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Telepost Chess Club - News



James holds topsy turvy showdown to clinch 45/15 (4/8/20) 

Congratulations to James Holyhead who won the inaugural Telepost 45/15 online tournament after drawing against Matthew Clark in a dramatic final round match. Matthew, needing a win to take the tournament, went a piece up through tactical exchanges in the middle game and looked set to capitalise as further pieces were exchanged. But James, remaining proactive as he has throughout the tournament. managed to advance a pair of central pawns, forcing Matthew's king into a defensive role under time pressure and an eventual threat of forced repetition. James finished on 6/7, Matthew 5.5. Elsewhere, the tournament resolved to a semblance of expected grade order, with Keith finishing third on 4.5 and John Westhead fourth on 4.     

Congratulations also to the Shropshire team in the ECF Online Counties Championship who have qualified from Division 2 of the Open competition to advance to the semi finals of the Open Challengers.  Their exact position in the table is to be determined however, as an adjudication is pending on two boards of last Saturday's match against Hampshire.

45/15 goes to the wire (29/7/20)

As the Telepost Online 45/15 tournament heads for its final round, James Holyhead is on the brink of "doing a Carlsen" and winning the tournament he organised.  James is on a superb score of 5.5/6, having seen off a succession of higher graded players with some very attacking chess.  However, Matthew Clark, top graded player in the tournament, is hot on his heals with 5/6 and the pair meet next Monday 3/8 in a final round showdown. Keith Tabner is in third, but needs a result on Monday to avoid being  caught by John Westhead, while the rest of the field are neck and neck for the minor places.  Final round begins at 18.30 on

Season-ending EGM sees C confirmed as champions and D promoted (16/7/20)

Telepost C have been confirmed as champions of Shropshire League Two, and Telepost D are promoted from Division Three to Division Two, following an Extraordinary General Meeting held this week online in which there was unanimous support for Matthew Clark's proposal that the season be concluded and positions determined on a match points per game basis.  Telepost A finished third in Division One and Telepost B were narrowly beaten to the second promotion spot in Division Two by Wellington.  With Telepost E in Division Three, the club will have a spread of teams across the divisions for next season.  In Rapidplay, Telepost A finish second in Division One and Telepost B avoid the wooden spoon in Division Two. Capping off a very successful season for the club, Nigel Ferrington's match against Adrian Zdanowski was awarded the inaugural brilliancy prize, the Colin Roberts Memorial Trophy. Congratulations to all the players involved. The EGM,  held via Zoom, was well attended (with more attendees than some "Over The Table" chess association meetings!) and also discussed the likelihood of Over The Board chess returning soon and possible formats for online competitions.  Further news to follow on both of these matters in the coming weeks.          

Nunn but the best for Phil (28/6/20) 

Have a look at the game  above and you'll see Telepost's Phil Zabrocki playing against "Doccy1" in the final round of the inaugural National Online Club Championships.  Discover that Doccy1 is none other than legendary grandmaster and author, and former world number nine, John Nunn, and you'll realise that Phil had quite a job on his hands!    And this was in the Minor section of the competition, such was the volume and calibre of entries.  Telepost, ably captained by Matthew, and the only Shropshire club represented,  finished 7th in a field of 16 in the five-round Swiss tournament, with all seven squad members achieving a 50% or better score. Star performers were Kate with 4.5 out of 5 and James with 2.5 out of 3.  The opposition ranged from teams of juniors to, well, former grandmasters!  The event, played over three days on the lichess platform, attracted 34 teams and 310 players and was enjoyed by all the Telepost players.  All the details and results are here.            

Earlier in the week, the first round of the Telepost 45/15 tournament saw the apple cart well and truly upended as lower graded players won or drew on all boards, suggesting that the seven-round all-play-all competition is going to be an open affair.  Lastly, four Telepost players took part in Shropshire's 7.5-4.5 win against Worcestershire in the ECF Online County Championships, and, with draws for Phil, Matthew and James and a win for Nick, came away unbeaten.

