Oxfordshire Chess- News

News from 2018-19 for Oxfordshire Chess

News from other years: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2010 2008 2007 2006 2005

11 Nov 2018

Gerard O'Reilly

42nd annual Kidlington Chess Tournament

The 42nd annual Kidlington Chess Tournament will take place at Exeter Hall, Kidlington, on Saturday & Sunday 2 & 3 February, 2019. We shall again have four sections, Open, U180, U145 and U120.

The prize fund will be over £2200, including four new £40 prizes: an Under-130 grading prize in the U145 section, an extra Veterans' Prize in the U180 section and two new prizes for Juniors in the U120 and U145 sections.

As in the last two years, the Open section will incorporate the second leg of the 2018-19 Oxfordshire Individual Championship. Its first leg was incorporated in the Open section at the Witney Chess Congress held on 3 & 4 November 2018.

As usual, we shall have the excellent bookstall provided by Chess Direct and the fine range of refreshments provided by Hackett's Outside Catering of Witney.

The latest information about next February's tournament can be found via the 'News and Updates' tab on the tournament website (see the link below). Entry forms can be found under the Kidlington 2019 tab there.

To enter, you may either use the online entry form there or, if you prefer, you may download and print out a form from there to send in your entry by post.

Gerard O'Reilly (Organiser, Kidlington Chess Tournament)

Link: https://kidlingtonchess.org.uk/
11 Nov 2018

Gerard O'Reilly

Cowley Christmas Blitz, 3 December 2018

Cowley Chess Club invites you to its 2018 Christmas Blitz Tournament, which will be held on Monday 3 December at Cowley Chess Club (at Rose Hill Methodist Church in the Main Hall downstairs), with Round 1 beginning at 7.15 pm. All chessplayers are welcome. (The draw for the 2019 Frank Wood Shield Handicap Knockout Competition will also be held during the evening.)

There will be ten games in the Blitz (five rounds playing games with both colours, with a digital clock and a time allowance per player per game of 3 minutes plus a 2 seconds increment per move added from move 1). The tournament winner may take either a prize from the prizes table or a cash prize of 10% of the entry fees. There will lots of prizes of books, etc., on the prizes table, including grading prizes, prizes for juniors in various age groups, for the best slow starter, etc. (see below for lists of prizes and prizewinners in recent blitzes). We rely on donations of prizes, mainly chess books but also other (non-alcoholic) prizes, and these will be gratefully received.

Round 1 is scheduled to start at 7:15pm. Players who have not notified their entries in advance are asked to register by 7pm at the venue on the night, to enable pairing cards to be written and the first round draw to be completed promptly.

The Prizegiving for the Blitz will be at approximately 9:45pm. (It will be possible for young juniors for whom a 9:45pm finish is too late to play in either two rounds [8:05pm finish approx.] or four rounds [8:55pm finish approx.] if this is arranged in advance.)

Entry fee: £3, to be paid when you arrive on the night. We will also be glad to receive additional donations for the Lester Millin Memorial Fund, which supports Cowley junior players.

To help us make a prompt start, please register your entry in advance if possible by sending an email to blitz@cheekychess.org.uk giving the following information or by filling in one of these forms, hard copies of which will be available at the club (or otherwise getting the information to Gerard O'Reilly):



Grade (Standard-play rather than Rapidplay if you have one):

Age on 1 September 2018 if under 18:

Finally, if the entrant is a junior who can play in only the first two (or the first four) rounds, please specify which:

Advance registration by email will be accepted until 4pm on Monday 3 December.

Gerard O'Reilly (gerard@fianchetto.co.uk)

Link: https://sites.google.com/site/cowleychessclub/cowley-blitz
09 Nov 2018

Roger Thetford

Frank Wood Shield

The draw for the 2018-19 Frank Wood Shield will take place at the Cowley Blitz on Monday 3 December. Please send me your entries by noon on Sunday 2 December, specifying for each entry from your club:

  • club
  • team name - be imaginative!
  • day(s) of week for home fixtures
  • captain (provisional - can be amended later)

The first round of fixtures will be scheduled for late January or early February; possibly later if we have 16 or fewer entries. Assume that the January 2019 grades will be published before the first matches (and therefore will be used).

