Thursday, 5 March 2020

ECA 4 - 2 Marple A

No handshakes last night.  Taking a leaf from the world's great leaders we did our bit to contain the corona virus.  Having said that, chess has to be a pretty hazardous pursuit, locking heads over a board whilst your opponent labours over whether to move his knight to c3 or d2 whilst constantly taking huge breaths in and out.

Anyway, back to the match!  The sight of John Reed on board 4 was an unpleasant surprise for Marple and the look on some of their faces was priceless.  The psychological effect seemed to work.  John finished his match well before 9.00 after his dominant centralised Q had caused his opponent to throw pieces up the board in a flawed counter attack.  Tom finished soon after having equalised against his more than useful opponent.

Things then started to get a bit interesting.  Keven had replied well to an accelerated London and aided by a strong outposted N launched pieces at his opponent's K in what looked like a decisive attack.  Unfortunately.... going in for the kill he had a moment's lapse and placed his Q on an unsafe square.  It happens.

In my game my opponent had spent a lot of time on his opening moves but just ended up 2 pawns down and I was able to convert it into a fairly comfortable endgame.  The remaining 2 games both looked pretty wild affairs.  Steve eventually settling for a perpetual and Geoff finding the winning plan in a game he never looked like losing.

So all in all things worked out OK and a win's a win.

Tom   1/2   Glen Trueman (160)
Steve Tr   1/2   Alan Hall (144)
Geoff   1 - 0   Chris Baker (124)
John   1 - 0   David Preen (115)
Keven   0 - 1   Tony Doust (110)
Paul   1 - 0   Paul Horrocks (111)

Thursday, 13 February 2020

ECA 3.5 - 2.5 Stockport B

We entertained Stockport B last night who had inflicted our only league defeat on us so far this season when thy beat us narrowly at their place.  So we were looking for revenge and fortunately we just got over the line against a decent team.

Steve Tranter was the first to finish and got us off to a good start.  After almost getting a draw against a former world champion at a simul in Spain last week he was in confident and relaxed mood and never looked in any trouble.

Things then got a bit tricky for us.  Geoff had lost to his highly graded opponent and Jim was also under the cosh.  He had lost a pawn out of the opening but sensibly had manufactured a B versus N ending but was just unable to hold on for a draw.

I was in a spot of time trouble (4 minutes to his 40) but was a piece up for 2 pawns and he offered a draw which was very tempting, but I decided to keep plugging away.  In the meantime Tom's game looked pretty even and he declined a couple of draw offers before going on to win on time and keep his impressive form going.

John had a good battle before it fizzled out in to a draw so the match result hinged on my game.  Ian had defended a difficult position early on and made it tough for me before he played an illegal N move (chess blindness!) which had given me the initiative again.  At the end I was a R up with 2 pawns about to promote but he carried on, hoping I would lose on time but he made another illegal move (!) and I claimed the win.

So it was a close run thing in the end but the result sends us to the top of the table again.  Nice to see East Cheshire on top of two divisions at the moment with the B team also flying.

Geoff  0  Andy Stoker (177)  1
John  1/2  Jill Barber (152)  1/2
Steve Tr  1  Mike Tunstall (152)  0
Tom  1  Gareth Griffiths  (142)  0
Jim  0  Peter Taylor (129)  1
Paul  1  Ian Anderson (115)  0 

Thursday, 16 January 2020

ECA 5.5 - 0.5 Denton

The first match of the year saw the A team return to form last night with a comfortable win over Denton.

Geoff  1 - 0  Dave Holt (137)
This game had everything - illegal moves, missed illegal moves (do we need VAR for next season?) but Geoff's strong position held it together and his 2 extra pawns at the end were decisive. 

John  1 - 0  Phil Boyd (121)
John always seemed very comfortable and was the first to finish on the night.

Tom  1 - 0  Martin Murphy (113)
Tom went a pawn up fairly early on and his opponent threw in the towel when he was unable to stop a runaway pawn.

Jim  1/2  Ivan Urwin (112)
You always get an interesting game against Ivan and his quirky style of play had Jim in a slightly awkward position and time trouble before a flurry of checks saved the day for Jim.

Paul  1 - 0  Stan Bradley (109)
After a slow build up I eventually got an advantage for the space on the Qside and built up a decisive attack in the endgame.

Tudor  1 - 0  Pete Shaw (102)
Tudor came out of the opening in good shape with a pawn up and went on to win another and was careful to avoid giving his opponent any drawing chances with opposite coloured bishops.

In grading terms this was a match that we would have hoped to win and it has put us back on the top of the table at the halfway stage.