Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2 and Cumnor 1 v Wantage 1 [Match Reports]

This week saw both Cumnor teams take on their respective Wantage teams in the league. Cumnor 2 visited Wantage 2 on Tuesday evening and came back with a 5-1 victory. Graham, Steve, Marc, Leo and Alan all won while Robert lost but Graham said that he did play well.

Wantage 1 came to Cumnor on Thursday to try and get some revenge but amazingly the same result occurred, a 5-1 win for Cumnor 1. Simon, Gareth, myself, Daniel and Graham (playing twice in 3 days) all won while Mark lost. The match was a closer than the result suggests, Simon and Daniel won rather quickly but the other 4 boards all went down to the final 15 minutes. When Mark lost and I looked at the other boards, Graham was an exchange down, I was drawish and Gareth’s position was so complicated I couldn’t figure it out.

Both teams are in 5th place in their tables which can be found here.

Cumnor 1 Mid-Season Report

Sorry I have been pretty busy the last couple of months, so haven’t been writing up the match reports as they happen. But as Christmas is here and the League pauses for the festivities I have some time to take a look at the matches. The club will be open on Thursday the 22nd December, closed on the 29th and open again on the 5th January 2017.

So after our first game against Bicester which ended in a draw, our next game was away to Cowley 3. It was a tough game and at the time of writing Cowley 3 are top of the table and currently unbeaten.

Our next two matches were against City 2 and 3 both at home. We lost against City 2 but beat City 3 to leave City 3 at the bottom of the table.


We entered December with an away game to Oxford University. We had another tough game and lost 4-5. But a week later at Witney we picked up our largest win of the season with a 5.5-0.5 win against Witney 2.


At halfway stage of the season Cumnor 1 are currently in 5th place in division 2 a full table can be found here.

Cumnor 1 v Bicester 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 kicked off the season with a draw against Bicester 1 on Thursday night.


On board 6, Chris was playing his first game for Cumnor, even though he lost the game he did say he enjoyed it.

Move 24 Rd3! Black now can't stop 25 Rh3#

My game (white) against Richard Beckett (black) move 24 Rd3! Black now can’t stop 25 Rh3#

I was the next to finish and the final position found been seen right after a Bishop sac on h6. Daniel and Mark finished shortly after, both picking up wins giving Cumnor 1 a 3-1 lead.

Andrew went a piece down after some good play from Tony and Gareth was forced to carry on playing as a Bicester win would draw the match while any other result would lead to a Cumnor victory.

Mike after the match admitted that he would have accepted a draw if the result had already be confirmed.

Unfortunately, Gareth missed a Knight fork and went an exchange down which gave Mike enough material and time to win the game.

The early table can be found here on the Oxfordshire chess website. Our next game is on Monday against Cowley 3 which should be another exciting match. This weekend is the Forth Witney Congress at Cokethorpe School more information can be found here, currently 4 Cumnor Players are amongst the other 65 players.

Cumnor 1 v MCS and City 1 (FWS)

A win and a draw from Gareth and Mark respectively wasn’t enough to earn Cumnor any points last Thursday night when Magdalen College School came to town. In our previous fixture MCS ran out 6-0 winners so at least this result looks a little more respectable.

MCS are currently 2nd in the table battling it out with University 2 and Banbury 1 for the title. Their team contained may seasoned players and they did outgrade us on every board. Marc was out graded by 59 points and it was no coincidence that our 1.5 points came from our closest matched games. However, the difference was still 26 grading points for Gareth and 25 for Mark, so it is quite an achievement.

Cumnor 1 v MCS

Our following game was an away match against Oxford City 1 in the second round of the Frank Wood Shield. Last season Cumnor 1 took on Oxford City 1 in the same round and lost the match in an exciting game which you can read about here. City 1 went on to win the cup by beating Cowley 2 4-2 in the final and will be looking to win the cup again this year for the third time in a row.

