Arkell at the ready

The countdown is under way to a mass online simultaneous event in which chess grandmaster Keith Arkell will be taking on allcomers from the Shropshire chess scene. Arkell has agreed to play an unlimited number of challengers at 7.30pm on April 19 in an event organised by Shrewsbury-based Telepost chess club. The entry fee is £5 and further details are from Nat Paul at

In the league, Paul was involved in a miracle escape against Oswestry’s Brian Whyte of Oswestry A to help Telepost A stay one point clear of reigning champions Newport A at the top of Division One. As the clocks ran down Paul somehow came away with a draw in a losing position – according to the post match analysis computer available on the Lichess online chess platform he was the equivalent of six pawns down – which was crucial in winning the match for Telepost.

In Division Two Newport B are almost home and dry as champions. Their win over Telford A was a foregone conclusion after Telford defaulted two of the three boards which retains Newport’s four point lead at the top of the table. Newport need just a single point from their remaining two matches to clinch the title beyond doubt.

For Shropshire players who play in the county’s teams in the 4NCL – Four Nations Chess League – April 20 is the crucial day, when the seventh and final rounds are played. All eyes will be on the Shropshire 2 and Shropshire 5 teams who are both battling for promotion, while Shropshire 3 need a win to avoid relegation.  

Division OneNewport A 2.5, Maddocks A 1.5: G Cooper 1, D Gostelow 0; C Portman 0.5, G Pugh 0.5; I Jamieson 0.5, S Maydew 0.5; D Hilditch-Love 0.5, S Tarr 0.5.
Telepost A 3, Oswestry A 1: N Paul 0.5, B Whyte 0.5; P Zabrocki 1, M Altinsoy 0; R Archer 1, T McMahon 0; M Clark 0.5, L Cox 0.5
Division Two Telepost B 0.5, Shrewsbury B 2.5: P Officer 0.5, M Smith 0.5; K Walker 0, M Best 1; J Westhead
0, D Lockett 1.
Telford A 0.5, Newport B 2.5: J Pico Ruiz 0.5, C Lewis 0.5 (Telford defaulted both other boards).
Wellington A 2, Oswestry B 1: A Grillage 0, C Lowick Higgie 1; T Neal 1, A Bailey 0; M Podlesak 1, P Fisher 0.