Welcome to the News updates page of the Brewood Chess Circle website, otherwise known as a blog! This is intended to keep anyone who is interested up-to-date on the progress of our club. The intention is to also give match reports of our matches, to go alongside the games section.
If you like what you see and live in or around Brewood why not give us a visit at the club. Visit the "Joining the club" page of the website for more information.
|Posted on December 14, 2020 at 8:45 PM|
A number of current members and ex-members of the chess club have got in touch with the club to express their sadness at Andrew's death. Andrew had being the club secretary since 1995, for 25 years.
David Blower the club chairman said:
"No chess club, however good its players are, can function without a club secretary. I know Brewood Chess Circle is a very good chess club to go to, but only because we had a very good club secretary. Andrew will be very sadly missed.
On a personal note, I would like to thank him for all the help he has given me since I have been at the club, especially when I became the chairman of the chess club. He had given me lots of help especially regarding children at the chess club, the benefit of which the current children at the chess club are still receiving today.
Andrew made me feel welcome to Brewood when I first joined the club, and that was the case whenever a new member or potential new member joined the club. I always knew he was only ever a phone call away if I wanted some help or advice on the running of Brewood Chess Circle.
One of Andrew's great strengths was that he believed chess was for everyone, regardless of their existing skill level, and set about with that at Brewood. If a child he was helping was finding something too difficult, it was not a problem, he would just move on to something a bit easier for them.
Andrew would produce a monthly club newsletter at Brewood, many copies of which I have still got. Often there would be a chess puzzle, either from something he had found on the internet, or sometimes club members would send him in positions from games that had occurred whilst playing for Brewood.
I knew that he was a qualified chess arbiter. One of the things he used to do was to go to arbiter's meetings, pretending he did not know much about chess, just to see the look on people's faces when he asked how the horse moves!
I also knew that he had started to learn the Welsh and Irish languages.
I would also like to thank Traci Whitfield for all that she is doing, behind the scenes. For those that do not know Traci is the secretary of junior chess for the Staffordshire Chess Association. She and Andrew had worked together on many things for the benefit of Staffordshire Juniors including organising for many years the Staffordshire Junior Chess Congress.
As Andrew would say Good Chess everyone."
Paul Wright club committee member said:
"Very, very sad news. Andrew was one of the nicest people that I have met, and he will be missed.
Despite it being difficult/impossible for him to attend the club over the past year or so, he was a very kind, hard-working and patient club secretary, as well as a good chess player. I never saw him lose his temper at anyone either. These qualities were why he was so good at his role, despite his health. He is a great role model for future club secretaries (and a great role model in general) in my eyes."
Mark Binfield, the club treasurer added:
"I drove Andrew to chess events on many occasions and spent quite a lot of time chatting to him.
A person I had much admiration for, he will be sadly missed."
Paul Guest said:
"Very sad news indeed.
Andrew will be greatly missed by all. He was the heart and soul of the club.
Rest in peace Andrew."
Mike Jarocki commented: "How sad. Andrew was a stalwart for the cause of chess. A nice person as well. He will be sadly missed."
Trevor Pitchford said:
"That is very sad news, will you please send mine and Rose’s deepest sympathy to his family.
Andrew was the first person I spoke with at the church hall when I joined the club.
However it was not just Brewood Chess Circle members that had got in touch with the club.
Nathanael Paul (Newport Chess Club, Shropshire) said: "Really sorry to hear this news David, please pass on my dad's and my condolences. Andrew was a lovely man and will be a loss to the chess community."
Nathanael Paul will not know this but as a side note here, whenever Brewood Chess Circle had an away match in Shropshire to play, it became a running joke within the club that we might get lost, and that we might end up in Newport in Wales. If we started seeing Welsh language signs, turn back round, we have gone too far!
Peter Evans - County Captain, Staffordshire Under 120 team from Stafford Chess Club said:
"Andrew was a great help to me in my tenure. He was the one player I could ring on the evening prior to a match to fill a vacancy and he would always play unless he was fulfilling another chess commitment. RIP."
Traci Whitfield - Secretary of Junior Chess for Staffordshire, reacted to my comments: "I found what you said about pretending he did not know much about chess very funny, but that was him.
He decided to become an arbiter after he saw me get Matt Carr started as an arbiter - I persuaded him (Andrew) to do the course. He really loved arbiting once he started. He would often explain his decisions to me and tell me how he felt about his role as an arbiter."
Details of Andrew's funeral will be communicated when known.
|Posted on December 14, 2020 at 8:35 PM|
Sadly I have to announce to you all the passing of one of Staffordshire Chess’s most loyal stalwarts – Andrew Davies.
