October 2017 Review

So October has come and gone and the Bristol Chess League is starting to show its shape for the coming season.  We take a look at the current state of play across the four divisions as well as showcasing October’s Game of the Month.

Division 1

The blood flowed freely in the water in Division 1 as every team tore chunks out every other team.  Unlike last season when Downend A romped into Christmas on the back of 9 straight wins, every team in the division has now lost at least once with no clear logic to predicting the outcome of matches.  It looks like an ultra competitive Division 1 race is on  with up to five teams clustering around each other (if all games in hand are won).  Team of the month has to go to Horfield A who won all three games and scored a remarkable 15 / 18 game points. But the sharks are circling…

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 20.21.00

Division 2

Division 2 remains a little more unclear as the number of games played by teams across the division is very variable. South Bristol B continue to set the early pace although Horfield C and Grendel are closing in and have games in hand.  As with Division 1, some very odd results have been thrown up with top performing teams suddenly losing heavily. Individual performances that need to be acknowledged include Steve Woolgar (137) who is actually averaging 184 and Clevedon’s Max Walker (115) with a grading performance of 154.

(editors note – My thanks to Nigel Pollett for his sage opinions on Division 2).

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 20.22.12

Division 3

Yate A continue to plough ahead mercilessly in Division 3 with a 100% record. You heard it here first in August when we predicted their dominance! The rest of the division appear to be dragging each other behind the early Yate pacesetters as they all continue to beat one another.  Hanham have creeped up the table but look the most at risk as they have played a lot of games with only one match point to show for it.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 20.23.00

Division 4

If you thought division 1 was bloody then thats nothing compared to Division 4! This 12 team division sees the closest spread of points with the top 7 teams separated by only 3 points and games in hand galore.  Looking at the table it seems impossible to call at this stage but my recommendation would be to call a time out and everyone take a breather! Chaos!

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 20.23.35

October 2017 Game of the Month

The accolade for October Game of the Month is awarded to the “Horfield Ice Cube” (and Bristol Chess Times contributor), Mike Harris.  His outstanding Chigorin defence and cool finish under time pressure against Henry Duncanson of Downend was a pleasure to watch and instrumental to the biggest shock of the season so far when Horfield B beat Downend A.

At my request, he has annotated his game below.

Henry Duncanson vs. Mike Harris – Play through game


With less than a minute on his clock, the “Horfield Ice Cube” Mike Harris played exf in the above position and went on to seal a memorable win against a tough opponent.

If you would like to submit a game for Game of the Month then please email them to bristolchesstimes@gmail.com.  We welcome submissions from all players and any division.  We are not looking for theoretical purity necessarily.  In fact the messier, dirtier the chess the better in my opinion!  In all seriousness, please do send us your games and tel us why you think your game is eligible for Game of the Month (obviously it must have been played in that given month). We at the Bristol Chess Times will review them and at the end of the season we will post up the 8 or 9 games from across the season and let the community vote for Game of the Season. Who knows we may even have prizes!


Jon Fisher

Jon is the Editor of The Bristol Chess Times and Publicity and Recruitment Officer for The Bristol & District Chess League. He plays for Horfield Chess Club and has been known to play 1. b3 on occasion.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: