Fixtures are out

Please spread the news far and wide: The fixtures for 2021-22 have been released!

Cumnor 1 will be playing in the first division with 6 other teams: Didcot 1, City 1, Oxford Univ 1, Witney 1, Banbury 1 and Cowley 1. This should provide some tough games but with Covid we will have to wait to see the strength of some of these teams.

Thu 30-Sep-21 Cumnor 1 v Didcot 1
Thu 07-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v City 1
Thu 21-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v Oxford Univ 1
Thu 28-Oct-21 Cumnor 1 v Witney 1
Thu 18-Nov-21 Banbury 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 25-Nov-21 Cumnor 1 v Cowley 1
Mon 24-Jan-22 Didcot 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 10-Feb-22 Cowley 1 v Cumnor 1
Mon 21-Mar-22 City 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 31-Mar-22 Cumnor 1 v Banbury 1
Mon 11-Apr-22 Witney 1 v Cumnor 1
Thu 28-Apr-22 Oxford Univ 1 v Cumnor 1

Cumnor 2 will be playing in the third division (so I guess we should celebrate a promotion at some point) with 6 other teams: Abingdon 1, Oxford Univ 3, Cowley 3, Wantage 2, City 3 and Witney 3.

Mon 04-Oct-21 Abingdon 1 v Cumnor 2
Thu 14-Oct-21 University 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 21-Oct-21 Cowley 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 04-Nov-21 Cumnor 2 v Wantage 2
Mon 22-Nov-21 City 3 v Cumnor 2
Mon 06-Dec-21 Witney 3 v Cumnor 2
Thu 03-Feb-22 Cumnor 2 v Cowley 3
Thu 17-Feb-22 Cumnor 2 v City 3
Tue 22-Feb-22 Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2
Thu 03-Mar-22 Cumnor 2 v University 3
Thu 17-Mar-22 Cumnor 2 v Abingdon 1
Thu 21-Apr-22 Cumnor 2 v Witney 3

I am looking for our first competitive over the board game in over 18 months! If you would like to get involved in the best Chess Club in the whole wide world check out our New Members page, (the “best Chess Club in the whole wide world” claim was taken by a small sample of Cumnor players who were asked the question).

OCA Blitz @ Cowley – Thursday 8th April

Following what seemed to be an enjoyable night of Chess in Feb we shall be rerunning the OCA Blitz @ Cowley event, this time on Thursday 8th April. Again Dave Robson of the Cowley club has very kindly allowed us to reuse what he set up. As for the Cowley Blitz there will be no admission fee, and there will be no prizes. However, we will recognize, and announce the names of those players who in different circumstances would have won the usual prizes for finishing first, second, third, or as best female player, best slow starter, etc., etc.

The blitz will start at 7:30 p.m. and finish at 9:30 p.m. Any games running after that time can be completed, but they will not contribute towards the final standings. To provide a bit of variety, this time we shall be using the slightly longer time control of 5 minutes for the game, plus an extra three seconds for every move you take.

If you didn’t play in the earlier events, you will need to join the Cowley Blitz Team on Lichess (note if you did play this step is unnecessary). To do this:
First get a Lichess account from Lichess. They’re free
Then Send an email to CowleyBlitz@gmail.com stating:
a) Your real name
b) Your Lichess username
c) Your age (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best junior player)
d) If you are female (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best female player)
Finally visit the Cowley Blitz Page and click on the “Join Team” button, There will be a delay until the administrators approve your request.

Once you are a member of the Cowley Blitz team you enter as as follows: On the night of the tournament five or ten minutes before the tournament starts, click on the tournament link and then click on the green “Join” button which you can find just above the list of players who have already entered. At 7:30, the Lichess site will then pair you with your opponent, and the game will begin.

A few gotchas …

If you need to resign or to offer a draw, you must hit the relevant button twice. You can disable this behaviour in your Lichess profile.

At the end of your game, you will need to hit the labelled button to return to the tournament. Lichess will then pair you up with your next opponent.

The tournament is of an “arena” format, so there isn’t a fixed number of rounds. You can get more information at Arena Help. You can start the tournament late, or leave early, but the more games you play, the better the odds of you winning! Note that we have disabled “beserking” and extra points for winning streaks.

Have fun! For any questions, please email CowleyBlitz@gmail.com

OCA Blitz @ Cowley – Monday 15th Feb

There will be no round of the Mike Duck Tournament in the week starting Monday 15th Feb. Instead during the “half term break” we will be holding the “OCA Blitz @ Cowley” tournament on the 15th Feb along the lines of the Cowley Blitz held just before Christmas. To make things especially easy to organise Dave Robson of the Cowley club has very kindly allowed us to reuse what he set up. As for the Cowley Blitz there will be no admission fee, and there will be no prizes. However, we will recognize, and announce the names of those players who in different circumstances would have won the usual prizes for finishing first, second, third, or as best female player, best slow starter, etc., etc.

