Default dispute could cost newly-promoted outfit sole win

A newly-promoted team is in danger of losing its only Shropshire Chess League division one victory of the season due to a dispute over the circumstances around a defaulted board.

Maddocks B defeated Oswestry A 3-2 on November 10, due in no small part to Oswestry defaulting top board. On the night, Oswestry’s Rudy van Kemenade had difficulty finding the Oakengates club’s venue and turned up more than half an hour late to be told that his game against Maddocks’ Steve Tarr had been defaulted. But those present later discovered that league rules state the default time is one hour, not 30 minutes.

The board was initially declared void by Shropshire Chess Association president Matthew Clark, which would have left the match tied at 2-2. But Maddocks have since appealed against that decision, and both clubs have submitted lengthy representations on the issue. An appeals committee has been convened and is due to meet imminently to make a final ruling on the issue.

The decision could have a major bearing on the battle to stay in the top flight, with both Maddocks B and Oswestry A currently in the bottom three with two sides to go down. Fellow strugglers Telepost B are staying in touch with the pair, and they picked up their first point of the season after coming from behind twice to draw at Shrewsbury A. Daniel Hilditch-Love made up a 300-point rating deficit to win the deciding game on time against Nathanael Paul – a fine effort considering he himself had been chronically short of time for several moves in a position that suddenly became very lively.

At the other end of the table, Maddocks A have gone top of the table after a crucial 3.5-1.5 win over fellow contenders Newport A. Athar Ansari, Andrew Grillage and Tony Preece picked up victories against a visiting side that made the trip without unavailable top board Nick Rutter.  Telepost A are also in the mix after a 3-2 win over Maddocks B, although Tarr did pick up an eye-catching win over Telepost top board Nigel Ferrington, the county’s second highest graded player. The top three are now separated by a single point with just one round of fixtures to play before Christmas.

In division two, Telepost C narrowly beat Maddocks C 3-2 to keep pace with leaders Telford A, while there were also victories for Newport B and Telford B.

In Shropshire Online Chess League, Telepost A picked up their first division one win of the season with a 2.5-1.5 win over Shrewsbury B – gaining a measure of revenge for a narrow defeat against Shrewsbury A in their previous online outing. Matthew Clark picked up a second online win against Nathanael Paul in the space of a week – quite an achievement considering he was heavily outgraded and had the black pieces on both occasions.

In online division two, Telford A enjoyed a great week with two victories – but their second victims Newport A lost both of their matches. One of the results of the week saw Shrewsbury C’s Tony Purser recover from losing his queen to beat Newport A’s Dave Lovegrove – and help his side to a 2-1 win in the process.

The first round of matches in division two of Shropshire Rapidplay League is due to take place at Telford Chess Club in Wednesday (December 7). Newport B, Telepost B, Telepost C and Telford B will all play each other over the opening three rounds at the quicker time control of 20 minutes for all moves.

Elsewhere, Telepost’s Kate Walker has enjoyed more success on the weekend congress circuit, finishing joint second in the intermediate category of Torbay Congress. Walker scored 4/5 in the category for players rated under 1750ECF, and finished the competition with an impressive rating performance of 1895 and a cash prize of £53. Her fellow Telepost teammate James Holyhead scored 2/5 in the same section.

Walker also performed well at the recent Crewe Congress, scoring 3/5, and won her section earlier in the autumn at Scarborough. She said that playing weekend congresses – which commonly feature five games from Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons – was something she would recommend to aspiring players who can devote a weekend to chess. She said: “It is great going away to somewhere new and getting to play a lot of games.  You have to manage the fatigue – in a league match you don’t, but at congresses you really do have to. If you give it everything in your first game you may not be in good shape for the next round or future rounds. I would definitely encourage others to do it. It is a great experience – and a good way to get your grade up quickly if you do well!”

Local players will have the opportunity to do just that when Shropshire Chess Congress is held at Wrekin Housing Trust’s headquarters over the weekend of January 6 to 8. Visit for more details.

Latest results:

Shropshire Chess League division one:

Telepost A 3-2 Maddocks B – N Ferrington 0-1 S Tarr, Pzabrocki 1-0 G White, M Clark 0-1 S Maydew, J Bashall 1-0 M Morrison, F Bench 1-0 M Billington

Maddocks A 3.5-1.5 Newport A – A Ansari 1-0 C Lewis, A Grillage 1-0 I Jamieson, G Pugh 0-1 T Holmes, T Preece 1-0 S Ross, S Maydew 0.5-0.5 P Love

Shrewsbury A 2.5-2.5 Telepost B – N Paul 0-1 D Hilditch-Love, P Kitchen 1-0 K Walker, F Best 0.5-0.5 S Kempsell, M Smith 1-0 J Westhead, D Lockett 0-1 J Holyhead

Shropshire Chess League division two:

Telepost C 3-2 Maddocks C – K Walker 0-1 M Billington, J Holyhead 1-0 G Viszokai, V Crean 0-1 I Jamieson, N Holmes 1-0 M Reynolds, D Bonner 1-0 J Hill

Newport B 3.5-1.5 Telepost D – A Jones 0.5-0.5 P Billington, J Greenwood 1-0 J Gough, C Parker 1-0 A Brims, C Poole 1-0 J Casewell, M Price 0-1 M Ayres

Telford B 3.5-1.5 Telepost E – S Tennant 1-0 D Hilditch-Love, D Hollands 1-0 P Billington, R Barton 0-1 C Pileggi, T Skidmore 0.5-0.5 T Humphreys, H Hrubis 1-0 G Humphreys

Online league division one:

Telepost A 2.5-1.5 Shrewsbury B – M Clark 1-0 N Paul, R Nield 1-0 M Smith, C Pileggi 0-1 S Priestley, M Ryan 0.5-0.5 I Salter

Online league division two:

Shrewsbury C 2-1 Newport A – N O’Connor 1-0 A Jones, T Purser 1-0 D Lovegrove, R Vernon 0-1 M Price

Telford A 2-1 Oswestry C – M Keady 1-0 K Grice, R Thompson 1-0 S Tulett, H Hrubis 0-1 J Smith

Newport A 0-3 Telford A – A Jones 0-1 M Keady, D Lovegrove 0-1 S Tennant, M Price 0-1 R Thompson-