Staffordshire Spitfires in the Junior 4 NCL

Staffordshire Spitfires finished with a 4-4 draw in their final match in the Junior 4NCLl, finishing in an expected 2nd place in their group of 8. An excellent effort from all those involved; Joe Hirst, Dylan Cooper, Aarav Sohi, Isaac Stanley, Sehej Sohi and Devansh Boddu.

Another Staffordshire Junior county online match against ShePLaysToWin (girls team), Suffolk and Sussex has taken place. Staffs lost in the first round to Sussex in a match that was closer than the 13-7 score suggested, and followed by beating  Suffolk 13.5-6.5. Top performers from Staffordshire were Joe Hirst and Sehej Sohi both with 2/2.


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.