Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Stockport 4 East Cheshire 1

Unfortunately there wasn't much Christmas cheer for us last night as we went crashing out of the President's Cup in the 1st Round Replay. I turned up last minute, lost the coin toss, then wrongly advised our team what colour they were playing - not a good start.

Tudor was first to finish......... "League record loss as fast as fools mate!  Sat down expecting white
Switched seats and did not 'reset' for black, but happy to play a variation of Alekhine I know very well.
Was thinking of and played fourth move when I hadn't played third, leaving me a knight down. 1 minute on clock.  Resigns"  It was a shame for Tudor, particularly as he's been in terrific form recently.

Bill finished next and his trusted Caro got him a fine draw with a solid performance.  Kev got what looked like a good positon against a Queens Indian but his opponent found a resource later on to win.

Nick looked in control in his match but it wasn't quite as simple as it looked and he lost his way when trying to press for a quicker win.  I had a decent postion but was happy to accept a draw when it was offered.

1 - 0  Mike Crowther (167) v Tudor
1 - 0  Andy Coe (162) v Keven
1/2    Mike Tunstall (160) v Bill
1/2    Jill Barber (141) v Paul
1 - 0  Peter Taylor (121) v Nick
4 - 1

Sunday, 13 December 2015

ECA 2 Holmes Chapel 4

ECA continued their tricky start to the season with a home fixture against Holmes Chapel last week. I unfortunately could not make it so here is David Taylor's report:

We were soundly beaten by Holmes Chapel who fielded a strong team with only one player below 158. Fate was also a bit unkind, because by 7:45 we only had three players and the Newells were faced with a substantial time deficit when they eventually got through the traffic gridlock, even though their opponents voluntarily delayed starting their clocks until 7.45. At one stage Dave Newell had less than 10 sec on his clock, yet he still played another twenty moves or more, and got a draw. Apparently both the Newells had expected their opponents to play the King's Indian and had prepared accordingly, only to find different openings when they eventually started.

I lost first, after Ian Bates sacrificed on h7 to open up my Fort Knox King's position mercilessly, having seen one move further ahead than me. The same opening had earned me a draw against Altrincham’s Reg Clucas (155) the previous evening. Tudor won so easily he could afford to ignore the offer of a Rook at one stage, unable to believe that it was safe to take it (or not seeing the offer at all?) Kieran and Geoff were steadily ground down and in spite of surviving until nearly 10.45 pm were faced with overwhelming pawn majorities. Steve considered himself lucky to obtain the draw, but to the onlookers he seemed to have it all under control.

We eventually closed the club at 11 pm!!

East Cheshire A            Homes Chapel
S. Tranter        0.5        0.5        J. Turner (190)
K. Newell        0            1        P. Bennett (170)
G. Brindle        0            1        M. Hancock (175)
D. Newell        0.5        0.5        B. Scattergood (170)
D.R.Taylor        0            1        I. Bates (158)
T. Rickards        1            0        G. Scattergood (120)

East Cheshire  2                Holmes Chapel 4

Friday, 27 November 2015

ECA 1.5 Marple A 4.5

After a tough first match against Macclesfield A there was no respite for ECA with a home game against the heavyweights of Division 1, Marple A.

Marple had several of their top players missing but with a very strong top two boards they were always favourites. Here is how it went.

1. Steve 0-1 A Longson (221)

Steve played a solid Caro Kann and steadily swapped off pieces, entering a Bishop ending where he had a slightly worse pawn structure but good chances of holding. However, in true Bobby Fischer style he allowed his Bishop to get trapped and had to give it up for two pawns. Although it looked like his extra pawns may give him some chances, Steve's King was tied to the defense of some weak Kingside pawns meaning that Alex could mop up the extra pawns on the Queenside.

2. John 0.5-0.5 M Fernandez (212)

John played his normal Queen's Gambit and got a level position but didn't manage to create much pressure. His opponent started to make threats on the Kingside but John successfully neutralised his opponent's initiative. In the endgame John's King went on the rampage and with Michael's clock ticking away it looked like an upset could be on the cards but Michael managed to defend and a draw was agreed.

3. Phil 0.5-0.5 G Trueman (176)

Glenn played a quiet system against my King's Indian and surprised me with some early pawn pushes on the Queenside. I got my pieces in a bit of a tangle but managed to defend against persistent Knight fork threats. In the end Glenn allowed me to swap off all the pieces and the game fizzled out into a draw.

4. Kieran 0-1 P Kirby (167)

It seems that the Newell family have a penchant for backward e pawns. Kieran's slow opening system didn't seem to give Paul too many problems and when Kieran ended up with a backward pawn on a half open file Paul exploited it in textbook fashion. Has he been reading "My System"? The Nimzo Attack beaten by Nimzo's System.

5. Dave N 0.5-0.5 A Jenkins (143)

Dave played his favourite Dutch and achieved a very comfortable position but his opponent played actively enough and with Dave short on time a draw was agreed.

6. David T 0-1 A Hall (120)

David's beloved Reti didn't seem to yield any real threats and David ended up a pawn down with several weak pawns to defend. Ultimately David could not hold the endgame.

So a tough match and a fair result. We complete our tour of the top teams in two weeks with a home match against Holmes Chapel.

Friday, 13 November 2015

EC C 2.5 - 2.5 Wilmslow (Wed 11th Nov)

Board    East Cheshire C                   Wilmslow
1       Bill Tait                    0 - 1     Kevin Moran  (160)
2       Myles Heywood    0.5 - 0.5  Colin Mills (147)
3       Paul Bamford           1 - 0      Christopher Guffogg (126)
4       Edwin Cooke            1 - 0      Michael Palmer (108)
5       Keith Hodgson         0 - 1      Robin Warhurst (103)
Result East Cheshire C 2.5 - 2.5   Wilmslow

Given we were outgraded on all boards, we were happy enough with a draw here, which continues our good run against Wilmslow having beaten them home and away last season.

Paul’s game finished first -  he got a heavy build-up of pressure on a central file, leading his opponent to make an error when needing to play very accurately to hold the position. Seeing his position about to cave in, Paul’s opponent resigned after not much hesitation.

My game was a topsy-turvy one and good fun – my opponent made a classic bishop sac on h2 which wasn’t fatal, but was tricky enough to deal with given g3 was the only place for my king to go and his knight was making a bit of a nuisance of itself. The best I could see was to respond in kind on h7, setting up a mate-in-one on the h-file which he opted to stave off with a 3-fold repetition.

After Edwin’s early–evening snooze lasted a little longer than intended, and was rudely interrupted by an anxious call from his captain at 7:35, his pre-match preparation strategy was proven to be entirely sound, with our well-rested and rejuvenated board 4 gaining a big space advantage out of the opening and using it well. He picked carefully his moment to swap off queens to give himself a positional edge in  the king and pawns endgame which proved decisive – well done Edwin.

Bill was heavily outgraded and battled gamely in one of those soul-destroying positions where the game seems to drift out of reach ever-so-slowly… and when his opponent managed to lodge a rook and both bishops on Bill’s 2nd and 3rd rank, it was curtains soon after.

