Monday, 31 December 2012

Steady half season

What could be described as a steady half season saw Church Stretton finish a couple of points above the relegation zone in Div 1.

Solid home win against Shifnal Telford A on 1 Nov.

Church Stretton 3.5-1.5 Shifnal Telford A
T Brotherton 0.5, D Gostelow 0.5
S Rooney 0.5, N Nazif 0.5
J Whittaker 1, R Gillespie 0
G Shepherd 0.5, W Peck 0.5
F Rooney 1, Default 0.

Followed by a predictable defeat against Telepost with our top board Trevor missing.

Church Stretton 0.4-4.5 Telepost A
S Rooney 0, N Ferrington 1
G Shepherd 0, R Bryant 1
D Hancock 0.5, P Zabrocki 0.5
F Rooney 0, K Tabner 1
C Pimm-Jones 0, J Westhead 1.

Poor result away at Shifnal Telford B

Shifnal Telford B 3.5-1.5 Church Stretton
R Thompson 0, T Brotherton 1
S Maydew 0.5, S Rooney 0.5
W Peck 1, G Shepherd 0
R Szwajkun 1, F Rooney 0
S Tennant 1, Default 0.

And a welcome whitewash against Telepost B

Church Stretton 5-0 Telepost B
T Brotherton 1, N Kiffin 0
S Rooney 1, M Clark 0
J Whittaker 1, J Westhead 0
G Shepherd 1, C Micallef 0
F Rooney 1, J Casewell 0.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Top Shrews

Shrewsbury pulled out all the stops to get their top team out, including David Everington on board five! Both Rooneys had winning chances but it was the match that got away.

Shrewsbury  A 4-1 Church Stretton
P Makepeace 0.5, T Brotherton 0.5 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Season gets going

The season is now underway for the A team which faced a tough opening match against Newport, losing 3.5-1.5, but managed to hold Priorslee Lions to a 2.5-2.5 draw in the following game.

Graham Shepherd was the only winner in the Newport match with John Whittaker getting a draw.

The first home match was a little unconventional as we shared the room with a pool match. It did get a little noisy at times but hopefully it wasn't too distracting for the players. We did have a welcome visitor, Ian Judd from Chichester chess club, who was staying in Stretton for a week's holiday. Always handy when a 158-grade turns up looking for a game!

At one stage it looked like we would take the full match points. Trevor beat off Bill Bates agressive opening to emerge two clear pawns up and with Bill's king looking distinctly vulnerable in the middle of the board. You don't expect Trevor to cede an advantage like this, and he didn't, clinching the first game point. Gerald was a piece up in his game but got tangled up and then mated by Gary White, always a wily opponent. This was followed by another win for the visitors as Steve Tarr won a king and pawn ending against our guest board three Ian. The final two games finished with John Whittaker getting a draw against Andy Tunks, and Steve Rooney getting the full point against Glyn Pugh after the latter dropped a rook in the final stages.

Next match is away to Shrewsbury A.

*Unfortunately we have had to withdraw the B team this season as we don't quite have enough players for both teams. However everyone is welcome to come along to the club for casual games on Thursdays, but probably best to let Steve or Graham know if you're coming to make sure someone is there.

Newport A 3.5-1.5 Church Stretton
N Rutter 1, T Brotherton 0
T Pym 1, S Rooney 0
N Paul 0.5, J Whittaker 0.5
C Lewis 1, G Link 0
S Ross 0, G Shepherd 1.

Church Stretton 2.5-2.5 Priorslee Lions A
Brotherton 1, W Bates 0
S Rooney 1, G Pugh 0
I Judd 0, S Tarr 1
J Whittaker 0.5, A Tunks 0.5
G Link 0, G White 1.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New grades July 2012

The new grades have now been published by the ECF. Full details of the games included can now be found on the much enhanced ECF grading site -

Trevor Brotherton 185 
Tiago Faustino 176 
Steve Rooney 162
Karl Wakefield 153
Gerald Link 145
Graham Shepherd 137
Eric Elwell 127
Francis Rooney 114
Tom Williamson 106
Chris Pimm-Jones 93

New ECF membership scheme

A new membership scheme has been introduced by the English Chess Federation for the coming season. this means that the present system of funding the ECF through paying a game fee (54p per player for each graded game), will change and players will join the ECF for an annual fee. You will be able to play up to three games (for a game fee) without being a member but for most regular players it makes more sense to join.

