Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Chorlton A 4.5 - 1.5 ECA

Tudor's report below on last night's activities:

This being an honest account of our expedition to the South West frontier post of Chorlton.

A gallant effort against high-flying Chorlton in division 1. The results on the top three boards deserve highest accolades. 

Mostly outranked, and missing Captain Paul’s inspirational presence, we competed well, to the regular faint sounds of goals being scored across the city at the Etihad stadium. 

John wrestled in vain with IM level opponent Hope Mkhumba on board one.

Steve grabbed an impressive draw against Piotr Niedbal

Geoff cunningly got into trouble requiring a neat swindle causing visible dismay from 
Austin Elliot who chuntered on with two rooks against Geoff’s knight and queen hardware, before subsiding like a member of the ERG at the defeat of their plans to take back control.

Jim muttered about being gradually strangled in his game, which added to his discomfort though an unsound gambit on the ski slopes a few days earlier.

I had an interesting game against Mr Doney, although somewhat disconcerted by his Trappist vow of silence, only briefly interrupted mid-game as he consumed an apple. I probably resigned a bit early, faced with a long endgame a pawn down, with no counter play. 

Steve on board six hung on grimly as Dennis Owen chewed up his position.

Mkhumba (194) 1 Reed 0
Niedbal (180)1/2 Tranter 1/2
Elliot (174) 0 Brindle 1
Lee (178) 1 McKie 0
Doney (162) 1 Rickards 0
Owen (160) 1 Tatlock 0

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Macclesfield A 4 - 2 ECA

A narrow defeat last night against a strong Macc team.  David Taylor's report below:

A SHAW        1:0    S TRANTER
J HEPPELL        1:0    J READ
D RISLEY        0:1      G BRINDLE
S DAVISON    0.5:0.5    J McKIE
A SOAMES    0.5:0.5    K HOLTON
C GARSIDE    1:0        D R TAYLOR
                        4 : 2
Steve (168) was faced by Shaw (200) and unfortunately exposed a rook down the long diagonal, which enabled his opponent to establish a fierce attack by queen and bishop against both the rook and the king’s position on the other side of the board.  Steve struggled valiantly to cope but was eventually overwhelmed.
John (168) played calmly against Heppell (187) and seemed to have good scope in the endgame with two connected outside passed pawns, supported by two bishops,  against a pawn majority in the centre which included one passed pawn.  However his opponent’s knight and bishop finally enabled  Heppell’s king to approach and forced an exchange of bishop for knight resulting, in the final minutes, in a resolution in favour of Heppell.
Geoff (157) outplayed Dave RIsley (172) and his strong attack on the king’s position proved decisive.
Jim (141) was not fazed by his strong opponent (C Davison, 163) and a tense stand-off involving multiple threats by doubled rooks and minor pieces eventually dissolved into a drawn game.
Keven (141) never looked to be in trouble against Soames (156) and a tightly blockaded stonewall sealed a draw.
David (135) playing against Carl Gartside (157), who played at High Peak in years gone by, missed a combination in a Kings Indian that won a knight around move 20, and never managed to regain any momentum, resigning after another 15 moves as more material began to drop off.                                     

Friday, 15 February 2019

Holmes Chapel 4.5 - 1.5 East Cheshire

Our glorious run in the Charnley Cup came to an end at the semi final stage last night as we crashed out to Holmes Chapel, but not without the usual fun and games.

John arrived literally hot foot from the airport and had to face a professional chess coach and put up a good fight before having to admit defeat.  Steve McCall played a solid game and his opponent needed no hesitation when a draw was offered.  The other Steve (Tranter) got a good initiative but unfortunately it didn't lead to a knock out punch and he had to settle for a draw.

My opponent threw the kitchen sink at me and I ended up a rook up but was unable to defend precisely which allowed him a perpetual.  Interestingly (or not!) there was an incident which reminded me of the infamous "Marplegate" of a few years ago.  The position had got particularly tense and I was testing the old brain trying to find the best defense when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my clock had stopped - I was down to 12 minutes and Ian had about 25 at this stage.  I then could  hear a couple of spectators talking who had obviously noticed it too and the next thing is one of them picks up the clock and starts messing with it.  I immediately blurted out "Oi, get your hands of the bl@@dy clock!".  It all ended amicably enough but didn't help my concentration much.  I'm not sure what the ruling is on spectator interference....

Anyway, this all meant that we now had to win the 2 remaining games to make it through to the final.  As it happened both Tudor and David T just got edged out in interesting endgames.  Oh well, at least we avoid having to play Stockport in the final.

1 - 0  Jon Blackburn (207) v John
1/2    John Turner (173) v Steve Tr
1 - 0  Patrick Bennett (176)  v David T
1 - 0  Mike Hancock (161) v Tudor
1/2    Ian Bates (146) v Paul
1/2    Malcolm Roberts (137) v Steve Mc
4.5 - 1.5

Thursday, 17 January 2019

ECA 3.5 - 2.5 Macclesfield B

It was an epic battle last night in the crunch relegation dogfight against the only team in Division 1 who we have a realistic chance of beating.  It didn't start well for us though.

I was the first to finish.  I'd had the better of the opening and was in creative mode until I over egged it and it backfired badly losing a piece.  Tudor also started well, so much so that his opponent felt he had to execute a desperate piece sacrifice.  Unfortunately a few moves later this seemed inspired when Tudor succumbed to a deadly counter attack.

Meanwhile Geoff was a pawn up but his position looked awkward and was relieved when his opponent agreed a draw.  So, at the halfway stage we needed to win all of the remaining 3 games to bring home the bacon.  At this point that looked unlikely and even a draw might be pushing it.

