New Year, New News!

With so much going on right now I thought it was worth a quick run down on the important things to note.

Cumnor Trophy Night
Trophy presentations will take place this coming Thursday (26th), come down and give the winners a well deserved ovation!

The winners are:

Players Cup 2022
1st Nigel Moyse
2nd Mark Sayers
3rd Ian Bush

Bill Laar Trophy (BLT) 2022
1st Robin Carr
2nd Callum Brewerton
3rd Steven Jackson

More information can be found on the original post.

Frank Woods Shield
Last night our invitational team the “Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse” won their first round tie last night against Witney Spinners 4-2. The result means they move into the second round with a home draw against Wantage Alfredians, the very team they lost to last season. Is it time for some revenge?

Our second team “Six Donkeys of the Acropolis” will play Cowley Williwaws. Both of these quarter-finals will take place before mid-march.

Kidlington Tournament

The rate at which entries have been coming in makes it likely that the Kidlington Tournament will reach full capacity a few days before the weekend of the tournament. They are continuing to welcome entries, but please bear in mind that if you want to play, you risk disappointment if you delay your entry much longer.

The tournament, taking place as usual at Exeter Hall, Kidlington, is a 5-Round ECF-rated Swiss tournament, with four sections: Open, Major (U2000), Intermediate (U1800), and Minor (U1600) and a total prize fund of over £2200.

Standard entry fee (for ECF members at Silver or higher level): £28.

There is a discount of £5 for junior entrants (under 18 on 1 January 2023).

This event is disabled-friendly and wheelchair-accessible.

For full details, and to enter, see the pages under the ‘Kidlington 2023’ tab of the tournament website:

Happy New Year!

The club will re-open tomorrow, on Thursday 5th 2023.

The 2023 Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy tournaments will commence from 5th January.

This years competitions will be as follows:

One game played against each opponent.
Game time, 30 mins + 15

Nigel, Mark S, Gareth, Liam, John, Robin, Alex, Andrey, Rio
(and possibly Simon and Nalin. Yet to confirm, Yea or Nay).

The reduced games and increased participants are designed to make the competition more competitive and easier to fulfil ones games.

One game played against each opponent.
Game time, 45 minuets.

Andy, Jeff, Otto, Mark C, Pedro, Jonathan, Dylan, Allan, Steven, Isaac, Alf, James, Steve

The Club’s 2022 Trophy presentations will be held on Thursday 26th January.

Annual club member fees are now due for 2023.

Oxon Junior Chess Trials and Championship

Calling all Oxon junior chess players! The annual junior county trials and championship are taking place over the weekend of 7th/8th January 2023 at Cumnor Primary School.

The U9 competition is on Saturday 7th January, U11 on Sunday 8th January and U13/15/18 on both 7th and 8th January. This is a closed competition, with only Oxfordshire children eligible to enter.

For the U9/11 sections, this means children living and/or attending school in Oxfordshire. For the U13/15/18 section, this means children affiliated to Oxfordshire by any of birth, residence, school / college or attendance at an Oxfordshire chess club.

Full details can be found via the entry form. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please email for any queries.

Join us for a casual game of chess in Witney

Please join us for a casual day of chess at The Como Lounge in Witney, on Saturday, the 20th of August.

What: Casual games of chess
Where: Como Lounge, 34 Market Square, Witney OX28 6BB
When: 12 noon – late, 20/Aug/2022

All chessplayers, friends and family are welcome. There is reasonably-priced food and drink available.

I will be getting there at about 12:00, but feel free to come along and leave whenever you like.

There is a bus stop right outside the Como Lounge which makes it easy to get to, especially from Oxford (Gloucester Green S1). Plenty of free parking nearby too.

Bring a chess set and chess clock if you can. (Or download the free clock app onto a smartphone).

I look forward to seeing you there.

Gareth Stevens.

Chess event in historic Abingdon venue

As a fundraiser for the Abingdon Passion play a 6 round rapid play event will be held at the Roysse Room, Guildhall, Abingdon on 28th May, 10:00 – 17:00.

There is a £10 entry fee, tickets can be bought here, where there is also more information.

All ages are welcome and it is restricted to the first 32 contestants. The event is not ECF rated. Registration will be at 10am, and the time table is
Round 1 10.15 – 10.55
Round 2 11.10 – 11.50
Round 3 12.05 – 12.45
Round 4 1.45 – 2.25
Round 5 2.40 – 3.20
Round 6 3.35 – 4.15
Presentation of the trophy at 4.30pm.

Thanks to Will Burt for bringing this to our attention.

Four BLTs at the Club


Well last night as both Cumnor 1 and 2 had a break from the league and cup it was time to crack on with the internal club competitions – these are The Players Cup for members of the first team squad, and the Bill Laar Trophy, locally known as the BLT, for everybody else. Six games were played in total, 4 in the BLT, and 2 in the Players Cup.

In fact last night was Grand Prix night in the Players Cup, both games featured this aggressive set up for white which can be played against a number of black approaches – Liam used it against Nigel’s Sicilian and Tony against my Pirc/Modern, but it wasn’t a total success for the white side, Nigel winning and me having the better of a draw with Tony. After this Nigel is currently well ahead in the competition

(the current score can be found on the ECF LMS) but is catchable, especially by Mark, the only person to take points off Nigel so far.

In the BLT Allan Evans won the battle of the Al(l)ans, newcomer Callum beat Pedro to take the overall lead in the competition, and Andrey won in his nice, tidy positional style, but game of the evening was the utter madness that erupted on the board between Jonathan and Robin – part driven by the short time control (45 minutes) no doubt as indeed Robin won on time, though he is better in the final position:


Now That’s Chess! Anyway as mentioned Callum now leads the BLT overall

A long way to go in both competitions, they follow the calendar year rather than the league’s seasons, so much time for twists and turns – and games like Jonathan’s and Robin’s!

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.

Cowley Christmas Blitz 2021

Due to the blindingly obvious Cowley is holding their Christmas Blitz competition on line again – Thanks to Dave Robson for organizing this, details are below (taken from

This year’s Cowley Christmas Blitz will be played online on Lichess on Monday 20th December at 7:30 p.m.

It will consist of as many blitz games as you want to play between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

To play, you must have a Lichess account. You must also be a member of the Cowley Blitz Lichess team. If you aren’t already a member, you can visit and click the “Join” meeting. When the admins notice, they can then admit you.

Please also email and tell us the name of your Lichess account, and also your real name, so we know who is playing. Also if you would like to be considered for an age or gender related prize, please send us the details.

As there is no admission fees, the awards are for the prestige only.

Finally, if you are signed up, all you have to do is to visit the tournament link on the night at