Oxfordshire Chess- News

News from 2018-19 for Oxfordshire Chess

News from other years: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2010 2008 2007 2006 2005

18 May 2019

Andrew Varney

Oxfordshire May half term chess events for juniors

Junior chess activities in Oxfordshire during May half term include:

* Tuesday 28 May to Friday 31 May
Chess and activity holiday club run by Oxford New Generation
 May 2019 holiday club information

* Friday 31 May
St Giles U12 Rapid Play
 Entry form - St Giles U12 RP

* Saturday 1 June
Delancey UK Chess Challenge Megafinal at Cheney School
(qualification required for year 6 and below)
 Link for entry to Oxon Megafinal

18 May 2019

Roger Thetford

Ray Starkie Memorial Best Game Award - congratulations Will Burt!

The judgement has been delivered, and the winner of the inaugural Ray Starkie Memorial Best Game Award is Will Burt. Read Matt Rose's report for more details, or you can play through the games.

The raw PGN files are: Rose-Burt | Waugh-Hardwick | Rumsby-Ward | Truran- Kadodwala | Bush-Tickner. (Either download the plain-text files and rename them as PGN, or click the link to see the text, copy it and paste it into a chess program.)

Many thanks to Matt for judging the entries for the award.

09 May 2019

Ian Bush

Ray Starkie Memorial Best Game Award - submission deadline 15 May

UPDATE 9 May: two more entries: Rose-Burt | Waugh-Hardwick to add to the previous two Rumsby-Ward | Truran- Kadodwala. (Either download the plain-text files and rename them as PGN, or click the link to see the text, copy it and paste it into a chess program.)

As some of you will be aware at the last OCA AGM it was decided that an annual best game award be instituted in Ray Starkie's memory. This will be judged by Matt Rose. Games should be submitted by Wed 15 May - so if you have played any games which you are particularly proud of this season in OCA events (the League, The Frank Wood Shield and the Chiltern League) get them in!

Submit your game by emailing it to Roger Thetford, the League Secretary (email address on the Contacts page), in PGN format - Please, please, please, no photos of scoresheets!

If you are unsure of what PGN format is please visit PGN editor where there is a nice on-line utility that will help you create a PGN file. Click on the "2.Game moves" tab where you can play out your game, then click on "NEXT" to add the details about the players, and "NEXT" again and the PGN file is in the window. Simply cut and paste this into your email to Roger or (probably better) save it into a file and send it as an attachment.

01 May 2019

George Spalding

Peter Hemmings is Wantage club champion for 2018/19

Peter Hemmings is once again Wantage Club Champion. He won the 
all-play-all top graded Group with a score of 5/6 losing only to Simon 
Richards,but with wins over Matt Mills, George Spalding, Stephen Morris
Mirka Litweniec and Roly Piggott who came in as runner-up on
4/6. It was pleasing to see that all participants won at least one game
in this Group.

Meanwhile in the lower grades Group 2, also all-play-all, 
Stephen Cartmell emerged as the winner with a clean sweep of 5/5 over 
Derek Stubberfield, Ian Sturt, Paul Mahon, Ray Cordon and John
Leake who finished in second place with 3.5/5.

Prizes will be awarded at the Wantage club annual dinner on 14th May 

George Spalding, 
Secretary Wantage Chess Club        

24 Apr 2019

John Place

ECF U13 Junior Team Challenge National Finals

Magdalen College School enjoyed an excellent day at the ECF Junior Team Challenge Finals at Hertford College on April 23rd. Twelve strong teams who had qualifed through different zonal tournaments competed for the championship title over five rounds. MCS finished as runners-up, only ½ point behind winners Kings College Wimbledon (with whom they drew 2-2 in the head-to-head). MCS also finished 1st= (with Newcastle Grammar School)in the team chess problem solving competition held at the same time.

25 Feb 2019

Ian Bush

More Information on the ECF's Proposed New Rating System

For those of you interested in the proposed new rating system I've been informed by Roger Emerson of the ECF of the following link which gives a lot more detail than that provided in the newsletter: https://www.englishchess.org.uk/monthly-grading-proposal

Hopefully this will help members give more informed feedback at the consultation web site https://britchess.wufoo.com/forms/ecf-monthly-grading-consultation which I'd like to remind you is open until 15th March.