Keith found himself the exchange up out of the opening but in a very open and dynamic position which his opponent ended up getting the better of.

Next match is the week after next against Sale, which on form should be another tight one…

Thursday, 12 November 2015

ECA 1.5 Macc A 4.5

A tough start to the league season for ECA with a home match against a strong Macclesfield team. With two 200 rated players on the top boards and four 160 odd players making up the rest of the team this was always going to be a tough slog.

1. Phil 0-1 R Shaw (204)

My illustrious opponent played a modest Trompowsky system and gave me no problems in the opening. When he started pushing pawns on the Queenside I thought I had better do something on the Kingside and started pushing pawns towards his King. Shortly afterwards I saw a little trick that seemed to win material. It almost did but Rob squirmed out of it and I ended up an exchange down for a pawn. I was still doing quite well with my Bishop pair but spent too long working out the complications and in the end lost on time in a inferior position. It was fun to cause my strong opponent some problems.

2. John 0-1 K Smallbone (200)

John played sharply against a Slav defence but in the end his enterprising play proved to be illusory and John was left with a weak pawn in the centre and no attack. John's opponent created some play against John's King and John had to give up a piece.

3. Kieran 0-1 A Soames (160)

Kieran was not allowed much fun against Tony's slow Reti system. I didn't see the end of this game as I was too busy losing on time!

4. Geoff B 1-0 C Sizeland (165)

Geoff was put under pressure by Chris's sharp King's Indian but in the end managed to force the win with a cheapo (in Geoff's words!)

5. David T 0-1 D Risley (162)

David's "Fort Knox" Defence proved as good as its name, shepherding David into a slightly worse endgame but sadly David was unable to hold it.

6. Tudor 0.5-0.5 G Laurence (159)

Tudor played solidly in a Queen's Pawn game but ultimately had to settle for a draw.

All in all about a par result based on the respective ratings of the teams. The small matter of hosting Marple A in a fortnight may mean we will be getting most of our points after Christmas!

Friday, 6 November 2015

East Ches 2.5 - 2.5 Stockport

On Wed night we took on Stockport in the President's Cup and it looked a fairly even affair on paper, although they were particularly handy on the top 2 boards.  We got off to a good start by winning the toss which meant we had 3 White's to their 2.

Kev was first to finish and managed to earn a fairly quick draw against his higher graded opponent.  He was considering playing a spicey gambit line against against e4 but instead opted for his trusted Pirc and ended up with a better pawn structure and good knight against a ragged pawn structure and bishop pair.  Mike offered a draw and Kev sensibly agreed in a very even position.

Dave, looking relaxed after his recent successful trip to the Channel Islands, finished soon after with an excellent draw.  On board 3 was the "game of the academics" and Tudor looked in a losing position but his amazing bouncebackability came in to play again and was able to brilliantly swindle a very useful draw.  On board 4, Jim was up against a very slow looking Queen pawn opening which seemed a bit lifeless and indeed after 50 odd moves it was pronounced dead and a draw agreed.

Four games played - all draws.  So it all depended on the 2 captains on the bottom board.  Peter perhaps had a slight edge but it was difficult for him to find a plan and in the meantime I was able to open up the h file and fill it with R and Q.  I had a good knight too and it looked like it was going to be a winning attack.  Unfortunately (as confirmed by Fritz) there was no breakthrough and all the excitement petered out into an opposite colour B draw.  Another draw!

So, the match score was stalemate at 2 and a half each and with nothing in the Stockport League rules for a Cup result of all draws, we'll have to have a replay at their place.

1/2  Dave N v Mike Crowther (167)
1/2  Keven v Mike Tunstall (160)
1/2  Tudor v Jill Barber (141)
1/2  Jim v Jeff Mason (133)
1/2  Paul v Peter Taylor (121)

Friday, 30 October 2015

Marple B 3 - 3 ECB (Thurs 29/10)

We actually outgraded our opponent's for a change and so hoped to take the full points home but Marple put up a really good fight.

Tudor got us off to a great start with a classy win and then David T put on a MOTM peformance to see off Sean Hewitt.  David managed to get a real initiative and deflect Sean's forces and then just munch up plenty of pawns.  Well done David!

So, we were 2-0 up but were struggling on the lower boards.  The particularly loud pub quiz announcer downstairs, which was more audible on the lower boards, didn't help.  I found myself staving off a strong attack from my opponent whilst at the same time wondering which non American golfer has won the most Majors. I said under my breath "Ballesteros" but then thought it might have been Gary Player, or even Nick Faldo.

Anyway, Bill seemed to be in an eventful game and ended up losing narrowly and Jim's classic Bishop Opening came unstuck against a later f5 from his opponent.  My own game was a very slow positional Closed Catalan and I eventually allowed my opponent an attack.  Fortunately he wasn't able to find the killer moves in a complicated position and when I finally managed to get my pieces active I was able to create enough threats to win on time.

Geoff's was the last game to finish and went right down to the wire.  From an English opening the game ended in a pawn ending and Geoff just got  edged out in a close finish.

So it turned out to be a tricky match but at last we didn't get beat.  There's a bit of a gap now till our next match (the match at Stockport B has been moved back from Nov10th to Dec 15th) so our next match is away at Altrincham on Dec 8th.

0 - 1  Sean Hewitt (160) v David T
1 - 0  Chris Baker (134) v Geoff B
0 - 1  Terry Cowling (133) v Tudor
1 - 0  David Preen (129) v Bill
1 - 0  Alan Hall (120) v Jim
0 - 1  Martin Cutts (122) v Paul
3 - 3

Thursday, 29 October 2015

ECA 3 Chorlton 3

East Cheshire A team kicked off the season with a Charnley Cup home match against Chorlton.

Despite two of our top 3 players being unavailable and Chorlton fielding a strong team we held them to a draw and only went out on the board elimination tie break.

EAST CHESHIRE                                CHORLTON

S Tranter                    0    1                R Doney  (172)
K Newell                    0.5  0.5             D Lee  (177)
G Brindle                    1    0                A Elliott (160)
D Newell                    0.5    0.5            D Owen (164)
D R Taylor                    0.5    0.5        A Beresford (142)
T Rickards                0.5    0.5            P Harnett (138)

TOTAL                        3    3              Match drawn

Here is David Taylor's account:

Dave Newell drew first, and then Tudor. I didn't have much time to watch their games.  Then I accepted an offered draw, perhaps too hastily, but I had less time left than my opponent and the fairly blocked position looked as if it could go either way for whoever opened it up.

