Downend & Fishponds Chess Club




Last updated: 10:16 Friday 12th July 2024

Fri 12th Jul '24

The latest rapidplay clashed with England's semi final in Dortmund so a dozen or so people who had signed up preferred to put themselves through another couple of hours of torment at home. It was an excellent effort that we still had 22 competing and very tough competition it was, too.

Aron and Oli beat allcomers and drew their game to win the top section with 4½ points. Categories 2 and 3 were based on ratings and and were won by Mark (3½) and Carolus (2½) respectively. Derrick ran the event and thanks to his expertise a full results table can be found on the ECF ratings website.

Thu 27th Jun '24

AT THE AGM ON 26TH JUNE in addition to normal business:

A minute’s silence was held in memory of Geoff Gammon and Mike Passmore.

It was noted that 2024 is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the club on 17th November 1949.

An updated version of the club rules was approved.

Following another satisfactory financial result it was agreed to reduce the standard subscription rate from £40.00 to £20.00.

The following were newly elected:

President - Dave Tipper

Life Vice President - Shaun Walsh

Junior Organiser and Safeguarding Officer - Mark Morris

Non-Executive Committee Member – Greg Sumner

In the light of anticipated membership levels, it was agreed to apply to the league for a six board E team in division four and a four board F team in division five.

Various other matters including team selection for next season were deferred to the club committee for consideration.

Sun 23rd Jun '24


AGENDA 26 June 2024 (7.45pm) at The Fishponds Club, Fishponds

  1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of 2023 AGM
  4. Matters Arising from Minutes
  5. Secretary’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report a. Possible expenditure – cupboard, clocks/equipment, Swiss software
  7. Tournament Organiser’s Report
  8. Junior Organiser’s Report
  9. Child Safeguarding Officer’s Report
  10. Webmaster’s Report
  11. Any Other Reports
  12. Captains’ Reports
  13. Election of Officers
    a. President b. Life Vice-Presidents c. Chairman d. Secretary e. Treasurer f. Tournament Organiser g. Junior Officer h. Child Safeguarding Officer i. Non-Executive Committee Members j. Auditor k. Team captains
  14. Trophy Presentations
  15. Club library
  16. Memorials for members
  17. Any Other Business

Sun 16th Jun '24

After the success of last week's rapidplay event, the next one has already attracted over 20 entries. It's open to all and so far there are already three A teamers, so plenty of opportunities for giant killing.

It starts at 7.00 p.m. on 10th July and it's planned to be five rounds with ten minutes each and five second increments.

Details are regularly updated on WhatsApp and please contact Greg if you want to join.

Thu 13th Jun '24

The Summer Rapidplay for 2023-24 was a resounding success, witness all the congratulatory comments on WhatsApp, especially to Greg, who organised it and Derrick, who controlled and arbited where necessary. He also arranged for all the results to be rated.

We had an excellent turnout of 23 players and, in order to avoid byes we were glad that Keith Baxter was on hand to help even out the numbers. We had not seen Keith since Covid and hope to see more of him next season.

Trophies will be formally presented at our AGM in two week's time:

Overall winner - the Ian Ponter cup - to James Thomas

Highest rated under 1500 player - the President's Cup - to Steve Mullins.

There were also book prizes and a junior award to Alexis Malibiran.

Steve was one of several relatively new faces, including Max, Danny, Praveen and Ivan, all of whom we hope will enjoy being part of the club.

We shall be planning to have various events during the summer break in order to build on this tremendous success.

Thu 13th Jun '24

Before the start of last night's rapidplay event, Hector's mum mentioned that his younger sister had played in the Bristol Megafinal the previous weekend. Here are some highlights from the five sections:

Under 8 Lydia Hu (aged 6½!) came 7th= out of a field of 22 with 3½/6.

Under 10 Hector came first out of 50 with 5½ and Carolus ran him close with 5 to be 2nd=.

Under 12 Alexis came 5th= out of 53 players with 4½. Charlie and Vivaan were just behind on 4 points.

Under 14 Jake was 4th= out of 34 with 4½ points, just half a point behind the three joint winners.

Under 18 James came 4th out of 12 with 3½ points. He was the only player to take half a point off the winner, Indy.

A great performance all round!

Thu 6th Jun '24

The club's juniors played a six board, double round, rapidplay match against the Knights of Bristol last night. The advantage of the white pieces manifested itself in both halves of the match, with 4½-1½ wins for each team, making the overall result 6-6! Thanks are due to Oli for organising this highly satisfactory event.

Blow by blow results can be found on our WhatsApp groups.

Sat 1st Jun '24

Derrick Walker’s first venture as a Tournament Director at the Stoke Gifford Rapidplay was a resounding success and our club was represented in all three sections.

