Thursday, 6 December 2012

Stockport 5.5 East Cheshire 0.5

The last time we met Stockport in the Charnley Cup we lost 6-0. Obviously our hard chess work in the years since has paid off as this time we only lost 5.5-0.5!

Here is how we get on against a ridiculously strong Stockport team:

1. A Reeve (199) 1-0 P Ramsey

This was painful. As White I went wrong on move 2! After 1. d4 d6 you should play 2. e4 to transpose to a Pirc or 2. Nf3 to stop 2. ... e5. After 2. c4 e5 Black is already posing problems for White. After 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 f5 5. h4? h6 6. Nh3 Qxh4 I was a pawn down for little compensation. I made further strategical mistakes and ended up with nothing to do but wait for him to kill me on the Kingside. He took his time, enjoying the slow torture, and then killed me with a positional Queen sacrifice. I don't think I managed one threat in the whole game!

2. A Smith (199) 1-0 J Reed

On the Black side of a Ruy Lopez John held his own for most of the game, only getting into trouble in time trouble towards the end of the game and losing a pawn.

From John: "Dropped the draw in time trouble. Big centre battle had evened out but just couldn't calculate endgame quick enough and played a stupid move after 3 hours of effort. Had a slight plus for a lot of the game."

3. P Cawley (190) 1-0 T Rickards

Tudor's winning streak sadly came to an end. I didn't see much of this but Tudor has a few threats to Black's King at one point but Black's threats ultimately proved to be stronger.

4. P Siddall (175) 0.5-0.5 D Broadbent

Dave got our one draw of the night with a solid French Defence against a very strong opponent.

5. S Murray (178) 1-0 K Holton

Keven used his normal "bore draw" strategy to get a solid position against Stuart. He then missed a chance to get an advantage and lost a pawn when he miscalculated a combination.

6. R English (175) 1-0 P Bamford

Paul got a slightly cramped position out of the opening and lost a pawn. He stayed in the game though and made his opponent work for the win.

That's it for 2012.

Looking forward to a promotion push next year!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

ECA 4.5 Stockport B 1.5

ECA continued their winning ways against a decent Stockport B side last night. Wins by Phil, Tudor and Paul saw ECA to a comfortable 4.5 - 1.5 victory.

1. P Ramsey 1 - 0 J Mason (152)

I had a perfect King's Indian where my opponent managed very few threats on the Queenside and my Kingside attack won the day. My opponent would have done better to ignore my attack for a while but kept on making little pawn and piece moves that actually helped me. Better to make some threats of your own that obsess about what your opponent is doing.

2. D Newell 0.5 - 0.5 M Tunstall (147)

Dave seemed to have a trouble-free Bird's opening with a steady attack on the Kingside. He eventually won a pawn but Mike managed to hold the endgame.

From Dave: The opening went smoothly black doing all the wrong things against Birds Opening allowing me to win a pawn and reach a won ending. I immediately missed one opportunity to win easily by forcing an exchange of all the pieces and instead reached an ending where we had same coloured bishops and I had one extra protected passed pawn. Even though the win was more difficult it was still fairly straight forward but I chose totally the wrong plan and even worse chose it very slowly!

3. T Rickards 1 - 0 F Moan (139)

Tudor had a wild King's Indian trying to defend against the Four Pawn's Attack. Tudor's pieces were very active but Francis had two very strong centre pawns. In the end Francis managed to promote a pawn but ran out of time before checkmate. Luckily Tudor had a pawn left (mating material) so could claim the win.

4. N Flaherty 0.5  - 0.5 D Preen (136)

Nick's game was relatively quiet and after a solid Queen's Pawn opening and an even middlegame a draw was agreed.

5. D Broadbent 0.5 - 0.5 V Rushworth (135)

Dave played his favourite French Defence and got a slightly favourable middlegame. However his opponent played well and drew comfortably.

6. P Bamford 1 - 0 P King (128)

Paul played the King's Indian Attack and ended up in an unusual middlegame when his opponent castled queenside. Paul won a couple of pawns in the endgame and won easily.

We have a bigger test next week - Stockport A in the cup!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wilmslow 0 ECA 6!

