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28th October 2020

David Moss, an appreciation

I am sorry to say that another member of our club, David Moss, died eralier this week.  He had sufferd from heart problems for some time. Those who knew David will miss him greatly.  He was a very pleasant unassuming man who could play chess brilliantly and was never less than highly competitive.  His beat grade was 130. He liked to sacrifice his pieces and because of this was always a dangerous opponent.  He will be remembered for his dashing style, as well as his smile and sporting handshake whether or not he won or lost.  He leaves a widow, Margaret and a son, William.


25th July 2020

Members may be wondering when the club will be up and running again.  I'm afraid the short answer is I have no idea.  While some leisure activities that take place in the open air and a few that take place indoors are now allowed, these are only where social distancing is possible.  Chess clubs, regretatbly,  are not places where  this is possible. A month or so ago, I was hopeful that we could start up again in September but the earliset date mentioned by the Prime Minister last week was October and the opinion of most experts was that the PM was being over-optimistic.  So we will all have to be patient.   I will certainly let everyone know about a resumption as soon as possible.

8th April 2020

David Fewkes – an appreciation.

Crystal Palace Chess Club has lost one of its most stalwart members, David Fewkes, who died in hospital at the beginning of April, a victim of Covid 19.  David joined the club in 1981 and in 1998 won the club championship.  Prior to this he was a member of Mansfield Chess Club,  A powerfully built, burly man, he impressed with his attacking style and never-give-up attitude over the board.  His profession was that of a prison officer and he honed his chess skills with other officers and the odd inmate.  He was particularly good in tight positions in the last minutes of a game.  He was also thoroughly reliable when it came to playing for teams in matches, never failing to turn up.  His highest grade was 158 ECF.  His other great interest was treading the boards and he was a member of Hayes Players, and his dilemma was always that he had trouble deciding which hobby he preferred.  If he was offered a good stage part then that was what he would do, but as soon as the rehearsals and performances were over he rushed back to the club.  Popular with everyone at the club, he enjoyed a swift pint after a match and analysing games with his particular buddies, Graham Keane and Mark O’Neill.  He leaves a widow, Pat, two daughters and grandchildren.  He will be greatly missed by all of us.  

Graham Keane writes: “The “swift pint” was often a swift pint or 3 and after a brief discussion on the night’s games, the discussion would quickly move to a range of different subjects, both serious and non-serious and would normally end in howls of laughter. Indeed, on our regular trips to watch a few rounds of the British Championship, a request from the hotel management to be quieter in the earlier hours of the morning occurred on more than one occasion.

 David was an extremely generous man, frequently going out of his way to offer players lifts to difficult away games, and always willing to step in to play when a team was short of players even if it meant playing someone with a much higher grade. He was also always first to the bar in the evening. David also worked for the Samaritans as a volunteer supporting those in society most in need. At heart though David was a family man, his deprecating stories of his home life, often resulted in Pat having to rescue David from his mistakes! He was fiercely proud of his daughters and their achievements and, in recent years, loved being with his grandchildren. 

 Rest in Peace, good friend.

 Graham Keane 

17th February 2020

The Deric Cox Memorial Trophy 2020 was won by Madara Orovska who finished on the same score 5/6 as Jude Ranga but won their individual game.  Graham Keane was third.

8th October 2019

The Club held a Gambit Tournament last evening. The idea was that White had to play a gambit and Black had to take the pawn or pawns on offer. It was well received by those who took part and ended on  fourt way tie for first place, with Madara, Mark, Graham and the best performance of all Gabriel Jones graded 68.  All finished on 3/4.  

23rd September 2019

Graham Keane duly won the Club Rapid Play tournament with 5.5/6 defeating all his main rivals and conceding just one draw.

16th September 2019

The first three rounds of the club Rapid Play Tournament ended with Graham Keane and Jude Ranga tied on three points each.  They will meet next week and the winner will be clearly in the driving seat to win the tournament outright. However with others just one point behind it is still all to play for.

9th September 2019

The Club 10 Minute Lightning Tournament was won tonight by Madara Orlovska with 5/5.  Jude Ranga was runner up, and an excellent third place went to Hugo Thompson who is ungraded and new to tournament chess.

3rd September 2019

The AGM Lightning Tournament was held last night and was duly won by Graham Keane, who ruthlessly crushed all opposition. An impressive performance.

20th August 2019

There was an excellent attendance at the club last night for the last meeting of the season when we welcomed two new  members, Matt Stemp (190ECF) and Peri Nirvan (Ungraded)  We hope they enjoy their time with us and have an excellent 2019-20.

