Shropshire Chess

The UK Chess Challenge reached its penultimate stage with the age group national finals held as the GigaFinal event. These were held at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) over the weekend of 10 - 11 July.
The initial entry for this event was an incredible 77,000 which has been reduced by competitions at school and regional finals to the 2000 that took part in the GigaFinal.
The GigaFinal consisted of a six-round Rapidplay Swiss tournament for each age group. Each player has 30 minutes to make all their moves. Some of the more popular groups were further sub-divided to try and guarantee a positive result in six rounds. The winner in each section qualifies for the next stage, the TeraFinal, to find an ultimate champion. The runners-up and third place players are invited to a Challengers event that runs alongside the TeraFinal.
Shropshire had 20 players taking part. Unfortunately none of Shropshire's players won their sections although two, Ieuan Fenton and Simon Fowler came second so have the consolation of being invited to take part in the Challengers event.
Ieuan Fenton was tied for the lead going into his last match and had good chances in the game but was unable to translate his position into a win, so had to settle for second place. Simon played the eventual winner of his section Wi Lu in round 5 but erred in a good position at the cost of a pawn and was then unable to force a draw, so like Ieuan he had to be content with second place
- Keith Fowler
Nigel Ferrington is County Champion
In Round 6 of this year's 7 round individual tournament, Telepost star Nigel Ferrington on 5 / 5 met reigning champion Trevor Brotherton. Nigel's sensational win takes him to an amazing 100% score of 6 straight wins which means that he is the new County Champion with one round to spare! This is not only his third County Championship success, but surely the most convincing for many a long year.
Click for Full Results
Summer Cups
Shrewsbury A completed the double in an exciting cup final encounter with Telepost A. The match ended all square but was decided by board count. Nigel Ferrington and Neal Allen saw their Telepost wins matched by David Everington and Francis Best for Shrewsbury.
Congratulations to Ludlow who took the Minor Knockout Trophy with a 3 - 2 win against Shrewsbury C.
Peter Mellor Picked for England
Peter Mellor, a junior from Coddon chess club, played for England Under 10's versus Wales on July 4th winning one and losing one. He became Shropshire's 5th junior international player to emerge from Alan Shaw's Junior Chess Club.
More Success for Newport Juniors
Youngsters from Adam's Grammar School, Newport scored some spectacular results in the Mercia area finals of the British Land Chess Tournament at Worcester in May.
Joe Pym, Gavyn Cooper, and Chris Lewis won their respective age groups to become under 17, under 15, and under 14 champions. Alex Taylor and Max Bauf were under 13 and under 12 runners up. All now qualify for the next round which will be in Manchester.

In the final match of the 2003-04 season town rivals Shrewsbury A drew with Telepost A. Thus Shrewsbury went through the season unbeaten to take the league title from Telepost in fine style.This was the scene after the match. (Picture courtesy of Steve Rooney)
Postmen Lose Male
Steve Rawlins, Telepost's most successful player in 2003-04, is to move home to Kent. We wish Steve and his family well. He follows in the footsteps of club founder, Bill Clarke who also moved to Kent some year's ago. This is a further blow to the club following Dave Bryan's move to Manchester. Perhaps postal chess is the way forward?
Division 2 Review
Just like Division 1 Telepost and Shrewsbury dominate the Division. Here though it is Telepost C who win the title by 4 points from Shrewsbury B, whilst Shrewsbury C are relegated with Market Drayton.
Division 1 Roundup
Shrewsbury A end the season 4 points clear of Telepost A to take the championship from their town rivals. Shifnal Telford B with a creditable 10 points are the only B team to survive, just pipping Telepost B who go down. Coddon B are the league's most consistent team- losing every match!
Division 3 Summary
Wellington B headed this Division for most of the season but were pipped on the post by Newport B who take the title by 1 point.
Success for Newport Juniors!
Newport Juniors left it late to open their account in Division 3. In their final match they broke their duck with a fine 3 - 2 win at Telepost D. Wins from A.Taylor and M.Bauf and draws from J.Pym and C.Lewis (stalemate!) ensured victory.
Shrewsbury Are Champions !!
Shrewsbury A clinched the league title with a 3 - 2 win over Coddon A. Gordon Bradley's win over John Tunks proved decisive in an evening when draws were in fashion.
In the final match Jamie Hopkins' win in a bishop and pawns endgame rescued the draw against Telepost A to leave Shrewsbury undefeated in their title season.Their first title since 1998 ends a run of four on the trot for town rivals Telepost A.
Shropshire's Junior Chess Explosion
Never before has the county had so many young chess players. New clubs are springing up in our schools and colleges. Kids all over the county are looking for opportunities to learn more about the game. Jump on the bandwagon and help to keep it rolling. Join in the fun with our new Junior Chess Section
Telepost B and Telepost C appear to be heading in opposite directions in the league tables. The B team are struggling to avoid relegation from Div.1- not helped by star player Dave Bryan's move to the Manchester area. Meanwhile Telepost C are top of Div.2 !

