Saturday, 7 December 2013

East Cheshire 5 Altrincham 1

East Cheshire chalked up a comfortable victory on Wednesday night in the quarter finals of the Charnley Cup. My plan to give us Black on odds went to pot when we won the toss and I was told that that meant we had to have White on odds. That meant John, Dave B and I all had to have colours we weren't expecting but we managed to cope.

Here is how it went:

1. Phil 1-0 R Clucas (158)

This was an unusual Karpov-style win for me, play a very quiet opening and gradually accumulating positional advantages to win the endgame. My opponent had a bad Bishop so I just swapped off all the active pieces until it was good Knight against bad Bishop and then it was goodnight! (Bad pun alert.)

2. John 0-1 K Lockett (155)

Karl played a weird English system where a White pawn appeared on b5 very early on but John played sensibly and rapidly acquired the initiative. However Karl fought like a caged tiger and ultimately John's lack of time proved to be his downfall when Karl launching a winning attack.

3. Tudor 1-0 M Whalley (149)

Tudor won his opponent's Queen quite early on and then resolutely ground him down. A thorough demolition.

4. Dave N 1-0 D Hughes (124)

Dave was able to play his much-loved Accelerated Dragon opening and quickly equalised. However his opponent played sensibly and it wasn't until the King and Pawn endgame that Dave managed to outplay him.

5. Dave B 1-0 S Douglas (99)

Dave bravely stuck his Queen on the Kingside where it was rather exposed but looked threatening. However his opponent didn't manage to take advantage of Dave's bravado and eventually Dave's killer Bishop on b2 won the day.

6. Nick 1-0 Default

Thanks for showing up Nick!

See you on Wednesday for the Christmas social.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Stockport B 2.5 East Cheshire A 3.5

ECA got the win last night against a strong Stockport side. Tudor got an early win, Keven got a solid draw and then late wins on the top two boards brought us home.

1. M Taylor (169) 0-1 John

Playing against the Tarrasch Defence John gained space on the Queenside and it looked like he would be battling on that side of the board while Mike attacked his King. However John switched to a Kingside attack, gave up a pawn on the Queenside and broke through convincingly against Mike's King. A very nice win.

2. M Tunstall (156) 0-1 P Ramsey

I played a kind of Modern Defence with a King's Indian setup and got an equal position out of the opening. I then decided to roll the dice and attack on the Queenside allowing my opponent play in the centre. As a result I ended up with a passed Rook's pawn and when I managed to exchange off the pieces this pawn won the day, deflecting his King to the side of the board to stop it while my King went to the Kingside to eat some pawns.

3. D Sheppard (157) 1-0 Dave N

Dave built up a very strong attack against his opponent who seemed to be without counterplay or hope. However once again the clock was not on Dave's side and he eventually had to resign as he had run out of time.

4. M Crowther (158) 0-1 Tudor

Playing a sideline against the Alekhine's Defence Tudor's opponent blundered a piece early on and Tudor didn't give him any way back into the game.

5. J Mason (153) 0.5-0.5 Keven

Keven played his solid Trompowsky Attack and achieved an equal position. However both players were attacking on the same side of the board so eventually a draw was offered.

6. A Coe (151) 1-0 Dave B

Dave accidentally played a system he does not usually play against the English and ended up being crushed out of the opening. One to put down to experience.

This was definitely our best result so far the season and should cement our position in the top half of the table.

Next up: Home to Altrincham in the cup next Wednesday.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

ECB 2.5 ECA 3.5

In the second head-to-head match of the season the result could have gone either way as the top two games were decided at the death. In the end the A team won narrowly but the B team put up a sterling fight.

1. Phil 1-0 Paul

I decided to attempt to destroy Paul's Modern Defence with the "150 attack". This involved Be3, Qd2, castling Queenside and a quick pawn storm on the Kingside. However Paul was careful not to commit his King too soon and after some cagey manoeuvring got a good position. I struggled to find a plan but eventually won a pawn and then when things opened up on the Kingside managed to bamboozle Paul in the time scramble with some weird tactics. It looks like Paul would have achieved a winning position if he had taken a different route.

