Tynedale Chess Club


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Posted by Tim W on November 5, 2017

When using this website from my mobile phone, I have had difficulty accessing both of the side menus.
To assist with this problem I have added a page called “Mobile” to the top level menu, and have included links to our fixtures page, the Northumberland Chess Association & the ECF. Further links could be added if required.


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Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 5, 2017

Forsyth-Edwards Notation Explained

A FEN string contains six fields or sections. The separator between fields is a space. The fields are:

Field 1
Piece placement (from white’s perspective):
Each rank of the chessboard is described, starting with rank 8 and ending with rank 1; within each rank, the contents of each square are described from the a-file to the h-file.

Following the Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN), each piece is identified by a single letter taken from the standard English names (pawn = “P”, knight = “N”, bishop = “B”, rook = “R”, queen = “Q” and king = “K”).
White pieces are designated using upper-case letters (“PNBRQK”)
Black pieces use lowercase (“pnbrqk”).
Empty squares are noted using digits 1 through 8 (the number of empty squares), and “/” separates ranks.

Field 2
Active colour:
“w” means its White’s turn to move.
“b” means its Black’s turn to move.

Field 3
Castling availability:
If neither side can castle, this is “-“. Otherwise, this has one or more letters: “K” (White can castle kingside), “Q” (White can castle queenside), “k” (Black can castle kingside), and/or “q” (Black can castle queenside).

Field 4
If an en-passant capture can be made, this shows the square that the capturing pawn will end up on. If no en passant move can be made then this field is just “-“. This field is active regardless of whether or not there is a pawn in a position to make an en passant capture.

Field 5
Halfmove clock:
This is the 50-move rule counter. It starts at ‘0‘. As soon as a move is played that is NEITHER a pawn move NOR a capture, this counter starts counting. If a pawn move and/or capture is subsequently played, the counter resets to ‘0‘.

Field 6
Fullmove counter:
This counts the number of complete moves played. At the start of a game, it is set to 1, where it is waiting for move 1 to be played. White makes a move and, as soon as black replies, it increments to 2, showing that move 1 has been completed and  it is now waiting for move 2 to be played.

Example 1:

Here is the FEN string for the start of a game of chess.

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq – 0 1

Field 1:- rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR
Field 2:- w
Field 3:- KQkq
Field 4:- ‘-’
Field 5:- 0
Field 6:- 1

Field 1:-
Going rank by rank starting with the 8th rank we have
rnbqkbnr – These are Black’s pieces:- rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook
pppppppp – These are Black’s pawns
8/8/8/8/ – These are the 4, empty ranks of 8 squares each.
PPPPPPPP – These are White’s pawns.
RNBQKBNR – These are White’s pieces:- Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook

Field 2:-
w – It is White’s turn to play

Field 3:-
K – White can castle kingside at some time.
Q – White can castle queenside at some time
k – Black can castle kingside at some time.
q- Black can castle queenside at some time.

Field 4
‘-’ – No en-passant move can be played in the position

Field 5
‘0‘ – This is the 50-move rule counter. No pawn moves or captures have yet been played, so this is set to 0.

Field 6
‘1‘ – This is the move counter. It starts at 1, showing that it is waiting for the first, complete move to be played. It is increased by one after each of Black’s moves.

Example 2:
rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 0 1

Here, white has opened the game with 1.e4. Field 1 shows this move. The part of the field that looks like /4P3/ shows that, along the 4th rank, there are 4 empty squares, a white pawn, then 3 empty squares. If this pawn could be taken en-passant, then e3 would be the square that the capturing pawn would end up on, as shown by the ‘e3‘ in field 4. Remember that this field is active whether or not there is a black pawn that can actually make an en-passant capture in the position.

Black now replies with the Sicilian Defence and plays 1…c5, producing the following FEN string:-

rnbqkbnr/pp1ppppp/8/2p5/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq c6 0 2

Field 1 shows that, along the 5th rank there are now 2 empty squares, a black pawn, then 5 empty squares.

Field 4 shows that, if this pawn could be taken en-passant, the square that the capturing pawn would end up on is c6.

Field 5 shows that, since a pawn move has been made, so there is no need to start the 50-move rule count. This number is still 0.

Field 6 shows that one, complete move has been played, and we are now waiting for move 2.

White now continues with 2.Nf3 giving the following FEN string,

rnbqkbnr/pp1ppppp/8/2p5/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq – 1 2

Field 1 shows that, in addition to the previous moves, there are now 5 empty squares, a white knight, then 2 empty squares along the third rank.

Field 4 shows that no en-passant capture is now possible, hence, ‘-’

Field 5 shows that, since white’s last move was not a pawn move or capture, the 50-move rule count has started.

So there we have it. Not too difficult to get your head around.


