Read Peter Kitchen's Column
in the weekly Shrewsbury Chronicle for the latest local Chess news.
articles in the South Shropshire Journal including Church
Stretton and Ludlow
are some cuttings.
Perfect comeback for Parrott - 21/04/2011
Shrewsbury's John Parrott has entered the record books by winning all 14 of his matches in the Shropshire Chess League to cap the perfect comeback season. Parrott completed his remarkable run by beating Marvin Carbin in Shrewsbury A's 3-2 win over Coddon B. It marks a top return for Parrott, who has returned to competitive chess after a three year break and has been Shrewsbury's player of the season spearheading his team's charge to a first league title in seven years.
Shrewsbury have won the league by an astonishing nine points, and captain David Everington said he could not remember any team achieving such a clear winning margin in a career that has spanned almost 50 years. But the result was enough to condemn a battling Coddon B side to relegation, despite a fine run which had seen them move to the brink of safety.
Everington had given Shrewsbury the perfect start by beating Nathanael Paul on top board but Gary White equalised for the hosts by beating Ian Davies on bottom board. Parrott's landmark win on board three put Shrewsbury ahead again, only for mark Smith to lose the game of the night against Munroe Morrison on board four to tie the scores again. Francis Best then won the deciding game on time against John Tunks on board two, recovering from a poor position to launch an attack which eventually decided the game.
Everington said: “It doesn't matter what board you are playing on – scoring 14 out of 14 is one hell of a performance. John Parrott has virtually been giving us a point headstart every match this season. “I cannot recall a more convincing margin for a team winning the league in all the time I have been playing chess in the Shropshire League – and that goes back to 1963. “Our job is to keep this team together and try to win the league again next season.”
But it was no fairytale for Telepost B, who collapsed to a 5-0 defeat in their winner-takes-all clash with Wellington A to finish bottom of the table. Peter Crean's side went into the match knowing a win would guarantee them safety after Coddon B's loss against Shrewsbury. But missing a couple of key players, including top board Phil Zabrocki, they were no match for the hosts who secured their place in division one next season in style.
Telepost A's season ended with a second successive defeat when they surprisingly lost 3.5-1.5 at home to mid-table Coddon A. Richard Bryant's side, who were defending league champions, finished an inconsistent season third in the table some 12 points adrift of town rivals Shrewsbury. Nigel Ferrington drew with Glyn Pugh on top board and Dave Bates and Andy Tunks shared the spoils on board two. But it was defeats in the middle order for John Bashall and Keith Tabner which sealed Telepost's fate, with James Kingston drawing with Eugene Raby on bottom board.
In division three Shrewsbury C missed out on promotion after a final day 2-2 draw with Oswestry B but still finished their first season back in the league in a creditable third place. Ian Davies beat Gareth Hampson on top board and Fred Harris won on board three, but Eric Inglis and Richard House-Goodwin lost to ensure spoils were shared. Davies's team have returned to the league after a one year break and have competed strongly, but even a win would not have been enough after Wellington B beat already-promoted Coddon C.
Telepost B fight on - 07/04/2011
Telepost B have taken the fight to stay in division one of the Shropshire Chess League to the last day of the season after a crucial 3-2 win over relegation rivals Coddon B.
Knowing defeat would have relegated them, Telepost battled to a welcome victory thanks to wins for captain Peter Crean over Marvin Carbin on board three and John Westhead over Gary White on board four. Steve Kempsell lost to Nathanael Paul on board two, but the win moves the Abbey Foregate side just a point adrift of Coddon going into the final round of matches.
Telepost face a winner-takes-all clash away to Wellington A, while Coddon B host champions Shrewsbury A. Theoretically Wellington could stay up with a draw if Coddon B lose, but Telepost B must win to stand a chance of survival.
Shrewsbury did their town colleagues a favour by beating Wellington A 3.5-1.5. John Parrott checkmated Dele Ogundipe after just 16 moves on bottom board and Peter Kitchen needed only 21 moves to see of John Lenton on board four. David Everington sealed the match with victory over Colin Roberts on top board, but Wellington fought back to claim some crucial match points to boost their goal difference. Francis Best was held to a draw by Richard Gillespie on board three before Toby Neal picked up a notable scalp for the visitors by beating Jamie Hopkins on time on board two.
Telepost A's hopes of finishing second in the table suffered a crushing blow after they were beaten 4-1 by a Newport A side boosted by the return of three university students. With Thomas Pym and Gavyn Cooper back in the fold, Newport were able to filed Shropshire's highest graded player Nick Rutter on board three. Pym beat Nigel Ferrington on top board and although Telepost A captain beat Cooper on board two Newport cleaned up on the remaining boards, with Rutter beating Dave Bates on board three, Tony Holdford defeating Keith Tabner on board four and Alex Taylor beating Vinnie Crean on bottom board. Bryant's side must now win their last match against mid-table Coddon A and hope Shifnal and Telford A pick up a result against Newport A in order to clinch runners up spot.
In division three Shrewsbury C have kept their slim hopes of promotion alive – but have to hope for an extremely favourable set of results on the final day to snatch second place from Wellington B. While Ian Davies's side were clinching a hard fought 2.5-1.5 win in the town derby against Telepsot D, Wellington B moved to the verge of promotion by beating league leaders Coddon C.
Shrewsbury will have to beat Oswestry B and hope Wellington slip up against Shifnal and Telford C, while a win for Wellington would see them crowned league champions.
Against Telepost Matt Best clinched the only decisive result with victory over Brian Holford on board three as the Abbey Foregate side fell agonisingly short of a welcome result.
Church Stretton clinch promotion - 31/03/2011
Church Stretton have clinched promotion back to the top flight of the Shropshire Chess League after a convincing 4-1 win over mid table Telepost C. Wins for Gerald Link, Eric Elwell and Chris Pimm -Jones secured promotion for Steve Rooney's side, who are now looking to wrap up the division two title and continue a 14 match unbeaten run stretching back to February last year.
Stand-in captain Graham Shepherd drew with Charles Micallef on board two and Karl Wakefield and Matthew Clark shared the spoils on top board. It's a welcome return to division o ne for Stretton , who were relega ted two years ago and missed out on promotion at the first attempt on points difference last season. They now face a potential title decider ag ainst south Shropshire rivals Lu dlow before facing fellow promotion contenders Shrewsbury B on the final day of the season.
Rooney praised his team for their efforts this season, which has seen a huge squad rotated with the aim of giving all club members the chance to play competitive chess. The club was forced to drop its second team last season due to declining membership.
Meanwhile, Telepost D have been consigned to bottom spot in division three after a 3-1 defeat at mid table Shifnal and Telford C. The Abbey Foregate side was formed at the start of the season to give a number of rookies the chance t o gain valuable league experience and would have been spared the wooden spoon had rock bottom Newport Juniors not folded halfway through the season.
Survival of the fittest - 24/03/2011
Telepost B captain Peter Crean has challenged his team to win their final two matches to ensure their survival in division one of the Shropshire Chess League.
The Abbey Foregate side lie bottom of the table and three points adrift of safety with just two games of the season to go after a 3.5-1.5 home loss against newly-crowned champions Shrewsbury A. But Crean's side still have their destiny in their own hands as they have to play relegation rivals Coddon B and Wellington A, both of which must also play a Shrewsbury side which remains unbeaten.
Crean said: “We need to win the last two games – we can still mathematically stay up and as long as Shrewsbury don't drop any points it would be enough for us. We think both Wellington A and Coddon B are beatable. “I was pleased with how we played against Shrewsbury – it was a reasonable performance.”