Shrewsbury A v Coddon A 1996. This photograph from Shrewsbury Chess Club was taken following their match with the then all conquering Coddon team which won six consecutive league titles.The present Shrewsbury A team - now 2004 champions - includes three of the players pictured - David Everington (back 3rd right), Gordon Bradley (front centre), and Trevor Brotherton (front 2nd left, then playing for Coddon).

Cod 'n Chips
Telepost A appear to have had their chips after a battering at Coddon A. Poor Steve Rawlins - after travelling all the way from Wem his opponent failed to turn up. He then watched helplessly as his team-mates were deep fried. William Bates began the debacle with a stunning victory over John Bashall. Then Glyn Pugh showed Richard Bryant that a knight can be stronger than 3 pawns. Telepost had to win the remaining two games but Simon Fowler proved too tricky for Nigel Ferrington. Finally John Tunk's brilliant exchange sacrifice ripped open Keith Tabner's position.
Shropshire Successes
Shropshire, last year's champions, have finished runners up in the all Midlands under 100 finals. A 6 - 6 draw away to Warwickshire means that the team again go forward to theNational finals in May. Wins came from Edward Whittingham, Andrew Lewis, Alan Pickles and Paul Broderick, with draws coming from Tim Bosley, Eugene Raby, Ian Davies, and John Jordan.

Visitors to Jersey in late February don't expect to see Windsor castle! This year Telford's Windsor Peck scored 3.5 in the U165 section of the Jersey Congress to bring home a £50-00 prize
The Wrekin Congress Winners & Organisers 2004
Champions Crash
The match between Shifnal and Telford A and Telepost A (11/01/04) produced a shock result which leaves the champions' hopes of retaining their title in tatters. When Steve Rawlins won in style and board 1 agreed a draw, the home team looked to be in trouble. Telepost had the advantage in each of the other 3 games. Then came the drama - Richard Bryant fell into a Colin Roberts trap - Keith Tabner lost his way in a strong but complicated position, and finally John Bashall ran out of time whilst a pawn ahead.
Shifnal Telford 3.5 - Telepost 1.5 !!!
Team of the Month
Shifnal and Telford B team have started the new year in fine style with three straight wins. Is this the same team that won only one match in the first half of the season? Their victims were Coddon A 3 - 2 (07/01/04), their own A team 3 - 2 (14/01/04), and crucially relegation rivals Telepost B 3.5 - 1.5 (28/01/04). Gareth Edwards 2.5 points included wins over Glyn Pugh and Colin Roberts, whilst S.Maydew also won two games on board 5.
Coddon must now battle to avoid losing both teams to relegation in the same season. .Surely that's impossible - isn't it?

At the half way stage of the season the league tables are beginning to take shape, although there is still plenty of time for fortunes to change.
The battle for the Division 1 championship is proving to be one of the closest for many years. Reigning champions Telepost A are neck and neck with their county town rivals Shrewsbury A.
At the foot of the division Coddon B, yet to score their first point, look doomed to relegation. The other relegation spot is being closely contested however between Shifnal & Telford B and Telepost B, with neither team deserving to go down. The teams just above them are not out of danger.
The Division 2 race is still wide open. Church Stretton lead the way with 11 points followed by Telepost C 10pts, Ludlow A 9pts, and Shrewsbury B 8pts. Next season the Telepost Club could find themselves with either one, two, or three teams in the top flight! Market Drayton and Shrewsbury C will do well to avoid the drop.
In Division 3 Wellington B are the only team in the league with a 100% record. They and Newport B (10 points from 6 games) look favourites to win promotion

Shrews Bury Telepost Jinx
ShrewsburyA's 3 - 2 win at Telepost A (06/01/04) is their first win over their county town rivals since the early 1990's! This exciting match also saw Telepost top board Nigel Ferrington lose his amazing 22 month unbeaten run in the league. The title race is now wide open with the two teams level on points at the halfway stage - Telepost just lead on games won.
The match was in the balance to the end. Jamie Hopkins and David Everington gave the Shrews an early 2 - 0 lead before John Bashall pulled one back for the reigning champions. The other two games went to the wire - Keith Tabner and Francis Best fought a sharp battle but, although the exchange up, the home player eventually had to take the draw.
All eyes were now on the match between Richard Bryant and Trevor Brotherton which had started late. The home captain's attack looked certain to take the full point with a substantial material advantage. However in a terrific time scramble the county champion somehow survived to hold the draw and with it the match for Shrewsbury.


