League Division 1 Results 2002-3 Season
Halesowen Retain Division 1 Title

The results on this page were last updated 23 May 2003 and the detailed results re-formatted 19 December 2004.

Matches played
Matches won
Matches drawn
Matches lost
Game points for
Game points against
Match points
Halesowen I
Worcester City
Droitwich & St.Johns
Kidderminster I
Kidderminster-Droitwich to be added. Currently 2½-2½ with one game unfinished                

Home teams
and captains
Away teams
& St Johns
Halesowen I
Kidderm'ster I

Droitwich & St Johns
Arnold Kirkland


3 - 3

4½ - 1½
3½ - 2½
Halesowen I
Stewart Fishburne
3½ - 2½
4½ - 1½
4½ - 1½
5½ - ½
Kidderminster I
Maurice Bissell
2½ - 2½
1 game unfinished
3½ - 2½
3 - 3
4½ - 1½
Maurice Ginger
3 - 3
1 - 5
3 - 3
2½ - 3½

Worcester City
Steve Mellor

4 - 2
4½ - 1½


Detailed Results 2002-3 Season Division 1

Date: Tuesday 15 April 
Reported by: Ray Collett
Droitwich & St Johns (home)        Worcester City (away)
1  Peter Kitson               0-1  Eric Myers
2  Steve James                1-0  Steve Mellor
3  Gregg Dyett                ½-½  Ray Collett
4  Nick Harris                1-0  Bob Fox
5  Arnold Kirkland            0-1  E Alan Copeman
6  Bill (W) Watson            0-1  Tony Spittle
Result:                      2½-3½ win for Worcester City
Date: Tue 25 March
Reported by: Tom Widdows 
Malvern (home)                     Kidderminster (away)
1  Brian Turner               1-0  Jim Friar
2  Geoff Herbert              0-1  Frank Pickett
3  Ian Clarke                 ½-½  Gerald Link 
4  Denis Spencer              0-1  Dave Close
5  Mauric Ginger              ½-½  Mark Riley  
6  Samuel Tombs               1-0  Paul Thomas
Result:                       3-3  Draw
Date: Tuesday 11 February
Reported by: Tom Widdows  
Droitwich & St John's (home)       Malvern (away)
1  Steve James                1-0  Brian Turner 
2  Greg Dyett                 1-0  Geoff Herbert
3  Nick Harris                1-0  Ian Clarke  
4  Arnold Kirkland            0-1  John Knee
5  Steve Foster               &-&  Denis Spencer  
6  Bill (W) Watson            0-1  Maurice Ginger
Result:                      3½-2½ Win for Droitwich & St John's
Date: Tuesday 17 March
Reported by: Stewart Fishburne  
Droitwich & St John's (home)       Halesowen 1 (away)
1  Peter Kitson               ½-½  Stewart Fishburne
2  Steve James                1-0  Rob Thomas
3  Greg Dyett                 0-1  Mark Bethel
4  David Adshead              1-0  Adrian Priest
5  Arnold Kirkland            ½-½  Gary Jackson
6  Steve Foster               0-1  Andy Ambrose
Result:                       3-3  Draw
Date: Tuesday 1 April
Reported by: Stewart Fishburne  
Halesowen 1 (home)                 Droitwich & St John's (away)
1 David Bissell               ½-½  Peter Kitson   
2 Stewart Fishburne           0-1  Steve James
3 Alan Crombleholme           1-0  Greg Dyett    
4 John Edge                   ½-½  Nick Harris  
5 Rob Thomas                  1-0  Arnold Kirkland
6 Mark Bethel                 ½-½  John Loynes
Result:                      3½-2½
Date: 8 April
Reported by: Ray Collett  
Halesowen 1  (home)                Worcester City(away)
1 David Bissell               1-0  Andy Taylor
2 Stewart Fishburne           1-0  Steve Mellor
3 Alan Crombleholm            ½-½  Jim Keene
4 John Edge                   1-0  Ray Collett
5 Rob Thomas                  1-0  Roger Yates    
6 Mark Bethel                 1-0  Stuart Barber 
Result:                    5½-½

This was a decisive match for the League Championship. Halesowen needed to win and they fielded a very powerful side. Worcester were without Eric Myers and City's bottom boards were heavily outgraded.

