2017-18 Season‎ > ‎


Nigel's Tournament Win

posted Mar 26, 2018, 3:32 PM by Phil Morgan

Congratulations, Nigel

Nigel Wright  scored his first tournament win in the Minor Section of the Birningham Rapidplay on Sunday, 25th March

-I managed to win the minor outright at Birmingham yesterday, my first ever tournament win! There were 3 others with higher long play grades than me, including someone in the 140's. 

I started off the day poorly, my opponent playing a Dutch against my London and it was just a horrible blocked position. I think the early draw helped me though, my next couple of games were straightforward wins, and then the tough games started. 

Blundered a pawn in round 5 against the then leader after 4 moves, and then faced a real fight to win in excruciating time trouble! Thankfully the tournament had an increment, 15+10. Never played that control before, took a bit of getting used to, but saved me big time in the later rounds.   

Round 6 was a bit easier, my opponent had already mentioned he was afraid of playing me after watching me fight to the death in round 5! He kindly Blundered a bishop early on, followed by two moves later gifting me the exchange. After forcing him to swap remaining pieces off, RN+2 passed pawns V N was a relatively simple win.

Round 7 started with me on 5.5/6, and my 2 nearest challengers on 5 points each. The young lad with 5 on the board next to me won very quickly, meaning I had to win to win the section outright. I thought everything was going swimmingly, winning a couple of pawns in the opening, before I realised I had neglected my king and minor piece development... I don't think I've been in a more desperate position for a very long time. 

I used up the majority of my time and we had barely gotten into the middle game - my 23 seconds to my opponents 12 minutes was a bit of a shock! After finding the only moves to keep me in the game, I fluckily found the one move that forced him to swap Queens off (at the expense of a pawn). Still in a hopelessly trapped position, I found a quick forced combination of about 6 moves to boost my time, and then when the dust settled to my surprise it was RB+5 V RB+3 with opposite coloured bishops in my favour! 

Slowly fighting for position, I managed to eliminate all of his pawns at only the cost of 2 of mine. Again finding a quick combination to boost my time, I eventually forced him into a mistake where I would swap rooks off and Queen a pawn, so he resigned. Suffice to say I had to remain seated for 5 minutes after the game. It was quite a well run tournament to be fair, and with 3 IM'S and 1 GM in the open, obviously competitive. 

This win will hoist up Nigel's Rapidplay Grade and move him out of Minor Sections, but he evidenced a winning mentality and I don't think this will be his last tournament  win..

Stan Cranmer (4.10.1930 - 20.1.2018)

posted Feb 5, 2018, 4:31 PM by Steve Bak   [ updated Feb 6, 2018, 9:44 AM ]

Deep Though 1

Stan joined Ashfield Chess Club in 2004 when he moved to live in Kirby-in-Ashfield. He was known to our club before this as a tough opponent playing for the Long Eaton club. Stan was 73 when he joined Ashfield but was by far the most active player in our club. Over the Board he played regularly in congresses, club and county games. In 2006 he played in eight week-end tournaments He was also, uniquely in our club, a devotee of postal correspondence chess and typically at that time had 30-40 correspondence games on the go.

Stan learnt to play chess at school when he was 11 and in 1942, he won a Junior County Scholarship, which gained him entrance to Owens Secondary School in Islington. Because of the war, the school had been evacuated to Bedford and it wasn’t too long before young Stan had joined the Bedford Chess Club, where he was the only junior in a man’s world. 

Returning to London after the war, Stan helped the school to win the London Secondary Schools Chess Championship in 1946. The final was played at the famous Gambit Chess Rooms in Budge Row, Cannon Street against Whitgift School of Croydon, who had Leonard Barden on Board 1. At the call of time Stan’s game was unfinished but Sir George Thomas, doing the adjudications, declared it a draw.

In 1948 he joined the Metropolitan Chess Club who were then playing their games at St.Brides Institute off Fleet Street. He remembers there were approximately 30 boards that were never put away because they were used almost daily. Players such as Alexander, Winter and Penrose were regular attendees. Stan worked his way up to Board 2 for the club and remembers beating Stuart Reuben and Keith Richardson in OTB games, although he admits that Keith beat him many times in return.

