2021-2022 Frank Wood Shield

The first round of the Frank Woods Shield has now been completed and I am happy to report both Cumnor teams are into the next round, which is the Quarter Finals!

Cumnor 1 (which for this tournament have been called Cumnor Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse) had a bye in the first round and would play either Banbury Misfits or Wantage Alfredians in the Quarter Finals. Wantage in a small shock beat Banbury in the FWS last night (03/02/22), so they are the Horsemen’s next opponents in an AWAY match that is to be played by 1st March. They managed to beat their higher rated opponents by four points to two and didn’t even need to rely on the handicap system.

Cumnor 2 (who are called Cumnor Six Donkeys of the Acropolis) had a match in the first round against Cowley Conundrums however Cowley could not get a team out for the match and had to forfit. Steve said at the time “We were looking forward to the match very much. Thanks (for Cowley) for letting me know in good time.”. The Donkeys will play the Witney Weavers in a home match before 1st March.

A quick glance at the draw shows us that Cumnor have a quarter of the teams (2 from 8) left in the competition (admittedly due to some luck), and that both teams are in the top half of the draw (to use a Tennis explanation). This means they could meet in the semi’s if they both get through these tricky ties, this is the first time Cumnor 1 would play Cumnor 2 in any over the board competition. The draw also kept us away from the University Alpha (University 1 team) until the final, if either team makes it that far. Cumnor have had a good relationship with the Frank Woods Shield over the years, winning it in the 2017-18 season, more information about our record can be found at the bottom of our Team’s page.

More information about this season’s Shield can be found here.

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).

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

RIP – Derek Punter

Here at Cumnor Chess Club we are very sad to hear the death of Wantage player, Derek Punter.

The first team play Wantage 1 tonight.

George Spalding

“Long standing Wantage Club member Derek Punter, who served for over a
quarter of a century as its very efficient treasurer, passed away on
Saturday morning 24th November 2018

As a chess player Derek would never have counted himself as one of our
strongest players, but was content to play in our lowest team as a
reliable member. He often got good positions only to lose out to a
tactical blunder, as he would freely admit himself .

However on his day he could be a formidable opponent. ”

Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2 and Cumnor 1 v Wantage 1 [Match Reports]

This week saw both Cumnor teams take on their respective Wantage teams in the league. Cumnor 2 visited Wantage 2 on Tuesday evening and came back with a 5-1 victory. Graham, Steve, Marc, Leo and Alan all won while Robert lost but Graham said that he did play well.

Wantage 1 came to Cumnor on Thursday to try and get some revenge but amazingly the same result occurred, a 5-1 win for Cumnor 1. Simon, Gareth, myself, Daniel and Graham (playing twice in 3 days) all won while Mark lost. The match was a closer than the result suggests, Simon and Daniel won rather quickly but the other 4 boards all went down to the final 15 minutes. When Mark lost and I looked at the other boards, Graham was an exchange down, I was drawish and Gareth’s position was so complicated I couldn’t figure it out.

Both teams are in 5th place in their tables which can be found here.

Wantage 1 v Cumnor 1 and Cumnor 2 v Wantage 2 [Match Report]

This week saw both Cumnor teams take on their contemporaries from Wantage. On Tuesday evening the first team went over to Wantage to take on their first team.

#Wantage 1vsCumnor 1
1.Pigott, Roly (151)0-1Glenn, Liam (157)
2.Hemmings, Peter (149)1-0-default-
3.Bekris, Nicolas (140)0-1Stevens, Gareth (146)
4.Morris, Steven A0-1Sayers, Mark (143)
5.Spalding, George H (115)1-0Cluley, Graham (116)
6.Brown, Gordon D (133)1-0Bennett, Steve (105)

Gareth had a great game on board 3 with an exciting Kingside attack while Mark took his time in a block up position and managed to get his Rook in behind the pawns where his opponent resigned.
Both Steve and Graham got into interesting endgames, Graham was 2 Bishops and 4 pawns vs 2 Knights and 6 pawns but both players went on to lose.

The result of the match was a 3-3 draw which will help Wantage 1’s aim of staying above Cowley Workers who are at the foot of the table. Cumnor 1 moved up a place to 5th level on points with Oxford City 2, we are currently only 2 points behind Magdalen College who lead the table with 10 points and take them on in two weeks time at Cumnor.

#Cumnor 2vsWantage 2
1.Sayers, Mark (143)1/2-1/2Richards, Simon A (129)
2.Carr, Robin (125)1-0Booker, Julian (103)
3.Bennett, Steven (105)1-0Mills, Matt (90)
4.Steel, Robert (82)1-0Mahon, Paul (88)
5.Sterrie, David (74)0-1 Thompson, Steven (85)
6.Flockton, Alan ( )1-0Cordon, Ray (83)

MarkOn Thursday, Wantage 2 came over to the “Old School”. Alan had an fascinating game against Ray on the bottom board and spotted the all important discovered attack when it matter to finish the game. Robin spent most of the mid game cornering Juilan’s Queen but the end result saw Robin an exchange up which he converted to a win.

On the top board Mark was trying to make it 2 wins in a week and had a stimulating game with an outpost on f2 but he ended up settling for a draw.

The result for Cumnor 2 means they stay in forth in division 4. You can see how the teams are getting on here.

A great result for Cumnor Chess Club [Match report]

Cumnor 1 kicked off its season in style last night, beating Wantage 1 an impressive 6-0.

Cumnor 1 Wantage 1
1 Glenn, Liam (157) 1-0 Piggott, Roly (151)
2 Varney, Daniel (151) 1-0 Hemmings, Peter (149)
3 Stevens, Gareth (146) 1-0 Spalding, George H (115)
4 Sayers, Mark (143) 1-0 Booker, Julian (103)
5 Carr, Robin (125) 1-0 Mills, Matt (90)
6 Cluley, Graham (116) 1-0 Cordon, Ray (83)
Match played on 8 Oct 2015. 6-0

First to finish, in an impressively rapid 15 minutes or so (and just 12 moves) was Cumnor’s Daniel Varney, playing white against Peter Hemmings.

