Tynedale Chess Club


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Bulletin No 08

Tynedale Chess Club: e-bulletin no. 8 (30.5.07)

No doubt about the lead story this month. Mike Nicholson, International Master

Mike Nicholson, International Master

Warmest congratulations to Mike, who earlier this month received official confirmation that he had been awarded the title of International Master (correspondence chess), after achieving IM norms as follows:

North Atlantic Team Tournament board 10 – 8/10

European Team Championship board 10 – 7/12

Olympiad preliminaries board 4 – currently 6/7 (2 unfinished)

Mike writes: “the title will be awarded at the ICCF Annual Meeting, to be held this year near Malaga, Spain, in October, and I have the option of attending to receive the award personally. I might just do that!

I have reached this third norm (6 points) in the 16th Olympiad preliminaries with a couple of games still unfinished (Finland and Estonia) and am still hopeful of being able to win both to give me a final score of 8/9 and my first Senior International Master norm.

Meanwhile I’m getting into my World Championship semi-final tournament on the ICCF webserver, and fighting to get decent outcomes from my openings. So far so good, but in modern correspondence chess with such a vast access to databases, theory and latest practice, it’s just about the hardest and least rewarding part of the game. With new lines possible from grandmasters at any time, it’s by no means impossible to start down one line with the prospect of a promising position materialising in another ten or fifteen moves, only to find that a GM has queered the pitch with some unlikely spanner in the works before you get there. Conversely, it’s sometimes possible to find attractive moves apparently ignored or overlooked or deliberately by-passed in GM games, and to back your own assessment of what’s happened against your opponent’s. That’s how I reached a winning line in my unfinished Finland game”

Once again, Mike, well done and good luck in your pursuit of the Senior IM norm

The Summer Knockout

The Summer KnockoutWo results to report here. Tynedale 1(a) (ugh! What a name!) won through to a place in round 3 by beating Tynemouth Warriors. Mike Nicholson writes: “Tynemouth Warriors certainly gave us a fight (maybe I mean fright). Mark won quickly and comfortably against Richard Oxnard in his usual style, going into the ending a pawn up and then calculating his way through to the win. I was next to finish, but after several times thinking I was going to come out on top against Bryan Ritson, all I managed was to end up in an opposite-colour bishop ending and a dead draw. Colin was up against the very experienced Phil Jackson, to whom he conceded a piece on move 6, only to recover it with two pawns advantage not very much later on. Phil however battled on, and with both players still having all their major pieces in play on an open board, the win was a long time coming … and was helped finally by a queen left en prise. Poor Derek knew that we needed only another half-point to win the match, because fortunately the Warriors were nine grading points over the Minor team limit and so received only 1.1/2 points handicap, but he had good winning prospects and so played on, despite a clock rapidly running out of spare minutes. Finally he managed to manoeuvre his rook to support a queening pawn, and his opponent, Christian Smith, graciously resigned despite the clock situation. So it was 3.1/2-1/2 on the night, and 3.1/2-2 after applying the handicap. “Well done, 1(a). Their next opponents are Gosforth Empire, whom they have to beat by at least 3-1 for a place in the semi-finals.1(b) were less successful, going down 3-1 to Kings B in the match and losing 3 to 2.5 on handicap. Tim Wrigley, Phil Taylor and Matthew Taylor all lost, while Bruce Reed had a fine win on board 4. Captain Peter Crichton, who rested himself on this occasion, writes that “it was a good effort considering that we were outgraded on all boards. For long spells I thought that we were going to make it, but sadly it was not to be.” Even so, the fact that the club felt confident enough to enter two teams in the competition this year speaks for itself and bodes well for the future.

South Tyne League

Final confirmation that the League table ended up like this:

Team Played Won Drawn Lost Handicap




Tynedale 6 4 1 1 123 58 9
HaydonBridge 6 3 1 2 151 40 7
Friars 6 2 0 4 96 50 4
Austins 6 2 0 4 91 44 4

Board prizes go to Ian Mackay (H.B.) on board 1, our own Malcolm Reid on board 2 (with 87%!), Christine Moorcroft (H.B.) on board 3 and David Tulip (H.B.) on board 4.

Club Championship

Club Championship Not a great deal of activity to report here, until last night that is, when no fewer than five results were posted. With just four Tuesdays left before the Championship closes, it is looking as though Jack Bradshaw may have done just enough to capture the title. Who would have predicted that at the start of the season? Currently the state of play is as follows:

Jack Bradshaw 13.5/20
Mike Nicholson 11.5/14
Derek Blair 10.5/16
Peter Crichton 10/15
Steve Larkin 9/16
Matthew Taylor 8/11
Mark Taylor 4/6
Malcolm Reid 4/9
Bruce Reed 3/10
Phil Taylor 3/14
Dan Woodhouse 1.5/9
David Wrigley 1/1
David Foster 0/5
Stephen Porritt 0/9

Haydon Bridge Rapidplay

Peter Crichton tells me that 16 people took part in this event at HaydonBridge on May 20th, including himself, Phil Taylor and Matthew Taylor. As Peter puts it, “yet again we failed to distinguish ourselves and none of us were in the hunt for the leading places. The competition was well won by Ian Mackay of HaydonBridge with a perfect score of 5/5.” Well done to the Tynedale trio for flying the flag!


  1. The Sell Championship. Peter Crichton has been our sole representative in any of the three individual championships, the Zollner, the Sell and the Newcastle, this year. He finished with a creditable 3/7, finishing equal 6th out of twelve competitors in his first full year back in competitive chess for many a decade. Well done, Peter!
  2. Forthcoming events. The Hawick Chess Congress is on June 22-24 and entries close June 19th. And the Scarborough Chess Congress is on October 19-21.
  3. Tim Wrigley arrived like Santa Claus last night and distributed certificates to members of the Tans team plus a handsome trophy to Tans captain Phil Taylor, the Tans being Northumbria League division 3 champions for the year 2006-7. Alas, club funds did not permit us to fill the trophy with champagne!

That’s all for this time.Steve Larkin


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