Date: 24 Apr
Reported by: John Wrench 
Kidderminster 1(home)              Droitwich & St John's (away)
1 Jim Friar                   0-1  Peter Kitson
2 Frank Pickett               adj  Steve James 
3 John Wrench                 ½-½  Nick Harris
4 Dave Close                  1-0  Arnold Kirkland 
5 Mark Riley                  ½-½  Steve Foster  
6 John Gittus                 ½-½  Bill (W) W Watson 
Result:                      2½-2½ one game unfinished
Date: Friday ?? November
Reported by: Worcester Evening News  
Malvern(home)                      Kidderminster 1(away)
1 Brian Turner (black)        1-0  Jim Friar 
2 Geoffrey Herbert            0-1  Frank Pickett
3 Ian Clarke                  ½-½  Gerald Link 
4 Denis Spencer               0-1  Dave Close
5 Maurice Ginger              ½-½  Mark Riley
6 Samuel Tombs                1-0  Thomas
Result:                       3-3  Draw

Brain Turner cleaned up on top board after winning a pawn and then the exchange. The King's Indian Defenec proved the most popular opening of the match with boards 1, 3 and 4 following this line. Geoff Herbert lost control of the centre and then material before going down against Frank Pickett. Althogh gerald link got some pressure, the position became blocked and the players settled for a draw. Denis Spencer sacrificed a pawn for position, but it was insufficient and Denis went down. A French Defence was played on board 5 with black holding his own. The bottom board game was a well-contested Budapest Defence. Samuel had a hughe advanced passed pawn and used it to win a piece.

Date: Friday 7 March
Reported by: Stewart Fishburne  
Malvern (home)                     Halesowen 1(away)
1  Brian Turner (black)       0-1  Stewart Fishburne
2  Geoffrey Herbert           ½-½  Alan Crombleholme
3  John Knee                  0-1  John Edge
4  Denis Spencer              ½-½  Rob Thomas
5  Maurice Ginger             0-1  Andy Ambrose
6  default                    0-1  Mike Hadley
Result:                       1-5  Win for Halesowen 

On board 1, Brian gained a positional plus in a symmetrical King's pawn opening, but it was difficult to see how to make further progress. With a cry of "Well it is Friday!", he tried a piece sacrifice. Stewart defended soundly and emerged with
a piece for 2 pawns at the end of the session. There was a Slav opening on board 2, without Geoff having any advantage. Alan managed to swap off into a drawn ending. On board 3, John Knee played a Caro-Kan Defence. John Edge spent 20 moves manoeuvring his pieces to reach their best squares and eventually won a pawn close to the end of the session. The
position is still a middle-game, but white appears to have the advantage as well as his extra pawn. On board 4, Rob Thomas playing black erred in the opening and White emerged with a pawn and space advantage. Black sacrificed the exchange to complicate and eventually emerged with a fortunate draw. Andy Ambrose played the Tarrasch against Maurice's French defence, and built up a big King's side attack, which ended in mate, when Black couldn't get his pieces back to defend the King in time.

Date: Thursday 27 February
Reported by: Ray Collett  
Worcester City (home)              Malvern (away)
1 Steve Mellor                ½-½  Brian Turner
2 Jim Keene                   ½-½  Geoffrey Herbert
3 Ray Collett                 1-0  Ian Clarke
4 Tony Spittle                ½-½  John Knee
5 Bob Fox                     0-1  Maurice Ginger
6 Roger Yates                 0-1  T Shaw
Result:                      2½-3½ Win for Malvern

With this shock result, Malvern haul themselves off the bottom of the table and Worcester's chances of winning the League recede. Worcester were without their two best players. On board 1, Steve defended with a Caro Kan Defence (as usual). Brian build up an initiative, but Steve claims he was never in danger of losing. Jim Keene and geoff Herbert agreed a grandmaster draw after only 16 moves. By transposition, Ray and Ian's game arrived at a Rubinstein Variation of the French Defence. Ian built up a small positional advantage, but black swapped off rooks to equalise. White followed this up with a weak and then a disastrous queen move that allowed a knight check that forked the queen. Tony and John's game on board 4 was a Queen's Pawn Game that looked even throughout. Bob Fox played a Modern Defence but lost a pawn soon after the opening, which Maurice converted to take the full point. Board 6 was a marathon going on for 80 moves, before Roger surrendered. After the 40th move Roger was the exchange up for a pawn in what looked like a won position. Unfortunately, he allowed black to win a further pawn and his passed central pawn became HUGE. Roger had to sacrifice and Maurice played out a queen versus rook ending to win.

