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We currently now field only one team of 6 players in The Berkshire Chess League. For the rest of this season it is called the Newbury B-team. This is because we only withdrew the A-team after the start of the season. Go to the B-team page for up to date information.

For several years we had two teams with Newbury 'A' playing in Division 1 whilst the B-team variously played in Divisions 2 or 3. Players nominated for the A-team could not play in the B-team, though any other registered Newbury player could play in the A-team.

Further down this page:

And on other pages:

  • B-team - main page: Each season's highlights from 2008-2013; and its reincarnation from 2015.
  • A-team archive: Summaries for earlier seasons (2007-14)
  • Results tables: Annual summary tables for both league teams and for the Club Championship.

A-Team (up to 2016-17)

Over the years the A-team has generally finished in the middle or lower half of the league table. It got relegated to Division 2 for the first time for many years in 2011, promoted in 2012 but relegated again at the end of that season. From 2013-15 the B-team was amalgamated into the A-team. When the B-team got promoted into Division 1 at the end of the 2014-15 season, and with more players in the club, it was decided that Newbury once again would field both teams. There is a separate B-team page covering its record and news.

Although the A-team finished 2nd from bottom in 2016-17, a team in Division 2 did not want promotion so the A-team survived relegation, though it was withdrawn just after the start of the season.

Our Players (2016-17)

The following were our nominated A-team players for 2016-17 (ECF August 2016 grades are shown in brackets):

  • Andy Robbings (184) - Andy moved into the area and joined us from Crowthorne A in 2014
  • Danny Sparkes (177) - Danny has played for many years and hones his skills by playing games online
  • Mike Marlow (159) - Our honorary president, who taught at Mary Hare before retirement
  • Jim Hanson (149) - Jim is the A-team captain, as well as being the club treasurer
  • Ben Dyer (147) - Ben was formerly a B-team stalwart but is now promoted to the A-team. He organises our club championship.
  • Roly Piggott (151) - Roly's main team is Wantage but plays for us occasionally

See also the B-team page for other players who can play for the A-team if any of the six players named above are unavailable.

2016-17 Season

Not the best of seasons. In most matches we were outgraded by quite a margin by our opponents. As a result there were two whitewashes where we lost 6-0. Of the 9 teams we played we got just one win (against Eton College) and one draw (vs. Camberley). As a result we finished second from bottom. Scroll down to see the table of results.


Normal FIDE (the International Chess Federation) chess rules are followed with a few minor exceptions:

  • The presence of a mobile phone does not automatically disqualify you. Exceptions are made for match captians helping team members find missing players and for those needing to receive message from their employers (must use silent mode).
  • Moving before recording moves does not lose the game. But moves must be recorded as soon as a move is played.
  • Similarly, you are allowed to record moves in non-algebraic notation, e.g. "P-K4"

There are league specific rules about eligibility for teams, determing final league positions, rescheduling matches etc.

Clocks are used. The default time limit for each player is 30 moves within the first 75 minutes and all the remaining moves in a further 15 minutes (for digital clocks the time is 75 minutes with 10 seconds being added automatically after each move). However, for simplicity (and particularly since we do not have digital clocks) most teams agree to play with a time control of 90 minutes for all moves.

The full rules can be found at:

2016-17 Season: Not One To Write Home About!

Newbury's place in Division 1 is a bit like newly promoted football premiership teams working hard to avoid relegation. Although we held in there last season, things proved trickier this season.

We narrowly lost of first two matches which gave us hope for the future. However these results were followed by two 6-0 defeats in December and we struggled after that. At least a couple of matches were hard fought and the final result does not convey how close we were to winning. We await to see if we will be relegated or not.

Results Table

There were 10 teams in Division 1. Each side plays all other sides once, either at home or away. The away team has white on odd numbers boards.

Thu 29th SepBasingstoke AHome2½-3½
Thu 10th NovBourne End AHome2½-3½
Thu 1st DecReading BAway0-6
Wed 14th DecSandhurst AAway0-6
Thu 5th JanCrowthorne AHome2-4
Thu 26th JanEton College AAway3½-2½
Thu 16th FebCamberley AHome3-3
Mon 20th MarMaidenhead AAway1-5
Thu 30th MarReading AHome2-4

* Newbury score is shown first.

Played: 9; Won: 1; Drawn 1; Lost 7. 9th out of 10 in league table.

For details of individual matches go to The Berkshire Chess League website; click on teams; Newbury; Match Cards.

2015-16 Season: Consolidating Our Position

Having won Division 2 in 2014-15 with a 100% record, it was never going to be easy for the A-team to hold onto its position in Division 1. It's a bit like football championship teams getting promoted and working hard to avoid relegation. After all the average grading for teams in Division 2 is around 130-140 whereas teams in Division 1 typically have average grades in excess of 160.

As anticipated it did prove challenging. And so it had proved in our first match where we lost 4½ -1½ to Reading A. Things didn't improve when we were thoroughly beaten by Sandhurst at home 6-0. However, all was not doom and gloom. We did have two wins and a draw so just avoided relegation, finishing 7th out of 9. Our main aim this season was to stay in Division 1 and this we achieved.

Results Table

There are 9 teams in Division 1. Each side plays all other sides once, either at home or away. The away team has white on odd numbers boards.

Thu 22nd OctReading AAway1½-4½
Thu 19th NovEton College AAway3½-2½
Thu 26th NovSandhurst AHome0-6
Thu 21st JanMaidenhead AHome3-3
Wed 27th JanBasingstoke AAway4½-1½
Thu 25th FebBourne End AHome2½-3½
Wed 23rd MarCrowthorne AAway2½-3½
Thu 14th AprCamberley AHome1-5

* Newbury score is shown first.

Played: 8; Won: 2; Drawn 1; Lost 5. 7th out of 9th in league table.

For details of individual matches go to The Berkshire Chess League website; click on teams; Newbury; Match Cards.

2014-15: Cup Winners!

This year we again played in Division 2. We welcomed to the club Andy Robbings (grade 175) who had previously played for Crowthorne A but has moved to the Newbury area. Also returning was Jim Delderfield (est 120) after a gap of 3 years, now that he is fully retired.

Boosted by a strong selection of players to choose from, we won every game we played (10 out of 10 and 44 games to 16), so topped the league table and won the FS Woolford Trophy. This despite our policy of giving every player, whatever their grade, a chance to play on the bottom two boards. Our nearest rival was Reading C, who came second with 6.5 points.

Thu 2nd OctBourne End BHome4-2
Mon 6th OctMaidenhead BAway4-2
Thu 6th NovReading CAway4-2
Thu 20th NovEton College AHome4½-1½
Tue 2nd DecHenley AAway4½-1½
Thu 22nd JanMaidenhead BHome4½-1½
Wed 11th FebBourne End BAway5½-½
Thu 19th FebReading CHome5-1
Thu 26th MarHenley AHome4½-1½
Thu 12th MarEton College AAway3½-2½

* Newbury score is shown first. Match points: 10. Game points for: 44; against: 16½. Of the players who payed 5 or more games, the best performances were from Ilan Dwek (7½ pts out of 9 games), Andy Robbings and Danny Sparkes (both 5 out of 6). Congratulations to them.

Division changes since last year are the entry of Eton College A (relegated from Division 1) and omission of Sandhurst B (last year's winners), so again 6 teams. We played one home and one away game against each opponent.

2013-14 and Earlier Seasons

Summaries for earlier seasons (from 2007-14) will now be found on the A-team archive page.

This page last updated 20th December 2017

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