CSCL: The London Civil Service, Post Office & Municipal Chess League




31 December 2014

At the EGM on 3 November, the Council of the Civil Service League ratified the changes proposed below, in particular the change of name to the London Public Service Chess League, the adoption of an Operating Model to replace the existing League Rules, and the return of trophies (except the individual trophies) to the Civil Service Sports Council.


This site will no longer be updated. In due course the content will be migrated to the website of the London Public Service Chess League.


3 September 2014

The Civil Service League has undergone fundamental restructuring this year. We are starting the new season with a change of name (to the London Public Service Chess League) and a new committee and Operating Model. The changes that have been made need to be ratified, and there also some transitional issues to discuss (in particular relating to the CSL trophy collection). The appropriate way to do this is through an EGM of the CSL Council.


I am giving notice that an EGM will be held on Monday 3 November at 6.30pm. This will take place in central London (venue to be determined). An agenda and papers will be circulated in good time to allow clubs to prepare for the EGM. It will be held under the existing CSL League Rules – this will govern the voting arrangements among other things. We hope that all of the clubs currently playing in the League will be represented.


27 July 2014

The Team Blitz on 16 July brought to an end a long and eventful season for the Civil Service League. As all those concerned with the League will know, next season is intended to mark a new direction, with a change of name (to the London Public Service Chess League, or Public Service League for short), and a new Operating Model to replace the current set of League Rules in their entirety.


The Council of the Civil Service League, its current governing body, will be formally invited to ratify the changes – and deal with other transitional issues – on a date to be fixed in the autumn of 2014. The outcome will be noted here. Apart from that, however, it is not intended to add any new material to this website.


Next season's chess activities will be publicised on a new website for the Public Service League. This is online at The new site has all the fixtures for next season, and updated club pages including the July 2014 grades.


16 July 2014

The Civil Service League Team Blitz for 2013/14 took place at Pimlico on Tuesday 15 July. A total of 12 teams entered the event, seven in the Open and five in the U150. DHSS won the Open and Treasury won the U150. Thanks to Pimlico for hosting the event and Nigel Blades for organising it. A detailed report on the event is here.


7 July 2014

The date of the finals of the cup competitions for 2014/15 has been moved from Thursday 7 May to Tuesday 5 May. This is because 7 May 2015 is the date of the next general election. The Pimlico venue will be out of action on that date as it will be needed as a polling station.


23 June 2014

The Civil Service Open Championship takes place from Monday 14 July to Wednesday 16 July at the Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PH. The timetable is as follows:


Monday 14 July Round 1 1.30pm 5.30pm
  Round 2 6.00pm 10.00pm
Tuesday 15 July Round 3 10.00am 2.00pm
  Round 4 2.30pm 6.30pm
Wednesday 15 July Round 5 10.00am 2.00pm


The event is open to anyone and there is no entry fee. The closing date for entries is Friday 4 July. Please note that only light refreshments are available at the venue.


The event is being organised by Ihor Lewyk on behalf of the Civil Sports Council. If you want to enter, or have any queries about the event or the CSSC, please contact Ihor by email.


15 June 2014

Next season the League will run three divisional and two cup competitions. A total of 7 clubs (the current clubs minus Met Police and SPARTA) will field 19 teams in the League and 14 teams in the cup competitions.


The fixtures for next season are in the attached spreadsheet. Please note:

•  The fixtures run from Wednesday 10 September to Thursday 4 December 2014, and from Wednesday 7 January to Thursday 7 May 2015. The mid-season break ensures that league fixtures do not clash with the London Chess Classic or the Christmas party season.

•  In order to accommodate all the fixtures, teams in Division 1 and Division 3 play in the same week. In all cases, clubs have one team at home and one away, to avoid venue congestion. Teams in Division 2 play in a different week from those in Divisions 1 and 3.

•  Pimlico will host both cup finals, on Thursday 7 May 2015.


The Individual Blitz will take place at GLCC on Tuesday 16 September 2014. The Team Blitz will take place at Pimlico on Thursday 14 May 2015. There are no league or cup fixtures in these weeks.


The League is undergoing changes. I will be designing a new website to reflect these. When this is published the current site will no longer be updated, but all the content will continue to be available online.