2. Dave N 0-1 Nick

Dave quickly assumed the initiative on the Black side of a Benoni and eventually won an exchange. However Dave used up a lot of time finding the best plan and a time scramble ensued. When Nick had about 15 seconds left on his clock and Dave about 60 it looked like a certain win for Dave but Nick found some great attacking moves and Dave lost on time trying to find a defence.

3. Tudor 0-1 Alan

Tudor struggled to create an attack against the stodgy Czech Benoni and eventually blundered in a complicated endgame.

4. Dave B 0.5-0.5 David T

Dave B took a poisoned pawn and ended up down a Bishop for two Pawns. However his connected passed pawns seemed to be enough to prevent David making any progress.

5. Keven 1-0 Roger

Keven kept on winning Queenside pawns and smoothly rolled home for the first win of the night.

6. Bill 1-0 Myles

Myles got a good lead in development out of the opening but let Bill back into it. I didn't see how this one ended but gather that it was a close game.

A hard-fought and enjoyable match.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

ECA 3 Wilmslow 3

I think it would be safe to say that ECA are not firing on all cylinders yet! Maybe we had too much sun over the summer or maybe the dark evening are getting us down?

Either way this was a match we should have won comfortably. Wilmslow defaulted on the bottom two boards and we easily out-graded the four that turned up. Ooops.

1. Phil 1-0 C Mills (155)

I played my favourite King's Indian setup against a sort of Colle system. My opponent seemed unsure what to do against it and wasted a couple of moves, allowing me to win a couple of advanced pawns. My opponent dropped another pawn in the middlegame allowing me a straightforward ending.

2. Dave N 0-1 K Moran (142)

Dave once again got a promising position out of the opening with chances of a Kingside attack and no counterplay for his opponent. However his opponent managed to mix things up a bit and eventually win a pawn. Dave didn't have enough time on the clock to hold the ending.

3. Tudor 0-1 R Warhurst (115)

Tudor seemed to have a great opening and had a crushing attack against his opponent's King. However in the heat of the moment he took a pawn with his Queen that was defended by a distant Bishop. Although Tudor noticed his mistake as he made the move he had already touched the pawn so it was game over.

4. Keven 0-1 A Flynn (95)

Keven seemed to have a lot of space after the opening and was executing a sort of minority attack on the Queenside. However his King was slightly exposed and this ultimately led to his downfall.

5. D Broadbent 1-0 Default

6. P Bamford 1-0 Default

Thursday, 17 October 2013


After last season's debacle in one of the head-to-head matches where ECB won, ECA made sure of a strong team this time around. This time the match went by the form book and the B team only managed two draws.

1. Phil 0.5 - 0.5 Paul

I played an obscure Benoni system which I am quite familiar with and gained a lot of time on the clock but had a cramped position. When Paul chose to push some Kingside pawns rather than advance in the centre I had the time to break free on the Queenside and free my game. Eventually Paul's attack petered out and I managed to win a piece but did not have enough time to convert my advantage.

2. Tudor 1-0 Nick

Tudor seemed to get nothing out of the opening but managed to win a couple of pawns in the endgame and easily converted his advantage.

3. Keven 1-0 Geoff

Despite having White Geoff invited Keven to attack him and Keven gradually advanced his pawns and pieces to win comfortably.

4. Alan 0.5 - 0.5 Keith

Playing the Queen's Gambit Declined this game looked very even for much of the game. Alan eventually gained an advantage but then had to bale out into a drawn ending.

5. Bill 1-0 Myles

Bill played a strong Nimzo-Indian defence and gradually took over the board.

6. David T 1-0 Ian

David played a solid Reti and steadily won material until Ian had no tricks left to try.

So a 5-1 win for ECA and hopefully a fun evening for all.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

ECA 2 Marple 4


The team and I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of a draw last night against a decent Marple team.

1. Phil 0-1 I Lentzos (160 est) 

My young opponent launched a speculative attack right out of the opening but I repulsed it and then countered with a strong attack of my own. Lentzos didn't defend carefully and I soon went four pawns up with his King on the run and a big time advantage.

