Welcome to the official website of the BDCL 

The news was last updated on 15/08/2022 

Updates/Pages recently updated
15/08/2022 Demise of Geoff Wesson, West Bromwich CC
10/08/2022 Mutual Circle new venue
10/08/2022 BDCL Blitz
03/08/2022 Richard Smith's funeral from Olton Club
31/07/2022 Demise of Richard Smith from Olton Club
16/07/2022 Ken Allen from Olton Club - Demise & Funeral
03/07/2022 Officals page updated
02/07/2022 Wolverhampton Chess Club new venue details
28/06/2022 W.R.Morry and B.H.Wood 2021-22 prizes
03/05/2022 Halesowen New address
15/04/2022 Funeral - David Anderton OBE
06/04/2022 Tribute to Bill Yeomans
04/04/2022 Obituary - David Anderton OBE
04/04/2022 Demise of David Anderton OBE
02/04/2022 - BDCL Summer Rapidplay League
02/04/2022 - Claim for a win in Match 555
21/1/2022 - BDCL Online Chess Tournament(27 Jan)
24/12/2021 - Board order complaint Match 123
05/12/2021 - Demise of David Dunn
05/12/2021 - Board order complaint Match 109
05/12/2021 - Demise of David Dunn
29/10/2021 Wolverhampton club new address updated
19/10/2021 Morry-Wood page updated
09/10/2021 BDCL Clubs page updated
08/10/2021 BDCL Online tournament
05/10/2021 Birmingham Rapidplay details updated
04/10/2021 Stoubridge club details updated
27/09/2021 Demise of Laurence John Wheatley
19/09/2021 Division 7 removed. Navigation links enabled for all divisions.
19/09/2021 Redditch club details updated
19/09/2021 Mutual Circle club details updated
13/09/2021 Longbridge club details updated
13/09/2021 Local Online Swiss Tourney
18/08/2021 BDCL clubs page updated
11/07/2021 Local Online Tourneys in July
01/06/2021 Online Chess in June
14/05/2021 ECF Arbiter Course
24/03/2021 In memory of Ken Francis
08/03/2021 Demise of Ken Francis
22/02/2021 Demise of Tom Cox
17/02/2021 - BDCL Online Tournaments
31/01/2021 - BDCL Online Tournaments
30/01/2021 - Demise of Alan Shrimpton
17/01/2020 - BDCL Online Tournaments
03/01/2021 - Demise of Frank Wood
20/12/2020 - BDCL Online Tournaments
13/12/2020 - BDCL Online Tournaments
13/12/2020 - BDCL Meeting Notes
30/11/2020 - BDCL Online Blitz
21/11/2020 - Birmingham Chess League Online Tourney
21/11/2020 - Demise of Harvey Quail
15/11/20 - Demise of Lionel Lewis
15/11/20 - Online BDCL Chess
26/10/20 - Online BDCL Blitz
25/10/20 - Wolverhampton Chess Club - Online Chess tournament
18/10/20 - BDCL Committee Update
13/10/20 - Funeral of Nigel Byrne
10/10/20 - Longbridge Chess Club
03/10/20 - New Online Club for all BDCL Members
03/10/20 - Demise of Nigel Byrne
15/06/20 - Demise of Edna Betty Dawson
11/05/20 - Demise of Daljit Singh
08/05/20 - Demise of Tom Evans
17/03/20 - Suspension of BDCL Competetion
09/03/20 - BDCL's Team Lightning competition
09/03/20 - Morry-Wood awards
01/03/20 - Funeral of John Pakenham
22/02/20 - Demise of Jane Kremer(Dave Thomas' Partner)
18/02/20 - Demise of John Pakenham
06/02/20 - The 28th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament
22/01/20 - Warwickshire Chess Congress
09/01/20 - In memory of Mike Rees - By Alan Ruffle
04/01/20 - Funeral Details of Mike Rees
23/12/19 - ECF Arbiter Course Registration
21/12/19 - Demise of Mike Rees
17/12/19 - Rules meeting
12/12/19 - Demise of Graham Lightfoot
19/11/19 - Online ECF Rated Tournaments
17/11/19 - Reports from Rules Committee
29/10/19 - Demise of Dez Rudge
29/10/19 - Record Secretary Change
14/10/19 - New Address for Warley Quinborne Chess Club
23/09/19 - GM Keith Arkell Junior Award and simul
11/09/19 - Individual Tournament Details and Officials page updated
03/09/19 - Robert Bellin Bishops Talk - Redditch Chess Club - 18th September,2019
03/09/19 - UK Blitz 2019 - Birmingham Qualifier
31/07/19 - The 27th Birmingham Rapidplay Tournament
15/07/19 - The 2019 Midland Open Championship
15/05/19 - Lightning Tourney Results: Mike Walker Memorial
13/05/19 - Morry-Wood awards
25/04/19 - Boldmere change of venue
25/04/19 - Mutual 10 second Tournament
23/04/19 - Rushall change of venue
17/04/19 - Rules meeting
05/04/19 - Welcome page - Arbiters course
04/04/19 - Welcome page - Individuals
