1976 - 2007

1976-77 saw a change in the structure of the Birmingham Chess League and matches in the top 5 divisions were now contested over 8 boards instead of the customary 6.  We fielded 6 teams, 2 in Division 1, and 1 team in Divisions 2, 4, 6 and 8.  Our 1B side were delegated on 0 points.

Ted Weekes won the Division 2 Individual Championships and Graham Jelfs won the Division 4 Individual Championships.  Paul Swatridge was top board for the first team and one of his highlights was beating Peter Griffiths who was playing for Solihull.
Pat Cotter played in the Welsh Correspondence Championship and finished second.  Grandmaster V. Hort (number six in the world) gave a simultaneous display and was held to a draw by Terry Walker.
Members and their partners met regularly on a Friday evening at The Westley Arms in Acocks Green. This promoted the more social side of the club.  

We entered 5 teams in the Birmingham League in Divisions 1, 2,3,4,8.
This was a bleak year for the club.  The first team managed to stay in Division 1 with 6 points and the other 4 teams were all relegated.
We changed our venue to The Reddings Rugby Club in Moseley.  We only stayed there for two years, because without notice, our room became unavailable.  On one occasion we could not have the room and Bernard Cafferty started the clocks which he had brought with him promptly at 7 p.m...  Eventually we were given somewhere to play twenty minutes later.

We entered 5 teams in the Birmingham League in Divisions 1,3,4,5 & 9.  Both Divisions 5 and 9 were relegated.
Ted Weekes reached the final of the League Individual in Division 1 but finished as runner-up.
At the end of the season Terry Walker gets married and decides to have a two year break from chess.

Four Teams were entered in the Birmingham League in Divisions 1, 3, 4 & 6.  Our first team were relegated thus losing our first division status.
We moved club rooms, now meeting at Centre 13, School Road Moseley.
This was a very sad year for the club because two of our top players Ted Weekes and Pat Cotter were tragically killed in a motor accident on the way back from a chess match in the Coventry League.
Both of these players were at the height of their chess careers.  Pat had reached a 190 grade and Ted reached 180.  Ted was Birmingham League Grader at the time of his death. Both of these players gave a great deal of time to chess and are sadly missed.

1980-81 saw the club with 3 teams in Divisions 2, 3 and 4.  Teams were still for 8 players and with diminishing club membership, the club defaulted boards on many occasions.  Our top players were Martin Smyth (153) and Hugh McLeod (148).  
Both our divisions 3 and 4 teams were relegated.
A new member Dr.Alan Fox joins the club.

A disagreement with the Club Secretary Tom Latham resulted in an E.G.M. being held on 29 July 1981.  The membership passed a motion to remove Tom from office and cancel his membership. He reacted badly to this and destroyed all the clubs records and detailed history, and also damaged some of the equipment. The Club ran into financial difficulties and was bailed out by a donation of £100 from Graham Jelfs.   The club membership increased to 31 players.  This included David Dunn who joined the club and was duly registered in Division 8 scoring 89%.
Terry Walker also came back to the club after an absence of 2 years (getting married can be quite exhausting, particularly to an energetic 19 year old)!
We fielded teams in Divisions 2, 4 & 8.
Will Bradford finished runner up in the Division 4 League Individual Tournament. 
Open Lightning Tournament was held to raise funds, and this was won by Graham Jelfs.

1982-3 saw the club membership increase and with it the number of teams representing the club in the league.
We entered teams in Divisions 2, 4, 8 & 10. Our second team were relegated to Division 5.
New members included Bob Murdoch, Richard Hall Roberts, Kevin Smyth and Kevin Francis.

1983-4 We entered teams in Divisions 2, 5, 8 & 10. Bob Murdoch finished runner up in the Division 10 League Individual Tournament.
John Gowdy moves to London.  Club Champion Terry Walker starts the tradition of giving a 17 board simultaneous exhibition.

1984-5 saw the club enter 4 teams in the Birmingham League in Divisions 2, 6, 8 and 10.   26 players competed in the league.  New members included Tim Lane, Eric Whelan, David Yarwood, Norman Groom, Paul Bush and Steve Brook.
11 board match against Olton, resulting in South B’Ham.6 – Olton 5.
Martin Smyth reached the final of the Division 1 Individual Championships, but had to concede defeat in the 3rd game after drawing the first 2 games.

