My name is David Norris, and I
used to play for the club as a
teenager in the 1970s. In 1978 I
left to study, and barely played
I read your report and
interview with Keith Broome with
interest, and can maybe supply you
with a few other names from that
period. I certainly remember Keith
and being driven around Oxfordshire
on Thursday evenings to play. If I
remember correctly the club had two
teams then. The top player was
called Anthony Ogus, who I think
lectured at one of the Oxford
colleges. I remember playing against
the OU pieces with John Nunn on top
board, John dashed outside telling
one of his other players that
Anthony could win the exchange and
have a better position, but he
didn't and I'm sure we lost 6-0.
Other notables of the club
were a DJ Williams who was a modern
language teacher at Henry Box. He
ran the school chess club for many
years, and encouraged quite a few of
the school team to also play for
Witney. Apart from myself these also
included Charles Hornsby, Simon
Mills, Peter Baden, and my brother
Martin. Others who I remember from
that time are a John Williams, who
was at Wood Green, there was also a
guy called Tim from Eynsham who had
a stall at Witney market. There are
a few more who I can remember, but
the names are eluding me at present.
I can see that the chess club
is far stronger than it was in my
day, so it is nice to see it as a
success. Hope you find this useful.
This popular one-day event was an excellent warm-up for the new season, and is
one of the best-value congresses around. It took place on
Sunday 24 September
The venue was as usual The Batt C of E
Primary School in central Witney. There were two main
sections, Senior and Junior (Major & Minor).
Pairings, results and
| Junior Minor
List of Entries |
collection of photos from the day - with thanks to Andrew
5 free plastic sets and boards
We are pleased for the opportunity for Witney Chess Club to claim 5
free chess sets and to include the link to Chess 4 Schools
Chess 4 Schools is a specialist retailer of Chess
Sets for Schools and Clubs.
Further news, should we be successful, will be
posted as soon as we know!
Matt Rose | July 2017
Cowley Summer Blitz was held on Monday 26th June
at the Rose Hill Methodist Church on Rose Hill.
Matthew Rose reports and includes a very
instructive game played against GM Peter Wells
and a position puzzle (with solution!).
Read more here.
Witney Chess Club Summer Tournament 2017
Ian Gilders was the top
performer in the Witney Chess Club Summer Tournament, scoring 6.5 points
from 8 rounds. There were 12 players, with 2 further players standing in
when others were unable to attend during the 4 weeks of play. Half the
entries were junior members, and a time handicap system was used to
enable players with lower ECF grades to have a realistic chance of
After Round 7, Ian saw his lead in the tournament
slip away after losing his pawn end-game to Howard Searle (who was
standing in for Bill Read). Elizaveta Sheremetyeva took advantage by
beating her fellow junior player Shira Parnes. However, in Round 8
Ian was able to beat junior Hugo Rayner whilst Elizaveta found the
time handicap worked against her when she lost to Thomas Griffiths
whilst under time pressure. This left a relieved Ian Gilders half a
point ahead of Elizaveta.
The tournament was played in a friendly
atmosphere with all players enjoying their chess. It provided a good
opportunity for relatively new players to extend their experience
and for players across the league divisions to play each other.
Click here to see the tournament summary sheet.
- Derek Edwards
Megafinal Report 2017 -
The Oxfordshire Megafinal held on Saturday 29
April at Cokethorpe School attracted over 200 strong juniors, with
Witney players performing creditably.
The most notable success among our
juniors was Hugo Rayner’s 1st place in the U11 section; with 5 out
of 6 points he only lost a tough game in the last round to the 2nd
placed competitor. Hugo achieved the title of U11 Supremo.
Bill Read (U13) - 4½/6
2nd place Freddie Beneat (U11) - 4/6
Joshua Soanes (U14) - 3½/6
3rd place Elizaveta Sheremetyeva (U15) - 3½/6
Good luck to everyone in the coming Southern
Gigafinal on the 22-23 July!
Wells Simultaneous Display
Peter held his annual simultaneous
display at Witney Chess Club’s Ducklington Village Hall venue on
Monday 20 March 2017.
Always a popular event, it received very positive feedback from the
juniors in particular. Peter found time to talk about their
individual games, and signed an autographs
for those that asked.
The evening was open to all Oxfordshire players,
and was well attended.
See a collection of photos here
particular thanks to Paul Girdlestone and club members.
Kidlington - 2017 Tournament Report
Much to the organizer's surprise,
we had a full house (192 players) for the Kidlington Tournament
nearly a week before the start, with the result that we had to close
You can find a full
report of the tournament, as well as
crosstables of the four sections and a full list of
prizewinners on the
Kidlington Chess Tournament website.
