Category Archives: Website News

South Shields Chess Memorial Shield

A Tale of Three Well Loved Club Secretaries And A Shield

Simon McGuinness a long time member of our club handed this Memorial Shield back and I thought it would be a nice to record its history on our website . I asked other members for their recollections and received this wonderful piece from Ian Maughan and I share it with you in its entirety below .

When I first joined the club, back in the early Seventies, round about the same time as Stan Johnson and the much-missed Late Stan Hawes, it was in the process of moving from the old Marine & Tech (now South Tyneside College) to the Y.M.C.A. (no singing, please!) building in Burrow Street, just off Fowler Street. At that time, Eddie Jenkins was club secretary, a dapper, Noel Coward-like, well-presented gentleman, and very much in charge.

This was in the glow of the famous Fischer-Spassky Match; clubs were thriving and chess was on an upward spiral and almost front-page news. I think it may have been my first night there when a photographer from the Gazette arrived to take a photo of a very young Simon McGuinness and Eddie Jenkins – not quite as young – with some competition trophy – it may have been the Friend’s Bowl, it slips my memory? After Eddie died, his son Paul took over as secretary and ran the club successfully for many years. In those days, it was a real honour to be asked to play for one of the teams. I believe someone called Williamson played top board for the first team back then, Lance Oliver may have been on board two, I’m not sure?

Later for several years, SSCC regularly had a stall at the annual Flower Show at Gypsy’s Green. One year Geoff Capes turned up to tow a heavy truck along the prom. I remember on one occasion I attempted the slightly less strenuous feat of taking on eight opponents (a mixture of club volunteers and interested passers-by) in a simul. I don’t recall how I did. Probably not that well. But the idea was to attract public interest. We did usually pick up one or two new members through promos like that.

Sometime later, the club moved to St Hilda’s Song-Room and Arthur Tarn, took over as secretary. Smartly-turned out like his predecessors, decidedly one of the old school, and a stickler for formality, Arthur’s main claim to fame had to be his near-legendary tobacco pipe, which he’d take out at the start of a game and proceed to tamp the bowl meticulously with a small penknife and slowly but surely coax it into life. This procedure couldn’t be rushed. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the longer it took, the more I think he preferred it, sometimes not actually getting around to lighting it till late on in the middlegame! Or not all, if checkmate was reached first. Once he did manage to begin puffing away, I always thought he gave the distinct impression of being like Inspector Maigret deliberating over a particularly baffling murder case – and not actually playing chess at all! On cold winter nights at St Hilda’s chess was played in near Sub-Arctic conditions with attendees (I nearly said members) almost freezing to death over a sluggish, yet hard-fought Petroff Defence or a teeth-chattering Lasker’s Trap. Under Arthur’s efficient command, committee meetings were held regularly in the Citizens Advise Bureau offices, then above a shop in King Street. And true to form, specially typed documents were prepared for pretty much every eventuality. All three of these loyal club secretaries are owed a massive debt of gratitude and looking back their contribution to running “The Cannyfolk Chess Club” was invaluable and greatly appreciated. Certainly, well-deserving of a thank-you shield for all eternity.

Ian Maughan April 2017


Friends Bowl Semi Final

Eddie Czestochowski  v  Chris Sayers    and    Ben Wood    v  Jim Riddle

Matches to be played by 26th may 2017.   Further details on Club notice board

Club Championship current situation .

Mike Savin and Colin Campbell narrowly missed their chances to upset the form  book by losing to Ian Maughan and Brian Towers respectively . The remaining Quarter final games .

Ben Wood v Dave Patterson and Eddie Czestochowski v Kevin Rowden .

Theses  are to be played by 5th may 2017.


South Shields Reach the Play Off in Durham League

South Shields finished in a creditable 6th Place in the Durham League and now face GATESHEAD on the 20th of April , with home advantage , in the play off for the B Division Trophy . The winner of this game will then play either Durham City Canons or Darlington Locos in the final game .

We are expecting a very tough game , we played them earlier in the season with the result going to GATESHEAD    3 -2 .


Fleeting Moment of Mid Table Mediocrity for 2nd Team

Tuesday’s draw against Leam Lane in the NCA first division has boosted the second team up to 6th position – exactly half way! Of course looking at the “Games Played” column tells you this won’t last but meantime Eddie has leant on Will to update the NCA website so we can bask in our temporary glory.

