End of season

We finished the season last Monday with a good time at the blitz tournament. We had 23 competing and some fun games going on. Welcome to those who were with us for the first time, and well done to the prize winners below

We’re now closed until our return in September. Hope everyone has a good summer!

1st Jan Murawski 9/10

2nd Phil Hayward 8/10

3rd Stuart White 7/10

Best U1700 Dougal Main 6/10

Best U1400 Gunnar Niels 6/10

Best junior Denis Neczaj-Hruzewicz 5.5/10


John Malek

Mike March has ask that I share some words he’s written about his friend and club member Jaromir (John) Malek, who passed away recently. Here’s his words, which are a great tribute to the man.

Sadly, my good friend, neighbour, scholar and fellow member of Oxford City Chess Club, Jaromir Malek has passed on, aged 79. Better known in Oxford chess circles as ‘John’, Jaromir joined our club from Cowley Workers, for whom he played for many years.

I first got to know him when my wife and I became friends with him and his wife after moving to Oxford and the Sandhills estate in the 1980s. He was a Czechoslovak-born internationally renowned Egyptologist whose lectures were in demand across the western world as well as being a great popularizer of his subject. We have signed copies of a number of his books sitting proudly on our shelves at home.

Oftentimes, before the pandemic, Jaromir and I would take a chess set, board and clock and ensconce ourselves in Caffe Nero in Headington playing 10-minute rapid chess over copious cups of coffee. But sometimes, after four or five games, when I wanted to play more, he would decline, saying he had to study his classical Arabic grammar. So I would leave him there, immersed in his well-thumbed tome, to pursue his studies. Lenin, I believe it was, who described chess as too serious to be a game, but not serious enough to be an art or a science. I think Jaromir must have felt the same for, despite displaying some considerable flair in the way he played, he devoted very little time to studying the game. That is not to say he didn’t enjoy playing, he most certainly did, including in his varied opening repertoire both the English and the Evans’ Gambit as well as the combative Marshall counterattack to the Lopez and the tricky Budapest Defence. But scholarship was undoubtedly what he loved the most. As well as Arabic, he also knew English, of course, as well as Czech, his native tongue, Russian, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese to varying degrees and would task himself with reading the great foreign classics in the original.

He was an unusually gifted person as well as being very kind and generous and I shall miss him. But the memories of our hectic, exciting coffee-house battles over the chessboard shall remain with me always.

Opening dates

I wanted to share the club opening schedule for the rest of the season.

We’ll be closed on Easter Monday then we’ll be open each Monday through to the end of May, including the bank holidays.

New players always welcome!

Chess club returns

Chess club is back from the Christmas break on the 9th Jan. As well as a regular club night with friendly games we’ll also have the option to review any games you’ve played with another player – always an interesting way to learn I think so just bring a game along. All welcome!

Christmas opening dates

As Christmas approaches there’s still time for some more chess! Our opening / closing dates are below:

5th Dec: Club night, Jon is running a training session

12th Dec: Last club night before Christmas

9th Jan: First club night of 2023

3rd Oct – AGM and quickplay

We’ve been enjoying the new season and new venue so far, great to see old and new faces for some chess. This Monday we’ll have our traditional cheese and wine quickplay, preceded briefly by our AGM. Time control 10 mins each with a time handicap to level the playing field.

Always a fun evening so new players are very welcome – though I’d suggest arriving around 8 as you might find the business part of the AGM less interesting

Club closed 19th Sep

It was great to see lots of new and returning faces at the reopening this week, looked like lots of good games going on. I think the new bridge club venue was a definite success.

Our next meeting falls on the date of the Queen’s funeral, so as a mark of respect the club will not open that evening. The club will be open as normal on the 26th September and look forward to seeing everyone then.

New venue for 2022 season

Exciting news that we have secured a new venue for next season. We’ll now be at the Oxford Bridge Club, 147 Banbury Rd, OX2 7AN

The new venue has more space to better fit the newer members we had last year and means we can more comfortably have club night activities at the same time as matches. It also has some more modern facilities.

We’ll begin again on the 12th September and looking forward to welcoming old and new faces then.

End of Season

On Monday we finished the season with a fun blitz session with cheese and wine. Thanks to everyone who helped setting up / down. Arya was victorious in the blitz with full points so well done to him

In the season itself, City 3 finished the highest of our teams with 4th in Division 3. City 2 finished 5th in Division 2 and City 1 got 5th in Division 1 as well – finishing strong after a slow first half to the season.

Wishing everyone a good summer and we’ll be back in September.