Then I had time to watch the others, and thought all the top three had good chances.  However, Steve succumbed to an attack on his king, sheltered behind two pawns with a rook to help, but his opponent took over the 7th rank and advanced a deadly rook’s pawn to finish Steve off. Kieran took a draw in a late middle game position with not much prospect of winning against a very strong opponent (177 on board 2). That left Geoff with the unenviable task of saving face even though a win, drawing the match, would still mean we lost due to the board elimination rule. His opponent seemed to view the whole thing as a bit of a joke, until Geoff’s fine endgame play took it down to a K R and pawns ending, in which Geoff’s rook was more active and his pawns more mobile. Finally, with both players needing the 10 second increments to stay in the game, Geoff managed to Q a pawn at the cost of his rook, with one other pawn left. Q and K against K  R and pawn, with both players having to move almost instinctively, was very exciting to watch. But Geoff avoided all the tricks and traps his now fully focussed opponent tried, and finally when he captured the pawn his opponent gave up.

Good start by Geoff and Kieran in the top 6!!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Stockport C 2.5 - 2.5 EC C (Tues 6th Oct)

Board       Stockport C                            East Cheshire C
1       Marc Jackson   (131)  0.5 - 0.5    Bill Tait
2       John Kelly         (124)    0 - 1      Myles Heywood
3       Vic Rushworth (121)  0.5  - 0.5   Paul Bamford
4       Anthony Prime (102) 0.5  - 0.5    Keith Hodgson
5       Gareth Griffith (u/g?)  1   -   0      Duncan Chandley
Result   Stockport C             2.5 -  2.5  East Cheshire C

Some well-contested games in last week’s “local derby” with Stockport. 

Duncan was first to finish, his opponent getting the better of a game I didn’t manage to follow.

My game was next to finish, which made a nice change from last season’s habit of taking 2hrs 57 + for almost every game. My opponent made what seemed like a slightly suspect knight-for-pawn sacrifice in the middlegame to continue his initiative, though he did characteristically throw in the kitchen sink in the ensuing attack. With queens still on the board (albeit his was a little short of squares) I had to tread very carefully to prevent him building up in the centre to attack my uncastled king, but then the storm passed and I found a mating sequence.

Keith found quite a cute tactic in the middlegame with his rampant knights, giving up both to win his opponent’s queen, but his opponent found a clever way to shore up the position by getting interlocking pawn chains in such way that Keith’s only way to bash through was fraught with danger, with white’s doubled rooks ready to cause all sorts of mischief on the back two ranks, so Keith reluctantly but perhaps quite sensibly accepted a draw.

In quite an open position with his opponent eyeing up the h3 pawn and hoping to build up on the open g-file, Paul too took a draw, which also seemed like all that was there to be had.

And finally in Bill’s game…

I played White; after my e5, Black played the Lion defence with moves which don't vary whatever white plays e.g. Black played d6..Nf6..Nbd7..e5..Be7..O-O..

I think I should have attacked down the F file however I decided to attack down the C file which never took off. With the D file open Black got a N on f4 which was the only strong move either of us played! I drove it back and when Black made 4 consecutive single square Q moves I offered a draw with 10 mins remaining. Black readily accepted despite my feeling that Black had the stronger position.

Stockport C seem as strong as last season so a drawn match constitutes a pretty solid start to our season.

Friday, 9 October 2015

ECB 2 - 4 Macclesfield B

It was a late finish on Wed night.  I rolled home getting on for midnight with the wife saying "where've you been til this time?"  I replied " was the digital clocks.  One of them was set to number 3 instead of number18".  More of that in a bit.....

Macc B are going to be strong this season.  They were missing 2 or 3 players but still put out a very decent team.  I was first to finish.  My opponent had played a flawed opening but instead of winning a piece I blundered badly.  Nick's Colle didn't get much against a fianchettoed king defence and maybe should have played more on the queenside but he got a draw in a game he was never going to lose.  Tudor played well in his game and was looking good but just slipped up at the end.

Our only full point of the night was won by Bill.  He staved off a strong attack and then managed to gang up on a pawn and won it.  The only problem was Denzil had an hour left on his clock and Bill only 2 minutes.  That 2 minutes quickly reduced to 2 seconds (!) before Bill, with nerves of steel, made his move.  Denzil replied immediately, hoping to force a win on time, but forgot he had left his queen en prise.  Bill took it and with the wonders of the Fischer timing had a simple win.  Well done Bill. 

Meanwhile, Keven was playing his favorite opening and as usual got a very good game out of it.  Unfortunately, he over cooked it a bit which lost material but managed to get his queen very active and looked likely to force a draw with perpetual.  However Tony managed to wriggle out of it and went on to win.  So that meant we had lost the match but the drama was by no means over.

Dave Newell's long awaited debut for the B team was memorable to say the least.  It was a very double edged game with opposite side castling.  Chris Sizeland had strong pressure with the heavy pieces down the g file but Dave had this well covered and had more space on the queenside and with a better pawn structure he looked maybe in a slightly better position.  Near the end Dave had 20 minutes left with Chris only 4 but then the position became very complicated and time moved on very quickly with both of them running very low.  It became a real scramble and Chris played his last 3 moves at a second per move but mysteriously his flag went (Dave had only 8 seconds left).  How could that happen when playing a 10 second increment per move?  Well, it transpired that the clock had been set up on standard time with an extra 10 seconds in total (setting 3) rather than 10 seconds per move (setting 18).  Oops.

The atmosphere was rather tense....  Chris was not happy and Dave quite rightly claimed a win on time.  With hindsight Chris should have stopped the clock before the flag fell to point out something was wrong, but of course in the heat of battle this is not easy.  Compromise was eventually agreed in the form of a blitz finish from the last known sensible board position with 10 minutes each player and a 10 second increment (setting 18!).  This was very tough on Dave.  It's no picnic on board one in this division at the best of times but great credit to Dave for agreeing to carry on playing in a game he thought he had already won.

To make matters worse Chis now found a much better continuation but Dave managed to skilfully equalize under extreme pressure.  A pity Dave didn't go on to win but at least he didn't lose.

So after all that we lost 2 - 4 but I think we're going to have an interesting season ahead.

1/2    Dave N v Chris Sizeland (165)
0 - 1  Kev v Tony Soames (160)
0 - 1  Tudor v Phil Cattermole (153)
1 - 0  Bill v Denzil Lobo (143)
0 - 1  Paul v Anthony Brough (142)
1/2    Nick v Thomas Robson (109)

Monday, 17 August 2015


The club re-opens on Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015

Marple B 3 - 3 ECB

Our last match of the season was a crucial relegation battle.  We needed to score at least one and a half points on the night to send Marple B down.  If we only scored one point  (or less) then it was ourselves who would be relegated.  No inspirational speeches were required this time -  we knew what we had to do.....

David was first to finish.  After his lengthy lay off, he has been able to regain match fitness really quickly and scored a very solid draw.  Man of the moment, Tudor, was next to finish.  Apparently the first 15 moves of his Kings Indian were all book moves but when the gloves finally came off, the middle game led to some sharp play.  Unfortunately, Glenn took a few risks and his bold play paid off earning him the full point.

Keven managed to play his trusted Trompowsky and earned a valuable half point against a strong player.  As per Kev: "Checked it on Fritz and a certain draw with Black never having an advantage throughout. Given we only needed 1.5 points to stay up, I played a conservative line of the Tromp  which was not seriously tested by Black. If he tried to force things on the Kingside, I would have been left with winning chances by generating an outside A pawn -- hence he agreed the draw".

