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26th March 2018: Leicestershire U120's are the Midland Counties Champions, after beating Derbyshire on Saturday 24th March. A tough match was anticipated and that's exactly how it turned out. Derbyshire notched up the first win, which was soon matched by a Leicestershire win and that's how it continued, neck and neck all the way, until the score reached 5 - 5. Then, with 2 games left to finish, Andrew Wilson, once again, produced another fine win, after which captain Paul Mottram's opponent, a pawn down, and seemingly oblivious to the delicate match position agreed a draw. Final score 6½ - 5½.to Leicestershire and the win was enough to secure the Midlands title. Lincolnshire could have finished level with us on 8pts, had they beaten Nottinghamshire, but in a bizarre twist of fate, didn't bring any boards to their match, which was subsequently declared void.
Over the six U120 matches, 2 of our players did exceptionally well, Les Corlett with 5 wins and 1 draw and George Worrow-Goodin (last year's Junior Team Player of the Year) with 4 wins and 2 draws.
Currently, Leics hold 3 titles, 16/17 U100 national, 17/18 U100 Midlands and now 17/18 U120 Midlands, with both teams going forward to the 17/18 national stages. The scoresheet can be found below. Report by John Oliver

15th March 2018: After the euphoria of 3 consecutive wins, our nascent U120 team went down 7 - 5 away to Nottinghamshire on Saturday 10th March. Notts quickly established a 3 - 1 lead and we were never able to bridge the gap. We did however notch up 3 wins and a draw on the top 6 boards, but unfortunately, the bottom 6 could only manage 3 draws. Losing this match has created an intriguing situation, insofar as there are now 4 teams leading on 6 points, with the remaining 3 teams on 4 points. This means there is still everything to play for in the final matches on the 24th. For more details, check out the table on the MCCU website. The scoresheet can be found below. Report by John Oliver

13th February 2018: The Leicestershire U120 team won their match against Warwickshire 7-5 on Saturday 10th at the junior training venue at Westleigh. In between this match and our previous one on 13th January, Warkwickshire lost 2 matches, but still topped the table with 6 points. It was therefore going to be an important match for both sides, with the outcome unpredictable. An early win went Warkwickshire's way, after which the scores levelled out at 1½ each. With 6 games completed, just 1 point separated the two sides and with 1 game remaining, it was 6 - 5 to Leicestershire. Then, what looked like a comfortable draw for Andrew Wilson on board 4, became a frantic time scramble, resulting in a controversial finish, but critically a won game for us. Warwickshire appealed and tried to claim the game on the basis of 'interference', when acting Leicestershire captain Granville Hill supported our player, who had claimed a 3 fold repetition of the position. The MCCU Controller later ruled that it was perfectly legitimate for the Captain to be involved in such a matter and the result stood. This latest win has put Leicestershire in a very good position, with 2 matches left to play. The scoresheet can be found below. Report by Paul Mottram and John Oliver.

21st January 2018: It was a disappointing afternoon for Leicestershire's county first team against Worcestershire on Saturday, when a match which looked well within our grasp slipped away and we went down 8½ - 7½. The match saw an unusually high number of decisive games (11). Leicestershire scored well on the higher boards, winning four of the top seven, and on board one Alan Agnew made GM Keith Arkell work hard for the full point. On the lower boards, however, our only win came from Matt Smith (who has won all three of his games in this debut season for the team!). With Ray Burgess, Phil Harlow and Karl Potter all losing, the result depended on Sean Sheahan and John Mitchell's games. Sean had gained what looked like a winning advantage, but as the time control approached, the tables turned away and Sean's king came under fire from his opponent's queen and rook. His attempt to find shelter by running up the board led the king into a mating net, leaving the score tied with John's game remaining. John was a pawn down in a rook and opposite colour bishop ending, which looked drawish, but he was desperately short of time and eventually this was his undoing. With one win and three losses from our four matches, it looks highly unlikely that we will take one of the three qualifying places in this season's knockout stages, so the campaign is almost certainly over for this season. Thanks to everyone who has played for the team in my first season as captain, and thanks also to my predecessor Graham Booley for his help, particularly when I was on holiday in France and struggling to get a full team out for the first match! The scoresheet can be found below. Report by John Denton

19th January 2018: Leicestershire's Under 120 team had a very convincing 9½ - 2½ win against Staffordshire on Saturday 13th January playing away at Newcastle Under Lyme. With a small 108 to 106 average grade advantage, in theory it should have been much closer, but always ahead we swept the top 3 boards and also the bottom 5. Having now played 3 matches out of 6, Leicestershire is competitively placed in 2nd in the table (out of 7) but now face the top placed team Warwickshire, who are unbeaten thus far, in the next match on the 10th February. The scoresheet can be found below. Report by Paul Mottram

8th January 2018: Leicestershire's Under 100 are the Midlands county champions! Prior to the final group match, away to Warwickshire on Saturday 6th January, captain Neil Roberts expected his team to be outgraded and that proved to be the case on most of the bottom boards. It was an ominous sign, especially after Warkwickshire took an early 2 - 0 lead, but Leicestershire fought back, with Rory Haywood scoring a crucial win on board 8. After that, it was Leicestershire winning on higher boards and Warkwickshire on the lower boards. Eventually, Leicestershire were ahead 5½ - 4½, but then it became 5½ - 5½, leaving the fate of the match to be decided on board 4. Andrew Wilson was offered a draw, which he wisely turned down, before going on to outplay his opponent in a king and pawn endgame, thereby clinching not only the match, but also the Midlands title. A great day for Leicestershire chess. The final score was a win by 6½ - 5½, the scoresheet can be found below. Report by John Oliver.

