Newport rivalry rejoined with a new generation

The traditional rivalry between Telepost and Newport has been to the fore during February’s league fixtures, with Newport scoring notable wins against our teams in all divisions. In Division One, a strong Newport A swept aside Telepost C 0.5-4.5 to move within one point of Telepost A at the top of the table. The match was notable for yet another fine game from Telepost C’s board one, Dan Hilditch-Love, drawing against former County champion Nick Rutter. Telepost A have a game in hand over Newport and the two teams are due to meet in early March.

The 0.5-4.5 scoreline in Newport’s favour was repeated in Division Two, with Telepost B on the receiving end of a surprisingly heavy defeat. The whitewash was avoided by John Westhead’s draw against Danny Griffiths, but the result moves Newport to within two points of Telepost B – the Bs have work to do in the rest of the season to maintain their current promotion spot. In Division Three, a new generation of rivalry between the two clubs began as Telepost Junior travelled to Newport to face their Juniors in a match broadcast live on Lichess. Newport proved too strong on this occasion, winning 3-1 against a Telepost team comprised of two pairs of brothers, Rudi and Henry Bedford and Ellis and Noah Sharp – probably a first for the Shropshire league? Henry picked up the win for Telepost on board four against Elliot Bowler. Another 3-1 loss for the juniors against Maddocks C was notable for a fine win for Rudi against Mark Billington on board one. Telepost F, meanwhile, pegged back the Newport Juniors with a 2-2 draw which featured a first win for a new Telepost member, Nick Graham, returning to competitive chess after some years’ gap. Welcome, Nick! The F team also secured an impressive draw against title contenders Shrewsbury B.

The Bedfords both scored 2/2 and Ellis 1/2 to contribute to Shropshire Juniors’ 11-5 win against Ludlow Juniors, marking the continued growth in junior chess across the whole of the county. Rudi – or Rbd209 in the graphic below – also won the inaugural Shropshire Online Junior Grand Prix with a total of 55 points and a performance score of 1935 in the 3 minutes plus 2 second increment blitz competition. Archie Flavell, Rhys Macmillan and Ellis Sharp also took part, with scores of 39, 32 and 15 respectively.

There will be five further Arenas in the competition, with the overall winner receiving a trophy to be presented at the Shropshire Junior Congress.

There were some solid performances from Telepost players at the Blackpool Chess Congress. Kate Walker scored 3/5 and James Holyhead 2.5/5 in the Intermediate section and in the Standard section, Dennis Bonner 3/5 and Martin Ayres 2.5/5. Things proved tougher in the Minor with 1.5/5 for Nick Holmes and 1/5 for Steve Wilson. Kate’s win against David Talbot on Saturday afternoon turned on the position below – only one move wins for white. Can you find it?

David Talbot v Kate Walker, Blackpool Intermediate, 10/2/24

Having escaped this puzzle, Kate has been given another one to work on – she has been unanimously elected as Women’s Officer for Shropshire Chess Association as the Association seeks to extend the growth in chess amongst Juniors to other target groups. Congratulations, Kate!

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