Spirit of Atticus


Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008

Dedicated to the 'Spirit of Atticus'

Match reports: Chester League



6. Chester 1 End-of-Season Report 2012-13



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

At the conclusion of the half-year report we were awaiting some big games in the cup competitions, anticipating some season-defining games in the Wirral League and struggling to keep in touch with leaders Wrexham in the the Chester and District Chess League. The first trophy to be denied us was in the Chester &DCL. The combined Chester K.O. team was almost at full strength for our semi-final against Wrexham and we entered the fray in high spirits. In the event we were edged out on board count after the match score finished 3-3. For me personally this was the most disappointing result of the season; my defeat to Richard Dineley was the second in successive years lost to the Welsh international in a cup competition and had I not collapsed from a reasonable position Wrexham may have been denied. Wrexham went on to beat Rhyl and Prestatyn 3½-2½ in the final and thus retain the K.O. Cup.


The Wirral K.O. semi-final was played in the same week as the Chester & DCL semi-final and with another strong line-up we bounced back to beat Hoylake over the 7 boards of this competition by a flattering 6-1. This trophy was retained by us in our final match of the season on May 10th by beating the battling 2nd Division Pensby [who started with a handicap of 2½ points] by 6½-3.



Just after Christmas in the Chester & DCL we were a win behind Wrexham who had a run of big scores on the run-in and were threatening to have settled the title regardless of the result of the last match of the season against us. In their penultimate game Wrexham were pushed all the way by Chester 3 before winning 3-2. This meant that if we could win 4-1 in that final game then Chester 1 could steal the title. An early win for Wrexham made this possibility largely academic and they coasted to a comfortable 3½-1½ victory. Throughout the season Wrexham were the best team in the Chester & DCL so their "double" was richly deserved : we will fight manfully to collect at least some of the silverware next season. We draw scant consolation from being the only team to defeat them over the season.


The Wirral League was far more open between the 3 contenders: Wallasey who had scored four heavy wins [including against Penyffordd who although not at full strength edged an advantage on gradings; the 1-4 result was a surprise to most people] were playing the same 5 players every match and looked the team of the moment. Penyffordd headed them in the table by dint of having played 2 games more and we headed them by virtue of having an extra result in [effectively the draw with Chester 2]. Then in Wallasey's 5th and our 6th match we really hit top form and scored an emphatic 5-0 victory. The way the season unfolded saw Wallasey complete their fixtures whilst we still had two remaining. Our penultimate game was against Penyffordd who were playing their final match.




Bobby Fischer in 1960


Because Wallasey had surprisingly drawn with Buckley-Mold in their final match, victory for Penyffordd would win the League for them. A quick victory for Bob Clark over me was equalised by our new big hitter Juan Lasheras [score 7½/8 for us and a total of 12½/13 in Chester colours] and the stage was set for a nail-biting finish. Steve Connor and Dave Stuttard drew their games in their own distinctive styles and then David Jameson and Dave Robertson were left in a fight to the death. A certain random element crept [charged?] into the play and the spectators were soon sweating profusely. At the end of three hours, the players had run out of ammunition and the game and match were drawn. This meant victory in our final game would enable us to retain our title; we made no mistake, beating Formby 4-1.


Our second season at Chester thus saw us facing stiff competition throughout and unable to reach the dominance of last season. Thus last year for the Club to win "only" three of the top four trophies available seemed somewhat disappointing at the time whereas this year we were relieved for Chester to end up with two of these trophies. This second season also sees us in an area where something of a revival in chess seems underway. I don't think it is a Magnus factor comparable to the 1970s Bobby factor, mainly because Magnus, unlike Bobby, is pleasant and easy-going [but like Bobby in his time seems to play a different form of chess from everyone else]. One factor is that there is something of an upsurge in junior chess. At Chester we are particularly proud of our juniors. The Chester 7 team that so convincingly won Division 3 of the Wirral League is, we hope, just the vanguard for further success. Even more gratifying for the chess community at large is the fact that Chester is not the only club where juniors in the region are catching the eye. Long may the work of those bringing on this young talent continue!


There are many other local organisers who deserve our thanks. At the pinnacle of this organisational pyramid may I mention Bob Clark, controller of the Chester & DCL, who filled the vacancy at very short notice, David Hulme, his counterpart in the Wirral CL and Steve Lloyd who gets results onto the websites just as the players are shaking hands on the completion of the final game in a match. Thanks to one and all.


