League teams: fixtures and results

The Letchworth and Hitchin club runs a number of teams in local Hertfordshire leagues. The teams for the 2018-19 season include: First team;   Second team;  Third team;    U120 team

News headlines:

5 November 2018: Our third team lost to Royston 0.5-4.5. Full match report. 

22 October 2018:  Our U160 side beat Stevenage 3-3 on tie break in first round of the Sharp Trophy.   Full match report below.

8 October 2018:   Our team beat Stevenage 5.5 - 0.5 in the first round of Hertfordshire's Open knock out competition (competing for the Russell Trophy). Full match report below. 

8 October 2018:   Our third team is currently drawn 2-2 with St Albans 5th team with one game left to play to a finish (Match report below)

1 October 2018:  Our first team wins against our second team in Division Two (but it was harder than they expected). Full match report below. 

Match reports:
5 November 2018: Match report
A weakened Letchworth and Hitchin 3 side hosted Royston on Bonfire night and were beaten 0.5-4.5.  The match was more tightly fought then the scoreline would suggest, but newly promoted Royston have a strong squad (having lost only once last season) and easily outgraded us on all boards. Tom Walsh's game was the pick of the bunch, with both kings under attack throughout.
22 October 2018: Match report
The 22nd October saw our U-160 side pitted against Stevenage in the 1st round of the Sharp Trophy. We started with a bonus default on board 3 when Mark's opponent failed to arrive, and there was than the usual ebb and flow on the remaining boards. On top board Ian drew when he got his move order wrong in the opening and the hoped-for attack never materialised. Meanwhile Alison couldn't quite bridge the grading gap to her experienced opponent, who captains the county U-160 side. So it was all to play for on the remaining 3 boards. On board 2, Jon was a piece ahead and seemed set fair for an easy win, but Tom on board 4 was a pawn down in a N ending. On 6, Darko had set up an impregnable-looking barrier against a much higher rated opponent. But Jon's heavy pieces proved hard to co-ordinate and the possibility of a draw loomed. On the other hand Tom had trapped his opponent's N and was trying to round up his advancing pawns. But eventually one found it's way to the 8th, and the game was lost. But Darko forced the draw and we all focussed on Jon's game where his opponent had the chance to take it into a very tough ending. Fortunately he missed the key square and Jon pounced, winning the Queen and the game. The 3-3 draw saw us go through on board count. We play St Albans in the semis.
8 October 2018: Match report
Letchworth and Hitchin 3rd team (L&H3) commenced their Herts League campaign with a trip to St Albans on 8 October 2018. This was a repeat of the final fixture of last season that Letchworth had narrowly lost 3-2. A further close match ensued, and at the end of the night, it was 1.5 points each (Tom Walsh winning for Letchworth), with Boards 1 and 2 still playing. A few days later, a draw was agreed on Board 1, meaning that Board 2 will be resumed on 3 December, with Tom Coates from Letchworth, as black, a pawn ahead in a late middle game position against the St Albans captain, Ray Claret. So we have reasonable hopes of an opening the season with a 3-2 win.


8 October 2018:  Match report
The first round of Hertfordshire's Open knock-out competition - the Russell Trophy - was played against our traditional local rivals Stevenage on 8 October 2018 at their home venue. Unlike in the league, all games must finish on the night, meaning that time can become an even more important factor.  On paper, our team were slightly stronger than Stevenage's, so we were hopeful for a win coming into the match - but the outcome was much better than we'd dared dream of!  On board 6, Ian Mutton was much better out of the opening against Chris Majer and although he made things slightly difficult for himself, the win was never in real doubt. On board 5, Ian Nelson (playing Black against Frank Trethewey) was under some pressure early on, but never looked like losing and eventually turned the game in his favour. Tim Thurstan on board 4 looked to play a strong game against Stephen Rawlings - at one point it seemed that his opponent might just hold on but again Tim was able to pull out a win. Tony Ball's game on board 3 against Dominic Robinson was complex and finished in what looked like a logical draw. Francis Parker on board 2 bamboozled Nathan Gittens in an off-beat opening and won relatively easily - his opponent said after the game that he hasn't had a challenge quite like that for a while. On board 1, Matt Fletcher built up a dominant position early in his game against Giampiero Amato, but burned a lot of time trying to find a win, whilst his opponent hung on tenaciously. By around move 40, the position on the board was actually in Amato's favour, but there was virtually no time on either player's clock. With all 10 other players watching, the game blitzed to a finish - Matt playing a check with 2 seconds on his clock, and Giampiero playing an illegal move with 4 seconds on his. After briefly checking the rules (which would have added 2 minutes to the Letchworth & Hitchin clock), the Stevenage player resigned to give us a resounding 5.5-0.5 win. The next round of the cup will be at home to Little Heath who have a very strong team, with an International Master (John Pigott) likely to be playing on board 1.
1st October 2018:  Match report
Last season, after a good battle against higher rated opposition, our 1st team dropped back to Div 2 of the Herts League, whilst the 2nd team managed to grab promotion from Div 3. Tradition demands that teams from the same club should meet early on in the season, and so it was that 1st and 2nd faced off in Div 2 at The Settlement on 1st October. It was quite a tussle and around 10pm the 2nd even dared think of an unlikely victory. Mark Harris and David Cox had promising positions on Boards 5 and 4 against vs Tony Ball and Tim Thurstan respectively, whilst on Board 2 Matt Fletcher, having carefully avoided an opening trap that had once snared Topalov, was under a little bit of pressure from opposition captain Ian Mutton. But things soon swung to the stronger team, Jon Barnes being bested on Board 3 by Chris Hunt, and David losing when his flag fell. Ian went astray and at the adjournment that game was level and Francis Parker held a small advantage on top board over a resilient Ian Nelson. As Mark had a significant material plus on Board 5, and analysis confirmed equality on the top two boards, these results were agreed, giving the 1st Team a hard fought 3-2 win.