The blitz will start at 7:30 p.m. and finish at 9:30 p.m. Any games running after that time can be completed, but they will not contribute towards the final standings. The time limit will be three minutes for the game, plus an extra two seconds for every move you make.

If you didn’t play in the Cowley Blitz before Christmas, you will needto join the Cowley Blitz Team on Lichess (note if you did play this step is unnecessary). To do this:
First get a Lichess account from Lichess. They’re free
Then Send an email to CowleyBlitz@gmail.com stating:
a) Your real name
b) Your Lichess username
c) Your age (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best junior player)
d) If you are female (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best female player)
Finally visit the Cowley Blitz Page and click on the “Join Team” button, There will be a delay until the administrators approve your request.

Once you are a member of the Cowley Blitz team you enter as as follows: On the night of the tournament five or ten minutes before the tournament starts, click on the tournament link and then click on the green “Join” button which you can find just above the list of players who have already entered. At 7:30, the Lichess site will then pair you with your opponent, and the game will begin.

A few gotchas …

If you need to resign or to offer a draw, you must hit the relevant button twice. You can disable this behaviour in your Lichess profile.

At the end of your game, you will need to hit the labelled button to return to the tournament. Lichess will then pair you up with your next opponent.

The tournament is of an “arena” format, so there isn’t a fixed number of rounds. You can get more information at Arena Help. You can start the tournament late, or leave early, but the more games you play, the better the odds of you winning! Note that we have disabled “beserking” and extra points for winning streaks.

Have fun! For any questions, please email CowleyBlitz@gmail.com

Link: https://lichess.org/tournament/l1jWEzXI

Mike Duck Online Tournament: The Final Rounds

Sorry this is a bit delayed I have been pretty busy over the last few weeks.

Cumnor 2 definitely blew hot and cold this tournament, with a bye in the first round they had the unfortunate task of playing Oxford 1 and Oxford University 2 in second and third rounds, both of these matches ended 6-0. In the forth round the result was another 6-0 but this time to Cumnor 2, beating Cowley 2. The fifth round saw the closest match against Cowley 1, with Cowley defaulting one game Cumnor ran into a 2- (negative) 1 lead. However, Cowley 1 had to fight for the remaining games and maybe on a different day Cumnor 2 might held out but it wasn’t meant to be. This would have been the shock of the tournament if it had happened.

The final round had Cumnor 2 pitted against Oxford City 2 and this time the result was back in our favour with a 4.5-1.5 win. Overall Cumnor 2 did very well, beating the other “2” teams they played against and finished respectably in mid-table above such powerhouses as Witney 1 and Banbury 1!

After the first three rounds of the Mike Duck Online Tournament Cumnor 1 was sat in a healthy position near the top of the table with 2 wins and a loss. The problem with this is that you end up playing some tough teams! Our forth round match was against Witney 1, in the furloughed 2019-20 season Witney 1 was one of only 3 teams who finished above Cumnor 1, so was this the chance we needed to show what we could have done if we had played the final few matches? The answer is yes, a good 4.5-1.5 win.

However, in our fifth round match we were up against the second strongest team in the tournament, a match against Oxford City 1 (this means we have played all the teams who finished above us in the league). In what was probably the best match of the competition Cumnor 1 pulled the rabbit out of the hat and got the win. Nick agreed a draw with 4 games still to go after looking at the remaining matches and prophesying that we would eventually win, Nick got any numbers for the lottery this weekend?

Mark’s match is a particularly nice win with a galavanting King and a couple of pawns which the whole game revolved around, Ian has put together all the games and they can be found here if you chance a watch.

Going into the final round first place was still within our grasp, well it would take an amazing set of results but we still had a chance. A Cumnor win and an Oxford Uni loss of 5-1 or more would mean we would win the tournament, a win would guaranty second place while a lost or draw would drop us down the table. Cowley 1 had all the big guns out and sadly we fell at the final hurdle losing 3.5-2.5. Oxford Uni won against Banbury so they won the First Mike Duck Tournament and deservedly so. Cumnor 1’s final position was third a very good achievement. The final table can be found here.

The Second Mike Duck Tournament starts on the 18th January 2021 with 4 player a teams so there might be (for the first time ever) a Cumnor 3! We are still planning to have online chess on a Thursday night over Christmas (again for the first time), if you aren’t up to much on Christmas eve or New Years eve… and lets be honest their isn’t much going on so you might as well.

