Welcome

Founded 5th May 1969, we are a friendly chess club serving the Sedgley and Dudley area of the West Midlands. We meet on Tuesday evenings throughout the year and welcome all players from beginners to masters. We play just below Sedgley Beacon and are the highest chess club in the country at over 200m.


Ex-Servicemen’s Club,  The Walk, Sedgley

About us

On 5th May 1969 a meeting was convened consisting of Mr. G. Stokes-Roberts, Mr. K.A.J. Francis, Mr. B.R.Smith and Mr. and Mrs. F.M.Lloyd. to discuss the formation of a new chess club, to be named ‘Mercia’. Our first clubroom was at ‘The Bramford’ public house on the Tipton Road, Sedgley and our first night was on 10th September 1969. Our ‘A’ Team was in Division Two of the Wolverhampton and District Chess League captained by Wayne Clarke and vice-Captain Barry Smith. In this first season we won promotion to Division One having tied with Bushbury. We also had a second team captained by Ken Elwell.We have been playing chess in the Dudley area ever since and this year celebrate our 50th Anniversary.

We play in the Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Dudley leagues as well as providing internal tournaments and training. If you want to join us to become a master or just enjoy a quiet pint over a social game then please join us every Tuesday night 7pm-10pm.

About us

Contact us?

 Ex-Servicemen’s Club, The Walk, Sedgley Dudley, DY3 1PN

 Contact: Andrew McCumiskey

 Phone: 07780 684506

 Email: webmaster@merciachess.org.uk


Ladder - 2020/21 


Ladder

Public Games

Date Game ECO Comments
13 May 19  Andrew McCumiskey 0-1 Z. Koncki A80  Pittaway final, only a draw was needed! 
22 Nov 18  Alan Cox 1-0 Chris Williamson C41   
21 Sep 17  Chris Cox 0-1 Alex Holowzcak D15   
29 Oct 16  Chris Cox 0-1 Andrew McCumiskey A43   
09 Feb 16  Chris Cox 0-1 Richard Leaper D02   
10 Dec 14  Chris Cox ½-½ Jeremy Humphries A45   
21 Sep 09  Hulley, W. ½-½ Perks, Derek B06  Classic draw 
07 Oct 07  McCumiskey, Andrew 1-0 Laight, Derek B17  Blown opening and recovery 
02 Mar 04  McCumiskey, Andrew 1-0 Peddar, Stefano A47  Tromped! 
13 Jan 04  Andrew McCumiskey 1-0 Roger Grainger A80   
18 Nov 98  Andrew McCumiskey 1-0 Philip Davies A45   
Date: 13 May 19   ECO: A80
Game: Andrew McCumiskey 0-1 Z. Koncki
Notes: Pittaway final, only a draw was needed! 
Date: 22 Nov 18   ECO: C41
Game: Alan Cox 1-0 Chris Williamson
Notes:  
Date: 21 Sep 17   ECO: D15
Game: Chris Cox 0-1 Alex Holowzcak
Notes:  
Date: 29 Oct 16   ECO: A43
Game: Chris Cox 0-1 Andrew McCumiskey
Notes:  
Date: 09 Feb 16   ECO: D02
Game: Chris Cox 0-1 Richard Leaper
Notes:  
Date: 10 Dec 14   ECO: A45
Game: Chris Cox ½-½ Jeremy Humphries
Notes:  
Date: 21 Sep 09   ECO: B06
Game: Hulley, W. ½-½ Perks, Derek
Notes: Classic draw 
Date: 07 Oct 07   ECO: B17
Game: McCumiskey, Andrew 1-0 Laight, Derek
Notes: Blown opening and recovery 
Date: 02 Mar 04   ECO: A47
Game: McCumiskey, Andrew 1-0 Peddar, Stefano
Notes: Tromped! 
Date: 13 Jan 04   ECO: A80
Game: Andrew McCumiskey 1-0 Roger Grainger
Notes:  
Date: 18 Nov 98   ECO: A45
Game: Andrew McCumiskey 1-0 Philip Davies
Notes:  

Honours

  • WDCL Honours
  • BDCL Honours

News

 adminmercia
BDCL Div Four Halesowen vs Mercia B on 10-Mar-2020
12 Mar 20

Mercia travelled to Halesowen with two reserves in the team, Stuart going down with flue (get well soon bud) and the stairs too much for Ken. Many thanks to Chris and Chris for stepping up and supporting the team.  Barry was restored to his rightful place on board three and duly rewarded the team with a convincing win over Peter Banks. Having gone the exchange up he methodically crushed his opponent. A convincing win on one for John and a default on board six left Halesowen three down.  They won on four and five leaving the deciding game going to the wire and a win for them would give them a much needed point in their efforts to avoid relegation. Dave was under extreme pressure from a knight sack and ended up four pawns down.  His opponent went on to blunder his other knight and with careful manoeuvring Dave produced his own threats against the King. He took the draw to secure the match victory and if we can replicate this performance in the Wolverhampton league against Halesowen we can surely retain our division two status.  Well done to everyone for turning out and man of the match goes to Barry with his restored confidence.