11 June 2014

Treasury played a friendly match against the Bank of England on Tuesday 10 June. On this occasion the bankers proved too strong for the civil servants…






10 June 2014

Bank of England





P O'Sullivan


J Leake





A Long


R Churm





S Humphrey


P Andrews





R Saunders


C Peacock




M Ellam


J Kingdom









3 June 2014

I am sorry but a problem has arisen with the use of the Pimlico venue for the Team Blitz on Thursday 17 July. We have had to change the date and it will now take place on Tuesday 15 July instead. All other details remain the same. I hope this will not be inconvenient for prospective entrants.


17 May 2014

Here are the details for the Team Blitz competition for 2013/14. This will be held at Pimlico on Thursday 17 July 2014. The event is open to any member of a club playing in the Civil Service League. Please arrive by 6.30pm for a 6.45pm start. Deadline for team entries: Tuesday 15 July. Tournament controller: Nigel Blades.


15 May 2014

The Civil Service League AGM took place tonight. There will be a full record in the minutes in due course, but here are the main points. 17 members were present.


5 – Treasurer's report

• The AGM provisionally accepted the 2013/14 accounts subject to audit.

• For 2014/15, the AGM agreed not to incur the cost of engraving trophies, and to seek cost-free venues for meetings as far as possible.

• Whether the League should continue to subsidise correspondence chess activity was postponed for further discussion.


8 – Blitz Tournaments

• The Team Blitz tournament for 2013/14 will be held at Pimlico on Thursday 17 July 2014.


9 – League history book

• The section on the history of individual CSL clubs will be updated.

• The book will be available online with a limited hard copy print run.

• Timing is dependent on progress but the published version should be available within the next 12 months.


10 – Future of the League

• The AGM agreed unanimously to go ahead on the basis of a simplified model as outlined in the recent paper.

• Details will be agreed in a consultation exercise to be completed by the end of May, but the consensus at the meeting was against the introduction of grade-limited divisions.


11 and 12 – Proposals from clubs and the Executive Committee

• In view of the decision on the future of the League, these items were dropped.

• However, the AGM agreed that forthcoming League blitz events should continue to follow the FIDE Laws of Chess. The entry conditions will make this clear.


13 – Election of Executive Committee and Auditor

• In view of the decision on the future of the League, elections for Executive Committee posts did not take place. However, the AGM agreed that the current officers should remain in place for the purposes of making transitional arrangements to enable the revised League to get started.

• Tim Woods was re-appointed Auditor for 2014/15.


10 May 2014

All games played in league and cup competitions since 1 January 2014 have been graded and sent to the ECF for inclusion in the July 2014 grading list.


08 May 2014

Congratulations to GLCC 1, who won Division 1 – their first league title since 1991.


02 May 2014

Pimlico 1 won the Bonar Law Trophy and Pimlico 2 won the Post Annual Cup. The outcome of Division 1 will depend on the last match to be played, UNATS 1 v GLCC 1, on Thursday 8 May.


30 April 2014

The Pimlico venue has now reopened following the storm damage in February. The venue will host the finals of the Bonar Law Trophy and the Post Annual Cup on Thursday 1 May, together with the Division 1 match between GLCC 1 and Revenue & Customs 1.


25 April 2014

The National Club Championships take place this weekend at De Vere Uplands House, Four Ashes Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP15 6LB. The Civil Service League is represented by GLCC who have teams in the Major and Intermediate competitions, while DHSS have entered a team in the Minor section. You can follow their progress on the Championship website at


09 April 2014

DHSS 2 have won Division 2 and are promoted to Division 1.


03 April 2014

The Pimlico venue remains closed for repairs and will not re-open until Thursday 24 April at the earliest. This has implications for some of the remaining fixtures. I am liaising with the relevant team captains and any changes will be shown on the Fixtures pages of the website.


20 March 2014

Pimlico 2 have won Division 3 and are promoted to Division 2.


28 February 2014

The Bonar Law Trophy final will be contested between Pimlico 1 and UNATS 1 on Thursday 1 May. The semi-final between Pimlico 1 and Revenue & Customs 1 was drawn 4–4, with Pimlico 1 going through on board count.


21 February 2014

The Pimlico venue is currently closed as a result of damage to the roof caused by last weekend's storm. This is affecting the matches due to be played at Pimlico. Last night's Post Annual Cup match between Pimlico 2 and UNATS 2 was postponed. Until we know when the venue is open again, fixtures will be rearranged as necessary on a week-by-week basis.


