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21/08/2023 35th Birmingham Rapidplay

The 35th Birmingham Rapidplay will take place on Sunday, 22nd October at Quinborne Community Centre. It is the usual tournament with a �1,000 prize fund and 7 rounds at 15 + 10.

The tournament website is here:

25/5/2023 Wolverhampton Pre-Season Rated Blitz 7th Aug

Wolverhampton Chess Club will be hosting a Pre-Season Rated, 5m, 9rd Blitz on Monday 7th August, 7.30pm at the Forty Four Club, Spring Rd Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ.

�2.50 entry.

All entry fees will go into the prize fund & be split as follows;

(Based on entries on the night... Grading 1 lowest 25% of participating players. Grading 2 will be up to lowest 50%. Grading 3 will be up to 75%) August ratings will be used in the following order, Blitz, Rapid, Standard, (P) ratings will be ignored.

Everyone welcome!

6/3/2023 Shropshire Junior Chess Congress - Saturday 18th March 2023

This tournament (on Saturday 18th March 2023) is for junior players regardless of home location who are under 18 years of age on 1st September 2022. 6 round swiss rapidplay in 4 sections - U18s, U14s, U12s, U10s, U8s


Online Entry:

Note - this clashes with EPSCA U11's

29/12/2022 Wolverhampton CC New address

Venue: The Forty Four Club, Spring Road, Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ. Tel 01902 492170. Club Night: Monday. Parking: Yes.

28/11/2022 Xmas Blitz on Monday the 5th Dec at Wolverhampton Chess Club

Wolverhampton Chess Club will be holding a Xmas Blitz on Monday the 5th Dec at The Forty Four Club, Spring Rd, Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ. No need to register, just turn up on the night before 7.30pm. Everyone welcome

Details for the Xmas Blitz are here...

28/11/2022 Phil Holt's funeral

The Funeral is on Tuesday 6 th December at Robin Hood crematorium, Streetsbrook Road, Shirley, Solihull, B90 3NL at 12.30 pm.

Then to, Hall Green Home Guard Club, 21A Doveridge Rd, Birmingham B28 0LS

14/11/2022 Shropshire Chess Congress

After a two-year absence, the Shropshire Congress will take place again on the first weekend in January. For details and online entry go to

14/11/2022 Leicestershire H.E. Atkins rapidplay

Leicestershire H.E. Atkins rapidplay taking place on Sunday 15th January 2023. For details and online entry go to

08/11/2022 Demise of Phil Holt

It is again my sad duty to inform you that Phil Holt passed away on Sunday after an extended illness. Phil has been playing for Olton Chess Club since being introduced by his dad Trevor as a child. He has been playing on board 1 in Division 1 for many years and achieved grades in excess of 200 ECF for a number of seasons. He was always an active participant in club events and was more than willing to help other members of the club with their game.

Phil will be sadly missed by his dad Trevor and their family, as well as everyone in the chess community.

I will forward further details when known.

A tribute can be found here...

- Richard Reynolds, Olton Chess Club

23/10/2022 Oscott Match nights are on Monday

Oscott Match nights are on Monday. BDCL Clubs page updated.

17/10/2022 Westminister Club's new venue

Westminister are playing their home games at Mutual Circle - The White Swan, Harborne Road, Edgbaston, B15 3TT. Please visit BDCL Clubs page for more details.

30/09/2022 Funeral details of Simon Jones

The funeral of Simon Jones ( member of both Walsall Kipping and Bushbury chess clubs) will take place at 10.30 a.m on Wed.12th October at the Fallings Park Methodist Church, Wimbourne Rd WV10 0NN.

This will be followed at 11.15 a.m with a short service etc at the Bushbury Crematorium, Underhill Lane, Bushbury WV10 7JG.

-Mike Groombridge (on behalf of both clubs)

26/09/2022 Funeral details of Eric Ward

Eric Ward's funeral is confirmed for this Friday 30th September at 2pm at St Mary�s Church, 10-12 Wycombe End, HP9 2JW. For those who wish to join there will be a short committal at Holtspur Cemetry, Broad Lane, HP9 1XD, followed by funeral wake at Browns, Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield, HP9 1LW. **Please confirm to Gordon Christie ( if you will be attending.**

Below Message is from Amy Ward, Eric's daughter

We truly appreciate your kind thoughts and there are no other expectations. If you wish to make a gesture we respectfully request; Donation - the nurses from Rennie Grove Hospice at Home care took excellent care of Dad in his final days.
Flowers -

16/09/2022 Demise of Eric Ward

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the death on Tuesday 13th September of Eric Ward, at the age of 80. He was a stalwart of Shirley & Wythall Chess Club for more than 30 years, played chess also in Oxfordshire for Leys, and on his numerous trips abroad - to Spain and New York in particular. He suffered from cancer in recent times, and reduced his chess activities, but was always keen to stay involved.

Eric was an open and welcoming man, with a strong love of family. He also had a sharp wit, and a fiercely competitive nature, with a keen eye for an opportunity at the chessboard. A strong and amiable character.

His chess, and therefore his rating, was highly volatile, due in large part to his desire not to draw � he would rather fight to the finish. So his usual 130-140 really didn�t do him justice, and it was pleasing to see him reach the 150s before the system changed. I know we will miss Eric greatly, remembering his wit and passion for the game, support for the club and his generosity.

His daughter Amy called me yesterday to give me the sad news, and she will provide funeral details in due course.

- Gordon S.G. Christie

13/09/2022 BDCL updates

Keith Escott � postal address

Keith Escott's postal address has been omitted from the handbook, but club secretaries wishing to contact Sutton Coldfield CC by post can still reach Keith at 43 Orchard Road, Erdington, Birmingham B24 9JB.

Competition Rules cross-reference error

There's an error in the handbook in Competition Rule 10.4, where the cross-references on lines 3 and 5 should be to 10.2 and 10.3 respectively (not, as incorrectly printed, 9.2 and 9.3).

- Tim Lane

02/09/2022 Demise of Simon Jones, Walsall Kipping

Sadly I have to report that Simon Jones, a longstanding member of Walsall Kipping died at home this week. He was also a member of Bushbury chess club, for the WDCL. Simon was a very enthusiastic member of both clubs and will be sorely missed; more details later.

A tribute to Simon can be found here..

- Mike Groombridge (WsK)

31/08/2022 Happy Birthday BDCL - 125 years

BDCL was formed 125 years ago, 31 August 1897

The BDCL produced a factsheet for its 75th Anniversary.

The 100th celebrations were more spectacular with medals, key rings, printed T-shirts and sweatshirts, a Central Library exhibition, an outdoor chess demonstration in Centenary Square ("Chess on the Square") and a 4-player GM simul at South Birmingham Chess Club.

- Lee Collier

17/08/2022 Birmingham & Warwickshire OTB tournaments

32nd Birmingham Rapidplay

The 32nd Birmingham Rapidplay will take place on Sunday, 30th October at Quinborne Community Centre. It is the usual tournament with a �1,000 prize fund and 7 rounds at 15 + 10.

The tournament website is here:

2022-23 Birmingham Blitz Grand Prix

We are also pleased to launch a new Blitz Grand Prix series. It comprises 5 tournaments during the winter, and the first is on the evening of Monday, 5th September in Wolverhampton.

The tournament website is here:

Warwickshire Chess Association Tournaments

Our friends in the Warwickshire Chess Association are organising two open tournaments this Autumn:

2022 Warwickshire Rapidplay Championship (4 September): This is held in Kenilworth Kenilworth. It has a �1,000 prize fund, and 7 rounds at 15 + 10. The tournament website is here: -- there are already ~ 25 entries, and I expect it to fill up fast!

2022 Birmingham Open (19-20 November): This is a revival of an old tournament, and it is one of three tournaments that form part of the 2022 Warwickshire Championship. It has a �1,000 prize fund, and is 5 FIDE-rated rounds of standardplay at 80+ 10, with 3 games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. The tournament website is here:

- Alex Holowczak

15/08/2022 Demise of Geoff Wesson - West Bromwich CC

West Bromwich CC are saddened to have to report that our good friend and club member Geoff Wesson has passed away after a short illness. Geoff was a longstanding member who had joined the club circa 1977 and played continually since that time.

10/08/2022 Mutual Circle - Venue Change

Mutual Circle club will be moving to The White Swan, Harborne Road, B15 3TT. Our match start-time will remain at 7.30 p.m. and our club-night will contnue to be a Tuesday. Our first meeting at the new venue will be on Tuesday, 30th August. Directions and further information can be found via the 'BDCL Clubs' link on this website.

Chris Evans

Mutual Circle

10/08/2022 BDCL Blitz

Please find the BDCL Blitz tournament details by clicking Blitzplay on the left menu.

03/08/2022 Richard Smith from Olton Club - Funeral

Richard�s funeral will be at 9.30 on Monday 22nd August at Robin Hood crematorium, B90 3NL. Afterwards at West Warwickshire Sports club, Grange Road, B91 1DA. There will be light refreshments, tea and coffee provided and a (paying) bar. Also, if you require a vegan/vegetarian plate can you please let me know together with what sort of "milk" you would prefer.

Anyone who would like to attend would be very welcome but if they could let me (Richard Reynolds) know so I can advise the family of numbers, it would be helpful.

Richard Reynolds

Olton Chess Club

31/07/2022 Richard Smith from Olton Club - Demise

It is again my sad duty to report the death of an Olton Chess Club member. I have been informed that Richard Smith sadly passed away on Friday, after an extended illness. Richard joined the club in 2007, when he started work in the Birmingham area and had recently retired. He was a regular player in the first team and contributed to the success of the team over many years. He will be sadly missed.

Our condolences to Richard's wife Susan and their family.

When funeral arrangements have been notified to me, I will pass these on to you.

Richard Reynolds

Olton Chess Club

16/07/2022 Ken Allen from Olton Club - Demise & Funeral

It is my sad duty to report that Olton club member Ken Allen sadly passed away on Tuesday 5 th July. A tribute to Ken appears here..

Richard Reynolds

Olton Chess Club

03/05/2022 Halesowen New Address - B63 3US

The Townsend Social Club, 2 Stourbridge Road, Halesowen B63 3US

Please refer BDCL Clubs page for more details.

15/04/2022 Funeral - David Anderton OBE

I have been asked by David Anderton's family to inform you that his funeral will be held at 1.45 pm on Wednesday 4th May at :-

The Streetly Crematorium,

296 Little Hardwick Rd,

Walsall WS9 0SG

They request that no flowers be sent but that they would appreciate donations be made to the charity 'The Guide Dogs For The Blind', in their place.

- Mike Groombridge (WsK Sec)

06/04/2022 Tribute to Bill Yeomans

To all chess friends

I have the sad duty to inform you that Olton Chess Club Life President, Bill Yeomans, passed a way 2 weeks ago, aged 94. Bill had played for the club since the mid 1960s and only stopped playing a few years ago due to ill health. .

A tribute to Bill appears here..

- From Richard Reynolds

04/04/2022 Demise of David Anderton OBE

It is with great sadness that I have been asked to inform you that David Anderton passed away peacefully at 11a.m. on Friday 1 April.

Obituaries and details of the funeral can be expected in the coming weeks.

- Tim Lane

A tribute to David appears here..

02/04/2022 The BDCL Summer Rapid Play League will start in the second week of May

The BDCL Summer Rapid Play League will start in the second week of May, Four Divisions, 4 players per Team, 20 minutes + 10 sec per move 2 Matches per round Alternate Colours

Division One Open

Division Two 7400 max, average 1850 (minimum 1550) You can Play lower graded players but they will count as the minimum for the Division

Division Three 6600 max, average 1650 (minimum 1350)

Division Four 5800 max, average 1450 (minimum 1150)

Team entries to be received to Summer League Chairman before 25th April. Entry fee �5 per team Paid to BDCL Treasurer by 31st May Please. Check Rules Doc for more Details Thank You for your support....

Summer League Chairman A.T.Woollaston BDCL Records

02/04/2022 Claim for a win in Match 555 Ward End Social v Sutton Coldfield B

In the above match a dispute occurred in the board 1 game between Ross Evans (WES) v Steve Palla (SC). Ross Evans had stopped writing his moves down despite having more that 5 minutes on his clock. After 5 moves had been just ticked off, Steve Palla pointed this out to his opponent and claimed the game. At this point Terry Benson (WES) phoned the chairman of the Rules Committee and asked for advice. The chairman spoke to both players in turn and said that Ross Evans should be allowed to write up the missing moves in his own time. This advice was subsequently confirmed as being correct by arbiters Alex Holowczak and Dave Thomas. However, Steve Palla decided to ignore this and claimed a win.

The Rules Committee have discussed this matter by email and made the following decision:

The advice given by the chairman of the Rules Committee was correct and should have been followed. However, as Steve Palla rejected this advice and continued to claim a win,the game is awarded to Ross Evans.

Mike Biddle, Chairman, Rules Committee

21/1/2022 BDCL Online Chess Tournament (27th January)

The next 'BDCL' tournament has been scheduled on on 7.45 p.m. on Thursday, 27th January. It will have a time-control of a flat 10 minutes per player and will use the Arena-pairing and scoring format. This format allows players to start a new game almost as soon as their previous one has finished - providing another suitable opponent is available - and also means that people have the choice of whether to play for the full two hours or just to drop in and play a couple of games for half-an-hour or so. (However, we do need there to be a quorum of at least 5 participants present at the 7.45 p.m. start-time or the event will automatically abort).

It will be possible to register for the tourney from 6.45 p.m. onwards on the actual night. The direct-link for the event is:

Alternatively one can join the event via the 'BDCL's club-page at:

Would-be participants must have signed up with (free) and also have joined the 'BDCL' online club (also free).

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's internet chess committee)

24/12/2021 Board order complaint Match 123 South Birmingham A v Solihull

A complaint was received from Solihull regarding the board order adopted by South Birmingham in the above match. In the previous four matches the South Birmingham team had had a stable board order but for this match it was changed.

Decision of the Committee

The committee has considered by email, Solihull�s board order complaint in the above match. The rule in question is Rule 7.2 Before the start of each match the opposing captains shall list their players in descending order of strength etc.

Also, before the start of the season, Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Sec. sent an email to all clubs on behalf of the Rules and Scrutiny sub-committees:

Rating Guidelines

The Rules Sub-Committee and Scrutiny Sub-Committee wish to provide some guidance on the interpretation of Rules 4.5 and 7.2 following the move to monthly four-digit grades. The Rules Sub-Committee will be disinclined to look favourably on board order disputes (Rule 7.2) where a player on a lower board outgrades a colleague on a higher board by fewer than 75 points (or by fewer than 150 points if the player on the higher board is a junior and the player on the lower board is an adult), using either the 1 September ECF Rating List or the (following) 1 January ECF Rating List. The Scrutiny Sub-Committee will continue to allow some additional latitude in the start-of-season scrutiny of players' assignment to teams (Rule 4.5) where there is a good case to do so because of, for example, the availability of drivers or the wish to group members of a single family in a single team.

In the previous four matches prior to this match South Birmirmingham had a stable board order. South Birmingham have stated that they consider their board order in this match complies with the Rating Guidlines and the Committee does not necessarily disagree with that. South Birmingham also stated that they� made a tactical decision to play Jonathan Swindells (2238) on Board 1 instead of John Pitcher (2260)�.

However, Rule 7.2 still applies and it is the opinion of the Committee that this Rule is not drafted in such a way as to permit changes in order of strength for tactical reasons.

Also, From the Guidelines for Captains and Players.

2. The match card

2.1. Both captains should list the team players in strength order in the appropriate space..

2.2. Captains should not significantly change the board order without good reason.

The Committee, therefore, upholds Solihull�s complaint that Rule 7.2 was breached by South Birmingham�s board order. The penalty for a breach of Rule 7.2 is set out in Rule 14.1(b) I.e. the loss of the match by default. Therefore, the match is awarded to Solihull and the games will be graded as is usual.

The Committee took a dim view of the fact that in 2016, South Birmingham also had a board order dispute ruled against them and at that time the Committee stated:

The Committee reminded South Birmingham of the advice given in The Guidelines for Captains and Players that the board order should not be significantly changed without good reason.

In the light of this the Committee now requires that South Birmingham must make sure that all their captains understand the requirements of Rule 7.2 as well as the advice given in Guidelines for Captains and Players and confirm that it has been carried out.

Mike Biddle, Chairman, Rules Committee

05/12/2021 Board order complaint Match 109 Wolverhampton v Sutton Coldfield

A complaint was received from Wolverhampton C.C. concerning the board order adopted by Sutton Coldfield in the above match.

The board order was:

Wolverhampton Sutton Coldfield
1933 Lewis, Christopher 1 0 Ali, Golam 1923
1806 Preece, Tony � � Mesesan, Mircea-Marius 2073
1797 Tarr, Steve. � � Soszynski, Marek 1893
1765 Hunt, Jonathan. 0 1 Lawrence, Roy 1870
1630 Rosser, Geoffrey 0 1 Dhesi, Iqbal 1690
UG Berry, Tim 0 1 Ng, Edward 1855

The committee considered by email, Wolverhampton�s board order complaint in the above match. The rule in question is Rule 7.2 Before the start of each match the opposing captains shall list their players in descending order of strength etc. Also, before the start of the season, Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Sec. sent an email to all clubs on behalf of the Rules and Scrutiny sub-committees:

Rating Guidelines

The Rules Sub-Committee and Scrutiny Sub-Committee wish to provide some guidance on the interpretation of Rules 4.5 and 7.2 following the move to monthly four-digit grades. The Rules Sub-Committee will be disinclined to look favourably on board order disputes (Rule 7.2) where a player on a lower board outgrades a colleague on a higher board by fewer than 75 points (or by fewer than 150 points if the player on the higher board is a junior and the player on the lower board is an adult), using either the 1 September ECF Rating List or the (following) 1 January ECF Rating List. The Scrutiny Sub-Committee will continue to allow some additional latitude in the start-of-season scrutiny of players' assignment to teams (Rule 4.5) where there is a good case to do so because of, for example, the availability of drivers or the wish to group members of a single family in a single team.

The committee decided that on both Sutton�s boards 1&2 and 5&6 there was a clear breach of Rule 7.2 and also the Rating Guidlines. The committee accepts that the Sutton captain did not intentionally intend to breach Rule 7.2 and accepts his apology to Wolverhampton. However, the penalty for a breach of Rule�7.2�is set out in Rule�14.1(b) I.e. the loss of the match by default. Therefore, the match is awarded to Wolverhampton and the games will be graded as is usual.

The committee wishes to remind all clubs that their captains should be made aware of the Rating Guidelines.

- Mike Biddle (Chairman, Rules Committee)

05/12/2021 Demise of David Dunn - 27 Nov, 2021

It is my sad duty to have to inform you that my longstanding friend and South Birmingham clubmate, David Dunn, passed away in hospital on 27 November due to Covid-related complications.

David joined South Birmingham in 1981 and was first registered in division 8, where he showed early promise. His play got stronger and he eventually became a Division One regular, maintaining a grade in the 180s for a number of years and playing top board for South Birmingham on numerous occasions. He last turned out for the club on 20 October 2021, earning a hard-fought draw with Patrick Duncan in the 1A vs 1C fixture.