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Mercia B vs Brewood on 03-Mar-2020
05 Mar 20

Mercia entertained Brewed on Tuesday hoping that lady luck will change for us.  There was no luck in what captain JP did. With astute manoeuvring, using January grades and current form, John promoted Ken to board two giving him a white game and Barry to board six with a view to regaining his confidence. The plan worked and we were unlucky not to secure both points with Dave being a pawn up, he missed a chance to be a Bishop and a pawn up. his opponent then went on to grab a draw through repetition. With draws from John, Ken, Dave and Stuart, Pete's loss was redressed with a win for Barry.  Well done to all, another fine team performance. Man of the match goes to Barry. Chris B was again on standby, well done to him. 


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Mercia B vs Brewood on 03-Mar-2020
05 Mar 20

Mercia entertained Brewed on Tuesday hoping that lady luck will change for us.  There was no luck in what captain JP did. With astute manoeuvring, using January grades and current form, John promoted Ken to board two giving him a white game and Barry to board six with a view to regaining his confidence. The plan worked and we were unlucky not to secure both points with Dave being a pawn up, he missed a chance to be a Bishop and a pawn up. his opponent then went on to grab a draw through repetition. With draws from John, Ken, Dave and Stuart, Pete's loss was redressed with a win for Barry.  Well done to all, another fine team performance. Man of the match goes to Barry. Chris B was again on standby, well done to him. 


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Lichfield B vs Mercia B on 20-Feb-2020
22 Feb 20

Mercia travelled to Lichfield with a full team, Ken and Peter coming out of hospital to help the cause. We were handed a golden opportunity to beat an under strength Lichfield side, they only just managed to scrape together a team.  Captain John snatched defeat from the jaws of victory having gone two pawns up, both passed on the Queen side and I could here the chants of Ole', Ole' as he pummelled his opponent around the board. Then disaster struck, John blundered his bishop, no coming back from that.  On 2 Dave was under pressure for most of the game going down two pawns then missing a free rook with all minor pieces off the board.  Battling on he defended well and agreed a draw. Ken, Barry, Stuart and Peter all had drawn games, leaving us all scratching our heads and wondering how we lost the match.  Our luck will surely change and we still face Kiddy B and Halesowen where wins will surely secure our division two status. Well done to every one including tiger Bateson who was on stand by. Man of the match goes to Peter who was still feeling the effects of him being in hospital.


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Rugeley vs Mercia B on 18-Feb-2020
19 Feb 20

Mercia travelled to Rugeley in a sombre mood having lost two of their players to the NHS.  Defaulting board six gave them an up hill battle to secure any points but with the fighting spirit now flowing through the club they almost pulled of a result.  Super sub Chris was at it again finishing first and defeating a player 24 points higher, this earns him back to back man of the match awards.  Stuart was up against a 30 grade  higher and eventually succumbed. Soon after draws followed for John and Barry. Dave last to finish had 2 occasions to swamp his opponent (who long castled) but missed the opportunities and was grateful for the eventual draw.  Coming so close has convinced us that we are capable of picking up points and should we defeat Halesowen and Kidderminster B will enable us to maintain our division two status.


 dhodkinson
BDCL Div Four Shirley and Wythall vs Mercia B on 13-Feb-202
17 Feb 20

Mercia travelled to Shirley Wythall knowing a victory will secure their division 4 status for another year.  It was a pleasant change to out grade a team even if by only 19.  On 1 John travelled back to 1972 Fisher v Spaskey game 12, then he came back to reality and his head went to mush and accepted an early draw.  On 6 super sub Neil Fairbrother AKA Chis Bateson went a pawn up then proceeded to chase his opponents Queen around the pitch until eventually capturing it. First blood to Mercia. Dave on 2 trapped his opponents Queen for a Bishop on move 12 but took him until move 54 to finish the job.  Barry, Stuart and Peter carved out draws where they were never in danger of defeats resulting in the win for Mercia.

Well done to all and man of the match goes to Chris for turning out and winning convincingly, although out of match practice.   


 dhodkinson
BDCL Div Four Mercia B vs Coleshill on 11-Feb-2020
12 Feb 20

In a match that welcomed back Peter Thompson since his acrimonious departure and a Coleshill team featuring challenging grades on the top 3 boards, it was important for Mercia to secure points lower down. First to finish (which is unusual) was Dave on 2, out graded by 29 he plaid an inch perfect Caro Kann (this in itself is a rarity) and with all the minor pieces off the board his opponent offered the draw. Peter on 6 fell fowl to a discovered check followed by knight fork well into his game and although nearly pulling off a draw was eventually ground down.  Stuart on 5 had some good threats against his opponents King but blundered a Rook, game over.  Barry on 4 secured a credible draw which was much needed when looking at his recent results.  Ken on 3 out graded by 29  plaid for a good 3 hours at one point only having 40 odd seconds on his clock.  Under severe pressure and with his clock showing less than a minute he drew his game through repetition.  At this point I must pay credit to Mike Wildboar when he at one time pointed out to Ken that he needed to depress his clock when there was only 50 seconds on it.  This sums up the spirit of the match and the respect some people have to each other in the sport, well done Mike (my man of the match).  This leaves John on 1 out graded by 43, he pushed P Thompson all the way, with equal material but having a Knight for a Bishop he fell to Peter's superior end game.  Well done to every one, we go to Shirly Wythall on Thursday and with the same team spirit should secure the points to keep us in the division with 2 matches to spare.



 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Three Stourbridge B vs Mercia C on 05-Feb-2020
11 Feb 20

Disappointed to see this result as in my time at the club I can't remember defaulting a board let alone a match.