Stan won the Milner-Barry book award for achieving 9.5/11 in the London Chess League 1962 and was champion of the NatWest London region half a dozen times. He played in the NatWest National Finals and represented NatWest in the National Inter-Bank Chess Championships on several occasions, which is where he first came to the notice of our members Andrew Toothill and Steve Burke in the 1980s as a doughty opponent and teammate.

He drew with Dr. Fazekas (British Chess Champion 1957) in 1963 and his BCF grade was as high as 181 in the 1970s. Around this time he played in a simultaneous display against Victor Korchnoi. Stan’s sideboard is full of trophies but pride of place went to his British Championship triumph in 1998 when he won the U-150 section, no mean achievement for a man in his 68th year.

A Younger Stan vs Victor Korchnoi

With regard to postal chess, Stan first joined the Postal Chess Club (PCC) in 1947 and his first results appear in the February 1948 issue of Chess where he won two games in an Odds Tourney. Although interrupted by National Service and a period of illness, he worked his way up to the Championship section in the mid 1950’s. Stan primarily used postal chess as an experimental grounding for his openings and general practice between his OTB games. He won several trophies in the NCCC and seven RAF trophies. 

In 2013 Stan attained the title of Candidate Master from the BCCA. Stan’s correspondence play was not computer assisted. He was very methodical in keeping track of his games. He had 13 magnetic folded pocket boards, eight small wooden boards and various others on which he kept the position of his correspondence games. He drew a diagram every 15 moves and kept track of time diligently. His play was backed up by a library of over 350 chess books, mainly on a bewildering variety of openings.

Stan’s standard of play remained remarkably solid and in 2012, his ECF Grade rose to 150. In the Notts League 2016-17 he scored 8 wins, 7 draws and just 2 losses - a 68% return. Stan was reliable and fiercely competitive, and always willing to pass on knowledge and advice to team-mates. He was the cornerstone of several team promotions and a win in the National Club U-150 competition. Despite the frailty, poor mobility, and occasional falls that marked his later years, Stan remained cheerful and uncomplaining to the end.

Leading the team to Victory

Stan did have other interests outside of chess. He followed Tottenham Hotspurs and was interested in history and politics, being forthright in expressing his views. He used to enjoy travelling and several years ago travelled to New York, where he couldn’t resist visiting the famous Manhattan Chess Club.

Stan’s last game was in December, 2017. A fall at home a few days later led to a hospital admission. He was rehabilitating at Sutton Court before he contracted a chest infection that developed into pneumonia and caused his death. Prior to this, Stan was eagerly looking forward to returning home to read the chess books (chosen by Stan) which were his Christmas present from his step-daughter. 
He was an exceptional student of chess, and inspirational chess player, whose results defied his years and physical health problems.

Stan leaves a son and two daughters from his first marriage. His chess pals and colleagues would want to extend our condolences to his family. 

*We would also like to thank Neil Limbert of the BCCA whose article “The ’Evergreen’ Stan Cranmer”, BCCA, Summer, 2007, informs this notice. This also gives four of Stan’s games including this 2004 game against another Notts stalwart.

Stan Cranmer v Keith Roper

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bb4 5.Nge2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 Nxc3 8.Nxc3 0-0 9.Nd5 Bd6 10.Qh5 Kh8 11.f4!? f6 12.f5 Na5?? 

This natural looking attack on white's bishop turns out to be a blunder, but Stan had to find the only moves to prove it. 

13.Rf3! Qe8 14.Qxh7+!! Kxh7 15.Rh3+ Kg8 16.Ne7# 



posted Jan 22, 2018, 6:32 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Feb 3, 2018, 11:02 AM ]

Stan Cranmer  RIP

 Stan, who had been convalescing in an elderly person's home in Sutton following a fall, contracted a chest infection, which developed into pneumonia and passed away on Saturday 20th , January.

Condolences to Stan's family, who are in our thoughts.

Stan's funeral is at 1.00 p.m. on Friday, 9th February at Mansfield Crematorium. Afterwards there will be a wake at a local pub. If you plan to attend this, please contact Trevor Lewis ( email trevorandpam@gmail.com) , who is liaising with Stan's family.

A fuller appreciation of Stan, an inspiration to many of us in the club, will follow.

Farewell, Louis

posted Jan 10, 2018, 5:28 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Jan 10, 2018, 8:47 AM ]

Bao Nghia Dong, known to team-mates as Louis, has moved from the East Midlands and is unlikely to appear again in the Notts. League.

