Next Club meetings

Please don’t park on the tennis club car park. Park on the road. Thanks.

The club meets Tuesday’s from 19.30 from September to end of May

Bristol League Season 2022/23 starting on 5 Sept 2022

Clifton ADivision 1, Fixtures

Clifton BDivision 3, Fixtures

Clifton C, D & EDivision 4, FixturesC, FixturesD, FixturesE

It is never late to join the club and play chess either casually or for a team!

2 May – NO club evening

9 May – 4 board match (limited space for casual chess)

16, 23 May – casual chess evenings

30 May – NO club evening

89th Bristol Congress

Several Clifton club members played at the tournament.

IM Chris Beaumont is the Bristol Champion 22/23 with an impressive score of 4.5 out of 5 games.
Tom Weale won the U1600 section with 4.5 points out of 5 games.

Please read the detailed report here.

Obituary: Professor Michael Furmston

We regret to report the death of Professor Michael Furmston who was a member of the club for several years early in the millennium while he was at Bristol University. He played correspondence chess and continued to work into his late 80s.

Here is a link to an article regarding his long and distinguished academic career:

And a link to the Varsity match a mere 64 years ago:

Covid-19 update

Due to the pandemic the Bristol and District Chess League was suspended in March. The League has decided that it would be impractical to restart the League and all divisions would be decided on the basis of the average match points gained over the matches completed (teams having completed a different number of matches depending on when their fixtures fell).

The result is that Clifton A are Champions by the smallest of margins from Clifton B (1.56 per match as against 1.54). The B team had actually dropped less points but had played fewer matches.

The League has no plans to start the new season as it is difficult to reconcile over the board chess with social distancing. We will have to see how the pandemic resolves itself.

2019 Graeme Thomson Memorial

The 2019 Graeme Thomson Memorial was held on Sunday 2nd June. The event raised a total of £138 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Thanks to all those who donated.  

The Open was won by veteran USA international Jim Sherwin, ahead of top seed Greg Tooczek, currently from Cardiff, and Leon Burnett from Manningtree.  

Joint winners of the Major were Tim Jones of Cabot and Andrew Munn of Downend. Full results are on the Chess-Results server (links below)  

Open Results

Major Results

Bristol & Clifton’s A team 2018/2019 Champions!

Bristol & Clifton’s A team made sure of the First Division Championship with a round to spare by beating nearest rivals Bath 4-2. After a slow start to the campaign we won 7 and drew 2 matches in the second half of the season to overhaul the various teams that were ahead of us in the first half.  

We hope to continue our good form when the new season starts in September. The club will be shut over the Summer but we are interested in hearing from potential new members at any time”

9th Graeme Thomson Memorial Tournament


6th Form Common Room, Bristol Grammar School,
University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SR


Sunday 2nd June 2019


6 Rounds
20 mins per player plus 5 sec increments after each move

Open & Major (U145) Sections

Entry £17, including £2 discretionary donation to Macmillan Cancer Support

The entry fee assumes ECF membership at Silver level or above.
Bronze and non-members will pay to play fee of £7.50.
Members of non-English national bodies don’t have to be ECF members.

Entries to: David Collier, email

Download the form in PDF format here: GT Memorial Entry Form 2019

Match report: Clifton A – Clifton B

Date: 21/11/2017
Clifton A
5-1 Clifton B
James Cobb 0-1 Chris Beaumont
John Curtis 1-0 Manuel Sierra
Gareth Morris 1-0 Anton Muller
David Collier 1-0 James Coxwell
Duncan Grossett 1-0 Tomas Jankowski
Igor Doklestic 1-0 Robert Smolka

We’ve had very mixed results against our B team over the years, to the extent that losses to them have cost us the title in the past, so this was a welcome banana skin avoided.

I was first to finish, largely because Manuel played very fast. He played a Schlechter Slav, but quite a passive version, and I greedily took lots of space in the centre, planting a knight on d6. In trying to swap it off Manuel missed a tactic that won me the exchange, but more importantly left his kingside pretty undefended. I crashed through, finishing with a completely unnecessary but satisfying queen sac.

Dunc won next. After playing some Hippo type rubbish he looked a bit worse, but gradually got his pieces to good squares, and won the exchange. He was dominating the centre of the board, and when Tomas tried to counter attack on the kingside it just made things worse. It didn’t last long after that.