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Rushall vs Mercia B on 03-Feb-2020
04 Feb 20

Mercia travelled to the other title contenders Rushall on Monday night again being out graded, in fact their board 6 out graded our board 1, however, apart from Dave everyone gave a good account of themselves with Stuart and Ken accepting draws which with hindsight could have gone on to win their games. Mercia's team spirit remains high and we all have this can do attitude regarding staying in the division.



 dhodkinson
WDCL DIV TWO MERCIA V KIDDERMINSTER A
29 Jan 20

Mercia entertained title contenders Kidderminster A last night being out graded on every board.  There were credible draws for John on one (out graded by 30) John exchanged a knight and a bishop for a rook and a pawn but was put under pressure and the draw agreed, Ken (by 19), Stuart (by 36) and Peter (by 4).  This shows that they can all hold their own in this division.  Chris H (by 13) could have won but made a mistake (likewise Dave ), great that he would turn out after Barry couldnt make it.  Dave (by 23) could have cried off after going 3 rounds with the pavement on Sunday night but showed true Mercia team spirit and only on the 21st move did he blunder the exchange. Fighting on his opponent gave it back on the 34th move to leave himself a passed pawn and control of the board, 10 moves later the resignation came.  All in all a really close game, bring on Rushall Monday night. Well done to all for a valiant effort.


 dhodkinson
WDCL Div Two Wolverhampton B vs Mercia B on 02-Jan-2020
03 Jan 20

Great team performance all round. Solid draws from John, Mike, and Ken with wins for DH and PH. A default win for Barry earned Gordon Sands man of the match. A special thanks for Stuart for turning up to support the team .


 Kevan Ward
DDCL Div Three Mercia vs Mutual Circle on 03-Dec-2019
05 Dec 19

Peter Hodkinson  1-0 Wahhaab Ishaq

Chris Bateson 0-1 Peter Hughes

Chris Heathcock 1-0 Steve Faye

Kevan Ward 0-1 Les Perry


 andrew.m
Puzzle answer.......
01 Dec 19

Black to move

1.......Kf1

2. Kh1 Nh3!

3. gxN Kf2

4. h4  g2+

5. Kh2 g1=Q etc



 adminmercia
Puzzle of the week
29 Nov 19

Black to move and win, black moving up the board. Answers on Sunday!.




 dhodkinson
BDCL Div Four Oscott vs Mercia B on 27-Nov-2019
28 Nov 19

Great team effort at Oscott with none of Mercia losing a game.

Two credible draws came first from Mike and Ken quickly followed by a win for John on board one.

Barry ended his disastrous run of form by agreeing a draw on four, only one point needed for a well earned victory.

Peter duly obliged by racking up another win against a player graded ten points higher. He keeps complaining about pitting his wits against these guys but very often he comes up trumps. I'll be putting some stats together at the end of the campaign to show him what he is actually capable of!

Last to finish was yours truly, having being two pawns up I miscalculated trying to queen a passed pawn only to lose it but refused a draw and made sure that the remaining pawns, two to one did not include a rooks pawn.

Hopefully Andrew will put the ending on the website as a puzzle, it took me a while to find the win. 

Onwards and upwards Walsall kipping here we come.


 Kevan Ward
W&DCL Div Two Mercia vs Worcester Pawns on 19-Nov-2019
20 Nov 19

David Hodkinson 0-1 Ray Collet

Barry Smith 0-1 Simon Berry

Ken Francis 1-0 Roger Yates

Peter Hodkinson 0-1 John Hesketh


 dhodkinson
BDCL Div Four Mercia B vs Kynoch on 12-Nov-2019
12 Nov 19

A good win tonight for the div 4 team.  First to finish and with a well needed win was Captain Dave. A solid performances on the bottom two boards put the team 3 up and with Barry two pawns to the good the match looked in the bag, but he managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.  Mike,s game looked a sure draw and this ultimately was the case but the highlight of the night was a win for John Phillips on board one against Larry Wright graded 18 points above him.

Well done to all.

Our next match is at Oscott on the 27th November, same again please (except for Barry, you're due a win).



 Kevan Ward
W&DCL Div Two Stourbridge vs Mercia on 04-Nov-2019
09 Nov 19

Tom Foxall                  1 - 0      David Hodgkinson

Colin Woodall             1 - 0      Barry Smith

James Treasure            0 - 1    Peter Hodgkinson

Ethan Chan Smith       1 - 0    Kevan Ward


 dhodkinson
WDCL Humphreys Mercia vs Walsall Kipping on 22-Oct-2019
23 Oct 19

A keenly fought match with evenly graded players. First to finish was Pete Hodkinson with another very good win, this was followed by draw by his brother and again a draw for ken.  Barry fought hard for an advantage but eventually had to settle for a draw which obviously put Mercia into the next round.

