Thursday 5 March 2020

ECA 4 - 2 Marple A

No handshakes last night.  Taking a leaf from the world's great leaders we did our bit to contain the corona virus.  Having said that, chess has to be a pretty hazardous pursuit, locking heads over a board whilst your opponent labours over whether to move his knight to c3 or d2 whilst constantly taking huge breaths in and out.

Anyway, back to the match!  The sight of John Reed on board 4 was an unpleasant surprise for Marple and the look on some of their faces was priceless.  The psychological effect seemed to work.  John finished his match well before 9.00 after his dominant centralised Q had caused his opponent to throw pieces up the board in a flawed counter attack.  Tom finished soon after having equalised against his more than useful opponent.

Things then started to get a bit interesting.  Keven had replied well to an accelerated London and aided by a strong outposted N launched pieces at his opponent's K in what looked like a decisive attack.  Unfortunately.... going in for the kill he had a moment's lapse and placed his Q on an unsafe square.  It happens.

In my game my opponent had spent a lot of time on his opening moves but just ended up 2 pawns down and I was able to convert it into a fairly comfortable endgame.  The remaining 2 games both looked pretty wild affairs.  Steve eventually settling for a perpetual and Geoff finding the winning plan in a game he never looked like losing.

So all in all things worked out OK and a win's a win.

Tom   1/2   Glen Trueman (160)
Steve Tr   1/2   Alan Hall (144)
Geoff   1 - 0   Chris Baker (124)
John   1 - 0   David Preen (115)
Keven   0 - 1   Tony Doust (110)
Paul   1 - 0   Paul Horrocks (111)

Thursday 13 February 2020

ECA 3.5 - 2.5 Stockport B

We entertained Stockport B last night who had inflicted our only league defeat on us so far this season when thy beat us narrowly at their place.  So we were looking for revenge and fortunately we just got over the line against a decent team.

Steve Tranter was the first to finish and got us off to a good start.  After almost getting a draw against a former world champion at a simul in Spain last week he was in confident and relaxed mood and never looked in any trouble.

Things then got a bit tricky for us.  Geoff had lost to his highly graded opponent and Jim was also under the cosh.  He had lost a pawn out of the opening but sensibly had manufactured a B versus N ending but was just unable to hold on for a draw.

I was in a spot of time trouble (4 minutes to his 40) but was a piece up for 2 pawns and he offered a draw which was very tempting, but I decided to keep plugging away.  In the meantime Tom's game looked pretty even and he declined a couple of draw offers before going on to win on time and keep his impressive form going.

John had a good battle before it fizzled out in to a draw so the match result hinged on my game.  Ian had defended a difficult position early on and made it tough for me before he played an illegal N move (chess blindness!) which had given me the initiative again.  At the end I was a R up with 2 pawns about to promote but he carried on, hoping I would lose on time but he made another illegal move (!) and I claimed the win.

So it was a close run thing in the end but the result sends us to the top of the table again.  Nice to see East Cheshire on top of two divisions at the moment with the B team also flying.

Geoff  0  Andy Stoker (177)  1
John  1/2  Jill Barber (152)  1/2
Steve Tr  1  Mike Tunstall (152)  0
Tom  1  Gareth Griffiths  (142)  0
Jim  0  Peter Taylor (129)  1
Paul  1  Ian Anderson (115)  0 

Thursday 16 January 2020

ECA 5.5 - 0.5 Denton

The first match of the year saw the A team return to form last night with a comfortable win over Denton.

Geoff  1 - 0  Dave Holt (137)
This game had everything - illegal moves, missed illegal moves (do we need VAR for next season?) but Geoff's strong position held it together and his 2 extra pawns at the end were decisive. 

John  1 - 0  Phil Boyd (121)
John always seemed very comfortable and was the first to finish on the night.

Tom  1 - 0  Martin Murphy (113)
Tom went a pawn up fairly early on and his opponent threw in the towel when he was unable to stop a runaway pawn.

Jim  1/2  Ivan Urwin (112)
You always get an interesting game against Ivan and his quirky style of play had Jim in a slightly awkward position and time trouble before a flurry of checks saved the day for Jim.

Paul  1 - 0  Stan Bradley (109)
After a slow build up I eventually got an advantage for the space on the Qside and built up a decisive attack in the endgame.

Tudor  1 - 0  Pete Shaw (102)
Tudor came out of the opening in good shape with a pawn up and went on to win another and was careful to avoid giving his opponent any drawing chances with opposite coloured bishops.

In grading terms this was a match that we would have hoped to win and it has put us back on the top of the table at the halfway stage.

Friday 29 November 2019

Urmston 3.5 - 2.5 East Cheshire

It's not been a good week for the first team..... A narrow defeat in the Charnley Cup last night at Urmston meant 2 defeats in 3 days.  

Last night started off well, everyone found the place and we won the toss.  We outgraded our opponents but they played above their grades to be fair.

Robert Furness (173)  1/2  Steve Tranter
Steve’s game looked really solid but a draw became inevitable and wise against a strong opponent.

Sajjad Dehghan-Afifi (141)  1 - 0  Geoff
Geoff was up against a rising star - Sajjad beat me 2 years ago when he was graded about 100.  As per Geoff:
"My game was quite good until we both reached time trouble - not my usual comedy of errors. The computer thinks we both played ok. He made some cumulative small errors which gave me a mate in 3 that was fairly obvious away from the board and with a computer friend. Having missed that I still apparently had a winning position (+13 on Stockfish) before my last move. However it was fiendishly complicated and I could not find a way through it. My last move was to place my Queen en prise to a bishop that was lurking on the other side of the board - out of sight. I cannot see the right hand side of the board (where the bishop lurked )due to my eye problem :-! and had succeeded in playing just on the left side of the board until this point. My opponent played very well though - well above his grade and very resourcefully  and fully deserved to win in the end."

