Alsager Chess Club
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News 2011

27 Dec A Very Merry Christmas to All
Alsager continued its dismal run with yet more losses during December - the last thirteen matches with two draws and no wins - but we are all looking forward to a change of fortune in 2012, with our first match of the season against Newcastle E on 3rd January.

A Very Happy New Year to chess lovers everywhere, and thanks to all our members for their support during 2011 - with a special welcome and thank you to the new players who joined the club this year.

Other News
Performances figures for 2011 are now available 

Fenton Chess Club have rebuilt their web site. Top quality as to be expected from WebMaster Supreme Steve- you can visit it here.


7th Dec Top of Division two.
After a full month without a win, Alsager continued on their downward path this week, when our C team lost away to Holmes Chapel Pawns on Monday, with a single win from Neville on board one. (Result Sheet unfortunately is not to be found).

Our B team fared better last night at home to Cheddleton B, with a draw - thanks to Brian's win on board 5 against young Jack Healings. 

On board one, Simon Edwards left his king open to a back-rank mate in one (Qf3 to Qf1 check mate). Unfortunately our player missed it and a very relieved Simon went on to win the game a few moves later.
The draw was enough to put Alsager at the top of division two - an excellent result against a very strong Cheddleton team.

Julian Kirk-O'Grady 0 Simon Edwards 1
John Booth 0.5 Philip Birks 0.5
Douglas Barnett 0.5 Bill Armstrong 0.5
Steven Brown 0.5 Alex Cartlidge 0.5
Brian Birchall 1 Jack Healings 0

1st Dec Alsager lose to Fenton
Alsager continue on their record breaking nose-dive with a loss at Fenton last week in division 4. John Smith shows consistent form in providing our one and only win on the night.
 Rob Taylor  0.5  Neville Jones  0.5
Geoff Yates  0  John Smith  1
Jason Plant  1  Oliver Horrocks  0
Mike Smith  1  Richard Martin  0

26th Nov The Losing Streak Continues
Alsager C lost 3-1 away to Cheddleton E on Friday Night, making a total of 5 lost matches and just one draw to count for all of our teams in the past month.
Let's see if we can go for an all time record!

John Yee  1  Neville Jones  0
Colin Abell  1  Les Hall  0
Karol Grzybowski  0  Richard Martin  1
David Rose  1  Default  0

23rd Nov Nice Save from Kamil
A draw from Kamil saved the whitewash last night when Alsager A played home to a much stronger Newcastle A team. With three of our regular team unable to take part - Roll on Christmas - after which we will be back up to full strength. 

Our division four team also played a home game last night against Fenton D - results to follow.

16th Nov One of the draws.
5 out of 5 draws - that has to be a record! You can play through Alan and Sam's game from the U150 match here. We are always keen to receive games from any of our members for inclusion in our library - if you would like to see your game annotated, please hand your game sheet to the captain on the night for submission.

16th Nov Club Trophies
It's good to see Steve Brown playing for the club again - after two years break he is back in fine form with three wins and a draw so far. 

Chairman Alan meets up on a regular basis with Steve (Alsager Club founder and ex-chairman) in Steve's Alsager workshop for a mid-morning coffee break - and occasionally to discuss new initiatives for the club, as a result of which we have decided to introduce a new club trophy.

This will be presented to the new cup holder at the end of the season.

The cup holder will be the member who has the highest number of wins that season - a simple calculation - total points (win = 1, draw = 1/2) divided by number of games played. You have to have played at least eight games.
Given that Steve is our top performer this season - and it was his idea.. makes you think.

h Nov That's a lot of draws!
Alsager drew on every board tonight at home to Newcastle in the U150 cup - that has to be a first!
With no free squares for his Queen, Alan accepted a perpetual on board one. Andy & Steve on boards 4 and 5 played well to get the draw against stronger opposition.

In the other home match, Alsager D lost 1 - 3 to Cheddleton E- result sheet to follow.

9th Nov Battle of the Cs
Alsager C lost convincingly, away to Newcastle C tonight. Michael was the only winner for Alsager in his second game for the club. Kamil on board one was unable to hold the position, having over-stretched in an attempt to win the game which would have meant a draw for the dream. Newcastle are now firmly bedded at the top of the division three table.

8th Nov Two points - and no losses!
Alsager B join Holmes Chapel Knights at the top of Division two after an excellent home win against Fenton A tonight with Draws on boards 1,2 and 4 and wins from Alan and Les Hall on boards 3 and 5. This was Les's first game for the club - and his first competitive game otb- well done.