Crean led from the front against Shrewsbury, beating Peter Kitchen in an entertaining and open game on board four to level he scores after David Everington had disposed of Steve Kempsell on board two. Phillip Zabrocki produced another eye-catching result on top board by hoilding Jamie Hopkins to a draw, but Francis Best and John Parrott saw Shrewsbury home with wins against Bob Simpson and John Westhead.
Elsewhere in the relegation scrap Coddon B kept their remarkable run going as they beat Wellington A to move out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.
Telepost A have moved second in the table after a hard-fought draw 2.5-2.5 draw at Shifnal and Telford A. Nigel Ferrington beat Trevor Bortherton on top board and John Westhead beat Stefan Tennant on bottom board, but the hosts drew level thanks to wins for John Footner over Richard Bryant and for Dave Gostelow over John Bashall. Keith Tabner drew with Richard Thompson on board four.
The promotion race in division two looks set to go to the wire with five teams still in the running as the season draws to a close. Church Stretton have moved three points clear at the top despite continuing their remarkable run of not naming the same side for any game this season.
Stretton won 3.5-1.5 at Shifnal and Telford B thanks to wins for Steve Rooney, Karl Wakefield and Gerald Link, and they have been joined in the top two by Shrewsbury B who have recovered from a dreadful start to make an unlikely challenge for promotion. Their latest win was a convincing 4.5-0.5 victory over relegated Newport B with Mark Smith, Dan Lockett, Ivor Salter and Eric Inglis all winners. But with Ludlow and Shifnal and Telford B having games in the hand, Lockett insisted his side are still underdogs for a top two finish.
He said: We have Oswestry next who we would hope to beat but then we have Church Stretton in our last game and that will be a bit of a tall order. We are relying on other teams taking points off each other, but when you start a season losing three games you can't expect to get promoted.”
Shrewsbury A move six points clear - 10/02/2011
Shrewsbury A have moved six points clear at the top of the Shropshire Chess League after winning their top-of-the-table clash at Newport A 3-2.
The result was achieved without big hitters Jamie Hopkins and Francis Best who were both unavailable. And it was their replacements who saw Shrewsbury home, with both Ray Cox and Norman O'Connor scoring vital victories. The Shelton-based side now need five points from their final five games to mathematically sew up the division one title for the first time since 2004.
Shrewsbury moved ahead thanks to a fine performance by John Parrott, who convincingly outplayed Danny Griffiths on board three, and Cox doubled the lead with a win against Steve Cooper. Newport quickly hauled themselves back into it when Tony Holdford ended a personal nightmare run against Shrewsbury's Peter Kitchen with a win on board two. Kitchen had won the pair's previous two encounters in Holdford's favourite King's Gambit, but this result ended his own eight match unbeaten run stretching back to August. But O'Connor secured the match by beating Will Gormley on bottom board, meaning captain David Everington's defeat to Nick Rutter on top board was no more than a consolation for the home side.
Telepost A took advantage of facing a weakened Wellington A side to record a convincing 4-1 win. Nigel Ferrington drew with Colin Roberts on top board and Dave Bates was held by Ken Hickmott on board three, but Wellington, without their unwell top board Toby Neal, couldn't hold Telepost back on the remaining boards. Richard Bryant and John Bashall won their games and the visitors defaulted bottom board.
Telepost B have slipped to the bottom of the table – despite a string showing in a 2.5-2.5 draw against Coddon A. Vinnie Crean won for the visitors on bottom board but Coddon were level thanks to Joe O'Neil's win over John Westhead on board four. Steve Kempsell, Bob Simpson and Peter Crean all performed strongly to pick up draws on the top three boards.
But the Abbey Foregate-based side lost a place in the table after Coddon B recorded a shock 4-1 win at Shifnal & Telford A – a result which has ended any lingering hopes the Stirchley side had of challenging for the title.
It wasn't a good week for local teams in division three. Shrewsbury C were hammered 3.5-0.5 at home by league leaders Coddon C with Eric Inglis's draw with Alan Pickles on board two averting a whitewash.
And Telepost D were well beaten 3-1 at home by mid-table Oswestry B. The results leave both Shrewsbury C and Telepost D in the lower reaches of the division.
Everington's fine finish lifts title bid - 27/01/2011
A beautiful queen sacrifice helped David Everington maintain a 35-year hoodoo against Shifnal and Telford's Richard Thompson – and keep his Shrewsbury A side on track for the Shropshire Chess League title. Everington had been given a tough fight on board two by underdog Thompson, but found a forced win which meant he could simply leave his queen unguarded – to Thompson's immense frustration. Everington said: “It was a quite spectacular finish – it wasn't hard to spot but it was still a nice move to find.”
Despite Everington's efforts, Shrewsbury had to rely on their bottom two boards to seal the win after a battling display by an under strength Shifnal and Telford A side missing key players John Footner and Dave Gostelow. After Jamie Hopkins and Trevor Brotherton agreed a draw on top board Everington gave Shrewsbury the lead. But Iain Wilson pulled the visitors level with a fine win over Francis Best on board three. John Parrott finally overcame Roger Brown's stubborn defence on bottom board to put Shrewsbury back ahead, and Peter Kitchen beat Stefan Tennant in a time scramble after a scrappy battle on board four.
It was Shrewsbury's eighth win from eight matches and maintains their four point lead over Newport A – who they face next week. Everington said: “Peter finished his game well and John Parrott was very impressive in his win – he took his time and put his pieces on good squares, and there was a feeling of inevitability that he would go on and win. “That result has given us a good cushion over Shifnal and Telford A, but it wasn't easy. Despite being without Dave and John their team was full of tough and experienced players and they made it difficult for us.”
Telepost A have moved back to third in the division one table – but only after a grandstand finish against clubmates Telepost B. Dave Bates won the deciding game against Bob Simpson on time to seal a 3-2 win after Peter Crean's struggling side had threatened to pull of a shock result.
But Telepost B are now five points adrift of safety and face a real fight to preserve their top flight status. The A team took the lead thanks to Nigel Ferrington's win over Philip Zabrocki on top board but John Westhead equalised by beating Keith Tabner on bottom board. Telepost A captain Richard Bryant salvaged a draw from a difficult position against Steve Kempsell on board two and John Bashall drew with Peter Crean before Bates won the decider.
Church Sretton still top - but only just - 20/01/2011
Church Stretton have seen their lead cut at the top of division two of the Shropshire Chess League after being held to a 2.5-2.5 draw at home to Shifnal and Telford B. Stretton dominated on the top two boards, with Graham Shepherd beating Windsor Peck on top board and Gerald Link winning against Stefan Tennant on board two. But defeats for Eric Elwell and Francis Rooney on boards three and five meant the spoils were shared, with Tom Williamson drawing with Roger Brown on board four.
It means Stretton now lead the division on goal difference from south Shropshire rivals Ludlow A, who beat Telepost C 3.5-1.5. Telepost's Matthew Clark, Vincent Crean and James Kingston picked up draws, but defeats for Charles Micallef against John Whittaker on board two and for John Casewell against Alan Wright on board four condemned the Abbey Foregate side to defeat.
Shrewsbury B's revival continued as they moved up to third in the division with a 3.5-1.5 win away to bottom-of-the-table Newport B. Ian Davies and Ivor Salter picked up the vital wins on the bottom two boards, while Norman O'Connor, Mark Smith and captain Dan Lockett all drew their games.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury's Peter Kitchen enjoyed the rub of the green to pick up a win and a draw while playing for Celtic Tigers 2 in division three of the Four Nations Chess League at Hinckley. Kitchen held on for a draw in an inferior position on top board against Henry Brockbank in his side's heavy defeat to a Halesowen side featuring Coddon's Glyn Pugh. But he was even more fortunate to win on time against Sean Clarke of SCS the following day, having been outplayed for much of the game only for his opponent to lose track of time and fail to make the final move before the time control.