Friends Re-united
It's good to see Eric Ellwell (Church Stretton) and Jim Copley (Shifnal-Telford) playing regular league chess again. In the 1980's both played for the successful Shifnal A team and were strong correspondence chess players before they disappeared from the chess scene. Welcome back guys!
Shrews Bite Postmen
Shrewsbury A showed their title ambitions with a crushing 5 - 0 win over a strong Telepost B team recently. With Graham, Parrott, Best "on the bench"they have a formidable squad. Phillip Zabrcki made his Telepost debut against county champion Trevor Brotherton - it's tough at the top!
Clash of the Titans
Two of Shropshire's strongest ever players met over the board recently. On this occasion John Footner came out on top against current county champion Trevor Brotherton. The big surprise was that this was on board 2 - reflecting the strength of both teams. The match ended with a 3.5 to 1.5 victory to Shrewsbury A over Shifnal-Telford A.
Jays Go Top of the Tree
The Telepost C team which beat Market Drayton in November (Division 2) is considering changing its name to Telepost J. The team was made up of one Jones, three Johns, and a Jonathon!!
Now that's one for the birds.
Darwin Centre Champions - The Shifnal & Telford team of Colin Roberts, Steve Tarr, Iain Wilson, and Windsor Peck display their cup. (They're the ones at the back). The pieces are the creation of local artist Jacqueline Leach. The county's top junior, Simon Fowler, won the five minute quickplay event with an impressive 7.5/8. Nick Rutter and Colin Roberts followed with 6/8 while another junior, Louis Graham, took the grading prize. Thanks go to hardworking organiser John Casewell and all who helped make this event a resounding success. We look forward eagerly to a follow up next year.


I blunder
then resign
owls swoop
wise but merciless
beaks unload
unwanted analysis
claws clutch
extra large coffee flasks

Dave Bryan

Pym's No. 1
Thomas Pym was crowned Britain's No. 1 junior following his brilliant win at Ampleforth (02/11/03). Thomas, a product of Alan Shaw's Dothill Junior Chess Club, won the biggest prize in British chess together with automatic qualification into the British Chess Championships.
Read the BCF Report


The England junior squad proudly pose for a photograph with their national flag. This picture was taken in Spain during the 2002 European Chess Championships.
There were three Shropshire juniors in the England team - a remarkable total for such a small county.
Both Simon Fowler (left) and Thomas Pym (right) seem to have been awarded the yellow jersey, while Louis Graham (seated 4th from left) clearly likes his opponents to see red.

Picture courtesy of Keith Fowler

Telepost Full House
On Tuesday 25/11 Coddon A, Coddon B, and Shrewsbury C all played at Telepost. It was more like a congress than a league match. With 3 C team players unavailable and Phillip Zabrcki failing to turn up, the home club's resources were at full stretch. However Telepost ended with 10 wins, 4 draws, and 1 defeat to win all three matches! Keith Tabner took 51 moves to eventually beat 9 year old Peter Mellor in a 3 hour marathon. Peter is clearly one to watch.
Good Un Coddon
Coddon A produced a shock result drawing with mighty Shrewsbury A (10/12). A tense match which Shrewsbury nearly lost after early Coddon wins by William Bates and John Tunks. Simon Fowler turned down a draw but then lost a bishops and pawns ending against Jamie Hopkins, while Glyn Pugh couldn't quite convert his advantage to the full point against Trevor Brotherton.
Wrekin Congress
The 2004 chess year is now in full swing following the success of the fourth Wrekin Congess at Madeley Court Centre. 135 competitors battled for prizes in four tournaments. Although the Premier went to South Birmingham's Russell James, there were several Shropshire players in the prize money in other sections. These included Richard Bryant (=1st Major), John Westhead (2nd Intermediate), and best junior Joe Pym (=2nd Minor).
Test Your Knowledge of our Shropshire County Champions

Who was the last junior to become County Champion?
Name the Priest and the Bishop who won the title.
Who were our youngest and oldest Individual Champions?
Name the two brothers who each won the title.
Who was the schoolboy from Ludlow who won the trophy?
Which County Champion was born in Upper Silesia?
Who has won the title an amazing nine times?

If you have all ten names give yourself a gold star !.
If you need help read David Everington's article.
Here's a small clue.
Modesty forbids him from including the answer to the last question!