So we were 1-2 down - but were looking in good shape on the bottom 3 boards.  I had got an edge in the opening against a Petrov and was able to transfer it into a winning same colour bishop end game.  It secured a full point and made it 2-2 on the night - we were safe.  I felt like Alastair Cook scoring the winning run!

Meanwhile, Bill was up against a Catalan specialist and did really well to equalize as black and then tried to set up a raid with Q and B but just couldn't quite break through and a draw was agreed.  Nick seemed to be winning for long stages in his match and ended up a passed outside pawn up but the centre was quite blocked and his B couldn't get through against a strong defensive N - another important draw on the night though, and the match score finished 3-3.

So, we're obviously pleased to be staying in Division 2.  The prospect of relegation was not a good one, not least because it would have meant playing on only 5 boards next season.  We're fortunate that we have a good squad and we can rotate if necessary but juggling only 5 boards next season would have been difficult.  I think we'll be stronger next season and obviously looking forward to playing our noisy neighbours from the A team.

A big thanks to everyone who turned out for us this season!

1/2  Paul Kirby (164) v Keven
1-0  Glenn Trueman (163) v Tudor
1/2  Andy Jenkins (130) v David
1/2  Terry Cowling (127) v Bill
0-1  David Preen (125) v Paul
1/2  Jeff Barlow (124) v Nick

Friday, 17 April 2015

Marple A 4.5 East Cheshire 1.5

Our final match of the season was the rather tricky matter of Marple A away. With relegation already certain all we could do was hope for a good battle and overall I think we achieved that.

1. A Longson (222) 1-0 John

John played a solid Colle System against his titled opponent but allowed Alex to snatch a Queenside pawn and was then ground down.

2. A Walton (202) 1-0 Phil

My King's Indian faced a kind of Veresov Attack which then transposed into a sort of French Defence position! I was cramped but played the classic f5 break and according to the computer I was doing OK until I rashly gambited a pawn for an open file against his King. I then managed to release my bad White square Bishop and things became interesting but I had no time to find the best moves. A fun game in any case.

3. J Bentley (202) 1-0 Steve

In a sharp game Steve won material but his King was vulnerable. His opponent managed to penetrate with Queen and Knight with a decisive attack.

4. J Horton (190) 0-1 Tudor

In what must be one of his finest wins Tudor played the tricky Alekhine's Defence and got a playable middlegame. He then outplayed his opponent to win a pawn and the endgame.

5. I Lentzos (192) 1-0 David T

David's trusty Reti only yielded a passive position and his opponent gradually advanced and took over the board.

6. G Trueman (163) 1/2 Paul

Paul equalised out of the opening with a solid French Defence. He managed to get a pawn ending with Bishop against Knight but was not able to find a winning plan.

So there ends a challenging season with one win, one draw and eight defeats. We didn't win a couple of matches that we could have won and paid the price. However we are all ready for some easier matches next season!

Denton B 4 - 2 ECB

We had to default a board on Wednesday night due to holidays etc so we knew we were going to need some luck or inspiration.  As we arrived at Denton Conservative Club we were greeted by our great (?) leader, David Cameron, giving sincere and inspirational speeches on the big screen downstairs on a continuous loop.  As I climbed the stairs I was trying to remember some of Keven's stirring Churchillian speeches to try to rally the troops.  When I finally made it upstairs the best I could manage was "listen lads, we're a board down before we start - but there's still 5 to play for".

Luckily Edwin had remembered his new glasses and seemed to be seeing the board well and was in an at least equal position.  Unfortunately he miscalculated a forcing sequence which ended up losing his game - it happens.  Meanwhile Nick was playing a very solid game against an English and then launched an attack which pressurized his opponent into a mistake -  a fine game by Nick.

At this point, even though we were 2 - 1 down, it looked like the unthinkable could happen - we might even win the match.  Keven was in very good shape in a complicated unbalanced position, Tudor was a full piece up and I was just about to go a pawn up.  However we were just unable to get over the line.  Tudor unfortunately blundered his extra piece back and at the same time presented his opponent with an unstoppable attack.  Tudor was obviously disappointed but took his unexpected defeat with great class.

Keven said of his game: "Classical  Dutch. I was robbed of my Tromp!!  However, I managed to get in an early e4 that  worked. I risked winning a pawn, allowing an attack but this fizzled out after winning the exchange. I then had a draw that he made easier by sacrificing another pawn for activity but B and 4P .v. R and 2P Fritz rated as + for me."

I was white in my game against a Sveshnikov and ended up a pawn up in a R and P ending but with the match lost and time running out, I accepted a draw offer from my opponent.

The really good news for us though is that Marple B lost the night before which (I think) now makes us safe from relegation.

Tim Hilton (158)  1/2  Keven
George Kolbusz (155)  1 - 0  Tudor
Dave Bouldon (143)  1/2  Paul
Dave Holt (146)  0 - 1  Nick
Phil Boyd (117)  1 - 0  Edwin
Ivan Urwin  1 - 0  Default
4 - 2

Next match:  Marple B away next Thursday (last match of season).

Friday, 10 April 2015

EC C 2 - Sale 3 (Wed 8th Apr)

1  Bill Tait                        1/2 - 1/2 Vijay Kumar (142)
2  Kieran Newell                 1 - 0 Lionel Taylor (125) 
3  Geoff Clarke                   0 - 1 Peter Ning (120)
4  Ian Vaughan               1/2 - 1/2 Paul Gledhill (111)
5  Geoff Smith                    1 - 0   Andrew Parry (94)
Result  East Cheshire C    2 - 3   Sale
We had hopes of winning what was in effect the wooden spoon match but just came up short.
Geoff Smith’s opponent managed to get a fierce attack on his kingside-castled king whilst keeping Geoff’s defenders deflected, and in the end Geoff had only a choice of ways to get mated by white’s well-lined-up pieces.
Geoff C spotted that he had the opportunity to claim a draw by threefold repetition with his opponent a pawn up (with rook, pawn + minor piece also on each side) but with a powerful pin on his opponent’s bishop not seeming to be readily solvable, played on with hopes of winning it. But his opponent found a way to untangle his position and Geoff was soon on the defensive. In the end, the key feature seemed to be that his opponent’s pawn was on the 6th rather than the 5th rank and therefore in various lines not catchable in time…otherwise it seemed the position would still have been drawn. But then you can’t will them backwards sadly (I know I’ve tried).
Ian found himself a pawn down (4 v 3) with all pieces off the board but managed to get one of his 3 away from the rest of the action and so it eventually became a runner. Pawns promoted on consecutive moves, both without check, and his opponent agreed to a draw, still a pawn up but without the time to find a winning continuation.
In Bill’s game…
playing as Black it was a QGD and strangely I had no attacks to defend until the end. I exchanged my KB for his QN in the opening giving him doubled QBPs with no means of correcting his position. This allowed me to attack the backward QBP, his exposed QRP and then switch sides to attack his Kside castle. He managed to defend all this successfully and gained the initiative for a time against my exposed K. I dovetailed all the Ps (none were exchanged in the game) and with me reluctant to play my QNP forwards it was a drawn game with no other possibility of breaking the stalemate. This game had little excitement.
Kieran was disappointed to not be able to repeat the ‘Newell Mega-gambit’ from his only other game as white (inadvertently “sac” a bishop on move 6, somehow win anyway) as his opponent played a different first move, but when his opponent was tempted by a poisoned pawn in the middlegame, Kieran managed to win it back with another pawn and the momentum. Which was more than enough as Kieran closed it out without any fuss.
So we end up propping up Division 3, but end up still smiling and with the feeling we’ve got our money’s worth over the course of the season in the way of combative games and interesting positions. Our stand-out performer has been Kieran, who with an impressive 5 out of 6 mostly on board 2 may alas now have too high a grading to have a C-team future.
Cheers to all who played, and for next season we can prepare an assault on the giddy heights of mid-table!