Played: ?Friday 15 November
Reported by: Worcester Evening News
Malvern (home)                     Droitwich & St Johns (away)
1 Brian Turner (white)           ½-½  Steve James (Capt)
2 Geoffrey Herbert               0-1  Gregg Dyett
3 Ian Clarke                     ½-½  Nick Harris
4 John Knee                      ½-½  Arnold Kirkland
5 Edward Nesbit                  ½-½  Steve Foster
6 Sam Tombs                      1-0  Bill Watson
Result                           3-3  Draw 

Brian Turner played a Closed Variation against Steve James' Sicilian. Brian won a pawn, but had to give it back later and the players agreed to halve the point. On board 2, Gregg Dyett's Bird's Opening enabled him to win. Ian Clarke and Nick Harris played a French Defence and after a time scramble agreed a draw. On board 4 players attached on opposite sides, but without a decisive result. Board 5 was also a level game after a King's Indian Defence. On bottom board, Bill Watson launched a king side attack, but it never got going and Sam won material and then forced Bill's resignation.

Played Thursday 6 February
Worcester City (home) Kidderminster I (away)
Reported by: Ray Collett
1 Eric Myers                    ½-½  John Wrench
2 Andy Taylor                   ½-½  Maurice Bissell
3 Steve Mellor (capt)           ½-½  David Close
4 Jim Keene                     1-0  Mark Riley
5 Ray Collett                   ½-½  John Gittus
6 Tony Spittle                  ½-½  Paul Thomas
Result:                        3½-2½ Win for Worcester 

On top board, Eric played a Schlieman Defence against the Ruy Lopez and both players rushed through 14 moves of a prepared line. After complications and an unclear position in the early middle game, however, the players agreed a draw. On board 2, Andy Taylor opened with a Réti, but neither side was able to extract significant advantage. Steve Mellor defended with a Caro-Kan and an evenly fought game ensued. Jim Keene defended the Queen's Pawn Opening with a Nimzo-Indian and won a pawn cleanly in the middle game. Jim efficiently converted this advantage into a win via a queen and bishop ending. John Gittus essayed the rare Grob (1.g4) Opening taking Ray out of his book and gaining time on the clock. The position was delicately poised with white having dangerous advanced king-side pawns, but Ray defended carefully. The Worcester player broke on the king-side and gained a dominating position on the f-file and then on the 7th rank to win a pawn. In the end-of-session time-scramble, Ray missed a way to introduce his knight into the attack and then a simple pawn grab. White was still a pawn down and hard pressed at the adjournment, but Ray offered a draw to clinch another victory for the Worcester City team.

Played ?1 Feb
Reported by: Stewart Fishburne
Halesowen I (home)                   Malvern (away)
1 Stewart Fishburne             ½-½  Brian Turner
2 Alan Crombleholme             1-0  Geoffrey Herbert
3 John Edge                     1-0  Ian Clarke
4 Mark Bethel                   1-0  John Knee
5 Dale Jackson                  ½-½  Maurice Ginger
6 Andy Ambrose                  ½-½  Sam Tombs
Result                         4½-1½ Win for Halesowen

