Keep an eye open next week-end (Sept 29th-30th) for that excellent local publication, City Life in Lichfield which is featuring an article on Lichfield Chess Club.

With newspaper editorial pages shrinking year on year, local magazines like City Life  are doing an important job in helping to keep people informed and this week they are keeping people informed about us.


Visitors to Lichfield Chess Club are often curious about the prominently displayed Ladder Board. As far as we know it is the only one of its kind in any of the four Midlands Leagues.

How does it work? That is the usual question. Club members earn a point for every win they gain in a league or cup match and points are also available on the last Thursday of each month when full members and social members who are not selected for a league match on that night, together with social members, are paired together for a match played on the clock and the results recorded and circulated via email. No points can be gained for draws.

A handsome trophy goes to the winner which is presented at the annual meeting in April. Stephen Smithson is the early pacesetter with wins in his first two games.


Because of another local election, the Guildroom will be closed on Thursday, 27th Sept and Lichfield Chess Club will be operating from Wade Street Methodist Church hall, just a few yards away at the rear of the Guildhall. The Guildroom will be a polling centre.

The club was offered the use of the Ashmole Room in the Guildhall, but with two home league games it was not large enough without cancelling social chess which we were not prepared to do.


Adjournments have become so rare that a request from Birmingham Division 5 team Olton for adjourned finishes on two boards came as a complete surprise and a frantic search to see if there were still adjournment envelopes in the storage cupboard.

Lichfield led 3-2  and inevitably it was one of the matches scheduled for adjournment that left the captain with the not very pleasant task of asking Brian Homewood to seek a draw to clinch the win when he thought he had good chances to record his fifth win in a row. The point was that the only date available to continue the game was on the night of  another B5 match. So thanks to the adjournment rule Lichfield faced the prospect of losing a key player and possibly a match. Fortunately a draw was agreed and the match won.

The Wolverhampton League has totally dispensed with adjournments. With only a handful of players now requesting adjournments surely the time has come to totally dispense with this archaic system of a deciding matches- one that just becomes a battle not between individuals but computers.


A Quickplay Tournament  got the new season off to a lively start. Played on a time handicap basis with a maximum of 30 minutes per round . The system meant that the best players sometimes only had five minutes to complete their moves if their opponent was either ungraded or graded below 100.

Despite time handicaps the club’s best player Maurice Staples won all his four games.After a good season in 2017-18 Maurice’s grading has risen to 187.



Anyone living to the west of Lichfield who would find travelling to the city difficult now have alternative with a club established in Norton Canes. In a sense Norton Canes is a satellite club of its much larger neighbour, founded as it was by Lichfield stalwart Mike Hoare.

Norton Canes offers league chess opportunities in the Cannock League and members are free to compete in the three internal tournament run each season by the Lichfield Club.

Inquiries about Lichfield should contact Mike Hoare on 01543 721858.


Tuesday, 4th Sept, Birmingham Div 3, Mercia, AWAY, Lost 4.5- 1.5

Wed, 5th Sept, Pittaway Cup v Stourbridge AWAY. Lost 5-3 (two games defaulted by Lichfield): Wolverhampton Div 4, Stourbridge AWAY,. Lost 3.5-1.5

Thursday, 6th Sept, Birmingham 2, Mutual Circle, HOME,  Won 4-2. Winner B Homewood; Cannock Div 3, Lichfield A v Lichfield B, home, Lichfield 3A won 4-0. Winners J Moughtin-Leay, S Smithson, B Bradley, H Ayto

Tuesday, 11th Sept, W3 v Mercia, AWAY, 4 Boards. Drew 2-2

Thursday, 13th Sept, Derby Div 4, Lichfield A v Lichfield B,  HOME,   (match re-arranged): W2, Warley Quinborne, HOME, 6 Boards. Lost 4-2 Winner M Hoare

Mon, 17th Sept, Can Div 1, Sutton Coldfield AWAY, Lost 2.5 – 1.5 Winner B Homewood

Tuesday 18th, Cannock, Div 3, Norton Canes v Lichfield 3A, AWAY 4 . Lost 2.5- 1.5 Winner S Smithson.  Winners C van der Westhuizen, Y Slobodyuk.

Wed, 19th Sept, W2 Boldmere  AWAY, Won 4-2 Winner, B Homewood

Thursday, 20th,B2, Boldmere, HOME, Won 4-2 Winners D Hulme, M Maher: B5, Olton HOME, Won 3.5-2.5 Winners F.Biles, T Croghan: Derby Div 4, Lichfield A v Lichfield B. Lichfield A won 4-0, Winners S Smitton, R Sawyer, S Smithson, J Moughtin-Leay.

Tuesday, 25th,B2 Halesowen, AWAY,

Wed, 26th, B5 Solihull, AWAY, 6.

Thursday, 27th, B2 Solihull, HOME, 6 Boards:  Cannock 3A, Bloxwich, HOME, 4 Boards: Cannock 3B, Norton Canes, HOME, 4 Boards.

Early October Fixtures

Thurs,Oct 4th, Derby Div 3, Lichfield v Derby B; Derby B 4 Boards: Derby Div 4, Lichfield 4C v Amber Valley, neutral venue, Rolls Royce, 4 Boards.

Monday, 8th Oct, Div 2, South Birmingham v Lichfield, AWAY, 6 Boards; Div 5, Sutton Coldfield v Lichfield, AWAY, 6 Boards: Wed, 10th Oct, Derby Div 2, Belper D v Lichfield, AWAY 4 Boards

Thursday, 11th Oct, W1, Lichfield v Bushbury, HOME, 6 Boards: W4, Halesowen, AWAY 4 Boards: Birmingham Div 3, Lichfield v Boldmere, HOME 6 Boards.

Tuesday, 15th, Derby Div 3, Derby D v Lichfield, AWAY, 4 Boards.

Wednesday 17th, Cannock Div 2, Boldmere v Lichfield AWAY, 4 Boards,

Brian the pacesetter

In the third match of the new season Brian Homewood gained Lichfield’s first individual win. He was playing in the Pittaway Cup at Stourbridge which Lichfield lost 5-3 after defaulting two boards because of unavailability of players. Three more league wins followed for Brian making him the early  pacesetter in the Club’s Ladder competition with four wins, two more than his nearest challenger.

A start of 4.5 out of 5 will do wonders for his grading which fell away a little last season.

Footnote: Lichfield had dominated the Pittaway Cup since the late 1990’s.

Juniors make their mark

For the first time this century and possibly in the club’s long history, Lichfield fielded four juniors in the same match- and three of them won as the Cannock League 3A team played the 3B team.

In the first three matches of the season Brian Homewood was Lichfield’s only winner.In matches four and five it was a complete turnaround with no fewer than seven wins, the Cannock League home derby being followed by an excellent Birmingham 2 win over Mercia which included three individual wins in a  4-2 victory. B2 winners were Peter Willett, David Fone and Charles van der Westhuizen.

Winning debut

Lichfield’s latest recruit, Tom Croghan made a winning start on Board 1 in the fourth division of the Wolverhampton League and helped his team to secure a 2-2 draw. Tom is an Oxford University student and hopes to cram in as many games as possible during holiday periods. His grade is 102.







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