1985-6 was the Club’s 40th year and also a successful one! 
The club attracted 13 new members – including Mark Sanderson, Ian Howarth, Stefan Walentowicz, Steve Evans, Tony Szatanik, Glyn Matthews, Oratio Cavallero and Michael Goulding.  The membership now stood at 31.
We entered 4 teams in the Birmingham League.  The first team finished 3rd in Division 2.  The second team consisting of Tim Lane, Eric Whelan, Greg Varnom, Steve Evans, Chris Brookes, and Ken May) won the Division 5 Championships with 100% record.  They also won the Terrill Trophy, beating Kynoch 1 in the final. The 3rd team won the Division 8 Championship, and the 4th team which was designed to introduce members to competitive chess, soon gained the killer instinct and were runner up in Division 10.
Mark Sanderson and Eric Whelan completed the season undefeated.
In division eight we had a dispute with Drayton Bassett Chess Club, who had moved club rooms and not told us. One of our players was not able to find the new club room and consequently lost the game.

In the League Individual Finals Eric Whelan was runner up in Division 3. Steve Evans Winner Division 5
Anne Cope was runner up Division 8. Ian Howarth won the Bedworth Congress Minor Section, despite leaving his king in check for several moves! Greg Varnom came second in the under 145 section of the Birmingham Congress, and Mark Sanderson came first in the under 120 section.
A Christmas a dinner was held at the Greek Restaurant in Acocks Green to celebrate the Club’s 40th year. Eighteen members attended. Tim Lane and Greg Varnom provided the entertainment with their interpretation of Greek dancing.

1986-7 saw us competing in the league with 5 teams in Divisions 2, 3, 6, 8 and 10.
34 players supported the teams.  Our 4th team won the Division 8 championship.  Mike Loat had a good season scoring 89% in the league and winning the Warley Quinbourne under 120 tournament.
Our leading players had played quite successfully the previous season and this was reflected in their new grades.  Martin Smyth (175), Derek Price (162), Graham Jelfs (161),  Terry Walker (161), Greg Varnom (158), Eric Whelan (151), Tim Lane (149), Paul Swatridge (149) and David Dunn (144)
New members included Chris Pitt, George Wicks, Indipal Sokey, Reg Goldsmith and Tim Marsh.
Tim Lane re-joined the club after working away from the area.
Glyn Matthews was moving away from the area to open a Bed and Breakfast in The Lake District.
Derek Price won a prize of 33 pence for coming joint second with the best board score in the league Lightening Championships.
Due to our increased membership, we now found that the playing room was too small for playing our League games, we therefore moved premises to Moseley All Services Club in Church Road, Moseley. We now had our own rooms, and could meet more than one night each week.

1987-88  We entered 6 teams into the Birmingham League in Divisions 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10.
Our first team were strengthened by new member Graham Willetts joining the club.
Other new members were David Payne and Seamus Mallon.
The third team won the Division 5 championship with David Yarwood and Tony Szatanik undefeated.  Tim Lane won the Division 3 Individual Championship; Geoff Cowell won the Division 6 Individual Championship. Eric Whelan went through the season undefeated. George Wicks became seriously ill and made a cash donation to the club.  This was spent on a new clock. South Birmingham won the annual match against Olton. We held the Christmas Dinner at ‘Jewel in the Crown’ in Moseley.

1988-89.45 active members supported 6 teams.  Teams were entered in Divisions 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9 of the Birmingham League. New members included Bob Carter and Mark Drugan. Philip Clay returns to the club to play for a season.
The first team won the Division 2 championships and returned to the 1st Division after an eight year absence. David Dunn scored 11½ out of 12.
Our first team now consisted of Graham Willetts (177), Martin Smyth (175), Terry Walker (166), David Dunn (165), Graham Jelfs (157), Derek Price (155), Greg Varnom (149) and Eric Whelan (135).
Unfortunately we were relegated from Divisions eight and nine.
In a home match played in January against Solihull Lodge, Eric Whelan was playing against R Martin.  Both players were friendly and hospitable towards each other.  They kept buying each other a drink every twenty minutes.  The chess game bean to deteriorate and was the last the finish, resulting in a draw!  Afterwards Graham Willetts pointed out to Eric that by moving his pieces in a different order he could have won.  Eric replied that towards the end of the game he couldn’t see any pieces.
Graham Willetts was runner-up in Division 1 Individual Championship.
Robin Huq was winner in Division 3 Individual Championship.
Geoff Cowell was runner-up Division 6 Championship.
Troy Meritt was runner-up Division 9 Championship.
We lost the annual match against Olton 5½ - 8½.
Terry Walker was elected as President of the League, which was an honour both for him and our club. Tony Szatanik became Bulletin Editor of the League.
Soviet Grandmaster Mark Taimanov visited the club to give a simultaneous display over 21 boards.  The Grandmaster was beaten by Philip Clay and Greg Varnom.  Graham Willetts held him to a draw!  The only English he spoke was ‘Whiskey’ and ‘Thank you’.
Martin Smyth tried to draw the Grandmaster into a conversation about Soviet politics, but failed because Martin’s Brummy Russian accent couldn’t be understood.
Eric Whelan retained his unbroken record of not losing a game in 3 seasons.  This was partly contributed to him wearing his lucky jumper with a red stripe down the front (representing the blood of his opponents).  This would probably fetch a good price today on ebay!
A Christmas dinner was held and was attended by 22 people.  This year it had an Italian flavour and took place at Gino's in Birmingham City Centre.
In addition we met for a meal at The Jade in Moseley to celebrate the clubs return to the first division.

