OTB 4NCL Weekend 1

4NCL 2023/2024

The over-the-board 4NCL season is nearly upon us, with Crowthorne A playing its first two rounds this coming weekend (Nov 11-12) and the B team the weekend after that.

However, the on-line 4NCL team has already been active, having played five rounds in Season 8 of the competition.

Team Captain, George, has been rotating the players so that all the squad gets games. In the online event, teams have four players.

Results have been mixed, and Crowthorne are currently sitting mid-table in the league.

Results of the previous rounds:

Christmas Handicap 2023

Our annual Christmas Speed Handicap has been booked for Friday the 15th December. This is in the Pinewood Centre, like last year, but this year we have the rear function room booked, which will make it a little quieter and more private. A buffet will be provided. Jonathan has promised to send frequent reminders about this event, but for now perhaps you could note the date in your diaries.

For those unfamiliar with the Christmas Speed Handicap, all games last the same time (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.

Keith Richardson Memorial Tournament

On Saturday, September 30th, our friends at Camberley Chess Club held their annual Keith Richardson Memorial Rapidplay tournament. This year’s tournament was the first to be held at their new venue at the Heatherside Community Centre.

Keith Richardson was a member of Camberley Chess Club, who was very well liked and respected in the club and the local leagues he played in. He was also very well-known in the wider chess community as a correspondence Grandmaster. Camberley has held a memorial event annually (lockdown permitting) since his death in 2017.

This year’s tournament saw success for Crowthorne’s Richard Webb who won his second rapidplay tournament in a week (see Witney report).

Congragulations to Camberley for running a friendly and successful tournament. Full details of the event can be found here.

Camberley Chess Club chairman Martin Wallman presents Richard with the trophy

Success for Crowthorne Players at Witney Rapidplay

On Sunday (24th September) two Crowthorne players emerged as prize winners in the Witney Rapidplay. This is a very pleasant tournament, which is held in the excellent venue of Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire.

FM Richard Webb won the Open, scoring 5.5 out of 6. Richard won in the final round against fellow Crowthorne member FM Ian Thompson.

Ashton Grimmett was also successful, with the best excess-of-rating performance in the Open, scoring 3 out of 6.

Well done to both!

Full results of the tournament can be found here.

Border League Fixtures are out!

The Surrey Border League has just published the fixtures for the 2023/24 season. Please check the Useful Links page for links to the fixtures for the various divisions and for Crowthorne Teams.

Note that fixtures are occasionally rearranged by team captains, so it is best to check the site from time to time.

A new league season is starting

The league and club AGMs have finished, and Wellington College is again available after the summer break. What does this mean for Crowthorne Chess Club? In many ways, it’s business as normal, although we have increased the number of teams we are entering in the Border and Berkshire Leagues.

We will continue to meet for social chess on Thursdays at Pinewood as usual.

Crowthorne Junior chess resumes meeting on Wednesdays from 6:30 at the Monro Pavilion.

Team Entries
We have entered a variety of teams in the Border and Berkshire leagues. These are:

Surrey Border League
• Crowthorne A, B, C :- standard play divisions 1, 4, 5
• Crowthorne RA, RB :- rapid play divisions 1 & 2
• Crowthorne HA :- Haslemere Cup
All 5 board teams.

Berkshire League
• Crowthorne A, B, C :- divisions 1, 2, 3. (5-board teams)
• Crowthorne PPCA :- Premier Precision Cup (PPC) (6-board team)

We will also have two teams in the 4-Nations Chess League (4NCL) and in the 4NCL online competition.

Club Championship
Following last year’s success, Robert is kindly organising the Club Championship again this year. You can follow progress of this tournament throughout the year on the Club Championship page, and on the ECF LMS page.

Khyber Cup – as it happened

This year’s Khyber Cup, held on Saturday, had all the elements needed for a perfect Khyber Cup event.

We were hosted by Harriet who kindly opened up her house to the throng of players, and the play took place to the luxurious backdrop of the spacious and glorious garden which she shares with her neighbours.

Even the variable English summer weather played its part, with clear blue skies changing to dark heavy clouds, teasing us with the lightest sprinkling of rain, only to revert back to bright and hot sunshine, and this repeated throughout the day. But we remained well protected from both light showers and bright sun by Bob’s huge dome of a marquee.

A bumper crop of competitors took part (20), including 3 guest players from Godalming chess club. The play was as hard fought and competitive as ever, with lower graded players taking on the stronger ones and, even though not often taking points from them, at least giving them competitive and challenging games.

But ultimately it was the stronger players who came out on top. Uniquely in Khyber Cup history, we had a four-way tie for first place, with four very strong club stalwarts all scoring 4/5 and only losing to, or drawing with, other top club players. These four winners were: Derek, Harvey, Ken and Richard. Congratulations to all of them. Four names to squeeze on to the trophy, three of whom have won many times before (three years in a row for Derek), with Harvey the new name on the shield.

At the other end of the results table Tom, one of the visiting players, took home the bottle of Kingpin wine.

Thanks to all who played and made this year’s Khyber Cup so memorable, and thank you Harriet for your generous offer to host the event …

… and many thanks to Jonathan, our club secretary, for organising the event.

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