry to point out that he could move a pawn on the other side of the board, (the arbiter in me never switches off) and checkmate soon followed on that board. A few minutes after that a cheer went up, genuinely this time and I was informed that a draw had been agreed. Well done Steve. David Howell v Steve Whatmore.

    Now it was down to who would win the final prize, the last player standing prize, and our club treasurer managed to win that one by one move! The finishing order and prizes were as follows:

    Finished Name Result Opponent
    1 Dave Hadley 0-1 David Howell
    2 James Perks 0-1 David Howell
    3 Matt Carr 0-1 David Howell
    4 Steve Heath 0-1 David Howell
    5 Mike Page 0-1 David Howell
    6 David Hiley 0-1 David Howell
    7 Rob Fell 0-1 David Howell
    8 Adam Routledge 0-1 David Howell
    9 Patrick Waller 0-1 David Howell
    10 Rachel Wood 0-1 David Howell
    11 Luke Sullivan 0-1 David Howell
    12 Ryan Wood 0-1 David Howell
    13 Steve Whatmore 1/2-1/2 David Howell
    14 Catherine Hiley 0-1 David Howell
    15 Kevin Gallagher 0-1 David Howell
    16 Tony Meakin 0-1 David Howell

    Prize Winner
    Most Wins David Howell
    Best over 120 Steve Whatmore
    Best U120 Luke Sullivan
    Best U90 Rachel Wood
    Best Junior Ryan Wood
    Stop and Think (Troublemaker) Catherine Hiley
    Last Player Standing Tony Meakin

    David Howell v Catherine Hiley.

    After the tournament was over David very kindly agreed to go through his game and give some training to Ryan, both were enjoying themselves so much it was only when we got a warning the venue was closing in half an hour could I stop them.

    Every player I spoke to on the night told me they’d had a wonderful evening and from my perspective, it was a pleasure to organise and my utmost thanks to David for agreeing to come along.

  • David Howell 2019 simul

  • Matt Carr, (International Arbiter and Tournament Organiser)

    03/12/19 Rugeley v Lichfield A, Cannock League Div 3

    Rugeley's last match of 2019 welcomed Lichfield.

    Dave was on a good run of form and didn't disappoint, earning Rugeley a draw early on. It was closely followed by Luke who earned another solid draw against a very experienced opponent.

    Ryan has had a fantastic debut season and continued to shine with yet another solid performance, he didn't get carried away and showed a maturity in his play which is way beyond his youthful age.

    James showed great stamina and resolve after going a piece down on the 8th move and took his opponent right to the end of the evening before eventually losing his game with the material disadvantage.

    A very credible draw to help solidify our number 1 division status.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    26/11/19 Rugeley v Tamworth, Cannock League Div 2

    Tamworth came to us for our second division 2 game of the season. Being out graded on the top 3 boards this was going to be a tough match.

    Board 1 Saw our resident International Arbiter Matt taking on Marius, a powerful player who had the ability of a 170 strength. A very complicated middle game stemming from the Dutch defence with virtually no play on the queenside for either player as Matt had tripled pawns. White however had a very strong kingside attack and surely enough claimed the win.
    Board 2 Opposing captains faced each other as Luke faced Peter Oliver for the first time. After getting to the middle game with plenty of time left for both it seemed like a very drawn position as both sides had bad blocked in light bishops. Yet in typical fashion the Rugeley player blundered a rook and that was that.
    Board 4 Tamworth were already 2-0 up in this match and it was all down to our boards 3 and 4. James on 4 played a fantastic game as white James Perks v Alexis Edwards and with a devastating attack against blacks king managed to win in such a way that it left his ungraded opponent helpless.
    Board 3 It all came down to Mike Page on board 3. This slow beautiful game came down the wire for his opponent having 14 seconds left to our player's 4 minutes. Mike had the chance to become a piece up but felt that time pressure was enough to just take a pawn and dominate the position. Mike won.

    Final match score 2-2. Thanks to all players who played.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    20/11/19 Coleshill v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 3

    With our penultimate away match of the season, I wanted to continue our winning ways. Having only two U100 contenders available we fielded a strong team.

    Dave played an absolutely stunningly aggressive game and finished with an unstoppable queen, bishop and pawn mating combination, closely followed by Ryan whose opponent fell for a cunning trap and lost the game. Quite quickly we were 2-0 up.

    My hopes for a clean sweep were soon dashed as I saw Luke in a resignable position.. a lovely bishop pair had Luke in all sorts of trouble, fortunately for Luke his opponent's sight let him down and lady luck helped Luke secure a draw for the match win. I was the exchange up but had 5 minutes left and credit to my lower-graded opponent he defended exceptionally well forcing me to reluctantly accept a draw.

    Another brilliant team result, so proud of the performances.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    12/11/19 Rugeley v Warley Quinborne B, WDCL Div 2

    We returned to winning ways with a closely fought victory at home to Warley Quinborne’s B team. In contrast to last week’s match we fell behind early on, when after returning from a quick toilet break it became apparent that we were 2 nil down after defeats for Matt & Rob (I decided that I would cross my legs for the rest of the match as this was clearly a sign not to leave the room again).

    After 80 mins Cath’s opponent’s flag fell & her perfectly executed Pawn to e4 got us a point back.
    Bob then agreed his 4th consecutive draw to leave the match at 1.5/2.5. The result was therefore left in the hands of Steve & Tony.
    Tony had a really hard battle with his opponent but eventually won thanks to a decisive central pawn push where he nearly had 3 of them promoted to Queens at one point.
    With the scores now level Steve was last to finish in a fascinating match against a similarly graded opponent.Steve Whatmore v Dave Jeffs Castling on opposite sides, Steve had a wonderful centralised Knight & after a Rook for Bishop sacrifice managed to trap his opponent’s King in the corner of the board. The King was attacked by Steve’s Queenside pawns leading to his opponent’s resignation with a forced checkmate beckoning, before he had the chance to develop his own attack on the opposite side of the board.

    A 3.5/2.5 victory therefore leaves us unbeaten in our last 6 WDCL Div 2 games (across this season & the end of last year’s) & we stand 2nd in this year’s current table. We can know look forward to 2020’s League games with confidence & attempt to build on our fantastic second half of 2019.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    07/11/19 Halesowen B v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    Luke & Rob dominated their opponents to both win in reasonably quick time. Steve & Bob then agreed draws giving us a 3-1 lead having all played against lower graded opponents.

    Cath had a terrific battle with her young opponent & set him several traps which to his credit he rebuffed confidently, before his centralised Queen & small Pawn majority led to a chase of Cath’s King around the board & a clever mating combination. Cath can feel unlucky to be drawn to play against a player with outstanding potential on board 4 who could probably have beaten any of us on his day.
    Matt played extremely aggressively against an equally strong opponent, going the exchange down to pressure his uncastled King in the centre. His passed d Pawn was all the way up to the 6th rank in the middle game, but despite his best efforts his opponent defended carefully & eventually blocked the Pawn with his Bishop. This freed his King to escape & support his own Pawn to advance & Queen first, leading to a narrow win levelling the scores at 3-3.

    Although disappointed with another draw despite outgrading our opponents again, we had an enjoyable evening & stay unbeaten so far this season, now standing 3rd in the League.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    29/10/19 Norton Canes v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 3

    Felt quietly confident about this match until as a NPC I played a lovely 8 year old boy in a friendly match which wasn't as comfortable as I was expecting, as he didn't make the team.

    Ryan was the first to win with a confident mate with a king and rook. Luke celebrated his win by playing a friendly with the 8 yr old youngster and was relieved it wasn't a serious game. Dave was a little hemmed in but his opponent blundered by taking with the wrong piece (we've all been there), and lost his advantage. Dave played well and once he swallowed up his opponent's last piece his first win of the season was imminent.

    Mike had a tough but enjoyable challenge against Mike Hoare but despite a positive start was unable to find the winning combination and lost at the end.

