A Chess Club For All

We meet from 7.30pm every Tuesday at the Hertford Club in the town centre. Either Andrew or Alan (or another club member) will usually be there to welcome you. But if you're new, best to contact one of us first.

Hertford fixtures and results from January 2024.

October to December 2023 fixtures and results.

CLUB BLITZ TOURNAMENT - Balloons, bunting, photos, food, family, spectators and 14 players - this is what was waiting for Paul Byway at the club last Tuesday evening. His daughter Steph had suggested some time ago we arrange a surprise for him to help celebrate his 80th birthday. The secret was so well kept though that Paul decided to stay at home and miss the blitz set up to lure him to attend. No matter, Steph brought him in soon afterwards.
Gerald and Nithin finished as joint winners with 4/5 points each. An enjoyable evening for all.

LICHESS If you are a player who does not believe takebacks have a place in competitive matches then you can set lichess so that neither player can use this feature. Simply click on your user name and then 'Preferences'. One of the options shown is 'Game behavior' (US spelling) and the third choice down controls takebacks.

01/03/24 Several round 7 matches are outstanding.

4NCL Online Round 3 Hertford Results:
A tough night for our two teams last Tuesday.


FRIDAY 10TH NOVEMBER - Leon Edwards captained a junior team against Watford yesterday evening on lichess. Each player had two 10 minute + 5 seconds games. Sorry though that Laurence did not get a game and Elliot only got one.
Great performance, we won all the games!
1.   Leon Edwards 2 - 0 Arjun Singh
2.   Wolfie Page 2 - 0 Samara Kaur
3.   Izyan Anshar 2 - 0 Shlok Lath
4.   Laurence Edwards: v Rashhad Musa
5.   Clancy Page 2 - 0 Neil Shah
6.   Elliot Cooper 1 - 0 Ridwaan Musa

This puzzle is from Louis' second game playing for the County U1850 team in the East Anglian County Championships in Newmarket at the weekend.

THURSDAY 12TH OCTOBER - Congratulations to Gerald who won the Minor section of the Bury St Edmunds Congress last weekend. He remained unbeaten on 4.5/5. Brian and Alan achieved 3/5 and 2.5/5 respectively. A week after the congress the organiser, Steve Lovell, contacted Brian to award him the "Giant Slayer" prize, £50, which he had overlooked earlier. Brian's achievement here was his victory over a player rated some 263 points above him.

SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER - At the club on Tuesday Andrew organised a handicap blitz competition in the Chauncy Room. George won but it was good fun for everyone.

FRIDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER - At the H&D Jamboree at Allenburys on Tuesday evening we finished 3rd on 3/5 behind Welwyn, 4.5/5 and St Albans, 3.5. In the team picture below the impressive trophy for the event is shown in the bottom right corner. Other Hertford players attending were Mark Buswell and John Harris, both playing for Allenbury.

MONDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER - Andrew captained a Hertford team - Andrew, Simon, Louis and Within - at the Capes Trophy on Friday 8th September. It was held at Wanstead House, Wansted. There were 11 teams entered. The top graded team sat out for the first round and the remaining 10 teams played one game. The 5 winning teams from that went into the top Division (eligible to win the trophy and cash prizes), along with the top graded team. The first round losing teams went into the 2nd Division (only eligible for cash prizes).

We lost our 1st game so (thankfully) ended up in the 2nd Division with 4 other teams, where we won two matches and drew two matches coming joint top with Enfield (who for most of the tournament only had 3 players!). The 2nd Division cash prize for the winner was £20 which we had to share. So we won £10, which exactly covered our entrance fee! Here are the results.

Ian Capes sponsors the running of the cup. In his day, Ian’s dad played for Enfield and they frowned upon him using their “giant clocks” to play 5 minute games, so in “sort of revenge” he set up this tournament 64 years ago. Andrew

Photos from the Capes courtesy of Ian Capes.


Mike receiving the U1600 Division 1 Cup from Andrew. Duncan with the Herts & District League Trophy.

FRIDAY 28th JULY - Stephen Swanson travelled up to Dunfermline earlier in the month to compete in the '128th Scottish Championships - Open' which were held from the 7th - 9th July. He was one of 9 players to score 3.5 points over the 5 rounds which gave him joint 5th place out of 67 competitors. He didn't lose a game either. Well done Stephen!
How many of you know that Stephen won the Scottish Championship in 1975 - some 48 years ago!?

FRIDAY 30th June - Thursday evening witnessed the annual H&D blitz organised by Charles Willbe and generously hosted by Allenburys Sports & Social Club in Ware.

Hertford were well represented, fielding two of the eight teams competing. Welwyn finished on top with Hertford mid table.

