Tournament News

The Kidlington Chess Congress was due to be played online over the the usual Kidlington weekend (the first full weekend in February), however for a variety of reasons, it will not now be possible to hold this event on that particular weekend. We hope this will be merely a brief postponement of a few weeks and are currently considering dates towards the end of February.

Looks like we will have to wait until 2023 to see Exeter Hall in Kidlington this busy again!
Further news will be posted here and on the Kidlington Tournament website as soon as arrangements can be made.

The 2023 tournament has been booked out the usual venue, Exeter Hall. As ever, the event is scheduled for the first full weekend in February, so we look forward to welcoming returning and first-time players for our next annual over-the-board tournament on Saturday and Sunday 4 & 5 February 2023.

In some good news, The Swindon 2022 Rapidplay Chess Tournament will take place in Swindon on Saturday the 5th March 2022. This new (as far as I am aware), Rapid play will be over the board and I am sure some local players might want to make the relatively short trip down the A420, more information can be found here.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Club is now closed for the Christmas period. It has on the whole been an exciting time since reopening in September. Cumnor 1 currently sit in second place in the first division while Cumnor 2 sit forth in the 3rd division.

The Club will be closed on the 23rd and the 30th of December and will reopen again on Thursday the 6th (unless we get told otherwise). But the club will be open for a Lichess Cumnor Clash on both Thursdays, kick off at 7 to remember the good old days of last winter(?!). The Cowley Blitz will also be online again this year, for more information follow this link.

Hopefully I will see some of you online at either Cumnor Clash or at the Cowley Blitz but if I don’t Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

“Merry Christmas
May your every New Year dreams (of mating with a Bishop and Knight) come true!”

FIDE Chess World Championship 2021- Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi

The first match of the FIDE Chess World Championship kicks off today (26/11) in Dubai, between reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. It will run from until the 16th December.

Magnus Carlsen – is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the current World Chess Champion, World Rapid Chess Champion, and World Blitz Chess Champion. Carlsen first reached the top of the FIDE world rankings in 2010, and trails only Garry Kasparov in time spent as the highest rated player in the world. His peak classical rating of 2882 is the highest in history.

A chess prodigy, Carlsen earned the title of grandmaster at 13. He surpassed a rating of 2800 at age 18 years and 336 days becoming the youngest at the time to do so. At the age of 19, he reached number one in the FIDE world rankings, becoming the youngest person ever to achieve the feat.

Carlsen in 2013
Carlsen became World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand and since then won 3 times in a row to hold the title.

Ian Nepomniachtchi is a Russian chess grandmaster and one of the few players in the world to hold a positive score against Carlsen (+4 -1).

In December 2019, Nepomniachtchi qualified for the Candidates Tournament 2020–21 by finishing second in the FIDE Grand Prix 2019. He won the 2021 FIDE Candidates tournament with a round to spare to take the place as challenger to Carlsen. The Candidates Tournament took place in Russia in March 2020 and was famous for being one of the last sporting events to be played before the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdowns. It was eventually paused on the 25th March 2020 (a good few days after everything else had been cancelled) before starting again on April 2021.

The match will be held November 26-December 16, 2021, match times are 12:30 pm UK time and will be streamed/shown/analysed the world over.

Sources
https://www.chess.com/article/view/world-chess-championship-2021

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_2021

County Matches

Steve Rumsby is looking for players in the county matches.
Oxfordshire is in a little league with Buck, Berks and Hants and there
are 6 matches a year which are held on Saturday afternoons, details of
the first match below. Genuinely all standards catered for, and it’s a
nice leisurely 2hrs for all your moves.

The first County match is on the 13th November away to Bucks.

The Bucks venue is
Prestwood Village Hall, 1 Wycombe Road, Prestwood, Great Missenden,
Bucks. HP16 0NZ

The start time is 2.00.

If you are available and would like to play can you please let me
know. I am hopeful of fielding a team of 20 across the whole ability
range.

I will send out a list of all the match dates shortly.

If anyone would like a chance to play for the Oxfordshire Team drop Stephen Rumsby an email.

stephen.rumsby@maidford.plus.com

Busy Nights at the Club Coming Up

The over the board Chess season is now up and running. For the next two weeks, 21st and 28th October, both teams will be playing League Matches. The Club will be open for social Chess but there numbers will be down as 12 players will be involved in the matches two weeks running.

Cumnor One will be playing against Oxford University 1 on the 21st and Witney 1 on the 28th, both matches will be at home. Cumnor One currently sit top of division one with two wins from two but these two matches will provide some tough games for the first team. Oxford University 1 will be playing their first match of the season as the University teams as they need fit their matches around the academic year.

