Before Newport Chess Club was regenerated there was Newport Greens. John O’Reilly was the eldest of three brothers who lived at Turreff Avenue, Donnington. All three were fine players who learned the game at Adams Grammar at Newport and the former GKN Sankey Club. Middle brother Michael drifted away from the game to hockey in his teens so some great potential was lost. The youngest and best, Gerard, probably ranks with John Cox and Charlie Morris as the best of our post-war home-grown talent. They were the key constituents when Newport Greens was formed and when Newport first won the division 1 championship in the mid 1960s and again in 1970. The team consisted entirely of Adams Grammar School boys.
County Individual Victory - John O'Reilly 1964 & 1967
John O'Reilly won the country individual title as a schoolboy in 1964 beating the veteran Chesterman in a beautifully mature positional game. He entered again in 1967 drawing in the final with Dr.Gemmell. Below is John's winning match in 1964:
O'Reilly,F - Chesterman,A - Shropshire Championship Final, 1964
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 Be7 6.Rc1 0–0 7.Nf3 c6 8.Qc2 h6 9.Bh4 a6 10.Bd3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Bd3 Nf6 15.h3 Bd7 16.Ne5 Be8 17.Qc5 Qxc5 18.Rxc5 Nd7 19.Nxd7 Bxd7 20.b4 Rae8 21.Kd2 g6 22.a4 Kg7 23.b5 axb5 24.axb5 b6 25.Rc3 cxb5 26.Rc7! Bc8 27.Bxb5 Rd8 28.Rhc1 Kf6 29.R1c6+ Be6 30.Rxb6 Ra8 31.Rc2 Ra1 32.Ke2 Kg5 33.Bd3 Rg8 34.Kf3 h5 35.Rc5! Kh4 36.Rb1 Rxb1 37.Bxb1 Rb8 38.Ba2 Rd8 39.Kf4 f6 40.Rc6 g5+ 41.Kf3 g4+ 42.hxg4 Bxg4+ 43.Kf4 f5 44.Rc1 There is no defence to 45 Rh1+ and mate next move - a pleasing finish. 1–0
Another dangerous Junior - Warren Lewis 1969
Warren Lewis is the only player we are aware of who played for both Newport Greens and Newport Chess Club. Here is one of his matches as a junior back in 1969 where he demonstrates his knowledge of opening theory.
Duffy, M - Lewis,W - Shropshire v Warwickshire Bd 14, 1969
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2 Be7 Not supposed to be as good as 9...Nc5 for example but Lewis was armed with a nasty trap from what was then Larsen's new booklet on the Ruy Lopez Open Variation. 10.Rd1 0–0 11.c4 bxc4 12.Bxc4 Qd7 13.Bxa6? [He bites! Best was 13.Nc3 Nxc3 14.bxc3 f6 15.exf6 Bxf6 16.Bg5 Fischer-Ree 1970] 13...Nc5 14.Bc4 Na5 15.Bd3 Nab3! The point 16.Nc3 Nxa1 17.Bb1 c6 18.Ng5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5 Bg4 20.f3 Bh5 21.g4 Bg6 22.Bxg6 hxg6 0–1
Sadly Warren passed away, shortly after returning to the club following a leave of absense of 45 years.
First league title - 1970
Newport Greens were on of the only junior team to actually win the league title, picking up the trophy in 1970. The winning team consisted of Gerard O'Reilly, Warren Lewis, Peter Griffiths, Mark Whitmore, Graham Jones.
For an unknown reason the club folded at some point in the 1970's.
Newport Chess Club was reformed in the late 1980's at its present venue, The Royal British Legion, by two players from Shifnal Chess Club; Danny Griffiths and Klaus Waschmutt. An advert was put in the local Newport Advertiser for anyone interested in playing chess to meet on its first night and several attended. Klaus kindly donated the chess sets and boards to get us going and we soon had enough players to enter our first team into the Shropshire League. The club gradually grew in numbers with many times Shropshire Champion Nick Rutter soon joining from Telford Chess Club and before long the club could field second and third teams. Following on from our historic roots Newport contrinued to activitly encourage Juniors and over the years those Juniors turned out to be some of the strongest players in the club, working their way up into the A teams by sixth form before disappearing to university and occassionally returning.
The A team have won Division one many times in various forms whilst the other teams have held their own across all divisions providing the entry level new players require. The club hoped to continue to carry on growing whilst never losing it's friendly relaxed atmosphere that has kept it's members returning for decades.
In 1999 the Coddon empire disintigrated. Carl Portman and Richard Archer joined Nick Rutter, Tony Holdford, and John Jeggo to take the title to Newport.
