Thursday, 27 February 2014

ECA 3.5 Altrincham 2.5

After a couple of tough games against Marple teams we were hoping for a slightly easier match against Altrincham. However they fielded their strongest players on the top four boards making for a close match despite them defaulting on board 6.

1. Phil 0.5 - 0.5 Y Kolodiy (168)

In about four games against Yaroslav I have managed one draw so I was not looking forward to this one.

I played an obscure system against the Four Pawns Attack in the King's Indian and ended up with a cramped but solid position. I managed to exchange off most of the pieces but still was a bit cramped when Yaroslav allowed me to activate my Queen and assume the initiative. However, short of time as normal, I couldn't find a win and so took the draw that the team needed to tie the match.

2. Steve 0.5 - 0.5 R Clucas (158)

Steve played the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian and surprised all of us with an early f5 to open the Kingside. However his opponent defended carefully and ended up a clear pawn up with a dominating position. Steve managed to cause some problems though and did enough to get the draw as his opponent was short on time.

3. Tudor 0 - 1 K Lockett (155)

Tudor allowed his opponent an ideal English set up with pressure down the b file and Karl eventually won the b pawn and then the endgame.

4. Dave N 1 - 0 M Whalley (149)

Dave's opponent had the temerity to play the Dutch against our leading expert in it. In Dave's words:

My opponent played the Dutch so I played a prepared line in the Staunton Gambit. it was all pretty much over in 10 moves as black position was already horrible and he had to give up a piece after 15 moves. He then defended heroically and at one point I had the horrible feeling I was going to be left with king, knight and bishop v king but in the end I was queening a pawn and with a whole minute left on my clock he resigned.

5. Keven 0.5 - 0.5 D Hughes (124)

Keven played a Modern Defence / Sicilian hybrid and never seemed to be in any trouble but didn't find any winning chances.

6. A N Other 1 - 0 Default

Monday, 17 February 2014

Marple 3.5 East Cheshire 2.5

East Cheshire met Marple last night in the Charnley Cup semi-finals. With Marple having the strongest squad in the league and us having a couple of players missing this was never going to be easy! Here is what happened.

1. A Longson (216) 1-0 Phil

I avoided theory by playing an obscure type of Modern defence. Alex didn't punish my strange moves and I emerged from the opening with a decent fighting position. Alex gave up a pawn to increase the pressure and I started to go astray as I got low on time. Alex got his pawn back and then won a pawn and ground me down in the endgame.

2. J Bentley (205) 0.5 - 0.5 John

John had to face the Benko gambit but played solidly to achieve a good position. His opponent gave up an exchange to complicate things and in the end John settled for a draw by repetition.

3. A Walton (199) 0.5 - 0.5 Dave N

Dave seemed to have the better of a Dutch Defence, having the Bishop pair in exchange for some shattered pawns.

4. N Livesey (147) 0.5 - 0.5 Keven

Keven played the solid French Exchange and seemed to achieve a draw without too much difficulty.

5. S Hewitt (166) 0-1 Paul

Sean used a closed system against Paul's Sicilian. He seemed to get some pressure on the Kingside but Paul defended carefully and eventually won the exchange and then the game.

6. A Jenkins (127) 1-0 Nick

Nick wasn't sure how best to meet the Old Indian Defence and rapidly ended up in an inferior position. He gave up a pawn for some play but was always struggling in the one.

So an amazing result against a very strong team. Especially well done to the middle four boards who all scored against stronger opponents.

Next up is a slightly easier match - home to Altrincham next week.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Marple 3 ECA 3

I think we were all expecting a tough match on Monday and we were not disappointed.

Here is what happened:

1. John 0.5 - 0.5 S Hegarty (182)

Sarah allowed the dangerous Marshall Gambit and John built up a dominating position with a sequence of accurate moves. However Sarah defended carefully and with time getting low and mental energy running out John offered a draw which was gratefully accepted.

2. Phil 0.5 - 0.5 N Livesey (147)

My opponent played some unusual moves on the White side of a King's Indian and ended up with a Knight on b6 that was either annoying or stuck out of play. Sadly it seemed to be more annoying and I gave up a pawn to get a bit of freedom. My opponent then created a passed pawn on the Queenside and as I had only a minute on the clock things looked grim. However I finally got going and created enough counterplay to win my pawn back and exchange the rest of the pawns resulting in a draw.

3. Steve 0.5 - 0.5 G Trueman (159)

Steve played an unusual 2. b3 system against the French Defence and got a promising attack but was unable to break down his opponent's resilient defence.

4. Tudor 0 - 1 P Kirby (158)

Tudor had a promising King's Indian when I looked. I missed how this one ended.

5. Dave N 0.5 - 0.5 T Kay (141)

Dave played his new Colle system and ultimately ended up with K + P vs K. Unfortunately he had no time to think and threw away a won ending.

6. Dave B 1 - 0 C Baker (126)

When I looked at this game Dave was a Rook down but had some pawns to compensate. As both players only had 3 minutes left on their clocks anything could happen. As I expected Dave moved faster than his opponent, unfortunately missed a chance to quickly end the game but was about to win on time when Chris was advised to stop the clock and claim the draw as Dave apparently was not trying to win.

After some controversy Chris agreed to concede the game which meant the match was drawn.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Wilmslow 1 ECA 5

Wilmslow currently only have one point from 6 matches so ECA were strong favourites going into this match. An easy game for everyone then? Let's see...

1. C Mills (155) 0-1 John

John's opponent played the Queen's Gambit Accepted and broke all the rules, moving his Queen early to keep hold of pawns. John recovered all his pawns and got a huge advantage that his opponent could not squirm out of.

2. K Moran (142) 1-0 Phil

Do I have to remember this game? In a Sicilian Dragon where neither of us knew a lot of theory my opponent achieved a Knight on d5 that absolutely killed me. After defending carefully for some time I cracked and allowed a mate in one. Oops.

3. C Guffogg (134) 0-1 Tudor

In a Queen's Gambit Tudor's opponent managed to advance some Queenside pawns quite menacingly but managed to get his Queen trapped.

4. R Warhurst (115) 0-1 Dave N

Dave played a kind of King's Indian against Robin's solid setup and eventually managed to create complications and outplay his opponent.

5. A Flynn (95) 0-1 Keven

Keven created a weird position in a Trompovsky Attack. Despite Keven's King being on the Queenside both players seemed determined to attack on the Kingside. Eventually Keven confused his opponent into throwing away a lot of material.

6. M Garvin (87) 0-1 Paul

Paul's trusty Modern Defence gave him a solid position where he gradually advanced and outplayed his opponent.

So 5-1 to ECA! We have a rather sterner challenge next week in the shape of Marple C.