Altrincham 5 - EC C 0 (Tue 31st Mar)

Board    Altrincham B    5     0  East Cheshire C 
1  Karl Lockett (142)      1     0  Bill Tait
2  Richard White (134)    1    0 Myles Heywood
3  Bill McCartney (137)  1    0 Geoff Clarke
4  Thomas Hague (104)  1     0  Edwin Cooke
5  Wayne Kranz (63)      1     0   Hartley Oldham
Result  Altrincham B    5     0  East Cheshire C
It looks a lot worse than it was! I would say that, wouldn’t I, but we were left slightly scratching our heads at the end as to how from 5 well-poised matches we scored not even a draw.
The general theme seemed to be that our opponents got what seemed an oh-so-slight edge and then converted very efficiently.
Geoff came closest, making mate threats before his opponent found a clever idea to turn the tables. Hartley and Edwin had no better luck – I wasn’t able to follow too much of their games though.
In Bill’s game against Karl Lockett…
to my e4, black played e3 with a QI type defence. I didn't have much difficulty but neither of us seemed to have the initiative - I certainly didn't. I did however try to push forward but neither side got over the half way line until the end game. All pieces swapped off however with his remaining N (5Ps each) he took my QRP. This resulted in his N becoming trapped by my K. (Interestingly this is the 3rd game this season against strong opposition where their N has become trapped in a corner.) In swapping Ns I regained the P however Black had the opposition resulting in a straightforward end game win for Black. No obvious advantage (until the end) in a lengthy game, so disappointing not to get a draw.
And as for me, as black in a King’s Indian defence my mistake was to allow white to build a little too easily and then bolster a fortress with a knight on d5. I tried to create counterplay, a little desperately, with h5, and swing my queen through the centre while white’s back was turned preparing a queenside attack, but with time short, didn’t find the now-essential best moves and the position caved in.

Friday, 20 March 2015

ECB 4 - 2 Altrincham A

A well earned win.  At last!  Altrincham turned up with a weaker than expected team but they still had to be beaten and we put up a really strong team performance to pull it off.  We're now up to the dizzy heights of third from bottom with survival in the division in our own hands......

Tudor  1/2  Reg Clucas (155)

Tudor was level in material but was being squeezed and it didn't look good.  But he cleverly kept it closed and gave Reg no targets and, running out of time, a draw was agreed giving us a valuable half point.

Keven 1 - 0  Nick Lowe (143)

Kev plays the Tromp like the great Julian Hodgson!  His dominant knights and strong central pressure limited his opponent's counterplay enabling Kev to gain material and finish off nicely.

Jim  1/2  Mark Whalley (156)

Jim came out of the opening a pawn down but managed to convert to an opposite B ending.  He doggedly stuck at it and even though 2 pawns down he frustrated his opponent and was able to force a draw by potential stalemate to clinch victory for us on the night.

Alan  1/2  Callum McNulty (110)

Alan was up against a Nimzo Indian which led to a rather dull middle game and, never in any trouble, a draw was agreed after a repetition.

Myles  1/2  Steve Douglas (103)

Myles had traffic jam problems trying to get his pieces on a limited number of squares in his Modern set up but, with threats looming, was able to agree a draw.

Paul  1 - 0  Wayne Kranz (63)

My opponent played the tricky Elephant Gambit and wanted an open game but I landed the first tactical blow and just had to stay alert to finish it off.

Well done everyone!  Next up: Denton B away on April 15th.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

ECB 2 - 4 Macclesfield A

After the near heroics and high passion of the A team's match the night before, this one was a much tamer affair.  Macc brought a strong team with a 100% record and expected to win - and unfortunately they did.  As usual we put up a good contest and punched above our weight but annoyingly chalked up yet another 2 - 4 loss.

Tudor  0 -1  Robert Shaw (204)

Tudor kept in this one against his strong opponent till late in the evening but eventually succumbed to a runaway advanced pawn.

Paul  1 - 0  Dave Risley (172)

Well..... I've lost so many "won" games it was nice to win a lost one for a change!  I was a pawn down in a R & P ending but then my opponent over complicated things and, not seeming to understand the digital clocks, he proceeded to lose on time.

Alan  0 - 1  Tony Soames (167)

This was a real battle with Alan very much in with a chance until very late on.  He eventually  lost the exchange but then unleashed a very menacing attack but unfortunately Tony managed to find the saving defence.

Bill  0 - 1  Geoff Laurence (161)

Bill had a great lead in development and was looking comfortable at one stage but Geoff eventually got going and managed to scrape home.

Myles  1 - 0  Denzil Lobo (151)

Myles's Modern led to a strangely quiet game but he handled it well and went on to pick up another fine win.

Arnold  0 - 1  Chris Sizeland (155)

Many thanks to Arnold for stepping in at the last minute to avoid defaulting a board.  He stuck at it well and kept his tough opponent waiting till after half past nine to claim his win.

So, we have 3 matches left, two of which are real 6 pointers (or should that be four pointers).  We still have a good chance of staying up and we're definitely due a win.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Chorlton 3.5 ECA 2.5


An exciting match turned against us in the final seconds and condemned us to almost certain relegation (not necessarily a bad thing!)

My game ended first. My opponent seemed unsure of himself against my Sicilian sideline and wasted some tempos in the opening. I had persistent pressure against his isolated central pawn and when he tried to nudge my Queen out of the way halfway through an exchange I didn't retreat but took another piece, attacking his Queen in turn. This won a piece and the game.

Alan accidentally gambited a pawn in a Queen's Gambit but had well centralised pieces and enough activity to bluff his way to an early draw offer.

The left us a point up with Bill and Dave also having good positions.

Steve had an equal middlegame on the White side of a Bishop b5 Sicilian and eventually accepted a draw.

Bill's account of his game is below:


I played the Caro-Kann defence to e4 and after exchanging Pawns he had Pawns on d4 and c4. He attacked with Pawns down the Queenside (a bit early I felt) so I counterattacked down the centre with e5 offering my Pawn on d5 as a sacrifice.