    Brilliant team result, special thanks to Mike for stepping in last minute and to Luke who was accommodating.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    22/10/19 Rugeley v Wolverhampton B, WDCL Div 2

    Our first home game of the Wolverhampton League season saw us welcome Wolverhampton’s B Team. A really close game left the honours even with a 3-3 draw.

    Bill, myself, Bob & Patrick all drew with Rob getting his second victory (of ‘10 guaranteed wins’) of the season.
    Sadly, Cath lost after a hard fought battle which could have gone either way against the opposition captain.

    Wolverhampton are becoming our bogey team after 2 close defeats by them recently in the Chase Trophy, and I’m sure that they will be pleased with their first League point of the season, especially being out graded by around 20 points per board against us. We are however still unbeaten in the Wolverhampton League setting a firm foundation for the rest of our season.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    17/10/19 Lichfield B v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 3

    Tony was playing Yuriy Slobodyuk graded 139. The match was really even although Tony felt his opponent had the upper hand. Both kings became open and pieces were swapped. Yuriy won back a pawn with a great knight move but then made an illegal move and accepted Tony's earlier draw offer.
    A tough challenge for James playing a young John Moughton-Leay with some good attacking play on both sides just a build up of pressure ending James' resolve.
    Dave played Sam Skinner and looked like he had the upper hand in the centre but allowed his opponent's attack to build up. At the end his opponent claimed mate and Dave resigned although there was the possibility of taking the mating piece only seen after the event!
    Ryan's match was challenging against Maurizio Baravalle who played much better than his grade of 21 would suggest. Ryan missed that he was inevitably going to lose a minor piece. But the end of the game his opponent blundered and Ryan ended up securing his first win of the season.

    Tough match but excellent to see Ryan doing so well, and Tony managing a good draw.

    Tony Meakin, (Cannock League Div 3, Vice Captain)

    08/10/19 Rugeley v Coleshill, Cannock League Div 3

    The second game of the division 3 league, and we settled down to the match early on. James had an interesting game on board 2, with his opponent going for a queen-side attack, and James went full throttle with a counter king-sided attack which took even James by surprise with its devastating consequences and gained the first points. David Hadley got slowly strangled in his game but fought with heart. Luke was feeling quietly confident and quickly adapted to the visual-aided clock and saying his move aloud. He played solidly and didn't allow his opponent much space, after taking control of the centre, another win was secured. Ryan was last to finish with a gridlocked position and looked pretty tired bt 21:45, yet the youngster battled on against Coleshill's captain until both were in time trouble. Ryan offered a draw when he had just grasped a good advantage but felt the time pressure warranted a draw, securing a 2nd team win. Well played Ryan on your debut team match.

    Fantastic team result, will hopefully boost confidence for future matches.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    02/10/19 Kieran Mills v Ryan Wood, U100 Dolan Trophy

    Ryan played the replay in this exciting U100 encounter at Coleshill, it was a close game, and Ryan managed his time carefully but Kieran managed to gain a pawn and let it count at the later stages.

    Congratulations to Kieran, and well done to Ryan for his first game at an opposing venue.

    Catherine Hiley, (Webmaster)

    01/10/19 Rugeley v Wolverhampton, Cannock Chase Cup

    Locations were reversed in this seasons cup match against Wolverhampton.

    Board 1 saw I.A Matt Carr take on Stephen Tarr as black. A fascinating opening lead to a complicated locked pawn position with both sides material nicely placed on ideal squares. Matt thought he had a winning attack but couldn’t find the correct combination and so a draw was agreed.
    Board 2 Steve Whatmore v Tony Preece. Steve seemed to have chances in the opening but couldn’t work out any clear advantage. Black managed to grab an important half open F file in the end game and overwhelmed the board, Steve resigned.
    Board 3 Tony Meakin v Peter Pearson-Jones. Tony as Black, piled the pressure on. He seemed to dominate white's king with his knights. Whites cramped set up saw the position crumble and Tony took the win.
    Board 4 Luke Sullivan v Geoff Rosser. The classic English Vs Kings Indian was on the board. Luke gave away his isolated Pawn in the middle game to remove his opponent's strong bishop. After 2 declined draw offers, black was in serious time pressure. It was too difficult to calculate the mate in 15 with 40 seconds remaining, ending in a draw.

    Final match score (2-2) Wolverhampton win on board count.

    Luke Sullivan, (Vice Cup Captain)

    31/09/19 Rushall v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 2

    All players were eager to bring back a result in our first season match in Division 2, travelling to Rushall's new club venue.

    Already being prepared for a very tough battle on board 1. Tony as white knew he would have to be very fortunate to overcome his opponent, being out-graded by 42 points. White had his rooks attacked and succumbed to a nasty check-mating pattern in the middle game.
    Board 2 Patrick Waller v Shane Cooksey. Black managed to gain an advantage seizing a pawn early on. Patrick managed to maintain the pressure and the end game proved too much for white as he couldn’t stop black's pawn queening and duly resigned.
    Our own veteran took the third board as white and played his regular e4 opening. Mike's opponent managed to weather the storm in the middle game and unfortunately Mike blundered a knight under time pressure. This was the last game to finish and the Rushall player took the victory.
    As prepared as he was for whatever white threw at him Luke knew the black lion was his saving grace. White played very solid, developing early. The middle game proved that time is needed in chess and this was the case as black contemplated a potential sacrifice against White's king. Luke decided to castle queenside but this was too slow, in this drawn position Black managed to make “The worst move in chess history” forgetting the en-passant rule, not only giving white mate in 4 but blundering his queen too.

    Final match score (3-1) Thank you to all players who could make it.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    23/09/19 Kidderminster B v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    We began our campaign with our longest away game of the season, but took the points with a fine victory against Kidderminster’s B team. It was pleasing to be able to play with our 6 highest graded players who all went home with wins or draws.

    Rob was first to finish with a quick-fire victory on board 6 (apparently successfully ignoring the new captain’s advice of no sex, beer or curry the night before a match).
    Bob’s opponent offered him a draw with a Queen and Knight endgame on board 4 which he accepted.
    Bill was a Pawn down but fought back well & had chances to win on board 1, but he was happy to agree a draw.
    After some typical Hiley thrusts (and also successfully ignoring the new captain’s advice of no beer during a match), Cath won with her opponent eventually yielding to her attack, giving her a well-deserved victory on Board 5 Catherine Hiley v John Whitehead.
    Matt then agreed a draw after a tense tactical battle on board 2.
    As is now traditional on long away games, the rest of the team left for home leaving me alone to eventually wear down my opponent on board 3 & claim a victory Steve Whatmore v David Waud.
    This gave us a 4.5 - 1.5 team win to start our season.

    Thank you to every member of the team for making yourselves available for such a long trip.

    Steve Whatmore, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    10/09/19 Rugeley v Lichfield, Cannock League Div 3

    The new season started with controversy, with a mix-up between captains. This wasn't the start I was hoping for and had to make an impromptu change to our line up as I stepped in at board 1 as the opposition had come with 3 very capable players. A little flustered we eventually settled down to play. David Hadley enjoyed his game but having missed being skewered, eventually lost too much material. I missed an opportunity to take a pawn advantage and happily accepted a draw which was a fair reflection in the end. Luke was a little unprepared playing white, but played a very solid game which can be seen here Luke Sullivan v John Fryer securing our first win of the season.

    Hopefully we shall see our up and coming junior players competing soon.

    Catherine Hiley, (Cannock League Div 3 Captain)

    03/09/19 New Season ahead

    So the summer fun is almost over and the last Tuesday was packed with players playing friendly games and Club championship games. Most notable was Ryan's debut match against Kieran Mills from Coleshill graded 71, in the Cannock league U100 Dolan Trophy. Although Ryan had the opportunity to win, he did admirably well to maintain his nerve throughout the match and came away with a well deserved draw. The replay at Coleshill is on 23.10.19.

