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'B' Team

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Newbury 'B' team was started in 2005, after a few newer members found they were never able to play in competitive matches. With sufficient players then on board, it started to play in Berkshire League Division 3. After a few seasons of being familiar with the bottom part of the league table (it was sometimes difficult to field a whole team), a new influx of players over the next few years boosted the team's performance. It finished the 2009-10 season as league champions of division 3 and were promoted to division 2. However, this fortune did not last, and the team were relegated after one season, but were again promoted, and just avoided relegation in 2012-13.

Alas, after 8 years in the league the B-team was disbanded. With the A-team relegation in 2013, we felt unable to field two teams in a single division, so merged the two teams. However, by 2015, after the A-team gained promotion to Division 1, we had sufficient players to reform the B-team which joined Division 3. In the most recent season (2016-17) we came top of the championship so should get promoted to Division 2 of the league. Scroll down to see the table of results.


Our Players

Our regular players (together with ECF grades, actual or estimated) include:

  • Trevor Passby (144) - With Reading reducing the number of teams they field, Trevor joined Newbury in 2015
  • Jim Delderfield (135) - Jim has played on and off for the club for many years; he is now fully retired so comes to chess club and plays league matches regularly
  • John Wunderle (est 135) - John moved into the area this season and has been a regular player
  • Andrew Adair (135) - Andrew is another ex-Reading player but now plays matches for us
  • Brian Medhurst (130) - Brian also plays bridge competitively, so it's a toss-up who gets him on Thursdays!
  • David Skyrme (111) - Our team captain/secretary/webmaster who restarted in 2004 after a gap of 40 years.
  • Ken Byrd (105) - Another returner to chess in his retirement; Ken likes his holidays but we occasionally get him to play when he's at home.
  • Jose Montes (est 105) - A Spaniard working in England Jose joined us this year and has already proved himself in the few matches he has played.
  • Keith Savoy (98) - Keith is our chairman and is a long-time club member and former captain.

2016-17 Season

>Although we lost Ben to the A-team, we had two newcomers (John and Jose) so other than a couple of timese managed to field a full team. We started the seaon with three draws but we managed to break out of this pattern in our last match before Christmas. In the new year we upped our game but in a couple of matches at the end of the season, although stronger on paper, we lost both these matches. HOwever, many of the matches in the league also did not follow form so we managed to top the league by a whole point.

There were 6 teams in Division 3. Each team plays every other team twice, once at home and once away. Colours are pre-determined with the away team playing white on odd-numbered boards.

DateOpponentsVenueResult*
Thu 6th OctMaidenhead CHome3-3
Thu 13th OctEton College BAway3-3
Tue 18th OctCamberley CAway3-3
Thu 17th NovReading CHome5-1
Thu 19th JanBracknellHome5-1
Thu 9th FebCamberley CHome6-0
Mon 13th FebMaidenhead CAway3½-2½
Thu 2nd MarEton College BHome4-2
Thu 6th AprReading CAway3½-2½
Mon 24th AprBracknellAway2½-3½

* Newbury score is shown first.
Played: 10; Won: 6; Drawn: 3; Lost: 1. Finished top of the division.

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


2015-16 Season

>We did wonder at the start of the season whether we would be pushed on occasion to field a full team. However, due to new players joining the club since the start of the season we have generally fielded quite strong teams for the Division. One complication was that two clubs in the league (Camberley and Crowthorne) dropped one team, so their teams in Division 3 have many former Division 2 players. We were particularly pleased to have beaten each of these teams at least once. All in all we were pleased to come in third place behind these two teams, with 6 wins and 3 draws from our 12 matches. The match results are shown below.

There are 7 teams in Division 3. Each team plays every other team twice, once at home and once away. Colours are pre-determined with the away team playing white on odd-numbered boards.

DateOpponentsVenueResult*
Thu 8 OctCrowthorne BHome3-3
Tue 20th OctEton College CAway6-0
Thu 5th NovReading CHome2½-3½
Tue 15th DecCamberley BAway4-2
Thu 14th JanEton College BAway2½-3½
Thu 28th JanEton College BHome4½-1½
Thu 3rd MarReading CAway3-3
Wed 30th MarCrowthorne BAway4-2
Mon 4th AprMaidenhead CAway3-3
Thu 5th MayCamberley BHome2-4
Thu 12th MayEton College CHome6-0**
Thu 19th MayMaidenhead CHome3½-2½

* Newbury score is shown first.
** Eton defaulted on this match.

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


There was no B-Team for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.


