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9th Witney OTB Congress

This will take place Sat 5th & Sun 6th November 2022 at Cokethorpe School, Witney. There are four sections: Open, U2000, U1800 and U1600 with a prize fund of £1800 | More here



The event is disable friendly and wheelchair accessible.



  Entries close to this event on Friday 4th Nov 17.00

Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1800 | U1600 | Replay Games | Entries | Prizewinners



  This congress is a Chessable ECF Grand Prix event


Summer Tournament 2022

After picking up two further points yesterday evening, Alan Gentry was the clear winner of the summer tournament with seven points in total. The outcome was not in dispute after Alan beat contender Shira Parnes in a hard-fought game in Round 7. Matt Holmes and Alan Kennedy tied for second place with six points after picking up two wins each on the evening. Charlie Manning and Andy Pearson also finished the tournament with a flourish, taking maximum points from the last two rounds. Most importantly, some good chess was played and enjoyed over the past four weeks. Thank you for playing your games in a friendly and supportive manner.


See you in September - Derek


Results Grid



13th 4NCL Online Congress


Here's a  nice game from the 13th 4NCL Online Congress Open Section, which one of Witney CC's junior club members Adam Sieczkowski won.


8th Witney OTB Congress



This took place 6th & 7th November 2021 at Cokethorpe School, Witney. There were four main sections: Open, U2000, U1800 and U1600 with a prize fund of £1800 | More here


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1800 | U1600 | Replay Games | Entries | Prizewinners



Witney CC Covid-19 Guidance from Alan Kennedy

Please read this important and helpful guidance about Covid-19.


Witney Online Rapidplay 2021


Sunday 19 September.



  Entry to this event now closed

Pairings & Results: Open | Junior | Replay Games | All Games in PGN | Information & Schedule | Entries | Winners


Sections: There were two sections in this year's event, Open and Junior (Junior Major and Minor were combined).


Please also see: Fair Play Guidelines | Guide to Playing on LiChess | Disconnection Guidelines


Any questions, contact: Mike Truran on

It was the cat’s fault… by Patrick Moss

With the pandemic preventing over-the-board play, chess players have been getting their fix online. With the Oxfordshire Chess Association setting up the “Mike Duck Online Tournament” in late 2020, we have now had two tournaments, with Witney having two teams in the first one and three in the second.


For me, these events provided the impetus I needed to get back into chess after a few years’ absence, and it has been good to catch up – even if only virtually – with old acquaintances from the club. I hope that it has been a similarly useful outlet for other players across Oxfordshire. The matches seem to have been played in an excellent spirit.


Continue Reading ...

Witney Junior Wins British Online Chess Championships Under 16 Blitz Title!



Very many congratulations to Witney Chess Club member Adam Sieczkowski, who is the new British Online Chess Championships Under 16 Blitz Champion with a score of 8/9. The final table is here.

Witney Online Congress


This took place, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th November 2020.


Thank you for participating in this event!


Pairings & Results: Open | U2000 | U1750 | U1500 | Entries | Games | Winners | Event Information

Witney Online Rapidplay 2020


Sunday 20 September.


Pairings & Results: Open | Junior Major | Junior Minor | Replay Games | Information & Schedule | Entries


Thank you for participating in this event!


The list of winners is published.


Round times: Rd1 - 10.00; Rd2 - 11.30; Rd3 - 13.00; Rd4 - 14.30; Rd5 - 16.00; Rd6 - 17.00.

Entry fee: £5.00 for ECF members/supporters.

Trophies: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, best performance prize in each section.

No of rounds: Six.

Time controls: 20 mins + 10 sec increment Open and Junior Major, 10 mins +5 sec increment Junior Minor.

Tie-breaks: sum of progressive scores followed by sum of opponents' scores. Games will be ECF online rated.


Contact: Mike Truran on

Witney Rapidplay 2019 



This popular one-day event was an excellent warm-up for the new season, and is one of the best-value congresses around. It took place on Sunday 22 September. The venue as usual was The Batt C of E Primary School in central Witney.


Many thanks to all helpers, parents, Dave Thomas and Mike Truran and of course the competitors! There were two main sections, Senior and Junior (Major & Minor).


Results & Pairings: Senior/Open | Junior Major | Junior Minor | Photos of winners and runners up

Reunion with Allan Short in New Zealand


Allan Short played for Witney1 in the 1990s. A number of our present club members will still have fond memories of Allan.


