Easter has now passed and we were still getting snowed on in the North East .
South Shields completed a tremendous season in the Durham League finishing second to Durham Abbotts .
Many thanks go to John Boyd , Paul Bielby , Chris Sayers , Asanga Gunasekera , Stan Johnson , Brian Towers , Kevin Rowden , Piotr Niedbal , Yaroslav Kolodiy ,Dave Patterson and Eddie Czestochowski who all played a part in the team at some point in the season . It all came down to a narrowly lost game against Durham Abbots. Roll on next season .
South Shields also missed out by a single 1/2 Match point in the Ron Evers Competition , to a very strong Durham City Team . There was lots of nearly moments in the last couple of games but that’s life .We will be back next season to try and bring back the trophy we held for 2 successive seasons .
Despite getting resoundly beaten by Durham University in our last match . South Shields hang on to top place in the Durham League by 2.5 game points . That half point gained by Paul Bielby last night may yet prove to be a valuable half point at the end of the season . We now face two very tough games against DURHAM A and B .
This was a great little tournament organized by Tim Wall which attracted 30 players, 5 of them from South Shields, for an afternoon of blitz in the function room of the Chillingham pub in Newcastle. As a bonus it was FIDE rated, so all players who didn’t previously have FIDE Ids will now have them, all for 2 quid a head! More power to Tim’s elbow and here’s hoping he organizes more of these.
It was a pretty successful afternoon for the Shields players. Piotr Niedbal just missed out on the prizes. He was in 3rd place going into the last round and needed a draw to maintain 3rd but lost to Edward Dodds who overtook him for 3rd with Piotr finishing in 4th on 6/9.
Paul Bielby was top senior (over 65) on 4.5/9.
Eddie Czestochowski and Gary Hunter (FIDE ID = 466590) finished half a point behind Paul on 4/9 and Asanga Gunasekera (FIDE ID = 466581) was 3 points further back.
This seasons Ron Evers Competition will be held on the follow dates .
Rounds 1 and 2 Tuesday 28th November at Hartlepool Chess Club
Rounds 3 and 4 Tuesday 30th January at Hetton Chess Club
Rounds 5 and 6 Tuesday 27th March at Hartlepool Chess Club
South Shields have won this trophy for the last 2 seasons , it will be a tough ask to retain this for a third season in a row but as someone once said “If you shoot for the moon and miss , you will still end up amongst the stars”. Anyone interested in playing for the rapid play teams season please make yourself known as soon as possible . This will help us decide how many teams to enter.
This season the league has returned to a 2 Division Format . South Shields are placed in the 1st Division and will be facing Hetton Lyons A , Durham A and B , Darlington A and last years Champions Durham University . It is going to be a challenging season without a doubt.
Our first 2 games will both be away at Darlington on Monday 9th October and Hetton Lyons A on Thursday 26th October .
I will post all the fixtures shortly and they will also be on the Durham Website in due course .
Our 2017 AGM was held on the 31st of August and it proved to be quite entertaining . The Club had quite a successful season . We also had the opportunity to finally present the awards for the previous season Division 2 Championship team.
Last season with the help of all the club members South Shields won the Durham League Second Division , retained the Ron Evers Rapid Play Trophy for the second year in Succession ,won the Northern Counties Chess Union Seniors Trophy and are in the final of the Summer Knockout Plate . Chris Sayers won the Durham Congress Minor Competition and Dave Patterson won the Tony Mezzo Trophy for best performance by a Durham League Player in the Major . It is going to be a major challenge to better this in 2018 .
South Shields Chess Club have in recent years fielded a team in the Durham league as well as three teams in the Northumberland League. Captained by Eddie Czestochowski, the Durham team operates a rotational policy in an effort to give a wider opportunity to members throughout the club. The team was usually picked based on availability, on venue and on who our opponents were. This season we utilized 12 players who all contributed very well to our overall success in winning the Division B Championship. This year the 12 teams in the Durham League played an all play all basis through the first part of the season . South Shields finished in 6th Place which qualified them in the play off for the B Division Trophy. This put us into a knockout situation where wins against Gateshead and Durham were required to secure the B Division Championship .