Well done everybody.


 andrew.m
BDCL Div 2 Mercia A 2½-3½ Redditch on 08-Oct-2019
09 Oct 19

Mercia had difficulty raising a fit team but still ran the Division Two favourites to the wire. Only a piece of luck saved their board 4 who managed to get a draw in a lost position to Barry. Earlier, Chris H got beaten easily on bottom board as well as Dave W on three. Both players were outgraded by more than 50 points. Phil M was certainly under the weather with a heavy cold and lost a pawn early on for some pressure. His opponent faltered and when the position opened up he had an excellent position. Resignation came quickly. On top board Andrew M crushed his 181 opponent in fine style to even things at 2-2. Ken F fought valiantly but ignored orders not to write moves down in time trouble and lost. Barry missed a simple pawn then started giving away his own in time trouble. A draw was agreed after several illegal moves were ignored! Overall, a massive grading victory for Mercia but sadly missed out on the one match point. Next up is a weaker Stourbridge at home on Tuesday.



 adminmercia
BDCL Div Four Solihull vs Mercia B on 18-Sep-2019
18 Sep 19

Brilliant team performance, wins on the top three boards and two draws, Stuart being unlucky in a winning position succumbed to a repetition.


 andrew.m
WDCL Div 1 Mercia A 2-4 Halesowen A on 17-Sep-2019
18 Sep 19

Youth conquered experience last night as Halesowen's two star juniors triumphant over the fast ageing Mercians! Without two or three stronger players, Halesowen fielded a much weakened side particularly lower down. However, Mike S agreed a quick draw on bottom board and Phil M could not make any progress either. Jon H lost a pawn early on to his 11yo opponent (who came second in the British U11 this year) and got ground down in the endgame. Phil H on two had to accept a draw after repetition despite having the slight plus in the position. Andrew M was playing a 14yo England junior (189J) and won a pawn in the opening but missed a chance to swap a powerful Bishop. He then suffered a strong attack on his uncastled king and ultimately dropped a piece in what was probably a lost ending. The game is now available in the club section. Tony S was probably lost, but his opponent blindly went into the ending a Bishop and pawn for nothing but Tony subtly headed for the corner and stayed there. A draw was very reluctantly accepted. 4-2 loss to a good Halesowen side but we could have done slightly better. A break now until Tue 29th Oct when we host Wolverhampton!


 andrew.m
Move of the week
16 Sep 19

White to move and win.



 andrew.m
WDCL Pittaway Wolverhampton vs Mercia on 12-Sep-2019
13 Sep 19

A fantastic night and result as Mercia beat Wolverhampton convincingly in the Pittaway quarter finals. Jon H seemed to win even before some of the Wolves players had arrived. An early attack on the castled king was enough to record a very short victory. Dave H's N and Q got skewered by a B and he was forced to lose a R for the B . Despite pleas for a draw it was all over. Phil M continued his excellent form with what looked like firstly a piece up then a whole R to record victory number two of 2019/20. Phil H had the better of a very blocked position. There was an array of draw offers which he rightly turned down. However, when all of the pawns were finally inter-locked a draw was the only possible result. On bottom, Pete H won a Bishop and subsequently the endgame against another much higher graded player. Another good result for him! Tony S grabbed a free e-pawn and completely outplayed his opponent to registered a solid victory and the match! Meanwhile, on top board, his highly graded opponent turned up 20 minutes late and looked to have a solid position. However a neat trick with the Q and N won an easy pawn and the endgame was straight forward. This was a career best result for Andrew. Finally, Mike S lost what looked like a very open game where he was always a B for a N down. 5.5 to 2.5 to Mercia despite being outgraded slightly. Kiddy, Telford and Stafford or Lichfield await in the Semi-finals! Congratulations on Mercia's best ever victory!


 adminmercia
WDCL Div One Warley Quinborne A vs Mercia A on 09-Sep-2019
10 Sep 19

It was a poor start to our first match in Division One for two years as both Phil H and Jon H lost pieces and quickly. This was followed shortly afterwards by Andrew who go crushed against an Ariel-esk French Defence. At 3-nil down things looked dark. However, John P, having earlier turned down a draw offer won a fine endgame having had two Bishops against 2 Knights. Phil M was playing against his old Captain and this inspired him to some excellent moves and eventually superb win to leave only Tony S. Tony was comfortably outplaying his opponent in the middle game and had a B for a N and two passed pawns. One of the pawns made it to the seventh and Tony went 2Rs against a N and 4Ps with both players in time trouble. The 4 pawns were connected and supported by the King proved impossible to stop despite the extra material. It could easily have been 3-3. Still it was a learning experience and we have to do better against the strong Halesowen on Tuesday next week. Pittaway away at Wolves is Thursday.


 andrew.m
WDCL Div Three Mercia C vs Stourbridge B on 03-Sep-2019
04 Sep 19

Opening night was dominated by Peter H's great win over a 139! He fought off a lot of pressure on his central pawn and fought back to record a famous victory! Chris B, Chris H and Tony L unfortunately lost but Stu D won on four. A narrow loss but a famous evening all the same.


 andrew.m
BDCL Div Two Mercia A vs Lichfield on 03-Sep-2019
04 Sep 19

An excellent home win in Mercia's first ever BDCL Div Two match by the narrowest of margins. John P went into a fairly drawn end game and agreed the early half-point. Lee got two pawns up and converted well but Jon H, having had bus problems arrived late and went down having lost a couple of pawns. Mike S had a very draw looking game until his opponent simply gave a piece away and probably the match with it. On top Andrew M had a massive attack which he thought won a piece. Unfortunately, his opponent had a defensive tactic and he went into the endgame a pawn up in a worse position. Time was against his opponent who missed his chance and Andrew converted fairly easily in the end. Phil M on his re-debut struggled in the middle game and lost a central pawn. He was unable to hold on. In the end a match win and Mercia top the early table! Matchcard can be found here. Next BDCL game in the Cup match away at Shirley 3 on Thu 27th Sept.