Teams no longer have to correspond to a league team. Last year's competition showed that the new grading-based handicapping system gave even low-graded teams the chance of a match win.

The rules remain as last year, with the clarification that the grading difference between the two teams should be calculated using unrounded average gradings (i.e. do not round to the nearest whole number before calculating the difference). There is no need to declare teams or squads before the evening of the match, although ungraded players will need to have grades allocated by the Oxfordshire Grader (Peter Hemmings).

Thank you
Roger Thetford

05 Nov 2018

Roger Thetford

Privacy Statement

A privacy statement for the Oxfordshire Chess Association is now published on the Admin Documents page, and is also available at the link below. This builds on the very helpful clubs template provided by the ECF.

Link: documents/OCA_Privacy_Statement.pdf
01 Nov 2018

Roger Thetford

ODCL starred players 2018-19

Thank you to all the team captains for submitting their lists of starred players by today's deadline. The list is linked below. Rule 2.3 in the updated league rules applies.

Captains from clubs that have more than one team in a division (currently Cowley, Didcot and Witney) may wish to note a subtlety in Rule 2.4, "Playing for more than one team". Non-starred players who are graded 125 or lower at the start of the season are permitted to play without restriction. Players graded 150 or lower may play in Division 1 without affecting eligibility to play in lower divisions, but once they have played four games for one division 1 team they may no longer play across for any other division 1 team. Similar restrictions on playing across apply to anyone graded over 125, regardless of division.

Link: documents/ODCL_Starred_Players_2018.pdf
20 Oct 2018

Stephen Rumsby

Oxford U150 Win Against Bucks

Well, it couldn't have got any closer. Bucks requested to play only 19 boards as one of their players was unwell. The two teams were fairly evenly matched in terms of grading, so it looked as though it would be a close call. And so it proved.

Unfortunately, I was so preoccupied with my game that I didn't see much of any of the others. I was the second to last to finish by which time we were level on 8.5 points each. I had blundered a rook and thought about resigning, but decided to play on and see if I could swindle something. I managed to fork his queen and rook with my knight, which left me a knight down. Then, just as he was about to crash through I managed to get a perpetual, so we were still level on 9 apiece.

This left Alexy Pegushev to decide the match and fortunately he won. So another win for Oxford 10-9, which puts us at the top of the table.

Thanks to everyone who played, I hope you all had a good game even if you didn't win. Thanks to Ray for stepping down at the last moment and to Simon for getting the equipment and refreshments.

Link: ViewResult.cfm?LeagueID=348&Display=10824&Org=8
15 Oct 2018

Andrew Varney

New junior chess club in Headington

A new junior chess club is starting up in Headington immediately after October half term. It will meet on Wednesdays and Fridays, with professional coaching for Beginners/Improvers on Wednesdays and Intermediate/Advanced level on Fridays, in small groups.

The club will be run by Oxford New Generation, launched on the back of the successful holiday clubs, with the intention that it will incorporate other activities in addition to chess from early 2019. The chess coaching will be given by Andrew Varney initially supported by visiting guest chess coaches, including some master-level players.

Please see the flyer for more details of the club and who to contact for an enrolment form.

Link: documents/ONG regular clubs flyer (2018 - Beginner).pdf

Link: documents/ONG regular clubs flyer (2018 - Advanced).pdf
13 Oct 2018

Andrew Varney

Oxfordshire Girls Chess Festival 2018

The first Oxfordshire Girls Chess Festival is taking place this October half term. Events (open to girls only) include:

"Play Like A Girl"
Chess tactics coaching, games and puzzles from real games played by top women chess players.
Monday 22 October 12.30 to 3.30pm at Oxford Guesthouse, Headington

"Queen of the Chessboard: Checkmating for Beginners"
Beginners' workshop focussing on important common checkmate ideas.
Tuesday 23 October 1.00 to 3.00pm at Cowley Chess Club

"Chess, Chat and Chocolate"
Informal social chess get-together for girls in a café environment.
Thursday 25 October 1.30pm to 6.00pm at Hackett's Food & Drink, Witney

Inter-County Girls Chess Team Tournament
ECF-graded and FIDE-rated Rapid Play quadrangular invitational.
Sunday 28 October 10.30am to 4.30pm at Headington Prep School

Please contact Andrew Varney for further details.

