From the Crowthorne Vaults – Part 2

The following position arose in one of Mark’s games against Camberley in the Berkshire League.

As Mark’s notes indicate, Black can play for a win simply by retreating the queen and keeping an extra piece, but what is the quickest route to victory?

Again, just click on the buttons below the board to see the solution and variations.
Black to play and win!

From the Crowthorne Vaults

In the absence of over-the-board chess, Mark Taylor has been looking over past games and has found a few nice tactics which he has shared with us. We will present these as puzzles for you to solve.

The first is from the game Mark Taylor – Ken Norman that was played in a Crowthorne A vs Crowthorne B match in the Border League in 1997.

Can you find White’s 32nd move – and the followup?
To see the solution and variations click the play buttons under the board (but do have a go first!).

Crowthorne Online Chess Club

As the possibilities for over-the-board chess have disappeared, we are investigating the possibilities for club activity online. We are still feeling our way around and how best to use the internet for club purposes will develop over time with experience.

Jonathan has created Crowthorne Chess Club on, and on Search under connect/clubs on, and under community/teams on

Members are invited to join us on either or both of these sites, either by using their existing accounts or by creating (free) accounts.

Jonathan sent an all-club email with more details.

Club Nights Suspended (coronavirus policy)

Wellington College has updated its coronavirus/COVID-19 policy so that it will now “operate a ‘core business only’ policy focussing on lessons and internal activities”.

As a result, Crowthorne Chess Club will no longer be able to meet at the College until further notice. The policy will be reviewed according to events, but the restriction can safely be assumed to last at least to the end of the current term.

This is obviously a setback for the club, but it is of course understandable why the College has taken this position, which applies to all external activities that take place on its premises. 

Please periodically check the above link for changes to the policy.

Wellington College coronavirus policy

Our host, Wellington College, has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy in force. The full policy can be found by clicking here:

The policy is updated from time to time as circumstances change. Currently it reads:

Wellington College is asking for the support of all of those who visit the College’s grounds or buildings in minimising the risk of COVID-19 to its community.

With this in mind, and in line with guidance from Public Health England and the Boarding Schools’ Association, please refrain from entering the College site for any reason if you have travelled from or transited through any of the following countries or areas in the past 14 days:

1.      mainland China, Bertonico, Casalpusterlengo, Castelgrundo, Castiglione D’Adda, Codogno, Fombio, Maleo, San Fiorano, Somaglia and Terranova dei Passerini in the Lombardy Region and Vo in the Veneto Region of Italy, Daegu or Cheongdo in the Republic of Korea or Iran in the past 14 days regardless of whether you have any symptoms of COVID-19; or

2.      Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar and have or develop the symptoms of COVID-19 (that is, a fever, cough or shortness of breath) even if your symptoms are mild.

If you are bringing a group to the College (for example, a sports team for a fixture) we will ask you to check with each of those in the group that they do not fall within any of the above categories and confirm this to us before you arrive.

If you fall within category 2 above and develop symptoms of COVID-19 whilst at College, please inform your host immediately and follow their advice. If you develop such symptoms within 14 days of visiting the College, please inform the College’s Security Team as soon as possible (

The College usually welcomes a number of people to our site and we realise that this approach may disappoint or inconvenience some of you. However, we are taking the current situation very seriously and you will appreciate that our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff.

If you are affected by this approach, please contact the member of staff at the College who you were due to meet and, wherever possible, they will arrange an alternative with you.As the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, if you are due to visit the College and are currently not affected by the guidance above, we would ask that you check this page again immediately prior to your visit in case our position has changed.We thank you for your understanding of our position.

As guests of Wellington College, the policy applies to Crowthorne Chess Club members and also to members of visiting teams. Please use the link at the top of this post to ensure that the latest policy is used when coming to the club.