Bye and good luck to Bill

This week, Bill Pettigrew, who has been with Nomads club since the 90s, has moved from his flat in Longley to be closer to his daughters in Bridlington. Though he hasn’t been to the club recently, people will remember his lively spirit very well from Eten Café (including his magic acts there!) and at previous venues before that. When we were still at The Harlequin, he gave a lecture on the history of chess in Sheffield: including amusing stories of how the allure of chess had proved the ruin of some people he’d come across in his working life, as well as the saviour for others.

Bill has had a long life, with memories of chess in Sheffield stretching back to the 1950s. Though he didn’t play at the Sheffield Boys’ Working Home where he was brought up (his only chess memories there are of boys using two torn-in-half chessboards as shields against the pieces thrown at each other!), it obviously stirred his imagination – he learned to play later in the army, buying his first chess set in an antique shop in Worcester (close to the Great Malvern barracks where he was based). He first played ‘properly’ in the 50s when he was a constable in Sheffield City Police, as part of the Works League. He was also for a time a member of Association clubs: The Limes first on Barnsley Rd and then Southey in the 60s. In Bill’s memory, there was a clear contrast between the two Sheffield leagues: while the Works was dominated by workers from steel and engineering, the Association was much more the domain of the professional classes. Bill took part in the famous 100-board matches that were played annually between the two leagues, he was part of the 1975 match between Sheffield and Manchester – and going further back well remembers local characters such as Charlie Gurnhill, the strong Sheffield and Yorkshire player of the mid-20th century.

Good luck Bill from players at the Nomads – all the very best and hope you find that chess club in Bridlington!

Nomads at Doncaster Congress

Six Nomads headed over to take part in the Doncaster Congress last weekend. Held at Hall Cross School, previously all sections have taken place in the main hall, but this year a stage production meant space was restricted, so the Open and Minor stayed put while the Major and Intermediates were spread across nearby class rooms.

A first round bye and three wins in the Open gave Sam 3.5 going into the final round, resulting in a pairing on top board with Laurence Webb (217), the highest graded player in the event. The resultant draw, giving Sam 4 out of 5, meant that Thomas Pitcher, who beat Ali Janooby in the final round, was able to come through and pip them both at the post with 4.5. Sam finishing an excellent joint second.

Henry stepped up in section, entering the Major. He had a tough start, two good close games resulted in losses, followed by the full point bye. A further loss followed in round 4, but he bounced back, beating a 164 in his final game, finishing on 2.

Having being under the weather for the last couple of weeks, John decided beforehand he was only going to play the Saturday. Entered in the Intermediates with a half point bye on Friday, his second round opponent was a no show. John received a full point bye and played out a draw with a lower rated player from the Open. A 3rd round win left him on 2.5 and a pretty good chance going into the final day, but he stuck with his decision and withdrew at this stage.

Keith had a great tournament in the Minor. On three out of three he was joint leader going into the last day. A draw in the morning meant he had to win in the afternoon to be in with a chance of first place, and win he did, sharing 1st with one other player on 4.5. This was Keith’s first ever tournament victory, well done Keith!

Eric continued his recent very good form, a loss in the first round was his only defeat, two draws and two wins followed and he finished on 3.

In Johns absence I decided to keep going and returned on the Sunday. By 11.00am I was wishing I hadn’t, a poor defeat and over three and a half hours to kill before the next game was enough for me to throw in the towel and withdraw, finishing on 1.

Ecclesall Social Chess Evening

Ecclesall CC: Invitation to all – Tues 1st March

Ecclesall Chess Club are holding a Social Chess Evening
on Tuesday 1st March 2016 at Dore and Totley Golf Club.

It is believed that there is insufficient opportunity for chess players to play casual chess (and interact socially with players from other chess clubs).

The event is open to all chess players (and even possibly those that wish to learn). There is no charge for attendance although it is hoped that attendees will purchase at least one drink from the bar (teas, coffees, hot chocolate and soft drinks are also available). The event will effectively be whatever the attendees wish to do but it is expected that most players will play casual chess. Some will probably want to go over positions from games/ openings etc. and this will also be available. Some coaching for weaker players may also be available.

Doncaster Chess Congress

Just a reminder of a local(ish) congress coming up soon

Doncaster Chess Congress
Hall Cross School, Thorne Road, Doncaster, DN1 2HY

February 26th – 28th
Contact: Steve Mann Email: Tel: 01709 379 209
4 Swiss sections: Open, Under 176, Under 146, Under 126. Entry fee £31 adults, £26 juniors; less for ECF membership (above Bronze) £7 adults, £5 juniors. Entries to Steve Mann, by post, e-mail or phone

Pete Mitchell

People may have heard the sad news that Pete Mitchell recently died.

His funeral will be on Thursday 21st January 1pm at Hutcliffe Woods Crematorium.

In his recent S&DCA newsletter Brian Lever said of Pete:

Pete Mitchell, local chess player in the Works League and Sheffield Association, has died.
He will be much missed by Ecclesall CC, where he played in all the teams and was the club librarian for many years, and by the many others of us who met him frequently in our away matches there, sometimes sitting face to face with him for two or three hours, wondering what he was plotting.
One begins to suspect that Ecclesall Chess Club is actually an orchestra in disguise; perhaps they should run matches with the accompaniment of a string quartet, because it transpires that, like Joe Morrison, Peter was a keen violinist.
In addition to the fiddle, he also wielded golf sticks and snooker utensils on a regular basis.

Games from the Past

I’ve found a hundred or so Nomads games on the old dokuwiki site dating from May 2012 to June 2014. I shall be adding these to this site over the next few weeks.

To start off here is a Summer League game from May 2012 Hards vs Johnson.

As more games are added you can find them by looking on the left hand side of this site in the archive section. (Notice May 2012 has now appeared there.)