2nd Nov Three in a Row
Alsager suffered its third consecutive loss last night, when the 'C' team played Kidsgrove 'A' at home, with a single win from Steve on board one. Michael Matar joined the club last night and captain Neville quickly nabbed him to play board four.

Having secured a significant material advantage - but with queen and knight hovering around his King, he unfortunately missed a mate in two from Dave. This was Michael's first ever competitive game played across the board.

Steve Brown 1   Derek Northage 0
Neville Jones 0  Chris Ford 1
Richard Martin 0 Julian Cook 1
Michael Matar 0  David Johnson 1

2nd Nov South Cheshire Shield presented
Alsager received the winners shield last night, and are the first club to appear on the shield. George and Ben from Holmes Chapel were also present to receive the runners up medal. Photos to follow.

29th Oct One man down 
Alsager D lost to Cheddleton F at Leek last night. Boards one to three shared the points but unnfortunately it was a no-show from Tim and so we defaulted board four (apparently his sat nav broke!). Andy was set for a good win on board two - with a 3 pawns (2 connected on the 6th rank) and Knight vs Knight, but unfortunately his pin dropped.

17th Oct Win at Fenton.

It was a tough match for our C team tonight, but wins from John Booth and Neville Smith on boards one and three, and a draw on board two was just enough for the two points needed to keep Alsager in the top three.

 158 Tony Holdford  0  John Booth  1 166
127 Rob Taylor  0.5  John Smith  0.5 120
126 Steve Emmerton  0  Neville Jones  1 125
93 Derrick Wallace  1  Andy Barker  0

16th Oct Two new members for Alsager

We are pleased to welcome two new members to Alsager chess club- Andrew Barker returns to chess after many years break and will play his first game for Alsager tomorrow night at Fenton. His estimated  grade is 105. James Kingston has recently moved from Shrewsbury where he played for the Telepost C and D teams. His grade is 112. James is on holiday for a month or so, but will be a regular team member from December onwards.


11th Oct Alsager C scrape a draw

Alsager C played at home tonight against Holmes Chapel Pawns and were very quickly defeated on boards 2 and 3 - fortunately for Alsager a default on board four and a win in a lost position on board one was enough to hold the draw.

11th Oct Stoke League Rapid Grand Prix.

Following on from Alex' efforts last year Martyn Harris will be running another Stoke League GP for players currently or recently graded 155+ ish.

(John, Simon, Julian, Kamil and Ben - this is for you!)

The grand Prix will consist of 4 blitz events (best three scores
counting), to be held at Newcastle chess club on a Monday night.
Starting at 7.30 finishing between 10.15 and 10.30.

The four dates selected are as follows:
Mon 7th Nov
Mon 5th Dec
Mon 23th Jan
Mon 26th Mar

Eligible club members wishing to take part can get in touch with Martyn directly by email.

10th Oct  Another win for Alsager!

Well done to our most able captain Dick for leading his team to victory in their first match of the season away to Meir C tonight, with wins from Alan, John and Oliver and a draw from Dick.  (Score sheets not yet available)

Following on from the Alsager B and Alsager C wins last week, our three new captains have all passed their tests with flying colours.  



4th Oct  Two home wins for Alsager!

Alsager B won against Macclesfield tonight 3-2, and Alsager C completed the full house with a 2½ to 1½ win against Stafford.

1st Oct Alsager Cricket Club will play host to Alsager's first home games this Tuesday - Alsager B vs Macclesfield and Alsager C vs Stafford. Visitors to the club for the first time can get directions via the Contact Us page.

1st Oct The guest book has now been removed - unfortunately we were receiving too much spam from unwelcome visitors. Managing the page was similar to emptying a garbage can every day! Thanks to all genuine vistors who have left messages in the past. You can still get in touch with the club via the Find Us page. 

 22nd Sept

 Alsager A claimed their first victory tonight in the opening match of the NSDCA League.

Our first team started the season off with an excellent 3-2 win tonight against Holmes Chapel Kings. We were able to field our top 5 players in this match, with Simon on board one, Kamil on two, Ben on three, Julian on four and John on 5.

Pat Bennett 0 Simon Hood 1

John Turner ½ Kamil Zak ½

Andrew Raeburn 1 Ben Zitha 0

Ian Bates 0 Julian O'Grady 1


Malcolm Roberts ½ John Booth ½



21st Sept

Bobby Fischer Against The World

This film is being shown at the Stoke Film Theatre on Tuesday 11th October. If anybody is interested in going to see this film, and  would like to share transport, please contact Alan.
To go to the Film Theatre website please click here.