Among notable successes by Witney
players, clearly the headline has to be Marcus Harvey's splendid
outright win (repeating his clear victory in 2015) in the Open
section on 4.5/5, ahead of pre-tournament favourite, Grandmaster
John Nunn. (The half-point he dropped was against Nunn in Round 3,
and he beat Oxford University's Portuguese FM David Martins in the
key game of the final round.) Also in the Open section, Dave
Hackett, who I gather played in the very first Kidlington Tournament
as a junior, had an excellent Saturday with 2.5/3, but came up
against even tougher opponents on the Sunday. Jake Holton scored
2/5, in the process marginally outperforming his grading. In the
Oxfordshire Individual Championship revived this season, the title
and trophy going to the eligible player with the highest combined
score in the Open sections at Witney in October and at Kidlington,
David Zakarian emerged as the winner with a total of 5.5 points,
with Zoe Varney in second place on 5 points. (Marcus Harvey scored
4.5/5 at Kidlington, but he didn't play at Witney!)
In the U180 section Alan Gentry
scored well above his grading, scoring three points and losing only
to two of the players who shared second place. In the U145 section,
young Bill Read scored a very creditable 3/5. And in the U120
section Hugo Rayner finished on +1 with 3 points, losing in the
final round to one of the joint winners.
My thanks go to everyone involved
in making the tournament a success: to all who came to play; to the
staff at our venue, Exeter Hall, Kidlington; to Andrew Butterworth
of Chess Direct, for
providing the bookstall and the sets and boards for the tournament,
as well as many of the clocks we used; to Helen Hackett of
Hacketts Food & Drink
of Witney; to Ian Brooke; and most of all to our team of controllers
(Tim Dickinson, Priscilla Morris, Andrew Varney and Lucy Smith) who
ran things in their usual efficient, unruffled and friendly way, and
to our Treasurer, Tom Williams, who is now standing down after being
at the heart of the organization of Kidlington for all the first 40
years of its existence. A very special 'Thank you' to Tom!
The 41st Kidlington Chess
Tournament will take place on Saturday & Sunday 3 & 4 February 2018.
Further details and entry forms will be available later this year. I
hope to see many of you there!
- Gerard O'Reilly
Witney Grades - January 2017
provides guidance on using this list, and on grades in general. It
answers many frequently asked questions.
Cowley Christmas Blitz 2016
Cowley Christmas Blitz, held
on Monday 5 December,
attracted an excellent total
of 62 participants, the
highest number for many
The tournament resulted in a tie on
9 points from 10 games between
Daniel Varney (Cumnor) and Cowley's
Will Burt, with Daniel taking first
prize on the tie-breaking system.
Third and fourth place respectively
(again separated only on tie-break)
were Cowley's Rich Weston and Mike
A number of Witney's juniors
competed. Among them was Bill Read,
who was among the prizewinners for
the third successive Cowley Blitz.
In last year's Christmas Blitz he
won the Best Under-12 prize. This
summer, he won the Best Under-130
grading prize, and last Monday he
won the Best Under-14 prize.
Congratulations to Bill!
The full list of prizewinners is as follows:
Rose Hill Methodist Church, Oxford
1st: Daniel Varney (Cumnor)
2nd: Will Burt (Cowley) 9
3rd: Rich Weston (Cowley) 8
4th: Michael Handley (Cowley) 8
Best Cowley player: Maria Mate 7.5
Best visitor: Dan Rowan (Banbury) 7.5
Best junior (U18): Hari Selvaraj (MCS/Blackbirds)
Best lady: Jasmine Burgess (Cowley)) 4.5
Best U165: Ian Bush (MCS/Blackbirds) 7.5
Best Cowley U155: Bob Waugh 7
Best visitor U155: Kelly Riley (Cowley Workers)
Best U14: Bill Read (Witney) 5
Best U145: Tamal Matilal (Cowley Workers) 5.5
Best U130: Billy McCauley (-) 5
Best ungraded: Jim Vincent (-) 5
Best U12: Jenith Wiratunga (Cowley) 4
Best U10: David Kardashyan (William Fletcher
Best slow starter - 0/2: Domas Druzas (Didcot) 5
Best very slow starter - 0/4: Hakeem Asif
- Gerard O'Reilly (11 December 2016)
Witney Weekend Congress
place on 22nd & 23rd October 2016 at
Cokethorpe School, Witney. There were
four main sections: Open, U170, U145 and U120
with a prize fund of over £1900.
Pairings and Results
The annual Witney
Rapidplay tournaments took place on Sunday 25
September at the Batt School in Witney.