25 Feb 2019

Stephen Rumsby

Oxfordshire U150 Just lose out to Bucks

Here is a belated report on the Bucks v Oxon U150 game held on the 16th February. It was one of the closest matches I can recall. Unfortunately we started a board short which didn't help things, but the match was very level with the lead switching from one side to the other. I had a fairly quick game and managed to recover from a minus position to a level one with a blocked position. I couldn't see a way through and so accepted the offer of a draw. This left me free to watch the remaining games. And what a roller coaster ride it was. When we got down to the last 3 boards Oxford were 1 point in the lead. A draw kept us in that position and the last 2 games looked fairly drawish. However, it was not be. The penultimate board fell to a knight fork, which left the score equal. The last game to finish looked level, but we were very low on time and eventually ran out of time. So a rather unlucky 1 point loss. This puts Bucks in the lead with 8 points and Oxford on 6 with one game to play. The last match of the season is on the 16th March away at Hants, so if you haven't already contacted me and would like to play, let me know.

15 Feb 2019

Gerard O'Reilly

Marcus Harvey is Oxfordshire Individual Champion

Witney's Marcus Harvey had already finished first equal (with David Zakarian) in the Open section at the November Witney Congress, which formed the first leg of the Oxfordshire Individual Chess Championship for 2018-19. With outright victory at Kidlington, where David was not playing, he clinched his first Oxfordshire Individual title with two rounds of the second leg to spare, amassing a total of 8.5 points out of 10.

Phil Hayward (Oxford City), who shared the U190 grading prize at Kidlington, finished in second place in the Oxfordshire Championship with a total of 5/10.

27 Jan 2019

Roger Thetford

Reminder - Frank Wood Shield

The draw for this season's Frank Wood Shield is here. This year there were no weeks set aside in the fixture list for this competition. Clarifications:

  • Use current (January) ECF A-E grades.
  • If a player does not have an A-E grade, obtain an estimate from the Grader, Peter Hemmings. Please give Peter two weeks' notice.
  • Do not round the average handicaps before calculating the difference.

Proposed dates for round 1:
Thu 28 Feb University Unicorns v Cowley Countergambits
Tue 19 Feb Wantage Alfredians v Cowley Cutlers
Wed 20 Feb Didcot Dynamos v Cumnor Six Horsemen
Mon 04/11 Feb Witney Weavers v Cowley Chessnuts
Tue 05 Feb Bicester Bishops v Banbury Misfits
Thu 14 Feb Magdalen Marauders v The grunifeld defence
Mon 25 Feb / 4 Mar City Slickers v Banbury Buccaneers

Please could captains contact their opposite numbers and either agree these dates or arrange a new one, with the aim of having round 1 complete by 28 February. (Congestion at City on 18 Feb may push the City Slickers tie into March.)

Link: DisplayCupResults.cfm?CupID=170&Org=1
23 Jan 2019

Stephen Rumsby

Oxfordshire U150 start the New Year with a win

Oxfordshire started the year with an impressive win over Berkshire. We were playing on 19 boards at Berks request and generally outgraded our opponents especially on the bottom boards. The top 10 boards scored 5:5 with Berks, but the bottom 9 scored 8:1  an impressive margin. Thanks to all who played, I hope you had an enjoyable afternoon's chess. Thanks as usual to Simon for collecting the equipment, setting up and putting away.

The win puts back at the top of the table, at least for now. The result of the Bucks v Hants match has yet to appear on the website.

Our next match is away to Bucks on the 16th February. I have had a good response to my request for players, with 13 people who are willing to play so far, so if you would like to play please email me (stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com).

Link: ViewResult.cfm?LeagueID=348&Display=11239&Org=8
04 Dec 2018

Gerard O'Reilly

Cowley Christmas Blitz, 3 December 2018

With kinder weather, the number of players at this year's Christmas
Blitz, held on Monday 3 December, was gratifyingly almost double the
number at last year's event, with 66 entrants.

The tournament was won by Oxford City's Phil Hayward on 9 points out of
10, a clear point ahead of Andrejs Olehnovics (Didcot), Tom Shepherd
(Bicester) and Maria Mate (Cowley), who took the next three places,
separated on the tie-break by their sum of progressive scores.

Cowley Chess Club was also pleased to host the draw for this season's
Frank Wood Shield Handicap Competition, which took place at the end of
Round 3, introduced by our Chair, Bob Samuels, and supervised by Roger
Thetford and Ian Bush (respectively OCA Secretary and Chair). Full
details of the draw can be found on the OCA website.