The Halesowen captain Stewart Fishburne defended with an open King's Indian (pawns exchanged on d4) with white having a space advantage and black some pressure on the black square. White chose to exchange the black squared bishops but black utilised the time to activate his rooks and a draw was agreed in a balanced position. On board 2, a Trompowsky metamorphosed into a French-like position with blocked centre. Alan had more space and the better minor pieces, but black was solid. White found a way to embarrass the white king and broke through with a combination starting with rook takes pawn on d5. John Edge played From's gambit against the Bird and won in 11 moves! White missed a trick that opened up the black squares around his king. On board 4 Mark Bethel tried some early tactics to give white a poor pawn structure (or win a pawn). Unfortunately there was a hole in white's line of pawns and in spite of emerging with bishop pair against two knights John Knee had not castled and his king got caught in the centre. Soon the black bishops and rooks were unresistable and Mark won in 19 moves. The board 5 game was a stodgy Two Knights Variation against the Modern. Not much happened before peace broke out. On bottom board, Andy Ambrose seemed to get the better of a Sicilian Dragon and won a pawn, but a draw was agreed after many pieces were exchanged.

Played Tuesday 14 January
Reporter: Stewart Fishburne
Kidderminster I (home)               Halesowen I (away)
1 John Wrench                   1-0  Stewart Fishburne
2 Maurice Bissell               ½-½  Alan Crombleholme
3 Gerald Link                   ½-½  John Edge
4 Dave Close                    0-1  Rob Thomas
5 Mark Riley                    ½-½  Adrian Priest
6 John Gittus                   1-0  Default
Result                         3½-2½ Win for Kidderminster

Halesowen had white on odd boards. Stewart Fishburn over pressed. After attained a winning position, he missed a couple of chances to force victory and allowed black to complicate. The Halesowen captain missed a further victory late on, turned down a draw offer and then lost on time, probably by then in a losing position. The game on board 2 was a blocked Bogo-Indian, and not too much has happened. On board 3, although John blundered a pawn in the opening, he obtained positional compensation. Gerald defended well, but had to concede the pawn. His opponent tried too hard and the game petered out to a draw. Rob Thomas gat a smooth win using the Modern Defence having undermined whites pawn centre from the wing. Mark played a Sicilian defence against John, but both players ran short of time and agreed a draw. Halesowen again had to concede a default and this may cost them the championship this season.

Played: Thursday 9 January
Reported by: Ray Collett
Worcester City (home)                 Droitwich & St Johns (away)
1 Eric Myers                     1-0  Steve James
2 Andy Taylor                    1-0  Gregg Dyett
3 Steve Mellor (capt)            0-1  Nick Harris
4 Jim Keene                      1-0  Arnold Kirkland
5 Ray Collett                    0-1  Steve Foster
6 Tony Spittle                   1-0  Bill Watson
Result                           4-2  Win for Worcester

On board 1 after a Benko defence, Eric Myers won the exchange and was ahead in material at the adjournment. Andy Taylor showed that fortune favours the brave. An English Opening allowed white to develop pressure on the king side, but only at the expense of neglecting his queen side. Andy grasped the opportunity and sacrificed the exchange to force black's king away from the back row into a mating net. Steve Mellor's game was a complex affair after an Albin Counter Gambit, but Steve lost a piece for pawns just before the time control. On board 5, Ray got a satisfactory position for the black forces after a Neo-Grunfeld Defence, but one of his horses lost the way home and was captured for no compensation in the early middle game forcing black's resignation after only 22 moves. Tony Spittle's game against Bill Watson was a hard fought encounter. Tony gained pressure against the white king position and gained pawns. After the rooks were exchanged, Tony was two pawns up in a queen and pawn ending where his king was safe from annoying checks so his opponent, always the most sporting of players resigned.

Played Friday 13 Dec
Reported by: Ray Collett
Malvern (home)                        Worcester (away)
1 Brian Turner                   ½-½  Eric Myers
2 Geoff Herbert                  0-1  Andy Taylor
3 Ian Clarke                     0-1  Steve Mellor
4 John Knee                      ½-½  Ray Collett
5 Denis Spencer                  ½-½  Tony Spittle
6 Edward Nesbit                  1-0  Stuart Barber
Result                          2½-3½ Win for Worcester 

With this win Worcester go top of the table. The two sides were evenly mached, but Malvern struck first with Edward Nesbit's quick win over Stuart Barber who had dropped a piece. The next game to finish was board 1 where the two top players played a Veresov opening, but were fatigued from journeys back from Paris and London so agreed a quick draw. On board 3 Steve Mellor met the Nimzovitch (Nc6) Defence and won shrtly before the end of the playing session. John Knee played an English Opening against Ray Collett and the position became blocked. White had a significant advantage in space but was not aggressively inclined and the payers agreed a draw after 29 moves. Denis Spencer played the Scandanavian (Center Counter) Defence against Tony Spittle's 1.e4 and the game was eventually drawn. Worcester received further good news when they heard Mark Bethel had conceded his game against Bob Fox in the Worcester-Halesowen match played on 5 November.

