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12th June: The County first team lost to old rivals Nottinghamshire by - in the Minor Counties Open semifinal on Saturday. See below for the scoresheet.

19th May: There were mixed fortunes for the two county teams in action on Saturday. The first team had a fine performance to beat Sussex in the National quarter finals by -7½ and will go on to play old rivals Nottinghamshire in the semifinal on the 14th June. An off day from our lower order led this to be a more tense affair than it probably should have been, with at least a 20 point grading advantage on each of the bottom 5 boards where I thought we would pick up a few wins but with the exception of Sean Sheahan they all seemed to struggle, although some fighting spirit from Alfonso and Shabir managed to save 2 draws, which became crucial. The day was saved by the top order with 4 wins, from Mark, Graham, Alan and an excellent early win from Ray, and 2 draws from John Denton and a very hard fought draw from Brian. The final win was brought home by Sean Sheahan, who slowly strangled his opponent's position and took great delight in ignoring me after being told that a draw would give us the match on board count, his next move won a piece and the match. Report by Graham Booley.

The Under 160 team lost narrowly to Cambridgeshire by 9 - 7, the match going down to the last game. There were a few early losses before draws by Mike S, Richard and Glyn steadied the ship. Phil had a good win as did Richard and Jim ground down his opponent, but despite draws by Andrew, Mike C and Stephen it was not enough to claw back the deficit. See below for the scoresheets.

17th March: The County first team lost to Nottinghamshire in the Midlands final by the narrowest of margins - on Saturday. The scoresheet can be found below. We now play Sussex in the Luton/Watford area, the match is scheduled for the 17th May.

3rd February: The County Under 160 team travelled to Uttoxeter to play Greater Manchester knowing that a win would secure the Midlands Championship as the draw with Nottinghamshire meant our better board count gave us the edge. Two close teams on grading meant another competitive match was in store. Wins from Dave Reynolds, Jim Bingham, Ben Pourmozafari left the score at 6½ each with 3 games left and everyone running out of time. Richard Vann converted his advantage in the endgame into a win to make the score 7½ - 6½, Pete Harrison agreed a draw as both players time was running out to leave the result for the third time relying on the final board. Phil Harlow found the win with 2 rooks against a queen with less than a minute left to make the final score 9 -7. My thanks to everyone who has played for the U160 this season and made it a success. We look forward to the national stages. See below for the scoresheet. Report by John Pattinson

29th January: The County first team scored an emphatic win against Greater Manchester on Saturday in the Midlands semi-final.

Inspired by Mark Hebden's first appearance of the season we raced into a 4-1 lead by 4.00pm with 3 excellent wins from Sean Hewitt, Ray Burgess & Mark Hebden, draws from Tom Reynolds, Jim Miller, Alan Agnew, Sean Sheahan & Sven Reimaa kept the scoreboard ticking over, pushing closer to the winning post without serious reply. Two further wins from Martin Burrows & Andy Morley took us to the brink of - before we conceded our first loss, when John Denton was outplayed by his young opponent, Daniel Abbas, this was closely followed by John Mitchell unfortunately losing out in a time scramble to make the score -. No panic, as Phil Horspool secured a hard fought draw to give us the 8 points needed to guarantee victory, a draw from John Robinson and 2 further wins from Brian Galligan & Graham Sharpe secured this convincing win.

We now face a Midlands final against Nottinghamshire, who were surprise winners over Staffordshire. See below for the scoresheet. Report by Graham Booley

20th January: The County under 100 team took part in its final MCCU county match for the season against Staffordshire on Saturday. We were confident before the match as we had more or less the same side that so memorably beat Warwickshire last time out. The only change was forced at the last minute as Matthew Lo was unavailable due to Cricket county trials so Phoenix Colburn stepped into his place on board 12. Also Staffordshire had lost their only other match against Notts 11-1. Those hopes disappeared when we saw their team and realised that they had a much stronger side this time round and we were outgraded on every board. We won the toss and had white on the odd boards.

Our Juniors and experienced adults were underway and after about half an hour the positions were starting to look difficult. James and Phoenix lost early on after both losing their queens and then eventually the game. Next Peter Poolan lost after being mercilessly crushed for the whole game. Ben won a masterful game on board 7, winning a piece early he started pushing his middle pawns forward. Eventually one of them queened and his opponent resigned. This left us, 3-1 down. Unfortunately then came 3 more losses: Stephen, Ed and then Neil lost his see-saw game. 6-1 down it was going to be difficult to get anything now. Then came 3 draws to move the match out of reach. Daniel got a very good draw against his highly rated opponent in what was a very complex battle. Mick won a pawn in the middlegame but could not force his advantage in the pawn endgame. Stan performed a miracle somehow getting a drawn pawn endgame despite being a piece down. Alison won an excellent pawn endgame to recover some pride in the result. Last to finish was Drew. He had been underpressure for a lot of the game until his opponent gave him his queen. Even then the game was complex but Drew played sensibly, traded off pieces and forced his opponent into a mating net.