Louis has obtained a Masters degree from Loughborough University in Business Administation and has relocated to London to continue his studies and pursue a doctorate.

Louis made 7 League appearances for Ashfield 
 15.2.17 Onos Kofi-ofuator  1
 27.2.17 R Truman   1
 29.3.17 M Barnes   1
 12.4.17 C Dorrington 0.5
 9.10.17 M Barnes   1
 18.10.17 J Tait        0
 24.10.17 J Jires      1
Louis has also appeared for the Ashfield- Breadsall 4 NCL team. He has in the last year been very active in club, county and Congress chess. He is particularly strong in Rapid and Blitz play and his chess star is rising rapidly. In December 2016, he scored 7/10 in the London Chess Classic Super Rapidplay, defeating Jovanka Houska but losing to David Howell. ( You can view this game by googling Bao Nghia Dong v Howell.)
In November, 2017 he finished 4th in the British Rapidplay Open with 7/10. In Round 8 he defeated the eventual winner, Spanish GM Daniel Alsina Leal.
In December 2017 he competed in the Lodon Chess Classic Super Blitz. He qualified from a group stage ahead of several titled players. He then won through a preliminary round in which 6 grandmasters were defeated, and won through a last 32 round in which the likes of Luke McShane, Matthew Sadler and Nils Grandelius were eliminated. He was the only untitled player to reach the last 16 alongside 13 GMs  and 2 IMs.

Being based in London should greatly increase Louis' playing opportunities. On behalf of our Club, I'd like to wish Louis good luck in his future studies and chess. We'll be following his progress in chess with interest. His departure creates a playing opportunity for another Louis or Pablo, or player of their ilk, to turn out for us in the Notts Chess League.!  .

Bar Area Refurbished

posted Nov 23, 2017, 2:14 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Dec 15, 2017, 4:14 PM by Steve Bak ]

The bar area has been refurbished . It is very light and modern. Photograph to follow

Fancy dress wasn't the order of the day, but the Ashfield 2 - Nomads 1 game of 22.11.17 saw an interesting dress clash. See match report.

Reindeer v Parrot

Photograph , courtesy of Dave Griffiths.

Division 2 Shuffle

posted Oct 14, 2017, 5:13 AM by Phil Morgan

As some of you may be aware, University have withdrawn their first team from the NCA Leagues.  The LMC has approved a request by Gambit to enter a new team in place of University 1, and so I'm pleased to inform you that Division 2 will remain at 8 teams for this season.

The new team will be called Gambit X (for extra), and for player eligibility purposes the team will be below Gambit 2 and above Gambit 3.  The team captain is Drag Sudar, whose details I imagine you all have already, but are available on the NCA website.

Our club games with Gambit X will be held as follows -

Weds Dec 13       A2  v  Gambit X

Tues 9 Jan            Gambit X v  A3

Weds 21 Feb        A3 v  Gambit X

Tues 17 April        Gambit X  v  A2

Louie's Top Showing

posted Oct 5, 2017, 3:32 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Oct 6, 2017, 12:30 PM by Steve Bak ]

Ashfield's star player, Bao Nghia Dong , known to us as Louie, had an outstanding result in the English Rapidplay Championship Open played at Liverpool on 23.9.17. Louie finished 5th equal, level with Grandmasters Mark Hebden and Peter Wells with a score of 6/9. The event was won by GM Danny Gormally. There were 53 entrants. Leading scores shown below.