Mark Whalley (144)  0 - 1  John
John was back to winning ways:  " My opponent played a philidor set up d6 c6 Qc7 e5 Nd7. Very cramped. Gained loads of space then switched to king side picking up material as his game fell apart."

Jordi Bitlloch (139)  0 - 1  Tom
Tom's impressive debut season continues:  " I had a pretty cramped position out of the opening but managed to trade down into an ending where his advanced pawns were a liability. Won a pawn then marched my passed pawn down the h file for the win."

Mark Davis (115)  1 - 0  David Taylor
As per David: " I lost to  a simple knight fork losing the exchange and becoming subject to an excruciating sequence of pins from his rooks and queen, losing in 41 moves."

Grant Randall (110)  1 - 0  Tudor 
Tudor lost finally after 10.30.  Thanks to the 15 s increments his opponent scrambled out of time trouble and Tudor’s mating threats to scoop up a couple of key pieces.
Better luck next time I guess!

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Stockport B 3.5 - 2.5 ECA

We made the trip to the Ladybrook last night protecting our 100% record but just got edged out under the bright floodlights.

Andy Coe (142)  1 - 0  John
This was the last match to finish and as it happened decided the match.  John seemed to be doing OK but unfortunately it petered out into a lost R+P endgame

Gareth Griffiths (142)  0 - 1  Keven
Kev seems to be enjoying playing with black these days and with his swashbuckling French he offered a couple of pawns in return for open files for his heavy pieces to plough in for a nice win.

Jeff Mason (137)  1 - 0  Jim
The in form Jim came across a player who used to be graded much higher and took this right to the wire in a game that could have gone either way.

Peter Taylor (129)  0 - 1  Paul
Against a London system I took the poisoned b pawn early on and managed to withstand a threatening kingside attack before I was able to gain more material and go on to win in a tense game.

Ian Anderson (115)  1/2  Nick
Against the tricky Sniper system Nick was able to equalize and claim a fairly quick draw.

John Kelly (98)  1 - 0  Tudor 
After about half an hour of this game Tudor noticed that his clock was moving but his opponent's wasn't.  This may have unsettled Tudor a bit and wasn't able to find his usual form against an albeit tricky opponent.

So that was our first loss of the season but we're still sitting pretty at the top of the tree going into the Christmas break. 

Friday 25 October 2019

Marple A 1.5 - 4.5 ECA

The Navigation was a little spooky last night amid the Halloween decorations but on the upside they now have posh wooden chess boards and the lighting is now excellent.  On to the match....

John  1 - 0  Terry Cowling (130)
John flew out of the traps and immediately launched an attack picking up a pawn but Terry played really well and managed to win the exchange.  In the endgame John had N and 2 connected pawns against a R and showed good technique in slowly marching up the board as a unit to queen a pawn.  It went right to the wire though and the 15 second increment came in useful.

Steve  1 - 0  David Fowler (130)
Playing as black Steve neutralized and settled for an early draw.

Tom  1 - 0  Tony Kay (130)
In a Rossolimo Tom got an early initiative and ploughed in on the Kside with some well placed pieces and an energetic f pawn for an attractive win.

Paul  0 - 1  Chris Baker (124)
In a Carlsbad structure Chris launched a minority attack and in hindsight I should have settled for a draw in an even position.  Instead I tried to mix it up in time trouble and Chris kept his cool better than me.  Bang goes my 100% winning record for this season (OK, defaults don't count!).

David T  1 - 0  Tony Doust (110)
The Power Taylor had plenty of space in the centre and then pushed through on the Kside with a devastating attack.

Tudor  1 - 0  Paul Horrocks (110)
This looked fairly close for a good while before the Wizard from Woodford found a way to finish it off.

Thursday 17 October 2019

East Cheshire 4.5 - 1.5 Worsley

We sailed through our Charnley Cup first round last night against Worsley in fine style.  Another early bath for me so thanks to Keven for some additional match detail.

John  1/2  Adam Tyton (169)
No fireworks from John this time in a Slav and an early draw was agreed.

Steve  1/2  Paul Doherty (139)
Steve's opponent has a modest grading but actually plays in many Open tournaments and with some success.  Steve seemed to have a decisive advantage though but time pressure and stubborn defending held.  (I actually "beat" Paul in a Stockport Rapidplay a couple of years ago in a ridiculous swindle which still gives him nightmares; and I like to remind him every time I see him!)

Geoff  1 - 0  Mick Connor (147)
Older members will remember Mick who was one of 4 or 5 "country members" from Bolton who played for us many years ago.  His return wasn't a happy one for him though as his Grunfeld led to a tricky tactical game where Geoff's attacking pressure became decisive.

Tom  1 - 0  Francis Moan  (140)
Francis's Colle was hunkered down passively as Tom ground him down impressively.

Kev  1/2  Michael Carroll (134)
A Jadoul Gambit!?  Kev's return to e4 ran into a rare line but eventually turned into an easy R&P draw

Paul  1 - 0  DEFAULT

This now gives us a 2nd round match (round of 8) away at Urmston - date TBC.