The Cannock & District Chess League

Latest News

17.3.23 Division 3

Lichfield's 3A team finished the season strongly - winning all of their last 6 games to take the Division 3 title. After starting the season with 2 wins & 2 defeats they really kicked on & defeated Stafford, who were the only team who could stop them, winning the Division tonight. Well played to everyone involved.


14.3.23 Chase Trophy

Tamworth defeated Rugeley 3-1 to win the Chase Trophy for the 3rd time. Rugeley hosted the Final, but were heavily outrated in the match, & finished as runners-up for the 2nd year in a row.

Well played to Tamworth & thank you to the teams who entered the competition this season.


13.3.23 Division 1

Congratulations to Wolverhampton who retain their Division 1 crown. Despite still having 2 games to go, they are now uncatchable. Rushall will finish as runners-up, followed by the 2 Lichfield teams & finally Tamworth. Once again, Division 1 has been extremely competitive with some high quality chess played, and all but 1 game so far between the top 4 clubs has  finished 2-2 or 2.5-1.5. Fixtures/standings etc can be found on


7.3.23 League AGM

This has been booked for Tuesday 6th June at the Bridgtown Social Club with a 7.30pm start. In the meantime, clubs have been issued a questionnaire asking for their thoughts on the rating limits for next season. We are looking for replies back to League General Secretary Peter Oliver ( by the end of March & the Committee will then present proposals to vote on at the AGM. A full agenda will be distributed nearer the time & all trophies will be on hand to present to our winning clubs & individuals.


6.3.23 Robert Ward Plate Final

Congratulations to rapidly improving youngster John Moughtin-Leah, who defeated fellow Lichfield player Phil Sykes in the Final. 


3.3.23 Dolan Trophy Final

Liam O'Connor defeated Peter Evans to take the first silverware of the season - congratulations to Liam. Thank you to everyone who entered the competition & also those who supported their participation - particularly some of the senior members at Lichfield whose players made up the majority of the entries.


10.2.23 Chase Trophy

Following close Semi Final wins, Tamworth will visit Rugeley to contest the Final on 14th March.


8.2.23 Robert Ward Plate

2 Lichfield players - Philip Sykes & John Moughtin-Leah will contest the Final on 6th March, after both won their Semi Finals away from home recently.


7.2.23 Dolan Trophy 

After 2 Group games & a Semi Final win each, Peter Evans will host Liam O'Connor in the Final on 3rd March.


2.2.23 Robert Ward Trophy

Steve Whatmore will host the Final against Tony Preece after both won their Semi Finals recently. This will be their 3rd match of the season with the score level at 1-1 so far. The game has been arranged for 21st April.


20.12.22 Wolverhampton Change of Venue & Club Night

With effect from 2023 Wolverhampton will move to The 44 Club, 44 Spring Road, Wolverhampton WV4 6LG. Their club nights will change to Mondays.


9.12.22 Robert Ward Plate Draw

Semi Final draw:

Chris Cox at home to John Moughtin-Leah & Rory Melough at home to Phil Sykes.

Games are to be played before the end of February 2023.


8.12.22 Robert Ward Trophy Draw

Semi Final draw:

Tony Preece at home to Stephen Gaskell & Ken McNulty at home to Steve Whatmore

Games are to be played before the end of February 2023.


4.12.22 Stafford Change of Venue & Club Night

With effect from 16.12.22 Stafford will move to Burton Manor Sports Association, Stafford ST18 9AT & their club night will be Fridays. All club secretaries will be contacted to arrange for their home games to be put back 24 hours from Thursdays to Fridays in 2023.


29.11.22 Dolan Trophy

With the Dolan Trophy group games completed, 4 players have qualified for the knockout rounds. Details can be found on our LMS site:


23.11.22 Wolverhampton Blitz Event

Wolverhampton Chess Club are trialling a new venue due to doubts about the longevity of their current venue. 

They will be holding a Handicap Xmas Blitz event on Monday December 5th from 7.30pm. All CDCL club members are welcome to attend - with a small entry fee payable & prizes for winners.

To register or for further information please contact

Venue; Forty Four Club, Spring Rd, Wolverhampton, WV4 6LQ. 


10.11.22 Robert Ward Trophy

With all of the 1st round games completed the draw was independently made for the Quarter Finals of the Robert Ward Trophy & Robert Ward Plate today. Details can be found on our LMS site:

The Dolan Trophy still has 2 Group Stage matches to be played before the knockout draw.


