Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Rapidplay fun

The second evening of the new Rapidplay competition was another entertaining affair. Our results were not great as we lost two matches and won one, but it was a very good-humoured pre-Christmas event with food generously supplied by some Telepost members.

The competition format seems to be working very well with four teams playing each other in three matches on each evening. The games are serious but there is a chance to chat and socialise between matches and both of the ones we've attended have had a great atmosphere.

The full results are on the Shropshire chess site here

Our next Rapidplay fixture is Fri 7 march at Shrewsbury.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A frustrating draw

We played Shrewsbury C on 4 December.Francis was first to finish with a draw against Andrew Lewis.Tom Williamson then secured a draw against Eric Inglis on board 3 despite being a pawn down,but Eric had doubled pawns.Chris Pimm-Jones on board 4 was the exchange down,but turned it around against Tony Purser forcing pawn promotion ahead of Tonys two passed pawns to secure a win.Charles Micallefs game on board 1 looked drawn against Ian Davies,but then blundered a rook away resulting in a loss.
However at the halfway stage we have secured 10 from an available 14 points and are handily placed in what is turning out to be a very tight division.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Back to winning ways

We played Oswestry B away from home on 18 November and came away with 2.5-1.5 win.First to win with a queen and knight mate was Shane Sweeney against Jon Smith.Shane remains unbeaten for our club.Charles agreed a draw with Steve Tulett followed by eventually a draw by Tom Williamson against Keith Bacon.While equal on material and up on the clock I fancied my chances against Alf Evans,but settled for a draw in case to give us the win.

Friday, 8 November 2013

All square at Telford

The A team shared the points with Telford A this week with the clocks again playing a key role.

Graham chalked up an early win against John Footner, too quick for me to even see much of the game! There was then a long tense gap as the rest of us battled on.

Francis  chalked up a win on board five having been an exchange up and seeing off an advancing pawn before his opponent lost on time. This was followed by Trevor agreeing a draw with Dave Gostelow on board one, he looked a bit better but was behind on time.

Eric was another casualty to the clock when he ran out of time in a very complicated position against Rchard Gillespie. Steve's game against Nazif also ended with time running out as a superior position evaporated in a swashbuckling blitz finish.

Telford A 2.5-2.5 Condover & Church Stretton A
D Gostelow 0.5-0.5 T Brotherton
N Nazif 1-0 S Rooney
J Footner 0-1 G Shepherd
R Gillespie 1-0 E Elwell
T Skidmore 0-1 F Rooney

Next match is our first rapidplay league encounter at Condover on Tue 12 Nov. Should be a fun night with four teams playing a three-match series, spectators welcome.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Our first defeat

We played Newport C away on 5 Nov. and after a close fought game went down 2.5-1,5.Charles  Micallef was the first to finish with a draw against Dave Lovegrove,and I followed with a loss on board 4 against ungraded Micheal Moore.I felt happy with my game until near the end when his knight and Queen found all the good squares.Francis put up a brave fight,but finally fell to Steve Cooper,while Tom Williamson played out a long game,his opponents flag finally falling.Tom had a queen,knight and bishop against both rooks and bishop.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Solid draw against league leaders

The A team finished all-square with Wellington who have taken an early lead in the division  table.

Steve Rooney drew quickly on board two followed by Eric on five and then a smart combination saw Karl take a point on his first match for a couple of seasons. Trevor was in some difficulty from ealry in his game. He took a long think trying to avoid going into a lost ending but then couldn't find a better continuation and his position gradually got worse and then resignable. Ironically in the post-mortem, Trevor discovered that his opponent may not have gone into the ending in the way he envisaged! Graham then finished with a draw to give a level match.

Condover & Church Stretton A 2.5-2.5 Wellington A
T Brotherton 0 T Neal 1
S Rooney 0.5 C Roberts 0.5
G Shepherd 0.5 J Kucyznski 0.5
K Wakefield 1 S Tennant 0
E elwell 0.5 J Lenton 0.5

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Another fine win

The B team played Priorslee Lions C at home and came away with a 2.5 to 1.5 victory.An important victory against our closest rivals in division 3.
Francis was the first to finish in quick time against Alan Shaw.Then on board 4 Shane Sweeney produced a smothered mate against newcomer Alan Brannen.A draw was then agreed on board 3 between Chris Pimm-Jones and Mike Reynolds a George Viszokai  overcame Charles Micallef after the latter had appeared to have winning chances.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A solid performance

We produced a solid performance against a young Newport Juniors side to return to the top of the table with a 4-0 win.Shane Sweeney on his debut was first to win followed by myself against a youngster playing his second league game.Francis Rooney ground out a win on top board followed by Tom Williamson completing a good nights work.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Trevor pulls off the win

A good win for Trevor on top board against the county's top player Nick Rutter was enough to get us our first points of the season as the A team travelled to Newport this week for our third tough clash in as many matches.