ECA finally reached top gear on Monday night with a 6-0 whitewash of Wilmslow:

1. S Shepherd 0-1 P Ramsey

I played a rather dubious Queen's Gambit Exchange and after the opening my opponent had the initiative. However he allowed me to trap his Knight but played on as I was low on time. In the time scramble that ensued he ran out of time just before me.

2. K Moran 0-1 J Reed

A smooth Black win for John:

3. C Mills 0-1 D Newell

From Dave: I completely outplayed my opponent in the Birds opening and won a piece in the early middle game. Then ended up in complications with his 2 passed kingside pawns advancing towards me and decided to give up my extra bishop, reaching a completely drawn rook v rook and knight pawn ending, my opponent having the pawn. He was unaware that it was drawn and spent a lot of time trying to find a way to win it, in the end one second too long as his flag dropped. Makes up for the completely drawn game I managed to lose on time at Altrincham a few weeks ago.

4. C Jackson 0-1 T Rickards

Tudor won a pawn in the opening but ended up in a difficult position. However he kept battling until his opponent lost on time.

5. A Weinberg 0-1 K Holton

Keven played the opening rather passively and ended up a pawn down. However his opponent got rather carried away with pushing pawns and Keven managed to gobble a few up, leading to a comfortable win.

6. T Horrocks 0-1 D Broadbent

From Dave: My opponent was ungraded with est grade of 50 which is ridiculous - he played extremely well v my French and managed to mount a menacing attack. Under pressure, I once again seemed to find all the good moves and his time advantage slowly evaporated. Near the end, he had < 1min v my 2mins. It was his move but for some reason he pressed the clock before moving. I immediately stopped the clocks and asked for 2min to be added to my time. No one had any idea of the rule so I eventually played on because he was thinking of his move whilst both clocks were stopped- so he was being advantaged by the clock freeze. His flag fell soon after I restarted his clock.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Revenge! ECA 4 ECB 2

On Wednesday night ECA had their chance to avenge their defeat from the week before. This time we had Dave N back in our ranks so we were at least the rating favourites.

1. Phil 1- 0 Keven

Keven tried to lure me into accepting his Morra gambit but I declined and we ended up with a typical open Sicilian position where Keven had more space and I had the extra central pawn. Things were pretty even until Keven decided to sacrifice his Knight in return for some nasty threats to my King. However I successfully repulsed his attack and Keven resigned rather than let me start having some fun!

2. John 1 - 0 Dave B

Dave bravely allowed John to play his favourite Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange Variation but regretted it when he fell into a trap on move 8 that cost him two pawns. John didn't give Dave a look-in from that point.

3. Dave N 1 - 0 Nick

Playing against Dave's Dutch Defence Nick decided to go for all out attack and castle Queenside. This allowed Dave to break up the pawn structure around Nick's King and pick up a couple of pawns. It was all downhill from there for Nick.

4. Tudor 1 - 0 David T

The return of the swindler! Tudor was outplayed in the opening and David had nice pressure against Tudor's Kingside and Centre. David won a couple of pawns but drifted into time trouble and snatched one pawn too many, allowing a discovered check and mate.

Here is Tudor's version of what happened:

"Just to explain what happened in extra time last night. Score was ECA 3 ECB 2 . I was losing rather easily to David [Taylor]. David had outplayed me in the opening [I failed to work out over the board what to do against his Queen's Indian [I think].  I was forced into a speculative pawn sacrifice that seemed to give some complications. David continued to grind me down until I was forced to start making more speculative offers of pawns. 

The stadium had emptied as we slugged out extra time, and David in time trouble decided to save time by helping himself to a third freebie pawn. It was my last futile swindle attempt but it led to a discovered check and undeserved mate. But I can't replicate this masterpiece as we sort of didn't write the score down in the time scramble. 

Learning: never resign a lost game!"

5. Edwin 0 - 1 Paul B

Edwin struggled to cope with the activity of Paul's pieces and eventually lost the exchange to a nasty Knight fork. Edwin battled on gamely but couldn't save the endgame.

6. Andy B 0 - 1 Keith

Andy played his normal swashbuckling chess and rapidly won a couple of pawns. However he managed to lose the exchange and then ended up with a Bishop against 3 connected pawns. The pawns prevailed!