There were lots of
trophies, medals and certificates! In
addition, there were good quality
trophies for permanent retention for the top
three places in each section. Ties were
broken using sum of progressive scores,
followed by sum of opponents’ scores where
Junior Major |
Thank you for your support - MT.
Dates for your diaries
30.8.16 - The AGM is on
- start 19:30, so we may not run a junior
session that evening (although there will
probably be some chess from around 20:30).
Normal club nights start again on
Looking forward to seeing you all for the new season!
Pavel features in Guardian chess column
Michael Adams, the England No1,
is making a rare appearance in the
annual British championship, which
reaches its half-way mark at Bournemouth
on Saturday. Games are free and live to
watch online (starting at 2.30pm), with
master and computer commentaries to help
understanding of what is happening.
Read more in Leonard Barden's column
about the Championships
Cowley Summer Blitz
Although over fifty people
registered for this year's
Cowley Summer Blitz, held on
Monday 27 June, we ended up with
a slightly lower figure of 47
participants. (Perhaps some
couldn't resist the lure of
watching live on TV the England
v Iceland soccer match at the
Full report with results here ... with thanks to - Gerard
The annual club dinner took place at
Hacketts in Witney on Friday 20 May, and the trophy winners were:
Witney 1: Dave Hackett
Witney 3: Elizaveta Sheremetyeva
Witney 4: Marianne Hauer
Witney 5: Freddie Beneat
Chairman's Award: Josh Soanes
More photos here
Wells Simultaneous Display - 14 March 2016
Very many thanks
to Grandmaster Peter Wells for
another enjoyable and instructive
evening. Peter as always received
many accolades for his sporting and
generous conduct, including letting
players have numerous move passes
and allowing players to start a
second game in the event of a quick
loss. Mrs T.’s copious refreshments
also went down well, providing the
sustenance needed for the 25
attendees to achieve a number of
wins and draws.
another of Witney Chess Club’s crop
of promising juniors, deserves great
credit for his win against Peter, as
does even younger Hugo Rayner for
his fighting draw, and I understand
that Marc Ives’ draw will shortly be
doing the rounds of Cumnor Chess
Ian Bush (draw)
and Gary Reynolds (win) also
recorded excellent results.
Josh Soanes 1:0
Gary Reynolds 1:0
Marc Ives ½:½
Ian Bush ½:½
Hugo Rayner ½:½
Many thanks to everyone, whether players or
organisers (Alan, Tim, Danny and Faith), for their support, without
which these events could not take place.
More photos here
1st prize at the 39th Kidlington
I know it's a bit late but just
a few words about Pavel
(left) winning first prize
at the 39th Kidlington chess
congress on his third attempt.
This is the
first time he has entered the
U225 section as a top seed and
it was a new experience for him,
but he coped very well and went
on to win all his games
finishing top with 5 out of 5!
It was really fine display and
he managed to beat a list of
very strong opponents. After
four rounds he was leading with
4/4 and a point ahead from the
closest rivals so for the fifth
round all he needed was a quick
draw and he would have
guaranteed himself the outright
wining of the tournament. The
game started well and he was
offered a draw after 17-18 moves
but he declined and played on
like a champion!
proved to be one of the longest
games and was entertaining quite
a few spectators at the end of
the tournament and Pavel managed
to show his endgame skills and
won it to finish 5/5.
I am very
happy to see that Pavel is
taking over from where Marcus
has left it and keeping the
Kidlington title with the Witney
chess club! I hope Witney will
continue to see more success
stories of its players for the
years to come!
Prizewinners 2016 |
U225 Crosstable and Results
Other Crosstables |
10.2.16 - Witney Chess club were well
represented at Kidlington Chess Congress this
year, there being 11 players from our club spread over the 4 sections.
They were composed of 7 juniors and 4 seniors.
Congratulations must go to
Bill Read who scored 4/5 in the U120 section(2
draws and 3 wins) and came 2nd equal.
Bill has been board 1 for the
successful Witney 5 team all season and has
recently moved up to the 4th team. Definitely
one for the future.
Our biggest plaudits must go
to Pavel Asenov, (the highest-graded U 15 in the
country!) who won the top section, U 225,
with a marvellous 5/5, a
point clear of his nearest rival. At his rate of
progress, I doubt if he will be allowed entry
into that section next year! Pavel showed great
powers of concentration and will to win in his
last match when he could have easily accepted a
draw, forcing the situation in an unbalanced
position before going on to convert a Queen and
pawn ending with consummate skill.
Photos here with thanks to Brendan Gorman
Tournament Report by Gerard O'Reilly
- Alan Gentry.
