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!