Oli blazed a four win start in the Open and, after a slip-up against Colin Davis, found himself level with three others on 4/5. He then beat Chris Beaumont to be one of only two on 5/6. In the final round they both won to finish level on 6/7 but Oli won first place on tie break and was crowned Bristol Rapidplay Champion. Graham fought hard for his 2½ points against this very strong field.

In the Major, James went one better (actually call that two!) with six straight wins and he was sure of first place even before the start of round seven. Just to rub in his superiority he won his last game too, to finish with a perfect 7/7 and a performance rating of 2407! Alexis was not too far behind on 4½ and Elmira and Grant scored 3.

And in the Minor, we had several youngsters in contention. Jake came top of the bunch with 4½, followed by Carolus on 4 and Charlie and Vivaan on 3.

Very well done to all our competitors.

Thu 30th May '24

At last night's committee meeting a number of upcoming vacancies were noted. Prior to the club AGM on June 26th, please consider if you would be interested in helping the club by stepping in to any of these posts:

B team captain

D team captain

Child Safeguarding Officer

Junior Organiser

Sat 25th May '24

At the League AGM on June 4th there will be six proposed rule changes which may be summarised as follows:

Proposed by the LMC: 1 to increase league team entry fees by 40%. 2 to confirm the use of the August rating list (rather than September) for the minor knockout. 3 to clarify what happens if a player's mobile phone makes a noise during a match. 4 to reflect current practice and allow for the number of divisions to be changed to match requirements without continual redraft of the clause. 5 to make a series of minor changes including grammatical corrections, removal of redundant clauses, and corrections to inaccuracies. The LMC consider these changes to be administrative and therefore acceptable to be treated as a single proposal.

Proposed by some University members: 6 to define how the LMC shall reschedule matches when the clubs are unable to agree.

Update 26th May: proposal 6 has been withdrawn.

Anyone with views either way on the above may notify a committee member.

Mon 20th May '24

The Frome Congress featured our members in several of the sections, many of whom scored 50% or more over the five rounds.

Our biggest star was Carolus with 4½ to be the outright winner of the Standard section. Also Shaun scored 3 and Hector 2½.

In the Intermediate section Elmira scored 3 and Grant 2½. And in the Major, James also scored 3.

Meanwhile in the Open section, where there were umpteen assorted IMs, FMs, etc., Oli was unbeaten on 3½, just half a point behind second place. Mike and Robert Ashworth both scored 2½.

Well done to all!

Wed 15th May '24


Weds. May 29th

Reminder to the committee for a meeting to consider various league and club issues.

Tues. June 4th

League AGM at Bristol Grammar School for those who are interested.

Weds. June 5th

Oli has arranged a junior match against Bristol and Clifton so this will be worth watching if you can make it.

Weds. June 12th

Greg has arranged a rapidplay event for E and F teamers plus any newcomers. You must have ECF Bronze membership or higher.

Weds. June 26th


Please try to attend as there will be much to discuss including how best to use July and August to keep interest going before the new season starts.


Thu 9th May '24

The six year run of winning the league knockout has finally come to an end with a 5-3 defeat away to Bath. They pulled out all the stops to field their strongest eight, while we were hampered by the unavailability of a number of regulars. There were several close games but, on the night, they were just too good.

Mon 6th May '24


The club AGM will be on Wednesday 26th June at 7.45 p.m.

There will be a buffet for those attending. Please try to join us!

Thu 2nd May '24

We now have Greg's report on the E team's match with Horfield D. It's good to have the thoughts of all six players - just click on "Reports" for a blow by blow description.

Thu 2nd May '24

The C team's final outing away to Bath B turned out very well indeed with a convincing 4-2 win. This leaves them in fourth place in division two, just three points off a promotion slot; so an interesting debate about whether to accept promotion was narrowly avoided. The core of eight regulars won eight of their matches including beating the champions, Clifton B, twice. We shall have to wait to see what they say about Dave's delightful miniature!

Tue 30th Apr '24

The E team were evidently in a hurry to get home and finished their 3-3 draw away to Horfield D by 9.45! Pro-rated to 2-2 for the league tables.

That completes the season for the E team with a comfortable mid-table position. A total of 61 games were played and these were shared between 20 members - an excellent achievement to distribute the games between so many.

Fri 26th Apr '24


Many thanks to all for your kind thoughts and anecdotes about Mike, either in person, by email or on WhatsApp.

Mike’s funeral will be held at

South Bristol Crematorium Bridgwater Road Bedminster Down Bristol BS13 7AS

Time: Friday 17th May at 1.30 p.m.

All will be welcome afterwards from 3.00 p.m. at the Windmill Inn 58 Nore Road Portishead Bristol BS20 7JZ

I am sure that many will want to support Sheila and her family by starting the weekend early with a plethora of happy memories of Mike.

