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.

And the winners are…

Firstly, merry Christmas everyone… 🎅

And secondly, well done to the winners of Cumnor Chess Club’s annual tournaments!

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

Well done to all of the above, and thanks to everyone who participated this year! Trophies will be presented on Thursday January 26 2023.

A New Term Begins …

Well it’s the start of a new season, the  (almost) final fixture list is out, and at least two of us (Gareth and I) have already played our first competitive game, for the county away at Buckinghamshire last weekend. And it’s reflected at the club which has been very busy since the return from the summer break; yesterday evening saw almost 20 people playing. In fact we were so busy Steve was pondering which second room we should commandeer, our usual venue being so packed.

It was a mixture of club tournament games and more casual ones. In the Player’s Cup, for members of the first team squad, Nigel played Liam and I (Ian) played Gareth. In both white won, though in both games it wasn’t easy. Against Nigel Liam established early on a queen side majority with pawns on a6, b5 and c4 against a2 and b2, but could never quite get them rolling and eventually succumbed to Nigel’s king side attack. My win was a much longer grind, I won a pawn in the middle game and simplified to an ending where we both had a rook and bishop, and I thought I had good winning chances, but had underestimated Gareth’s idea of swapping off rooks to leave a drawn opposite coloured bishop position. Anyway Nigel’s win all but guarantees him the Player’s Cup this year, he is mathematically catchable but even if one of us does on any sensible tiebreak he will win. Here is the top of the table which you can find on the ECF LMS web site:

The Bill Laar Trophy, locally known as the BLT, is for all other members of the club. Unlike the Player’s cup this year it is incredibly tight with maybe half a dozen players in with a chance of winning it, and Jeff beating Andrey, one of the 4 matches last night, has made it even closer. In fact it was a good night for the Bryant family with Otto getting his first win in the competition against Allan, a great result. In the other games Steven beat Pedro to go top, and the defending holder Robin beat Richard to go into a tie for second. Anyway the top of the table, again from the ECF LMS, now looks like

All incredibly close, I can’t call it!

But it wasn’t just cup matches, casual games were going on – and the game of the evening was between two promising new comers, Alex and Rio. Unfortunately I don’t have the score, but whenever I went over to have a look Alex was throwing the kitchen sink at Rio, who was calmly holding on and just grabbing the material Alex offered despite the attack looking very dangerous. I don’t even know the final result! I was tied down in time pressure in my game against Gareth. Anybody? In the comments maybe?

So busy and interesting times at the club with a lot of fun chess being played. All welcome!



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!

The Players’ Cup and Bill Laar Trophy – Follow the latest results online

The COVID pandemic has taught us many things, some important, some less so – and one of these is how to use the ECF LMS to organize competitions.

This seemed too good an opportunity to miss as our internal trophies restart with the New Year, so reasonably up to date versions of the scores are can now be found there.

For the Players cup, which is for most of the first team squad, here are the current standings, the cross-table is here, and go here for the individual game results.

The Bill Laar Trophy is for all other players at the club. Here are the standings, the cross-table, and the game results. [Note as of 16th Jan to my knowledge no games have been played – it will be populated soon!]


Trophy Night

The Frank Wood Shield, Players Cup and the Bill Laar Trophy
The 2019 Players’ Cup and the 2019 Bill Laar Trophy both completed just before Christmas.

The winners are:

Players’ Cup
1, Eldar
2, Nigel
3, Simon

Bill Laar Trophy
1, Robin
2, Steve
3, Graham

The club will be hosting a Trophy Night on Thursday 16th January from 7pm, the winners will be able to collect their trophies and the Division 2 will be at the club which was won last season by the first team.

Please come along to congratulate the winners and to enjoy our collective success over the 2019 year.

The 2020 competitions will also be starting so this is the chance to take an early lead in the hunt for glory so that you might be taking home a trophy this time next year.

The tables will stay up on the website for a few more weeks until the 2020 competitions get up and running they can be found here.

New members are always welcome to come along to any chess night but the new year is the perfect time to come along to the club and more information can be found on our About page.

Merry Christmas!

As normal we will be taking our two week Christmas break.

The club will be open on the 19th December before being closed on Boxing Day (26th December) and the 2nd January.

We will reopen on the 9th January 2020 and the 2019 Trophy Night will be on the 16th January 2020.

The winners of the Players cup are as followed
1, Eldar
2, Nigel
3, Simon

and the winners of the Bill Laar Trophy are
1, Robin
2, Steve
3, Graham

Congratulations to the winners who will be presented their trophies on the 16th.

Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring you many exciting checkmates!

Eldar wins the Players Cup

This year we have a new name on the Players Cup, Eldar won with 9.5 points from 12 games.

The final standings can be seen below with more information on the The Players’ Cup and Bill Laar Trophy page.

The Bill Laar Trophy still has two more weeks left to run before Christmas but Robin is now uncatchable at the top, once all the results are in I will update the Trophy results.


Summer time 2019

The season concludes on Monday (24th June) with the Cowley Summer Blitz and the OCA Prizegiving. The first team will receive Trophy for winning the second division and Nick will receive the Bernard C Wyatt Memorial Trophy for being the player who scored the best game points percentage in Division 2, in our promotion winning season. It would be great for many Cumnor players to come along for the evening and more details can be found here.

The Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy are in full swing and the updated tables (20th June) can be found here. Nigel is leading the way in the highly competitive Players Cup while Robin has swept all before him with 7 wins from 7 in the Bill Laar Trophy.

Gareth is planning a chess afternoon on the 3rd August in the Como Lounge in Witney, more details will be announced soon.

The Club will be open for another 5 weeks and will close in August before opening again in September with the 2019/20 season starting in mid-October.