06/03/19 - Rules meeting
25/02/19 -Lightning Tournament
09/02/19 - English seniors
08/02/19 - Morry-Wood
01/01/19 - Warwickshire congress
19/11/18 - Halesowen contact
21/19/18 - Derek Perks
11/09/18 - Rules page
]26/07/18 - clubs page - venue details
26/07/18 - Welcome page - Uk Blitz
18/07/18 - Welcome page - Midland Open
10/07/18 - Clubs - Rushall
18/06/18 - Honours page
13/05/18 - Morry-Wood awards
27/04/18 - Mutual Tournament
25/04/18 -  Welcome page - Robert Bellin talks
03/04/18 - Mutual Lightning
19/03/18 - Cotswold Congress
15/03/18 - Lightning tournament
05/02/18 - Morry-Wood awrds
30/01/18 - Sutton Coldfield
06/01/18 - Midland Rapid
02/01/18 - Birmingham Rapidplay/ Warwickshire Open Congress
05/12/17 - University contact updated
01/11/17 - Clubs - Marek Schroeder
15/10/17 - Rapidplay results
23/09/17 - Halesowen ECF club of the year
05/09/17 - Admin page - Laws of chess
25/08/17 - Welcome page links - LMS
22/08/17 - Welcome page
18/08/17 - Birminghm Rapidplay
03/08/17 - Welcome page - Redditch chess evening
11/07/17 - Welcome page - local congresses
15/06/17 - Greenlands page
13/06/17 - Honours, Officials
11/06/17 - South Birmingham Rapidplay
08/05/17 - Morry-Wood awards
07/05/17 - Rules meeting report
28/03/17 - Summer League - rules
18/03/17 - Jon Speelman event
10/03/17 - Home page - Colin Thomas
09/03/17 - Leadue Lightning Tournament
02/02/17 - Welcome page - Cotswold Congress
23/01/17 - Morry-Wood competitions
14/01/17 - Birminghan Rapidplay
10/02/17 - Geoff Harris memorial
02/01/17 - Welcome page - Warwickshire Congress
03/12/16 - Home page - Gabor Csepregi
19/10/16 - Warley Quinborne website
17/10/16 - Welcome page - Rapidplay
10/10/16 - Welcome page - Warwickshire Juniors
31/08/16 - Guidelines for captains
21/08/16 - Welcome page - F Grades
09/08/16 - St. Georges withdrawal
01/08/16 - Jonathan Swallow
28/07/16 - Ron Hardy
28/07/16 - Welcome page - Mutual website
27/06/16 - Wecome page - 4NCL Congress
14/06/16 - Honours, Officers
13/06/16 - Archives 2015-16
10/06/16 - Redditch club website
08/06/16 - Jim Friar
29/05/16 - Morry Wood results updated
27/04/16 - Summer League Fixtures
26/04/16 - Welcome Page - Cotswold Congress
20/04/16 - Welcome page - Walsall Kipping
13/04/16 - Ruels meeting report
03/04/16 - Welcome page - Olton website
16/03/16 - Rules & Docs - Summer League form/rules
16/03/16 - Lightning Team Tournament
11/03/16 - Welcome page - St. Georges
28/01/16 - Welcome page - news, Rules committee meeting
20/12/15 - FIDE Rated Congress - updated
17/10/15 - Welcome page - Stourbridge parking
12/10/15 - Welcome page - Birmingham Rapidplay
24/09/15 - Shirley Website URL
18/09/15 - Welcome page - Rapidplay
31/08/15 - Welcome page - Individuals
23/08/15 - Rushall return
20/08/15 - New rules/guidance
14/08/15 - Welcome page, Clubs - Bushnbury venue change.
11/08/15 - BDCL Rules updated
10/06/15 - South Birmingham website
09/06/15 - Honours page
09/06/15 - Welcome page - Ken Langston
26/05/15 - Welcome page - British Chess Championships
22/05/15 - Welcome page - Chess magazines
27/04/15 - Morry Wood awards
21/04/15 - ECF National Club Championships
9/04/15 - Home page - trophy finals
11/03/15 - Home page, Lightning tournament
05/03/15 - Home page - Lightning Tournament
03/03/15 - Home Page - Mike Walker Funeral details
02/03/15 - Document uploaded - Summer League
25/02/15 - Home page - Mike Walker
24/02/15 - Home Page - Morry-Wood Awards
16/02/15 - Home page - Tom Farley
11/02/15 - Home page - Mike Walker
21/01/15 - Welcome - Kynoch web site
20/01/15 - Home page - Colin Hammersley
13/12/14 - Home page - Robin Farmery
14/10/14 - Welcome page - Rapidplay
30/07/14 - Rule Change Proposals
06/07/14 - FIDE Laws updated
30/06/14 - West Bromwich page
25/06/14 - Welcome page - WCA
12/06/14 - Fixtures meeting
10/06/14 - Honours 2014
05/06/14 - Welcome page - AGM
28/05/14 - Archives 2013 added
15/05/14 - Welcome page, Bushbury venue change
07.05/14 - Welcome page - Division 2 play-off, Mike Biddle email.
03/05/14 - Morry-Wood page updated
14/04/14 - Welcome page - Staffordshire congress