However I couldn't find a clinical way of finishing him off and then he managed to get some counter-play. I blundered away a piece but still had four pawns for his Bishop. However I didn't have enough time to find the right plan and he won the endgame.

2. Dave  N 0-1 P Kirby (158)

Dave played a sort of Colle system and built up a useful Kingside attack. However the clock kept ticking away and eventually Dave lost on time in a very good position.

3. Tudor 0-1 N Livesey (147)

Tudor played ambitiously on the Black side of an English, playing c5 and d5 early on. However this opened up the game for White's Bishop on g2 and ultimately this was Tudor's undoing.

4. Keven 1-0 T Kay (141)

Keven played aggressively from the outset, castling Queenside and flinging his Kingside pawns forward. I thought he was losing the exchange and the game but apparently Keven had it all worked out and eventually his connected passed pawns on the g and h files won the day.

5. Paul 1-0 C Baker (126)

This was an impressive win with the Black pieces. Paul seemed to have no problems out of the opening, exchanged of White's fianchettoed Bishop and launched a Kingside attack that won the Queen.

6. Nick 0-1 T Cowling (125)

Nick played sensibly against Terry's Albin Counter Gambit and seemed to have a good position with advancing pawns against Terry's Queenside castled King. However Nick lost the endgame somehow.

3-3 would have been a fair result. 2-4 was painful.

ECA take on ECB next week. See you there.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Stockport B 4 East Cheshire A 2

In a rather inauspicious end to our season ECA were well beaten by a strong Stockport B side. Things looked quite promising after an hour or so with John, Paul and Nick having good positions but Paul blundered and Nick only drew. This combined with defeats for myself and Dave meant we lost heavily.

1. M Taylor (160) 1-0 Phil

If I had done my homework for this game I would have known that Mike is a bit of an expert in the Queen's Gambit Declined and I would have played something else. Unfortunately I am not an expert in it and I got strategically outplayed and then missed a nice combination that won a pawn and an exchange. One of those horrible games where you have no threats and no fun.

2. M Crowther (160) 0-1 John

John defended actively against the tricky Max Lange attack and eventually kept his pawn and won the exchange.

3. J Mason (152) 0.5-0.5 Tudor

Tudor played a slow sort of Catalan system and seemed to have the better of things but never found a way to win.

4. M Tunstall (147) 1-0 Dave B

Dave seemed to have an opening disaster against the obscure 2. Qe2 system against the French Defence. He soon lost a piece and was not given a way back into the game.

5. D Preen (136) 1-0 Paul

Paul opponent seemed to be prepared for Paul's Danish Gambit and countered it effectively. Paul still had a nice position and found what looked like a winning pin but it instead turned out to be a losing move as his opponent found a strong rebuttal.

6. V Rushworth (135) 0.5-0.5 Nick

Nick had a nice Sicilian Defence with various threats on the Queenside and no counterplay to worry about. However he couldn't find a way to win against solid defence.

So all in all a good season for ECA. With the addition of Lembit to our ranks and an incredible run of results from Tudor we topped the table for a while but in the end Marple B were just too strong for the division.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Denton B 2 East Cheshire A 4

On Wednesday night East Cheshire A achieved the double over Denton B with a solid 4-2 victory. The games on the bottom three boards were close but steady victories on the top three boards ensured the match was ours.

1. T Hilton (134) 0-1 Phil

My rapid-fire opponent played the opening and early middlegame well, achieving a slight advantage as he had a Queenside pawn majority that could be pushed whereas my central pawn majority was harder to mobilise.

However he pushed his pawns too early, ending up with an isolated advanced pawn that I blockaded and captured. I then managed to push my central pawn, exposing his King decisively.

2. D Holt (143) 0-1 Dave N

David Holt got nothing with his closed system against Dave's Sicilian. Dave pushed his Queenside pawns, creating pressure and eventually winning a pawn. David Holt defended stubbornly but Dave managed to checkmate his opponent in the endgame.

