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Come and Make Your Move!



Latest East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club News



Friday 31st January

The weather was just as foul as when the Crowborough team came to us a couple of weeks ago, but the young chess players of the East Grinstead Bookshop team travelled expectantly through torrential rain.

As in the first match, Risha and Niamh`s game finished first, but this time the result was reversed. Niamh`s ferocious, sacrificial attack was going well, but she failed to see Risha`s attack, and fell to a well constructed checkmate.

Anne and Lucy both played their normal attacking chess, and their game finished shortly after, with Anne winning this time.

With the match one all, attention turned to the other two games. All four players were taking their time and thinking deeply, and producing some really good chess. In a close hard fought battle against Raina, Toby on board one found a way to gain the advantage and press it home with an unstoppable checkmate, with only thirty four seconds left on the clock ! I`m not sure who was the most pleased with this, his first victory of the season, him or me. Playing board one always carries the most pressure, well done Toby.

Meanwhile Cillian played outstandingly well against Surriyya, meeting every chess challenge thrown at him, and giving as good as he got. In the end game Cillian excelled, I`m sure some of Dave Simpkin`s advice, these past few months, was at play, and there was just no way for Surriyya to counter Cillian`s two connected advancing pawns and the checkmate that they forced.

Meanwhile, Elliott was playing George, and this game provide my highlight of the night, with Elliott demonstrating great sportmanship towards his much younger opponent,diffusing what might have been a very tricky situation in the most mature way. In so doing, he did himself and Crowborough proud, and what is more he won the game.

Raife proved too strong for Luke in their game, whilst perhaps the luckiest player on the night was Zac. In his game against the most promising Emily, he found himself a couple of pawns down going into the end game, but in an oversight, her only one of the game, Emily gifted him her unguarded queen, and the game was over.

Finally Isabella and George played out a very long game, that ebbed and flowed in terms of advantage, but in the end George won out,

In so doing The Bookshop secured a victory, and overturned the defeat of two weeks ago against a very strong Crowborough team.

The evening was a great success, played out in a great spirit, sixteen young chess players reminding us all what a great game chess is. All that remains is to thank Crowborough for their wonderful hospitality, on behalf of The East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club and all of the players`s parents. May we all look forward to many more such occasions.


Tuesday 14th January

Report by David Fryer. 

On a filthy night with wind and rain causing chaos not only on the roads but amidst power cuts and squealing Bank alarms the Crowborough team travelled to East Grinstead.

The first game to finish was on board 4 and was probably the best played opening of the night. Trevor would have been proud of the players with a very sensible London System answered with a classical Queen's pawn game setup. Niamh threatened a checkmate on h7 which Risha noticed but thought OK as she had a knight on f6 but unfortunately after BxN NxN NxN+ BxN Qxh7mt followed.

Niamh produced a very neat scoresheet allowing me to play through the game with her but I noticed that under team next to Risha's name she had misheard the answer and written COBRA. Hence the title of this news item.

If the result of the next three games is anything to go by then 2020 is going to be a very luck year for Crowborough players.

Suriya thought he saw a tactic in the opening removing his opponent's knight from c6 and capturing the undefended pawn on e5 with his knight. However he had completely overlooked Qd4+ winning a piece but then again so did Toby. To be fair Suriya after 'winning' this pawn converted the advantage into a full point in some style.

Benjamin had an exciting game and after using his time carefully decided correctly to swap down into an ending with two Rooks and pawns against a Queen and pawns.
The key features though was his passed pawn on f6 and his exposed king. This position required a lot of patience with the correct tactic from Benjamin's point of view being to protect everything and then look to promote this pawn. However Benjamin tried to force the pawn home quickly but with his two rooks undefended Ann's queen caused more havoc on the board than the weather outside.

Ann won one of the rooks but all was still not clear as her Queen had to fly to f8 to block the pawn on f7 and with Benjamin's Rook on f3 this Queen was stuck. Now it was the turn for Ann to be patient but with Benjamin's king out in the open it was very tempting to try and checkmate him. She allowed the pawn to promote and was one move away from checkmating Benjamin when the rook played a fateful pin and all was over for Ann. A very exciting game to watch.

So with the match finely poised at 2-1 we turned our attention to board 2. Where after some thoughtful and careful play we had arrived at a Rook + 6 pawns vs Rook + 6 pawns but Cillian's rook was far more active and before long it was Rook + 3 pawns vs Rook + 1 pawn and when the chance occurred I expected Thomas to swap pawns and to try and defend the not easy to win Rook + 2 pawns vs Rook.

However Thomas decided to try some speculative rook checks which his opponent parried with ease and then after two hours play Cillian had pawns on b7 and e7 and it looked all over. There followed b8=Q and RxQ and RxR and with an air of resignation Thomas played his king to c7 attacking the rook. Then the Goddess Caissa showed her cruel face and Cillian with only a couple of minutes left on his clock after playing a wonderfully careful and thoughtful game played a move for the first time in two hours without thinking e8=Q and due to his king covering the d6 square this is stalemate.

So the lucky Cobras won the match 2½-1½.

The East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club are very much looking forward to the return fixture at Crowborough on Friday 31st January 2020. 


The Junior Chess Club meets on Tuesdays between 6:30-7:30pm, and Sunday mornings from 10:30-11:30am

If you've never played chess before, we can help, come and see if chess is for you.

If you've played at school and would like to play more, we can help, The Bookshop is the place to come and improve.

If you want to get into the county squad or county team, we can help, we already have several children representing Sussex at under 12 level, and they are National Champions.

If you want to play in the local league, we can help, the East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club has this year entered a team in the Mid Sussex League. 

Release your inner Magnus Carlsen here at The Bookshop.



East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club was founded in September 2019 and meets at The Bookshop, an amazing sixteenth century black and white timber-framed building, the quintessential English bookshop, full to the rafters with wonderful books. It really is a unique venue. 

Club night is Friday night from 6pm until the last game ends. We play with beautiful triple weighted wooden Staunton chess sets on lovely wooden boards.

For those free on Wednesday afternoons, the East Grinstead Bookshop Chess Club convenes at The Bookshop from 2:30pm until close of business at 5:30pm. 

As an added bonus, members can come and have a game at The Bookshop any time they choose during normal shop hours. John, the owner, can always be persuaded to have a game when he's not working. 



For people travelling by car, there is parking right outside of The Bookshop. If there are no available spaces, you can use the Chequer Mead Theatre Car Park.

RH19 3AW

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