29/03/14 - Welcome page - Summer League & League Management meeting.
28/03/14 - Welcome page - Rules meeting
25/03/14 - Mindsports events
17/03/14 - Welcome page - Keith Arkell
15/03/14 - Lightning Tournament 2014
03/03/14 - Welcome page - Team Lightning
03/03/14 - Welcome page - Morry Wood
23/01/14 - Welcome page - University Championships
20/01/14 - Welcome page - University details
08/01/14 - Welcome - staffs Congress
02/01/14 - Welcome page - Warwickshire Championships
01/01/14 - Alf Schroeder
12/11/13 - Welcome Page - Peter Oliver email
08/11/13 - Welcome page - Stourbridge parking
24/10/13 - Welcome page - Warley Quinborne 5
15/10/13 - Welcome page - Shropshire congress.
14/10/13 - Welcome page - Birmingham Rapidplay
02/10/13 - Welcome page - Sutton Coldfield venue
01/09/13 - Welcome page - League Individuals
23/08/13 - Welcome page - Summer League
20/08/13 - Welcome page - Leamington Rapiplay
13/08/13 - Welcome page - Sutton Coldfield equipment
25/07/13 - Welcome page - Birmingham and Coventry congresses.
05/07/13 - Welcome page - Wolverhampton parking
12/06/13 - Clubs pages and index
11/06/13 - Honours page
11/06/13 - Welcome page - Book collection
07/06/13 - Trophies & Tables for 2013-14
19/05/13 - AGM Notice
15/05/13 - Welcome - Staffs congress
13/05/13 - Archives 2013
02/05/13 - Welcome page
29/04/13 - Morry-Wood - Winners announced
27/04/13 - Guidelines for captains
25/04/13 - John Holmberg Funeral
22/04/13 - Admin pages - Rules meeting
18/04/13 - Links page - Kynoch
16/04/13 - Welcome - British Blitz
11/04/13 - Robert Jones
10/04/13 - Chess in Schools & Communities
09/03/13 - Welcome - Champions
19/03/13 - Welcome - Summer League
13/03/13 - Team Lightning Tournament
25/02/13 - Welcome - Warwickshire congress
21/02/13 - Lightning tournament form
21/02/13 - Welcome - Morry-Wood, Lightning
31/01/13 - Welcome - Alf Schoeder update
29/01/13 - Welcome - ECF Grades
28/01/13 - Welcome - League Individual
27/01/13 - Welcome - Alf Schroeder's Birthday
10/01/13 - Welcome/Clubs - Rushall Venue
10/01/13 - Welcome/Clubs - Sutton Coldfield
01/01/13 - Welcome - Stourbridge Parking
18/12/12 - Welcome - e2e4 Congress
17/12/12 - County - Under 120 result added
02/12/12 - Welcome - MCCU news
28/11/12 - Checkmates withdrawal
26/11/12 - County - Under 120 result added
18/11/12 - Welcome - Mike Walker
24/10/12 - Welcome - Halesowen Roadworks
08/10/12 - Welcome - Rapidplay
09/10/12 - Welcome - Free Tournament
24/09/12 - eMatch cards - Version 8 available
20/09/12 - Welcome - New Redditch venue
13/09/12 - Welcome - Stourbridge venue
10/09/12 - Welcome - Birmingham Blitz
01/09/12 - Welcome - Leamington Rapidplay
31/08/12 - Welcome - Changes to handbook
20/08/12 - Birmingham Rapiplay
05/07/12 - Welcome - Special meeting
25/06/12 - Welcome - Hinckley Congress
24/06/12 - Welcome - Staffs Congress 2013
12/06/12 - Welcome - League AGM
12/06/12 - Officers page updated
11/06/12 - Honours - 2012 winners added
28/05/12 - Welcome - Chess lectures
22/05/12 - Morry Wood Winners
22/05/12 - Archives - Trophies 2011-12
21/05/12 - Welcome - AGM notification
17/05/12 - Welcome - David Rowe - Update
14/05/12 - Welcome - Management Meeting
11/05/12 - Welcome - Tony Brown
11/05/12 - Welcome - MCCU Arbiters course
01/05/12 - Sheffield Congress
16/04/12 - Welcome - Staffordshire Congress
21/03/12 - Welcome - Rapidplay update
14/03/12 - League Lightning Tournament
08/03/12 - Welcome - Individual Final News
02/03/12 - Birmingham Summer League
24/02/12 - Stourbridge car parking updated
20/02/12 - Google places map
17/02/12 - Stourbridge car parking
08/02/12 - Welcome - League Lightning
30/01/12 - ECF Half-year grades published
30/01/12 - Staffordshire Congress
26/01/12 - Birmingham Rapidplay
17/01/12 - Norman Young obituary
16/01/12 - Dave Thomas award
13/01/12 - Walsall venue move
23/12/11 - E Match cards - V7 available
15/12/11 - British Blitz Championships
08/12/11 - West Bromwich venue change
18/11/11 - Individual Tournament update
16/11/11 - Report of rules commitee meeting
01/11/11 - Welcome - New Kynoch Venue