Witney Grades -
Grades are based on results
up to 30th December 2015. They are not written in
stone. Corrections may be made at any time, both
to game results and to players' details, as
errors come to light. They are based on games
played up to 31st Dec 2015.
For detailed guidance on
using the list, see the new
ECF Grading website.
Cowley Christmas Blitz
The 2015 Cowley Christmas
Blitz was held on Monday 14 December and
attracted 54 entrants, the best total for our
Christmas Blitz in the years for which I have
records. The clear winner, with 9/10, was
Witney's Marcus Harvey, the sixth time he has
won the Cowley Blitz. The only point he dropped
was in the final round against Graham McInnes of
Didcot Chess Club. Sharing second place, a point
behind, were Jake Holton (Witney), the current
British Under-14 champion, and Didcot's Matthew
Staniforth. They were followed by five players
The success of Witney juniors
was a noteworthy feature of the event. In
addition to Jake Holton, other Witney juniors
walking away with prizes were Elizaveta
Sheremetyeva, Marianne Hauer, Bill Read and
Freddie Beneat. The complete prize list is as
Rose Hill Methodist Church, Oxford
1st: Marcus Harvey (Witney)
2nd: Jake Holton (Witney) 8
3rd: Matthew Staniforth
4th: Csaba Koszta (-) 7½
Best Cowley player: Will Burt
Best visitor: Graham McInnes
Best junior (U18): James Cole
Best lady: Francesca Matta (Bicester)
Best U165: Geoff Rasell
Best Cowley U155: Oscar Idle
Best visitor U155: John Place
Best U14: Elizaveta
Sheremetyeva (Witney) 5½
Best U145: Marianne Hauer
Best U130: Kelly Riley
(Cowley Workers) 5½
Best ungraded: Sandy Ruxton
Best U12: Bill Read (Witney)
Best U10: Freddie Beneat
Best slow starter - 0/2: Ian
Bush (MCS/Blackbirds) 5½
Best very slow starter - 0/4:
John Taylor (Cowley) 4
We at Cowley are grateful to
everyone who helped make the event a success,
Rose Hill Methodist Church
for allowing us the use of the downstairs Hall
for the event; the Kidlington Chess Tournament
for the loan of the equipment we used; those who
kindly donated prizes or made donations to the
Lester Millin Memorial Fund; John Taylor, Will
Burt, and Dave Robson for particular assistance
with the transporting of equipment and setting
up; Rob Harvey for manning the wallcharts and
keeping the results up to date round by round;
the many people who helped clear up afterwards;
and, above all, our controllers Tim Dickinson
and Priscilla Morris, for their calm and
efficient running of the event.
- Gerard O'Reilly (19
Witney Rapidplay and the third Witney Congress
Just to let you know that all
the details for the forthcoming Witney Rapidplay
(Sunday 27 September 2015) and the third Witney
Congress (the weekend of 17-18 October 2015) are
now available; just follow the “Witney Rapidplay
2015” and “3rd Witney Congress” links above.
You can find the entry forms
for the Witney Rapidplay
(separate junior and senior entry forms – please
also note that there are two sections in the
junior tournament) and for the third Witney
If you are able to enter
online, that makes the administration easier all
round! - Mike Truran
Photo from 2014 rapidplay event
Congress 17 and 18 October,
Cokethorpe School, Witney.
Pairings and Results:
More information |
Round times: Rd1 Sat 09.30; Rd2 Sat
14.00; Rd3 Saturday 18.30; Rd4
Sunday 09.30; Rd5 Sunday 14.00.
Pairings & Results:
Junior Major |
| Photos |
Matt Rose | September 2015
Young guns on rise in federation ratings
The latest English Chess Federation (ECF) ratings list has been
published showing the now standard upward march of younger brains at
the expense of their seniors.
Oxfordshire has a fine record of producing
promising juniors and presently boasts some of
the most impressive young players in the country
The British Chess
Championships 2015 were held at the University
of Warwick, incidentally where my parents both
went to university.
Before the U14 competition
came the U15, which I suppose was an overall
success: 74 FIDE points won, largely thanks to
beating the second and fourth seeds, but some
bad games, blundering an exchange then
collapsing the game after as a result.
Read Jake's report here ...
Many congratulations to Jake, who is the
new British U14 Champion after coming half a
point ahead of pre-tournament favourite Koby
Kalavannan (FIDE rating 2178).
You can find details of
Jake’s performance by following this link:
Pavel also did well in the
Championship itself, scoring 5½/11 with a 2200+
FIDE rating performance and including a draw
against Grandmaster Simon Williams.
Details of Pavel’s
performance can be found here:
from the 2014/15 season are
from the 2013/14 season are
from the 2012/13 season are