The Shropshire Chess Association recently discussed the proposals at its AGM, and president Francis Best has prepared the following explanation of how the new system will work.

July 2012 
Dear Chess Friends 
ECF Direct Membership 
Many of you will be aware that the way in which the English Chess Federation (ECF) is funded is changing and this will have an impact on local chess throughout the country. Exactly how this could best be administered in Shropshire was discussed at the recent AGM of the Shropshire Chess Association (SCA) and the reason for my writing now is to explain these changes and how your Association is planning to make things as smooth as possible and facilitate the new system for both clubs and players. 
What is Changing? 
Currently, if you play graded chess in England, you are helping to fund the ECF in various ways: 
• If you have chosen to be a “Direct Member”, you pay an annual subscription directly to the ECF in return for various benefits and the right to a discounted entry to congresses. You also fund the ECF through the “Game Fee” charged on each of your results in graded League, Club and County games. You will be paying this through your club subscription, league or match fees. 
• If you are in a part of the country where there is a designated “Membership Organisation”, you may pay an annual subscription to the ECF via the local organisation. As a so-called Basic Member, you are entitled to unlimited graded games at no extra cost per game. 
• If you are not a member of the ECF, either directly or via a Membership Organisation, a “Game Fee” is charged on each of your graded games. You will be paying this through your club subscription, league or match fees. In the case of congresses, you will be paying a higher entry fee than ECF members, to cover the costs to the organisers of the Game Fee payments. 
From 1 September 2012: 
Following the changes taking effect on 1 September 2012, you will be helping to fund the ECF in one of two ways: 
• If you have chosen to be a “Direct Member”, you pay an annual subscription directly to the ECF in return for various benefits depending on the level of membership – Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. With each level of membership comes the right to play unlimited graded games in the categories of event defined for each membership level. 
• If you do not wish to be a member of the ECF, a “Game Fee” is charged on each of your graded games. You will be paying this through your club subscription, league or match fees. In the case of congresses, you will be paying a higher entry fee than ECF members at the Silver level or above, to cover the costs to the organisers of a “Pay to Play” fee per non-member / Bronze member. 
What Do the Different Levels of Membership Mean? 
The different levels of membership entitle games played to be graded according to the following table: 
Adult Cost 
Junior Cost 
Local Competitions (league, club championships etc.) 
ECF Grand Prix 

