Chris

There won’t be any more action in the 2019-20 league season, since it’s clear clubs won’t be in a position to welcome guests before the ECF memberships expire at the end of August.

Our constitution says we must hold a League Meeting in September to decide the composition of the leagues for 2020-21, and that proposals for rule changes be submitted a certain time in advance, league delegates be elected, etc.

Notice is hereby given that, unless a cure for the virus is found within the next fortnight, the business of the League Meeting will be held over to the next Extraordinary General Meeting, whenever that may be. An EGM may be called at 21 days’ notice for a purpose stated in advance.

The question of who finishes in the promotion and relegation places is moot, because the 30 teams won’t all be back up and running at the same time. My light pencil sketch of the 2020-21 season involves a 5-match fixture list starting in December or January, with teams allocated to divisions of about 8 on the basis of average grade (Open, U170 and ???) No team will be penalised for declining to play league games while CoViD restrictions are in place.

The ECF has issued a further statement on coronavirus, making the suggestion that all evening chess leagues be suspended.

Notwithstanding that “it is for individual leagues to decide on their own policy and the ECF cannot make decisions for those organisations”, there is clearly an unacceptable legal risk to any volunteer-run organisation that chooses to carry on in the face of such a suggestion by the national governing body.

Therefore, I will no longer expect the following matches to be played on their scheduled dates:

Tynemouth C vs. Gateshead 17th March
Forest Hall E vs. Alnwick 18th March
Gosforth Salters vs. Tynemouth D 23rd March
Leam Lane Bullets vs. South Shields D 24th March
Gosforth Woodbines vs. Forest Hall E 30th March
Morpeth C vs. Forest Hall F 8th April
Alnwick vs. Gosforth Centurions 8th April
South Shields D vs. Forest Hall F 16th April

While it might seem odd to target league matches and allow friendly club nights to carry on, I think the key is that we make sure no-one feels compelled to attend their local club by the prospect of losing league points. Assuming the virus affects Britain the same way it affected Italy, Spain and France, we should probably expect the coming club night to be the last before the venues are asked to close.

Keep calm and wash your hands. My lichess.org handle is Hazyshade, what’s yours?

This has been the strongest Division 1 ever. With twelve players graded 200+ and a FIDE master appearing on a board 3, we are challenging Birmingham and Surrey for the title of England’s second-strongest chess league. And Tynemouth A, with Dave Henderson’s 182 on top board, have Leicester City-ed it. Their amazing act of teamwork can be summed up in one number: 24. There were 24 individual games, either won or drawn by the Tynemouth player, whose loss would have been enough to give the title to Gosforth. It’s Tynemouth’s first title since 2004, and the previous champion has been dethroned for the fifth year in a row. Congratulations to David Henderson, Paul Dargan, Clive Waters, Gary Cornwall, Darren Laws, John Clarke, and guest stars Paul Edwards and Steve Burnell.

In other news:

  • Ivy have won Division 2
  • Tynemouth D are promoted from Division 3, but haven’t won it yet
  • Don’t be offended if a player declines to shake hands with you before a game

Results that I’m sending for inclusion in the January 2020 grading list are:

  • Leagues: Northumbria, Durham, Darlington
  • Zollner/Sell/Gilroy
  • the second half of the 2019 summer KO
  • 1 round of the North East League
  • Jeremy Handley match
  • Internal results from: South Shields, Tynemouth, Durham City, Gosforth, Morpeth
  • 3 NCCU county matches

If I have left something off this list, please drop an anvil on me at wardle (at) live (dot) fr. I have no internal results from Jesmond, Forest Hall, Tynedale, Alnwick, Newcastle University, Gateshead or Leam Lane.

Chris Goodall

Last updated: 21st December 2019

Bold means a player is tied to this team.

Italic means a player has used their free game on board 3, and will be tied to this team if they play again on boards 1-3.

Red bold and red italic are recent changes.

Forest Hall A Max Turner, Tim Wall, Yichen Han, Caveh Madjdpour, Danny Gormally, Mike Smith
Forest Hall B Zheming Zhang, Mark Younger, Ravi Wariyar, Chris Ray, John Wall jnr,  Stuart Skelsey
Forest Hall C Mike Smith, Mehdi Mazarei, John Wall jnr, Steve Bowey, Morgan French
Forest Hall D Stuart Skelsey, Ciaran McDonald, John Wall snr, Morgan French
Forest Hall E Jamie McIntosh, Weiming Xu, Jeff Bentham, Ryan Duff, Jeff Baird

