Player of the Month – September 2014

My player of the month for September is Mike Hankinson of Sheffield.

Mike was unbeaten in the recent Bradford Congress to tie for second place despite being 18th highest rated player in the competition. He followed that by winning his Woodhouse Cup match against Bradford’s Swiss FM Matthias Gantner who was rated over 50 points higher than Mike at the start of the season.

The Bradford Congress threw up a few more notable candidates.

Peter Rooney scored 3.5/5 in the Open and has since scored 3 out of 3 in the various league matches for his club teams. Chris Wright had an unbeaten score to equal Pete with 3.5 in the Bradford open and he has started the season with 2.5/3 in his club league games.

Bradford Major winner Ian Barwick couldn’t keep his excellent run going and lost to Andrew Hards in the Sheffield league. David Lord from Bridlington has added 7 grading points to his tally thanks to his performance in the Bradford Major while fellow Major prize winner, Firaz Almazedi of Leeds, has added 6 grading points to his Chessnuts rating.

Jon Mahony and Gonzalo Shoobridge receiving their prize from Peter Purland.

Jon Mahony and Gonzalo Shoobridge receiving their prize from Peter Purland.

Gonzalo Shoobridge shared the minor title with Jon Mahony of Leeds. Gonzalo, a former Bradford chess organiser, is now with Surbiton chess club. Jon has not been able to continue his great record into his opening league games.

Derrick Mason of Shipley was one of the big gains from the Bradford congress earning 7 points from his efforts. Derrick also drew with IM Andrew Ledger at the Bradford Chesstival. Nigel Redmond was steady but not spectacular at the Congress but his league form since has been excellent as he has won his first three matches.

Martin Carpenter and his brother James have both started their season well with their clubs in York scoring 2.5/3 and 2/2 respectively. Both have added 5 grading points to their chessnuts ratings already.

Balwir Singh of Bradford College has started with 2/2 to gain 5 rating points in September.

Paul Whitehouse of Brighouse has gained 6 rating points for his 100% start to the season .


Former Yorkshire Chess Association President and Secretary. I'm not the brains of the editorial team but I can live with being a glorified typist as well as the resident grammar pedant. I have captained Bradford A in the Woodhouse cup for over 30 years. I'm fairly easy going, sometimes diplomatic and I think my enthusiasm is infectious but not life threatening. The English chess world needs to wake up and smell the coffee before league chess collapses altogether.

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6 Responses to “Player of the Month – September 2014”

  1. Martin Carpenter

    Oct 08. 2014

    Mike has previous with Opens – winning York in 2013. Impressive.

    My 2.5/3 has comprised one draw so dull it’d have got us thrown out of at least a few tournaments together with two games where I’ve been comfortably +/- after ~15 moves.

    Really not terribly glorious stuff :)
    (Just noticed that Jon has started rating open county matches on chessnuts.).

    Reply to this comment
    • Matt

      Oct 08. 2014

      Very nice start to the season Martin!

      I was witness to Hankinson v Gantner slugfest so on the contrary to your opening encounters thus far.

      Best of luck on Saturday.

      Reply to this comment
      • Martin Carpenter

        Oct 09. 2014

        Or even today. The York league schedule seems set on making us complete our matches by the end of October! Gets us an early lead in the table at least :)
        (We are due some big gaps to compensate.).

        I do prefer proper fights but of course you tend to get – and give! – several presents a season, and they can cluster. I got given fairly outrageous amounts of early material that season I went 10/11.

        Reply to this comment
        • Matt

          Oct 09. 2014

          I know exactly what you mean.

          Not to name names here but very recently a player who I’ve always admired just fell apart in game against me in a very unexpected way. I think my new grade is having a much bigger psychological impact on my opponents play than I ever expected.

          I was actually analysing my games with my coach last night and he guessed the strength of the player mentioned as roughly 150, when in fact he’s been around 200 for over ten years!

          Reply to this comment
          • Martin Carpenter

            Oct 09. 2014

            It’ll happen :) Probably more likely to be in terms of getting away with draws than wins over time.

            Myself I seem to do well enough up until titled players – outplayed some of the time of course but that’s a risk! – then rather fall apart amid silly blunders.

  2. James Carpenter

    Oct 08. 2014

    Fame at last, and all it took was a schedule that means I was actually playing some chess in September :). Mind you I notice the Woodhouse schedule’s a little eventful too!

    Great run by Mike though, it’s always nice to read through these summaries of who’s doing well.

    Reply to this comment

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