St Albans Chess Club

The County Club, 29 Ridgmont Road. See Map & Parking
- a short walk from St Albans City station.

Adults & Older Juniors Early Knights
Monday, 7.30pm to 11.00pm Monday, 6.15pm to 7.15pm (during school term)
Contact: Robert Collopy Contact: Matt Ball & Michael Flatt
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Latest News

Season 2019-2020

Please, note the following dates and events arranged for the start of the new season.

  • Monday 2rd Sept.First club night.
  • Monday 9th Sept. Simultaneous IM Peter Roberson vs Club Members
  • Monday 16th Sept. Silver Rook. First Qualifying Event (Rapidplay).
  • Monday 23rd Sept. Cheshire Board. Away vs Watford
  • Monday tbd. St Albans Juniors vs Watford Juniors.
  • Monday 7th Oct. Start of League Matches. Fixture list is awaited.

Summer Chess

During this year's Summer Break, 1st July to 19th August, the chess club will hold some informal sessions at The Goat Inn, Sopwell Lane AL1 1RN on Monday evenings from 7.30pm.

The Summer sessions are free and open to players of all standards - just turn up on the night. Please, do buy something from the bar as we make no other payment to use the facilities.

The club will return to its usual venue - County Club, Ridgmont Road - on Monday 2nd September. The Hertfordshire League matches will start in October.

Harrow Friendly Rapidplay Match

Monday 10th June. This year Harrow recorded a well deserved win: St Albans 18 v 22 Harrow. The visitors took a 4-point lead in the first round, which they maintained against a reinvigorated St Albans following the refreshment break.

See Scorecard: Double Cross Match vs Harrow

Bryan Fewell RIP

The following obituary first appeared on the ECF website

Bryan A Fewell – born 1932, died 15th May 2019 after a long battle with ill-health at the age of 86. He was appointed an Honorary Life Vice President of the BCF in 1996, and he retained that title with the ECF until his death.

He played for Welwyn Garden City from 1958 and moved to Harpenden in the early 1980s. He then played for St Albans CC. He played for Herts II around about the 1980s in a middle board position. He was about 140-150 playing strength and stopped playing in about 1994.

He was secretary of the Herts County Chess Association 1962-68. He became their President in 1975 and served in office until 1998! That must be one of the longest terms of elective office in chess. He was also an Honorary LVP of the Herts CCA.

He was Deputy President of the SCCU in 1981 and was President 1982-4.

Bryan first served on the BCF Management Board as an SCCU representative from 1982. He later took on several different administrative roles – Director of Administration 1987-9; Director of Home Chess 1990-1992; Director of Management Services 1993. He was also in charge of Chess Moves (the journal of the BCF) 1996-1997. He introduced several ideas to the BCF, including Succession Planning.

The funeral was 11.00am Monday 3 June at Harwood Park Crematorium, Walton Road, Knebworth, Herts.

Our condolences to his family – wife Jill and sons Simon, Alastair and David.

— Stewart Reuben

Schedule for the Final Weeks of the Chess Club Season

  • Monday 3rd June. Juniors vs Adults Match, Silver Rook Final, Lavers Ladder Final. All three events take place on the same night. 
  • Monday 10th June. Harrow Double Cross Match, The annual inter-club friendly, comprising a two round ungraded rapidplay over 20 boards. Play is expected to start by 8.00pm and a finger buffet will be served during the interval. The bar will be open as usual. Please, contact St Albans Club Secretary, Aidan Ellis, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest. 
  • Monday 17th June. Annual General Meeting. All members are invited to attend. The meeting, starting at 7.30pm and expected to run for less than one hour, will undertake the normal end of year business - officers' reports, financial statement, presentation of trophies, election of officers, and AOB. Afterwards, the club will open as normal.
  • Monday 24th June. End of Season Handicap Rapidplay. This tournament for club members, starting at around 7.45pm, takes place on last club night of the season. No prior registration is required - just turn up on the night.

    The winner will be presented with the Handicap Trophy, and an assortment of other prizes will also be awarded. The time handicap system will be the same as used in previous years.

Christmas Rapidplay Handicap Tournament

Monday 17th December. The popular Handicap competition attracted 29 players which included one guest and three promising players from our Early Knights Junior Club.

The time handicap aims to 'even the odds' between players of widely different playing level. It worked well and provided some entertaining pairings between players who, otherwise, would have been unlikely to meet across the board.

That said, the clear winner was Peter Roberson (6/6) who was barely under any pressure despite playing all his games with the maximum time handicap (4 minutes against his opponent's 16 minutes).