Online chess gathers pace, 2019-2020 season to be resolved (19/6/20)

Telepost club and individual members are involved in further online competitions as the shutdown of OTB chess continues. Shropshire have entered a team in the Open section of the ECF Online Counties Championship. The team is captained by Matthew Clark, with Dennis acting as non-playing captain on match nights, and a number of our players are in the squad. All seemed well on the technical side during a preliminary round match against Oxfordshire, but the first round proper, against Hampshire on Saturday 13 June, was beset by problems caused by rebooting its servers just as games were due to start. The round was eventually abandoned, to be replayed at a later date, and both the ECF and have apologised to players and learnt some lessons for the future. The next match for Shropshire is against Worcestershire on Saturday June 20.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Keith Tabner on winning his group in the inaugural Telepost online championship with a spectacular score of 11 wins, no losses and one draw! His opponent in the final is Dennis, who won the other group with an equally impressive 7 wins out of 8 matches.  That tournament was played as a "daily" format, with players having up to three days to make each move. Next week sees the first round of a new tournament to be played in a 45 mins/15 second increment format on Details are here and any late entrants should contact James Holyhead by Saturday 20 June. A busy week in the virtual world continues on Friday 26 June, when Telepost have entered a team in the National Online Club Championships. This is an online rebirth of the National Club Championship in which Telepost excelled in 2018. Also using a 45/15 format, but played on lichess, the championship has five matches over one weekend, much like a traditional weekend congress. We have a squad of seven players for a six-player team captained by Matthew. Details and results during the competition can be found here.

Finally, a Special General Meeting of Shropshire Chess Association has been arranged for Wednesday 15 July, in order to decide how to resolve the current season. Matthew has proposed that league placings be decided on a points per game basis. The meeting is on Zoom at 1930, and anyone wishing to attend should send their name and email address to Matthew Clark at, who will send the Zoom invitation. Also contact Matthew if you wish to raise any other issues.

County and 4NCL online chess opportunies (30/3/20)  

Following on from the Telepost remote club described below, there are now further opportunities for remote chess in the county, including an online social evening and participation in a 4NCL  online league.  Full details can be found here on the Shropshire Chess website.

Remote Telepost up and running (23/3/20) 

Although  all the county chess activities are suspended and the bricks and mortar (well, to be fair, not many bricks in the case of our clubhouse!) Telepost Chess Club is currently closed, Remote Telepost is up and running.  Using the platform, we are running a club competition which currently has 11 players.  Divided into two groups, the competition is organised as all play all, with each player playing the others in their group as both white and black.  Group winners will play a finale.  Players have three days to make each move, but in practice most matches so far are seeing a number of moves played each day.  Many thanks to James Holyhead for sorting out the techie details and running the tournament.  If any other members are interested in joining in, please contact Dennis on or James on The site is free to join and use.                      

Important Announcement - Shropshire Chess Fixtures Suspension and Telepost Chess Club activities suspension  (15/3/20)

All fixtures in the Shropshire Chess League from Monday 16th March 2020 will be deferred.  Details here 

In light of this, and the current coronavirus situation, activities at our chess club are also suspended.  Please see the message below from our club secretary, Dennis:  

Hi everybody. We are all aware of the rapid spread of Coronavirus in the UK and the steps the Government have already taken to combat this disease. We also hear this morning of the new measures that will be brought in later in the week and new laws to support the Government action. Nobody knows how many months this virus will be affecting our population but I believe we must also protect all our members from contracting the coronavirus. Please see the message from Francis Best, the Chairman of the Shropshire Chess League, which was issued today. We have therefore decided, with the support of all of our Telepost captains, to suspend all activities at our chess club from tomorrow, 7am, Monday 16th March. In our generation we certainly haven't seen or experienced any virus as bad as this and I certainly hope that in the near future we will be able to start our beloved game at our club again. I will keep you informed of any communications from the League. Best Regards Dennis. 

We will also aim to keep this page updated with developments. 

Telepost make waves at Blackpool (16/3/20) 

Telepost players came close to top honours in three different sections of the Blackpool Chess Congress, held from 13th to 15th March. In the Major section, for players under 181, Phil Zabrocki continued his excellent record in this tournament with an unbeaten 4/5 and joint second place. In the Minor, for players under 135, Kate Walker was joint top seed and led the field throughout Friday and Saturday with three wins before a couple of losses on Sunday left her on 3/5. In the Standard, for players under 115, James Holyhead had an excellent weekend, finishing in joint fourth place, unbeaten on 4/5 with all of his opponents higher graded. He was hotly pursued by Paul Billington, who finished on 3.5 with three wins and a draw, while Steve Wilson included a draw against one of the joint top seeds in his score of 2.5. As the players completed their Sunday matches news came through of the league suspension detailed above - congratulations to all on such a strong showing in what may turn out to be one of the last congresses for a while. 


