The 22nd Heywood, Lancashire, Chess Congress

June 18-19 2016

Germans, Poles, Irish, Scottish, Welsh – no, not Euro 2016, Heywood Chess Congress!

This year the Heywood Chess Congress showed a 5% increase in numbers, swelled by the biennial visit of our twin town chess players from Peine, Germany. Add to that a first visit for many years from our own friendly grandmaster Keith Arkell. And finally the icing on the cake, Heywood’s own Rochdale Mayor Ray Dutton and wife Elaine gave out all the prizes to the winners.

Heywood Civic Hall was full again for two days, attracting visitors to Heywood from as far as Barrow, Chester, Cwmbran, Glasgow, London, Penrith, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Stoke, Sunderland, Torquay and York, alongside many Heywood and Lancashire players.

The VAN LEEUWEN WHEELER OPEN had a tough field, but grandmaster Keith Arkell showed complete mastery to win outright. This created a record for Keith of 7 consecutive outright weekend open wins, winning here with 4.5/5. Heywood’s 13 year old Nugith Jayawarna played in the Open for the first time and was not out of place.

An incredibly competitive HEYWOOD TOWNSHIP MAJOR first place had to be shared by SIX players! Right up to the last few seconds on Sunday evening it appeared we would have an outright winner. Many times visitor Jeurgan Garbuszus of Peine won one of the grading prizes.

The LINK4LIFE INTERMEDIATE was dominated by Yorkshiremen. Thomas Wenderhals and Henrik Schmidt of Peine both won grading prizes.

However Peine’s greatest success was in the ANTONIN WELEMINSKY Minor. Young Sebastian Limbock shared first prize (to his and his parent’s obvious delight!). And he was joined on the winner’s rostrum by fellow visitors, father and son, Stefan and Artur Kuck, who won grading prizes. Heywood players will have to put in a good performance in Peine next year to match their players excellent performance this year.

For a long time it looked as though Heywood was going to mop up the prizes in the KUMON MATHS & ENGLISH Novice, with Peter Hurn, Scott Ramsbottom, Bill Walton and Dave Thorp hovering around the top boards throughout the competition. Sadly things went against our players in the last half hour.

Organiser Bill O’Rourke said "Heywood Congress continues to pull players from all over the country as well as locally and regionally. It really does raise awareness of our town. Without our sponsors, this event could not take place – many many thanks to Van Leeuwen Wheeler Steel tubes of Bury, Heywood Township and Kumon Maths & English from Heywood."

Next year’s chess congress at Heywood will be take place on June 17-18 2017. The Heywood Chess Club continues to meet at the Hopwood Sport’s Club on Wednesdays at 7.30.




1st Keith Arkell 4.5/5 £300

2nd= Mike Surtees (Bolton) and David Walker (Leam Lane) 3.5/5 £120 each

U187 Grading Prize: Kamil Celinski 3/5 £20.


1st= Mitchell Burke (3 Cs), Jacob Boswell (Leek), Greg Eagleton (Huddersfield), Mark Whitehead (Rochdale), Mick Riding (Tynemouth) and Kit Hopkins (Lancashire) 3.5/5 £90 each

Grading Prizes: U171 Chris Vassiliou (Chorlton) and U163 Jeurgan Garbuszus (Peine) £20 each


1st= John Cawston (Yorkshire) and Tom Leah (York University) 4/5 £185 each

3rd= Colin Proctor (York Copper Works), David Patrick (Todmorden) and Graham Ashcroft (Preston) 3.5/5 £26.66 each

Grading Prizes: U155 Mick Connor (Great Lever), Martin Gawne (Barrow) and Richard Desmedt (Wombwell) 2.5/5 £6.66 each; U147 Sam Davies (Tiger Chess), Rich Wiltshir (Rushall), Thomas Wenderhals (Peine) and Henrik Schmidt (Peine) 3/5 £5 each


1st= Richard Gavin (Oldham) and Sebastian Limbock (Peine) 4.5/5 £185 each

3rd= Ian Mackay (Austin Friars) and David Buckell (Clitheroe) 4/5 £40 each

Grading Prizes: U129 David Peardon (Hetton Lyons), Artur Kuck (Peine) and Steve Burge (Atticus) 3.5/5 £6.66 each, U116 Stefan Kuck (Peine) 3.5/5 £20, U107 Paul Doherty (Bolton), Alexander Sosnowski (Eccles) and Steve Rush 3/5 £6.66 each


1st Ken Parkin (Enigma) 4.5/5 £120

2nd= Terry Sullivan (Hebden Bridge) and Eric Lesnick (Denton) 4/5 £45 each

Puzzle Competition Winner: Bob Newton (Rochdale) £10

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