We will meet again on Monday 2nd September at 7.45pm for the club AGM followed at 8,45pm by the AGM Lightning Handicap Tournament

29th July 2019

Summer Rapid Play Tournament

Graham Keane won the Summer Rapid Play Tournament at the club with an excellent 4.5/5.  Mark O'Neill also played very well to finish 2nd with 4/5. The time control was experimental, 10 mins +10 secs a move.  This meant however,  that some of the games lasted rather long so next time it will perhaps be 10 mins  + 5 secs a move.

22 July 2019

The Summer Lightning Tournament was won by Madara Orlovska with 8.5/9. Close behind was Mark O'Neill with 8/9 and Graham Keane with 7.5/9.  The tournament time control was 5 mins + 3secs a move, the first time the club has used Fischer timings.

15th July 2019

Stewart Byrne clinched the Palace Cup this evening with a polished performance to defeat AlKarim Dhalla.

8th July 2019

Bill Todd leads the Palace Cup but if Stewart Byrne wins his last game next week he will overtake him.

24th June 3019

Madara Orlovska was crowned Club Champion after her draw tonight with Graham Keane.  She finsihed with 2/3 the same score as Jude Ranga but she won their individual game.

11th June 2019

The Trost Trophy was retained last night by Jude Ranga with 8/9.  Samuel Barlerin of Beckenham Chess Club 2nd, a point behind, and Maciek Smolnicki of Streatham 3rd.  The full table is on the Tournaments page.

4th June 2018

Round 2 of the Club Championship was completed last night.  Madara beat Jude and is leading with 1/5 pts.  Graham and Mark drew.  In the 2nd Section, Martin Dale beat Gabriel Jones and Stewart Byrne beat Bill Todd.

17st May 2019

Crystal Palace A drew their match with West Wickham A and clinched the division title for the first time since 2002.  Congratulations to Madara, Graham, Jude and Mark O'Neill.

21th May 2019

The Club Championship Round 1 finished.  This year it is in two seperate  sections in order to match players grades more closely.  In the top section, Round 1 produced a surprise with Jude Ranga beating Graham Keane. Madara Orlovska manged to salvage a draw with active play from a poor position in her game with Mark O'Neill.  In the lower section Gabriel Jones beat Stewart Byrne in a wild game and Bill Todd won against Alkarim Dhalla in a game that both players missed tactical moves that would have won quickly.

15th March & Easter & May bank holidays

The club will not be open on Monday 15th April, (Holy Day) Monday 22 April (Easter Monday) but will be open on Monday 29 April with a home match for CP B against Old Whitgiftians. The following Monday, 6th May, is a public holiday, so regretably the club will be shut again.  

6 March 2019

Our Croydon League B team, took part in the Bielski Cup last CCF last Friday and unfortunately things did not go their way.  They finished 9th out of 10 teams. The time control of 3 mins + 2secs a move is not everyone's glass of bitter, lets face it, so I hope the lads were not too down hearted.  I don't suppose anyone else from our club could have done any better, except the trophy winners, Lewisham A - oddly enough, a team that consisted entirely of curremt and foirmer Crystal Palace players. 

21 January 2019

The Deric Cox Memorial Trophy was won by Jude Ranga with an excellent 4.5/6  Runner up was Graham Keane and Madara Orlovska with 3'5/5.  The full table is on the Tournaments page.

8th January 2019

Crystal Palace 1 put in a fne performance last night beating Ashtead 1 in the Surret Trophy.  This is our first win in a very tough division. The full scorecard can be seen on

7 January 2019

Madara Orlovska has been brilliantly successful once more playing in the Open Section of the Hastings Weekend Tournament. On Sunday she finished second behind GM David Howells and ahead of a group of very strong players.   The full table can be seen by following links on the official website.

7th December 2019

The Christmas Handicap Tournamnt winner, Madara Orlovska scored a maximum 6/6, with only 2 minutes against 8 in five of the games, a spectacular performance. Mark O'Neill was runner up with 4.5/6. 

3rd December 2018

Congratulations to  Madara Orlovska who last Saturday came 2nd in the British Open Womens' Blitz Championship The score 11.5 from 15 games,  a brilliant perfromance.  No wonder none of us at the club can beat her at this form of chess, or very rarely in any other for that matter.

27th November 2018 

The Autumn Rapid Play Tournament was an exiting battle at the club last night.  It was won convinvingly by David Fewkes who was in red hot form, brilliantly demolishing all of his opponents to finsih with 5/5. Graham Keane was runner up with 4/5.

