Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge at Crowthorne Chess Club

Over recent weeks a Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge tournament has been run at Crowthorne Chess Club. This is a seven round Swiss with each game scoring 3 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 for a loss. Some players entered when the tournament was already in progress, so not all players played the full seven games.

Many thanks to John Upham for organising and running the tournament …. and well done to everyone who took part in it!

The final rankings are shown in the table below.

NameGames PlayeDPoints TotalPosition
Dylan de Silva7211
Sean Lam7202
David Purle7183
Nulan Aluthwaththa7174=
David Ellington717
Vladimir Shkuropat6166
Hugo Goodman7157
Jake Wang7148
Raj Anrudh7139=
Ethan Smyth713
Liza Myna713
Maxwell Dhaliwali713
Alex Cross61213
Euan Brown71114=
Oliver Voukas711
Finlay Perry71016=
Vincent Xiao61017
Zean Xiao7918
Lithumi Aluthwaththa5819=
Ben Gallagher48
Aditya Chava48
Vickie Lin3722
Nathan Leung3523=
Luca Holmes45

As can be seen, it was won by Dylan de Silva in sole first place with an impressive 100% score. Well done Dylan!

Dylan receiving his trophy from the Club President, Colin Purdon
John Upham reading out the final scores

4NCL Roundup

Crowthorne Chess Club had two teams in the 4 Nations Chess League (4NCL) in the 2022/23 season. The A team played in Division 3 East and the B Team played in Division 4. In the 4NCL, 11 matches are played over five weekends in the year with Divisions 3 being an all-play-all and Division 4 being a Swiss.

As one of the higher rated teams in Division 3E, the A team was hoping to fight for promotion, but in the end we finished in 5th place with 4 match wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. Our points total was not helped by winning a match against a team which subsequently withdrew from the division – all their results were scrubbed. However, this did not affect our chances for promotion.

Our B team finished in the bottom half of Division 4, with results in line with the team’s rating. The Division gives the opportunity for player rotation, and 10 club members played for the B team over the course of the season. It is not currently clear if this will continue to be available, as the 4NCL hasn’t finalised its plans for next season.

As usual, full details can be found on the 4NCL website

First Evening at the New Venue

Crowthorne Chess Club’s first evening at the new venue (the Monro Pavilion at Wellington College) proved very successful, and seemed popular with all the players. It is easier to get get to, and is closer to important facilities (such as the coffee shop/bar at the nearby sports centre) than our previous location. Some pictures:

The evening was only slightly marred (from Crowthorne’s perspective) by Camberley, the visiting team, beating us convincingly in the Rapidplay League, but apart from that all went well!

New Location within Wellington College

As from Wednesday 19th April, we have a new location within Wellington College! We are moving to the Monro Pavilion near the Wellington Health & Fitness Centre. This will be our regular venue on Wednesdays for the junior club (6:30pm) and for matches (7:30pm). More detailed information and directions will appear shortly in the “About Us” page, and will be provided to visiting match captains in due course.

We are very grateful to Wellington College for arranging this new venue, which has a number of advantages over the present rooms.

We continue to meet on Thursdays at the Pinewood Centre for social chess.

More details to follow soon, in the meantime here’s a pic of the Monro Pavilion:

Christmas Handicap

The SECOND Christmas Handicap of 2022 took place last Friday, 9th December, the first having been delayed from last year into this due to Covid. And we are getting back to pre-pandemic attendee numbers with a very healthy 21 competitors. The event was played in the Pinewood Centre Bar & Cafe in our usual Thursday night spot, although rather more of us than usual and certainly more Christmas jumpers. (No onesies this year, unfortunately.)

Given the number of players, we had three groups in the group stage, and played to 12.5 minutes instead of the usual 10 or 15 minutes. This worked out about right, finishing as we did around 11pm.

Coming top of group 1 was Shree, closely followed by her sister Saachi and friend Csilla. The three girls between them scored an impressive 14 from 18 – and bear in mind that, allowing for games between themselves, the maximum they could have scored was 15.

Mat was the standout star of the second group with 5 from 6, just a whisker in front of an on-form Louise.

In group 3 Ashton romped home, winning all 6 games, and finishing two points ahead of nearest rivals Christine and Colin.

Ashton continued to power through to meet Louise in the semi-final, at which point we had our first draw in the tournament – and second, third and fourth, before Ashton finally won and went on to meet Shree in the final. In the final game Shree started well but Ashton slowly gained the advantage and eventually won the game.

So, well done Ashton, a new name on the trophy. Well played Shree, your turn will come.

Meanwhile, competing for the wooden spoon was myself and James. James was playing his first speed handicap, and it showed – he actually THOUGHT about his moves and thus was doomed to lose on time, but thereby won a wooden spoon and the customary bottle of wine (although he wisely chose to swap it for a pint of Old Crafty Hen).

All-in-all, a fine 35th Christmas Speed Handicap. Thanks to everyone for playing.

Christmas Handicap 2022

Many thanks to Jonathan for organising this year’s Christmas Handicap:

This year’s Christmas Speed Handicap is to be held on Friday the 9th December. It will be in the Pinewood Centre, where we meet on Thursday nights, but in the Gym there, which is a couple of blocks to the right (when facing the buildings) of the bar & café. We will set up some method by which drinks can be ordered remotely from the bar and brought across to us. A cold buffet will be provided, offering sandwiches, quiche etc.

For those unfamiliar with the Christmas Speed Handicap, all games take the same duration (10 or 15 minutes, depending on the number of attendees) but the time allocated for each player is adjusted according to their strength to give each player an even chance of winning. The overall effect is that any player can win the whole event. Quickness of mind and hand are more important than a simple ECF rating.

(As an aside, I noticed last year that the stronger players were disadvantaged, possibly a consequence of the change to 4-digit rating, and will adjust the time allocation this year to compensate.)

We will gather at 7:30pm in the Gym – upstairs – for a quick rundown of the rules and commencing play shortly thereafter. Please let me know if you plan to attend or not. It really does help the organisation if I have a full list of those attending, so I can prepare the group stage entrants and the time allocation sheets. This Christmas event is also open to friends, relatives, former members and members of local rival clubs (Camberley etc).

Regarding grades, I’ll use established ECF rapid grades, or standard if rapid is not available. For those without established ECF grades I’ll use whatever information we have to give a reasonable rapid grade estimate.

Club Championship 2022/23

For the first time in recent history Crowthorne Chess Club is running a club championship. It is being run as an all-play-all with the nine rounds being played one game a month with a time rate of 80 minutes + 10 second increment for the game.

The table below shows the situation now that Round 1 has been completed.

James Barterxxx00
Nick Calvertxxx11
Harvey Duckersxxx11
George Green0xxx0
Ashton Grimmettxxx00
Harriet Haslehurst1xxx1
Zak Javellana-Jonesxxx11
Mat McKean0xxx0
Robert Page0xxx0
Alexander Waters1xxx1

The championship is being hosted on the ECF LMS, and full details of the tournament and its progress can be seen by clicking the link under the table.

Many thanks to Robert for running the tournament.