3. J Ryan (132) 0-1 Lembit

Lembit avoided the normal stodgy French Defence positions by playing the Exchange Variation. He then castled Queenside to get an attack on his opponent's King. The attack didn't materialise but Lembit did manage to win the exchange which was enough to win the endgame easily.

4. H Lombardo (120) 0.5-0.5 Tudor

Despite playing the King's Indian Tudor didn't manage to achieve the complications that he loves and in the end had to accept a draw in an equal or slightly worse position.

5. I Urwin (130) 1-0 Paul

This was one crazy game. Paul misplayed the Danish Gambit, allowing his opponent a decisive material advantage. However his opponent didn't seem to want the material and kept developing pieces instead. For about ten moves Paul's Rook was stuck on a1 with a Black Pawn on b2 able to take it. However Paul's opponent was worried about opening up the long Black diagonal.

Eventually Paul got out of the opening two pieces down but with a strong attack. Unfortunately his opponent managed to exchange off some pieces and Paul had to resign when the fire of his attack went out.

6. D Cook (108) 0.5-0.5 Nick

Nick had a nice opening but got his White Bishop blocked in. This meant that when he gave up the exchange to have two Bishops he didn't have enough compensation. In the end his opponent was the exchange and two pawns up. However his opponent didn't think that 15 minutes on the clock was enough time to win the ending so offered a draw!

So ECA stay top of the league but Marple B now have 3 games in hand.

The final game of the season is away to Stockport B on Tuesday 23rd April.

Friday, 15 March 2013

ECA 0.5 Marple B 5.5

Ouch! ECA came crashing down to earth on Wednesday night against a crazily strong Marple B team. With GM Keith Arkell added to their A team Sarah Hegarty was now their number 5 player and able to play for the B team. Even so we should have been able to score more than half a point but it was just one of those nights.

1. Phil 0 - 1 S Hegarty (195)

Despite my strange move order tricks the game headed for a mainline Sicilian Dragon. In order to avoid mainline theory I played some inferior moves and soon ended up under a severe attack. I gave up a pawn in order to swap off a dangerous Bishop and then suddenly my pieces came alive and I had a good position. I had the choice of swapping off to a decent endgame or playing an aggressive move with my Queen. Given my perilous clock situation I should have chosen the endgame but I couldn't resist the Queen move. This won my pawn back with a better position. However the game was complicated and in the end I lost on time in a major piece endgame.

2. John 0 - 1 M Fernandez (177)

This game was almost a carbon copy of John's previous match against Michael this season. John outplayed Michael in the opening and early middlegame and got a big positional advantage. However Michael managed to complicate matters and, short of time, John went astray.

3. Dave N 0 - 1 G Trueman (166)

Dave seemed to always be on the back foot against Glenn's anti-Sicilian system. Dave used up a lot of time to stay in the game and eventually missed a threat.

4. Lembit 0 - 1 P Kirby (178)

Lembit played a quite system against the Najdorf and got a lifeless position. Lembit ended up with a backward pawn on the C file and eventually succumbed to the constant pressure.

5. Dave B 0 - 1 N Garrido (130 est)

Dave played enterprisingly in the open and managed to keep his opponent's King in the centre at the expense of a pawn. However Nadio eventually consolidated his position and won another pawn.

6. Tudor 0.5 - 0.5 T Cowling (144)

Tudor played sensibly against the Albin Counter Gambit and got a nice position but Terry played some tricky moves and eventually Tudor had to bale out with a draw.

And there concludes our last home match of the season. We finish with slightly easier matches against Denton B and Stockport B.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Macc B 0 ECA 6

ECA registered their most comfortable win of the season on Tuesday night: 6-0 and no swindles!

1. Phil 1-0 A Brough (133)

My "confusion" move order did the trick. After 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 my opponent erred with 2. ... Nf6?! This allowed my to transpose to a good Queen's Gambit position with 3. cxd Nxd5 4. d4. Now White is going to play e4 and grab the centre. Black made things worse with 4. ... e6, blocking in his White squared bishop and I went on to win comfortably with a Kingside attack.