30th October 2018 

The Halloween Rapid Play Tournament finsished in a three way tie between Madara, Graham and Jude with 3/4.  Madara won it on the tie break.  Your Secretary was informed that he was in the top 100 players in England aged over 80.  Needless to say this was a total shock to the poor chap who had assumed he was probably in the worst 100 players in this country.  So keep going chaps and chappettes, by the age of 90 any of us could be in the top 10 and by 100 maybe No. 1. 

Further investigation has now discovered that Graham Keane is 43rd in the top 100 of his age group and Madara Orlovska is 10th in the ECF list of all top 100 female players and 1st in the rapid play top 100 of female players.  WOW!

1st October 2018

Graham Keane duly romped home with 6/6 to win the 2018 Club Rapid Play Tournament. Mark O'Neill was runner up  with 5/6.

The Surrey Chess Congress is being revived and will be held at Kingston University on Fri 26th - Sun 28th October.  It deserves our support and I would urge all club members able to play in a weekend congress to enter.  Full details can be found on the website:

25th September 2018

The 2018 Club 25 Min Rapid Play Championship began last night.  The leader after 3 Rounds is Graham Keane with 3/3 followed by Mark O'Neill, Francis Fields and Talvin Jacobs with 2/3.  Will anyone  next week be able to stop Graham?

18th September 2018

Apologies for not being at the club last night.   The Club 25 Minute Rapid Play Tournament will now take place on 24th September * 1 October. 

4th September 2018

The club held its AGM last night and no major changes were made.  Club Officers and Match Captains are the same as last year.  A kind tribute was paid by Jeremy Lynn on behalf of club members to the Secretary, David Hodgson, who has been in that post for 50 years. He was presented with a superb book of photos of GMs and WGMs called The Thinkers. The AGM Handicap Tournament was won by Jude Ranga with 4.5/5.

13th August 2018

The 2018 Summer Lightning Tournament was a great success and was won by Madara Orlovska with Jude Rnnga 2nd and Javier Jaraututa Sarrier 3rd.  The well-liked and very promising youngster did brilliantly, and at the end many of us felt rather sad that this tournament was the last time we would see Javier and his they will be returning to Spain in a few days.  We wish them well.

8th August 2018

Madara Orlovska won the Club Championship with an excellent 5/5.  Chris Bernard won the Palace Cup and finished rd overall.

8th May 2018

The Croydon League Trost Trophy was held last night at the club. It attracted 19 entries and was won by Jude Ranga, who retsained the trophy from last year with Harry Morgan of Streatham 2nd and Madara Orlovska 3rd.  The grading prize was won by the Crystal Palace junior, Ayaz Ghani.

19th April 2018

Congratulations to John Bennett, Madara Orlovska, Graham Keane, Jude Ranga, Mark O'Neill, Francis Fields, Chrsis Bernard and everyone who has played for our First Team for winning the Beaumont Cup this year. This will mean promotion to the Surrey Trophy, where we will find it very tough unless we have a couple of 200 plus players join us.

17th April 2018

The Club Spring Rapid Play Tournament last night was won jointly by Graham Keane and Madara Orlovska with 4.5/6.  There was also a really excellent performance from Chris Bernard who finished with a rating of 159, way above his grade.The full cross table is on the Tournaments page.

12th March 2018

The new date for the Bielski Cup at CCF is Friday April 6th at 7.30 pm.

3rd March 2018

Unfortunately, the Bielski Cup had to be postposned because of the awful weather.  A new date in April should be published soon.

However, our first team in the Beaumont Cup pthe previous evening dtereminedly made their way through ice and snow to South Norwood where they thtashed the opposition 5-2 and thus put themselves into an ubassailable position to win the division.  Congratulations to everyone in the team and particularly to Chris Bernard who took over half the team in his car.

19 February 2018

The Bielski Cup will be hwld at CCF in Coulsdon on Friday 2 March.  It is a five minute team tournament, 4 boards, and the club, who are the current holders of the Cup hope to put in two or more teams. If members wish to take part please contact Chris Bernard by Email at

22 January 2018

It all went very well at Guildford for CP 1 last night, who won their crucial match away at Guildford 5-2, with excellent wins for John Bennett, Madara, Graham and Mark O'Neill.  The full match score can be seen on the Surrey website,   On the same night at the club our Fred Manning team drew 2-2 with South Norwood.  It was notable for a fine attacking win for 12 year old Javier Jarauta Sarria on top board against a much higher graded opponent.

21 January 2018

In the Beaumont Cup we play Guildford 2 this evening. It is the crunch match and whoever wins will be hot favourite to win the Trophy.  So good luck to Mark O'Neill and the team.  At home we play South Norwood C in the Fred Manning and so Martin Dale's team will have a tough match. It is an opportunity for some of our new members to gain league experience.