15 February 2014

The Civil Service League Individual Tournaments will take place again this year as part of the 4th Pimlico Summer Tournament. The round dates are below. More details and an entry form are here.

      •  Round 1 – Thursday 29 May

      •  Round 2 – Thursday 5 June

      •  Round 3 – Thursday 12 June

      •  Round 4 – Tuesday 17 June

      •  Round 5 – Thursday 26 June.


12 February 2014

The tube strike is off. Revenue & Customs 3 v GLCC 2 had already been postponed but UNATS 3 v DHSS 3 will go ahead.


10 February 2014

At the moment the second tube strike is still on. The match on Tuesday 11 February between GLCC 3 and Pimlico 2 has been postponed. For the matches on Thursday 13 February (Revenue & Customs 3 v GLCC 2, and UNATS 3 v DHSS 3), I have asked the captains to let me know by midnight on Tuesday whether they want to postpone these matches or go ahead.


3 February 2014

This week's tube strike seems almost certain to go ahead. In view of the disruption to travel, the League fixtures that were due to be played this week have all been postponed. Pimlico 1 v UNATS 1 will now take place on 17 April – other rearranged dates to follow.


Unless the two sides reach agreement, the strike will be repeated next week. The match on Monday 10 February between Met Police and Treasury 3 should be OK, but the matches later in the week may also have to be postponed. I suggest we make a final decision on the morning of 10 February.


29 January 2014

The Civil Service League’s Executive Committee met on 27 January. The main outcomes are summarised below.


Venue of Team Blitz (8 May) and AGM (15 May)
These will take place at the venue of Pimlico Chess Club.


Time controls / default finish on the night / preference matching system
The new provisions seem to be operating smoothly. Although the trend is towards finishing on the night, there are enough players in the League who prefer adjudication to justify retaining a mixed system for the moment. So the EC will not be proposing changes at the 2014 AGM.


ECF membership – mandatory or discretionary?
The League will have an opportunity to debate this issue at the AGM. The EC will circulate a neutral paper setting out the pros and cons of each option to aid discussion. We will not be inviting the AGM to vote on a proposal but we do think it would be useful to hear players’ views.


The EC discussed various options, including the expansion through the use of guest players on which we consulted, and a suggestion going in the opposite direction which would restrict eligiblity to past or present employees – with or without letting in those external players who have joined CSL clubs in the past few years. The EC was unable to identify a consensus and will not be bringing any proposals on this to the AGM. It is of course open to individual clubs to propose any solutions of their own.


EC proposals on other issues
Although we are not proposing changes on the issues just mentioned, we think there are improvements to be made to the League Rules in some other (less significant) areas and will circulate proposals in the next few days.


Proposals from clubs for rule changes
The deadline for submitting club proposals is 31 March 2014 (by email to James Toon please).


League finances
At present the Treasurer sees no need to recommend an increase in the League Fixture Fee of £0.14 per game.


Individual tournaments
Following the success of the 2013 event, the Individual Tournaments will take place again this year in combination with the Pimlico Summer Tournament. The dates of the rounds will avoid clashing with England football matches in the World Cup.


Fixtures in 2014/15
Next season’s fixtures may start a week earlier and finish a week later, to allow for a longer break in December, i.e. probably finishing after the first week in December.


The EC will meet again on 28 April to finalise arrangements for the AGM.


27 January 2014

The ECF has published the January 2014 grading list. I have updated the club pages on the website.


23 December 2013

The results of all games played in league and cup matches in the first half of the season have been submitted to the ECF for grading. They will appear in the next grading list, which is due out in late January.


21 December 2013

This is to provide some information about the season to date, and to invite comments on the new procedures that were agreed at the 2013 AGM.


The AGM made some significant changes to the League Rules. The Executive Committee needs to review the operation of the new procedures and to consider whether to propose any changes to the 2014 AGM. If anyone would like to comment on these before the EC meeting next month, could you please send me your comments by Friday 10 January. Comments are invited on the following in particular, but comments on other issues are welcome also:

  1. League Rules 16–18 (player preferences for finishing games) and 23 (team lists exchanged in advance).
  2. League Rule 28 (games are to finish on the night unless both players agree to adjudication).
  3. League Rule 29 (incremental time control for games that finish on the night).


9 December 2013

The consultation period on the League's eligibility rules has now ended. Thank you to those who responded – two clubs, and five individuals. The responses are set out in the order of receipt, in the attached note.


