Watford retain Hertfordshire League title

Watford's first team has retained the Hertfordshire League title with 7 wins and one draw from its 10 matches - see table below.  This is the club's fourth win in the past six years, having finished as runners-up on the other two occasions.

NEWSFLASH FROM ECF WEBSITE:  Players wishing to take out Bronze membership, or renew their Bronze membership, in order to avoid league game fee for the 2015-16 season must do so by 30 June 2016 


Coaching for juniors

We're now looking for club members willing and able to give talks (with large demonstration board available) on any aspect of chess to our juniors - preferred start time 7.0 with 30 minutes duration but flexible to accommodate speakers. Choice of three levels - basic (mainly targeted at juniors below ECF50), intermediate (ECF50-100) or advanced (ECF100+) at speaker's choice


  Hertfordshire Chess League

  Watford's first team has retained the Division 1 title with seven wins and one draw from its 10 matches. Match captain Andrew Stone scored +6 =4 -0 for an ECF230 performance while  Ed Holland (+4 =2 -1) and Jeremy Davies (+5 =1 -0) both notched up ECF218 results.

DIVISION 1 Won Drew Lost Game points Match points
Watford  7 1 2 30.5 15
Little Heath  6 1 3 28.5 13
Hemel Hempstead 5 1 4 27 11
Royston 5 0 5 22.5 10
Hertford 4 1 5 22 9
Bishops Stortford 1 0 9 17.5 2
Watford 2 has finished with five wins, two draws and five losses in Division 2 while Watford 3 has four wins, three draws and five losses in Division 3, leaving both in mid-table.
The Watford 3 players also form the backbone of our u-160 team in the separate Hertford & District League, which finished the season third (+2 =4 -2) in the southern section.  
Watford 4, in the fifth division, has four wins, one draw and five losses, resulting in yet another mid-table finish.  The same may be said, in Division 7, of Watford 5 with five wins, one draw and four losses.    Broadly the same group of players forms our under-120 side which has finished 2nd (correction - earlier wrongly reported as 3rd!)  with seven wins, two draws and three losses.

Graded rapidplay tournament, 31 May

Sixteen players (5 adults, 11 juniors) took part, with 12 playing all 5 rounds.     The event was enlivened by the late entry of FM Venkataramanan Tiruchirapalli who took half-point byes in the first two rounds.   This gave two of our promising young juniors the chance to play an FM.   

Only two players won their first three games and, when Samir Yassir beat Mace Carnochan in round 4, this set him up for a hard-fought game against Venkat in round 5.   The FM finally prevailed, leaving those three in a three-way tie on 4/5. Alex Lever was fourth on 3.5 while Christian Bland, Simon Charles and Priya Muthiah all scored 3.






 The first weekend of the 2016-7 Junior 4 Nations Chess League will take place on 1-2 October at De Vere Harben, Newport Pagnell.   The two later weekends will be 21-22 January and 22-23 April at St Johns Hotel, Solihull.   Present indications are that Watford will field at least 3 teams.

Watford 1 finished second (7/10 points - 2 wins, 3 draws, no losses) in Division 1 of the final 2015-6 J4NCL weekend in West Bromwich on 12-13 March.  Full results (except matches where our teams beat reserve sides) appear in our 'Latest Results' feature.

Fifteen Watford juniors, accompanied by parents, took part with Watford 2 and Watford 3 both competing in Division 2. Website http://www.watfordchessclub.org/index.php/junior-4-nations-weekend contains more background on J4NCL including previous weekends results.    

Watford 1 team (L to R, Aman, Jeff, Dhruv, Avi) with the J4NCL runners-up trophy


Interim Child Protection Policy

Club members are asked to note the addition, effective 2 November 2015, of an extra sentence reading "The Interim Child Protection Policy shall be interpreted as applying to vulnerable adults as well as to children." 




News in brief:

First J4NCL weekend at Newport Pagnell in October, later ones in Solihull - see story, left-hand column

Watford 2 team captain Mace Carnochan will give a simultaneous display against selected juniors on 5 July

Club president Mike Boyce scores 11-0 in a simultaneous display against selected club juniors on 14 June

Golders Green u-145 FIDE-rated rapidplay, 4 June: Aman Gogna scores 4/6

Congratulations to Watford’s Barry David who finished 6th on countback in the World Deaf Chess Championship, held in Yerevan, Armenia, in May 2016. Barry’s score of 5.5/9 saw him finish in a tie for 4th-9th out of the 29 strong field. He was also Western Europe’s top finisher in the tournament. Full result at http://chessdeaf.org/

Barry, left, handing a gift to the President of Armenia Deaf Sport, Andrakin Grigoryan 

For news of some earlier junior successes, read the Watford Observer articles  here and  here


Upcoming Congresses (mainly local) 

Poplar, 25 June:  Six round rapidplay, u-171 and u-130 sections only

Greater London (Bloomsbury, WC1), 2 July:  Five round FIDE-rated rapidplay, open, u-150 and u-120 sections

Hampstead, 2-3 July:  Five round Swiss.  U-2200 & u-1900 (FIDE-rated) and u-135 (ECF) sections.

Maidenhead junior rapidplay, 9 July:  Four/five rounds, under-110 and (ungraded) beginners sections

UK Chess Challenge, 15 July :  Southern gigafinal (qualified juniors only)

Golders Green, 16 July:  Six round FIDE rapidplay, open, u-170, u-145 and u-120 sections

British championships, Bournemouth, 23 July onwards:  Multiple events, see website

NB: The above list contains only selected events from the ECF Calendar which also contains more information on the events listed above


Amusing pairings

On the English Chess Forum, organisers are discussing some amusing pairings, such as that in the Major E section of the recent Gatwick Congress which came up with "Homer v Simpson" while, in a recent Guernsey Congress where both Tiger Hillarp Persson and Ihor Lewyk were playing, the organiser was said to be itching for the pairing "Ihor (pronounced 'Eeyore') v Tigger".


