Friday, 27 August 2010

CCs (Minor) on Thursday, and Some News on the Coming Season

Dave texted me from the bar of Wigston Liberal Club at ten to nine last night. The rest of the minor section were with him having finished their games early. Dave had lost to Andy Carter; and Guy Closs, the competition leader, had been beaten by Dennis Wilkins. The result means that Guy could still be caught. There are two more rounds to go with Guy having a no score bye in the last round.

Here are details of divisions 1,4, and 5 for next season. We will play each of our opponents twice, once at home and once away. A look at the draft fixtures list reveals that most weeks two of our three teams will be playing although sometimes it will be all three and sometimes only one. The last of the league matches will take place in mid-April. There will be breaks for school holidays, and the Major and Minor League Cups will have their own weeks alloted to them.

Division 1 - 8 teams:
Heathcote Arms 1
Loughboro 1
Melton 1
Scraptoft Valley 1
Shepshed 1
Wigston 1
Wigston 2

Division 4 -7 teams
Ashby 3
Braunstone 3
Heathcote 2
Kirby Muxloe 1
Melton 3
Syston 2
Wigston 5

Division 5 - 7 teams
Braunsone 4
Heathcote Arms 3
Kirby Muxloe 2
Red Admiral 2
Spinney Hill 2
Syston 3

Next week there will definately be a club night on Tuesday.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

HA's Newbies Lose to Red Admiral

Last night, HA took on the Red Admiral in the Harrod Cup. We had two debutants, together with one player playing their second match and a welcome re-appearance of Pete Arland, who had had one happy season playing with Stan, Ray & I for Littlethorpe a few seasons back. Red Admiral tried to put out a suitably matched side as there were no possibilities of either team making an impression in the Harrod.

Unfortunately, the Admiral side was somewhat stronger than hoped, due to unavailability of one of their juniors. Andy Carter played on Board 1, Amber Carter on 2, Stan "the Man" Parsons on 3 and David Watson on Board 4.

Clearly, the HA side were in for a tough time, and so it proved. In the first round Michael lost on Board 4 to David (who was celebrating an impressive collection of A* & A Grade A-Levels), and Stan's knight wreaked a certain amount of havoc on Drew's king-side before mating him. I didn't see a lot of Gary's game against Amber, but he fought hard. On the top board Pete was in a strong position against Andy, but Andy swindled a half by virtue of a repeated check using his lonesome queen.

In the reverse fixtures, the three bottom boards all lost a second time, but the struggles were closer, and the play generally better, forcing their opponents to win rather than losing by making a mistake. On the top board Pete this time mated Andy.

Pete Arland (90) - Andy Carter (100) 0.5-0.5/1-0
Gary Sanders (U/G) - Amber Carter (90) 0-1/0-1
Drew Bubb (U/G) - Stan Parsons (90) 0-1/0-1
Michael Bubb (U/G) - David Watson (U/G) 0-1/0-1

Final score 1.5 -6.5

Well done to everyone - for our two debutants it was the first game where they had to use clocks. In the HA tradition, as long as it was enjoyable experience, then it was a good night. Pete Arland so impressed Stan & Andy that they immediately tapped him up to play for them in the upcoming season. We are looking forward to the transfer fee as a club, and I am looking forward to my 5% as Pete's agent.

Ray & Colin also played their County Championship match - it was (based on a casual viewing) a bit of a bore draw without any gambits, sacrifices or the like (sorry chaps!). It does nothing for either player's chances of bring the Cup to the Arms either.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

HA1 Vs Scraptoft Valley in the Birstall Cup

Between HA1's Birstall Cup match and Club Night, we almost had a full turnout of club members at the Heathcote on Tuesday.

Ray was drafted to play board 4 to try and reduce the handicap. We had expected John Pattinson to play, but when Scrappy Valley showed up, he was not on their squad, so there was still a 1.5 point bonus for the visitors.

Not to worry. There was a swift victory for Graham Sharpe on board 1. Ray then triumphed against the much higher graded Mickey Adams on board 4. Mike C then beat Dave Pratt on board 3. Rajan's game was probably the closest. Raj had a pawn advantage in the endgame and, with his opponent in time trouble, forced a pawn roller forwards leaving Dave Pratt's rook with nowhere to go but back to the box.

Heathcote Arms 1 Vs Scraptoft Valley
Graham Sharpe (191) 1 - 0 Bob Collins (143)
Raj Ganger (159) 1- 0 Dave Pratt (125)
Mike Cowley (148) 1 - 0 Mick Busby (120)
Ray Beach (90) 1 - 0 Mick Adams (118)
Bonus 0 - 1.5
Final Score 4 - 1.5

Well done everyone.

Next Week

On Tuesday 24th August, HA2 play at home in the Harrod to the Red Admiral. Gary and Drew will be making their competitive chess debuts, and Ray and i will be playing against each other in the CCs.

Minor and Challenger Section CCs games at Wigston on the Thursday. Haka Dave will be playing Andy Carter. Good luck.