Shrewsbury seal another victory to increase lead - 13/01/2011
Shrewsbury A made it seven of the best with a routine 4-1 win over lowly Coddon B – taking advantage of slip ups by their rivals to move four points clear at the top of the Shropshire Chess League.
Wins for Jamie Hopkins, Peter Kitchen and John Parrott saw Shrewsbury ease home against the side bottom of division one. And thanks to Newport A's 4-1 win at Shifnal and Telford A the Shelton Hospital side has extended its lead at the top of the standings. After Francis Best had been held to a draw by the impressive John Tunks on board three, Kitchen put Shrewsbury ahead with a 24-move win against Chris Paul on board four. Parrott was a piece up early on against Alan Pickles on bottom board and duly converted to victory, and David Everington drew a tight game with Munroe Morrison on board two to seal the match in his side's favour. Jamie Hopkins added some gloss to the scoreline by despatching Nathanael Paul on top board.
Telepost A's hopes of reigniting their fading title hopes suffered another blow as they lost 3-2 at struggling Coddon A. Richard Bryant's side were in contention for much of he night, but Matthew Clark let a good position slip to lose against Graham Shepherd on bottom board and the result could have been worse for the visitors had Glyn Pugh not missed a win against Nigel Ferrington on top board before the pair agreed a draw. Elsewhere Bryant beat Andy Tunks on board two but Peter Crean lost against Joe O'Neil and Keith Tabner drew with William Bates.
Telepost B missed the chance to gain ground on the mid-table teams when they lost 3.5-1.5 at home to Wellington A.Captain Peter Crean beat Ken Hickmott on board four and Phil Zabrocki drew with Colin Roberts on top board, but Steve Kempsell, Bob Simpson and John Westhead all lost. The result leaves Telepost B four points adrift of safety.
In division three Shrewsbury C opened the new year with a 2-2 draw at fellow mid-table side Oswestry B. Captain Ian Davies and Matthew Best won on boards one and three, but Eric Inglis and Richard House-Goodwin lost their games to ensure the spils were shared.
A number of local players took part at the Wrekin Congress in Madeley, Telford at the weekend – with juniors leading the way. Four members of Shropshire Junior Chess Academy, run by Steve Rooney and Francis Best at Trinity School in Ford, shared the junior prize for the tournament after each scoring 2.5/5 in the minor section of the competition. Nine-year-old Heath Pearson, the youngest player in the competition, won his first ever competitive game in round one and went on to share the prize with Francis Rooney, Matthew Best and Peter Mellor.
Church Stretton in top form - 25/11/2010
Church Stretton have moved into the top two in division two of the Shropshire Chess League after an impressive 3.5-1.5 win at highly-fancied Shrewsbury B. A swift win for Adrian Thorpe over Shrewsbury captain Dan Lockett on board three set Stretton on their way, and further wins for Steve Rooney on top board and Chris Pimm Jones on bottom board sealed the result.
Elsewhere Mark Smith's win over Graham Shepherd on board two was no more than a consolation, while Andrew Lewis and Tom Williamson shared the spoils on board four.
Stretton's early season form is a real boost for the club, which has lost a number of players in recent years and lost its place in the top flight after just two seasons.
But Shrewsbury B are languishing in the relegation zone after their third defeat in four matches. Dan Lockett's side was expected to challenge at the top end of the division at the start of the season but are yet to hit top form and have played a game more than many of the sides above them.
Newly-promoted Telepost C lost top spot as they were without a game but still lie third in the table, an impressive start to life back in division two.
Shrewsbury A go top - 18/11/2010
Shrewsbury A have claimed local bragging rights and moved two points clear at the top of division one of the Shropshire Chess League after winning the county town derby 3.5-1.5 against Telepost A.
Wins for John Parrott and Peter Kitchen on the bottom tow boards gave the hosts an advantage they never looked like giving up, and the top three boards all ended in draws. It was Shrewsbury's fourth win out of four in the league and establishes an early three point lead over defending champions Telepost, who were left to rue the absence of their captain Richard Bryant. Parrott broke the deadlock by beating Peter Crean inside 17 moves with the black pieces on bottom board, before Kitchen came out on top against Philip Zabrocki on board four in a wild tactical game which could have gone either way. David Everington and Dave Bates shared the spoils on board three before Francis best clinched the match with a draw against John Bashall on board three. Jamie Hopkins and Nigel Ferrington drew an entertaining game on top board.
Shrewsbury have another derby to look forward to next week when they host struggling Telepost B, although Shrewsbury captain David Everington urged his side to keep their feet on the ground.
He said: “I'm delighted we won against our main rivals, although they were without Richard Bryant. But it was a tremendous team performance and the game between Jamie and Nigel on top board was a very quality one which Jamie could have won if he had had a little more time left on his clock. “We should not underestimate any of the games we have coming up – Telepost B will be no pushovers.”
Telepost B remain without a point after losing 4-1 at home to a strong Shifnal and Telford A side. Crean and Matthew Clark both drew their games on boards three and five but defeats for Zabrocki against Trevor Brotherton on top board, Bob Simson against Dave Gostelow and for John Westhead against Stefan Tennant sealed the result.
In division two newly-promoted Telepost C have gone top of the league after a 3-2 win over lowly Newport B. Despite Matthew Clark's loss against Danny Griffiths on top board, winds for Maisy Pugh and John Caswell on the bottom two boards were enough for the home side. Charles Micallef and Vinnie Crean drew their matches.
But Shrewsbury B will go into tomorrow's home match with Church Stretton in desperate need of a result after two straight defeats. A 1.5-3.5 home defeat to Shifnal and Telford B two weeks ago was followed up by a 3-2 defeat at Ludlow, where Mark Smith's loss to John Whittaker on top board was the only decisive result. Stretton lie in mid-table after a 2.5-2.5 draw at home to an Oswestry A side still searching for their first win since relegation from the top flight. Graham Shepherd and Chris Pimm-Jones both won their games, but defeats in the middle order for Adrian Thorpe and Tom Williamson ensured the spoils were shared. Gerald Link drew with Ashley Peile on top board.
Derby win for Shrewsbury B - 14/10/2010
Victories on the top two boards helped Shrewsbury B to an opening day derby success over Telepost C in division two of the Shropshire Chess League. Dan Lockett's side eventually proved too strong for their newly-promoted hosts, with Shrewsbury prevailing 3.5-1.5 thanks to wins for Norman O'Connor over John Westhead and for Mark Smith over Matthew Clark.
Shrewsbury are expected to make a stronger push for promotion this season with the likelihood of A teamers John Parrott and Ray Cox able to bolster the side, while for Telepost the aim will surely be survival and consolidation having finished third in division three last season. The home side held on for draws in the remaining three games, with Charles Micallef drawing with Lockett, Vinnie Crean and Andrew Lewis sharing the spoils on board four and Maisy Pugh and Ivor Salter agreeing to a truce on bottom board.
Church Stretton were not in action but will start their campaign away to Newport B.
In division three, the reformed Shrewsbury C side got off to a strong start with a 3-1 win at home to Wellington B. Wins for Eric Inglis and Matthew Best proved to be the difference, while captain Ian Davies and debutant Richard House-Goodwin also picked up draws.
The C team, which dropped out of division two at the start of last season, has replaced the former Shrewsbury Juniors team in the bottom division this season. Many of the juniors are expected to play a regular role for teams at Shrewsbury and Church Stretton throughout the season.
Shrewsbury A up and running - 07/10/2010
Shrewsbury A came out on top in a frenzied blitz finish to get their Shropshire Chess League division one campaign up and running with a 3-2 win at Shifnal and Telford A.
