Midland Open Championship - 15/08/2018
Athar Ansari was the Shropshire star of the show at the Midland Open Championship held in Telford as he smashed the chess opposition to score a perfect score of five wins in his five games.
Ansari, who played last season for the Telford club, won the first prize in the Major section, going home £250 richer. There was also a stellar performance by the Newport junior Edison Xu, who was equal third on 3.5 points.
Joint winners in the strongest section, the Open, were Jonah Willow of West Nottingham, Steven Jones of Basingstoke, and Shyam Jagdish Modi, who does not have a club, all on four points, but the Shropshire highlight was the achievement of Telepost player Nigel Ferrington in drawing against the Grandmaster Mark Hebden. Ferrington finished on three points.
Surprisingly there were hardly any Shropshire entries in the Minor section, where first prize was shared by John Harris of Forest of Dean and Julian Hawthorne on four points, but the unaffiliated Peter Mellor was equal third, and Telford's Roger Brown was equal sixth.
The competition was held at the Ramada Hotel and there were 77 entries - respectable considering it is the height of the holiday season.
New grading list reveals it's secrets - 08/08/2018
Tony Preece is Shropshire's most improved chess player, the latest players' grading list reveals.
Preece, who plays for the Telford-based Maddocks club - it has recently changed its name from Priorslee Lions - is up 16 points in the summer grading list, to 138.
The gradings are an assessment of a player's strength based on their results, and determine in what order teams can be played, as the strongest players have to play on the top boards.
Also making double digit strides are Ludlow's John Wrench who is up 11 to 171, and Newport's Edison Xu, up 10 to 159.
Edison is still only 10, and has underlined his potential to be a star of the future by winning the Newport blitz tournament with a fantastic score of 6.5 out of 7 in a strong field. He took first prize of £21. Equal second were Chris Lewis, Phil Bull, and Richard Archer, on 5 out of 7.
The competition was a handicap, in which the very strongest players had only 150 seconds on the clock, and the weakest, eight minutes.
For those looking for further summer chess action the Midland Open Championships are being held at the Ramada Hotel in Telford town centre, from August 10 to 12. A number of Shropshire players are already signed up for the tournament, which has three sections of strength, and which will be looking for a last week surge in entries - at the time of writing there are 29.
Telford hosts Midland Open Championships - 01/08/2018
More summer chess action is heading to Telford - an indication perhaps that the town's central position and good communications are appreciated by organisers of national and regional events.
Hard on the heels of the Four Nations Chess League congress which attracted players from all over Britain, the Midland Open Championships are coming to the same venue, the Ramada Hotel in the town centre, from August 10 to 12.
There are three sections - the Open, for players of unlimited strength, a section for players with a grading of under 160, and lastly a section for those with a grading under 130. First prize in the Open is £500, and £250 in the other two sections.
The inaugural Minor individual championship in Shropshire has been won by Tony Preece, of the Maddocks club, with a score of six points out of seven games.
The tournament was introduced last season for players graded 125 and below, amid a feeling that in the county's "other" individual championship with no grading limit the relative minnows had little incentive as they were unlikely to score well.
Runner up was Telford's Stefan Tennant on 5.5. Grading prizes went to Ian Davies, Tony Purser, and Willie Gormley.