Barnsley C v Woodseats B

Our first league game of the season was the long trip to Barnsley, most of the journey at 50mph due to the never ending roadworks on the M1.

David was first to finish with a quick victory over Michael which I didn’t see any of unfortunately. I was playing a fairly uneventful game against Russell and once most of the pieces were exchanged a draw was quickly agreed. Bill had had a commanding position against Max but, as tiredness crept in, he let Max back into the game leading to our first loss of the night. Scores level at 1.5-1.5. Dave was ahead on material but down on time and fighting off a strong attack from Anthony. After an exchange of pieces just before the time control, Anthony’s attack had disappeared leading to his resignation. Steve had lost the exchange against Paul and this was all Paul needed to claim Barnsley’s 2nd win. Scores were now tied at 2.5-2.5. Michael was now defending an endgame down a piece and once Alan had managed to penetrate with his King it was all over. A tight game which we lost 3.5-2.5.

Summer League Classic moments!

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It’s going pretty well at the moment. We’re called Woodseats Olympians. We have a real Greek on Board one, who is a gentleman, strong player and, all in all, a thoroughly nice chap. He led the way against Rotherham B (3-1 to us) with the following fine effort:

Last night we went to Nomads, always a tough assignment, whatever the competition. We were led by Nick again with the support of the present author, the noble President of the club, Cap’n Billy (as he’s taken to calling himself at the moment) and Steve Daykin, a new member who is improving fast. Bill was on good form and easily coped with another new player (this time for Nomads-but surely a good sign for the Sheffield league) Ben Remy. This was in spite of Bill’s not getting his usual cup of tea (with five sugars). You should have seen the expression on the face of the barmaid when I asked:

Nick came through with another fine effort. It was a complicated game as his excellent notes show:

I managed an epilogue to the above. I chose a complicated variation against somebody with whom I’ve played correspondence chess. I’ve never beaten in that form of the game, so this was a pleasing result. I was lucky, though. I managed to find an upsetting shot, when Duncan was building up a fine position:

a modern day classic! Woodseats Olympians do battle!?

A spot of hyperbole (or possibly gentle satire) from the President:
Match 3.
Woodseats Olympians Worksop C

Nick(B) 0-1 A.Allen(W)
Peter 1-0 M.Clark
Kypros 1-0 A.Smith
Brendan 1/2 A.Story
Alexander 0-1 H.Osborne
Steve 0-1 D.Bedwell


Worksop had originally requested a 7 board match, but then could only raise 6. Having just done the morning shift at the pet shop, I was more than happy to sit back and watch.
And what a match I watched! A match full of intrigue and excitement, with every board exhibiting a different aspect of the beautiful game.
Board 2. Father Zeus had just a few days ago stepped off the shuttle from Olympus, and by his own admission was a little off the pace, but still managed to see off the crafty Micky Clark with a nice , controlled kings side attack. (Well, I don’t know about Father Zeus: ‘off the pace’ is a kind euphemism-see what you think

Board 5. Alexander played a very enterprising ‘queen for two rooks’ exchange to set up an intriguing endgame. However, his opponent managed to promote a passed pawn, giving him two queens to Alex’s none! A hurdle too large!
Board 3. Family pride was saved as Kypros outplayed his opponent comprehensively.
Board 4. A quiet game, fairly level throughout, which was agreed drawn.
Board 5. Steve had a promising game, but one which ended in that most notorious of outcomes, a rook and pawn ending, there may have been a win there, but I wouldn’t have liked to find it!
All of which meant that the score was 2.5 all, and suddenly everyone was looking at board 1!
Nick had sacrificed the exchange for two pawns, and a terrifying attack, but in the last match to finish, and the clocks ticking towards 10pm, the clocks by the board ticked down to minutes, and in Nick’s case, seconds! The entire audience stopped breathing as the Worksop player held out Nick’s attempt to push his extra pawns through, as the seconds ran out .
A magnificent match, one of the best I have ever witnessed, truly a modern day classic!

Captain Billy

Annual General Meeting 2016

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of Woodseats Chess Club will be held on


The Red Lion Function Room at


I have also invited Phill Beckett to speak to us on his work in Junior and Schools chess, and how we could get involved in this (and hopefully benefit from this involvement)


Bill Ward

Another view of the cup match.

It was wonderful to be part of another Woodseats success story after a testing season. Rotherham certainly didn’t roll over and our victory was down to the remarkable calm of Andrew and Mark on our top boards. With everybody else (especially Peter) flinching nervously around the corner of the room the leading Woodseats players were robotic in their delivery. Mark’s position grew stronger and stronger and it was his point which delivered the Plate but Andrew’s game drew just as much attention and I think all Woodseats members felt very proud of their talisman when he courteously accepted a draw when all he had to do was make literally any half dozen moves to win on time. I know the Rotherham players present appreciated this sportsmanship which I have noticed lacking in some other clubs and it was humourous to point out to Andrew that he managed to steal the show even after the result was already decided!
With one exception (the Nomads B match) I think this was the first time this year that I’ve played in a Woodseats team that outgraded our opponents. I found it liberating to know whatever my result we should (on paper) win and I took the opportunity to create an open game.