15.9.22 Andrew Leadbetter Obituary

Andrew Leadbetter 1943-2022 RIP

The sudden death of Andrew Leadbetter has shocked not only the members of his club, Stafford, but everyone in Staffordshire Chess and beyond.

Andrew had been an official and a team captain at Stafford Chess Club for over fifty years. He entered all the internal competitions and attended nearly every club night. Indeed, it was his non-appearance that first alerted the club that there may be a problem.

Andrew had been involved in chess administration all his life. He began by starting a club at his school as a teenager and in the last week of his life he was compiling financial reports for the Staffordshire Chess Association. Over the years he had been a committee member for all three Staffordshire Leagues. For the Staffordshire Chess Association, he was the long-term treasurer.  He captained county teams for many years and continued to play in county matches. He was the financial director of the MCCU. His work with the ECF is remembered on this link.

Besides chess Andrew had many interests. He was a keen cyclist and he assisted with a Stafford charity that provides low-cost bicycles. He liked art, literature, classical music, and the wider outdoors. He was a regular visitor to the Stafford Film Society and the only time he would refuse a game was on a Tuesday when a good film was showing.  He also enjoyed a good game of bowls.

Andrew worked as a teacher of history and general studies at King Edward VI Stafford and later at Stoke 6th Form College. He was married to Jo for many years, and they had three sons, one of whom pre-deceased them. He bore his widowhood with fortitude. The chess world will send his sons and the wider family their condolences and Stafford Chess club have set up a webpage to do so.

Peter Evans


14.9.22 Simon Jones Obituary

SIMON JONES 1964 - 2022

It is with sadness that Walsall Kipping Chess Club have to announce the death of Simon Jones.

For over twenty years he was a longstanding and committed member of the club. He was also a stalwart member of Bushbury Chess Club. He applied himself to playing enthusiastically for both clubs.

Simon was an uncomplicated character who enjoyed the simple pleasures in life, of which chess was just one. At Walsall Kipping he played for the club in the Birmingham, Dudley leagues and Staffordshire Cup Competitions, he also captained for the club in the Dudley League. He was probably one of the most reliable players for the club, in turning out to play matches in the league and just ordinary social nights. He won the Club "All Play All" competition this summer, which is testament to how committed a player he was for the club.

He was a solid player who had some quirks in his game. He was legendary in the club for when he checked the opposing player, he would place the piece on the board firmly then say loudly "Check". The zenith of the Simon Jones "Check" experience happened at the Club's 75th anniversary, celebration simultaneous, in which the Grandmaster Keith Arkell played. Amongst the thirty players it was Simon who was the first to check him and he announced it in a loud voice that had everyone laughing (the fact that he lost the game is neither here nor there).

He was an active member of a church and enjoyed local travel. Nobody could match his encyclopedic knowledge of local bus and train services!

Personally, I will miss him very much and am proud to have called him a friend.

Peter Nixon 


13.9.22 Andrew Leadbetter

With shock & great sadness we have learned of the death of Andrew Leadbetter, following a road traffic accident last Thursday. Andrew played in the CDCL from its inception & was our ECF delegate for over 20 years. As well as being a stalwart supporter of the CDCL, he also was a committee member of other local leagues & Stafford Chess Club over many years.


6.9.22 Individual Competitions

The draws for the Robert Ward Trophy & Dolan Trophy have now been made & all players informed of their opponents. In total we have 18 players from 8 different clubs participating.


1.9.22 Simon Jones

We have been informed that Simon very sadly passed away at the weekend. He was a great supporter of our League & a long standing player for Bushbury in the CDCL, plus a member of Walsall Kipping. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and his many friends in the chess world.


31.8.22 Mercia - Change of Venue

Mercia have now returned to their old venue - the Ex-Servicemen's Club, The Walk, Sedgley DY3 1PN. Their club night remains on Tuesdays from 7pm.


22.8.22 New Season Starts

The 2022-2023 season is now underway with Rushall hosting a double-header versus Bushbury & Norton Canes. All fixtures, results, standings etc can again be found on along with historic results from our 2021 & 2022 seasons. 