Handbook Changes

Sutton Coldfield

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.


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.He was 71 years old.

Ken had played for Olton Chess Club since the 2005-6 season, where he appeared in Birmingham League Division 4. Previously, Ken had played for West Warwickshire club and later Solihull, when the two clubs merged.

Ken was a keen player and studied his openings. Arriving for a match, he was always eager to get started on the game. Whatever the result, would talk enthusiastically about what he should have done and where the opponent varied from the book.

Last season, Ken played in Division 2. There were occasional appearances in the Leamington and Worcester League teams over the years. Mostly these were cover for regular team members, but Ken was always happy to help out when needed. His grade at the start of last season was 1728.

Ken’s funeral is on Monday 25 th July at 11.00am at Waseley Hill Crematorium, New Inns Lane, Rubery, B45 9TS. The wake will follow at The Hop Pole Inn, Friar Street, Droitwich, WE9 8ED

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. Bill went into sheltered accommodation after his wife Jean passed away and later into a home. The pair were inseparable and relied on each other in different ways.

I first met Bill when I started playing in the early eighties in the division 9 team. Bill and Dennis Bishop shared the top boards. Bill was most noted for the ‘Bill Yeomans opening’ which involved a double-fianchetto against any defence. There wasn’t much more of a plan after that but many a time I would see that Bill had grabbed a Rook in the corner. He would have a big grin on his face. He enjoyed chess immensely but would never be anything other than a bottom team player. That said, he would have a go against anyone.

Bill once came into the chess room at Tyseley WMC and asked ‘who that scruffy guy was sitting in the lounge ?”. It was the late Tony Miles. I am sure Bill knew that.

