Friday, 26 February 2016

ECA 2.5 Marple A 3.5

The match between East Cheshire A and Marple A on Feb 25th 2016 at Marple went as follows
Marple                        East Cheshire
M Fernandez (212)  0.5  0.5  S Tranter (180)
J Bentley  (192)         1     0     J Reed   (173)
G Trueman (176)    0.5  0.5   G Brindle (150 est)
S Hewitt (160)         1     0    D R Taylor (142)
A Hall   (148)           0     1     T Rickards (138)
C Baker (134)         0.5    0.5   B Tait  (139)
Marple A won 3.5  :  2.5
The outcome hinged on Steve’s game at the end, with both players on less than 5 minutes.  Steve had a Q & K, MF a rook & K.

The whole club and visitors gathered round and watched for at least 10-15 minutes as Steve tried his best to corner MF, but MF played brilliantly as well and no mistake being made it ended drawn.  Fischer timing of course.

Tudor's version:

Further adventures of the Knights of East Cheshire

Annus Mirabilis: The Apotheosis of Sir Stephen

I tell of great deeds of courage and skill in battle. The knights of the East Cheshire round table set out courageously for the mountains of Marple.

None battled more valiantly than Sir Stephen, against the young champion of Marple, Fernandez the fearsome.

The other knights fought against the well trained opponents   Even the skills of Sir John of Gascony were to no avail and he retired from the fray, followed by Sir David of Elmsmead.

After many an hour in grim conditions, matching only those of the dank chambers of Chorlton, Sir Geoffrey Cricket agreed  an honourable tie.

The aging Welsh knight Sir Tudor Treforest launched a reckless attack which confused his youthful opponent, already disconcerted with attacking grunts from Sir T partly due to ingestion of a secret Welsh beverage quaffed throughout the contest. (Ross on Wyan brew).  A hit, a palpable hit, and East Cheshire were still in the contest.

The tourney was lost after Sir William, clad in his famous vermillion battledress, was thwarted and agreed a tied contest.

But all this while, as midnight approached, Sir Steven was engaged in battle against Fernandez the fearsome. The field was strewn with the hors de combat fallen. The entire pawn army of each had gone, but the last one was ennobled to Queen status as Fernandez saw a brilliant defence. He fought on, now with a Castle and against Sir Steven’s Queen. The task is a rare finale to a joust. According to the books of battle, the queen will prevail but unless you know the ancient lore, you may exceed the fifty move limit on hostilities.

The battle waged around the board. By then, a crowd of hushed onlookers surrounded the scene. Sir Steven pressed, and the queen could win the rook. Bur Fernandez had seen one more further, and taking the rook would but leave to a stalemate.

And that was enough to take the contest to fifty moves without a capture, and a draw.

The crowd erupted into a spontaneous round of applause.

The East Cheshire knights were defeated honourably, but Sir Stephen had fought the Marple champion to a standstill.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

ECB 2 - 4 Marple B

After 2 successive wins, we were faced with an under strength Marple B and had high hopes of making it 3 on the bounce.  Unfortunately Marple played much stronger than their grades, on all boards, and we got turned over.

David T  0 - 1  Chris Baker (134)

David seemed ok out of the opening but ended up losing a pawn and the exchange and couldn't find a way back

Keven  1/2  Terry Cowling (133)

Keven's drawn game became very tactical as he explains:
  "My game was a Philidor  Defence . Terry had worked through the lines with Alex Longson !!  I got a lot of pressure but wasted a lot of time fantasizing about winning combo’s that each agonisingly  had a single flaw. In the end, I opted to exchange down but overlooked the loss of my e4 pawn. However, I had sufficient play & pressure to win it back and had marginally the better position but probably not enough to win."

 Tudor  1/2  Tony Doust (107)

Tudor was a pawn up but when the queens came off Tony played a really good endgame and with opposite colour bishops a draw was agreed.

Bill  0 - 1  Toby Brown (100)

As seemed to be the nature of the night, Bill was up against an inspired opponent who played well above his grade.  In a Grand Prix Sicilian, it started to get tactical and with pins on both sides it was Toby who came out the better and netted an extra rook.

Paul  1/2  Neil Dainty (112)

I played a quiet line of the French and whilst it gave me a solid position it didn't really give me much else.

Nick  1/2  Trefor Thomas (100)

Nick had active pieces and applied pressure but his opponent defended well.  With only queens and pawns left a draw was agreed.

So, too many draws and no wins for us on the night.  We'll have another go next Tuesday away at Stockport B.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

ECA 3.5 Denton A 2.5

Well I never. ECA managed a first win of the season last night against fellow strugglers Denton A. We managed to field our strongest team and our strength in depth told in the end.

