Shifting the borders

Oswestry have put down a marker for the new Shropshire chess league season by inflicting a rare defeat over reigning champions Newport A.

The new online format has particular advantages for the border town club as, with most of the county teams being in the Shrewsbury and Telford areas, it makes irrelevant any issues involved with travelling to distant venues. The upshot is that it has in effect expanded the pool of players Oswestry can field. In fact a number of sides in this season’s league have unfamiliar line-ups thanks to this factor, that players do not need to live near club venues in order to play for that club.

Internet games are being played on the Lichess online platform, and the publication of players’ Lichess usernames on the Shropshire chess website ( means that spectators from across the county – and indeed across the world – can input the names to watch games live as they are played. And in another twist, there is a “spectator room” on which people watching can discuss the action.

Shropshire Chess Association’s annual meeting, which is held in the summer in normal circumstances, is being held on Zoom on Thursday December 10 at 7.30pm with normal reports and so on, and it will be an early chance too to get some feedback on how things are going in this most unusual of new chess seasons.

Division OneShrewsbury A 0.5, Telepost A 3.5: H Birch 0, N Paul 1; T Eales 0, P Zabrocki 1; F Best 0, R Archer 1; P Kitchen 0.5, M Clark 0.5.
Oswestry A 3, Newport A 1: M Altinsoy 0.5, C Portman 0.5; T McMahon 0.5, N Clarke 0.5; C Lowick Higgie 1, C Lewis 0; L Cox 1, D Hilditch-Love 0.
Division ThreeOswestry C 2.5, Newport C 0.5: K Grice 1, D Lovegrove 0; J Smith 1, M Price 0; A Evans 0.5, M Moore 0.5.
Shrewsbury C 2.5, Shrewsbury D 0.5: D Lockett 0.5, N O’Connor 0.5; S Priestley 1, J Birch 0; J Wilkinson 1, A Purser 0.