Site last updated  19th August 2022


Of the Chess League in the Heart of England

Latest News ...

  • UK Blitz Championships 2022
    The Midlands Qualifier for the UK Blitz Championships 2022 will be held at the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth on Saturday 3rd September.
    This will be a 15 round blitz competition at 3|2 time control which will be ECF and FIDE rated.
    This is one of 8 regional qualifiers taking place around the UK on or around the first weekend in September.
    There will be rating category prizes for each qualifier with the top two players and top 2 female players qualifiying for the two National Championship finals to be held at a Midlands venue in December.
    Further details and entry form on the ECF web site here:

  • Warwickshire Rapidplay - 4th September
    Alex Holowczak will be running the Warwickshire Rapidplay, in Kenilworth on the 4th September. I'm sure this will be a fantastic event, and it would be lovely to see lots of LDCL players taking part. Entry form link attached. Do give this a go if you can.

  • LDCL Jamboree - 8th September - Banbury Chess Club
    I'm delighted to announce, with thanks to Keith Freshwater and all at Banbury Chess Club, that we will be hosting our annual Jamboree on Thursday September 8th, at Banbury Chess Club. The event will start at 7.30 with the 21/22 LDCL prize giving, so this is also your opportunity to pick up your trophies! Light refreshments will be provided. In terms of format, the event will as usual be a competition for teams of two players, this year with a combined rating of under 3600 on the August rapidplay list. (We'll use rapidplay grades first, but if a player doesn't have one, we'll take standard play instead.) Ungraded players, please advise myself and Keith on playing strength, but we'll be very reasonable! Most likey 5 or 6 rounds at 10 minutes each, or some such... If you can't find a partner, please just turn up on the night and we'll pair you. This is a fun, non-rated event, and we'll make sure everybody who wants to take part gets to play.

  • 2022/08/02
    Richard Reynolds writes:-
    Richardís funeral will be as below. If anyone wishes to attend, I am happy to collate numbers and pass them on.
    Richardís 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

  • 2022/07/31
    Richard Reynolds writes:-
    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 Richardís 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

  • 2022/07/16
    Richard Reynolds writes:-
    It is my sad duty to report that Olton club member Ken Allen sadly passed away on Tuesday 5th 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.
    Kenís funeral is on Monday 25th 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

  • Lightning Tournament 2021/2022

  • The annual 5-minute chess tournament was held at Solihull Blossomfield Club, on Wednesday 4th May 2022 after a break of 3 years.
    There were 25 entries with 3 trophies to play for.

    Leamington League Lightning Champion: Benjamin Larkin
    Leamington League U1799 Winner: Iain Brodie
    Leamington League U1499 Winner(s): Matthew Allen and Penny Wood (Joint Winners)

    For full results :

    Thanks to Hok and Tom Darling for organising and running the event and to Solihull for hosting it.
    Special thanks goes to Mike Warden for all his technical support and proof-reading.

  • 2022/04/29
    Abbie Stevens writes :-
    It is my very sad duty to inform my chess friends and colleagues that our long standing Chairman, Captain, friend of the Daventry Chess Club Alan Ely sadly passed on Sunday 24th April 2022.
    He was with his family. I met this amazing player when I joined in 1986. Alan has been Captain, Treasurer and Chairman of the Chess club for over 20 years.
    He always had the relaxed and friendly attitude that Chess is a game to enjoy and always ensured that the club's main ethos was the same.
    He was a great friend and supported all the players. He also attended a number of my personal parties and celebrations, wedding etc.
    He was known as the Silver Fox, and was a great player and often coming up with move combinations that made you sit up and think.
    He had to step back a bit back in September 2019 when he was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer, he has been battling cancer since then after having surgery and follow on treatment.
    This then returned very recently.
    He managed to get a number of games in this season playing for the A team and even though he was playing against much stronger players he managed to win and draw several games. Most of those who play in the league will have met and know him well.
    A superb chairman, supportive captain, great chess player and an amazing opponent he will be sadly missed.

  • 2022/04/29
    The Leamington Lightning Tounament will take place on Wednesday 4th May at the Solihull Chess Club.
    Please arrive by 7.15 for a 7.30 start.

  • 2022/04/29
    The LDCL AGM will take place on the 31st May - more details to follow.

  • 2022/04/07

    Richard Reynolds writes :-
    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 ĎBill Yeomans openingí which involved a double-fianchetto against any defence.
    There wasnít 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 Ďwho that scruffy guy was sitting in the lounge ?Ē.
    It was the late Tony Miles. I am sure Bill knew that.
    In the early days, I recall sitting in the back of his builderís 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 Billís son Kevin, one of Oltonís former great players and recalled the people who have played for the club since those times and still do.
    I also met previously Billís 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.
    Billís 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 (Oltonís venue)
    573 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, B11 2EX (approx. 12 noon)

  • 2021/10/27
    The Individual KO's entries close at the end of the week, so if you still want to enter, you had better hurry up.
    Currently we have :-
    7 for the Open: B. Graff, M. Johnson, J. Madden, T. Darling, D. Gardiner, G. Christie and S. Rumsby
    6 for the Open Rapid: B. Graff, M. Johnson, J. Madden, T. Darling, M. Zawadzski and D. Gardiner
    6 for the U1825: J. Madden, M. Zawadzski, A. Johnson, M. Johnson, G. Christie and S. Rumsby
    7 for the U1640: M. Johnson, J. Madden, P. Stiff, A. Grimes, A. Johnson, F. Dickson and S. Rumsby
    and 2 for the U1450: B. Visgandis and A. Grimes.