Thu 25th Apr '24

Greg has obliged with a report on the E team's 2-2 hard fought draw with Cabot B. With one round to go, the E team still has the chance to finish in a mid table position in division four.

Thu 25th Apr '24

And in the other match, Clifton A turned up a player short against the B team, which cost them the match by 3½-2½.

14 clubs have now defaulted a total of 60 times this season while our teams have played 90 matches without a single default, an excellent overall performance!

Wed 24th Apr '24

In the first of tonight's two home matches to finish, the E team's against Cabot B was drawn 2-2; but only after Hector had won an excellent game. Well done! Just one game to go now in division four - away to Horfield D next Tuesday.

Wed 24th Apr '24

After a gloomy start to the week we struggled somewhat; but five of our players won some good games. The D team drew 3-3 away to North Bristol A while the F team lost 3-2 at Clifton D, which will be pro-rated to 2½-1½ And you can find more about the D team's escapade in the reports section.

Tue 23rd Apr '24

In the final round of the J4NCL season the Upstarts were up against the top team, Ojays A, with an average rating of 1967! They went down 8-0 but still finished fourth in their group in division one.

The Bishops compensated by beating Colchester Juniors B by 5½-2½, thus avoiding bottom place in their group in division two. The Knights, also out-rated, lost 7-1 to the Nefarious Knights but finished in a comfortable mid-table position in division four.

Seven of our juniors played regularly, aided by two former members who have moved away and a handful of other local juniors. Thanks again to Per and Aron for organising the three teams!

Tue 23rd Apr '24

Nigel has provided us with a report on the A team's visit to Bath for their final match of the season.

Sun 21st Apr '24

It is my terribly sad duty to let you know that Mike Passmore died early this morning.

There will be more details when available but, for the time being, suffice it to say that Mike was our longest serving member (from the mid 1950s) and, more importantly, the one who was held in the highest regard for his kindness, generosity and sportsmanship by all who were fortunate enough to meet him.

Fri 19th Apr '24

Grant has obliged with news of the C team's excellent draw with Clevedon A. Unsurprisingly, he restrained his comments on his own comprehensive demolishing of his opponent, though!

Thu 18th Apr '24

Because of an unfortunate clash of fixtures, the A, B and C teams were scheduled to play within a 24 hour period, which was made more awkward by the difficulty for some of the team to travel to play away at Bath.

The weakened A team were unable to get more than three draws, so lost by 4½-1½, a result which confirms Bath as league champions.

The C team, on the other hand, were aided by a default and soon had a 3-0 lead, thanks to excellent wins by James and Grant. But the other three extremely hard fought games all went against us so it resulted in a draw with a very strong Clevedon team. In fact this now makes them firm favourites to return to division one, so well done to them! Grant is planning on telling us more - don't be modest about your win!!

Update! The fixture clash takes on an ironic new twist with the very late news that University B cannot get a room to host our B team tonight.

Fri 12th Apr '24

And here, if you click on reports above, is a slightly belated account of the D team's loss at home to Clevedon B by 3½-2½.

Thu 11th Apr '24

Early news is coming in concerning tonight's E team's match at Grendel B, where they made up for some of this week's disappointments with a 3½-2½ win (pro-rated to 2½-1½). Alexis, Dan and Hector won and John had the vital extra draw.

Thu 11th Apr '24

Two narrow defeats at the club yesterday. The A team went down by 3½-2½ against Horfield A. The D team also lost 3½-2½, to Clevedon C. With one win for us in each match, the heroes on the night were Mark Morris and Mike Passmore!

Tue 9th Apr '24

The F team's trip to play Yate B turned out to be disappointing overall with a 3-1 loss.

Mon 8th Apr '24

Nigel has provided us with a blow by blow account of the 6-2 win at Clifton in the League Knockout semi-final.

Sat 6th Apr '24

We sent two teams of four to Exeter to see if we could retain the Devon Team Quickplay this afternoon.

But first, as individuals, they entered a morning blitz tournament and triumphed with an astonishing 1-2-3! That's Steve 1st with 6½/7, Aron 2nd and Peter 3rd. Huge round of applause!

The team event was won again by our A team of Oli, Aron, Steve and Peter (who won a board prize with 6/6) with a total of 20 points out of 24, comfortably ahead of the top Devon teams. Very well done!

The B team of Mark, Grant (who also won a rating prize), Dan and Per had 11½ out of 20 after five rounds, when they had the misfortune to be paired against the A team. Still, 11½ was enough to win section 3 of the tournament.

Perhaps we should try to send three teams next year.

Thu 4th Apr '24

The F team hosted Portishead B to a six board match and ran out 5-1 winners, which will be pro-rated to 3½-½.

Thanks to careful management and the judicious use of bolt-on games, the E and F teams have now allowed a total of 18 club members to play in divisions four and five. With 11 more in the D team, it is food for thought as we come up towards the time for deciding how many teams we would like to have next season.