My centre attack allowed me to win a P and place a Knight on e3 supported by a passed Pawn on d4. My opponent had a passed Pawn on c5, however I had a reasonable Kingside attack as well. My pieces were well coordinated; White's were less well placed.

Twice I thought I had got through however he offered a draw. After discussion with our captain I declined the draw however my concentration had been upset and I moved my Q onto what I thought was a winning post (g3). [Black: Queen on g3, Knight on e3, Rook on e8, Bishop on b7]  I had overlooked his Pawn move to c6 blocking my Bishop on b7 attacking on a long diagonal. I sensed disaster, not for the first time this season.

I then offered a draw which my opponent accepted because I thought my poorly judged move might have cost the team the match. He accepted the draw and after analysis it appeared that I would have gained a second Pawn, at the cost of White having a Pawn on b7.

Overall I was content to get a draw however I feel a stronger player would have engineered a win in Black's situation. It had been looking bleak for me in the opening facing a relentless Queenside Pawn advance and I was pleased to get an advantage. Although I didn't make anything of it, I think I would have struggled to stop the Pawn on b7 with so many pieces on the board. A draw therefore didn't leave me feeling too bad.


So with two more draws on the card we were still a game up with two games left. Tudor was losing but setting traps (a scenario Tudor seems to quite enjoy) and Dave had a promising attack.

Tudor's opponent played solidly and eventually Tudor ran out of tricks and had to concede defeat.

This left the match riding on Dave's game. This was a topsy turvy affair where Dave attacked on the Kingside, then his opponent attacked with his Rooks on the Kingside and then Dave swapped off the Rooks and resumed his Kingside attack. Dave had a killer Knight posted on f6 and combined with a Queen penetrating down the h file Dave had a mating attack. However Dave had less than two minutes left and in the end took a poisoned piece that lost the Queen, missing a mate.

So that was that, Chorlton win 3.5 - 2.5 and should stay up whereas we will go down unless we beat Marple A next month!

We were quite lucky last season to win the B league so it seems there was no luck left for us this season!

1. S Tranter 0.5-0.5 H Mkhumba (190)
2. P Ramsey 1-0 R Doney (182)
3. D Newell 0-1 S Foulkes (172)
4. T Rickards 0-1 D Knox (153)
5. A Stokes 0.5-0.5 D Owen (163)
6. B Tait 0.5-0.5 A Beresford (156)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

ECA 3 Denton A 3

With only two points from seven matches ECA were nestled on the bottom of the Division 1 table before this match and desperately needed some points to have a hope of staying up. Here is how it went:

1. Phil 0-1 R Raychev (174)

My opponent played a closed system against my Sicilian and gradually built up pressure on the f file. I struggled to gain any counterplay and ended up with my pieces in a bit of a tangle and White took control of the f and d files. In the end my opponent simply attacked my f7 square and I had no good way of defending it. White's attack soon broke through after that.

2. Steve 0.5-0.5 L Antal (170)

Play a Ruy Lopez, Steve's game never really seemed to get going with both players trying to create something on the Kingside. A draw was agreed in the middlegame rather than play the time trouble lottery.

3. John 1-0 J Ryan (165)

John played a sharp opening where he got a strong centre at the expense of a slightly exposed King. However John played accurately and ended up in an endgame where his Rook was more active. This turned out to be enough to win the game as his opponent committed a few inaccuracies.

4. Dave N 1-0 G Kolbusz (155)

Dave played his normal slow Queen's Pawn build up and ended up with a strong position. I missed the end of this one but apparently it involved Dave forking three major pieces!

5. Tudor 0-1 T Hilton (158)

In a sharp King's Gambit Tudor held on to his extra pawn but did not manage to get his King to safety. Tudor loves these double edged positions but so does his opponent and Tim's attack hit home first.

6. Jim 0.5-0.5 F Moan (147)

Jim played a Giuco Piano and build up strong pressure on the Kingside. He sacrificed a Knight which was declined, leaving Jim a pawn up. However his opponent had enough activity to hold a draw.

So an invaluable point gained for ECA. Two points needed at Chorlton next week for a chance of staying up!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wilmslow 2 - ECC 3 (Mon 16th Feb)

Board Wilmslow             2 - 3 East Cheshire C
1. Kevin Moran (152)       1-0 Myles
2. Colin Mills (154)           1-0 Paul
3. Robin Warhurst (105)   0-1 Kieran
4. Anthony Flynn (99)       0-1 Edwin
5. T Horrocks (89)           0-1 Geoff Smith

As in the home version of this fixture, we sneaked the win and in the same way, outgunned on the top 2 boards but managing 3 impressive wins on the other boards.

Geoff was first to finish, and in style thanks to a lethal N check discovering a B attack on his opponent’s Q .

Edwin found himself in a typically bonkers but fun-looking double-edged position with both players’ castled kings vulnerable in the middlegame thanks to a cleared h-file and both player’s defending fianchettoed bishop having been lost. Edwin always looked a half-move ahead though, leaving him a P up when it simplified to an endgame. Edwin declined the draw and pushed on, and got his man in the end.

Paul found himself as black in a relatively slow game, but though his opponent’s attack lumbered slightly, eventually it came crashing through and Paul resigned.

Kieran necessarily ceded a time advantage to his opponent having scrambled back from London that evening, and having lost a pawn early on, it didn’t look promising, but suddenly there was counterplay, the pawn was won back, and a tricky endgame was won.

Which meant my game wouldn’t influence the result and a good thing too. As white in a queen’s gambit, I didn’t deal well with my opponent’s response, following the wrong plan going into the middlegame leaving my bishop clumsily-placed on d3 and, as it turned out, short of escape squares in the event of a pawn storm by black. Having lost B for a P, it eventually reduced to a N + 2Ps v 3 Ps endgame which I couldn’t hold.

Having been rooted to the bottom of the table previously, we're now in a 4-way fight with Wilmslow and our final 2 opponents, Altrincham B and Sale, and could still finish 3rd of 6...

Friday, 20 February 2015

ECB 2 - 4 Stockport B (Wed Feb 18)

As usual we were outgraded but put up another fighting performance and were again close to getting something out of the match.

Tudor 1/2 - 1/2 Mike Tunstall (159)

Tudor gave another solid display on board one and was offered the draw in an even looking contest..

Jim 0 - 1 Andy Coe (155)

Jim's Giuoco Piano led to an interesting game where he had the bishop pair and rooks against 2 knights and rooks.  It looked like it was heading for a draw but unfortunately the horses won the day.

Keven 0 - 1 Mike Crowther (154)

Kev's Pirc set up was perhaps a bit passive against an Austrian Attack and fell to a blow to his Q's rook.

Paul 0 - 1 Jeff Mason (150)

I played a quick development set up against the Philidor and created some pressure and perhaps should have sac'd a pawn to open up the kingside but Jeff defended carefully and then created some counterplay which turned out to be decisive.