One enjoyable memory I have is playing in a weekend tournament at the British Chess Championships in Swansea in August 1995 along with Allan and Howard Searle. During 1997 and 1998, I played Allan four times in Witney1 vs Witney2 clashes and in the county individual championship. Overall, honours were even! Allan met his future wife, Kendra, whilst working at Cothill House prep school near Abingdon. They soon decided to relocate to New Zealand, Kendra's home country, in 1998.


Whilst visiting Mike Truran at his splendid New Zealand retreat recently, we decided to carry out some internet research to see whether Allan was still living in the country. The key search word proved to be “chess” as Allan, now headmaster at Waihi School, Canterbury, South Island, had received publicity for promoting the game with his pupils.

Within a couple of weeks, it was my pleasure to meet up with Allan, Kendra and two of their four lovely children in mid-November. Allan now has little time or opportunity to play chess regularly, but he is proud that one of his sons has a keen interest and has played in tournaments. Allan loves his family life and his work as headmaster at an independent school for about 100 boys, the majority of whom are boarding and are sons of farmers. He lives in an old farm house himself, which has only had two previous owners. Pet sheep and chickens wander outside.


Allan was keen to learn how many of his former team mates still play for Witney Chess Club. He is also looking forward to Mike Truran's planned visit in the new year.


- Derek Edwards, December 2019

Witney playing a visiting chess team from Leiden (Netherlands) at the Corn Exchange, Witney, in the summer 1994. Leiden is the twin city to Oxford.


Witney players from the back right include Professor Robin Reeves (retired to Cornwall), Allan Short, Carl Moxley (after graduating from York University moved to London to work in the City), Dave Hackett (still playing for Witney) and Nick Jones (works in the Low Countries but played last year in the Witney Rapidplay).


For the record, Witney won the match 6½ - 1½!


Seventh Witney Weekend Congress



This event took place 2nd & 3rd November 2019 at Cokethorpe School, Witney.


There were 4 sections: Open, U170, U145 and U120 with a prize fund of £1800 | More here


Final Standings: Open | U170 | U145 | U120 | Prizewinners


Queries: Mike Truran:

Summer Tournament 2019 - Derek Edwards


Fourteen players participated in the end-of-season club tournament, with some higher graded players compared to previous years participating. A time handicap system was again employed to give lower graded players a realistic chance of winning against stronger opponents.


There were 8 rounds played over 4 evenings. After the first 6 rounds, Dave Blackwell led the field with 5 points, including notable victories against Howard Searle and Derek Edwards. However, in Round 7 Dave lost to Alan Gentry, who had now moved into top position after a slow start to the tournament.


In the final round, Alan (ECF 151) looked set to win the tournament providing he could overcome a 10 minute time handicap and beat Shira Parnes (ECF 112). Top seed Mike Truran (ECF 189), with the black pieces, was able to overcome a 20 minute time handicap and force a win against Dave Blackwell with a mating attack down the open h file.



Meanwhile, Shira, watched by all the other players who had already finished their games, was able to overcome her time pressure and force a surprise win against Alan – much to Mike Truran`s delight who was left in first position with 6 points. Alan finished second in the tournament with 5½ points followed by four players (Howard, Derek, Dave and Shira) with 5 points.


Previous winners of the tournament, Ian Gilders and Hugo Rayner, finished with 4 points and 3 points respectively. Other notable results included Bob Kilbride-Newman`s wins against Mike Truran and Dave Blackwell, Matt Coburn`s wins against Alan Kennedy and Ian Gilders, and Neil Holt`s win against Matt.


The full results sheet for all players is attached. The tournament was played in a good spirit throughout, with young and older players, and inexperienced and experienced players, enjoying some fun end-of-season chess.


All are welcome to participate in next year's tournament in a bid to become the fourth winner of the Witney Chess Club Summer Shield.


2019 Oxon Junior Championships



14.1.19 - Witney Chess Club member Joshua Soanes (graded ECF 93) won the Oxfordshire U18 section with a score of 5/6


His results were (ECF grades shown in brackets);


Rd1. Win vs Oliver Frost (41)

Rd2. Draw vs Dimitrius Zakarian (143)

Rd3. Draw vs Shira Parnes (107)

Rd4. Win vs Ewan Bridson (112)

Rd5. Win vs Freddie Beneat (97)

Rd6. Win vs Daniel Varney (183)


Congratulations to Joshua!


