Tynedale Chess Club


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Bulletin No 19

Tynedale Chess Club: e-bulletin no. 19 (1.10.08)

Welcome back to a new season! Although the various leagues have yet to get underway, there is no lack of news to report, with pride of place going to the 44th Northumberland Chess Congress.

44th Northumberland Chess Congress

Held at the now traditional venue in North Shields on September 19-21, the event was well supported by Tynedale with eight members competing, three in the Major and five in the Minor. Star of the show from Tynedale’s point of view was undoubtedly David Wrigley, who opted to play in the Major despite being qualified to play in the Minor (Peter Crichton did likewise). Quite unfazed at finding himself ranked 31st of the 32 competitors, David played “a brilliant rook sacrifice” (I quote proud dad Tim) to win his round one game. He followed this up with two solid draws on the Saturday, won his opening game on the Sunday and then went down at the end of a long final game against a very strong opponent. His score of 3/5 brought him a well-deserved grading prize, and it is clear that David will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Ranked 12th overall in the Major, Mark Taylor, who this time last year took equal second place with a score of 4/5, did slightly less well this time. Nonetheless, wins in rounds 1, 4 and 5 saw him record a very respectable 3/5.

Peter Crichton, ranked 30th, finished on 1.5/5. A bye in round 1 followed by a win in round 2 looked very promising, but he lost his last three games, though only after putting up a long, hard fight on each occasion.

In the Minor, star of the show was Matthew Taylor who, as at the last Durham Congress, pocketed a grading prize for his score of 3.5/5. Ranked 16th of the 40 competitors, he never lost a game, recording three draws and two wins. Your editor can vouch for the fact that Matthew’s endgame is ruthless (see below).

Tim Wrigley, ranked sixth, was a serious contender to win the Minor, right down to the final round, at which point he had 3 wins and a draw under his belt. Alas, he was defeated in his final game by the overall winner and so, despite his score of 3.5/5, came away empty-handed.

Close behind these two came Phil Taylor, ranked 28th. Phil notched up three impressive wins and missed out on an under 90 grading prize by the narrowest of margins (it went to a player with a grade of 83 as compared with Phil’s 85).

Your editor, ranked 27th, managed to scramble his way to three points (two wins – one of them utterly undeserved – a draw and a bye), his results being marred by a comprehensive defeat at the hands of one Matthew Taylor, who decided to have a queen spree at the end of the game. He had three of them on the board when your editor threw in the sponge!

Finally, Jack Bradshaw was unfortunate to be unwell on the Sunday and so played only the two Saturday rounds, losing the first and winning the second.

Overall the Tynedale players acquitted themselves creditably, with six of the eight notching up at least 60%. It remains to be seen if this early promise can be translated into League results!

Club AGM

Ten members were present on September 2nd. As last year, the club will run two teams in the Northumberland and South Tyne leagues. Phil Taylor was re-elected Chairman for a further three years. Tim Wrigley and Peter Crichton continue as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Mike Nicholson remains captain of the Reivers but Steve Larkin takes over from Phil as captain of the Tans. In the South Tyne league, Phil will captain the Tynedale team and Derek Blair the Monarchs.

Northumberland League

This has been reorganised. Division 3 has been wound up and division 2 expanded. The practical consequences are that relegation from division 2 is no longer possible, but it remains a reality in division 1.


The following table gives ECF gradings for 2008-9, with movement up or down from last year shown, where applicable, in brackets.

David Weldon  149
Colin Davison  143 (-12)
Mark Taylor  134 (+8)
Mike Nicholson  126 (-13)
Jack Bradshaw  113 (+10)
Peter Crichton  112 (+5)
Tim Wrigley  112 (+1)
Derek Blair  109 (-1)
David Wrigley  109 (+7)
Matthew Taylor  102 (+7)
Bruce Reed  96
Malcolm Reid  92 (-11)
Steve Larkin  87 (+5)
Phil Taylor  85 (+11)

Dave Foster senior and Will Higgs are ungraded.

Overall, eight players have improved their grading by a total of +54 points, while fourhave lower gradings, with a total of –37 points, making a net gain of +17 points.

Last year, three members had improved gradings, with a total of +33 points, while eight had lower gradings, with a total of –47 points, making a net loss of -14 points.

So whichever way you look at it, collectively we are improving!

Club Championship

This is being played under the same rules as last year. The first phase (all play all) is already underway and the situation is currently as follows:

Jack Bradshaw  2/2
Derek Blair  1.5/2
Peter Crichton  1.5/2
Mark Taylor  1/1
Mike Nicholson  1 / 2
Phil Taylor  1/3
Matthew Taylor  0.5/1
Bruce Reed  0.5/2
Malcolm Reid  0/1
Steve Larkin  0/2

Interesting to see how three past or present champions occupy the first three spots!

Spotlight on ……

Thanks to those members who have completed this questionnaire

The Web editor will consult on whether  these details should be on the web.


  1. 1.      Congratulations to Mike Nicholson, who has now officially achieved the status of Senior International Master, which in correspondence chess is an intermediate status between international and Grand Master. This is a tremendous achievement by Mike, who in addition has won a place in the World Championships candidates Tournament. His new rating is 2478, up from 2452. Awesome!
  2. 2.      Forthcoming events.

Sunday October 5thCarlisle Rapidplay

Saturday  October 11th Chillingham Rapidplay

October 24-26 Scarborough Congress

Steve Larkin

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