Alan 1/2 - 1/2 Peter Taylor (139)

Alan was black against a particularly slow looking Q pawn opening system and he managed to take the initiative gaining a pawn.  Frustratingly, the resulting R & P ending, even with an extra pawn, looked drawish.

Myles 1 - 0 Anthony Prime (112)

Myles played a Dutch opening and looked very solid in a pretty even looking position, but managed to convert a draw into a full point with some clever play.  Our only winner of the night.

Next up is against runaway league leaders Macclesfield A at home on March 4th where I get the feeling a major upset could well be on the cards.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

ECA 1 Marple A 5

Playing against the strongest team in the Stockport league was never going to be easy - and it wasn't! Still we made our opponents work for the wins and came away with a respectable result.

1. Phil 0-1 A Longson (222)

I was quite happy with my position out of the opening in my slightly obscure Sicilian sideline. However Alex kept on finding little annoying threats and eventually ended up with a dangerous pawn on f6 that was both dangerous and weak as it could not be defended by other pawns.

I unwisely traded into a Queen endgame where my Queen was totally tied down to defending against mate on g7. I then allowed a trade of Queens which allowed my opponent to Queen a pawn as I had mis-calculated the pawn race.

2. Steve 0.5-0.5 M Fernandez (208)

Steve sacrificed a pawn early on for some pressure against his young opponent. He probably didn't get quite enough compensation for the pawn but kept the pressure on right through to the endgame. His opponent ended up very short of time and lost control of the position somewhat. Steve won the pawn back but was happy to accept a draw offer.

3. John 0.5-0.5 S Hegarty (174)

John defended well against Sarah's Bishop opening and achieved a strong position but accepted a draw offer as he was getting tired.

4. Tudor 0-1 I Craft (183)

Tudor had to take on the Dutch and gradually ran out of space as his opponent took over the White squares and the open file. Tudor lost an exchange and wasn't able to save the game with any tricks this time.

5. Alan 0-1 P Kirby (164)

Alan finished the opening with a passive position and was gradually squashed as his opponent advanced. When his opponent eventually broke through Alan's blockade it was game over.

6. Bill 0-1 N Livesey (152)

Bill kept things simple with a French Exchange but ended up castled Queenside behind his advanced Queenside pawns. Bill tried to create some play on the Kingside but his opponent's attack was always going to land first.

So no points were expected from this match and none were won. I think we all had interesting games though and learnt some lessons.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Macclesfield 3.5 - ECC 1.5 (Mon 19th Jan)

Board Macclesfield B 3.5-1.5 East Cheshire C
1. N. Evans (145) 1-0 B. Tait
2. D. Lobo (151) 0-1 K. Newell
3. A. Brough (144) 0.5-0.5 E. Cooke
4. M. Renshaw (140) 1-0 H. Oldham
5. M. Jouannet (121) 1-0 K. Hodgson

After the home leg of this fixture in December, we were under no illusions about the strength of the Macclesfield team, a little misplaced in our division given their strength on all boards. As such, a win and a draw and some combative games all round seemed a decent return. The big inexplicable blunder of the night was the team captain picking himself plus 5 others for a 5-board match (?!), and so sitting this one out, which did however mean I was able to follow some interesting games.

On board 3, Edwin's manoeuvrings left him with an extra pawn, doubled on the h-file though it was. In attempting to consolidate that gain, Edwin found his opponent gaining some activity and an early draw was agreed. With 20-20 hindsight, 14 f6! would have led to some interesting lines with perhaps a strong attack against black's injudiciously castled king, but then bridging a 45-point grading gap to have slightly the better of a draw was certainly not to be sniffed at!

Hartley found himself in a lively middlegame with queens swapped off and almost all minor pieces highly active for both players, but was always that annoying half-move behind and ended up elegantly checkmated by his opponent's knights, pawn and bishop.

In Bill's game: "I attacked on his K side castle losing 2 minor pieces to a R, however all my pieces were active. I couldn't break through despite a pinning a N on his K. His Ps just managed to keep me out and he deservedly won. No complaints."

Kieran confirmed himself as the form man of the C-team with another fine win. Already a piece up by the time I properly tuned into his game, Kieran built a commanding position, getting the stronger attack in front of slightly exposed kings and forcing through the necessary swap-offs to neutralise any counter-threats and convert the full point with minimal fuss.

Which meant that - improbably - a win for Keith on board 4 would have meant a drawn match. However, a slight miscalculation in a long and complex serious of swap-offs left Keith a bishop down, albeit a "bad" bishop, and with Keith slightly ahead and pushing on energetically in the race to queen a pawn. Eventually though, his opponent regrouped and covered the back rank and the game was up for Keith.

No cheap win on any board for Macclesfield B then, a creditable result in itself!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

EC C 3 - Wilmslow 2 (Weds 14th Jan)

Board East Cheshire C       Wilmslow
1 Myles Heywood          0 - 1 Kevin Moran (152)
2 Kieran Newell             0 - 1 Colin Mills (154)
3 Keith Hodgson            1 - 0 Robin Warhurst (105)
4 Geoff Clarke                1 - 0 Anthony Flynn (99)
5 Ian Vaughan                1 - 0 Ashley Weinberg (79)
Result East Cheshire C 3   2  Wilmslow

Having been edged out in a few of our recent matches, finally it was our turn to win a close match, our maiden win of the season. Here's how it happened in the rough order in which the games finished...

On board 5, with Ian on white early trade-offs left knights versus bishops. Ian's knights were active, and in the end game helped to stop pawn promotion. An exasperated groan from his opponent told us Ian had got his man, with black resigning after a knight fork took his last piece. Geoff managed to get the win just after on board 4.

As for Keith on board 3:
I blundered at the very outset of my game losing my bishop without reply and thereafter was very much on the defensive throughout my middle game. However my strength lay in my trusted knight which in the end game managed to pin my opponents rook with a pinned check, and without reply I captured his rook without losing my knight. My pawns were well placed and advanced and the game thereafter turned to my advantage, with my opponent forced into an impossible position and then resigning. Blunders from us both,me at the beginning and my opponent at the end made for a great game to win!

And with that, we had won the match - a good job, as our positions on the top 2 boards began to slide. With time running out, Kieran looked to have turned the screw as black but missed a way for white's major pieces to invade his position, and once they got through it was curtains.

Having played a cautious opening as black and hoping to bounce back in the middlegame, I spent perhaps an hour slowly ganging up on white's lonely middle pawn and wondering whether or not I could take it. It transpired that I couldn't as having made the capture I became the target myself, and all manner of nasty pin threats followed with me quickly leaking material before becoming overrun.

This win lifts us off the bottom of the table and means that if we can repeat it in the return fixture in February, we might just stay there...

East Cheshire 2 Denton 3

We bowed out of the President's Cup last night after just getting edged out by a higher graded Denton team.

Jim 0 - 1 Pablo Lopez (172)

Jim was white against the French and unfortunately got a rook trapped early on and that was curtains really.