Crosstable with full results.

Sixth Witney Weekend Congress



This event took place 3rd & 4th November 2018 at Cokethorpe School, Witney. There were four main sections: Open, U170, U145 and U120 with a prize fund of over £1900 | More here |


Pairings and Results - all sections | Prizewinners


Queries: Mike Truran Email: | Sponsored by Cokethorpe School

Witney Rapidplay 2018



This popular one-day event was an excellent warm-up for the new season, and is one of the best-value congresses around. It took place on Sunday 23 September. The venue as usual was The Batt C of E Primary School in central Witney.


Many thanks to all helpers, parents, Dave Thomas and Mike Truran and of course the competitors! There were two main sections, Senior and Junior (Major & Minor).


Results & Pairings: Seniors | Junior Major | Junior Minor


See a small collection of photos from this event.


For your diary: Next year's event - Sunday 22 Sept 2019.

Summer Tournament 2018 - Derek Edwards


Twelve players participated in the end-of-season club tournament. A time handicap system was employed to give lower graded players a realistic chance of winning against stronger opponents. There were 8 rounds played over 4 evenings.


In the final round, junior player Hugo Rayner held Derek Edwards to a draw (opposite coloured bishops in the end game, although there were still 2 pairs of rooks on the board) and therefore Hugo was the clear tournament winner with 7½ points (from a possible 8 points). Hugo achieved 3 wins against higher graded players and probably didn't need the time handicap in his favour in order to achieve these wins. Well done!



Derek came second in the tournament with 6½ points followed by Alan Gentry with 6 points. Junior player Bill Read had a commendable win against first seed player Alan in Round 5 and finished fourth equal with Dave Blackwell on 5 points. Last year`s tournament winner, Ian Gilders, scored 4 points, consistently beating all his lower graded opponents but losing to all his higher graded opponents. The full results sheet for all players is attached.


The tournament was played in a good spirit throughout, with young and older players, inexperienced and experience players enjoying some fun test. All are welcome to participate in next year`s tournament.


Grandmaster Peter Wells Simultaneous Display



Peter held his annual simultaneous display at Witney Chess Club’s Ducklington Village Hall venue on Monday 9 April 2018.


The evening was very successful.  22 players entered and Ian Gilders was the only one to trouble the scorers with a draw.


Many thanks to all helpers and attendees.


See a collection of photos here.


Elizaveta's recent chess success



11.1.18 - Elizaveta Sheremetyeva did very well and came first at the Oxfordshire Junior Chess tournament in the Under 18 section with a great score 6/6 and was awarded with "The Frank Wood Trophy".


Well done Elizaveta!


Josh Soanes and Bill Read also did well at the Oxfordshire Junior Championships last weekend – they were joint winners of the U15 section on 4/6.


More News about Oxfordshire Junior Chess.

Cowley Christmas Blitz 2017

Attendance at this year's Christmas Blitz, held on Monday 11 December, was seriously affected by the snow the preceding weekend and the very cold weather and icy conditions on the day. In the end, 34 players competed, well down on the previous year. Even the controlling team of Tim Dickinson and Priscilla Morris was depleted, with Tim unable to travel up to Oxford because of the bad weather. For different reasons I was also unable to be there, but with Priscilla in charge and several other club members stepping in to help, all else went well on the night.


Csaba Koszta (now of Swindon) improved on his share of first place in the Summer Blitz by winning outright with 8½ points out of 10. He finished a half-point ahead of Cowley's James Cole, while there was a triple tie in third position, with Oxford City's Phil Hayward, Cowley's Eldar Alizada and rapidly improving junior, Tom Shepherd, now of Bicester Chess Club, all on 7½  points. A number of players who had registered in advance were in the end unable to make the journey to the event, but one notable exception was Witney junior Hugo Rayner, who scored 5½  out of 10 and took the prize for the best visitor graded under 155.