Here is the full list of prizewinners at the Blitz:

1st:                          Phil Hayward (Oxford City)           9
2nd:                          Andrejs Olehnovics (Didcot)          8
3rd:                          Tom Shepherd (Bicester)              8
4th:                          Maria Mate (Cowley))                 8
Best Cowley player:           James Cole                           7.5
Best visitor:                 Benjamin Foo (Oxford University)     7.5
Best U12:                     Edison Xu (MCS/Blackbirds)           7.5
Best junior (U18):            Oscar Idle (Cowley)                  7
Best lady:                    Marianne Hauer (-)                   6
Best U165:                    Andrew Webb (Didcot)                 7.5
Best Cowley U155:             Rich Weston                          7
Best visitor U155:            Dilhan Manawadu (Oxford University)  6.5
Best U14:                     Hari Selveraj (MCS/Blackbirds)       6
Best U145:                    Kelly Riley (Cowley)                 6
Best U130:                    John Courouble (Cowley)              6
Best ungraded:                Dester Murahwa (Cowley)              6
Best U10:                     Kenneth Hobson (Oxfordshire Juniors) 5
Best slow starter - 0/2:      Gary Reynolds (Didcot)               5
Best very slow starter - 0/4: Tony Heslop (-) / Peter Cole         3

I am pleased to have the opportunity to thank those whose help made the
event possible and successful:
Rose Hill Methodist Church for allowing us the use of the downstairs
Hall for the event;
the Kidlington Chess Tournament for the loan of equipment;
and those who kindly donated prizes for the event or made donations to
the Lester Millin Memorial Fund,
or helped clear up at the end of the evening.

I am also very grateful to several of my fellow Cowley members for their
help, especially:
Bob Waugh and Dave Robson, for the transporting of equipment;
Sara and Ellie Sengenberger for setting up the hall and equipment;
Will Burt for various forms of help, especially for taking entries on
the door;
Bill Stanley for manning the wallcharts to keep the round-by-round
scores up to date;
Bob Samuels for helping out as part-time Master of Ceremonies;
and, in particular, Priscilla Morris, who controlled the event with
characteristic calmness and efficiency.

Gerard O'Reilly (4 December 2018) 
Link: https://sites.google.com/site/cowleychessclub/cowley-blitz
25 Nov 2018

Stephen Rumsby

Oxford U150 crash to defeat

The Oxford County U150 side crashed to their first defeat of the season against a stronger Hants side. Although we marginally outgraded them on the top 7 boards they outgraded us on the rest. So we knew it was going to be a tough match, and so it proved. Their average grade was 129 to our 119. By the half way stage it was roughly equal but then they crept ahead and eventually won 8.5:11.5, and this despite them defaulting on 2 boards. Congratulations to those who won or drew and commiserations to those like me who lost. Thanks to everyone who played, and to Simon for his help. Our next match is on the 19th January at home to Berkshire, then we have 2 away matches on 16th February against Bucks and 16th March against Hants. Despite the loss we are still level with Bucks at the top of the table.

05 Nov 2018

Roger Thetford

Privacy Statement

A privacy statement for the Oxfordshire Chess Association is now published on the Admin Documents page, and is also available at the link below. This builds on the very helpful clubs template provided by the ECF.

Link: documents/OCA_Privacy_Statement.pdf
01 Nov 2018

Roger Thetford

ODCL starred players 2018-19

Thank you to all the team captains for submitting their lists of starred players by today's deadline. The list is linked below. Rule 2.3 in the updated league rules applies.

Captains from clubs that have more than one team in a division (currently Cowley, Didcot and Witney) may wish to note a subtlety in Rule 2.4, "Playing for more than one team". Non-starred players who are graded 125 or lower at the start of the season are permitted to play without restriction. Players graded 150 or lower may play in Division 1 without affecting eligibility to play in lower divisions, but once they have played four games for one division 1 team they may no longer play across for any other division 1 team. Similar restrictions on playing across apply to anyone graded over 125, regardless of division.

Link: documents/ODCL_Starred_Players_2018.pdf
20 Oct 2018

Stephen Rumsby

Oxford U150 Win Against Bucks

Well, it couldn't have got any closer. Bucks requested to play only 19 boards as one of their players was unwell. The two teams were fairly evenly matched in terms of grading, so it looked as though it would be a close call. And so it proved.

Unfortunately, I was so preoccupied with my game that I didn't see much of any of the others. I was the second to last to finish by which time we were level on 8.5 points each. I had blundered a rook and thought about resigning, but decided to play on and see if I could swindle something. I managed to fork his queen and rook with my knight, which left me a knight down. Then, just as he was about to crash through I managed to get a perpetual, so we were still level on 9 apiece.

