Phil Morgan won the club championship, concluded on 18.5.16. ( OK, the entry isn't as strong as it used to be.)

Steve Bak, runner-up , won the U 130 prize. For full results see Club Championship page.

New Grades July, 2016

posted Jul 27, 2016, 2:16 PM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Aug 6, 2016, 1:08 PM ]

New ECF grades were published a few days ago. Check yours on the ECF web-site , Grading Database.

 Grades offer a reality check to all of us at the end of a season.  Gradings are now issued twice a year, and likely to move to a weekly, real-time basis at some point, but I still like to compare my grading at the end of the season with the previous year. 

Viewed from that lens, 3 Ashfield players have shown significant improvement.Neil Graham has had a very good season on his return to the first team, evidenced by his rise from 146 to 158, demonstrating encouragingly it's not just youngsters who can improve. Andy Flint has boosted his grade from 107 to 121.

The most impressive surge has been by Nigel Wright, now graded 134,who was 112 in July 2015. Nigel's grade last year didn't reflect his level of play. Two seasons ago Nigel played very well against 2 tough old battlers in Graham Ladds and Janos Wagenbach. Those games didn't go his way but he's learnt from that  game experience, worked on his play and seems to have benefited from playing more this season.

Busy Bees . The ECF Grading Database lists games played during the season. Click on a player name and move to season 2015-16.
Six Ashfield club players played over 40 graded games this season. This does not include games played in the Sheffield or Yorkshire Leagues. Who do you think these were? Who do you think played most games? ( The player who did play most games got the second answer wrong !.) Solutions to follow.

Steve Burke  49,  Bob Taylor  48,  Derek Jarvis 46, Ray Sayer  44,  Andrew Toothill  42,  Nigel Wright 42.

No surprise to see our dual Ashfield/ Breadsall and 4 NCL players among these. I was surprised to see Ray who has retired from regular League Chess. Ray is our undoubted tournament king, having competed in 9 tournaments across the country last year.. Nigel ,who plays for Ashfield and Spondon, competed in 4 tournaments.

Simultaneous Display

posted Jun 30, 2016, 3:19 PM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Jul 7, 2016, 1:53 PM ]

Weds 20 July 7.45

The event below has been unavoidably postponed. Members are still encouraged to attend before 7.45 on the night, and we will run some kind of competitive event e.g. time -handicapped games .

At our club-night  on this date John Molyneux will play a simultaneous match against all club members. It's an opportunity for all of us to pit our wits against the club's strongest player. We hope to see many of you there  for what should be a fun evening of chess.

Chess Talk

posted May 29, 2016, 9:57 AM by Phil Morgan

A select few members on the club night of 25.5.16 heard a presentation from John Molyneux around improvement in chess. It was only John's second visit to the club this season, so he was made to sing for his supper. John gave a wide-ranging talk about various aspects of chess from the chess brain, to how chess is portrayed in books, which is very  different to the reality of evening League play. He looked at the different phases of the game and how and when games are won or lost, informed by his games record. We also got the chance to look at some of his game positions and continuations.

John offered advice around developing self-knowledge, time-management, the importance of the initiative, and not being frightened by reputations. He showed us his failure to beat Keith Arkell in 1999 , despite having seen the winning plan. John touched on his background in engineering sciences, acknowledging the influence of this on  his chess play. John recommended and gave handouts on an opening against 1 e4. Will any of us switch to this next year? 

I found it a very interesting evening. In a chess club we can play with team-mates for years, knowing little of their lives/accomplishments outside of chess. In our small club we have a former ECF Director of Congress Chess, a talented song-writer/record producer and a top nuclear engineer. We've had music and guitar teachers. Our Secretary is pretty handy on the golf-course. Anybody else hiding other lights under their bushel? 


Nottingham Congress

posted May 6, 2016, 2:34 PM by Phil Morgan

3 Club members won prizes at the recent Nottingham Congress.

Nathan, Nigel and Neil.

See Notts Congress News for details and photos.

Grantham 1 Clinch League Title

posted Apr 7, 2016, 3:35 PM by Phil Morgan

Congratulations to Grantham who claimed their seventh successive League title with their 4-1 win at Gambit  
on Tuesday. They won 11 of 12 games, losing just one earlier in the season to Gambit , who finished a point

behind them. Congratulations too to Gambit 1 who maintained such a strong challenge, winning 10 of 12,
with 1 draw and the final game loss. These two teams have almost been in a League of their own this

season, with Mansfield's expected challenge fading away.  

Nakamura Touch-Move Controversy

posted Mar 18, 2016, 4:54 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated May 8, 2016, 2:46 PM ]

March 18th, 2016 at 11:38 | #3

" For anyone interested this 2min video from the World Chess YouTube channel shows the whole incident:

While I sympathise with someone being upset about their dream being crushed. I don’t think any of the other players at the Candidates that would have done what Nakamura did in that video if they were in the same situation (including Topalov).