17th Sept Our first team will play the opening match of the NSDCA season next Thursday, away to Holmes Chapel. 

17th Sept 

Alsager win the South Cheshire Shield! 

The last match in the South Cheshire Shield took place this Wednesday when Holmes Chapel played away to Kidsgrove and won 1½ - 2½.

The tournament is now completed - Alsager took the title followed closely by Holmes Chapel Pawns in second place.

Special Thanks to Julian and George for supporting this new event. Next year we hope to get more clubs involved, extending the invitation to clubs in the neighboring league - Stockport.

Well done to all Alsager players who took part - especially Oliver, Dick,  Brian and Neville, who were all regular players in this event.



6th Sept Alsager won against Kidsgrove tonight in the SC Shield to take the shield. Play-off next week between Holmes Chapel and Kidsgrove for second place. It was very close - Richard Martin managed to hold a draw on board four with a stale-mated king against two pawns. Brian Birchall lost on board one after 15 moves and very strong play from Derek Northage with the white pieces.



5th Sept Meir A have dropped out of Division two due to work comitments - fixtures page has been updated.

At tomorrow night's SC Shield game at home to Kidsgrove - Brian, Neville, Oliver and Richard will be playing for the win which will secure the shield.

The SC shield is in memory of Dave Ross, who was a keen player at Alsager. His daughter Michelle, will present the shield later this month - date to be set once all matches has been played.

Michelle Ross-Cope is one of the top women’s long distance runners and has represented her country in international competitions, including the Great Britain marathon team at the European Championships in Barcelona in 2010.

29th August Member's published ECF grades now updated here as per ECF definitive August list.

29th August Kidsgrove scored full points on Wednesday with a good win against Holmes Chapel Pawns in the SC Shield. With two matches left to play, they need to win their return games against both Holmes Chapel and Alsager to secure the title.

23rd August New page added to give a week by week fixtures reference

22nd August Fixtures for the forthcoming season are now avaiable - visit the Newcastle web site for all details, or you can view the Alsager fixtures only here.

13th August The remaining fixtures for the SC Shield are now all in place - the final match will be played at Kidsgrove against Holmes Chapel on 14th September.

9th August it is good to see that our move to the Cricket club and change to a Tuesday evening has meant that more members are now coming along for a game. Anybody wanting a friendly game is encouraged to join us - and that includes non-members.


9th August The deadline for completing the SC Shield has been extended out to end of September due to unavailability of players during the holiday period.



25th July Provisional grades for the new season have now been published.

23rd July Some pictures taken at the cricket club - at home to Holmes Chapel on Tuesday

19th July Alsager gained two points in the SC Shield tonight in their return - home game against Holmes Chapel. Alan and Brian secured the full points on the top boards, with draws from John and Oliver on boards 3 & 4

18th July The chess club has now officially moved to the Alsager Cricket Club.

You can get directions here.

Our first match there will be played tomorrow evening against Holmes Chapel.

Special thanks to the Radway Club who played host to our club for the past 3 years.


13th July - The North Staffs Agm wes held yesterday evening at Fenton Sports and Social club. Alan Thomason attended - not much to report:

  • A slight increase in club fees
  • Alan Thomason volunteered / was voted in as a committee member - one of five.
  • Change of officers - Steve Emmerton has take over as publicity secretary, and due appreciation was show for the excellent work he has done in re-building and managing the NSDCA web-site.
  • Martyn Harris is now Results Secretary, as well as keeping on the job of Fixtures Secretary. 
  • Alsager have entered one team in all divisions apart from division 5.
  • We have entered an 8 board team in the Open Cup - our first draw is away to Stafford. The winner will play a home match against Cheddleton in the semi-finals.
  • We have also entered a 5 board team in the Major (U150) - this is our first entry into this competition, and our first match is at home to Newcastle. The winner of this match will go on to play Fenton or Kidsgrove (at home) in the semi-finals.



13th July - Our next fixture in the SC shield will be held next Tuesday 19th against Holmes Chapel at the Alsager Cricket Club. You can view the report for our first match against Kidsgrove here. (Photos to follow)

6th July - For anybody who used to play in the old Crewe League, you can see all winners of the Crewe Trophy going back to 1980 on our new Club History page here.

