Latest County News

Staffordshire v Wales Junior Online Chess Match

This match took place on Thursday 11th February 2021 at 6pm over 18 boards playing 2 games each of 15+10. The purpose of the match was to give more serious competitive games for our young players from which to learn and show off their skills. A match against Wales was always going to be tough but it did the trick bringing out players for the Staffs’ Junior team that previously we had no contact with.

With thanks to Ray Dolan for linking up so many players to myself and Mehdi Jaberansari who so easily(?) conjured up a team that wasn’t too strong on paper for our players. To have 18 boards playing for Staffordshire is a huge success and I will be running more events like this.

Staffordshire 11 – 25 Wales

Let’s take a look at the match 6 boards at a time and see how Wales convincingly took victory.

Boards 1 – 6

I thought on paper that this matchup was very equal and where our England international players were placed, yet Wales ran out 7.5 – 4.5 winners. Joe H and Dylan are usual consistent points scorers for us and on this occasion, with good play from their opponents and slices of fortune didn’t muster a single point. Sam got 2 points, winning a piece early in the first and was in severe time trouble in the 2nd, after launching a fearsome attack (when his opponent had 10 minutes)– some excellent blitz skills on show to get the win! Joe C-L forced the issue in both his games and was gifted a piece which he converted and Cameron will be disappointed he didn’t win his first but made up for it with a king hunt in the 2nd. Shriya’s games were quick but not necessarily outclassed at this level, a tad more experience and she will put points on the board. 

Boards 7-12

Apparently rating matters, who knew? In this part Wales’ strength in depth told as Staffs’ players were mostly very young or not playing quite as much as our Welsh counterparts. That being said it was a great opportunity to show that the 200 point rating difference can be closed as some of these games suggested. Amrissa’s first game was solid and a well held endgame but couldn’t repeat in the 2nd. Isaac had chances in both games, the exciting first he was a piece up but couldn’t defend against a monstrous attack from Daniel, It’s easy to go wrong when you’re defending. Aarav came very close in his 2nd game, claiming a piece but couldn’t convert and allowed his opponent back in. Their first encounter involved an exciting queen for rook + bishop exchange sac but Aarav’s king position was too weak. Krishan never got going neglecting development in his first which I’m sure he will learn from. John slowly outpointed his opponent in the first and went crazy in the 2nd, playing a messy variation of Bc5 and Bxf2 which were blitzed out which must have scared his opponent however it wasn’t enough to score a second point. Shivam’s lack of development in his first game was being punished before scoring a fortunate win – you have to give yourself a chance!, that won’t happen often and he must slow down when playing this time control. No such luck in his second game where he needlessly lost his queen.

Wales won this section 9.5 – 2.5.

Boards 13-18

Another set of boards going to Wales 8 – 4.

Jude might have lost both but he didn’t do himself any discredit as he was playing a very good player, it’s not often in these junior matches to see someone win a pawn or two and convert the advantage. Romairo had 2 great games against Emma, winning the first with a neat discovered attack and the 2nd was drawish right till the end and was a war of attrition - some excellent skills on show in the endgame and 1 last mistake levelled this mini match. Amraya’s matches started at 6.30 and seemed to finish quickly after, following on from her aggressive play in the county matches previously she took everything on offer and deservedly got 2 wins. Sehej didn’t recapture a piece in the first perhaps moving too quickly and in the 2nd learned the hard way of why bringing out your queen might give you winning chances but can also put you in a lot of bother, it got chased around and too much material was lost – a tough but necessary lesson learned here. Vamika had a marathon first game and must have been tired after eventually converting it to a win, patience and good time management were clearly on show. Her 2nd game was tactical early and her opponent levelled the score. Zayan a late addition to the team, lacked development for his first and with his king exposed went down, his second was a much better effort and credit to his opponent exf7+ was a nice intermezzo and showed Zayan was clearly against a good player.

All in all a lot of experience gained so long as our players learn from their mistakes. Some will replay through the games, some won’t – the analysis feature on lichess is easy to use which will tell you about individual moves. Some themes are still to be improved though, taking your time, developing your pieces being some easy areas to improve for some. I will take these results and judging from the games swap around board orders so if some players felt they were against too high rated opposition, next time they will be lower down….meaning others will have to move up!

Players of the match: Sam and Amraya - each getting 2 wins showing it can be done.

Game of the match: Cameron Rehman’s 2nd ‘The king hunt’ You can find the link to the game here:

Big thank you to all the players putting themselves on the line!




The County U120 team suffered another defeat this afternoon, going down by 9.5 - 2.5 against Leicestershire in their second MCCU Championship match. Click here for the match score card.


The County U120 team were beaten 8 - 4 by Derbyshire in their opening MCCU Championship match this afternoon. Click here for the match score card.


The County U100 team suffered a heavy 9.5 - 2.5 defeat against Warwickshire in their second match in this season's MCCU Championship. Click here for the match score card.


