League titles at the double for Maddocks

Maddocks B have secured the club’s second league title of the season after clinching the Shropshire Chess League division two crown in dramatic fashion.

Tony Preece’s side got the point they needed against Telepost C to pip Telepost B to top spot in the final round of matches. It comes after Telepost B – who had whittled away Maddocks’ previous commanding lead in recent weeks – could only draw 2.5-2.5 at home to Telford A three days earlier. Maddocks won the league by one point.

Maddocks B are all smiles after clinching the Shropshire Chess League division two crown. From left, Steve Tarr, Munroe Morrison, Gary White, Tony Preece and Simon Maydew.

Maddocks will now have both the division one and two trophies in their cabinet after Maddocks A won the top flight several weeks ago. The club’s A team was this week hoping to secure a perfect season of eight wins out of eight at their final match of the season against Telepost A.

But Maddocks B didn’t have it all their own way against Telepost’s third team, which was again bolstered by one of the county’s top players in Trevor Brotherton. Brotherton duly beat Simon Maydew on top board, and Telepost had further success when Fred Bench beat Gary White on board three. But Preece and Steve Tarr won their games on boards two and four for Maddocks, and a draw between Munroe Morrison and Dennis Bonner on board five meant the spoils were shared.

Telepost B had previously missed their chance to pile on the pressure after drawing with a Telford A side who until recent weeks had harboured serious promotion ambitions of their own. Kate Walker won for Telepost on top board against Richard Parry, but James Holyhead lost to Richard Thompson on bottom board and the remaining games were drawn.

With the format of next season’s league not yet decided, it is not known whether one or two sides will go up to the top flight – so while Maddocks B should be able to look forward to division one chess next season, Telepost B face a nervous wait.

In division one, Newport A won twice in the space of a week to secure runners-up spot behind Maddocks A. They defeated Oswestry 3-2 at home before triumphing 4-1 away to bottom side Shrewsbury three days later – a match that saw Nick Rutter gain swift revenge over Peter Kitchen on top board after the Shrewsbury man’s surprise win in the reverse fixture five weeks ago.

Elsewhere, Newport’s Phil Love has won the Shropshire Minor Individual title with a round to spare. Love, who was the tournament’s top seed, has won five and drawn one of his six games to hold a one-point lead over clubmate Dave Lovegrove and Maddocks’ Ian Jamieson. But he cannot be caught on tie-break, which rewards players picking up more points in earlier rounds.

Love secured the title with victory with the black pieces over Telepost’s Dennis Bonner in round six, and will be white against another Telepost player in Nick Holmes in the final round. This year’s tournament has been played online and is for players rated below 1640 ECF, which includes players largely playing in division three and the lower boards in division two.

*Junior players are being urged to enter the 2022 Shropshire Megafinal of the UK Chess Challenge at Charlton School in Wellington. It will be held on June 25, entries are open until the day before and the cost is £25 per player. For more details or to enter online visit www.delanceyukschoolschesschallenge.com/product/2022-shropshire-megafinal 


Division one:
Newport A 3-2 Oswestry – N Rutter 1-0 R van Kemenade, C Lewis 0.5-0.5 C Lowick Higgie, S Ross 0-1 R Bryant, D Hilditch-Love 1-0 A Bailey, T Holmes 0.5-0.5 G Slegg
Shrewsbury 1-4 Newport A – P Kitchen 0-1 N Rutter, F Best 1-0 C Lewis, M Smith 0-1 S Ross, R Vernon 0-1 D Hilditch-Love, W Apted 0-1 P Love.

Division two:
Telepost B 2.5-2.5 Telford A – K Walker 1-0 R Parry, S Kempsell 0.5-0.5 T Neal, G Shepherd 0.5-0.5 J Footner, V Crean 0.5-0.5 R Szwajkun, J Holyhead 0-1 R Thompson
Maddocks B 2.5-2.5 Telepost C – S Maydew 0-1 T Brotherton, T Preece 1-0 J Holyhead, G White 0-1 F Bench, S Tarr 1-0 N Holmes, M Morrison 0.5-0.5 D Bonner

Division three:
Telepost E 4-0 Newport C (match defaulted)

Online division two:
Telepost B 2-1 Telepost D
Telford 1-2 Newport A
Shrewsbury C 1-2 Newport Juniors
Shrewsbury B 3-0 Oswestry C