In the early days, I recall sitting in the back of his builder’s van on top of a gas cylinder on the way to matches. There was no preparation or comfort then. I would arrive shaken not stirred and covered in cement dust. I spoke to Bill’s son Kevin, one of Olton’s former great players and recalled the people who have played for the club since those times and still do. I also met previously Bill’s other sons Colin and Michael.

In 1995, Bill was elected club Life President, when the previous incumbent was found to have passed away. He was very honoured to hold this post until his death. Even though dementia set in, the one thing Bill could do was remember the moves in chess and he played his grandson up until recently.

Bill’s Funeral will take place at Yardley Crematorium, on Thursday 14th April at 10:45am

Yardley Road, South Yardley, Birmingham, B25 8NA

Then back to Tyseley Working Mens Club (Olton’s venue)

573 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, B11 2EX (approx. 12 noon)

- From Richard Reynolds

04/04/2022 Obituary - David Anderton OBE

A Walsall Perspective

David joined the Walsall Kipping (K.) chess club in 1982, having played previously for the Wolverhampton Kipping chess club, and then the Rock Kipping chess club*. He brought a national reputation with him.

He had been honoured in 1977, ‘for services to chess’. These had included the (non-playing) Captaincy of the English men’s team at International Chess Olympiads; and also the provision of much legal advice to the British Chess Federation (BCF). Together these had brought him into contact with the cream of British chess players and this served him well later on. He was also a strong player himself and his presence no doubt assisted in attracting other strong players to the club.

He only gradually took to participating in the club’s internal competitions though, but when he did so he regularly became Club Champion. However, after he had won it 7 times in succession, he very generously, and voluntarily, withdrew from entering, so as to give others the opportunity to shine. Nevertheless he was a very competitive player and prepared for his league fixtures with meticulous care.

Since David’s arrival, Walsall K. consistently maintained strong positions in both Divisions 1 of the BDCL and the WDCL; winning the Birmingham League Championship 5 times and the Wolverhampton Championship 3 times. However it was a measure of the man’s willingness to take a back seat, that it was only in 2002 that he finally became Captain of the Div 1 team in the Birmingham League, and even later, in 2008, that he became Captain of the Div 1 team in the WDCL team. He was always particularly keen though on the club fighting for the title of Staffordshire Champion, via its Hickman Cup tournament; and in this he was very successful, the club winning it no less than 18 times between 1982 and 2019. As a Captain he was determined to make the most of the club’s talents. Consequently he never failed to ensure, before agreeing fixture dates, that he knew exactly who would be available; and he expected a full commitment from his teams. In return, he consistently provided lifts to team members to matches; although this became an increasingly demanding task for him. David was also a great organizer, and his skills in this area were highlighted when the club decided to celebrate its 1992 Jubilee with a tournament. He willingly took on the task of organizer and managed to attract sufficient sponsorship locally so as to enable a major Chess Tournament to be played, at the Walsall Campus. The WALSALL KIPPING JUBILEE CHESS TOURNAMENT 1992 was played over the three days of the Easter weekend, and attracted entries from more than nine countries. The players included Alexei Suetin of Moscow, a leading Russian grandmaster (GM), six other GMs, and eleven international masters (IM). The winner was GM Murray Chandler from New Zealand.

It was regarded as a great success. The national magazine CHESS described it at the time as 'the strongest ever weekend tournament on British soil', and recognized that the 'enticing conditions…' provided by David Anderton, chief organiser from the club, played a major part in this achievement. Bernard Cafferty (Birmingham Post) claimed that it ‘brought a collection of national chess talent to the West Midlands…’. It also attracted the attention of the BCF and it was at their request that David produced a leaflet ‘Note on the Organisation of the Walsall Kipping Jubilee Tournament’ for use by the BCF.

David followed this up later by jointly organizing, along with Lawrence Cooper of Stafford, the STAFFORDSHIRE CENTENARY INTERNATIONAL CHESS TOURNAMENT 1997. It was hosted by the Walsall Kipping Chess Club at its premises, and was arranged as A Nine-Round Scheveningen Tournament in which the players are divided into two teams; and all the players in Team A play all those in Team B. It was the first International Chess tournament to be held in Staffordshire and recognized for international title purposes. It attracted an entry that included 3 GMs; 1 WGM (Jana Bellin); 6 IMs and 1WM. The two leading scorers were GM Bogdan Lalic and IM Jonathan Rowson.

