Team Quickplay

Controller: Toby Neal

Shropshire Quickplay Rules


This competition will be governed in accordance with the competition rules of the Shropshire Chess Association – available here.


1 Teams will be of FIVE players. 

2 Unless the competition is run with matches on a ‘home’ and ‘away’ basis, in each round team captains will toss for choice of having the white pieces on board one. 

3 Players can only play for ONE team in the competition. 

4 Subject to the above rule, teams can play substitutes from their club ranks during the competition. The intention of this is that if, say, a club has six or seven players interested in playing, those ‘extras’ will have, at their captain’s discretion, a chance to play in later rounds. 

5 In the case of time control disputes, the arbiters in the first instance will be the two team captains. If they are actually involved in the dispute, the arbiter will be the competition organiser, consulting and taking advice as necessary from experienced players. (My default interpretation of the rules will be that a player whose flag falls automatically loses unless:  1. The opponent does not have mating material – and a pawn is mating material as it could promote; 2. The opponent is not trying to win i.e. is just messing about running the clock down). 

6  Draws are permitted in the league/group matches (i.e. no need for board count tiebreaker). If necessary to determine which team progresses to the knockout stages,  ‘goal difference’ will be used to separate teams on equal points. If  points and goal difference are identical, the teams will play a five minute blitz decider. 

7 In the semi final and final, if the match result is a draw, the result on the bottom board will be discounted, repeatedly if necessary, until a decisive result is achieved. If all the games are drawn, the team which played black on board one will be declared winner . 

8 Team names should reflect the strength of the team. If, for instance, a club enters a C team, but in practice intends to play A team players in that C team (because its A team has not entered), then the C team should be redesignated as the A team. 

9 There may be some players who would like to take part, but whose clubs have not entered a team. To ensure that they are not denied the opportunity to join in, they may arrange to play for a different club as a guest player. The rule of thumb will be that they are not fielded in such a way as to bring the competition into disrepute. For example, a strong A team player should not be fielded in a D team as a guest. 

10 If a team turns up unexpectedly short-handed, sympathetic consideration will be given to ad hoc arrangements on the day in which they rope in any grade-appropriate “spares” from another club, or to create a mixed or scratch team from various spare players to ensure an even number of teams are taking part – and so avoiding byes. The intention of this is to avoid the disappointment to opponents of defaulted boards and to ensure everyone who wants to play, can play, the rule of thumb again being that such arrangements do not bring the competition into disrepute. 

Summer Team Quickplay 2023

Newport A were the winners of a fiercely competitive Shropshire Team Quickplay Championship, held over a single day at Maddocks Social Club.  Six teams played each other twice in a 10-round all-play-all league format. Telepost were top of the table at the end of the league stage – but Newport A emerged as champions on tiebreak after the grand final between the two sides finished as a 2.5-2.5 draw. Fred Bench of Telepost was among the star performers with 11/11, while Newport’s Nick Rutter scored 9/11 on top board, including securing the vital win in the final over Telepost’s Phil Zabrocki.

Newport A were the champions of Shropshire Team Quickplay Championship. From left, Nick Rutter, Danny Griffiths, Chris Lewis, Joe Greenwood and Phil Love

Quickplay Final: Newport A vs Telepost A

Board 1

Nick Rutter vs Phil Zabrocki

Black lost on time

Board 2

Board 3 Joe Greenwood 1-0 Matt Clark (game didn’t record)
Board 4 Rob Nield 0-1 Danny Griffiths  (game didn’t record)

Board 5

Summer Team Quickplay 2019

No surprise in summer team rapidplay  Shrops Star 11/06/2019

Newport A swelled their already bulging trophy cabinet by being the class of the field in the Shropshire chess summer team rapidplay tournament. 
With International Master Lawrence Cooper on top board and Nick Rutter, whose rapidplay grading almost matches Cooper’s, on board two, the opposition were always going to find them tough to beat. 

