Eight out of eight is just mint for Maddocks

Champions Maddocks A have completed a perfect Shropshire Chess League season with eight wins out of eight. The Oakengates side maintained their 100 per cent record with a 3.5-1.5 win away to a below-strength Telepost A, finishing the campaign five points clear of closest challengers Newport A. It caps a superb season for Glyn Pugh’s team, who have not only clinched their first league title in seven years in style but also have a very good chance of completing a double as they are currently 10 points clear at the top of Shropshire Rapidplay Chess League.

The victory over Telepost included a significant win for Maddocks’ Athar Ansari over the county’s highest rated player Nigel Ferrington on top board. Ansari has enjoyed a superb season for Maddocks with six wins and just one defeat (against Telepost’s Phil Zabrocki) from his seven games, and has been a driving force behind his club’s title charge.

Elsewhere, Andrew Grillage defeated John Westhead on board three and Simon Maydew beat Fred Bench on bottom board to seal the visitors’ triumph. Steve Kempsell’s win over Pugh was no more than a consolation for Telepost, while home captain Matthew Clark picked up a decent draw against Adrian Zdanowski on board two.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury B are on the brink of securing the Shropshire Online Chess League division two title after a 2.5-0.5 win over clubmates Shrewsbury C. They are now 11 points clear at the top of the table, and although closest challengers Telford have four games in hand, they would need to win all their remaining fixtures and hope Shrewsbury pick up no more than one point from their last two fixtures to overhaul them. The two sides are due to meet in the week beginning June 20.

A call has also been made for clubs to enter teams in the summer rapidplay trophy, which will take place at The Limes in Wellington on June 19. Organiser Toby Neal said the exact format would depend on the number of entries, and has written to club officials around the county urging to confirm whether or not they plan to enter teams.  It is hoped there will be sufficient entries for a league format, followed by a semi final and final. For more details, email toby.neal@mnamedia.co.uk

There is also still time for junior players to enter the Shropshire Megafinal of the UK Chess Challenge, which has competitions for under 8s up to under 18s and will take place at Charlton School in Wellington on June 25. Email Christopher.d.lewis44@gmail.com or call 07508 487092 for details.