Worcester City Chess Club
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Club nights Thursday evenings

At Spin The Black Circle,
19-20 Pump Street, WR1 2QX

Next games at 7pm on Thu 18 July

Link for location. Club contacts and further information here
Please note that players under the age of 18 are welcome to play, but should be accompanied by parents or a responsible adult.

Summer chess at Spin The Black Circle
Summer chess at Spin The Black Circle


Competition titles in green are links to further information or the event organiser
  • Tue 16 Jul. Worcester play Hereford away.
  • Tue 9 July. Learn chess with club President Rob Sutton at The Dice Box 5:30pm to 8pm, £5 at 9 The Shambles WR1 2RF.
  • Sat & Sun 13 & 14 July. Worcestershire Closed Congress at King’s School Worcester, Castle Place, Worcester WR1 2NB. Compete for Individual, Women’s, Junior (U-18), Veteran (+65), Senior (+50) and Minor (u1650) titles. Four rounds, time control 75 min + 30 sec increment.

Congratulations to Scott, Aiden and Colin

12 Jul 2024. Aiden Griffiths, Scott Oxtoby and Colin Vernon passed the ECF examination as level 1 arbiters.

Summer chess

4 Jul 2024. The first summer chess session at Spin the Black Circle, Pump Street, Worcester WR1 2QX starts at 7:30pm.

Worcester lose to Hereford

20 Jun 2024. Worcester lost 1-3. Only Dorin Luca had a win. See details.

Worcester play at Leominster

17 Jun 2024. Worcester toook a team of nine players for the first friendly match of the summer. New club Leominster has lost narrowly to Hereford the previous week and Worcester were ambushed losing 2½-6½. Chris Lee played a captain’s game and won as did new player Paul Serafini. See full results.

Annual meeting agrees existing venue for 2024-5 season

The Presidentbwith Awradees with awardees at the 188th AGM of the club
The president with the club’s awardees at the 188th AGM
30 May 2024. A well-attended AGM decided to stay put at St Stephen's Church hall for the 2024-5 season. The vote was tied but as there was no majority for the move, it was decided to stay. The President said the club now had a Facebook page and was also on Instagram. The secretary, Ray Collett said that membership had increased, and members continue to play key roles in the county association. The club had entered two teams in the Worcestershire Summer Cup competitions to be played in August. Jim Keene, honorary treasurer, reported the club’s finances were healthy and he was stepping down from the role as was Phil Smith, the honorary auditor. Both were thanked for their work for the club over several years. The meeting decided to increase subscription rates slightly in line with inflation and exact tariffs are to be fixed by the club committee - club officers and team captains. Team captains reported that the Rooks had finished as runners-up in the Challengers League and the Bishops team were runners-up in the District League while the Wheatley Cup team were losing finalists. To provide more games for members the meeting agreed to ask the county association to restore the number of boards in the Championship League to six, the number played pre-Covid. Members elected Joe Rastall as treasurer and Tony Shaw as auditor and the other existing officers continue in post. See secretary and competition reports. The final item of business was the presentation of awards. Ray Collett, President of Worcestershire Chess Association presented The Jim Friar Award for services to Worcestershire Chess to Arnold Kirkland (see picture on the WCA website) and The club’s President Rob Sutton presented the Ranken Cup and the Challenge Cup to Joe Rastall for winning both the Club Championship and the Rapidplay Championship. Aiden Griffiths received the President’s award for his work as assistant secretary and Scott Oxtoby received the Jones Cup as the most improved player in the season. .

Members play at Gloucester

28 May 2024. Colin Vernon scored 3 points in the Minor Tournament in the six-round Cotswold Congress at Gloucester and Aiden Griffiths scored 2½.

Joe Rastall double club champion

23 May 2024. Jo Rastall and Scott Oxtoby played the standardplay club championship final at the club HQ St Stephen’s Church Hall. Scott playing black used a Sicilian Defence and Joe responded with the closed variation and advanced his king side pawns. To generate counterplay, Scott made an ill-judged central pawn advance only to find the exchanges unleashed the power of white’s fianchettoed bishop and he lost material and had to concede the game.
15 May 2024. Joe won his Rapidplay semi-final against Chris Lee while Ed Higgs and Rob Sutton were still in battle in the other keenly contested semi-final. Rob eventually won. After a short pause to gain breath, Rob and Joe played the final. It was an even game for long time and they entered a R+P ending where Rob was a pawn down, but had an advancing outside passed pawn. Joe won more pawns and manoevred his king in front of his pawns where it was impossible for Rob to check and promote his pawn.

