Saturday, 15 December 2012

Shepshed 2 Vs HA1

Graham B Reports:

Draw, 4 teams now on 4 points

Graham B

13 DecShepshed 2vHeathcote Arms 1
2½ - 2½
1B174Henfrey, Robert0 - 1Sharpe, Graham196
2W157Jimenez, Alfonso½ - ½Bray, Dave169
3B157Sheahan, Sean½ - ½Cowley, Michael147
4W157Farrall, David½ - ½Booley, Graham152
5B150Rice, Stephen1 - 0Manger, John131

 Division 1
1Wigston 1541079
2Shepshed 1632128
3Braunstone 1640278
4Melton Mowbray 1731327
5Wigston 26123-34
6Heathcote Arms 16123-44
7Ashby 15203-54
8Shepshed 27124-64

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

HA3 Vs Syston 4

I was mistaken about there being an HA1 League Cup match this Tuesday.

There was, however, a very hard fought match between HA3 and Syston 4.

On board 4, Gordon was a clear piece up, but having difficulty making progress. A blunder, however, saw his queen drop.

Meanwhile, on board 2, Hacker Dave was a knight for two pawns down. When the position was repeated on the board, his opponent announced 'that's twice' clearly indicating his willingness to agree a draw, but without actually making the offer. Dave then thought about his awful position for a while before pushing a pawn. Dave went on to drop another pawn, but, miraculously, a draw was agreed a short while later.

Ray's game looked like an up and down affair, but he was eventually able to promote his pawn forcing his opponent to swap a rook for it. 

Graham H, was victorious chalking up his first win since coming back to chess. It can only be a matter of time until he reaches his old form.

11 DecHeathcote Arms 3vSyston 4
2½ - 1½
1B110Hewitt, Graham1 - 0Agger, Reg92
2W95Ricketts, Dave½ - ½Veitch, Robert85
3B91Beach, Ray1 - 0Mundy, Rob81
4W43Milner, Gordon0 - 1Morelli, Nando80

Great result.

The league table now shows us as having two match wins, but this is actually three wins owing to a board anomally when we played Braunstone at the start of the season. We should, therefore appear in the middle of the table.

Good luck to HA1 on Thursday.

No matches after that until the New Year.

Apparently, there is a charity Blitz competition at Syston next Tuesday.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Round Up

First of all, some more detail on events at last week's HA2 match away at Ashby according to Heathcote Arms players who were there.

Ashby 3 Vs HA2
29 Nov Ashby 3 v Heathcote Arms 2
2½ - 1½
1 B 121 Jones, Peter 0 - 1 Harrison, Peter 151
2 W 119 Armstrong, Victor 1 - 0 Manger, John 131
3 B 106 Williams, Richard ½ - ½ Beach, Ray 91
4 W 83 Page, Peter 1 - 0 Milner, Gordon 43

Captain Pete won and was in the bar with Mark Hebden.
John turned down the offer of a draw because he was trying to win and then left his queen en prise.

On board 3, both players were in time trouble, but Ray was two pieces up. Richard Williams' flag fell. Ray had not noticed, but Gordon pointed out to the players that the flag had fallen. Richard complained that Gordon was a spectator and had no right to intervene. Ray, being the good sport that he is, agreed to a draw.

HA3 Vs Red Admiral 1

A strange game between Stan and Drew where Stan had a guaranteed perpetual check (and they had appeared to play repetitions for around 20 moves with neither of them claiming), but then dropped his queen. Gordon had a massive material advantage against Calvin and then lost some of it back before mating him. Chris appeared to have the early advantage against Mick Slater, but was then back ranked by a rook in the corner supported by a bishop. Ray lost. Graham scored a draw against Andy Carter.

This left me struggling against Barney with the match score level. At this point a butterfly appeared in the Skittle Alley and fluttered back and forth for the rest of the evening. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a Red Admiral.

Whether the appearance of this omen was the result of witchcraft, a remote control, or whether Stan had secretly smuggled it in and released it from a jar (or his wallet as one of his team mates suggested) at the appropriate moment, is unclear, but it seemed to raise the spirits of the visiting team.