Where players are not ECF direct members, there is a fee payable according to the following table: 
Standard Play 
Rapid Play 
League & Club (non-junior) 
£2 per result 
£1 per result 
League & Club (junior) 
50p per result 
25p per result 
Congresses (non-junior) 
£6 surcharge * 
£6 surcharge * 
Congresses (junior) 
£4 surcharge * 
£4 surcharge * 
* Applies to bronze members, as well as non-members. 
Players must be Gold or Platinum members to play in FIDE rated events. 
The AGM Decisions 
The AGM voted to set up procedures to ensure that all its regular players become ECF direct members at a level in accordance with their requirements. 
First of all, it was agreed that the SCA would become a Membership Organisation (MO) of the ECF. This involves signing an agreement, enabling the SCA to collect membership fees from individuals and pass them on to the ECF. This approach automatically generates a £1 discount which it is intended will be passed on to the individual. 
Secondly, it was agreed that all players in Shropshire should generally be expected to become ECF direct members. It was recognised that there would be some players who play very few graded games, or who join a club part way through the year, and so it was agreed that players need not become members if they play no more than 3 graded games in a year. 
Thirdly, it was agreed that the best way of collecting membership fees from players would be at club level. This is because different players will want to choose different levels of membership, so there needs to be that discussion at local level, in order to collect the correct fees. The decision at the AGM was that clubs would consult with their members, collect the appropriate fees and pass these details and the money to the SCA by 30th September, in order for the SCA to pass these details and the fees onto the ECF. 
Fourthly, it was agreed that the league fees collected from local chess clubs would be reduced to £10 per team for 2012/13. Previously, these fees were £50 per team. This is because the ECF Direct Membership scheme replaces the old game based system, which was covered by the higher fee. 
What Do Individual Club Members Need to do? 
Individuals need to decide what level of membership is appropriate for them. The following advice is taken from the ECF website: 
“Which type of membership would suit me best? 
The choice is yours, but the following scenarios may be a useful guide to the best fit for you. You can always upgrade to a higher level at any time if your needs change. 
• “I don’t play tournaments, but I do like to play graded games in my local league and at my club.” 
Choose BRONZE membership. You’ll be able to play an unlimited number of graded games in league, club and county competitions. 
• “I don’t play tournaments either. I’m mostly a social player and hardly play any graded games at all, certainly not more than six in a year.” 
If you don’t expect to play more than 6 graded games a year, you may prefer to pay on a game-by-game basis. A £2 fee should be paid to your club treasurer when you play this game. This will be forwarded on via the Shropshire Chess Asscoiation to the ECF at the end of the year. On the other hand, why not choose BRONZE membership and take advantage of the freedom to play lots more chess without worrying about any extra costs? 
• “I’m a league and club player. I don’t normally play tournaments, but I might like to try one.” 
Choose BRONZE membership and, if you see a congress you fancy, upgrade to SILVER by paying an extra £6 (Juniors £4). Bronze members and non-members can play in graded congresses, but Silver members and above are usually able to claim a discount on their entry fee of up to £6 (Juniors £4). If you upgrade from Bronze to Silver, the price of the upgrade should be covered by the discount on your first tournament, and if you get a taste for congresses, your Silver membership will earn you a discount every time! 
• “I’m a league and club player, but I like to play at least one congress every year.” 
Choose SILVER membership. You’ll be able to play an unlimited number of graded games in league, club and county competitions AND enter as many graded congresses as you like at the discounted Silver (and above) member rate. 
• “I don’t play in a league or a club, but I do enter congresses from time to time.” 
If you only play one or two congresses a year, and this is your only graded chess, you might just want to enter congresses as a non-member and pay the full, undiscounted entry fee. If you play three or more congresses a year, choose SILVER membership – it’ll be better value. 
• “I play in FIDE-rated events.” 
Choose GOLD membership. If you’re registered as English for FIDE rating purposes, the ECF requires you to be a Gold member or above. In return, you can play as many games as you like in graded AND rated events and the ECF will pay for the FIDE rating fees (with the exception of all-play-all tournaments). 
• “I’d like to do a bit extra to support the work of the ECF.” 
Why not become a PLATINUM member? You’ll receive all the benefits of GOLD membership, plus we’ll send you an ECF 15-month diary and a copy of the ECF Yearbook. It’s a pricier option at £60 a year, but if you can afford it, your subscription will be providing the ECF with invaluable extra funds to develop chess in this country. 
I’m already a member – how do the changes affect me? 
If your membership expires after 31 August 2012, it’ll be converted to one of the new categories. Standard, Junior, Family and Life members will be GOLD; Full members will be PLATINUM. When your membership expires, the ECF office will contact you to explain your renewal options.” 
It is possible that you are already an ECF Direct Member. This is not a problem; all you need to do is let your club secretary know your membership number to pass on to the SCA. You will not be required to pay an additional fee. 
What Do Clubs Need to Do? 
Clubs need to speak to all their members and ascertain which level of membership each individual wishes to take up. If the player is already an ECF Direct Member, you only need to note their membership number and pass this on to the SCA with your return. 
The appropriate level of membership subscription also needs to be collected from the players (less the £1 discount) and a cheque passed to Alf Evans, Treasurer, with your return by 30th September 2012. 
If you have members who do not wish to become ECF Direct members, the SCA will be charged the grading fee per game shown in the table above and will recover this amount from the club. The decision at the AGM was that members playing more than three graded games would be required to become ECF Direct Members and it is clearly in clubs’ best interest to monitor this in order to avoid unexpected bills. Individuals can become ECF Direct Members during the year (without the £1 discount) and this will cover games played earlier on. 
A small working group was set up at the AGM to agree more detailed procedures on these points and these will be distributed in due course. We understand that this is new for everyone and if clubs encounter practical difficulties in adopting the new system, the SCA will do what we can to assist and advise. 
More details on the ECF Direct Membership scheme can be found on the ECF website at: 
The website includes answers to common questions and is well worth taking a look at if you have not previously been aware of the changes. 
The changes have been under discussion for some time but will soon be upon us. I hope you will support your club and the association by making the system as easy as possible to administer. You can do this by reading up on the changes, asking any questions sooner rather than later, deciding promptly which level of membership is appropriate for you and of course, paying the appropriate fee to your club treasurer in good time. 
With best wishes for the forthcoming chess season, 
Francis Best 
President, Shropshire Chess Association 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cox trophy victory for Church Stretton