The full list of prizewinners is as follows:




Rose Hill Methodist Church, Oxford OX4 4JP

1st=: Csaba Koszta (Swindon) 8½

2nd:  James Cole (Cowley) 8

3rd=: Phil Hayward (Oxford City) 7½

3rd=: Eldar Alizada (Cowley)

Best Cowley player: John Courouble 7

Best visitor: Mark Sayers (Cumnor) 7

Best junior (U18): Tom Shepherd (Bicester) 7½

Best lady: Maria Mate (Cowley) 5

Best U165: Graham Cole (Cowley) 6

Best Cowley U155: Bob Waugh 6½

Best visitor U155: Hugo Rayner (Witney) 6

Best U14: Freddie Beneat (Abingdon School) 6

Best U145: Stephen Ennis (Cowley) 6

Best U130: Mark McLeod (Didcot) 5½

Best ungraded: Zulfi Heydon (Cherwell School) 4

Best U12: Hakeem Asif (Cowley) 2

Best U10: James Deeke (Oxfordshire Juniors) 3½

Best slow starter - 0/2: Peter Cole (-) 3

Best very slow starter - 0/4: Boris Fedorov (Cowley) 3


It is a pleasure, as always, to thank: Rose Hill Methodist Church for allowing us the use of the downstairs Hall for the event; the Kidlington Chess Tournament for the loan of equipment; and those who kindly donated prizes for the event or made donations to the Lester Millin Memorial Fund.


I am also very grateful to: Sara Sengenberger and Dave Robson, for the transporting of equipment; Sara and Ellie Sengenberger and Bob Samuels for setting up the hall and equipment; Will Burt for help with setting up and for taking entries on the door; Bill Stanley for acting as compere and for manning the wallcharts to keep the round-by-round scores up to date; Bob Samuels for presenting the prizes; the many people who helped clear up afterwards; and, in particular, Priscilla Morris, who controlled the event efficiently and calmly as ever.


- Gerard O'Reilly (30 December 2017)

Looking back

My name is David Norris, and I used to play for the club as a teenager in the 1970s. In 1978 I left to study, and barely played thereafter.



I read your report and interview with Keith Broome with interest, and can maybe supply you with a few other names from that period. I certainly remember Keith and being driven around Oxfordshire on Thursday evenings to play. If I remember correctly the club had two teams then. The top player was called Anthony Ogus, who I think lectured at one of the Oxford colleges. I remember playing against the OU pieces with John Nunn on top board, John dashed outside telling one of his other players that Anthony could win the exchange and have a better position, but he didn't and I'm sure we lost 6-0.


Other notables of the club were a DJ Williams who was a modern language teacher at Henry Box. He ran the school chess club for many years, and encouraged quite a few of the school team to also play for Witney. Apart from myself these also included Charles Hornsby, Simon Mills, Peter Baden, and my brother Martin. Others who I remember from that time are a John Williams, who was at Wood Green, there was also a guy called Tim from Eynsham who had a stall at Witney market. There are a few more who I can remember, but the names are eluding me at present.


I can see that the chess club is far stronger than it was in my day, so it is nice to see it as a success. Hope you find this useful.


Best wishes,

David Norris

Fifth Witney Weekend Congress



This event took place 21st & 22nd October 2017 at Cokethorpe School, Witney. There were four main sections: Open, U170, U145 and U120 with a prize fund of over £1900 | More here |


Pairings and Results

OpenUnder 170 | Under 145 | Under 120 | Prizewinners | Photos with thanks to Brendan O'Gorman


Sponsored by Cokethorpe School

Witney Rapidplay 2017




This popular one-day event was an excellent warm-up for the new season, and is one of the best-value congresses around. It took place on Sunday 24 September 2017. The venue was as usual The Batt C of E Primary School in central Witney. There were two main sections, Senior and Junior (Major & Minor).


Pairings, results and final standings: Senior | Junior Major | Junior Minor | List of Entries |


See a collection of photos from the day - with thanks to Andrew Varney.

5 free plastic sets and boards


26.7.17 - We are pleased for the opportunity for Witney Chess Club to claim 5 free chess sets and to include the link to Chess 4 Schools


Chess 4 Schools is a specialist retailer of Chess Sets for Schools and Clubs.


Further news, should we be successful, will be posted as soon as we know!



Oxford Times  

Matt Rose | July 2017


The annual Cowley Summer Blitz was held on Monday 26th June at the Rose Hill Methodist Church on Rose Hill. Matthew Rose reports and includes a very instructive game played against GM Peter Wells and a position puzzle (with solution!). Read more here.

