AGM 2022

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 5th September 2022

Apologies were received from John Clarke, Paul Bizzell, Andrejs Olehnovics, John Golding

Chair: Mark McLeod

Minutes of last meeting

These were read and accepted without amendments

Chair’s comments

Mark McLeod highlighted the contrast between the immediate post-pandemic period where the club struggled competitively (see Team Captains’ reports) and the more recent months where visitors and membership numbers have risen significantly. The future for the club looks very positive, and a 3rd team will be proposed for the 2022-23 season.

Treasurers Report & Membership Fees for 2022-23

Andy Robins provided the Treasurer’s report for the meeting

The club made a cash surplus of £214 in the year

Membership income was £730 and Marlborough Club fees were £516

End of year bank balance was £301.44

It was proposed and agreed that subscriptions for the 2022/23 season will be £30 for adults, £10 for juniors, £20 for students, pensioners & unwaged and £60 for family memberships

Marlborough Club membership fees are included in club membership fee.

Fees are to be paid to Andy Robins who will pay the MC fees by January 2023

It was agreed that appropriate funds be allocated to the purchase of boards, sets, clocks and scoresheets as needed to cater for a 3rd team.

Didcot I Team Report – Gary Reynolds

Gary reported that the 1st team performed very well against consistently stronger opposition, having remained in Division 1 due only to league restructuring!

However, despite winning 2 matches and drawing 1, the team finished 7th of 7 teams and will (probably) be relegated. Top scorers were new member Joe Conlon 3.5/6 on board 1, Nick Gough 6/11 and Florian Deconick 4/8.

Didcot II Team Report – from Mark McLeod

Many thanks to all 12 players who represented Didcot 2 in the 2021/22 season.  

The 2021/22 season was a particularly challenging one for the Didcot 2nd team.  Despite a number of hard fought and close matches we sadly finished bottom of division 2 with just 2 draws and 2 points from our 10 matches.   

It should be noted that in the vast majority of our matches, the players were heavily out-graded and the team were perhaps a victim of being placed in too high division as a result of the re-distribution of teams following the global pandemic.   

Despite the finishing positions, there were some notable performances from:  

Michael Fitzgerald – scoring 6.5 points from 9 matches  

Sanmi Rotimi – scoring 3 points from 5 matches  

Victor Csajka scoring 3 points from 7 matches  

Keith Forman scoring 2.5 pints from 7 matches  

Average grading of all 12 players = 1580  

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing everybody at the Monday club nights  

Thanks, Mark McLeod  

2nd Team Captain  

Club Tournaments

John Richards Cup – not held but Gary will organise for 2022-23

Martin Sheridan Shield – not held but Mark will organise for 2022-23

Christmas Blitz 2021 – congratulations to winner Joe Conlon

Club Nights & number of teams.

Gary estimated that we now have 32 players available (to varying degrees). Hence it was proposed & agreed to enter 3 teams in the ODCL for 2022-23.  It would be requested of the ODCL organiser that Didcot 1&2 would have Monday as “home match night” and Didcot 3 Wednesday, and that clashes of 2 home matches on the same Monday should be avoided in the fixture list. [This was agreed by the ODCL]

[Following the OCA AGM, it was confirmed that Didcot 1&2 will be in Div 2 and Didcot 3 will be in Div 3]. At the time of writing, league fixtures have not been finalised

Election of Officers

After reorganisation from 2 to 3 teams, the following positions were returned unopposed.

Chair                                       Mark McLeod

Treasurer                                 Andy Robins

Secretary                                 John Harvey

First Team Captain                 Gary Reynolds

First Team Vice Captain         Andy Robins

Second Team Captain             Keith Foreman

Second Team Vice Captain    Vacant – please talk to Keith if interested

Third Team Captain                Mark McLeod

Third Team Vice Captain       Paul Bizzell

Any Other Business

  1. Oxfordshire County team in Chiltern League. Team captain Nigel Moyse has appealed for more players. Gary to email all Didcot members encouraging participation and asking that those interested should contact Nigel.
  2. Club Website. Paul Bizzell will be asked to update the club website
  3. Club Junior players. A discussion took place around the potential to attract more junior players to the club. It was recognised that the 7.30pm club start time is not suitable for many juniors/parents (but that this time is not flexible given the opening time of the Marlborough Club). We are also short of qualified coaches. In the short term it was agreed that Gary would circulate club members to gauge interest in becoming junior coaches

There being no further business, the Chair closed the meeting.

Meeting Closed 8:30 pm.                              John Harvey, Secretary.         

Old Photo

This is a picture of members of our club in the mid 1950’s. It seems to show a simultaneous display in which a master plays many members at the same time. We believe one of the players is Sammy Trehearne, but have no other names.
If you can identify any of the players or have any other pictures you would like to share let me know.

AGM 2021

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 14th September 2020 via Zoom (online).

Apologies were received from Nick Gough, Alan Brampton, Roger Thetford.

Chairman: vacant (John Harvey acting for the meeting)

Minutes of last meeting

These were read and accepted without amendments.

