Page last updated Tuesday 11 August 2020 Good Night
 2nd April 2020

 Alan Ruffle - The Chess Scene

Dear Cumbrian Friend in chess.

My name is Alan Ruffle and I have written a book entitled “The Chess Scene”

Fred Clough of Penrith  was involved in producing the book. Well done Fred !

Details here.



21st March 2020

24th South Lakes Open - Postponed

The South Lakes Congress in June has been postponed..



 Email from Dave Cole -

The South Lakes Chess Congress (SLC) has been postponed for the foreseeable future due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We have been monitoring the situation in the hope that the situation would improve, but the UK government's action on prohibiting events and gatherings has meant we have reluctantly to postpone the event. 

When the situation improves we will assess if the SLC can be held in future months and will keep you informed. 

Thank you for your support.
Keep safe and we hope to see you soon.

The South Lakes Chess Congress organisers 

16th March 2020


Following the update by Boris, we have no option but to cancel, or postpone, all further matches. 

We may decide to play some key matches, Penrith A v Windermere, Penrith 1 v Ulverston in the Whitaker, in the summer - if we are lucky ! 

I might start playing some Cumbria Chess Online games.

Stay safe !
14th March 2020

Coronavirus - Cumbria League Time Limits.

Apparently there is a little bug around.

Ar present, Sat 14th March, there are no government guidelines to advise against meetings etc.

If you have not read or heard the info a few hundred times already here they are again. Taken from  ECF notes.

 HM Government has issued advice on Coronavirus which can be found here – and here –

 There is also useful advice from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations here –
I know some people are concerned about the virus. It is still up to individuals but a lot of organisations are canceling events. I do not want to put any pressure on any people to play in a match if they do not want to.

   So I am not going to award any penalties if matches are not played within our usual time limits.
Play matches if you wish, or even postpone games until the crisis has gone. Maybe even play games in the summer ? If teams are midleague maybe you will simply not bother playing matches.

Stay safe !

24th Feb 2020

Cumbria Individuals

The Cumbria Individuals results be seen here, and on the Tournaments Page

MajorHiggins CastleRoy Ellames
MinorKeswick KnightFrank Whalley
Under 100Greenhaugh trophyPeter Hanks


Frank Whalley receiving the Keswick Knight Trophy and Roy Ellames receiving the Higgins Castle Trophy.

Note from Tom Bradford of Carlisle.

Trevor Blower should be congratulated for the effort he and his wife put in to making this tournament so enjoyable for the 17 competitors. St Mary’s Centre, Walney provided a pleasant venue - a spacious and light playing hall with adjoining analysis room to review games and enjoy home-made refreshments constantly available and excellent value, and served with a smile!
3 of us travelled from Carlisle and stayed over one or two nights but all the other players were from Barrow and Ulverston clubs. Chess players from the other clubs in the county missed out big time - and were missed by those of us who were there.

Pictures show the trophies awarded and the set up for the final round.

Tom Bradford


 21st Feb 2020

Cumberland v Westmorland & Furness

Saturday 25th April 2020

The match will be preceded by a Junior chess event organised by John Lydon the Cumbria Chess Junior Organiser and will lead into the Adult match.

   Adult Teams will be organised as follows:
 Time limit:  Rapid Play 2 games, 40 minutes each with a 10 second increment. (This could change to Standard play games if the majority of players prefer). 
The venue is at the Rheged Centre Penrith in a large open space available to be viewed at a distance by the general public. The event is a new competition which hopefully will be an annual event and designed to encourage chess players and to publicise chess to the Cumbrian public. The press will also be invited to report on the event. 
Refreshments will be available for the teams and the public invited to play off hand games in an analysis area. 

Can Cumbria players who wish to play contact the respective captain below:

Rheged Centre Location
CA11 0DQ.
Tel: 01768 868000

 The PDF can be seen here.

16th Feb 2020

Cumbria Open League

The Open League is wide open !
TeamGames to PlayPoints so farPoints Possible
Carlisle Bishops124½30½
Penrith A221½33½
Keswick A21931

So Penrith A can take the title with 2 good wins. 

Maybe Keswick A or Maryport can do it ?  It is possible for Windermere to get to 30½ points.  

14th Feb 2020

Cumbria Individuals

The Cumbria Individuals Entry Form can be seen here, and on the Tournaments Page

4th Feb 2020

Long Marton Primary School

John Lydon has sent a report of a school chess event that he attended on Friday 21st January. It can be seen on the Juniors Page.


