Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Stockport C 3 - ECA 3

Our last match of the season was away to Stockport C in their plush new venue.

David T lost on time and then I evened up the match to leave it all in John's hands. John was winning but ran out of time to work things out and had to settle for the draw.

1. L Smith (149) 0 - 1 Phil

I took on the King's Indian with the quiet fianchetto system. However my opponent played it badly and ended up in a cramped position. I then found an accurate move to win a piece and ground down my opponent in the endgame. And for once no time trouble!

2. J Mason (151) 0.5 - 0.5 John

Mason played a quiet system that didn't allow John's Albin Counter Gambit. However John developed quickly while Mason dithered and John soon had the advantage. After the time control John had the advantage of good Knight against bad Bishop and a passed pawn but Mason defended well and John didn't have time to find the win.

3. M McNulty (145) 0.5 - 0.5 Keven

Keven played his "bore Black" system again and again did well, winning a pawn in the middlegame. However he didn't see a safe way to make progress so took the draw.

4. P King (137) 0.5 - 0.5 Dave B

As always Dave got a decent position out of the opening and managed to get some pressure but King played sensibly and got the draw.

5. A Catlow (UG) 0.5 - 0.5 Paul

Paul played his slow anti-Sicilian system again and again managed to expose his opponent's King at the cost of exposing his own. Catlow won a pawn but Paul had enough activity to get the draw.

6. V Rushworth (137) 1 - 0 David T

David had a decent French Defence but the classic bad Bishop. In a slightly worse position David lost on time.

So a decent season for ECA. We came close to beating Chorlton twice and almost beat Macclesfield in our first match. However we are not ready for the A division yet so a solid mid table position is about right.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

ECA 3.5 Altrincham A 2.5

ECA won their final home match of the season last night to cement their position in 3rd place. Smooth wins by John, Keven and Paul saw us to victory.

1. P Ramsey 0 - 1 Y Kolodiy (178)

Playing another King's Indian I had a cramped position and in time trouble missed a move to free my position and ended up with a losing endgame.

2. J Reed 1 - 0 K Lockett (169)

Karl played the opening badly and gave John a strong Kingside attack. John missed the quickest win but kept Karl under pressure and he eventually collapsed.

3. K Holton 1 - 0 W McCartney (136)

Keven had a perfect Sicilian, easily refuting McCartney's attack and then taking control of the board with his extra centre pawns.

4. P Bamford 1 - 0 R Clucas (127)

Paul's slow system against the Sicilian was exactly that but eventually yielded Paul a mating attack.

5. T Rickards 0 - 1 D Hughes (134)

Tudor had an equal position out of the opening but drifted into a defeat (the game ended in my time trouble so I didn't see what happened.)

6. A Stokes 0.5 - 0.5 C McNulty (120)

All the heavy pieces were swapped off on the open C file and a sharp endgame was eventually drawn due to insufficient material.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Chorlton 3.5 East Cheshire A 2.5

Last night we put up a great fight against a strong Chorlton side and came close to a famous victory.

Paul lost early on and after three draws and a win from me it was all down to Dave's game. It looked like his opponent was going to run out of time but Dave made an illegal move and the extra two minutes awarded was enough for Philip to finish off the game and win the match.

1. Hope Mkhumba (184) 0.5 - 0.5 John Reed

John played a drawish version of the Four Pawns Attack against Hope's King's Indian and swapped off all the heavy pieces to share the points.

2. Chris Vassiliou (166) 0 - 1 Phil Ramsey

In another Four Pawns Attack against my King's Indian I played the same obscure sideline that I played against Toole recently and this time got a decent position. With us both in time trouble I played some speculative moves that were probably bad but put Chris under pressure and he eventually lost on time in a lost position.

3. John Horner (172) 0.5 - 0.5 David Taylor

David played a very solid Reti and snapped John's hand off when he offered a draw!

4. Philip Olbison (162) 1 - 0 Dave Broadbent

Dave once again won the opening and was several pawns up at the time control. Unfortunately Philip had a combination to win two pieces for a Rook and his bishops started to control the game. It looked like it would all end in a mad time scramble but the Dave played an illegal move and Philip had enough time to clean up.