So please have a Merry and Safe Christmas and New Year and hopefully next year we will get back to playing over the board chess. We will have a mighty celebration once we do!

Cowley Christmas Blitz 2020

The Cowley Blitz will take place this year on Lichess, its good to see the traditional tournament take place in these difficult times. Please join in if you can and enjoy a good evenings fun with our friends over in Cowley.

David Robson

This year’s Cowley Christmas Blitz will be held on Monday 14th December. It will be run on the lichess.org web site. This year, there will be no admission fee, and there will be no prizes. However, we will recognize, and announce the names of those players who in different circumstances would have won one of our usual prizes for finishing first, second, third, or as best female player, best slow starter, etc., etc.

The blitz will start at 7:30 p.m. and finish at 9:30 p.m. Any games running after that time can be completed, but they will not contribute towards the final standings. As in previous years, the time limit will be three minutes for the game, plus an extra two seconds for every move you make.

To sign up, you will need to:

Get a Lichess account from https://lichess.org/signup . They’re free
Send an email to CowleyBlitz@gmail.com stating:
a) Your real name
b) Your Lichess username
c) Your age (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best junior player)
d) If you are female (if you want to be in contention for recognition as a best female player)
Visit the Cowley Blitz Page at https://lichess.org/team/cowley-blitz and click on the “Join Team” button, There will be a delay until the administrators approve your request.

Five or ten minutes before the tournament starts, click on the tournament link (https://lichess.org/tournament/8UVhoQXQ ) At 7:30, the Lichess site will then pair you with your opponent, and the game will begin.
A couple of gotchas …

If you need to resign or to offer a draw, you must hit the relevant button twice. You can disable this behaviour in your Lichess profile.

At the end of your game, you will need to hit the labelled button to return to the tournament. Lichess will then pair you up with your next opponent.

The tournament is of an “arena” format, so there isn’t a fixed number of rounds. You can get more information at https://lichess.org/tournament/help?system=arena.. You can start the tournament late, or leave early, but the more games you play, the better the odds of you winning! Note that we have disabled “beserking” and extra points for winning streaks.

Have fun! For any questions, please email CowleyBlitz@gmail.com

Online National Club Championships

During the pandemic a lot more chess has been played online (including our Thursday night Clashes) so the English Chess Federation has implemented an Online National Club Championship.

Obviously we jumped at the chance of playing in the competition so Ian set up a team and The Six Horses of the Apocalypse rode again!

We were placed in the Intermediate section with 12 other teams from across the country from Hackey to Leeds.

The first match was on Friday evening and it saw us up against Wimbledon (I know some teams chose the name of their clubs…. but where is the fun in that), sadly we lost 2.5 – 3.5 to the eventual winners.

Player results

On Saturday there where 2 rounds, the first at 10am against Downend & Fishponds (Birstol) which we won 3.5 – 2.5. Our second against Trelawney’s Army (Cornwall County) which we won 5 – 1!

This put us up to third by Saturday evening, in a position where we could win something.

On Sunday morning we faced Horsham and we needed a win to keep the pressure up on the leaders, Wimbledon and Leeds Uni who were set to play each other. We eventual won that match 4.5 – 1.5!

With Leeds Uni winning, the pressure was now on us.. .all or nothing…. winner takes all… in our clash against Lewisham, the tie brake at the top of the tournament was pretty complicated head to head but we eventually concluded a win would mean glory a shot at the trophy (depending on other results ) or at worse rating prize.

After a tense match we came up just a bit short losing 3.5 – 2.5. It means our final position was 5th but I think I can say on behalf of the players it was very enjoyable.

A thanks to Ian for organising and all the tournament organisers from the English Chess Federation.

Until the The Six Horses of the Apocalypse ride again………

ECF National Online Clubs Championships

We are happy to announce that Cumnor Chess Club will be entering the ECF National Online Clubs Championships which are being held online over the coming weekend (26th-28th June).

The Championships are being held as a five round Swiss tournament, for teams of six players. The event is taking place on the lichess platform and managed through LMS. We will be in the Intermediate section with 11 other teams and use the traditional Cumnor team name “The Six Horses of the Apocalypse”.

Our team (of 6) will be drawn from 12 players:
Eldar Alizada
Steven Bennett
Nick Burrows
Ian Bush
Matt Christensen
Graham Cluley
Graham Cole
Liam Glenn
Nigel Moyse
John Place
Mark Sayers
Gareth Stevens

The times of each rounds are as follows:
• Round One: Friday 26th June 19.30 – finish
• Round Two: Saturday 27th June 10.00 – finish
• Round Three: Saturday 27th June 14.30 -finish
• Round Four: Sunday 28th June 10.00 – finish
• Round Five: Sunday 28th June 14.30 -finish.

