50 Years of NECL

Did you know that the North Essex Chess League is 50 years old this season?
A 1986 publication by J.R.Priestley titled “The History of the North Essex Chess League” stated that “play begun in Autumn 1964”, so  the current 2014/15 season is a semi-centenary.
A few local players have this book which has enabled our table of league winners to be extended back to 1964/5 season, though full game details only go back to 2002/3 season for league and to 1998/9 for the Knockout and Plate events (transcribed from spreadsheets provided by events secretaries).  Perhaps you have further details or early spreadsheets in your archives covering earlier seasons to help fill in the blanks?

Clubs shown on the above cover are Billericay, Braintree, Burnham-On-Crouch, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Essex University, Felsted, Harwich, Maldon, Marconi, Wickford, Witham and Writtle. Some of these later closed, had breaks or re-named and a few more recently formed clubs have since joined. Some, such as Clacton and Braintree, pre-date the NECL, having played in the earlier established Essex League prior to the First World War.

Some local club histories may be found on-line. (e.g. Billericay and Colchester). If other clubs have composed something similar just provide the link and we can add to this list. If you have this, but not already on the web, your club secretary can upload it to the NECL server and link to it from your NECL club page.

Any volunteers to write an article putting all this together, as an on-line update to the earlier book? Any suggestions to put to the Committee on how to mark this occasion?

2014 Local Events

  • Essex Rapidplay – 21st September 2014
    Venue: Longmeads Community Centre, Writtle CM1 3LY
    Format: Six Rounds Rapidplay (incremental). Two sections – Open and Major (Under 135). Incorporating: Essex RP Championship, North Essex RP Championship, Essex Junior Championship
    Entry Form: Click Here
    Website: www.essexchess.org.uk


  • 32nd. Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress – 25/26 October 2014
    Venue: The Apex, Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
    Format: Five-round Swiss. Four sections – Open, Major (u170), Intermediate (u145) and Minor (u120). A qualifying event for the British Championships in 2015.
    Entry Form: Click Here
    Website: www.bsecongress.org.uk/


Chelmsford now has a Junior Chess Club

The Knights of Chelmsford will meet every Tuesday beginning 25th March 2014
at Christ Church, New London Road from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Offering children of all ages and abilities the chance to have fun playing and improving their chess in a safe environment. The sessions will be led by an experienced and DBS-checked coach.
Please contact Robin Slade for more information at theknightsofchelmsford@gmail.com.

2013 Local Events

Some local events coming soon;-

  • An Individual Rapidplay, at Writtle on September 21st 2013.
    This is An Essex Closed event Incorporating the Essex Rapidplay Championship,
    North Essex Rapidplay Championship and Essex Junior Championship.
    Click here for further details and entry form.
  • The 31st Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress, at the Apex on 5th and 6th October 2013.
    Click here for details and entry.
  • The 62nd Hertfordshire Chess Association Congress, at County Hall, Hertford on 9th and 10th November 2013.
    Click here for details and here for entry form.
  • 13th Woodbridge Junior Chess Open, at Woodbridge School, on 24th November 2013.
    Click here for details and entry form.

Special NECL League Commitee Meeting 23rd August 2012
Re: The ECF

We have to decide as a league whether to join the English Chess Federation (ECF) so we can have our league games graded nationally or whether to break away and operate as a separate body and use our own NECL grade instead.

This decision needs to be taken before anything else can be decided for next season and might just have an impact on which clubs remain part of the NECL. We will hold a special LCM on Thursday 23rd August 2012 at Chelmsford’s venue (7.45 start). Every club and league official is entitled to one vote and a straight majority will decide.

ECF Membership & Grading Fees

On the 1st September 2012, changes will occur in the ECF Membership Scheme and Game Fee, These changes were touched upon at the AGM. They will affect us all and are described here.

What impact will possible league policies have on this matter?
Will increased costs reduce club memberships?  Will clubs reduce league participation?
Will membership be a requirement of the league, or will clubs administer game fees?
What value do your club members place on having an ECF authenticated grade?
Is a break-away league viable? Would ECF members play in ‘locally-graded’ matches?
Would a 2-tier league with membership required only for div 1 players be a viable compromise? Many questions have been raised with no obvious answers.

What are your views?  Has your club decided which policies to support?
What league policies would you and your club like to see?
Posting your comments here may influence the options being considered..
It may also assist Robin to prepare an options document for presenting to the LCM.