- Tim Lane

08/10/2021 Online Tournament, Monday, 11th October,2021 7.30 p.m.

BDCL's next online event will be an Arena tournament on Monday, 11th October, with a time-control of 5 minutes plus 5 second increments. It will run from 7.30 p.m. onwards for a maximum of 2 hours.

The direct link is:

Members can join the tourney from 6.30 p.m. on the night. It will be possible to join the event late and to pause or cease playing whenever you wish - as long as we have sufficient players at the start-time (and throughout) to make the the tournament viable at all!

This event is a bit of an experiment to see if there is still demand for an online tourney now that over-the-board play has re-commenced. So if you would like BDCL online events to continue please join up and, ideally, be there at 7.30 p.m. if you possibly can.

Players must be members of (free) and have signed up with the 'BDCL' online club at:

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's internet chess committee)

05/10/2021 29th Birmingham rapidplay

The 29th Birmingham Rapidplay has now reached capacity, and we can no longer accept additional entries. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, contact:

27/09/2021 Demise of Laurence John Wheatley, July 28, 1931 - October 23, 2020

Tributes to Laurence John Wheatley appear here..

08/09/2021 Local Online Tourney, Monday, 13th September, 7.30 p.m

The next online event organised by the 'BDCl' club has been scheduled for Monday, 13th September. This will be a Swiss with a time-control of a flat 10 minutes. If there are 10 or more entrants logged-in at the 7.30 p.m. start-time then there should be 5 rounds. If there are fewer entrants then the number of rounds will be automatically reduced by the software.

The direct link is: or you should be able to join the event by going to the 'BDCl' club page and clicking on the link there.

N.B. are in the middle of changing and updating their systems - they are phasing out their 'Live Chess' sub-system in favour of a new program that is similar but goes by the name 'Play' instead. Some glitches have already been noticed so I would suggest that anyone wants to take part in the event tries to register for it as early as possible in case of problems or delays! Registration starts from 6.30 p.m. onwards on the night. It should be possible to join the event late but please try to be there at the start-time if at all possible.

Would-be participants must have signed up with (free) and have joined the 'BDCL' club at:

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's internet chess committee)

11/07/2021 Local Online Tourneys in July

Now that Wimbledon and the Euros are drawing to a close the 'BDCL' online chess club will be putting on another couple of events. On Monday, 12th July, at 7.30 p.m., we are planning a 4-round Swiss with a time control of 10 minutes + 5 second increments. This will be on the platform. The direct link is:

On Monday, 26th July, at 7.30 p.m., we shall be putting on a 5 minutes + 5 second increment Arena-format tournament. This will also be on the platform. There is no direct link as yet, but - as with all tourneys - you will be able to find the event by clicking on's 'live chess' button and (if the event is still not visible) on the 'tournaments' button. You should also be able to access the event via the 'BDCl' club page at

Registration for both events will start at 6.30 p.m. on the actual nights of the tournaments. Ideally, would-be participants should aim to have registered and be logged in to at the 7.30 p.m. start-time. However, it will be possible to join the events late - particularly the Arena event on the 26th - as long as there is a quorum of players present when each tourney is scheduled to begin. (Otherwise the site's software will automatically cancel the event)!

Players who wish to take part in either of the above events must first have joined (free) and also have applied to join the 'BDCL' club at:

There may be some other events in July/August but these have not yet been organized.

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's internet chess committee)

01/06/2021 Online Chess in June

The 'BDCL' online club will be running the following events in June on the platform.

(1) Thursday, 3rd June, 7.45 p.m.: A 2-hour (max) rapidplay Arena tourney with a time control of 10 minutes + 3 second increments. This will hopefully be of especial interest to players in the WMA League who have been missing their Thursday night chess! As we are using the Arena format it will be possible to join the event late or to leave early without causing any disruption. However, we do need to have at least 4 players present at the official start-time or else's software will automatically abort the whole tournament.

The direct link for registering for this event is:

(2) Monday, 7th June, 7.30 p.m.: A rapidplay Swiss tourney (of 3 -5 rounds). Time-control yet to be decided but likely to be around 10 minutes + 5 secs or 10 minutes + 10 secs. Full details will appear on the club's page a few days before the event.

(3) Monday, 21st June, 7.30 p.m.: A quick-play Arena tourney of 1 1/2 - 2 hours duration. Time control still to be decided but likely to be around 5 minutes + 5 second increments. Full details will appear on the club's page a few days before the event. Once again it should be possible to join the tourney late or to leave early if you can't make it for the full period of play.

To take part in these tournaments you have to have signed up with (free) and also have joined the 'BDCL' club at: (which is also free).

There may be some other locally organised events in addition to the above (possibly on the platform) but these have not yet been planned.

Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

14/05/2021 ECF Arbiter Course on Zoom for 5 consecutive Mondays 7 PM- 9 PM, From The Monday 7th June 2021

There will be an ECF Arbiter course held via Zoom on five consecutive Monday evenings between 7 PM - 9 PM, starting on The Monday, 7th June, 2021.

ECf Arbiter Course dates:

Monday 7th June, 2021 (7 PM - 9 PM)

Monday 14th June, 2021 (7 PM - 9 PM)

Monday 21st June, 2021 (7 PM - 9 PM)

Monday 28th June, 2021 (7 PM - 9 PM)

Monday 5th July, 2021 (7 PM - 9 PM)

We are hoping for a significant turnout from the wider West Midlands area, given the portfolio of events in our neighbourhood when OTB chess resumes in 2021-22:

- Two Birmingham Rapidplays per year

- A brand new 4NCL Division 3 Central, with most weekends played in Warwickshire

- Junior 4NCL, which normally has at least one weekend per year in the area

- Other congresses and rapidplays (e.g. Warwickshire Championships)

- Junior tournaments, including three UK Chess Challenge Megafinals, one UK Chess Challenge Gigafinal, and a significant porfolio of other junior tournaments

- Other national events (e.g. British Universities' Championship has been in Birmingham twice recently)

With longstanding local arbiter David Thomas keen to move into a mentoring role rather than an active role in tournaments, and Matthew Carr and I having increasing national and international commitments, there will be a void to fill in staffing these local events. To fill this void, it is essential that we have as big a pool of local arbiters as possible to make sure that these events can be organised in future.

Successful candidates will not be thrown in at the deep end; David, Matthew and I will be available to provide training, mentoring and support, to ensure that these tournaments continue to run as smoothly as they have in the past.

These tournaments normally come with reasonable expenses and daily fees, and there is no expectation that someone who passes the course will need to give up every single weekend of the year to help to run tournaments!

The link to the course details and registration form is here:

We hope to see you there!

24/03/2021 In memory of Ken Francis

Ken Francis was my friend in chess. I first met him in 1975 playing in division 5 of the Wolverhampton league West Midlands Police v Mercia. Ken was white and he played his favourite �Stonewall attack�. His knights had free range all over the King side of the board. He manoeuvred me off the board. After winning he told me I was not a bad player. At the time I was graded at about ECF 160 and I was fresh from beating Mercia�s best up and coming new young player Andrew McCumiskey who was graded about ECF 170.Asked what his grade was, he replied ECF 128. He smiled and followed it up with �128 is a dead handy grade����.. �especially in tournaments���I do believe his current grade is ECF 128.

I played Ken several times after that, there was one more defeat against the �Stonewall�, after which I did some study about this opening and beat him. He never played this opening against me again. It never happened but in Midland�s chess but Me, you, and Fred Tatler���..What a combination. Thank you ken.

Yours Sincerely

Alan and Ann Ruffle

08/03/2021 Demise of Ken Francis - Funeral on April 7, 2021

Ken Francis, Mercia Chess club co-founder and stalwart President passed away last week.

Ken co-founded Mercia Chess club on 5th May, 1969, He won Mercia Chess club's best performance award 6 times including the first one when it started in 1977-78

Ken is a great friend of many at Mercia and in Birmingham, Wolverhampton chess clubs. Ken will be greatly missed by Mercia chess club.

Ken's funeral is at West Bromwich on 7th April,2021. For details please ring 0121 6827266

22/02/2021 Demise of Tom Cox - Cremation March 8, 2021

�I�ve received the sad news of the recent death of Tom Cox, after a period of ill-health. Many of you will know him as a semi-regular player in the Shirley & Wythall club�s fourth team from 2002 through to 2007.

Previously, Tom played competitively for Wythall Chess Club for many years, at least from the early 1980s until the 1999-2000 season, when the club left the BDCL. In that time, he was Secretary, Team Captain, Chairman, father figure in the club, and much more besides. Whilst never a strong player, he loved his chess, the camaraderie, and the organisational side of the game.

When a homeless Shirley Chess Club rolled up at Wythall House in 2002, we found that several of the former Wythall players still played there socially, including Tom, who came out of retirement to play for us up until the 2006-07 season, persuading other former Wythall players to do likewise. His personality and guiding influence will be sorely missed.

In many ways, his legacy is alive in our club today, and our abiding memory � What a lovely man!

His funeral/cremation will take place on March 8th at 10:30 at the Robin Hood crematorium. As usual under covid restrictions attendance is limited. Gordon Christie, Shirley & Wythall Chess Club�

- Gordon S.G. Christie

17/02/2021 Thursday Online Blitz and Bullet Tournaments: 18th and 25th February, 2021

The Birmingham Chess League (BCL) online club on Lichess will be taking advantage of the end of the current WMA season by running consecutive Bullet and Blitz events on the last two Thursdays of February. On Thursday, 18th, there will be a 1 minute Bullet tournament followed by a 3 minutes + 2 second increment Blitz. On Thursday, 25th February, there will be a 2 minute Bullet tournament succeeded by another 3 minutes + 2 second Blitz. On both days the Bullet events will run from 7.00 p.m. until 7.45 p.m. and the Blitz tourneys will start at 8.00 p.m. and finish at 9.30 p.m.. These are 'Arena' format events so it is ok for players to join the tourneys a little late or to leave early. Lichess and BCL members can sign up for any or all of these events at

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

31/01/2021 BDCL Online Chess in February

(1) Wednesday, 3rd February, 7.45 p.m.. Rapidplay Arena (Time-control: 10 minutes + 3 second increments). The direct link for joining the tourney is: Registration is possible from 6.45 p.m. on the night.

(2) Monday 8th February, 7.30 p.m.. Rapidplay Swiss (Time-control to be decided). There may be an 'Open' and a separate grade-limited section.

(3) Monday, 22nd February, 7.30 p.m.. Slow Blitz Arena (Time-control to be decided).

(4) Sunday, 28th February, 7.45 p.m.. Chess 960 Arena (Time Control: 10 minutes flat)

On Lichess round 5 of the 'Birmingham Chess League' (BCL) club's one-round-per week slow-play Swiss tourney continues on Friday, 5th February, at 7.30 p.m.. (N.B. It is now too late to join this event if you haven't registered already). There will probably be some more BCL events on Lichess in February but these have not yet been decided.

As always, players who want to take part in 'BDCL' online events must have signed up with and have joined the 'BDCL' club at For 'BCL' events, players must have registered with and joined the Birmingham Chess League 'team' at

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

30/01/21 - Demise of Alan Shrimpton - mid-January 2021

It is with much sadness that I have to report that Alan Shrimpton, a member for many years of Walsall Kipping Chess Club, died in mid-January after a sustained period of health problems. Alan was the oldest and longest serving member of the club, and joined it in the 1960s. His first recorded game for Walsall, in fact, was in the 1967-68 season of the Wolverhampton League. From then to 1974-75 he was the Captain of the club�s second team, which for six years was in Div. 1. Since then he played continuously in teams in all the local leagues. Alan was a steadfast supporter of all club activities and an active player at club evenings. He was always generous and cheerful, and regarded with affection by all who played with him, both young and old. One tribute to him, among many, sums him up well � "a lovely man� magnanimous in defeat and gracious in victory, but a ferocious defender of his Chess rights�an old-fashioned gentleman�". Much more has been said, showing how much he will be missed.

- Mike Groombridge, Walsall Kipping Secretary

17/01/2020 BDCL Online Chess in January

Three further events organized by the online 'BDCL' and 'Birmingham Chess League' (BCL) clubs will be taking place before the end of January.

(1) A "Chess 960" Rapidplay Tourney is scheduled for 7.45 p.m. on Tuesday, 19th January, hosted by BCL at

. This event will have a time-control of a flat 10 minutes but will have a 'Berserk' option that allows good or reckless players to gain an extra point by halving their allotted time. 'Chess 960' largely removes the advantage held by players with encyclopaedic opening knowledge by semi-randomising the initial locations of the back rank pieces. Otherwise the rules of chess remain exactly the same. It can be good fun: try it! Would-be participants must be members of Lichess and of the Birmingham Chess League club. You can still join the club at the web-address given above. Registration for the tourney is possible from now onwards.

(2) The BCL's 7-round one-game-per-week Slow-play Swiss continues on Lichess at 7.30 p.m. on Friday, 22nd January. This will be the 3rd round but it is still not too late to join the event. The time control is 60 minutes + 10 second increments. The password for joining is 'BDCL'.

(3) A Slow-Blitz Arena event is planned on for Monday, 25th January. This will commence at 7.30 p.m. and will probably have a time-control of 5 minutes + 5 second increments. If you can't make the start-time then it will still be possible to join the event late. In order to take part you must have signed up both with and with the 'BDCL' club at

. The tournament will be listed on from 19th January and it will be possible to register for it from 6.30 p.m. on the evening of the 25th.

-Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

03/01/21 - Demise of Frank Wood 1942-2020 (28/12/20)

It is my sad duty to report that Frank Wood, passed away on 28th December 2020 only six weeks after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Frank was a good friend to many and a much liked and well respected member of Wolverhampton Chess Club, which he joined in season 1996/7 after moving to the area from Cheshire. He had served the club tirelessly as Chairman and �A� team captain for some years, and was always keen to make club nights active and welcoming. He was well known and popular in chess circles throughout the West Midlands, and had been President of the Wolverhampton and District League from 2007 to 2009 and Tournament Secretary from 2012 to 2017. Frank had played chess from the age of 11 and over the years had played for Cheshire, Lancashire & Staffordshire. He was an inventive player whose favourite opening was the Morra Gambit.

He was born in 1942 and attended junior and grammar schools in Sheffield, before studying law at Sheffield University. As a qualified solicitor his main career was in local government, after which he spent 6 years working for a Building Society before retiring finally in 2000. He had a very active retirement, travelling widely with his wife Chris. He also sang bass with Penn Singers. He was a member of Wombourne over 50's Rambling Club, again with Chris, often leading their walks and covering walks of 6-12 miles every week.

Frank was a true gentleman who will be widely missed for his hard work, friendship and invariable good humour, our deepest sympathy goes to his wife and daughter...

- Phil Bull

27/12/2020 BDCL Arena Tourney, Weds, 30th December, 7.45 p.m. - 9.45 p.m

For anybody who feels like playing some more chess once the turkey and mince pies are only memories, I have put on a 6 mins + 4 second increments tournament for 7.45 p.m. on Wednesday, 30th December. It is an 'Arena' event so players can play throughout or come and go as they please within the 2-hour playing period. Hopefully the time control will be a reasonable compromise both for players who prefer their chess fast and for those of us who like to take a more leisurely approach. The event is entitled "BDCL Goodbye 2020 Arena" and the direct link for joining is: have had some problems with tournament links recently, so if the link fails then it still may be possible to join via the 'BDCL' club page or by going to 'Live Chess' and 'Tournaments'. Players can sign up from 6.45 p.m. on the Wednesday evening. As ever, to take part you must have signed up with and have joned the 'BDCL' club at: We are up to 90 members now.

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

20/12/2020 BDCl Tournament, Monday, 21st December, 7:30 PM

The 'BDCL' online club on will be holding another evert on Monday, 21st December, starting at 7.30 p.m.. This will be a 5-round Swiss tourney with a time control of 10 minutes + 2 second increments. So hopefully it should suit those who don't like the really fast events but still want to play several games in one evening. The tournament is is being organised by Julie Wilson of Stourbridge club.

Entrants must have registered with and also be members of the 'BDCL' club. BDCL can be joined at: The direct link for the actual tournament is: You can sign up for it from 6:30 p.m. onwards on the night. It should be possible to join the tourney late as long as you do so before the start of the 3rd round.

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

13/12/2020 Christmas Blitz Tourney online, Thursday, 17th December, 7.45 p.m.

The new 'Birmingham Chess League' club on Lichess will be holding a Swiss blitz tournament on the 17th. The time control will be 3 minutes + 3 second increments. There will hopefully be 9 rounds but this will be partly dependent upon entry numbers. Would-be participants can sign up for the event from now onwards at: The tourney password is " BDCL "

Entrants must have registered with - which is a free and painless process - and must also have joined the Birmingham Chess League's online 'Team'. All players who belong to a BDCl club are eligible to sign up for this at:

13/12/2020 Long Play Swiss Tournament online - 7 Rounds starting on Friday, 8th January, 7.30 p.m.

This one-game-per-week event run by 'Birmingham Chess League' will commence on 8th January. Subsequent rounds will take place at the same time every Friday for a further 6 weeks. (Note that it will possible to opt out of a particular round if you can't make it for any reason - but you would need to withdraw before the round began and then re-join again before the start of the next round).

The time control will be 60 minutes + 10 second increments - so games are likely to take between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours. You can register for the event from now onwards at: The tourney password is " BDCL "

As with all Birmingham Chess League online events, participants should be members of BDCl clubs; and must have signed up with Lichess and have joined BCL at:

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

13/12/2020 BDCL - The Finance and General Purposes sub-Committee Meeting Notes

The Finance and General Purposes sub-Committee of the BDCL held a brief online meeting on Monday 7 December. Matters discussed were as follows:

We still hope to be able to conclude the suspended 2019-20 season. Ideally play would be concluded by mid-May, to allow the administration of the 2021-22 season to run to the established timetable (entry forms submitted by 31 May, and so on) but in practice we recognise that this date may not be achievable. There's some room for manoeuvre with the dates, and the 2021-22 season could start roughly on time even if the previous season didn't conclude until the end of June.

The Online sub-Committee, chaired by Chris Evans, has created online BDCL clubs on both and, which currently have 88 and 48 members respectively. Five events for members have been organised on the platform, each one attracting roughly twenty entries, and one event on the platform. It was felt that there might be demand for grading-limited events aimed specifically at lower-graded players.

Paul Sharratt has taken on the role of secretary of Stourbridge CC on an interim basis.

The sub-Committee will meet again in eight weeks' time, on Monday 1 February,2021

30/11/2020 BDCL Online: "End of Lockdown Blitz" Tourney - Wednesday, 2nd December, 8.00 p.m.

This will be an 8-round Swiss tournament with a time-control of 3 minutes + 3 second increments. The time control has been chosen in the hope that it will appeal to speed-lovers but also be less intimidating than the more normal 3 + 2 for those of us who lack lightning reflexes and who find it hard to cope with a mere 2 second increment! Registration for the event starts at 7.00 p.m. on the night of the tourney.

