All kitted out in team colours – for a night at the chess board

The Maddocks A team that ended the night top of the fledgling league table. From left: Adrian Zdanowski, Athar Ansari, Tony Preece and Andrew Grillage.

They are a regular sight in football and rugby matches up and down the country – but could team kits become the norm for the local chess scene? Some Maddocks Chess Club members sported their new black polo shirts with a smart newly-designed club logo on the opening night of Shropshire Rapidplay League at Shrewsbury’s Nerdy Café venue on Friday night.

While team shirts have started to make appearances on the national stage at the Four Nations Chess League, Maddocks are the first Shropshire club to unveil their own kit. It is all a far cry from the state of the game around the turn of the 20th century, when historical photos show players wearing suits to play games. In more recent times dress code has been somewhat more casual – and certainly not co-ordinated with teammates!

Over the board, the rapidplay league action was closely fought with all three teams in attendance winning one match and losing the other. Shrewsbury picked up perhaps the surprise result of the night by beating Shropshire Chess League champions-elect Maddocks A 2.5-1.5 – only for a much-changed side to then slip up against Maddocks B by the same score. Telepost were unable to field a team and defaulted all three of their matches. Maddocks A narrowly lead the fledgling rapidplay league table on points difference thanks to a 3-1 win over clubmates Maddocks B.

In Shropshire Chess League, Telford B have taken a huge step towards the division three title after winning the top-of-the-table clash away to Maddocks C 3.5-0.5. Richard Thompson and Tim Skidmore won on boards two and three, and the hosts defaulted bottom board. Telford are now four points clear, while Maddocks have a game in hand. With only half of the season complete, there is still plenty of time for more twists and turns.

In division two, Maddocks B have reclaimed top spot and are a point clear of Telford A after a 4.5-0.5 triumph over Telepost D. It was a tough weak for the Ds, who also lost 3.5-1.5 to previously winless clubmates Telepost C.

It is a big week in division one, with the four sides vying to avoid the wooden spoon facing each other. A county town derby between Telepost A and Shrewsbury was taking place on Monday, while Oswestry were hosting Newport A on Thursday.


Division two
Telepost D 1.5-3.5 Telepost C: V Crean 1-0 J Westhead, S Wilson 0.5-0.5 D Bonner, S Sweeney 0-1 P Billington, J Casewell 0-1 N Holmes, B Rose 0-1 A Brims
Maddocks B 4.5-0.5 Telepost D: S Maydew 0.5-0.5 J Westhead, T Preece 1-0 S Wilson, G White 1-0 S Sweeney, S Tarr 1-0 M Ayres, M Morrison 1-0 B Rose

Division three
Maddocks C 0.5-3.5 Telford B: M Billington 0.5-0.5 S Tennant, G Viszokai 0-1 R Thompson, J Hill 0-1 T Skidmore, default 0-1 R Benten

Rapidplay league
Maddocks B 1-3 Maddocks A, Telepost 0-4 Shrewsbury (match defaulted); Maddocks B 4-0 Telepost (match defaulted), Shrewsbury 2.5-1.5 Maddocks A; Shrewsbury A 1.5-2.5 Maddocks B, Maddocks A 4-0 Telepost (match defaulted).

Shrewsbury players Dan Lockett, Peter Kitchen, Richard Vernon, Francis Best and Mark Smith. James Birch and Harvey Birch (not pictured) also played on the night.
Maddocks A (left) v Maddocks B. Athar Ansari and Stephen Tarr lock horns on top board.
Maddocks B. From left: Gary White, Munroe Morrison, Simon Maydew and Stephen Tarr.

Please send any news about the Shropshire Chess scene to Peter at