 adminmercia
Fixtures 2019/20 out!!
01 Jul 19

The BDCL and WDCL fixtures are now available. The Dudley league and Worcester fixture meetings are not until August.


 andrew.mcc
Quickplay 2nd July
03 Jun 19

The date for the postponed Quickplay evening has been fixed at Tuesday 2nd July. Please add this to your diaries!


 andrew.mcc
AGM on Tues 4th June
03 Jun 19

This year’s AGM will take place on Tuesday 4th June. Please add this to your diaries.


 adminmercia
50th Party
03 Jun 19

A great night was had by around 30 members, past-members and their partners at the Crown. The annual prize giving took place with Stu D accepting the C-Team player of the year, Dave W the B-team and jointly Andrew M and Tony S the 1st team. The new ‘Derek Perks’ trophy was presented by his widow Barbara to jointly Andrew M and Tony S. There was also a special cake and presentations to founder members Ken F and Barry S. Ex-members who came along for the night included Brian Johnson and Michael McCumiskey.


 andrew.mcc
WDCL Pittaway loss
03 Jun 19

Mercia lost in the final of the WDCL Pittaway Cup with an all round poor performance. Tony S lost early on quickly followed by Phil H who had dropped a pawing the opening. Dave H on bottom gave some hope of a revival but John P also got ground down. Mike S went a piece for a pawn down and should rightly have lost but in time trouble a draw was agreed. On top Andrew M went a clear pawn up and also a B for a N. He refused the repetitive check and went for a speculative sac. This left him still a pawn up but then after a Q exchange lost the pawn race to the eight and lost a clear win. Jon H agreed a draw having been a R for a B up but could not force the win. Similarly, Lee F looked in the better position but a draw was also given. A narrow loss of just an extra draw would have been enough. Congratulations go to Stourbridge who played the much better chess on the night. Matchcard will be here shortly.


 adminmercia    12 Mar 20
BDCL Div Four Halesowen vs Mercia B on 10-Mar-2020

Mercia travelled to Halesowen with two reserves in the team, Stuart going down with flue (get well soon bud) and the stairs too much for Ken. Many thanks to Chris and Chris for stepping up and supporting the team.  Barry was restored to his rightful place on board three and duly rewarded the team with a convincing win over Peter Banks. Having gone the exchange up he methodically crushed his opponent. A convincing win on one for John and a default on board six left Halesowen three down.  They won on four and five leaving the deciding game going to the wire and a win for them would give them a much needed point in their efforts to avoid relegation. Dave was under extreme pressure from a knight sack and ended up four pawns down.  His opponent went on to blunder his other knight and with careful manoeuvring Dave produced his own threats against the King. He took the draw to secure the match victory and if we can replicate this performance in the Wolverhampton league against Halesowen we can surely retain our division two status.  Well done to everyone for turning out and man of the match goes to Barry with his restored confidence.


 dhodkinson    05 Mar 20
WDCL Div Two Mercia B vs Brewood on 03-Mar-2020

Mercia entertained Brewed on Tuesday hoping that lady luck will change for us.  There was no luck in what captain JP did. With astute manoeuvring, using January grades and current form, John promoted Ken to board two giving him a white game and Barry to board six with a view to regaining his confidence. The plan worked and we were unlucky not to secure both points with Dave being a pawn up, he missed a chance to be a Bishop and a pawn up. his opponent then went on to grab a draw through repetition. With draws from John, Ken, Dave and Stuart, Pete's loss was redressed with a win for Barry.  Well done to all, another fine team performance. Man of the match goes to Barry. Chris B was again on standby, well done to him. 


 dhodkinson    05 Mar 20
WDCL Div Two Mercia B vs Brewood on 03-Mar-2020

Mercia entertained Brewed on Tuesday hoping that lady luck will change for us.  There was no luck in what captain JP did. With astute manoeuvring, using January grades and current form, John promoted Ken to board two giving him a white game and Barry to board six with a view to regaining his confidence. The plan worked and we were unlucky not to secure both points with Dave being a pawn up, he missed a chance to be a Bishop and a pawn up. his opponent then went on to grab a draw through repetition. With draws from John, Ken, Dave and Stuart, Pete's loss was redressed with a win for Barry.  Well done to all, another fine team performance. Man of the match goes to Barry. Chris B was again on standby, well done to him. 


 dhodkinson    22 Feb 20
WDCL Div Two Lichfield B vs Mercia B on 20-Feb-2020

Mercia travelled to Lichfield with a full team, Ken and Peter coming out of hospital to help the cause. We were handed a golden opportunity to beat an under strength Lichfield side, they only just managed to scrape together a team.  Captain John snatched defeat from the jaws of victory having gone two pawns up, both passed on the Queen side and I could here the chants of Ole', Ole' as he pummelled his opponent around the board. Then disaster struck, John blundered his bishop, no coming back from that.  On 2 Dave was under pressure for most of the game going down two pawns then missing a free rook with all minor pieces off the board.  Battling on he defended well and agreed a draw. Ken, Barry, Stuart and Peter all had drawn games, leaving us all scratching our heads and wondering how we lost the match.  Our luck will surely change and we still face Kiddy B and Halesowen where wins will surely secure our division two status. Well done to every one including tiger Bateson who was on stand by. Man of the match goes to Peter who was still feeling the effects of him being in hospital.