1989-90 The Club had a membership of 36 which supported 5 teams in the Birmingham League.  These were in divisions 1,3,4,6 & 9. The first team, in its first season back in division one, played well and finished in seventh place.
New members included Robert and John Glass.
Eric Whelan’s wife Mary decided to through his old jumper away and Eric’s undefeated run now ends!
The Nickers Trophy was presented to Derek Stockhall who secured 9 draws.

1990-1991., 30 active players supported 4 teams in Division 1, 3, 5 and 8.
Division 1 reached the final of the Homer Trophy, losing to Solihull Lodge 5.
who were given a handicap of 5½ points, which was too severe?
Our third team finished bottom of division 5 and were relegated. New members included Robin Carr.
Requests to collect club subscriptions may have had a wrong effect.  The day after requesting the balance of his subscription a member who had part paid – Bill Bellman saw him busking outside Tesco’s in Moseley.
Annual Christmas dinner was held at The Jade in Moseley.

1991-2 We entered 4 teams in the League in divisions 1, 3, 6 and 8; these were supported by thirty seven active players. Our third team won the Division 6 championship and was Runner up in the Townsend Trophy. Our fourth team won the Division 8 Championship.
The club welcomed five new members: James Tweddell, Stuart Morris, Pat Harper, Leroy Douglas and Duncan Gilchrist. We also welcomed back Bob Murdoch.
Pat Harper was runner up in the Division 6 League Individual Championship.
Robin Carr won the Division 8 League Individual Championship
During the season we played an outdoor match against Solihull which resulted in a 2½-2½ draw.
The annual match against Olton resulted in a victory for South B’ham.
The Christmas “dinner” this year took the form of a party at Terry Walker’s house where a “Take Away” was consumed in the cellar.

1992-93.The season started with 37 members supporting 5 teams. We entered teams in Divisions 1, 2,5,7,9.
Our first team played well and finished in second place with Lichfield with 18 points in Division 1.  Division 7 reached the final of the Barrington Trophy losing to West Midland Police.  Mark Drugan and Stuart Morris were undefeated in the league. A fourteen –player all-play-all lightning tournament was held in January.
The winner was David Dunn who just edged Derek Price into second place.

1993-94.The league reduced the number of boards in Divisions 1 to 5 from 8 to 6.  The club entered 6 teams in the league in divisions 1, 2,3,5,8 & 9.  These were supported by 38 players.
The interest generated by the Kasparov – Short match led to a sizable increase in membership. New members included Stephen Heys, Gavin Tilstone, Robert McIntosh, John Marshall, Bosan Das, Simon Williams and Richard Toth. The season started with a 22 board match against Olton.  This resulted in a 15 – 7 victory for South Birmingham.

Our first team won the League Lightning Tournament.
Our second team were involved in a three-way play-off for the two relegation places in division two. We won the play-off, and stayed in division two.
Our fourth team won the Division 5 Championship.
Tim Lane was runner-up in Division 2 of the League Individual Championships.  Chris Boivin was runner-up in Division 3 of the League Individual Championship.  Robert Glass won Division 8 League Individual Championship.
The Nickers Trophy was presented to Mark Drugan who had drawn 13 games.

