400 Team on the march!


The Four Hundred Team travelled to Braithwell to play Ravensfield Bishops. Our venue, the former village school, made a change from the public houses I’ve played in. The opposition were a friendly bunch offering tea and biscuits (ginger nuts and custard creams) half way through. Alex playing on board three got us off to a flying start using only 20 minutes of his time to win. With Andrea making her first start this season unfortunately losing on board two and Dave earning a good draw on one, it was all even. With three games over people congregated around board four-no pressure on me then! I was up two pieces’ checkmate looked inevitable but I blundered and gave my opponent an opening, however he didn’t have time to capitalise. Having travelled so far we set off swiftly back to Sheffield with our victory.

Steve Daykin

Chess Tuition

Andrew Ledger is offering chess coaching. Feel to pass on to others who may be interested:
-Individual tuition – tailored to whatever you want to look at. For this, I’d be charging £30 for an hour or £50 for 2 consecutive.
-Game annotations – you send me games in whatever format best suits (pgn file, scanned scoresheet / hard copy) and I annotate it and send back. I’d expect to be quite thorough and to spend between 1-2 hours on each game and I’d charge £25 per game for these. I can let you have an example to show you the sort of thing. It would be very much my own thoughts and not reams of computer output.
-Group lectures / simuls or whatever else – get in touch and we can discuss.

You can contact him on: Andrew_Ledger@outlook.com; 07807 799252

We lost by a hair’s breadth!

We lost to Chesterfield. It could have been a lot closer. Do look at Steve Moon’s splendid last move against his strong opponent which secured him a draw:

Another day has dawned and the smoke of combat has cleared. It was indeed a close encounter! Andrew played e4 on board one, which must have taken Dave Latham by surprise, though it’s not unknown in our man’s ‘praxis’. Keep your opponents guessing! There were some neat variations at the end of the game, Andrew told me, afterwards. Dave’s King had indeed gone for a bit of a walk.

Nigel secured a very solid draw against an opponent who is new to the Chesterfield side but who had just had a very successful 4NCL weekend.
Ζήτω η Ελλάδα (Long live Greece!) and particularly the city oF Patras who sent us Nick Kanellis for a few months. He’s shown himself to be a very strong player while he’s been with us and a considerable theoretician. He admitted himself that he spent too much time trying to remember the background to the sharp Grunfeld position that he got last night. As one of our gracious opponents has remarked: ‘Nick would have won if he’d not hesitated about playing d6 e.g. after f6. Mike is very good in time-trouble . . .’ It would be very interesting if the man from Patras (Πατρινός) would let us see this game with his comments.
I won a pawn against Martin Howard in the opening which he turned into a sacrifice giving him chances. I was more than OK for twenty or so moves and then the better player played better and won.
Jon again played solidly against a more highly graded opponent, another Chesterfield player who had spent the weekend practising at the 4NCL. Maestro Moon played excellently (see above). After his Morphy-like recent effort for the B team (see previous post) Bill had a bit of an off night. He tried his favourite Bird’s opening which didn’t quite take flight!
What can one say about Maestro Ashmore? Outgraded by a sizeable number of points, totally unfazed, he just played sensible moves.

Special award! Actually special award to all: Woodseats average grade: 149 / Chesterfield average grade: 174. Onwards and Upwards. #bandofbrothers!

Woodseats on the march!

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 08.36.03What a contrast with the same time last year, when, despite the best efforts of all, we had ‘null points’. . . I don’t know how long it can go on but the whole team should savour the moment. What a bunch of players! Last night we managed to overcome our gracious hosts at Barnsley who are also a bunch of fighters.
Andrew played a very cool and collected endgame against Andy Butterworth, which all of us watching found very instructive.

Nigel’s game, by contrast, was very sharp. His Knights were dancing all over the place.

Nigel notes that “white took an inordinate amount of time for his 14th move and hence by the end of the game was in severe time trouble which factors into some of his play”.

The rest of us did our best to back up our opening batsmen. Nick ( who will be sorely missed when he returns to Greece), unlike the present world champion (did you see his latest effort!?), was never in danger of losing. I played the King’s Indian for the first time in many years and drew against a surprise opponent who used to play for Wombell. It was very pleasant to see him again, especially as he accepted my offer of a draw before I played my intended move, which might have spoiled things a little (discovered later-details on demands-hope I’ve not used up all my chess luck!). Dave Toft played his Black setup against Richard Hall-totally reliable-draw. Jon also always had a solid position. Another draw.
Steve Moon was unlucky but he’s carrying an injury and had driven a long way to come to the match. Deserves a chess medal of some kind for loyalty and other sterling qualities. As does the noble captain of the B and 400 teams who not only drove half of the team to the match after a hard day at work but also put in a stirling performance to register the whole point. He played particularly cooly at the end, when the clocks were ticking and everybody was watching!
I phoned the president on the way home and he was tickled pink. #bandofbrothers. Keep watching this space for some cracking games.

Sparkling play from last night’s B team match!

The good start continues. The B team opened their account last night with a win against Ecclesall D: Dynamic play was seen on Board three from the Club President masquerading as Paul Morphy.

Catching up!

What an excellent start to the season! Here’s a game:

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!

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.04.01

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