1. Steve 1-0 P Orejuela (178)

Steve played a solid Ruy Lopez but his opponent played well and after a number of exchanges had a slight initiative. However she also had very little time left and Steve managed to create problems. Eventually he got his Rook and Queen behind her King with a mating attack.

2. Phil 0-1 K Celinski (153)

As normal I got a decent position out of the opening. In a variation of the Hyper-accelerated Dragon I am very familiar with I had some pressure against my opponent's centre. However I then tried to be clever rather than play an obvious recapture which left the position dead equal. I then missed a simple threat to trap my Knight. Oh dear. I got a pawn for the piece and managed to create some pressure in the endgame but my opponent played solidly enough and held out for the win.

3. John 0.5-0.5 T Hilton (168)

John faced a kind of Nimzo-Indian and Tim played very well, gradually building up pressure all over the board. Tim finally got an endgame a couple of pawns up but didn't have time to win it.

4. Kieran 0-1 J Eversley (150)

Kieran seemed to be doing OK in a sort of Owen's defence but was behind in development. He then lost a pawn and the endgame.

5. Geoff B 1-0 D Boulden (137)

Geoff played his favourite Colle System and got a strong Knight on e5. He then advanced his central pawns for a smooth win.

6. Dave N 1-0 D Holt (133)

Dave's opponent did not manage to create many threats against Dave's familiar accelerated Dragon and Dave smoothly outplayed his opponent, mating him in the endgame to win the match for us.

So we are now two points behind Denton with a match in hand. Things could get interesting!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Another weird way of losing a chess game

Report from Stockport quick play January 31st 2016 by Tudor

I pause from striking my head against the dashboard.

It is 5.30 pm.

Three hundred yards down the sodden A6, chess players are pouring out of the Davenport Arms. Pouring is an apt word to describe conditions here. 'Plentiful convenient parking' is more of a euphemism.

Making this report prevents me from further self harm.

Why the lack of a stiff upper lip?  Read on and maybe you will understand.

I played in the modest reaches of the Intermediate tournament populated by many friends from the third division of the Stockport league, some even from the lofty reaches of the second division.

Half away through I was pleasantly surprised to be leading the field with 3 out of 3. Although a bit of a blur, the results are helped by opponents playing more recklessly than myself, getting their recklessness in first.

So to lunch. I battle though a typhoon to reach the car and extract a nutritious banana. I return dripping into the arena. My opponent awaits. I try an opening suggestion for White from my new guru Mahatma Brindle. It seems to be working. I get a slight plus and long castling. An attack in on the way.  


But crassness is not far away. He tries to block my attack with a temporary foray by a knight. I ignore it. Only to hear my opponent say I had ignored a check and what should he do?

I helpfully say he can chose the piece I must move to play a legal move.


It takes him a microsecond to suggest I sacrifice my queen, rather than the King move that leaves him in some difficulties.

I resign.

Later I learn that the correct penalty was a bonus two minutes on his clock, which would still have left him behind in time and weaker on the board.

I deservedly lost the next game only to rally and outperform the other over 60s to earn a consolation prize. Some consolation.

Not asking for sympathy. Is raw steak still considered good for bruised face and ego?

Denton B 1.5 - 4.5 ECB

Denton were playing 3 matches last night which meant we were up against a weakened team which enabled us to record our second successive win (a rarity!).  As usual, it wasn't entirely straightforward.......

Bill was first to finish in a fairly quick game.  He was up against a Scandinavian and handled it well winning material and then jogged home.  Keven was coasting in his game too and was the exchange up.  Unfortunately (and we've all done it) he was busy thinking about his next move and neglected the fact that his Queen was en prise. 

Tudor was firing out the moves with his Alekhine and promoted a passed pawn to settle things.  David T was having a little trouble and was a pawn down before he managed to find a way of convincing his opponent that it was perpetual check.  Meanwhile Dave N, now obviously cured of his previous time issues, actually did the unthinkable - he won on time!  He put his opponent in trouble with a variety of threats for a nice win.

In the B team, we normally have an "incident" and last night it was in my game.  My opponent had clearly decided to park the bus and by about move 15, although he had castled, all his other pieces had returned to their original starting squares!  My pieces were all active so I thought a sacrifice was in order to blow away his Kingside.  I went for a combination but it self destructed.  At the end of it I was the exchange up but had only 3 pieces to his five.  Luckily he was struggling to coordinate his pieces and I managed to block his Queen totally out the game in a corner.  I started clawing back material and was almost level heading into a time scramble.....