Gary Reynolds on the passing of Mike Duck

Sadly I have to report that Mike Duck lost his battle with cancer on the 9th July.

Mike was previous Chairman of the OCA and stalwart of Didcot Chess club. He will be very much missed.

Treasurers Report & Membership Fees for 2019-20

Andy Robins provided the Treasurer’s report for the meeting.

The club made a cash deficit of £19.61 in year 2019/20 (Surplus of £65.23 in 2018/19).

This reflects the purchase of 6 digital chess clocks during the year for £169.61.

End of year bank balance was £87.44.

It was agreed that subscriptions for the 2020/21 season would remain at £30 for adults and £20 for juniors, students, pensioners & unwaged.

Marlborough Club membership fees are unchanged.

First Team Captains Report

Gary Reynolds reported that the First team had another tough season in Division 1, lying 7th of 8 teams when the league was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Safety did look likely however (had the season been played to conclusion) due to the gap over the 8th placed team. Top scorer was Gai Guanqun with an excellent 5.5/6. Nick and Andrejs both scored 45% against top board opposition.

Second Team Captains Report (Submitted by Roger Thetford)

On paper we were one of the weaker teams in division 2 but managed three wins and four draws out of the 11 matches that we played, placing us fifth out of eight in a desperately tight division: we were four points off the top and two points off the bottom. Andy Robins (6/11, ever-present) and Guanqun Gai (5½ / 9) were our heaviest scorers despite being on the top boards. John Harvey and I both notched 1½ / 2 to be over 50% for the season. Thank you to all 12 players who turned out for the team.

The season was curtailed because of Covid-19, with promotion and relegation cancelled.

Third Team Captains Report (Submitted by Mark McLeod)

The Covid-19 pandemic potentially robbed Didcot 3 of a title winning season. At the point that the league was ended Uni 3 had played all their matches and scored 19 points from 12 games. Didcot 3 had 3 games still to play and had already accumulated 15 points with +23 game difference. The 3rd place team was Cumnor 2 who had amassed just 9 points from the 9 games they had played.

With us electing to drop the Didcot 4th team we were much stronger this year and therefore it was not surprising to see the team pulling out some impressive wins. Notable records from the season were:

Mark McLeod – 7.5 points from 9 games
Alex Tringali – 6 points from 6 games
John Clarke – 5 points from 7 games
Alan Brampton – 4 points from 5 games
Mike Duck – 2.5 points from 3 games.

Congratulations to all players and I look forward to restarting the Captains duties once we recommence over the board chess.


The John Richards Cup for 2018-19 was won by Andrejs Olehnovics.

The Martin Sheridan Shield, for payers graded under ECF 115 didn’t finish before the club had to close.

The Christmas 5-minute tournament was again excellently organised by Roger Thetford, with plenty of food provided by The Marlborough.

Graham McInnes won the title in this handicapped event.

Following the pandemic-enforced closure of the club (for OTB chess), we launched the 2020 Corona tournament using Lichess online. This is currently ongoing.

Club Nights (& number of teams): discussion delayed until club can start meeting again in person.


Election of Officers

Congratulations to Mark Mcleod on his appointment as our new Chair (proposed by Andy Robins, seconded by Paul Blackmore). 

Thanks to Paul Bizzell for volunteering to be Third Team Vice Captain.

Roger is standing down as Second Team Captain. Please contact a Committee member if you would be interested in taking on this role.

Chair                                     Mark Mcleod

Treasurer                               Andy Robins

Secretary                               John Harvey

First Team Captain               Gary Reynolds

First Team Vice Captain       Bernard Cooper

Second Team Captain           <vacant>

Second Team Vice Captain    Andy Robins

Third Team Captain              Mark Mcleod

Third Team Vice Captain     Paul Bizzell

OCA League: Online chess team(s) for 2020/21

At the time of the meeting, it appears very unlikely that OTB league chess will recommence in Oxfordshire for the 2020-21 season.

Therefore, the OCA is considering an online team league. Several variables remain to be resolved; platform (Lichess?), format (swiss?), number per team (4/6?), time controls.

It is hoped that these would be resolved at the OCA AGM of 24th September. 

The OCA asked clubs for levels of interest ahead of their AGM

Before our AGM Gary had surveyed the club for interest in playing in this league and the response suggested we would have a squad of 10 (later increased to 11).

Therefore, we have communicated to the OCA that we have an interest in putting forward one team of 6 for an online league (or 2 teams if they are to be of 4 players).

We await the conclusions/next steps from the OCA AGM.

Any Other Business

1.     Gary informed the meeting that all Mike Duck’s chess books (30-40) had been donated to the club. These would be available to borrow from the club store cupboard at The Marlborough.

2.     The OCA is considering naming their online league tournament after Mike Duck

3.     The meeting agreed to rename our Christmas Blitz tournament “The Mike Duck Christmas Blitz”

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting.

Meeting Closed 8:25 pm.  John Harvey, Secretary.