Central Methodist Church Hall, Norton Way South, Letchworth, Hertfordshire
About the club
The next meeting will be Thursday 11 February 2016.
Spring term 2016: We are running our club chess championship this term. This will comprise our club heats for the UK Chess Challenge 2016 and will run over 7 weeks. The tournament will be split into two sections (a junior section for those up to and including year 6 and a senior section for those in year 7 and above). The winners of each section will play off to decide our overall club champion. As well as deciding our own club chess champions for the year, this tournament also acts as a qualifier for the county finals (megafinals). Our top girl and boy players in each age group U7 up to U18 will be invited to the county finals in May. We currently have 21 players taking part with 11 in the seniors section and 10 in the junior section.
Club meetings: We start these with a coaching talk about either chess or go. If appropriate, depending on the subject matter of the talk, we will split members into different ability groups for this part of the meeting. During last term the talks including a mixture of tactics, openings and game reviews.
We then pair people up for a semi serious game of either chess or go in the club tournaments and ladders. After this members are free to self pair for additional friendly games or seek extra coaching according to their own choice.
Current club champions:
Chess 2015: Overall club champion: Abigail Lloyd (Junior champion: Abigail Lloyd; Senior champion: Abigail Lloyd)
Go 2015: Overall club champion: Daniel Chen (Junior champion: Daniel Chen; Senior champion: Luke Garner)
Well done to Abigail for winning the Herts U14 title and to Emma for winning the Herts U11 girls title in autumn 2015.
Well done to Luke and Daniel for winning the senior and junior sections of our go challenge in the summer 2015. In the deciding match between senior and junior champion it was Daniel that won the overall title.
Many of our members played in the Pixmore Open Junior chess tournament on Saturday 13 June across three age related sections. Well done to Tommy for winning the top secdondary school section.
Well done to Charlotte for winning 3.5 out of 6 games in her section of the Castle Chess junior rapid play tournament in Potters Bar over half term. This was a lovely friendly event.
Well done to Immy (U16), Abigail (U12) and Emma (U10) who took their respective age group trophies for top girl in the recently held Herts megafinals - the county stage of the UK Chess Challenge. We had a number of other members playing in the megafinals and all achieved a number of wins. Well done everyone!
It was good to see news faces joining the first meeting back after Easter. We also welcomed a new chess coach from the Letchworth and Hitchin Chess club. This will enable us to cater better for a wider age range and range of abilities. With two coaches on hand we can better develop the stronger players while still giving individual attention as necessary to the beginners group.
Our club chess champions for 2015 are Abigail (senior champion) and Emma (junior champion).
Spring term events: During the spring term we have been running a heat of the UK chess challenge which will enable the top members in each age group to qualify for the county finals in May. The last round was on 26 March at which the club trophies were awarded and entry forms for the county megafinal handed out to those who have qualified.
Club background: We are a friendly club, welcoming players of all abilities including beginners. We offer a variety of activities. Each week we offer some coaching and encourage friendly games. Coaching is tailored to the level of individual members. We run club tournaments, including heats of the UK Chess and UK Go challenges, and support juniors in entering local and regional tournaments when they are ready for these. We have a mix of ages amongst our members and a good mix of girls and boys. A weekly newsletter provides problems to be studied at home.
Previous Club News
Well done to Charlotte who qualified for the UK Youth Go team and competed in the U16 section of the European Youth Go Championships in the Netherlands in March 2015. Charlotte was one of six UK players competing in this event.
Four of our members headed up to Cambridge to take part in a combined Go teaching and Tournament held by the Cambridge Junior Chess and Go Club. Well done ot Charlotte for winning the open section and to Daniel for winnng the improvers section.
Well done to Abigail who took first place in the open U12 section at the Hertfordshire Schools Chess Association tournament on 30 November 2014, winning all six of her games, and to Emma who took third place in the U11 girls section at the same event (winning four out of six games).
It was good to see several junior club members playing in the junior sections of the Letchworth Rapid Play tournament on 8 November 2014. Well done to Charlotte for coming second in the experienced juniors section and to Immy for best improver in the novices and Iwan for best newcomer.