Church Stretton A won the final of the summer cup competition, the Cox Trophy, beating higher-rated Newport A by 2.5-1.5  in a match played at Telepost's club last night.

Early wins for Tiago Faustino and Karl Wakefield put Church Stretton 2-0 ahead. Karl was the first to finish as he converted an endgame initiative on the king's side into a strong passed pawn which tied down Chris Lewis' rook that was eventually lost and with it the game.

Tiago made it difficult for himself, not for the first time this season! His queen side was under a lot of pressure and he sacrificed the exchange to try and hold it but then decided to plonk his queen in enemy territory on b2. His opponent, Nathanael Paul, was convinced the queen was vulnerable as her retreat was difficult and he spent a lot of time trying to conjure a trap but it never materialised. With Tiago's queen eventually escaping back to e7, Nathanael quipped "maybe Mr Fritz can solve it later". He then faltered however and after some simplification Tiago emerged two pawns up with a ishop pair against bishop and knight and the end was inevitable. Another great escape for Tiago as he continues an unbeaten run that stretches back to his first matches for the club in January.

Trevor Brotherton's game against county number one Nick Rutter on board one had begun with some comical retreats with both players returning knights to their starting squares in a slow-burn French defence. Trevor continued the theme by slow marching his king to b7 rather than castling, as he needed the rook to remain on the a-file. A battle then ensued with Nick throwing his pawns forward on the queen side. Trevor's knight outpost on b4 looked reasonably solid protected by another knight and a bishop, but it was to prove an illusion as Nick conjured up an exchange sacrifice to eventually break through with a fatal attack on the king.

This left captain Steve Rooney facing Gavin Cooper on board two and needing at least a draw as a 2-2 tie would have given the match to Newport under the countback rules. In the last encounter between the two at the start of the league season, Steve won in a tense time scramble and this game also went to the wire. The black squares were the key feature with Gavin trying to undermine white's pawn chain from c3 to e5 in a game that started out as a Pirc defence but resembled a French. The black-squared bishops parried for a while but when they were swapped it left a potential weakness in black's position which Steve's queen could exploit. The game then revolved around Gavin attack on pawns on a2 and c3 and Steve's threat to force a series of queen checks by invading on the black squares. Gavin turned down one draw offer but eventually realised he couldn't break through and offered one himself when both players were down to the last five minutes.

Church Stretton 2.5 Newport A 1.5
T Brotherton 0-1 N Rutter
S Rooney 0.5-0.5 G Cooper
T Faustino 1-0 N Paul
K Wakefield 1-0 C Lewis

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Quickplay 3rd place for Stretton

Church Stretton A had a successful time in the Shropshire Quickplay on 19 May and ended in 3rd place from eight teams.