Gosforth Empire James Moreby, Andy Lawson, Mick Riding, Joseph Dalton
Gosforth Ivy Chris Goodall, Paul Sumner, John Liddle, Jack Erskine-Pereira, Alistair Ridley, Ray Devenney
Gosforth Salters Joe Chan, Martin Beardsley, Dave Stebbings, Mark McKay, Dave Baynes
Gosforth Woodbines Noel Boustred, Gary Clarke, Bob Heyman, Steve Wilde, Denise Mosse

Leam Lane Aces David Walker, Graeme Oswald, Jason DaglishKirill Gara, Norman Solomon, John Marsh

Morpeth A Roger Coathup, Mike Smyth, James Turner, Richard Symonds
Morpeth B Phil Eastlake, Bob Mitcheson, Martin Seeber, Geoff Loxham, Alan Welsh, John Horton

South Shields A Dave Mooney, John Boyd, Paul Bielby, Yaroslav Kolodiy, Kevin Rowden
South Shields B Konstantinos Delidimoudis, Kevin Rowden, Brian Towers, Dave Patterson, Eddie Czestochowski
South Shields C Ian Maughan, Dave Peardon, Chris Sayers, Colin Campbell, Jim RiddleBen Wood

Tynemouth A David Henderson, Paul Dargan, Gary Cornwall, Clive Waters
Tynemouth B Dave Jarema, Dave Hair, Steve Burnell, John Clarke
Tynemouth C Simon Matthews, Chris Smith, John Morton, Keith Marshall, Antonio Moneva-Jordan

Eligibility 221219

Last updated: 8th December 2019

Bold means a player is tied to this team.

Italic means a player has used their free game on board 3, and will be tied to this team if they play again on boards 1-3.

Red bold and red italic are recent changes.

Forest Hall A Max Turner, Tim Wall, Yichen Han, Caveh Madjdpour, Mike Smith
Forest Hall B Zheming Zhang, Mark Younger, Ravi Wariyar, Chris Ray, John Wall jnr,  Stuart Skelsey
Forest Hall C Mike Smith, Mehdi Mazarei, John Wall jnr, Steve Bowey, Morgan French
Forest Hall D Stuart Skelsey, Ciaran McDonald, John Wall snr, Morgan French
Forest Hall E Jamie McIntosh, Weiming Xu, Jeff Bentham, Ryan Duff, Jeff Baird

Gosforth Empire James Moreby, Andy Lawson, Mick Riding, Joseph Dalton
Gosforth Ivy Chris Goodall, Paul Sumner, John Liddle, Jack Erskine-Pereira, Alistair Ridley
Gosforth Salters Joe Chan, Martin Beardsley, Dave Stebbings, Mark McKay
Gosforth Woodbines Noel Boustred, Gary Clarke, Bob Heyman, Steve Wilde

Leam Lane Aces David Walker, Graeme Oswald, Jason DaglishKirill Gara, Norman Solomon, John Marsh

Morpeth A Roger Coathup, Mike Smyth, James Turner, Richard Symonds
Morpeth B Phil Eastlake, Bob Mitcheson, Martin Seeber, Geoff Loxham, Alan Welsh

South Shields A Dave Mooney, John Boyd, Paul Bielby, Yaroslav Kolodiy, Kevin Rowden
South Shields B Konstantinos Delidimoudis, Kevin Rowden, Brian Towers, Dave Patterson, Eddie Czestochowski
South Shields C Ian Maughan, Dave Peardon, Chris Sayers, Colin Campbell, Jim Riddle, Ben Wood

Tynemouth A David Henderson, Paul Dargan, Gary Cornwall, Clive Waters
Tynemouth B Dave Jarema, Dave Hair, Steve Burnell, John Clarke
Tynemouth C Simon Matthews, Chris Smith, John Morton, Keith Marshall, Antonio Moneva-Jordan

Last updated: 17th November 2019

Bold means a player is tied to this team.

Italic means a player has used their free game on board 3, and will be tied to this team if they play again on boards 1-3.

Red bold and red italic are recent changes.

Forest Hall A Max Turner, Tim Wall, Yichen Han, Caveh Madjdpour
Forest Hall B Zheming Zhang, Mark Younger, Ravi Wariyar, John Wall jnr
Forest Hall C Mike Smith, Mehdi Mazarei, John Wall jnr, Steve Bowey
Forest Hall D Stuart Skelsey, Ciaran McDonald, John Wall snr, Morgan French
Forest Hall E Jamie McIntosh, Weiming Xu, Jeff Bentham, Ryan Duff

Gosforth Empire James Moreby, Andy Lawson, Mick Riding, Joseph Dalton
Gosforth Ivy Chris Goodall, Paul Sumner, John Liddle, Jack Erskine-Pereira
Gosforth Salters Joe Chan, Martin Beardsley, Dave Stebbings, Mark McKay
Gosforth Woodbines Noel Boustred, Gary Clarke, Bob Heyman, Steve Wilde