GMGORMALLY Daniel W2532 26w1 30b1 3w1 6b1 11w1 2b½ 8w½ 10b1 7w18,0
IMGHASI Ameet K2557 41b1 51w1 10b½ 12w1 5b½ 1w½ 11b1 6w1 3b½7,0
IMD'COSTA Lorin Ar2356 17b1 24w1 1b0 9w1 14b1 13w½ 4b1 18w1 2w½7,0
GMDAVIES Nigel R2494 37w1 22b1 13w1 11b0 31w1 8b½ 3w0 17b1 10w16,5
GMHEBDEN Mark L2502 42b1 14w1 11b0 24b1 2w½ 23w1 10b0 26w1 6b½6,0
GMWELLS Peter K2466 20b1 23w1 27b1 1w0 10b1 11w½ 13b1 2b0 5w½6,0
FMSTOREY Charles H2217 27w0 29b1 20w0 38b1 32w1 24b1 9w1 8b1 1b06,0
FMHORTON Andrew P2158 45b1 11w0 19b1 36w1 12b1 4w½ 1b½ 7w0 18b16,0
DONG Bao Nghia2144 48w1 12b½ 15w½ 3b0 34w1 31b1 7b0 19w1 11b16,0
POULTON James R2448 21w1 31b1 2w½ 16b1 6w0 39b1 5w1 1w0 4b05,5
FMTATE Alan2349 32w1 8b1 5w1 4w1 1b0 6b½ 2w0 13b1 9w05,5
IMPEIN Malcolm2331 34b1 9w½ 25b1 2b0 8w0 36w1 26b0 39w1 24b15,5
FMLONGSON Alexander2279 39b1 28w1 4b0 42w1 15b1 3b½ 6w0 11w0 25b15,5
MURPHY Hugh W2210 29w1 5b0 32w1 41b1 3w0 33b1 18b0 23w1 15w½5,5
VARLEY Nicolas2125 -1 17w½ 9b½ 22b1 13w0 18w0 27b1 31w1 14b½5,5
QUILTER Thomas A2119 19b1 18w1 36b½ 10w0 23b0 25w1 31b0 22w1 26b15,5
WESTWOOD Richard D2077 3w0 15b½ 40w1 39b0 35w1 41b1 22w1 4w0 23b15,5
IMSARAKAUSKAS Gediminas2344 43w1 16b0 24w0 37b1 20w1 15b1 14w1 3b0 8w05,0

Club Rapidplay

posted Sep 17, 2017, 2:47 PM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Sep 21, 2017, 11:29 AM by Steve Bak ]

Glenn wins  title

Glenn Halfpenny scored 5/5 in the Club Rapidplay Championship held on 17/09/17.
The 12 entrants included a junior, new to the club, two NCA Honorary Life Vice- Presidents and Mr Herrington making a rare entry into this event.

Last year saw a 3-way tie between Glenn, Steve Burke and Bob on 3.5 This year Glenn ran away with it  playing very solid chess. The contenders coughed up too many blunders. Steve, two pawns up against me in Round 3 donated 1 of the pawns and then a Rook in time trouble. Bob turned down a draw by repetition against me, looked for more and fell for a back rank mate. My good dollop of luck ran out in Round 5 against Neil, when I inadvertently picked up the wrong piece and was obliged to make a losing Bishop move. This vaulted Neil into the runner-up position on 3.5, ahead of the pack on 3.

Alan Morrey made his annual visit to the club and proved very hard to beat for a player who now only plays in this event. He shared the grading prize with Ray and Trevor.

This has now become the best attended event in the club calendar. Thanks to Neil for controlling this.



Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Rd 4

Rd 5



Glenn Halfpenny








Neil Graham







Steve Burke








Phil Morgan








Bob Taylor








Jerry Herrington








Nigel Wright







John Shaw







Ray Sayer







Alan Morrey







Trevor Lewis























 ( Bob had a Big Dinner and Treacle Sponge.Nigel matched him at the dining table.)

Cliff Potter Memorial Club Championship 2017-18

posted Aug 20, 2017, 5:02 AM by Phil Morgan

Entries are now being accepted for this 5- round Swiss event to be played over the course of the coming season. Games can be played at any agreed time or venue. 
Entry is free. The winner of the event , and of a graded section, will be granted free club membership for the following club season. All members are encouraged to take part. It's an opportunity to meet and play against members from across our teams.10 players competed last year. We would like to extend participation.
If you want to play in this year's event please notify dp.morgan230@talktalk.net on or before Sunday, 17th September. 

CWANG result

posted Jul 27, 2017, 4:43 AM by Phil Morgan   [ updated Aug 30, 2017, 7:52 AM by Steve Bak ]

We competed and finished third in this Annual Rapidplay challenge, won by a strong combined Mansfield and Radcliff and Bingham. Our team scored 24/40. Nigel Wright top scored on 3.5/4 . Jerry scored 3/4. Glenn, Neil, Steve Bak and Ric scored 2.5/4

****** NEXT CLUB EVENT  Club Rapidplay, Sunday, 17 Sepember  ******

1-10 of 10