Next up Wilmslow away on Monday.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

ECB 4.5 ECA 1.5

Oh dear.

In an attempt to make this match more exciting I had agreed that the A team would get the top 4 players and the B team would get the pick of the rest of the club. This would have given the A team the advantage on four boards but a last minute reshuffle meant that we were only stronger on the top three. Hmmm.

1. Dave B 1 - 0 Phil

I surprised Dave in the opening and built up a strong position after Dave wasted some tempi. However I couldn't find a decisive breakthrough and spent too long pondering the problems. The game ended with a time scramble and me losing on time.

2. Keven 0.5 - 0.5 John

John had a slight advantage with a kind of Dutch system. However Keven played very solidly and managed to exchange off most of the pieces, eventually securing a draw.

3. Paul 0 - 1 Tudor

Tudor built up a big space advantage against Paul's Modern Defence and eventually won a piece.

4. Alan 1 - 0 Keith

Keith played solidly but ended up with a couple of backward pawns. Alan won some pawns and in the end Keith very nobly resigned rather than let Alan lose on time in a won position!

5. Nick 1 - 0 Andy B

Andy gave up two pieces for a rook and pawn and some pressure. However once Nick's two bishops started criss-crossing the board Andy was mincemeat.

6. David T 1 - 0 Edwin

Edwin lost some pawns early on and, despite battling hard, never managed to get back into the game.

The one consolation for the A team is that we will have a re-match next week. B team watch out!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Altrincham A 2.5 ECA 3.5

East Cheshire A got their first win of the season on Tuesday night with a useful victory at Altrincham.

1. Y Kolodiy (168) 0.5 - 0.5 Phil

Playing against a Modern Benoni I achieved a promising but complicated position. As we both got in to time trouble Yaroslav blundered the exchange but had a mass of pawns on the queenside to compensate. As we got down to a few minutes left each in a complicated position I offered a draw rather than randomise who won!

2. K Lockett (160) 1 - 0 Dave N

In a symmetrical English Dave rapidly built up an advantage but spent a lot of time doing so. He exchanged off to a winning endgame but ran out of time to win it!

3. T Tomkins (137) 0 - 1 Tudor

Tudor managed to castle on the opposite side to his opponent and had what looked like an enjoyable game launching pawns at his King.

4. E Clucas (131) 0.5 - 0.5 Dave B

Dave lost a pawn early on but managed to generate enough counterplay to draw.

5. D Hughes (129) 0 - 1 Keven

Keven played the safe Colle system but then went all out for an attack against his opponent's King. His position looked very double-edged at times but somehow he managed to bring home the point!

6. R White (128) 0.5 - 0.5 Nick

Nick built up a useful middlegame advantage but his opponent played solidly and achieved a draw.

This was a very useful win against a decent Altrincham side.

Next up for ECA are the derby matches against ECB, starting on November 14th.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

BEC 4.5 Heywood 1.5

BEC got the season off to a great start last night with a comprehensive victory over Heywood.

Edwin and Andy won pretty quickly and then Dave B won to give us at least a draw. David's half point gave us the match and I managed to get away with some pretty dodgy play as Black and eventually win on time.

Here is the scorecard:

1. Phil 1-0 J Carrington (151)
2. David T 0.5-0.5 B Parkin (116)
3. Dave B 1-0 I Mitchell (110)
4. Keith 0-1 D Thorp (102)
5. Edwiin 1-0 M Lally (77)
6. Andy 1-0 B Thompson (UG)

I expect we will meet stronger teams in Division C but this was a good start.

And just for fun here is my position after 27 moves each:

I expect my "6 pawns attack" to pay rich dividends in future!

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.”

Friday, 16 March 2012

ECA 5 Denton B 1

ECA made sure of their status as Division B also-rans with a convincing win over Denton B on Wednesday night.

Denton were rather distracted as they all got stuck in traffic on their way to our venue and one of their players did not turn up at all. Nevertheless we were missing our board 1 so we did well to produce such a good score.

Here is how it went.