Leam Lane Aces David Walker, Graeme Oswald, Jason Daglish, Norman Solomon

Morpeth A Roger Coathup, Mike Smyth, James Turner, Richard Symonds
Morpeth B Phil Eastlake, Bob Mitcheson, Martin Seeber, Geoff Loxham

South Shields A Dave Mooney, John Boyd, Paul Bielby, Yaroslav Kolodiy, Kevin Rowden
South Shields B Konstantinos Delidimoudis, Kevin Rowden, Brian Towers, Dave Patterson, Eddie Czestochowski
South Shields C Ian Maughan, Dave Peardon, Chris Sayers, Colin Campbell, Jim Riddle, Ben Wood

Tynemouth A David Henderson, Paul Dargan, Gary Cornwall
Tynemouth B Dave Jarema, Dave Hair, Steve Burnell
Tynemouth C Simon Matthews, Chris Smith, John Morton

Last updated: 27th October 2019

Bold means a player is tied to this team.

Italic means a player has used their free game on board 3, and will be tied to this team if they play again on boards 1-3.

Red bold and red italic are recent changes. There aren’t any yet.

Forest Hall A Max Turner, Tim Wall, Yichen Han, Caveh Madjdpour
Forest Hall B Zheming Zhang, Mark Younger, Ravi Wariyar, John Wall jnr
Forest Hall C Mike Smith, Mehdi Mazarei, Steve Bowey
Forest Hall D Stuart Skelsey, Ciaran McDonald, Morgan French
Forest Hall E Jamie McIntosh, Weiming Xu, Ryan Duff

Gosforth Empire James Moreby, Andy Lawson, Mick Riding
Gosforth Ivy Chris Goodall, Paul Sumner, Jack Erskine-Pereira
Gosforth Salters Joe Chan, Martin Beardsley, Mark McKay
Gosforth Woodbines Noel Boustred, Gary Clarke, Steve Wilde

Leam Lane Aces David Walker, Graeme Oswald, Norman Solomon

Morpeth A Roger Coathup, Mike Smyth, James Turner, Richard Symonds
Morpeth B Phil Eastlake, Bob Mitcheson, Geoff Loxham

South Shields A Dave Mooney, John Boyd, Paul Bielby, Yaroslav Kolodiy, Kevin Rowden
South Shields B Konstantinos Delidimoudis, Kevin Rowden, Dave Patterson
South Shields C Ian Maughan, Dave Peardon, Chris Sayers, Colin Campbell, Jim Riddle, Ben Wood

Tynemouth A David Henderson, Paul Dargan, Gary Cornwall
Tynemouth B Dave Jarema, Dave Hair, Steve Burnell
Tynemouth C Simon Matthews, Chris Smith, John Morton

Spare league handbooks

These handbooks have been a smash hit so far. If the association had a pound for each extra copy I’d sold, which as it happens they do because they cost £1, then they would have £7. Does anyone else want one?

So there’s been no love so far for either halving the size of Division 1 or removing promotion and relegation. But perhaps Option 3 is James Turner’s suggestion: re-inflate Division 1 to 12 teams, so at least 3 teams will be fighting to avoid 2 relegation places. (Or even to 13, which would equalise the whites and blacks.)

What if we tried a one-off “reset” of Division 1’s membership, but without removing promotion and relegation? On the basis that a team who didn’t care very much to be the 10th team in a league of 10, might feel better about it if they could collude with two other teams, ahead of the League Meeting, to all enter Division 1 at the same time?

(Regarding the other two divisions, I would prefer 12-8-10 to 12-11-7, with a mid-season split in Division 2. Firstly because Division 2 is “sticky” – if after a season you need to juggle the numbers, you can usually convince teams to come up to Division 2 faster than you can convince them to drop down to Division 3. Secondly because leaving Alnwick in a 10-team Division 3 rather than a 7-team Division 3 means you can give everyone else 4 homes, 4 aways and 1 Alnwick-away.)

The “Big 8” clubs right now are Durham City, Forest Hall, Gosforth, Jesmond, Leam Lane, Morpeth, South Shields and Tynemouth. That leaves 4 places. Which of the following teams/clubs would be willing to join a 12-team Division 1 with three of the others?

Forest Hall 2nd team – YES
Tynemouth 2nd team – YES
Morpeth 2nd team
South Shields 2nd team – YES
Gosforth 2nd team
Leam Lane 2nd team
Newcastle University
Tynedale
Gateshead
Jesmond 2nd team
Durham City 2nd team