A tense and tight match against the 2009 champions was eventually decided on board four, where the hosts' Windsor Peck let a huge time advantage slip to lose on time to Peter Kitchen, despite outplaying the Shrewsbury man for much of the night.
In match that could have gone either way, Francis Best and Dave Gostelow agreed a draw after some early on-the-board fireworks on board three before the Stirchley side went ahead after John Footner got the better of David Everington in an endgame. John Parrott, playing his first match for Shrewsbury in three years, produced a fine performance to grind out a win in a long ending against Iain Wilson, while another returning Shrewsbury player Jamie Hopkins drew a tight encounter with Trevor Brotherton with both players having just seconds remaining.
Everington said: “It was a very close match. Despite our increased strength with Jamie and John returning to league chess, they had their top side out and it was very even. “You have to feel sorry for Windsor as he had played very well only to let a huge time advantage slip and then see his flag fall first. “We lost our first four games last season so it's very important to get the win at the first attempt this time around.”
Defending champions Telepost A also started well with a 3.5-1.5 victory over battling clubmates Telepost B. The newly-promoted B team put up a strong showing against an A side which won the title convincingly last season. Bob Simpson caused an upset by beating Dave Bates on board three and Phil Zabrocki comfortably held Nigel Ferrington to a draw on top board. But Telepost A came through thanks to wins for captain Richard Bryant, John Bashall and Keith Tabner.
Meanwhile, Jamie Hopkins has won the inaugural Shrewsbury Town Championship after defeating David Everington in the final round. Everington need just a draw to take the title but was outplayed by Hopkins, who has returned to the competitive chess scene after an 18 month break and has rejoined Shrewsbury five years after leaving for town rivals Telepost.
| It's a county town one-two as Shrewsbury grab second - 08/04/2010
Telepost and Shrewsbury have made it a one-two at the top of the Shropshire Chess League for the first time in six years as a remarkable season draws to a close.
While Telepost have long been confirmed as champions for the second time in three seasons, Shrewsbury have completed an astonishing run in the second half of the season to snatch second spot. It's a huge achievement for a side who were cut adrift at the foot of the table at Christmas and looking certainties for relegation.
Shrewsbury secured their sixth win in seven matches with a 3.5-1.5 verdict at deposed champions Shifnal and Telford A.
Dan Lockett beat Tim Skidmore to give Shrewsbury the lead and although the hosts equalised thanks to John Footner's win over Peter Kitchen, Shrewsbury took charge thanks to wins for Mark Smith and Francis Best. David Everington put in another fine showing on top board but agreed a draw with Trevor Brotherton after running out of time to finish off a won position.
Telepost A finished their season with a dramatic draw at Shifnal and Telford B – a result which relegated the home side. Missing big hitters Richard Bryant and Dave Bates, Telepost looked in trouble after Nigel Ferrington was held to a draw by Gareth Edwards and both Matthew Clark and John Westhead lost on the bottom boards.
John Bashall gave the visitors hope with a win on board three, but the decisive game was on board two where the hosts' Richard Thompson inexplicably turned down a draw offer that would have won his side the match and lost on time to Keith Tabner
| Search is on to find town's best - 01/04/2010
A Summer chess tournament aimed at finding the top player in Shrewsbury has been unveiled in a bid to maintain interest in the game during the close season.
The first ever Shrewsbury Town Chess Championship will be held between May and September and will see players compete over five rounds to find a town champion and an under- 140 BCF champion.
The tournament is open to any player but every match – to be played under league conditions – must be played at either the Telepost or the Shrewsbury Chess Club. Entry is £2 and must be made by mid-April.
It's the brainchild of Telepost secretary Keith Tabner, who hopes the tournament will enliven the summer chess scene. Shrewsbury and Telepost hold their own club championships which often run into the summer, but otherwise the only competitive chess on offer is in the Shropshire League summer knockouts.
Tabner said: “This inaugural tournament is intended to enliven the summer chess scene in the town and give players of whatever standard an opportunity to play five competitive games.”
Anyone wishing to enter should email firstname.lastname@example.org with an email address and phone number.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury A saw their long winning run come to an end but put up a good fight before going down 4-1 at super-strong Newport A. David Everington and Peter Kitchen both put in great performances to hold the county's two strongest players, Nick Rutter and Thomas Pym, on the top two boards. Steve Rooney almost completed the full set against Newport's “power three” but lost in an ending against Gavyn Cooper, while Ray Cox suffered his first defeat of the season against Alex Taylor and Ian Davies lost to Tony Holdford.
In division two, Telepost B finished champions by five points after beating Shrewsbury B 3.5-1.5. John Westhead beat Mark Smith on top board and Phillip Zabrocki won against Norman O'Connor on board two. Ian Davies pulled one back, beating Bob Simpson on board three, and captains Peter Crean and Dan Lockett drew, but Steve Kempsell added some gloss to the score by beating Andrew Lewis.
Latest win completes the great escape - 25/03/2010
Five-star Shrewsbury A have completed the great escape and booked their place in division one of next season's Shropshire Chess League.
David Everington's side put in one of their best team displays of the season to beat Coddon A 4-1, their fifth victory in a row. It means Shrewsbury can no longer finish in the bottom two, having been cut adrift at the foot of the table at Christmas.
Ray Cox put in an inspired showing to win on bottom board, sacrificing a piece to overrun Gary White. Everington won a sharp game against Glyn Pugh on top board, Francis Best drew with John Tunks and Steve Rooney sealed the win by beating Nathaneal Paul. Peter Kitchen went close to adding further gloss but was forced to accept a draw in a winning position against Andy Tunks with his clock running down.
Everington said: “It was a fantastic team performance and we could easily have won 5-0. Ray Cox in particular really turned it on.”
Champions Telepost A moved six points clear with a 4-1 win over Oswestry A – a result which condemned the visitors to relegation. Richard Bryant, Dave Bates and Keith Tabner picked up the wins, while Nigel Ferrington drew with Brian Whyte on top board and John Bashall drew with Keith Grice on board four.
In division two Church Stretton maintained their late charge with a 3-2 win over Coddon B – denying the visitors a chance to seal promotion. Gerald Link, Graham Shepherd and Adrian Thorpe won on the top three boards.
In division three Shrewsbury Juniors' Francis Rooney enjoyed a night to remember, checkmating opponent Mark Richards in just 11 moves as his side beat Newport Juniors 4.5-0.5. Chris Lovejoy and Matthew Best also won their games, while Alan Bliss drew and the visitors defaulted bottom board.
| Victory puts Telepost back in the top flight - 18/03/2010
Telepost B have sealed instant promotion back to the top flight of the Shropshire Chess League – but still have work to do to secure the division two title.
Peter Crean's side made sure of a top two spot by easing past Ludlow A 4-1 thanks to wins for Bob Simpson and Steve Kempsell and a default. But they can still be caught by Coddon B, who are three points adrift with a game in hand.
Coddon ended Shrewsbury B's promotion dream with a 4-1 win and Telepost must beat Shrewsbury in a final day derby to make sure of the title.
It's marked a fine season for Telepost, who were relegated on the final day of last season but have lost just one game this time.
In Shrewsbury's defeat to Coddon, Norman O'Connor and Ian Davies were the only two to stem the tide by picking up draws. Dan Lockett's side had given themselves an outside chance of promotion by beating Shifnal and Telford C 3-2 the previous week, but now must hold off a late charge by Church Stretton to hold on to third place.
Stretton beat Ludlow 3.5-1.5 with wins from Steve Rooney, Graham Shepherd and Francis Rooney and also defeated Shifnal and Telford C with Shepherd and Francis Rooney the winners.