The club membership continued to increase; new members were Martin Meredith, Gary Hope, Robert Green, Michael Kerr, Zac Samed, Bernard McClory, Simon Killarney, Ed Baker, Brian Green, Tony Williams, Andy Taylor and Steve Smith.
The annual match against Olton was played over 30 boards, resulting in a narrow Olton victory 16 – 14.
7 teams were entered in Birmingham League in Divisions 1, 2, 3,4,7,8 & 10.
Our first team tried various tactics to try and secure enough points to stay in Division One, including rotating the order of the players on the top three boards, using a large board and set on top board to distract the opponents, and using Greg Varnom to woo Jana Bellin when playing against Walsall Kipping. These were all unsuccessful and the team only secured four points, insufficient to avoid relegation.
Our 6th team won the Division 8 championship.
Our 7th team came second in Division 10.
When playing away at Stourbridge, we were asked “Does The Grob Man still play for you?” He certainly does. It looks as though Chris Boivin has established a reputation.
Gavin Tilstone won Division 7 League Individual Championships.
Derek Price kept his early promise (most promising junior of 1958) by winning the Mutual C.C. Rapid Play Competition, and the Birmingham University under 160 competitions.
Simon Williams was successful in various junior competitions and competed in the trials for the England Junior Squad scoring 2½ out of 6.
The “Goolie Trophy” was won by Robert Green for sending a team to the wrong venue for a trophy match against Lucas. He sent them to Redditch.
Member Robert McIntosh leaves to work in Saudi Arabia.

The club entered 8 teams in the Birmingham League. These were Divisions 2 (2 sides), 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10.  The season started with the annual match against Olton but this particular year both Clubs invited former members to join to celebrate 50 years of the formation of both clubs.  It was good to see old members, Colin Packwood, Tony Campbell, and Philip Maddocks.  The match resulted in a win for South Birmingham. The celebrations continued with 2 simultaneous matches taking place, firstly Danny King in November. Danny played 25 games, winning 21games, drawing with Kevin Hancox and Derek Price. Losing to Tim Lane and Steve Evans. After the match, Danny was refreshed with a couple of pints of Guinness, and then taken for a curry in the Ladypool Road.
In February Dr. John Nunn came and gave a second simultaneous display playing 26 games. He played 13 games with White and an equal number with the Black pieces. He won 24 games, losing to Martin Smyth, and Louis Rawson. He too was taken for the traditional South Birmingham curry.

Our first team were runners up in the League Lightning Championship.
Gary (The Book) Hope won the sum of 75p as a board prize.
Our 7th team finished 2nd in Division 10 of the league.
Derek Price beat Ron Hardy in the Division 2 League Individual final.
Martin Meredith was runner up in Division 6 League Individual. 
New members included Kevin Hancox, Arnold Peace, and Phil Tomkins.

New members attracted to the club this season were Alan Agnew, Jeff Cann, Peter Mwenya, John Mildenhall and The Wilsons (Sam, Simon and Trevor).
We entered 6 teams in the Birmingham League in Divisions 2a, 2b, 4, 6, 8a & 8b.
These were supported by 43 players. 
The first team bounced back into the 1st Division by winning the second division championship with 23 points from 24.  They also won the Homer Trophy beating Warley/Quinborne 1 in the final.
The second team were relegated from division two.
Our Division 6 side won the Townshend Trophy beating Colebrook/Shirley in the final.
Our division eight side came equal second, but lost the promotion play-off.
The League Individual division 8 final saw Tony Williams competing against son Simon.  Who won?  Simon of course!
The annual match against Olton saw South Birmingham win. This was the first time either club had won a consecutive match.
Tim Lane was undefeated in the league for the 2nd consecutive season.
Mark Drugan regains the Nickers Trophy scoring 8 draws.


New Members joining the club this season were Lee Ball, Tim Davey, Peter Emanual, Thomas Griffiths, Paul Hunt, Kevin Hurney, Martin Johnson, John Pitcher, Andrew Whelan.
Terry played a few games against John Pitcher to access his strength, and thought he was fairly good. John was therefore registered for our division 5 team. At the end of the season John told us that before his 17 year retirement from the game, he had been a member of the England under 16s team in 1979 which had won the gold medal.
His grade at 16 was 199, and his team mates were Nigel Short, Danny King, Julian Hodgson and Ian Wells. He also drew with Spassky in a simul!
The season had been a disappointing one with no sides winning promotion and three sides relegated.
The 1st Team were relegated from Division 1 with 9 points. This is the first time in 27 years that 9 points has not been enough to stay up.
Division 3a reached the final of Terrill Trophy, but lost to Kynoch 1,
they also did well in the league finishing third on 17 points.
Division 3b started the season by beating the higher graded 3a, then finishing the season in tenth place on 10 points.
Division 5 – Finished 3rd , and reached the finals for the Townshend Trophy, but lost to Olton 6.
Division 6 – The team were relegated  having secured only four points.
Division 7 – The team were relegated having secured only three points
Division 8 – The team finished fourth with ten points.
The Division 3 League Individual competition was won by Terry Walker who had to play Ron Hardy in the final.
During this season we hosted the Leagues Centenary Simultaneous Exhibition. Members had the chance to play against Grandmasters Michael Adams, Keith Arkell, Julian Hodgson and John Nunn. See separate report – A Day in The Life. 
In the League Lightning Championship, Alan Agnew and Martin Smyth both won board prizes of 75 pence each.
Martin Smyth wrestles the Nickers Trophy from Mark Drugan and becomes the new holder.