WAs ever, would-be participants must have signed up with pre-tournament and also have joined the BDCL online club at:

The 'BDCl' club currently has 85 members but hopes to attract many more. All players who belong to clubs that play in the main Birmingham & District Chess League are eligible to join.

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

21/11/2020 Birmingham Chess League Online Tourney , Tuesday, 24th November, 8.00 p.m.

The new �Birmingham Chess League� club on Lichess � see entry below for 15/11/20 for details � will be holding an inaugural 'fun' tournament on Tues, 24th November. It will be an Arena event with a time control of 5 minutes with 2 second increments. The unusual thing about it is that it will be a 'Chess 960' event. Chess 960 is also known as Fischer Random Chess because it was invented by Bobby Fischer and involves the back-rank pieces being placed in semi-random order at the start of the game � meaning that there are 960 possible starting positions for each game. So your knowledge of normal opening theory is unlikely to give you any advantage. Come along and try it!

Would-be participants must have signed up at and have joined the Birmingham Chess League Club. The direct link to join the tournament is:

You will need to input the password �BDCL� to take part.

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

21/11/2020 - Demise of Harvey Quail (14 November, 2020)

It is my sad duty to inform you that Harvey Quail passed away peacefully on Saturday morning (14/11/20) at Queen Elizabeth Hospital with his wife Denise at his side.

Harvey was President of the BDCL in the 2009-10 season and had served for many years as the secretary of West Midlands Police CC.

- Tim Lane

15/11/20 - Demise of Lionel Lewis (27/10/20)

John Lewis (Warley Quinborne) has the following sad news:

My father, Lionel Lewis, sadly passed away on 27th October aged 92. He had been suffering from dementia. Lionel had been a member of Mutual Circle for over 40 years but his chess "career" began at King Edward's School during the war. When he returned to Birmingham after university he joined the City & Erdington Club, as I believe it was named, playing alongside Ritson Morry. Following the club's demise he was briefly a member of Quinborne before joining up again with Ritson at Mutual. He was a very active and dedicated member, taking on most roles at one time or another. In his prime he was a Div 1 board 2 or 3 player,and was still playing league chess up until last season, just about holding on to a 3 figure grade. I know that Mutual members have not forgotten his performances in 2015/16 when at the age of 88 he barely lost a game and played a vital role in their Terrill trophy success. Lionel was never the fastest of players, and invariably found himself in time trouble (pre quick play finishes and the like of course). However, I remember him telling me about the time when he got held up and arrived at a match with less than 4 minutes on his clock. He proceeded to make his 30 moves, missing a back rank mate along the way, and ended up winning the the game!

It's fair to say that Dad taught me everything I know about chess, though self evidently not all that he knew! When I returned to Brum in the 80s I decided to stay local and join Warley Quinborne rather than follow him to Mutual. Although he and I regularly found ourselves on opposing teams we engineered things in such a manner that we never in fact played each other competitively. I think Dad had seen enough of my tears as a youngster when defeating me and didn't want to inflict any more pain, which he surely would have done!

Away from chess he enjoyed his working life, running a successful business, crossword puzzles, and a nice glass of red wine - the latter possibly the result of having a French wife.

The funeral has already taken place and numbers were of course limited. Anyone who wishes to may send a donation to the Alzheimer's Society.

- John Lewis

15/11/20 - (1) BDCL Online Tourney, Monday, 16th November, 7.30 p.m.

The 'BDCl' online club on will be running another event at 7.30 p.m. on Monday, 16th November. This will be a two-hour (maximum) Arena Tournament with a time-control of 5 minutes + 5 second increments. Registration is possible from 6.30 p.m. onwards that evening. Because it is an 'Arena' event it is ok for would-be players to join or leave the tourney at any time within the 2-hour period. So if you just want to drop in for two or three games that's fine, or equally you can decide to play for the full 2 hours. Participants must be members of (free for basic membership) and must have joined the BDCL online club. The club can be joined at: The direct link for the tourney is:

This event is being hosted by Julie Wilson of Stourbridge club who, I believe, is offering a hand-sewn chess-themed face mask as the prize for the winner!

(2) New Birmingham Chess League Club on Lichess

Some players prefer to for internet play. Therefore another branch of 'BDCL' online has just been founded by Phil Maybury of Warley Quinborne on Lichess. The new club (or 'Team' in Lichess terminology) has been named "Birmingham Chess League" and can be joined at Would-be members must first have signed up with Lichess (which is free). As yet there are no events organized for the new club but an inaugural tourney will be set up in a couple of weeks time. Phil intends to organize events with various formats and time controls, even occasionally including a Chess 960 (Fischer Random Chess) tourney.

Please consider joining the new Lichess club and - if you haven't already done so - the club at as well. All players who belong to a BDCL club (whether otb or online) are eligible to join either or both clubs. At the time of writing we have 80 members on and 26 on Lichess.

- Chris Evans (on behalf of the BDCL's online chess committee)

26/10/20 - Online BDCL Blitz Tourney, Tuesday, 27th October, 8.00 p.m.

The new 'BDCL' online club - now an official branch of the main BDCL - will be running its second ever tournament on Tuesday, 27th October. This will be a 9-round Swiss Blitz event with a time-control of 4 minutes + 2 second increments.

All players from clubs in the Birmingham & District League are welcome. Would-be participants must have signed up with (free for basic membership) and also have joined the 'BDCL' club at:

Registration for the tourney itself is at: but you can't actually register until 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Our first BDCL event - won by Neil Owen of Sutton Coldfield - attracted 22 entrants. I would like to substantially beat this figure on Tuesday!

- Chris Evans

25/10/2020 Wolverhampton Chess Club - Online Chess Tournament

Wolverhampton Chess Club has organised a 7-round Sunday Swiss event with a flat 30 minute time control with just one round to be played each week.

This tournament is scheduled to start on Sunday, 25th October at 6.34 p.m. This tourney will run on so participants will need to have joined Lichess (which is free). Players will also need to sign up with the 'Team' that Phil has specifically set up for this event: 'Wolverhampton Swiss'.

This team can be joined at:

Registration for the the tourney itself is at:

The password to enter can be gained from your Club Secretary.

18/10/2020 BDCL Committee Update

The Finance and General Purposes sub-Committee of the BDCL held a brief online meeting on Monday. Matters discussed were as follows:

To support Chris Evans' initiative in creating and administering the online BDCL club on, we decided to create an Online sub-Committee and to ask Chris to chair it � an invitation he has subsequently accepted. Notification of the club's inaugural event, a 10-minute "arena" tournament on 15 October, has already been circulated.

Although there's very little information to disseminate at present, the Hon. Gen. Sec. undertook to try to increase the frequency and regularity with which material appears on the BDCL web site.

With regard to the restart of competitive OTB chess, the consensus around the (virtual) table was that the best we could hope for was to resume the suspended 2019-20 season in the Spring of 2021 (though this is, obviously, an aspiration rather than something we are in a position to commit to). A small number of clubs are meeting for face-to-face friendly chess among their members.

There was a brief discussion about the possibility of holding a full online meeting of the Management Committee, but it was felt that (a) there was little or no current need for a meeting; and that (b) it would prove logistically challenging.

Alex Holowczak noted that the ECF's monthly rating system is now live � see

Richard Collett noted that the "Greenlands" name is no more but that the club has been reconstituted as Longbridge Chess Club and will be meeting in one of their former venues, the Austin Sports & Social Club.

F&GP will meet again in eight weeks' time, on Monday 7 December.

13/10/2020 Funeral of Nigel Byrne

�Funeral/Crematorium Service is 1.30pm - Friday 30th October 2020 � at Perry Barr Crematorium .

Hearse will collect family/friends from Nigel and Diane�s home, 10 Coniston Road, Erdington, Birmingham B23 6HJ at 12.30pm. Leaving 12.45pm. Anyone , who ever wishes to attend their home , stand outside to pay their respects are most welcome. Hearse will travel via PDSA Veterinary, Dolverton Rd, Aston, Bham ( where both Nigel and Dianne worked) and stop for 5-10 minutes for staff to pay their respects and then onto Perry Barr Crematorium.

Covid Rules allow 30 persons max to attend the Crematatorium. Which includes 24 inside and 6 outside. There are 4 places outside free for me to allocate to chess persons. There will be a Live Webb Feed of the service � and kept on line for a few days thereafter for anyone to link into on the day or after. The link reference will be given to Dianne nearer to the date of the service.

Flowers and/or Donation to their own charity PDSA � Aston Branch of which Nigel was the Head Vet. Solihull Chess members will be sending flowers in the form of chess pieces and /or a chess board in case others were considering same. Re any donation to their charity PDSA � Diane�s daughter is setting up a �Just giving page on Facebrook� � so 4 ways of donations � Facebrook Link, Direct online to their PDSA Website specify for Aston Branch, or send to myself home or Nigel and Diane �s home well before the day of the service please. Not on the day of the service as the Crematorium cannot accept donations under Covid and also on the day Diane most likely to be too emotional.

Dianne now welcomes any person who may wish to contact her on the telephone to chat etc�0121 382 6972.

Condolence Cards also most welcome to be sent to Nigel and Diane�s home address or via myself �

Kind regards

John Green

10/10/2020 Longbridge Chess Club

As of midnight Thursday, 8/10/20; Greenlands Chess Club ceased to exist - the club will now be known as Longbridge Chess Club.


Players can join our Online Club at:

Steve Crees (Secretary, Longbridge Chess Club)

03/10/2020 New Online Club for all BDCL Members

Chris Evans of Mutual Circle has set up an online club on for any and all members of BDCL clubs. The new club is is not yet an official BDCL venture but has been formed with the encouragement of Hon Gen Sec, Tim Lane. The club, called simply "BDCL", can be joined on at: People can also sign up by logging on to and then searching the club list for "BDCL".

The purpose of the new club is to provide a larger pool of local online players (of all strengths) than can be offered by any existing BDCl club on its own. The background to this is that several of the smaller local clubs in particular have been finding it difficult under COVID to sustain club-nights and internal club events online. Members can get fed up with playing the same handful of people (particularly where there are large grading disparities). Also some players prefer fast time controls and others slower ones - and the numbers in each camp are often not sufficient to make internal club events at different time controls feasible.

If the new club can acquire 100+ members then it should become possible for local club organizers (who would become administrators) to occasionally set up tournaments which suited their own members and which could be thrown open to the wider BDCL community. 100+ members may sound a lot to aim for but it only amounts to 5 or so players from each existing club.

Please would players who read this consider joining the new club themselves and publicising it to their club-mates.

Chris Evans (secretary, Mutual Circle)

27/9/2020 Demise of Nigel Byrne

A tribute from John Green appears here..

15/06/2020 Demise of Edna Betty Dawson

Sadly, Edna Betty Dawson passed away on 21/4/20 after being in a care home for about 18 months.

Betty played League Chess for Kynoch Chess Club for approximately 30 years. She was always very pleasant and good natured towards all chess players and of course thoroughly enjoyed her chess.

She will be sadly missed by all members of Kynoch Chess Club together with her husband Brian Dawson who also plays chess for Kynoch.

The funeral was at Streetly Crematorium recently and due to the Coronavirus only six people were able to attend.

- Grendon Morgan of Kynoch

11/05/2020 Demise of Daljit Singh

"Although not a member of West Bromwich I play there every Monday casually, usually with Daljit. He was a kind caring honest man with a zest for life, including chess and snooker, and was pretty good at both. He will be sadly missed." Our condolences go out to his friends and family.

- Stuart Deeley of Mercia CC

08/05/2020 Demise of Tom Evans

Tom Evans (Tom Peed)

It is my sad duty to report that club member and fellow Chess player Tom Evans (Known to everyone as 'Old Tom' to distinguish from young Thomas) passed away at 12.00 on Sunday 3rd May 2020.

A full tribute to Tom appears here..

Richard Reynolds, Olton Chess Club, with input from Alan Woollaston

17/03/2020 Suspension of BDCL competition

Dear Officers and Club Secretaries,

In the light of the current Coronavirus pandemic and advice from the English Chess Federation, the President and I have decided that all team and individual competitions organised by the Birmingham and District League will be suspended from midnight tonight, Sunday 15 March, until further notice.

If clubs decide to proceed with fixtures already arranged, results will not be counted towards the competition in which they take place, and any games played in such circumstances will only be submitted for grading on receipt of separately-submitted requests to that effect from the Secretaries of both participating clubs.

We will issue guidance in due course about arrangements for completing our competitions.

I would be grateful if all twenty-six BDCL-affiliated Clubs would acknowledge receipt of this email.

I am sure that you will understand the rationale for this decision; the well-being of our members and their families, and the wider community, must be our prime concern at this time. We look forward to resuming normal activity in better times.

Best wishes,

Tim Lane

Honorary General Secretary

09/03/2020 BDCL's Team Lightning competition

BDCL's Team Lightning competition tomorrow (Tues, 10th March, 2020) at 7.15.p.m. at Olton club

09/03/2020 - Morry-Wood awards

Nominations for the 2018-19 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March 2020.
Send e-mail submissions to
Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)
The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.
Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players� names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

01/03/20 - Funeral of John Pakenham

The Funeral service will take place at Sandwell Valley Crematorium on Friday 13th March 2020 at 1.45pm.

Sandwell Valley Crematorium Newton Road, West Bromwich B71 3SX

John wasn't really one for flowers - so the family have suggested a donation to St Mary's Hospice - Selly Park - instead should anyone care to do so.

22/02/20 - Demise of Jane Kremer (Dave Thomas� Partner)

"I am sad to tell you that my partner Jane Kremer, whom many of you will remember assisting with the admin at local tournaments, died in the early morning of Wednesday 5th February. Her funeral will take place at Rowley Regis Crematorium, B65 0AD at 3.15pm on Monday 2nd March. No flowers, bright clothes.�

-Dave Thomas

18/02/20 - Demise of John Pakenham

Sadly John Pakenham passed away peacefully in his sleep on 9th February, 2020. He was taken ill again shortly after Christmas/New Year and bravely faced up to the situation, never once feeling sorry for himself and always thinking of those around him.

He will be sadly missed at Warley & Quinborne and in the wider chess community having served to provide and promote chess for many a decade.

Our thoughts and prayers are with John and his lovely family.

Details of his funeral arrangements will follow in due course.

06/02/2019 - The 28th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament

The 28th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament will be held on the Sunday 15th March at the Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Rd, Birmingham B32 2TW.

Full information about the tournament can be found here:

22/01/20 - Warwickshire Chess Congress

The Warwickshire Congress is being held on 21st � 23rd February

Venue : Citrus Hotel Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry

Sections: Open, U1975, U140 and U110

Free entry for first 20 female entries

Online entry through

Entry form can be found in word format via the link here...

09/01/20 - In memory of Mike Rees - By Alan Ruffle

Tributes from Alan Ruffle and Phil Maddocks appear here..

- Alan Ruffle

04/01/20 - Funeral Details of Mike Rees

The service for the funeral of Mike Rees is to be held on Tuesday 14th January 10.45 am at Lodge Hill Cemetery & Crematorium, Weoley Park Road, Selly Oak, B29 5AA Afterwards to meet at Harborne Golf Club, 40 Tennal Road, Harborne, B32 2JE

The Family have requested no flowers but a collection box on behalf of a Parkinson�s Disease charity will be available.

23/12/19 - ECF Arbiter Course Registration

Course dates � 15th � 16th February 2020 Course venue � Daventry Court Hotel, Sedgemoor Way, Daventry NN11 0SG Course schedule � 9.00am � 1.00pm, 2.00pm � 5.00pm on both days Course fee � �30 Course Lecturer � Adrian Elwin; Assistant Lecturer � Alex Holowczak

Online Registration:

21/12/19 - Demise of Mike Rees(The First BDCL Webmaster)

17/12/2019 - Report from the Rules Committee meeting held at South Birmingham on 17th December 2019

1. Match 131 Sutton Coldfield v South Birmingham

Keith Escott (Sutton Coldfield) was in severe time trouble (no increment) and offered a draw which may have been intended to be under FIDE Guideline 111 6.1.2 i.e with less than 2 minutes on his clock and his opponent was making no effort to win by normal means. Our Handbook sets out this rule on page 39. This was turned down by his opponent, John Emanuel, and a few seconds later Keith Escott�s flag fell. Both sides had stopped scoring as they had less than 5 minutes on their clocks.

The committee listened to submissions from both sides. The committee decided that Keith Escott had correctly made a claim for a draw according to the FIDE Guideline. Although both players agreed the final position, Keith Escott was unable to consider participating in a reconstruction of the game score immediately after the match and supplied a re-constructed scoresheet to the committee later although this was not verified by John Emanuel. Acting as the designated arbiter and using Keith Escott�s scoresheet, the committee examined the last 10 moves of the game and concluded had Keith Escott had correctly claimed the draw.


The committee finds that the Sutton Coldfield player�s claim for a draw is upheld.

2. Match 234 Solihull v Lichfield

Lichfield claimed that: a) Solihull named a player on board 4 who Lichfield discovered playing in the room in a Leamington League match (Rule 7.2) Solihull justified the naming of the player by saying that it had been an unfortunate error and that the mistake had only been discovered when the match cards had been exchanged and the match started. The committee felt that it was the club�s responsibility to make sure that any player named on the match card should be available to play and that any player known to be defaulting placed on the bottom board. b) Solihull did not play their players in order of strength as the boards 5 and 6 were graded 141 and 157 respectively (Rule 7.2). Solihull stated that this was another unfortunate error and, in order to justify this, supplied a list of games played by Ben Larkin who was the 141 graded player on board 5. Solihull tried to show that by calculating his current grade his position in the team was justified. It was explained to Solihull that the committee had previously rejected this approach in another board order dispute and they therefore could not accept this.


The committee finds that Rule 7.2 has been breached because a) Solihull should have been aware that they were defaulting a board which should have been board 6 b) they did not play boards 5 and 6 in order of strength. NB The penalty for a breach of Rule 7.2 is the loss of the game by default. The games will be graded.

Mike Biddle Chairman, Rules Committee

12/12/2019 - Demise of Graham Lightfoot of Olton CC

Graham Lightfoot died last week after being extremely ill for several months. Although it is a good 15 years since he last turned out in a BDCL team, there may be a few senior souls who remember him and may like to know. He was the sort of person is remembered by those who knew him. His funeral will be at 2.00pm Monday 23rd December in Avon Room of Rainsbrook Crematorium, Rugby CV22 5QQ.

Graham started his chess in the 1950s and played for Olton until his police career and family took him to Rugby where he became the driving force behind the local chess club. His enthusiasm and belief gave him a knack of attracting excellent players to his teams so his club once won the national championship but, alas, were drawn away to Moscow in the first round of the following year's European club tournament. He reappeared in BDCL playing for West Midlands Police. At about the turn of the millennium, Graham discovered the game of bridge and abandoned chess to focus entirely on his new passion.

19/11/2019 - Online ECF Rated Tournaments

The ECF is developing an Internet Chess Service so that members and supporters can take part in online ECF rated tournaments and events.

The system is currently in beta test with ECF clubs and regular tournaments for members and supporters on lichess, and chess24. As well as the regular rapid and blitz tournaments, the ECF will be staging National and International Events. Once the system is in production, the ECF will also be calculating and publishing ECF internet ratings for players taking part in club/ team games.