Three members played in the southern gigafinal of the UK Chess Challenge on 13 July 2014. Well done to all three (Abigail, Charlotte and Luke) on reaching this stage of the competition. Abigail (U11) did particularly well to win 3.5 games out of 6.
Five members took part in the Pixmore Open chess tournament on Saturday 28 June 2014. This event combined a five round tournament with 3 coaching sessions and a simultaneous match against some strong local players. Our members were all successful in winning either two or three games each.
Three members travelled to Cambridge on 21 June 2014 and took part in the UK Go Challenge finals. Well done to Hilary for taking away the girls U10 prize and to Daniel for winning the challengers section for those new to the game in the last six months.
We have a new page on the website giving details of junior chess and go tournaments and events which may be of interest to our members.
We ran a stall at the community clubs day in Letchworth on 14 June 2014 to advertise the club.
Seven members took part in the UK Chess Challenge Hertfordshire megafinals on Saturday 3 May 2014 and three were successful in qualifying for the gigafinals in July. Congratulations to Abigail (girls U11), Luke (boys U11) and Charlotte (girls U13). Our other finalists played in the boys U8, boys U9, girls U9 and girls U13.
Four members attended a UK Junior Go Squad and non-squad training day on 5 May 2014 in Letchworth. (This was open to all go-playing juniors but attendees were split into ability groups with those reaching the required strength being invited to join the UK national squad.) Well done to Charlotte for being invited into the national junior squad and to Daniel for winning the novices tournament.
Three of our members took part in a junior chess event in Potters Bar on 7 April 2014. This combined coaching in the morning with a 7 round tournament in the afternoon. All of them won some games and enjoyed the event.
One of our members played for the Hertfordshire girls U11 chess team in the annual counties match in 2014.
During the Spring term 2014 we ran a heat of the UK Chess Challenge. Sixteen members took part, playing seven rounds. It gave members the opportuntity to gain prizes the more games they played and games they won. Seven members went on to play in the county finals stage held on 3 May in Harpenden.
At our last meeting before the Christmas break we awarded prizes to the winner of the continuous tournament (which rewarded a combination of games won and number of games played). Regular members also received chess badges according to which graded section they had reached (either pawns or knights).
Two of our members attended the UK Go Challenge for junior players in Cambridge on Saturday 6 July 2013. The day was structured to allow players of all ability to compete, with different sections for novices and those new to the game. This event was run by the British Go Association. Congratulations to Charlotte who took the girls under 12 prize.
Three of our members attended the Pixmore Open junior chess tournament and teaching event on Saturday 28 June 2013 at Pixmore School in Letchworth. This event was very well run by the Letchworth & Hitchin Chess Club and everyone enjoyed the event.
This club is a place for young people in the age range 7 - 15 to come and play chess and go (if you don't know what go is, look at www.britgo.org for a quick introduction to the game, or download igowin, an excellent free go-playing program -size 786k - which runs under Windows and includes a go tutorial).
The cost for the Thursday club sessions is £1.50 per week. There is a car park by the hall.
Go is sometimes known as igo (the Japanese name for the game), weiqi (the Chinese name) or baduk (Korean name).
We are always pleased to welcome new members to our club. We expect our members to range from complete beginners to improving players initially but we will also cater for stronger players. It does not matter if you come every week or just occasionally. And it does not matter if you cannot stay to the end.
Every week we will have at least 2 adult helpers, experienced in both chess and go, to help organise things. They will be happy to provide some hints to improve your games if you want this. If you have not played either game before, there will be someone who can explain the rules and help you to get started.
These are some of the things we expect to provide at club meetings:
The club organiser is Alison Bexfield. You can contact Alison on telephone 01462 684648 for more information. You can also email us at Letchworthjunchessgo at bexfield.com
Alison is an experienced player of both chess and go. She will provide teaching to club members appropriate to their level during club meetings. Alison prepares weekly problems in each game for members to take away and try at home.