4th Feb 2020

County Match Game

  Andy has added Alan LLewllyn's game from the recent County game. See it  here.

03 Feb 2020

Statcounter Report

In response to a query here is today's Statcounter report for the Cumbria Website.  

Click on the image for the full picture.

  Below is a similar report for 12 months ago.

Click on the image for the full picture.

1st February 2020

County Match

Our 'home' match against Yorkshire was held at Barnard Castle Cricket Club which proved to be an excellent venue, so much so that it was agreed that we'd play Yorkshire there every year. The match itself wasn't so good for us. With four members of the team that beat Lancashire unavailable, our grade average was 10 points lower and the match score sheet reflects this. It wasn't all doom and gloom though, wins by Greg Millar (Maryport) against their captain, David Mills and Alan Llewellyn (Barrow) against John Foo. There were draws by Peter Caulfield (Ulverston), Mike Mason (Ulverston) and Steve Murdoch (Penrith).

 Andy McAtear

Details are on the County Chess page.

25th January 2020

January 2020 Grades

The January ECF grades have now been issued and can be seen on the ECF Grading page.  

  The Top 10 grades
Name Club Grade
Robin MossKeswick208
Matthew MackenzieBarrow190
Roy EllamesCarlisle Austin Friars183
Dave PhillipsWindermere178
Stavros Karampatos Carlisle Austin Friars 177
Holden DavisPenrith171
Neil MaxwellKeswick171
Jacob McAtearPenrith171
Dave ColeBarrow168
Alex J. BillingsWindermere166
   Congratulations to Robin on leading the table ( again ) !

19th January 2020

Cross Tables         


With it being such a near do in the Open League this season I have been inspired to produce cross tables for the Leagues. 

Hopefully it will make it easier to visualise the possible permutations.

After trying a few different pages they have finished up on the League Tables Page.   

14th January 2020

NCCU Club Championship 2020

The NCCU Club Championship will be held from January-June 2020

The Sections of the Championship will comprise the following:  
All NCCU and Northern Clubs can enter - £10 per team.  A third team entering from the same club would only pay £5  A Team comprising three juniors – Free to enter  

Could you please enter teams by January 30th.

Winners of each Section to receive an NCCU Trophy and a Digital Clock. 

Could you please enter teams by January 30th (When the draw and rules will be sent to team captains.) 
Teams wishing to enter should contact: 

Dave Cole NCCU Club Championship Organiser  email: Tel: 0780171841

Apologies for the late notification, am willing to extend the closing date by another week till 9th February if that helps.

Dave Cole

  A PDF version of this note is available here.

10th January 2020

Sasra Chess Club         

Two members of Sasra Chess Club still meet on most Thursdays at one of the pubs in Whitehaven.

They meet in The Yellow Earl, The Waterfront, and The Whittington Cat.

Contact - 

7th January 2020

Email from Ian Mackay         

Is this the most exciting title race ever?

Six teams in contention??


Well yes, it most be the most open for some years ! Looking forward to see what happens !

15th December 2019

Whitaker Semi-Finals

The draw for the Whitaker semi-finals has taken place.

Fortune has declared that 2 local derbies will take place -

Carlisle v Penrith

Ulverston v Barrow

Crowds will be out in their thousands and both matches will be televised live.

See the Whitaker Page for details.

10th December 2019

Email from Andy regarding ECF grading this January         

Hello Chaps,

                      Just to keep you up to speed, I thought I'd pass this on to you. Please read Brian's e-mail (below) and note the emphasis on dates played.


    Subject:  [Graders] Year End

    Date:  Mon, 09 Dec 2019 19:51:26 +0300


    To:  graders <>

Fellow graders,

For us this year end marks the beginning of a new era.

We will be closing the grading period for all results up to 31st December and please submit all files to Matt Carr by 14th January.

We intend to use the January list, converted to 4 digits, as the starting point for monthly grading. Hence I would ask you to use more diligence to get the dates of each result submitted correctly for the new year as it will be more critical for grading correctly.

Our current plans remain to continue the old three digit process in order to get out the next August list in traditional format. Monthly grades will have no status until then, but as our new system gets up to speed we will publish monthly grades for each month in 2020.


Please Note - Please read the note from Andy dated 23rd September nearer the bottom of the page.

5th December 2019

24th South Lakes Open

The entry form for the 24th South Lakes Congress, 5th- 7th June can be seen here and on the Tournaments Page.