8th January 2018

The Deric Cox Memorial Trophy will be held at the club on 8 January starting at 7.45pm.  This is a 6 Round  10 Minute Lightning Tournament. 

18th December 2017

The Christmas 2017 Handicap Lightning Tournament was won last night by Chris Bernard with a perfect 6/6 score.   Jude Ranga was a close 2nd with 5/6.  

28th November 2017

Crystal Palace 1  continued their excellent start to the season defeating Redhill 5-2 last night and for the moment remain top of the Beaumont Cup League  table.  The crunch match is on Monday 22nd January when they play Guildford 2 away, who are equal first but with an inferior points total. 

7th November 2017

Last night Crystal Palace 1 comfortably beat Kingston 2, 5-2, to maintain their excellent start to the season in the Beaumonr Cup.  In the new Croydon League division for teams under 400 ECF, the Deric Cox Trophy, the Crystal Palace D team played well but were defeated 3-1 by a higher graded Streatham D team.  For two of the youingsters in the team, Javier 12 and Vincent 9, it was their first sally into league chess and I am sure they learned a lot.  I am sure both will go on to be strong players. 

6th November 2017

The club was recently offered the chance to buy new DGT Chess Clocks by the English Chess Federation at very low cost to the club.  This was a one -off special offer by DGT via FIDE, but the decision to place an order had to be made very quickly.  Consequently I now have ordered 8 DGT 3000 chess clocks at a cost of £26 each. These clocks superceded the DGT X, and normaly sell for around £80. Why have I done this some may ask?  Well, we have used the present DGT XL clocks for over four years now and still only two or three people in the club have grasped how to select Surrey and Croydon league times on them. True setting the DGT XL is not straight forward and in addition it is frankly a nightmare to programme new times for the manual set mode. Using these clocks is clearly causing the club membership problems, and frankly I am weary of setting most of the clocks for every match because the players cannot.  I am confident everone will find the DGT 3000 clocks superior in may respects and much easier for club members to use than the DGT XL  One more thing.  The SCCU and the SCCA recommend that no move count is set on clocks so when I programme in the Surrey and Croydon Leaguue times it will just show time used and there will be no move count.


26th September 2017

The Club Rapid Play Championship was won last night by Madara Orlovska who demolished all opposition in ruthless fashion with a perfect 6/6.  Jude Ranga was runner up.  The matches were played with a time of 20 minutes plus 5 secs a move bomus, the first time such a control has been used.  It was very popular with the participants and no game went on longer than the 45 minutes total. 

11th September 2017


The Club Ten Minute Lighning Championship was won this evening by Graham Keane, who tied with 5/6 with Madara Orlovska. Graham was awarded first prize because he won their individual game.

4th September 2017

The AGM Handicap Lightning Tournament was won by Jude Ranga with 5/5 ahead of Chris Bernard with 4/5.  At The AGM, it was agreed in principle that we should run a junior section, although exactly how and when it would operate remains to be decided. Input from members would be appreciated.  Chris Bernrad was elected Captain of the CL C team and would run it as well as the CL B team and the Lauder Trophy Team.  There will be no Ellam Team next season.  All the other team captains wil be the same as last season

21st August 2017

The Summetr Rapidplay Tounament was won by Francis Fields and Jude Ranga who tied with 4/4. There were 16 entrants including a number of new club members and their children.

7th August 2017

Congratulations to Madara Orlovska for winning the Club Championship.  It was a very fine performance.  David Hodgson won the Palace Cup (U145)

18th July 2017

The Club Championship is boiling up nicely with the Round 5 draw.  Graham Keane has been drawn against Madara Orlovska and Mark O'Neill against Jude Ranga.  If either Graham or Madara win it will put them in the driving seat and Mark O'Neill could still catch up depending on how the results pan out. The full draw is given on the Tournaments page.

26th June


The SCCA AGM is not an event where might expect to have a good laugh.  But I went along as your Rep and when, during a discuision on last season's league matches, I made  it clear that we were annoyed that last season no less than three Surrey Teams had failed to show up for matches, one delegate said it was because it was so difficult to get to on public transport.  I pointed out there were two buses that stopped right outside. To my astonishment he then claimed that one member of his team had nearly been arrested in Wells Park on his way to our club. I could to little else except try not to fall off my chair laughing. I did idly wonder what the gentleman in question had been up to in the park to nearly get nicked, but thought I should not inquire too deeply. 

