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Welcome to our chess club site! The club has been established for years . Originally 'The Lucas & Birmingham Settlement Chess Club' and 'The West Midlands Municipal Chess Club'. The two clubs merged in 2003 to form the Birmingham Settlement Chess Club. The Birmingham Settlement building that was used for a club room closed and we moved to St George's Church Russel house.

We have teams in Divisions 3 & 5 of the Birmingham and district chess league, and Divisions 1 & 2 of the Wolverhampton League. Our club caters for all standards from complete beginners to advanced players.

Our warm and friendly atmosphere for both competitive and leisure games is only matched with our love for the game! Visit us at Church Hall, St George's Church, Bridge Street West, Newtown, B19 2YX.

2 June 2015

How to stop making blunders during your chess game

You had an excellent opening, controlled the board and dominated all your opponent's pieces. The middlegame looked easy, you had a clear strategy and detailed plan, all the tactics seemed to work in your favour, you slowly began tightening the noose. The victim already had a look of dread and disgust at the sight of the imminent siege. Victory was almost certain. But then it happened, just as your attack was about to begin, you overlooked your opponent's minor threat and left a piece en prise! You blundered! With new hope, your opponent fortifies his position, swaps down, and soon the game is lost.

For every chess player, this story is all too familiar. The truth is 'Everyone makes mistakes! ...but only champions learn from them.' Here are two videos that are particularly helpful for minimising such errors in your game.

Middlegame Training

Play the opening like a book, the middle game like a magician, and the endgame like a machine.
The famous words of Rudolf Spielmann. As we're well aware, chess mastery involves the mastery of all three phases of the game. With the acquisition of specific skills, a deeper understanding of the concept of chess is created.

For many, the middlegame has posed a challenge. With so many pieces on the board, the choice of moves are numerous and the risk of blunders abundant. To improve, players require the right system of thinking on finding the correct move. The study of 'irrelevant' chess literature can prove to be counterproductive; practice is important!

I came across this YouTube video series on Middlegame training. Have a go at all the days and see what you can learn.

19 February 2015

How to improve at chess for beginners

There are thousands of materials on development in chess and it seems quite challenging to filter the good from the best (not to mention the bad!). There are various levels of development and certain materials are appropriate for each stage.

Thankfully, going from beginner level (knowing how to move) to competent (being able to beat other beginners consistently) is quite easy! Development shouldn't be a capital intensive project. Here's a few hints on what's worked for me:

  1. Get a good chess program with audio/video tutorials: Depending on your learning preference (i.e. auditory, visual or kinesthetic) this could be the best tool at your disposal for chess development. The choice of program should also have lots of practice material.
  2. Focus on basic chess principles, laws, and concepts: Areas to work on include basic opening, basic endgames, basic checkmate patterns, the center, tactics, weaknesses, & outposts. You'll be amazed at your improvement.
  3. Play with stronger opponents: It feels really good to win. Chances are you'll lose a lot of games playing stronger opponents, but it's far more important to have a champion's mentality in all your games - a loss is nothing more than an opportunity to learn :)
  4. Have Fun: Pleasure is a far stronger motivating factor than pain. Enjoy what you do and you'll develop a lot faster.

7 February 2015

Member Rankings

Name Standard Previous
Besedin, Pavel 208 199
Padilla Cabero, Pablo 192 191
Smyth, Martin D 165 165
Draper, Adam GA 164 160
Collier, Lee E 162 155
Hope, Gary 156 158
Osondu, Victor 152 156
Lunn, John 137 130
Bricknell, Rob 135 133
Tallis, Mark E 135 142
Maddocks, Phil 133 139
Wise, Ken 129 127
Stockhall, Derek A 127 129
Johnson, Lennie 122 123
McKeown, A 117 120
Llewelyn, John D 114 108
Griffin, Chris E 106 112
Gough, Roy T 100 101
Hodkinson, Peter 100 102
Dyson, Phil 93 99
Willmott, Les 82 85

7 April 2012

Club Officials

Chris Griffin

John Lunn

John Lunn
BDCL Team 1 Captain

Ken Wise
BDCL Team 2 Captain

Phil Maddocks
WDCL Team 1 Captain

Ken Wise
WDCL Team 2 Captain