Witney Online Congress

Please see a message from Mike Truran of Witney Chess Club

“Many thanks to everyone who played in last weekend’s Witney Online Rapidplay. We were very encouraged by the support, and to see so many old friends playing.

As many of you will know, the current pandemic forced us to cancel this year’s OTB Witney Congress. However, the success of the Witney Online Rapidplay has given us the confidence to organise a Witney Online Congress – five rounds of standardplay chess with a 45 mins/15 sec increment time limit over the weekend of 7-8 November. The congress is closely modelled on the successful 4NCL Online weekend congresses, and we thank the 4NCL for allowing us to crib unashamedly off their work.

You can find full details about the Witney Online Congress here: http://www.witneychess.co.uk/online/congress20_info.htm.

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 http://www.witneychess.co.uk/.

Good luck to the Cumnor Players who will take part.

Witney Chess Congress

On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October, 73 chess players from Oxfordshire and beyond meet at Cokethrope School for the Forth Witney Chess Congress. Cokethorpe is a Private School set in the west Oxfordshire countryside a few miles south of Witney.

The Congress had 4 separate tournaments, an Open, an Under 170, an Under 145 and an Under 120 with 9 players in the open, including Grandmaster John Nunn and just over 20 players in each of the other three.

Sunday morning, Liam, Mark and Daniel can be seen in the top left while Gareth can be spotted below the fireplace

Sunday morning, Liam, Mark and Daniel can be seen in the top left while Gareth can be spotted below the fireplace

Cumnor was well represented at the congress with Gareth, Mark, Daniel and myself (Liam) all playing in the Under 170’s and Andrew acting as a spare incase a player had a bye and helping his students between games.

Gareth was the most successful and managed to finish joint second with 3.5 out of 5, while Daniel finished with 2.5 and Mark and myself finished with 2 (all out of 5).

I had a good weekend even though my grade suffered a little, the complete cross table can be found here along with some pictures of the event.

Finally a thanks must be given to all the organisers including Mike Truran and arbiters for providing such a great weekend’s chess and see you all at Kidlington Chess Congress in February.

Cumnor 1 v Bicester 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 kicked off the season with a draw against Bicester 1 on Thursday night.


On board 6, Chris was playing his first game for Cumnor, even though he lost the game he did say he enjoyed it.

Move 24 Rd3! Black now can't stop 25 Rh3#

My game (white) against Richard Beckett (black) move 24 Rd3! Black now can’t stop 25 Rh3#

I was the next to finish and the final position found been seen right after a Bishop sac on h6. Daniel and Mark finished shortly after, both picking up wins giving Cumnor 1 a 3-1 lead.

Andrew went a piece down after some good play from Tony and Gareth was forced to carry on playing as a Bicester win would draw the match while any other result would lead to a Cumnor victory.

Mike after the match admitted that he would have accepted a draw if the result had already be confirmed.

Unfortunately, Gareth missed a Knight fork and went an exchange down which gave Mike enough material and time to win the game.

The early table can be found here on the Oxfordshire chess website. Our next game is on Monday against Cowley 3 which should be another exciting match. This weekend is the Forth Witney Congress at Cokethorpe School more information can be found here, currently 4 Cumnor Players are amongst the other 65 players.

Oxfordshire Individual Chess Championship 2016-17

Black knightA proposal to revive the Oxfordshire Individual Chess Championship after a gap of about about fifteen years was approved by the recent County AGM. The title of Oxfordshire Individual Chess Champion and the trophy will accordingly go to the eligible player with the highest combined score in the Open sections of the Witney Chess Congress (coming up on the weekend of 22 & 23 October) and the Kidlington Chess Tournament being held on Saturday & Sunday 4 & 5 February.

A player will be eligible provided that either (i) his or her (main) home at the time of both events is in Oxfordshire, or (ii) he or she has played a combined total of at least four games in the Oxfordshire League and (representing the Oxfordshire Open team) in the Chilterns League before the end of January in the season in which both events are held. In the event of eligible players being tied for the highest combined number of points, the title will be shared.

I encourage the ambitious among you to enter the Open sections of both weekend events, and especially not to delay entering the Open section at Witney, coming up later this month. See the Witney Chess Club website (http://www.witneychess.co.uk/).

Gerard O’Reilly
Organizer, Oxfordshire Individual Chess Championship

Witney Rapidplay and Witney Weekend Congress 2016

Players deep in thought at the last Witney Congress

Players deep in thought at the last Witney Congress

Here’s the usual reminder a month beforehand about the Witney Rapidplay on Sunday 25 September at The Batt School. Last year we had no fewer than 84 entries for what is one of the best value congresses in the UK – I’m hoping we can beat that number this time!

You can find online and hard copy entry forms here: www.witneychess.co.uk/witneyrapid16_entry.htm.

And the fourth Witney Weekend Congress takes place on 22nd and 23rd October 2016 at Cokethorpe School. Online and entry forms here: www.witneychess.co.uk/4thwitney_entry.htm.

Mike Truran
Witney Chess Club