    The new season starts next week at home with our new CDCL div 3 team. We hope they have a good first season and enjoy the challenges ahead.

    Don't forget Chess in schools and Communities starts this Thursday at Rugeley library from 4-5pm and its absolutely FREE !

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    10/08/19 Rugeley Summer Rapidplay Tournament

    Not all games were played over the summer but it was an enjoyable event, with a few surprise results. Congratulations to Steve Whatmore who gained top spot. The Club Championship tournament and the U100 section is now underway.

    For the results click on the following link

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    30/07/19 Chess in Schools and Communities

    For further information regarding Chess in Schools in the Rugeley area please click on the following link

  • Rugeley Library Chess Club

  • Patrick Waller, (Club Chairman)

    19/05/19 End of Season Review

    We have had a successful season finishing 5th in Division 2 of the Wolverhampton League, 2nd in Division 2 of the Cannock League and runner-up in the Chase Cup. Several players were in the hunt for the Player of the Season accolade (best percentage score representing the club) and Bob Edgar came out on top with 75%. Luke Sullivan and Bill Hulley scored 67% and Steve Whatmore 65%. Tony Meakin played the most games (15) scoring 57%. Bob Edgar also won the Club Championship beating Steve Whatmore in the final. Steve was awarded the Chairman's Cup and he also won the rapidplay (held last summer) and recent blitz tournament. Luke won the Christmas blitz competition. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who has represented the club this season. Thanks also to Rob Fell who is standing down as Wolverhampton League Captain after two successful seasons and good luck to his successor Steve Whatmore.

    Patrick Waller, (Club Chairman)

    14/05/19 Rugeley End of Season Blitz Tournament

    Almost the entire club were present, Patrick and James unfortunately were unable to make it. It was a 5 minutes each blitz game, Luke had his 2 chairs to try and dominate proceedings but required a little more than increased height tonight. The juniors David and Ryan found the speed very challenging, but both enjoyed it, Ryan coming away with a well deserved junior prize of a large bar of chocolate. Congratulations to Steve Whatmore for coming first and Rob and Catherine also played very well to lose the title on a tie break. Thanks again to Matt Carr for organising another cracking event.

    For the results click on the following link

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    07/05/19 Rugeley Chess Club AGM 2019

    Our AGM chaired by Patrick, took place tonight, with a good turnout. Briefly subs were voted to be slightly increased in view of Lea Hall's increase to £27.50 please pay Tony as soon as possible as this is required for registration to the leagues. It was also voted to have a div 3 CDCL team captained by Catherine Hiley as a NPC, Steve Whatmore is now captain of the WDCL div 2 team. For further details the minutes are under the 'Other' tab.

    Thanks to all the members for a successful season and hope to have another good year.

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    02/05/19 WDCL Blitz Tournament

    A team of 4 from Rugeley starring Steve Whatmore, Catherine Hiley, Tony Meakin and Luke Sullivan started a new chess adventure of blitz chess under the guidance of Matt Carr (who else?) arbitering the event. It started off rather tough being paired up with opponents 50 - 60 points higher than us, after being subjected to 2 rather heavy defeats we started to play opponents of a similar level and started winning. In the end we came a rather credible 5/12 which I thought was rather a splendid result considering the gulf in grades. Special shout out to Matt who kept the evening running smoothly albeit with interesting time parameters of 5 hrs on one table.

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

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    18/04/19 Tamworth v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 2

    With their initial match rescheduled, this was the final match of the season. Steve stepping in at Board 1, gained the exchange. This proved too much for the Tamworth player and having just over a minute on the clock against white's 5, resignation followed. Tony, held his own against his opponent in what looked like a clear development advantage for White, but alas he couldn’t break through Black's pawn structure and so a draw was accepted. A rematch on board 3, as Luke played Chris Harrington. White's piece development and space on the queen side put too much pressure on Black's shoulders having the choice to lose his queen or the game. Wanting to get another win on the streak, James held his own against his opponent quickly getting to the end game. Black lost a pawn creating 2 unstoppable pass pawns for the Tamworth player and unfortunately resignation was inevitable.

    Final match score 2.5 – 1.5 Congratulations to Rugeley for the match win and thanks to all players for supporting their clubs. A great way to end this season.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    11/04/19 Lichfield v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    With honour to play for in division 2s final game of the season this proved to be a very entertaining match. Catherine Capitulated after being seduced by a very poisonous pawn and resigned after only 13 moves being played. Tony Tried really hard to gain some momentum after being a bishop down for 3 pawns, however Tony just couldn't hold on, but an impressive effort. Bob Brilliantly fought in what appeared to be a locked 'W' pawn formation, after declining the offer of a draw Bob pursued the flanks to good effect and won. Steve Solidly played out a drawn game where neither player could gain an advantage. Mike Manoeuvered his pieces in typical aggressive fashion to gain control of the centre and it was too powerful for his opponent, despite his best defensive efforts. Luke Luckily escaped a mating threat, and his opponent almost lost on time, but not quickly enough for Luke. His opponent being a rook to the advantage offered Luke a draw which was admirably accepted by Luke. Luke's draw was instrumental in providing the team with a draw which was on reflection the fairest result.

    Final match score 3-3, Thanks to all players for contributing over the last season we finished 5th in the league.

    Catherine Hiley, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Vice Captain)

    26/03/19 Rugeley v Brewood, WDCL Div 2

    Our penultimate match in the league was against Brewood, and we were all looking forward to the challenge ahead. The evening started off promising with their Captain explaining that they would have to default Board 6 at short notice – so a well-deserved evening off for our Patrick. Solid play by our in-form Steve gained an impressive victory on Board 1. I managed to slowly carve out slight advantages on Board 3 and was finally relieved to get a win under my belt. Matt & Cath on boards 2 & 4 gave very little away with resolute positional play but always a threat on the counter – 2 excellent draws soon followed. Finally board 5 was drawing to a close in the end-game – one of Bob’s strengths is in this field and precise play with the pawns soon resulted in another win. What a brilliant performance from everybody involved – 5-1 at this level is an impressive score considering many of us were out graded to begin with.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    06/03/19 Boldmere St Michaels v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    We again were able to field the same team that equipped themselves brilliantly in the previous match. Draws again were the theme of the evening which shows how dogged and determined our players are when meeting superior-graded opponents. Steve attained a fantastic draw on board 1, Cath & Patrick proved reliable and solid on boards 4 & 5 also attaining draws while Tony on board 6 nullified his opponent with some steady play. Matt & myself were unfortunate to succumb to defeats on boards 2 & 3 while holding our own for much of the game. Thus Boldmere won the match 4-2 but certainly had to work for it. Many thanks to all those that turned out again.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    12/02/19 Rugeley v Mercia, WDCL Div 2

    Now this match was always going to be a tough assignment and we all knew that we would need to bring our “A” game to stand any chance of success. We also welcomed a new Board 1 – Steve Whatmore who was being promoted as reward for his recent performances. Cath started our team off on the right foot by neutralising her opponent on Board 4 and gaining a respectable draw. Draws soon become the main theme of the evening as boards 5 (Patrick) 3 (myself) and 6 (Tony) also ended in a share of the spoils with all our positions pretty much in a state of equilibrium. Now only boards 1 and 2 were left to play – both had very interesting positions and required a lot of thought. Ultimately as the evening drew to a close Matt secured a brilliant draw on board 2 Matt Carr v Anthony Sadler and Steve was extremely unlucky to encounter some very offensive play which resulted in his King being coaxed out on the open board Philip Hurtado v Steve Whatmore. Thus Rugeley narrowly lost 3 ½ - 2 ½ but equipped themselves extremely well against a stronger team and should be proud of their valiant efforts.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    29/01/19 Rugeley v Rushall, Cannock League Div 2

    Rushall travelled to Rugeley to battle out the first league match of 2019. Board 1. Tony Meakin v John Staniforth. Out graded, the home player with black mustered up a solid opening. Tony found a combination gaining him 2 pawns, but by the middle game it looked to be white who had the active pieces and so a draw was fairly agreed. Board 2. Mike Page v Shane Cooksey. Both players played a steady game. Although white had the winning edge with a piece up, due to time pressure, white had to offer the draw which was accepted. Board 3. Luke Sullivan v Peter Turner. Black went down the black lion route. Luke offered a draw but was declined. Black missed mate in 3 around move 30 and knowing it was this game that decided the outcome of the match, played out another 30 moves to secure the win. Board 4. James Perks v Josh Hennion. Similar in grade this would be a battle of the minds. Both players played solidly. With equal material and no obvious way through. A draw was agreed.