The Cox Trophy (summer cup) was shared more widely. Newport won four times including three consecutive wins 1993 to 1995 and also 1999 with a team including Nick Rutter, Phil Darmanin, Tony Holdford, John Jeggo, and Mark Hubbuck.
The County Individual Championship was won three times each by Nick Rutter and Trevor Brotherton (one shared), twice by David Gostelow, and once each by Nigel Ferrington (shared), Carl Portman, and John Jeggo.
N.J.Rutter - Six Times County Champion
Nick Rutter moved to Shropshire in 1988 joining the Telford club before moving to Newport.. He won his first title in 1989 and went on to become the dominant player on the county scene up to the present time. He repeated his success in 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000 and again in 2005, whilst also enjoying success in tournaments both local and national, including results against several titled players.He has also made a major contribution to chess administration working as County Grading Officer and in running the County Championships. Sadly a flood at his home in 2001 destroyed all of his chess records. Can anyone supply a contemporary gamescore please? Meanwhile here is a more recent game.
Rutter,N - Ferrington,N - Shropshire Individual Championship, 2003
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0–0–0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.g5 Bxd4 13.Rxd4 Bb7 14.Bxb5 This is a bit risky because black gains a tempo attacking the loose rook.. 14...axb5 15.Nxb5 Qb6 16.Nxd6+ Ke7 17.Qe3 Rxa2 18.Nc8+ Bxc8 19.Rxd7+ Kxd7 20.Qxb6 Ra1+ 21.Kd2 Rxh1 22.Qd4+ Kc7 23.Qc5+ Kb8 24.Qd6+ Ka8 #Blacks two rooks and a bishop are far superior to white's lone queen. However, blacks pieces are not well co-ordinated, his king is exposed and his pawns are weak The position was too interesting
Thomas Pym in Ampleforth - 2nd November 2003
An entry of 90 of the UK’s best young chess players of both sexes were drawn to North Yorkshire for the Ampleforth Junior Masters, proving in its fourth year to have become established as the effective British junior championship. First prize is worth more than £20,000 including a two-year scholarship to attend Ampleforth College’s mixed sixth form as a boarder.
Success is no stranger to Thomas Pym, a student at Adams Grammar School, Newport. In July he won the Under 13 British Championship, which he has won twice before for his age group and once come second. This year he has represented England in the Czech Republic and in two weeks’ time he will be playing in the European Community Championship in Graz, Austria.
Peter Turner, Director of Junior Chess at the British Chess Federation, said: "The Ampleforth Junior Masters has rapidly become the major championship for British juniors. It brings together the very best young players, so the incentive to win is as much about players’ reputations as about the generous and imaginative support from Ampleforth College. It is a tournament which like no other creates all the conditions of top level competition, and is thus invaluable experience for promising youngsters." BCF
On Sunday 2nd November 2003 the biggest prize in British chess was won at Ampleforth College by a 13-year-old boy from Shropshire.
After six rounds of play over four days in the Ampleforth Junior Masters tournament, four boys were on the same score, forcing an unprecedented four-way blitz play off. After two extra rounds, each limited to ten minutes, Thomas Pym, of Boughey Road, Newport, Shropshire, emerged victorious over Josiah Lutton, 15, of Whitmore Way, Basildon, Essex, to claim the Ampleforth Trophy and £1000 prize money. He qualifies for a two-year scholarship to the school’s sixth form and an automatic place in the British Chess Championship next summer
Grammar School Host UK International
Talented youngsters from across the midlands descended on a Newport school weekend commencing 15th January 2005 when it hosted a prestigious chess tournament. A field of 37 players from 16 schools across the region were at Adams’ Grammar School when it hosted the area final of the UK Chess International. And there was home support for five of the players, who are pupils at the school. Chris Lewis and Alex Taylor Made it into the under 14 competition while Max Baulf went from the earlier rounds in the under 13 competition. Joe Pym, under 18, and Huw Davenport, under 12, also got through from round one, which took place over half term in October. The young chess champs were competing for a place in the international final to be held at Easter.
Adams Grammar School pupils Chris Lewis, 14, left, Alex Taylor, 14, top right, and Max Baulf, 13, with maths teacher and former National Chess Champion of Jamaica Ryan Palmer, preparing for the tournament
Newport's narrow escape - 21/04/09
Newport A have escaped the drop from Division One in dramatic fashion, sending down Telepost B in their place who are on equal points but have an inferior ‘goal difference'.
Newport needed to beat Oswestry A by 0.5-4.5 to guarantee being able to stay up and, with Tom Pym and Alex Taylor seemingly struggling, the prospects looked bleak.But both those games turned around and the upshot was that they got just the 0.5-4.5 result they needed, meaning that Telepost B's 4-1 victory over already-relegated Church Stretton was to no avail.
