Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Graham Lightfoot - RIP

Very sad news. On Wednesday 4th December 2019, past Secretary of Rugby Chess Club Graham Lightfoot died. Graham was club secretary from about 1968 to 1999 and made a big impression in taking forward competitive chess in this club during that time. His most remarkable achievement was to steer the club to a win against Cambridge and then Oxford Universities in 1982 making RCC national club champions.

The team included two young men who went on to become chess grandmasters (Mark Hebden and Keith Arkell) and also included current Club President Bob Wildig. Graham accompanied the team when they went to the USSR to represent English chess the following year. Ben Gaff (Leamington League Chair) writing about the 100 year history of the Coventry & District Chess League recently (Dec 2019, Chess magazine) described this as perhaps the most stunning achievement in the league's history.

This was at a time when soviet chess was a very serious business and the match against Moscow Chess Club was a huge event. Graham is pictured at this event (seated right) with a decidedly serious expression.

Graham's family have extended an invitation to his funeral and wake - an opportunity to celebrate Graham's life. This will be on Monday 23rd December at 2pm at Rainsbrook Cemetery (Avon Room) & Crematorium and afterwards at The Railway Club (which was where RCC used to meet). 

Family flowers only please. Donations in memory of Graham for the Alzheimer's Society may be sent to Walton & Taylor Funeral Directors,
16 Railway Terrace Rugby, CV21 3EW, telephone 01788 543008.

Please email the club if you need directions or further information.  (Obituary in Rugby Advertiser where you can leave online comments is here).

Saturday, 5 October 2019

End of pre-season results - thanks for taking part

Malcolm sends this report on the final two rounds of the 2nd RCC pre-season tournamet. As you can see newcomer Francis emerged as a clear winner.

Thank you to all who took part, and especially Malcolm for running the contest. We trust you all enjoyed the evet and that it may have helped limber you up for the coming season. Malcolm reckons it had had that effect for him, he started with a win and two draws in the first 3 Leamington League matches.


This round started with Francis just ahead of Chris Badley, Mike Johnson & Simon Turner, with six players a further point back, waiting to pounce.

Francis played Chris, and continued his serene progress. Neither Simon nor Jim were able to join us, so Malcolm was re-paired with Mike Johnson, and was pleased to break his duck when his pawns managed to invade Mike's posititon.

Ganesh beat Petar, Dave beat John, Nicola beat Chris P and Vassily will have been pleased to follow up his win against Malcolm with a draw against Bob.

This gave Francis the luxury of knowing he'd won the Tournament with a round to spare. Nevertheless, he kept his run going with a win against Mike, our visitor from Coventry, who we'd been pleased to welcome. Ganesh beat Nicola, and Chris B beat Vassily to join Simon equal 2nd behind Francis on 4 points.

John beat Petar, Bob beat Dave, and Malcolm beat Chris P giving the final table, LINK.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Pre-Season Tournament kicks off

Malcolm Harding has organised a pre-season tournament for the club for the second year. This takes place on 2nd, 9th and 23rd September. We have 15 contestants and were really pleased to welcome three new club members: Ganesh, Francis and Vasilly. We also had a visiting competitor - Mike Johnson - CDCL President and LDCL Secretary.

In the lead on this first evening, after two games, are Mike Johnson and Chris Badley. Well done and we look forward to some more interesting and friendly games on 9th and 23rd. Good luck to all players for the next four matches.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Bob Wildig Summer Simul: Action shots!

Bob Wildig agreed to do a simul against club members at our 5th August meeting and here are some shots of the action. We were able to field 10 opponents, including newest club member Dan. Chris, Phill and Martin were observers.

First to fall was Brian, who looked remarkably happy - great to see him at chess again after a break. Second to be knocked out was John who was followed by the only win of the evening or black - Nigel. Great work.

Jamie, Dan and Dave all lost and Petar and Stephen accepted draws. This left Chris (who lost) and Simon who acheived a draw - with many spectators watching by that stage. There were some surprises here as Bob points out: 'I was surprised when I beat Jamie who I would struggle to beat in a normal game. I think Jamie was being very adventurous and nearly broke through anyway!  It was a very interesting game just like the one I played against Simon next to it.'