John Carleton

May 13th 2013


[Details of all the above matches are available on the Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League websites.]



5. Chester 1 Mid-Season Report 2012-13



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

At one of our famed planning and strategy meetings held pre-season the hope was expressed that Chester 1 would produce better chess in the forthcoming season although there was an anticipation that even with that eventuality it would be extremely unlikely that we could aspire to the success of season 2011-12.


With the completion of our match on 15th January we were half way through our league fixtures and had played a full part in the Club's progress into the semi-finals of each of the K.O. competitions. We are assured a busy second half of the season whatever happens and hope that the schedule includes the appearance of 6 teams in those cup competitions for Chester teams, 4 of which to include Chester 1 personnel [The winner of Hoylake v Chester will play against Pensby in the final of the Wirral K.O. The semi-final line up in the Chester & District League is Chester K.O. 2 v Rhyl and Prestatyn and Wrexham v Chester K.O. 1 There could be an all-Chester final although there are certain hurdles in the way. We for our part will try to put as many obstacles in the way of an all-Welsh final as we can!]. Due to the fact that I have delayed composing this report for a few weeks we are well into the second half of the Chester League fixtures but do remain at the halfway stage of the Wirral League fixtures.



Right from the start of the season we got the impression that other teams were going to pull out all the stops to ensure we did not have an easy time [This is known in other circles as the Manchester United effect. This was confirmed almost immediately, when having turned over Chester 2 in fine style in our opening match in the Chester League we had to rely on quite a huge slice of good fortune to scramble a draw in our opening Wirral League fixture against the same opponents.] Without reaching the heights of last season we managed to keep the results, trickling, if not actually flowing, until the end of November when Colwyn Bay lowered our colours in a deserved 3-2 victory. So, after 15 months of competition in Chester colours we had our first defeat in either League. Although we were involved in the exciting Chester K.O. final at the hands of Wrexham.


Come December we had the chance to redeem ourselves and although not at full strength we did just that in a nail-biting match against Wrexham where matters were finally clinched at the end of a nerve-racking time scramble by a Graham Bromley win to make the score 3-2 in our favour. It was thus only on "goal average" that we were inferior to Wrexham as Christmas arrived and the other danger team Colwyn Bay were slightly off the pace since they had fallen to defeat against newly promoted Chester 3.



Any feelings of growing confidence were banished as we started the return fixtures in the Chester League; we were for the second time in the season outplayed by|Chester2 who this time had the rub of the green in the luck stakes and demolished us by the convincing scoreline of 3½-1½. Thus we are level on points with Wrexham who as well as a game in hand have a much superior points difference. Colwyn Bay are in the mix too in a similar position to ourselves in relation to Wrexham. All in all Wrexham are in the box seat but it is not over until the fat lady sings... You may rest assured that we will endeavour to fight to the end even if some claim to have heard the said lady practicing her scales.


The situation in the Wirral League is also problematic for us but the title seems to be, as with the Chester League, between 3 teams: Wallasey 1, with the only 100% record in any of the three divisions and an excellent game points record to boot; Penyffordd 1 who lead the table with 5 points from 6 games having lost once only but heavily to Wallasey 1; we make up the trio but our points difference and dropped draw mean that, to have a chance of the title, we need to win our remaining four fixtures including the two against our main rivals. Our aim is to do just that and we are fortified by the knowledge that at Chester we have the ability to call upon very able reserves as the need arises.


So how will our planners and strategists evaluate the progress to date? It has to be admitted that so far we have not played to the standard of last season although we have recorded some attractive victories. We continue to enjoy the struggle and admire the camaraderie of many of our opponents particularly those on the outskirts of the Chess empire resolutely retaining their enthusiasm and opportunities for those wishing to play our great game.


John Carleton

Feb 15th 2013


[Details of all the above matches are available on the Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League websites.]



4. Cup finals for the Wirral and Chester and District Chess Leagues 2012.



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

The start of May saw the end of unfinished business in the form of the K.O. finals in each of the Chester and District and Wirral Chess Leagues. First up was the match against Wrexham over 6 boards on the 1st May. The balance of grades on the top 3 boards saw Wrexham slightly favoured but this was offset by Chester having 2 whites. Chester's slightly greater advantage in grades on the bottom 3 boards was likewise balanced by the colours. In short, the match was too close to call. The tension was palpable throughout as Cup holders Wrexham strove to prevent a Chester League and Cup double. It was first blood to Wrexham when Charles Morris's central control proved decisive against Jeff Smith.