This was a good game, and I went down fighting. Time got me in the end.

04 DecHeathcote Arms 3vRed Admiral 1
2½ - 3½
1B119Ross, Colin0 - 1Thomas, Barnaby129
2W110Hewitt, Graham½ - ½Carter, Andy99
3B91Beach, Ray0 - 1Barabas, Peter103
4W80Johnson, Chris0 - 1Slater, Mick98
5B60Harbidge, Drew1 - 0Parsons, Stan85
6W43Milner, Gordon1 - 0Burton, Calvin71

Melton Mowbray 3 Vs HA2

No details, as yet, about this match, but if i receive any news or games, i will edit them in here.

05 DecMelton Mowbray 3vHeathcote Arms 2
1 - 3
1B137Jex, Alan1 - 0Cowley, Michael147
2W95Smith, Peter0 - 1Harrison, Peter151
3B70Walton, Alison0 - 1Booley, Graham152
4W71Keightley, Andrew0 - 1Manger, John131

Next Week

Tuesday 11/12/12 HA3 at home to Syston 4.

Tuesday 11/12/12 HA1 plays its rearranged first round of the Major League Cup fixture at home against Braunstone 1.

Thursday 13/12/12 Shepshed 2 Vs HA1

No matches for HA2 until 17th January away at Wigston 4.

Well done everyone,


p.s.  there is an amusing blog dated 16.11.12 at

Saturday, 1 December 2012

HA1 at Home. HA2 and HA3 Away

HA1 Vs Melton Mowbray 1

27 NovHeathcote Arms 1vMelton Mowbray 1
1 - 4
1B169Bray, Dave0 - 1Lee, Graham207
2W151Harrison, Peter0 - 1Denton, John190
3B147Cowley, Michael0 - 1Reynolds, Tom172
4W152Booley, Graham½ - ½Billingham, John165
5B131Manger, John½ - ½Macauley, Glenn140

Syston 4 Vs HA3

We travelled separately to Syston and all four of us were very late. Apparently, a drove (the correct collective noun according to Wikipedia) of pigs had managed to get on to the M1 and had brought the Northbound and Southbound carriageways to a standstill for several hours. We all drove (there's  that word again) through Leicester, but those roads were busy too as a result of the nonsense on the M1.

Gordon won very quickly. Drew lost, but appeared to be playing unnecessarily quickly. Ray agreed a draw when two pawns down. I got absolutely panned. My pieces all felt as if they were on the wrong squares right from the start - i went on to lose a couple of pawns and then got my queen trapped. Desperate not to lose to a player graded 34 points below me - i prolonged the agony and resigned half an hour later than i should have done. Here it is. Warning - not for the squeamish:

27 NovSyston 4vHeathcote Arms 3
2½ - 1½
1B85Veitch, Robert1 - 0Ross, Colin119
2W81Mundy, Rob½ - ½Beach, Ray91
3B80Morelli, Nando1 - 0Harbidge, Drew60
4W57Evans, Bailey0 - 1Milner, Gordon43

Ashby 3 Vs HA2

29 NovAshby 3vHeathcote Arms 2
2½ - 1½
1B121Jones, Peter0 - 1Harrison, Peter151
2W119Armstrong, Victor1 - 0Manger, John131
3B106Williams, Richard½ - ½Beach, Ray91
4W83Page, Peter1 - 0Milner, Gordon43

If anyone has any resports or games from the above matches that they would like to share, send them to me and i will put them up.

Next Week

No HA1 match this week.

HA2 play away against Melton 3 on Wednesday.

HA3 play at home against the Red Admiral. Stan the man would like to play 5 or 6 boards if possible.

The Website

Herve is currently making some changes to the website. The gradings page link has now been fixed and the Roll of Honour page has been updated. Many thanks Herve.

