Welcome to the official website of the BDCL 

The news was last updated on 14/06/2024 

Updates/Pages recently updated
14/06/24 - Birmingham Rapidplay
12/06/24 - League AGM, Honours
07/06/24 - Summer league result card
05/06/24 - Oscott new venue
25/05/24 - Funeral of Keith Escott
20/05/24 - Wolverhampton Club Pre-season blitz
17/05/24 Mutual Circle Club name change
17/05/24 - Morry-Wood Competitions
12/05/24 - Google Clubs page
11/05/24 - Chess online in the Birmingham League
10/05/24 - Redditch Summer League temporary venue
25/04/24 - League championship
25/04/24 - Warwickshire AGM


14/06/2024 - Birmingham Rapidplay

The 38th Birmingham Rapidplay took place at the Quinborne Centre on Sunday 9th June. Congratulations to Stanley Badacsonyi on winning the Open section outright. The full results are on

12/06/2024 - League AGM

The League AGM took place at Ward End Social Club on Monday 10th June. Trophies were presented to all the winners by the League president, Stewart Fishburne, some of these will appear on the Honours page.

AGM 2024

07/06/2024 - Summer League match cards

Mike Warden has kindly created a Summer League match template, for recording results on the night. A PDF version can be downloaded from the Ematch Cards page on the left hand side.

05/06/2024 = Oscott new Venue

Oscott Club are now meeting at Boldmere Sports and Social Club, 323 Boldmere Road, Birmingham, B73 5HQ (not the Football club). Directions and details are on the BDCL Clubs page. Start time is now 7.15.

25/05/2024 - Funeral of Keith Escott - updated

The funeral of Keith Escott will take place at 3.15pm on Tuesday 11th June at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium, Tamworth Road, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LG. The reception/wake will take place from around 4pm at Castle Vale Residents Association, 321 Yatesbury Avenue, Birmingham, B35 6QP.

If you plan or hope to attend either of the above, please email, so that we can have an indication of numbers.

Marek Soszynski

20/05/2024 - Wolverhampton Club Pre-season blitz

Wolverhampton Chess Club will be hosting a Pre-Season, 10 round, 5 minute, Rated Blitz on Monday 12th August, 7.30pm at the Forty Four Club, Spring Road, Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ.

2.50 entry.

All entry fees will go into the prize fund & be split as follows;

1st 35%
2nd 20%
Grading 1 15%
Grading 2 15%
Grading 3 15%

(Based on entries on the night... Grading 1 lowest 25% of participating players. Grading 2 will be up to lowest 50%. Grading 3 will be up to 75%)

August 2024 ratings will be used in the following order, Blitz, Rapid, Standard, (P) ratings will be ignored.

Everyone Welcome!

Phil Bull

17/05/2024 Mutual Circle Club name change

Reported by Chris Evans:

Mutual Circle's members have voted to change the name of the club with immediate effect. Mutual's new name will be "Central Birmingham" chess club. Club-night, venue and contact details will remain the same.

By chance, this change takes place at the end of the 100th season in which Mutual has been a member of the Birmingham & District Chess League. The original name came from the fact that when the club was founded in 1920 it had no venue - so meetings took place by rotation at the home addresses of different club-members. We hope both to hang on to our history and to still be around in another 100 years time....

17/05/2024 - Morry-Wood Competitions

The Morry-Wood committee announce the winners of the 2 2023-4 competitions.

Ritson Morry Junior award:-
Sathya Vaidyanathan

Baruch Wood Best Game award:-
Adithya Vaidyanathan

You can see the winning game on the Morry-Wood page.

Phil Maddocks

Morry-Wood Committee Chairman

12/05/2024 - Google Clubs page

The locations on the Google Clubs page have been updated. If any locations are incorrect, please contact the webmaster. Please note that the small map on the page in not compatible with Firefox, but the larger map works from the link provided.

11/05/2024 - Chess online in the Birmingham League

Chris Evans (Chair of the League's Online chess subcommittee) has provided some details of activities locally in online chess and is looking to improve awareness of this form of the game. A new page has been provided, which is accessible from the links on the left or from here.. if anyone would like to get involved.

10/05/2024 - Redditch Summer League temporary venue

Please note that Redditch club will be playing their Summer league matches at a temporary venue, which is the Meadow Farm Public House, Dagnell End Lane, Beoley, B98 9BJ. 01527 585639. Detailed directions are available, but from Birmingham, it is just off Birmingham Road on the way to Redditch.

Please also note that this is a pub and visiting teams are discouraged from bringing in their own food and drinks. Food is available at the bar.

From Dan Lambourne

09/05/2024 - Pete Savage

Keith Thomas has reported the sad loss of former Kynoch player Pete Savage. His recollections of his friend Pete appear here...