The Season started well with the pre-season friendly against Olton.  The club fielded 35 players of whom two were loaned to the opposition.  South Birmingham won 21-12.
We entered 8 teams in the B.D.C.L these were in Divisions 2, 3 (2 teams) 5, 7 (2 teams), 8(2teams) and these were supported by 50 members.
New members included John Emanuel, Anthony Hall, Daniel Racmel and Joe Struge.
The first team finished second in Division 2 with 21 points and are promoted back to Division 1.
The 2nd Team which had been designated as the 3 ‘B’ team because of an administrative error by the league finished as champions of Division 3 with 19 points and also won the Homer Trophy
The 3rd team 3 ‘A’ were relegated on 4 points.
The 5th team (7A) were promoted as champions.
The 7th team (8A) finished in 2nd place and also won the Barrington Trophy.
In the League Individual Finals saw Lee Ball playing Paul Hunt in Division 8.  Lee managed to win.
Mark Drugan regains the Nickers Trophy with 9 draws from 18 games.

During the season Bernard McClory had the honour of playing a consultation game against Gary Kasparov, as one member of a team of 5 people who had won a competition in ‘The Times’ newspaper.  Bernard found him to be friendly and a pleasant man. Tim Davey was leaving to work in Siberia.  This was not because of his chess results!
On a sadder note, Colin Packwood had died during the season.  Colin had been one of our top players during the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was top board for the club for many years, and won the club championship many times before Messrs.Walker and Dunn started their record number of wins.

The 1999-2000 Season was one of the most successful in the Club’s history. 
New members this season were Kees Van Drunan and Colin Reid.
The annual match against Olton resulted in a South Birmingham victory.
Seven teams were entered in the B.D.C.L.
Our first team consisting of John Pitcher, Kees Van Drunen, Martin Smyth, David Dunn, Greg Varnon and John Mildenhall, were undefeated in Division 1 and finished in first place with 20 points. Winning the League Championship for the first time in the clubs history.
Our second team came second in Division 2, and also won the Homer Trophy.
Our third team came first in Division 4.
Our fourth team came second in division 5, and were runners-up in the Townshend Trophy.
Our sixth team came second in Division 7 and also won the Barrington Trophy.
We won the League Lightning Championship (Van Drunan, Smyth, Dunn, and Varnom).
Winners Section C League Lightning ( Stockhall, Pitt, Green, P.Singh) The division two team played away to West Bromwich, and in their club room there was a coffin resting on two supports. Terry Walker thought this was a sign that he should play the Frankenstein – Dracula variation of the Vienna Game!
Bernard McClory was runner up in Division 6 League Individual
Paul Hunt was winner of the Division 7 League Individual.

To celebrate our League Success, a simultaneous exhibition was given by British Chess Champion Julian Hodgson on 3 April 2000. Winners were given a bottle of whiskey donated by M.A.S.C..  The event was also used to raise £897 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital to purchase machines for the Cystic Fibrosis Charity.  The charity that M.A.S.C support.  Well done, all of those members who have been involved.
Julian played 27 games, of which he won 22.
He drew 3.  Eric Whelen, John Mildenlhall and Kevin Hurney.
He lost 2 – John Pitcher and David Dunn.
Afterwards 9 of us fought our way through the snow and went for the traditional South Birmingham Chess Club Balti.
Ann Cope who had been fighting against ill health for several years died during the summer. Ann had been a member for many years, and had held the posts of President, Secretary and Match Captain during her time with the club.
Ann had been our first lady member, and made an outstanding contribution to the organisation of the club during the 1970s and 1980s. She will be sadly missed.

2000 – 2001
New members Chris Charman, Sophie Tidman, Paul Phelan, Gary Walker, Tim Tidman, Gavin Cartwright, and Herve Menaut.
The annual match against Olton took place over 29 boards. Olton decided to gambit Robert Reynolds (their club champion) on board one, but even this did not help them. South Birmingham won 17 games to Olton’s’ 12 games.
We entered 8 teams in the B.D.C.L. Divisions 1 (2 teams), 2, 5, 6(2 teams),
7(2 teams).