In this game there was some big theory on view but it cost Jeff too much time threading through it and once Charles seized the initiative the outcome was never in doubt. For Chester, captain Dave Bryan levelled matters up following a smooth intensifying of the pressure right from the opening on his opponent Ray Holland's position. Wrexham were soon back in command on the scoreboard : firstly Steve Connor for Chester on board 2 missed a couple of reasonable plans to solidify his position having equalised comfortably from the opening. Opponent David James needed no further invitation to go on the offensive and his initiative quickly proved decisive. Graham Bromley was next to join the ranks of the Chester fallen. Graham had misplaced his pieces against Brian Davies' London system but was close to equalising before pressure on the clock and on his position proved a deadly combination.



Dave Robertson and his young opponent David Simpson on board 4 conjured up an unusual Sicilian Defence between them. Dave gradually found ideas appropriate to the position and was well worth his victory which kept Chester in touch. Thus the match came down to my game against Richard Dineley on board 1. If I could win Chester would lift the trophy on board-count; any other result would leave Wrexham victorious. I had been considerable material up, the exchange and a pawn no less, from an early stage, but was not making any real progress with my king stuck in the middle. Richard continued in inspired form,keeping the pressure on and then, counter-intuitively perhaps,he engineered a couple of exchanges which virtually forced me to take a draw by repetition. When, with optimism borne of desperation I avoided the draw, Richard put me to the sword. My mind went back to Euro '96 when Gareth Southgate let the whole of England down with that dreadful penalty against Germany. I had let the whole of Chester Chess Cub down. [To make matters even worse Pizza Hut are not returning my calls]. Congratulations to the skilful and sporting Wrexham team on retaining the C&DCL K.O. Cup.


The Wirral League final followed a week later on 8th May with competition surprise packets Formby visitors to the Town Crier. Unfortunately for the visitors their leading player from their great cup run was not available [and indeed their top two boards from throughout the league season]. Thus with a grading deficit approaching 50 points per board Formby were not anticipating glory. They did flicker briefly and indeed not so briefly on a few boards: Mike Barrett on board 5 was well into the middle game with an equal position and only lost when he played an optically attractive sortie which fell to Rokas' incisive defence. Dave Robertson diced with disaster against Kevin Howard on board 3 but his counter-attacking skills saved the day in Kevin's time trouble. Steve Connor got an edge from the opening against Paul Jordan but was pushed back by the Formby player.



The play round the time control saw Steve gradually exert control and in due course pick up the full point. Formby did achieve some consolation in the form of a victory when Ed Patten on board 6 resisted Chester captain Dave Bryan's initiative by remaining as active as possible and then grabbing the material on offer. And so the end of an absorbing season of competition for us newcomers to the vibrant Chester Chess Club and the two Leagues which provide competition. I look forward to next season with anticipation, renewing competition with our new-found rivals and chess friends, and hoping particularly to capture "the one that got away", the C&DCL K.O. Cup. Our victory in the last match of the season [and indeed our demise the week before] was quickly broadcast to the world through the diligence of Wirral webmaster David Hulme, whose unstinting work is frequently taken for granted and whose talents as a chess player are underestimated at the peril of prospective opponents. Those referencing the Wirral League web site will have seen recent headlines bigging up the winner of the Division 1 player of the year and latterly Jim Hanson for his success as Division 3 player of the year.


And Division 2? this was actually the player of the year with the best percentage score of the three divisions, one David Hulme no less! Well done David. I can make no apology for finishing my reports for the season on this topic because David together with Graham Bromley orchestrated our entrance into the Chester Chess Club arena. Thank-you again to those two and for the enthusiastic support received from the players of Chester.


John Carleton

May 10th 2012


[Details of all the above matches are available on the Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League websites.]



3. Spirit of Chester : Semi-finals week



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

On the 27th March the Chester K.O. team, under the guidance of the holidaying skipper Dave Bryan, faced Rhyl and Prestatyn over 6 boards in the semi-final of the Chester and District League K.O. at the Town Crier. The following night with the skipper returned, he took the reins and captained the team over 7 boards away against cup holders Penyffordd in the semi-final of the Wirral League K.O. competition.


