Khyber Cup 2023!

This year’s Khyber Cup is being held on Saturday the 29th July, kindly hosted by Harriet Haslehurst.

Please see Jonathan’s email for the address and other details.
Could you aim to arrive for a 10am chess start.

Lunch: There are plenty of eating choices on the High Street and still more within easy walking distance. We can decide which suits us best on the day, or make a booking if we know approximate numbers.

Entry to the Khyber Cup is not restricted to Crowthorne chess club members. Relatives and friends are warmly invited.

For those not familiar with the Khyber Cup, it is our friendly summer rapid play tournament. 5 rounds of half hour games with a break for lunch. We are usually blessed with fine weather, making it a relaxing, friendly and sociable day, apart from the chess.

We hope you’re able to attend this historic event. Please let Jonathan and Harriet know if you would like to attend.

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

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.

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.

Derek wins the Khyber Cup

A belated write-up for our traditional summer tournament (the webmaster claims he was otherwise engaged in August), which was played on July 30th. Thanks to Jonathan for the details and photos.

The sun always shines on the Khyber Cup and we were fortunate enough, as so often, to be able to hold the event outdoors in ideal weather conditions, with a backdrop of one of the few lawns in the country still verdant green.

The Khyber chess this year produced more than the usual ups and downs, with some players riding high or unexpectedly low at lunchtime and undergoing a complete reversal of fortunes in the afternoon. To win the event though one needs to score well both before and after lunch, and this year the most consistent player was Derek, whose string of victories was only interrupted by a draw against Harvey, leaving Derek the clear winner a full point ahead of joint second place Ken and Zak. So Derek’s name will be engraved on the Khyber Cup trophy for the second year in a row, only the third player to achieve this distinction. Congratulations to Derek. Congratulations also to Zak, playing in his first ever OTB competition and finishing in an impressive joint second place on 3.5 points.

No wooden spoon this year, because we had none handy to give out, but the bottle of wine was awarded to Christine.

Thank you to John Upham for the loan of the tables and chairs. Thank you to everyone who played in this Crowthorne Chess Club institution, hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and hope to see you all again for next year’s Khyber Cup.

Winner Derek Johnson with the John Purkis Shield
The Players (minus Zak, the photographer)

Christmas Speed Handicap Results

We finally held the thirty fourth Crowthorne Christmas speed handicap tournament last night (Saturday 2nd April) shortly before Easter, having postponed the event on its original date, shortly before Christmas, due to Covid restrictions. Nonetheless, a number of people thoughtfully entered into the spirit of the occasion by wearing their Christmas jumpers, and Scott even appeared in his legendary snowman onesie. Attendance was roughly half that of the previous over the board tournament in 2019, but that didn’t make the chess any more refined: the same extraordinary twists and turns of fate occurred on the boards as ever.

The winners of the two groups were Scott and Daniel and, appropriately perhaps, they were also the two finalists. Daniel reached the final beating Harriet in the semis after a hard-fought game in which he ingeniously sacrificed a queen to reach an advantageous bishop and pawn ending, converting it to a win through precise and careful technique. Scott had a somewhat quicker semi-final win against Mark (Cross) in a choppy tactical melee typical of the speed handicap.

In the final Scott played the opening which has given him so much success this season, the Black Lion defence albeit move in advance as white, and it delivered the goods for him again. Daniel’s king came under pressure along files and diagonals, leading to Scott delivering an on-the-board checkmate.

Congratulations to Scott for his first Speed Handicap win and fine performance all evening. Daniel’s turn will surely come.

At the other end of the field of achievements, Christine deprived Colin (Purdon) of the wooden spoon and bottle of wine. Thank you to her and to all who attended.

Christine Receives the coveted Wooden Spoon (plus consolation prize) from Club Secretary, Jonathan Welton
Congratulations to this year’s Christmas Handicap winner, Scott Leadbetter!

Many thanks to Jonathan for organising another enjoyable Christmas Handicap.

Christmas Handicap – CANCELLED

Owing to the increased risk of transmission posed by the omicron variant, Wellington College has made the (entirely understandable) decision to close the bar until further notice.

As a result, the Christmas Handicap will NOT take place this Saturday (18th December).

(“Cancelled” may be a bit strong, as we are considering alternative ways of holding the tournament in the New Year.)

February on-line blitz tournament

Congratulations to Mark Taylor for winning the club’s February tournament, which was played yesterday as part of the usual club meeting.

The tournament was played in the Arena format on, where players are automatically paired against an opponent as soon as they have finished a game.

The medal positions were:

1st Mark Taylor with 6 points (six straight wins!)
2nd Harvey Duckers with 4.5 points
3rd Colin Purdon with 3.5 points