Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Macclesfield A 4 - 2 ECA

A narrow defeat last night against a strong Macc team.  David Taylor's report below:

A SHAW        1:0    S TRANTER
J HEPPELL        1:0    J READ
D RISLEY        0:1      G BRINDLE
S DAVISON    0.5:0.5    J McKIE
A SOAMES    0.5:0.5    K HOLTON
C GARSIDE    1:0        D R TAYLOR
                        4 : 2
Steve (168) was faced by Shaw (200) and unfortunately exposed a rook down the long diagonal, which enabled his opponent to establish a fierce attack by queen and bishop against both the rook and the king’s position on the other side of the board.  Steve struggled valiantly to cope but was eventually overwhelmed.
John (168) played calmly against Heppell (187) and seemed to have good scope in the endgame with two connected outside passed pawns, supported by two bishops,  against a pawn majority in the centre which included one passed pawn.  However his opponent’s knight and bishop finally enabled  Heppell’s king to approach and forced an exchange of bishop for knight resulting, in the final minutes, in a resolution in favour of Heppell.
Geoff (157) outplayed Dave RIsley (172) and his strong attack on the king’s position proved decisive.
Jim (141) was not fazed by his strong opponent (C Davison, 163) and a tense stand-off involving multiple threats by doubled rooks and minor pieces eventually dissolved into a drawn game.
Keven (141) never looked to be in trouble against Soames (156) and a tightly blockaded stonewall sealed a draw.
David (135) playing against Carl Gartside (157), who played at High Peak in years gone by, missed a combination in a Kings Indian that won a knight around move 20, and never managed to regain any momentum, resigning after another 15 moves as more material began to drop off.                                     

Friday, 15 February 2019

Holmes Chapel 4.5 - 1.5 East Cheshire

Our glorious run in the Charnley Cup came to an end at the semi final stage last night as we crashed out to Holmes Chapel, but not without the usual fun and games.

John arrived literally hot foot from the airport and had to face a professional chess coach and put up a good fight before having to admit defeat.  Steve McCall played a solid game and his opponent needed no hesitation when a draw was offered.  The other Steve (Tranter) got a good initiative but unfortunately it didn't lead to a knock out punch and he had to settle for a draw.

My opponent threw the kitchen sink at me and I ended up a rook up but was unable to defend precisely which allowed him a perpetual.  Interestingly (or not!) there was an incident which reminded me of the infamous "Marplegate" of a few years ago.  The position had got particularly tense and I was testing the old brain trying to find the best defense when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my clock had stopped - I was down to 12 minutes and Ian had about 25 at this stage.  I then could  hear a couple of spectators talking who had obviously noticed it too and the next thing is one of them picks up the clock and starts messing with it.  I immediately blurted out "Oi, get your hands of the bl@@dy clock!".  It all ended amicably enough but didn't help my concentration much.  I'm not sure what the ruling is on spectator interference....

Anyway, this all meant that we now had to win the 2 remaining games to make it through to the final.  As it happened both Tudor and David T just got edged out in interesting endgames.  Oh well, at least we avoid having to play Stockport in the final.

1 - 0  Jon Blackburn (207) v John
1/2    John Turner (173) v Steve Tr
1 - 0  Patrick Bennett (176)  v David T
1 - 0  Mike Hancock (161) v Tudor
1/2    Ian Bates (146) v Paul
1/2    Malcolm Roberts (137) v Steve Mc
4.5 - 1.5