Lichfield’s top team, playing in Birmingham’s second division for the first time in recent memory, opened their account with a narrow victory over Rushall. Maurice Staples drew on board one, but while Tony Green and John Keaveney both lost, the bottom boards proved too strong for Rushall with Ben Farman Nevett, Steve Mcloughlin and skipper David Hume all winning to complete a 3.5-2.5 victory.  After five games Steve still has a 100 per cent record.

Peter Collins picked up his second win of the season as Lichfield’s 2A drew with Rugeley in the  Cannock League. Lukasz Walijewski continued his run of good form with a draw against Steve Whatmore on top board, Ray Sawyer lost but Fred Biles secured a draw on board four.

Steve  Mcloughlin’s winning run ended at Coleshill in a Birmingham Division 3 match. His opponent was Peter thompson, a 2000 rating plus player, equivalent to 178 in the old rating system.  Yuriy Slobodyuk, Peter Collins and John Fryer all drew, Mike Maher got the only win and Brian jones lost on board six.

Earlier October matches

Lichfield’s 1A team opened its Cannock League programme with a 3-1 win over 1B. The two squads are of similar strength on paper,particularly as 1A”s top board Maurice Staples has opted to only play Cannock matches in an emergency.  On the night however 1A fielded a stronger team with newcomer Steve Mcloughlin starting with a win.  A very accomplished on-line player, Steve was playing his second over- the- board match and defeated David Hulme. Skipper Lukasz Walijewski,  formerly of  Walsall, drew against Peter Willett, John Keaveney drew with Tony Green and Peter Collins defeated Marc Carter,  who had a near impossible task against the former club chairman and lst team captain.

Playing at the Brewhouse and Kitchen earlier in the week the club’s 2A team defeated 2B. Two players making their debut for Lichield, Lukasz Walijewski and Steve Mcloughlin won their games against Yuriy Slobodyuk and teenager John Moughtin Leay. Josh sawyer defeated promising junior Bowier Carter while the B team’s point came from Gary Monks defeating  Mike Hoare.

Two teams, eight players, and five of them were newcomers to the club this season . The match was between the Cannock League 3B team against the 3B team. For Keith Milner it was his first match for the club  for over a decade and he won it against 3B captain Stephen Smithson. Darren Pope also won on debut against Ian Boddington after a lengthy end game which Darren could have won earlier with more experience. Fred Biles drew on top board against Arthur Hall and the battled of the youngsters was won by Bowie Carter against Adam Turley. Bowie was the B team’s only winner.

Gary Monks, conceding 142 rating points, lost his board one match for 2B against Rushall, but the rest of the team were all winners.David Fone faced a similar rating deficit as Gary so his was a win to savour; John Leay won on board 3 and Arthur Hall weighed in with a win on board four.

Lichfield’s Cannock League 2A team also recorded a 3-1 win against Sutton. Newcomer Steve Mcloughlin defeated a Birmingham League stalwart Mike Biddle, 1788 rating, to keep his 100 per cent record for the club; Lukasz Walijewski accounted for Kevin Spillane, 1690,  and both Peter Collins and Josh Sawyer drew their games. After an intervention by results controller Steve Whatmore, Lichfield were later deducted a point having been ruled to have exceeded the maximum ratings. Club secretary David Short said no one knew what rating to give Steve  Mcloughlin who had only previously played two games. “The league decision in no way reflects on captain Ray Sawyer who took pre match advice over the rating estimate he gave Steve”. All the individual results stand.

Outgraded on all boards, Lichfield’s 3A team put up a creditable fight at Rugeley, particularly  Fred Biles who won on board 2. Ray Sawyer got a draw and there were defeats for team captain Stuart Andrews and Keith Milner, the latter holding his own for most of the game.

The Steve Mcloughlin story continued this week with another excellent win on board one against Rushall for 1A, ironically beating the league controller, Steve Whatmore. The match was drawn 2-2 with  Lukasz Walijewski and Peter Collins drawing. Fred Biles lost on board four.  1A played the sa me night a nd defeated Sutton Coldfield 3.5- 0.5, wins coming from Tony Green, David Hulme and Arthur all, backed up by a draw from Peter Willett.

Lighfield’s Derby 3 team romped to a 3-5 -1.5  victory over an inexperienced Rolls Royce team. Ray and Josh Sawyer won on the top two boards, Stephen Smithson drew on three and Stuart Andrews won on four, catching Queen and King on the same diagonal.

Cannock League October Fixtures

Cann 1A :Thursday 7th v Lichfield 1B (a)Thursday 14th v Rushall (h) .

Cann 1B: Thursday 7th v Lich 1A (h); Thursday, 14th v Sutton (h).

Cann 2A: Monday, 4th v Lichfield 2B  (h);  Monday 11th v Oscott (h) a ; Monday 18TH v Rugeley (h)

Cann 2B Monday 11th v Rushall B (h) Tuesday 26th v Rugeley (a)   

Cann 3A: Monday 7th v  Lich3B (h); Tuesday 12th v Rugeley (a). Thursday 28th v Bushbury (h) POSTPONED until November 

 Cann 3B; Monday 7th v  Lich 3A ((a);   

Birmingham League , October fixtures

B2: Monday 18th, v  Rushall (a);  Thursday, 28th v Olton (h)           

B3; Wednesday, 20th v Coleshill (a).     