The results and table will be published on here.

More information can be found here.

As always The Cumnor Clash Arena will be on Lichess from 7pm on Thursday, see you there.

Coronavirus

As you will probably be aware the Coronavirus has taken its toll on the sporting calendar. The chess leagues have also been affected with all league matches (in Oxfordshire) being postponed for the next 3 weeks. This will affect Cumnor 1’s matches against Didcot 1, Colwey 1 and City 1. While Cumnor 2 has only one match postponed against Witney 4.

As soon as we learn anything new I will post it on the website, please see below for the latest announcement.

The OCA Chairman and Secretary have been informed that within the next couple of days the ECF will be advising local leagues to suspend matches for a period of three weeks, owing to the potential to transmit coronavirus. We therefore strongly recommend that the ODCL fixtures scheduled to take place in the period Monday 16 March to Sunday 5 April are not played.

We will consult with the Committee and will reassess the situation in due course. It is too early to decide on rescheduling matches, whether the suspension should be lifted after 5 April, and on what to do if the matches in the 2019-20 season cannot be completed.

See the news item on the OCA website for details.
http://www.oxfordfusion.com/oca/index.cfm

Cowley Christmas Blitz

The Cowley Christmas Blitz is taking place on Monday 9 December 2019, please attend if you can.

“Cowley Chess Club invites you to its 2019 Christmas Blitz Tournament, which will be held on Monday 9 December at Cowley Chess Club (at Rose Hill Methodist Church in the Main Hall downstairs), with Round 1 beginning at 7.15 pm. All chessplayers are welcome.

There will be ten games in the Blitz (five rounds playing games with both colours, with a digital clock and a time allowance per player per game of 3 minutes plus a 2 seconds increment per move added from move 1). The tournament winner may take either a prize from the prizes table or a cash prize of 10% of the entry fees. There will be lots of other prizes of books, etc., on the prizes table, including grading prizes, prizes for juniors in various age groups, for the best slow starter, etc. (see below for lists of prizes and prizewinners in recent blitzes). We rely on donations of prizes, mainly chess books but also other (non-alcoholic) prizes, and these will be gratefully received.

Round 1 is scheduled to start at 7:15pm. Players who have not notified their entries in advance are asked to register by 7pm at the venue on the night, to enable pairing cards to be written and the first round draw to be completed promptly.

The Prizegiving for the Blitz will be at approximately 9:45pm. (It will be possible for young juniors for whom a 9:45pm finish is too late to play in either two rounds [8:05pm finish approx.] or four rounds [8:55pm finish approx.] if this is arranged in advance.)

Entry fee: £5 for adults, £3 for juniors (i.e., under 18 on 1 September 2019), to be paid when you arrive on the night. We will also be glad to receive additional donations for the Lester Millin Memorial Fund, which supports Cowley junior players.

To help us make a prompt start, please register your entry in advance if possible by sending an email to gerard@fianchetto.co.uk giving the information requested below or by filling in one of these forms, hard copies of which will be available at the Cowley club (or otherwise getting the requested information to Gerard O’Reilly):

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:

Club:

Current Grade (Standard-play rather than Rapidplay if you have one):

Age on 1 September 2019 if under 18:

Finally, if the entrant is a junior who can play in only the first two (or the first four) rounds, please specify which:

__________________________________________________
NB. Advance registration by email will be accepted until 4pm on Monday 9 December.

Gerard O’Reilly (Cowley Chess Club)”

Some Busy Club Nights Ahead

The season is progressing well for both teams. Cumnor 1 are currently 4th out of 8 in Division 1 with 2 wins and a loss in the first 3 matches. While Cumnor 2 are 2nd in division 4 with 2 wins, a draw and a loss.

Both teams have a lot of matches before Christmas, with both teams playing on the same evening two weeks running. This coming Thursday (14th November) Cumnor 1 are playing away to last years double winners Oxford University 1 while Cumnor 2 are playing at home to Cowley 6. The following week (21st November) Cumnor 1 are at home to Banbury 1 and Cumnor 2 are away in the Frank Woods Shield to an Oxford University team.

The club will remain open on these evenings (right up until the 19th December which will be our last Club night before Christmas) but please be aware that 12 players will be playing matches so the opportunity to play friendly and Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy matches might be a bit thin on the ground.

An updated Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy can be found here.

Please see which players you have left to play before the end of the year especially if you are in the running for a prize and good luck to the players who are playing for each team.