 Jeff Tomy wins South of England trophy

 Jeff Tomy with the South of England U-9 trophy which he won on tie-break from Kian Shah, both finishing on 5.5/6




London Chess Classic, December 2015:  Theo Hurrell (right) in the Olympia Auditorium with chess coach Chris Duncan in background, left


Junior club membership

Junior club membership, added to the number of children on the club waiting list, exceeds 50 children with the result that the waiting list has been closed since the end of January.  The situation is now under review and, if you wish your child to be considered for membership, you can use the "Contact us" facility to let us know.   However, it is fair to add that the number of applications is likely to far exceed the number of memberships available.

However, the club does offer two-hour (6-8) sessions on Sunday evenings at The Happy Hour pub in Eastbury Road which are free and open to non-member juniors.   You can just turn up.   At least one adult member of Watford Chess Club will be present to supervise matters.


Club committee and officers


(** = committee)







** President

Mike Boyce

Mike Boyce

** Club Secretary


Paul Littlefair


David Healey

Jerry Rudge

** Membership Secretary

Roger Lancaster


Juniors Secretary

Roger Lancaster

Roger Lancaster 

Tournament Secretary

Mike Boyce

Mike Boyce

Match Captains

Andrew Stone (1st, Russell)

Mace Carnochan (2nd)

Cecil Sloan (3rd, Sharp, H&D)

Paul Littlefair (4th, u140ko)

Ken Jardine (5th, u120ko, u120

Pete Edwards (6th,)

Andrew Stone (1st, Russell)

Mace Carnochan (2nd) 

Cecil Sloan (3rd, Sharp, H&D)

Sanjay Vig (4th, u-140 k-o)

Pete Edwards (5th, u-120)



Geir Erik Nielsen

Equipment Curator

Mace Carnochan

Mace Carnochan

** Other Committee members

(up to 5 additional positions)

Roger Kearns,

Jerry Rudge

Roger Kearns,

Roger Lancaster

3 vacancies


Philip Abbott

Philip Abbott




Club website

Watford Chess Club's committee wishes to express its gratitude to Geir Erik Nielsen for contributing his expertise to this website.  It is now available on a "read only" basis only but it is planned to make the site interactive for club members.  

The website includes a "Contact us" link, enabling outsiders to contact the club by email.   Enquirers should however expect a slight delay in response times as the inbox is not monitored in real time.

However, if you simply require basic information about Watford Chess Club, such as opening times and annual subscriptions, you may find your questions answered by using the "About" link at the top of this page.  We suggest you try this before using the "Contact Us" link.  

 Watford juniors (L to R, Jacob, Kian, Roshan, Theo) await their next J4NCL opponents

 October 2015: Watford Juniors 2 (L to R, Jacob, Kian, Roshan, Theo) await their next J4NCL opponents


Club champion Andrew Stone takes on 25 opponents in his marathon simultaneous display on 15 September

ECF Logo

FIDE tells ECF, "Don't do it again!"


A top FIDE official has written to the English Chess Federation, requesting that it avoid mistakes made at Aberystwyth in 2014.  The minutes of the FIDE Arbiters Commission held in Abu Dhabi in September 2015, and now published, record that:

"In the view of the Commission the main problem is that for the game where the incident happen, half a point was given to one player and a full point to the other player. Bharat Singh pointed out that a result of ½ - 1 cannot be accepted by FIDE.

“Chairman Takis Nikolopoulos proposed to write a letter to the English Chess Federation pointing out that such results should be avoided in the future.

“Ruben Stewart (sic!) pointed out that the event was not FIDE rated and in fact such results do not exist in FIDE rated tournaments of the English Chess Federation.

“The Arbiters’ Commission after discussion agreed that according to the FIDE Laws of Chess the decision of the arbiters and the Chief Arbiter had been correct, but the applied by the Tournament manager result ½-1 does not exist in the FIDE Laws of Chess.

“However, as there was no intention by the English Chess Federation to send the event to FIDE for rating, they could follow only internal regulations and therefore there is no reason to penalise anybody. 

Readers may recall that the arbiters' original draw decision, which everyone bar the ECF agreed was correct, was overruled by an ECF officer (identified below) in controversial circumstances.  The issue of the so-called 'internal regulations' is one to which we may return later.

The Abu Dhabi meeting was attended by Alex Holowczak, ECF Home Director but then under suspension (a suspension retrospectively lifted and annulled as wrong) for a fortnight and consequently standing in as FIDE Delegate instead.  In his report, Alex included the following paragraph: 

"The Rad Kadengal case was considered, and I was not able to defend Kevin Staveley on behalf of the Organisers due to my ECF suspension.  This notwithstanding, there was much opposition from everywhere about awarding 1-1/2 in a game.  As the condemnation ground to a close, I noted that Kevin accepted that this was wrong, had "learnt his lesson", and that the silver lining was that the player won the British Under 8s this year.  The meeting ended on that cheery note."

Naturally, you will not read this on the version published on the ECF website.  Shortly after its appearance on 7 October, horrified ECF officers replaced it with a sanitised version omitting the paragraph cited above.  However, those wanting the uncensored version of Alex's report can find it on the ECForum - that's the independent chess forum, not the alternative 'official' one operated by the ECF.

And the history of the dispute is at http://watfordchessclub.org/index.php/c ... cle?id=118