1st December 2019

County Match

Andy has added  details of  Saturday's match between Cumbria and Lancashire Under 140 in which Cumbria won 7-5.    

Details are on the County Chess page.

6th November 2019

Cumbria Rapidplay    

Email from Peter Hanks -


1st: Tynedale

2nd: Crown Jewels

3rd: Carlisle Kings

The tournament went to a tie-breaker between Tynedale and Crown Jewels. A 5 minute game was played between the board 1 players. Jason McAteer (Crown Jewels) played white against Peter Crichton (Tyndale). This game with a repetition draw. A 5/4 minute blitz Armageddon game(white to win/black only needs to draw) was played between the board 2 players. Steve Larkin (Tynedale) played white against Fred Clough. Fred having only 42 seconds left on the clock there was a power cut plunging the room into darkness. Play was suspended. The players agreed to carry on using the lights of several mobile phones. Creating the first ever floodlit chess match. Steve eventually winning the game when Fred's flag fell.

Best board 1: Jacob McAtear (Crown Jewels).

Best board 2: Neil Jones (Maryport).

Best board 3: Jonny Kearney (Tynedale)

Congratulations to all the medal winners. I hope everyone had an enjoyable days chess.

Regards Hanksy

Full results can be seen on the Archives Page.

31st October 2019

Martin Gawne at Scarborough

Andy has added a game  Martin Gawne (W)  v Corbyn from the recent Scarborough Congress. 

Martin tied for 1st place in the Major. Well done !

See it on the Games Page.



29th October 2019

Cumbria Chess Publicity


Note from Dave Cole

At the Cumbria AGM it was agreed that we allocate £250 towards helping clubs publicise chess in their areas.

We also agreed to set up a small working party to look at areas where there are no clubs at the moment and also chess publicity around the county in general.

If anyone would like to take part in the working party please let me know and we can discuss a way forward – normally by email/tel.

Clubs can also apply for some of this money for chess promotional activities to be considered by the working party.

I would like to kick things off at the end of November, so a response before then would be appreciated.

Could you pass on to anyone else not on this distribution who you think may be interested.



26th October 2019

North v South


At the Cumbria AGM and indeed last year’s AGM, a North v South match was proposed. Nothing happened last season, but there is a possibility of a match this season if enough players express interest.

Hopefully if enough are interested we could have either an 8, 12 or 16 team match – hopefully the latter, played in either Penrith or Kendal in the new year.



North team: made up from Carlisle/Maryport/Penrith/Keswick – Captain Andy McAteer

South team: made up from Windermere/Ulverston/Kendal/Barrow – Captain Dave Cole

 Interested players should contact the appropriate captain. Deadline might be 16th December, but at the moment all details are very likely to change.

25th October 2019

Carlisle withdraw Carlisle Rooks

Carlisle have had to withdraw their Carlisle Rooks team from the Open League.

League and fixtures have been amended.


20th September 2019

Cumbria Individuals

The Cumbria Individuals Entry Form can be seen here, and on the Tournaments Page

21st -23rd February 2020. 



21st October 2019

Cumbria Tournaments

The Cumbria Rapidplay is on Sat 2nd November at The Crown Hotel, Eamont Bridge, Penrith.

Full details and an Entry Form can be seen here and on the Tournaments Page.

If you wish to play and cannot get a team together email Dave Cole and Peter Hanks and they will try and make teams up.


23rd September 2019

ECF Grades

The ECF are starting monthly grading this coming January so we need to send our internal club results to Andy every week. 

We could no no worse than follow Bill Hardwick's example which he has been doing on a weekly basis for years now. An example of an email to Andy -

ast night's results - 19.9.2019;- 

Club Championship - 90 mins

M Byrne   1 - 0   B Hardwick

Club Rapidplay - 30 mins

J Ovens    0 - 1   A Kirkbride

D Millar     0 - 1   S Barnes

D Millar     1 - 0   J Ovens  

This has all the info that Andy will need. The tournament, the time limit, the colours, and the result.

So please start sending Andy your emails every week with your internal club game results.

Thank you !

20th September 2019

Cumbria Tournaments

The Cumbria Rapidplay is now on Sat 2nd November at The Crown Hotel, Eamont Bridge, Penrith.

The Cumbria Individuals is still planned for 21st - 23rd February 2020.


18th September 2019


Unfortunately Barrow are not running a team in the Open League this season.

The fixtures have been amended.

6th September 2019

Whitaker Round 2 Draw

The draw for Round 2 of the Whitaker took place at Kendal Chess Club last night and can be seen on the Whitaker Page.