The event, ably organised by Toby Neal with help from Francis Best, involved 8 teams with an all-play-all followed by a play-off for the top four teams. Church Stretton comfortably qualified for the final play-offs but lost in the semi final to Newport 3-1 before beating Wellington 5-0 for the 3/4 place play-off.

Church Stretton's team included two new faces with Priorslee's Glyn Pugh and junior Heath Pearson joining Trevor Brotherton, Steve Rooney and James Carless.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Heading for the Cox final

The A team overcame an under-strength Shifnal & Telford A to reach the final of the cox trophy summer knockout.

A very quick win for Eric on board four put us on our way but this was cancelled out by Karl's loss to Windsor Peck on board 3. Because it was a four-board match this meant that neither of our top two boards could afford to lose as the countback rules would have given the tie to the opponents. In the event Steve won on board two and was followed by Trevor who managed to eke out a victory in an opposite bishops ending by combining a mate threat with pushing his extra pawn forward.

The final against Newport A takes place on Tue 29 May at Telepost club.

Church Stretton A v Shifnal & Telford A: 3 - 1
T Brotherton 1, I Wilson 0
S Rooney 1, R Gillespie 0
K Wakefield 0, W Peck 1
E Elwell 1, A Jones 0

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Toppling the league winners

The A team are through to the second round (semi final) of the summer Cox Trophy following a narrow win on board countback against league winners Telepost A.

A comfortable win by Tiago against Phil Zabrocki on board three put the visitors in front and then Trevor launched a king side attack against Nigel Ferrington on board one. Nigel appeared to overlook the strength of the attack and found his pieces misplaced and unable to come to the rescue; 2-0 to Stretton. Trevor had sprung a surprise in the opening by deploying the London System with the avowed intention of "sending him to sleep". Evidently it worked!

The final two games ended in wins for Telepost with Graham running out of time to hold his position on four and Steve succumbing after an earlier exchange sacrifice, but the countback rules meant that Stretton won despite the tied scoreline.

Next round is against Shifnal & Telford or Wellington.

Telepost A 2-2 Church Stretton A
N Ferrington 0, T Brotherton 1
R Bryant 1, S Rooney 0
P Zabrocki 0, T Faustino 1
P Crean 1, G Shepherd 0.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Mid-table finish for A team

The A team's final league match this season ended in defeat away to Shifnal & Telford. We don't like making excuses but the juke box thundering into life from the upstairs bar half an hour into the match was not conducive to serious chess, at least for boards one and two who were sited right underneath.

A win for Trevor and draws for Karl and Tiago (undefeated till the end!) were countered by losses for Steve and Graham.

Shifnal Telford A 3-2 Church Stretton A
J Footner 0, T Brotherton 1
D Gostelow 1, S Rooney 0
I Wilson 0.5, K Wakefield 0.5
R Gillespie 0.5, T Faustino 0.5
R Thompson 1, G Shepherd 0.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Strong finish for B team

The B team have continued their strong finish to the season with a convincing victory over Newport C to end up in third place in division three. Wins for Tiago, Francis and James and a draw for James led them to a 3.5-0.5 win.

The side have only lost once since Christmas, and Tiago's arrival has given them a real boost - he has chalked up four wins and two draws to remain undefeated.

Newport C 0.5-3.5 Church Stretton B
W Gormley 0, T Faustino 1
D Lovegrove 0, F Rooney 1
S Davies 0.5, C Pimm-Jones 0.5
M Price 0, J Carless 1.

Meanwhile the A team took on Telepost A who were confirmed champions after Shrewsbury lost on their recent outing to Church Stretton. At one stage it looked like Stretton were going to chalk up a double against the Shrewsbury sides, with both Gerald and Graham having clear advantages on boards four and five, but both games ended in draws. On board one Trevor's pet Nc6 in the French Tarrasch did its work again as Nigel Ferrington couldn't get any advantage out of the opening and a draw was agreed.