David was further involved in instigating and setting up a training scheme for juniors at The Joseph Leckie Community School in 1993. Professional help, in the shape of Robert Bellin, was provided through sponsorship and it attracted a substantial number of local children. Much progress and enthusiasm was generated, and it ran for three years. In turn this encouraged Ray Dolan, another club member, to eventually set up the currently very successful Bloxwich Junior Chess Academy, to carry on the good work.

In the meantime the Walsall K. club was involved in organizing an annual one day Rapidplay Congress. Again David became instrumental in attracting sponsorship for it, and this enabled it to offer larger prizes and become a very attractive event. He became the organizer for it in 1999, and ran it till it finished in 2008. It regularly attracted players from all over the Midlands and sometimes further afield.

In the meantime David pursued his personal chess with much commitment. This might be exemplified by the following:-in 1959 he became the WDCL individual Champion by winning its premier individual tournament, the Rock Cup; and in 2009 he successfully repeated this achievement, 50 years later! Also, apart from his club and Staffs County matches he took part annually in National events too. He organized teams in the 4NCL league and participated in British events, achieving regular success- latterly in the Senior Championships.

His achievements were too complex to cover in detail here; but they may be elsewhere. Here though is a brief list of some of them:-

David Anderton, CM; O.B.E.:-

  • WDCL Rock Cup winner 1959, 1960, 1962, 2009.
  • WDCL President 1967-9 (while at Wolverhampton Kipping)
  • Non-playing captain of the English men’s team Skopje Olympiad 1972 until Novi Sad Olympiad 1990 during which time the team won 3 silver and 2 bronze Olympiad medals.
  • Midland Champion 1979;
  • BCF President 1979-82;
  • BCF International Director 1982-1990; 2000-2002
  • BDCL President 1983-84
  • Administrator of World Championship in London in 1986
  • FIDE Executive Board member 1989-93.
  • Captain and Organizer of up to 3AD’s teams in 4NCL, from 1999 onwards
  • Correspondence IM (2000)
  • British Senior Champion 2005 and 2011; Joint British Senior Champion 2003, 2007, 2009
  • Former Staffordshire Chess Association President

He became Chairman of Walsall K. in 2010, and President in 2012, until he retired from OTB chess in 2020.

David sprinkled stardust on the club, and we shall long remember him.

- Mike Groombridge (Walsall Kipping)

[*Note: These clubs had their origins in the formation of ‘The Kipping’ Club in 1942, named after its first President-C.S.Kipping, well known as the editor of the ‘Problemist’]

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

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 ½ ½ Mesesan, Mircea-Marius 2073
1797 Tarr, Steve. ½ ½ 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

Tribute to Laurence John Wheatley

I was sad to learn belatedly of the demise of Laurie Wheatley.

It is a pity that the BDCL did not know about his passing at the time.

I seem to recall playing him on board one when I was at West Midlands Municipal CC & he was playing for Birmingham University, presumably as a mature student.

Eventually, he joined St James Chess Club, which morphed into Greenlands.

I also played him (& won) in the BDCL Div 4 Indy Final in 1994.

After which, I affectionately called him "Mr Yellow Comb" because he kept his yellow comb by the side of the board & combed his locks every few moves, when not eating his crisps or rustling his bag!

He tried to get me banned from the division 4 individual because he said that I was too strong!

More than 20 years later, the BDCL Individual tournaments changed to graded events, but not until I appeared in numerous finals in the meantime. However, Laurie effectively, finally got his way.

He was often innovative in his chess organisational thinking and I remember his vigour when the BDCL celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1997. He was one of several organisers that enthusiastically drove forward ideas to commemorate the year.

As 2022, will be the 125th Anniversary of the BDCL, specifically on August 31st, it seems fitting to commemorate the event as a mark of respect to Laurie.

Laurie served as the BDCL Morry-Wood Committee chairman until his demise.

I last saw him at Mike Rees's funeral early in 2020.

Rest peacefully, Laurie.

Laurence John Wheatley 28 July 1931 - 23 October 2020 (aged 89).