David 1/2 Laszlo Antal (170)

David looked solid with his French Rubinstein and held on well in a pawn end game.

Alan 1/2 John Ryan (165)

Alan's London system won him the exchange for 2 pawns and then in the late middle game his knight started creating a lot of mayhem.  At the end, although a piece up, Alan agreed a draw because of a troublesome passed pawn.

Bill 1/2 Dave Holt (146)

Bill's Caro did the business for a solid draw and although he had double pawns he was never in trouble.

Paul 1/2 Tim Hilton (158)

After a fairly even Scotch transposition,  I managed to achieve a superior end position but failed to land the killer punch.

So, disappointing for us as we came very close to pulling off an upset.

Stockport B 4 ECB 2

This was a tough match on Tuesday against a strong Stockport side but we battled really hard on every board and fully deserved to get something out of this match but it was not to be.

Mike Taylor (171) 1 - 0 Tudor

As Tudor says:  "Try plan B.  No wild attacks.  Go for Q side bind and grind (QGD).  Opponent goes for wild king side attack and after much fog of war wins.  Think one weakening move h3 was the difference between his attack winning or Q side and centre plan OK.

Mike Tunstall (159) 0 - 1 Keven

Keven had a quick win here (19 moves).  His Pirc equalised easily and had useful Q side pressure and then played a tempting trap which his opponent fell into and lost immediately.

Andy Coe (155) 1 - 0 David

David:  "I played my usual Reti and the opening was fairly even. I thought I had a slight advantage (Fritz agrees, giving me one pawn equiv after 22 moves) and pressed forward with my Q side pawns.  Unfortunately he found good defensive moves and eventually I lost a central pawn.  His pieces were better co-ordinated at this stage and his Q infiltrated to pose all manner of threats. With my time running out I finally blundered catastrophically!"
Mike Crowther (154) 1 - 0 Alan
Alan gave his opponent a real match here but eventually got edged out, slightly down on material in an unbalanced game. 

Jeff Mason (150) 1 - 0 Bill

Bill: "playing as white after my e4, black played a sort of Philidor defence, followed by an early f5??
This allowed me Bxg8 and Qh5! and I thought I had won the game winning a P and R. As it turned out his R could escape so after the check I realised it would take 3 moves to get my Q back from sitting on h8. His K side would be destroyed however the centre could be his.
Nimzowitz would have been proud - I captured nothing and moved back to the centre where I was able to pin his K and win his KP. I ended up a P ahead, furthermore it was a passed P on e5, with a B on f6 to protect it. I had the initiative but the scent of victory can be a curse. I mistakenly opted for a lenghty exchange of my mobile pieces and then found my remaining N on c3 with no useful square to move to. Furthermore this N impeded my Ps and Rs - disaster.
Hubris; I lost my gains and was unable to exchange Rs. His doubled Rs broke in and he deservedly won.- Surely this never happened to close. I didn't make a mistake with any single move; it was my strategy for forcing up my passed P which was wrong."
David Pardoe (142) 0 - 1 Paul
I played the Benko and after a tough struggle managed to create some pressure on the b file to win material.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stockport 4 ECA 2

ECA had a tough match at Stockport with three of the regular first team away (including me.) Despite not being there I have had some game reports so here is what happened:

John 0.5 0.5 A REEVE (186)

John: Against Andy I played 1.d4 d6 2.g3 in order to prevent his standard set up. Unfortunately this ended up leaving an open queen file with balanced chances. He offered me a draw. I took it. Fritz said equal position.
Steve 0.5 0.5 P CAWLEY (185)

Steve: this was my third game with the black pieces against Paul Cawley and my third draw! He played his usual solid line of d4 followed by Bf4 and I got a playable game with f5 and a Q side fianchetto. My hoped for edge didn't materialise and as I was quite a bit behind on time I agreed a draw. I thought he had a small initiative, although Stockfish had me up about 0.2. There again, what do chess engines know that we don't?!

Tudor 0 1 P SIDDALL (191)

Tudor: Enjoyed a violent game after another unknown opening to me which I played as a sort of QGD slav. Much uncertainty involving offers of my d4 pawn leading to my weak centre and a smashed king side, for which I had attack on his king which neither of us could work out (near perfect for chances against 191 graded Siddell.) But the first mistake seen and taken loses in this. I made it and lost ca move 35.

David T 0 1 D TOOLE (171)

David: I played the Nimzo against the Queens Gambit but wasn't energetic enough, and my opponent quickly seized the advantage to make a devastating attack down the h-file which led to mate despite desperate defensive measures.
Alan 0 1 M TAYLOR (171)

The happenings of this game will remain clouded in mystery for now.
Bill 1 0 M TUNSTALL (159)

Bill: As Black I played a Caro-Kann defence against the advance variation. He attacked my B with P-KN4. After stalling his centre attack he pushed down the K side and I deliberately didn't castle. He castled Q side and expected me to do likewise however I counterattacked instead down the QB file. With a brief respite to defend my K side, I was able to ignore this side and recommence the pressure on his Q-sided K. A judicious P sacrifice allowed me to play a P up to QB6 when I suspected he anticipated an exchange. With my Q + 2 Rs on semi-open files against his K, which was hemmed in by his own defense, I used my N to break in. Approaching the climax of an overwhelming attack White suddenly and mistakenly moved a N away saying check (it wasn't) allowing an immediate mate with 50 sec on my clock.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Stockport C 3 - ECC 2 (Tues 6th Jan)

1 Marc Jackson (135)   1 0  Paul Bamford
2 Vic Rushworth (132)  0 1  Myles Heywood
3 John Kelly (108)         0 1   Kieran Newell
4 Anthony Prime (112)  1 0   Ian Vaughan
5 Ian Anderson (99)       1 0   Geoff Smith
Result Stockport C      3 2  East Cheshire C
My game finished earliest - in a complex position with both sides attacking in front of slightly exposed kings, Vic allowed a knight fork to win the exchange, and on further inspection, a second exchange, and despite an injudiciously-timed swop-off of queens, I was able to crunch my pawns on in the end.

Ian found himself worse after a few moves - white maintained momentum well and didn't allow Ian any counterplay. In good form with 4 wins from 4 for the D-team, Geoff resisted stubbornly having found himself down a piece for much of the game but was worn down in the end.

Kieran came into this game having the previous weekend jointly won the Shropshire Congress Minor section with 4.5/5 and a performance of 159 - well done! This game didn't start so well with him losing a piece after 6 moves (oops!) but after his opponent allowed Kieran to take his h2 pawn, Kieran generated some momentum and with both queens very active and an open position ensuing, he got his checkmate in first. Well played, though I'm not sure that makes your bishop 'sac' a playable gambit Kieran ;)

That left just Paul's game to finish, though with his opponent having had the better of the opening, Paul sacrificed a pawn in a bid to free up his position... which worked for a while but then his opponent started generating threats on the 7th rank and it was game over.

Tantalisingly close to a first win of the season again, but we wouldn't have long to wait...