The organisers would like to invite chess players from Birmingham and the surrounding areas to join the beta test group. Can you let Nigel Towers ( know if you would be interested in this and we will provide you with further details including joining instructions for the internet clubs, along with details of upcoming tournaments and events.

17/11/2019 - Report from the Rules Committee meeting held at South Birmingham on 29th October 2019

1. Match 122 Wolverhampton v Shirley & Wythall

A dispute had arisen with regard to match 122. Shirley & Wythall requested a postponement using Rule 6.1 giving the correct 28 days notice. However, Wolverhampton were reluctant to allow a postponement due to problems regarding their clubroom and offered to play the match over 5 boards. This was at first accepted but then rejected by Shirley & Wythall. Wolverhampton now claimed that by accepting the 5 board match, the notice for the postponement had been reduced to only 27 days and they could, therefore, reject it.

The committee listened to submissions from both sides. The committee noted that Wolverhampton had not offered any alternative dates but made the offer of a five board match instead which Shirley & Wythall had accepted, only later rejecting this.


The committee finds that, as agreed between the two clubs, the match should be played over five boards at Wolverhampton C.C. on 31st October.

2. Match 219 West Bromwich v Solihull Board 6

In this match the Solihull board 6, John Green, continued to play with his clock at 0.00. This was noticed by a West Bromwich member not involved in the match and pointed out to the West Bromwich player, Jonathon Pincher. The committee sought advice from Alex Holowczak and Dave Thomas on this matter. The reply from Alex is below and Dave Thomas agreed with this:

The flag is down when either: - (a) The time shows 0.00 and (b) the player observes this (and so claims) - (a) The time shows 0.00 and (b) the arbiter observes this (which clearly can't happen in league chess because there is no arbiter)

That the clock showed 0.00 is not enough of itself, because both requirements (a) and (b) for the flag to be down have not been met yet.

Acting on this advice, the committee decided on the ruling below. However, it should be pointed out that should any further incidents of this nature come to the committee�s attention, then the person interfering with play may well be subject to a harsher penalty.


The committee decided that the game is awarded to Jonathon Pincher. However, following the intervention of a West Bromwich club member, West Bromwich are penalised one game point. West Bromwich are reminded that clubs are responsible for the conduct of their players.

3. Mercia withdrawal from Division 2

Stourbridge raised two questions arising from the withdrawal of Mercia from Division 2.

a) Do Mercia count as one of the relegated teams from Division.2?

The committee endorsed the usual practice that as Mercia had not played at least 50% of their matches, they would not count as one of the relegated teams.

b) Would reserves used in the three matches played by Mercia count towards the total described in Rule 4.12 �If, in the All-Play-All Championships, a player shall play for a fourth time in any season for any of his club's higher teams than that in which he is registered, or be re-registered in any such team, he shall be deemed to have become registered for play in that club�s higher team etc�?

The committee endorsed the usual practice that as Mercia had not played at least 50% of their matches, the three matches played so far will remain in the records for grading purposes, and the games played by reserves will be ignored when counting reserve appearances.

Mike Biddle
Chairman, Rules Committee

29/10/2019 - Demise of Dez Rudge of Solihull CC

On behalf of Solihull Chess Club it is with deep regret and sadness that I have to announce the death of Dez Rudge � a loyal and dedicated Solihull chess club member of eight years standing. He died of a massive heart attack two weeks ago at the young age of 55 years. He was very popular and well liked by everyone within the chess leagues and brought spirit and energy into our wonderful game of chess. Not only was he a great ambassador for the promotion of chess, his support at away matches as a spectator was well above and beyond my normal expectations � outstanding. He is missed already and will continue to be so for many many years to come. Our condolences and feelings have been passed to his family. They have announced the funeral arrangements:

Thursday 14th November 11am at Robin Hood Crematorium and/or 10.30am from the house. Afterwards at Blossomfield Club for food and drinks.

Please join us to pay our respects to his family and friends � you are all most welcome.

Kind regards John Green � Secretary for Solihull Chess Club

29/10/2019 - Record Secretary Change

Terry Benson has stood down as Records Secretary due work commitments.

Please send all Correspondence to Alan T Woollaston (former Records Secretary) regarding Fixture Change's, Player Registrations and Reporting Results to

14/10/2019 - New Address for Warley Quinborne Chess Club

The Stag & Three Horseshoes, Halesowen Road, Birmingham B62 9BB

23/09/2019 - GM Keith Arkell Junior Award and simul on The Saturday, September 28th, 2019 @ 1:00 PM

GM Keith Arkell will be making a presentation of the new Keith Arkell Junior Award to Greenlands Chess Academy student Matthew Rowe. Keith will then give a Simultaneous Display for approximately 25 players or more.

A few limited places are still available - the cost to sit at a board is �10.

The start time for the event is: 1pm - Saturday September 28th.

The venue is: Greenlands Chess Club, 105 Longbridge Lane, B31 4LF

Tea, coffee, biscuits and confectionery are free on this occasion.

Places are in demand and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to play; please contact:

11/09/2019 - Individual Tournament

Entries are being taken for the 2019-20 Individual Tournaments with the deadline for entries being 1st October 2019. Rules are in section 20 of the handbook (pages 36 & 37). Please note that my home number has changed to 0121 706 5306 with other details as on page 4 of the handbook.

Robert Glass, Individual Tournament Committee Chairman.

03/09/2019 - Robert Bellin Bishops Talk - Redditch Chess Club - 18th September, 2019

International Master Robert Bellin will be giving a talk on the Bishop on Wednesday evening, 18th September at the Redditch chess club in Alvechurch. Robert is a one time British champion, a prolific author, and a very active player at the highest levels with some highly creditable recent results including draws against GM Gelfand (see above 'rd 1 top seeds have it easy' - or maybe not! at Gibraltar in 2017) and GM Sveshnikov (appropriately enough in a Sveshnikov Sicilian earlier this year). This will be the third in a series of Redditch club lectures from Robert following on from his highly successful talks on the knight, and outposts.

The talk will focus on the bishop and will cover handling of the bishop and the bishop pair at all stages of the game. As ever with Robert it will be interactive with exercises and opportunities to test your understanding of the key ideas. Based on past experience it should be very enjoyable and a good opportunity to take away some new ideas which could help to improve your game.

The talk will start at 7-30 and continue until 10-00 or slightly later. The club address is: Alvechurch Sports and Social Club, Radford Road, Alvechurch, Birmingham, B48 7LD

The event will take place in the upstairs function room at the club. There will be a charge of �8 for the evening with a reduced rate for juniors and students. Could anyone interested in attending please contact Nigel Towers so that the organisers can keep track of numbers.

IM Robert Bellin's draw against GM Boris Gelfand can be found at -:

03/09/2019 - UK Blitz 2019 - Birmingham Qualifier

The Birmingham qualifier for the 2019 UK Blitz is being held at the Quinborne Centre on 7th September, 2019 at the Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Rd, Birmingham B32 2TW.

This year's competition is being staged as a series of 8 qualifiers at different locations across the UK over two weekends in September (7th, 8th and 14th September) . Winners from the qualifiers will be eligible for an all play all final on 16th November in Solihull with separate Open and Women's sections. The Finals and qualifiers combined have a total prize fund in excess of �7,000. This is Open Championship and there is no geographic or citizenship restriction on entry.

Further details and the entry form can be found here -:

31/07/2019 - The 27th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament

The 27th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament will be held on the Sunday 20th October at the Quinborne Community Centre, Ridgacre Rd, Birmingham B32 2TW.

Full information about the tournament can be found here:

15/07/2019 - The 2019 Midland Open Championship

The 2019 Midland Open Championship will be held between 9-11 August at the Ramada Hotel Telford Ironbridge, Forge Gate, Telford TF3 4NA.

The leading Midland player in the Open will qualify for the 2020 British Championships.

Full information about the tournament can be found here:

15/05/2019 - Lightning Tourney Results: Mike Walker Memorial

The 2nd Mike Walker Memorial Lightning event took place on Tuesday, 14th, at Mutual Circle with 23 entrants. The 'Open' was won by Matt Harborne of Mutual with 4 1/2 out of 6. 2nd came Patrick Duncan of Warley Quinborne on 4 points. Last year's winner, Henrik Stepanyan (Sutton Coldfield), was a little off-form this time but finished 3rd= on 3 1/2 along with Luke Boynton (Mutual).

In the 'Challengers' (Max 135 grading) event Mike Groombridge (Walsall Kipping) shared first place with Richard Leaper of Mutual: both scored 5/6. Thomas Evans (Olton) and Alan Halidan (Redditch) were 3rd= on 4 points.
Full cross-tables of both events can be found in pdf format via the link here...

The two tournaments had a few problems with the pairings (and a with a delayed start) but participants generally said that they had had an enjoyable evening. Many thanks to Olton club for the loan of their lightning buzzer and to Robert Hollows for gamely and efficiently arranging the initial pairings manually until I had finally managed to wrestle the computer into submission!

Chris Evans (secretary, Mutual Circle)

13/05/2019 - Morry-Wood awards 2019

Winners of the Best game and youtfh prizes have been announced, the results are shown on the Morry-Wood page.

Phil Maddocks

25/04/2019 - Boldmere Chess Club - Change of venue

Boldmere Chess Club have moved to new premises with immediate effect.

Oscott Social Club & Institute, 239 Witton Lodge Rd, Birmingham B23 5LX.
Corner of Witton Lodge Road with Turfpits Lane; the carpark entrance is in Turfpits Lane.
The club room is upstairs.
Still Wednesday night 7.30pm.

Mike Biddle 

25/04/2019 - 2nd Mike Walker Memorial tournament - Tuesday, 14th May

An individual Lightning Tournament at Mutual Circle Club
Mutual Circle will be hosting the 2nd Mike Walker Memorial tournament at 7.15 p.m. on Tuesday, 14th May. This will consist of two 10-seconds-a-move lightning buzzer events for individuals. There will be an 'Open' and a separate Maximum grade 135 tourney. (Where they exist, recent Rapidplay gradings wil be used to determine eligibility). Further details can be found at: or in the pdf file link here...

Chris Evans

23/04/2019 - Rushall Change of venue

The Bowman Pub has been sold to the Co-Op, to be turned into a shop. It will close immenintly.

We have wasted no time in finding a new venue;

Parking at rear, Broad Lane or in the church car park opposite.

Still Mondays, 7.15pm

This will commence immediately so will include the Walrus Trophy on may 20 th and all Summer League matches.

Please let yor players know.

Steve Wilcox

17/04/2019 Report of the Rules Committee held on 16th April 2019 at South Birmingham C.C

Regarding Match 262 Mutual Circle v Sutton Coldfield. In this match Sutton Coldfield complained that Mutual Circle�s board order contravened Rule 7.2. The report is here...

Mike Biddle, Rules committee Chairman

05/04/2019 - ECF Arbiters course, Daventry

When - 13th � 14th April 2019

Where - Staverton Park Hotel, Daventry Road, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 6JT

Course Fee - �30

Click here for more information

Alex Holowczak

04/04/2019 - Individual finals 2019

The finals of the Individual events took place this week, with all six ties resulting in decisive outcomes after a single game.  Congratulations to the winners, who are as follows:

 Open: John Edge (Halesowen)

Max-160: John Mildenhall (Sutton Coldfield)

Max-140: Terry Walker (South Birmingham)

Max-120: Kevin Spillane (Boldmere St. Michael's)

Max-100: Joe Kadar (South Birmingham)

Max-80: Tom Vanes (Coleshill)

Tim Lane

Lee Collier has added the following comments regarding the League Individual :

"Although I am proud of my 17 BDCL Individual Finals & the record-breaking 7 game semi-final tussle against Gary Hope in 2002, I think Terry Walker has surpassed that. Terry won the division 4 individual final in 1969 & has reached (won) another final 2019. 50 years apart - a truly remarkable record!"

31/03/2019 - Rapidplay scores now available on the Rapidplay page

13/03/2019 - League Lightning Tournament 2019

This was held at Tyseley Working Mens club on Tuesday 12th March. 14 teams of 4 players took part in three sections at the rate of 10 seconds per move. Section A consisting of 4 teams was won by Olton A with 14� points with Richard Liszewski dropping only half a point in six games. Section B was won by South Birmingham C on 15� points with Mutual Circle A second on 12. Terry Walker of South Birmingham won the Individual award with 5 points out of 5. Section C consisted of 4 teams and was won by South Birmingham D on 16� points. The full result can be found here...

06/03/2019 - Rules committee meeting

The Rules subcommittee met on 5th March to consider a dispute, the ruling is given here.

Mike Biddle

Chairman, Rules committee

25/02/2019 - Annual Lightning Tournament

The Birmingham League's annual Team Lightning Tournament will take place at Olton's venue, Tyseley Working Mens Club, Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingam, B11 2EX, on Tuesday 12th March. Teams of 4 or 5 players will compete in graded sections at the rate of 10 seconds per move. Matches will be played over 4 boards. Entry fee �6 per team, payable on the night or in advance to John Mildenhall At least 80% of entry fees will be returned as prize money. Team lists to be submitted by 7:15pm on the night, Play to commence as soon as possible after 7:30pm.

If you can't raise 4 players, come along anyway, we will be able to form extra teams on the night.

Lightning Tournament Committee

14/02/2019 - Warwickshire congress reminder

 Warwickshire congress details

The entry form and details of this upcoming congress are on a PDF document here.

Ed Goodwin

09/02/2019 - English Seniors Championship

The ECF is relaunching the annual English Seniors Championship with a four day FIDE-rated and ECF graded congress at the St Johns Hotel, Solihull in April 2019. The event will run for four days from 4th to 7th April, with a total of six rounds. There will be two sections - Over 50s and Over 65s - with the two winners becoming English Seniors Champions for 2019/2020. English players aged 50 or over by the end of 2019 will be eligible to enter the Championships, with an early bird discount available on entries received before 15th February. Full details of the congress can be found here - . We hope to see as many players as possible at this exciting event to re-establish the Seniors Championship at a Midllands location. For further details please contact Ed Goodwin at

Nigel Towers

08/02/2019 - Morry-Wood awards

Nominations for the 2018-19 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March 2019.
Send e-mail submissions to
Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)
The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.
Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players� names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

28/01/2018 - 6th Dudley Castle Congress

The 6th Dudley Castle Chess Congress will be held at The Quality Hotel, Birmingham Road, Dudley, DY1 4RN
The hotel has been recently renovated. The organisers are experienced with Blind and less able players. Here is the entry form.

Marc Shaw, Castle Chess

24/01/2019 - Solihull Chess 960 Rapidplay Tournament

Solihull Chess Club are organising a Chess 960 Rapidplay on Sunday 10th March, at Solihull School. Also known as Fischer Random Chess. 30 minutes per game plus 10 second increments. Entry �15, one section with graded prizes. �750 in prizes. Contact John Green 07975530977. Flier and entry form will be posted shortly.

24/01/2019 - Birmingham Rapidplay

The 26th Rapidplay will be neld on Sunday 31st March at Quinborne Community Centre, there will be sections for Open, Under 170, Under 140 and Under 110. More information and entry details can be found on the Rapidplay page.

Alex Holowczak

01/01/2019 - Warwickshire congress details

The entry form and details of this upcoming congress are on a PDF document here.

Ed Goodwin

19/1/2018 - Halesowen contact

John Southcote will be leaving the area at the end of November. The role of Halesowen Secretary will be split, until (at least) the end of this season. The new contacts, effective from 1 December, are as follows:

Fixtures: Don Curry �
All other BDCL matters: Dustin Bowcott �

Please use these new contacts from the start of December

Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Sec.

09/11/2018 - Derek Perks - updated

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of our WDCL Tournament Secretary and Auditor Derek Perks on Thursday 18th October 2018. Our sympathies and thoughts go out to his family at this sad time. A full obituary can be found here .

Derek's funeral will be held at Gornal Crematorium on Wednesday 14th November at 11am and there after at the Dudley Arms in Himley.

Andrew McCumiskey, Mercia Chess Club

20/10/2018 - Birmingham Rapidplay

Results in the tournaments will be updated and can be seen through the links on the Rapidplay page

14/10/2018 -  Birmingham Rapidplay Invitational

To celebrate the 25th rapidplay, there will be a special Invitation tournament featuring a mix of grandmasters, former winners and local players. The full details are here...

Alex Holowczak

10/10/2018 - Nigel Short

Nigel Short, son of Lichfield secretary and former Birmingham League president David Short, has been appointed a Vice President of FIDE.

David Short

13/09/2018 - Mercia contact

Peter Thompson will be acting as Club Secretary for Mercia for the remainder of the current season.  Peter can be contacted at and on 01902 765870.

Tim Lane, Hon General Secretary

11/09/2018 - Individual competitions

The individual Knock-out tournaments are now in graded bands rather than divisions. Anyone wishing to enter should contact Tim Lane, the closing date for entries is 1st October. Revised rules are contained within the BDCL Rules.

21/07/2018 - Birmingham Rapidplay October 2018

Entries are now open for the 25th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament, wich takes place on Sunday 21st October. See the Rapidplay page...

26/07/2018 - Redditch venue change

Redditch CC now meet at

Alvechurch Sports and Social Club,

Radford Road,



B48 7LD

Michelle Clack

Olton/Westminster venues

Please also note that the 37 bus given in the handbook is now the 4/4A service Birmingham-Solihull/Gospel Oak

26/07/2018 - Uk Open Blitz championship

There is a 15-round Swiss at Quinborne on 8th September, which is a qualifier for the National Final.

Alex Holowczak

18/07/2018 - Midland Open

The 2018 Midland Open will be at the Ramada Hotel in Telford between 10-12 August. The leading Midlands player will be the 2018 Midlands Champion, and qualify for the 2019 British Chess Championships.

More information here

Online entry here

Alex Holowczak

10/07/2018 - Rushall Venue change

Rushall chess club are moving from 6th August to

The Bowman

Corner of Myatt Avenue and Gretton Crescent



Still meeting Monbdays 7:15pm

Steve Wilcox

25/06/2018 - Windsor Peck

It is with great sadness that Halesowen Chess Club must announce the death of our team mate and friend Windsor Peck. Windsor passed away peacefully on 15 June. A true gentleman, he was a well known and respected figure in Midlands chess and will be missed by all who knew him

John Southcote

18/06/2018 - Honours page updates

This years winners and photos from the AGM have now been added to the honours page.Images are compressed, if winners would like a copy of the original, i can email it, also some photos not shown are also available.

13/05/2018 - Morry-Wood awards

The winners of these two league awards for best game and the Junior prize have been announced. See the Morry-Wood page for more details.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of Laurie Wheatley

27/04/2018 - Mike Walker Memorial Lightning Report

This tourney took place at Mutual Circle's venue on Tuesday, 24th April. There were 25 entrants (9 from Mutual and 14 from outside) playing in two separate 6-round tournaments.
In the 'Open' Henrik Stepanyan from Sutton Coldfield club came out on top with 5/6. He thus won the �35 first prize and the Mike Walker Cup for one year. Second equal on 4 points came Nick Walker and Moin Uddin from West Bromwich, Kevin Hurney of South Birmingham and Matt Harborne from Mutual. These four shared the �20 second prize. The 'Grading' prize was won by Phil Bull of Wolverhampton, graded, 157, with 3 1/2. (Technically Moin Uddin, above, should perhaps have been awarded this prize but he opted to take the less lucrative joint-second prize instead).