- From Lee Collier

Tribute to Laurence John Wheatley

Laurie was a founder member and Chairman of the BDCL Morry-Wood memorial competitions which are tributes to two great chess contributors, William Ritson Morry and Baruch Harold Wood who died in 1994 and 1989 respectively. He was a very competitive chess player with a phenomenal attention to detail, a skill which he used during his time as a Chemist. Even in his 80’s Laurie was still striving to improve the Morry-Wood competitions and even the BDCL Individuals competitions. Laurie’s guidance and experience will be greatly missed.


- From P Maddocks

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

– verbatim from John Green:

"To everyone from the chess world within the Birmingham and District Chess League and elsewhere, unfortunately I am the bearer of this very sad news that Nigel Byrne, 63yrs of age, from Solihull Chess Club in the West Midlands unexpectedly experienced a suspected heart attack and passed away on last Sunday 27th September at his home address in Erdington, Birmingham. I am aware of the personal circumstances surrounding his demise and I will gladly speak to anyone at any time of day on behalf of Dianne, and their families re passing on your condolences, feelings, cards etc. or just a chat, not a problem for me. It is envisaged that there will be a funeral service at Perry Barr Crematorium in due course with Covid Rules applying. May be late October / early November in view of the suddenness of Nigel's heart attack and others awaiting to be cremated. I shall keep everyone informed of his funeral date when known and the numbers of spare persons allowed inside and outside after his family and friends and colleagues.

Dianne likes flowers – but if anyone wishes to make any charitable donations instead of, or as well as, please donate to PDSA (Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals) of which Nigel was the Head Vet – and a brilliant one.

His Tribute – A Giant and Ambassador of a person to all of us who had the privilege of knowing Nigel. He will be very sadly missed but certainly not forgotten. His tributes and condolences coming to Dianne in their hundreds and to myself from the chess world are saying exactly the same. Namely that he was a Lovely, Caring person. He would do anything for everyone – nothing was any problem. It was a pleasure to be in his company – he made any situation enjoyable with his wit, smile, open and honest personality. His generosity was unlimited. At the same time a very professional person.

His contribution to Solihull Chess Club as the Assistant Secretary / person and player – and to the chess world – has been magnanimous and unparalleled. I cannot praise and thank Nigel enough – the sprit and personal favours he has brought to members at Solihull and to myself has been well beyond any reasonable expectations.

‘Mate – I shall miss you loads. May God be with you Nigel always and forever.’

Kindest condolences – John Green."

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. Having fallen in the house he was in hospital having had a successful hip operation, but contracted Covid 19 and became another victim of this awful disease. he would have been 84 next month Tom was a good 10-pin bowler as well and played for our team at Acocks Green bowl. He maintained a very good technique even into his eighties and scores around 180-190 per game were the norm.

It was while Playing his beloved Bowling Tom at the age of 65 re kindled his passion for chess 40 years after first playing for Lucas, by joining the Westminster Chess club who were also using the Acocks Green Bowling venue before moving on to play for Mutual Circle then Olton.

Tom's chess strength lay mainly in the openings with a good repertoire of tricks and traps. as well as entertaining chess Puzzles....His chess was always exciting if not entirely accurate as were many of the stories and anecdotes he would reel off with considerable ease considering his age and health.

In his younger days Tom was a Sports Argus Darts team player going back to the sixties and a mean snooker player competing in CIU national events. The pictures he showed me suggested he cut a suave figure as a young man. He and his brother practised darts by throwing six inch nails at a board in the back yard. Several Argus cuttings show that he was in the news regularly playing for this prestigious team. Tom was also a keen collector of Comic Annuals and especially Rupert Bear of which he had many going back to 1936. He had a good correspondence with the bear’s artist Alfred Bestall. Although Tom only played for Olton for a few years, the chess club will not be the same again and Tom will be sadly missed.

Photos of Tom Evans via the links Playing Chess... Darts News... Darts Win... Art work...

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

In 1957 Mike was my next door neighbour in Lozells Birmingham. He was a member of Lucas Chess club and active in all kinds of administrative chess club roles, He was a kind gentle man. I was an eleven year old schoolboy in short trousers attending Gower Street school and Mike was kind enough to give me some chess coaching. We played regularly and my game improved. I joined Lozells Chess Club and my game further improved so that I began to beat him on a regular basis.