Saturday, 14 August 2010

HA2 Crash Out of Chapman Cup Semi

We had a half point bonus owing to grade difference.
We won the toss and opted for white on the odd numbered boards.
Things did not go well:

Wigston 1 Vs Heathcote Arms 2 on 12/08/10

board 1 Watkinson, Phil (143) 1-0 (140) Harrison, Peter
board 2 Wells, Jeremy (146) 1-0 (135) Ensor, Rob
board 3 Pike, Andrew (135) 1-0 (112) Ross, Colin
board 4 Cooper, Barrie (118) 1-0 (90) Beach, Ray
handicap 0-0.5

Result 4 - 0.5

Commiserations everyone. There is always next year.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Braunstone 2-6 Heathcote Arms (1)

Graham B reports an exceptional performance from HA1 in the Wylie.
Well done everyone.


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Ricketts for FIDE President - 2nd Policy Announced

After Brian reconfirmed that my policy of banning Knights from the chess board last night during Club Night was an excellent one, I am pleased to announce the second policy on which I am standing.

On Sunday, I picked up the Sunday Times Style section - an essential read for a confirmed style icon and fashionista like me (as you can tell.) On the front cover was a strap line "Game Plan - How Chess Made a Success of Supermodel Carmen Kass" and a photo of the said lady. (For images search Google Images.) So instead of going to Fashion News, Fashion Secrets & Wardrobe Mistress I went to page 10 "Carmen Kass. She's smart, successful and sexy. How the supermodel's winning moves are all based on chess."

It turns out that she is going out with Eric Lobran "a bespectacled, curly haired German chess grandmaster." A golden chance to write "the glamazon and the geek" which the Times doesn't miss. Carmen Kass is quoted as saying "chess is a game of tragedy" (she has obviously looked at some of my games) and "chess trains you to see through the head. You can make better choices, you can analyse good and bad, and you can see further."

This is all background to the policy I am proposing - Carmen, as well as being a successful supermodel and businesswoman is also president of the Estonian Chess Federation. I am therefore proposing that presidents and chairpersons of all chess organisations will henceforth be supermodels.

I would state that this is nothing personal with respect to Pete Harrison at the Heathcote Arms who is an excellent Chairman, but a broad international policy.

HA1 Update, and Club Night 10th August 2010

First an update from Graham B on the fortunes of HA1:

Melton conceded our Wylie cup match, so we remain top.

We play Braunstone in the Wylie cup on Wednesday [11th] at Braunstone and will be at home next week (17th) against Scraptoft in the Birstall cup.

Good luck in both fixtures.

There was a decent turnout at club night this Tuesday: Pete, Dave, Ray, Drew, Michael B, Gary, myself, and Brian who was visiting us for the first time. Brian has played competetively before, but not for 30 years or so, and once played Viktor Korchnoi in a Simul. Welcome, Brian. In the last few months, we have attracted 4 new people and are expecting at least one more. Our decision to run a third team in the coming season seems fully justified.

Things seem to be looking up for the club and also for chess in Leicestershire as two new clubs will be fielding teams in the new season - Kirby Castlers, and, for the first time in several years, the University of Leicester will be competing (but, they can whistle if they think they are having Rob back).

This Thursday, HA2 will be playing away against Wigston in the Semi-Final of the Chapman Cup.
As Graham said, HA1 will be playing at home against Scrappy Valley on Tuesday 17th. There will also be a club night on the 17th. It might make sense for HA1 to meet in the dining room, and for casual players to meet in the Skittle Alley where we can make some noise and carry out the proposed audit of our equipment before the start of the season.
On Thursday 19th, it is the fifth round of the Open and Major sections of the County Championships at Wigston. Good luck if you are playing in any of the above.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Club Night - 3rd August 2010

Due to holidays there was a sparse (or select?) attendance. Ray, Drew & Michael showed up, and I had to play Guy in the County Championships. (Guy couldn't play on Thursday as scheduled, as he was going to the London Beer Festival. I tried really hard to persuade him to play immediately upon his return from the Smoke, but sadly he wasn't having any of it.) Pete also popped in at the start and later in the evening

Ray provided guidance to Drew & Michael, so if they develop Ray's never say die attitude, they will be fine.

For my game against Guy, I was playing Black. We started 1. e4 c5, and left the book fairly rapidly. I went a piece up early and then allowed Guy to Knight-fork me a couple of moves later. At this point a sense of deja-vue overcame me (see my previous blog about the Harrod Cup match versus Wigston). I reckon I am going to stand for FIDE President on the ticket of removing Knights from the chess board and replacing them with a piece that moves in a sensible manner. Anyone happy to propose or second me?Suffice to say I didn't win...

There is a Club night on Tuesday. Hopefully I will see you there clutching £25 in legal tender for your 2010-2011 subs. (Contrary to popular rumour, I do not accept payment in kind, or barter, or Euros.)