Rotherham Chess Club

Welcome to the home of Rotherham's chess players. We meet on Wednesday nights (most weeks) at the Bridge Inn, Rotherham. Find out more about us.

🦠 The club is currently paused due to COVID-19, but we're continuing to hold events online. For more information, go here.

Making the grade

January grades have just been released. Andy saw the biggest increase since July's list, gaining 10 points to reach 134, while Mick Mc added 7 points to reach 136.

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2020 vision

With no league fixtures over Christmas, we had an enjoyable rapidplay tournament at the Bridge before New Year which was attended by a few Darnall players as well as a strong contingent of Rotherhamites. Congratulations to Nat H-D who crushed all before him, ending up with a perfect 6/6 score. Now though, we're well into a new decade, the festive period is nothing more than a speck in the rear-view mirror, and the great chess treadmill has started turning again...

2020 kicked off with a double-header against Sheffield Nomads: a home A-team match followed by the Plate semifinal at the Trades & Labour Club. In the league meeting, our valiant chessers couldn't stop the Nomads B juggernaut—the visitors, having lost just one match all season, never looked in any danger as Rotherham A notched just a win and draw in a 1½–4½ defeat.

It was difficult not to take this as a bad omen for the impending knockout game against Nomads II, but things would prove alright on the night. Oli's game was first to finish, winning a chaotic Pirc with the Black pieces to put Rotherham in the lead. Surveying the scene, Ed looked to be up a piece, while on top board Steve Mann had queen for rook after earlier sacrificing the exchange. There was still some chess to be played, but we could dare to dream of a shot at the trophy.

As the clocks began to run low, Steve swapped off into a won pawn endgame and Ed converted after grabbing a second piece. Meanwhile, Chris and Andy halved their games to send us through to the final with a score of 2–4.

In the other semifinal, Darnall & Handsworth defeated Ecclesall 3½–2½, so we'll meet them in the grand finale on Wednesday 12th February.

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Home and dry

On Monday, Rotherham A travelled to Hillsborough B where we scored an excellent 4–2 win despite being mostly outgraded. Four boards were drawn, while Andy and Ed continued their good runs by netting the crucial full-points to secure victory.

Wednesday's B fixture saw us finally return to our spiritual home, the Bridge Inn, for the first time in six weeks since the floods struck. Hillsborough C were the opponents and, despite the lack of heating in the upstairs function room, there was plenty of fire on the chessboard. The match toed and froed; Oli's top-board curse continued as he blundered a rook in a pleasant position. In the end, wins from Colin and Mick Mc alongside a half-point from John led to the spoils being shared in a 2½–2½ tie.

The festive period is just around the corner and we're heading for a well-deserved rest until the 8th of January—although I hear whispers of a quickplay tournament between Christmas and New Year.

Have a lovely Christmas and see you in 2020. 🎄

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