The match against Rhyl and Prestatyn saw me notch up an early win after arriving in an ending where my opponent's position was riddled with weaknesses. By this stage we also held the upper hand in Jeff's game on board 3 where his better pawn structure and central pressure threatened material gain. Graham on board 6 had established control from the opening, his centralised bishop radiating energy and dominating his opponent's hapless knight. The other three games were balanced and hard to call. Gradually the Chester team wore their opponents down; Steve on board 2 suddenly drummed up an initiative and was the second point on the board. Graham got us to 3 points with a smooth exploitation of his advantages. Dave on board 4, who had sacrificed a piece for two pawns and murky play had gradually got more and more pawns for the piece and duly added the fourth win. Jeff had harvested pawn after pawn and his inevitable win put us in sight of the whitewash. This was duly achieved by Rokas who had won the exchange, garnered more material [to the extent of being a queen to the good] as his opponent launched a desperate offensive and then coolly sent his king on the necessary long march up the board to finally escape the attentions of the remnants of his opponent's army. A match with several close run encounters and scant reward for the efforts of our sporting visitors. We look forward to a tense final against Wrexham.



The match against the defending Wirral League K.O. Cup Holders proved a tighter affair altogether. A cursory look at the match scorecard might give the impression that the Chester 1 contribution to the result was negligible [1/2 from 3 games] compared to that of Chester 2 [4 from 4 games]. However to fully understand what was happening we should perhaps consider matters from another sporting context, that of the noble game of cricket no less. It was Geoffrey Boycott [or maybe Rory Bremner] who, some years ago, said of the the then greatest batsman in the world, "The trouble with Brian Lara is that he scores too many runs and he scores them too quickly. It in't about scoring runs, Test match batting in't, its about occupying the crease". Of course chess is slightly different, but, just by occupying those boards we were doing vital things. I hope that clears that up.


As to the matches, there were plenty of interesting clashes, none more than on board 2 where David Jamieson played a flowing game from start to finish. After grabbing the initiative early on he trapped Steve's king in the centre and despite tenacious defence from the Chester player there was no escape. Board 3 very much went our way with Richard Bryant, having gained a big positional edge from the opening, built on it to win smoothly.



The lower boards were also pretty straightforward, Graham on board 7 won material early on and never looked back. Captain Dave on board 6 had a longer spell of "equal chances" before gaining the upper hand. On board 5 Chris Doran had to stay cool in the face of early aggression from David Bennion, but, having unwound his position, was able to capitalise on the weaknesses in the over-extended black position. Board 4 went to the wire after Dave Robertson had been caught in a truly dire opening variation. Dave fought back to equal chances but in pressing for even more allowed opponent John Gorman a winning shot, which despite his time pressure John duly played. Mine was the last game to conclude; apparently having opponent Bob Clark in a straitjacket I made an injudicious exchange and found myself scrambling to hold the draw, the latest in a long line of players coming unstuck against Bob's skill and fighting spirit.


In the final Formby await and we look forward to further tests. As for our opponents, it was a case of what might have been: although they had the same personnel on duty as had played in the previous round they had anticipated a stronger line-up for this match and maybe that would have held our lower boards . There again if they had scored against the Chester 1 players in the league as they had in this match then maybe the league title would have stayed with them.


For Chester a successful week, and the final business of the season approaches rapidly.


John Carleton

April 5th 2012


2. Spirit of Atticus in Chester/ Spirit of Chester by John Carleton



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

My anticipation of a tough start to the second half of the season proved amply justified as the pressure on Chester1 began to mount through January and February. Things started straightforwardly enough with our game against Formby. In the Wirral Chess League to date we had mainly met new opponents in new surroundings but this match was very much a case of meeting up with old friends and rivals. Things generally went rather smoothly for us, the big Sicilian debate between Robbo and Phil Fisher going our way was one highlight.



Formby showed they were not just making up numbers when Bob Platt took full advantage of a blunder by our leading "hitman" Steve who chose an excellent time for his first O.T.B. loss for a few years [i.e. with the team leading 4-0].