25/04/2024 - League championship

Congratulations to Sutton Coldfield, who have won the Division 1 League Championship. They beat South Birmingham in a play off.

25/04/2024 - Warwickshire AGM

The Warwickshire Chess Association AGM takes place at South Birmingham Chess Club on Monday 29th April, at 7.30pm.

13/04/2024 - Des Nicolle

Received from John Burke (formerly of Westminster Club) It is with much regret that I announce the death of Des L. A. Nicolle who passed away 8th April aged 96. Des was secretary of Golden Hillock Chess Club 1960-88 and also a player in the BDCL for many years most recently playing for Westminster Chess Club. Des was a school teacher who ran school Chess clubs at Golden Hillock, St Michaels and Archbishop Ilsley schools, he inspired many players who went on to play in the BDCL.

Des was my form master when I was twelve, he was an exceptional teacher, exceptional chess player and an exceptional gentleman. Des was a teacher who influenced all who met him and made them better people, he will be missed.

His funeral will be at 12-15pm Friday 3rd May at Yardley Crematoriom and afterwards at the Arden Hotel, Coventry Road, Bickenhill, B92 0EH. Could any League members attending please Inform the Records Secretary (Usual Email), who will pass the numbers on to help judge the catering at the hotel.

John W Burke.

04/04/2024 - Crewe Chess Congress

It's less than 3 months to the annual Crewe Chess Congress (28th June - 30th June), which again will be at the Crewe Alexandra Football Stadium. The entry fees have been held, whilst both prize money and venue capacity have been increased.

Previous congresses have been very well received and as a result early entries are up significantly on previous years. It is anticipated that the new capacity of 200 will be reached well in advance of the day.

If you want to know more or enter please follow this link which should take you to the relevant part of Crewe Chess Club's website.

Nigel Gardner

Crewe Chess Club

27/03/2024 - Keith Escott

From Marek Soszynski -

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Keith Escott on March 15th 2024, in hospital, following an accident at his home. He was 76 years old.

Keith was a towering figure in both the local and wider chess community, his contributions too numerous to fully capture in this brief notice. His dedication to the game was exemplified by his role as an editor for 'Chess' Magazine and his tenure as President of the British Federation for Correspondence Chess. Closer to home, he had served as the Chairman of Sutton Coldfield Chess Club, where he was for many years its strongest player.

His achievement of captaining the Sutton Coldfield team when it won the Birmingham League Division 1 Championship in 1979 and then again, all of 36 years later, in 2016 will surely never be surpassed.

He was a man with a profound sense of duty, adorned with numerous endearing eccentricities, who had devoted his life to chess. His absence leaves an irreplaceable void within the Club and beyond.

There are no details of any funeral arrangements at this time.

19/03/2024 - Brian Allsop

Longbridge Chess Club announces with great sadness the loss of our friend Brian Allsop who passed away peacefully aged 67 on the morning of Saturday March 9th 2024 after a lengthy spell battling pneumonia in the QE hospital since new year, his faithful wife Anita constantly at his side.

Brian suffered with Huntington's Disease; a rare, inherited disease that causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's eats away at a person's functional abilities.

Known to many league and county players to be the warmest of individuals whose movement and speech underlined his unmistakable character and personality; Brian struggled to maintain his independence, playing his last chess Match in early December 2023.

Brian's Funeral will be held Wednesday 17th April at 2pm at Waseley Hills Crematorium.

An obituary has been placed on the Longbridge Chess Club "In Memory" webpage in respect of Brian:

Steve Crees

15/03/2024 - Chess in Schools Tutor Training

Chess in Schools & Communities is a national charity that aims to introduce and raise the profile of chess.

The charity aims to make chess available to everyone and it works with communities throughout the UK to ensure that everyone can benefit from the game, providing support such as free chess sets, training in how to teach chess and access to their teaching materials.

Much of the work is in schools but its mission does not stop at the classroom door. There is a growing interest in providing chess in the wider community, such as libraries, prisons and youth justice services and to older people where it can help keep cognitive abilities active and tackle loneliness.

Chess in Schools have arranged a training day on 25 May - more information and booking details are available at 

Tutor Training Day Birmingham, Saturday 25th May 2024 | Chess in Schools and Communities

If people are interested in working for the charity, training places are free.

I attended one of these training days a few months ago and found it very worthwhile and interesting! 

John Pitcher, South Birmingham Chess Club

13/03/2024 - League Lightning Tournament - Results

The annual 10-second team tournament took place at Olton's venue last night. There were 14 teams of four players, competing in 3 sections. The result can be found here....

06/03/2024 - Joyce Evans

It is with great sadness that Halesowen Chess Club reports the death of Joyce Evans on 2 March. Joyce was very much looking forward to the 23/24 league season, despite approaching 90 years of age, but sadly sffered a variety of health issues over Autumn and Winter. Her last competitive game (which she won!) was in the annual Summer match between Stourbridge and Halesowen. She had been a member of Halsowen Chess Club since 1977..