Andrew P. Davies was born in March 1960 at New Cross Hospital, which was one of the two main hospitals in Wolverhampton at the time. He was the youngest of a family of six.
For many years he suffered with his health and with physical problems and pain related to the debilitating disease HSP from which he suffered.
His determination and considerable intelligence made him able to live what most people would call a successful life where he could indulge his love of chess and his enthusiasm for mathematics.
I also discovered a few years ago that he had a fascination with the history of the different waves of invasion of these islands by various British tribes in the last millennium before the Christian era. He lived in the somewhat forlorn hope of one day linking his own family history to some of these events.
His first venture into chess organisation was in 1995 when he became the secretary of Brewood Chess club. In more recent years, he branched out into other areas of chess, qualifying as a junior coach and as an arbiter. In both of these spheres he became very active, coaching many junior players in clubs in the southern part of the county and later became the manager of coaches for the ECF. He was also the webmaster for Junior chess organisations – both for the Staffordshire Junior Chess Association and for EPSCA – as well as being the Director of Junior Chess for the MCCU.
For several years, he also served as the General Secretary of the Staffordshire Chess Association.
Andrew’s life was troubled but he always seemed pleasant and agreeable.
He had one self-confessed addiction – he loved to have a mug of Earl Grey tea and an almond crescent and no day began well for him without them!
We are very sad to have lost a personal friend and a major force in Staffordshire Chess.
Robert Milner, President of the Staffordshire Chess Association.
Traci Whitfield, Secretary for Junior Chess.
|Posted on July 29, 2020 at 5:55 PM|
Learning about opening priciples whilst doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is an ideal position after ten moves.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award at Brewood Chess Circle
Even though the chess club has never actively advertised it, (although that will be changing in the future) we are happy to help any young person who wants to do chess as their skills activity for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. It is good for the chess club itself and more importantly it is good for anyone doing the award with our chess club.
In the local area children from Brewood, Coven, Bishops Wood, Wheaton Aston and Penkridge go to Wolgarston High School and children from Bilbrook, Perton and Codsall go to Codsall High School. Both schools offer their pupils the chance to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for children in school years 9, 10 and 11.
The chess club has helped out children in the past to do the award and it really is as simple as turning up at the chess club and enjoying yourself. There are no tricks and no traps set! In fact because there is so much to learn in chess any child turning up to do the award would not be treated any differently to anyone else at the chess club who is not doing the award.
Then as long as you turn up for the correct amount of time to do the award for each level of Bronze, Silver and Gold, the chess club will sign off the relevant paperwork. Of course we hope that any child that turns up at the chess club to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award stays beyond the minimum length of time to complete each level of the award because chess is such an enjoyable activity anyway.
The chess club is aware that chess is a difficult game (which studies have shown is the reason why it is so enjoyable) so the chess club has never set an unrealistic target for a child to complete. It is challenging to learn anything new but selecting chess as your skill subject is just the beginning, and the club is excited to help anyone complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award at every level.
This website article would not be complete without a specific example though. William joined the chess club to do chess as his skill subject to do the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and has been working hard.
However before I go onto the specifics of his chess diary it has been good to get to know him personally, which is as important as the chess itself and William has met some new people by coming to the chess club. He is very quick-witted and has a good sense of humour but has took the chess seriously and he is a very polite, well-mannered, hard-working, young lad.
Onto the chess diary itself then:
The worksheet of what you can expect to do week to week whilst doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Brewood Chess Circle.
In truth putting one or two lines for each week does very little justice to the amount of work that is done every week. Whilst Brewood Chess Circle will not make it difficult for anyone to gain the award, it is also fair to say that the chess club will not simply give anyone the award either. William will tell anyone we make him work hard each week.
William himself gave the website his reaction: "It's good, it's fun. The tutoring is good, you can learn new skills and it is a good place to do your Duke of Edinburgh Award. You can also have a drink whilst your playing as well."
The chess club would like to say well done to you so far William. You have worked hard so far so keep up the good work.
|Posted on April 8, 2020 at 12:35 AM||comments (17)|
Like everywhere else in the UK at the moment, Brewood Chess Circle is closed until further notice as the UK government try and deal with the Coron Virus situation. Let me use this update to wish everyone well at this difficult time. The club will reopen as soon as possible but in the meantime it is continuing online, on two different websites.
For juniors only the club also continues on http://www.chesskid.com at the following link https://www.chesskid.com/club/home/brewood-chess-circle" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://www.chesskid.com/club/home/brewood-chess-circle
So far club members have interacted with each other by playing friendlies on the chess.com website, and we are currently in a vote chess game against Team Birmingham. The match with us as white has started e4 d5 with Team Birmingham choosing the Scandinavian Defence as black. We are currently in discussions about the second move but I do not want to give anything away just yet.
