County matches arrived at Greenlands on Saturday October 6th 2018.




Thanks to the hard work of a group of dedicated individuals who could remain nameless, but deserve mentioning; we enjoyed the most fantastic day of Chess. Some of us even won our games, and if this was more of a match report, I might speak of Richard Collett’s win, or my own sudden checkmate in my game with Paul Kelly, the Captain of Warwickshire’s under-120s Grade team.

That’s two wins out of two for me this season – but it started with a moronic loss of an early central pawn, then having to exchange my Rook for a menacing Bishop. I had a theoretical draw which Paul refused to accept. He tried to protect against a check that would irritate him and inadvertently left me the checkmate. My other option to check with my Knight was clearly my only move; else I might not have spotted it was checkmate. I was lucky to get the win if I’m honest.


Earlier; Paul went for a cigarette; I went for fresh air – so while his clock ticked; we stood talking outside in the street which was bit surreal in spite of my growing friendship with him since meeting him a couple of years ago. I couldn’t have wished for a nicer opponent and one that was so generous in defeat. That’s the way people should behave – so my thanks go to Paul if only that my grade will receive a much needed boost.   

Special mention should also go to Paul for providing an abundance of confectionery, Bakewell Tarts and Sausage Rolls – and to Nigel Towers who helped organise Warwickshire into having a team.


Am I allowed to mention I saved the day by offering Greenlands as a venue given the lateness of the hour, for this was in fact a Worcestershire Away fixture.

I had been preparing for the first Worcestershire Home fixture which will be on November 17th at Greenlands – but our first endeavour as a County match venue was a 12 Board Warwickshire Home match.

Another special mention should go to the Social Club manager also known as Paul; who has seemingly given me a free hand to attract Chess events. Paul opening up the Wine Bar for use as a kiosk from where Spike served tea and coffee, really helped set-up the future nicely. Paul had provided us with the Social Club urn.


Spike himself had been amazing throughout the day, though Spike’s humility knows no bounds, such is his nature. There he was at my door at 10am helping me load up a crate of necessary items – everything from washing-up liquid, to gallons and gallons of water – a bowl, our new Greenlands kettle and 36 plain white mugs which Stephen Woodhouse has donated to the cause.

Having stopped off to purchase too much milk; we arrived at club and were greeted by two adorable cleaning ladies – mentioning their hard work doesn’t go amiss.

Spike and myself humped some pretty heavy stuff up the stairs.


Out came Spike’s fold-up tables – and so we set about unravelling the mysteries of the physical universe – eventually abandoning the first idea for a more practical solution to the layout of the room which was at one point in total disarray. My idea to try setting up the two fold-up tables at right angels to each other didn’t work as Spike spotted, two players cannot occupy the same physical space! Spike’s contribution to the day was immense – he does all the real thinking, otherwise I would not be kept in check when my mind runs away with ideas.

We set the scene for a 16 Board match and Stephen arrived just in time to visualise further what has been envisioned from day one.

Warwickshire representative Nigel also saw what potential our clubroom holds.      

The room began to fill – Andy Tipper offered a few inspired suggestions. On the principle that two minds are better than one; we have some exceptional people contributing at Greenlands.  


A County match took place and there was Spike at the end, folding up his tables – I didn’t even notice them disappear.

Special thanks go to Roy and Ian for turning up as interested spectators – and we shouldn’t forget to thank Captain Monty and the rest of the Worcestershire players.

The non-Greenlands contingent of Arnold Kirkland who lost, David Cleak who won; John Gittus who lost and Tim Yates who managed a draw on the top four Boards; were backed-up by 8 Greenlands players. Monty Woodhouse who suffered defeat with his first experience as Captain; an unrecognisable player called Steve Crees who is now making a habit of winning; Brian Allsop who isn’t, Richard Collett who remembered where club is and subsequently won – Spike who didn’t win; the only blot on his brilliant performance for the day; and the four ungraded newcomers, Tom Sherwood who’s first experience ended in defeat – Andy Tipper who I heard somehow managed to turn a three pawn advantage into a draw on Board 11, while Matt Rowe was unable to follow-up his recent Blitz Tournament victory with a win in this first Competitive match! 

Warwickshire may have come out on top 8-4 – but the real winner was Greenlands Chess Club.

Tom Sherwood gets his special mention for staying behind and helping tidy up, drying mugs, and driving me home safely. Not before I threw the £54 proceeds all over the car park and watched the wind blow it all around while I chased after various notes of the realm. It’s OK – I retrieved every penny. 

I arrived home at 6:30pm courtesy of Tom, but the work didn’t stop there. Stephen who had been working on the landing outside our clubroom; continued to work during Saturday evening, as did I – and the net result is that Nigel Towers was so impressed, Warwickshire wish to bring their other 8 Home matches to Greenlands throughout this season. Warwickshire are a strong County and often reach the National Stages. Who knows, Greenlands may even land the final if our reputation for providing excellence grows?