Board three was a different story however as Karl went a piece down to Paul Zabrocki and eventually lost. But captain Steve Rooney had a bit of luck on board two in the final game to finish. An earlier pawn sacrifice gave Steve some space and development advantage but a second pawn sac looked a tad too optimistic until opponent Richard Bryant missed a wining continuation and allowed a swindle in the final rook and pawn ending for Steve to force a draw. Th A team's final game is next week at Shifnal & Telford.

Church Stretton A 2-3 Telepost A

T Brotherton 0.5, N Ferrington 0.5
 S Rooney 0.5, R Bryant 0.5
K Wakefield 0, P Zabrocki 1
G Link 0.5, P Crean 0.5
G Shepherd 0.5, K Tabner 0.5

Friday, 9 March 2012

Church Stretton 2 Shrewsbury 0

The A and B teams have chalked up successive wins against local rivals Shrewsbury in the past two weeks.

Last Thursday the B team won 3.5-0.5 against Shrewsbury C, and last night the A team had their best win of the season with a 3.5-1.5 result against Shrewsbury A. The A team's win also put paid to any remaining hopes Shrewsbury A had for the title with Telepost A now confirmed as division 1 champions.

The A team victory was sealed with draws on the top three boards and wins on four and five for Tiago and Graham respectively. Board one saw another short draw between Trevor and Jamie Hopkins - one of these days they'll surprise us with a real competitive game! And on board three Karl's game against Francis best ended in a draw in a position that resembled draughts rather than chess with everything blocked and opposite-coloured bishops to boot. Steve's encounter against David Everington was a draw after only 13 moves but it was far from dull! David played an aggressive line as black in the open Ruy Lopez and sacrificed a bishop on h2 but there was nothing better than a perpetual so a draw was agreed.  Graham overcame Matt Best on board five after the latter slipped up in a promising position, and Tiago played some simple, but very effective chess to outwit Peter Kitchen on four.

Telepost A next, hope they're ready for us!

Church Stretton A 3.5 Shrewsbury A 1.5
T Brotherton 0.5, J Hopkins 0.5
S Rooney 0.5, D Everington 0.5
 K Wakefield 0.5, F Best 0.5
T Faustino 1, P Kitchen 0
G Shepherd 1, M Best 0

The B team's impressive win against Shrewsbury C included wins for Tiago, Francis and James on boards one to three, followed by a draw for captain Tom on board 4. Francis played the game as if it was blitz, but managed to find all the right moves and used control of the central files to emerge a pawn up with a clear win in the king and pawn ending. Tiago's opponent Ian Davies played a bit fast and loose on his king side and was effectively pieces down with a bad bishop on its starting square and a rook that never got into the game. After that the result was never in doubt. James seized on a blunder by his opponent in a position that had previously looked pretty bleak and promptly won, while Tom's game resulted in a queen and pawn ending where neither player fancied taking their chances in a time scramble and agreed the draw.

The B team now take on Newport B and then Newport C. Two wins could get them a third place finish.

Church Stretton B 3.5 Shrewsbury C 0.5
T Faustino 1, I Davies 0
 F Rooney 1, E Inglis 0
J Carless 1, M Best 0
T Williamson 0.5, A Purser 0.5

Friday, 24 February 2012

Safety in numbers for A team

A resounding win away at Wellington A means that it is just about certain that the A team will remain in division 1.

After losing two match on the trot at Priorslee Lions A and Newport A, the team bounced back with a 4.5-0.5 win at Wellington. Karl Wakefield started off with an early win when his opponent blundered and this was followed by a win for Trevor Brotherton on top board. On board 4, recent recuit Tiago Faustino had started the match with an unbeaten record in both A and B team games, but made life difficult for himself with a tangle of doubled pawns and misplaced pieces. But he has an eye for outplaying his opponents in what look like unpromising endgames and managed to pull off another win, sealing the mach for the away team. A win for Graham Shepherd on board five and a draw for Steve Rooney on two, finished the evening off in style.