On the old fashioned clocks I had about 6 minutes to his 4, when he made a move - and forgot to hit his clock!  I milked it a bit with much head scratching and chin stroking, making out that I was pondering over a move of huge complexity.  This charade lasted for about 3 and a half minutes until he looked at the clock closely and - in horror - realised I had been stealing his time.  We played out a few more moves before I sheepishly pointed out that his flag had fallen.  A very scruffy "win" for me and I really felt for him, particularly as the same thing has happened to me in the past and I know how bad it feels.

So all in all a good result which puts us in a very healthy mid table position.

Tudor's (more entertaining!) verdict is below the game results.

0 - 1  Stan Bradley (123) v Dave N
1/2    Phil Boyd (113) v David T
1 - 0  Ivan Urwin (111) v Kev
0 - 1  Eric Lesnik (102) v Tudor
0 - 1  Malcolm Furlong (92) v Bill
0 - 1  Stewart McIlvenna (79 v Paul
1.5 - 4.5

As per Tudor:

Denton and the time lords 

A great performance from EC B team. I relinquish the dubious title of East  Cheshire's  Houdini to captain Paul Bamber Bamford or Dave Dave Newell.  

The Bamber toyed with his unsuspecting prey giving up two pieces in anticipation of a Zugswang thirty moves later.  The plan was working to perfection.  The wildebeest was losing the will to escape its languid predator.  Then a shift of plan, and a dazzling set of 'if he does that I do that' and the wildebeest had collected a motley array of forces in exchange for a queen.  But the effort had brought the poor creature to a terminal state with  insufficient energy to reach a paw out to stop his ticker from expiring.  The ruthless Bamford watched as seconds ticked on to the last syllables of recorded time.

Dave Dave, himself prone to time yips, was also in regal form.  This time,  his opponent did remember to press his clock at the conclusion of every move, but it was insufficient.  Deadly Dave posed incalculable threats until the Denton top board sat helpless unable to decide whether to move, throw himself to the ground Eden Hazard fashion, or take an early bath.

Meanwhile Doc Tait had carried out a neat bit of keyhole surgery and went off to support the junior doctors. 

The Governor, Dave the Power Taylor,  grabbed a perpetual check that wasn't. The Denton second board had a blind spot  about  tucking his king away to safety.

To my left, old sea dog  Captain Birdseye Kev was involved in a skirmish which seemed very promising until he overlooked a sneak attack which shivered his timbers and pirated away his queen. 'I never saw it coming' said Kev ruefully. 

Which leaves me, black, playing the Alekhine. White can completely neutralize quickly  by giving up all chances of winning. Black can spend a happy three hours in a dead parrot situation seeing if something might turn up.  My main danger was falling asleep. About sixty moves later I had a solitary pawn that gradually advanced and was transformed into a full grown queen.

So it was. A victory at last.  As Doc Tait put it, no one beats East Cheshire B nineteen times in succession.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Stockport A 5.5 ECA 0.5

Another tough match for ECA, especially with a weakened team. Still, we had managed to steal a point from Holmes Chapel recently. Could we do the same at Stockport?

1. P Cawley (182) 0.5 - 0.5 John

John faced a kind of Benoni setup and ended up with an advanced pawn on c5 but eventually agreed a draw in an even position.

2. A Reeve (192) 1 - 0 Phil

Facing Andy's favourite English opening I replied with my normal King's Indian setup but got out-played strategically. My early f5 resulted in a weak pawn that had to be defended for the rest of the game. In the end the pressure got to me and I blundered a piece.

3. P Siddal (190) 1 - 0 Geoff B

Rather ironically Geoff had to face his favourite Owen's Defense. He played solidly and achieved a strong looking Knight on e5 but then allowed it to get trapped.

4. J Pink (171) 1 - 0 David T

David had to face 2. g4 - a kind of Grob's attack. David played solidly and seemed to be holding his own until he allowed a Knight fork that won his Queen.

5. M Taylor (171) 1 - 0 Bill

Bill played the Grand Prix attack against the Sicilian but never managed to create any concrete threats on the Kingside whereas his opponent gradually built up pressure on the Queenside, eventually winning the endgame.

6. D Sheppard (159) 1 - 0 Paul

Paul had to face a very odd system against his French Defense with 2. Bb5. In the middlegame his opponent gave up a Bishop for some central pawns and achieved a very dangerous pawn centre. Paul managed to blockade the pawns to some extent but then dropped a piece in time pressure.

So no miracle, just a series of lessons.

Hopefully we will have a stronger team next week for our must-win match at Denton.