The 'Challengers' (Under 136 grade tournament) was even more hotly contested and finished with three joint-winners on 4 1/2 out of 6: John Freeman of Shirley & Wythall, Florin Valea of Warley Quinborne, and Giles Stanton from Redditch - who all won �20 and a share of the Challengers' Trophy. Tan Husain, graded only 43 (!), was the undisputed winner of the Grading Prize as he achieved a stupendous score of 3 1/2 points.
Most participants seemed to find the tourney enjoyable. The 'Challengers' event was almost de-railed by a computer-operator error after Round 4 that made it impossible to continue with automated pairings! Fortunately the evening was saved by the Mutual Treasurer, Robert Hollows, who proved to be masterful at sorting out the pairings manually.

Chris Evans (secretary, Mutual Circle)

If anyone wants to see the full result please email the webmaster 

25/04/2018 - Redditch Chess Club - Robert Bellin talks

Robert Bellin on weak squares and outposts, Redditch 22nd May.

There are some spare spaces for our next in the series of Robert Bellin talks. This takes place on Tuesday 22nd May at Redditch from 7.15 until 10pm with an interval somewhere in the middle. It�s on weak squares and outposts. His last talk on knight endings was excellent. I won at least two games I probably wouldn�t have after attending. Places can be booked with Nigel Towers,, or through me.

Michele Clack

03/04/2018 - Mutual Circle lightning Tournament

Details of the Individidual Lightning tourney that will take place at Mutual Circles' venue on Tuesday, 24th April appear here. This event is held in memory of former Hon Gen Sec, MIke Walker. Please would you circulate details to your members. I also give brief details in the text below.

There wil be two sections: an 'Open' and a graded 'Challengers' section for those graded Under 136. (Although we reserve the right to increase or lower this limit by up to 5 points if the numbers of entrants to the two sections are very unbalanced on the night). The entry fee for both tournament sections will be �5 per person. There will be cash prizes and trophies to be won,

January Rapidplay gradings will be used whenever available, but in their absence January Standardplay gradings or older Rapidplay gradings (from 2016 onwards) will be used, in that order of preference. Ungraded players can enter the Open or may be accepted for the Challengers where there is clear evidence of playing strength.

Entries will have to be limited to a maximum of 40 but I will be happy to receive 'reservations' of a place by phone or email as long as these are from players who are confident that they will be attending. The 7.15 p.m.start time given is for registration of entrants but I would like to get the event going as near 7.30 p.m. as possible.

Let me know if you have any queries. To try to avoid disputes and problems I shall be producing an info sheet giving in more detail the rules and procedures which will apply to the event. This will be available to view on the night of the tourney but can be sent in advance to interested parties.

Chris Evans

26/03/2018 - Graham Humphreys - update

Mike Groombridge reports that Midlands chess stalwart Graham Humphreys sadly passed away on Wednesday in New Cross Hospital, aged 89. Graham was a long-time organiser of chess events in the Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas.

His son Simon informs us that.the funeral will take place at 3.30pm,on Friday April 13th at Gornal Wood Crematorium, Coopers Bank Rd., Dudley. DY3 2PT

26/03/2-18 - Birmingham Rapidplay

This took place on Sunday 25th March. Full results are on the Rapidplay page

1 IM Ghasi, Ameet K ENG None 6 200
2 IM Cooper, Lawrence H ENG Stafford 5� 100
3 GM Hebden, Mark L ENG Syston 5 50
Rating Prize Gajdosz, Marek POL Darnall & Handsworth 4 25

1= Somton, Anita ENG West Nottingham 5 70
1= Chadwick, Chris ENG None 5 70
1= Malik, Faraz ENG South Birmingham 5 70

1 Graff, Ben ENG Kenilworth 6 120
2 Renegade, Richard ENG Crewe 5� 60
3= Sheikh, Samia Z ITA Kettering Science Academy 5 10
3= Brown, Geoffrey D ENG Darnall & Handsworth 5 10
3= Mozaffari, Mohammed IRI None 5 10

1 Wright, Nigel ENG Ashfield 6� 120
2 Monga, Kanav ENG Hallfield 6 60
3 Rajapaksa, Inura SRI None 5� 30

There are photos on the Facebook page I've set up for the tournament:

Alex Holoczak 

20/03/2018 - Coventry Chess Club

Coventry Chess Club are looking to recruit strong players to play for us in Division 1 of the Coventry Chess League. Coventry Chess is a friendly club, based at Massey Ferguson Social Club, Coventry. CV5 7NL.
We play matches on Tuesday evenings, starting at 7.30pm. These take place between October and March, mainly in the Coventry area, and occasionally in Kenilworth, Rugby and Nuneaton.
Lifts from Tile Hill or Coventry train stations may be possible.
If interested, please contact Dave Ireland at

19/03/2018 - 50th Cotswold Congress

This will take place in Gloucester over the Spring Bank Holiday, Saturday 26th-Monday 28th May. The entry form can be found here...

Andrew Gilmour

15/03/2018 - Lightning Tournament 2018

The annual 10-second tournament took place at Olton's venue on Tuesday 13th March. 18 teams competed in 3 sections. Section A was won by Sutton Coldfield, Section B by South Birmingham B and Section C by South Birmingham C. Individual prizes are awarded to Henrik Stepanyan and Chris East of Sutton Coldfield.The full result appears here...

Lightning Tournament Committee

15/02/2018 Reminder - Warwickshire Open Chess Championships 2018

Organised by the Warwickshire Chess Association Ltd

Entry Form

Friday March 2nd to Sunday March 4th
Alan Higgs Centre
Allard Way
Coventry CV3 1HW

Ed Goodwin

05/02/2018 - Morry-Wood awards

Nominations for the 2017-18 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.
Send e-mail submissions to
Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)
The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.
Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players� names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

30/01/2018 - Sutton Coldfield Chess Club

Sutton Coldfield Chess Club now meets Mondays AND Thursdays after 7pm.
The match night is still Monday. Thursday is more informal for mini-tourneys or talks, etc.
Minworth Social Club, Robinsons Way (off Water Orton Lane) Sutton Coldfield B76 9BB

Marek Soszynski

06/01/2018 - Midland Open Rapid & Blitz 2018

The Midland Open Rapid & Blitz will be held on 17-18 February at Holiday Inn Birmingham Walsall, 20 Wolverhampton Road, Walsall, WS2 0BS. There will be four 9-round Rapid sections and a 9-round Blitz tournament. The prize fund for the tournament is �2,680.

For full details, including the online entry form and a downloadable entry form, please visit this link on the MCCU website:

Alex Holowczak

02/01/2018 - Birmingham Rapidplay and British Blitz Tournaments

Entries are now being accepted for the 24th Birmingham Rapidplay to take place on Sunday 25th March 2018. Details are on the Rapidplay page.

There is a qualifier for the British Blittz Championship 2018, details of which are here..

Alex Holoczak

02/01/2018 - Warwickshire Open Chess Championships 2018

Organised by the Warwickshire Chess Association Ltd

Entry Form

Friday March 2nd to Sunday March 4th
Alan Higgs Centre
Allard Way
Coventry CV3 1HW

Ed Goodwin

05/12/2017 - University contact details updated 

18/11/2017 - Chris Evans change of handbook details

Mutual Circle Secretary Chris Evans has moved house and is now at 30 Drew Crescent, Pedmore, Stourbridge, DY9 0UX.

Tel : 01384 827640

Please update your handbook details

Due to changes in my personal circumstances, my address and other details have changed as follows:

28 Lymer Road
Wolverhampton WV10 6AA
01902 787626
07498 514823

However, my email address is the same:

Marek Schroeder

15/10/2017 - Birmingham Rapidplay

Results will appear on the links below

Open -

 Major -

 Inter -

 Minor -

 Alex Holowczak

14/10/2017 - Dr Brian Dudley
It is my sad duty to report the death of Dr Brian Dudley, aged 86. He was President of Stourbridge Chess club. An obituary appears here...

Dave Scricen
Stourbridge Chess Club

08/10/2017  - Bramwell Garner
t is with great sadness that I report that Olton Chess club member Bramwell Garner passed away on Sunday 1st October, after an extended illness. A full tribute to
Bramwell appears here..

Richard Reynolds
Olton Chess Club

23/09/2017 - Halesowen award
Congratulations to the Halesowen Chess club on being awarded ECF club of the year 2016-17. The club's winning of the Birmingham League Title no doubt contributed to the decision.

05/09/2017 - Changes to the laws of chess - July 2017
A number of changes to the laws have come into effect in advance of the 2017-18 season and are listed here. All players in the League should be aware of them.

31/08/2017 - BDCL - 120 years old
Lee Collier informs us that the Birmingham & District Chess League was formed on this day in 1897.

25/08/2017 - ECF L.M.S results system
The league will be using the ECF's online results reporting system this season. Links on the buttons have been modified but you can still get to Alan Woollaston's records pages and can still submit eMatch cards as before. Anyone responsible for reporting results will be provided with a login to show the League & cup fixtures that they can update. Other competitions such as individual competitions remain as previously. The ECF LMS home page is here...

25/08/2017 - Changes to Divisions 5 & 6
Several last minute changes to the teams in the lower Divisions have been agreed. New/moved teams will be contacting existing teams regarding fixtures.

22/08/2017 Shirley & Wythall Secretary
Please note that the secretary of Shirley & Wythall CC is no longer Gordon Christie but is henceforward:

D.R. Thomas, Flat 9 Normid Court, 35 Woodstock Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 9BD.
Tel: 0121 449 8024.
Mobile: 07793 118 628.

Tim Lane

18/08/2017 - 23rd Birmingham Rapidplay
To be held on Sunday 15th October 2017 at the Quinborne Centre. Details are now on the Rapidplay pages..

Alex Holowczak

03/08/2017 - Robert Bellin chess evening
Redditch chess club have organised an evening with IM Robert Bellin on Tuesday 5th September. The subject of the talk will be Minor piece play. Details are here in Word format. Here is the event poster by Toni Reed.

From Micelle Clack

11/07/2017 - Tournaments - Midland & Leamington

There are two Midland regional tournaments coming up soon:

- Midland Junior Championships (Leicester, 22nd June):

- Midland Open Championships (West Bromwich, 11th - 13th August):

(From Alex Holowczak)

And the Leamington Rapidplay :

Rapidplay Congress on September 10th.

Venue : Sydni Centre , Leamington CV31 1PT

Open, U170, U140, 110 sections

Entry form downloadable from here...

(From Ed Goodwin)

15/06/2017 - Greenlands page update
Club and youth academy details updated

13/06/2017 - Honours page updatred
The Honours page is being updated following the League AGM.


South Birmingham have organised a Rapid play tournament taking place on Saturday 2 September 2017, details of the event are here. Entry form from here..

Terry Walker

19/05/2017 - Birmingham Summer League links

These links are to the ECF's new LMS results system

Home page:

Fixtures & Results:


Alex Holowczak

12/05/2017 - Kynoh Chess Club Marks 80 years
Gren Morgan informs me that Kynoch C.C was formed in 1937 and is celebrating 80 years in existence.

08/05/2017 - Morry Wood awards
Results for the 2016-17 Morry-Wood awards have been announced and are available on the Morry-Wood page.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of Laurie Wheatley

07/05/2017 - Rules committee report
The Rules committee met to discuss a recent dispute and a report of the ruling appears here.

Mike Biddle - Rules Committee Chairman

19/04/2017 - Birmingham Summer League

Fixtures for the Summer League have been circulated to all captains. If any captain has not received them, please contact David Thomas.

28/03/2017 - Birmingham Summer League

The rules of this year's summer league are here..

24/03/2017 - mBirmingham Rapidplay - Sunday 26th March

Results appear here :





Prize list

Alex Holowczak

18/03/2017 - Redditch C.C - An evening with Jon Speelman - Tuesday 16th May 2017

Redditch Chess Club has secured the services of Grandmaster Jon Speelman for an evening on the theory and practice of pawn, rook, and minor piece endgames. Jon was British champion in 1978, 1985 and 1986, fourth in the FIDE world ratings in 1989, and twice played in the Candidates matches. You may remember when Speelman used his phenomenal endgame skill to beat Gary Kasparov in a quickplay game (see links below).

Our venue has the capacity to include people from other clubs for this event. The cost per person is �14 and we are now taking reservations from local clubs on a first come first serve basis for the spare places. To reserve places please complete the attached form and email it to me with attendees from your club. To reduce administrative effort we would prefer to take a single payment from each club - either in cash (or by cheque made payable to Redditch Chess Club) and preferably in advance - to cover the attendees from each club.

We hope this is of interest to your club, and as above please do reply with the completed form as early as possible, so that we can reserve your club's places at the event. Enquiries to Michele Clack, email address on the form.

Michele Clack

10/03/2017 - Obituary -  Colin Thomas RIP

It�s my sad duty to report the passing this morning of Colin Thomas, President of Boldmere Chess Club. I don�t think Colin would have been too upset if I described him as not being a strong player, but that was not his great forte. His real strength lay in his willingness to help with the running of the club and he was a captain of at least one team per season every year, often not playing himself in order to give someone else a chance. For many years, until relatively recently, he was a Governor at a local junior school and ran their chess club. Over a number of years he trained many pupils and some became strong enough to take part in regional competitions, much to his great pride.
Colin had to overcome physical disability and, in the last few years a number of medical problems. Unfortunately, in the last 6 months he became too ill to attend the club and has been sorely missed. The club would like to extend our sincere condolences to his wife and family.

Mike Biddle
Hon. Gen. Sec.

09/03/2017 - League Lightning Tournament

This was held at Olton's venue on Tuesday 7th March. Details are given here. Photos to appear shortly.

02/02/2017 - Cotwold Chess Congress

This will be held at its new venue, The King's School, Gloucester, over the Spring Bank holiday weekend. Entry form

The Cotswold Chess Congress

23/01/2017 - Morry-Wood awards

Nominations for the 2016-17 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.
Send e-mail submissions to
Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)
The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.
Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

14/01/2017 - Birmingham Rapidplay 2017

The next Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament will be held on Sunday 26th March at Quinborne Community Centre. Details and entry forms are on the Rapidplay page.

Alex Holowczak

10/01/2017 - Geof Harris memorial service.
A memorial service was recently held for Geoff, who passed away last May. Details are given here.

Geoff was involved mainly in the Worcester Leagues but also the BDCL.

Dave Scriven

02/01/2017 - Warwickshire Chess Congress

The tournament is on 25th and 26th February at the Coventry Rugby Club.
There are open , Under 170, Under 145 and Under 120 sections.

To enter and for more information click on

Ed Goodwin

15/12/2016 - Gabor Csepregi - update

A tribute to Gabor appears here..

From Gordon Christie, Shirley & Wythall C.C

19/10/2016 - Warley Quinborne Website
This has now moved to

Simon Smith

17/10/2016 - Birmingham Rapidplay Results


1st FM Alan Tate 5 �200
2nd= GM Keith Arkell, Henrik Stepanyan 4.5 �75 each
Grading Alan Agnew 3.5 �25

1st Amrik Singh 5 �120
2nd= Gary Jackson, Marcus Walsh 4.5 �45 each

1st Geoff Brown 5.5 �120
2nd= Devan Patel, Dragomir Zarev 5 �45 each

1st= Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Gayara Seekkuge 5 �90 each
3rd= Chris Cox, John Pakenham, Estera-Alexandra Ercsei 4.5 �10 each

Full results are on the Rapidplay page.

Alex Holowczak

10/10/2016 - Warwickshire Junior Championship
The Warwickshire Junior Championships will be played at Arden Academy on Sunday, 13th November. There are sections for players aged Under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.

More information, as well as the entry form and online entry, can be found here:

Alex Holowczak

31/08/2016 - Guidelines for captains
Following a meeting of the Rules committee, item 4.1 of the guidelines for captains has been modified.

21/08/2016 - Scrutiny Committee - Treatment of F Grades
The scrutiny Committee would like it known that F grades (but not the data underlying them) will be disregarded.
This is due to the narrow band of games giving a distorted measure of strength.

From the ECF site���.
The introduction of a new F Category based on only 5 games (so one congress suffices). This has made it easier for new players to get a grade, and has increased the number of players with published grades by nearly 2000. However, F grades are not treated as "real" for the purpose of future calculation. They are treated in the same way as juniors' grades. They are also (unlike juniors' grades) omitted from "Top Players" lists and rankings.

Alan Woollaston on behalf of the Scrutiny committee

09/08/2016 - St. Georges withdrawal
St. Georges have withdrawn from Division 5. Secretaries should adjust their fixtures accordingly.
Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Sec.

01/08/2016 - Jonathan Swallow 1952 - 2016
Jonathan Swallow died in Belfast on May 31 aged 63 after suffering from motor neurone disease. Born in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, Jonathan was awarded a scholarship to Hertford College, Oxford, in 1971, where he read philosophy, politics and economics, before taking a master�s degree in politics at Strathclyde University.

In 1983 he was appointed as a principal officer at Birmingham city council. He played for West Midlands Municipal Chess Club in the 80s & 90s and won the club Championship twice - in 1989 & 1999 and won the WMMCC Lightning Tourney 3 times. His last game for WMMCC was the 2000 Townshend Final in a 3.5-2.5 victory.

He moved back to Ilkley and played chess for Ilkley and Yorkshire and also worked in Northern Ireland. Jonathan is a sad loss to the chess community at such an early age.

Lee Collier

28/07/2016 - Ron Hardy

Many members of the BDCL will remember Ron Hardy, who had played in the League since at least the 1958-59 season, when he was runner-up in the Division 4 individual event as a member of the Lozells club.  I believe he subsequently played for St. James until they folded, before coming to South Birmingham.  Sadly I have heard that Ron passed away on 12 July.  His funeral will be held at the Beacon Church Centre, Whetty Lane, Rubery, B45 9DL at 11.30 on 17 August.

Tim Lane

28/07/2016 - Mutual Website
Please note this has moved to a new home

The old site address is currently defunct but may return later.

27/06/2016 - 4NCL Congress
The 9th 4NCL FIDE Rated Congress will be held over the weekend of Friday 8 - Sunday 10 July 2016 at the Park Inn, Birmingham West, West Bromwich, B70 6RS.
Entry details can be found here: here...
Alex Holowczak

14/06/2016 - AGM and prize-giving
The League AGM took place on Monday 13th June at South Birmingham. Winners were presented with their trophies and Chris Evans was elected League President for a 1 year term. Honours and Officers pages have been updated.

10/06/2016 - Redditch Club website
Redditch have a new website at

08/06/2016 - Jim Friar
Many of you will be aware that Jim Friar passed away recently. He was heavily involved in Worcestershire chess and helped greatly in local junior chess. Jim also played for many years for West Bromwich in the Birmingham League. An obituary from John Crump can be found here...