1. Phil 1-0 D Toole (171)

I have to face David's Four Pawns Attack against my King's Indian and tried a risky sideline where Black does not move his e pawn. I allowed David to play e5 and it looked like I was getting crushed. However in time trouble he didn't spot the killer move and I was able to get at his King with my Queen and pick up a few pieces with check.

2. Dave N 1-0 Default

Dave N played 1. d4 with great panache and that was the end of that one.

3. Dave B 0-1 K Ahmadi (155)

Dave B was doing fine (as normal) after the opening but then had a hallucination and lost a piece. There was no way back after that.

4. Keven 1-0 P Boyd (123)

Adopting a solid "bore my opponent into a strategic blunder" strategy Keven gradually ground his opponent down with a smooth win. Karpov would have been proud.

5. David T 1-0 D Cook (107)

David T seemed to be without counterplay in a stodgy French defence but his opponent lost on time while looking for the winning move.

6. Paul 1-0 I Urwin (119)

Paul did his best to play a gambit but his opponent insisted that Paul won a pawn instead. Paul gradually consolidated his advantage and won more material.

Next A team match is away to Chorlton on Tue April the 3rd.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

ECA 3.5 Stockport C 2.5

East Cheshire A team finally managed something that they haven't done for years - beat a Stockport team!

The night started off well with a very convincing win by Keven. After a defeat and three draws it all came down to my game. Fortunately my opponent played rather passively and I was able to bring home the bacon.

1. John Reed 0.5 - 0.5 Mark McNulty (145)

John had a dubious opening and had to struggle for a few hours to finally achieve a draw.

2. Phil Ramsey 1 - 0 Peter Taylor (141)

Playing against an Old Indian system I build up a strong pawn centre. However Peter managed to exploit some of the holes in front of my King and complicate things. Fortunately for me he played very unambitiously and I emerged from time trouble with a winning passed pawn.

3. Dave Broadbent 0.5 - 0.5 Peter King (137)

Dave again had a very strong opening and won a pawn in the middlegame. However he let his opponent win the pawn back and eventually a draw was agreed.

4. Keven Holton 1 - 0 Vic Rushworth (137)

Playing against the King's Indian Keven obtained a couple of advanced passed pawns in the centre of the board and then finished things off in fine style, checkmating his opponent.

5. David Taylor 0.5 - 0.5 Marc Jackson (130)

David seemed to be on the rocks after the opening as his opponent had a fearsome attack but David defended carefully and in the end had the better of a draw.

6. Paul Bamford 0 - 1 John Kelly (126)

Paul had a typical swashbuckling opening and ended up two pawns up but his opponent managed to win the exchange and then the endgame.

Next match in two weeks: at home to Denton B.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

C Team vs Macclesfield C, Home and Away (Feb 2012)

The C Team has stayed mean by first losing at home to Macc C and then winning away six days later. Following the scoresheets and a few words from me are two accounts of epic games sent by Edwin and Andy W (thank you, Microsoft, for 'cut and paste'). Grades are ECF half-way where available; U/G = ungraded (Macc website).
East Cheshire C (Home) vs Macclesfield C, 15 February 2012
1. A Buckley (100) 0 R Pomeroy (140)1
2. I Vaughan (84) 0 R Murphy (135) 1
3. E Cooke (65 est) 1 D Mallinson (U/G) 0
4. Q Mohammed (52 est) 0 T Robson (74) 1
5. R Burrows (53) 0.5 A Howe (50) 0.5
Total East Cheshire C 1.5 Macclesfield C 3.5
Macclesfield C (Home) vs East Cheshire C (Away), 21 February 2012
1. Alan Sime (109) 0.5 Paul Bamford (134) 0.5
2. Tom Robson (74) 0 Andy Buckley (100) 1
3. David Styles (U/G) 1 Edwin Cooke (65 est) 0
4. Matthew Wade (U/G) 0 Andrew Walker (78)1
5. Angie Howe (50) 0 Roy Burrows (53) 1
Total Macclesfield C 1.5 East Cheshire C 3.5
Congratulations to both Roy and Andy W on their return to matchplay, with points.
Edwin writes:
Another swashbuckling affair from Mr Delmonte (tonight's personal pseudonym), proving there is actually more to life than oranges and tinned peaches.
A fairly standard opening left me in an unsatisfactory position where his king was neatly tucked away on the queen sideand mine was exposed in the middle. But hey! It was my go, time to light the touch paper! Since there was a lot of space, I tried to swap his bishop for a knight, thus living me the power of two bishops on the diagonals. I quickly followed this up by pushing his knights into defensive positions making them redundant before launching a salvo of heavily supported prawns to almost queen.
It worked! God knows how, but outside in the fresh air afterwards The Man From Delmonte, he says, "Yes!"
Definitely a food theme here - I like the heavily supported prawns: Ed.