2.8.22 Individual Trophy Tournaments

Entries are now being requested for the Robert Ward Trophy & Dolan Trophy competitions. These are our individual ECF rated competitions which are played across each season. They are open to players who are members of clubs who are participating in the league in 2022-2023, with the Robert Ward Trophy open to all players & the Dolan Trophy open to players with a maximum rating on 1.9.22 of 1450 ECF or who are unrated. It is expected that each player will play a minimum of 2 & a maximum of 4 or 5 rounds on an alternating home & away basis where possible. The draws will be made shortly after the ratings are issued on 1.9.22, so entries will need to be received by then to Please use the same e-mail address if you would like any further information.


6.7.22 Fixtures Meeting

All league fixtures have been agreed between teams & loaded onto the ECF LMS site


4.7.22 Chase Trophy Draw

The draw was made independently this evening & the ties (to be played before 31.1.23) are:

Tamworth v Rushall & Sutton Coldfield v Rugeley 


17.6.22 Wolverhampton Venue 

With effect from next week Wolverhampton will move back to the West End Working Men's Club at 71-73 Merridale Street West, Wolverhampton WV3 0RW.


7.6.22 AGM

The AGM was very well attended & extremely productive. It was good to get together again with so many of our regular attendees & to welcome several new ones including representatives from our latest members Mercia & Walsall Kipping. In due course, Minutes will be sent out to all member clubs & the website updated in readiness for the 2022-2023 season.

The Fixtures Meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 5th July at the Bridgtown Social Club (7.30pm in the darts bar).


26.5.22 Season End

Our 2021-2022 season is now complete following last night’s final Division 2 game between Oscott & Wolverhampton. Splitting the league season into 2 halves has been very successful and has meant that 5 different clubs have won league honours. The number of teams participating post lockdown has increased and more clubs are showing an interest in joining us next season. In total, around 150 or so players have participated across our 4 Divisions, the Chase Trophy & our Individual Tournaments. Every game played has been logged on to the ECF League Management System with player ratings updated automatically each week & plenty of individual stats available on


Our 2022 AGM is on Tuesday 7th June at The Bridgtown Social Club from 7.30pm when representatives from each club will have the opportunity to discuss how they feel the league can continue to flourish.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to a very enjoyable season, especially the club captains & secretaries whose support has helped the league run so smoothly.


19.5.22 Divisions 1 & 3

Congratulations to Wolverhampton & Stafford who have won Divisions 1 & 3 respectively. Wolverhampton have won Division 1 with a game to spare. They become the 7th different club to be League Champions in the league's history & have done so this year with the same 4 players in each game played. On the same night Stafford secured the draw they needed in the final match of the Division 3 season against Tamworth to retain their title by the narrowest of margins - a +3 board count compared to Tamworth's +2 with points level. 


16.5.22 Division 2

As ever, the battle to win our very competitive Division 2 was extremely close with everything resting on the penultimate game of the season. Rushall needed a draw for the title while Rugeley needed to win. It was Rushall who came out on top with a narrow victory & therefore congratulations to them as they win the Division for the first time since 2017-2018.


3.5.22 Robert Ward Plate Final

The replay between Chris Cox & Rory Melough was also drawn tonight. Rules therefore state that a one-off blitz game decides the winner & Chris came away with the victory. Congratulations to him & well played to both players for what sounds like a tremendous battle.


25.4.22 Dolan Trophy Final

Well done to Kevin Brooks who defeated Stephen Smithson in the Final of the Dolan Trophy (our individual competition for players who were either unrated or rated under 1450 at the start of the season). Stephen states that Kevin won deep into the endgame with both players very low on time & deserved his win. Thank you to all of the players who entered.

As a reminder - all CDCL league, cup & individual games can be found on


20.4.22 Robert Ward Trophy Final

David Gardiner defeated Steve Whatmore in tonight's Final to again win the Robert Ward Trophy. Congratulations to David who thoroughly deserved his victory & thank you to everyone who entered this year's competition.


19.4.22 Chase Trophy Final

After a 2-2 draw between Rugeley & Rushall tie-breakers were needed to decide the winner of the Chase Trophy. With Rushall winning on board 3, Rugeley winning on board 4 & boards 1 & 2 drawn, Rushall are the 2021-2022 winners due to board count (adding up the board numbers of the winning players with the lowest score winning the match) by a score of 3 versus 4. Congratulations to Rushall & well played to Rugeley for making it a very competitive match..