From John Wrench:
Following his sad passing and communication with his family;

Jim's Funeral Details:...
Monday 13th June at 12noon at St Wulstans R.C. Church, 32 Vale Rd, Stourport, DY13 8YL (Followed by cremation) At the crematorium it is close friends and family only please. People can go straight to the Wake at Bewdley Pines from church, they will be expected.
(Bewdley Pines Golf Club, Habberley Road, Bewdley, DY12 1LY)

Family flowers and donations to Bewdley Medical Centre and The Mesothelioma Society.

Ray Collett's tribute.can be found here

29/05/2016 - Morry-Wood Results
Results of the competition are given on the Morry-Wood page. Congratulations to the winners. The winning game is also published.

27/04/2016 - Summer League Fixtures
An Excel Spreadsheet of the Summer League fixures is available here and the rules are here...

26/04-2016 - Cotswold Chess Congress
The event will be staged at King�s School in Gloucester over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend � May 28th � 30th.  Our website is at

John Harris


Cotswold Chess Congress

20/04/2016 - Walsall Kipping Simultaneous
Walsall Kipping Chess Club have organised a simultaneous display by Grandmaster Keith Arkell at their club on Thursday 12th May, 7:30pm. There are a few spaces left if any Birmingham League players wish to take part, it is first-come, first-served. Entry is �15 per player, these should be made to David Anderton,

13/04/1016 - Rules committee meeting
A Rules committee meeting took place on Monday 11th April at south Birmingham Chess club. A report onm the meetings findings is given here..

03/04/2016 - Olton Club Website
The website for Olton Chess Club has moved to a new domain and can now be found at Please update your links

16/03/2016 - Lightning Team Tournament
The annual Lightning Team Tournament was held on Tuesday 15th March at Olton's venue, Tyseley Working Mens Club. 10 teams entered in 2 sections competing at the rate of 10 seconds per move. The full result appears here...

16/03/2016 - Birmingham Summer League
Entry forms and rules are now available for the Birmingham Summer League from the Rules & Docs Page.

11/03/2016 - St. Georges contact

Chris Griffin is leaving the immediate area, stepping down as secretary of St. George's and retiring from chess.  Club chairman Ken Wise will be Acting Secretary for the remainder of the season.  Contact details:


Home: 0121 705 8770

Mobile: 07847 326578

Best wishes to Chris for his chess-free future!

Tim Lane


Report of the Rules Committee meeting held on Monday 25th Jan 2016 at South Birmingham C.C.

Homer Trophy H3-12 South Birmingham 3 v Olton 2

Olton claimed that they had not been informed of the date of this cup match. Terry Hare-Walker (South Birmingham) stated that he informed Robert Reynolds (Olton) of the date of Wednesday 13th January verbally at Olton on 2nd December. Robert Reynolds denied that this happened.

Rule 5.4(f) states that �Clubs are instructed to contact one another to confirm the playing arrangements�.

Olton, for various reasons, decided not to contact South Birmingham to find out the date chosen for the game. On the Thursday before cup week, Olton claimed the game by default and then South Birmingham re-stated the date chosen for the match. Olton also disputed the ruling by the Hon. Records Secretary not to accept their claim for a win by default. South Birmingham also claimed the match by default when Olton failed to appear on the date they had specified.

After considering submissions from by sides the committee gave the following ruling:

The committee rejects Olton�s claim that the Hon. Records Secretary was at fault in not accepting their claim.

The committee finds it disappointing that two experienced club officials have failed to comply with Rule 5.4(f) which has worked successfully for at least 25 years.

The committee finds that both clubs failed to comply with Rule 5.4(f) and orders that the game be played on Wednesday 24th February 2016 at South Birmingham.

Mike Biddle

Chairman, Rules Committee


Nominations for the 2015-16 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.

Send e-mail submissions to

Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)

The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.

Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

20/12/2015 - 4NCL congress and arbiter seminar
The 7th 4NCL Congress will take place at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport on the weekend of 29th January - 31st January. It has three sections: Open, U2000 FIDE/U175 ECF and U135. The top two sections are FIDE-rated. The prize fund is �2,250. More information can be found here:

To enter, you can do so online or download the online entry form. Both are available online.

A FIDE Arbiters' Seminar will take place at the venue, alongside the Congress. The entry fee is �60 (�50 for hotel residents), and candidates who achieve 80% or more in the exam will earn a FIDE Arbiter norm, as well as being a Level 1 ECF Arbiter. Information and online entry to the Seminar can be found here:

Enquiries about the Seminar should be made to Alex Holowczak at

Alex Holowczak

Please note Dudley Council have now decided to close Rye Market multi-storey car park on evenings and it is therefore not available for players visiting Stourbridge. Tesco�s car park is also reduced from 3 hours parking to 2 hours, so this is unsuitable. Road side parking in High Street, Lower High Street or Market Street remain available.
Dave Scriven, Stourbridge C.C

12/10/2015 - Birmingham Rapidplay Results


1st: Ameet Ghasi 5.5 �200

2nd: Mike Surtees 5 �100

3rd: Lawrence Cooper 4.5 �50

Grading: Patrick Duncan, Andrew Lewis �12.50 each


1st: Parminder Sanghera 6 �120

2nd: Agoston Mihalik, Zoe Varney 5 �45 each


1st: Andrew Crowther, Brian Crofts 5 �90 each

3rd: Keiran Koasha 4.5 �30


1st: Chris Paul 6 �120

2nd: Ben Jacobsen 5 �60

3rd: Jason Smith, Martin Berridge, Paul Heeney, Fredrick Beneat, Steve Swajkun, Jeremy Sharples 4 �5 each

Alex Holowczak

24/09/2015 - Shirley Website address
The Shirley Club website address is now

18/09/2015 - Birmingham Rapidplay 2015

This year's Birmingham Rapidplay will take place on Sunday, 11th October at Quinborne Community Centre. There are four sections for players of all abilities, and over �1,000 in prizes.For more details, including the entry form and online entry, please click here.

Alex Holowczak
Birmingham League Rapidplay Organiser

31/08/2015 - League Individual competitions
Entries are now being accepted for the six Individual knockout tournaments. These should be sent to John Mildenhall giving name, address, email and telephone number. Entry fee is �3.00, payable to the Birmingham & District Chess League.The closing date for entries is 1st October.

23/08/2015 - Rushall return to the BDCL
Rushall Chess Club have entered a team in the league after a few season's absence. They are playing at the Rushall Olympic Football Cub, Dales Lane, Rushall, WS4 1LJ. More information about the club is available on the Rushall page.

20/08/2015 - New Rules & guidance
Wiuth the new time limit options coming into force this season, a number of documents have been prepared by League members :

Although none of these are "official" BDCL offerings, they have been reviewed by a number of members of the Management Committee, and we're hopeful that they'll help Clubs prepare for the start of the new season and get off to a smooth start. These documents & links have been added to the Rules & Docs Page.

From Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Sec

14/08/2015 - Bushbury Venue Change
Bushbury Club have moved to :

Springvale Sports & Social Club

Millfields Rd


West Midlands WV14 0QR

11/08/2015 - BDCL Rules
The League rukes as amened at the end of last season have been updated and are under Rules & Docs.

10/05/2015 - South Birmingham Website
South Birmingham Chess club has a new website at

09/06/2015 - League AGM and presentation - Ken Langston, Hon. Treasurer stands down.
Presentation of trophies and awards for the various leagues and competitions took place at last night's AGM. The Hon. Treasurer, Mr Ken Langston announced he was standing down after 32 years in the post and was presented with a commemorative bottle of whisky.

The presentation was made by the Hon. General Secretary, Tim Lane.

26/05/2015 - British Chess Championships

Nine Grandmasters will be playing in the 2015 British Chess Championships, played at the University of Warwick between 25th July and 8th August.  

They include both defending Co-Champions Jonathan Hawkins and David Howell. The full list can be seen here:

Spectators are welcome, but there are a variety of other events for people to play in, including Blitz and Rapidplays, Junior and Senior tournaments, and a weekend congress.

Please see for more details on events, including entry information.

Alex Holowczak

22/05/2015 - Old 'Chess' magazines
Mr Chris Whittaker in Tipton will shortly be posting a collection of 'Ches' magazines for sale on eBay from Volumes 37 thru 50 if anyone is interested.

27/04/2015 - Morry Wood Awards 2014-15
The 2014-15 B.H.Wood best game prize has been awarded to Laurie Wheatley of Greenlands. The game can be seen on the Morry-Wood page.
No award was made for the W.R.Morry Junior prize.

21/04/2015 - ECF Club Championships

At the 2015 ECF National Club Championships, at Birmingham Airport Holiday Inn, weekend of 11-12th April, Sutton Coldfield won the Open, Intermediate, and Minor sections. West Bromwich were runners-up in the Open; Redditch were runners-up in the Intermediate. From the Birmingham League, Solihull, Warley Quinborne, and Wolverhampton also entered teams. There are extensive reports on the ECF website (under the Competitions heading). These Championships are planned to be run in Birmingham again next year.

Marek Soszynski

9/04/2015 - Cup finals night
Three of the Knockout cup finals were played at Olton's venue on Tuesday 14th April. South Birmingham 2 beat Shirley 2 in the Homer trophy, while Birmingham University 4 beat St. Georges 4 in the Townshend. Greenlands 4 beat Sutton Coldfield 5 in the Barrington. The Division 6 Individual final also took place.

20/03/2015 - Mike Walker Funeral
Mike Walker's funeral took place on Tuesday 17th Match and was attended by many players and officials from the League. Chris Evans has updated Mike's obituary.

13/03/2015 - Mike Walker - Updated

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Mike Walker

of Mutual Circle at the age of 76. Chris Evans has written an obituary, which can be found here...

There will be a humanist funeral service at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 17th March, at Robin Hood Crematorium (Tel 0121 709 7009) , Streetsbrook Road, Shirley, B90 3NL. Afterwards, those who wish to attend are invited by Mike's wife and family to meet at the Billesley pub, Brook Lane, Kings Heath, B13 0AB. 

If anyone wishes to commemorate Mike's life and death then his family would welcome donations to 'The Research Fund' at Exeter University.  It will be possible to make donations at Mike's funeral ceremony itself, but donations can also be made on-line at   or   by phone (01392 725012)   or   by post to  The Development Office, Northcote House, University of Exeter, FREEPOST (EX 472), Exeter, EX4 ZH.  Cheques should be made payable to  "The University of Exeter.

11/03/2015 - BDCL Lightning Tournament 2015
The tournament took place at Olton's venue, Tyseley working Mens Club last night. 10 teams took part in 2 sections based on average grade. Section A was tight after round 4, with South Birmingham A half a point ahead of Olton A. Olton A managed a 4-0 win in the last round, but Richard Reynolds playing for Olton B held on to a point against South Birmingham A. Olton A won with 11½ points from South Birmingham A on 11.

Section B saw a runaway win for South Birmingham C on 15½ points. Sutton Coldfield B and Mutual Circle both finished with 7½ points but Sutton were awarded second plave on tie-break.

The overall individual award went to Jonathon Swindells of South Birmingham, who scored 4/4 on top board in Section A.

Thanks go to John Mildenhall for running the tournament and South Birmingham for providing extra equipment.

The full result and photographs can be found here.....

05/03/2015 - BDCL Lightning Tournament 2015
A reminder that the annual Lightning team tournament will be held at Olton C.C's venue (Tyseley WMC) on Tuesday 10th March, starting at 7:30pm. Teams of 4 will compete in sections at the rate of 10 seconds per move. Entries should go to the Lightning Committee Chairman, John Mildenhall.

02/03/2015 - Birmingham Summer League
The Summer League will be riun again this year. Any clubs wishing to take part can obtain the entry form from here...

24/02/2015 - Morry Wood competitions

Nominations for the 2014-15 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.

Send e-mail submissions to

Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr. Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)

The entry form for the Ritson Morry award can be accessed at or by following the Morry-Wood link on the left-hand side of the BDCL web site.Games submitted for the Baruch H Wood award must show the date when played, the players names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue

Phil Maddocks on behalf of the Subcommittee Chairman

16/02/2015 - Tom Farley
I am sad to report the death of Tom Farley, the founder of Birmingham Telephone Area Chess Club and also a member of Kynoch Chess Club.Please see his obituary

Keith Ingram

11/02/2015 - Mike Walker
Former Hon. Gen. Sec. and Mutual Circle stalwart Mike Walker is seriously ill with pneumonia and is currently in the critical care unit in the Queen Elizabeth hospital.  Our thoughts are with him and his family, and the League wishes him a speedy recovery.
Tim Lane
Hon Gen Sec.

21/01/2015 - Kynoch website
Gren Morgan informs us that Kynoch Chess Club has a new website at

20/01/2015 - Colin Hammersley (updated 24/01/2015)

Colin Hammersley passed away on the 1st January 2015 aged 81.

Tributes from Keith Ingram and chris Evans can be found here..

13/12/2014 - Robin Farmery
Robin Farmery, a Birmingham League stalwart for well over 50 years, has died from cancer after a six month illness. 

Robin played his first of many games for Kynoch in the 1950’s as a teenager. He subsequently joined Lichfield in 1992. He later became treasurer for 10 years and his proud boast was that during that time he never had to propose an increase in subscriptions. 

He was captain of the Lichfield second division team which won both the league and the Terrell trophy two years ago. Last season he led  Lichfield to the Division 3 title, sadly missing the last game because his illness was diagnosed.

in was very good at quickplay and was last season’s winner of the club’s annual quickplay tournament.

David Short - Lichfield Chess Club

14/10/2014 - Birmingham Rapidplay 2014

116 players participated in the 19th Birmingham League Rapidplay. The following prizes were won. Click on the section name for full results in each section.



1st: Ameet Ghasi 6/6 £200

2nd=: Ryszard Maciol (West Bromwich)

Don Mason (Shirley & Wythall)

Pablo Padilla Cabero (Sutton Coldfield)

Golam Ali (Sutton Coldfield) 4/6 £38 each

Grading: Faraz Malik (South Birmingham) 3.5/6 £25 + magazine



1st: Alex Rossiter (Cabot) 5.5/6 £120

2nd: Michael Ashworth (Wootton Hall) 4.5/6 £60

3rd=: Paulina Kaminska

Aloysius Lip (South Birmingham)

James Friar (Kidderminster)

Phil Bull (Wolverhampton) 4/6 £30 each

Grading: Richard Szwajkun (Newport)

Ben Pourmozafari Magazine



1st: Richard Weston (Witney) 6/6 £120

2nd=: Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham)

Adrian Walker (Stroud)

Bob Wallace (Melton Mowbray) 4.5/6 £30 each

Grading: Jixin Yang

Owen Robinson Magazine



1st: David Price (Crewe) 5.5/6 £120

2nd=: Stephen Crockett (Redditch)

Paul Heeney (South Birmingham) 5/6 £45 each

Grading: Les Hall (Crewe) 3.5/6 Magazine


Alex Holowczak

30/07/2014 - Management meeting and Rule change Proposals
The next Management Committee Meeting will take place on Thursday 21st August at Warley Quinborne (Hill & Cakemore Club) at 7:30pm. There are a number of Rule change proposals to be discussed, including quickplay finishes and changes to reflect the new FIDE laws. These proposals are detailed here....

Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Secretary

06/07/2014 - New FIDE laws
A new set of FIDE Laws came into being from 1st July. These can be seen here...

30/06/2014 - West Bromwich Directions
Please note the directions to then club have changed, but the venue is unchanged.

25/06/2014 - Warwickshire Chess Association

Warwickshire Chess Association are seeking volunteers to captain teams in the Under 140 and Under 120 County Championship in 2014/15. To express an interest, please contact Alex Holowczak at before 31st July. If there are no volunteers by the passing of the deadline, then these teams will not run next season.

Alex Holowczak

WCA Secretary

12/06/2014 - Fixtures Meeting
fixtures meeting will be held at Olton's venue, Tyseley Working Mens Club, on Tuesday 17th June. Fixture sheets for the 2014-15 season have been distributed to clubs.  Please contact Tim Lane at once if you have any difficulties with either the sheets themselves or with representation at the Fixtures Meeting.

Tim Lane, Hon. General Secretary

10/06/2014 - Honours 2014
The Winners for 2014 are now on the Honours page, along with photos of the key presentations.

05/06/2014 - League AGM & Trophy dates
The AGM is on Monday 9th June at Moseley All Services Club, where all Trophies will be presented,
The Dates of next seasons trophy rounds are :
Round 1 - Sept 29 - Oct 3
Round 2 - Nov 17 - Nov 21
Round 3 - Jan 12 - Jan 16
Round 4 - Feb 23 - Feb 27
Finals - Apr 13 - Apr 17
Easter Sunday Apr 5. The 1st Round draw is on the Trophies Page,
The composition of next seasons divisions can be found on the Tables Page.

Alan Woolaston, Hon Records Secretary

27/05/2014 - Archives 2014

Archive pages for the 2013-14 season have been added to the site.

21/05/2014 - West Bromwich Chess Club notice

Members of Birmingham League Clubs who do not participate in the Wolverhampton League,
are welcome to join our Wolverhampton League Division One squad for the coming season

Club night - Monday

Friendly club, excellent venue with bar, easy access from M5 junction 1

Contact David Davies 07751 964788

15/05/2014 - Bushbury Change of Venue

Bushbury Chess Club has a new venue.  From 14th May the club will meet at:


The Polish Catholic Community Community Centre

Stafford Road


WV10 6DQ


Full details are on the club website

Richard Parry

07/05/2014 - Mike Biddle's email

Please note that Mike's email address is now

07/05/2014 - Division 2 promotion play-off

Four teams met at Mutual Circle's Venue to compete for second place in Division 2. An unusual set of circumstances meant that a four-way Jamboree was required to decide on the second promotion place. Teams from South Birmingham, Boldmere St. Michaels, Olton and Wolverhampton played over 12 boards.Two games were adjourned, so the result is yet to be decided.

03/05/2014 - Morry-Wood awards 2013-14

The B.H.Wood prize for best game has been awarded to Simon Smith of Warley Quinborne for the second year running. His game was judged the best of those submitted, after consideration by a panel of League players. To see the game and previous winning entries, go to the Morry-Wood page.

No award has been made this year in the W.R.Morry Junior competition.

17/04/2014 - Summer League

All fixtures for the Summer League now appear on the website. Please click "Summer League" on the left sidebar for more information. The rules are here..

Alex Holowczak

14/04/2014 - Staffordshire Congress results

The Staffordshire Chess Congress was held over the weekend 12/13th April at Bloxwich Leisure Centre, Walsall.

The Premier resulted in a tie on 4/5 between three players: IM Geoffrey Lawton of Birmingham, making a return to chess after an absence of over a decade, and two Staffordshire Players Malcolm Armstrong of Stafford and Tomasz Sygnowski of Wolverhampton who also tied for the Staffordshire Closed Championship. Four games are available here.



1st -3rd IM Geoffrey Lawton (Checkmate) £150, Malcolm Armstrong (Stafford) (Advertiser Trophy) £165 and Tomasz Sygnowski (Wolverhampton) (Advertiser Trophy) £165.