We successfully kept two teams in division one.
Our fourth team came first in Division five with unbeaten record.
They also won the Townsend Trophy.
Our fifth team (6A) came second in division six, and have gained promotion.
Our sixth team (6B) came first in division six with 18 points.
In the League Individual division six final Gary Hope won, with Paul Hunt runner up.
The Nickers trophy was won by Ron Hardy with 10 draws.
The Goolie Trophy was awarded to Martin Smyth who had travelled to Solihull for a match but had been unable to find any other members of his team.  After being told by a member of the Solihull Club that there was no match that night, Martin had travelled to Shirley, then back to M.A.S.C. in search of his team mates.  Discovering that the match was, as he originally thought, at Solihull, he had then returned to the Solihull Club where he then played his game and won…beating the person who had told him there was no match on that night!

New Members: Graham Jennings, Sean Ralph, Darren Lee, Tom McFadden, Roy Ball, Malcolm Kirtley, Jonathan Swindells.
The season started with the annual match between South Birmingham and Olton.  Our team was led by Club Champion Martin Smyth whose unorthodox style quickly led to victory against Alan Lloyd.  The final result: South Birmingham 17½ - Olton 10½.
The Club entered a record 9 teams in the B.D.C.L in Division 1 (2 teams), 2, 4, 5 (2 teams), 7 (2 teams) and 8. 
1st team came 2nd in Division 1, but unfortunately our 2nd team was relegated from Division 1 on 6 points.
Our 4th team came 1st in Division 4 with 19 points, and reached the final of the Terrill Trophy losing to Sutton Coldfield Division 2.
Our 5th.team (Division 5a) were winners of the Barrington Trophy
We came second in the League Lightning Championship
We were Joint Winners Section C of the League Lightning.
Lee Ball was runner up in Division 5 League Individual.
In September Kees left the Club to return to live in Holland and another ‘Curry Night’ was arranged to wish him well. 
Ron Hardy retained the Nickers Trophy with 11 draws. 
Social Events included celebrating the special birthdays of Paul Hunt and Simon Williams.
Martin Meredith joined the pop group UB40 on their World Tour as a Saxophone and keyboard player, and has since stayed with the group.
As part of the Summer Programme the Club Champion Martin Smyth performed a simultaneous display against 16 opponents achieving the highly respectable score of 1 win and 6 draws!

We started the season with several new members Russell James, Ann-Marie Ashby, Riadh Baqer, Fred Dickson, Duncan Gilchrist, Darren Tait and the return of old member Paul Swatridge.
After a rationalisation exercise that led to the weeding out of twelve inactive player registrations, 7 teams were entered in the Birmingham League in Divisions 1,2 (2 teams), 4,5 and 6 (2 teams).
Our 1st team finished 5th in Division 1 and won the Terrill Trophy conceding only a single half-point to Lichfield’s Division 2 side in the final.
The first team now included two lady players who have both played for England.
The 2nd team finished 2nd in Division 2 with 18 points and won promotion back to Division 1.
Our 4th team came 1st in Division 4 and have won promotion to Division 3.
Our 6th team played in Division 6 and finished in 2nd place, winning promotion to Division 5 next season.  They also reached the final of the Townsend Trophy drawing 3-3 with Sutton Coldfield, but losing on board count.
The annual match against Olton took place over 26 boards.  This had been won convincingly by South Birmingham with 18½ points to Olton’s 7½.
On the night of the match Terry Walker received a phone call from one of the players and whilst rushing to answer the phone he consequently dislocated his toe from its socket; but having seen on TV’s ‘Casualty’ how the Doctor’s simply ‘click’ the joint back into place he thought “why not give it a go”?...but it just jumped back out again and the Wife (Josephina) came to the rescue and manipulated the toe back into its rightful place.  As a result Terry was able to attend to his chess match at the Club. Resident Club member Jonathan Swindells and ‘trainee’ doctor was quickly briefed on the trauma to check that all was well but the response was not quite what was expected when he replied “Sorry, but I wouldn’t know what to do, I haven’t got to that page yet in my studies”.
In the League Individual Competitions, Time Lane won the Division 2 title.
Chris Pitt was runner-up in Division 5.
2 teams were entered in the League Lightning Event.  However, when 2 of the 1st team players failed to turn up, it was necessary for David Dunn and Martin Smyth to recruit the services of a couple of stray players in the form of Mike Groombridge (Walsall Kipping) and Dave Shurrock (Solihull).  Although this was a fairly weak side, determined play saw it finish half a point ahead of Olton to win the event!
The prestigious “Nickers Trophy” for the most draws was won by Darren Lee who had drawn 11 games out of 18 played.