2012-13 Season

The season started on high hopes with an away win over Reading C whose average grade was 156 compared to our 102. This optimisim proved short-lived, however, losing our next two matches 5-1. Hopes were rekindled when we drew with Basingstoke A, the eventual winners of league Division 2. But we then lost two further matches against teams who we have done well against in the past - Henley A and Bourne End B. Only by the skin of our teeth did we avoid relegation by winning the last game of the season. This was a game that was rescheduled from a wintry December evening to late April - home against Crowthorne B. Unlike December we could not field our strongest team, but neither could Crowthorne who defaulted on two boards. It is such fortuitous events that determine the future.

Played: 7: Won: 2; Drawn: 1; Lost: 4. Position 6th out of 8 in Division 2. Merged with A-team and withdrawn from League.

There is also a summary chart of both A and B teams performance 2007-13 in the Berkshire League.


2011-12 Season

This season started well with wins against Maidenhead C, Camberley C and (most satisfying of all) Bourne End, who beat us in the relegation battle last season, but who nevertheless were relegated alongside us. After leading the table most of the season we came unstuck in our last match against Crowthorne D. With the score 2½ each and an advantage in the last game the captain (our webmaster) admits a) refusing the offer of a draw (which would have guaranteed us the championship) and b) failing to keep his eye on the clock. As a reault he lost on time and the match was lost! Crowthorne then won their next game so were the champions of Division 3. Nevertheless, we came 2nd in the Division so were promoted back into Division2 for 2013-13.

Played 6; Won 4; Drawn 1; Lost 1.


2010-11 Season

Bouyed by a good start - we beat Basingstoke A by 4½ - 1½ - the team has just about held its own. Although we are often playing against stronger opponents, our performances have been credible, though as always, several of our players regret making silly mistakes in the heat of the moment (or under time pressure). We were disappointed to narrowly lose our last game of the season, away against Bourne End, when a win would have helped avoid relegation.

Played 9; Won 2; Drawn 1; Lost 6.


2009-10 Season

This year we were fortunate in being able to field a strong team throughout the season. This was helped by the A team having recruited a couple of new regular players so that we could play Keith Savoy more frequently. The average rating of the team we fielded was 121, which was some 15 grades higher than we achieved last year. In addition, existing players maintained their standard, and a welcome addition to our lower boards was Will Foster.

The season quickly got into a pattern where we won 5-1 in our first four matches, admittedly against slightly weaker opponents. However, we deteriorated slightly, conceding 1½ to Wellington College, who were rated much weaker (40 grading points), though as experience tells us, junior players improve rapidly and often play better than their grade suggest. We never got to play Camberley C who twice were unable to field a team and finally conceded. So with an unbroken set of wins, we won the division. Best of all, we beat 2nd placed Sandhurst D, who never lost to another team, 5-1.

Played 7; Won 6; Walkover 1; Drawn 0; Lost 0.


2008-9 Season

We did somewhat better this season than last. This was helped by solid performances on the top three boards, with Brian Medhurst and Stephen Morgan conceding only one game each. Also, the average rating margin between our team and opponents was much less - only 9 grading points.

The season got off to a slow start, only one of our 10 matches being played before Christmas. Having lost narrowly to Crowthorne C in October, our expectations were dashed when we lost our first game in 2009 by 5-1 to Sandhurst C, a new team in the league. After that things generally got better and we won twice against Reading E, had credible other performances and improved slightly in our return match against Sandhurst (achieving 1½ points).

Overall, we finished 4th equal, which doesn't sound too bad, until you realise that there were only six teams in the division, with only one below us!

Played 10; Won 3; Drawn 2; Lost 5.


2007-8 Season

The second team (Newbury B) have generally played somewhat better than their losing 6-0 whitewash against Eton at the beginning of the season. In recent matches the losing margin has varied from 4 (against Camberley C) to more modest levels of 2 (vs. Sandhurst B) and only one (on two occasions vs. Bourne End B and Reading E).

We never did regain the heady heights of a draw in November against Maidenhead C. Only a win through default by Wellington College stopped us being bottom of the table.

This year, with the odd exception, we have been able to field full teams for away games, which has been our Achilles heel in the past. This is due to regular participation by our recent joiners, including Ben Dyer, Steve Morgan, David Nicholls and Rena Fuell. In fact, to give everyone a chance to play, we have rotated players on the bottom two boards.

Why have we done so badly? Put simply, our opposing teams are much stronger than us. In more than half the games, the rating difference was on average over 30 points. It is therefore commendable that Paul Cope, Ben Dyer, Steve Morgan and David Skyrme drew or beat opponents with gradings 40 points higher than theirs. Holding their own (generally through draws) on top boards were Jim Delderfield and Brian Medhurst.

Played 8; Walkover 1; Drawn 1; Lost 6.



This page last updated 20th June 2017

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