Telepost's Zoom meeting held on Monday 15 April produced new initiatives and plenty of ideas for the coming months. As well as meeting our new members "face to face", attendees discussed new events and how online chess might continue alongside OTB. John C confirmed that a new Dark Knights tournament will begin in April, with two all-play-all leagues. There was a lot of support for some individual rapidplay events that cater to lower graded players, with 10/5 timing favoured, and it was agreed that the Shropshire AGM should include proposals for online events to continue in a "happy marriage" with OTB.
Rob Nield proposed a series of videos on game of the week, plus opportunities to discuss games - one element of OTB that many players miss. Not one to hang around, Rob produced the first excellent video the next day - it featues Nat Paul against Nick Rutter, and can be viewed on YouTube here
. There is also a Lichess study available
. As Rob said, "The idea is to create an archive of nice games from the club's players at all levels and hopefully provide a hub for a little more analysis and game discussion within the club". You can subscribe to the Youtube channel, and there's also a link from the Dark Knights' forum. If you have a particular game you'd like to see featured, contact Rob
Another initiative that hit the ground running is an Easter Simul with Telepost's newest recruit, Grandmaster Keith Arkell. Book your diary for 19 April, 7.30pm on Lichess. Full details here
Further details of Monday's meeting can be found in the minutes, available here
The highly competitive Dark Knights Winter Swiss has reached crunch point. As the final round begins, five players are in contention for the title, with current standings at the top as follows:
Richard Archer 4.5
Rob Nield 4
Nathanael Paul 4
Mark Nightall 3.5
Phil Zabrocki 3.5
The full draw for round six is:
Mark Nightall v Richard Archer
Nat Paul v Rob Nield
Phil Zabrocki v Dennis Bonner
Keith Tabner v Steve Rooney
Kate Walker v Matthew Clark
James Holyhead v John Westhead
Peter Crean v John Casewell
Nick Holmes v Mark Randell
Shane Sweeney v Martin Ayres
Dates of individual matches, once arranged, can be found on Kate's online calendar
Telepost players also feature at the top of the tables in the County individual competitions. With two rounds to go in the prestigious County Individual, Nat Paul is joint top as he attempts to defend the title he won last season, with Phil Zabrocki just half a point behind. The Minor Individual has reached round four and Dennis Bonner, James Holyhead and Nick Holmes are all within one point of the current leader, Telford's Richard Thompson.
League action saw Telepost A regain top spot in Division 1 with a 3.5-05 win against Shrewsbury A that featured some dramatic and creative play. Have a look at Nat Paul v Ted Eales
and Richard Archer v Matt Best
for some intriguing final moves. Telepost B and C continue to find it tough in Division 2, with losses to Wellington A for the B team and both Telford A and league leaders Newport B for the C team.
In the latest round of Five Counties, Telepost A's 4-2 defeat to British Bangla B included what captain Matthew Clark described as the "most outrageous escape of my life"
, while Telepost B picked up a much needed point with a draw against Uxbridge B in which white won on all six boards.
Finally, if anyone fancies having a go as a competition controller, Keith Tabner wishes to stand down as organiser of the Shrewsbury Town Championships and the Cox and Minor Cups, after many years of excellent service in the role. Contact Keith or Matthew Clark if you'd like to know more.