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

A good Week For A & B Teams

A good week for Chandlers Ford A and B teams with wins for both. Plus, the new ECF chess grades list has been published. Malcolm Clarke reports.

Both Chandlers Ford A and B teams won their matches this week.  The A team achieved their first win of the season when they beat Winchester B 3-2.  The fop four boards were all drawn with apart from Peter Przybycin’s game against David Kinsler on board 4 which was double edged all looked likely to be draws for most of the game.  This left David Culliford’s game against John Schonenberger on board 5 outstanding and Culliford had a two pawn advantage which he was able to take into the end game and he eventually won the game which he always going to do if he played correctly.

The B team won 2.5-1.5 at Ringwood to consolidate their position at the top of division 4.  The result was particularly meritorious as they were outgraded on all of the top three boards and by an average of more than 10 points overall.  Winners for Chandlers Ford were Dick Meredith on board 2 and Nobby George on board 4 with Sam Murphy on board 1 drawing his game. The players with the black pieces won three and drew one of the four games in this match.

The January 2020 grading list has now been published and players can view their new grade online.

January ECF Grades announced

The new English Chess Federation grades have been announced. The ECF Lists come out twice a year, at the end of July and the end of January. The January 2020 List should be used by team captains for determining playing strength and board order – see the Southampton Chess League website.

Chandler’s Ford Chess Club players have enjoyed mixed results, with some players increasing their Grade (James Daas and Sam Murphy both saw double-digit improvements: +26 and +13, and other players also improved), whilst some saw their grades slip a little.

Team, League, and County news

In his latest reports, Malcolm Clarke writes on team, League, and County news.

Chandlers Ford D whitewashed Chandlers Ford C beating them 4-0 in the Southampton Chess League.  It was the second time the D team had beaten the C team this season having beaten them in the division 5 cup, although the C team, won the first league game between the teams earlier in the season.  For this league match the C team were without their two strongest players in Peter Eales and Manoj Chandar, while the D team were able to field a team as strong as they have fielded all season.  However it was still a good performance by the D team with even Keven Lamb the C team captain who has enjoyed recent success in chess tournaments losing his game on board 3 to Rob Sims.  To add to the occasion four additional games counting for grading purposes only were played and of these two were drawn and the other two won by Dick Meredith and John Kooner.

Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020
Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020

Winchester C drew 2-2 with Andover B with Sam Rebdi winning his game for Winchester and Graham Payne and John Schonenberger drawing.

Former Chandlers Ford A team captain Chris Priest, Basingstoke’s Frank Bonsey and Bob Cleave were all in the Hampshire team that lost 11.5-4.5.  All three were amongst the bottom seven boards all of whom lost their games, but in fairness on all of these boards the Hampshire player was rated 20 or more grading points lower than their opponents., and over the 16 boards the grading discrepancy averaged approximately 18 points.

The division 5 cup final between Chandlers Ford D and Salisbury C will be played at Salisbury on Thursday 12th March.  Winchester A’s match with Ringwood B was postponed, but Chandlers Ford’s A and B team are expected to return to action this week.

New Year News round-up

Malcolm Clarke‘s New Year article, that appeared in this week’s Hampshire Chronicle print edition, reports on a good Rapid-play tournament for one of our players; plus Basingstoke and Winchester meet in the League; the outcome of a chess arbitration decision;and a party.

Chess Article

In the under 105 grading section of the Golders Green chess congress Keven Lamb captain of the Chandlers Ford C team and webmaster of his chess club’s website obtained 4.5 points from 6 games, a good performance. 

Golders Green Rapid-Play 4 Jan 2020
Golders Green Rapid-Play Chess tournament, 4th Jan 2020

In the Southampton Chess League Division 5 Winchester D are still seeking their first win after losing 2,5-1,5 to league leaders Basingstoke, with Alan Weaver being Winchester’s sole winner and Bryan White drawing his game.

As a result of James Daas’s game being drawn after being referred to an English Chess Federation arbiter Chandlers Ford D beat Salisbury C 2.5-1.5 in the Southampton Chess League.

Chandlers Ford chess club stalwart Steve Dunleavy hosted a party at his home on the Saturday before Christmas which was attended by several chess club members many of whom bought their partners and the guest list included the former Southampton footballer Nicky Banger, an expert pianist who has starred in Mamma Mia and a saxophonist who provided the music for the evening.  Steve, his wife Suzan and their daughter Hannah provided the hospitality for the evening.

League fixtures for the Chandlers Ford club resume on Tuesday 14th January when for the third time this season Chandlers Ford C and D team meet with both teams likely to have full squads to choose from.

Happy New Year to all our readers

D Team beats C team in Super-match of 8 boards

Chandler’s Ford‘s C and D Teams are both in Southampton Chess League Division 5, and have already met this season. Tuesday 14th January was the ‘return’ fixture, C team hosting (although both teams in their own home venue, the home or away distinction decides which players play with which colour pieces: the ‘Away’ side plays white on odd-numbered boards).

Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020 (photo by Suzan Dunleavy)
Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020 (photo by Suzan Dunleavy)

Division 5 fixtures are played across 4 boards, but the League permits an extra graded game for grading purposes. We stretched that facility to have not one but four graded pairings in addition to the League match boards 1-4. A big event for us: we’ve previously had two matches at club before against two visiting clubs, with up to ten of our players involved at the same time – but this was between two of our own teams, both at double-numbers: 16 players of our club playing at the same time! A super-match played over 8 boards.

Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020
Chandlers Ford C (left) v D team (right) Tuesday 14th January 2020, photo by Suzan Dunleavy.

So how did the match play out? Well, a conclusive win for the D team, with 6 points to 2, with the League Match boards 1-4 a romping 0-4 win for the D team. This result propels the D team up to second place in Division 5, a great start to their second half of the 2019-2020 season. There were some surprises with a couple of out-graded players getting draws against their higher-graded opponents: Ian Parker against Sam Murphy and David Culliford against Graham Stuart. See full individual results below, and the match result card submitted to the SCL with match comments and results of the extra grading pairings.

Results Card 2019-20, Division 5 Super-match: CFC v CFD plus multiple grading pairings

Date: Tuesday 14th January 2020

Chandlers Ford C ECF
1 Maha Chandar
96 0 James Daas 95 1
2 Don Creasey
85 0 Rob Bird 103 1
3 Keven Lamb
0 Rob Sims 95 1
4 Steve Saunders
64 0 Nobby George 88 1
League Match result

0 League Match result 4
5 (grading purposes only) Rose Saunders


(grading purposes only) John Kooner

6 (grading purposes only) Dick Meredith


(grading purposes only) Steve Dunleavy

(grading purposes only)
Sam Murphy


(grading purposes only) Ian Parker


8 (grading purposes only) Graham Stuart


(grading purposes only) David Culliford


Total of the 8 boards
2 Total of the 8 boards

You may be wondering why some strong players weren’t in the top 4, match-board half of the line-up. This was to avoid eligibility issues now or later in the season, as the players would normally play for our A or B teams in Divisions 3 or 4.

Although I write as the captain of the losing team, I must say the event was a highlight of the season for me, seeing so many players of the club all participating in such a good atmosphere and showing flexibility to make the ‘super-match’ possible. A really enjoyable evening. Kev Lamb.