Andy W writes:

Sure I felt nervous, it had been over 18 months since my last match win and only my second match of the season.

The kid facing me looked edgy in a cool kind of way. I sensed he was keen for some action and up for the fight.

1. I punched the clock and he opened 1.e4... confident and matter of fact. I licked my lips nervously, considered the Sicilian but played safe with ...e5. I pushed the button on the clock.
2. Without hesitation he
played 2.Bc4... and it was back to me. I sat and looked at the board for a good 2 minutes hoping the throb in my temples was going to subside. I retorted with a nice safe ...Nf6 (Berlin
defence) and pushed the time button.
The nerves were starting to ease.
3. He played 3.Bxf7+... with a confidence that sent my head into a spin.... what!! Another 3 minutes passed as I evaluated his gambit - this was new territory for me. What had I missed? I had no choice but to reply ...Kxf7 so losing the ability to castle and pushing my king off the back row... and I was already 5 minutes off the pace and feeling very vulnerable and not at all comforted by having a material advantage.
4. He played Nc3... which seemed a bit off beam to me as 4.Qf3... or 4.Nf3... would have put pressure on my exposed king. Still, feeling somewhat defensive in the face of such aggression I played ...c6 to block the advance of his knight.
5. Nf3... as expected and I played ...Bd6 to open my back row, develop the bishop and defend e5. Maybe ...d6 would have been better??
6. d4...Re8. I saw this as an opportunity to get the king behind the rook and also to strengthen my control of the centre An exchange follows:
7. Pxe5 ... Bxe5
8. Nxe5 ... Rxe5 to leave me reasonably in control of the centre with the rook out very early and pinning d4, and still with a material advantage... I was now starting to think 3.Bxf7+... was bluster on behalf of my opponent as I couldn't see any advantage to his gambit at this point.
9. Qf3 ... D5
10. 0-0 ... Kf8 I felt that my king was now safe and his unusual aggressive opening had come to nought.
11. With the king released from the pin he now made the error of Rd1... to bring pressure on d5
but my reply of ...Bg4 gave him something to think about as my bishop pinned his queen to his rook!
At this point I thought the game was turning in my favour and I now made up the time deficit.
12. Not wanting to back down, he played Qg3... to threaten the rook exchange. I declined with ...Nd7 so developing my pieces further.
13. Re1... moves his rook to safety and I made the decision to attack king's side and replied with ...Qe8
14. He's not beat yet and played Qf4... (I felt that Bf4 may have been better) I replied ...Qg6
15. g3... (?? I think f3 would have been better) ... Rf8 signals my firm commitment to the king's side attack 16. Qd2 ... Bh3 that'll be useful later!
17. b3 (??) ... Rf7
18. Ba3 (??) and then my attack commences with ...Nxe4
19. Nxe4 ... Rxe4 20. Rxe4 ... Qxe4 mate in 1 and he should have resigned at this point 21. f3 (??) ... Qxf3 22. Bb2 ... Qf1+ 23. Rxf1 ... Rxf1+ and mate.

So despite the shaky start, it was a tense game and I won through in the end....phew!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Altrincham A 2.5 ECA 3.5

At last, a win for the first team!

We slightly out-rated our opposition for a change and wins for Dave N and I saw us scrape to a 3.5-2.5 victory.

1. Y Kolodiy (178) 0.5-0.5 J Reed

Sadly for John his opponent did not play the Queen's Gambit but - obviously scarred by his previous defeat - tried a Benoni. John seemed to have a nice position with extra space and pressure against some weak pawns when Yaroslav unleashed a fearsome combination which ended in a drawn endgame.