    Thanks to all players and Well done Rugeley for their first win of the season.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    15/01/19 Rugeley v Halesowen B, WDCL Div 2

    With our 3 top players missing we were slightly nervous about this match. Everyone stepped up a board or 2, and found that the teams were evenly matched. Patrick managed to gain a swift half point, Steve was happy to have his draw accepted. Tony's opponent was quite defensive, and Tony's patience paid off with a win. I had a difficult game but battled hard to secure a very helpful draw, and Bob managed to turn his game around to gain us a match victory. Unfortunately Mike lost a piece and a pawn in a very open and aggressive game to a junior player, and kindly resigned so that the young man could get off home. The end result was a 3.5 – 2.5 win to the Rugeley team. Thank you all for playing, it made the night an enjoyable one.

    Catherine Hiley, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Vice-Captain)

    18/12/18 Rugeley Christmas Rapidplay

    Another fun filled evening run by Matt Carr, this evening was a victorious one for Luke Sullivan, he won a nice bottle of wine. For the results table .

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    11/12/18 Bidgood Cup

    After under-performing in the Rock Cup I looked forward to playing my opponent Vic Brown in the subsidiary Bidgood Cup. I learnt later that Vic had won the Bidgood Cup last year so this game promised to be a challenge, which it certainly was.

    Vic played 1 d4 and dominated the opening leaving me unable to castle and develop my bishop. This was a game where I struggled to get any counter play whatsoever. With my opponents Queen, rook and knight threatening to break on the seventh rank I had to defend the a- file staunchly. I was particularly impressed by Vics pushing of the a and h pawns. The a pawn provided the initial invasion point for his attack and h pawn prevented any easy escape for my queen from her defensive duties. We fought to a standstill before Vic offered a draw with time pressure looming for both sides. There are times when chess transcends pushing pits of plastic around sixty four squares this “epic” was certainly one of those times. I have conceded the match because of my forthcoming sojourn to Cornwall but as Arnie says "I will be back", and of course best of luck to Vic in his defense of the Harold Bidgood trophy.

    Steve Heath (Rugeley member)

    06/12/18 Warley Quinborne B v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    We approached our next match with a slight bit of trepidation. It had been observed that Warley had gained some notable success in the league so far and also that we were slightly below strength but we aimed to do our best regardless. Matt secured a magnificent win on board 1, Matt Carr v John Fahy I blundered a winning position on 2 while Steve was unfortunate to lose only his first game this season on 3. Following on from that Bob gained a comfortable win on 4, Tony managed to hold his opponent to a draw on 5 and James put up a brave display but finally succumbed on 6. Thus the end result was a 3.5 – 2.5 loss to the Rugeley team. Thank you all for playing what proved to be a very challenging fixture this time of year, it was greatly appreciated.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    27/11/18 Rugeley v Boldmere, Cannock League Div 2

    Boldmere came with 3 opponents to a high spirited Rugeley for the last match before Christmas. Tony started solidly with black, and with white not wishing to advance knew the best option was to offer the early draw. 1.5- 1.5. Board 2. Mike with white had a fantastic game, Mike Page v Arthur Kent having offered 2 draws to his opponent which were declined, Mike went for it and smothered black with mate. Board 3. Using the Black Lion opening Luke was ready for a good game. A solid opening from both and everything to play for in the middle game. Unfortunately a blunder cost the Rugeley player his knight and it was resignation shortly after. Thanks to all players and Well done to Rugeley for grabbing the victory! 2.5-1.5.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    20/11/18 Rugeley's 50th anniversary celebrations 1968 - 2018

    The majority of members managed to celebrate the chess club's 50th anniversary with founder member Mike Page at Ye Olde Dun Cow in Colton. There were plenty of laughs and anecdotes, and banter mixed with good food and a splash of wine. We look forward to the next 50 years, or as much of it as possible anyway! Thanks to all who attended, it was a lovely evening.

    Catherine Hiley, (Club Secretary)

    18/11/18 Bolton Rapidplay Congress

    I set my mobile phone alarm on silent vibrate early on Sunday morning. After carefully getting out of bed without disturbing my better half, I quietly got dressed (into the previous day’s clothes to avoid opening any cupboards) & left the house. I was on the M60 before the inevitable phone call came….’where are you?’ ‘I thought I told you that I was going to play chess today darling’ ( I had told her weeks ago – you know the sort of conversation when you tell someone something in passing in the hope that they didn’t really pick up on what you said?) I had escaped for the day – she would have to go wallpaper shopping with just her sister. I felt free & very clever that my plan had worked.
    I had entered the Knight’s section (up to 125) & as I’m graded 123 I felt that I had a chance of doing well. I won my first 2 games fairly comfortably, blundered a rook for bishop in my 3rd but managed to fight back & achieve a win & escaped a potential mate in 3 in my 4th game to get away with a draw by perpetual check. The 5th game was a tame draw which left me as 1 of 4 players with 4 points & there was 1 player with 4.5.

    Fortunately I got drawn against the leader so a tournament victory was mine if I could beat him. As Black I played the Caro-Khan e4 c6, d4 d5, e5 c5 – he declined my initial gambit & played c3 with me later playing c4 it left the Queen side with a pawn blockade. White castled Kingside so I attacked with my minor pieces where I managed to win a Rook for a Knight after he pushed his King side pawns forward to counter-attack. He managed to break through on the f file & chased my King from f8 across the board to b6 with a series of checks. After consolidating I managed to pin his Bishop to his unguarded Rook & eventually his flag went down with me firmly on top. 1 of the other players on 4 points had also won so I shared first place & the prize money.I returned home very happy after another hour & a half on the Motorways, but expecting a mouthful from the other half for leaving her for the day. But she was pleased to see me, to my amazement she told me that she had heard the alarm vibrate but stayed in bed pretending to be asleep. She wanted me out of the way as her plan was for her & her sister to go shopping without me so that she could choose whatever wallpaper she wanted without me putting the expensive rolls back on the shelves! A hot sweat came over me (which is even more unpleasant when you’re wearing the same underwear for the second day in a row) – I’d been double bluffed. After adding my entry fee, petrol, lunch etc to the cost of the wallpaper she'd bought, it came to more than the prize money I’d won! Now all I need to do is find another Congress next weekend to play in, so I don’t have to help her hang the bloody stuff…….