The Executive Committee will discuss the issues at its meeting in late January and will decide what proposals, if any, to bring to the 2014 AGM.


21 November 2013

We have reviewed the take-up of ECF membership by CSL players in 2013/14. So far, 149 players have appeared in league and cup matches. Of these, 120 are current ECF members and 29 are not. Managing this issue is an administrative burden for League’s Executive Committee, whose (volunteer) officials need to keep track of who is and is not an ECF member, and need to recover from clubs the cost of grading games played by non-ECF members.


We are, once again, asking the League’s member clubs to encourage their members to join the ECF, if they have not already done so, in order to reduce the financial and administrative implications for the League.


This raises the issue whether eligibility to play in the League should be restricted to ECF members. Some other leagues have already taken this route. The Civil Service League has not yet debated the issue. The 2014 AGM would provide an opportunity for that.


20 November 2013

Pimlico Chess Club are hosting a graded standardplay session on Thursday 19 December. This is an opportunity for individuals to play graded games against an opponent of similar strength using the incremental time control of all moves in 80 minutes plus 10 seconds a move. It follows two earlier sessions which Pimlico hosted in August. Entry is free, but Pimlico will recover the £2.00 grading cost for non-ECF members. The deadline for entries (to James Toon) is 12 December.


19 November 2013

Added an obituary for the former GLCC player Geoff Willars, who died in September 2013. See Obituaries.


15 November 2013

The semi-finals of the Post Annual Cup will take place on 20 February 2014:

• Pimlico 2 v UNATS 2

• DHSS 3 v UNATS 3.


2 October 2013

Updated match result form to reflect this season's league entries and to reduce the number of anti-spam measures from two to one.


17 September 2013

Version 2.0 of the League Handbook for 2013/14 is available to download on the Handbook page. Apart from some updating of contact and other details, there are two main changes.

1. Revised and expanded guidance section (player preferences, time controls, adjudication procedures).

2. Database of player details, alphabetically by surname within each club – grading code, ECF membership, player name, July 2013 grade, game finish preference, team nomination if any.


17 September 2013

At the League AGM in May 2013, the Executive Committee undertook to review the rules on eligibility with a view to addressing the decline in playing numbers in the League. The EC has now considered this issue. The attached paper has been circulated to all the clubs that play in the League. The EC would be grateful if clubs could consult their members and send any comments to the Senior Recorder no later than 30 November 2013. The EC will consider the responses with a view to bringing forward proposed rule changes to the 2014 AGM. Clubs are of course free to bring their own proposals to the AGM.


The EC would like to emphasise that this is a consultation exercise. The proposals in the paper represent a starting-point for discussion. The final proposals may be different, depending on the outcome of consultation.


14 September 2013

The Civil Service League Individual Tournaments took place at the GLCC venue on Tuesday 12 September 2013. They were part of a larger event organised by GLCC. Robin Haldane was the highest-placed CSL player (and the overall winner) in the Open section. Peter Morton was the highest-placed CSL player in the U150 section. Congratulations to them, and thanks to Nigel Blades for organising the event. See the full report.


12 September 2013

This note provides guidance on the changes to the playing rules that were agreed at the 2013 AGM. It covers:
– time controls
– player preferences
– adjudication system
– tie-break for cup matches.


2 September 2013

Updated the pages for individual clubs to show the following information:

•  ECF membership details – shaded cells indicate no membership or expired membership.

•  Time control preferences for Adjudication, Finish on the night, or Neutral (where known).

•  Team nominations (where known).

More to follow in the next two weeks.


17 August 2013

Uploaded the minutes of Civil Service League AGMs for the period 1984 to 2013. The series is complete from 1998 onwards. There are some gaps in earlier years. See Documents.


14 August 2013

The 2013/14 Civil Service League Individual Blitz tournament will take place on Tuesday 10 September from 6.45pm at the GLCC venue in Bloomsbury. Details on the attached flyer. Open and U150 sections. The event is part of a larger GLCC event and is open to all.


8 August 2013

New review of digital clocks for the Civil Service League, focusing on the three models in current use. Details here.


31 July 2013

Updated the Club pages on the website to show the July 2013 ECF grades for all players who have a published grade. The Club page will also include information for 2013/14 about nominated players and individual preferences for finishing the game.