Meanwhile, Nigel Ferrington maintained his perfect record for Shropshire's open team in their 11-5 defeat away to Lincolnshire. Ferrington beat Nigel Birtwistle on top board to make it three wins from three this season, but Shropshire have missed out on the national knockout stages after finishing third in the MCCU open minor section. Clubmate Richard Bryant drew on board four, Shrewsbury's David Everington lost on board five, captain Peter Kitchen drew on board nine, John Westhead of Telepost lost on board 11 and Church Stretton duo Graham Shepherd and John Whittaker lost their games
Telepost take title after big victory - 11/03/2010
Telepost A have been crowned Shropshire Chess League champions for the second time in three seasons after a 4-1 win at Newport A.
Wins for Nigel Ferrington, John Westhead and John Bashall sealed a big victory and, thanks to Shrewsbury A beating Wellington A 3-2, Telepost have sealed the title with two games to spare. Telepost were quickly in charge, Westhead beating Joe Pym on board four. Ferrington won his duel with Shropshire's strongest player Nick Rutter on top board and although Bryant and Keith Tabner were held, Bashall wrapped up the win by beating Steve Cooper.
Bryant said: “It's been a strange season – to be honest I think we performed better last season when we were fighting right until the end with Shifnal and Telford A and got pipped at the post. But despite not hitting those heights we have won the league quite comfortably.”
Shrewsbury's fourth win in a row lifted them to third, though they are only two points clear of the relegation zone. Hosting the fixture due to Wellington's venue closing, they had the perfect start with a default win on bottom board. Toby Neal equalised in style, winning the battle of the newspaper correspondents by dispatching Peter Kitchen in just 23 moves on board two.
But Shrewsbury edged back ahead with Francis Best's win over Derrick Powell and a draw between Steve Rooney and Colin Roberts. The final match featured a sparkling queen sacrifice by David Everington who, despite controlling his game on top board against Vikas Sharma, had to settle for a draw when his flag fell but with Sharma having insufficient material to win.
| Telepost on the brink of promotion - 04/03/2010
Telepost B are on the verge of sealing immediate promotion back to division one of the Shropshire Chess League.
They are three points clear at the top of division two after being handed a default win by Shifnal and Telford C and then holding nearest rivals Coddon B to a draw. And, although they have played a game more than their nearest rivals, Telepost are five clear of third-placed Shrewsbury B who suffered a 3-2 loss at Ludlow. Shrewsbury now need to win all three remaining games to have a chance of catching Telepost. Captain Peter Crean's win over Nathaneal Paul helped Telepost to a point against Coddon. Philip Zabrocki lost to Matt Carbin while John Westhead, Steve Kempsell and Vinnie Crean drew.
Shrewsbury were undone on the top boards against Ludlow, Mark Smith losing to Ben Nickson, Norman O'Connor coming off second best against John Whittaker and Andrew Lewis suffering a rare defeat to Richard Woodley. There were consolation wins for captain Dan Lockett and Ivor Salter.
In division three Shrewsbury Juniors still have a slim chance of promotion after going third with a default win over Wellington B.
| Shrewsbury take derby spoils - 25/02/2010
An uncharacteristic blunder from Telepost A captain Richard Bryant helped Shrewsbury A come from behind to win the town derby in division one of the Shropshire Chess League.
With his side ahead thanks to Dave Bates's win over Steve Rooney, Bryant held a dominant position over Peter Kitchen on board two. But he lost his queen after a tactical error and, despite only having five minutes thinking time left, Kitchen made the most of his reprieve to win. That saw the match swing in Shrewsbury's favour. David Everington played a superb ending to beat Nigel Ferrington on top board and Francis Best beat John Bashall on board four as the hosts won 3.5-1.5. Ray Cox and Keith Tabner had shared the spoils on bottom board.
While Telepost remain on course for the title, Shrewsbury have moved into the top half but are only a point off the bottom in an incredibly tight relegation battle.
Bryant's slip marked a difficult weekend – he went on to lose matches on the next two days while on duty for Guildford II in the top flight of the Four Nations League.
He said: “I've had nightmares about that mistake, but the good news is Wellington lost too and our last three games are against teams down at the bottom so it's still very much in our hands. “I ended up playing in division one of the national league for Guildford. I lost on the Saturday after six hours and then got beat by international master Andrew Martin on the Sunday. My camper van got stuck in the snow on Sunday morning too and I had to get towed out!”
Shrewsbury Juniors, meanwhile, beat Telepost C 3.5-1.5 in division three. Ian Davies beat Charles Micallef on top board and although Francis Rooney lost to Vinnie Crean on board two, victories for Matt Best and Henry Graham made the difference while Chris Lovejoy drew with Maisy Pugh.
| Telepost B go top - 18/02/2010
Telepost B moved back to the top of the Shropshire Chess League second division with a 4.5-0.5 rout of Church Stretton.
The win moved Peter Crean's side back above town rivals Shrewsbury B and kept them a point clear of fellow title challengers Coddon B. John Westhead and Steve Rooney drew on top board but Telepost took control thanks to wins for debutant Phillip Zabrocki against Graham Shepherd and for Bob Simpson against Francis Rooney. Stretton were forced to default board four and Steve Kempsell beat Chris Pimm Jones on bottom board.
Telepost could extend their lead at the top this week when they host Shifnal and Telford C.
Meanwhile, the town's two strongest sides meet in a division one derby tomorrow (Friday) with both teams needing the points for very different reasons.
A win for champions-elect Telepost A would complete a double over Shrewsbury A and would pile the pressure on nearest challengers Wellington A. But fifth placed Shrewsbury need the points to climb clear of the relegation zone, and are only separated from all other clubs in the bottom half on points difference.
Beware Shrews that bite - 11/02/2010
Shrewsbury A have moved out of the Shropshire Chess League division one relegation zone after a convincing 4-1 win away to Shifnal and Telford B.
David Everington's side gained revenge for defeat to their hosts earlier in the season and have moved up to fifth in the table. It's also the first time Shrewsbury have beaten any team they have faced at full strength all season. But they still remain in the thick of a survival dogfight as all four teams in the bottom half of the division are on seven points, although Shrewsbury do have a game in hand over some of their rivals.
The future of the two Shifnal and Telford teams also remains uncertain, with the B team having now lost three straight games while the A team was forced to concede their match with league leaders Telepost A 5-0 after failing to raise a team. It means Shrewsbury go into the big town derby at home to Telepost next week with renewed confidence after two straight wins.
Steve Rooney gave Shrewsbury the lead after making an aggressive attack work against Gareth Edwards on board three, while Peter Kitchen drew with Glyn Randle on board two after enjoying the better of the game but failing to break down his opponent's stubborn defence.
Francis Best came up with a neat tactical finish to beat Richard Thompson on board four to seal the match, and Ray Cox drew with Stefan Tennant on bottom board. Everington gave the scoreline a flourish with a well played ending to beat Geoff Lee on top board.
Everington said: “I'm delighted we got the win that takes us out of the relegation zone. It's all down to our points difference – when we win we win big. “Francis is having a great season for us and he came up with a great finish to win again – he has been tremendous.”
Telepost A remain three points clear at the top the table, with Wellington A now the only team realistically able to catch them.
Town teams lead the way in division two – but Shrewsbury B have overtaken Telepost B at the top after a 3-2 win at mid table Church Stretton.
Despite missing top two boards Mark Smith and Norman O'Connor, Shrewsbury won the match on the bottom boards thanks to wins for captain Dan Lockett, Ivor Salter and Matt Best. Stretton's victories came for Gerald Link over Andrew Lewis on top board and for Graham Shepherd over Ian Davies on board two.
Telepost B are level on points with Shrewsbury with a game in hand while Coddon B also have a game in hand on the leaders and are only a point adrift.
