Online Chess; Gillian Moore to stand down as SCL Committee Chairman

Malcolm Clarke has two stories to report on this week: an online chess opportunity, and change at the top of the League Committee.

Although the Coronavirus has put over the board chess on hold until things improve there are still many opportunities to play chess online.

Ringwood chess club has instigated Lichess arena events for its club members, and  this is also open to members of other local chess clubs.  Further details of the events being organised can be found either on the Ringwood chess club website or by contacting the organiser

Gillian Moore is standing down as chairman of the Southampton Chess League at the next AGM. after more than 10 years of honourable service.  If local player or chess enthusiast wants to take over and carry on Gilllian’s good work the Southampton Chess League committee would like to hear from them.

Fraser McLeod receives the Individual Cup
League President Gillian Moore presents Fraser McLeod with the Individual Cup at the 2019 SCL AGM.

Chess season on hold

Malcolm Clarke‘s latest press report announces the chess club’s closure until further notice due to the coronavirus. Things have moved rapidly in the last few days, with the Prime Minister’s announcement that social venues should all close. Our venue, Chandler’s Ford Central Club, is now closed.

Like all other sporting events the Coronavirus has put the chess season on hold and Chandlers Ford are one of many local clubs to stop meeting until further notice.

Originally with their spacious venue allowing a reasonable amount of spaces between boards and the introduction of vigorous hand hygiene and sanitisation procedures they did consider the possibility of playing on, but things have moved on in the 10 days since that option was considered and  with vulnerable adults being amongst the chess playing community, as the government introduced more radical measures to prevent the spread of the disease there was absolutely no way the club could not fall into line.

The Chandlers Ford chess club had six remaining league matches to play, two for both the B and D teams and one for both the A and C team, but at the present time it is clear that people’s health is a more important consideration.

Chess Club Closed During Coronavirus

Chandlers Ford Chess Club will not be meeting until the Covid-19 Coronavirus health crisis is over.

Southampton Chess League and Cup matches are all off as the SCL’s default position from now, and several chess clubs had already announced they are closing for the duration.

Government health advice about the coronavirus to everyone can be found at the government website and at the NHS website. Further information about social distancing (avoiding contact with other people) – and isolation – can be found on the BBC website.

Please note: this Post relates to the Chess Club: the venue itself is still open – as long as you don’t have symptoms.

B still top Division 4;D lose Division 5 Cup Final

The B Team stay top of Division 4 despite losing one match, whilst the D team played in the Division 5 Cup Final. Malcolm Clarke reports.

Chandlers Ford B suffered their first league defeat of the season when they went down 2.5-1.5 to University C. Despite this they comfortably sit at the top of Division 4, but they can still be caught by three other teams. Surprisingly it is only the bottom three teams that can catch them with Andover whose last four games are all at home, one of which is against Chandlers Ford having the best chance. The two players with the white pieces got Chandlers Ford’s 1.5 points against University with Keven Lamb winning and David Culliford drawing.

Chandlers Ford D lost their Division 5 Cup final against Salisbury C 3-1 with the two players playing with the black pieces Rob Sims and Steve Dunleavy drawing, with Dunleavy’s draw against a higher graded player being particularly meritorious.  A couple of games counting for grading purposes only were played, but both of these were won by the Salisbury player,

A Loss And A Win Against Salisbury

Malcolm Clarke reports on 2 Chandler’s Ford matches against Salisbury -and their different outcomes. Also, Winchester C’s match against Southampton D.

Chandlers Ford C were whitewashed 4-0 by Salisbury C, but the Chandlers Ford A team had better luck in a match against Salisbury B winning 3-2 in a match which featured four draws.  Dave Holmes, Graham Stuart and Sam Murphy agreed draws early in proceedings which just left the games involving Ian Hardwick and David Culliford outstanding.  Hardwick was a pawn up and the game went down to a rook and pawn ending, which the Chandlers Ford player won after his opponent lost a rook, although by that stage in proceedings he had a winning position anyway,  Culliford agreed a draw when although after fighting back from an inferior position to be ahead on material after his opponent had allowed a pawn fork he was desperately short of time on the clock and agreed a draw to ensure the match was won.

Winchester C won 2.5-1.5 against Southampton D with Bob Cleave and Sam Rebdi the two players playing with the white pieces being their winners and Graham Payne drawing his game,  Winchester C are comfortably second in division 4, but they and third placed University C are the only teams in the division that cannot catch leaders Chandlers Ford B

Shattered Plate Hopes

This week Malcolm Clarke reports on the recent matches in the Robertson Plate and Cup.

Both Chandlers Ford teams were beaten in the Robertson Plate, but although the A team went down 4.5-0.5 to Fareham and the B team 5-0 to University B, but in truth they did well to get teams out for both matches.

The Chandlers Ford A team faced Fareham whose team consisted of players who had played in their team  that is currently top of Southampton Chess League Division 1, while the Chandlers Ford team had only David Holmes of the first choice A team players available and it was Holmes who got the team’s only half point, although all of the other Chandlers Ford players made their opponents work hard for their victories..

However rules do not allow players to represent more than one Chandlers Ford team in the competition and as a result the five players who played against Fareham could not play against the University.  Chandlers Ford’s situation became more difficult when for a match where captain Nobby George required one more player than he would for a normal league game, six of the seven players he asked to play at the club night two days before the game were unable to make it.  However phone calls from George and an email sent by secretary Malcolm Clarke yielded the three additional players.

