2020-21 Season

We need to come together to put in place how the League will work this coming season.

The season traditionally starts in October so if you have ideas, queries or concerns please let Ian or Roger know.

“The 20-21 season is rapidly approaching. Due to the current pandemic it will be very different from any in recent history. Concrete proposals to address this will be made at the AGM in September, and will be available in full later this month. However we thought it best to provide as early as possible an outline of the ways that we might play chess next season in order to obtain feedback, and to this end the document linked to below discusses how the league might be run next season. Comments on the proposals contained therein would be much appreciated. If you have any please either contact your club representative, or send an email to the League Secretary, Roger Thetford”

Ian Bush OCA Chairman

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.

2016-17 Fixture Lists

Large Blog ImageThe fixtures for the 2016-17 season have now been released and can be found here.

Cumnor 2 kick off the season with a home match against Cowley Workers 2 next Thursday (13/10) while Cumnor 1 play their first game a week later (20/10) at home to Bicester 1.

Peter Hemmings who has been producing the fixtures for previous seasons has now stepped aside and Asif Hameed from Cowley has taken on the job.

The fixtures are subject to change.

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?

Bicester 1 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

After Cumnor 1’s exploits in the Frank Wood Shield, it was back to the league with a visit to Bicester. Bicester 1 have had a good season so far and their only loss was against Cumnor 1 back in October. A close match transpired but Cumnor pulled the draw out of the bag when the pressure was on.

The evening did not start too well with Gareth’s loss to Richard Becket. However, Richard is one of the form players in the League so far this season with points 6.5 from 7 games. My (Liam’s) game was… putting it politely just awful and there is not much to say about that.

So with Cumnor two points down it was not going well nevertheless both Andrew and Simon picked up draws on boards 1 and 3. Mark got an all important win against Tom Maddox.

Surprisingly, Daniel was the last to finish. A win would mean the match would finish as a draw, anything less and Bicester would win. As the clock ticked down, Antony had two Bishops and a Rook v Daniel’s two Rooks and an additional pawn. Daniel also had bit of extra time on his clock so Antony offered a draw. Daniel refused the draw in a worse position and then won the time scramble.

Bicester 1 are having a great season – so holding them to a draw (and in an away match too, where we didn’t have the benefit of a stadium full of supportive fans) is a fantastic result.

Cumnor 1 v Bicester 1 [Match Report]

While Cumnor 2 played an away game against Cowley 5 (see the report here), the first team took on top of the table Bicester 1.

The match was close but Cumnor came out winners 3.5-2.5.

Cumnor 1 Bicester 1
1 Terrington, Simon (173) 1/2-1/2 Matta, Francesca (-)
2 Glenn, Liam (147) 1/2-1/2 Marlow, Mike (161)
3 Varney, Andrew (147) 1/2-1/2 Hepworth, Nicholas J (142)
4 Varney, Zoe (149) 1-0 Morton, Iain (142)
5 Sayers, Mark (139) 0-1 Beckett, Richard (141)
6 Varney, Daniel (137) 1-0 Burcham, Anthony (123)
Match played on 30 Oct 2014. 3.5-2.5

Liam and Nicholas (Andrew’s opponent), both offered draws within a minute of each other which after a quick look at the boards were accepted by both players.

Daniel’s game (which I would like to point out wasn’t the first to finish) looked to be heading towards a draw, four pawns and a knight each with the pawns creating barrier to stop the Kings getting in behind.

A moment of controversy happened when Tony thought he had gained a draw with a three fold repetition, however Daniel had triangulated his King which meant the King was not in check when the Knight came in nor was it the same position for the third time. This allowed Daniel to take a pawn and Tony resigned.

The last three games went down to the final few minutes…

Zoe won her game with an extra pawn and a nice tactic as the her opponents clock ticked down. Mark lost his Queenside pawns and had to sack a Rook for a pawn which was about to Queen.

Simon's clock as he got the draw with only 15 seconds left!
Simon’s clock – Plenty of time to force a stalemate (King, Knight, pawn on 7th rank vs King) with only 15 seconds left!

Simon’s game was a great game which swung back and forth.

Francesca got a pawn on to the seventh rank but Simon managed to deflect one of its defenders to win it. The game looked to be heading towards a draw, both players with 4 pawns and Knight each until Simon ended up defending the position and he had to sack the knight for a pawn.

Simon’s King ran into the corner blocking the H pawn, which was the last pawn on the board, and managed to force a stalemate (King, Knight, pawn on 7th rank vs King) with only 15 seconds left on the clock.

The result still keeps Bicester top and puts Cumnor into 5th in this very open league, see the league here.

Cowley 3 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

The last game of the season for Cumnor 1 was an exciting and nerve-racking game against relegation threatened Cowley 3.