Grading U200: Mark Whitehead (Rochdale), Andrew Paterson (Solihull) and Trevor Brotherton (Church Stretton) share £50.

Senior: Mike Surtees (Bolton) Richard Bryant (Oswestry) and Jan Havenaar (Netherlands) share £30.

Junior: Owen Bennett (Caerleon) £25.


1st  Jonathan Hunt (Wolverhampton) £120.

2nd Shabir Okhai (Syston) £80.

3rd Michael Connor(Great Lever) Martyn Harris (Newcastle-under-Lyme) and Steve Rooney (Church Stretton) share £50.

            Senior and Grading U140: Robert Clegg (Huddersfield) £60.

            Junior: Jacob Boswell (Cheddleton & Leek) £25.


1st – 3rd Bill Egan (Scunthorpe) Francis Rooney (Church Stretton) and Marco Ho (Lichfield) share £250.

Grading U 100: Marten Kats (Derby) £30.

Senior: Christopher Fraser (West Bridgford) Colin Gardiner (Newmarket) and Gordon Somerville share £30.

Junior: Adam Bennett (West Nottingham) and Andrew Fenn (Bloxwich) share £20.

David Anderton

29/03/2014 - League Management meeting.

The next League management meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday 15th May at Warley Quinborne's venue. The Agenda and previous meeting's minutes have been circulated to club Secretaries.

Tim Lane, Hon. Gen. Secretary

29/03/2014 - Birmingham Summer League

The Birmingham Summer League will be run again this year. There will be three divisions. Entries should go to Alex Holowczak and should reach him by Monday 14 April; entry fees should go to Ken Langston.  All participants have to be bronze (or better) members of the ECF.

28/03/2014 - Rules committee decision

The Rules Committee met on Tuesday 25 March at South Birmingham to consider the dispute between S.S.Goray (Mutual Circle) and F.Dickson (South B'ham) in the Individual Tournament. As the elected Chairman of the Committee had an interest in the outcome of the dispute D.Thomas took the chair for this meeting.

After due consideration the Committee found unanimously that Mr Mildenhall (as Chairman of the Tournament Committee) acted within his powers in accepting Mr Dickson's claim for a win by default.

Dave Thomas
Acting Chairman of Rules Committee

25/03/2014 - What are you doing this weekend ?

Mind Sports International give you the opportunity for you to play Chess, Scrabble and Magic all week-end long and later in the year. A list of events starting Saturday 29th March is given here in PDF format.


17/03/2014 - Keith Arkell - European Seniors Tournament

Stourbridge-registered Keith Arkell won the European Seniors Championship (50+) in Porto, Portugal today. He drew his last round to finish half a point ahead of Evgenij Kalekin of Russia.

Results can be seen here:

Alex Holowczak

15/03/2014 - Team Lightning Tournament

The Annual Team lightning Tournament took place at Olton's venue on Tuesday 11th March. The results appear here.....

03/03/2014 - Morry-Wood competitions

Nominations for the 2013-14 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and score entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.

E-mail submissions go to

Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)

The entry form for the Morry award can be found on the link "Morry-Wood" and then clicking "Youth Entry Form"

Games submitted for the B H Wood award must show the date when played, the players names, the competition (eg BDCL div 4), and the venue.

Phil Maddocks

23/02/2014 - University Championships

Birmingham University finished 2nd in the Plate section at this year's University Championship:

Their 5 match results were:

3-1 win v Imperial 3

3.5-0.5 win v Nottingham 2

2-2 draw v Imperial 2

4-0 win v York 2

2-2 draw v LSE 2

Robert Lydiard of Birmingham finished in 2nd place in the Board 1 board prize for the Plate section.

Full results for the event for those who are interested can be found here:

Alex Holowczak

20/01/2014 - Birmingham University contact details

Please note the contact details for Birmingham University.

Peter Steele, 107 Poole Crescent, Harborne. B17 0PE. Mob.: 07706033833 

Darpit Shah, 185 Gristhorpe Road, Birmingham. B29 7SP. Mob.: 07536868158

email :

08/01/2014 - Staffordshire congress 2014
Details of the Staffordshire congess on 12th/13th April are on the entry form which appears here...

02/01/2014 - Warwickshire Chess Championsips

1st and 2nd March 2014 - Warwickshire Chess Championships 

Entries are now open for the Warwickshire Chess Championships which take place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd March 2014 at The Trident Centre, Poseidon Way, Warwick CV34 6SW.

There are four sections and five rounds.

This year the Junior Championships are being held simultaneously. The guaranteed prize fund has been increased to £1600.

Excellent catering will be available throughout the week-end in the refectory near the playing hall. Free parking on site.

Further details and entry procedures can be found by clicking on the following link to the Warwickshire Chess Association website :-

01/01/2014 - Alf Schroeder
It is with great regret that I report that Alf Schoeder of Bushbury Chess Club passed away early yesterday morning. He was 98 years old and still held a grade of 117. Alf had had a fall at the nursing home where he was staying and had been taken to New Cross Hospital as a precaution. Alf was a long-standing player in the League and will be sadly missed. An obituary from Marek Schroeder and funeral details appear here..

From Simon Jones

12/11/2013 - Peter Oliver email address
Peter Oliver (Tamwoth & District) will change email address on Thursday 14th November. Please update your contact details, replacing 'aol' with 'btinternet'. The full email address appears on the Tamworth page under BDCL Clubs.

08/11/2013 S
tourbridge Parking

The new Tesco supermarket next to the Stourbridge CC venue is now complete. There is a new underground car park available. Currently, visitors can park for free for a maximum of three hours. Please note this may change.

The Tesco car park entrance is 10 yards from the entrance to our club and is accessed via Bell Street. Unfortunately, the car park entrance is not a pedestrian entrance. If you choose to park on the Tesco car park you will need to use the escalators/lifts to reach the top floor for the main Tesco entrance. You then need to walk round the atrium to the exit for Market Street. On Market Street turn right until you reach the crossroads and then turn right again onto Bell Street. Our venue is then on your right.   

Given the walk from the Tesco car park, visitors may find the Ryemarket multi-storey is actually a little closer for pedestrians and doesn't have the three hour limit, though it is pay-and-display. This multi-storey can be accessed from the Stourbridge ring-road via Victoria Street between the Police Station and Aldi.

Roadside parking remains available in High Street, Market Street and Lower High Street, each of which are also accessed from the ring-road and are each one-way.   

If anyone requires any further information, please contact Dave Scriven.   

24/10/2013 - Warley Quinborne 5
It is with deep regret that Warley Quinborne will be withdrawing their Division 5 side from the League. The club has had a difficult period with as many as 5 players in hospital at one time and 3 of these are from BDCL Division 5.

With a shortage of players able to play currently, drive and transport others, it is extremely unlikely that we would be able to fulfil the fixture programme for this team.

John Fahy

15/10/2013 - Shrophire Congress

Entries are now open for the Shropshire Chess Congress which takes place on Sat 4 and Sun 5 January 2014 at The Wrekin Housing Trust, Colliers Way, Old Park, Telford TF3 4AW.

We had a record entry last year with three fiercely-contested sections and some great chess. We look forward to extending a warm Shropshire welcome to players from near and far. Some of the enhancements planned for this year’s congress include live transmission of some of the top boards and increased prize money.

And you won’t go hungry as we will once again have some great food from Jacob and his team to keep you nourished over the weekend.

Further details are attached and you can enter online through the following link to the Shropshire chess website -

We are always very grateful to receive donations and this year as we are planning to extend the live board coverage we will put all donations towards the purchase of additional DGT sensory sets.

If you prefer to enter by posting a paper form, we are still happy to receive cheques! Please feel free to copy the entry form and pass to your club colleagues.

Steve Rooney
Congress Organiser

14/10/2013 - Birmingham Rapidplay

96 players entered the 18th Birmingham & District Chess League Rapidplay, held on 13th October, 2013. Amongst them were 1 GM and 2 IMs.

The results were as follows:

Open Section        Full result

1 GM Hebden, Mark L 4NCL Guildford 5.5 ENG M 2495 2624 +0.70 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 £200

2 IM Ghasi, Ameet K Birmingham 5.0 ENG M 2439 2488 +0.53 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 £100

3 IM Cobb, James E Clifton 4.5 WLS M 2418 2411 +0.20 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 £50

4 Timmins, Chris P Bristol 4.0 ENG M 1920 2179 +2.07 0 1 1 1 0 1 £25 (Grading)

Major Section        Full result

1 Friar, Joseph D Kidderminster 5.0 ENG M 1872 2102 +1.65 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ £120

2 Ai, Farshad Phoenix 4.5 ENG M 1951 2010 +0.43 1 1 0 1 ½ 1 £60

3 Kalyana, Ashwin Halesowen 3.5 ENG M 1856 1884 +0.25 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ £30

Intermediate Section        Full result

1= Cole, James Magdalen Colleg 5.0 ENG M 1720 1885 +1.14 0 1 1 1 1 1 £70

1= Talbot, Nathan L Wigan Knights 5.0 ENG M 1699 1845 +1.00 1 1 1 0 1 1 £70

1= Varney, Daniel Cumnor 5.0 ENG M 1696 1917 +1.59 1 1 1 1 1 0 £70

Minor Section        Full result

1= Hall, Ray Birmingham 5.5 ENG M 1424 1765 +2.02 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 £90

1= Calderbank, Stuart Stratford 5.5 ENG M 1352 1714 +1.65 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 £90

3= Jones, Simon A Bushbury 4.0 ENG M 1400 1515 +0.62 1 1 0 1 0 1 £10

3= Taylor, A (Tony) Halesowen 4.0 ENG M 1232 1414 +0.94 0 1 1 1 0 1 £10

3= Vernon, Colin G Birmingham Univ 4.0 ENG M 1160 * 1300 1300 0 1 1 1 1 0 £10

PGN files for the top 8 boards in each round can be downloaded here

Some of the games were displayed live at

Alex Holowczak

02/10/2013 - Sutton Coldfield change of venue

Starting Monday 7th October 2013, Sutton Coldfield Chess Club will be meeting in the Lounge of Minworth Social Club, Robinsons Way (off Water Orton Lane), Sutton Coldfield B76 9BB. Same night and start time (Mondays 7.30pm) so fixtures are unaffected. Patrons requested not to bring their own food or drink.

Marek Soszynski

01/09/2013 - League Individuals 2013-14
Entries are invited for the League individual competitions for the coming season. Any BDCL player wishing to take part in these should contact the Individual Tournament controller, John Mildenhall. Please provide name, address, telephone number and email address where available, as well as the division you wish to participate in. There is an entry fee of £3.00. Cheques should be payable to Birmingham & District Chess League. Closing Date 1st October 2013.

John Mildenhall
68 Stornaway Road, Castle Vale, B35 6NS

23/08/2013 - Summer League results

The winners of each division are:

Division 1 - Shirley & Wythall

Division 2 - Sutton Coldfield

Division 3 - Westminster

Alex Holowczak

20/08/2013 - Leamington Rapidplay 2013

The 27th Leamington Rapidplay congress will take place on Sunday 15th September. This year's venue is the Trident Centre, Warwick, CV34 6SW. The open section will be FIDE rated. For more details and entry information, the website is here...

13/08/2013 - Sutton Coldfield Equipment Sale

Sutton Coldfield Chess Club is selling off all its old wooden boards and all its sets of wooden or plastic pieces - including the very best ones (but no clocks). This is to make way for new sets.


Each board or each set of pieces is being sold for £5 or less, depending on condition. Grab yourself a bargain while stocks last! Simply come along to the Club (33 Sutton New Road, B23 6TD) on the evening of

19-August-2013 to view and buy.


Marek Soszynski

25/07/2013 - Birmingham Rapidplay Congress 2013
This will be held at Quinborne Community Centre on Sunday 13th October. Four FIDE-Rated sections starting at 10am. Online entry is now available, or you can download a printable entry form from the Rapidplay page.

25/07/2013 - e2e4 congress Coventry

The e2e4 Coventry Congress will be held at the Holiday Inn, Coventry between 23-26 August 2013.

Full details are available online at

Sean Hewitt

05/07/2013 - Wolverhampton parking

Until further notice :  The spacious car park opposite Wolverhampton Chess Club has been closed by the council.  Visitors and clubs can park outside the venue and on ground opposite club. This area is sloped, rough ground.

Paul Walters

Wolverhampton Chess Club

12/06/2013 - Clubs pages updated

The list of clubs and some Secretary details have been updated. Would Secreraries please review the information for thier club and provide an update if required.

11/06/2013 - Photos from the AGM presentation

Photos of the winning teams receiving their trophies from League President, Dave Brelsforth, are now on the Honours page.

11/06/2013 - Second-hand books

Birmingham University report that a large collection of second-hand chess books is available at the Oxfam shop in Harborne High Street. There is everything from opening books to speciality first editions.

7/06/2013 - Trophy dates 2013 season

The Trophy Dates for BDCL Season 2013-14 are as follows

Round One   - Sept 30th - Oct 4th
Round Two   - Nov 18th - Nov 22nd
Round Three - Jan 20th - Jan 24th
Round Four   - Feb 24th - Feb 28th
Finals              - Apr 7th - Apr 11th

For Reference Easter Sunday is April 20th

Full Draw can be found on the bottom of the Trophies Page

The composition of next season's Divisions is on the Tables Page

Alan Woolaston

19/05/2013 - League AGM
The 106th League AGM takes place on Monday 10th June at South Birmingham's venue, starting at 7:30pm.There will be a short Management meeting after the AGM. The agenda can be found here...

15/05/2013 - Staffordshire congress results


1st  Mark Hebden (Leicester)  4.5  £250

2nd  Ali Jaunooby (Denton)  4  £120

3rd  Tomasz Sygnowski  (Wolverhampton) ( Advertiser Trophy)  3.5 £100

Senior/ Grading  Mike Surtees (Bolton) 3  £35 & Richard Bryant (Bolton) 3  £35 

Junior Henrik Stepanyan 3  £20


1st  & 2nd = Robert Clegg (Huddersfield)  £100 & Ian Emery (Warley Quinborne) 4  £100

Senior Andrew Walker (Stroud) 3.5  £20

Junior Rhys Bennett (Newport South Wales) 3.5  £20

 U 140 Grading Andrew Collins (Leamington) 3.5 £20

 3rd = Ben Graff (Leamington)  3.5 £16.66 & Pavel Ondrejka (Rugby) 3.5  £16.67 & David  Pritchard (Walsall Kipping) 3.5 £16.67 


1st  Adam Bennett (West Nottingham)  4.5  £120

2nd  = Stephen Crockett (Redditch) 4  £43.32   &  Gabor Csepregi  (Shirley & Wythall) 4  £43.34   &  Peter Windows (Meir) 4  £43.34

5th =  Jacob Cartlidge (Cheddleton & Leek) 3.5  £25  &  John Pakenham (Warley & Quinborne) 3.5  £25

Senior Peter Griffin  3  £20 & David Hull (Southport) 3  £20

Junior Sam Beardmore (Cheddleton & Leek) 3 £10 & Benjamin Headlong (Moonrakers) 3  £10

U100 Grading James Waddington (Bolton)  1.5  £20

Selected games are here in pgn format.

David Anderton

- Chess Musical in Pershore

A local production of Chess: The Musical, in Worcestershire, will feature the original strategies used by Bobby Fisher and Anatoly Karpov, as well as other Grandmasters.

 Here’s the link:


James Megarry  

Asistant Producer

29/04/2013 - Morry-Wood awards
The W.R.Morry Junior award this season goes to Ashwin Kalyana of Halesowen.

The B.H.Wood award for best game was won by Simon Smith of Warley Quinborne. The game can be seen on the Morry-Wood page.

Phil Maddocks
on behalf of Laurie Wheatley (Morry-Wood Chairman)

25/04/2013 - John Holmberg Funeral

John Holmberg’s funeral will be held at Redditch crematorium on Tuesday 7th May at 11 am, then at the Rocklands Social Club, where Headless Cross hold their chess club. The family have asked approx numbers attending. Would anyone intending to go on to the Rocklands please e-mail Mark Hore at

Michelle Clack

22/04/2013 - Rules Committee meeting
The rules committee met recently to settle 2 disputes. The decisions are published here.

Mike Biddle, Rules Committee Chairman

16/04/2013 -
British Blitz Championship
The British Blitz Championship will take place on Saturday, 20th April, 2013, at Quinborne Community Centre, Quinton. 11 games of chess are played between 1:30pm and about 6:30pm. There is a prize fund of over £750. You can enter the event here:

Alex Holowczak

15/04/2013 - John Holmberg

It is with regret that we hear that long-standing Redditch member John Holmberg passed away last Friday.  John will be sadly missed.  His energy and enthusiasm helped to drive Redditch forward and he was instrumental in starting a second Birmingham League Team.  He captained this team for many years and Redditch became a more vibrant club as a result.

Michele Clack

10/04/2013 - Obituary & Funeral Details - Robert Jones 1945-2013

Robert Jones, a member of Walsall Kipping Chess Club for over 40 years, died peacefully on 3rd April, after suffering from a protracted and debilitating illness. He was a longstanding player in both the Wolverhampton and Birmingham Leagues; and for more than 10 years he captained the club’s WDCL Division 1 side, successfully leading them to the Championship in the 1994-5 season.   He was a strong club player, and supported many of the local tournaments, as well as being a County (Staffs) player. 

In a simultaneous display given by GM Alexei Suetin in 1992 as part of the club's Jubilee celebrations, Rob not only provided him with the stiffest opposition, but was able to engage him in a discussion of the game in Russian afterwards!

Rob was a cheerful and valued member of the club, and never happier than when talking up his favourite opening-the Morra Gambit!  He will be sorely missed. The funeral will be held at 12 noon, Wednesday 17th April,

Streetly Crematorium, Little Hardwick Rd., Aldridge, Walsall WS9 0SG

Mike Groombridge

10/04/2013 - Chess in Schools & Communities
Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) are looking for volunteers to teach chess and/ or setup chess clubs in schools across the West Midlands. A copy of their advertisement can be found here.

Andrew Moore

27/03/2013 - Divisional winners
Shirley & Wythall are confirmed as League Champions. Congratulations to them.Olton A are winners of Division 4, Solihull are unassailable in Division 5 and South Birmingham are top of Division 6.

19/03/2013 - Summer League
The 2nd Birmingham Summer League will be run during the close season.

Entries should go to Alex Holowczak and should reach him by Monday 15 April; entry fees should go to Ken Langston.  The entry fee is a mere £5 per and is used solely to cover the costs of the results service,

Download the entry form here

13/03/2013 - Team Lightning Tournament

The League Lightning tournament took place at Olton's venue on Tuesday 12th March. There were 14 teams in two sections from a variety of League clubs. South Birmingham took most of the honours as their A team won section A and the B team were second. Section B was won by South Birmingham D, with Olton B second.

Birmingham University player Minh Do was awarded the individual prize, one of two players scoring 6/6.

The full result is here....

26/02/2013 - Link updates

The Records Secretary has been tinkering with the results pages again. If the links on the left hand side don't work, you may need to delete your browsing history and refresh the page.

