Telepost Juniors have featured in a national online competition, representing Shropshire in the ECF Junior Online Under 13 Championship. Rudi Bedford, Ellis Sharp and Merry Curtis all won as Shropshire took their first match against Hampshire 4-0. For the second round, they were outrated on all four boards against Oxfordshire, but this lovely checkmate from Rudi saw off a player rated 400 points higher:
It was a repeat story for the next round, against Kent, only this time Rudi dispatched a player 500 points higher. In an 88-move game, playing White, Rudi constructed a very patient endgame of opposite coloured bishops to push home a material advantage of two pawns gained from his aggressive Italian opening. In round 4 Shropshire were outgunned by Warwickshire, with boards one and two above 2000 in rating! Their final opponents, Middlesex, were equally accomplished and Shropshire finished in fifth place, but with a wealth of tournament experience for our players.
The trio of Rudi, Ellis and Merry were joined by Noah Sharp for a Shropshire League Division 3 derby against Telepost D. A strong D team took the fixture 3.5-0.5, the draw coming from Rudi against Charlie Bethune – another Junior taking on the responsibility of top board for the Ds. January proved a successful month for the D team, with further wins against Shrewsbury B and Telford Junior. John Casewell is having a particularly fine season for the Ds – playing from home in hybrid matches, he is currently unbeaten, with eight wins and two draws. Telepost F, meanwhile, were in Minor Cup action and narrowly failed to progress, losing on board elimination to Maddocks C after a 2-2 draw.
In Division 1, Telepost A have maintained their position at the top of the table with a 3-2 win away to Oswestry and a 4-1 derby win against Telepost C. The Cs are still searching for their first points of the season. In the Division 2 derby, Telepost E held Telepost B to a draw, despite a first appearance of the season by Trevor Brotherton for the Bs. Wins for Vinnie Crean and Alex Brims on boards 4 and 5, plus a draw for Cesar Pileggi on board 3, secured the point for the Es and moved them into an excellent third place. The B team, currently second, will now be looking for a strong performance in their next match against Newport B to bolster their promotion hopes.
The draw has been made for the third round of the Club Championships. The standout result from round two was Ellis Sharp’s draw against Steve Kempsell, a former Club Champion and five-time U1700 champion. Ellis now faces Rudi Bedford, who beat Charlie Bethune in one of five meetings between the pair so far this season. Full results have now been published for the Shropshire Chess Congress and there were a trio of rating prizes for Telepost players – Daniel Hilditch-Love, Nick Holmes and Rudi Bedford. Kate Walker and James Holyhead took part in the Intermediate section of the Birmingham rapidplay – Kate won four of her first five games to finish on 4/7, with James just behind on 3.5. Congress action resumes for Kate and James on 9 February when they join a number of our players heading for the Blackpool Congress.