Sharing second place (4½/6) were George Angel (ECF 108) and Neil Willmott (ECF 179).

Then, sharing fourth place (4/6) were five players - Keith Feldman (ECF 88), John Gemmell (ECF 158), James Palmer (ECF 139), Katie Ball (ECF 70), Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell (ECF 174).

St Albans Chess Club will be closed on Monday 8th April 2019

06 Nov. The County Club, our regular venue, will be unavailable on the 8th April due a private booking. Fortunately, no home league matches were scheduled that evening. The closure is recorded on the club's fixture list.

Players Needed For Hertfordshire County Teams

01 Nov. Currently, Hertfordshire Chess Association runs three county teams, for which the captains are keen to recruit some additional players.

  • Herts U160 compete in the EACU League. Team captain is Mike Price (Stevenage)
  • Herts U140 compete in the SCCU League. Team captain is Sanjay Vig (Watford)
  • Herts U120 compete in the SCCU League. Team captain is Peter Baker (St Albans)

In the East Anglian Chess Union (EACU) matches take place on a Sunday at a central venue in Newmarket, Suffolk. On three days during the season, each county plays two others, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

In the Southern Counties Chess Union (SCCU) individual matches are played on a Saturday afternoon at a venue hired by the home team.

Both the EACU and SCCU competitions, which occur between October and March, are qualifying events for the ECF County Championships.The National Stages are run as a knockout from April with the Final for all divisions usually takes place in July at a central venue near Warwick.

County league tables can be viewed via these links:

Cheshire Trophy: St Albans 10 v 10 Watford

25 Sept. The annual Cheshire Trophy match took place last night at the County Club. It was played over 20 boards with Fischer time controls (70 minutes and 10 second increment from the first move).

The scores were close throughout the evening with never more than one or two points between the two teams. It was only with the conclusion of the last game that the match was determined to be drawn (10 points each) and Watford as current holders retain the Trophy for another year.

Details of the teams and individual game scores are available through link Cheshire Trophy Results 2018.

Annual Subscription & ECF Membership

21 Sept. Club members are reminded that annual subscriptions are due and should be paid to the Treasurer, Simon Narbeth, before the end of September to qualify for the reduced rates. The higher rates, which apply from 1st October, are shown in brackets.

  • Adult membership £50 (£60),
  • Junior (under-18) £25 (£30),
  • Full time student or unwaged adult £25 (£30).

Active players are also advised to take out or renew ECF membership so that the Club will avoid being invoiced by the ECF for grading fees incurred by unregistered players.

League & Cup Fixtures

18 Sept. This season's fixtures for HCA League, HCA Cup and H&D League are now available on the Herts Chess Results website:

Details of matches involving St Albans have been copied onto the club website: St Albans Fixtures 2018-19

Simultaneous Exhibition

11th Sept. Last night at the County Club, IM Peter Roberson gave a start-of-season simultaneous against 24 club players. His opponents comprised the full range of members from the most experienced of adults in the Senior Club through to the newest of recruits in the Early Knights Junior Club.

Play started shortly after 7.45pm and continued till 10.30pm.

Congratulations to Peter in achieving a perfect score: 24 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses.

New Season

The St Albans Chess Club returns after the Summer Break to County Club, Ridgmont Road on Monday 3rd September. The Early Knights, however, will not meet until the following Monday (10th September).

Some notable dates for the diary are:

  • Mon 3rd Sept: The first session sees the Laver's Ladder Final, held over from last season, and the presentation of the trophy to the winnner.
  • Mon 10th Sept: IM Peter Roberson's Simultaneous Exhibition against club members over 20 boards. Early Knights and adult club members are all invited to play.
  • Sun 16 Sept: Planned release of Herts League & Cup fixtures.
  • Mon 17th Sept: The Silver Rook Club Championship, in its new format, commences with the first of three rapidplay events to select eight qualifiers to the Standard Play Knockout Finals.
  • Sat 22nd & Sun 23rd Sept: Hertfordshire Individual Championship (Capel, Burn U170 and Bunce U135) at Hertford Chess Club.
  • Mon 24th Sept: Cheshire Trophy 20-board match against Watford. We are at home this year.
  • Sun 30th Sept: Deadline for subscriptions before late fee applies.

Royston Chess Club have changed venue. They are now meet at: Retreat Room (upstairs), Coombes Community Centre, Burns Road, Royston SG8 5PT

Privacy Notice

The Club has a Privacy Policy in compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on 25th May 2018. Please, take note of it and submit any questions by email to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..