This left Alexy Pegushev to decide the match and fortunately he won. So another win for Oxford 10-9, which puts us at the top of the table.

Thanks to everyone who played, I hope you all had a good game even if you didn't win. Thanks to Ray for stepping down at the last moment and to Simon for getting the equipment and refreshments.

Link: ViewResult.cfm?LeagueID=348&Display=10824&Org=8
30 Sep 2018

Stephen Rumsby

Oxford 's U150 County team make a good start

Well it was a bit of a struggle, but we managed to get there in the end - at least 18 of us did. The two teams were well matched although Oxford outgraded Berks by a few points on every board. There were some good games and Oxford came out winners with 11.5:8.5. Thanks to all who played, I hope you had an enjoyable afternoon's chess. Our next match is 3 weeks from now on the 20th October at home (Rose Hill venue) against Bucks. NOTE it will be a 1.30 start. Bucks also won their first match against Hants so it should be an interesting match. If you would like to play please email me (stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com). If you are on my mailing list you should have already received an email from me. If you haven't then please let me know. Steve Rumsby

22 Sep 2018

Stephen Rumsby

WANTED - Players for the County U150 Team

We need players for the County U150 Team. The County U150 Team has its first match away to Berkshire next Saturday (29th). If you have an ECF grade less than 150 and live in Oxfordshire or play for an Oxfordshire club and would like to play, please email me at stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com I need 5 more players. Steve Rumsby

21 Sep 2018

Gerard O'Reilly

OCA League Rules updated

The OCA AGM on Thursday 13 September updated some of the League Rules.

(i) The former Rules 2.3 and 2.4 on 'starring' players were combined into Rule 2.3, with the main addition being a deadline by which teams required to 'star' four players are to notify the Secretary (now Roger Thetford) of the players being starred for those teams. As a consequence of this change, the subsequent sections of Rule 2 have been re-numbered.
NB. In connection with the starring of players, club secretaries and team captains will doubtless remember that the OCA's official Guidance for Clubs and Captains (see the 'Admin Documents' page of this website) says that the main intention of the starring rules is "to ensure fairness in team selection" and that "The Association expects that team captains (in complying with League Rule 2.3) will normally 'star' the four strongest regular players in their squad unless there is good reason not to. Failure to star higher graded players who are known to be very likely to play regularly throughout the season (and then playing those unstarred players in lower teams) is one clear example of a way in which a club might seek to manipulate the rules unfairly."

(ii) An addition was also made to the rules on defaults, specifying what happens when, with the Secretary's consent, captains of both teams have agreed not to play a match. (See Rule 4.4.)

Link: documents/OCA League Rules 2018.pdf
17 Sep 2018

Asif Hameed

Fixtures release - latest release is 18th Sep 2018

Dear All

Please see the diary and grid formats for the 2018-19 fixtures. The heading should be in green so please remember to refresh your browser if needed.

Any problems or issues please email me.


06 Sep 2018

Rod Langham

ECF President's Award for Steve Rumsby, Banbury

The ECF Newsletter that has just been published included the following article:

Congratulations to Steve Rumsby from Banbury Chess Club, who was presented with his ECF President's Award for Services to Chess.

The Award recognises that for over 30 years Steve has been the Chairman of Banbury Chess Club. Steve has overseen the growth of the club from initially fielding two teams in one league to the latest season where the club fielded four teams in the Leamington League, three teams in the Oxford League and entered all the available league cup competitions. In recent years, Banbury entered a team in the 4NCL. Virtually every year, Steve has captained one of the club teams.

Steve's wider contribution to chess is seen in his work for the Leamington and District Chess League. He is, and has been for a number of years, both the league's webmaster and fixtures secretary. At the start of the 2016-2017 season Oxfordshire County were unable to find a volunteer to captain the Under 150 county Team. Steve at short notice volunteered and led the county team to 5 wins from 6 matches. They ended that season as Chiltern League Champions. Steve has continued in this county captaincy role. Steve is highly regarded by chess players in an area stretching from Birmingham down to Didcot.

Steve (right) receives the President's Award from Leamington League chairman Ben Graff

Old News

Any unexpired news items dated before 1 August 2018 can be found by using the link for the relevant year. The link for 2017 will give news dated 01 Aug 2017 - 31 Jul 2018.