Despite the defeat there were a lot positives from the match and it was a clear improvement over the first game. Next season we will back and having learnt from the experiences of this season can hope to go further. See below for the scoresheet.

*** Update *** The County under 100 match against Staffordshire played on Saturday has been declared a drawn match 5½ - 5½ due to an administration error. Staffordshire fielded an ineligible player on board 6 which means the result is overturned and they are penalised a point. So Leicestershire finished with 3 points over the season and 3rd in the group behind Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire.

Report by Paul Colburn

18th January: The County under 160 team had an exciting win over Warwickshire by the narrowest of margins today. Early wins from Phil Harlow and Ben Pourmozafri were followed by draws from Mike Salisbury, Richard Hanscombe, Glyn Ward, John Manger and John Pattinson. Richard Vann, Graham Booley and Mike Cowley won to leave the match tied with just one game to finish. Justin Hadi showed excellent end game technique to bring home the final point, leaving the match 8½ - 7½ in Leicestershire's favour. See below for the scoresheet.

10th December: It was a great performance from the county first team on Saturday to inflict a comprehensive defeat on a Lincolnshire side who I am sure came expecting to win. This was by far the strongest Lincolnshire side I have seen, they completely out graded us on the top 8 boards averaging a 15 point grading difference.

In a tense match where the first game didn’t finish until 3.45, we took the lead with an excellent win from John Mitchell who completely out played Ivan David, but Karl Potter then miscalculated a 4 piece swop off and lost a piece to level the score. We then took a 2 point lead when both Tom Reynolds and Paul Colburn’s opponents dropped pieces but were then pegged back level when despite defending valiantly Martin Burrows and Ray Burgess eventually succumbed to their much stronger opponents, there was the usual assortment of draws throughout the afternoon to bring the scores level at 5.5 each with 5 of the top 7 boards still playing.

Sven, Alan & Brian all looked level, Graham was under pressure a pawn down in Q, R & P ending. Andy Morley was a piece to 2 pawns up and lots of threats but his opponent had 3 passed pawns on the queen side. Brian’s opponent was first to crack, falling to a knight fork to lose a piece and resigning 6.5-5.5, Graham then managed to force a draw with perpetual check, so it was 7-6, 3 games in play and very tense. Sven’s opponent then missed a move that won Sven a piece for a pawn but still a tricky endgame ensued, K, N & 3P against K & 4P, Alan had also managed to gain an advantage against the stubborn Nigel Birtwhistle, winning 2 pieces for a rook and quickly mopped up the Q side pawns with his bishop pair and with a pawn on a6 Nigel resigned, 8-6, but we need to win to progress to the next stage. No problem, both Sven & Andy’s wins followed quickly with Andy winning another piece and despite his opponent having passed pawns on a6,b5 & c6, he had the bishop pair to hold them off.

See below for the scoresheet. So a great win and some excellent performances. Well done to everyone. We now play Manchester on 25th January in the Midlands semi’s but are also guaranteed a place in the national stages.

Report by Graham Booley.

24th November: At the start of the season our original goal was to field a team of junior players for the u100’s but after our first match against Nottinghamshire we realised the enthusiasm of our juniors needed to be balanced with the experience of some stronger adult players. Our call was answered by some of Leicestershire’s finest and a team of 5 adults and 7 juniors set out for Warwickshire on Saturday 23rd November.

We won the coin toss and opted for white on the odd numbers.The match started well, but a couple of early losses saw us 2 points down (0-2). Anybody who has played against juniors knows they often like to throw everything bar the chair they’re sitting on at you across the board….and sure enough some aggressive and attacking chess by Drew Harbidge and James Roberts on boards 9 and 10 left their opponents reeling and Leicestershire back on even terms. 2-2

Material advantages ground into wins saw us go behind by another 2 points (2-4) and I got the feeling this was going to be a long afternoon. Six boards left playing and after what seemed an eternity….it started to turn. A win by Stan Parsons on board 2, followed by some excellent end game play from Mick Slater and Peter Poolan on boards 1 and 6….and we were 5-4 up! End game was the order of the day as Edward Findley on board 5 left his opponent with no way of stopping his passed pawns. 6-4 !

All this time a long hard drawn out battle was being excellently fought by Alison Walton on board 8 as the advantage switched backwards and forwards. It could have gone either way but not ours on this day. 6-5, we still had the lead.

Perhaps fittingly...Leicestershire’s hopes rested on the shoulders of a junior player. 12 year old Daniel Hill on board 3. Having come straight from the rugby pitch that morning, still in his rugby kit !, playing on black, and after 3 hours of chess….this game was going to the wire. A draw would have seen us home….but oh no….this is “junior chess” style. A draw won’t do if there’s a slim chance of a win.

With opponents pawns sitting on the 6th and 7th ranks threatening promotion...kept at bay by his king, Daniel expertly centralized his bishop to assist his king and protect potential queening squares as he worked his own 2 passed pawns down the board. With no where to go Warwickshire’s captain playing on board 3 resigned and the day was won for Leicestershire. (7-5). The scoresheet can be found below.

