There was more norm success at the 4NCL as England junior Matthew Wadsworth achieved his first IM result.

Wadsworth had a tremendous season, remaining unbeaten and amassing a score of 7.5/10.

Wadsworth drew with IM Lorin D’Costa, GM Simon Williams and most notably, GM David Smerdon in what was a tremendous rearguard action that lasted 95 moves, most of which was spent the exchange for a pawn down in the endgame.

What strikes me the most about Matthew’s play is how difficult he is to beat.

Here is the final position of his game against IM Lorin D’Costa.

Wadsworth had been defending for most of the game but White could not break through.
D’Costa – Wadsworth
D’Costa – Wadsworth

Dec 11, 2020

British Chess Scene Past: Joseph Blake (03-II-1859 11-XII-1951)

We remember English player Joseph Blake who passed away on Tuesday, December 11th, 1951.

Joseph Henry Blake was born on Thursday, February 3rd, 1859 in Farnborough, Hampshire. His parents were Joseph Denner and Eliza Blake (née Early). In 1871 Joseph (aged 12) had a brother Frank (aged 10), sisters Annie (8), Elizabeth S (7), Eliza E (1) and a servant, Kate Longman aged 18. The family lived in Lydia Cottage, Hewitts Road, Millbrook, South Stoneham, Hampshire.

According to the 1861 census Joseph was two years old and living with his parents and Frank in Rotten Row, Yeovil, Somerset.

In 1881 the family has upped sticks again and moved to 2 St. Lawrence Road, Saint Mary, Eastleigh, Hampshire. This address is also given as the South West Telegraph Office. Eliza was now the head of the household and a widower. Apart from Eliza E aged 11 everyone worked for the railway.

In 1891 Joseph had become Head of the Household (aged 32) and they had acquired a servant (Anna M Cornell) and a blacksmith (Francis Cornell) from Braintree in Essex.

In 1900 Joseph married Alice New in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. They lived at 24, Barton Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire. Tragically, Alice passed away in 1903.
The remarkable feature about Blake’s chess career is that he retained his skill and his comprehension of the game for a much longer period that most chess players. This extended from 1887 when he was 1st at the Counties Chess Association tournament at Stamford ahead of Bird and Pollock, a performance he was to repeat in 1891 at Oxford, to 1909 when he tied with H. E. Atkins for first place in the British Championship, to 1923 when he won the Weston-super-Mare tournament, right into the 1930s when he was principal annotator for the British Chess Magazine.”

Blake was President of the Southern Counties Chess Association in 1911 and President of the Hampshire Chess Association from 1910-1912 and from 1927-1929. He was also Hon. Secretary of the City of London Chess Club for some years.”

According to Tim Harding in the excellent Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987 :

Railway clerk Joseph Henry Blake, the leading English correspondence player of the 1890s; also a strong OTB amateur player. He was a regular contributor to British Chess Magazine from the 1880s to the late 1930s.

In British Chess Magazine, Volume XXXIX (39, 1919), Number 3 (March) we have the following from Julius du Mont : “I presume it relates more particularly to chess professionals in this country, at any rate, it does not seem to me that the jews hold rank amongst first-class amateurs in proportion to their numbers.

In London there are very few if any of the class of RC Griffith, GA Thomas, JH Blake, HG Cole, EG Sergeant, and many others to say nothing of the younger recruits , W.Winter and RHV Scott.”

From the 1949 British Chess Magazine (written by RN Coles) we have this :

JH Blake is Ninety

After an absence of ten years I looked in recently on the Kingston and Thames Valley Chess Club. There were many new faces and a number of familiar ones, among the latter one of rosy countenance, trim beard and twinkling eyes, none other than JH Blake, more vigorous than ever and attaining his 90th birthday on the 3rd February.

Twenty years ago in this same club I (RN Coles) was learning the game, now middle age approaches. Blake was an elderly man in those days, who had retired from all competitive play because of the strain it imposed; now, so far from showing the weight of years, he is back in competitive chess again. He won the club championship last year and is in a fair way to repeating his victory this year. Of all the ‘Grand Old Men’ of chess, few have still been champions in their 90th year.

Older readers of the BCM will remember him as their Games Editor for many years, but few memories will cover the whole series of his successes beginning with a 1st at Stamford in 1887. Even 1922 must seem a distant year to the generation of today. That was the year that Maroczy and Kostic were invited to Weston-super-Mare to meet such rising young English masters as FD Yates and Sir George Thomas. And the first prize amongst those talented players was won by JH Blake, who had been born just when Morphy returned to England after his Paris Victory over Anderssen!


Dec 10, 2016

London Chess Classic 2016 began – Results of round 1

At 4 pm London time the London Chess Classic 2016 began. It is the last tournament of the “Grand Chess Tour”. The tournament winner in London receives 75,000 USD, the overall winnner of the “Grand Chess Tour” receives another 75,000 USD.

After winning the Sinquefield Cup Wesley So is first in the overall standings of the Grand Chess Tour. Nakamura is the only one who can overtake So, but only if he becomes clear first and So does not finish fourth or better.

In the first round So played against Nakamura who on this very day celebrated his 29th birthday. However, So was not willing to make presents. On the contrary. So played with Black and surprised Nakamura with a rare move in the Grünfeld – 9…e5. A few moves later Nakamura allowed So a tactical maneuver which gave Black a great advantage. So continued energetically and Nakamura resigned on move 28.


read more: chessbase

Easter & Summer Chess Courses

After a busy and productive Spring Term at our academy, Chess Rising Stars are now accepting bookings for the below courses taking place over the Easter Holiday and Summer Term:

Easter Holiday Chess Camp

Our Online Chess Camp will take place during the Easter Holiday. The camp will have a mixture of chess lessons, friendly games and an internal tournament with trophies posted to the winners. Lessons will take place from 9:00 – 11:30 am on 8th, 9th and 10th April.

Summer Chess Club Dates

The Summer Term Chess Club dates have been published for our Online Clubs, Chelsea Chess Club and Chelsea Chess Club for 5-7 year olds. All of our clubs will run for 10 weeks, with a break for half-term.


Chess Rising Stars Grand Prix

The final round of the Chess Rising Stars Online Grand Prix will take place this Sunday at 4 pm on lichess. There is free entry for all Chess Rising Stars students, parents and friends. Our popular online tournament series is coming to an end (for now) but we are already planning for its return!

Grandmaster Coaching

There will be a new guest coach for our Elite Chess Club lesson on Sunday 24th March. We have booked GM Martin Petrov (not to be confused with Marian!) to demonstrate his best games to the class. Martin will become the 3rd Grandmaster to have coached at the club since its creation in 2021.


Please do get in touch if you would like to register your child.