 dhodkinson    19 Feb 20
WDCL Div Two Rugeley vs Mercia B on 18-Feb-2020

Mercia travelled to Rugeley in a sombre mood having lost two of their players to the NHS.  Defaulting board six gave them an up hill battle to secure any points but with the fighting spirit now flowing through the club they almost pulled of a result.  Super sub Chris was at it again finishing first and defeating a player 24 points higher, this earns him back to back man of the match awards.  Stuart was up against a 30 grade  higher and eventually succumbed. Soon after draws followed for John and Barry. Dave last to finish had 2 occasions to swamp his opponent (who long castled) but missed the opportunities and was grateful for the eventual draw.  Coming so close has convinced us that we are capable of picking up points and should we defeat Halesowen and Kidderminster B will enable us to maintain our division two status.


 dhodkinson    17 Feb 20
BDCL Div Four Shirley and Wythall vs Mercia B on 13-Feb-202

Mercia travelled to Shirley Wythall knowing a victory will secure their division 4 status for another year.  It was a pleasant change to out grade a team even if by only 19.  On 1 John travelled back to 1972 Fisher v Spaskey game 12, then he came back to reality and his head went to mush and accepted an early draw.  On 6 super sub Neil Fairbrother AKA Chis Bateson went a pawn up then proceeded to chase his opponents Queen around the pitch until eventually capturing it. First blood to Mercia. Dave on 2 trapped his opponents Queen for a Bishop on move 12 but took him until move 54 to finish the job.  Barry, Stuart and Peter carved out draws where they were never in danger of defeats resulting in the win for Mercia.

Well done to all and man of the match goes to Chris for turning out and winning convincingly, although out of match practice.   


 dhodkinson    12 Feb 20
BDCL Div Four Mercia B vs Coleshill on 11-Feb-2020

In a match that welcomed back Peter Thompson since his acrimonious departure and a Coleshill team featuring challenging grades on the top 3 boards, it was important for Mercia to secure points lower down. First to finish (which is unusual) was Dave on 2, out graded by 29 he plaid an inch perfect Caro Kann (this in itself is a rarity) and with all the minor pieces off the board his opponent offered the draw. Peter on 6 fell fowl to a discovered check followed by knight fork well into his game and although nearly pulling off a draw was eventually ground down.  Stuart on 5 had some good threats against his opponents King but blundered a Rook, game over.  Barry on 4 secured a credible draw which was much needed when looking at his recent results.  Ken on 3 out graded by 29  plaid for a good 3 hours at one point only having 40 odd seconds on his clock.  Under severe pressure and with his clock showing less than a minute he drew his game through repetition.  At this point I must pay credit to Mike Wildboar when he at one time pointed out to Ken that he needed to depress his clock when there was only 50 seconds on it.  This sums up the spirit of the match and the respect some people have to each other in the sport, well done Mike (my man of the match).  This leaves John on 1 out graded by 43, he pushed P Thompson all the way, with equal material but having a Knight for a Bishop he fell to Peter's superior end game.  Well done to every one, we go to Shirly Wythall on Thursday and with the same team spirit should secure the points to keep us in the division with 2 matches to spare.



 dhodkinson    11 Feb 20
WDCL Div Three Stourbridge B vs Mercia C on 05-Feb-2020

Disappointed to see this result as in my time at the club I can't remember defaulting a board let alone a match.


 dhodkinson    04 Feb 20
WDCL Div Two Rushall vs Mercia B on 03-Feb-2020

Mercia travelled to the other title contenders Rushall on Monday night again being out graded, in fact their board 6 out graded our board 1, however, apart from Dave everyone gave a good account of themselves with Stuart and Ken accepting draws which with hindsight could have gone on to win their games. Mercia's team spirit remains high and we all have this can do attitude regarding staying in the division.



 dhodkinson    29 Jan 20
WDCL DIV TWO MERCIA V KIDDERMINSTER A

Mercia entertained title contenders Kidderminster A last night being out graded on every board.  There were credible draws for John on one (out graded by 30) John exchanged a knight and a bishop for a rook and a pawn but was put under pressure and the draw agreed, Ken (by 19), Stuart (by 36) and Peter (by 4).  This shows that they can all hold their own in this division.  Chris H (by 13) could have won but made a mistake (likewise Dave ), great that he would turn out after Barry couldnt make it.  Dave (by 23) could have cried off after going 3 rounds with the pavement on Sunday night but showed true Mercia team spirit and only on the 21st move did he blunder the exchange. Fighting on his opponent gave it back on the 34th move to leave himself a passed pawn and control of the board, 10 moves later the resignation came.  All in all a really close game, bring on Rushall Monday night. Well done to all for a valiant effort.


 dhodkinson    03 Jan 20
WDCL Div Two Wolverhampton B vs Mercia B on 02-Jan-2020

Great team performance all round. Solid draws from John, Mike, and Ken with wins for DH and PH. A default win for Barry earned Gordon Sands man of the match. A special thanks for Stuart for turning up to support the team .


 Kevan Ward    05 Dec 19
DDCL Div Three Mercia vs Mutual Circle on 03-Dec-2019

Peter Hodkinson  1-0 Wahhaab Ishaq

Chris Bateson 0-1 Peter Hughes

Chris Heathcock 1-0 Steve Faye

Kevan Ward 0-1 Les Perry


 andrew.m    01 Dec 19
Puzzle answer.......