Chester 2 were not at full strength for our first match of the second rotation of Chester League fixtures but there was plenty of interest in the games. Again the play of one of our opponents caught the eye: Ray Pearson against Richie Noonan on board 5 showed some adept tactics in a position that had looked awkward for him to set up an impressive win. That said, the victory was never seriously in doubt with a final score of 3½-1½ resulting. Our next game against Wallasey in the Wirral League saw us without Steve, enjoying webmastering duties at the Gibraltar Congress, and we knew that we faced dangerous opponents who were still unbeaten in the League. An illness to Dave Robertson meant a reshuffle of the team with reserves called into last minute action. On the top three boards we scored one point; it looked as though Dave Stuttard's imaginative play and sustained pressure was going to land a brilliant victory on board 2 but alas an error in the intended coup de grace saw us lose and into trouble. Ray Williams on board 4 joined our growing list of supersubs with somewhat the better of his draw against a higher rated opponent. This left one game in play, Joe Nemcek for us on board 5 in a position that had earlier looked hopeless with a deficit of the exchange and a pawn. In addition Joe made the first time control with just 2 seconds to spare! However he just did not give up and got a pawn back but kept active rather than chasing more material. His opponent's king was soon in big trouble and deep into the last couple of minutes of the match Joe forced resignation. There was much celebrating of this great fight by Joe and the draw that felt like a victory.



There was no respite for Chester 1 with reigning Chester League Champions Wrexham next visitors to the Town Crier. We had the lower rated player in each game by an average of 10 points and were calling on two reserves, Graham Bromley on board 4 and Ray Williams on board 5. Once again the reserves were thrown into the limelight with the bottom two boards last to finish with matters all square on the top three. Ray had walked into a difficult opening variation but fought hard and, grabbing a piece as the first time control approached, looked as though he might prevail. However the time control did not arrive soon enough and Ray found himself in a lost ending duly converted by his opponent. So, it all came down to Graham's game. Graham had gained a good pawn in the opening but gradually the whole position loosened up with, apparently, Graham still for choice but many murky possibilities. The drama was played out to the accompaniment of the relentlessly ticking [or whatever it is these digital machines do] clock. Once again with the session into its dying embers the Chester reserve delivered the victory that saved the match. Momentarily Graham looked exhausted, but it proved to be nothing that a quick pint couldn't put right, and once again Chester 1 were celebrating a draw that felt like a victory.


Colwyn Bay 1 playing in the C&DCL were our next visitors and apart from the player they mislaid on the way to the match they came out fighting. As a result of our default win we were left we three blacks and one white in the remaining games. Each of the three black players had to show composure under pressure and each one succeeded with varying degrees of comfort. This left Dave Stuttard, who had been on top throughout, in play. With his opponent's game livening up somewhat Dave decided discretion was the better part of valour and agreed a draw [his first of the season in Chester colours!] to seal the match 3-2 [just for a change a win that looked a bit like a draw].


Thereafter, we were able to post big wins against Wallasey 2 in the Wirral League and Colwyn Bay 2 in the C&DCL although each match provided interesting games and some difficult moments for some Chester players [none more difficult than for the two having the worst of draws: myself against Steve Lee in the Wallasey 2 clash and Graham Bromley against Robert Warrington of Colwyn Bay]. And then without pushing a pawn we became champions elect in both competitions. Firstly Penyffordd lost 3-2 to Hoylake in the Wirral League meaning we could not be caught whatever our result in our final match also against Hoylake. A default win added the C&DCL first division to our titles with two games still to play. [Another eye-catching result during our "recess" not really related to my tale was Chester 2, 3½-1½ Wrexham, in the C&DCL].


We are keen to finish our League campaigns with a flourish and so will not be taking our remaining fixtures lightly. The same is true with our Cup fixtures where we have the traditional "everything to play for" as we line up two semi-final clashes for our "All Chester" squads and look forward to the battles ahead.


John Carleton

March 27th 2012


[Details of all the above matches are available on the Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League websites.]


1. Spirit of Atticus in Chester/ Spirit of Chester by John Carleton



Town Crier - Chester Chess Club

Over the Summer 2011 we decided that we should be playing more chess and looked at some alternatives. Should we form a new club? Should we join an existing club that would take the five or six of us available? Once we decided against the first option [plenty of time for that when we start to get old] and a serious attempt at joining a Merseyside club fell by the wayside, I decided to take up an offer to play for Chester Chess Club in the Chester and District Chess League.