18th December 2017: Leicestershire's first team managed to win a match for the first time this season, beating Nottinghamshire by 9½ - 6½ at Thurmaston on Saturday. Our middle and lower order were much stronger than in the previous two matches, and this made a big difference - in fact the scores were level over the top 12 boards, but Leicestershire scored 3½/4 on the bottom four boards to take the match 9½ - 6½, the scoresheet can be found below. Even though we have lost two out of three matches so far, there are three qualifying places available for the national stages, so if we manage to win our away match against Worcestershire in January, we should manage to qualify. Report by John Denton.

12th December 2017: Last season, Leicestershire's Under 100 lost away to Nottinghamshire 7 - 5, the only loss on the way to the national title. This time however, Leics raced away to a 5 - 0 lead early on and victory was never in doubt. Notts did fight back, but needing 6 wins and a draw, the task was too great. The final score was a win by 7½ - 4½, the scoresheet can be found below.

21st November 2017: Leicestershire's first team travelled to Birmingham to face a strong Warwickshire side in the Minor Counties competition on Saturday. An early loss on bottom board left us chasing the match, and Warwickshire gradually pulled away. There were a few bright spots - Matt Smith, making his debut for the county team, won a good game with black, and Richard Vann, although two pawns down in a minor piece ending, steered the game into a study-like position where his opponent's extra material was insufficient to force a win. In the end Warwickshire's grading advantage, although on average only 4 points per board, did tell, and they scored five wins to our three, giving a final score of 9 -7 in their favour. Our next match is at home against Nottinghamshire on 16 December, when we hope to return to winning ways. The scoresheet can be found below. Report by John Denton.

21st November 2017: Leicestershire's Under 120 team had a convincing 9-3 win against Lincolnshire on Saturday at an impressive but somewhat chilly venue at Lindum Group, North Hykenham. Points were hard to come by on the top boards at our previous match against Worcestershire but here we swept the top 5 boards and managed 8 points from the top 9. The scoresheet can be found below.

10th November 2017: Leicestershire's Under 100 team, the current National champions, kicked off the defence of their title by beating Staffordshire by 7 - 5 on Saturday.

29th October 2017: Leicestershire's first match of the season in the Midland U120 competition in Redditch resulted in a narrow loss against Worcestershire by 6½ - 5½. Our grading advantage was more pronounced on boards 7-12 and indeed we scored 4/6 on those boards but unfortunately couldn't pick quite enough points up on boards 1-6 where the grades were more even. Junior George Worrow-Goodin carried on where he left off in the U100 team last season and scored a good win on board 4. Wins were also achieved by Granville Hill, Paul Mottram, Stuart Hollingworth and Les Corlett with a draw from Michael Busby. The detailed scoresheet from the midland counties chess site can be found below. Report by Paul Mottram.

Here are the county team fixtures.


1st Team

28th October 2017 - Leicestershire v Lincolnshire - lost by 9½ - 6½ - Scoresheet

18th November 2017 - Warwickshire v Leicestershire - lost by 9 - 7 - Scoresheet

16th December 2017 - Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire - won by 9½ - 6½ - Scoresheet

20th January 2018 - Worcestershire v Leicestershire - lost by 8½ - 7½ - Scoresheet

Captain: John Denton 07956 409088 or 01664 560870 or email john.denton4@ntlworld.com

After many years service, Graham Booley has stepped down as Leicestershire first team captain. John Denton has taken over as captain.

Graham reports on his last season in charge and reminises about his 17 years in the role in this report which he has produced here - many thanks Graham for all your hard work.


Under 120 Team

28th October 2017 - Worcestershire v Leicestershire - lost by 6½ - 5½ - Scoresheet

19th November 2017 - Lincolnshire v Leicestershire - won by 9 - 3 - Scoresheet

13th January 2018 - Staffordshire v Leicestershire- won by 9½ - 2½ - Scoresheet

10th February 2018 - Leicestershire v Warwickshire- won by 7 - 5 - Scoresheet

10th March 2018 - Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire - - lost by 7 - 5 - Scoresheet

24th March 2018 - Leicestershire v Derbyshire - won by 6½ - 5½ - Scoresheet

Captain: Paul Mottram 07989 151175 or email paul@paulmottram.com


Under 100 Team

4th November 2017 - Staffordshire v Leicestershire- won by 7 - 5 - Scoresheet

9th December 2017 - Leicestershire v Nottinghamshire - won by 7½ - 4½ - Scoresheet

6th January 2018 - Warwickshire v Leicestershire - won by 6½ - 5½ - Scoresheet

Captain: Neil Roberts 01530 455957 or 07804 743471 or email njhammer@ntlworld.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 2016-17 click here.

For full details with match reports of how the county teams performed in season 2015-16 click here.

For full details with match reports of how the county teams performed in season 2014-15 click here.

For full details with match reports of how the county teams performed in season 2013-14 click here.

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.