With three tough matches left against three of the top four clubs, it was vital that we got some points at Wellington who were one of the teams that could have caught us up. Coming away with a win was a perfect result for us.

The previous match against Newport saw us without top board Trevor who was unwell, leaving Steve Rooney to take on county number one Nick Rutter who had a grading advantage of around 40 points. A long gruelling game resulted in what looked like a fairly level final position but the clock intervened and Nick won on time. Gavin Cooper on board two also proved too strong for Karl Wakefield but the other three boards saw welcome draws for Stretton players Tiago Faustino, Gerald Link and Graham Shepherd.

Priorslee Lions A 3-2 Church Stretton A
G Pugh 0.5-0.5 T Brotherton
 W Bates 1-0 S Rooney
J O'Neil 1-0 K Wakefield
J Tunks 0-1 G Link
M Carbin 0.5-0.5 G Shepherd

Church Stretton A 1.5-3.5 Newport A 
S Rooney 0-1 N Rutter
K Wakefield 0-1 G Cooper
T Faustino 0.5-0.5 N Paul
G Link 0.5-0.5 C Lewis
G Shepherd 0.5-0.5 D Griffiths

Wellington A 0.5-4.5 Church Stretton A 
C Roberts 0-1 T Brotherton
T Neal 0.5-0.5 S Rooney
J Lenton 0-1 K Wakefield
D Powell 0-1 T Faustino
D Ogundipe 0-1 G Shepherd

Friday, 17 February 2012

B team still in the running

Church Stretton B still has an outside chance of promotion from division 3 after a 3-1 away win at Oswestry.

Since the new year the team has also beaten Telepost D 3-1 but went down by the margin to division 3 leaders Shifnal & Telford C. The team have three matches left in the season, including fixtures against two of the teams above them Newport b and Shrewsbury C.

  Telepost D 1-3 Church Stretton B 
S Sweeney 0-1 T Faustino
B Holford 0-1 F Rooney
G Lyon 0-1 A Thorpe
A Cliff 1-0 C Pimm-Jones

Church Stretton B 1-3 Shifnal & Telford C 
T Faustino 0.5-0.5 S Maydew
E Elwell 0.5-0.5 R Brown
F Rooney 0-1 R Szwajkun
T Williamson 0-1 S Szwajkun

Oswestry B 1-3 Church Stretton B 
R Thomson 0-1 T Faustino
J Davies 1-0 F Rooney
B Evans 0-1 T Williamson
A Evans 0-1 J Carless

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A team grinds out win at Ludlow

A good start to the second half of the season with a win at Ludlow.

Just before Christmas we heard from a new recruit, Tiago, who had arrived in Stretton from Portugal and he looks like being a very useful player. We got him straight in the team and he played on board 4 against Ludlow and quickly snatched a win, but then had to wait a couple of hours for the rest of us.

Chris Pimm-Jones stood in for the team and got a well-earned draw on board 5 leaving the result hanging on the top three boards. Graham Shepherd was up on material but his opponent's troublesome passed pawns caused him problems and he resigned after a slip at the time control. Trevor Brotherton thought he had a slight edge in his endgame on board one but having won a very tight game in the last few seconds at the Shropshire Congress the previous weekend, he decided not to chance his luck again and agreed a draw. This left Steve Rooney who had seen off a deadly-looking attack early on and then won a piece, to clinch the match with a win on board 2.

Next up is Priorslee Lions on 23 January.

Ludlow A 2 Church Stretton 3
1 J Watson 0.5, T Brotherton 0.5
2 J Whittaker 0, S Rooney 1
3 J Lawley 1, G Shepherd 0
4 R Woodley 0, T Faustino 1
5 P Munday 0.5, C Pimm-Jones 0.5.