Cumnor Two will be playing their first matches of the season after two false starts. They will be playing Cowley 3 on the the 21st and then Oxford University 3 on the 28th both of the matches will be away from home. Originally Cumnor two’s season should have started against Abingdon School on the 4th October but it was postponed due to Abingdon’s Michaelmas fair. Then the Oxford University 3 fixture was also rearranged after they had some issues with the fixture pile up.

Match report: Cumnor 1 v. Didcot 1

So last night chess returned to Cumnor Old School for the first time in over 18 months!

It was so nice to welcome Didcot 1 for one of the opening matches of the 21-22 season, and just great both to see so many familiar faces after all this time and to welcome a new one or two into the fold. COVID of course meant we had to be careful about a few things like keeping socially distanced where possible and having the Old School’s windows open in late September, but all in all it didn’t intrude too much into an enjoyable evening.

As for the games Stuart was first to finish. He dropped a pawn to Andy early in the opening, only for Andy to return the compliment with interest, losing a knight to a queen fork. It was over soon after that once Stuart activated his pieces, 1-0 Cumnor.

I (Ian) was next. I had a bit of an advantage out of the opening – more space; a bit of an initiative; a little bit of pressure down the d file; more active pieces. Basically while I had no game winning threats white’s position was easier to play than black’s. Florian worked hard to activate his pieces, but as is typical in such position he got a bit too optimistic, which lead to dropping a knight, and soon after the game. 2-0 Cumnor.

Eldar was playing a fascinating game on board 1 against Nick Gough, a heavyweight clash indeed! Eldar on the black side of an Advance French had grabbed white’s pawn on d4 with his queen, so while a pawn up his queen had very few squares and it would have been so easy to let it get trapped. One position I remember distinctly. On first glance Be3 won the queen, but on looking harder back rank threats saved it – all very complicated! Anyway Eldar navigated all the problems, and as is his way won with the extra pawn. In fact Eldar has previous here, winning a very high quality game in the same line against Dave Hackett in 17-18 4NCL, see below for the game.

So Cumnor were 3-0 up, and couldn’t lose. but the other 3 boards were far from foregone conclusions. Simon’s game on board 5 against Gary Reynolds was interesting. Gary as white had mangled his pawn structure with doubled, isolated h pawns to gain pressure down the open g file against a backward pawn on g7. On going through some of the game afterwards Simon and I demonstrated our different chess philosophies, I very much liked White because of the pressure, Simon preferred black because of the long term structural advantage. As is often the semi-conducting monster told us the truth was somewhere in between … Let’s say dynamic equality. After various excursions Simon lost in the endgame – I suspect as much because he was much lower on time as anything else. 3-1 to Cumnor.

I didn’t see the end of the other two games as I was going through Simon’s with him. On board 6 I thought Mark looked good early on, but his opponent managed to unravel his position and established a strong knight on e5 which Mark couldn’t kick away with a pawn. It went down to a Q+B endgame, which Tony won – 3-2 to Cumnor.

So it came down to board 3. The last time I saw Nigel’s game he was 2 pawns down in a N+P endgame. But, as is his way, he managed to swindle a win. Nigel, how do you keep doing this? A few lessons would be much appreciated. 4-2 to Cumnor!

So a tough and exciting match – I think we just deserved to win it, but then again I’m biased. And with Cowley drawing at Banbury it leaves us top of the table!

Three Month Membership to the Club for Free!

“Cruel as it may sound’ but the COVID-19 lockdown was a boom for chess”

said five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand at the end of last year. We at Cumnor Chess Club would have to agree with him.

Its been a funny old 18 months or so but Chess has handled it pretty well.

Not just the lockdown, Netflix’s hit The Queen’s Gambit, has been a driving force behind at least some of it.

With an audience of 62 million in its first 28 days it did reawaken many peoples love of the game along with bringing new people to the game.

Chess has never been more popular.

Chessboard sales jumped 87% in the US after the show’s release. Lichess announced this week that 4 billion games have been played on the platform and Chess.com had 2.7 million new accounts setup last November, the month of the Queens Gambit release.

The club opened it’s doors at the beginning of September and it has been great meeting people and playing over the board again. We would like to give everyone a chance to come and enjoy our favourite game. So the Club will be free to all old and new members until January 2022! That gives any you 12 weeks of over the board matches, friendly and competitive games and even a chance to play in the league for free!

We are in a very fortunate position that this has happened and hope the offer gets taken up.

Cumnor One will play the first league match this coming Thursday the 30th September against Didcot 1. In fact this will kick off the season along with the Banbury 1 v Cowley 1 match, the first set of league matches since early March 2020.

More information can be found on our New Members page.

Fixtures are out

Please spread the news far and wide: The fixtures for 2021-22 have been released!