Witney Chess Club Summer Tournament 2017


28.6.17 - Ian Gilders was the top performer in the Witney Chess Club Summer Tournament, scoring 6.5 points from 8 rounds. There were 12 players, with 2 further players standing in when others were unable to attend during the 4 weeks of play. Half the entries were junior members, and a time handicap system was used to enable players with lower ECF grades to have a realistic chance of winning games.


After Round 7, Ian saw his lead in the tournament slip away after losing his pawn end-game to Howard Searle (who was standing in for Bill Read). Elizaveta Sheremetyeva took advantage by beating her fellow junior player Shira Parnes. However, in Round 8 Ian was able to beat junior Hugo Rayner whilst Elizaveta found the time handicap worked against her when she lost to Thomas Griffiths whilst under time pressure. This left a relieved Ian Gilders half a point ahead of Elizaveta.


The tournament was played in a friendly atmosphere with all players enjoying their chess. It provided a good opportunity for relatively new players to extend their experience and for players across the league divisions to play each other.


Click here to see the tournament summary sheet.


- Derek Edwards

Megafinal Report 2017 - from Elizaveta Sheremetyeva

02.3.17 - The Oxfordshire Megafinal held on Saturday 29 April at Cokethorpe School attracted over 200 strong juniors, with Witney players performing creditably.


The most notable success among our juniors was Hugo Rayner’s 1st place in the U11 section; with 5 out of 6 points he only lost a tough game in the last round to the 2nd placed competitor. Hugo achieved the title of U11 Supremo.


Other results:

Bill Read (U13) - 4½/6

2nd place Freddie Beneat (U11) - 4/6

Joshua Soanes (U14) - 3½/6

3rd place Elizaveta Sheremetyeva (U15) - 3½/6 Suprema


Good luck to everyone in the coming Southern Gigafinal on the 22-23 July!

Grandmaster Peter Wells Simultaneous Display

08.4.17 - Peter held his annual simultaneous display at Witney Chess Club’s Ducklington Village Hall venue on Monday 20 March 2017. Always a popular event, it received very positive feedback from the juniors in particular. Peter found time to talk about their individual games, and signed an autographs for those that asked.


The evening was open to all Oxfordshire players, and was well attended. See a collection of photos here - with particular thanks to Paul Girdlestone and club members.


Kidlington - 2017 Tournament Report

Much to the organizer's surprise, we had a full house (192 players) for the Kidlington Tournament nearly a week before the start, with the result that we had to close entries early.


You can find a full report of the tournament, as well as crosstables of the four sections and a full list of prizewinners on the Kidlington Chess Tournament website.


Among notable successes by Witney players, clearly the headline has to be Marcus Harvey's splendid outright win (repeating his clear victory in 2015) in the Open section on 4.5/5, ahead of pre-tournament favourite, Grandmaster John Nunn. (The half-point he dropped was against Nunn in Round 3, and he beat Oxford University's Portuguese FM David Martins in the key game of the final round.) Also in the Open section, Dave Hackett, who I gather played in the very first Kidlington Tournament as a junior, had an excellent Saturday with 2.5/3, but came up against even tougher opponents on the Sunday. Jake Holton scored 2/5, in the process marginally outperforming his grading. In the Oxfordshire Individual Championship revived this season, the title and trophy going to the eligible player with the highest combined score in the Open sections at Witney in October and at Kidlington, David Zakarian emerged as the winner with a total of 5.5 points, with Zoe Varney in second place on 5 points. (Marcus Harvey scored 4.5/5 at Kidlington, but he didn't play at Witney!)


In the U180 section Alan Gentry scored well above his grading, scoring three points and losing only to two of the players who shared second place. In the U145 section, young Bill Read scored a very creditable 3/5. And in the U120 section Hugo Rayner finished on +1 with 3 points, losing in the final round to one of the joint winners.


My thanks go to everyone involved in making the tournament a success: to all who came to play; to the staff at our venue, Exeter Hall, Kidlington; to Andrew Butterworth of Chess Direct, for providing the bookstall and the sets and boards for the tournament, as well as many of the clocks we used; to Helen Hackett of Hacketts Food & Drink of Witney; to Ian Brooke; and most of all to our team of controllers (Tim Dickinson, Priscilla Morris, Andrew Varney and Lucy Smith) who ran things in their usual efficient, unruffled and friendly way, and to our Treasurer, Tom Williams, who is now standing down after being at the heart of the organization of Kidlington for all the first 40 years of its existence. A very special 'Thank you' to Tom!