Newport were without one of their normal line-up Gavin, but still fielded a pretty good team. The first match to finish was Graham on board four against Simon Maydew, where the position had simplified into a level ending and was agreed drawn. Eric's battle against Danny Griffiths on board five was much more complicated and looked as if it could explode into a tough tactical battle but was also agreed drawn.

This left the top three boards slugging it out till the bitter end. Michael looked better throughout his board three game against Chris Lewis with the latter's exposed king and queen side vulnerable to a twin knight attack. But was it enough to find a win?

Looking across to board one, Nick gave up an exchange, at least I think he gave it up but the position was a bit beyond my understanding, and Trevor looked in a strong position but again was it enough?

Meanwhile I was fighting a rearguard action against Nathanael Paul and had to sac an exchange to try and get free. I'm not sure it was sound, but I managed to surprise him and ended up getting the exchange back at the cost of some dangerous passed pawns.

At this point all six players were running perilously short of time; great fun for spectators but nerve-wracking for the participants. The end was so frantic I am not sure who ended first, but Trevor proved he was right to turn down a draw offer and won, Michael's opponents clock went but with king and two nights against bare king agreed drawn, and Nathanael's flag went after he had promoted to a queen but not enough time to mate against the lone king, so also declared drawn.

Four draws and a win saw us take the tie 3-2.

Newport A 2-3 Condover & Church Stretton A
Nick Rutter 0-1 Trevor Brotherton
Nathanael Paul 0.5-0.5 Steve Rooney
Chris Lewis 0.5-0.5 Michael Bukokemski
Simon Maydew 0.5-0.5 Graham Shepherd
Danny Griffiths 0.5-0.5 Eric Elwell

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A hard earned draw

For our second match our B team played the team I used to captain and with new blood at Telepost a draw was the result.
On board 1 Charles Micallef agreed a draw with Alan Cliff early on in the evening.I then fell to Alisdair Benjamin playing on his league debut.I was white and played the english which he demolished in 27 moves.Tom Williamson agreed a draw against the much improved Dean Pinnington and Chris Pimm-Jones ground out a win to secure a drawn match against Brian Holford.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

One that got away

The A team narrowly missed getting some points against Telepost A going down to a 3-2 defeat, having looked like taking the spoils earlier in the evening.

The hosts were without many of their first team players which was partly evened up by Condover & Church Stretton missing top board Trevor Brotherton. This meant that captain Steve Rooney took on Nigel Ferrington, although it was a short contest as a half-baked plan to swap an exchange for a semi-trapped queen ended in a rout of the queenside and a lost position. Fortunately, the other Rooney played a lot better as Francis' king's gambit tore into Vinny Crean's position, first winning an exchange and then a whole rook putting the score on 1-1.

The other three boards were fairly balanced although we looked ahead on at least two of them, but it was not to be. Graham Shepherd's promision position suddenly turned into disaster as a mating net by Peter Crean slowly strangled him. This was followed by Eric Elwell losing out to Keith Tabner. Eric was an exchange up early on but lost a piece to even the scores and then, once the queens were swapped, found Keith's minor pieces more than a match for his rook.

So the match was now lost but Michael Bukojemski, undeterred by a fraught journey to the match, used his extra pawn advantage against Matthew Clark and proved that opposite bishop endings are far from a certain draw. The opposite bishops ending followed a sharp tactical battle along the central files with both kings exposed to back-rank tricks. With only around ten minutes each left on the clock, Michael engineered a swap of all the major pieces resulting in an ending where a superior king position and pawns on both sides gave him a decisive advantage which he coolly converted into a win.

Telepost A 3-2 Condover & Church Stretton A

1. N Ferrington 1, S Rooney 0
2. M Clark 0, M Bukojemski 1
3. P Crean 1, G Shepherd 0
4. K Tabner 1, E Elwell 0
5. V Crean 0, F Rooney 1

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A winning start for our new team

We entertained Telford C in our opening fixture and Charles Micallef was the first to finish on board 1 with a win playing black,closely followed by Francis Rooney on board 2 winning with the white pieces.Tom Williamson making a welcome return to chess played out a very threatening game on board 3,but finally came to grief,I was the last to finish playing out a long game having been a piece up from the middle of the game,my opponent finally resigning.
Sorry I am not able to add any more detail to our wins on 1 and 2 as I was fixed on my game.
John Casewell

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tough start for A team

Condover & Church Stretton A team are pitted against three of the leading sides in Division 1 in the first matches of the season. The opening encounter against Shrewsbury ended in a 4-1 defeat, although during the evening, it didn't look as if it would end up that one-sided.

The first match to finish was the (very) brief draw between Trevor Brotherton and Jamie Hopkins on board one, followed quite a while later by a draw on board two between Steve Rooney and Francis Best.

Michael's Bukojemski's position on board three looked pretty dangerous from early on with a brutal kingside attack from Ed Goodwin. Michael always seemed to be one move away from being able to launch a counter offensive on the queen's side and eventually he simply lost too much material to continue. Meanwhile Graham Shepherd had put up stiff resistance against David Everington and with rook and three pawns against rook and two, it looked difficult to see a win. But a slip-up in the latter stages saw another pawn disappear and David moved in steadily for the kill.