2. K Lockett (169) 0-1 P Ramsey

Karl played his favourite English system and I was probably a bit hasty in pushing pawns on my Kingside and ended up with some hanging pawns in the centre. Karl allowed me to consolidate though and missed a couple of tricks in the middlegame which allowed me to win a piece.

3. R White (135) 0-1 D Newall

Dave's Bird's opening resulted in a strong Kingside attack which his opponent was unable to counter.

4. T Tomkins (130) 1-0 D Broadbent

Dave lost a piece early in the middlegame. He then won it back but at the expense of giving his opponent a winning attack.

5. D Hughes (134) 0.5-0.5 K Holton

Keven's Reti opening didn't seem to lead to any pressure and after a quiet game (unless I missed something) a draw was agreed.

6. R Clucas (127) 0.5-0.5 D Taylor

In a rather stodgy French Defence the pieces were swapped off and a draw agreed.

Our goal this season is to score points against Altrincham A and Denton B and finish mid-table so this was a job well done.

Our next first team match is Stockport C at home on Feb 29th.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Macclesfield A 4.5 - ECA 1.5

After the close match earlier in the season we were hoping for more excitement tonight but all we got was a gradual grind down against a strong Macc. team. At least we don't have to play them again this season!

1. D Risley (171) 0.5 - 0.5 J Reed

Playing against a Bogo-Indian John had the better of things and built up some useful Queenside pressure but Dave managed to exchange pieces for a draw.

2. D Lobo (153) 1 - 0 P Ramsey

In a topsy turvy game I started off better, then was losing and was finally easily winning. The problem was that we were in the allegro finish and my flag was about to fall. In a fluster I made a ridiculous move when I actually had a bit more time than I thought. Someone get me a digital clock for Christmas!

3. V Kumar (155) 0.5 - 0.5 D Newall

Dave played his favourite Colle / Birds system and gradually built up some Queenside pressure but Vijay managed to hold.

4. G Laurence (150) 0.5 - 0.5 D Broadbent

Dave played actively in the opening and had a very comfortable position but not enough to beat his solid opponent.

5. J-P Taylor (146) 1 - 0 P Bamford

Paul played a closed system against the Sicilian but his Kingside pawn pushes backfired as J-P ended up eating one of the Kingside pawns and winning the endgame.

6. P Cattermole (138) 1 - 0 S Howells

Sion played a positional gambit but didn't seem to have enough compensation for the pawn and was gradually ground down.

So not a very fun night for East Cheshire.

Next match is away to Altrincham on Feb 6th. Let's hope for some fireworks then!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

EC C 3; Macc B 2

The C Team visited Macclesfield B and won by 3 to 2 this week, despite being outgraded on every board (very substantially on the lower boards: their average grade - 144). Special thanks to Edwin who stepped in at the last minute and won against a tough opponent. See his comments below.
G Laurence (150) 0, P Bamford 1
PWR Caulkett (148) 0, S Howells 1,
JP Taylor (146) 1, B Tait 0,
R Pomeroy (137) 1, I Vaughan 0,
PJ Colville (137) 0, E Cooke 1.
Edwin writes:
"Playing White on Board 5 and drafted in at the last minute to play, this game got off to a stolid start. I pushed my pawns down the right hand side seeking to gain an advantage leaving my king perilously unprotected.
This attack was thwarted but Black was pushed back into a tight space and failed to spot my deft switch of attack to the left flank. Here I constructed a devilish plan to force back his queen confining his pieces further. Unfortunately my opponent, Archimedes, mixed his metaphors and pulled his finger out of the dam allowing my troops to pour forward washing away any chance he had of avoiding defeat!"
Ian writes:
" My game, of the 1. e4, e5 variety, although lost was interesting, with tactics and potential counterplay right up until the last handful of moves."

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Whitewashed by the 3Cs scholars from Oldham

3Cs visited on Wednesday 4 January 2012, and rather unsportingly have probably been practicing! Just as in the pound shop, there is no need to ask - it's 0-1.
Sion Howells v. Daniel Abbas
Andy Buckley v. Ahmed Abbas
Ian Vaughan v. Sam Hayman
Edwin Cooke v. Jack Mundy
Qasim Mohammed v. Robert McLean
Congratulations, 3Cs.