Congratulations to the team consisting of Paul Bielby , Brian Towers , Yaroslav Kolodiy , Dave Paterson , Colin Campbell ,Chris Sayers , Jim Riddle , Ben Wood ,Piotr Niedbal,Dominik Schwarz , Asanga Gunasekera, Eddie Czestochowski . Thank you all for your efforts .
The following is a report submitted by the indefatigable Paul Bielby . A stalwart of the Chess Scene in the North of England and regular player for South Shields for a number of years now. He can been here holding the Club Championship Trophy he won in 2015. You can also see some examples of his other passion , his paintings on the wall.
Until I retired from teaching 5 years ago I had been concentrating so hard on Junior Chess I had never thought very much about Senior Chess. Sure I knew that some tournaments offered a small prize for the best veteran, but that was all.Retiring allowed me to play more chess for myself. I won the Senior (over-60) competition at the Palaeochora Tournament in Greece, came back home and won the first NCCU Senior Championship for the newly instituted John Littlewood Cup for over-60s. I was hooked on Senior Chess. FIDE stepped in and altered their definition of Senior players so that their Senior Competitions were played in two age-groups, over-50 and over-65.The ECF followed FIDE into running their Senior Championship in two separate sections. I played in the Over-65s and shared top place at the British Championships at Warwick in 2015. Senior Chess, which has been big in Germany for some years, is starting to spread. My favourite Malta tournament has now introduced a Senior Section, sticking to the German pattern of Over-60.
What about Senior Chess in the North of England? The NCCU still runs the John Littlewood Cup competition subsumed within its Individual Championship. In addition it runs a Seniors competition for Club teams. I persuaded a number of my South Shields colleagues to join me in entering the competition this year.
A word about the NCCU Senior Club competition. It is for teams of four from one club. Their average age must be over 55 and no individual can be younger than 35. It is run as a knock-out competition. In the event of a drawn match the first tie-break is board count. To justify this the team with white on board 1 has black on boards 2 and 3 and white again on board four. If board count is equal the team with the higher average age wins. This year’s competition attracted 7 entries, South Shields were given a bye in the first round – straight through to the semi-final. There we met Darlington who had beaten Beverley in R1, and beat them 3-1. In the final we were due to meet Heywood from the Manchester area.
Leeds City Centre Chess Club arranged for us to use their club room for the match and on 22nd July the teams lined up for the match.
South Shields v. Heywood
Joe Watson v Martyn Hamer
Paul Bielby v Paul Timson
Brian Towers v Bill O’Rourke
Eddie Czestochowski v David Almond
The Captains tossed for colours and South Shields were White on boards 1 and 4; Heywood on boards 2 and 3. South Shields were on average by several years the older team.
My game against Paul Timson was the first to finish. He had the better of the opening and pressed hard, but swapping off pieces enabled me to hold things and a draw was agreed with a rook and seven pawns each left on the board. At this stage it looked quite possible that all four games might be drawn, allowing us to win on average age!
Joe, who has been a tower of strength for South Shields since his return to chess, was the next to finish with a showy checkmate at the end.
A horrible blunder. 31. Re2 is safe enough. Now White forces mate.
Black resigns – there is no defence.
This put us one up but, being on top board also meant board count would give us the match with only one draw from our final two games needed. It was not going to be easy though. Eddie , the junior in the side aged 54 ,had been a pawn ahead in his game, but got himself into serious time trouble and succumbed.
All square again and all depended on Brian. Could he get a draw?
After which point – with both players down to about 2 minutes each – nobody wrote down any moves. The game lasted for several more moves, White blundered away his bishop and resigned just before his clock fell.
So we won the match by 2½-1½. Desperately close; desperately exciting, Age and experience won out in the end. We really enjoyed our experience of Senior chess and very much hope that other clubs in the North-East will join in next year .
Our thanks also go to Dave Patterson who was part of the team that beat Darlington in the previous Round . This was as always a club effort by South Shields.