Bob has agreed to do this again and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves, so perhaps a summer simul can be a regular part of our calendar. (Next meeting is 19 August).

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Pre-Season Tournament (2nd, 9th and 23rd September)

Malcolm Harding is again running a pre-season tournament at the club over three Monday evenings in September. We expect to be in the ballroom so plenty of space to invite other chess clubs along (our opponents in the Coventry (CDCL) and Leamington (LDCL) leagues). The basic informaion is given below. This page (Link) gives Malcolm's contact details and contains further information, including about requesting byes if you cannot attend some dates. So don't be deterred if you can't make it to every meeting.

Six-round Swiss Tournament
Rapid-play – all moves in 30 minutes for each player
There will be two rounds on each Monday, starting at 7.45pm & 9pm.
Please arrive by 7.30pm.

The Rugby Workers Club, 32 Oliver Street, Rugby CV21 2ET., ballroom (see location info).

Clocks will be used but notation of the game is optional.

Not graded but there is a trophy!!

Entries should be made to Malcolm Harding before 7.30pm on Monday 2nd September. (There is also provision for late entries).

Monday, 8 July 2019


For the second year Rugby Chess Club players are setting up in the sunshine* to play some open air chess with each other and members of the public, as part of Rugby's Festival of Culture activities.

Here are some photos from last Saturday (6th July). On 13th July (10-1.30) we were be in the same place - outside St Andrew's Church in central Rugby. If you know how to play chess come and have a game or so. You don't have to be a grandmaster to play us (honest).

(* on Saturday rain stopped play at 1pm, but forecasts for next Saturday show no rain at all. So hope we can stay outside for the whole time).

Monday, 28 January 2019

RCC at CDCL Centenary Rapidplay

On Sunday 27th January several Rugby Chess Club players travelled to Coventry to play in the Coventry and District Chess League (CDCL) Centenary Rapidplay.

Six games saw our ten RCC players (Simon Turner, Patrick Reid, Paul Colburn, James (Jamie) Kearney, John Hall, Steve Walley, Dave Riley, Petar Dimitrov, Chris Badley and Jonty Male) pitted against some strong opponents.

The competition attracted over 100 players (a wonderful target for the CDCL organisers to reach at the start of its 100th year).

High points for RCC  included a game against GM Mark Hebden by James pictured above. In terms of final results in the Open category Patrick won 4 games to finish 9th and win the u185 prize, slightly ahead of fellow Rugby A team players Simon Turner (11th with 3.5 points) and Paul Colburn (3 points). James finished 28th with 2 points (win and two draws) gained against much higher rated opponents.

We did not expect any of our players to be in the Major section (110-145 rated) but Petar Dimitrov found himself entered into this section in error and acquitted himself well, finishing 25th (2 points). As usual he was playing fast games - his win against his last opponent with 15 mins still on the clock.

Five players entered the Minor section, including junior Jonathan (Jonty) Male. For most this was their very first chess tournament. David Riley performed strongly - four wins (finishing 12th). John Hall also had a good day with 3.5 points (including 3 draws so only one game lost). Steve Walley and Chris Badley both won 2 points and Jonathan 1 point - with both Chris and Steve playing and winning against Jonathan there was an element of Good News: Bad News in some of these results.

Several of the our players are caught in action below.  An enjoyable contest. Congratulations to the league and many thanks to Hok Chui the organiser and others on the CDCL team who made this happen.  (Tournament results are at


Friday, 11 January 2019

Register and play in the CDCL Centenary Rapidplay - 27th January 2019

The 2019/20 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the Coventry and District Chess League.
The league are organising a 100th anniversary Rapidplay event on Sunday 27th January in Coventry as part of its celebrations. Rugby as one of the clubs competing in CDCL will be sending some of its players so look out for us there.

You can find out more by clicking on the natty Centenary CDCL logo below.
(Includes links to online entry form).  Please spread the word.

CDCL Centenary logo