Mixed fortunes for Chester players at Crewe

Several Chester players attended the revived Crewe Chess Congress, now in it’s third year, at Ibis Styles Hotel between 12th and 14th October. There were a record 141 entries as described in the report on Crewe’s website here.

In the Open, Chris Doran scored 3 out of 5 including a good win against 199 rated Mike Surtees. Colm Buckley unfortunately didn’t have a good time, scoring only two draws and a full point bye.

I played in the Major Section. A draw that I should have won was followed by a draw that I should have lost. A win in round 3 put me in contention, but this was ended after defeat in round 4. I won my final game, so I scored 3 out of 5, which was enough for the grading prize (a feat I achieved last year). Also involved was part time club member David Hulme, now officially of Crewe Chess Club. David was playing in his first tournament in quite some time and should be pleased with his 50% score.

The Intermediate section was won by our own Joe Nemcek. His half point bye in round 1 was followed by 4 straight wins. Finishing equal fourth was young Jack Yang who scored 3.5 points whilst his father Jixin could unfortunately only manage 2 points. Due to computer pairings the two met in round 1, with Jack being victorious on this occasion.

Blitzed in Bolton

This weekend saw a series of regional qualifiers to be UK Blitz Champion. Chester were well represented in the Manchester qualifier held in Bolton with 4 of the 34 players.

It would be a lie to say we seriously challenged for one of the two qualifying places. However, notwithstanding the pressures of being designated driver, Colm stormed to a perfect 3/3 start. Despite a slower start Mike overtook the rest of us in the middle of the tournament. Most impressive was Steve who, playing in a fairly tough open field, was well in contention for one of the grading prizes and played well ahead of his rating.

As for your reporter, I had the consolation (?) of a 6 point upfloat in the final 15th round to play runaway winner Joe McPhillips on 13.5/14. Things didn’t end quite so well for him, as trying to defend with rook against rook and pawn he was judged after a little controversy to have placed his rook en prise.

All in all quite a fun tournament, and a good way of getting 15 games in only one day

England Calling

Keith Emerton recently returned from playing in the World Senior Team Championship in Germany. He was selected to play for England 4 in the Over 65 group.

Despite being out-rated in many of his games he nevertheless scored an impressive 50% including three wins!

Here are a few photos of him in action:

With such great results, and the last photo suggesting some serious last minute preparation, we’re sure Keith will be a force to reckon with when he returns to local league service in September…

For more details of the team results there is a report on the ECF website:



10 years of Wallasey Challenge Matches

As has been noted in a prior news post this year was the 10th Anniversary of the D&A Challenge Cup. David Hulme has shared some of his meticulous records of the event with me (Mike) which sustain sufficient interest upon further scrutiny.

Somewhat surprisingly despite being down 5-4 in the series Chester actually lead the series on board count. Of the 217 games played Chester are 3 up leading 110-107. Chester have used 79 different players, Wallasey 52 players, a total of 131 players. Chester having used substantively more players indicative of a strong Junior presence over the series.

Both teams possess only two players that have played in all 10 matches: David Hulme and Ian Clayton for Chester; Leon Wolszczak and Colin Rees for Wallasey. All four players deserve congratulations for their commitment to the match series and for Colin further applause is due for his attainment of the best overall score attained by any player (8/10).  The best score for Chester being attained by Graham Bromley (7.5/9) who  has only missed a single match in 2013.

Additional background provided by David Hulme:

“The idea got off the ground thanks to support of Leon Wolszczak, who sourced and procured the trophy for the initial match.  The first match in 2009 was played over 16 boards with the result decided only by the final game, as was the case in each of the first four years that the event was held.  Although more recent matches have been more decisive in the final count, the highlight for me so far was the 2013 contest which had 60 players involved in another close match.”

German Twins

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Markus Haag (president, right) and Andreas Kuglstatter (tournament organiser, left) from the Brombach chess club in Lörrach in Germany. Lörrach is Chester’s twin town and is situated in the bottom left hand corner of Germany very close to Basel. Their club is of a similar size to Chester’s and also has a significant junior component.