Congratulations to Paul Edwards who beat Steve Zsibrita in the division 3 play-off last night. This completes the Hertford CC Championships for this season. Thanks to Mike for organising it.

Tuesday saw a good turn out for Corinne's social evening. It began at 6.00pm with a drink (expensive) at the Hop Box in Amwell End Ware. Then we managed to fit snuggly into The One Thai Cafe for dinner before moving on the Punch House almost next door. Andrew, Duncan and Alan were eventually thrown out at 11.30pm. Great evening Corinne, enjoyed by all!

FRIDAY 23rd June - Last night Hertford beat Welwyn Hatfield to win the Herts & District League. Great result - just look at that silverware! Read Andrew's report below.

I was part of a great night for Hertford Chess Club yesterday.
We were playing in the final of the Herts and District League v Welwyn Hatfield. The match was at the neutral venue of Bishops Stortford, club of Charles Willbe who organises the league and meaning the trophy shield was on display and tantalisingly close within our reach! On it was the name of Hertford, last time winners in 2013 and 2014.
Our team was Ian Capes, Duncan Marshall, myself, Dave Rudd and George Smith.
Duncan Marshall, our captain, played a blinder on the coin toss, losing it, meaning we had 3 games with the black pieces, no problem for me as I have a much better record with black.
Duncan, whose form has been magnificent this season, played on board 2 as the sacrificial lamb, leaving me and Dave on boards 3 and 4 respectively. George was the rear gunner on board 5 and Ian was the calm pilot on top board.
After about 30 minutes, disaster struck, George had been shot down in flames, and there was a great “to-do”. The rest of us were unsettled but quickly re-grouped with a firm resolve. Drawing any of our matches was no longer an option. The time ticked by. I had an OK position but pieces were being swapped off and I couldn’t see how to make progress. Dave was doing well, gaining pawn after pawn, but still thought he might be in trouble. He nervously came over to look at our boards. Duncan’s game wasn’t looking too good.

With 20 minutes to go, Dave got the breakthrough that he wanted, which meant the score was level at 1-1. My opponent was getting into time trouble. He made a mistake! I delivered check mate. 2-1 to us, but our joy was short lived. Duncan, our fearless captain, had taken a hit and was done. It was now 2-2, and all attention now turned to Ian, with the last remaining game on top board.
The game looked very drawn although Ian was a pawn up. Dave and I were in hurried whispers – “what are the rules in the Herts and District if there is a draw?”. Luckily, Charles Willbe was on hand to enlighten us. In the event of draw its “board count”, and if still drawn “board elimination” starting from the bottom board. So we had won on Boards 3 and 4, but lost on Boards 2 and 5. On “board count” this would give us 7 points each, so a draw on the top board would not decide the match. However, we then move to “board elimination” starting with the bottom board. With the memory of George’s demise expunged from history, this would give us the win that we needed because the score would go from 2.5-2.5 to 2.5-1.5 in our favour.

So Ian only needed a draw, but would he deliver it? Would he, heck! Ian is known for his drawing capability under all circumstances, even when he is winning. With the team sheet thrust under his nose, he duly delivered in magnificent style, his opponent flummoxed into submission without fully knowing the implications of accepting.
Elation ensued, Charles confirmed our win, and presented the shield to Duncan and his team (picture attached). A very proud moment for us all, and thank you to everyone who has played in the H&D this year.

Thank you for a great night.

Footnote: Dave is well known for his aversion to the Herts and District, so called “friendly” league, having refused to play in it since the 1990’s, the exact date having been lost in time. Dave was persuaded to play in this final match partly due to the absence of Mark Buswell, but mainly because of the glint of silverware which he finds irresistible. His win last night means he retains his 100% record for the Herts & District over 3 decades!

Further footnote: Duncan, Dave and myself have had a gentle personal battle over our grades this season. Over the years, it has typically been me first, then Dave, then Duncan, but the ECF June Grades, going into this last match last night, now put us in reverse order, due to Duncan’s great season and my relatively poor showing. Would the unthinkable happen next year and I would be demoted below Duncan? Maybe not, now, thanks to Duncan’s selfless action, last night, by placing himself on Board 2. This really was the “perfect” match and a perfect night!

FRIDAY 9TH JUNE - In the final game of the division 4 club championships, Richard overcame Brian to finish winner of the division. Well done Richard - and to Leone who came runner up just half a point behind.
In division 3 Steve and Paul are tied top of the table and a play-off will be needed to determine an outright winner. There are some other games still to be played, hopefully on Thursday 16th.

FRIDAY 12TH MAY - Ian has kindly brought in 3 recent issues of the excellent Dutch chess magazine 'New in Chess'. You will find them in the club cupboard should you wish to borrow or even keep them.

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