TrophySo hoping for some “magic of the cup” 6 fearless Cumnor players went to the St. Margaret’s Institute on Polstead Road on Monday evening. Due to the handicap arrangement in the cup City needed to win by at least 4-2 to go through, anything less Cumnor would get into the third round and have a game against Cowley 1.

The match was closer than the result may appear. Daniel had a excellent result and then though I didn’t see the game Gareth who was sat nearby said Daniel created a passed pawn which won him the game. Both Simon and my games where close, Simon’s in particular was tight with some drawing lines. Gareth’s also had chances, when I went over to watch the game Gareth had 12 minutes to Christian’s 2 in a pretty complicated endgame but it was Christian created the most aggressive lines and Gareth went on to lose on time.

City 1 v Cumnor 1

The result means Cumnor 1’s dream of winning the cup will have to wait for next year when hopefully the draw might be a little kinder.

MCS/B1 v Cumnor 1 and Cumnor 1 v Cowley 3 [Match Report]

After the spectacular start to the season with a 6-0 win against Wantage 1, Cumnor 1 landed with a bump when we took on Magdalen School College (MCS) on Wednesday, the 21st.

Similarly to the Wantage match, many of the games where closer than the score suggests.

#MCS/B1vsCumnor 1
1.D'Souza-Eva, Jon (184)1-0Varney, Zoe (171)
2.Moyse, Nigel (172)1-0Glenn, Liam (157)
3.Cole, James (168)1-0Varney, Daniel (151)
4.Harskin, Robin (159)1-0Sayers, Mark (143)
5.Cole, Graham (156)1-0Cluley, Graham (116)
6.Ward, Eric (135)1-0Bennett, Steve (105)

A word of congratulations to the MSC team for wining the match, the rest of the division will be shaking in their boots.

We are looking forward to getting some revenge on 28th January when we welcome MSC to Cumnor for the return match.

Our following game was against Cowley 3 at home a week later on the 29th.

CCC1 v Cowley 3

Cowley put at a strong team, maybe they had heard about our 6-0 win against Wantage 1 earlier in the month. But as you can see the result was a draw in a very close match.


Gareth is in a puzzling endgame against Richard with the seconds ticking away. Gareth’s clock eventually fell while on the verge of victory.

So after three games we have one win, one draw and one loss and sit mid-table in division two. Check the table out here.

Out next game is in a couple of weeks away to Banbury.

Cumnor 2 vs Bicester 2 [Match report]

Cumnor Chess Club met again last night, with players from the Cumnor 2 team matched against their rivals Division 4 rivals Bicester 2.

Before the match, Liam showed a few Cumnor players the extraordinary 12-move win that Daniel Varney had had against Peter Hemmings from Wantage the week before.

Demonstration of Daniel Varney's game

Frankly, we’re all grateful that Daniel plays for Cumnor rather than against us!

Sadly, last night Bicester weren’t able to deliver the full compliment of six players, meaning that the bottom board saw no action and a game was defaulted. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that Cumnor 2 had an easy ride of it.

There was tough opposition on all boards, with Bicester 2 seeming to have the advantage in a number of games giving many of us on the Cumnor side the heebie-jeebies that the match would be lost.

In the end though, some precise play saw Robert gain an advantage over his opponent, Alan go on a killing-spree grabbing his opponent’s pieces here, there and everywhere, and Robin trick his opponent into moving her Queen into a trap.

Meanwhile, a tense game on the top board saw Mark Sayers eventually draw, making the final score 4.5-1.5 to Cumnor.

The final game to finish...

Cumnor 2 Bicester 2
1 Sayers, Mark (143) 0.5-0.5 Beckett, Richard (151)
2 Carr, Robin (125) 1-0 Bourliakas, Stephi (52)
3 Steel, Robert (82) 1-0 Bourliakas, Sally (30)
4 Sterrie, David (74) 0-1 Howells, William ()
5 Flockton, Alan () 1-0 Howells, Paul ()
6 Bennett Anton, Susana (67) 1-0 Default ()
Match played on 15 Oct 2015. 4.5-1.5

Could Mark have won his game? Well, consider the following position with Mark as Black to move.