Newport topped the league stages in the competition, held at The Wrekin Housing Trust offices in Telford, and then thumped Maddocks 4-1 to progress to the final. 

Trying to halt the Newport juggernaut were the other finalists, a composite team called the Mad Wolves, comprising players from the Oakengates based Maddocks club and players from the Wolverhampton league. 

Result: Newport 5, Mad Wolves 0 – L Cooper 1, N Walker 0; N Rutter 1, E Angelov 0; N Paul 1, P Bull 0; C Lewis 1, S Tarr 0; I Jamieson 1, T Preece 0. 
Maddocks beat Telepost A in the play-off for third place. 

Players had 20 minutes to complete all their moves in each round and as the clocks ran down there were some comic incidents, with some blatant illegal moves being missed in the melee, and Telepost’s Kate Walker, playing white, queened a pawn and immediately picked up a black queen and started playing with it until, amid laughter, a white queen was substituted. 

The victorious Newport team in the Shropshire chess summer team quick play.
From left, Lawrence Cooper, Chris Lewis, Ian Jamieson, Nathanael Paul, Nick Rutter. 

Shropshire Team Quickplay Competition 2018

Matthew Clark reports – Saturday 2nd June 2018 

I am delighted to report that Telepost won the Shropshire Team Quick Play competition held at the Wrekin Housing Trust on Saturday 2nd June. 

Telepost fielded a strong team, consisting of regulars, Nigel Ferrington, Matthew Clark and John Bashall, new signing Trevor Brotherton and former club captain, Richard Bryant. 

Newport’s squad was even stronger, featuring International Master Lawrence Cooper on board 1 and three of Shropshire top 7 rapid play players on board 2-4 (we have two of the top 7 on boards 1 and 2). They also had rising star Edison Xu on Board 5 (number 4 Under 11 in the UK.). 

The three other teams competing were Maddocks, Newport B and “Motley Crew” (a decent team made up of players from a number of different clubs). 

Telepost battled their way through the group phase. Despite a couple of disappointing defeats to Maddocks (the old Priorslee Lions team), we were comfortable enough in 3rd in the League phase, meaning that we avoided the more difficult semi-final vs. Newport. There were a couple of highpoints in the League phase, such as Nigel’s draw with IM Lawrence Cooper and Matthew Clark’s victory over Ian Jamieson (who outgrades me by 38 points!), but overall the team knew we needed to improve in the decisive rounds. 

We found our form in the semi-final vs. Maddocks. Although, Will Bates secured his 3rd win of the day vs. Matthew (Will was the only player to beat me all day, but he gave me three Chess lessons!), Telepost were successful on all the other boards with Nigel, Trevor, Richard and John all securing impressive victories to secure a place in the final 4-1. 

This meant that the Final was Shropshire Chess’ answer to “El Classico”, Newport vs. Telepost. The skipper realised that he needed to make a contribution and managed to repeat his first round upset vs. Ian Jamieson to secure the first point needed for victory on board 4. However Edison quickly levelled the score on board 5. He won every single game in the competition and must be all set for a bright future in Chess. Nigel battled valiantly with the Black pieces on board 1 against Newport’s IM, but went down in the end. Trevor secured a valuable draw vs. Nick Rutter, which left Telepost needing a win on board 3. Fortunately Richard Bryant rolled back the years to defeat Nathaniel Paul. 

This meant that we were tied on 2.5-2.5, and Telepost were awarded the final on board count after the result on board 5 was eliminated. 

Many Thanks to Toby Neal and Francis Best for organising the competition and well done to all the players!  

Matthew Clark – Telepost captain

Shropshire Team Quickplay Competition 2017

Newport retain the quickplay trophy – Shropshire Star 13/06/2017 

Newport A were the class of the field as they cruised to victory in the Shropshire chess team quickplay tournament, retaining the trophy.

They beat a very strong Telepost A outfit in the final and it wasn’t even close, with Newport quickly surging into an unassailable 3-0 lead in the running score over the five boards. Final result was: Newport A 4, Telepost A 1. 