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10 Interesting Facts about Chess [Ref:- ChessWorld, Yuri Markushin]

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 4, 2017

1. The estimated number of electrons in the universe is 10^79. The number of possible chess moves is 10^120.
2. The longest game of chess that is theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.
3. The longest time for castlling to take place was the match between Bobotsor v Irkov played in 1966 where white played 46.0-0
4. As late as 1561, castling consisted of two moves. You had to play R-KB1 first, then K-KN1 on the next move.
5. The word Checkmate derives from the Persian ‘Shah Mat’ meaning ‘the king is dead’.
6. The longest chess problem, white to play and mate in 290 moves, is credited to Otto Blathy (1860-1939)
7. The police in Cleveland, Ohio, raided a chess tournament in 1973. They arrested the
tournament director and confiscated the chess sets. The charge was illegal gambling [ cash prizes were being played for] and possession of gambling devices [ the chess sets]
8. The famous Knights Tour, where a knight is placed on an empty board and has to move so that is lands on every square once only, has over 122 million solutions.
9. The longest, official, chess game lasted for 269 moves. It was played in Belgrade, in 1989, between I.Nikolic and Arsovic. In ended in …………..a draw!
10. From the starting position, there are 8 different ways to mate in two moves and 355 ways to mate in 3 moves.

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Fixtures for 2017-18

Posted by Tim W on October 1, 2017

The new season is upon us, and this years fixtures are available from the link on the left hand side.

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Roger Coathup Simultaneous

Posted by Tim W on December 8, 2016


Roger Coathup is giving a simultaneous on Wednesday 21 December at 6.15 at the Morpeth Club in aid of The Braille Chess Association. This organisation promotes chess among blind players. Entry is £5.00 and Morpeth Club provide refreshments. This is an annual event and several of our members have played in the past. It would be appreciated if anyone wishing to play could contact Les Whittle or David Watson to let them know.

Contact details are on the Morpeth Chess Club Website

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Morpeth Simultaneous

Posted by Tim W on December 3, 2015

Roger Coathup took on 17 players in a simultaneous at Morpeth Rugby Club last night. Jeremy, Tim & Alex from Tynedale played, with draws for Jeremy & Tim, and a defeat for Alex. £85 was raised for the Braille Chess Association.

Congratulations to Roger who won 11, drew 4 and lost 2 of his 17 games.

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Pre-Christmas rapid-play

Posted by fellman01 on December 17, 2014

Nine members took part in this event, held on Tuesday December 16th 2014. The plan was to play five rounds of 30-minute each (15 minutes for each player), but the action was so fast and furious that two extra rounds proved possible. Peter Crichton timed his effort to perfection, recording a leading score of 4.5 after five rounds. Alas, he garnered only half a point in the two extra rounds and was duly overtaken. Derek Blair started his campaign in rather cavalier fashion, saying goodbye to his queen on move 5 of his first game, against Steve Larkin. However, he responded to that setback in the best possible fashion by winning his next six games, to record 6/7. Steve, who organised the event, benefitted from Derek’s blunder and from a bye in round 2, but dropped a point against Bruce Reed in round 3. However, he won his remaining four games to finish, like Derek, on 6/7. So the two Riding Millers carried off the prizes (two bottles of wine donated by Phil Taylor and by Steve), with Phil Taylor (5.5 points), Peter Crichton (5 points) and Bruce Reed (4.5 points) in hot pursuit. Behind them came Alex Ashworth and Matthew Taylor (nice to welcome him back for his annual fix of chess) on 3 points, while Dave Foster jr and Peter Booker brought up the rear with one point each. An evening of pleasure for some and pain for others, in short a typical chess evening!
A Happy Christmas and a successful New Year to all our readers (if there are any out there)!

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Posted by Tim W on September 26, 2014

I have archived this webiste to oldtcc2013.wordpress.com. In due course a link to this website will appear, and all old fixtures & results will be replaced with fixtures for 2014-2015.

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Upcoming events

Posted by fellman01 on June 14, 2014

Sheffield chess congress June 27-29
South Tyne rapidplay Haydon Bridge July 6th
Chester le Street chess congress August 15-17
Harrogate chess congress September 12-14
Northumberland chess congress September 26-28
Scarborough chess congress October 24-26
I have details of all these events if anyone requires further information.

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Gilroy update

Posted by fellman01 on June 13, 2014

Now that this event has run its course, here is a brief summary of my part, as an also-ran, in the competition. Eleven of us took part, my grade being the seventh highest. My round one opponent was the highest graded of the lot, Dave Stebbings, on 137. He blundered in a winning position and presented me with my first point. In round two I played Stan Johnson for the second time in two days and for the second time we drew. My next opponent was Jeff Bentham. As with Stan, this was a tough game which ended in a draw. So far so good, but then the rot set in. Chris Smith launched a speculative sacrificial attack against my castled king. I could and should have seen it off but failed to do so and paid the price. Then came a long, hard and – until the final few moves – even game with Bob Heyman, which I lost on time. By now I was out of the running and so received a full point bye in round six. My final opponent was Dave Mear, who nearly swept me off the board in the opening but then lost his way. I gained the initiative but could not find a way of making my advantage decisive, so we agreed a draw. This left me on 3.5/7, which sounds OK, but in terms of games actually played it was 2.5/6, which is less than my minimum 50% target. However, as this event and the South Lakes Congress have shown, getting 50% in events where the grading band is 135 and below is, for me, a tall order. Will I be competing in these two events next year? Who knows. But remember the saying: Hope springs eternal!

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