Floods mark imminent rise  (29/2/20) 

A busy week for Telepost saw promotion guaranteed for at least one of our teams as flood waters lapped at the door of the clubhouse.   The week began with a resounding 4-1 win for the A team which moved them into third position in Division 1.  A number of Club Championship and Minor Individual matches were played at the clubhouse on the same night, as water levels continued to rise and club manager Val was issued with a Floodwatch warning by the powers that be.  Meanwhile, John C chalked up a literal home win in the Minor Individual when his opponent agreed to relocate to John's house.  On Thursday, the D team travelled to Oswestry for a match that included a shootout between the two fastest guns in Shropshire chess, our own Shane and Oswestry's Dimitar Kirachen. Oswestry took the blitz battle and the win, but with two games in hand the D team are still in touch with the top of the table and in the hunt for promotion. The following night, promotion was confirmed for at least one of our Division 2 teams when the B team sneaked a tight encounter with Shrewsbury A. An early draw for Paul Officer against Daniel Lockett was followed by Kate and Nick extricating a win and a draw respectively from two seemingly losing positions. After Tony Purser, a late substitute for Shrewsbury, constructed a fine mating net against John W, the match came down to the top board encounter between Shrewsbury's David Everington and the multitasking Trevor Brotherton, fresh from a win for the A team earlier in the week.  With both players extremely short on time, Trevor finally broke the deadlock with a rook manouvre that attacked David's position from the rear and forced the loss of the exchange. The resulting 3-2 win means Shrewsbury can no longer catch either of our teams, who must now fight it out with Wellington A for the title and the promotion spots. Wellington's remaining fixtures are against the two Telepost teams.  Finally, as a precaution against further flood disruption, Telepost E v Oswestry  B has been moved back a week to March 9.  Details on the Diary page. 

E team take it to Telford  (6/2/20)

Congratulations to Telepost E, who chalked up their first win of the season with an excellent win away to Telford B in Division 3.  Heavily outgraded on all four boards, wins for James Holyhead and John Casewell,  and a draw for Martin Ayres,  secured the victory.  And on Monday this week, Telepost D drew against a strong Newport C side to move to only two points behind Division 3 leaders Maddocks C, with two games in hand. The match included a notable win for Paul Billington against the highly experienced Chris Paul. It's looking like a very tight finish in the division, and the D team's next opponents are promotion rivals Oswestry B.       

Excellent turnout at Shropshire Congress 

In one of the club's strongest showings in recent years, 11 Telepost players featured in this year's Shropshire Congress, held at the Wrekin Housing Trust in Telford from 3rd to 5th January 2020.  Results of particular note included Phil and Matthew both scoring 3.5 in the Major (U170), only half a point behind the winners; Paul Billington, in his first season since returning to the club, scoring an excellent 3 points and a tournament grade of 139 in the Intermediate (U135); and James Holyhead, in his debut season, 3.5 in the Minor (U100).  

Congratulations to Kate Walker on becoming the Womens Grand Prix Champion 2018/19 for grading between 120 and 139.
In achieving this Kate won the Warwickshire under 140 congress with 4/5, the North Wales Minor Congress with 4.5/5 and came second in the Midlands Congress with 4/5.
This must surely be a first for Shropshire.
Grand Prix points are calculated as – percentage score in the event, with any fraction of a percent ignored; plus the number of games played in that event (up to a maximum of 11).
(b) Calculating overall Grand Prix scores
Grand Prix scores will be calculated on the member’s best performances in —
• up to 7 Standard Play events
The link for the final table is

Congatulations to Kate Walker for winning the under 120 section of the recent North Wales Congess and to Nick Holmes who came

second in the same competion.

Congratulations also go to John Westhead for winning the Shropshire Minor Tournement with 5.5/7.

Club Championship Winter 2018/19
Congratulations to Nigel Ferrington with a 100% record to win our latest club Champioship

Shrewsbury Town Championship 2019
Entries are now being received by Keith Tabner

Congratulations to Graham Shepherd for his performance in the recent Paignton Chess Congress

Graham shared first prize with one other player in the morning competition for players graded under 135, and shared second prize with three others in the afternoon competition for players graded under 150.Perhaps Graham would like to share his favourite game with us.