25/02/2013 - Warwickshire Open Chess Congress 2013

Date - 2-3 March 2013

2 day - 5 round - 4 section - Swiss Tournaments. New Venue. Excellent facilities with free car parking and refreshments available throughout the event (hot and cold food). £1500 Prize fund. British Championship qualifier. ECF and MCCU Grand Prix.

Venue : Trident Centre, Warwick CV34 6SW 

Contact: Guy Greenland  Email: 


4 Sections : Open, U170, U145, U120 – online entry available from 01/02/2013.

List of entrants:   

More info - Tel: 07854 709168.

Map :

Local information/accommodation :

Guy Greenland

21/02/2013 - Morry Wood competitions

Nominations for the 2012-13 Ritson Morry award for the outstanding Junior player, and entries for the Baruch Wood best game must be submitted by 31st March.

E-mail submissions go to

Alternatively, postal submissions go to Mr Laurie Wheatley (address as in handbook)

The entry form for the Morry award can be found on the link "Morry-Wood" and then clicking "Youth Entry Form"

Games submitted for the B H Wood award must show the date when played, the players names and the venue.

Phil Maddocks

31/01/2013 - Alf Schoeder - update

Alf won his debut game on as a 98-year-old against Derek Perks of Mercia on Tuesday. You can see the game here...

(From Andrew McCumiskey)

29/01/2013 - ECF Grades

The half-yearly ECF Grades are now online on the ECF Website. This can be accessed through the menu button on the left-hand-side of this page.

28/01/2013 - League Individual

The League Individual finals will take place at South Birmingham on Monday 13th May. Any finalist unable to make this date should contact the organiser, John Mildenhall.

27/01/2013 - Alf Schroeder

We would like to wish Alf Schroeder of Bushbury Chess Club a very happy 98th Birthday for Monday 28th January 2013. Alf (Marek's Father) is probably the oldest active player in the league and still holds a grade of 129.

Marek Schroeder (Birmingham C.C)

10/01/2013 - Rushall Venue/Secretary change

Rushall C.C will now meet at the Bowman Inn, at least until the end of the season. I will let visiting teams know and re-arrange postponed matches. We will commence there on Monday 21st January.

The Bowman Inn, corner of Gretton Crescent/Myatt Avenue, Aldridge, WS9 0DR.

Alan Cross ( was elected as new club secretary with duties being passed over gradually from myself.

Steve Wilcox

10/01/2013 - Sutton Coldfield Venue change

NEW VENUE for Sutton Coldfield Chess Club

 Sutton Coldfield Chess Club will be meeting as usual at the Jaguar Club, Chester Road, on the Mondays of 14th and 21st January. However, at the end of the month the Jaguar Club will be closing down for demolition.

 Therefore starting Monday 28th January 2013 Sutton Coldfield Chess Club will meet at a new venue. The match day is the same (7.30pm Monday) so existing fixtures should be unaffected.

 The Erdington Club

33 Sutton New Road


B23 6TD


The Erdington Club is on the A5127 near Erdington Six Ways Island, almost opposite the Maplin Electronics store. There is free parking on the dual carriageway central reservation and in a car park opposite.

Lots of different buses serve the Sutton New Road.

Marek Soszynski

01/01/2013 - Stourbridge venue access update

From Dave Scriven :

The road layout changes around Stourbridge town centre now appear complete, but development of the new supermarket will continue for another year so there is still no parking available in the immediate vicinity of our venue. Visitors to Stourbridge Chess Club are advised to use the Ryemarket multi-storey car park (pay and display). This can be accessed from the ring-road via Victoria Street, between the Police Station and Aldi. It will then be a two minute walk to our club. Alternatively, street parking is available in High Street and Market Street and also in Lower High Street. All of these are accessed from the ring-road. Please be aware that each of these is one-way.

I assume most visitors previously used Bell Street to reach the Bell Street multi-storey, which is now demolished. Bell Street has been completely changed and is now accessed via traffic lights from the ring-road. I recommend you DO NOT use Bell Street at present.

If anyone needs any further information, please contact Dave Scriven (Secretary).

18/12/2012 - e2e4 Congress West Bromwich

The Park Inn Hotel in West Bromwich, formerly the Moat House, will host the e2e4 West Bromwich Congress on the weekend of 25th-27th January. The Congress features two FIDE-rated sections, and one ECF-graded section, and a prize fund in excess of £1,500.

 Full details of the event, as well as the online entry form, can be found here:

Alex Holowczak

02/12/2012 - MCCU Correspondence Championship

The 2012-13 tournament is by electronic transmission

The rising price and slower delivery of postal mail means that this year's tournament is by electronic transmission of moves. The Controller is Cyril Johnson to whom entries by e-mail should be sent by 15 December. Entry is free to MCCU players and there is a gift voucher prize sponsored by Chess Direct.

Cyril Johnson

28/11/2012 - Birmingham Checkmates

Birmingham Checkmates have withdrawn from Divisions 4 and 6 of the Birmingham League due to a lack of availability from most of the former core of the team. This would have lead to a series of board defaults in the Division 4 team, which would unfair on the rest of the teams within it. I thought it was better to withdraw now - before we play half our games, so all our results get scrubbed - rather than later, when we'd ruin Division 4 for the rest of the teams in it. With the core of five remaining, I think we could have fielded a decent Division 6 side; without it, we have no chance! The active players will mostly go on to play for Warley Quinborne in the Birmingham League, so they will not be lost to the League.

Alex Holowczak

18/11/2012 - Mike Walker, Hon. Gen. Secretary

From The Hon General Secretary

I have decided to resign from the post of Hon General Secretary as from Monday 19th November. I have chosen to do so, at this time, because this will give the BDCL plenty of time to appoint my successor (as explained below). The main reason is that I have taken on other commitments over next summer which will make it difficult for me to continue as HGS, but I also want to take a break from chess administration and just play for my club, Mutual Circle.

I have had considerable satisfaction in the five years I have been involved with the BDCL as HGS. I would like to thank all the officers, chairmen of subcommittees, and secretaries of clubs for their support in implementing the extensive administrative changes over these five years. The League is certainly fit for the 21st century! Even the compromise on “quickplay finishes” and “adjournments” seems to me worthwhile continuing into next season!

To ensure continuity, I am pleased to report that Tim Lane, the Honorary Assistant General Secretary, has agreed to take over my duties until the 1st March. These include dealing with Late Registrations for chess players joining club teams; for any decisions concerning exceptional weather conditions affecting matches over the winter months; and for organising the MCM on Monday 28th January. After 1st March, there is little administration required by the HGS until mid-May. There will be an opportunity to discuss these issues at the MCM on Monday 28th January; and an appointment could be made at the MCM on Thursday 16th May, or at the AGM on Monday 10th June. However, I do not intend to be part of these discussions – I think this is a matter for members of the League. All communications (including applications for the vacant post of HGS) should be directed to the Assistant General Secretary, Tim Lane, who will undoubtedly ensure an orderly transition.

Most of the administration done by the HGS begins about mid-May (starting with the collection of BDCL clubs team submissions for the Match Committee Meeting scheduled for Thursday 6th June). I have chosen to resign early in the chess season to avoid leaving the matter until the AGM meeting itself  - which, in my view,  is too late for someone to take over. Particularly, since the BDCL will be in the middle of preparation for the following season.  For continuity in the administrative information in the League, I have an archive of material of computer files which I am happy to pass on to the next HGS.

I wish all members of the League good competitive chess in the forthcoming seasons!

Mike Walker

24/10/2012 - Halesowen roadworks

The roadworks on Combs Road in Halesowen are now complete.

Stewart Fishburne

8/10/2012 - Birmingham Rapidplay

110 players entered the Birmingham Rapidplay on Sunday, 7th October. A summary of the results appear lower down this page, or you can visit the Rapidplay pages for the full results.

The round 1 colour of the player who has the #1 seed in each section was to be determined by the American League Wildcard Playoff game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers (05/10/2012, 8:37PM ET). If Baltimore won, then the #1 seed will be white in round 1. If Texas won, then the #1 seed will be black in round 1. Both teams were 93-69 during the season, so the teams are evenly matched!

The Baltimore Orioles beat the Texas Rangers 5-1, which means that the number 1 seed in each section will be white in round 1

Alex Holowczak

08/10/2012 - Free chess tournament for West Midlands schools & clubs

A free chess tournament has been organised for schools and clubs who are based in the West Midlands. The entry form can be downloaded here. Entries need to be sent back by Monday 22nd October and the tournament is being held at West Bromwich Town Hall on Wednesday 24th October (during half term).

Andrew Moore

Chess In Schools and Communities

24/09/2012 - New eCards available for download

Version 8 of the eMatch card is now available and is in the preferred format for the Records Secretary to copy over results. There is also a template file to allow printing of 4 cards on an A4 sheet here...


10/09/2012 - FIDE-rated Blitz Tournament

Saturday, October 20th: 1st Birmingham Blitz International. Details can be found on the website: 

Get-Me-A-Rating FIDE All-Play-Alls

Venue: Hill & Cakemore Liberal Club (Warley Q home venue)

Weekend 1 (Friday 9 - Sunday 11 November):
Friday: 1 - 1900
Saturday: 2 - 1000, 3 - 1500
Sunday: 4 - 1000, 5 - 1500

Weekend 2 (Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 November):
Saturday: 6 - 1000, 7 - 1500
Sunday: 8 - 1000, 9 - 1500

Time control: 4 hour session. All moves in 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move.

The event is an All-Play-All - you must play in all rounds. You can't withdraw or take byes. The games will all be FIDE-rated and ECF-graded. By playing in this event, a player will get a FIDE-rating, subject to everyone in the field scoring at least 1/9.

Entry fee: Rated players: £0, Unrated players: £30. All English players must be ECF Gold Members.

Anyone interested should get in touch with me at I hope to run two sections. For this we need (at least!) 8 rated players - I already have 4, so I can guarantee that we will run at least one section. There is plenty of space for unrated players still. Entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

31/08/2012 - Changes to division formations

Solihull have entered an additional team in Division 6.

Mutual Circle's Division 5 team has been withdrawn and re-entered in Division 6.

Fixtures for Mutual Division 5 should be disregarded and new fixtures will be arranged for the two new Division 6 teams.

24/08/2012 - West Bromwich Chess Club

West Bromwich are looking for anyone interested in playing for their Division 1 Wolverhampton League team in the coming season. This would be an opportunity for a Birmingham League player to get extra games. Please contact Dave Davies on 07751 964788 if you are interested.

20/08/2012 - Birmingham Rapidplay Oct 2012

The 17th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament will take place at Quinborne Community Centre on Sunday 7th October. There will be sections for FIDE Open, Maximum grades 170, 140 and 110 ECF. Full details can be found on the Rapidplay page. Entries can be made via the online entry form, or you can download a form in WORD format to send with a cheque through the post.

24/06/2012 - Staffordshire Congress 2013

An early date for the diary next year is the Staffordshire Congress on 13th/14th April 2013. The entry form is here...

12/06/2012 - League AGM

The League AGM took place on Monday 11th June. Dave Brelsforth is the new League President. Tim Lane takes over the post of Hon. Assistant General Secretary from Graham Humpreys. Graham has been involved in chess in the Midlands since 1951 and was thanked for all his work over the years, He remains a member of the Individual Tournament committee he has chaired for some time.

22/05/2012 - Morry-Wood Awards

Leo Tsoi of Boldmere St. Michaels has completed a double by winning the Morry Junior award and the B.H.Wood best game prize for 2012. Click on the Morry-Wood button for more information.

20/02/2012 - I have now produced an updated google places map of chess clubs in the Birmingham area. This is accessible through the last button on the left hand side of the page. 

05/07/2012 - Special General Meeting & MCM

There will be a Special General Meeting on Thursday 30th August at the South Birmingham Venue. This will be to vote on changes to the League constitution.
This will be followed by a Management Committee Meeting
. Agendas for both meetings have been circulated to clubs.

25/06/2012 - Hinckley Congress 2012

There will be an e2e4 Congress at Hinckley over the Bank holiday weekend 24-27th August 2012.  Full details available at

From Sean Hewitt

17/05/2012 - David Rowe - Funeral arrangements & tributes

I have received the sad news from Pauline Woodward that David Rowe passed away on Wednesday 9th May. I am sure all members of the League will join in offering our condolences to Pauline. An obituary has been provided by David Thomas, and a further tribute from Brian Hopkins has been provided on behalf of the Birmingham Chess Club. These can be read here..

The funeral will be held at the Lodge Crematorium, Weoley Castle and afterwards at the Avenue Social Club on Wednesday 23rd May at 3.30 p.m..

14/05/2012 - Management meeting update

The Management committee rejected all proposed rule changes on quickplay finishes last night.

11/05/2012 - Tony Brown - More sad news

Keith Ingram informs me that Tony Brown passed away on Wednesday 9th May. He had been playing for Kynoch/Barn for the latter part of the season, after a break from the game. More details when we receive it.

16/04/2012 - Staffordshire Chess Congress

The Staffordshire Chess Congress was held over the weekend of 14/15 April 2012 at the Bloxwich Leisure Centre in Walsall and attracted an entry of 87 players in the three sections: Open (34 players); Major (31 players under 160 ECF Grade) and Minor (22 players under 120 ECF Grade).

The Open was won by Grandmaster Mark Hebden with 4.5/5 ahead of Ameet Ghasi, Oliver Jackson and Mike Townsend who tied for second place with 4 points.

The Open included the Staffordshire Closed Championship for which 10 players were qualified and Mike Townsend of Wolverhampton Chess Club won this and with it the Advertiser Trophy ahead of Alex Richardson of Newcastle Under Lyme and David Cooper of Bushbury both on 3.5 points, The Open also included the Staffordshire Under 21 title and this was retained by Craig Whitfield of Cheddleton & Leek with 3 points ahead of Manpreet  Sangha of Rushall with 2 points.

A selection of games from the Open is available here in cbv format, which include the exciting last round game in which Mark Hebden with Black defeated Ameet Ghasi.

The Major was won by Wiatt Ropp with 4.5/5 and the Minor was won by David Hull with 4.5/5.

David Anderton

24/03//2012 - The 16th Birmingham League Rapidplay took place at Quinborne Community Centre on Sunday 25th March, with a prize fund in excess of £1,000, and a FIDE-rated Open section. Click here for the results

14/03/2012 - League Lightning Tournament
The League Lightning Tournament took place at Olton's venue on Tuesday 13th March. 17 teams competed in three sections at the rate of 10 seconds per move. John Mildenhall was the Tournament Controller.

South Birmingham A won the top section with 15½ points out of 20, with Warley Quinborne A and Olton A equal second on 11.

Section B was won by South Birmingham C on 10/16, with Boldmere B and Mutual Circle B equal second on 8 points.

Section C was won by Boldmere B on 16½/20, closely followed by Walsall Kipping on 15½.

Four players recorded perfect scores including Karol Grzywaczewski (Olton B) and Dave Pritchard (Walsall Kipping), but the Committee awarded the Individual prize to Leo Tsoi (Boldmere A), who scored 4/4 on board 1.

The full result is here....

02/03/2012 - The Summer League is a new competition that will take place between May and July. Teams will play between 4 and 7 fixtures in two divisions; an open division and a division for a team of players with a combined grade that does not exceed 500. Both divisions are for teams of 4 players. It will be Rapidplay, and teams will play 2 matches in each fixture, on the same evening. The entry fee is £15.

Full details can be found on the Summer League webpage:  Summer_league 
The deadline for entries is Monday, 16th April. Fixtures will be published online before Friday, 20th April. The League will commence from Tuesday, 8th May.

Questions can be e-mailed to

Alex Holowczak

24/02/2012 - Updated - The multi-storey car park opposite the Stourbridge venue is now closed ahead of its demolition

The Ryemarket multi-storey car park is now open 24 hours. Pay and display is 80p between 7:00 pm and 7:00 am. This car park is 2 minutes walk from the club. There are signs on the Stourbridge ringroad to this car park. You will need to take the exit between the police station and Aldi. Road side parking remains available in High Street, Lower High Street and Market Street, but it can be busy.  

Please note each of these streets is one-way and can not be accessed using the multi-storey exit from the ring-road. If you need help with directions please contact Dave Scriven (01384 423642,  

30/01/2012 - The new half-yearly grades have been published by the ECF. These will be of particular use to congress organisers, but the BDCL will still use the July grades as a guide to player strength. The new list allows a detailed view of a player's results and grade history. Click on the ECF Grades button to see the revised list.

17/01/2012 - It is with great sadness that I have to report that Norman Young, Walsall's President for many years, died peacefully at his home last night. 
David Anderton has provided an obituary, which can be read here...
Norman's funeral was held at Streetly Crematorium,Wednesday 25th January

16/01/2012 - League Grader David Thomas has been presented with the English Chess Federation's President's Award for services to chess. The award was presented at a 4NCL event in Hinckley on 14th January, by ECF Chief Executive, Andrew Farthing.

Dave has been heavily involved in chess at all levels for many years. BDCL Secretary and President, Congress Arbiter, BCF/ECF delegate and an active role in the development of the current grading system are some of his contributions to the game.

The presentation can be viewed on YouTube here....

16/11/2011 - Mike Biddle has provided a report from the last Rules Committee meeting, which can be found here...

14/11/2011 - European Team Chamionships - Update

England's Open team finished a disappointing 22nd. However, Michael Adams scored 6.5/9 on board 1, giving a performance rating (TPR) of 2841. This was the highest TPR in the tournament, and was enough to win him a gold medal on board 1. Gawain Jones had a TPR of 2706 on board 4, but unfortunately finished just outside the medals in 4th.

The Scotland team captained by Andrew Muir finished in 35th place, with Muir scoring 3/7 on board 3 with a TPR of 2317.

03/11/2011 - The European Team Championships have begun in Halkidiki, Greece. West Bromwich player Lawrence Cooper is captaining the 8th seeded England team, which is made up of Michael Adams, Nigel Short, David Howell, Gawain Jones and Nick Pert. Shirley & Wythall player Andrew Muir is playing on board 3 for Scotland. More information on the event can be found here :   (Received from Alex Holowczak)

23/10/2011 - West Bromwich Club will be changing club night from November. Clubs will be advised and new dates confirmed.

23/10/2011 - Tomasz Sygnowski won the Rapidplay Open section with 5/6. Richard Webster won the Major section, also with 5/6. Louise Head and Sean Hewitt both scored 5/6 in the Intermediate section, while Joseph Friar won the minor with 5½/6. More...

11/10/2011 - There was a Special meeting of the Management Committee at the South Birmingham Venue on Monday 10th October, to discuss the latest ECF Document on its future plans for a membership scheme. ECF Chief Executive Andrew Farthing addressed the meeting and took questions on the proposals. The Management Committee then considered whether or not to support the forthcoming proposed changes in ECF Articles and Bye-laws. Read the document....

ECF Chief Executive Andrew Farthing addresses the meeting, with BDCL Hon. Gen. Sec Mike Walker (left) and League President Tim Lane (Right).

29/09/2011 - Graham Humphreys has received a special award from David Anderton for 60 years service to the Staffordshire Chess Association. Our congratulations go to Graham.

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