Update: Bath duly disposed of South Bristol in the KO. We shall be away to them in the final on Wednesday May 8th.

Wed 3rd Apr '24

Four wins and four draws were more than enough to see off a slightly under full strength Clifton in the Knockout Semifinal. 6-2 was the score! The final will most likely be away to Bath in early May, unless they slip up against South Bristol.

Tue 2nd Apr '24

Round 6 of the J4NCL was played just before Easter and various absences meant that some of our juniors had to play up to a higher team. The Upstarts still did well to hold Warwickshire Bears B to a 4-4 draw in Division One but the Bishops lost 6-1 to the Bears' D team and the Knights were heavily out-rated by Crowthorne Juniors and lost 8-0.

Thu 28th Mar '24

The two MKO semifinals saw excellent wins for Aleksei, Martin and Dave but that was pretty much as good as it got. The Rooks were outplayed by Clifton to lose by 4½-1½ while the Knights were outmanoeuvred by Yate to lose 4-2. Some comments on the latter can be found on the club WhatsApp group.

Mon 25th Mar '24

John has provided a report on the D team's win at Keynsham on 14th March. It's good to see first hand comments from all the team!

Fri 22nd Mar '24

The C team put up a good fight at Grendel. Their loss by 3½-2½ still leaves them among five teams within two points of each other at the top of the second division, with two matches to play. It promises to be a close struggle for promotion.

Sun 17th Mar '24

At this weekend's South Bristol Junior Chess tournament, James Thomas entered the Under 16 section and came first equal with two others on 4½ from 6 but, since he beat both of them, he took top place on tie break!

Carolus Tang entered the Under 11 section and he also did very well, with 4½ points, to finish just behind the joint winners.

Fri 15th Mar '24

Another night of mixed results. The A team drew 3-3 with University A (all six games drawn!), meaning it is now mathematically impossible for them to overhaul Bath A. Nigel has provided the detail of how all six games unfolded.

The D team's trip to Keynsham was more fruitful, with a win by 4½-1½, which keeps them in contention for a top two finish in division three.

Meanwhile our three teams in the J4NCL were also on parade and they, too, had a very mixed performance. The Upstarts beat Brentwood School A by 6-2. The Bishops lost 8-0 to Rogue Rooks, not surprising when you see that the Rogues' average rating was over 1800. The Knights compensated by beating Ojays G 8-0.

Thu 14th Mar '24

Mixed results at the club last night. The B team lost 3½-2½ to Horfield B but the F team had an excellent 4-2 win against South Bristol D with wins for Joe and Charlie and also, with his first win for the club, for Hector.

Fri 8th Mar '24

The C team slipped up 4-2 away to South Bristol A but remain in the hunt for a top two finish with just three matches remaining in the season.

Wed 6th Mar '24

Unfortunately University C were unable to raise a team to come to play our E team, so they forfeited the match 4-0. This was especially unfortunate as it was going to be Steve Mullins' first game for the club.

Sat 2nd Mar '24

We now have Nigel's report on the 4-2 win for the A team away to Horfield B last Tuesday.

Oscar and Peter followed up with successful outings to Swindon today for the Open Rapidplay. Oscar came 2nd, just a half point behind the winner and Peter was 3rd equal.

Thu 29th Feb '24

Per invited us to check out the 4NCL website for round 4 of this session's J4NCL. If you did, you will have seen some thrills and spills as our three teams pretty much shared the points...11½-12½ if you want to nitpick.

In three evenly matched games the Upstarts beat Chess Rising Stars 4½-3½; the Bishops lost 5-3 to Watford Juniors A and the Knights drew 4-4 with Suffolk Juniors 2. Well done to all!

Thu 29th Feb '24

Mixed fortunes at the club last night. We were rooting for the B team to take at least a point off leaders Bath A but they were evidently in no mood for shedding points and ran out winners by 4½-1½.

Meanwhile, the D team outrated Hanham A and avoided an upset against the bottom team in division three. The 4½-1½ win leaves us just a point behind the leaders. Read more about it in the Reports section!

Tue 27th Feb '24

The A team managed to beat Horfield B 4-2 to move up to second in the table, at least until we get the Clifton A v University A result

Update: University kindly did us a favour by holding Clifton to a draw, so we stay in second place, just two points behind Bath A.

Tue 27th Feb '24

The F team took three extra players to play Portishead A so it was a Seven-a-Side match, which was perhaps why it was moved to the local football club. Once we found the venue, we settled down to some interesting games and scored two points. The 2-5 result will be pro-rated to 1-3 for the league table.

Fri 23rd Feb '24

The E team's trek to Whitchurch proved fruitless in terms of points scored with a 4-0 defeat to South Bristol B but Greg's report tells us that it was far from being a total disaster, with some interesting struggles.