The County U100 team were beaten 7-5 by Leicestershire in their opening match of the season. Click here for the match score card.


Staffordshire County Congress

The Staffordshire Congress took place at St Edwards Academy in Leek this weekend. You can follow these links to view the results :

Staffordshire Club Of The Year

Ray Dolan presented the Staffordshire Club Of The Year Award to Rugeley on Tuesday evening. Pictured below is Patrick Waller, the Rugeley Chairman, receiving the award from Ray.

MCCU Congress

Keith Arkell won the Open Section of the MCCU Congress with a score of 4.5/5.
Graham Ashcroft of Preston won the Major Section with a score of 4.5/5.
Chris Fraser of West Bridgford won the Minor Section with a perfect 5/5.
Click on the links to view the full scores.


The Minutes of the 2017 AGM have now ben published and can be viewed here.


The County finances have been boosted by almost £220 to date by people either becoming a Friend Of Staffordshire Chess or by a donation via our Just Giving crowd funding page.


Ray Dolan was elected as the new County General Secretary and Correspondence Secretary at last night's AGM, succeeding Andrew Davies. Full detail of the AGM will appear when the Minutes are published later this week.


The NSDCA will be one of the first chess organisations in the country to use the new ECF League Management System. It would appear that, currently, the Birmingham & District Chess League are the only ones using it in earnest. However, the NSDCA have begun setting it up and are already using it to administer the South Cheshire Shield, and will be ready to use it for all of their Leagues and Cups by the end of August.


The MCCU Congress  is being held in West Bromwich over the weekend of 11th/13th August. Please click here for further details and an entry form.


Lawrence Cooper won the 3rd South Potteries Rapidplay Championship today, beating Jacob Boswell of Cheddleton in an Armageddon game after they had tied on 5/6.


It was a full house at Stafford Chess Club last night as all 4 Finals were played simultaneously for the first time in several years. The clubs from the South of the County dominated proceedings, winning all 4 matches. Stafford beat Cheddleton by 3.5-2.5 in the Hickman Cup, Fenton were whitewashed 5-0 by Sutton Coldfield in the Gothard Cup, Lichfield beat Newcastle by 3-2 in the Jackson Cup and Walsall Kipping beat Meir by 3-2 in the Withnall Trophy. You can click here to view all of the match score cards. It was a very successful evening and I now hope that we are going to see a resurgence of these competitions. Next season will see a change, with the Cups reverting to a knock-out format, with all teams in the Wolverhampton League, Cannock League and the NSDCA eligible to enter - not just the ones within the County boundaries.

A special vote of thanks goes to Matt Carr, who did his usual ultra efficient job of arbiting the matches.


Many congratulations to Bill Armstrong of Cheddleton on winning the British Visually Impaired Championship this week for the 3rd time in succession, and 4th time in total.


Following a County Meeting on Tuesday evening I have been asked to take over the running of the County website. This is a newly designed site and will contain, primarily, information to enable you to get news from around the County via the websites of the individual leagues, find a club, contact an Officer of the Association, etc., etc. It will also contain County specific news - eg : County match results, County Congress information and results, Notices and Minutes of Meetings, etc., etc. The old website will continue to be available for archive information. Can I take this opportunity to thank Andrew Davies for the work he has put in over the years on the old website.


The County AGM will be held at Stafford Chess Club on Tuesday 18th July at 7:30.

Captains are needed for the County U160 and Correspondence Teams. If anybody is willing to take on either of these roles can they please contact Andrew Davies, the General Secretary, or Robert Milner, the County President.

The County Congress will be held at St Edward's Academy in Leek over the weekend of 16th/17th September. Please click here for further details and an entry form.


Many congratulations to Newcastle on winning the ECF Intermediate Club Championship this weekend. 3 wins and a draw from their 4 matches saw them take the  title by a margin of 2 points. The Newcastle team consisted of Alex Richardson (W3 D1 L0), Martyn Harris (W2 D0 L2), Alberto Gissi (W2 D1 L1) and Nic Wright (W2 D2 L0). Click here to view the final table


The January Grading List has now been published.


The County U120 team were beaten 8.5 - 3.5 by Warwickshire yesterday afternoon, leaving them bottom of the Midland Counties Championship table with two defeats from their opening two matches. Click here for the match score card.


The County U100 team suffered a crushing 11.5 - 0.5 defeat at the hands of Leicestershire this afternoon, leaving them rooted at the bottom of the Midland Counties Championship table. Once again, we were unable to field a full team. A late withdrawal due to illness left us with only 11 players and insufficient time to find a replacement. This is the heaviest defeat that I can recall for a Staffordshire County team. Our single half point came from Joe Alcock of Cheddleton on board 2. Click here for the full match score card.


Alex Richardson of Newcastle-Under-Lyme Chess Club was the highest placed Staffordshire player in the Open Section at this weekend's Shropshire Congress, finishing joint 4th in a very strong field of IM's and GM's. His performance has qualified him to play in this year's British Championship in Llandudno so many congratulations to him.