    Steve Whatmore (Congress man)

    15/11/18 Lichfield v Rugeley, Cannock League Div 2

    Well this match went off with a bang (of intense silence) we came away with a draw. Extremely well played by Tony, he had a swift victory and Steve Heath notably had a dominant win. Overall it was a good perforamnce as we were outgraded on every board.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock League Div 2 Captain)

    26 - 28/10/18 Scarborough Congress

    It would be remiss of me not to mention 3 members of the club travelling to Scarborough, Mike and Tony both in the Foundation section and myself in the Intermediate. There really are no easy wins this weekend, it's often quite a taxing weekend, so much so that my first game didn't finish until 11pm and so none of us ate that evening (sorry guys) and after a few vodkas to drown the memory of my first loss... I had a serious hangover to take me into Saturday. Mike and Tony fared much better. Mike finished on 3/5, and Tony had an impressive 4/5. For the results table I had an enjoyable weekend, despite my result of 1.5/5

    Catherine Hiley

    23/10/18 Rugeley v Kidderminster B, WDCL Div 2

    We were hoping to keep the momentum going in this match and sign off with 4 wins before our annual Xmas meal. Unfortunately this was the match when the wheels started to fall off. While our board 1 got a quick draw with his opponent, board 2 being myself was literally “crushed” into oblivion, being mated by a pair of bishops! Bob on board 5 was next to come unstuck after resigning in a losing position leaving the rest of the team to try and salvage something. Patrick on board 6 battled on and soon found himself in a beautiful end-game that his opponent had no hope of recovering from Patrick Waller v Clive Billinge. Board 4 our reliable newbie Steve grinded out another win in the end-game which left Cath’s game on board 3 being pivotal. Despite a brave attempt to get a draw Cath finally succumbed to defeat despite battling through gamely. Well done team for giving it your all and nearly rescuing a point, we still have had a very good start to the season despite this unfortunate 3.5 – 2.5 loss.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    11/09/18 Rock Cup Round 1

    I ventured over to Warley Quinbourne Chess club in terrible weather to play Andy Southall. I enjoy the Rock Cup as it allows me to play very strong players who I would not ordinarily play. Andy with a grade of 192 played certainly fitted that bill. Andy played the French defence and I was quickly under pressure and capitulated after losing a knight on move 20. It’s interesting that lack of hope in a position and the pressure of continuously strong moves by an opponent obtains unforced errors. A thank you to Andy for explaining where I had gone wrong in the opening and best of luck as he advances in the Rock Cup. I am now entered into the Bidgood cup, where hopefully I can give my opponents a better game.

    Steve Heath

    10/10/18 Stourbridge B v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    Our next assignment as well as being quite a distance to travel was also viewed as one where we hoped to gain maximum points and build upon the growing momentum. Our board 1 Matt although losing finally in the end game performed admirably considering he was suffering with acute back pain! Bill on board 2 Julie Wilson v Bill Hulley made light work of his opponent winning within an impressive 18 moves. Draws quickly followed on boards 3, 4 & 5 for myself, Cath & Bob Ron Evans v Catherine Hiley, although we all admitted that our positions were inferior which left Board 6 Steve determining our fate. Jeremy Humphries v Steve Whatmore.Thankfully Steve managed to grind out a win very late on which gave us a 3.5 : 2.5 win overall. Well done team for a dogged display, we have now won our first 3 games and,*whisper* are top of the League!

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    02/10/18 Rugeley v Rushall, WDCL Div 2

    For this match we were slightly apprehensive as we recognised how strong a challenge Rushall would present and also that we were without 2 of our best players in Matt & Cath. Also we were welcoming a new debutant in Steve Whatmore Steve Whatmore v Peter Leary to the team so success was never guaranteed. However my fears were soon to be unfounded as each one of our players (bar myself) put in a performance to be proud of. Wins on boards 3, 4 & 6 (Bob, Steve & Tony) really set the tone, followed up by draws on boards 1 & 5 (Bill & Patrick) and then our solitary loss on board 2 (myself). Thus we won the match 4-2 and a few mild jokes about going for promotion were raised – but it is a very long season ahead. Well done team, again you delivered a display of attacking solid chess to be proud of!.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    17/09/18 St George's v Rugeley, WDCL Div 2

    We travelled to St George's for our opening match of the season with fresh optimism (we were already 1-0 up after the home team unfortunately had to default a board). Travelling wise was quite straight forward with hardly any delays and we all arrived promptly and ready for the task ahead. After some very good solid displays by all our team we came away with a 4-2 win – myself and Cath winning on boards 2 & 3, Bob & Patrick drawing on boards 4 & 5 and Matt unfortunately up against the clock in the end game losing on board 1. Cath’s game in particular was very impressive, going 2 pieces up very early on in her game and being able to manoeuvre a position where there was no escape for her opponent. Well done team – an impressive win and hopefully the start of another successful season again for us.

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    08/09/2018 UK Open Blitz Championship – Birmingham Qualifier

    Luke & Steve took the plunge & entered while Matt had a very successful day as the chief arbiter. The blitz rules meant that all moves had to be made in 3 minutes + 2 seconds added per move, across 15 rounds in 7 exhausting hours. Both players had very challenging tournaments - there were 51 entrants, all in one section, with a GM, 2 IMs & 2 FMs amongst a very strong field with the vast majority of players graded far higher than either of them.
    After a very long but really enjoyable day for both, Steve managed to achieve 6 wins, with 8 defeats & 1 draw (which was his highlight against an opponent graded nearly 160). Luke was very unlucky with the pairings he received, regularly getting matched up with some really excellent opponents, & finished with a creditable 5 points from his tournament.
    Further details can be found on the UK Open Blitz Championship web site.

    For the results table

    Steve Whatmore, Rugeley Chess Club

    04/09/2018 Rugeley v Wolverhampton, Cannock Division 2

    The first match of the 2018-19 season was underway seeing Wolverhampton travel to Rugeley for war.

    Board 1 - Tony Meakin v Geoff Rosser. Rosser with White gained the opening initiative against the Rugeley player having the upper hand against the French. Tony found himself in a spot of bother when he lost the exchange forfeiting a Bishop for a pawn. Unfortunately after both sides tried to push pawns to gain the advantage it was white who had the material and gained the victory.

    Board 2 - Mike Page v Gordon Sands. The Rugeley chess veteran took on a stronger rated player in Sands. With the white pieces Mike looked to gain a very aggressive opening, controlling most of the centre, but black was holding his own with sufficient counter play. It looked like total domination by white until Mike miscalculated a combination and unfortunately black was able to capitalise and steal the game.

    Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v Eddie Badger. Badger with white opened with e4. Blacks response, The kings Indian defence. White pushed the 3 pawns to the centre and developed easily with black being very solid. White lost a pawn on move 6 and lost the centre structure. Luke didn't allow white's aggressive attacking moves to take effect. White over extended his pawns and placed his queen on an inactive square for the majority of the game. Black exchanged queens on move 51 and in the endgame black had too many pawns to promote. White graciously resigned.

    Board 4 - David Hadley v John Dugmore. Dave with white was facing a higher rated opponent in this hell raiser of a battle. Both sides gained an equal advantage in the opening, but with white's pawns doubled and going the exchange down, it was hard to overcome the pressure black was forcing upon him. All 8 pawns were still on the board by move 21 and looked to be quite solid but alas Black managed to squeeze his way through and white's skeleton crumbled.

    Final match score 3-1 to Wolverhampton. Thanks and well played all who fought in the match.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    22/08/2018 Rugeley Summer rapidplay tournament

    This years event saw 10 players take part in the Rapidplay. The games were submitted for ECF grading in July with everything played after that going into the January list.
    In total there could be a potential 45 games and of those only 12 were not played.
    For the winner of 2017s event, fortune was not with him this time and had to settle for 9th place.
    Our winner is the newest member of our chess club Steve Whatmore with an impressive 7/9
    Following closely behind in joint second were Luke Sullivan and Bob Edgar.
    Some of these games were played on liveboards and that fun can be viewed on our website.
    It was a good event, one which I hope we will continue into 2019 and now to the main event, the club championships. Good luck to everyone.

      For the final table results of this Rapidplay please click on the link results table

    Matt Carr, Tournament Controller

    15/08/2018 Privacy Policy

    Just to let you know that the committee have been working hard behind the scenes. You may be aware of the recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and should you wish to look at the policy it can be found here or under the 'about' tab.
    Tony should be distributing the forms to collate the relevant personal data in the coming weeks, along with any outstanding subs.

  • Privacy Policy
  • Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

    31/07/2018 Lichfield rapidplay tournament

    It's been awhile since any new posts have appeared but that doesn't mean things are quiet on the chess-front. We've been busy playing internal rapidplay tournaments, and managed to play in Crewe and Lichfield events.
    The latest outing featured our most long-standing and our newest members of the club with myself from 26th July.