Cumnor 1 will be playing in the first division with 6 other teams: Didcot 1, City 1, Oxford Univ 1, Witney 1, Banbury 1 and Cowley 1. This should provide some tough games but with Covid we will have to wait to see the strength of some of these teams.

Thu 30-Sep-21 Cumnor 1 v Didcot 1
Thu 07-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v City 1
Thu 21-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v Oxford Univ 1
Thu 28-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v Witney 1
Thu 18-Nov-21 Banbury 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 25-Nov-21 Cumnor 1 v Cowley 1
Mon 24-Jan-22 Didcot 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 10-Feb-22 Cowley 1 v Cumnor 1
Mon 21-Mar-22 City 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 31-Mar-22 Cumnor 1 v Banbury 1
Mon 11-Apr-22 Witney 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 28-Apr-22 Oxford Univ 1 v Cumnor 1

Cumnor 2 will be playing in the third division (so I guess we should celebrate a promotion at some point) with 6 other teams: Abingdon 1, Oxford Univ 3, Cowley 3, Wantage 2, City 3 and Witney 3.

Mon 04-Oct-21 Abingdon 1 v Cumnor 2
Thu 14-Oct-21 University 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 21-Oct-21 Cowley 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 04-Nov-21 Cumnor 2 v Wantage 2
Mon 22-Nov-21 City 3 v Cumnor 2
Mon 06-Dec-21 Witney 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 03-Feb-22 Cumnor 2 v Cowley 3
Thu 17-Feb-22 Cumnor 2 v City 3
Tue 22-Feb-22 Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2
Thu 03-Mar-22 Cumnor 2 v University 3
Thu 17-Mar-22 Cumnor 2 v Abingdon 1
Thu 21-Apr-22 Cumnor 2 v Witney 3

I am looking for our first competitive over the board game in over 18 months! If you would like to get involved in the best Chess Club in the whole wide world check out our New Members page, (the “best Chess Club in the whole wide world” claim was taken by a small sample of Cumnor players who were asked the question).

Cumnor 1 Captaincy

A Message from Steve

“The King is dead, long live the King.
Well, not literally, thankfully.

Liam has handed in his Cumnor 1 captaincy.

It was around 2002 when this quiet, very keen chess playing lad aged 12, joined the club. He was a pleasure to teach and to play against. Over the years his game grew stronger and stronger, and it wasn’t too long before he started to make me think, rather than I making him think. Liam, has been a steadfast part of our club for many many years.

By 2009 we had enough players to introduce a second team. I needed someone to Captain the new team. With Cunmor 1 in division 3, Cunmor 2 started in division 4. Liam, aged 19 took on the job of Cumnor 2 captain but by the 2011-12 season it was apparent that Liam had over taken me in rating points and became First Team captain.

One of the many trophies won by Liam over the years.
Within ten years of hard slog he managed to get Cumnor 1 to win Division 2 in the 2018/19 season, promoting Cunmor 1 to Division 1 and winning the Frank Woods Shield too. An epic event for such a tiny club.

Well done Liam. Brilliant work.

The C1 captaincy baton has now been passed onto our extremely capable and very efficient Ian Bush.
Many thanks Ian for excepting the position. The club is most grateful.

The second revised league fixtures are now posted on the OCA web site.

The fixtures may alter a little with a third revision before the season starts at the end of September, but not by much I’m sure.
C1 matches are currently set to start at home, Thursday 30/09.
C2 matches are currently set to start at home , Thursday 21/10

By the way, we had three new members show up at the club last Thursday.

Hope to see more of you over the coming weeks.”

A Message from Liam
“Thank you Steve, its been a pleasure. I still plan to be a semi-regular player for the team.”

Witney Online Rapidplay 2021

I’m pleased to say that we’re running the Witney Online Rapidplay again this year. Details below:

Date: Sunday 19 September.

Sections: Open, Junior Major, Junior Minor.

Entry fee: £5.00 for ECF members/supporters.

Trophies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, best performance prize in each section.

No of rounds: Six.

Round times: 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 5:30 pm.

Time controls: 20 mins + 10 sec increment Open and Junior Major, 10 mins +5 sec increment Junior Minor.

Tie-breaks: sum of progressive scores followed by sum of opponents’ scores.

Rating: Games will be ECF online rated.

Online platform: Lichess.

You can find the entry form here: https://form.jotform.com/212421176513345, and information about the day here: http://www.witneychess.co.uk/witneyrapid21_information.htm. There’s other useful information like playing online games on Lichess, fair play guidelines, terms and conditions etc on the Witney Chess Club website: http://www.witneychess.co.uk/index.htm.

Do please support us if you can!

Kind regards
Mike Truran