This is how the table looks –

Team NamePlayedWinsDrawsLossesGame PointsMatch Points
Forest Hall Admirals75112111
Durham City74212110
South Shields A7322208
Leam Lane Aces8323208
Morpeth A732218.58
South Shields B923417.57
Gosforth Empire6222176
Tynemouth A6303176
Tynedale Tans621313.55
Jesmond Knights512211.54
Gosforth Regents601581

The Wanderer Returns

Last night Dave Patterson drove half way across England to score a win for the second team’s crucial match against Gosforth Regents in division one of the Northumberland Chess Association league to give the team their second draw. This takes the team to 6 points (2 wins and 2 draws) from eight matches and gives the team a real chance of avoiding relegation.

Ron Evers Competition

Ron Evers Trophy

South Shields Chess Club entered two teams in the 2016 Ron Evers Memorial Team Rapid Play Competion . Winners of the previous year competition both teams started well and with both teams winning their opening games in Round 1 and 2  , they lie first and second and face the prospect of playing each other in Rounds 3 and 4.


April Fool Spoof


You might have thought this was too ridiculous to believe , but some people did  .

We placed a story in the Local South Shields Gazette  and they very kindly printed it  , our aim was simply to raise profile of Chess in South Tyneside and to announce the launch of our 150th Celebration Events  this year,

Here is a wonderful image of the Structure we had planned to temporarily move .

The Groyne

This image of THE GROYNE  was  taken By John Short . He takes many brilliant Images of South Tyneside , you can view them on his facebook site called SEE SOUTH TYNESIDE DIFFERENTLY.

Last year I tried to persuade our club members that Magnus Carlsen was great friends with Joe McElderry and that Magnus was taking style tips from Joe in exchange for teaching him chess , it raised a smile but no takers .

South Shields 150th Anniversary Rapid Congress



As part of our Celebration Events to commemorate our 150th Anniversary , we have decided to hold a One Day Rapid Play Congress on the 3rd of July 2016 , at one of the most Iconic Venues in South Tyneside, THE CUSTOMS HOUSE . Mill Dam.  For more information and the entry form for this event download the South Shields Rapid play Congress PDF. You can now also enter online .

The make the event even more memorable this year the event will also incorporate the Northumberland Association Rapid Play Championship .

OPEN Champion  —    Overall  Competition Winner

Major Champion   —   Highest player Graded between 130 and 160

Minor Champion  —   Highest player  Graded under 130

Sunderland University Wins Prizes at British Universities Chess Championship 2016

UoS Chess Team

(L to R ) Gediminas Balys, Dominik Schwarz , Thong Luu , Piotr Niedbal

Dominik Schwarz is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources at the University of Sunderland and a regular Chess Team Player for South Shields this year. He was also a driving force behind the setting up of the First Chess Society at the University, after discovering a bunch of like minded chess players huddled over a board.

Together they  mustered up a team comprising of Piotr Niedbal , Dominik Schwarz , GedimInas Balys and Thong Luu and decided to enter the British Universities Chess Championship 2016, this year held in Birmingham .

Entered into the Shield Division , the team finished in a very creditable third place out of 18 entrants. Finish closely behind Imperial and Warwick. Thong Luu playing on Board 4 won an Individual Gold Medal with a score of 10 from 10 games, with Piotr Niedbal, board 1 taking a Silver Medal with a score of 7.5 out 10.  It was a great team effort .

The competition was run over 2 days in a Quickplay Format comprising 10 rounds of 25 minutes plus 10 second increments.

Ron Evers Rapid Competition 2016

South Shields had a good night of Chess at Peterlee ,last Tuesday 2nd February , our teams are sitting at the top of the league after rounds three and four and it looks like we will probably have to face each other in the final rounds.The Ron Evers RapidPlay competition is run on a handicap basis , and our teams have been organised such that they are actually fairly evenly matched so it will very interesting to see the outcome.  The final rounds are due to be played on the 14 th of March .

South Shields 2440015½8
South Shields 1430113½6
Bishop Auckland42115
Hetton Lyons 14202134
Durham City420211½4
Hetton Lyons 2410392