Steve had an advantage in material, first a pawn then an exchange but then the position became very open with attacking chances on both sides.  Steve handled it well though and put together a decisive Q and N attack that finished things off.  John's game looked pretty even to the untrained eye (like mine!)  with his opponent having double R's on the open c file and an active Q but John had it all worked out and after a series of piece swapping he emerged 2 pawns up in a winning K and R ending.

This all meant that the match result was now all hanging on David's game.  By this time both players were very low on time but with David a pawn up and a minute better on the clock.  A draw offer came in which David may normally have been tempted to accept but in the interests of the team he soldiered on.  And in a very tense finish he played it well under pressure to force a resignation.  Well done David!

So we ended up winning a very exciting match and this rockets us off the bottom of the league.  Survival in Division 1 (if we want it!) is now pretty much in our own hands.

1 - 0  John v James Heppell (160)
1 - 0  Steve v John Paul Taylor (156)
1/2    Geoff v Phil Cattermole (151)
1 - 0  David T v Geoff Laurence (149)
0 - 1  Tudor v Phil Colville (140)
0 - 1  Paul v Joachim Trier (136)
3.5 - 2.5

Sunday, 30 December 2018

East Cheshire New Year Social Evening on January 2nd 2018 

Our usual Christmas social is transformed to a New Year social! It will take place on Wednesday 2nd January. The usual format will apply – please arrive with some food and/or drink to share by 7:30 so David can get us off and running with round 1 at 7:45, and there'll be the usual lengthy break in the middle to enjoy our combined food and drink and to chat.
As this is an unusual date for a social it would be helpful to get an idea of numbers attending so we can see in advance whether it will be successful: if you know you can’t attend you might like to let me know, similarly if you do intend to come. If you don’t yet know whether you will attend or not you might like to let me know when things become clear.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Holmes Chapel 5 - 1 ECA

We knew it would be tough against a strong Holmes Chapel team last night.... but just before 10.00  with 2 fantastic draws already agreed, and well in contention on other boards, it looked like we could actually get something from the match.  Alas, it was not to be.

Stuart Clarke (213)  1/2  John
John showed all his class to comfortably hold against his highly rated opponent.

Jon Blackburn (207)  1 - 0  Steve Tr
Steve plays the Dutch to win and sacrificed the exchange for 2 extra pawns in an exciting unbalanced game.  His opponent unfortunately got an initiative late on though and Steve ran out of time.

Patrick Bennett (176)  1 - 0  David T
As usual David proved hard to beat but just lost out in a pawn endgame.

John Turner (173)  1 - 0  Tudor
Tudor was last to finish and bravely dug in but eventually John's extra Qside pawns were decisive.

Mike Hancock (161)  1 - 0  Paul
I was in control of this one right from the opening and eventually set up a winning attack..... I'd seen the natural e-pawn push which was crushing but I bizarrely retreated my Q instead, which lost on the spot.  What an idiot.

Ian Bates (146)  1/2  Steve K
Many thanks to Steve for stepping in at the last moment and he did us proud.  He never looked in any trouble and was even up on time and earned a very credible draw.

Next up is Macclesfield A which also is no picnic.  The good news though is that Macc B have lost all their games and are joint bottom with us.  The relegation battle will start in the New Year!.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Macc 2 - 3 East Cheshire (Charnley)

David Taylor's report on last night's victorious result in the Charnley Cup at Macclesfield:

Quite an eventful night!  The choice of replacement captain did not work out well at first:  Tudor decided to do some pre-match warm-up exercises (why? this was to be a game of chess, not a marathon) and went into severe back-spasm.  Keven and I called in, but it was clear we could not lift him up the stairs in the Queens Arms (that sounds a bit strange!) so arrived at Macc without him.  The others turned up, even John, out of breath from a hasty return from the other side of the Pennines, but Macclesfield A-team did not seem to know we were coming, so those of the club who were not playing Wilmslow in the Limit League eventually decided to sit down in grade order and play us five.  Result:  3-3 including the cunning Tudor ploy of losing on the bottom board by default.  Why cunning?  Because we did the right thing and defaulted on bottom board, we win this knockout game since the score is modified by tearing off the bottom boards until a result emerges – so we win 3:2 as follows:-
Macc                              East Cheshire
1.  P Cattermole (151)  0.5  0.5  G Brindle (167) 
Geoff:      Had a strong attack down the H-file but allowed his advanced G-pawn to be taken giving check, which undermined his attack and thwarted all his attempts to double rook and Q in time for mate.
2.  G Lawrence (149)      0      1    J Reed  (168)
John:  The master of the endgame triumphed via an elaborate and long drawn-out zugzwang involving kings, bishops of the same colour and pawns (JR’s sensibly not on squares the same colour as the bishops).  When it was clear he must gain a crucial pawn, his opponent sensibly gave up.
3.  P Colville (140)          1     0    K Holton  (141)
Keven:  Found himself playing the French as black and it took too long for him to sort out the combinations possible, losing on time as a result:  better stick to the Modern in future!
4.  D Lobo (139)             0.5   0.5  D R Taylor (135)
David:  Feeling his age, played the move after the one he planned to make, losing the en-prise knight he thought he’s moved to safety!  Even so, achieved at least parity with two passed pawns and a pin of the opposing knight – might have won if he’d played on but was happy to get the draw when offered.
5.  A Brough  (138)         0      1     N Flaherty  (121)
Nick:  The star turn!  Never looked in trouble or likely to lose, calmly out-playing his higher-graded opponent to score the decisive victory quite early on.
6.  [ N Other                   1      0     Default ]    board cancelled to prevent drawn match
Final Score                2       3
Regards from the vice-vice-captain (DRT)