In division three Telepost C have capped a fairytale run by moving into the division's promotion places. The Abbey Foregate side, expected to struggle at the bottom of the table at the start of the season, picked up their fifth win in six games by beating Ludlow B 3.5-1.5. They are level on points with Shifnal and Telford D, who do have three games in hand. Telepost were given a 1-0 lead thanks to a top board default by the visitors, and wins for Maisy Pugh and Adrian Bowyer on the bottom two boards saw them home. Vinnie Crean drew with Ian Templeton on board two and captain John Casewell lost on board three.
Rooney flies in – and helps inspire big win - 28/01/2010
Shrewbury A's Steve Rooney made a frantic journey across Europe to make his side's crunch Shropshire Chess League relegation clash with Oswestry A – and helped them to a big victory that saw them climb off the foot of the division one table.
Rooney arrived back from a business trip to Portugal just moments before the start of the match having driven directly from Heathrow Airport. And he then won against Gareth Hampson on board three as his side defeated their under-strength visitors 5-0.
It was only Shrewsbury's second win of the season – both of them whitewashes. But, despite missing three first choice players, Oswestry made their opponents work hard on the top two boards, with David Everington fortunate to beat Brian Whyte on time having been losing for most of the game on top board. Peter Kitchen missed a forced win after only 15 moves against Ashley Peile on board two, only to then also slip into a completely lost ending. But he was also rescued by the clock as Peile lost on time in a complicated king and pawn ending, having turned down a draw offer minutes before.
Francis Best won on board four and Ray Cox picked up his first win of the season on bottom board against Alf Evans, having drawn all four of his previous games.
Captain Everington said: “Oswestry were very unlucky with the scoreline. While our bottom three boards won well it really should have finished 3-2. In a sense Peter was unlucky to miss a winning line early on but then very lucky that his opponent lost on time. Steve came to the match directly from Heathrow and I was really pleased for him to win after his journey. I was also pleased for Ray Cox, who is undefeated this season but has had a series of draws.”
Telepost A remain top of the pile after a 3-2 win over Coddon A – but only after the match ended in farcical circumstances.
Telepost captain Richard Bryant thought he had lost on time to Andy Tunks in the final game to finish on board two. But it then transpired that Tunks's flag had also fallen, and with no-one having seen whose flag had fallen first the game was declared a draw, handing Telepost a narrow win.
A mix-up over lifts meant bottom board Steve Kempsell was unable to show up, handing Coddon a default win. But John Bashall beat John Tunks on board four and Keith Tabner picked up a notable win against Nathanael Paul on board three to give Telepost the edge. Top board Nigel Ferrington drew with Glyn Pugh.
In division three, Shrewsbury Juniors have risen to third after a 3.5-1.5 win over Ludlow B. The Juniors were handed the lead through a bottom board default and wins for Chris Lovejoy and Matt Best on boards three and four sealed the win. Francis Rooney lost on board two and Ian Davies drew his game on top board.
Telepost C's three-match winning streak came to an abrupt halt as they were well beaten 4.5-0.5 by Shifnal and Telford D. Maisy Pugh's draw on board four saved the visitors from a whitewash defeat, although John Casewell's side remain on course for a comfortable mid-table position.
| Chess resumes after the Christmas break - 07/01/2010
Budding young chess players got the chance to watch some of the world's greatest players in action over the board after a delegation from the county travelled to the London Chess Classic.
Steve Rooney and Francis Best, who both play for Shrewsbury and organise junior chess in the county, took a host of youngsters to the event including their sons Francis Rooney and Matt Best. While a number of junior players took part in graded events with success, the two father and son pairs got to watch players such as world No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and English duo Nigel Short and Michael Adams. They also got to hear some of the players analysing their own games in post- match sessions as part of the day.
Steve Rooney said: “The speed with which these guys see things has to be seen to be believed. “It was very exhausting just listening and makes you wonder whether these super GMs are actually human or some kind of higher level species. “All in all it was a fantastic event.”
Meanwhile Shropshire League action resumes this week after the Christmas break, with the town's top two sides hoping to start 2010 strongly for very different reasons.
Telepost A were due to host mid-table Wellington A looking to avenge an opening day defeat – their only loss of the season so far. Richard Bryant's side have won all six fixtures since then and will be looking to build on their three- point cushion at the top of division one.
Shrewsbury A face a crunch relegation battle away to Newport A tonight (Thursday) as they look to climb off the foot of the table. A victory would see Shrewsbury move above their opponents but defeat against a Newport side likely to be bolstered by some of the county's strongest players, on holiday from university, would leave them well adrift of the rest of the field.
Captain David Everington will be without Steve Rooney due to his commitments for Church Stretton but otherwise has no selection headaches.
In division two Telepost B are looking to extend their three-point lead at the top of the table away to rock bottom Newport B.
Church Stretton face a challenging home tie against second in the table Coddon B while Shrewsbury B have no game.
In division three Telepost C go in search of their fourth straight win, against runaway leaders Oswestry B. John Casewell's team had gone almost two years without a win but their superb run – which has seen them beat Shrewsbury Juniors, Wellington B and Newport Juniors – has catapulted them to third in the table. The fine form of Vincent Crean and Maisy Pugh contributed greatly to the side's pre-Christmas run and it looks like the team – who as recently as four years ago were topping division two – could make a strong challenge for a top half finish.
Shrewsbury Juniors will be looking to build on their mid-table position when they host Shifnal and Telford D. The visitors lie fourth in the table but have up to two games in hand on teams around them and are serious promotion contenders.
Meanwhile, players from across the county and beyond will be gathering for the Wrekin Congress at Madeley Court Centre in Telford this weekend. There will be premier, major and minor sections for players of all standards. For more details call Richard Thompson on 07850 375826.
| Stretton lose top spot as Telepost make the most of slip - 10/12/2009
Church Stretton have lost top spot in division two of the Shropshire Chess League – with their four- match unbeaten run ended by a big 4-1 defeat at struggling Shifnal and Telford C.
Captain Steve Rooney's 13-move win over Windsor Peck on top board was the only bright spot for Stretton, who suffered losses for Gerald Link, Graham Shepherd and Chris Pimm-Jones. A bottom board default added gloss to the home side's victory.
Shifnal and Telford had only picked up one point all season before the match and the result leaves Stretton looking nervously over their shoulders in their bid to hold onto second spot, with both Shrewsbury B and Coddon B having a game in hand.
Rooney said: “The result was certainly against the run of form – even with four players we felt we might be able to get something out of the game but it just drifted away from us. It's a shame because it's our last match before Christmas and we'll have to wait until January for the chance to put things right.”
Telepost B took full advantage to reclaim top spot with a 3-2 win at Ludlow A, leaving them two points clear of Stretton also having played a game fewer.John Westhead lost to Ben Nickson on top board but wins for father and son duo Peter and Vinnie Crean and draws for Steve Kempsell and John Casewell saw Telepost home.
Shrewsbury B moved up to third place with an important 3-2 win at fellow promotion contenders Coddon B. Captain Dan Lockett and Ivor Salter picked up crucial wins on the bottom two boards, which proved enough thanks to draws for Norman O'Connor and Ian Davies on the top two. Andrew Lewis lost to Nathanael Paul on board three.
In division three Telepost C came out on top in the town derby against Shrewsbury Juniors, prevailing 3.5-1.5 to claim their first win of the season. Vinnie Crean beat Francis Rooney on board two and Shane Sweeney defeated Matt Best on board four, meaning Henry Graham's win over Adrian Bowyer was nothing more than a consolation. The Juniors also defaulted board three while Charles Micallef and Ian Davies drew on top board.
The Juniors also picked up their first win of the season as Wellington B conceded their match 5-0 after being unable to raise a team.