5 July 2013

The Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) have negotiated an arrangement with the ECF whereby members of the CSSC can apply for a £10 refund on their ECF membership if joining or renewing before 31 August 2013. The offer is open to both existing and new members of the CSSC. Details at


CSSC membership is open to everyone who works in the Civil Service or other public sector organisations, and also their friends and families through the Linked Membership scheme.


28 June 2013

The Pimlico tournament finished last night. Roland Smith, President of the Civil Service League, presented the Civil Service League Individual Trophies to the winners. Congratulations to them:

•  Barstow Cup – Robin Haldane (UNATS)

•  Star Trophy – Erika Orsagova (GLCC)

•  James Curtis Trophy – Keith Hendrikse (Revenue & Customs).


See the relevant Records page which now also has a brief history of the trophies.


18 June 2013

The Civil Service League Individual Trophies are being contested for the first time in 15 years. This is as part of the 3rd Pimlico Summer Chess Tournament, which is running on five Thursday evenings this summer. After three rounds, Robin Haldane leads in the Barstow Cup group, Peter Childs leads in the Star Trophy competition and Keith Hendrikse leads in the James Curtis. Round 4 takes place on Thursday 20 June, and Round 5 (the final round) on Thursday 27 June. The trophies will be presented at the end of Round 5 by Roland Smith, President of the Civll Service Chess League.


The positions after three rounds are as follows:



2.0    Robin Haldane (UNATS)
1.5    James McDonnell (GLCC)
1.0    Norman Blake (Business & Innovation)
1.0    Stephen Pride (Business & Innovation)
0.5    Len Cotter (Met Police)


STAR TROPHY (Under 150)
2.0    Peter Childs (UNATS)
1.5    Richard Johnson (Treasury)
1.5    Tim Woods (UNATS)
1.5    Alasdair Fraser (UNATS)
1.5    Keith Dunmore (Pimlico)
1.5    Erika Orsagova (GLCC)
1.5    Paul Ritchie (Business & Innovation)
1.0    David Gilbert (DHSS)
0.5    Peter Biggs (Pimlico)
0.5    Larre Olajide (Revenue & Customs)
0.5    Greg Barker (GLCC)


3.0    Keith Hendrikse (Revenue & Customs)
1.5    Bill Upton (DHSS)
1.0    David Dunford (Pimlico)
1.0    Ray Alexander (DHSS)


15 June 2013

The League Handbook for 2013/14 is available to download and print from the Handbook page.


9 June 2013

The minutes of the 2013 AGM are here.


21 May 2013

Following last week's AGM, I have updated several sections of the website for 2013/14. In particular:

• League and cup fixtures

• League Rules, Cup Rules, guidance etc

• League officers

• Club details (teams, officers etc).


Any large-scale updating carries the risk of mistakes. Please let me know if you find any.


The following items among others will appear at a later date:

• Electronic handbook for download

• July 2013 ECF grades

• Player preference arrangements for next season.


17 May 2013

The Civil Service League AGM took place last night. Minutes will be circulated in due course. Main points:

• Player fixture fee to remain at £0.14 for the next 3–4 years at least.

• Clubs urged to increase take-up of ECF membership

• 2014 AGM may consider whether ECF membership should be mandatory

• CSL records will be archived but available

• New Secretary needed, on reduced job description, before September: clubs to consider

• Web manager to check and update links to correspondence chess organisations

• all CSL events to be registered for 2013/14 onwards: clubs to register own events

• Pimlico time control proposal (as amended): passed 7–3 with one abstention

• all Executive Committee proposals were passed

• league history: draft in final stage, expected from Kevin Thurlow imminently

• new executive committee elected –  see below. Tim Woods to continue as auditor

• thanks recorded to Nigel Blades and David Johnson as outgoing Secretary and Grader

• 20 teams next season including eight in D3 playing seven matches each. Option for additional entries to Post Annual. Notification to Senior Recorder by 23 May.


Executive Committtee for 2013-14:

Chairman – Richard Fries

Vice-Chairman – Jim Robinson

Secretary – vacant

Treasurer – Nigel Fleming

Senior Recorder – James Toon

Grader – James Toon

Individual Tournament Controller – David Gilbert

Individual and Team Blitz Controller – Nigel Blades

Correspondence Team Captain –  Ray Pomeroy

Web Manager – James Toon

ECF Liaison Officer –  David Gilbert

Engravings Officer – Phil Zammit

Additional committtee members – Peter Biggs, Tim Pelling


Earlier news has been archived.