Unbelievably, Gareth had exactly the same opening line for the third game running. It’s not that popular a line, so maybe his opponents are colluding? He’d at least looked it up after last week’s debacle and was looking pretty confident. Anton was playing normal-looking moves, but missed a tactic that won Gareth a piece. In compensation he had some scary looking queenside pawns, but Gareth kept them under control, and Anton resigned when he ran out of pieces.

Meanwhile, David was happily hacking on the white side of a London. He did everything right apart from one thing: for some reason he decided to castle queenside. He won some material, but his king started looking very lonely indeed, as James’ pieces starting pointing that way. Davis sacced the exchange back, leaving him three pawns for a piece, and an odd position ensued where it looked like a repetition might be the best for both sides. Instead James allowed a mate in one. Oops.

Igor and Robert had a closed Sicilian, with Igor having a normal slight advantage. That persisted into an endgame, and I assumed a long grind was on the cards. Igor had other ideas, ripping open the position and catching Robert’s king in a bishop/rook/pawn crossfire. Quite impressive, and fun to watch.

On top board the two IMs were playing a different brand of chess altogether. Answering an English with an early h5, James blocked the position, and he and Chris were jockeying for good squares for their bits. It looked to me that James was getting the upper hand, but a surprising late castling by Chris made it very tricky. Then a desirable but flawed central pawn push allowed Chris some tactics, and that was that.

Can’t complain about winning 5-1, so I won’t. The match finished fairly early, so there was a time for a couple (more) social beers afterwards. Which was nice.


Match report: Clifton A – Downend B

Date: 14/11/2017
Clifton A
3.5-2.5 Downend B
James Cobb 1-0 Attila Reznak
John Curtis 1-0 Michael Brigden
Gareth Morris 0-1 Stephen Meek
Duncan Grossett 0-1 Ian Pickup
David Collier 0.5-0.5 Dave Tipper
Igor Doklestic 1-0 Oliver Stubbs

Our first night back in our refurbished venue, and things looked much the same as ever. On there plus side there is a great range of bottled beer, which I’ll be working my way through over the coming weeks. The match was a very close one, not decided until late on in the evening.

Dunc was first to finish. A standard looking Open Sicilian against Ian seemed to be just getting going when I heard he’d resigned. He’d blundered something, losing a piece, or possibly a pawn, and had clearly had enough. We’ve all had days like that.

Dave and David drew soon after that, their Sicilian fizzling out into an endgame. Dave may have been a little better, but with one point already in the bank a safe draw seemed a good option.

Gareth was facing the same c3 Sicilian line as last week, and clearly hadn’t looked at it in the meantime. He went for a different variation, giving up a pawn to get an endgame where he hoped to have counterplay. Unfortunately for him it never arrived, and he got gradually pushed off the board on the queenside. I’m not sure that dropping his glass full of beer was a good idea, no matter how bad his position, but he wiped it up before resigning.

Mike went wrong early on against me, misjudging a queen exchange and subsequent pawn push. Rather than go for a sad looking endgame Mike tried an active defence, but unfortunately for him it didn’t really work, and I ended up with a couple of extra pawns as well as all the play. There wasn’t a lot Mike could do, and after I’d got all my bits out and pushed my central pawns he decided it was time to put the bits back in the box.

The last two games to finish were the most interesting. James and Attila reached a complex position which was difficult to call. A tactic won James a piece, or Attila may have sacrificed it, but either way there was plenty of compensation. From the sidelines it wasn’t at all clear to me, but James got his pieces into the white position and forced the win of queen for rook while also avoiding his back rank problems. It all looked rather impressive. All in all a very hard-fought game by two very strong players.

On board 6 Igor and Oliver had castled on opposite sides, which is always fun too watch. Early on Igor’s attack looked much the faster but no knockout blow was found. Igor won a pawn, and another complex position arose, with BvN, and a queen & rook each. I thought Igor might be a touch better, but Oliver played it well and the queens came off leaving him a pawn up. A rook and bishop with pawns can be dangerous though, and a march of his a pawn won Igor the exchange. It went on many more moves on the increment, but Igor eventually brought home the point.

Overall a fun and exciting match, with many thrills and spills, some of them literal. The Downend guys played well and we were a bit lucky (again), but as ever we’ll take the win.