Shrewsbury A became the first team to beat reigning champions Maddocks A in a home Shropshire Chess League fixture for four-and-a-half years, returning back down the A5 with the points after a stunning 4-1 triumph. Victories for Francis Best, Olusegun Ilesanmi and Dan Lockett saw the visitors spectacularly upset the form book, ending the night without suffering a defeat on any of the boards after the remaining boards ended as draws.
It was a night to remember for Shrewsbury, as Ilesanmi returned to the side after a couple of years away from the game while Best’s win against William Bates on board one was perhaps a fitting sign off in what could have been his last game for the club before moving away from the area. The result ended a proud record for Maddocks A, who have won the division one title for the past two seasons, losing just once. They had not lost at home over-the-board since a 3-2 loss against Newport A in May 2019 – intriguingly Shrewsbury A also won by the same score at Maddocks earlier that season. Maddocks did lose a couple of “home” fixtures during the 2020/21 season, but these games were played online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shrewsbury’s joy proved short-lived however – they were forced to default their next fixture away to Oswestry A as they were unable to raise a team. Telepost A and Newport A lead the way in division one, with both having two wins from two matches so far, while Maddocks A have since got off the mark thanks to a 4-1 win at Telepost C.
In division two, the relegated sides Maddocks B and Telepost B have hit the ground running, both winning their opening two fixtures to rise to the top of the early table.
Meanwhile, in division three Maddocks C have got off to a flyer by winning their opening three matches to storm to the top of the table. The two returning teams Church Stretton A and Shrewsbury B are their closest challengers, while Newport C are fourth with two wins from their opening three games.
The three junior teams have been competitive – Newport Junior picked up their first win by defeating Telepost F, both Newport Junior and Telepost Junior have picked up draws against unbeaten Church Stretton A, while Telford Junior were edged out in a close match against Shrewsbury B.
Telepost A’s flying start to the season has also extended to Shropshire Rapidplay Chess League – they top the early division one table after three wins from three on the opening night of fixtures at Maddocks Social Club. Their intimidating top board pairing of Nigel Ferrington and Nathanael Paul both won all three games as Maddocks A, Telepost B and Maddocks B were swept aside. Maddocks A also suffered a shock 3.5-0.5 drubbing at the hands of the club’s B team.
In the online league, Shrewsbury B and Oswestry C have won their opening fixtures in division two.
Elsewhere, a six-player playoff will be held to decide this year’s Shrewsbury Town Championship. The six players – Nigel Ferrington, Trevor Brotherton, Dan Lockett, Shane Greenwood, Alex Brims and John Casewell – all scored 4/5. The winners from the first playoff round will go into the next round, and the playoffs will continue until a winner is found. Ferrington – one of the tournament favourites – has already defeated Greenwood in the playoff first round. Brims will have white against second seed Brotherton, while Lockett will play Casewell.
Newport A 5-0 Telepost C – N Rutter 1-0 D Love, C Lewis 1-0 K Walker, I Jamieson 1-0 J Holyhead, J Greenwood 1-0 N Holmes, P Love 1-0 D Bonner
Maddocks A 1-4 Shrewsbury A – W Bates 0-1 F Best, A Grillage 0.5-0.5 P Kitchen, G Pugh 0-1 O Ilesanmi, T Preece 0-1 D Lockett, M Morrison 0.5-0.5 S Priestley
Oswestry A 5-0 Shrewsbury A – match defaulted
Telepost C 1-4 Maddocks A – D Love 0-1 A Grillage, R Nield 1-0 G Pugh, K Walker 0-1 W Bates, J Holyhead 0-1 T Preece, N Holmes 0-1 G White
Newport B 2-3 Telepost B – D Griffiths 0-1 F Bench, K Thimmegowda 1-0 S Kempsell, P Love 0.5-0.5 J Westhead, C Poole 0.5-0.5 A Flavell, C Parker 0-1 S Wilson
Telford B 1.5-3.5 Maddocks B – R Szwajkun 0-1 S Tarr, R Thompson 0.5-0.5 S Maydew, S Tennant 0-1 G White, R Barton 0.5-0.5 M Morrison, T Skidmore 0.5-0.5 M Billington
Newport C 3-1 Telepost Junior – A Jones 0-1 R Bedford, D Lovegrove 1-0 M Curtis, M Price 1-0 R France, P Broderick 1-0 E Sharp
Telepost F 0.5-3.5 Shrewsbury B – P Billington 0-1 T Akinruli, N Holmes 0.5-0.5 I Davies, G Wood 0-1 I Salter, P Sharp 0-1 R Vernon
Church Stretton A 2-2 Newport Junior – J Lear 1-0 K Thimmegowda, C Lear 1-0 B Zelawski, T Wilson 0-1 J Jom, P Barratt 0-1 E Bowler
Maddocks C 3-1 Telepost D – G Viszokai 0-1 C Bethune, K Verma 1-0 S Sweeney, A Brannen 1-0 J Casewell, D Gostelow 1-0 M Ayres
Telepost Junior 1.5-2.5 Maddocks C – R Bedford 0.5-0.5 I Jamieson, M Curts 0-1 G Viszokai, N Sharp 0-1 K Verma, H Bedford 1-0 H Hrubis
Newport C 1-3 Church Stretton A – D Lovegrove 0-1 J Lear, M Price 0-1 C Lear, P Broderick 0-1 T Wilson, M Layton 1-0 P Barratt
Newport Junior 2.5-1.5 Telepost F – K Thimmegowda 0-1 F Bench, B Zelawski 1-0 J Bashall, J Jom 0.5-0.5 P Billington, J Woolley 1-0 P Sharp
Telford Junior 1.5-2.5 Shrewsbury B – T Skidmore 0.5-0.5 T Akinruli, H Heys 0-1 I Salter, J Cotterill 0-1 R Vernon, J Haycock 1-0 default
Church Stretton A 2-2 Telepost Junior – J Lear 1-0 R Bedford, C Lear 1-0 M Curtis, T Wilson 0-1 N Sharp, P Barratt 0-1 E Sharp
Rapidplay division one:
Telepost A 3-1 Maddocks A – N Ferrington 1-0 A Grillage, N Paul 1-0 W Bates, P Zabrocki 0-1 T Preece, D Hodge 1-0 G Pugh
Maddocks B 1.5-2.5 Telepost B – S Tarr 0-1 M Clark, M Morrison 0.5-0.5 F Bench, G White 1-0 K Walker, S Maydew 0-1 A Flavell
Maddocks A 0.5-3.5 Maddocks B – A Grillage 0-1 S Tarr, W Bates 0.5-0.5 M Morrison, T Preece 0-1 G White, G Pugh 0-1 S Maydew
Telepost B 0-4 Telepost A – M Clark 0-1 N Ferrington, F Bench 0-1 N Paul, K Walker 0-1 P Zabrocki, A Flavell 0-1 D Hodge
Telepost B 1-3 Maddocks A – M Clark 0-1 A Grillage, F Bench 0-1 W Bates, K Walker 1-0 T Preece, A Flavell 0-1 G Pugh
Telepost A 3.5-0.5 Maddocks B – N Ferrington 1-0 S Tarr, N Paul 1-0 M Morrison, P Zabrocki 1-0 G White, D Hodge 0.5-0.5 S Maydew
Online division two:
Shrewsbury B 2-1 Newport A – M Smith 1-0 A Jones, I Salter 1-0 D Lovegrove, R Vernon 0-1 M Price
Shrewsbury C 1-2 Oswestry C – N O’Connor 1-0 S Tulett, T Purser 0-1 M Atherton, R Vernon 0-1 A Evans