Vote chess works by players discussing the move, and then all voting for it, and whichever move has the most votes is automatically made at the end of the time limit for each move. The time limit in the current match is 1 move every three days, so that should keep us occuipied for a lengthy period of the lock down.
On chesskid.com the club has advertised its services to seven schools in the local area, as well as the nearby Stafford Youth Chess Club. So far there has been posts about chess notation (writing down the moves) and castling. We want to make sure anyone new to chess on the website enjoys themselves but we do want to help anyone who joins us to improve.
The chess club has had to react very quickly to the changing circumstances. Hopefully it will not be too long before we are meeting again face-to-face, but in the meantime we can always enjoy a game of chess online. I will once again wish everyone well at this difficult time, and hopefully we will soon be back.
|Posted on May 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on May 9, 2019 at 10:15 AM||comments (0)|
The Brewood Chess Circle 2019 AGM will take place at the club on Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 8:00pm. Since last year's AGM the address of the club has moved and here is our new address:
Brewood Chess Circle
The Royal British Legion Club
All members of the club are invited to attend the AGM as well as any parents of a junior member of the club.
In order for everyone to know what is likely to be discussed at the AGM here is the agenda:
Meeting opened by the club Chairman: David Blower
Minutes of the last AGM
Matters arising from the last AGM, not already on this agenda.
Chairman’s Report: David Blower.
Treasurer’s report: Mark Binfield.
Club tournaments report: David Blower
Rapid Play Club Championship
Ten Second Lightning
Five Minute Blitz tournament
League Team Reports:
Wolverhampton League A team - Roger Grainger
Cannock League team - David Blower
Cup competitions: (Humphrey’s Trophy and Chase Trophy) - David Blower
Shropshire Chess Rapid Play team - David Blower
Election of officers 2019-2020
Club Fees 2019-2020
i) The proposal will be to decrease membership fees to:
Adults: £40 (currently £55)
Juniors: £20 (currently £25)
The membership fee will include the fee for membership of the Royal British Legion for all adult members of the club (junior members of the club do not need to join The Royal British Legion.) It will not include the fee for ECF membership as it is up to individual members to decide their own level of ECF membership.
Any other business
Advertising the club and encouraging new members to come to the club.
|Posted on April 10, 2019 at 1:00 AM||comments (0)|
After many years at St. Mary's (RC) Church Hall in Wharf Lane in Brewood the club committee have decided the time is right to move the chess club to the Royal British Legion in Shop Lane in Brewood.
In truth the club committee had no choice but to move venue because of the finances of the chess club. Brewood Chess Circle, like every chess club in the country, doesn't own the building that it plays in, and as such is always going to be subject to external factors, that are outside the club's control. Without going into too much detail the chess club was unstainable if we continued at the church hall.
So where to move to whilst still keeping the chess club within Brewood? The Royal British Legion quickly became the committee's preferred choice of venue and so in February 2019, David Blower and Roger Grainger decided to approach the Legion to see if we could move the chess club there.
The Royal British Legion almost instantly agreed and so we moved there in April. We have been there for six weeks now and we are delighted that we have moved there. From the Legion's point of view it is good for them as they have extra people visiting the Legion, each and every week.
The room rent is free as long as all adult members of the club join the Royal British Legion. And of course most importantly we also have a bar available where you can get alcoholic and soft drinks.
The new address of the chess club is as follows:
The Royal British Legion Club
The club meets each and every week on Tuesday evenings from 8:00pm.
David Blower, the chairman of the chess club, gave this reaction to the news that the chess club has moved: "I can not emphasise enough how thankful the chess club is to The Royal British Legion. I am more optimistic about the future of the chess club than I have been for a long time. The committee aren't going to be complacent with the finances of the chess club but this will make things easier financially.
We now have a better opportunity to rebuild the chess club and increase it's membership. This is what the club committee will be aiming to do over the next 12 months."
So now all that we have to worry about is getting better at chess!!
|Posted on August 22, 2018 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Brewood have been drawn to play away against Rugeley in the Semi-Finals of the Chase Trophy which is a cup competition run by the Cannock Chess League. The match will take place on Tuesday 11th September 2018. Last season of course Brewood won the trophy after whitewashing Sutton Coldfield in the final 4-0.
Brewood have also been drawn to play at home against Rushall in the Quarter-Finals of the Humphrey's Trophy, which is run by the Wolverhampton Chess League. The match will take place on Tuesday 20th November 2018. Last season Brewood played Bushbury in the preliminary round of the Humphrey's Trophy drawing the match 2-2 but losing on board count by a tiebreaking scoreline of 3-7.