Newport’s cause was aided by the recruitment of a guest player on top board, Nick Arkell, of Stourbridge, but even so they were outgraded overall against their Shrewsbury-based opponents, who had a strong guest themselves in the shape of Richard Bryant. 

Detailed result was: Nick Arkell 1, Trevor Brotherton 0; Nat Paul 0.5, Nigel Ferrington 0.5; Ian Jamieson 1, Richard Bryant 0; Athar Ansari 1, Phil Zabrocki 0; Chris Lewis 0.5, John Bashall 0.5. 
Shrewsbury beat Wellington 4.5-0.5 to take third place. 

Six teams took part in the event at the Wrekin Housing Trust in Telford. 

There was a poignant backdrop to Newport’s triumph, as it came shortly after the death of one of their players, Warren Lewis, and a minute’s silence was held for him before the start of play. Warren had returned to play for Newport last season after being away for over 40 years and played several games for both the club’s A and B teams before his illness. He died in hospital on June 2. 

Shropshire Team Quickplay 2015

Telepost reclaim rapidplay trophy

Telepost have reclaimed the Shropshire rapidplay trophy with just 12 seconds to spare in a dramatic climax to the tournament held in Telford. 
With the running score 2-2 in the final, all eyes were on the top board where Nigel Ferrington and Francis Best were going head to head in the last game to finish and which in the circumstances had become a winner-takes-all encounter.

Best had what looked like a dangerous passed pawn but Ferrington had it under guard with his knight. As so often, Ferrington showed how adept he is at playing with only a few seconds to spare on his clock, and turned the situation round, queening a pawn and delivering checkmate in ultra fast order.
It meant Telepost won the title they last held in 2013. They did have some extra help as they turned up at the tournament at the Wrekin Housing Trust premises a player short, and Mark Keady of Brewood, who came along to the event in the hope of getting a game, was roped in to make up the numbers. 

The other Telepost players were Phil Zabrocki, Matthew Clark, and John Bashall.
Six teams took part in the competition in which the time limit of 15 minutes to complete all the moves of the game saw some fast and furious chess. 
Third place was taken by Newport A – Shropshire Star02/06/2015 

We won the cup! Celebrating victory are, from left, Nigel Ferrington, John Bashall, Matthew Clark, Mark Keady, and Phil Zabrocki 

Shropshire Team Quickplay 2014

Newport are 2014 quickplay champions 

Newport are Shropshire’s new quick-on-the-draw chess champions after scoring a convincing victory in the county’s annual rapidplay tournament. The Newport team took the trophy in decisive style, ending the hopes of Shrewsbury-based Telepost of scoring a hat-trick.

Telepost had taken the title in the two previous years but the Newport outfit of Nick Rutter, Gavyn Cooper, Nathanael Paul, Simon Maydew, and Chris Lewis were just too strong for the opposition, going through the tournament unbeaten. They topped the table in the league stage and then saw off Telepost 4.5-0.5 in the semi final. In the other semi final Shrewsbury beat Telford 3-2, setting up a final between Newport and Shrewsbury.

Newport went into a 2-0 lead but then Matt Best pulled a point back for Shrewsbury to raise the tension. Chris Lewis’ win against Ivor Salter on bottom board however put the issue beyond doubt. 

Six teams entered the competition and players had to complete all moves of the game in 25 minutes. The tournament was held at the Wrekin Housing Trust in Telford. Organiser Toby Neal said: “Newport were worthy winners on the day and few teams got any change from them. Chess at these time limits can get very frenetic, which is all part of the fun.”

Full result in the final was: Newport 3.5, Shrewsbury 1.5: N. Rutter 0.5, F. Best 0.5; G. Cooper 1, D. Everington 0; N. Paul 1, D. Lockett 0; S. Maydew 0, M. Best 1; C. Lewis 1, I Salter 0. Third/fourth place playoff: Telepost 2, Telford 3: N. Ferrington 0.5, T. Brotherton 0.5; R. Bryant 0, N. Nazif 1; J. Bashall 0, S. Tennant 1; M. Clark 1, R. Gillespie 0; K. Tabner 0.5, W. Peck 0.5. 