30 Sep 2018

Stephen Rumsby

Oxford 's U150 County team make a good start

Well it was a bit of a struggle, but we managed to get there in the end - at least 18 of us did. The two teams were well matched although Oxford outgraded Berks by a few points on every board. There were some good games and Oxford came out winners with 11.5:8.5. Thanks to all who played, I hope you had an enjoyable afternoon's chess. Our next match is 3 weeks from now on the 20th October at home (Rose Hill venue) against Bucks. NOTE it will be a 1.30 start. Bucks also won their first match against Hants so it should be an interesting match. If you would like to play please email me (stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com). If you are on my mailing list you should have already received an email from me. If you haven't then please let me know. Steve Rumsby

22 Sep 2018

Asif Hameed

Fixtures - minor update

Dear All

Please see the diary and grid formats for the 2018-19 fixtures. The heading should be in green so please remember to refresh your browser if needed.


Any problems or issues please email me.


22 Sep 2018

Stephen Rumsby

WANTED - Players for the County U150 Team

We need players for the County U150 Team. The County U150 Team has its first match away to Berkshire next Saturday (29th). If you have an ECF grade less than 150 and live in Oxfordshire or play for an Oxfordshire club and would like to play, please email me at stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com I need 5 more players. Steve Rumsby

21 Sep 2018

Gerard O'Reilly

OCA League Rules updated

The OCA AGM on Thursday 13 September updated some of the League Rules.

(i) The former Rules 2.3 and 2.4 on 'starring' players were combined into Rule 2.3, with the main addition being a deadline by which teams required to 'star' four players are to notify the Secretary (now Roger Thetford) of the players being starred for those teams. As a consequence of this change, the subsequent sections of Rule 2 have been re-numbered.
NB. In connection with the starring of players, club secretaries and team captains will doubtless remember that the OCA's official Guidance for Clubs and Captains (see the 'Admin Documents' page of this website) says that the main intention of the starring rules is "to ensure fairness in team selection" and that "The Association expects that team captains (in complying with League Rule 2.3) will normally 'star' the four strongest regular players in their squad unless there is good reason not to. Failure to star higher graded players who are known to be very likely to play regularly throughout the season (and then playing those unstarred players in lower teams) is one clear example of a way in which a club might seek to manipulate the rules unfairly."

(ii) An addition was also made to the rules on defaults, specifying what happens when, with the Secretary's consent, captains of both teams have agreed not to play a match. (See Rule 4.4.)

Link: documents/OCA League Rules 2018.pdf
17 Sep 2018

Asif Hameed

Fixtures release - latest release is 18th Sep 2018

Dear All

Please see the diary and grid formats for the 2018-19 fixtures. The heading should be in green so please remember to refresh your browser if needed.

Any problems or issues please email me.


06 Sep 2018

Rod Langham

ECF President's Award for Steve Rumsby, Banbury

The ECF Newsletter that has just been published included the following article:

Congratulations to Steve Rumsby from Banbury Chess Club, who was presented with his ECF President's Award for Services to Chess.

The Award recognises that for over 30 years Steve has been the Chairman of Banbury Chess Club. Steve has overseen the growth of the club from initially fielding two teams in one league to the latest season where the club fielded four teams in the Leamington League, three teams in the Oxford League and entered all the available league cup competitions. In recent years, Banbury entered a team in the 4NCL. Virtually every year, Steve has captained one of the club teams.

Steve's wider contribution to chess is seen in his work for the Leamington and District Chess League. He is, and has been for a number of years, both the league's webmaster and fixtures secretary. At the start of the 2016-2017 season Oxfordshire County were unable to find a volunteer to captain the Under 150 county Team. Steve at short notice volunteered and led the county team to 5 wins from 6 matches. They ended that season as Chiltern League Champions. Steve has continued in this county captaincy role. Steve is highly regarded by chess players in an area stretching from Birmingham down to Didcot.

Steve (right) receives the President's Award from Leamington League chairman Ben Graff

Old News

Any unexpired news items dated before 1 August 2018 can be found by using the link for the relevant year. The link for 2017 will give news dated 01 Aug 2017 - 31 Jul 2018.