The 41st Kidlington Chess Tournament will take place on Saturday & Sunday 3 & 4 February 2018. Further details and entry forms will be available later this year. I hope to see many of you there!


- Gerard O'Reilly

Cowley Christmas Blitz 2016

The Cowley Christmas Blitz, held on Monday 5 December, attracted an excellent total of 62 participants, the highest number for many years.



The tournament resulted in a tie on 9 points from 10 games between Daniel Varney (Cumnor) and Cowley's Will Burt, with Daniel taking first prize on the tie-breaking system. Third and fourth place respectively (again separated only on tie-break) were Cowley's Rich Weston and Mike Handley.

A number of Witney's juniors competed. Among them was Bill Read, who was among the prizewinners for the third successive Cowley Blitz. In last year's Christmas Blitz he won the Best Under-12 prize. This summer, he won the Best Under-130 grading prize, and last Monday he won the Best Under-14 prize.

Congratulations to Bill!


The full list of prizewinners is as follows:



Rose Hill Methodist Church, Oxford OX4 4JP

1st: Daniel Varney (Cumnor) 9/10

2nd: Will Burt (Cowley) 9

3rd: Rich Weston (Cowley) 8

4th: Michael Handley (Cowley) 8

Best Cowley player: Maria Mate 7.5

Best visitor: Dan Rowan (Banbury) 7.5

Best junior (U18): Hari Selvaraj (MCS/Blackbirds) 5

Best lady: Jasmine Burgess (Cowley)) 4.5

Best U165: Ian Bush (MCS/Blackbirds) 7.5

Best Cowley U155: Bob Waugh 7

Best visitor U155: Kelly Riley (Cowley Workers) 6.5

Best U14: Bill Read (Witney) 5

Best U145: Tamal Matilal (Cowley Workers) 5.5

Best U130: Billy McCauley (-) 5

Best ungraded: Jim Vincent (-) 5

Best U12: Jenith Wiratunga (Cowley) 4

Best U10: David Kardashyan (William Fletcher PSch.) 2

Best slow starter - 0/2: Domas Druzas (Didcot) 5

Best very slow starter - 0/4: Hakeem Asif (Cowley) 4


- Gerard O'Reilly (11 December 2016)

Fourth Witney Weekend Congress


This event took place on 22nd & 23rd October 2016 at Cokethorpe School, Witney. There were four main sections: Open, U170, U145 and U120 with a prize fund of over £1900.


Pairings and Results

Open | U170 | U145 | U120 | Entries | Prizewinners | Photos |

Witney Rapidplay 2016


The annual Witney Rapidplay tournaments took place on Sunday 25 September at the Batt School in Witney.



There were lots of trophies, medals and certificates! In addition, there were good quality trophies for permanent retention for the top three places in each section. Ties were broken using sum of progressive scores, followed by sum of opponents’ scores where needed.


Results and Pairings

Senior | Junior Major | Junior Minor


Thank you for your support - MT.

Dates for your diaries

30.8.16 - The AGM is on 12 September - start 19:30, so we may not run a junior session that evening (although there will probably be some chess from around 20:30). Normal club nights start again on 19 September.


Looking forward to seeing you all for the new season!


- Mike

Pavel features in Guardian chess column

29.7.16 - Michael Adams, the England No1, is making a rare appearance in the annual British championship, which reaches its half-way mark at Bournemouth on Saturday. Games are free and live to watch online (starting at 2.30pm), with master and computer commentaries to help understanding of what is happening.


Read more in Leonard Barden's column about the Championships

Cowley Summer Blitz Report

11.7.16 - Although over fifty people registered for this year's Cowley Summer Blitz, held on Monday 27 June, we ended up with a slightly lower figure of 47 participants. (Perhaps some couldn't resist the lure of watching live on TV the England v Iceland soccer match at the Euros!).


Full report with results here ... with thanks to - Gerard O'Reilly.

Summer Tournament

See all the pairings and results from this year's Witney Summer Tournament.

