The 2021-22 Season!

Some great news… Over the Board League Chess will be back in the Autumn with Cumnor 1 remaining in Division One while Cumnor 2 will join the combined Division Three and Four, which will from now on be called Division Three. All this is yet to be confirmed but it is exciting! Cumnor is currently planning to open the doors in September.

Roger Thetford’s report follows:

Responses from the clubs revealed that we had 22 teams plus two possibles for next year’s ODCL. Banbury could confirm only one team but may be able to raise two; Oxford Brookes would like to enter a team but will not know until September whether they have enough players. The Committee meeting held on 19 May decided to allow the clubs until 30 June to enter any further teams, after which the fixture list for the 2021-22 season will be set up.

When we abandoned the 2019-20 league we said that relegation and promotion would not apply. Applying this and eliminating the missing teams from the bottom upwards removes Banbury 3, Bicester 2, Cowley 5 and 6, Didcot 3 and Witney 4, leaving the divisional structure as 8-8-4-3. Combining the bottom two divisions and adding the possible new Brookes team to the new Division 3 gives the following.

Division 1 (8 teams): Banbury 1, Cowley 1, Cowley 2, Cumnor 1, Didcot 1, Oxford City 1, Oxford Univ 1, Witney 1.

Division 2 (8 teams): Banbury 2, Bicester 1, Cowley 3, Didcot 2, Oxford City 2, Oxford Univ 2, Witney 2, Wantage 1.

Division 3 (8 teams): Abingdon School, Cowley 4, Cumnor 2, Oxford Brookes (possible), Oxford City 3, Oxford Univ 3, Wantage 2, Witney 3.

This structure, agreed by the Committee, is provisional, depending on decisions from Banbury and Oxford Brookes. Unless an influx of extra teams allows us to revert to four divisions, rule- changes will be proposed at the AGM to reflect the new three- division structure. (The AGM date was set as Thu 16 Sep.)

All of this assumes that we will be able to return to OTB chess by October.

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

ECF President’s Award for Steve Rumsby,

Cumnor Chess Club would like to offer our congratulations to Steve Rumsby.

The following was taken from the ECF Newsletter that has just been published and the Oxfordshire Chess Association website:

ECF President’s Award for Steve Rumsby, Banbury

Congratulations to Steve Rumsby from Banbury Chess Club, who was presented with his ECF President’s Award for Services to Chess.

The Award recognises that for over 30 years Steve has been the Chairman of Banbury Chess Club. Steve has overseen the growth of the club from initially fielding two teams in one league to the latest season where the club fielded four teams in the Leamington League, three teams in the Oxford League and entered all the available league cup competitions. In recent years, Banbury entered a team in the 4NCL. Virtually every year, Steve has captained one of the club teams.

Steve’s wider contribution to chess is seen in his work for the Leamington and District Chess League. He is, and has been for a number of years, both the league’s webmaster and fixtures secretary. At the start of the 2016-2017 season Oxfordshire County were unable to find a volunteer to captain the Under 150 county Team. Steve at short notice volunteered and led the county team to 5 wins from 6 matches. They ended that season as Chiltern League Champions. Steve has continued in this county captaincy role. Steve is highly regarded by chess players in an area stretching from Birmingham down to Didcot.

Steve (right) receives the President’s Award from Leamington League chairman Ben Graff

The New Season

Looking out of my window this morning I can confirm Autumn has clearly started but in good news the chess season kicks off next month!

So pop down to the club for some pre-season friendlies this evening.

The Oxfordshire Chess Association’s AGM is being held at Cowley Chess Club at 7.30pm tonight (Thursday 13 September) so a few members will be attending this but the club remains open.

Oxfordshire is looking for players

To all county players, actual or prospective

Below is the new Chiltern Chess League fixture list for 2016-17. The matches are all played on Saturday afternoons, and we would be very glad to hear from club players in the League who fancy playing for the County.

Rod Langham (captain of the Open team) and I (acting captain of the U-150 team) would like to hear from all players as to their probable availability for these matches.

Could you please email myself or Rod Langham ( with the a combination of the following codes (e.g. A1, B2):

A: probably available for most if not all matches

B: probably available for some or a few matches

C: unlikely to be available for any matches

1: Will be OK for transport to away matches, and may be able to offer lifts

2: Will need transport to away matches

Could you also notify Rod and myself of your current contact details, and indicate how you prefer to be contacted as to availability to play.