Black to move

1.......Kf1

2. Kh1 Nh3!

3. gxN Kf2

4. h4  g2+

5. Kh2 g1=Q etc



 adminmercia    29 Nov 19
Puzzle of the week

Black to move and win, black moving up the board. Answers on Sunday!.




 dhodkinson    28 Nov 19
BDCL Div Four Oscott vs Mercia B on 27-Nov-2019

Great team effort at Oscott with none of Mercia losing a game.

Two credible draws came first from Mike and Ken quickly followed by a win for John on board one.

Barry ended his disastrous run of form by agreeing a draw on four, only one point needed for a well earned victory.

Peter duly obliged by racking up another win against a player graded ten points higher. He keeps complaining about pitting his wits against these guys but very often he comes up trumps. I'll be putting some stats together at the end of the campaign to show him what he is actually capable of!

Last to finish was yours truly, having being two pawns up I miscalculated trying to queen a passed pawn only to lose it but refused a draw and made sure that the remaining pawns, two to one did not include a rooks pawn.

Hopefully Andrew will put the ending on the website as a puzzle, it took me a while to find the win. 

Onwards and upwards Walsall kipping here we come.


 Kevan Ward    20 Nov 19
W&DCL Div Two Mercia vs Worcester Pawns on 19-Nov-2019

David Hodkinson 0-1 Ray Collet

Barry Smith 0-1 Simon Berry

Ken Francis 1-0 Roger Yates

Peter Hodkinson 0-1 John Hesketh


 dhodkinson    12 Nov 19
BDCL Div Four Mercia B vs Kynoch on 12-Nov-2019

A good win tonight for the div 4 team.  First to finish and with a well needed win was Captain Dave. A solid performances on the bottom two boards put the team 3 up and with Barry two pawns to the good the match looked in the bag, but he managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.  Mike,s game looked a sure draw and this ultimately was the case but the highlight of the night was a win for John Phillips on board one against Larry Wright graded 18 points above him.

Well done to all.

Our next match is at Oscott on the 27th November, same again please (except for Barry, you're due a win).



 Kevan Ward    09 Nov 19
W&DCL Div Two Stourbridge vs Mercia on 04-Nov-2019

Tom Foxall                  1 - 0      David Hodgkinson

Colin Woodall             1 - 0      Barry Smith

James Treasure            0 - 1    Peter Hodgkinson

Ethan Chan Smith       1 - 0    Kevan Ward


 dhodkinson    23 Oct 19
WDCL Humphreys Mercia vs Walsall Kipping on 22-Oct-2019

A keenly fought match with evenly graded players. First to finish was Pete Hodkinson with another very good win, this was followed by draw by his brother and again a draw for ken.  Barry fought hard for an advantage but eventually had to settle for a draw which obviously put Mercia into the next round.

Well done everybody.


 andrew.m    09 Oct 19
BDCL Div 2 Mercia A 2½-3½ Redditch on 08-Oct-2019

Mercia had difficulty raising a fit team but still ran the Division Two favourites to the wire. Only a piece of luck saved their board 4 who managed to get a draw in a lost position to Barry. Earlier, Chris H got beaten easily on bottom board as well as Dave W on three. Both players were outgraded by more than 50 points. Phil M was certainly under the weather with a heavy cold and lost a pawn early on for some pressure. His opponent faltered and when the position opened up he had an excellent position. Resignation came quickly. On top board Andrew M crushed his 181 opponent in fine style to even things at 2-2. Ken F fought valiantly but ignored orders not to write moves down in time trouble and lost. Barry missed a simple pawn then started giving away his own in time trouble. A draw was agreed after several illegal moves were ignored! Overall, a massive grading victory for Mercia but sadly missed out on the one match point. Next up is a weaker Stourbridge at home on Tuesday.



 adminmercia    18 Sep 19
BDCL Div Four Solihull vs Mercia B on 18-Sep-2019

Brilliant team performance, wins on the top three boards and two draws, Stuart being unlucky in a winning position succumbed to a repetition.


 andrew.m    18 Sep 19
WDCL Div 1 Mercia A 2-4 Halesowen A on 17-Sep-2019

Youth conquered experience last night as Halesowen's two star juniors triumphant over the fast ageing Mercians! Without two or three stronger players, Halesowen fielded a much weakened side particularly lower down. However, Mike S agreed a quick draw on bottom board and Phil M could not make any progress either. Jon H lost a pawn early on to his 11yo opponent (who came second in the British U11 this year) and got ground down in the endgame. Phil H on two had to accept a draw after repetition despite having the slight plus in the position. Andrew M was playing a 14yo England junior (189J) and won a pawn in the opening but missed a chance to swap a powerful Bishop. He then suffered a strong attack on his uncastled king and ultimately dropped a piece in what was probably a lost ending. The game is now available in the club section. Tony S was probably lost, but his opponent blindly went into the ending a Bishop and pawn for nothing but Tony subtly headed for the corner and stayed there. A draw was very reluctantly accepted. 4-2 loss to a good Halesowen side but we could have done slightly better. A break now until Tue 29th Oct when we host Wolverhampton!


 andrew.m    16 Sep 19
Move of the week

White to move and win.