As already mentioned Brewood are the defending champions of the Chase Trophy. In three seasons of entering the competiton Brewood have played in two finals. In the Humphrey's Trophy Brewood have entered the competition ten times, winning it once in 2009-2010 being a finalist in two other seasons and have a further six quarter-final appearances.
Club chairman David Blower explains that the club will be taking the cups seriously this coming season: "We are defending champions on the Chase Trophy and although our aim is to win the league I will be putting out a strong team in the Chase Trophy with the aim of successfully defending the trophy.
In the Humphrey's Trophy competition we aim to make up for last season's exit in the preliminary round of the competition and win the trophy for the first time since 2010. For the fans the cup competitions are always extra special so we will certainly take the cup competitions seriously."
Here are the details of the cup fixtures:
Chase Trophy - Semi-Final - Rugeley v Brewood - Tuesday 11th September 2018
Humphrey's Trophy - Quarter-Final - Brewood v Rushall - Tuesday 20th November 2018.
The Humphrey's Trophy win of 2009-2010 is still talked about by the members of the club that were there at the time as is the much more recent trophy win of the Chase Trophy which was last season. It is nice to have success and the cups are a realistic target for the club to look to win trophies this season. We will certainly give it our best shot.
|Posted on August 22, 2018 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
The Cannock Chess League team face a long wait before starting the Cannock Chess League 2018-2019 Division Two season away to Boldmere St. Michael's Chess Club on Wednesday 7th November 2018. Last season Boldmere St. Michael's were not in the Cannock Chess League but Brewood will be looking for a good start as they seek to claim a maiden Cannock Chess League title.
The first home match of the campaign is at home to Tamworth on Tuesday 27th November 2018. Last season the two matches against Tamworth ended up in two defeats for Brewood 2½ - 1½ at home and 3-1 away. This was important for Tamworth to finish last season in second place with Brewood finishing third in the league. Brewood will hope to make home advantage count in this match.
The last match before Christmas is an away match against Lichfield on Thursday 13th December 2018. Last season in the Cannock Chess League saw two victories for Brewood against Lichfield both times 2½ - 1½. The matches were closely contested though so whilst Brewood will be hoping for the same result again this season it certainly will not be easy.
The first match of 2019 sees Brewood play against Bushbury at home on Tuesday 29th January 2019. It remains to be seen whether John Fenby returns to Brewood to play against his old club. Meanwhile club president David Buckley is also the president of Bushbury whilst Derek Laight also plays for Bushbury Chess Club.
The first away match of 2019 sees Brewood play against Wolverhampton on Thursday 21st February 2019. Last season Wolverhampton finished bottom of the league but the matches between the teams were even with Brewood winning 2½ - 1½ at home before losing by the same scoreline away. This cost Brewood second place in the league so Brewood will be hoping to make up for it this season.
The final home match sees Brewood take on Rugeley on Tuesday 26th February 2019. Last season the sides saw two closely contested matches as Brewood and Rugeley shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw away and then Brewood won 2½ - 1½ at home. Fixtures against Rugeley have always being played in a friendly spirit and whilst that will be set to continue it will be a competitive match.
The final match of the season sees Brewood play against Rushall away on Monday 8th April 2019. Rushall are the defending champions of the league but last season the two sides managed to win their respective home fixtures 3-1 against each other. Rushall have produced some good players who have started off in their Cannock League team so this looks like being a tough match for Brewood.
Last season Brewood finished third in the league which was a respectable finish and we won more matches than we lost. Winning the league is going to be hard but the club will be able to give anyone a game as proved when we won against the eventual champions Rushall but can come undone in any given game as proved when we lost against the bottom club Wolverhampton last season.
The club chairman David Blower gave this reaction to the fixture list: "Winning the cup last season was brilliant but our bread and butter has always been the league and this season we hope to go two better as we look for our maiden Cannock Chess League title. That said I will be taking it one game at a time as we can only beat the opposition put in front of us."
Here is the full fixture list for the Brewood team for the Cannock & District Chess League 2018-2019 Division Two season: (Fixtures are always on Tuesday at home, the day of the week for an away match is always stated.)