Captain: John Carleton

I was initially approached to consider joining Chester by David Hulme, a good friend from a shared time in Wallasey many years ago, and his approach was endorsed by Graham Bromley. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was reckoned to be space for as many clubless refugees who might wish to join Chester as could be mustered. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that one of our number, Mike Driscoll, was already committed to joining Chester. The players from his previous club Capenhurst had been absorbed as a Chester unit following problems with their venue. I was staggered to find that the two smooth talking fellows above [who, I have gradually come to realise, are just two particularly chess-mad and well-organised luminaries amongst a chess-mad and well-organised club] somehow pushed the idea that it would be a good for me to captain a team in each of the local leagues in which Chester compete. I was even more staggered to find myself agreeing but very pleased and proud to find myself captaining Chester 1 in both the Chester and District Chess League [C&DCL] and in the Wirral Chess League [WCL].


Once the season was underway there scarcely seemed time for us to catch our breath. Our first two matches saw us playing Chester 2, once in each League. It was quickly apparent that we had plenty to learn regarding the 5 board matches. The first game saw us victorious by a very flattering score line [4½-½] and we were relieved to have the first match under our belts. The second match, with both teams near full strength saw us struggling to stay afloat. We had suffered an early setback at the hands of Graham Bromley [a Chester 2 man in the WCL] but this was equalised quickly by Dave Robertson [also] with a sweeping demolition of a Sicilian. A steady draw by Richie Noonan saw us level with two games in play: myself under pressure against Chris Doran and Steve Connor's position on a knife edge. Steve delivered the full point in vintage style and my only discernible advantage, on the clock, persuaded Chris to stop the torture and allow me a draw [and a win by 3-2 for Chester 1]. The relief of getting the first game over was magnified here in the second as we knew just how close we had come to getting "sorted out" by our new club-mates.



The next game, and we were still only in the third week of September, proved another critical encounter; we were up against last season's [and indeed for the previous two seasons] champions of the C&DCL, Wrexham, who have the potential to put out a team outgrading us on every board. In the event they were not quite at full strength and the teams were evenly matched so far as ratings went and the early play indicated a very close encounter.


The final score however, did not represent the ebb and flow of the battle. We were able to hold two games in which we were under pressure and victory followed in the two games where we had gained an advantage. This left Dave Stuttard in play, and from a dismal position from the opening Dave, calling on all his experience, powers of mischief and optimism wore his young opponent down and landed an unlikely win to put a scarcely credible gloss on the scoreline for Chester 1 [4-1].



Looking back on the first half of the season from the safety of the Christmas holidays there are many other dramatic moments for us to reflect upon. For example, the long journey down to Colwyn Bay in mid-October saw us one down with three games in play. We were on top in two of the three games in play but Richie was a piece down with, it appeared to the watching captain at least, at best, just a slight chance of holding the draw.


White to play and win
Richie Noonan v Joshua Pink, 2011
  Solution: g5! and there is no way

to stop Rg4 mate.

Richie's winning coup was a bolt from the blue for his opponent and indeed everyone in the room except for Richie himself. Steve and Graham Bromley [one of our super subs for the C&DCL] completed the 3½-1½ victory for Chester 1. Late in the same month we played the reigning champions of the WCL, Penyfford, and gained an important victory by 3-2. For once we were disappointed by the final score having half expected/hoped for a 4-1 scoreline. However time scramble uncertainties and the fighting spirit of the champions thwarted us and once again it was a [very late] sub, Jeff Smith who scored the winning convincing victory to land us the match. Nor were we beguiled by our good friends from Penyfford, many well known from the 4NCL, who said it "was our league" now. Firstly it was only our second game in the competition and secondly, recent history [last season] saw the Chester team who beat Penyfford in their individual encounter ending up losing up the league on "goal average".


The final memory that springs to mind features another super-sub performance in our last game before the festive season, against Wallasey 3 in the WCL. This time with the score at 2-2, Gary Gillespie, from the depths of a fairly murky position, kept his cool and brought in an invaluable victory.


We anticipate many tough battles in the second half of the season as we know many of our new chess friends will be keen to turn us over. In addition, as the cup competitions warm up, we look forward to the chance to showcase what we hope will turn out to be some strong "United Chester" teams and performances.


For those who wish to follow the unfolding season may I recommend the two excellent web sites linked into this [Spirit of Atticus] site: The Wirral Chess League and the Chester and District Chess League sites are straightforward, comprehensible, comprehensive and up to date. Many thanks to the web masters Dave Hulme and Steve Lloyd for their enthusiastic and thorough work on behalf of the Chess community.


John Carleton

January 3rd 2012



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