Meanwhile a host of local players enjoyed a day to remember on county duty, helping Shropshire's first team to an 11.5-4.5 win over local rivals Worcestershire. Nigel Ferrington maintained his perfect record on top board, ending Jeremy Fallowfield's run of 11 wins out of 11. Leebotwood-based Trevor Brotherton also won, as did Richard Bryant of Telepost and David Everington and Peter Kitchen of Shrewsbury – the latter picking up his first team win as captain against his former home county. Telepost's Jamie Hopkins also made a welcome return with a one-off appearance, losing a tight game on board four.
| Telepost remain top after superb display - 03/12/2009
Telepost A produced one of their best performances of the season in the Shropshire Chess League – ending Oswestry A's 100 per cent home record with a crushing 4-1 win.
Richard Bryant's visitors made the most of the absence of Oswestry top board Simon Hughes for a result that keeps Telepost top of the table ahead of a crunch battle with closest rivals Shifnal and Telford B.
Nigel Ferrington defeated Brian Whyte on top board, Bryant overcame Ieuan Fenton on board two and John Bashall and Matthew Clark picked up wins on the bottom two boards. Keith Tabner's loss to Ashley Peile on board three was the only blemish for Telepost. Bryant said: “I had been very worried about this fixture and I would have taken a draw beforehand. “But they were missing Simon Hughes and it made a big difference . “We didn't beat Oswestry last season so this was a big result for us and a very good performance.
“We just can't seem to pull away from Shifnal and Telford B – without being disrespectful I thought they would probably get relegated but they have surprised everyone. But they have us and their A team next so we have a chance to open up a gap if we can beat them.”
At the other end of the table Shrewsbury A were left wondering what might have been after drawing 2.5-2.5 at fellow strugglers Coddon A.
Francis Best beat Nathanael Paul in 20 moves on board three to give Shrewsbury an early lead. But, despite having an edge on three of the remaining boards, they all finished as draws, and Coddon made them pay when Andy Tunks crushed Peter Kitchen on board two to tie the scores.
Captain David Everington said: “It's good to pick up another point. But overall the result was disappointing as we had serious winning chances on three of the boards which all finished in draws.”
In division two Church Stretton have overtaken Telepost B at the top of the table thanks to a 3.5-1.5 win over rock bottom Newport B.
Captain Steve Rooney beat Newport debutant Andy Tunks on top board and, although Adrian Thorpe lost to Steve Cooper on board two, wins for Francis Rooney and Tom Williamson and a draw for Chris Pimm-Jones were enough for Stretton.
| Telepost leapfrog rivals – and return to top spot - 26/11/2009
TELEPOST B moved back to the top of the Shropshire Chess League division two with a 3.5-1.5 victory over promotion rivals Coddon B.. The town club, aiming for promotion back to the top flight after being relegated on the last day of last season, triumphed thanks to wins for John Bashall over Matt Carbin on top board and for Steve Kempsell against George Viszokai on board four. John Westhead, Peter Crean and Vinnie Crean all picked up draws. It means Telepost leapfrog Coddon in the table and lie two points clear of town rivals Shrewsbury B.
Shrewsbury, meanwhile, got their season back on track with a 3.5-1.5 win over inconsistent Ludlow A.
Mark Smith and Norman O'Connor won on the top two boards and, despite a surprise defeat for captain Dan Lockett on board four, Ivor Salter's win on bottom board and Andrew Lewis's draw with Ken Thomson on board three were enough to clinch the match and move the hosts up to third in the table.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury's David Everington has been handed a tough draw with the black pieces against Coddon's giantkiller Nathaneal Paul in round two of the Shropshire Individual Championship. Paul inflicted a shock defeat on Telepost captain Richard Bryant in the opening round and while Everington comfortably saw off Viszokai in his opener, he will be wary of slipping up against the teenager.
Elsewhere in the draw, Bryant will be looking to get back on track as white against Viszokai, while defending champion Nigel Ferrington will start as favourite with the white pieces against clubmate John Westhead.
Telepost's John Casewell has been handed a bye, while Leebotwood-based Trevor Brotherton will be white against Ludlow's John Whittaker.
To follow the progress of the tournament visit www.shropshirechess.org
| It's magic from Makepeace as Shrewsbury win - 19/11/2009
SHREWSBURY A are finally off the mark in the Shropshire Chess League after clinching their first win of the season at the fifth attempt with a 5-0 whitewash against an under-strength Wellington A team.
David Everington's side eventually ran out comfortable winners in the division one clash to move within two points of the safety mark. The highlight was an amazing comeback from top board Philip Makepeace – returning for a one-off appearance – who turned around a lost ending against Vikas Sharma to win. But Everington was gracious enough to admit the margin of victory was harsh on Wellington who, despite turning up a man short, were well in the match until the later stages. Already one up through the default, Francis Best doubled Shrewsbury's lead by outplaying John Lenton in an ending.
After Makepeace's Houdini act sealed the match, Everington picked up a fortuitous first win of the season, benefitting from a blunder by Toby Neal who had been in control for much of the game. Wellington's hopes of a consolation were dashed in the final game to finish on board three, where Peter Kitchen eventually won despite a titanic defensive effort from Derrick Powell.
Everington said: “Obviously it was great to get some points on the board at last but I must admit that Wellington were very unlucky to be whitewashed. “I was under pressure from Toby for a long time before he blundered late on and Philip Makepeace put in the performance of a magician to win against one of the best players in the county at the moment.”
At the other end of the table Telepost A maintained their position at the top by beating Newport A 3-2. Despite Nigel Ferrington's loss to Nick Rutter on top board, Telepost came through thanks to wins for Richard Bryant on board two against Tony Holdford and for John Bashall against Joe Pym on board four.
There were mixed fortunes for local players as Shropshire's first team opened their MCCU open minor campaign with a 9.5-6.5 defeat against a Leicestershire side who reached the national section final last season. Ferrington won on top board but Wellington's Sharma was the only other Salop player to win. Bryant drew on board five, Ieuan Fenton lost on board six, Everington was beaten on board eight and captain Kitchen lost on board 13.
Rivals still in hunt after draw - 12/11/09
CHURCH Stretton have lost their 100 per cent derby record – but remain in the hunt at the top of division two of the Shropshire Chess League after a hard-fought draw against Telepost B. The two sides, relegated from the top flight last season, couldn't be separated and both remain in the top three of the division.
Three of the games finished drawn, with the only decisive matches seeing Telepost captain Peter Crean beat Eric Elwell on board three and Tom Williamson reply with a win over Vinnie Crean on bottom board.
Shrewsbury B's inconsistent start continued as they became the first team to drop points to struggling Shifnal and Telford C.
An under-strength B team travelled to Stirchley with only four players, but salvaged a draw thanks to Norman O'Connor's win over Windsor Peck on top board. Dan Lockett, Andrew Lewis and Ivor Salter drew their games. The result leaves Shrewsbury fifth in the seven-team division but with a game in hand on many of the teams above them.
Meanwhile, a number of locals played their part in a famous win for Shropshire's under-160 team against a traditionally strong Warwickshire team.
The county's second string won 10.5-5.5 away from home, with Telepost duo John Westhead drawing on board five and Peter Crean winning on board seven. Shrewsbury's Ian Davies drew his game on board 14.
|Telepost are top after taking the derby spoils - 05/11/09
TELEPOST A have moved to the summit of the Shropshire Chess League – but only after a fine comeback on the top boards helped them to a 3-2 derby win over rivals Shrewsbury A. The hosts trailed for much of the night after Dan Lockett beat Matthew Clark on bottom board. But Nigel Ferrington beat Shrewsbury captain David Everington on top board and Richard Bryant broke down Peter Kitchen's stubborn resistance in the final game on board two to clinch the win.
