2019 Burns Supper

The evening of Tuesday 18th June 2019 saw Camberley Chess Club celebrate a Burns Supper, in memory of one of Scotland’s finest poets, Robert (Rabbie) Burns.

More traditionally held in late January, this event had to be postponed because of a heavy schedule of league chess matches.

The evening kicked off with a quiz about the great man’s life and family. At the conclusion of these thought-provoking questions, Team Scotland held a single point advantage over Team Rest of World. One particular question about the meaning of the word ‘hagiology’ invoked much friendly banter, where the possible answers included reference to the study of food, witches and warlocks, and the study of famous literature and authors.

Tasty food was then provided, courtesy of Sandy and Christine.

Sandy carried out the ritual that traditionally surrounds the meal of haggis, neeps (swede) and tatties (potatoes). His passionate Address to the Haggis was definitely one of the highlights of the event, with toasts to Burns and the Lassies concluding this part of the evening’s entertainment.

Two rounds of rapid-play chess followed where an innovative handicapping system, rightly or not-so-rightly dubbed ‘Irish Random’, did such a precise job that the outcome was a tied team score. Special mention must be made here of the double-game successes of David Hemmings, Gordon Birch and Alfredo Barquin – well done gentlemen. Other notable results were achieved by Ken Coates and Colin Purdon, who started their games at substantial disadvantage.

To decide the team winner, an even-more-speedy play-off followed with Team RoW emerging triumphant. The night concluded with presentation of the Burns Jug to their captain, Christine Coates.

2018 Berks & Bucks congress

The annual Berks & Bucks congress was held at its usual St Pirin’s School location in Maidenhead over the 2018 August Bank Holiday weekend.

What was special was how well Scott Leadbetter played at this event. The link below records his win against Phil Foley and is well worth going through to see how Scott showed his opponent how a Rook/Pawn ending should be played. I watched most of this game and honestly thought that Scott was lost early in the middle game. Man, was I ever wrong. Definitely an instructive lesson in moving a major piece from one side of the board to the other, and back again, in order to achieve best advantage. Well played, Black.

Scott’s own thoughts on the game are shown below. Enjoy!

Event: Berks & Bucks Congress

Date: August 2018

White: PHIL FOLEY (141)


Result: 0-1

Time Controls: All moves in 90 minutes, plus 30-second time increments from Move 1


[Use the Back arrow on your keyboard to navigate to the start of the game and the Forward arrow to progress through the game]

Scott says:

Move 12: Alas, I missed an opportunity to win a piece (Qa5+) that would have made the game much easier.

Move 34: When White moved his rook off the e-file, I realised that I needed to use my King to profit from my space advantage.

Move 36: Two moves later, I was fortunate that my opponent did not see Rb3 as this would have won my d-pawn. My King could not defend it, due to White’s follow-up f3 move with check.

Move 38: I realised that I could play Kd4 at once since, if my opponent got greedy and captured a pawn, I would be able to generate backrow mating threats. The advantage of not capturing the White c-pawn was that it prevented checks against my King.

Move 41: White’s next few moves are forced and it soon became clear that I would be able to promote my pawn and force White’s Rook off the board. Then, it should be quite a straightforward endgame.

Near the end of the game, my opponent preferred to hoover up pawns instead of acknowledging the severity of the mating threat I was generating. It doesn’t matter how much of a material advantage you have, if it costs you the game to get it. White resigned on move 56.

Having offered my opponent a draw at move 26 (he declined), I was particularly pleased with the win.

2018 Autumn Get Together

An evening of chess and nibbles was much enjoyed by many Camberley Chess Club members at the home of Paul Sloane, treasurer, on Tuesday 4th September 2018.

The Players: Julien Shepley, Paul Sloane, Martin Wallman, Alfredo Barquin, John Upham, Sandy McCubbin, David Hemmings, Scott Leadbetter, Christine Coates, Gordon Birch
Pairings Organiser: Ivor Kelly

The six rounds of chess produced some very interesting and hard-fought results. Julien was victorious in all of his first five games. That run ended when he came up against an inspired Martin. Paul and Sandy also played well throughout, with John, most unusually, being involved in the only draw of the entire evening.