A view from the President’s chair

It was last orders at the bar at The Red Lion, and last matches for both A and B teams last evening. In a desperate attempt to find a building with a workable toilet (we’re having a new bathroom fitted) I went along to watch.

From where I sat, at the President’s Table, in the President’s Chair with the President’s cup of tea, the two matches were laid out in front of me.

There is a Legend that if the Ravens were to ever leave the Tower of London, it would fall down. I think the same could be true of Steve Moon and Dave Cook in the Red Lion. Those two, with the ‘New Kids On The Block’ (Michael Mullin. Dave Margenson and Steve Daykin) with captain Brendan Ashmore lined up against Nomads D in their last Division 5 match.

Across the room, Peter Hulse’s A/1 team were involved in the Richardson Plate Final(!!) against Rotherham. Our shining star, Andrew , together with three Ashleigh Boys (Mark, Andy, Nigel), Peter himself and Jon

Most importantly though, by the door, there was one of Pam’s legendary sumptuous buffets for our consumption!

For the B team, Steve M and Brendan found life on the top two boards difficult, but Dave C and the New Kids were ‘hanging tough’ to put a creditable 2.5 points on the scoreboard. Not quite enough to win perhaps, but with the Division 5 Trophy already secured it didn’t really matter.

Meanwhile, Peter acquired a trophy of his own, as the 1st team despatched Rotherham 4-2 without too much drama.

A wonderful evening of chess, with two well contested games, all set in a perfect venue with ideal hospitality. What more could a Club President ask for?!

May I thank all players, captains and other officials for a successful and enjoyable season. Despite our struggles, there is definitely a feeling of optimism for the days to come. We look to the future with excited anticipation.

Bill Ward

League and cup double by Woodseats chess club!


So after the triumph of the B team making sure of the Division Five championship, Woodseats 1 got the better of an heroic team from Rotherham. This was a very nervy match, I think, at least for the present writer. I could feel the heart beat rate going up and at my age that’s worrying! We’ve fought well all season on all fronts and winning this trophy (or plate more accurately) was very important for all concerned.
So there I am sitting down to play a game of chess with nerves ajangle and what am I faced with?-the Morra Gambit. Couldn’t be worse. At the cost of a pawn, White gets a lot of easy moves and a ready made attack. My opponent had proved himself to be a rogue of the first degree straightaway. Superb tactics (literally) on the part of the Rotherham player! He seemed such a nice chap. Any way here’s what happened:
[Event “Richardson Plate Final”]

In spite a rush of blood to somewhere or other on move 16, I managed to save my face, by doubling rooks as quickly as possible and glaring. My opponent was short of time and like me, I think, didn’t want to spoil his team’s score. There are definitely gods of chess!
Thank goodness everybody else played a lot better. Nigel drew, Jon won with a splendid kingside attack, which I hope to able to post. Andy played very calmly, made a B line for the sandwiches and always had the draw in hand against Chris Willey.
It all depended on Andrew and Mark on the top too boards. Against our board one, I think Chris Williams put up a splendid display. I think Andrew played one of his favourites as Black-the Grunfeld. It got very tactical but as usual he remained wonderfully calm throughout to the point that he very graciously offered his opponent a draw when he was about to lose on time with about four seconds on the clock. In fact he was so gracious that I thought from the body language-I was standing at the back of the crowd watching the game-he’d resigned. Opps! A faux-pas for which I hope I will be forgiven.
Mark’s game was a gem. He was the exchange up but in a tense ending, sacrificed a piece for two pawns, so that he was left with two connected passed pawns + rook, versus two knights. It was very nicely calculated and – thank goodness – the pawns outran the knights. Our man finished with aplomb!
P.S. the sandwiches provided by Pam and the Red Lion were excellent. Long live Woodseats Chess Club!

P.P.S. Thanks to S.J. Mann for the photograph (see further Sam Haystead Memorial trophy). It turns out to be a cup after all, not a plate!

Don’t stop me now . . .

‘Cause I’m having such a good time. I’m sitting on my balcony overlooking the Corso Duca degli Abruzzi in Turin as I type this ( get him with the travel-lazy old age pensioner). Anyway here’s some serious chess as played by Nick Kanellis, who scored a second win in his second match for Woodseats:

P.S. Just to finish this report off, now that I’ve stopped seating on balconies and come back home. The rest of the match was pretty good as well: I thought at one point that we might just sneak it. Andrew gave a fascinating demonstration of how to exploit an apparently simple-looking position. It was very instructive. Mark’s game was very exciting. There were passed pawns all over and it required some exact calculation. It just evened out for White (Martin Howard) after the time control. Carpino v. Mort was a steady draw. They all count! Andy battled hard with Black against a precise and clinical opponent. I had a most enjoyable game against a very jovial opponent.

We joined in with the brass band practising Queen songs in the room below at one stage. Don’t think that’s covered by the league rule book! We played a variation that we’ve tried before and I’m still no nearer to sorting out the mess that it creates on the board.
Brendan had to step in late due to unavoidable circumstances-he played nobly against an experienced opponent, when he was left a long way behind on the clock. Nick on Board 7, performed as above: he impressed the opposition captain. No small feat! We had a very safe pair of hands in Dave Toft on Board 8 and so in the end it was the best drawn match ever!

A new Knight (ίππος) of Woodseats annotates . . .

Nick Kanellis