Player of the month – October 2015

Player of the month

My first player of the month for the season is Ian Thackray, a Bradford chess club colleague. Ian was a winner of the Scarborough Minor but also had a bumper pay day at the Pokerstars Isle of Man tournament earlier in the month. Ian has added 9 points to his live rating from the start of a season in an unbeaten run of 12 games.

There have been one or two glitches on the Chessnuts site but thankfully they appear to be recording results again.

James Adair seems to be showing good form with his only recorded loss to GM Mark Hebden. James also had a great result in the European Club Cup top scoring for the White Rose with 5 out of 7 while facing some of the world’s best opponents.

Miles Edwards-Wright has hit a purple patch for October winning 5 games in a row to put him over 183 on the live rating list.

Jim Burnett, the new Yorkshire Chess Association President, has been pretty prolific. He won the Castle Chess in Harrogate and has played a whopping 25 graded games in Yorkshire since the start of the season. Colin Procter is another recently retired player who is spending more time playing chess. He managed to win the Major in the Castle Chess tournament and he’s played 23 games in September and October scoring a creditable 74%.

Tony Slinger remained unbeaten throughout 11 games in October and in his last 19.

IM Simon Ansell

IM Simon Ansell

It is really nice to see another International Master playing regularly in Yorkshire. Simon Ansell has joined the Minster Inn and has two wins under his belt already against very strong opposition. Watch out for Daniel Staples. He is another new player to the region and is enjoying playing some chess in the York league. He has a couple of great scalps to his season and currently boasts a YCA live rating of 233 from 4 wins.

I also noticed that Richard Allis of York and Moortown has won an impressive 15 of his last 16 games. Andrew Bak also has had an excellent recent run with 12 wins in his last 14 games.

In the Calderdale league we see Darwin Ursal’s 3 out of 3 has pushed his team Halifax close to the top of the table. Standing above them are Todmorden A who boast 3 players with 100% records for their team this season, Martyn Hamer, Andrew Clarkson and Dave Patrick. Adam Lang has started with 5 out of 5 this season to help Bradford Knights with their Bradford league title defence.


The start of the season often sees a number of shock results and this year is no exception.

Paul Masiak played in the York chess club championship and pulled off a victory against a player 50 points higher.

Jon Mahony of Leeds beat a player 43 points higher than him in the Leeds league but that was his one glowing beacon in a mixed start for him. Former Yorkshire league secretary, Stuart Johnson, has also had a mixed start but he can add the scalp of someone graded 42 points higher to his early season victims.

Dave Young has had one or two good results this year but his best was overcoming a player 41 points above him on the grading list. Mac Randhawa in Calderdale and Howard Brears in the Jorvik tournament can also boast victories over players 40 points above them. Mac has another victory against a player 36 points higher too. Simon Jones of Bradford again appears on the giant killer list, this time overcoming a points difference of 39.

These are the best results I’ve noticed so far but if your club colleague or an opponent boasts an excellent record in Yorkshire please let me know.

The feature photograph and the photograph on this page courtesy of Fiona Steil-Antoni, see more on Facebook

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.


9 Responses to “Player of the month – October 2015”

  1. Matthew Webb

    Nov 06. 2015

    Well done Ian! Awesome results.

    Great to see these posts back, always very interesting reading. Thanks Ig.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Martin Carpenter

    Nov 06. 2015

    25 Yorkshire grades games already? Dedicated :)

    Amusing how Daniel got his rating that high – a large chunk of it is by beating Gavyn Cooper who has a live grade over 210 just now too.

    Daniel’s grade probably shouldn’t actually be quite that high but chessnuts seems to have lost his games from the Jorvik congress. He did quite well there but still!

    Jon’s grades for new players are inevitably very jumpy of course. Daniel/Gavyn are both ~185 ECF.

    Still I guess it all helps make our squad look more intimidating ;)

    Reply to this comment
  3. Matthew Webb

    Nov 06. 2015

    I think it’s also worth noting Peter Shaw’s awesome start to the season…

    +14 =7 -1

    Play a little less, study a little more, Peter would be absolutely formidable! :-)

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kevin winter

    Nov 06. 2015

    Well deserved Ian. Me and Gonzalo Shoobridge winning the British Rapidplay in the Inter and Minor is not bad.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Eric Gardiner

    Nov 06. 2015

    Well done to all mentioned! For some reason I can’t see Daniel Staples’ on the Chessnuts site if I search for him directly. I’ve now found him indirectly by searching for Gavyn Cooper (btw I’m hoping to see a Cooper vs Cooper game with identical live grades but it probably wont’ happen! :) )

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Nov 06. 2015

      Jon might be hiding it – I think he doesn’t always add people until they’ve had a few games? They certainly don’t count at full weight vs other peoples grades for a bit.

      Think you’d have had a fair shot last season when Gavyn was playing for York B, it’d take a slightly frightening Hull team to manage it this season :)

      Reply to this comment
      • Eric Gardiner

        Nov 07. 2015

        Was thinking more of Gavyn Cooper moving up to Bd 1 rather than John C moving down … but maybe you’ll have him on Bd 8 against us :) ? There are congresses of course where it could happen!

        Reply to this comment
        • Martin Carpenter

          Nov 07. 2015

          Suspect either 1 or 8 a bit unlikely….

          Talking of huge live grades – I just noticed that Simon Ansell was on 252 live after two games ;) Should be saner after the draw today of course. Could be a record for chessnuts.

          Staples has also lost to Paul Townsend in the York evening league, so that’s another grade brought down to earth a bit.

          Reply to this comment


  1. Yorkshire Post Article 4 - 7th November 2015 - Yorkshire Chess | Yorkshire Chess - November 11, 2015

    […] Player of the Month Ian Thackray added to his success in the Isle of Man by finishing joint 1st in the Minor with Stephen Crockett and Dave Stebbings. Paul Gelder (Alwoodley) finished joint 4th. The Foundation saw the only 5/5 performance by Pawel Szutowski. Kenneth Parkin (Bradford) and Luke Stockham (Sheffield) were among those in the 9-way tie for 2nd. […]

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