They were visiting Chester assisting a youth exchange programme and are pictured here outside their university accommodation. We discussed exchanging details of the tournaments we each run and maybe playing a match in future.

If you might in principle be interested in travelling to Germany to play a weekend tournament and/ or a match then please let me (Phil) know.

The votes are in

The votes are counted and logo C won with 11 votes against 9 for logo A and just 3 for logo B. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to vote and for leaving comments. And thanks to Graham for the original artworks!

10th Annual Wallasey Challenge Match – The D&A Cup

On Tuesday the 19th of June 22 players from Chester Chess Club met 22 players from Wallasey Chess Club at the Town Crier in Chester.  This challenge event has has been held annually during the close season of recent years and this year reached its 10 year milestone.   As always the match was hard fought and Wallasey as seems to be the trend surged into an early 5-1 lead.

As the evening progressed Chester gradually eased back into contention and late on went into the lead.  The match was finely poised at the point when Chester were two up with three to play.   Of the three games that were still in play Jack Yang was clearly lost and Jo Nemcek faced a difficult defence a pawn down in a minor piece ending.  Fortuitously for Chester Rob Killeen emerged victorious and thus Chester clinched the match.  The final result was 12-10 to Chester, a result comprising of 10 wins, 4 draws and 8 losses. With this result Chester have pulled one back in the series but still remain 5-4 down to Wallasey. Here is to next year and the chance to finally draw level in the series!

Wallasey Challenge Match 2018 Results

Board NumberChesterGradeResultWallaseyGrade
1Phil Crocker1941-0Colin Hughes163
2Chris Doran1780.5-0.5Mike Coffey161
3Graham Bromley1600.5-0.5Chris Latham157
4James Lee1420-1Phil Brine155
5Jixin Yang1420-1Mike O'Mahony154
6Stephen Lloyd1411-0Jeff Povall150
7Robert Killeen1491-0Steve Clare129
8David Bryan1401-0Mark Spriggs129
9Ray Williams1401-0Viv Oldham129
10Jo Nemcek1390.5-0.5Leon Wolszczak128
11Seth Collinson1380-1Ken Jones123
12John Harvey1371-0Alan Jackson123
13David Hulme1340.5-0.5Colin Rees118
14Keith Emerton1251-0Duncan Rennie115
15Jack Yang1240-1Graham Carr112
16Dan DowlingEst 1200-1Gordon Somerville103
17Ian Clayton1031-0Alan Kelly99
18Nethuli Saram871-0Graham Heath99
19Sam Burchett810-1Ron Champion95
20Philip Skippon670-1Martin Cockerill92
21Ben Woodfinden671-0Trevor Amos69
22Barry Kelly150-1David Williams66

Final Logo Selection

At the AGM we reviewed the two frontrunners (A and B) and then commissioned Graham to design a third hybrid logo (C). Please vote for your favourite in the comments section or email Graham or Phil. We’ll finalise the selection around the end of June.

Logo A

Logo B

Logo C



2017/18 Recap – Star Performers

At the recent AGM we recognised a number of members who had extraordinary results in the last season.

From the juniors we recognised the following winners:

Most Improved Player – George Turner


Chester Cup – Abdelrahman Mahmoud


Holdcroft Shield – Milan Kustos


Young Masters – Vignesh Seshadri


Club Championship – Efe Kitis


For the adult competitions John Carleton presented the trophies:

Townsend Trophy – Phil Skippon


Club Championship – Mike McDonagh

(Unfortunately no photo as he was photographer for the evening)


Hallard Cup – Ian Clayton


Coleby Cup – Ben Roberts and Phil Crocker

(Unfortunately Ben missed out on the photo opp.)


Well done also to John Carleton who was Chester and District League Division 1 Player of the Year, scoring 9 out of 10 on top board. And last but not least, Tony Rafferty scored an amazing 6/6 in division 4 of the Wirral League.

Congratulations to all the winners!