New gradings are out!

Given the truncated nature of the season, they may not be quite as significant as usual but the end of season gradings are out. Full details may be found here. Bedford players are as folows:-

Name July Jan 
Arulnandhy, Ravi183D173D
Beinoras, Mindaugas237C231C
Bodily, Richard T169C168B
Botteley, Michael T179C173B
Chapman, Andrew J166B161A
Collacott, Nick176C172C
Cox, Lucian120A110A
Cox, R David76A76A
Cox, Toby184A176A
Evans, Andy117D138E
Gardner, James184B191B
Gill, Peter S137C136C
Griffiths, George91F  
Habershon, Paul F165A170A
Karimi, Qais168B167A
Lawrence, Anthony P47C41C
Ledger, Stephen C198A196A
MacKenzie, Reginald W (Mac)67C66D
McMorran, Richard127A135A
Obi, Marc ON165A159A
Page, Doug40E47F
Pike, Steve C152C152C
Reed, Darren S173D172E
Shields, Callum T128C128D
Taylor, Alex180C177C
Valerio, Giuseppe137D138C
Walker, Robert S141C130B

4NCL online

For those that are interested, 4NCL games can be viewed online on a Tuesday evening (there are 3 rounds left). 3 Bedford members are taking part for MK Phoenix teams 1 and 2, James Gardner, Toby Cox and Lucian Cox.

To view the games, go to and then to online and individual pairings which will be announced at around 6.30 every Tuesday. There is a link attached to each paring from which the game can be viewed.

I believe there are other ways to watch. Danny Gormally who is top board for Steve Ledger’s team Blackthorne Russia actually commentates on his game as it progresses! You can find that at

Please share more thoughts on this by replying to this post.

Take care, Steve

Chess club closed

A s I am sure everyone will have assumed the NEWMC has closed and so the Chess Club will not now be open until further notice.

I personally have never played online chess but I understand that there are plenty of options – see for example the ECF Site and Chess 24 for details. If anyone has a favourite site which they can recommend do please let everyone know here.

I hope all our members and their families manage to stay healthy and let’s hope we can get together to play over the board chess again before too long. 

Peter Gill, 25th March 2020

Editor’s suggestions:-

Amazingly, the candidates are still going strong. Chess24 have a very good line up of comentators including Svidler, Short and Magnus himself! – a very good distraction if your homeworking is becoming tiresome.

4NCL are going online if anyone wants to organise some teams – might be worth a look.

Be lucky, Steve

Chess season suspended

As most of you already know the Beds League and the schedule for the Club’s Div 1 and Div 2 are both suspended (but see below) and the County Individual has been cancelled. We shall keep the club tournaments open  for continuation, hoping they can eventually be completed. It is obviously impossible currently to make predictions about resumption.

However, the North End Club remains open at present. Members will still be able to play serious or casual games there, including Div 1, Div 2 and Rapid Play games, if having considered the Government’s advice they consider it acceptable to do so. The cabinet key should be available from the bar – ring Peter Gill if there is any problem. If you are planning to go it would be wise to check that you won’t be on your own by arranging an opponent or announcing your intention. Meanwhile here’s wishing you all the best of health and perhaps you might play some more online chess!

Peter Gill, Paul Habershon, 17th March 2020

More corona than chess!

Before Round 5 on Tuesday the Czech government banned gatherings of 100+, so with 400 players in two adjacent hotels the organisers got round it by using partition walls. Thus we were using exactly the same space but divided into ‘rppms’ with players having to keep to their own, though there was still mingling in the refreshment area and toilets I played an uneventful draw in Rd  5, sat out Rd 6, then before Round 7 on Thursday the Czech government reduced gatherings from 100 to 30.

We were told that Round 7 would be the last round and prizes awarded accordingly. There are all sorts of rumours about Prague airport being closed, but although some of the English have changed to earlier flights home, most of us are holding our nerve and hoping our Sunday flights won’t be cancelled. I;m on Easyjet to Luton and I had a reassuring email from the company. Their website shows the flight as normal but I suppose it could be at the mercy of more stringent government measures. My hotel has changed dinner time from 7-9.30 to 5-8.

I had another draw against a supposedly weaker Sweden 2 opponent in the last round. I’ve been tending to get to a balanced middle game, but shorter on time, and then being offered a draw. The England 1 team has performed poorly P7 W2 D2 L3, well below their seeding. All I can claim is being unbeaten, P5 W1 D4 L0, and to have lost fewer rating points (just 4) than my team mates

A bit of light relief …

Last season I got rather severely mauled by Mark Nettleton of Lowestoft when I allowed him to attack me in the Icelandic Gambit (1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 e6!?). This season, I decided to get my retaliation in first…

Neil Hickman

Rounds 3-4 at the seniors

In Round 3 i played an uninteresting short draw but at least the emasculated England 1 won the match 3-1 against a Welsh team. My Round 4 game against Czech Republic 3 was much more interesting and I was losing most of the time. However, my opponent did not find several key winning moves and eventually succumbed in a tense fight. Unfortunately my three colleagues all lost so we are in the bottom half P4 W1 D1 L2.