Juniors on the rise

Telepost Junior whitewashed Telepost F 4-0 in Shropshire League 3 to confirm, in case anyone doubted it, that we are in a new era of chess in the county. Wins for Rudi Bedford, Merry Curtis and Ellis Sharp, plus a default on bottom board, lifted the Juniors to mid-table, just behind their equally promising rivals, Newport Junior. Telford Junior were the visitors for the first all-junior match, which Telepost edged 2.5-1.5 after wins for Rudi and Henry Bedford and a draw by Rohan France. The Bedfords also produced an excellent performance at the Staffordshire Junior Chess Championships. Rudi won the Under 10 section with 5/6 and Henry was unbeaten, including a win over a player rated 400 points above him, in finishing second with 5/6 in the Under 12s. Telepost F, meanwhile, gained their first point of the season with a win against Newport C notable for Gabe Wood’s excellent win against highly experienced Malcolm Price.

In Division One, Telepost A moved two points clear with a game in hand at the top of the table with a 4-1 demolition of close rivals Newport A. Nat Paul and Phil Zabrocki were held to draws by Chris Lewis and Phil Love but Nigel Ferrington, David Hodge and Fred Bench all had convincing wins. Telepost C came close to securing their first point when they travelled to Oswestry. Outgraded on all boards, Dan Love got the first win on top board against Rudy Van Kemenade, with Kate Walker following up with a draw against Charles Higgie and James Holyhead holding Richard Bryant. Experience showed on the bottom boards, however, with Nick Holmes and Dennis Bonner both losing long matches to give Oswestry a 3-2 win.

Telepost B top Division Two following a 4.5-0.5 crushing of bottom-of-the-table Oswestry B. Captain Steve Wilson left himself out as he fielded a very strong side including A team captain Matthew Clark – who, as he wryly commented, couldn’t get in his own team! – and Fred Bench, who has played in all three divisions and remains unbeaten in all of them. On the same evening, Telepost E gained their first point of the season with a draw against a very strong Maddocks B. Sam Hollands pulled out a theoretical rebuff to the London to force a draw on top board against Steve Tarr, Graham Shepherd proved a match for former county champion Simon Maydew, captain Alex Brims won against veteran George Viszokai and Vinnie Crean’s tenacious play held his game against Munroe Morrison to complete the draw.

The Shrewsbury Town Championship playoffs are now moving into a three-way decider between Nigel Ferrington, Dan Love and Alex Brims. In the first round of playoffs, Nigel played Shane Greenwood in a game which featured this rather beautiful asymmetrical symmetry:

Nigel went on to, typically, win a tight pawn endgame. On the theme of beautiful positions, here’s a delightful move by Archie Flavell in a blitz game on chess.com:

The Telepost Club Championship is reaching the end of the first round. Though most of the top seeds have progressed smoothly, notable results include Rudi Bedford’s draw against Shane Greenwood and Paula Sharp’s win against Cesar Pileggi. Four Telepost players won their first round matches in the Shropshire Minor Individual which features a number of the county’s most promising youngsters.

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