Telepost Rapidplay 3 Sep.18

The tournament was organised and run by Steve Wilson.It was held over 5  rounds using the Swiss pairings system. Fourteen members took part and at the end of the night , Philip Zabrocki was the winner with 5 wins out of 5. John Westhead and Matthew Clark were joint 2nd both scoring 4 wins out of 5. 
Many thanks to Steve for organising such an enjoyable evening.

Pre season friendly Telepost v Shrewsbury on Monday 20 August 18

Shrewsbury came to Telepost mustering three players and to make a seven board game Telepost loaned them four players for the night.A close match ensued with Telepost running out 4-3 winners.
Bd1 Phil Zabroki 1 v Mark Smith 0
2 Matthew Clark 0.5 v Ivor Salter 0.5
3 Steve Kempsell 0.5 vTony Purser 0.5
4 John Westhead 0 v Kate Walker 1
5 Graham Shepherd 1 v Quentin Mills 0
6 John Casewell 1 v Steve Wilson 0
7 Shane Sweeney 0 v Dennis Bonner 1


Club Championship 2017/8

Congratulations to John Westhead winning the club championship 2017/8 with 4.5/5.An admiral performance considering he was outgraded by two of his opponents.

National Club Championships

The National Chess Club championships were held at the Park Hotel in Telford on Saturday/Sunday 7/8th April.
Our club had two 4 person teams,the A team in the Major Section ,the Rules stipulated that the average grade of the 4 people must be no more than 175. We also had a B team in the Minor Section,the average grading could be no more than 125.
Our B team won the Minor Section so congratulations go to Graham Shepherd,Dennis Bonner,Steve Wilson and Shane Sweeney. This was especially well deserved as all of the other teams well outgraded our B team.
Our A team also did well,achieving 2nd Position in the Major.
Congratulations go to Nigel Ferrington,Phil Zabroki,Matthew Clark and John Bashall.Nigel with 3 out of 4 and Matthew with the same score were the highest scorers on boards 1 and 3 respectively.
It was a very good weekend for Shropshire as Telford won the Intermediate section.
We now have our first silverware of the Season.
Matthew agreed to get the Cup and the Plate engraved with our teams and date, they will both be placed on the shelves in the Bar area for all to see.
Dennis Bonner

Division 3; C versus D

The C team played our D team on Monday 26/2 which was their 3rd fixture against each other this season.

The honours turned out even at 2-2 with Nick Holmes beating John Casewell, Charles Micallef drawing with Kate Walker,Andy Lewis drew with Steve Wilson, and Dennis Bonner lost against Shane Sweeney.

This leaves the C team in 3rd place in the Division 3 followed by the D team in 4th position ,with only 2 points separating the teams

Simultaneous at Newport

Good news from the recent Simutaneous display by Grandmaster Keith Arkell on 13th February.

There were 18 opponents from the various clubs in Shropshire and there was only 1 winner from all of these clubs……None other than our own Phil Zabroki.

Phil had the better position in the game and finally won the end game against Arkell ,who has the reputation of being a fine endgame player. Congratulations to Phil from all of our club.

Telepost A 4 Wellington A 1 07/02/18

Telepost A were happy to get back to winning ways last Wednesday. Nigel and Phil secured good wins over traditional rivals Toby Neal and Colin Roberts. John Bashall and John Westhead also achieved good wins on boards 4 and 5. Sadly, Matthew was unable to complete the clean sweep on board 3 after achieving a good position from the opening, but congratulations to James Kuczynski for getting the better of the time scramble and achieving checkmate with only 20 seconds on the clock.

Rapidplay debuts end the duck

Debut Rapidplay appearances of the season by Peter Crean and Kate Walker helped Telepost B break their Rapidplay Division 2 duck as Telepost Club hosted round four of the competition on February 5th. The win came in the final match of the evening, against Newport B. Peter, on fine form, had two wins and a draw on the night, and a win and a draw for Steve Wilson and two wins for Shane Sweeney made it easily our best showing of the season, against teams graded much higher. We remain bottom of the division but not quite as bottom as we were!

C v.TelfordB

Our C team played Telford B at home on Moday 12/2/18.
Telford are lying 2nd in the 3rd Division and are battling with Oswestry B for promotion to the 2nd Division.
Unfortunately Telford could not raise a full team and were forced to Default Board 4,which gave an immediate boost for our team.
Nick Holmes continued the boost with a win against Steve Szwajkun. The match continued and Charles Micallef lost against his higher graded opponent, at 133,Richard Szwajkun .
It was then left to Andy Lewis who was playing Roger Brown.
Roger outfoxed Andy in the endgame with a result that the C team had a very creditable draw against Telford B.