New members included Richard Pinder, Kevin Hurney, Neil Clarke, Geoff Perks, Colin Lout.
In the Birmingham District Chess League we entered 7 sides – 2 in Division 1, 1 in Division 2, 1 in Division 3, 2 in Division 5 and 1 in Division 7.  51 members played supporting these teams.
Our first team finished joint 3rd in Division 1 on 16 points .
Our 2nd team finished joint 8th in Division 1.
Our 3rd team finished 3rd in Division 2.
Our 4th team finished 3rd in Division 3 (also winning the Homer Trophy beating Handsworth Wood 2 in the final without needing the handicap).
Our 5th team finished second in Division 5 with 17 points.
They also reached the final of the Townshend Trophy where they lost to Wolseley 5.

In the League Individual Competition Gary (The Book) Hope reached the final and beat R Westwood of Rushall to win the Division 2 title.
The Nickers Trophy was won by Ron Hardy with 10 draws.
In recognition of 38 years commitment to South Birmingham Chess Club by Terry Walker, the committee and club members inaugurated a new club trophy duly named “The Walker Trophy”.  The Walker Trophy is annually awarded to the player of the game which Terry Walker judges to be the most enjoyable game.  In addition to the Walker Trophy and in recognition of his work to the club Terry was presented with a much-prized first edition author’s signed copy of “My Great Predecessors” by Gary Kasparov, and a bottle of single malt whiskey!

We entered seven sides in the B.D.C.L., 2 in Division 1, and 1 each in 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.
47 members played in these teams including new members Nat Kasifir, Paul Hodgskin, Goalam Ali, Simon Dighton and Robin Shepherd.
The Season proved to be successful resulting in two promotions and no relegations.

Our 5th team finished 1st in Division 4 with 21 points and are promoted to Division 3.
Our 6th team finished 2nd in Division 5 and are promoted to Division 4.
Our Division 3 side reached the final of the Homer Trophy, but lost to Warley Quinborne 1.
The annual match against Olton resulted in another South Birmingham victory.  South Birmingham scored 14½ points against Olton’s 6½ points. Our team were led by Simon Dighton and Sophie Tidman, who both won their respective games on
boards 1 and 2.
We entered three teams in the League Lightning Competition.
Our 1st team consisting of Russell James, John Pitcher, Simon Dighton and David Dunn easily outclassed all opposition and took the championship with 15½ points out       of 16.  David Dunn was the player who dropped the half point and is working on improving his game for next year!
Our 3rd team consisting of Ali G, Sean Ralph, Paul Hodgskin and Brian Green won Section 3.
The Walker Trophy was awarded for the first time. The winner being Paul Hodgskin for his game he had won on the black side of the Staunton Gambit.
The Spectrum Congress at Dudley saw success for South Birmingham players with Russell James winning the Congress Open with 4 out of 5 games. Ali G won the minor section with 4½ out of 5; followed in 2nd place by Sean Ralph with 4 out of 5.  The two were drawn together in the last round but Sean could not break down a stubborn Sicilian played by Ali G.
In the internal competitions, there was tremendous competition for the prestigious “Nickers Trophy” which is awarded to the player who achieves the most draws in a season.
Neil Clarke was leading the competition throughout the season and secured 9 draws.   His play unfortunately improved and he went on to win his last 3 games, thus leaving the way open to others.  This season’s runner-up was Greg Varnom who played in the spirit of the trophy and drew 10 out of his 14 games – showing remarkable consistency.
This season’s Petrosianesque player, demonstrating the way to win the ‘Nickers Trophy’ by securing 12 draws from 17 games is Steve Evans.
The club gave its congratulations to club members Sophie Tidman who was Captain of the Oxford University Chess Team, and Simon Williams who
was Captain of the Cambridge University Chess Team.
One of the highlights of the season was Darren Lees’ response when he was telephoned from a committee meeting informing him that he had been chosen as Captain of Division 4.  His response unfortunately is not repeatable!