Played Thursday 5 Dec
Reported by: Ray Collett
Worcester City (home)                  Halesowen I
1 Andy Taylor                     ½-½  Stewart Fishburne
2 Jim Keene                       1-0  Default
3 Ray Collett                     1-0  Rob Thomas
4 Bob Fox                         1-0  Mark Bethel
5 Tony Spittle                    ½-½  Andy Ambrose
6 Frank Bradbury                  ½-½  Derek Digger
Result                           4½-1½ Win for Worcester

A reverse for the formbook! Worcester City are the League Champion' bête noire. The board 6 game was first to finish: a draw after a Modern Defence. On board 1, there was a wild and fierce Franco-Sicilian. Andy reckoned he was lucky to get away with what he had played, but was in the superior position when he agreed the draw to clinch thge match for Worcester City. Another fortunate City player was Ray Collett who seems to be making a habit of getting into time scrambles. He botched the defence to the tricky Trompowsky opening and was a full two pawns down after 9 moves. Rob Thomas, however, squandered his advantage by playing by mismanaging the clock leaving himself only one minute to complete 10 moves. During the time scramble, the Halesowen player's king was forced to the side of the board and suddenly Ray was back in the game. The position was immaterial, because Bob Thomas' flag fell when he was still 4 moves short. The game between Mark Bethel and Fob Fox was adjourned, but the Worcester side who were confident of the full point received confirmation when Mark Bethel decided it was useless to play on in a lost king and pawn ending. Board 5 saw the rare Nimzowich Defence where black plays Nc6 in response to white's 1. e4.

Played Tuesday 12 Nov
Reported by: Stewart Fishburne
Halesowen I (home)                     Kidderminster I (away)
1 Stewart Fishburne               -  John Wrench
2 Alan Crombleholme               -  Peter Yates
3 Rob Thomas                      1-0  Gerald Link
4 Mark Bethel                     1-0  Dave Close
5 Adrian Priest                   1-0  Tim Yates
6 Dale Jackson                    -  K Brant
Result                           4-1 Win for Halesowen
Played Tuesday 29 Oct
Reported by: Tom Widdows
Droitwich & St Johns (home)            Kidderminster I (away)
1 Steve James                     1-0  Frank Pickett
2 Greg Dyett                      1-0  John Wrench
3 Nick Harris                     ½-½  Maurice Bissell
4 Arnold Kirkland                 1-0  Gerald Link
5 Steve Foster                    ½-½  Dave Close
6 Bill Watson                     ½-½  Mark Riley
Result                           4½-1½ Win for Droitwich & St Johns
Played Tuesday 1 Oct
Reported by: Steve Mellor
Kidderminster 1 (home)                 Worcester City (away)
1 J Friar                         0-1  Andy Taylor
2 John Wrench                     1-0  Steve Mellor
3 Maurice Bissell                 ½-½  Jim Keene
4 Dave Close                      1-0  Bob Fox
5 Mark Riley                      1-0  Stewart Barber
6 P Thomson                       1-0  Pete Scullion
Result                           4½-1½ Win for Kidderminster

With three of their best players absent, Worcester were out-ranked in this match. Bob Fox was fielded for the first time and President of the Kidderminster Club, Maurice Bissell said Bob was a most promising player. Also representing City in County Division 1 for the first time were Pete Scullion and Stuart Barber, but like Bob they went down to defeat. It was on board 1 that Andy Taylor salvaged some honour for the visiting side converting a persistent advantage into a win. Steve Mellor began 15 minutes behind on the clock after arriving late and made a fatal error. On bottom board Pete Scullion was offered a draw in a level position, but turned the offer down before going down.

Reformatted 19 December 2004 by Ray Collett