Winners Newport with the trophy: from left, Gavyn Cooper, Nick Rutter, Chris Lewis, Nathanael Paul, and Simon Maydew. 

Shropshire Team Quickplay 2013

Telepost are Shropshire’s quickplay champions for the second successive year after a convincing 4.5-0.5 victory over Church Stretton in the final. 
But the Shrewsbury-based club didn’t have an easy passage, going down to two defeats in the league stage, including, remarkably enough, a 4-1 loss at the hands of Stretton. 

And they only made it into the knockout stages by virtue of a playoff against county town rivals Shrewsbury. With Telepost and Shrewsbury in a tie for fourth place in the league, with equal “goal difference” as well, they played a five minutes blitz game to decide who would go through to the semis.

The tournament was played at the Wrekin Housing Trust premises in Telford and seven teams from all over Shropshire took part, with each player having just 20 minutes on their clock to complete all the moves of the game. 

The victorious Telepost outfit comprised Nigel Ferrington, Phil Zabrocki, John Bashall, Noel Kiffen, and Kate Walker. 
Winner of the 3rd/4th place playoff was Newport, beating Shifnal & Telford 3.5-1.5. Toby Neal 

The winning Telepost team display the cup 
l to r Noel Kiffin, John Bashall, Kate Walker, Nigel Ferrington, and Phil Zabrocki. 

Shropshire Team Quickplay 2012

Last Round Drama – 22/05/2012
A dramatic finale with a twist in the last few seconds saw Shrewsbury-based Telepost A lift the cup in the Shropshire Quickplay chess tournament in Telford. It all boiled down to a frenetic finish in the last game to finish, squaring up young star Gavyn Cooper of Newport A, and Telepost’s Phil Zabrocki, whose aggressive playing style has been commented upon by no less a figure than English grandmaster and world title contender Nigel Short.

With Telepost 2.5-1.5 up on the running score in the final, Cooper had to beat Zabrocki to draw the match and take the result to a tiebreak. And, because of the intricacies of the tiebreak system, that would have meant Newport winning the trophy. Cooper had an overwhelming advantage of two connected passed pawns and a knight against Zabrocki’s lone king, meaning the win was only a matter of time – a commodity of which he was enormously short as his clock moved into its last 10 seconds, meaning he had to move instantly.

With Cooper down to just three seconds the flurry of moves came to a sudden halt with Zabrocki saying: “It’s stalemate!” The watching crowd broke out in applause in appreciation of both players’ efforts as it sunk in that, with no time to think, Cooper had left Zabrocki with no legal moves and, as his king was not in check, this was not checkmate, but stalemate – an automatic draw.

Full result was Telepost A 3, Newport A 2: Nigel Ferrington 1, Nick Rutter 0; Phil Zabrocki 0.5, Gavyn Cooper 0.5; William Bates 0.5, Nathanael Paul 0.5; John Bashall 0, Athar Mehmood 1; Noel Kiffin 1, Chris Lewis 0.

Had Cooper won and  the match been drawn, under the tiebreak system the bottom board result would have been treated as if it never have happened – and Newport would have won 2.5-1.5.

Third were Church Stretton A, who thrashed Wellington A 5-0 in the third/fourth place playoff.

Competition organiser Toby Neal said: “It was a great day’s chess with worthy winners, as Telepost and Newport were the class of the field. Once again the Wrekin Housing Trust premises in Telford proved an excellent venue.” Eight teams from across Shropshire took part in a seven-round league, followed by the knockout stages. Players had 20 minutes to complete all the moves of their game. 

Above – The final round – Newport A v Telepost A 
Below – Champions Telepost A proudly display the brand new trophy.
l to r – John Bashall, Nigel Ferrington, Noel Kiffin, Phil Zabrocki, and guest star William Bates.