However, it was a special move in a previous match that gave Newport a fighting chance of staying up.
With the scores tied 2-2 in the encounter between Telepost B and Newport, Bob Simpson, with the white pieces, had the pictured position against Newport's Nick Rutter. With Simpson having a pawn close to queening, Rutter had his back to the wall.
Can you see the move Rutter made which defused the immediate threats? And, for a change, we're going to make a competition out of it. As a prize, we're giving a chess book donated by Mrs Val Lindley of Madeley. It comes from the chess library of her late husband Bryan, who set up Stirchley Chess Club in the 1970s, and was also heavily involved in primary schools chess and for that reason we¹re restricting entries to under-11s.
Guess what Rutter played, and then send the move to: Toby Neal, Chess Column, Shropshire Star, Ketley, Telford, Shropshire TF1 5HU, giving your age and postal address. The winner will be drawn from a hat.
The prize will be one of Mr Lindley's old books, appropriate to a junior player.
Meanwhile Richard Bryant's success on the congress trail continues. The Telepost player's latest glory came at the Bolton Easter Congress, where he shared first prize in the Major section - it was a five-way split with a score of four points out of five.
Success for young Shropshire stars - 14/09/2010
One of the rising young stars of Shropshire chess, Athar Mehmood, has scored an international success. Athar, who is barely into his teens, plays for the Newport club. He took part in the Abu Dhabi chess tournament and won six of his seven games to take second place in a very strong under-16s section, winning 1,500 dirham and receiving a medal and certificate of merit.
Meanwhile another young Shropshire star has notched up success a lot closer to home. Coddon player Nathanael Paul went to the Leamington Spa rapidplay where he was outright winner in the section for players graded under 150, with a score of 5.5 out of six games. For his efforts Nat came away with some plunder - a first prize of £150.
Nick Rutter vs Nigel Short - 16/10/11
Church Stretton win Cox Trophy - 05/06/2012
Church Stretton A won the final of the summer cup competition, the Cox Trophy, beating higher-rated Newport A by 2.5-1.5 in a match played at a neutral venue, the Telepost club in Shrewsbury.
Early wins for Tiago Faustino and Karl Wakefield put Church Stretton 2-0 ahead. Faustino managed to extricate his queen and evade Nathanael Paul’s attempts to trap it and emerged two pawns up to continue an unbeaten run stretching back to his first matches for the Stretton club in January. An exchange sacrifice by Nick Rutter on board one broke through for a fatal attack on Trevor Brotherton’s king, leaving Stretton Captain Steve Rooney needing at least a draw in the final game against Gavyn Cooper, as a match tie of 2-2 would have given the match to Newport under the countback rules. In the last encounter between the two at the start of the league season, Rooney won in a tense time scramble, and this game also went to the wire.
Rooney reports “Gavyn turned down one draw offer but eventually realised he couldn’t break through and offered one himself when we were both down to the last five minutes.”
Full result: Church Stretton 2.5 Newport A 1.5 - T Brother 0, N Rutter 1; S Rooney 0.5, G Cooper 0.5; T Faustino 1, N Paul 0; K Wakefiled 1, C Lewis 0
involve captured pieces being put back on the board.
Newport are 2014 Quickplay champions - 01/06/14
Newport are Shropshire’s new quick-on-the-draw chess champions after scoring a convincing victory in the county’s annual rapid play tournament.
The Newport team took the trophy in decisive style, ending the hopes of Shrewsbury-based Telepost of scoring a hat-trick. Telepost had taken the title in the two previous years but the Newprt outfit f Nick Rutter, Gavyn Cooper, Nathanael Paul, Simon Maydew, and Chris Lewis were just too strong for the opposition, going through the tournament unbeaten.
They topped the table in the league stage and then saw off Telepost 4.5-0.5 in the semi-final. In the other semi-final Shrewsbury beat Telford 3-2, setting up a final between Newport and Shrewsubry.
Newport went into a 2-0 lead but then Matt best pulled a point back for Shrewsbury to raise the tension. Chris Lewis’ win against Ivor Salter on bottom board, however, put the issue beyond doubt.
Six teams entered the competition and players had to complete all moves of the game in 25 minutes.
The tournament was held at the Wrekin Housing Trust in Telford.
Organiser Toby Neal said “Newport were worthy winners on the day and few teams got any change from them. Chess at these time limits can get very frenetic which is all part of the gun”.
Full result in the final was: Newport 3.5, Shrewsbury 1.5: N. Rutter 0.5, F. Best 0.5; G. Cooper 1, D. Everington 0; N. Paul 1, D. Lockett 0; S. Maydew 0, M. Best 1; C. Lewis 1, I Salter 0.