Annual Club Dinner


23.5.16 - The annual club dinner took place at Hacketts in Witney on Friday 20 May, and the trophy winners were:


Witney 1: Dave Hackett

Witney 3: Elizaveta Sheremetyeva

Witney 4: Marianne Hauer

Witney 5: Freddie Beneat

Chairman's Award: Josh Soanes


More photos here

Peter Wells Simultaneous Display - 14 March 2016



Very many thanks to Grandmaster Peter Wells for another enjoyable and instructive evening. Peter as always received many accolades for his sporting and generous conduct, including letting players have numerous move passes and allowing players to start a second game in the event of a quick loss. Mrs T.’s copious refreshments also went down well, providing the sustenance needed for the 25 attendees to achieve a number of wins and draws.


Josh Soanes, another of Witney Chess Club’s crop of promising juniors, deserves great credit for his win against Peter, as does even younger Hugo Rayner for his fighting draw, and I understand that Marc Ives’ draw will shortly be doing the rounds of Cumnor Chess Club.


Ian Bush (draw) and Gary Reynolds (win) also recorded excellent results.


The roll of honour:


Josh Soanes 1:0

Gary Reynolds 1:0

Marc Ives ½:½

Ian Bush ½:½

Hugo Rayner ½:½


Many thanks to everyone, whether players or organisers (Alan, Tim, Danny and Faith), for their support, without which these events could not take place.


More photos here


- Mike

Pavel wins 1st prize at the 39th Kidlington Chess Congress



14.2.16 - I know it's a bit late but just a few words about Pavel (left) winning first prize at the 39th Kidlington chess congress on his third attempt.



This is the first time he has entered the U225 section as a top seed and it was a new experience for him, but he coped very well and went on to win all his games finishing top with 5 out of 5! It was really fine display and he managed to beat a list of very strong opponents. After four rounds he was leading with 4/4 and a point ahead from the closest rivals so for the fifth round all he needed was a quick draw and he would have guaranteed himself the outright wining of the tournament. The game started well and he was offered a draw after 17-18 moves but he declined and played on like a champion!


The game proved to be one of the longest games and was entertaining quite a few spectators at the end of the tournament and Pavel managed to show his endgame skills and won it to finish 5/5.


I am very happy to see that Pavel is taking over from where Marcus has left it and keeping the Kidlington title with the Witney chess club! I hope Witney will continue to see more success stories of its players for the years to come!


Prizewinners 2016 | U225 Crosstable and Results | Other Crosstables |


- Asen Asenov

Kidlington Chess Congress 2016


10.2.16 - Witney Chess club were well represented at Kidlington Chess Congress this year, there being 11 players from our club spread over the 4 sections. They were composed of 7 juniors and 4 seniors.


Congratulations must go to Bill Read who scored 4/5 in the U120 section(2 draws and 3 wins) and came 2nd equal.


Bill has been board 1 for the successful Witney 5 team all season and has recently moved up to the 4th team. Definitely one for the future.


Our biggest plaudits must go to Pavel Asenov, (the highest-graded U 15 in the country!) who won the top section, U 225,

with a marvellous 5/5, a point clear of his nearest rival. At his rate of progress, I doubt if he will be allowed entry into that section next year! Pavel showed great powers of concentration and will to win in his last match when he could have easily accepted a draw, forcing the situation in an unbalanced position before going on to convert a Queen and pawn ending with consummate skill.


Photos here with thanks to Brendan Gorman | Tournament Report by Gerard O'Reilly


- Alan Gentry.

Witney Grades - January 2016



The revised club grades are published.


Grades are based on results up to 30th December 2015. They are not written in stone. Corrections may be made at any time, both to game results and to players' details, as errors come to light. They are based on games played up to 31st Dec 2015.


For detailed guidance on using the list, see the new ECF Grading website.


Cowley Christmas Blitz Report



The 2015 Cowley Christmas Blitz was held on Monday 14 December and attracted 54 entrants, the best total for our Christmas Blitz in the years for which I have records. The clear winner, with 9/10, was Witney's Marcus Harvey, the sixth time he has won the Cowley Blitz. The only point he dropped was in the final round against Graham McInnes of Didcot Chess Club. Sharing second place, a point behind, were Jake Holton (Witney), the current British Under-14 champion, and Didcot's Matthew Staniforth. They were followed by five players on 7½/10.