      For the final table results of this Rapidplay please click on the link Lichfield July26th

    Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

    Rugeley Charter Fair 2018

    The season may have finished, but Rugeley Chess Club is still as vibrant as ever and enjoying playing chess and bringing the game a little closer to the community.

    Most of the club were down at Green Lane Playing Fields at Rugeley Charter Fair enjoying playing various abilities of the general public, old and young, male and female. It was nice to play outside in some nice weather. Many thanks to Patrick Waller for supplying the gazebo and the furniture, and Matt Carr for bringing his energy amd garden set. It was a really good family day out.


    Catherine Hiley, Secretary

    24/05/2018 WDCL AGM

    Please take a look at the AGM section (under the 'other' tab) for the minutes of this years AGM and please get back to me with any enquiries you may have, otherwise I will assume they have been read and accepted.

    Having been to this years WDCL AGM, it was agreed to change the time ruling which is in keeping with the Birmingham League so the ruling is now.

    Rule 13 was changed to the following for all games in all competitions in WDCL. The change will appear in next years handbook.

    The use of clocks shall be compulsory, and the time limits shall be one of the following options the default rate of play will be option (1):

    (1) All moves in 80 minutes with 10 seconds per move added throughout (incremental) if sufficient digital clocks are available.
    (2) All moves in 90 minutes

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    22/05/2018 End of Season Blitz tournament

    Rugeley held it's annual end of season blitz tournament run by our resident arbiter, Matt Carr. All moves were played in 5 minutes. This was another feast of manic play, blunders, illegal moves and nail-biting end play.
    Another enjoyable mad evening of chess was had. Congratulations to Rob Fell who won the tournament, and Matt Carr for running the event and supplying the prizes. Thanks to all members for your continued support.

    For the results table

    Catherine Hiley, Rugeley Chess Club

    Club Championships 2017-18

    The Club championships were played on the 17/04/18 and 24/04/18. A best of two game final with a third game played if the score should be 1-1.

    Cath Hiley won the first game on the 17th against Tony. Of note the second game was rather fun to watch from the player's perspective. The ending came down to both players having 20 seconds each and the arbiter in me trying frantically to count to 50 and look for three-fold repetition at the same time. In the end a draw was agreed.

    As tournament secretary I wish to congratulate Cath on her victory in the club championships and add my commiserations to Tony who played some fantastic games.

    Matt Carr, Tournament Controller

    19/04/2018 Wolverhampton v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

    For our last match of the season Rugeley travelled to Wolverhampton for war.

    Board 1 - Matt Carr v Gordon Sands. As a much needed reserve, Matt was eager to step in and take the board 1 challenge. With white the Rugeley player creates a clever opening with fast development. Black looked to be on the back foot from the opening and leading into the middle game struggled to keep Matt out of his position with both bishops controlling everything. 19 moves was all it took and the outcome was inevitable so Black offered his hand in resignation.

    Board 2 - Eddie Badger 0 v 1 Bob Edgar. This was the last game to finish in the evening. Bob yet again with black was out for revenge. A very solid opening from both players ensured a battle in the middle game. With both queens coming off, an exchange was made, Black chose to test his talents keeping the knight while white had 3 extra pawns. The game looked drawn and the end game was hard to play. An error from white helped Bob's knight become a strong piece. Knowing the outcome White resigned honourably.

    Board 3 - Michael Oakes 0 v 1 Luke Sullivan. Luke as white opened with c4, Blacks response e5. With white's bishops easily placed on b2 and g2 white looked to control more of the battle field but Black was defending well. Black committed to castling king side and this was white's chance. Castling queen side white grabbed some initiative throwing h and g pawns up the board locking down the position well.. completely blocking in his opponent's knight. Black spent some time moving his king in fear of white's plan. This gave more chances for White to double up Rooks and open files for them also blocking in Black's bishop. Black lost a pawn and was fighting the aggressive moves placed before him but an unfortunate error lost Oakes a piece and he didn't want to continue any longer.

    Board 4 - John Dugmore 1 v 0 James Perks. Both players graded pretty much the same with similar minds at hand. With the Rugeley player as black, James grabbed the centre early with white developing modestly. James made a tiny error in the middle game and lost a pawn, then another. Black was struggling to gain any drawing chances and duly tipped his king in defeat just before the end game.

    Thanks to all players and congratulations to Rugeley for securing the match win 3-1.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    11/04/2018 Kidderminster B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    And now the end is near...............As the forthcoming season draws to a close we were to play our final match against a Kidderminster side fighting for survival. Indeed Stourbridge B were looking for us to do them a huge favour by winning this match to secure their Division 2 status, unfortunately this was a match that we struggled for the first time to get out a full team.

    Board 1 David Close v Rob Fell. As this name suggested this was a very "close" game, there was virtually nothing in it. My opponent though had taken his eyes off the clock and was in total surprise when I offered out my hand when his flag fell. When I pointed out that he had lost on time he replied "no I haven't that's impossible!" and after I pointed out that I had only used half an hour on my clock he eventually accepted the result.

    Board 2 Mark Riley v Matt Carr. Matt's form has been tremendous of late and he wasted no time going on the attack and forcing his opponent on the back foot. Soon the end-game resulted in pass pawns racing to their eventual coronation and a bishop sacrifice could only stop one of them. A worthy victory!

    Board 3 David Spowart v Bob Edgar. A very calm game up to move 33 which resulted in both queens and opposite coloured bishops remaining. Unfortunately Bob made an unwise king move that removed the space he needed to defend effectively and the game petered out to a gradual loss for our player.

    Board 4 John Whitehead v Tony Meakin. A game in which our Tony didn't really get going, and a loss of tempo early on resulted in a grinding out win for the Kidderminster player.

    Board 5 Clive Billinge v . Luke Sullivan. Luke's game looked promising early on but he unfortunately lost the initiative during the middle game and like Tony was made to pay in the end-game.

    Board 6 Michael Kitchen v D Fault. D fault was playing really well to begin with and for one moment looked like he had victory in his grasp..........................oh heck wait a minute, this game didn't even take place! An easy win for Mike Kitchen without really trying.

    Thus Rugeley lost their final match of the 2017-18 season 4-2 and you could hear the chorus of wails and boo's coming from the Stourbridge area. Still we have had a season to be proud of with some fantastic results and amazing performances. I want to thank each and every player for turning out for Rugeley this season and giving it their all. A team that was originally tipped for a relegation fight made it look extremely easy in the end - so for that hold your heads up high, you did Rugeley proud in their 50th anniversary year!

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    Successful 50th Anniversary Rapidplay Tournament

    This event was held at Lea Hall on Saturday 7th April and was run by International Arbiter Matt Carr (a club member) assisted by Dave Thomas. Fifty-eight players competed over seven rounds in three sections (click on the links below for the full results). The prize winners were as follows:

    Open (8 players, all play all)

    1st prize (£120) Gary Kenworthy (Bedfordshire) Joint 2nd prize (£45 each) Marek Mazek (Heywood) and Lawrence Cooper (Stafford) Grading (£25) Damian McCarthy (Culcheth)

    Major (21 players, Swiss)

    Joint 1st prize (£70 each) Peter Collins (Lichfield) Phil Bull (Wolverhampton) and Douglas Barnett (Crewe) Grading (£25) Robert Fell (Rugeley)

    Minor (29 players, Swiss)

    1st prize (£120) Robert Marks (Sutton Coldfield) Joint 2nd prize (£45 each) David Blower (Brewood) and Steve Whatmore Grading (£25) Simon Layhe (Crewe)

    A great day for the club! Some pictures will be added soon.

