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.

Frank Woods Shield

Since the Frank Woods Shield was revamped a couple of seasons ago we have had some good results in the competition, winning the inaugural year and reaching the semis last season.

This year we have decided to two enter two teams.

The Frank Wood Shield, Players Cup and the Bill Laar Trophy

Our first team is:
The Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Our second team is:
The Six Donkeys of the Acropolis

The draw for this season’s Frank Wood Shield will take place on the Saturday of the upcoming Witney Congress, on the 2nd November.

Five Cumnor players are down to take part; Nigel, Nick and Simon in the open, Ian in the U170 and Gareth in the U145.

There is still time to The 7th Witney Congress at

Good luck to the Cumnor Players who will take part.

The Grunifeld Defence (aka Oxford University) win the 2018/19 FWS

The final match of the 2018/19 season was played this week and it saw The Grunifeld Defence, a team made up from Oxford University, lift the cup.

After winning the title last year (check out our crowning moment here), this year we reached the semifinal but lost to The Cowley Countergambits who then lost to The Grunifeld Defence.

Cowley only needed 1 win with the grading difference being a massive 58 points but they lost 6-0.

Congratulations to Oxford University who also won the first division with their very strong team.

Ray Starkie Memorial Award

Please get your thinking caps on and if you think you played a brilliancy this season get your game entered.

“As some of you will be aware at the last OCA AGM it was decided that an annual best game award be instituted in Ray Starkie’s memory. This will be judged by Matt Rose, and games should be submitted by the May meeting – so if you have played any games which you are particularly proud of this season in OCA events (the League, The Frank Wood Shield and the Chiltern League) get them in!

The way to submit your game is to send it to Roger Thetford, the League Secretary, in PGN format – Please, please, please, no photos of score sheets! Roger’s email is available under the contacts tab on the OCA web site, and if you are unsure of what PGN format is please visit PGN editor where there is a nice on line utility which will help you create a PGN file. Click on the “2.Game moves” tab where you can play out your game, then click on “NEXT” to add the details about the players, and “NEXT” again and the PGN file is in the window. Simply cut and paste this into your email to Roger or (probably better) save it into a file and send it as an attachment.

Roger plans to put the submitted games on the web site, so hopefully we will soon all be dazzled by your collective brilliance!

Ian Bush 02/04/2019″

Cumnor 1 win the League

Last night saw Banbury 2 travel down to Oxford University for a match which would have an affect over here in Cumnor.

Cumnor 1 have been sat on the summit of the Oxford and District Chess League 2 for most of the season gaining a healthy lead at the top. Big wins home and away to Banbury 2, our closest rivals, and a win against Bicester 1 last week put us 6 points clear with a better head to head record against Banbury.

The Frank Wood Shield, Players Cup and the Bill Laar Trophy

A single win in any of our remaining three matches would see us clinch the title and promotion to the first division while Banbury would need to win their four remaining matches to keep the pressure on. But Oxford University handed us the silverware be beating Banbury 4-2 yesterday. The result means we have a unassailable lead so Cumnor 1 will be promoted to division one of the Oxford and District Chess League for the 2019-20 season.

This tops off a very successful time for the club after winning the Frank Wood Shield last year and now this promotion. The membership continues to increase and we must congratulate all the players who have helped the club achieve this triumph.

As noted we still have three league matches left, all at home, to Wantage 1 and Cowley 3 and 4. At the same time as the Oxford University 2 v Banbury 2 the club had a Frank Wood Shield match against the Cowley Chessnuts which we won and now we have a semifinal tie against either the Wantage Alfredians or the Cowley Countergambits.

Lets get organising that open top bus tour.

Silverware on the cards, in the League, Frank Wood Shield or Kidlington?

During the snow storms of last night Cumnor 1 took a big step to achieving promotion to division 1 by beating Banbury 2, 4-2.

The result moves Cumnor 1, 6 points clear (with a better head-to-head) of Banbury 2 with 4 matches left.

The updated table can be found here.

The first round of the Frank Wood Shield has been confirmed away to The Didcot Dynamos on Wednesday 20th February, as defending Champions we are looking forward to the match and won’t be taking it lightly.

The Cumnor players who won the 2018 Frank Wood Shield.

This weekend is the Kidlington Chess Congress, as long it isn’t cancelled due to the weather. The entries are now closed and 6 Cumnor players are taking part.

Eldar, Nick, Nigel are playing in the Open, Ian in the U180’s, Gareth in the U145’s and Robin in the U120’s.

Good luck to all those taking part.