From Dave:

Opening - French advance.
Terrific game v strong opponent (162) but wrong result. Phil Olbison was clearly uncomfortable with my opening. I won a pawn and there were lots of tactics in a complicated game. We were both in time trouble. I castled and immediately noticed he could then win my knight. I then turned the game around and 6 moves later was 3 pawns up and had him on the ropes! My move 36 seemed good just before the time control. However, he found a great reply with R*B to exchange his rook for 2 minor pieces. His minor pieces then took over but he was in serious
danger of losing on time. Unfortunately, I played an illegal move which gave him 2 extra minutes and rescued him. I was then in more time trouble and lost on time but by then he was in the better position.

I stayed until past 11pm with all the |Chorlton team looking at the game.

5. Richard Nurse (164) 0.5 - 0.5 Keven Holton

Keven played his "Bore Opponent" system as White and again got a good position with some positional pressure. However Richard did enough to hold the game.

From Keven:

I had the best of it and in analysis later he conceded I had all the chances but we played it out to a drawn N&P's ending in all scenarios.

6. Alan Beresford (150) 1 - 0 Paul Bamford

Paul's Modern Defence got squashed. Paul lost a couple of Queenside pawns early on and then could not stop Alan's Kingside attack.

We have a slightly easier match next week at home to Altrincham.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

C Team draws against Altrincham B

East Cheshire C Team remains ‘The Mean Team’ (in the sense of average, actually, but ‘mean team’ sounds better) with a draw against Altrincham B on 27 March 2012. We now have one more match this season, and will be net winners or losers depending on that result (or we might remain… ‘The Mean Team’)

The score card reads:

Paul Bamford 0.5, Callum McNulty 0.5
Andy Buckley 0, Pete Arland 1,
Ian Vaughan 1, Steve Ward 0,
Edwin Cooke 1, Wayne Kranz 0,
Roy Burrows 0, Steve Douglas 1.

East Cheshire C 2.5, Altrincham B 2.5

Edwin writes:
“This was a great game (aren’t they all when you win!) which I thoroughly enjoyed.
“A fascinating strategic opening against a pensive opponent led to two pawn sacrifices followed by my loss of a knight (move 15) and he still had all his pieces! … However I was confident that my position was strong. He had his king side pinned down by my developed pieces which also were holding his advanced queenside pieces.
“Then I saw it (move 19), the match winner or so I thought, he must move his D8 rook onto the G file to tidy up my lone advanced pawn and then I could pin his knight to his king with my G2 bishop on E6 whilst also forking his rook, whatever he did to defend this would leave a gap for further exploitation. Ambitious and a tall order I know, but that was the target and I was certain it could be done!!! My next move I figured would be a rook sacrifice which at worst would gain two pawns and at best leave me two bishops and a knight up.
“I think he could see a threat and chose to swipe my advanced pawn with his queen instead, thus he returned my earlier favour leaving his bishop unprotected (move 20). I had been carving out a position but this mistake let me take stock, “Advantage Edwin, be careful, don’t blow it, just win”
“Then I controlled an inevitable pawn exchange, which left both bishops exposed but me in a commanding position for further pawn attack, this was gold dust as if we continued I could win his king knight and leave his defence in shreds, furthermore his queen tied up in knots defending a knight, but at the same time pinned by my queen (move 23).
“From there he unrolled like a yoyo and each time he bounced back it was weaker and weaker.”

Ian writes:
“This asymmetrical king’s pawn game contained opportunities for both sides and was an exciting contest. An early exchange obliged me to capture with the f-pawn but the open file became a strength after I was able to castle queenside and to launch an attack on the queen. This won material, and I was a knight up.
“Later I blundered away a rook, and was one move away from a draw by repetition with my opponent’s rook and queen likely to force mate. Fortunately, my pawns and knight stopped the momentum of the attack, and the knight remained useful to the end by enabling a mate on g1.”