2. John 1-0 R Pomeroy (138)

On the Black Side or the Ruy Lopez John built up a comfortable position with the Bishop pair and control of the dark squares. However his opponent kept playing good moves and managed to put John under a bit of pressure. John kept his cool and won a couple of pawns in the late middlegame.

3. Dave N 1-0 B Woodhall (109)

Another Stonewall for Dave and once again his opponent didn't really know how to counter it. Dave built up a strong attack on the Kingside and his opponent had to give up a piece to avoid mate.

4. Tudor 1-0 T Robson (83)

Playing a slow King's Indian Tudor built up a huge lead on the clock. In the end Tudor was up a rook against a couple of connected past pawns but his opponent had no time to work things out and got mated.

5. Paul 1-0 D Styles (80)

Paul played the closed system against the Sicilian and manage to get a protected passed pawn on c6 which eventually won the day.

6. Nick 1-0 E Nathan (70)

Playing the Sicilian Nick outplayed his opponent in the middlegame, got a winning ending and ended it with a snap checkmate.

So a nice confidence building match in preparing for our title slug against Marple B next week.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

ECA 5.5 Denton B 0.5

ECA cruised to another easy victory last night against a weakened Denton B team. Apparently Denton had two other matches on the same night so they sent out more of a "C" team with a predictable result.

1. Phil 1-0 P Boyd (131)

Via a very strange move order we ended up playing a Sicilian Sveshnikov! My opponent seemed unfamiliar with the ideas and ended up with the typical lifeless position White can easily get if he is not ambitious enough in the open Sicilian. I entered complications too soon, losing control of the position somewhat but I managed to win a pawn and hold on to it. In the end my opponent badly misplayed the endgame and I won on time just before checkmate.

2. John 1-0 I Urwin (130)

On the White side of a sort of Czech Benoni John steamrollered his opponent who was clearly making things up. After his opponent had wasted sufficient tempos John managed to break through in the centre and subject Urwin's King to a vicious attack.

3. Dave N 1-0 G Lombardo (120)

Another day, another Dutch for Dave! Dave won a pawn in the middlegame and had a winning position but used up most of his time. Fortunately he had enough time to work things out and beat his opponent comfortably.

4. Tudor 1-0 S Bradley (124)

Playing the White side of a Tarrasch Defence Tudor ended up with an Isolated Queen's Pawn and a fairly lifeless position. Fortunately he found a way to complicate things while significantly ahead on time and Bradley could not work  things out in the time available. That is 9/11 for Tudor this season!

5. Dave B 0.5-0.5 D Cook (108)

Dave once again got a promising French Defence position but he didn't make the most of it and his opponent managed to trap a rook, leading to a move repetition and a draw.

6. Paul 1-0 A Ryder (101)

No King bashing today from Paul! Playing a slow closed system against the Sicilian Paul gradually outplayed his opponent and then used a pin to win a piece. A nice solid way to beat a weaker opponent.

So on to Macc B next week. They were recently beaten by ECB so I think a quiet confidence is acceptable.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

ECA 5 Wilmslow 1

ECA returned to winning ways last night with a comfortable win over a weakened Wilmslow side. Two early gifts of pieces eased the pressure and with two wins on time and a late win by Lembit we won 5-1.

1. Phil 1 - 0 C Mills (147)

My opponent arrived half an hour late and to save time played a solid Stonewall system. I played a similar system on the light squares and the position became very stodgy. Colin kept playing slowly however so in the end I only had to keep the position complicated in order to win on time in the middlegame.

2. John 1 - 0 R Warhurst (120)

On the eighth move of a Nimzo-Indian Robin got confused and left a piece en prise. He played the game out to the ending but John played solidly and never gave an inch.

3. D Newell 0 - 1 M Palmer (110)

Dave played a nice Dutch opening and got a middlegame with two Bishops against two Knights. However Mike played solidly and in time trouble Dave lost a piece and the game.

4. L Saar 1 - 0 A Weinburg (110)

Another tense game for Lembit! The Four Knights opening is normally solid for White but Weinburg threw the kitchen sink at Lembit, sacrificing a Knight for a nasty pin against the King's Knight. Lembit had to play very carefully but eventually unravelled his position and won easily.