There were a couple of Rules introduced for next season.  Firstly, as an alternative to the Quick Play finish of 30 moves in 60 minutes and all remaining moves in 20 mins, if both players agree then they could use a new time control of all moves in 75 minutes plus 10 secs a move in incremental timings.  I will reset  the clock  to allow this when the time comes.  The only other chnge in the rules is that the use of digital clocks can no longer be objected to unless the player has impaired vision. 

Another matter discussed at length was the perennial question of how to boost chess club membership and also interest club members in the workings of the ECF and The Surrey County Chess Association.  I am not sure about the former but suggested that the latter might be helped if they explained a little more clearly and in terms we all understand what they do and why they do it.  An SCCA blog, perhaps? The main ECF rule change that affects all clubs  is that the membership scheme has been modified so that new players can play up to three graded games without incurring a penalty charge or having to join the ECF Membership scheme.  After that, of course they have to join.

At the meeting I also learned that Beckenham Chess Club have withdrawn their team from the Surrey Trophy because of lack of players. 

Finally, Mike Gunn has retired as Chairman of the SCCA after 17 years.  Crystal Palce would like to thank him for doing a very difficult job extremely well. No successor has yet come forward.


12th June


There were 22 entries from four clubs for the TROST TROPHY held at the club.  This is the largest entry for many years.  The Trophy was won by Jude Ranga of Crystal Palace with 8/9.  Second was Jon Griffiths of Beckenham with 7.5 and third place was Joel Newman of Lewisham.  The grading Prize (u145) went to Cem Oyvat of Lewisham.

10th & 17th April

The chess club is closed because of Easter Services at the church. 

Resumes again on April 24th.

3rd April 2017


Won by Graham Keane with 3/4 on a tie break from Francis Fields.  The cross table is in the Club Competitions folder.

24 February 2017

Congratulations to Chris Bernard and his team of Madara, Jude and Miroslav on winning the Bielski Cup this year.  This is the second year running a Crystal Palace team has won this event. 

23rd January 2017

Our Ellam Team did very well winning a match against Wimbledon 4 who outgraded us on every board. 

10th January 2017

Last night the Deric Cox Memorial Tournament was held at the club.   Two players Graham Keane and Madara Orlovska, finished level on 5/6  points and very unusually also level on the Tournament tie break score. However, as Graham Keane won their individual game, the Trophy was awarded to him.  It was a thrilling tournament with some brilliant games and went to the last round.


19th December 2016

The Christmas Handicap Lightning Tournament was won by Madara Orlovska playing with great accuracy on a score of 6/6.  It was a fine performance by Madara who vanquished her main rivals with some ease. 

28th November

The Autumn Rapid Play winner was Madara Orlovska, who finished on 4/4, ahead of Graham Keane, Jude Ranga and Chris Bernard with 3/4. Madara played very accurately and fully deserved first place.

24th November

On Tuesday our Lauder Trophy Team lost narrowly at Ashtead, 2.5-3.5.  It was a very good performance, nevertheless with almost everyone out-graded some by a large margin. For all results so far this season go to the Surrey and Croydon League websites

Next Monday 28th November we will be holding an Autumn Rapid Play Tournament at the Club.

 4 rounds 20 mins each starts at 7.45pm. Fee entry to members, others £2. 

3 November 2016

The Minor Trophy match against Dorking scheduled for November 7th has been conceded by Dorking as a walkover because they cannot raise a team due to illness and resignations.  We have postponed the Croydon League B team match against South Norwood B scheduled for November 17th because of fixture congestion. The new date is TBA. 

20 October 2016

The fixture on 3 November Crystal Palace 1 vs Dorking has been postponed to Thursday 27 April 2017 because of the strikes on Southern Rail.

3rd October 2016

The Rapid Play Championship was won by Jude Ranga with 5/6.  It was an excellent performance and Jude played quite brilliantly to carry off the Raymond Hessey Trophy.

12th September 2016

The Club's Lightning Championship, 10 minutes each. 6 rounds 7.45pm.   The Tournament was won by Madara Olovska with 5.5/6.  Another impressive performance.


6th September 2016

Last night's AGM HandicapTournament was won by new member Madara Orlovska in a strong field.  This was an excellent performance as she had to play three of her 5 games with just 2 minutes against 8.

5th September 2016

Congratulations to a Crystal  Palace 5 minute Lightning team, captained by Graham Keane, that won the first Lewisham Team Lightning Tournament, held on 31st August.  John Bennett did fabulously well with a 100% score of 7/7.

At the Club tonight is the AGM, at 7.45pm which is followed by a 5 minute Handicap Tournamnet.

16th August 2016

The Club Championship was won last night by Jude Ranga. The Palace Cup was won by Chris Bernard.  Congratulations to both players.