13.4.22 Robert Ward Plate Final

The Final between Rory Melough & Chris Cox was drawn last night so a replay will be arranged in due course.


31.3.22 AGM Date

Our first AGM since 2019 has been arranged for Tuesday 7th June at the Bridgtown Social Club starting 7.30pm.  We hope to see representatives from every club there & welcome any agenda proposals that clubs may have by 30th April.


22.3.22 Division 4

Congratulations to Lichfield's A team on winning Division 4. It has been wonderful to see players from Lichfield & Rushall have the opportunity to gain some invaluable OBT experience in our newly set up Division, with several using it as a stepping stone to go on to play at higher levels. 


18.2.22 Chase Trophy

A very close semi-final between Wolverhampton & Rugeley last night went down to tie-breakers after a 2-2 draw. With each team securing 2 wins the first tie-breaker was also level with board count totalling 5-5 (Wolverhampton won on boards 1 & 4 while Rugeley won on boards 2 & 3). The 2nd tie-breaker removes the result of the boards in order from lowest upwards until a winner is found - so after eliminating the board 4 result Rugeley were the victors. Congratulations to them & commiserations to Wolverhampton after pushing them so close.

Rugeley will host Rushall in the 2021-2022 Chase Trophy Final.


19.1.22 EGM & Fixtures Meeting

9 of our 10 clubs were represented at a very productive meeting yesterday. The unrated player rule was discussed & clarified, then all proposals for the Spring 2022 Season Division set up were approved unanimously. Trophies were presented to the Division winners from the Autumn 2021 Season & the Chase Trophy draw was made. Minutes will follow to all clubs in due course.

Subsequently, 2022 fixture dates were agreed & with the unrepresented club arranging their fixtures promptly via email today, all have now been loaded onto the website.


13.1.22 Spring 2022 Season

We have a total of 10 clubs entering 22 teams across our 4 Divisions - our highest number of teams for several years. Each team will play all of their fixtures before the end of May. Subject to the Division set up being confirmed by the clubs, the match dates will be agreed in our Fixtures Meeting next Tuesday & will be loaded onto the ECF LMS site shortly afterwards. We will also make the draw for the Chase Trophy during the meeting.

All results/standings etc relating to the Autumn 2021 Season have now been archived in the Previous Seasons section of our ECF LMS site.


5.1.22 Robert Ward Trophy & Plate Competitions

The semi final line ups for both competitions are now set & can be found on the Cannock & District Chess League link on along with the Dolan Trophy fixtures. 


5.1.22 Autumn 2021 Season

The Season has now finished with the final game played last night. Thank you to everyone who has participated & helped make it so successful. Our Fixtures Meeting for the Spring 2022 Season is on Tuesday 18th January. League tables/results/individual performances etc can be seen on the Cannock & District Chess League link on  


20.12.21 Division 2

An extremely close finish to the Division 2 season has resulted in Lichfield B, Oscott & Rugeley tied on 8 points at the top of the table – so we go to tie-breakers to decide the winners. The head-to-head games between the three teams were Oscott 2-2 Rugeley, Rugeley 0.5-3.5 Lichfield B & Oscott 3-1 Lichfield B - so Oscott have 3 points, Lichfield B 2 points & Rugeley 1 point. Oscott are therefore the Division 2 Champions for the 2021 season. Congratulations to them & everyone involved.


10.12.21 Division 1

In the penultimate game of the Division 1 season Lichfield B hosted Tamworth last night needing to win to take the title, while a draw was enough for Tamworth. After an extremely hard fought match Lichfield B came out on top by the narrowest of margins - 2.5-1.5. Congratulations to everyone involved on the B side of Lichfield's teams & commiserations to Tamworth who ran them so close. Thank you also to the powers that be at Lichfield for supporting the League by entering & organising so many teams across all of our Divisions.

Every one of the 5 teams who competed in Division 1 has combined to make this the most competitive & interesting season for a number of years with 7 of the 9 games played so far finishing 2-2 or 2.5-1.5. With a higher rated top Division it's been wonderful to see so many of the best local players competing along side their club colleagues. Congratulations to all of the players/selectors/captains involved in making this such a successful Division 1 season. Hopefully we'll have more of the same in 2022.


3.12.21 Division 3

Congratulations to Stafford on winning Division 3 following last night's results. So far, they have won all 4 of their games, losing on just 1 board in the process. Well done to everyone involved at the club.