5. D Broadbent 1 - 0 M Garvin (83)

Dave's opponent played a solid Queen's Pawn opening but played slowly. Dave didn't have much advantage but kept enough tension in the position to allow his opponent to lose on time.

6. P Bamford 1 - 0 T Horrocks (50)

Paul's game left theory on move 3! You won't find the moves 1. e4 e5 2. d4 Nf6!? 3. Bg5!? in any opening databases. After 3. ... exd 4. e5 Qe7 5. Qe2 Black could have saved the piece with 5. ... h6 but gave it up with 5. ... Nc6??

After that it was plain sailing for Paul.

So a nice win but Denton B should be a harder challenge next week.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

East Cheshire A 2.5 Altrincham A 3.5

After our exciting match at Marple this home match was a bit of a disappointment. Despite being the stronger team on paper some unexpected defeats meant that we lost the match. Perhaps that talk of promotion was premature!

1. P Ramsey 0 - 1 Y Kolodiy (168)

Yaroslav is a bit of a nemesis of mine. I think my score against him is 0.5 out of 4. This time I played an obscure King's Indian sideline against his Four Pawns Attack. I managed to get a decent position but then allowed him to exchange off into a very difficult endgame for me. Despite my best efforts I was unable to hold the balance.

2. D Newell 0 - 1 K Lockett (160)

Dave had another good Bird's opening and built up a strong attack. However in time pressure Karl started to play some tricky moves and eventually Dave fell for a bit of a trap.

3. L Saar 1 - 0 T Tomkins (137)

This win was probably the highlight of the evening. Lembit played a symmetrical English and had a solid position. He gradually built up an advantage and then finished the time scramble in fine style, outplaying his opponent in the endgame.

4. K Holton 0 - 1 R Clucas (131)

Keven played his usual solid Queen's Pawn opening but was gradually ground down by his opponent and resigned in a position where material was even but his opponent had too many threats.

5. P Bamford 0.5 - 0.5 D Hughes (129)

Paul grabbed a few pawns in the opening and seemed to be consolidating into a winning endgame. However his opponent managed to get a pawn back and draw the game.

6. A Stokes 1 - 0 W McCartney (124)

Alan managed to win a pawn in the middlegame and outplayed his opponent in the endgame for a convincing win.

So not a great match but we have a while to lick our wounds and recover - next match is at home to Wilmslow on Feb 20th.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Marple B 3 ECA 3

East Cheshire almost beat a strong Marple side on Thursday night but sadly two blunders turned 5-1 into 3-3.

1. Michael Fernandez (177) 1 -  0 John Reed

John build up a big advantage against his young opponent's Kings Indian. However in time trouble Michael created some traps and sadly John fell into one of them.

2. Paul Kirby (178) 0 - 1 Phil Ramsey

The way things are going this season I am going to have to buy a Kings Indian T-shirt. My opponent was once again left with little to do on the Queenside while I attacked him on the Kingside. My opponent buried his King on h1 and I built up the threat of a winning Bishop sacrifice that he had to give up his Queen to avoid.

3. Glenn Trueman (166) 0 - 1 Tudor Rickards

Tudor is on fire this season! Playing against the Modern Benoni Tudor's opponent seemed to have some Kingside threats but Tudor calmly refuted them and won a piece. He then avoided complications and allowed his opponent to fall on his own sword in time trouble.

4. Sean Hewitt (164) 1 - 0 Keven Holton

Playing the Modern Defence against an ex-East Cheshire member, Keven calmly walked into a pin to grab a pawn and then consolidated down to a promising endgame. Sadly a blunder gave Sean the game.

5. Andy Jenkins (141) 0.5 - 0.5 Paul Bamford

Playing against a Scandinavian Paul wasn't able to gambit anything but played solidly enough to get the draw.

6. Terry Cowling (144) 0.5 - 0.5 Nick Flaherty

Both sides fianchettoed both bishops and in the resulting calm position Nick easily held his own.

An exciting match. If we keep on winning and beat Marple B in the return fixture we will have a chance of topping the league!