Sunday, 5 September 2021


Colchester Chess Club will be open again on Wednesday 8th September. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, 19 August 2021


Update: we are intending to have our first, post lockdown, club session on 19:00 Wednesday 1st September (19:00 start) - as building works at the Belle Vue should be completed by then.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

HOCCC: 1904 correspondence match part 2

In the 1903-04 season two correspondence games were played between the chess clubs of Colchester and Tunbridge Wells. The first match can be found here. According to a newspaper article about the match "In game two White (Colchester) lost a pawn in the opening, but by using the knights to best advantage regained the pawn on move 20, and capturing two pawns shortly afterwards secured a winning advantage, black resigning on the 35th move. The Tunbridge Wells Chess Club is a strong one, having won the county trophy in Kent two years in succession. They also drew against Hastings, a notably strong club."

[Event "Correspondence match"] [Site "?"] [Date "1904.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Colchester"] [Black "Tunbridge Wells"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "69"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.07.29"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bf4 Nbd7 6. e3 O-O 7. c5 Ne4 8. Rc1 (8. Nb5 {is a meaningless threat.} c6 9. Nc7 e5 $1 10. Nxa8 Qa5+ 11. Nd2 exf4 { White's knight is trapped on a8 and will eventually be captured.}) 8... c6 9. Bd3 f5 10. O-O (10. h3 {Giving the bishop the option of retreating to h2 seems sensible.}) 10... g5 11. Be5 $6 (11. Bg3 {is the computer's suggestion to roughly maintain equality. On the surface it looks like it just loses a piece but an unbalanced material balance is the result.} f4 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Nxg5 Bxg5 14. exf4 Be7 15. Qg4+ Kf7 16. Qh5+ Kg8 17. Qg4+ Kh8 18. Qxe6 {White has lost a bishop but has a lot of pawns to compensate.}) 11... g4 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Nd2 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qc7 15. b4 Qxe5 16. Nc4 Qg7 17. Ne2 Rd8 18. Qc2 e5 19. Qc3 $17 b5 $2 (19... Rd5 {holds onto the extra pawn and maintains black's advantage. Be6 and Rd3 are also fine.}) (19... Be6 20. Nxe5 $4 (20. Qxe5 $2 Qxe5 21. Nxe5 Bxa2) 20... Bf6) 20. Nxe5 $16 Bd7 $2 {Temporarily protecting the pawn on c6 but it doesn't work.} 21. Qb3+ $1 Kf8 22. Nxd7+ Rxd7 23. Qe6 Bf6 24. Qxc6 Re8 25. Nf4 Qf7 26. Qxb5 Rb7 27. Qc4 Be5 28. c6 Rc7 29. Qxf7+ Kxf7 30. a4 Bxf4 31. exf4 Rd8 32. Rc5 Kg6 33. b5 Rd3 34. a5 Rb3 35. g3 1-0

Sunday, 25 July 2021


Details are not confirmed just yet, but it is likely that we will be back playing chess in early September. As soon as we know more an update will be posted!

Sunday, 22 March 2020


The Belle Vue Social Club is closed, indefintely, due to the Coronavirus. In light of this, and government advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation, Colchester Chess Club is on hiatus.

In the meantime, if anyone wants a friendly game of chess please email John (johnaduffcole (at) or Nathan (nrrbar (at)

Friday, 16 August 2019

Colchester B round-up

Colchester B finished in 5th place (out of 10) in NECL Division 1, with three wins, two draws and four losses. This was one place ahead of the A team. In the knockout competition the B team won 4-0 in the first round against Writtle B and then lost on board count to Chelmsford B in the quarterfinal.

The player statistics (by board) are:

Board 1 (Total 7.5/11)
Ian Gooding5.5/8
Michael Catabay1/1
Svein Kjenner1/1
Nathan Barnes0.5/1

Board 2 (Total 6/11)
Michael Catabay5/7
Felix Schnell1/3
Svein Kjenner0/1

Board 3 (Total 4.5/11)
Felix Schnell2.5/5
Mike Clapham1/1
Svein Kjenner1/3
Nathan Barnes0/1
Mike Wagstaff0/1

Board 4 (Total 4.5/11)
Nathan Barnes2/6
Mike Clapham1/1
Emil Tihov1/1
Clive Bellinger0.5/1
Jamie Van Amstel0/2

Friday, 2 August 2019

Tony Locke Rapidplay

The club's internal rapidplay championship (Tony Locke Rapidplay) was held on Thursday 30th May. The competition was won by Nathan Barnes with a score of 5/5 (his third consecutive win). Felix, John, Phil and Craig tied for second with 3/5. Seven players took part.

In round 1 the three highest graded players Ian, Nathan and Felix all won. Round 2 saw Felix beat Ian to move to 2/2 and Phil picked up his first win of the evening against Colin. John successfully nullified Nathan's attack in a complex position but at a significant time cost which meant he could not hold onto the deserved draw in a completely level endgame.

This meant that round 3 would see the only two players to win both their first games would play each other. Nathan won a pawn in the middle game and agressive play won the game soon after. The finish to this game can be seen below. John was unlucky not to pick up a half point in round 2 and had the chance to pick up at least that in round 3 but an error in a won position meant a 2nd loss against a higher graded opponent. Phil won his 2nd game in a row to join the chasing pack on 2/3.

[Event "Tony Locke Rapidplay"] [Site "?"] [Date "2019.05.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Barnes, Nathan"] [Black "Schnell, Felix"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "150"] [BlackElo "142"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4rrk1/7p/1q2pbp1/1p6/p2PQP2/P1P1NR2/1P5P/4R1K1 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "9"] {[#]} {White is a pawn up but with all the major pieces still in play the game isn't won yet.} 1. Ng4 Bh4 {OK, Bg7 was a bit more solid.} 2. Qe5 $5 {No better than the simpler Re2 but gives scope for Black to go wrong.} Rf5 $4 ({ The rook on e1 was safe} 2... Bxe1 3. Nh6#) (2... h5 $142 $1 {The only move that keeps Black in the game.} 3. Nf2 $16 {White still has the pawn advantage.} ) 3. Nh6+ Kf8 4. Nxf5 Bxe1 {Black allows the mate finish.} (4... gxf5 {The best move, according to the computer, but Black is still completely lost.} 5. Qh8+ Ke7 6. Qxh7+ Kd6 7. Qxh4) 5. Qg7# 1-0

Round 4 saw the top two seeds play. Clearly having a bad evening, Ian made several errors in the opening and lost quickly, though the resignation was perhaps slightly premature the position was lost. John was playing his 3rd higher-graded opponent in a row and this time converted his early advantage to pick up the result his play in the earlier rounds had deserved. Craig won his first game of the evening and, due to the small number of players, Phil had a bye to move into sole 2nd place with 3/4.

Going into the final round, Nathan was in the lead with 4/4; Phil was in 2nd with 3/4 and there were then four players a point further back. Craig took advantage of a blunder by Ian to win a rook, John beat Colin to join Craig on 3/5. Phil found the right defensive moves in a complex position, but like John in round 2, used up too much time against Nathan who took advantage and had a definite edge in the middle game when Phil's flag fell.