30th June - Holmes Chapel defeated Alsager 2½ - 1½ in their SC Shield home game last night. A no-show for Alsager on board 1 was a set back. Oliver picked up our only win on board 2, and Dick achieved a draw on board 4.

29th June - The club AGM took place last night - (Minutes can be found on the Members -> AGM 2011 page)

Main points of interest:

  • There will be an internal club championship this year - most likely a Swiss 7-rounder to be played between Sept and April.
  • New venue from September will be the Alsager Cricket Club
  • New club night will be Tuesday

26th June - Good turn out from Alsager in the Leek Rapidplay today - Brian, Doug, Alan and Kamil took part with a mixed bag of results. Excellent event.

26th June Newcastle are running their summer half hour competition - it will take place over the three Wednesdays 29th June and 6th and 13th July. Although this is an internal club competition - any Alsager members wanting to take part, if you let Alan know he can make enquiries.



23rd June - Alsager won last night against Kidsgrove in the SC Shield - with wins from Doug, Steve & John

20th June Matthew Carr has agreed to attend the first SC Shield match at the Royal Oak this Wednesday to open the event and take some pictures. Thanks Matthew - it will be good to have an aribiter there when it all kicks off.

A welcome return after a short break from chess to Steve Brown who will be playing on Wednesday. Just like the old days!

16th June Another fixture for the SC Shield - away to Kidsgrove on Wed 22nd June.



15th June A change of date - again! The Alsager AGM is being held at the Radway Club Tuesday 28th June . Click  here for details.

Kamil has kindly volunteered to do a simul. against all-comers after the AGM. The simul will start at 20:30 - time control will depend on number of challengers.

15th June We have our first fixture for the SC Shield - away to Holmes Chapel at the Victoria Club Wed 29th June.

14th June the Alsager AGM is being held at the Radway Club Tuesday 21st June. View agenda here

Fixtures page for the SC Shield is now available see here


8th June 11 The NSDCA AGM is being held at Fenton Sports & Social Club on Tuesday 12th July 2011

7th June 11 A mixed bag of results from our two teams at the Newcastle jamboree - a total of 5 points from our Overdogs Team put them approx mid-table. After some last minute change in line up due to Julian dropping out one hour before kick-off,  Dick was thankfully available and came to help us out - and managed to score a draw against fierce competition. The Underdogs lived up to their name and under-achieved to attain a grand total of one point. As board one 'under-dog' Alan would have been very disappointed not to have been totally mashed by an IM in less than 20 moves! 

In any case it was a good opportunity to meet up with Julian Cook from Kidsgrove and George from Holmes Chapel to thrash out a basic format for the new shield which is now going ahead this summer.

Well done to Martyn Harris and Matt for putting on a very slick and well run contest - thanks for the invite.

The training and classic game selection has been extended - see how Morphy does it blindfold!

6th June 11 Just two teams for tomorrow evening at Newcastle. We were too late to enter a team in the U130 - it is now closed. 


6th June 11 New club-room at the Leisure is looking very promising, although unlikely to be Thursday evening as there is a Zumba dance class in the next room. Feedback from club members indicates Tuesday will be the best club night - to be confirmed at the AGM.

6th June 11 'New South Cheshire Shield' for this summer has had some interest shown from Holmes Chapel - Macclesfield feel it is unlikely they will be able to participate this year, but will ask around their members in any case. Closing date for entries 16th June. More here

30th May 11 We now have our B team (the underdogs) confirmed for the open section of the Newcastle Rapid on Tuesday 7th June - team comprising Doug, Alan, Gordon and Brian

29th May 11 We should be able to get together a second team for the open section of the Newcastle Rapid (let's call it the underdogs). The overdogs is made up of Kamil, Ben, John & Julian. Also, so far we have 2 players for the U130 - Dick & Oliver - if anybody else would like to play, please let me know over the next couple of days.

26th May 11 We have confirmed one team only in the Newcastle rapid - on the 7th in the open section. 

Members forum page added - new topic to pick a new club night. Please take part! 

23rd May 11 Alsager AGM to be held on Thursday 16th June at the Radway Club - 7.30 pm. We are considering a change of venue, so anyone wishing to vote on this - and other issues please attend. 

22nd May 11 Our last match of the season was played on Thursday against Cheddleton D. We lost 3-1, with draws from Alan and Brian saving the whitewash. Dick almost succeeded in holding the draw on board 3 but could not quite find a perpetual. Final results for the season available here.

Newcastle are hosting a rapid-play Jamboree on Tuesday 7th June - 19.30 start. We will probably enter one team in the open