September 2021 round-up

September 2021 round-up: Fareham Congress reminder; online tournament results; a new Book Prize Tournament – and 3 years of the website.

Classic antiquity style chess set

Castle Chess Fareham Congress 1-3 October

Castle Chess’s Fareham Congress Tournament is next weekend, and numbers are looking good, with 63 players entered so far. There is still time to enter, and the capacity of the event is 70.

The tournament (over the board games) will be at the Lysses House Hotel, 51 High Street, Fareham, PO16 7BQ.

The format of the Congress is a six-Round Swiss: round one on the Friday evening starts at 19:00, three rounds on the Saturday, and the last two games on the Sunday, with prize-giving by 17:30. Byes may be requested (except Round 6). The rate of play for the games is 36 moves in 90 minutes plus 15 minutes QPF (Quick Play Finish).

There are three sections:

  • Open: Under 2001 (=175 former ECF grade system),
  • Major: Under 1901 (=160),
  • Minor: under 1601 (=120).

The Congress costs £35 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 hotel has a wide range of safety measures in place, especially cleaning. These will include the necessity of having to purchase drinks at the bar rather than the self-service Castle Chess normally provides. Castle Chess plan to run the event as a normal over the board weekend chess tournament. If that succeeds, the normal capacity of the venue is 70.

Online club tournaments

Currently two online tournaments run each week on, but this is likely to reduce to one as we return to over-the-board chess in greater numbers. Both weekly events are rapid play games: the Arena currently at a straight ten minutes per game, whilst the 5-round swiss uses a short increment of 3 seconds per move on top of the basic 7 minutes per game.

In last Monday’s Chandler’s Ford Arena event, on 20th September, contested by 12 players, Keith Gregory won, with an impressive 100% win rate. Ian Partridge came 2nd and John Zastapilo 3rd. John now lives in Belgium, so the online format is ideal to keep in touch with old chess club friends. Thursday’s 5-round event on 23rd had only 7 players; John Zastapilo this time achieving top podium slot, with Sam Murphy 2nd and Patrick Pavey 3rd.

2021 Book Prize Tournament

Peter Przybycin, who ran last year’s Book Prize Tournament, has set up this year’s. It is bigger than last year’s, and the 19 players are in two all-play-all Sections. There is a Book prize for each Section. More details, including Round 1 player pairings, in a separate Post soon.

On the subject of chess books, another Post will feature club player Kev Byard’s article An Old Chess Book That I Bought: the 1927 print of an 1895 book, Gunsberg’s The Chess Openings. Kev Byard now lives in New Zealand, but joins us online for our lichess club tournaments and for the online chat with his old chess friends.

Website 3 years old!

And finally for this Post – the 216th published Post on this website- here’s to another year of The website’s 1st Post was on 26th September 2018: Chandler’s Ford Chess Club. Some other posts include:

Hampshire v Kent County Match

Board 1 at the Hampshire v Kent chess match 4th September 2021: Keith Nevols (Kent, left), Chris McSheehy (Hampshire, right).
Board 1 : Keith Nevols (Kent, left), Chris McSheehy (Hampshire, right).

The pre-season county matches

The chess match played over the board on Saturday 4th September was one of a series of pre-season County matches. This series is between 4 county teams: Hampshire, Essex, and 2 Kent teams (Haddrell and Steele). The teams are composed of 8 players whose English Chess Federation grades must average no more than 1600. This is a challenge for their captains when the English Chess Federation grades for the players can change monthly. Players must have up to date ECF membership.

Hampshire’s fixtures:
  • Sat 14th August, Essex v Hants at Wanstead House, Wanstead, 1.30pm start. Hants lost 7.5 – 0.5. See David Culliford’s match report.
  • Sat 3rd September, Hants v Kent Haddrell at the Warren Centre, Micheldever Station, 1.30pm start. Hants lost 5-3.
  • Sat 25th September, Kent Steele v Hants at St Anselms Church Hall, Dartford, 12.30pm start.

This was the second of three pre-season county chess matches, played over the board between Hampshire vs Kent Haddrell, one of two Kent teams in the pre-season 1600-average rating competition. Half of the Hampshire team were Chandler’s Ford Chess Club players. The club’s David Culliford stepped in at the last minute to be team captain. He gives a match report below.

The venue: the Warren Centre, Micheldever Station

This is a brief update on today’s county chess match, Hampshire versus Kent Haddrell, in the pre-season over-the-board 1600 average rating competition. The match took place at the Warren Centre, Micheldever Station.

Everything turned out fine with the venue, the kit, the players (except one default from Kent on board 6 – sorry about that, Manoj) and the weather, which was fine and pleasant.

I met the Warren Centre’s representative at 1pm and he showed me the venue layout, with which I was already familiar.

Earlier in the day, I managed to obtain some sets, boards, clocks and scoresheets from our club cupboard at Chandler’s Ford. Players from both teams helped set out the tables, chairs, sets, etc., and Andy from Kent kindly set the clocks for G105/15, as required, so there was no need to fall back on the ‘all moves in 2 hours’ option.

We started pretty much on time, just before 1:35pm, before which I gave the usual announcements, supplemented by some comments about the pandemic-related practicalities (e.g. masks to be worn, hand gel available, windows open to air the venue, etc.)

No issues arose throughout, except that Kent defaulted board 6 after one hour from the start of White’s clock.

Andy Dovey, Kent, and David Culliford, Hampshire (right) 4th September 2021. Kent captain David Gilbert at left of photo.
Andy Dovey, Kent, and David Culliford, Hampshire (right) 4th September 2021. Kent captain David Gilbert at left of photo.

Defeat for Hampshire

I found the Kent captain, David Gilbert, to be very friendly and pleasant, and he has kindly logged the result on the ECF’s League Management System, so please refer to the following link for the full result, which was a 5-3 defeat for us.

Hampshire Minor v Kent Haddrell | ECF League Management System (

The Hampshire side scored wins on Boards 6 (default) and 8, and drew on boards 2 and 4, but lost on the other boards. Result: loss, Hampshire 35 Kent Haddrell.

Andrew Heard, Kent (left) v Alan Willis at the Hampshire v Kent chess match 4th September 2021
Andrew Heard, Kent (left) v Alan Willis , Hampshire

All in all, it was a very pleasant day, and thanks to all the Kent and Hampshire players who played and who helped with the setup and the putting away of the tables and chairs afterwards.


Keven Lamb at the Hampshire v Kent chess match 4th September 2021
Hampshire’s board 8 player Keven Lamb