A big thank you to all who played and to Paul Colburn for the hard work in putting this team together. The team were : Mick Slater, Stan Parsons, Daniel Hill, Neil Roberts, Edward Findley, Peter Poolan, Ben Raines, Alison Walton, Drew Harbidge, James Roberts, Stephen Matts, Matthew Lo.

Report by Paul Findley

9th November: Despite being outgraded on almost every board the county Under 160 had a terrific match against Nottinghamshire today with the result in doubt until the last game to finish, which saw Pete Harrison a piece up for three pawns. Pete played the ending superbly to bring home the full point to square the match 8 - 8. There were wins for Andrew Reeves and Richard Vann with fine attacking displays and Mike Cowley and John Glover won convincing endgames. There were draws for Mike Salisbury, Greg Adcock, Steve Wylie, Jim Bingham, Toby Hoch and Michael Busby. The scoresheet can be found below.

5th November: The county first team succumbed to a strong Nottinghamshire side, outgraded on all but 5 boards, despite excellent results for Sven Reimaa (win against former county player Mike Barnes graded 201) & draw for Alan Agnew on his debut against Peter Mercs 202. Further wins for Phil Horspool and Phil Harlow were not enough as the match went down to the last few minutes of play on the last board and Notts scrapped home 7-9. We now have a must win match at home against Lincolnshire on 7th December, always very close affairs. The scoresheet can be found below.

20th October: We decided to enter an U100 county team this season in order to give the juniors an opportunity to play for the county. We managed to field 12 of the counties most promising juniors and it certainly was a baptism of fire for them. They were outgraded on every board and on average by around 30 grading points. Thats a big margin for an U100 event. For our talented juniors this was the longest game that they will have played, 4 hours for one match is a long time for them to concentrate. They were playing a Nottinghamshire side full of experienced seasoned adult players as well so maybe it is no big surprise that we lost 12-0. That only tells half the story as our juniors but up a tremendous fight. Chess can be a cruel game where one mistake turns several hours of perfectly good moves into defeat.

The fact that after one hour there were still 10 games left playing shows the levels of concentration from the juniors in the room. As we approached the two hour mark it looked likely that we would achieve at least 2 points with three very promising positions remaining.
There were some stand out performances - Matthew Lo still only 8 years was winning for a long period in his game. In an endgame where he was a pawn up, he sacrified a bishop for a mate threat that unfortunately just did not work and ended up costing him the game. Edward Findley, returning back to competitive chess after a few years break, looked to have a solid position and impressive kingside attack however he couldn't make the break through and unfortunately his position feel apart and he lost.
Tom Brown was very impressive on board four despite being two passed pawns down, he kept on fighting and it was only into the third hour of play that he was finally defeated.
Qiyuan Chen on top board had a very tough game but seemed to have survived and looked like he might get a draw, unfortunately an off-side knight in the endgame was his undoing.
So despite the scoreline the juniors have a lot to pleased about and if they can use this experience to learn and improve their game then next time things will be different. Thanks for this report from Paul Colburn, the scoresheet is below.

10th October: The county first team beat Derbyshire by the narrowest of margins on Saturday showing great determination from some dodgy positions. The scoresheet can be found below.


1st Team

5th October Derbyshire v Leicestershire - won by 8½ - 7½ - Scoresheet

2nd November Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire - lost by 9 - 7 - Scoresheet

7th December Leicestershire v Lincolnshire - won by 10 - 6 - Scoresheet

25th January Leicestershire v Greater Manchester - won by 10½ - 5½ - Scoresheet

17th March Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire Midlands Final - lost by 8½ - 7½ - Scoresheet

17th May National Quarter Final - Leicestershire v Sussex - won by 8½ - 7½ - Scoresheet

7th June National Semi Final - Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire - lost by 9½ - 6½ - Scoresheet

Captain: Graham Booley 01509 816974 g


Under 160 Team  

9th November Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire - drew 8 - 8 - Scoresheet

18th January Warwickshire v Leicestershire - won by 8½ - 7½ - Scoresheet

1st February Leicestershire v Greater Manchester - won by 9 - 7 - Scoresheet

17th May Leicestershire v Cambridgeshire - lost by 9 - 7 - Scoresheet

Captain: John Pattinson 01162 386758 ch


Under 100 Team

19th October Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire - lost by 12 - 0 - Scoresheet

23rd November Warwickshire v Leicestershire - won by 7 - 5 - Scoresheet

18th January Staffordshire v Leicestershire  - drawn 5½ - 5½ - Scoresheet

Captains: Paul Colburn 0116 2322379 & 07971 164598 leicestershirechess@yahoo.com

and Paul Findley 07976188553ls@gmail.com

 Some matches may be played at a neutral venue – see captains for details.

*** Anyone wishing to play for any of the county teams please contact the relevant captain *** Captains are always keen to give players the opportunity to play for the County.

For full details with match reports of how the county teams performed in season 2012-13 click here.

For full details with match reports of how the county teams performed in season 2011-12 click here.