The club was formed after VE Day in 1945 and this season was the Club’s 60th year.  To mark the event an Open Rapid Play Tournament was organised to take place on two successive Wednesdays in May.  20 players competed.  First place was shared between our own Russell James and Tristan Cox from Sutton Coldfield with 5 points out of 6.  The Club’s own Fred Dickson (Grade 87) finished in 3rd place on 4½ points.    In the last two rounds he took the scalps of Tristan Cox (Grade 151) and David Dunn (Grade 162).  Fred is obviously a player not to be under-estimated. 

After a varied summer programme, the club started the season with the annual match against Olton.  The result was South Birmingham 15½ - Olton 6½, this was South Birmingham’s 8th successive victory.
New members this season were Rob Taylor, Pablo Padilla, Iain Davis, Faraz Malik, Dani Malik, Kaiser Malik, and Peter Johnson.
I nearly forgot we also had Stephen Gordon as a new member.  Stephen was the British under 21 Champion and also gained the International Master Title.

We entered 7 teams in the Birmingham and District Chess League.  2 in Division 1, 1 in Division 2, 2 in Division 3, 1 in Division 4 and 1 in Division 7.
Our 1st team won the League Championship.
Our 3rd team were promoted to Division 1 as runners-up in Division 2 after winning a play-off with Solihull.
Our 4th team won the Terrill Trophy beating West Bromwich 2 in the final.
Our 5th team were joint 1st in Division 3 and won promotion to Division 2.
Our 7th team won the Division 7 championship and are promoted next season.
We entered 3 teams in the League Lightning Competition.
Our 1st team won the Championship, thus retaining the trophy.
Our 3rd team won the second section with 11½ points.
Success in the League Individual Competition came to Paul Hodgskin who was joint winner of Division 3 with Mike Biddle of Boldmere/St Michaels.
Stephen Gordon gave a simultaneous display playing 15, winning 12, and drawing 2 against Derek Stockhall and Terry Walker.  One loss to David Dunn.

There had been 8 entries for the Walker Trophy, including excellent games from Darren Lee, David Dunn, Gary Hope and Pablo Padilla.  The winner this year for a game played in a sacrificial if not entirely sound style was Chris Pitt.
A new name appeared on the “Nickers Trophy” this year – David Dunn became our latest draw master with 9 draws after seeing off serious challenges from Martin Smyth and Ron Hardy with 8 draws.

 2006 – 07 The new season started with several new members joining the club.  Liam Hylands, Sharif Gonem, Paul Phillips, Rob Hearne, Jan Trembecki and the return of Simon Killarney.
The first match was the annual ‘friendly’ against Olton.  This was played over 20 boards resulting in South Birmingham 12½- Olton 7½.
We entered 8 teams in the B.D.C.L in Divisions 1 (3 teams), 2,3,4,5 and 6.
Our first team retained the League Championship by winning its’ last match against Walsall Kipping.
Our 2nd team finished with 9 points in Division 1 and were involved in a relegation play –off with Sutton Coldfield. We won 3½-2½ and kept our place in Division  1.

Our third team were promoted from Division 2 last year and their objective was to get enough points to stay in Division 1.  The team excelled themselves and beat most of the opposition.  They ended the season on 18 points and finished in 2nd place in Division 1.  Neil Clarke did an excellent job has Team Captain and played quite well himself scoring 8½ out of 12 for his team.

Our 4th team kept their newly promoted place in Division 2 and in addition won the Homer Trophy. This is a particularly good result, because Division 2 is the ‘recycle bin’ of the first division. Most clubs have their first team in the second division; the opposition can be quite strong.  Our 5th, 6th and 7th teams kept their places in Divisions 3, 4 and 5.  Our 8th team were a late registration in Division 6 and played well providing league chess to new members.
We entered 4 teams in the League Lightning Tournament and won the Championship.  The team was Russell James, Stephen Gordon, David Dunn and Pablo Padilla – thus retaining the trophy for another year.
Our 3rd team won the second section.
There was tremendous competition for the Nickers Trophy this year.  Martin Smyth and Terry Walker were contenders with 9 draws.  This was surpassed by Robert Glass and Neil Clarke who both draw 10 of their games.  Regaining the trophy he lost last year with 11 draws from 15 games this year’s winner is Steve Evans.
The Walker Trophy was presented to Darren Lee for playing a very exciting game with the black pieces in a Vienna Game against K Jewsbury of Shirley/Lucas.
Overall we have had a successful season retaining three teams in Division 1 and coming 1st and 2nd in Division 1.  This has never been done before!
Next season is just around the corner and we already have had two new members, Darren Whitmore and Ray Trinder.

New members are always welcome.
Next season we hope to enter a team in the 4.N.C.L.

To be continued.......2007 - 2013