The Chandlers Ford team faced a University B team  identical to that had played against the Chandlers Ford A team the previous week apart from the boards 3 and 4 being interchanged,  Despite being whitewashed the Chandlers Ford team gave a good account of themselves and particular credit should also be given to Suzan Dunleavy who provided transport for her husband and three other players.

In the Robertson Cup Winchester lost 4-1 to  Ringwood despite Jon Barnes and Alan Dyos getting draws against opponents more than  35 points higher graded than themselves.

When Steve met the chess hustlers of New York

Our intrepid chess explorer Steve Dunleavy and his wife Suzan visited New York in October, where they met the local street chess hustlers in Union Square. Steve tells us what happened; photos by Suzan.

Steve Dunleavy in New York, October 2019
Steve Dunleavy (right) against local chess player John Hill in New York, October 2019 (photo by Suzan Dunleavy)

I lost 3 games against John Hill who is easily graded 100+.

I played 3 lost 3, all on the clock against the same opponent. There was an anti-Trump demo in the background. The chess player hustlers play all day every day. There are a couple of locations that they play at. I found them on YouTube. One of the games I should have won; nice chap, very knowledgeable and helpful.

Actually it was an incredible day. A “Trump Out” protest in the background and such a wealth of diverse characters….. almost as diverse as CF Chess Club

Each game costs $5 if you lose. You have to keep a very close eye on them as they can often make illegal/inappropriate moves and pass them off as a mere mistake.

Steve Dunleavy in New York, October 2019
Steve Dunleavy ponders his next move against chess hustler John Hill in New York, October 2019 (photo by Suzan Dunleavy)

Links to some articles about Union Square chess players:

A Black and White Game: the Chess Players of Union Square

Chess hustler earns $400 a day

A Team success at University

Chandler’s Ford A Team achieved a good result away at Southampton University; Winchester A and B teams both suffered defeats. Malcolm Clarke reports.

Chandlers Ford A had their top two boards available, but nine other players unavailable for their away match with University B who were weakened themselves and it was the away team who emerged 3.5-1.5 winners.  Ian Hardwick, Sam Murphy and Keven Lamb the three players playing with the white pieces were Chandlers Ford’s winners, while David Holmes who was the only Chandlers Ford player to play in both matches against University B drew his game.

Hardwick was able to prevent his opponent from castling and took full advantage, Lamb threatened in the same move to check mate his opponent and to win his opponent’s queen with a discovered arrack and the opponent was unable to defend against both threats, while Murphy also won his opponent’s queen.  The result moved Chandlers Ford into second place, above Salisbury B on game points.

Winchester B were beaten 3-2 by Salisbury B with Alan Dyos winning his game and Robin Atkins and David Kinsler drawing.  The Winchester A team lost 3-2 to Hamble A with John Schonenberger being their sole winner, with Dyos and Atkins drawing.

Castle Chess Fareham Congress 28 February – 1st March

The Lysses House Hotel, Fareham
The Lysses House Hotel, Fareham, venue for Castle Chess and HCA Congresses

Castle Chess have their 16th Fareham Congress tournament on Friday 28th February- Sunday 1st March 2020. It will be at the Lysses House Hotel, 51 High Street, Fareham, PO16 7BQ.

Castle Chess have run a number of Congresses over recent years at this pleasant venue: this is Castle Chess’s “16th Fareham Congress” (they quite often host two Congresses per year at the Lysses, one earlier in the year, one in the Autumn.)

The format of the Congress is a six-Round Swiss: round one on the Friday evening, three rounds on the Saturday, and the last two games on the Sunday, with prize-giving by 17:30. Byes may be requested.

There are three sections: Open (including Premier Under 175 ECF grade), Major U155 (including Intermediate U135), and the Minor U115 (including Challengers U95).

The Congress costs £34 to enter, with a £7 discount for Juniors. There are also various accommodation packages – available through Castle Chess – if you would like to stay at the Lysses.

The rate of play for the games is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes QPF (Quick Play Finish).

EVENT ENQUIRIES: Tony Corfe, 51 Borough Way, Potters Bar, Herts. EN6 3HA Tel: 01707 661160 Mob: 07973 516718 email: or See the Castle Chess website’s Fareham Congress form page:

Big Basingstoke Battle

A big battle for Division 5 dominance as Chandlers Ford D visited Basingstoke – and a big match anyway, played on 7 boards (4 match, 3 grading). Malcolm Clarke reports on that, plus Winchester C’s draw against the University; and a good tournament for Chandlers Ford player Keven Lamb (me! Thanks Malcolm!)

Chandlers Ford D team were beaten  2.5-1.5 by a Basingstoke team who are now strong favourites to win the Division 5 title.  Three extra games were played in this match which count for grading purposes only and theses were all won by the Basingstoke player.  In the match itself Nobby George was Chandlers Ford’s sole winner, while Rob Sims drew his game. 

Winchester C drew 2–2 with University C with their winners being Graham Payne and John Schonenberger on the top two boards.

At the Kidlington chess congress Chandlers Ford’s Keven Lamb won a grading prize as a result of obtaining three points out of five in the section for players graded under 120 and he won £20 having obtained 3 points out of 5.  Of Keven’s three victories at the event two were against higher graded opponents.  Marcus Harvey formerly of Southampton University won the Open section at this event.

Kidlington Chess Tournament
Kidlington Chess Tournament 1-2 February 2020: between game rounds