Gordon and Christine gained a point each from their two games against each other (different colours), while Alfredo created his usual magic. This was Scott’s first exposure to such ferocious chess and Dave was his normal difficult-to-beat self. The final round ended with Julien and Paul tied on five points each. A decider was therefore played, with Julien prevailing.

Our host generously provided a wonderful spread of nibbles, cocktail sausages, a lot of cheese, different varieties of crisps, soft drinks, baked delights and, the highlight to many, choc ices half way through the evening’s entertainment. Sincere thanks to Paul and his family for all of this hospitality.

All said and done, a really enjoyable evening was had by all. The one surprise, amusement is perhaps a better word, was the reaction of the winner to his first-place prize. For the record, those reduced-price McDonalds vouchers may have been small in size but were definitely still valid. Enjoy!

Additional thanks are due to Christine and Dave for bringing sets, boards and clocks and returning them afterwards.

The Results:

1stJulien1785 / 6
2ndPaul1855 / 6
3rdSandy1144 / 6
4th =John1283½ / 6
4th =Martin1623½ / 6
6th =Christine873 / 6
6th =Alfredo1303 / 6
8th =David1141 / 6
8th =Gordon811 / 6
8th =Scott1131 / 6

2018 Keith Richardson Memorial Tournament

2018 Keith Richardson Memorial Tournament

The Second Annual (2018) Keith Richardson Memorial Chess Tournament was held on Saturday 7th July at Camberley Chess Club.

Despite other national sporting activity that day, attendance was well into double figures and many thrilling chess games ensued.


First Place: Ken Norman

Camberley Club Champion: Alfredo Barquin

U150 Award: Ian Searle

Junior Award: Daniel Shek

The Top Ten results were as follows:

1Norman, Kenneth I1945.5/6
2Barquin, Alfredo1314.5/6
3Williams, Tony1564.0/6
4Sloane, Paul1823.0/4
5Davis, Tim1693.0/6
6Searle, Ian1152.5/6
7Shek, Daniel1162.5/6
8Birch, Professor Gordon1021.5/5
9Sayer, Ivan871.5/6
10Upham, John1341.0/2

A total of £100 was collected from the sale of Keith’s chess books and donations. This will be forwarded to his favourite charity.

Sincere thanks are due to Ken Coates (tournament director), John Upham (main organiser and photographer), Christine Coates (set up) and everyone else who helped to prepare this event in the memory of an esteemed chess colleague.

Photos from the day can be viewed here https://johnupham.smugmug.com/Chess/2018-Keith-Richardson-Memorial-Tournament/

Special thanks to the Reverend Richard Lane for his permission to use the Frimley Road Baptist Church Hall for this event.

Nine year old chess star Daniel Shek

Nine year-old chess star Daniel Shek made all the difference in the final match of the season for Camberley Chess Club.

Daniel, a Fleet resident and a student of Yateley Manor School, easily equaled his vastly more experienced opponent from Fleet Chess Club to clinch Surrey Border Chess League Bell Trophy Cup Final with a 3-2 winning score.

The Cup final brought together two of the best teams in Surrey  after a hard fought campaign that started in September of 2017.

Camberley Chess Club broke another record in 2018 by winning the Bell Trophy for the ninth time since the competition started in 1975 and the team captain, John Upham, has won all 18 matches out of 18 contested !

Camberley Chess Club member - Daniel Shek

Daniel is one of the most promising nine year old chess players in England and regularly plays tournaments abroad and in the UK supported by father Kim who runs Kim’s Plaice, a successful Fish & Chip restaurant in Frimley High Street.

Camberley Chess Club meets  every Tuesday evening in Camberley Baptist Church, 15, Frimley Road, GU15 3EN.

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