Junior News and Opportunities to play

 The Staffordshire Spitfires won 6-2 in their latest Junior 4NCL Match. Jonathon has arranged the following matches for Juniors, any parent or coach who wishes their child to play should contact him.

Sunday Feb 28th at 10am and 11am, A four team match against Suffolk, Sussex and ShePlaysToWin(girls team)

Saturday 6th March , Staffordshire versus ShePlaysToWin

These will be longer format games at 25 minutes + 5 second increment

Jonathon and Thivyaa Rahulan have been interviewed on BBC Radio Stoke’s sport program. Their interview is about 35 minutes into the program.

Arthur Shrimpton and John Button RIP

The deaths have been announced of Wolverhampton League and Staffordshire chess stalwarts, Arthur Shrimpton and John Button.

Arthur played for Walsall Kipping and a fuller tribute from his Walsall teammates may be seen on the WDCL Website.

John Button’s death has been announced on the Facebook page of Bushbury Chess Club. John had a varied career. He first played at Wolverhampton Chess Club and he left them to start another Wolverhampton based club, the short lived Newhampton. After that he played for Bushbury when he was able to do so. He represented Staffordshire in the MCCU Championships, although his appearances were limited due to domestic responsibilities.

Both men were true gentlemen and a pleasure to play whatever the result.

Staffordshire Juniors versus Wales

 Jonathon Blackburn reports that on 11th February 2021, the County Junior Team team lost by 11 boards to 25 against a strong Welsh Junior Team. Although this appears a heavy defeat there were many good and promising performances.  A full description of the games may be found here.

Another match has been arranged against  an ECF female team run by Lorin D'Costa - Official Date: Saturday 6th March 10am start, 2 games of 25 minutes with a 5 second increment on Lichess

Parents who wish for their child to play should contact Jonathon

Junior 4NCL report and an opportunity to represent Staffordshire against Wales

 Jonathon Blackburn has arranged a junior match, Staffordshire versus Wales, on Thursday 11th February, starting a 6pm.  If any Junior wishes to play then their parents or coach should contact Jonathon.

The Junior 4NCL team, Staffs Spitfires lost a close match to the Maid Marions. Dylan Cooper (Newcastle under Lyme) won both his games by default and on board one his Newcastle team-mate Joe Hist gained two fighting draws. The lower boards were more difficult for Isaac Stanley and Aarav Sohi, who lost their matches to stronger opponents despite making promising starts.


Spitfires take off with a win

The Staffordshire Junior team in the Junior 4NCL have been entered under the name Staffordshire Spitfires. Their first game was a 6-2 win again against Bristol Bishops in Division 2. It is hoped that the team do well enough in their remaining six games to gain promotion to the top division.

Good luck to the team of Joe Hirst, Dylan Cooper, Aarav Sohi, Isaac Stanley and Sehej Sohi.

Coach Jonathon Blackburn requests that any Staffordshire qualified junior who wishes to play contacts him via their parents.



Frank Wood 1942-2020 RIP

Frank Wood, the Chairman of Wolverhampton Chess Club and a tireless worker for the Wolverhampton League passed away after a short illness on December 28th 2020. Frank was a true gentleman and his courtesy and friendliness made a visit to Wolverhampton  Chess Club a pleasant experience whatever the result on the board. His friends from his club have written a moving obituary which may be seen here.

Andrew Davies 1960-2020 RIP

 Sadly I have to announce to you all the passing of one of Staffordshire Chess’s most loyal stalwarts – Andrew Davies. 

Andrew P. Davies was born in March 1960 at New Cross Hospital, which was one of the two main hospitals in Wolverhampton at the time.  He was the youngest of a family of six.  For many years he suffered with his health and with physical problems and pain related to the debilitating disease HSP from which he suffered. His determination and considerable intelligence made him able to live what most people would call a successful life where he could indulge his love of chess and his enthusiasm for mathematics.

I also discovered a few years ago that he had a fascination with the history of the different waves of invasion of these islands by various British tribes in the last millennium before the Christian era.  He lived in the somewhat forlorn hope of one day linking his own family history to some of these events.

His first venture into chess organisation was in 1995 when he became the secretary of Brewood Chess club.  In more recent years, he branched out into other areas of chess, qualifying as a junior coach and as an arbiter.  In both of these spheres he became very active, coaching many junior players in clubs in the southern part of the county and later became the manager of coaches for the ECF.  He was also the webmaster for Junior chess organisations – both for the Staffordshire Junior Chess Association and for EPSCA – as well as being the Director of Junior Chess for the MCCU. 

For several years, he also served as the General Secretary of the Staffordshire Chess Association.

Andrew’s life was troubled but he always seemed pleasant and agreeable. He had one self-confessed addiction – he loved to have a mug of Earl Grey tea and an almond crescent and no day began well for him without them!

We are very sad to have lost a personal friend and a major force in Staffordshire Chess.

Robert Milner, President of the Staffordshire Chess Association.

Traci Whitfield, Secretary for Junior Chess.

The tributes from Brewood Chess Club for their friend are very moving and may be seen here.

From Peter Evans, County Captain Staffordshire Under 120 Team. Andrew was a great help to me in my tenure. He was the one player I could ring on the evening prior to a match to fill a vacancy and he would always play unless he was fulfilling another chess commitment.  RIP