Cowley 3 Cumnor 1
1 Chapman, Andrew (148) 0-1 Terrington, Simon ( )
2 Rasell, Geoff C (144) 1-0 Varney, Andrew (145)
3 Viscu, Catalin (141) 1/2-1/2 Varney, Zoe (150)
4 Idle, Oscar (141) 1-0 Stevens, Gareth (142)
5 Keeling, David (141) 1-0 Varney, Daniel (142)
6 Taylor, John F (138) 0-1 Glenn, Liam (141)
Match played on 07 Apr 2014. 3.5-2.5

Games at the end of the season fall into two categories, either neither team has much to play for and a leisurely game of chess follows or one of the teams has something to fight for and it was the later for Cumnor 1 on Monday night. Cowley 3 needed a result (a win or a draw) against Cumnor 1 to stay up, if Cumnor 1 won Bicester 1 would be relegated in their place. Liam was the first to finish a win on bottom board and Daniel was next he made a real fight of it but lost. With the emotions running high Simon’s opponent tried to claim a draw with only 12 seconds left. The game had just reached drawish position (a draw with correct play), a long discussion started with two outcomes agreed, if the result mattered it would be sent off to George Spalding for a decision. My personal view is that the game would still be awarded to Simon because you can’t claim a draw in a theoretical draw. If it didn’t matter to the result Andrew would resign. With that getting sorted out in the other room, Andrew lost his game saying better theory could have changed the result. Zoe actually sacced a pawn to keep the knight on the wrong side of the board long enough to force a draw. Gareth’s game went down to the wire with only minutes on both clocks but Gareth resigned when he lost an important pawn. That made the result 3.5 to Cowley 3 meaning they would stay up and Andrew resigned. The final score was 3.5-2.5, Cowley were happy to stay up and even though we lost on the night it was an end to good season for Cumnor. The end of season will follow after every match has finished.

Going down to the wire…

We are into the last few weeks of the season, but there is still plenty to play for.

In Division 1, Witney 1 are the champions winning 11 games out of 11, while MCS/B1 are going to be relegated back to division 2.

At the top of division 2, Witney 2 and Didcot 1 have only one game between each other to settle the title, a shoot out!

A win or draw for Didcot 1 will mean they are Champions while a win for Witney 2 means they will receive the title.

Both have been at the top of the division for most of the season with a massive 9 points between Witney 2 in second and Cumnor 1 in third, the difference between third and last is 8 points.

At the wrong end of the table it’s gone down to one game. Cowley 3 play Cumnor 1 on Monday and any result for Cowley 3 will save them at the expense of Bicester 1.

In Division 3, is all done and dusted with Didcot 2 winning the title and Abingdon School being relegated with a game in hand.

Division 4 is an all-Witney affair, at the top is Witney 4 and at the bottom are Witney 5. Cumnor 2 currently sit 4th with 5 wins 2 draws and 5 losses.

The Frank Wood Shield, in the final is between Didcot 1 and Oxford City 1.

Bicester 1 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 beat Bicester 1 3.5-2.5 last night.

Bicester 1 Cumnor 1
1 Marlow, Mike (165) 0-1 Terrington, Simon ( )
2 Hepworth, Nicholas J (147) 1/2-1/2 Stevens, Gareth (142)
3 Morton, Iain (153) 0-1 Liam Glenn (142)
4 Beckett, Richard (141) 0-1 Sayers, Mark (138)
5 Burcham, Anthony (130) 1-0 Cluley, Graham (110)
6 Maddox, Thomas (127) 1-0 Bennett, Steven (109)
Match played: 18 March 2014 2.5-3.5

Mark was the first to finish his game after Richard made a blunder, allowing Mark a discover check winning the Queen. Gareth’s opponent offered a draw which he accepted in a drawn position. Simon won his game on top board. Steve lost next, along with Graham leaving Liam’s game as the decider. With the game tied at 2.5-2.5 Liam had to accurately play, with his King a little undefended, but he did manage to turn it into a win.

The result doesn’t help Bicester 1 who are only one point from bottom. But Cumnor 1 are currently in 3rd. See the updated table here.

Cumnor 1 v Bicester 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 picked up another win on Thursday night vs Bicester 1.

Our second league win of the season was helped in part due to Bicester defaulting on two boards. Liam and Mark sat out meaning we started 2-0 up.

Cumnor 1 Bicester 1
1 Stevens, Gareth (149) 0 – 1 Hepworth, Nicholas J (156)
2 Varney, Andrew (146) ½ – ½ Burcham, Anthony (133)
3 Terrington, Simon () 1 – 0 Earl, Chris (115)
4 Glenn, Liam (140) 1 – 0 Default
5 Varney, Daniel (133) 0 – 1 Corduff, Ian ()
6 Sayers, Mark (134) 1 – 0 Default
Match played: 05 Dec 2013 3.5-2.5

Daniel lost his game while Simon playing his first game for Cumnor, won after gaining material in the opening. Gareth lost his game in a drawn endgame. Andrew agreed a draw in spite of there still being play in the position, to win the match for Cumnor.