While this was Telepost's third win in four games, Shrewsbury are bottom of the table and yet to pick up a point, facing second placed Wellington A next.
Elsewhere Dave Bates and Steve Rooney drew on board three and Keith Tabner and Ray Cox shared the spoils on board four.
Telepost captain Bryant said: “I was relieved we got away with a win – at one stage I wasn't particularly confident as we were losing and neither Nigel's nor my games were clear cut. But it always helped being able to win the top two boards. “I'm sure Shrewsbury will recover and stay up.”
Everington said: “They were all good games and we are getting closer to a result. But at the moment we don't quite have the weight on the top two boards that other teams have.”
In division three Telepost C suffered their second successive defeat, losing 3-2 to a strong Shifnal and Telford D side. John Casewell won on board three and top boards Vinnie Crean and Steve Jones picked up draws, but defeats for Brian Holford and Shane Sweeney condemned Telepost to defeat.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury's Francis Best shared first place in the major section of the Scarborough Congress. Best scored 4.5/5 and won £300.
Telepost close the gap - 22/10/09
Telepost A have sent a statement of intent to the rest of the Shropshire Chess League after beating reigning division one champions Shifnal and Telford A 3.5-1.5 in their own back yard.
Wins for Nigel Ferrington and Dave Bates sealed a hugely impressive result for Richard Bryant's side, who have closed the gap on early leaders Newport A to a single point. It means Telepost go into Tuesday's town derby against bottom of the table Shrewsbury A with renewed confidence, while Shifnal and Telford have slipped into the relegation zone.
After Bryant drew with Dave Gostelow on board two, Ferrington gave Telepost the lead with a fine win over Trevor Brotherton on top board and Dave Bates doubled the lead by beating John Footner on board three. Keith Tabner sealed the win by drawing with Iain Wilson on board four, while John Bashall pulled off a miraculous recovery to draw with Richard Thompson despite being a rook down.
Bryant said: “None of us lost and it was a really good result – I still think they are the best team in the league when they have a full side out. “I'm very optimistic and looking forward to the Shrewsbury game – I hope they start picking up points soon but after next week's match.”
Shrewsbury slumped to their third straight defeat, surprisingly well beaten 3.5-1.5 at home by Shifnal and Telford B. Peter Kitchen let a promising position slip to draw quickly with Gareth Edwards on board two and Norman O'Connor drew with Richard Thompson on bottom board. But it all went downhill for Shrewsbury, with captain David Everington outplayed by Geoff Lee on top board. Steve Rooney lost on time against Glyn Randle on board three and Francis Best drew with Stefan Tennant having been a pawn down for much of the game.
Everington said: “It was something of an off night for us, but I have to give credit to Shifnal and Telford B. They are a decent side and they played really well on the night. As always I'm looking forward to the Telepost game – the tougher the better. Knowing us and the nature of chess we'll probably go and win that one.”
Both Telepost C and Shrewsbury Juniors started their division three campaigns with defeats.
Telepost went down 3.5-1.5 at Oswestry B, with Charles Micallef beating Ron Thomson on top board and John Caswell picking up a draw on board three.
Shrewsbury Juniors lost 4-1 against an experienced Shifnal and Telford D side, with Chris Lovejoy drawing with Roger Brown on board two and Angelica Dean performing strongly to draw with Tim Skidmore on bottom board.
|A must-win for Shrewsbury - 15/10/2009
Shrewsbury A captain David Everington has declared tomorrow's home clash with Shropshire Chess League surprise package Shifnal and Telford B as a must-win game as his side looks to climb off the foot of the division one table.
Shrewsbury are the only team in the division to have lost both of their games, the latest a 3.5-1.5 loss in a tight match away to Oswestry A.In contrast the Stirchley-based visitors lie in the top three after beating fellow promoted side Wellington A, despite arguably being one of the favourites for relegation. Shrewsbury will be without veteran Ray Cox for the match but Everington is hopeful of otherwise having a full strength side available.
Everington said: “This is one of those games we need to win so we don't get into trouble. We won't automatically win but we really need to.”
Against Oswestry Shrewsbury were swiftly behind when Francis Best lost to Shrewsbury School starlet Ieuan Fenton in just 16 moves, but after Cox drew with Ashley Peile on board four Mark Smith beat Gareth Hampson on bottom board to level. But the hosts came good on the top two boards, with Everington losing against Simon Hughes before Peter Kitchen lost on time against Brian Whyte having earlier been a pawn up.
Telepost A picked up their first win of the season by beating Coddon A 3.5-1.5 – the perfect preparation for this week's match against a Shifnal and Telford A side which pipped them to last season's league title. Nigel Ferrington, Richard Bryant and Dave Bates won their games on the top three boards for a result with captain Bryant described as ‘comfortable'.
Bryant said: “The league table is looking really strange at the moment – I expected Newport A to struggle but they have won both of their games and Shrewsbury A are bottom which surprises me. I'm quite optimistic as Shifnal and Telford A may not be as strong as I thought they might be – if we can win this one I will be very happy.”
Local sides are leading the way in division two, with all three sides picking up big wins.
Telepost B made it two wins out of two with a crushing 4-1 win over Shifnal and Telford C. John Bashall, John Westhead, Peter Crean and Steve Kempsell all won their matches.
Shrewsbury B got their season off to a flyer by beating Newport B 4.5-0.5. Mark Smith drew with Athar Mehmood on top board but Norman O'Connor, Andrew Lewis, Dan Lockett and Ivor Salter also won their games.
And Church Stretton complete the top three after winning the south Shropshire derby 4-1 against Ludlow A. The visitors defaulted bottom board and wins for Steve Rooney and Gerald Link sealed the result, while Karl Wakefield and Graham Shepherd drew their games.
Poor start as town rivals slip to defeat - 24/09/09
Both Telepost A and Shrewsbury A suffered disappointing defeats in their opening Shropshire Chess League division one fixtures in a week which saw a number of surprise results.
Telepost, last season's runners-up, slipped to a 3-2 defeat at a newly-promoted Wellington A side inspired by new signings Vikas Sharma and Colin Roberts, who has joined from champions Shifnal and Telford A, on the top two boards. Sharma and Roberts beat county individual champion Nigel Ferrington and visiting captain Richard Bryant, and although Telepost's Keith Tabner and Peter Crean won their matches John Westhead's loss on board four sealed Telepost's fate.
Bryant said: “It was not a very good start for us but we have got plenty of time to put it right, starting with our next match at home to Coddon. We've got Dave Bates to come back in for that too and he will make a difference.”
Shrewsbury A were also undone on the top two boards as they lost a tight match 3.5-1.5 at home to Newport A. David Everington and the returning Steve Rooney lost to Nick Rutter and Gavyn Cooper – two of the county's top five players.
Meanwhile, Shrewsbury C are in a race against time to field a squad and find a captain for their division two campaign. Long-serving captain Ian Davies has been forced to stand down due to increased work commitments, and a replacement could not be found at the club's recent AGM. Tam stalwart Fred Harris has retired from competitive chess and last season's player f the season Tommy Cheng has left the club. The C team, which survived on the final day of last season, are due to play the club's B team tomorrow night, Friday.
Although Francis Best beat the improving Alex Taylor on board three it wasn't enough to save the hosts, after Norman O'Connor drew with Danny Griffiths and Ian Davies lost to Athar Mehmood.
Everington said: “They were all quite hard games but in the end Newport having Nick and Gavyn on the top two boards told. They are a very strong team overall.”
Everngton will hope to have both Peter Kitchen and Ray Cox available for Monday's trip to Oswestry A, who also surprisingly lost their opener 3.5-1.5 at Coddon A.
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