To me, he tried to get away with cheating. I think we should should be grateful that there was a camera and arbiter that saw it, otherwise it could have been a lot worse. I think Nakamura didn’t persist in his claims because he realised the arbiter had seen it. Lets not forget Hikaru has a record, he did some illegal move against Nepomniachtchi at the World Cup, there he got away with it. That was not as bad as what he did here, however, I think in future Nakamura would benefit from reading the rules of Chess again.

I also hope that FIDE takes some kind of disciplinary action against him after the tournament ends. In my eyes; he got caught trying to cheat, therefore he should receive some form of disciplinary action like a participant in any other sport or activity would, if they got caught. "

I fully agree with the views expressed in the  above post  from the Quality Chess Blog, Phil

p.s. No disciplinary action was taken. Since then in the Ultimate Blitz Challenge, Gary Kasparov did exactly the same against Nakamura, releasing a piece before picking it up again and placing it on another square. Whilst against the rules in classical chess, it seems that this is not so in Blitz in which the move is only completed when the player presses his clock. The biter got bit. Nakamura smiled and play continued. 

Notts Domination

posted Mar 1, 2016, 3:58 PM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Mar 5, 2016, 3:43 PM ]

Notts have entered  5 teams in the County Championship this year. Four of these have won the Midlands title. The fifth, the U 100 team only need to avoid defeat in their final match on 5th March to clinch a clean sweep of MCCU titles
 Notts won the Minor Championships on 7 points out of 8, ahead of 4 other counties. The U160 team won their 2 games. The U140 team won their three games, and the U120 team won their 4 games. The U 100 team have won their 2 completed games. Of 14 County games, our teams have 13 wins and 1 draw , the opening Minor Counties game v. Leicestershire.

I don't know if Notts has previously had this level of success, a testimony to the skill and willingness to play of team members, co-ordinated by Neil Graham. The real test will be whether one or two of these teams can achieve success at national level, which are often won by Southern counties..

* It is now confirmed that all 5 teams have won the MCCU titles, an unprecedented achievement. This leaves Neil with the small task of arranging venues, teams, 60 players, transport, equipment and refreshments for the National quarter-finals on Saturday 21, May, alongside running our 2 Four NCL teams, and controlling at the Nottinghamshire Congress in April..

Feb County Results

posted Feb 21, 2016, 4:10 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Mar 20, 2016, 11:29 AM by Steve Bak ]

20/2/16  Notts U 140 - Derbyshire U 140

Notts. beat Derbyshire 10-6 to clinch the MCCU title. Only 2 of the 16 boards were drawn. The scores were even over the top 12 boards but Notts.made a clean sweep of boards 13-16. Notts have won all their 3 group games, with 3 different Ashfield players appearing on top board. For full results see MCCU web-site.

Notts U 100 - Warwickshire U 100.

Notts defeated their main rivals and are now well placed to win the MCCU title at this level. Ric Dawson drew his game on Board 4 and a defaulted board by Warwickshire was very costly. Result - Notts 6.5 - Warwickshire 5.5

13/2/16 Worcestershire U 120 -Notts U 120 

Notts romped to the Midlands title with their fourth straight win with a 8.5- 3.5 win at Worcestershire. Andy Flint won and Nigel Wright drew, contributing to a convincing victory.

Into The Play-Offs

posted Feb 14, 2016, 4:26 AM by Phil Morgan

Grantham 1 are chasing their seventh successive League title.Their last 5 wins were by clear margins. This season Gambit 1, who narrowly averted relegation last season, are offering a strong challenge. The title race could remain open until the 2 teams face each other in their final game of the season.

Gambit 2 are poised in a similar position to last season, well placed for promotion, with one challenge to beat off. Last year a turn-around on one board, Geoff Gibson's v. Grantham, denied them promotion. Ashfield 2 went up , fully expecting to drop down again this year. That may still happen but the withdrawal of University has left us with a mini-League of 3 teams, Grantham 2, Ashfield 2 and West Notts 1 contesting  the second relegation spot.
An exciting race may also be on the cards in Division 3  between Long Eaton, Nottingham Central and Newark 2. Newark 's games against the other 2 teams will be critical.

We don't have a play-off structure to our League, but  League positions give certain key games a Play-Off character.

County U 140

posted Feb 7, 2016, 3:11 PM by Phil Morgan

Notts defeated  Worcestershire 10-6 at Olton, Birmingham.

 Stan Cranmer led the team on top board and drew his game.

 Notts and Derbyshire have each won their first 2 games and will effectively contest the MCCU title in their match on 20 February. Each team has already qualified for the National stages of the competition.

For full results see MCCU website.

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