I left home and I did not see Mike for many years although we had a number of chess orientated email communications. His role during this time was as Web Master for the Birmingham League.

In 1995 I met Mike in a Division five Birmingham league game. I was playing for West Midlands Police and Mike was still with Lucas. You guessed it! I lost.

Thanks for everything Mike, Knowing you has been a pleasure.

- 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)

Message from Phil Maddocks

Dear friends and chess colleagues, it is with sadness that I have been learned from Mrs Andrea Rees that her husband Mike died in hospital this Saturday morning 21/12/19 at about 01.00 hrs. Mike knew many people in the chess circle but I do not know them all – could you please inform anyone I have missed and who does not yet know.

For me, Mike ranks alongside the all-time chess administration legends such as Crump, Wood, Morry, Rowe and others. Mike was a great friend to me and I will never forget him.

It is too soon to be clear about funeral arrangements but those details should be available soon after Christmas/New Year.

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 14½ points with Richard Liszewski dropping only half a point in six games. Section B was won by South Birmingham C on 15½ 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 16½ 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 5½ 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 5½ 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 6½ 120
2 Monga, Kanav ENG Hallfield 6 60
3 Rajapaksa, Inura SRI None 5½ 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
It is with great sadness that I report that Olton Chess club member Bramwell Garner passed away on Sunday 1st October, after an extended illness. Bramwell and I were both suffering from eye problems in August 2016 and discussing our experiences. In the event, it was found that Bram's problems were due to an untreatable cancer.

Bramwell had played for Olton Chess Club over the past 40 years, stopping on a couple of occasions due to personal circumstances. His last stint was the longest by far and he competed in many club tournaments, Birmingham League and some Leamington League matches. His placid nature and sensible attitude often won the day when there was potential for dispute and his love of chess came through in his efforts over the board, regardless of the strength of the opponent. Bram was always willing to step in if the team was a player short. Missing a Tuesday at the club was unthinkable, although he did enjoy extended holidays in warmer locations over the winter in the latter years.

Bram's funeral will take place at Yardley Crematorium on Thursday 19th October at 1.00pm, then there will be a gathering at Holy Souls club, Warwick Road, Acocks Green.

Our thoughts are with Bram's wife Sue and their family at this sad time.

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

From Gordon Christie :

It is my duty to relay the very sad news that Shirley and Wythall Chess Club elder statesman Gabor Csepregi died of cancer two weeks ago. No other details, including funeral arrangements, are known to us at this time.

Gabor had been a member of Solihull Lodge Chess Club since it started in 1970, and served with distinction as Club Treasurer for more than 30 years. He remained constant through all the changes of club name and venue, to our current identity as Shirley and Wythall Chess Club.

As a player, he had a vast array of openings knowledge and theory, and was always willing to debate the merits of different variations. On his day he was a tricky player, and on any day a doughty opponent.

In his personal life, he was a very private person, with a rich love of family and his homeland Hungary, where he visited family often. He was also determinedly independent, and in recent months, although clearly quite ill and in some discomfort, neither complained nor asked for help. Typically he did not want any fuss.

For myself, and for many in the club this is a great sadness. He will be remembered fondly.

There will be a funeral ceremony at Robin Hood cemetery at 0930 on 5th January, followed by the scattering of his ashes. All chess playersa who knew Gabor are welcome to attend. His family will be attending a simultaneous service in Hungary.

Best regards


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
onathan 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.


Guidelines for Captains and Players

These guidelines are intended to assist captains and players. They are, nevertheless, only guidelines, and anyone requiring further details should consult the League Rules or the Laws of Chess.  Click Here
M.Biddle Chairman BDCL Rules Committee.



We now have a mailing list for members of Birmingham League teams to receive information and news of events taking place. Please contact the webmaster if you wish to receive an invite to join.

Club Details

I have now updated the details of clubs that play in the BDCL on the website. Each club has a page and it is up to club Secretaries to inform me of any errors or changes. Clubs can also send me items for inclusion that will help promote their club.

Click on 'BDCL Clubs' link on the left.

Google Maps

Locations of clubs are on Google maps

click Here


This site is now being updated by Richard Reynolds. Please report any problems to me at