The success of Witney juniors was a noteworthy feature of the event. In addition to Jake Holton, other Witney juniors walking away with prizes were Elizaveta Sheremetyeva, Marianne Hauer, Bill Read and Freddie Beneat. The complete prize list is as follows:




Rose Hill Methodist Church, Oxford OX4 4JP

1st: Marcus Harvey (Witney) 9/10

2nd: Jake Holton (Witney) 8

3rd: Matthew Staniforth (Didcot) 8

4th: Csaba Koszta (-) 7½

Best Cowley player: Will Burt 7½

Best visitor: Graham McInnes (Didcot) 7½

Best junior (U18): James Cole (MCS/B) 7½

Best lady: Francesca Matta (Bicester) 6½

Best U165: Geoff Rasell (Cowley) 7

Best Cowley U155: Oscar Idle 6

Best visitor U155: John Place (MCS/Blackbirds) 6

Best U14: Elizaveta Sheremetyeva (Witney) 5½

Best U145: Marianne Hauer (Witney) 5½

Best U130: Kelly Riley (Cowley Workers) 5½

Best ungraded: Sandy Ruxton (-) 7½

Best U12: Bill Read (Witney) 5

Best U10: Freddie Beneat (Witney) 3½

Best slow starter - 0/2: Ian Bush (MCS/Blackbirds) 5½

Best very slow starter - 0/4: John Taylor (Cowley) 4


We at Cowley are grateful to everyone who helped make the event a success, especially:


Rose Hill Methodist Church for allowing us the use of the downstairs Hall for the event; the Kidlington Chess Tournament for the loan of the equipment we used; those who kindly donated prizes or made donations to the Lester Millin Memorial Fund; John Taylor, Will Burt, and Dave Robson for particular assistance with the transporting of equipment and setting up; Rob Harvey for manning the wallcharts and keeping the results up to date round by round; the many people who helped clear up afterwards; and, above all, our controllers Tim Dickinson and Priscilla Morris, for their calm and efficient running of the event.


- Gerard O'Reilly (19 December 2015)

Witney Rapidplay and the third Witney Congress 2015  



Just to let you know that all the details for the forthcoming Witney Rapidplay (Sunday 27 September 2015) and the third Witney Congress (the weekend of 17-18 October 2015) are now available; just follow the “Witney Rapidplay 2015” and “3rd Witney Congress” links above.


You can find the entry forms for the Witney Rapidplay here (separate junior and senior entry forms – please also note that there are two sections in the junior tournament) and for the third Witney Congress here.


If you are able to enter online, that makes the administration easier all round! - Mike Truran



Photo from 2014 rapidplay event


Weekend Congress 17 and 18 October, Cokethorpe School, Witney.

Pairings and Results: Open | Major | Intermediate | MinorEntries | More information |
Round times: Rd1 Sat 09.30; Rd2 Sat 14.00; Rd3 Saturday 18.30; Rd4 Sunday 09.30; Rd5 Sunday 14.00.


Rapidplay (Sunday 27 September 2015) Pairings & Results: Senior | Junior Major | Junior Minor | Entries | Photos |

Young guns on rise in federation ratings

The latest English Chess Federation (ECF) ratings list has been published showing the now standard upward march of younger brains at the expense of their seniors.


Oxfordshire has a fine record of producing promising juniors and presently boasts some of the most impressive young players in the country ... [Read more]


Witney's Jake Holton wins British U14 title



The British Chess Championships 2015 were held at the University of Warwick, incidentally where my parents both went to university.


Before the U14 competition came the U15, which I suppose was an overall success: 74 FIDE points won, largely thanks to beating the second and fourth seeds, but some bad games, blundering an exchange then collapsing the game after as a result.


Read Jake's report here ...


More success for Witney Chess Club juniors



12.8.15 - Many congratulations to Jake, who is the new British U14 Champion after coming half a point ahead of pre-tournament favourite Koby Kalavannan (FIDE rating 2178).


You can find details of Jake’s performance by following this link:


Pavel also did well in the Championship itself, scoring 5½/11 with a 2200+ FIDE rating performance and including a draw against Grandmaster Simon Williams.


Details of Pavel’s performance can be found here:



  • Older items from the 2014/15 season are here.

  • New items from the 2013/14 season are here.

  • News items from the 2012/13 season are here.

  • More news items from the 2011/12 season are here.

  • All news items from the 2010/11 season are here.



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© 2015 Witney Chess Club