7/11 Boldmere St. Michael's Chess Club - Away (Wednesday)
27/11 Tamworth - Home
13/12 Lichfield - Away (Thursday)
29/1 Bushbury - Home
21/2 Wolverhampton - Away (Thursday)
26/2 Rugeley - Home
8/4 Rushall - Away (Monday)
Brewood joined the Cannock Chess League in the 1999-2000 season and then continously from the 2003-2004 season onwards. In that time Brewood have finished runners-up in various divisions of the Cannock Chess League on five separate occassions and finsihed third last season. It would be nice to win it this time!!
|Posted on August 22, 2018 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
Brewood face newly promoted Warley Quinborne in their first match of the Wolverhampton Chess League 2018-2019 Division Two season on Tuesday 25th September 2018. Last season Warley Quinborne were champions of division three with only one defeat in twelve games and with a large squad to choose from look sure to give Brewood a tough test in their opening match.
Brewood have a second home game against Boldmere St. Michael's Chess Club on Tuesday 9th October 2018. Boldmere St. Michael's were relegated from the top flight of the Wolverhampton Chess League at the end of the 2014-2015 season but they have been in contention for promotion in all three seasons since then so this will be another difficult match for Brewood.
The first away match of the season is against Kidderminster B on Wednesday 17th October 2018. Last season Brewood won away against Kidderminster A who ended up getting promoted but lost against Kidderminster B at home. The inconsitency was at times frustrating last season and Brewood ended up finishing 5th because of it so the team will be looking to improve upon that this season.
A busy October concludes with another away trip this time to play against Rushall on Monday 29th October 2018. Last season saw the teams battle out a thrilling 3-3 draw over the board which went down to the very last moments of the game. Brewood will be looking to win this game as in recent years Brewood and Rushall have been involved in close relegation battles.
The last match before Christmas sees a return to our home venue of St. Mary's for a match against Lichfield B on Tuesday 13th November 2018. Last season the last match of the season saw Brewood lose to Lichfield C in a match that was a possible promotion shootout. It ended up irrelvant as Kidderminster A snatched promotion but Brewood will be looking to do better this season.
2019 starts with another home match this time against St. George's Chess Club on Tuesday 15th January 2019. St. George's Chess Club finished last season in joint 2nd place with Mercia B in division three and needed a tiebreaking playoff win to achieve promotion in which all five players on the evening were unbeaten. Brewood will be looking for a win against a possible relegation rival.
Brewood travel to Mercia to play against Mercia A on Tuesday 22nd January 2019. The last time the sides met was in the 2016-2017 season in which Mercia won 4-2 and ended up getting promotion to division one. Last season Mercia A were relegated after only one season in the top flight but did do so with some respectability and they will be looking to bounce back up this season.
The next match is away to Halesowen B on Thursday 7th February 2019. Last season the team produced one of their best performances to secure a 4-2 win against Halesowen B to secure safety. Halesowen are one of the biggest clubs in the Wolverhampton Chess League so this looks like being a tough match for Brewood.
The final home match of the season is against Stourbridge B on Tuesday 19th March 2019. Last season saw Brewood unable to play their best side which meant the team lost to Stourbridge B by 4½-1½. Stourbridge B ended up getting saved from relegation at the AGM due to Lichfield withdrawing one of their teams and Brewood will be looking to make up for the defeat from last season.
The final match of the season sees Brewood play against Rugeley away on Tuesday 26th March 2019. Brewood have not won against Rugeley in the last three seasons so will be eager to end the season on a high. Rugeley have just celebrated their 50th year as a chess club so congratulations to them for that and hopefully Brewood will be doing the same in the year 2030.
Last season saw Brewood finish 5th in the league. As mentoned above Brewood were inconsistent during the season but last season was not all bad. Some brilliant wins away against Kidderminster A, Boldmere St. Michael's Chess Club and also a 6-0 away win against Walsall Kipping B were also mixed in with home defeats against Kidderminster B and Rugeley.
Club chairman David Blower gives this reaction to the fixture list: "As ever we look forward to competing in the matches against our local clubs. We know that there are no easy games in chess and it is a game of 64 squares. We hope to make the fans proud and we ask that you will support us throughout the whole season as we know you will."
Here is the full fixture list for the Brewood A team for the Wolverhampton & District Chess League 2018-2019 Division Two season: (Fixtures are always on Tuesday at home, the day of the week for an away match is always stated.)
25/9 Warley Quinborne B - Home
9/10 Boldmere St. Michael's Chess Club - Home
17/10 Kidderminster B - Away (Wednesday)
29/10 Rushall - Away (Monday)
13/11 Lichfield B - Home
15/1 St. George's Chess Club - Home
22/1 Mercia A - Away (Tuesday)
7/2 Halesowen B - Away (Thursday)
19/3 Stourbridge B - Home
26/3 Rugeley - Away (Tuesday)
It remains to be seen what happen in the season but Brewood have never been in the top division of the Wolverhampton & District Chess League. It would be nice to finally break the duck this time!!