 andrew.m    13 Sep 19
WDCL Pittaway Wolverhampton vs Mercia on 12-Sep-2019

A fantastic night and result as Mercia beat Wolverhampton convincingly in the Pittaway quarter finals. Jon H seemed to win even before some of the Wolves players had arrived. An early attack on the castled king was enough to record a very short victory. Dave H's N and Q got skewered by a B and he was forced to lose a R for the B . Despite pleas for a draw it was all over. Phil M continued his excellent form with what looked like firstly a piece up then a whole R to record victory number two of 2019/20. Phil H had the better of a very blocked position. There was an array of draw offers which he rightly turned down. However, when all of the pawns were finally inter-locked a draw was the only possible result. On bottom, Pete H won a Bishop and subsequently the endgame against another much higher graded player. Another good result for him! Tony S grabbed a free e-pawn and completely outplayed his opponent to registered a solid victory and the match! Meanwhile, on top board, his highly graded opponent turned up 20 minutes late and looked to have a solid position. However a neat trick with the Q and N won an easy pawn and the endgame was straight forward. This was a career best result for Andrew. Finally, Mike S lost what looked like a very open game where he was always a B for a N down. 5.5 to 2.5 to Mercia despite being outgraded slightly. Kiddy, Telford and Stafford or Lichfield await in the Semi-finals! Congratulations on Mercia's best ever victory!


 adminmercia    10 Sep 19
WDCL Div One Warley Quinborne A vs Mercia A on 09-Sep-2019

It was a poor start to our first match in Division One for two years as both Phil H and Jon H lost pieces and quickly. This was followed shortly afterwards by Andrew who go crushed against an Ariel-esk French Defence. At 3-nil down things looked dark. However, John P, having earlier turned down a draw offer won a fine endgame having had two Bishops against 2 Knights. Phil M was playing against his old Captain and this inspired him to some excellent moves and eventually superb win to leave only Tony S. Tony was comfortably outplaying his opponent in the middle game and had a B for a N and two passed pawns. One of the pawns made it to the seventh and Tony went 2Rs against a N and 4Ps with both players in time trouble. The 4 pawns were connected and supported by the King proved impossible to stop despite the extra material. It could easily have been 3-3. Still it was a learning experience and we have to do better against the strong Halesowen on Tuesday next week. Pittaway away at Wolves is Thursday.


 andrew.m    04 Sep 19
WDCL Div Three Mercia C vs Stourbridge B on 03-Sep-2019

Opening night was dominated by Peter H's great win over a 139! He fought off a lot of pressure on his central pawn and fought back to record a famous victory! Chris B, Chris H and Tony L unfortunately lost but Stu D won on four. A narrow loss but a famous evening all the same.


 andrew.m    04 Sep 19
BDCL Div Two Mercia A vs Lichfield on 03-Sep-2019

An excellent home win in Mercia's first ever BDCL Div Two match by the narrowest of margins. John P went into a fairly drawn end game and agreed the early half-point. Lee got two pawns up and converted well but Jon H, having had bus problems arrived late and went down having lost a couple of pawns. Mike S had a very draw looking game until his opponent simply gave a piece away and probably the match with it. On top Andrew M had a massive attack which he thought won a piece. Unfortunately, his opponent had a defensive tactic and he went into the endgame a pawn up in a worse position. Time was against his opponent who missed his chance and Andrew converted fairly easily in the end. Phil M on his re-debut struggled in the middle game and lost a central pawn. He was unable to hold on. In the end a match win and Mercia top the early table! Matchcard can be found here. Next BDCL game in the Cup match away at Shirley 3 on Thu 27th Sept.


 adminmercia    01 Jul 19
Fixtures 2019/20 out!!

The BDCL and WDCL fixtures are now available. The Dudley league and Worcester fixture meetings are not until August.


 andrew.mcc    03 Jun 19
Quickplay 2nd July

The date for the postponed Quickplay evening has been fixed at Tuesday 2nd July. Please add this to your diaries!


 andrew.mcc    03 Jun 19
AGM on Tues 4th June

This year’s AGM will take place on Tuesday 4th June. Please add this to your diaries.


 adminmercia    03 Jun 19
50th Party

A great night was had by around 30 members, past-members and their partners at the Crown. The annual prize giving took place with Stu D accepting the C-Team player of the year, Dave W the B-team and jointly Andrew M and Tony S the 1st team. The new ‘Derek Perks’ trophy was presented by his widow Barbara to jointly Andrew M and Tony S. There was also a special cake and presentations to founder members Ken F and Barry S. Ex-members who came along for the night included Brian Johnson and Michael McCumiskey.


 andrew.mcc    03 Jun 19
WDCL Pittaway loss

Mercia lost in the final of the WDCL Pittaway Cup with an all round poor performance. Tony S lost early on quickly followed by Phil H who had dropped a pawing the opening. Dave H on bottom gave some hope of a revival but John P also got ground down. Mike S went a piece for a pawn down and should rightly have lost but in time trouble a draw was agreed. On top Andrew M went a clear pawn up and also a B for a N. He refused the repetitive check and went for a speculative sac. This left him still a pawn up but then after a Q exchange lost the pawn race to the eight and lost a clear win. Jon H agreed a draw having been a R for a B up but could not force the win. Similarly, Lee F looked in the better position but a draw was also given. A narrow loss of just an extra draw would have been enough. Congratulations go to Stourbridge who played the much better chess on the night. Matchcard will be here shortly.



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