    Patrick Waller, Chairman

    03/04/2018 Rugeley v Rushall, Cannock Division 2

    Board 1 - Tony Meakin 0 v 1 John Staniforth. Having moved up a board because of a forfeit from the away team, Tony was more determined than ever. John as White came up with a solid opening matched well by a very solid defence from black. In the middle game Tony lost 2 pawns and by the end game was unable to secure any drawing chances and resigned with honour. Tony later said that he felt as if he was being squeezed.

    Board 2 - Luke Sullivan 1 v 0 Shane Cooksey. Also moving up a board and with the white pieces, Luke faced a Rushall veteran. With White deploying the dreaded English, Black responded sensibly grabbing the centre with E5 naturally. Giving up the bishop pair black seemed to be at a disadvantage according to Fritz as white had an unchallenged bishop on B2. Black castled king side, Luke castled queen side. Black made a slight error where he placed his Rook and this not only created weakness in Black's camp but gave White opportunities for attacking ideas. Black's pieces barely covered the squares needed to stop the worst. White kept pushing and eventually black succumbed to a mating net and resigned.

    Board 3 - David Hadley 0 v 1 Peter Turner. Peter with white developed gradually, as did black. Dave made a blunder in the opening and lost a piece. This was going to be a struggle for black now but Dave fought on valiantly but lost another 2 pawns. After white has gained another of blacks pieces, this wasn't the Rugeley players day and he resigned with an open hand.

    Board 4 - Defaulted by away team.

    Thanks to all players and well done to both teams who managed to secure a draw for their clubs. Match score 2.2

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    20/03/2018 Brewood v Rugeley, Cannock Division 2

    Once the Captain had found the Brewood venue it was time to get down to playing chess.

    Board 1 - Mark Binfield v Bob Edgar. We kick of this epic war with a very well placed and positional start. Bob, using the obvious move Nf3 went onto create a position in which both bishops were placed on B2 and G2. Black kept his nerve though as Mark did not go super-aggressive and had no intention of extending the position any further even though both armies were fully developed. A single pawn had been taken by move 24 and by move 28 the game was agreed a draw with a repeated knight move by Black, but was it surely the end? Well done to both players.

    Board 2 - David Blower v Tony Meakin. Blower as white seemed to push Tony to the limit as this was the last game to finish in the evening. Tony decided to go 3 pawns for the Knight in the end game. Black fought valiantly but the Brewood player out-manoeuvred him and created a passed pawn plus the rook knight combo was just too much to handle for the extra pawns. Black honourably resigned.

    Board 3 - Paul Guest v Luke Sullivan. Luke had the White pieces and tried his luck with the English opening c4 Nf3. Paul as Black gained the centre with e5 and with White's queen coming out to gain the semi-open file, black was immediately on the defensive. Luke managed to secure a good opening with pieces well coordinated. Black was holding very well and developing nicely. With a pawn push to defend this was a chance to trap Black's knight and it looked like black had fell for it. The queen's were quickly exchanged and Black was a Knight down. White quickly gathered all the attackers he could to swarm the F file against the king and an unstoppable pawn sacrifice soon followed but Black wouldn't let it continue any longer and resigned on move 32.

    Board 4 - David Buckley v James Perks. David With white was trying to get his third Rugeley victory in a row. James was coming for revenge and was going all out. Castling opposite sides led to a very interesting set of variations in which it was very easy for White to gain a massive attacking advantage. After 9 moves James made a blunder and unfortunately became a whole rook down. A few more moves were exchanged and Black had no choice but to offer his hand in resignation.

    Well done to Brewood who won the match 2.5 - 1.5 Thanks to all players from both clubs.

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    13/03/2018 Stourbridge B v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The captain had a "good feeling" about this match and welcomed Stourbridge to Rugeley.

    Board 1 Catherine Hiley v Hossameldin Aboushady. The visitor opened very aggressively and thrust his pawns down both flanks. Cath waited until her opponent made an error which there was no coming back from. A win for the home team.

    Board 2 Rob Fell v Eric Horwill. Evenly matched grading-wise but Rob didn't come with his A game tonight, and buckled under mounting pressure.

    Board 3 Matt Carr v Richard Wilkinson. After Matt's last epic encounter I think he was after a quick result, he was the first to finish after securing a draw.

    Board 4 Bob Edgar v Jeremy Humphries. Bob had the upper hand in this game and felt in control, he dominated the final stages in the game to secure another win for Rugeley

    Board 5 Tony Meakin v Steve Alcock. Tony tried a few tricks in this game but his opponent was not going to be outsmarted, having little or no advantage a draw was agreed.

    Board 6 Luke Sullivan v Trevor Tennant. Luke played well until the 47th move, but fortunately for Luke his opponent ran out of time before he could capitilise.

    So the captain was right again. well played all!

    Catherine Hiley, (Sec)

    08/03/2018 Halesowen v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    The journey to Halesowen was a relaxed venture. After recent results we felt that the pressure had lifted somewhat so were actually looking forward to this fixture with a degree of optimism.

    Board 1 Dustin Bowcott v Catherine Hiley. Cath entered this match in relaxed fashion. Maybe too relaxed as after half an hour due to a slight miscalculation she was soon on the backfoot and ultimately heading for an early bath!

    Board 2 Andy Ambrose v Rob Fell. Not to be outdone by Cath I decided to ignore the basics of Chess - developing pieces and castling early and soon found myself in a whole lot of trouble. I milked it for all I could but the cream soon rose to the top and I too headed for an early bath - 2-0 to the home team.

    Board 3 John Davis v Matt Carr. Cometh the hour - cometh the Matt! What can I say, after 2-0 down early on it looked like curtains for Rugeley. Only for the rest of the boards to dig in deep and especially Matt who went for the jugular knowing what was at stake. A brilliant win and came at the nick of time too - phew!

    Board 4 Richard Woolley v Bob Edgar. Our Bob played solidly and little by little carved out opportunities that would eventually result in our first win of the match - nobody was pulling the wool over Bob's eyes tonight!

    Board 5 John Southcote v Tony Meakin. A game which was evenly matched from the word go. With little to give from either side a draw was the obvious outcome.

    Board 6 Silas Bowcott-Terry v Luke Sullivan. Luke was up against one of the younger players of the evening, although this was no easy task as his little opponent played very solidly and due to precise play a draw was eventually agreed. He then went home to read the Beano while the younger Halesowen player rejoiced in earning a valuable point!

    So we eventually drew the match 3-3 and a very proud Captain left in the knowledge that the deep well of reserves of Rugeley had served us well. Such was my satisfaction that I promised to field exactly the same team in the following match - how could i not??

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    27/02/2018 Brewood v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We travelled to Brewood with high hopes of attaining another win in the knowledge that reaching 8 points would be relatively safety from relegation. I also had my strongest team again at my disposal which always helps!

    Board 1 Derek Laight v Bill Hulley. Bill went straight on the attack in his game with positive play and it soon developed into a very interesting position. Unfortunately he miscalculated during the middle game enabling his opponent to take a stranglehold on the game and his resignation soon followed.

    Board 2 Paul Wright v Catherine Hiley. Cath really has got the bit between her teeth lately and was literally throwing the kitchen sink at her opponent. Her onslaught was constant with wave of attack after attack before her opponent eventually crumbled and Cath secured a decisive win!

    Board 3 Mark Keady v Rob Fell. My game was fortunate as my opponent had forgotten the rules of developing all his pieces and soon was on the back-foot when I started chasing his queen and bishop away. I managed to force his castled king into the corner where he was soon facing mate so duly resigned.

    Board 4 Roger Grainger v Matt Carr. Matt was playing a wily old fox in the name of Roger and was playing extremely well gaining a few pawns advantage from the middle game. This match was on a knife edge with both players displaying counter threats if attacked wildly so a draw was eventually agreed.

    Board 5 Mike Jarocki v Patrick Waller. Patrick's game was very interesting and with a passed pawn and the tempo seemed to hold an advantage of a gradual win. But unfortunately the clock was against him and with his opponent struggling to make any inroads into Patrick's defence a draw was agreed. Probably the most fair result as this outcome had been offered and declined a few times during the match.