The final game to finish was Eric Elwell against Peter Kitchen on board five. Peter was a piece up, but to be honest it was a pretty useless piece, marooned behind a phalanx of pawns. He took it to the wire on the new digital clocks and very nearly let Eric swindle something but eventually it was Eric's time which ran out. (I suppose we can't talk about flags falling ith digital clocks?)

Next match is Telepost A on 23 September.

Condover & Church Stretton A 1-4 Shrewsbury 
1. Trevor Brotherton 0.5-0.5 Jamie Hopkins
2. Steve Rooney 0.5-0.5 Francis Best
3. Michael Bukojemski 0-1 Ed Goodwin
4. Graham Shepherd 0-1 David Everington
5. Eric Elwell 0-1 Peter Kitchen

Monday, 9 September 2013

Welcome to Condover

As the founder of Condover Chess Club for social chess about three years ago I would like to welcome Church Stretton players and hope you all enjoy the chess in your new surroundings.
John Casewell
9 September 2013 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Simul kicks off season

Many thanks to Telepost's Nigel Ferrington who did a simul display at Condover & Church Stretton this week. He faced eight opponents and won all but one game.

Congratulations to Kate Walker for holding Nigel to a draw, and thanks to John and Dean for putting the event together.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ready for the off!

The newly-merged Condover & Church Stretton chess club is about to kick off its season with a special simultaneous display by leading county player Nigel Ferrington on Tue 3 September.

The club is running two teams in the Shropshire league with Steve Rooney captain of the A team in Div 1, and John Casewell captain of the B team in Div 3.

New players are very welcome - just turn up on at Condover Social Club on Tuesdays from 7.30pm. We promise a warm welcome and a great atmosphere for social chess, as well as some good competitive games for those who want to play league chess.

The club is also going digital this year with a new set of high-spec digital clocks, thanks to the kind generosity of club member Graham Shepherd.

The first league fixtures are on Tue 10 September with both teams in action. See the fixture list on the right for all the dates, but remember that social chess will take place every Tuesday. In the meantime, if you want any more information, contact Steve Rooney on 01694 723724.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Summer blitz events at Newport

Newport chess club is hosting a series of blitz events. The club has now changed its night to Tuesdays and the blitz takes place on:

28 May
25 June
30 July
27 August

More info here

The good news is that none of them clash with our social chess nights at Condover! Grreat turn-out this week at Condover with welcome new guests and some real quality chess - look forward to seeing lots of you there each fortnight - next on is 23 April.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

More dates for social chess at Condover

Further dates have been agreed for chess at the Condover Social Club, which has been our new venue for Church Stretton since having to leave the club in the town.

Tuesdays on the following dates at 8.00pm

9 April
23 April 
7 May
21 May
4 June
18 June
2 July
16 July

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Safe in division one!

Having stayed well out of the relegation zone all season, we are now safe in division one for next season, with a clear victory 4.5-0.5 over Shifnal Telford A helping us stay in the top flight.

Two tough matches followed but we managed to hold Shrewsbury A to a fine draw, and had some chances to win the match. Telepost A didn't go quite so well and we struggled without Trevor on top board.

Our final two matches are against the two relegated teams. Then we have the small matter of defending the Cox trophy which we won last summer.

Next match is Tue 26, home at Condover. We are aiming to continue the social chess at Condover after Easter and will publish the dates shortly.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


As a result of changes at the District Club in Church Stretton we have had to find a new home and we have agreed to play our remaining home league matches at the Condover District Club which meets on alternate Tuesdays.

There is already a healthy social chess scene at Condover, something we have lacked at Church Stretton for a while, so it should be a good fit. Once we have completed the league fixtures we will make a decision on whether to stay there permanently.

Next match is Tue 12 Feb against Shrewsbury A, to be played at Condover.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Spoils shared at Priorslee

A draw against Priorslee was a fair result which keeps us poking our head above the relegation zone. We will have to pick up some points in the matches against the two teams below us though. Trevor won easily, while Steve lost easily after John had also succumbed. Graham chalked up a nice win against Andy Tunks, and Francis had the better of his encounter but agreed a draw when after a complicated middle game battle resulted in a rook ending.

Priorslee Lions A 2.5-2.5 Church Stretton
W Bates 0, T Brotherton 1
G Pugh 1, S Rooney 0
J O'Neil 1, J Whittaker 0
A Tunks 0, G Shepherd 1
J Tunks 0.5, F Rooney 0.5.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Valiant effort but no prizes

Newport A didn't have their strongest possible team but still managed to comfortably outgrade us on all boards. In the event, a 3-2 defeat wasn't a bad result with solid draws for Trevor and Graham and a win for Steve following some rather rash late play by his opponent Gavyn Cooper.

Church Stretton 2-3 Newport A
T Brotherton 0.5, N Rutter 0.5
S Rooney 1, G Cooper 0
J Whittaker 0, N Paul 1
G Shepherd 0.5, A Holdford 0.5
C Pimm-Jones 0, C Paul 1.