The last date that these matches can be played is Sunday 15th December.

10th September 2019

Cumbria Tournaments

Saturday 26th October is the likely date for the Cumbria Rapidplay, though Peter Hanks is to confirm.

21st - 23rd February 2020 is the date for the Cumbria Individuals.


6th September 2019

Whitaker Round 1 Draw

The draw for Round 1 of the Whitaker took place at Kendal Chess Club last night and can be seen on the Whitaker Page.

Note that we have an unusual situation as there are only 2 teams in the first round.

5th September 2019

Carlisle New Team Names

Please note that Carlisle have renamed their 3 teams from the Open League. They are now called Carlisle Bishops, Carlisle Kings, and Carlisle Rooks. Contact details are on Clubs Page.

They are not in any order of strength.

Other clubs are very welcome to do similar if they so wish. Either for the Open League or the Whitaker. If clubs still want to have a first team and a second team in order of playing strength they are very welcome to do so, but there is no obligation to do this.

22nd August 2019

Cumbria Membership Form

Will all clubs please ensure that this year's Cumbria Membership form is returned to Dave Cole at the earliest opportunity.

Note -

Players can join the ECF individually on-line or through Cumbria – a £1 discount no longer applies on line. A £1 discount does still apply if names are submitted to Cumbria before 31st October.

Clubs can submit en bloc ECF membership applications to the Membership Secretary. If players join on-line, please include their names in this list.

20th August 2019

Junior Organiser

Please note that John Lydon has taken on the post of Junior Organiser. Well done John !

17th August 2019


The 2019-20 fixtures are now on the Fixtures page.
Please note that these fixtures are a simple reverse of last season's fixtures.

Reversing the fixtures means those teams that had 5 away games now have 5 home games.  

31st July 2019

Cumbria AGM



Following from our AGM here are the -





 There were little changes to match rules -

           I should remind that Rule 4 2 e) 
1)  applies to League games, NOT Whitaker games.
2)  states  -  " if a club's estimates of playing strength differs from the grading order.....". So it is NOT a method for tactical manoevering.

25th July 2019

July 2019 Grad25th July 2019

July 2019 Grades

The July ECF grades have now been issued and can be seen on the ECF Grading page.  

  The Top 10 grades
Name Club Grade
Robin MossCarlisle Austin Friars201
Matthew MackenzieBarrow187
Stavros Karampatos Carlisle Austin Friars 182
Dave PhillipsWindermere180
Dave ColeBarrow170
Neil MaxwellKeswick168
Alex J. BillingsWindermere167
Holden DavisPenrith165
Roger HartMaryport163
Martyn HarrisKendal160
   Congragulations to Robin on leading the table !


The July ECF grades have now been issued and can be seen on the ECF Grading page.  

  The Top 10 grades
Name Club Grade
Robin MossCarlisle Austin Friars201
Matthew MackenzieBarrow187
Stavros Karampatos Carlisle Austin Friars 182
Dave PhillipsWindermere180
Dave ColeBarrow170
Neil MaxwellKeswick168
Alex J. BillingsWindermere167
Holden DavisPenrith165
Roger HartMaryport163
Martyn HarrisKendal160
   Congragulations to Robin on leading the table !

25th July 2019

NCCU AGM Minutes

The latest NCCU AGM minutes can be seen here, and on the Library Page.

1st July 2019

Cumbria AGM

Email from Jonathan Rashleigh -

Dear Association Officers and Club Secretaries

I attach the agenda for the AGM to be held in Kendal on Saturday 20th July together with the proposals received for changes to the rules.

The Minutes of last year's AGM held on 23rd June 2018 and the Special General Meeting held on 1st September 2018 were previously circulated and are available in the library section of the CCA website together with the current version of the Constitution.

The Abbott Hall Social centre is not licensed, but tea and coffee will be available during the meeting. Regrettably there is no adjacent free parking on a Saturday afternoon but there are pay and display car parks next to the hall and in the adjoining streets.

Kind Regards

Jonathan Rashleigh - Secretary

The Agenda is here. Please note that the name Bill Henderson was incorrect on that circulated by email and has been changed to Bill Hardwick.

13th June 2019

South Lakes Congress

White to move.

The game between Gary Sharkey and Colin Rees can be seen on the Games Page.
Brilliant game.


11th June 2019

South Lakes Congress 2019


The results of the 2019 South Lakes Congress can be seen here

and on the Archives page.

Another great congress !

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