Chess puzzle

Can you spot the mate? Warning: It’s not at all easy!

Find the answer on our Facebook page…

Oh, and if you did work it out, we’d definitely like you to join Cumnor Chess Club! Why not come along one Thursday night?

A great result for Cumnor Chess Club [Match report]

Cumnor 1 kicked off its season in style last night, beating Wantage 1 an impressive 6-0.

Cumnor 1 Wantage 1
1 Glenn, Liam (157) 1-0 Piggott, Roly (151)
2 Varney, Daniel (151) 1-0 Hemmings, Peter (149)
3 Stevens, Gareth (146) 1-0 Spalding, George H (115)
4 Sayers, Mark (143) 1-0 Booker, Julian (103)
5 Carr, Robin (125) 1-0 Mills, Matt (90)
6 Cluley, Graham (116) 1-0 Cordon, Ray (83)
Match played on 8 Oct 2015. 6-0

First to finish, in an impressively rapid 15 minutes or so (and just 12 moves) was Cumnor’s Daniel Varney, playing white against Peter Hemmings.

Here’s the board just before Daniel played the move that forced Peter to resign. Can you see the two different ways that White can force checkmate in two moves?

Daniel Varney vs Peter Hemmings

If you said Bf7+, congratulations. Depending on where the Black king moves to, White can finish the game with Bh6++ or Qe6++.

Well done Daniel!

The rest of the games took a lot longer than that, and in later analysis at The Bear and Ragged Staff demonstrated it became clear that the 6-0 result didn’t tell the whole story, and that in fact Wantage 1 had not only put up a tough fight, but was also seemingly winning on a number of boards.

However, temporarily at least, Cumnor is leading Division 2. Now the only challenge is… how can we stay there?

Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2 [Match Report]

On a rainy Tuesday night, Cumnor Chess Club’s number 2 team set off to St John the Baptist Church in Grove, home of Wantage Chess Club, to play its first game of the season.

Wantage 2 Cumnor 2
1 Richards, Simon A (129) 0-1 Varney, Andrew (128)
2 Booker, Julian (103) 0-1 Cluley, Graham (116)
3 Mills, Matt (90) 1-0 Ives, Leonora (107)
4 Mahon, Paul (88) 1-0 Bennett, Steve (105)
5 Thompson, Steven (85) 0-1 Ives, Marc (97)
6 Leake, John (85) 1-0 Steel, Robert (82)
Match played on 6 Oct 2015. 3-3

KnightCommiserations to Leonora Ives (the OCA website currently says it was her younger sister Frida who was playing on board 3, but it was definitely Leo) who appeared to have a strong commanding position in her game against Wantage’s Matt Mills, only to have things turn sour.

I’m sure the recent improvement in Leo’s chess play will soon be rewarded by more wins in league matches.

Anyway, Cumnor 2’s Division 4 campaign has begun!

And Cumnor 1’s Division 2 campaign begins tonight… playing at home against Wantage’s first team. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Wantage was fielding one or two of its top second team players in the Wantage 1 line-up. Will they be looking for revenge? We’ll find out tonight…

Cumnor 2 v Cowley 4 [Match Report]

Cumnor 2’s final game of the season took place on Thursday night, when we welcomed Cowley 4 to the Old School. Cowley 4 were sitting top of the table and needed a win to guaranty the title and promotion to the third division.

Susana lost her game on the bottom board while Ross who was playing his first game for the team had a close game but also lost. David got a deserving draw against a Sara who is 30 grading points higher than himself.

Marc had a good position in his game but couldn’t make use of it and made an error in the endgame. Steve tried to get a draw but couldn’t and eventually lost. Mark had an interesting game but had to settle for a draw.

Cumnor 2 fought gallantly but Cowley 4 got the win they needed.

Cumnor 2 v Cowley 4

Congratulations to Cowley 4! After the match we invited the Cowley players down to the Bear and Ragged Staff for a celebratory drink which was enjoyed by both sets of players.