Welcome to the official website of the BDCL 

The news was last updated on 22/04/2024 

Updates/Pages recently updated
13/04/24 - Des Nicolle
04/04/24 - Crewe Congress
27/03/24 - Keith Escott
19/03/24 - Brian Allsop
15/03/24 - Chess in Schools
13/03/24 - Lightning Tournament results
06/03/24 - Joyce Evans
04/03/24 - League 10 second tournament
27/02/24 - Kevin Moore
27/02/24 - Local tournaments
27/02/24 - Walsall Secretary
25/02/24 - Warley Q start time
03/02/24 - David Dunn memorial
31/01/24 - Parking in Lichfield
24/01/24 - Chess talks by Robert bellin
23/01/24 - Guidelines for Captains updated
15/01/24 - Cannock League event
01/01/24 -Dispute Ruling
16/12/23 - Welcome page & BDCL Clubs
07/12/23 - Death of Richard Simpson
11/10/2023 Demise of David Pugh
9/10/2023 WCC X-mas Blitz
9/10/2023 Mutual Circle New Venue Details
16/9/2023 2023/24 BDCL Rules updated
21/8/2023 35th Birmingham Rapidplay
6/8/2023 Towers Summer Cup "Open" Semi-Final results-report
2/8/2023 Morry-Wood Best Game published
8/7/2023 Morry-Wood 2022-23 prize list updated
24/6/2023 New Results 2023-24 tab
24/6/2023 Clubs updates
19/6/2023 BDCL Summer League Rules 2023
25/5/2023 Wolverhampton Pre-Season Rated Blitz 7th Aug
8/5/2023 Funeral details - Robert Wallman
3/5/2023 Funeral details - Iain Galloway
15/4/2023 Demise of Iain Galloway
3/4/2023 Demise of Robert Wallman
6/3/2023 Shropshire Junior Chess
1/2/2023 ECF Arbiter Seminar
26/1/2023 FIDE Laws & Guidelines updated
9/1/2023 Uni of Bham club details updated
9/1/2023 E match cards v2023 uploaded
9/1/2023 Kynoch CC start time is 7:30 pm
5/1/2023 X-mas Blitz report


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

04/0302024 - 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 : to enter and further details

 From 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 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 2v 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

6/8/2023 Towers Summer Cup "Open" Semi-Final results-report

Under a new and exciting initiative from the Worcestershire Chess Association; the semi-finals of the 2023 Towers Summer Cup "Open" were held at Longbridge Chess Club on Thursday, August 3rd 2023 with mixed fortunes for the four clubs participating.

The Time Control of the 4-board encounters was 45/30 with Longbridge facing a tough challenge from a strong Redditch team, while Worcester and Kidderminster did battle in the other semi-final.

Longbridge vs Redditch 0-4

Worcester vs Kidderminster 3-1

It's hoped that the Semi-Final of the "under-1650" will be equally enjoyable next Thursday August 10th as the same four clubs fight for place in the 2023 Finals, both of which are to be played on August 24th at the Longbridge venue.

These are all Rated matches.

All players involved in the "Open" mingled amongst the convivial atmosphere, making for a successful evening even for those of us thumped 4-nil. It was simply a brilliant evening of chess especially for the winners Worcester and Redditch who will contest the 2023 "Open" Final.

It's further hoped that Quarter Final rounds will be added to both the 2024 "Open" and "under-1650" events at the beginning of next Summer.

Please would you consider your club's participation in 2024. Longbridge will happily host any matches as a neutral venue. The competition will remain free to enter... Both cups will be held for one year by the respective winners.

All enquiries should be sent to Steve Crees at: - alternatively, contact: or call Steve 07932 860524

24/6/2023 New 2023-24 tab added for all results

All results now can be accessed from one tab 2023-24 from the side navigation menu. Div 1 to Div 5, Minor, Trophies, Individuals tabs are removed.

24/6/2023 Clubs updates

Wolverhampton Chess Club - During BDSL Home matches at Wolverhampton Chess Club, there may on occasion be members of the 44 Club playing darts in the playing room. This won't be every match & will only be from 9pm onwards & therefore should only cause minimum disturbance.

West Bromwich & Kynoch new website urls updated under BDCL clubs tab

3/4/2023 Iain Galloway

With great regret Shirley & Wythall CC have to announce the death of Iain Galloway. Iain had been a member of the club, and a regular member of the first team, for around 20 years. He was originally from the Kentish part of the London conurbation and had then attended Manchester University, but had been in Birmingham since finishing his studies. As many knew, he had been fighting cancer for several years, but was always amazingly positive about it. He will be greatly missed.

3/4/2023 Robert Wallman

It is my sad duty to inform fellow players of the death of former Olton player, Robert Wallman.

A tribute to Robert appears here..

- Richard Reynolds, Olton Chess Club

1/2/2023 ECF Arbiter Seminar

The Birmingham Rapidplay Committee is looking to expand the number of tournaments that we organise, in response to rising demand from players to play in tournaments.

The details are:

  • Minimum expected knowledge: How the chess pieces move
  • Birmingham organises 3 Rapidplays per year, which may increase due to rising demand
  • No obligation to help at every single tournament
  • You would normally arrive 1-2 hours before the start of the tournament to set up equipment, and help with packing up at the end.
  • Work as an arbiter at the tournament
  • Payment of �50 for the tournament
  • Added to the national list of qualified arbiters; other tournament organisers may invite you too in due course! In particular, the Warwickshire Chess Association runs a number of junior and open tournaments, and are also advertising for more people to train as arbiters.
  • If you are interested, please register for this Seminar; and then attend the course and pass the exam at the end:

If you are interested in helping to expand chess playing opportunities in Birmingham, it would be really great if you could take part!

26/1/2023 Rules & Docs updated

Please check Rules & Docs page for updated information on FIDE Laws & Guidelines buttons for Captains and players.

9/1/2023 University of Birmingham club details updated

Please check BDCL Clubs page for updated University of Birmingham Chess Club details.

9/1/2023 E Match Cards page update

Newer version (2023) of E Match cards can ve downloaded from E Match Cards -> Results Ecard

9/1/2023 Kynoch Chess Club start time changes

Kynoch Chess Club has voted to change their match start times with immediate effect from 7.15pm to 7.30pm. This has been approved by Tim Lane & Alan Woolley.

5/1/2023 Xmas Blitz Report

Wolverhampton Chess Club held a Xmas Blitz on Monday the 5th Dec at The Forty Four Club, Wolverhampton.

Report for the Xmas Blitz is at here...

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.


Club Details

Each club has a page for details and it is up to club Secretaries to inform me of any errors or changes. Clubs can also send me items for inclusion that will help promote their club.

Click on 'BDCL Clubs' link on the left.


We now have a mailing list for members of Birmingham League teams to receive information and news of events taking place. Please contact the webmaster if you wish to receive an invite to join.



Google Maps

Locations of clubs are on Google maps

click Here


This site is now being updated by Richard Reynolds. Please report any problems to me at