2024 rapidplay Champion

Rooks team placed second in Challengers League

22 May 2024. In the final match of the Worcestershire League season Aiden Griffiths took his team to Stourbridget. Worcester Rooks lost with Phil Austin and Dorin Luca escaping with draws. See match card.

Ed Higgs wins Ball Cup

8 May 2024. The final of the Ball Cup competition was played at the club between John Varilone (Kiddernister) and Ed Higgs. Ed gained a pawn, but chances were evenly balanced until Ed made a central pawn advance to get a passed pawn. Pieces were exchanged leading to a major piece ending. John had play along the f-file attacking Ed’s king position. Getting short of time, both players were using their increments in a complex position when John allowed Ed’s rook to invade the seventh rank and force the win of a second pawn. After an exchange of a pair of rooks and the queens, it was purely a matter of time and technique before John had to concede.

Worcester lose to Redditch in Wheatley Cup final

1 May 2024. Chris Lee took his team to Redditch for the 2024 final of this handicap competition. Redditch turned out a much higher rated team and had to win by 3½ points. This they did and only Chris was able to escape with a draw. See full result.

April results for city teams

25 Apr 2024. Worcester City beat Longbridge in the final Championship fixture of their campaign. This result powered Worcester to mid-table after languishing at the bottom for most of the season. See match card.
18 Apr 2024. Worcester Knights lost heavily at home to Longbridge in the Rapidplay League. Only Rob Sutton was able to finish the night without being in deficit. See score card.
17 Apr 2024. Worcester Rooks won their away Challengers fixture against Redditch. Phil Austin, Tony Shaw and Aiden Griffiths won their games. See score card.
11 Apr 2024. Kidderminster brought an under-strength team to Worcester for the Championship fixture. Worcester won 4½-½. This was the City team’s first win since October when the team beat Kiddrminster away. Stephen Mellor, Ed Osbourn and Joe Rastall won their games. See score card.
4 Apr 2024. Three of the games in this Challengers League home fixture were drawn and Joe Rastall was the only player to win. That win secured the match points. See score card.

Club Championship and Rapidplay finals

28 Mar 2024. A further two rapidplay games were played and the finalists have been named. Championship - a Qualifier match between Scott Oxtoby and Aiden Griffiths scheduled for 9 May the winner of which plays Joe Rastall for the club championship on 23 May. Rapidplay Championship - Ed Higgs plays Rob Sutton in the first semi-final and the second semi-final will be played on 16 May between Joe Rastall and Chris Lee.. The winners will play off for the Rapidplay Championship on the same night.

Knights draw penultimate fixture of their season

27 Mar 2024. The penultimate fixure with Kidderminster away was drawn with identical results in both legs. Rob Sutton and Dorin Luca won both games. See score card.

Bishops win final match of their campaign

21 Mar 2024. Worcester Bishops beat soon-to-be-crowned District League champions Kidderminster in their last match of the season. Chris Lee played a queen sacrifice in the late middlegame to get a knight ending where his pawns could be promoted. See score card.

Worcester players help county teams in online 4NCL matches

19 Mar 2024. In round 5, Peter Kitson and Ed Higgs won their games for Worcester Wolfpack A; Ray Collett won for Worcestershire Wolfpack B; and Dorin Luc and Phil Austin won in the Cadets team. See details with links to games.
5 Mar 2024. In round 4, Peter Kitson and Ed Higgs won their games for Worcestershire Wolfpack A; Dorin Luca won his game for Worcestershire Wolfpack B. See details with links to games.

Worcester players at Hereford simultaneous

Worcester player beats GM

13 Mar 2024. Three club members travelled to Hereford to take on GM Keith Arkell. Scott proved a winner defeating the former English Champion in 27 moves. Aiden and Joe lost their games.Keith is third from left in the picture.

Worcester book a place in the Wheatley Cup final

11 Mar 2024. Chris Lee's team journeyed to Wythall to play Shirley & Wythall in a semi-final in this team handicap competition. Chris was the only Worcester player to win. With the over-the-board score being 2-2, Worcester with the lower rated players go forward to the final against Redditch or Kidderminster. See score card.


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