Finally, please could you note that (1) it has been decided to charge £3.00 per board for home matches, and nothing for away matches, to simplify accounting (2) it has also been decided to only select players who are paid-up ECF members – this is because of the difficulty of collecting from players the (small) amounts that make up the (larger) bill that the ECF sends us at the end of the season.

I have styled myself as ‘acting captain’ of the U-150 team because I am actively looking for a replacement – please could anyone willing to take on the U-150 captaincy get it touch with me? It is not that it is particularly onerous, but I am still in full-time employment and would prefer to spend what spare time I have playing rather than organizing.


Fixture List for 2016-17

Open (150+)

October 8th Berkshire (away)

October 29th Buckinghamshire (away)

December 3rd Hampshire (home)

January 28th Berkshire (home)

February 18th Hampshire (away)

March 11th Buckinghamshire (home)


September 24th Berkshire (home)

October 15th Buckinghamshire (home)

November 12th Hampshire (home)

January 21st Berkshire (away)

February 25th Buckinghamshire (away) to be confirmed

March 25th Hampshire (away)

April 22nd JAMBOREE

Simon King

(Acting captain, U-150)

Hampshire “A” v Oxfordshire “A”

Question – Where would you find 80 Bishops and 41 Kings on a Saturday afternoon?

Not these Bishops!
Not these Bishops!
Answer – Scattered across 20 boards at The Bridge and Chess center in Basingstoke, where Hampshire took on Oxfordshire in the final Chiltern League match of the Season.

It was a close match but Oxfordshire won 10.5-9.5!

On the nine upper boards (1-9), the grading averages were Oxon 164.7 and Hants 178.8 — and we lost 3.5-5.5, the two wins by Will Burt and Clifford Marcus saving the day.

On the lower nine boards (11-19), the averages were Oxon 142.2 and Hants 144.6 — a trivial deficit, but a deficit nonetheless — yet here we won by the tremendous margin of 7-2, so many congratulations to the winners on
these boards.

Hampshire v Oxford

My game was a very interesting match, I played Gillian only two weeks ago when I had a bit of a lucky victory. She plays an unusual Queens opening which I did look up and found a couple of improvements.

P.S the 41st King was of course Simon King who played on board 18!

Playing for Oxfordshire!

Berkshire Vs Oxfordshire Result U150

Wellington College (built as a national monument to the Duke of Wellington) had the honor of hosting the match.
Wellington College (built as a national monument to the Duke of Wellington) had the honor of hosting the match.
On 17th January our under grade 150 team won their Chiltern League match against Berkshire at Wellington College by 12 games to 4.

Two Cumnor players took part for Oxfordshire, Gareth Stevens who drew his game and Liam Glenn who got a win.

The team have won all three of their matches so far this season, but still have the return match against Buckinghamshire and the two matches against Hampshire to come.

Ray Cordon’s write up and the complete result can be found here.

Oxfordshire U150’s beat Buckinghamshire at chess

Oxfordshire took on Buckinghamshire in the Chiltern League on Saturday and returned home in triumph, with a 12-4 win.

Oxfordshire’s team contained two Cumnnor players, Gareth and Liam, who both won their games on boards 4 and 5.

For your interest, here is Gareth’s game which he described as “A couple of mistakes on both sides, but overall a good game – with a nice zugzwang at the end!”

The win puts Oxfordshire top of the League between the 4 county’s who make up the Chiltern League, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. See the table and more information on the league here.

Ray Cordon has written a report for the Oxfordshire website which can be found here.

Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire
1 Kevin Hawkins 0-1 David Robson
2 Tom Rixon 0-1 Graham Cole
3 Richard Pomerenke 0-1 Geoff Rasell
4 Darrell Watson 0-1 Gareth Stevens
5 Yaqub Saeed 0-1 Liam Glenn
6 Greg Edmonds 1/2-1/2 James Cole
7 Default 0-1 Daniel Rowan
8 Eugene Bolduc 0-1 Richard Beckett
9 Richard Cranston 1/2-1/2 Malcolm Brindley
10 Ian Hall 0-1 Rod Langham
11 Andrew Hill 0-1 Zaid Marham
12 Gary Dawson 1-0 Kevin Henbest
13 Joan Gardner 1/2-1/2 Simon King
14 Troy Jitman 0-1 Bill Stanley
15 Ramesh Boury 1/2-1/2 Gary Reynolds
16 David Brown 1-0 Steve Rumsby
Match played on 25 Oct 2014. 4-12