Trophy Night

Next Thursday, 17th January will be our annual Trophy Night, the top three players in the two tournaments will each receive a trophy and the top players will get their hands on the prestigious Players Cup and Bill Laar Trophy.

Liam enjoying a pint from the Players Cup Trophy (yes I will keep using this picture so that people don’t forget I won it ;-))

The winners for the 2018 Players Cup are;
1, Mark Sayers
2, Ian Bush
3, Garth Stevens

and the 2018 Bill Laar Trophy are;
1, Robert Steel
2, Pedro Monteiro
3, Chris Siebert

Our silverware from last season, the Frank Wood Shield will also be on show and we will get some pictures of the winning team. So come along and celebrate the achievement of the year.

The following week both teams are playing away, Cumnor 1 will be playing Oxford University 2 and Cumnor 2 will be playing Magdalen College School, this will mean the club will be closed for the evening.

Cowley Summer Blitz

As Cumnor won the Frank Wood Shield we will be receiving the cup at the Cowley Summer Blitz, so we are hoping for many Cumnnor Players to attend!

Cowley Chess Club invites you to its 2018 Summer Blitz Tournament, which will be held on Monday 25 June 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. (During the evening we also expect to host the OCA Prizegiving for the season just finished. We particularly hope, therefore, that the captains of trophy-winning teams for the League divisions and the Frank Wood Shield, or their representatives, as well as the individual award-winners for the County Individual Championship and the best individual performances in the League will be able to come along both to play in the Blitz and to be presented with their trophies.)

There will be ten games in the Blitz (five rounds playing games with both colours, with five minutes per player per game). A cash prize of 10% of the entry fees will be an option for the tournament winner, with lots of other prizes of books, etc., 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, not only 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: £3, 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 giving the following information or by filling in one of these forms hard copies of which will be available at the club (or otherwise getting the information to Gerard O’Reilly):



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

Age if under 18 on 1 September 2017:

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

Advance registration by email will be accepted until 3pm on Monday 25 June.

Gerard O’Reilly

The Frank Wood Shield Final

So as many of you know by know we have won the Frank Wood Shield!

The victory of 5.5 – 0.5 in the final was enough to clinch victory in this years edition.

The match was played with the thunder and lightening of a late spring storm creating an eerie atmosphere and it was closer than the result may suggest.

Nine players took part during the tournament and their stats are below

On the way to the final Cumnor played against Magdalen College School and two Cowley teams and we met another Cowley team in the final. The completion detail can be found online by clicking here.

We will receive the Shield during Cowley Chess Club’s Summer Blitz which will be held on Monday 25 June at Cowley Chess Club.

Frank Wood Shield – Cup Final Day

Frank Wood Shield Rewind: Classic Finals (08:30-09:30, BBC Two)
Gareth Stevens takes a look at some of the classic finals including Witney 1 v University 1 (2012) and Oxford City 1 v Cowley 2 (2010)

Tactics Trainer (09:30-10:00, BBC Two)
Do you know your Fork from your Spoon? You will after Tactics Trainer with Ian Bush

We are not sure if John Motson will be commentating or not

Saturday Kitchen – Cooking the Rook ( 10:00-11:30, BBC One)
We head over to The Lounge Café (Abingdon) to see what Steve can cook us up!

Frank Wood Shield 50 Greatest Moments (11:30-13:00, BBC Two)
Mark Sayers counts down the top 50 Greatest Moments, who will take top place.

Chess Focus (13:00-14:00, BBC One)
The team sit down with Daniel Varney, Graham Cluley and Robert Steel to talk about all things chess.

Steve Bennett on the Road to Frank Wood Shield Glory (BBC One, 14:00-15:00)
Steve ponders how Cumnor and Cowley got to the final.

Frank Wood Shield Top Of The Pops (15:00-15:30, BBC One)
Okay, so who wants to put their name down for karaoke?

Pointless Frank Wood Shield Special (15:30-16:30, BBC One)
With Chris Siebert hosting we pair off to play Pointless

The Road to Cumnor (16:30-18:00, BBC One)
From Oxford take the A420 to Swindon/Bristol. Leave the A420 at the second exit onto the B4017 to Cumnor. At the T junction turn RIGHT. At the next T junction turn RIGHT again. Then take the first LEFT, you are now in Cumnor. So the A420 is the road to Cumnor.

LIVE: Frank Wood Shield Final Build Up (18:00-19:00, BBC One)
We look at both teams in detail with expert analysis from Ann Willan in the build up to the final.

LIVE: Frank Wood Shield Final – Cumnor Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse v Cowley Sharks – (19:00-23:00, BBC One)
Kick off at 19:30!