Funeral Arrangements: 11.00 on Tuesday 26 March at Stourbridge Crematorium followed by a reception at Halesowen Cricket Club.

Stewart Fishburne

04/03/2024 - BDCL Lightning Tournament

The Annual League Team Lightning Tournment will take place at Olton's venue, Tyseley Working Mens Club, on Tuesday 12th March. Teams of 4 players will compete in graded sections at the rate of 10 seconds per move. Teams should be registered with the controller, John Mildenhall, before the 7.30pm start time on the night and may include 1 reserve.

27/02/2024 - Kevin Moore

We have the sad news that Kevin Moore, a member of Walsall Kipping since 1996 has passed away.Peter Nixon has supplied an obituary for him which can be found here.

His funeral details are:

Friday 8th March 24 at 12.00 hours (noon).

Mercia Forest Crematorium, Broad Lane, Essington,Wolverhampton, WV11 2RJ.

Peter Nixon

27/02/2024 - Local Tournaments

SPTW Warwickshire Women's Rapidplay

28th April at University of Warwick

Open, Secondary School and Primary School sections

A lesson with IM Lorin d'Costa and a 5-round Rapidplay

Minimum 400 prize fund in the Open + certificates and medals in the junior sections

Leamington Open

18th and 19th May at Trident Park, Leamington

Open, Under 2000, Under 1750 and Under 1500 sections

5 rounds

1,500 prize fund

From Alex Holowczak

27/02/2024 - Walsall Kipping Secretary

MIke Groombridge has stood down for the time being as Walsall Secretary. Peter Nixon has taken over the role.He can be contacted on 07846 318496 or by email on

25/02/24 - Warley Quinborne Start time - updated

From 25th February 2024, Warley Quinborne's start time will revert to 7.30pm,Please ensure team captains travelling to matches at Warley club are aware of this change.

From Phil Maybury

03/02/2024 - David Dunn Rapidplay Memorial Tournament

South Birmingham Chess Club,

Four Sections:

Open, Under 2000, Under 1750, Under 1500

Saturday 27th April 2024

Moseley All services Club, Church Rd, Moseley, Birmingham B12

Entries are limited to 90 players. Limited seating will be available between rounds

Entry fee is : 23.00 for ECF silver or above members

Prize money:

FIDE Open: 1st 250, 2nd 100, 3rd: 50; Grading 25

Other sections: 1st 150, 2nd 80, 3rd: 50.

visit : South Birminghm Chess Club to enter and for further details/

Terry Walker

31/01/2024 - Parking at Lichfield

Please note that there is no longer any free parking near Lichfield chess club after 6.30pm.It now costs £1.50  up until Midnight.

David Short

Lichfield Chess Club

24/01/2024 - Chess talks by Robert Bellin

Robert has arranged for a series of chess talks to take place at The Wellington, a Birmingham city centre specialist real ale pub (37 Bennetts Hill, B2 5SN), starting Tuesday 30th January and then continuing monthly on the last Tuesday of each month until June 25th. There will be talks from 7:30-9:30pm and people are welcome to stay and play till later if they wish but must bring a set and board if so as there are none provided.

The presentations are free but attendees are encouraged to have some (several!) of the quality libations the pub provides if we are to have a chance of continuing the series. The talks will be wide-ranging on many different aspects of chess and there will likely be four talks (standalone but some linked) per session. Robert will try to make all the talks worthwhile for a wide range of players but will also aim to make the earlier talks particularly accessible. The pub has a strict over-18s only policy.

Robert Bellin

23/01/2024 - Guidelines for Captains updated

Mike Biddle has provided updated guidelies for captains, which are available on the Rules & docs page.

15/01/2024 - Cannock League Tournament

The Cannock & District Chess League was founded in April 1999, and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary we are holding a Rapid Play tournament on Saturday 20th April 2024 at the Rycroft Community Hub in Walsall. There are 3 sections - Open, Major (u1750) and Minor (u1500). Full details can be found in the entry form (WORD), which also contains a link to the online entry form.

Could you please circulate this to your club members and to any other individuals or organisations you think may be interested.

Kind regards,

Peter Oliver

CDCL League Secretary

01/01/2024 - Rules Committee Ruling

Dispute regarding the Homer Cup H2-2 Shirley & Wythall 2 v Mutual 1

In this match the players on Board 5 i.e. Gordon Christie (S&W) and Phil Wells (Mut) were both short on time. Phil Wells made a move but failed to press his clock. A Mutual player, who had finished his game, noticed this and prompted Phil Wells to press his clock. At this point Gordon Christie protested to the interfering Mutual player. This interference is a breach of Rule 12.7 of the 2023 Fide Rules of Chess:

12.7 If someone observes an irregularity, he/she may inform only the arbiter. Players in other games must not to speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. Spectators are not allowed to interfere in a game. The arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.

