End of Season Awards

After the conclusion of the season last week, the OCA May committe meeting took place last night and I am happy to report that Two Cumnor Players have received awards for their performances in the Oxfordshire League this season.

Nigel Moyse won the Ray Starkie award for the best OCA game this year for his win against Dave Hackett in the Witney match on the 9th May. A match report will be published  soon, and the game will be included in that, and all the games submitted for the prize can be found here . Simon Terrington has also published a YouTube video on the game.

Andy Hudson won the David Del Nevo Trophy for the player who scores the best game points percentage in Division Three, who has played more than 50% of the League Matches. Andy managed 7 points from 8 matches giving him a win rate of 87.5%! It should also be noted that Andrey managed 5 wins from 5 but sadly didn’t play enough matches be eligible for the Trophy.

 TeamPlayerPoints
Games
Percentage
1Cumnor 2Hudson, Andrew7887.50%
2Cowley 3Asquith, Ivon7.5983.33%
3City 3Rodriguez-Bachiller, Agustin6.51065.00%

Congratulations to both players! The League is now over for another season which is an achievement considering the situation, well done to every player who took part. Next season should start again around the first week of October.

Unlike some clubs we will remain open over the summer (but not during August) for players to get some Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy matches played, information on the cups along with the current standings can be found here. It should be noted every year that the Summer Months are the best to get these matches done, I make it 10 weeks until August and once the league restarts players won’t necessarily be available to play. Get those matches played so you aren’t relying on others come December!

*UPDATED 23/05 FROM THE OCA WEBSITE*

2021-22 Prizes
Now the season has been completed, the following prizes have been awarded:

Arthur Mushens Trophy for the best percentage score in division 1 – Filip Mihov

Bernard C Wyatt Trophy for the best percentage score in division 2 – Kenneth Hobson

David Del Nevo Trophy for the best percentage score in division 3 – Andrew Hudson

Lester Millan Trophy for the best percentage score by a junior in any single division – Kenneth Hobson

Ray Starkie Best Game Prize for the best game played in the ODCL or an Oxfordshire County Match – Nigel Moyse

All entries for the Ray Starkie Best Game Prize can be found in the lichess study below.
Congratulations go to all the winners.

Link: https://lichess.org/study/FzNi1KxF/EZUsPkEe

Ray Starkie Best Game Prize

Did you mark the return to over the board chess with your own brilliancy? If so please consider submitting your game from either the ODCL, Frank Wood Shield or Oxfordshire county match for the Ray Starkie Best Game Prize!

Entries can be made by submitting games to me to be passed on to Matt Rose, who has kindly agreed to judge again this year, and will initially close on 7th May with a final deadline of midnight 14th May for games played after the initial deadline.

Teaching chess in Oxfordshire schools with CSC

The charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is currently recruiting new tutors to teach chess to school children in the Oxford area. There has been a significant amount of interest from local schools in our classroom teaching in primary schools and in after school chess clubs recently and we expect this to expand further again next academic year.

You do not have to be a brilliant chess player as most of the lessons are at beginner level. If you enjoy teaching, have some knowledge of chess and are interested in committing to some hours in the afternoon on one or more days each week during school term time, we would be very interested to hear from you. Please take a look at the CSC website for further information about the charity and fill in the application form if you would like to apply.

We are planning a one-day initial training day in Oxford in April or May (I will post the date and details on here once it is confirmed). If you would like to know a bit more about what is involved in the training and other requirements, how the lessons themselves work, remittance and such like please also feel free to contact me (see contact pages).

Andrew Varney
Regional Organiser (Oxfordshire)
Chess in Schools and Communities

https://www.chessinschools.co.uk/we-need-you

2021-2022 Frank Wood Shield

The first round of the Frank Woods Shield has now been completed and I am happy to report both Cumnor teams are into the next round, which is the Quarter Finals!

Cumnor 1 (which for this tournament have been called Cumnor Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse) had a bye in the first round and would play either Banbury Misfits or Wantage Alfredians in the Quarter Finals. Wantage in a small shock beat Banbury in the FWS last night (03/02/22), so they are the Horsemen’s next opponents in an AWAY match that is to be played by 1st March. They managed to beat their higher rated opponents by four points to two and didn’t even need to rely on the handicap system.

Cumnor 2 (who are called Cumnor Six Donkeys of the Acropolis) had a match in the first round against Cowley Conundrums however Cowley could not get a team out for the match and had to forfit. Steve said at the time “We were looking forward to the match very much. Thanks (for Cowley) for letting me know in good time.”. The Donkeys will play the Witney Weavers in a home match before 1st March.

A quick glance at the draw shows us that Cumnor have a quarter of the teams (2 from 8) left in the competition (admittedly due to some luck), and that both teams are in the top half of the draw (to use a Tennis explanation). This means they could meet in the semi’s if they both get through these tricky ties, this is the first time Cumnor 1 would play Cumnor 2 in any over the board competition. The draw also kept us away from the University Alpha (University 1 team) until the final, if either team makes it that far. Cumnor have had a good relationship with the Frank Woods Shield over the years, winning it in the 2017-18 season, more information about our record can be found at the bottom of our Team’s page.

More information about this season’s Shield can be found here.

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!