Here’s the board just before Daniel played the move that forced Peter to resign. Can you see the two different ways that White can force checkmate in two moves?

Daniel Varney vs Peter Hemmings

If you said Bf7+, congratulations. Depending on where the Black king moves to, White can finish the game with Bh6++ or Qe6++.

Well done Daniel!

The rest of the games took a lot longer than that, and in later analysis at The Bear and Ragged Staff demonstrated it became clear that the 6-0 result didn’t tell the whole story, and that in fact Wantage 1 had not only put up a tough fight, but was also seemingly winning on a number of boards.

However, temporarily at least, Cumnor is leading Division 2. Now the only challenge is… how can we stay there?

Wantage 2 v Cumnor 2 [Match Report]

On a rainy Tuesday night, Cumnor Chess Club’s number 2 team set off to St John the Baptist Church in Grove, home of Wantage Chess Club, to play its first game of the season.

Wantage 2 Cumnor 2
1 Richards, Simon A (129) 0-1 Varney, Andrew (128)
2 Booker, Julian (103) 0-1 Cluley, Graham (116)
3 Mills, Matt (90) 1-0 Ives, Leonora (107)
4 Mahon, Paul (88) 1-0 Bennett, Steve (105)
5 Thompson, Steven (85) 0-1 Ives, Marc (97)
6 Leake, John (85) 1-0 Steel, Robert (82)
Match played on 6 Oct 2015. 3-3

KnightCommiserations to Leonora Ives (the OCA website currently says it was her younger sister Frida who was playing on board 3, but it was definitely Leo) who appeared to have a strong commanding position in her game against Wantage’s Matt Mills, only to have things turn sour.

I’m sure the recent improvement in Leo’s chess play will soon be rewarded by more wins in league matches.

Anyway, Cumnor 2’s Division 4 campaign has begun!

And Cumnor 1’s Division 2 campaign begins tonight… playing at home against Wantage’s first team. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Wantage was fielding one or two of its top second team players in the Wantage 1 line-up. Will they be looking for revenge? We’ll find out tonight…

Ray is looking for players

One of our fellow chess players Ray Cordon, is looking for players for the Oxford U150 team. The Oxfordshire teams have always been supported by Cumnor players so if you would like to help please see below.

I have started to update my list of players who might be interested in playing for the Oxfordshire under grade 150 team in the coming season. As there is not going to be an under 125 section in the Chiltern league this year it has been decided to increase the number of boards per match from 16 to 20 and to try to include at least four juniors in each team.

Subsequent to the above arrangement being agreed the new ECF grading list has been published and 13 players who were on my list last year are now over the grade limit, and these include some of our keenest supporters. I would therefore like to hear from any eligible players who would might be interested in playing in some of the matches. Nobody is expected to be available for all of the matches: last year only one player played in all of the matches, five people played only once and some people were not available at all.

There are only six Chiltern league matches a year. Our normal home venue is now Rose Hill Methodist Church (where the Cowley club play) and the away venues include Basingstoke, Holmer Green and Crowthorne. In each match a player has one game against an opponent from the other county. The time limit is all moves in two hours. The matches are played on Saturday afternoons.

If you would like me to add you to my list for the under grade 150 team or have any comments or questions please phone or email me. If you played any games last year he will automatically keep you on the list.

Ray Cordon,
Phone No. 01235 764264 raycordon@mypostoffice.co.uk

Wantage 1 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

Wantage is a market town in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, England. The town is on Letcombe Brook, about 8 miles south-west of Abingdon, a similar distance west of Didcot and 14 miles south-west of Oxford. It is notable as the birthplace of King Alfred the Great in 849 and for having a pretty good Chess Club.

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Cumnor 1 had the honor of heading over to Wantage on Tuesday evening (St. Patrick’s Day) for a match. Earlier in the season Cumnor won the reverse fixture, in a match which will be talked about for many years to come, the match report can be found here. This time would the luck of the Irish rub off on us or would we be left looking for answers at the bottom of a pint of Guinness?

Before I start, special thanks go out to David, Steve and Richard who came into the team after a couple of our regulars couldn’t make it, as well as Andrew and Mark who moved up the boards.

Steve was the first to finish on the night, a very early draw which was accomplished by forcing Nicolas in to repeating moves or losing. Mark won his game on board 3, with a lovely tactic which won a Knight and swapped off the remaining pieces into a clearly won endgame but Stephen resigned before it got to that point.

White has just played 42.Nxe7 there is no way Black can take either Knight safely, so Black will be at least a piece down
White has just played 42.Nxe7 there is no way Black can take either Knight safely, Black will also lose the d6 pawn
Andrew lost his game on board 2 leaving the match tried after 3 games 1.5 each. My game was the next to finish, which I won. We had reached an equal-ish position as the Rooks came off but I managed to activate my Knights. The position (right) shows the problematic situation Peter was in. David had a decent game but the rating difference took it’s toll and David lost. He did point out that if he had played that game for Cumnor 2 he would have won on time as they only play 75 minutes instead of the 90 played in division 2.

Well, not for the first time this season Richard was the last to finish and the result of the match was going to be decide on this game. Richard had reached a great position but didn’t have much time left. However, with a little work Richard finished George off and got the win for Cumnor. What makes this such an impressive result is that George is 36 Grading points higher than Richard. In fact Cumnor was out-graded (or equal too) on every board!

Wantage 1 v Cumnor 1

It was an remarkable result especially as we where down a number of first team regulars.