19.11.21 Ray Dolan Award

Ray Dolan award

The Staffordshire Chess Association has awarded CDCL President Ray Dolan the highest Accolade they could - the Staffordshire Chess Association Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2021 following 25 Years on the Committee. Ray has taken on several roles within the Association including General Secretary twice, County Captain, Tournament Secretary & Correspondence Secretary.

He has also been heavily involved in the CDCL since it's inception, enthusiastically taking on roles such as President, Publicity & Promotions Officer & General Secretary; & was a key member of the Midland Counties Chess Union for 24 years, while still finding time to run the Bloxwich Junior Chess Academy for 11 years. Congratulations Ray!


2.11.21 Individual Trophy Draws

The draws for the Robert Ward Trophy & Dolan Trophy have been made & can be seen on the Cannock & District Chess League link on  


31.10.21 Wolverhampton

New venue - Clarendon Hotel, 38 Chapel Ash, WV3 0TN. Parking in Brewery Road. Match times now 7.15pm. 


26.10.21 Fixtures Meeting for 2022 Season

This will be held at the Bridgtown Social Club at 7.30pm on Tuesday January 18th 2022. We will also hold an EGM on the same evening if it is necessary. All clubs will be asked to attend so that fixtures can be arranged for the 2022 season which will run from January until May 2022.


21.10.21 Dolan Trophy Final

Congratulations to Stephen Smithson from Lichfield for defeating Kieran Mills in the Dolan Trophy Final for 2019-2020.


10.10.21 Individual Trophy entries

Entries are now invited from any affiliated CDCL club players for the Robert Ward Trophy (no grading limit) & Dolan Trophy (under 1450 grade as at 1.9.21) for 2021-2022. The cut-off date for entries is 31.10.21 with the first round games to be played by 31.12.21. The competitions are run on a knock-out basis with the number of rounds dependent upon the number of entries received. Please email to enter or for further information.


23.9.21 Robert Ward Plate Final

Congratulations to Richard Bailey who defeated Paul Barrett yesterday to win the Robert Ward Plate Final for 2019-2020. Thank you to everyone who entered & we hope to get our Individual Competitions up & running for 2021-2022 once the Leagues are well underway.


14.9.21 EGM

We had a healthy attendance at the EGM where several matters were agreed upon. For the 2019-2020 season each attending club was given a vote & Division 3 Champions were Rugeley, while Oscott & Rugeley shared the Division 2 Title. The set up of the Autumn 2021 season was agreed as proposed & games will start shortly across all 3 Divisions, with 11 clubs & 19 teams competing.


30.8.21 EGM details 

The EGM has been booked in the small bar in the Bridgtown Social Club on Tuesday 14.9.21 at 7.30pm. It will be followed by a Fixtures Meeting immediately afterwards for our Autumn 2021 season. I'm pleased to confirm that we have at least 5 team entries in each of our 3 Divisions so we hope to have a very competitive season across the league.


24.8.21 Proposed League structure in Autumn 2021

Due to several requests from member clubs we intend to add an extra higher rated Division in Autumn 2021. Our previous proposals were for 2 Divisions with 6500 ECF & 5800 ECF limits, but now we'll also have a 7200 ECF limit Division as well - all subject to approval at our EGM on 14.9.21. We have asked for entries for all 3 Divisions to be emailed to the Records Secretary by the end of August. Thank you to those clubs who have already confirmed their intensions.

Details of the EGM will be shared with everyone shortly.


13.8.21  Update from 2019-2020 season

ROBERT WARD TROPHY – FINAL – David Gardiner v Nigel Byrne

Sadly, Nigel passed away in September 2020. David has kindly agreed that both players will be declared as joint winners in tribute to Nigel.

ROBERT WARD PLATE - FINAL – Paul Barrett v Richard Bailey (arranged for 22.9.21)

DOLAN TROPHY - FINAL – Kieran Mills v Stephen Smithson (arranged for 20.10.21)


As some clubs are unable to reopen we cannot complete Divisions 2 & 3. A decision will be made on how to recognise this in our EGM in September - details to follow. 

Players were asked if they wished to complete their games in the Robert Ward Plate & Dolan Trophy before the end of 2021.

Sutton Coldfield & Tamworth qualified for the Chase Trophy Final & have agreed to share the Trophy.