RESULT: Telepost C 2 Telford B 2

“C” team met Newport “C” at home on Monday 29/1/18.

It turned out to be a tense battle but Nick Holmes beat his opponent Michael Moore in the first game to complete. Then Andy Lewis had a good draw against Malcolm Price as did Charles Micallef who drew with Paul Broderick. Quickly following those results Dennis Bonner beat Zack Maydew to complete a good win at 3-1 which puts the “C” team in 3rd position in the 3rd Division.

Newport A v Telepost A 18 /01/18

Telepost A lost 4-1 to Newport A last night. Nigel drew with Nick Rutter on board one in a battle of
the recent county champions and John Westhead drew with Chris Paul on 4, but none of the rest of us had any success.
Steve Kempsell played very well to push Nathaniel Paul hard, but Nat ground him down in the ending.
Team was Nigel on 1, Matthew on 2, Steve on 3, John on 4 and Nick making his first team debut on 5.
Matthew Clark

D v Telford B - Division3

Josh put up a great battle but lost to the very experienced Stefan Tennant.The other 3 games continued very tensely until Shane beat Roger Brown on time . This set the match at 1-1 with everything to play for. The 3rd game was very well won by Kate,who was playing her first game for the D Team . She played Richard Thompson ,who lost a long battle but fell to Kate’s well thought out strategy.

The last game was played out virtually to the Time Control and could have gone either way but the game was finally won by Andy Jones . Steve Wilson had a great battle against his higher graded opponent.

So the match finished at 2-2,an excellent performance for our D team.

Dennis Bonner 17/01/18

Shropshire Congress- 5th - 7th January 2018
This year’s Congress was very successful with 145 entrants in all of the Sections.
Congratulations to Phil Zabroki who received the under 2000 Grading prize ,in the Open Section,with 2.5 points and Nigel Ferrington,also with 2.5 points who was joint top Shropshire player also in the Open. This was again a really tough section with GM’s and IM’s competing.
In the Intermediate U 140 section congratulations to both John Westhead who had 2.5 and Kate Walker with 2 points.
In the In the Minor U 100 congratulations to Nick Holmes with 3.5 points and narrowly missed out on a prize coming in 4th position.Also congratulations to both Martin Ayres who,with 3 points,received the grading prize and Dennis Bonner who had 2 points .
The full amounts of Results can be found on the “”.
Thank you to all of our members who supported this event and we hope in 2019 ,at the same venue in Telford,many more of our members can enter.
Dennis Bonner 10/1/18

Telepost win a trophy thriller
12/07/2017 Shropshire Star
Telepost A have beaten Newport A in the final of the Shropshire chess Cox Trophy by the closest of margins, disappointing Newport's hopes of doing a league and cup double.
The final, which was broadcast live on the internet thanks to the use of digital chess boards, ended in a 2-2 draw on the night. But using the board countback tiebreak rule, Telepost were declared winners. A top board win for Trevor Brotherton eventually proved decisive despite  a late win on time for Ian Jamieson, and Athar Ansari salvaging a 91 move draw even though a piece down for most of his game with David Hodge.
In the Minor knockout final pitting Telford A against Telepost B, which was played simultaneously, Richard Thompson's win gave Telford the early lead. Draws on boards two and four left the match depending on the top board where, with only four seconds left on his clock, Mark Keady finally resigned to Keith Tabner.
Amazingly this gave another 2-2 match result, and again Telepost emerged victorious through the board countback rule, in which the result of the bottom board is scrubbed out, repeatedly if necessary, until a decisive result is arrived at.

Shrewsbury-based Telepost had been underdogs in both matches, being outgraded on seven of the eight boards.

Detailed results were Cox Trophy, Newport A 2, Telepost A 2: Nathanael Paul 0, Trevor Brotherton 1; Chris Lewis 0.5, John Bashall 0.5; Ian Jamieson 1, Matthew Clark 0; Athar Ansari 0.5, David Hodge 0.5.

Minor Knockout, Telford A 2, Telepost B 2 - Mark Keady 0, Keith Tabner 1; Richard Szwajkun 0.5, Steve Kempsell 0.5; Richard Thompson 1, Peter Crean 0; Stefan Tennant 0.5, John Westhead 0.5.

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