    Board 6 Andrew Lenz v Bob Edgar. Bob's game was one where he used up one of his "9" chess lives. Both evenly matched, the game was petering out to a draw so Bob made his move and offered one. His opponent shook his hand immediately not realising that Bob's last move was infact a losing one which would have lost him his queen and eventually the game. Well done Bob!.

    So we won the match 3.5 - 2.5 and could finally relax in the knowledge that 8 points "should" be enough to stave off the relegation threat. Well done team for another great display, I was always confident that we would attain the necessary win and now we can enjoy our last 3 remaining fixtures. (Better not win all those 3 games though team or we might have another "nice" problem to contend with!)

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    12/02/2018 Rushall v Rugeley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    We travelled to Rushall in high spirits actually looking forward to the match. I predicted a 4-2 win which Patrick seemed to think I might have been tipping for the home team but little did he know.......

    Board 1 Devan Patel v Bill Hulley. Our resident board 1 seemed to have quite a solid game with any real chances at a premium. Slowly as the game descended from the middle to end game it was no surprise that this petered out to a well deserved draw!

    Board 2 Steve Wilcox v Catherine Hiley. Now if board 1 was a stonewall draw then this was anything but! A captivating game with both players playing on the counter this ebbed and flowed with one false move by either player would certainly result in a loss. The end result was a draw which was a fair result as neither player deserved to lose.

    Board 3 Alex Pready v Rob Fell. This was one of those games where it was those very little advanced pawn moves earlier on that made all the difference at the end. My opponent lost substantial tempo repositioning his knights early on and this proved his downfall where I was able to control important squares restricting his development and he resigned before his clock fell.

    Board 4 Rich Wilshir v Matt Carr. Being a big Emmerdale fan Matt was overjoyed to meet one of his idols and he had prepared a rook-ZAC early on but decided against it! This game though would go down in history as one of the most "bizarre" openings ever - a3!! Matt was speechless and nearly choked on his coke. This did nothing to unsettle him though and he proceeded to try to get the game into some normality and before long he had a lovely rook pair and bishop working in tandem to bring his opponents eventual downfall - a beautiful win!

    Board 5 Peter Leary v Bob Edgar. Our Bob was against a formidable opponent in Pete who if on top of his game would prove to be quite a stubborn and frustrating player in equal measures. This proved to be the way as both players took the game to its end stages and with the clock being almost equal and the flag poised to fall, a quick shake of the hands proved to be the most honourable thing and a draw was agreed.

    Board 6 John Grant v Patrick Waller. I didn't tell Patrick earlier but this was the one board I was most confident on. It's not often you get a player of Patrick's calibre on Board 6 and his quality proved telling as he carved out a much better position with his pass pawn options eventually forcing his opponent to resign.

    So for the first time this season I was able to field my most strongest team and look what happened - a deserved 4.5 - 1.5 win for Rugeley! Rushall were indeed left scratching their heads at want went wrong but they simply met Rugeley at its very best. Well done everybody for playing, same again in a fortnight please!

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

    23/01/2018 Rugeley v Boldmere, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    With a couple of our stronger team members out of action, this was going to prove to be a difficult match .

    Board 1 Bill Hulley v Keith Thomas. This seemed to be quite a battle for control of the centre, Bill was feeling quietly confident in this game but uncharacteristically missed a discovered check losing the game.

    Board 2 Catherine Hiley v Michael Harrington. This was the Sicilian opening and it was fairly even until I went too aggressive in the middle game and should have played a 'quiet move', sometimes it's not about forcing a position, its about making your opponent make a decision, I made it way too easy and resigned.

    Board 3 Bob Edgar v Mike Biddle. Bob was feeling a little low on confidence, and was clearly suffering with his back/hip, yet he was determined to stodge up the board and ground his opponent into a coma (I mean draw).

    Board 4 Patrick Waller v Sandy Wilson. If board 3 was a little tame, this game was top drawer full of action... feast your eyes on this! Patrick enjoyed this win.

    Board 5 Mike Page v Kevin Spillane. This looked like an evenly matched game throughout, Mike sought for open play but struggled to break through his opponent's defence. Mike was a pawn down in the end but battled on for a well-deserved draw.

    Board 6 Tony Meakin v Malcolm Phipps. Tenacious Tony struck again with his controversial b3 opening, it's not for everyone, but it made for an interesting drawn game with counter threats aplenty, but both players were happy to settle for the draw.

    Congratulations to Boldmere, it was a close encounter, 2.5 - 3.5, many thanks to all who played.

    Catherine Hiley, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Deputy Captain)

    09/01/2018 Rugeley v Tamworth, Cannock Division 2

    So 2018 has arrived and to kick things off to the new year, Tamworth came to Rugeley hoping to seek revenge after their defeat last year in the first of our 2 bouts this season.

    Board 1 - Mike Page v Simon Walton. Another highly graded opponent for Mike and with Simon having the white pieces it was bound to be a bloodbath. Mike used the usual style of response to E4 and managed to secure a excellent position in the opening. Simon struggled to gain any advantage giving black a huge attack and Simon resigned before time control had reached 20 minutes. Well done to Mike.

    Board 2 - Tony Meakin v Peter Oliver. Rugeley's Tony came prepared for this 2nd board war as he knew Tamworth had some strong graded players on the top boards. Peter had black and neutralised whites plans in the opening with a strong defence. White missed a combination which lost a piece but Tony fought on valiantly. In the end game the combinations for white meant certain defeat. Black secured the victory for Tamworth. Well done to Peter.

    Board 3 - Luke Sullivan v John Howlett. Luke moved up a board for this battle and was faced with a stronger graded player. John as white started with c4 (English). The Rugeley player as black, found a comfortable response to this very aggressive opening challenging the king's side diagonal. Having exchanged light-coloured bishops, white's king became extremely vulnerable. Luke was a pawn up but this was a mistake. After going the exchange down from a winning position Luke slowly got outplayed and had to resign the game. Although going over the game Luke had noticed an unstoppable check mate in 5 in the position on move 19 but unfortunately did not think it was achievable at the time. Very unfortunate. Well done to John.

    Board 4 - Dave Hadley v Kris Harrington. With the home player as white the outcome of the match rested on this game. Both players had a very good opening and middle game with some sharp lines played. This game looked drawn for its majority until white missed the opportunity to stop a dangerous passed pawn from black down the centre of the board. One more blunder from the Rugeley veteran and a nasty check was given with promotion on the next move and Dave resigned. Well done kris.

    Thanks to all players and well done Tamworth who won the match 3-1

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    19/12/2017 Christmas Handicap Rapidplay

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

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

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

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

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

    For the results table

    IA Matthew Carr, (Tournament Organiser)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rob Fell, (Wolverhampton League Div 2 Captain)

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Luke Sullivan, (Cannock Div 2 Captain)

    12/09/2017 Rapidplay chess tournament

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

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

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    21/07/2017 FIDE rule changes

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    05/07/2017 Rugeley Rapidplay tournament

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    27/06/2017 Rugeley archives

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Webmaster

    27/06/2017 Rugeley Rapidplay Club Championship

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

    Matt Carr, Club Tournament Controller

    09/06/2017 Rugeley Club Championship

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

    Matt Carr, Club Tournament Controller

    05/06/2017 Staffordshire Congress 2017

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

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    05/06/2017 WDCL fixtures

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

    The Cannock fixtures date is 11th July.

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    24/05/2017 AGM

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Club Secretary

    25/03/2017 Club Championship tournament

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

    Patrick Waller, Club Championship Tournament Controller

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

    11/04/2017 WDCL Top 40

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

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

    14/03/2017 Club Championship tournament

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

    Patrick Waller, Club Championship Tournament Controller

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Catherine Hiley, Wolverhampton League Division 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mike Page, (Cannock Div 3 Captain)