Derby League fixtures     

 Div 3:  Thursday, 14th Rolls Royce (a).

                                                                             NOVEMBER FIXTURES

Cann 1A: Thursday 11th v  Tamworth (a); 

Cann 2A :Monday 8th v Rushall A (h); Monday 22nd v Rushall B (a);

Cann 2B : Monday 22nd v Wolverhampton (h)

Cann 3A : Thursday 11th  v Coleshill (h); Tuesday 23rd v Norton Canes (a); Thursday 25th V Stafford (a);

Cann 3B: Wednesday 3rd v Coleshill (a); Monday 15th v Norton Canes (h); Wednesday, 24th v Bushbury (a).

Derby League: Div 1  Burton and Lichfield United, Monday 8th v Derby at Burton

Div 2 Thursday 11th v Belper B (h); 

Div 3:  Wednesday 10th v Belper C (a); Thursday, 18th v Derby C (h)






News bulletin

A bi- monthly club bulletin has been produced to improve communications with members during the Covid 19 restrictions.

It is edited by  fixture secretary Brian Homewood who has produced similar bulletins for Lichfield Rotary Club and in a previous existence for the  Bermuda Chess Club.

It complements the Lichfield Chess Club website which tries to fulfill two roles, one to inform potential news members all about the club and the other to keep members up to date with match news and comment on Midlands chess matters.

‘Bubble’ chess rejected

Posted 4th Oct 2020

Lichfield Council officials have decided that the chess club’s plan for over the board friendly matches for two bubbles of six players which will avoid all contact with each other,  contravenes the Covid regulations.

However, an alternative venue has been located by Stephen Smithson and initially, four club members are trialling over the board compeition and friendlies.

Secretary David Short said it was hard to see the difference between four players meeting in a pub or a restaurant with a table dividing chess players having a drink while they play.

First match since March

For the first time since the Covid 19 lockdown started on 23rd March, Lichfield has played a match, the first time in its 50 year history that the club has been involved in an on-line rather than face to face match.

The opponents were close neighbours Sutton Coldfield and the result was a 2-2 draw. Captain Sam Skinner was the organiser and although he was badly outgraded on board four he enjoyed the experience. Peter Willett conceded a 21 point grading deficit but scored a fine win against Marek Soszynski on board one and John Keaveney (165)was also a winner on Board 2 against Peter Oliver (126).  Fred Biles lost on Board 3 againstJ Wojcich (135).

That match went smoothly but a few days later  against Worcester the communications gremlins struck  and the match was abandoned, no doubt to be replayed at a later date.

Now, that is a novel ruling

Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield have finished equal first in the first division of the Cannock League and the championship has been decided in a novel way which has taken people by surprise.

The sum total of the gradings of  the Lichfield players in the matches against Sutton  Coldfield was higher than their opponents and according to the rule book, they have therefore finished second.

The match was a tense affair  with the last game decided at the death in a pawn ending, Sutton winning 3-1. Ben Nevett and Arthur Hall both scored draws whilst Adam routledge and David Fone lost.

Room changes

Due to major renovations to Lichfield’s historic Guildhall which will last six months or so, Lichfield Chess Club’s meetings will be held in various committee rooms on the first floor until April.

Phase 2 of the renovation work will start after the season ends and is scheduled to be completed before the new season starts at the end of August.

Because the venue is cuently changing from week to week, it is more important than ever that anyone planning to join the club should first contact the secretary David Short on 01543 304212.

Member’s glowing tribute

Heavy work commitments prompted long time member Gary Monks to temporarily retire from chess but now he is back again and has posted a glowing to the club. “It’s been part of my life for nearly 30 years. It’s a wonderful club with great people and it is great for stimulation of the mind and for socialability” said Gary.

PLanning to take retirement or partial retirement later this year,  Gary is looking forward to being able to play more regularly.

Anniversary target

As part of its 50th anniversary Lichfield Chess Club is keen to boost its membership from 40 to nearer the 590 mark

Lichfield is one of the strongest clubs in the Midlands both from a playing and membership perspective. The club runs 15 teams in four leagues- the Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Derby and Cannock.

Playing strength varies from virtual beginner to national championship standard. Thursday night is club night which is normally held in the Guildroom on the ground floor of the Guildhall in Bore Street, starting at 7-15 pm. Because of an extensive programme of repairs running until September 2020 alternative committee rooms and sometimes being used.  See sandwich board at entrance for information.

Newcomers can just turn up and ask for the secretary or a committee member but to ensure a proper welcome in a room which is often thronged with new faces from visiting teams, please ring secretary David Short, 01543 304212,  or fixture secretary Brian Homewood, 01543 255909 to let us know you are coming.

The club runs three internal tournaments which are open to both social and full members. Social, student  and junior membership is available to anyone who does not wish to play league chess, for a yearly subscription of £25. Full membership, which includes compulsory membership of the English Chess Federation for league players, is £60.