Tim Wall wins Zollner Trophy

Louis Zollner was the Danish consul to Newcastle in the early 20th century, and the first president of the Northumberland Chess Association. In 1930, he presented a silver plated trophy featuring a Viking warrior wielding a sword as the county championship trophy. 92 years later, it is still presented annually to the winner of the ‘Zollner’ competition.

12Wall Tim P2281Forest Hall50
27Dargan Paul Ag2114Tynemouth4.50
33Henderson David2118Tynemouth40
44Armbruster David2133Gosforth30
55Boyd John2080South Shields20
66Izod Chris2041Jesmond1.50
71Trevelyan Andy J1893Jesmond10


Here is the ‘Chess with the Knight’ article from The Chronicle about this year’s County Championships.

Veteran reclaims County title after 27 years

These days, with the rise of computers and the importance of encyclopaedic opening knowledge, chess is a young person’s game. Look at the main contenders for World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s throne – they’re all under 30, and some are under 20.

At last year’s Northumbria Masters in Gateshead, the top three North East players were all teenagers. James Moreby (Gosforth, 18), Max Turner (Berwick, 18) and Yichen Han (Forest Hall, 13) all left the region shortly afterwards: Moreby to work for Goldman Sachs in London, Turner to study at Warwick University, and Han to attend Magdalene College School in Oxford.

What the young hares leaving does mean, however, is that sometimes it’s the old tortoises who eventually win the race.

An exodus of talent from the North East is nothing new, of course – in chess as in any other activity. Many of us have followed the “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet” route at some time in our lives, moving away from the region in search of better work prospects.

One “old wanderer” who returned to the North East a few years ago, Forest Hall’s Tim Wall, has at last been able to reclaim the Northumberland Individual Championship, the Zollner Trophy – after a 27-year wait.

Wall, now 55, won the Zollner three times previously – in 1990-91, 1992-3 and 1994-95 – but in recent years has struggled to play consistently well over an entire season.

This year his luck held, however. With a score of 5/6, Wall finished ahead of Paul Dargan (Tynemouth, 4.5), David Henderson (Tynemouth, 4), David Armbruster (Gosforth, 3), John Boyd (South Shields, 2), Chris Izod (Jesmond, 1.5) and Andy Trevelyan (Jesmond, 1).

In the second section of the County Championship, the Sell, Northumberland Congress organiser Mick Riding (Gosforth) triumphed after a 1.5-0.5 play-off victory against Tynemouth’s John Clarke. Full Sell scores: 1-2 Riding & Clarke (5.5/7); 3 Mark McKay (Gosforth, 5); 4 Steve Burnell (Tynemouth, 4.5);  5-6 Paul Bielby & Eddie Czestochowski (both South Shields, 3.5); 7-8 Stuart Skelsey & Raj Mohindra (both Forest Hall, 3), 9 Anthony Sweeting (South Shields, 2.5); 10 Michael Allen (South Shields, 0).

The clear winner of the third section of the Championships, the Gilroy, was Ian Chester (Gosforth), with 6/7 – one and a half points ahead of the field. Full scores: 2-5 Dave Peardon (South Shields), Kurt Moreby (Gosforth), Ian Rook (Forest Hall), David Simm (Morpeth) on 4.5; 6-9 Kevin Cox (Gateshead), Khaled Makkouk & Bob Heyman (both Gosforth), Andrew Hutchins (Forest Hall) on 4; 10-12 Jeff Baird (Forest Hall), Denise Mosse & Bill Noble (both Gateshead) on 3; 13 Peter Wells (Gateshead) on 2.5; 14-15 Joseph Miller (Leam Lane), Albert Griffiths (Gosforth); 16 Rob Appleby (Leam Lane) 0.5.

This week’s puzzles are all taken from games in the 2021-22 Northumberland County Championships.


Puzzle A: How could Mark McKay (Black, to play) have checkmated in 2 moves?

Puzzle B: How did Tim Wall (White, to play) win here?

Puzzle C: Find the winning sequence for Mick Riding (White, to play).

Puzzle D: What was the killer move for Mick Riding (Black, to play) in the playoff?


A: 1…R5g3+ 2 Kh4 g5 checkmate.

B: 1 Rf6+ Kg8 2 Rg6 1-0.

C: 1 Bxf4 Qd4+ 2 Kh1 Bxf4 3 Ne2 Qxb2 4 Nxf4 wins a piece.

D: 1…Nxd4+! 2 cxd4 (Or 2 Ka3 Re3 anyway, with a winning attack) 2… Re3! wins White’s queen.