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)