If an arbiter had been present he/she would most likely have cautioned or even evicted the Mutual player from the playing room. However, no blame can be attached to a player who receives unsolicited advice. After Gordon Christie had protested to the Mutual player the game should have continued. However, he made no further move.

The Committee considered the dispute by email and issued the following decision:


The Committee finds that after protesting to the offending Mutual player about his interference, Gordon Christie should have continued to play as no fault can be attributed to Phil Wells. As he did not continue the game, the Committee awards it to Phil Wells. However, due to the interference of the Mutual player, they are deducted 1 gamepoint in line with previous Rules Committee precedent.

The Rules Committee would like to remind all clubs, including Mutual Circle, that they have a responsibility to make sure that their players understand that it is not permitted to interfere in any game in any way.

Mike Biddle

Chairman, Rules Committee

19/12/2023 - Walsall Kipping new start time

Walsall Kipping will be starting home matches at 7.00pm until further notice

16/12/23 - Warwickshire County Chess Teams

Warwickshire did not enter the County Championships in 2023-24, due in most cases to a lack of captains, and a perceived lack of interest from players. This survey is designed to gather data on both of those issues.

If you are interested in playing for Warwickshire in 2024-25, please complete this form by Monday, 8th January: 

Alex Holowczak

Warwickshire Chess Association

12/12/23 - Brian Hopkins

I'm saddened to have to relay the news that Brian Hopkins, formerly of Birmingham CC, died on 29 August at the age of 93.  Brian played for Birmingham for many years and was still active in 2018-19, the final season of their participation in the BDCL.

Tim Lane - Hon General Secretary

7/12/23 - Richard Simpson

Gordon Christie reports the sad losss of Shirley & Wythall club member Richard Simpson. You can read a tribute from Gordon here..  (PDF)

8/11/2023 - Hastings congress

The 97th Hastings congress takes place over Christmas and the new year, with a series of tournaments for all levels up to international standard. The event takes place from December 28th to 5th January, with weekday and weekend swiss tournaments, taking place alongside the main event. Details can be found here...

6/11/2023 - BDCL Website

The website is currently being maintained by Richard Reynolds and has undergone some revision. Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

11/10/2023 Demise of David Pugh (President Longbridge CC) on Sept 22, 2023

With great sadness, the death is reported of David Pugh, President Longbridge Chess Club, who died on Friday September 22nd. David had been president of both Greenlands and Longbridge CC.

A Quaker Memorial Meeting was held at The Friends Meeting House in Selly Oak, on Wednesday October 11th 2023.

A message written in memory of Dave has been added to the Longbridge Website at:

9/10/2023 Wolverhampton (Handicapped) Xmas Blitz - 11 Dec 2023.

Wolverhampton welcome all players to our christmas blitz event. Entry is open to all players in the Wolverhampton league and neighbouring leagues.

Venue: Forty Four Club, Spring Rd, Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ

Start Time: 7.30

Date: Monday 11th December 2023

Entry Fee: 2.50

Prizes: 1st Prize: 35%

2nd Prize: 25%

Grading Bracket 1: 10% Grading Bracket 2: 10% Grading Bracket 3: 10%Grading Bracket 4: 10% Grading bracket 1 will be up to the lowest 1/5 of participating players. Grading bracket 2 will be up to 2/5. Grading bracket 3 up to 3/5. Grading bracket 4 up to 4/5.

Time Controls: A handicap system will be employed. 2350+ (1.5 min) 2200-2349 (2.5 min) 2050-2199 (3 min) 1900-2049 (4 min) 1750-1899 (5 min) 1600-1749 (6 min) 1450-1599 (7min) 1450 and below (8min) Grades will be determined using the November grading list and blitz/rapidplay grades will be used wherever possible although provisional "p" grades will be ignored. Rules: All standard blitz rules will apply with the following exception, on the first 2 occasions if one player makes an illegal move, the opponent may stop the clocks and claim 2 minutes. On the 3rd occasion that player loses the game.

9/10/2023 Mutual Circle New Venue

The Jeweller's Arms, 23 Hockley Street, Birmingham, B18 6BW. (N.B. This is inside the Birmingham Clean Air Zone so non-compliant vehicles entering the area will incur a charge). More details on BDCL clubs page

Older news is archived here...


Guidelines for Captains and Players

These guidelines are intended to assist captains and players. They are, nevertheless, only guidelines, and anyone requiring further details should consult the League Rules or the Laws of Chess.  Click Here
M.Biddle Chairman BDCL Rules Committee.