    If I have missed anyone, let me know.

  • 2021/10/11
    There has been a muted response to the Individual KO's.
    Currently we have 6 entries for the Open: B. Graff, M. Johnson, J. Madden, T Darling, D Gardiner, and S Rumsby
    5 for the Open Rapid: B. Graff, M. Johson, J. Madden, T. Darling, and D Gardiner
    2 for the U1825: J. Madden and S. Rumsby
    4 for the U1640: M. Johnson, J. Madden, P. Stiff and S. Rumsby
    and 1 for the U1450: B. Visgandis.

    If I have missed you off, let me know.
    We could do with some more entries, so please send your request in.
    Entry is free, and you can enter as many tournaments as you like.
    The rating limit is based on your September rating
    Entries close on 31st October

  • 2021/09/04
    The club page has been updated with captains and the club's Covid Restrictions.
    Any corrections let me know.

    Also note Leamington have moved to a new venue :-
    Leamington Tennis & Squash Club
    Guys Cliffe Avenue,
    Leamington Spa,
    Warwickshire, CV32 6LZ

  • 2021/09/01

    LDCL Covid Protocols 21/22

    Determining and Publishing Covid Protocols
    o All clubs and venues can determine their own covid playing protocols for the 21/22 season. We recognise that different clubs have different circumstances
       hence there will not be a "one size fits all," LDCL protocol.
      While it is better for clubs to undertake their own risk assessments, as a minimum local protocols must be consistent with the prevailing national rules.
    o Clubs covid protocols must be shared with the LDCL and all will be published on the LDCL website.
    o Proper notice must be given for any changes to club covid protocols and all updates will also be published.

    Acceptable scope of Covid Protocols
    o It is acceptable for club covid protocols to set out a policy on mask/ visor wearing, temperature checks and other relevant social distancing provisions.
    o If temperature checks are being used by a venue and a player fails that check who has travelled to the venue with one or more of his/ her team mates, the match will need to be cancelled and rearranged.
    o It is not acceptable for players to be barred from competing on account of their vaccination status (e.g. juniors who have not had an opportunity to be vaccinated.)
    o The protocols of the home club/ venue determine the base rules for the evening. However, should the home club not be asking for masks (for example)
      there is nothing to prevent the visitors from choosing to wear one.

    Variations to the LDCL Rules for 21/22

    o The ten-day notice period to rearrange matches will be suspended in any circumstances where a rearrangement is needed due to covid.
      However, where a postponement is needed at shorter notice (or might be needed) we fully expect the relevant captain to keep his or her opposite number properly informed of the situation
      and to make every effort to give as much notice as possible. In our view proper communication might mean shorter notice of a postponement,
      but other than in the most exceptional circumstances
       (e.g. players becoming ill or being pinged on the day of the match) on the day postponements should be very much the exception rather than the norm.
    o Equally, clubs can agree to play one board short if covid has made it impossible to raise a full team, provided this has been agreed between the clubs in advance.
       In such circumstances, the unplayed board will be scored 0.5-0.5 and must be the lowest board.
    o If anyone is excluded from a venue on the night having failed a temperature check, their game will be void and scored 0.5 - 0.5.
      If this impacts more than one game, the match will be cancelled and will need to be rearranged.
    o The LDCL Committee will review and rule on any other issues that arise as a result of covid during the coming season.
       However, it is our expectation that common courtesy and mutual respect between our members should result in the majority of issues being resolved amicably and sensibly
      without the need for Committee involvement.

    See the Club page for the Covid policy for a particular club.

  • 2021/08/22
    There have been some corrections/amendments to the fixtures - see fixture page, plus Shirley have entered a team in Division 2.
    Also I mistakenly entered Solihull in the Team U1600 KO - now deleted.
    As usual if there any errors let me know.

  • 2021/08/22
    Entries for the Individual KO's are open.
    There are 5 competitions :-
    Open Rapid
    U1825 (Old U150)
    U1640 (Old U125)
    and U1450 (Old U100)
    Entry is free, and you can enter as many as you want.
    Email me with your details - name, club, telephone number and which competitions you wish to enter.
    Closing date is end of September.

  • 2021/08/19
    I have updated the fixture list page and the league formation page.
    Please check and let me know of any errors.
    If there are clashes with fixtures in other leagues, can you try to rearrange them yourselves before asking me.
    Then let me know.

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