Well done everyone,


Saturday, 24 November 2012

League Cups Second Round

A nice result from HA1 on Tuesday:

20 NovHeathcote Arms 1vWillowbrook 1GD
2½ - 1½-33
Handicap0 - ½
2½ - 2
1W196Sharpe, Graham½ - ½Deacon, Paul158-38
2B169Bray, Dave½ - ½Hart, Gavin152-17
3W147Mad Mike1 - 0Pattinson, John15811
4B131The Grinder½ - ½Tate, Michael14211

On Thursday, HA2/3 played away at Loughborough. On paper, Loughborough were far stronger giving us a huge handicap advantage. Gary and Drew had their work cut out and both lost quite early.

I managed a win against Sam Gallant in a really sharp Ruy Lopez. Having won a rook early on, my queenside was undeveloped and my kingside came under attack and things could easily have gone in favour of my opponent.

Ray then drew with Terry Adcock.

21 NovLoughborough 1vHeathcote Arms 2GD
2½ - 1½-130
Handicap0 - 2½
2½ - 4
1B128Gallant, Sam0 - 1Ross, Colin119-9
2W122Adcock, Terry½ - ½Beach, Ray91-31
3B113Hickman, Peter1 - 0Harbidge, Drew60-50
4W80Kueppers, Christina1 - 0Sanders, Gary40-40

This coming week, HA1 play at home on Tuesday against Melton Mowbray 1.
Also on Tuesday, HA3 play away against Syston 4.
On Thursday, HA2 play away at Ashby 3.

Well done everyone,


Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Week of Bad Results

Ray Reports:

We all lost.

Cheers, Ray.

13 NovBraunstone 5vHeathcote Arms 3
4 - 0
1B106Hoch, Toby1 - 0Hewitt, Graham110
2W102Reid, Patrick1 - 0Beach, Ray91
3B106Martin, Paul1 - 0Harbidge, Drew60
4W85Reid, Connor1 - 0Milner, Gordon43

Things did not go well at home either on Tuesday.

13 NovHeathcote Arms 1vAshby 1
2 - 3
1B196Sharpe, Graham0 - 1Vann, Richard155
2W169Bray, Dave1 - 0Rigby, Steve156
3B147Cowley, Michael0 - 1Dove, Tom154
4W152Booley, Graham1 - 0Hayden, Lawrence151
5B131Manger, John0 - 1Gibson, Paul143

On Thursday, HA2 scored three draws and a loss away at Loughborough. John and Pete had both been slightly better. Ray had the opportunity to swap off a knight for a rook, but did not take it and was mated a few moves later.

14 NovLoughborough 2vHeathcote Arms 2
2½ - 1½
1B152Miller, James½ - ½Harrison, Peter151
2W152Adcock, Gregory½ - ½Manger, John131
3B122Adcock, Terry½ - ½Ross, Colin119
4W113Hickman, Peter1 - 0Beach, Ray91

Here is my game against Terry:

Next week we have League Cup Matches:

On Tuesday, HA1 are at home against Willowbrook in the Major,

and on Wednesday, HA2/3 are away again at Loughborough.

Well done everyone,


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

This Week's Matches

Tonight (Tuesday 13.11.12) HA1 play at home against Ashby 1, and HA3 play away against Braunstone 5.

On Wednesday, HA2 play away against Loughborough 2.

This website has had 290 pageviews during the last week - six of them from Russia.

Good luck everyone, and send me your games.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Leicestershire Vs Shropshire

The Grinder Reports:

A few notes on Saturday's County U140 match vs. Shropshire:

I was one of four drivers, and took Mick Busby, Parin Suchak and Charles Eastlake.

The match was to be played at a halfway point, Wall, near Lichfield.

Had a slight problem on the way. We were so busy talking chess that I missed the A5 turn off on the M69. We then backtracked from M6 to A5 as we didn't feel like paying a fiver on the M6 Toll. Luckily we had allowed plenty of time, and arrived 15 mins before start.

Cyril was missing around five over 130 players, so we were again significantly outgraded.

The match finished 11-4 to Shropshire, with one board to be adjudicated due to a draw claim under rule 10.2.

I played board 4 against Graham Shepherd (137). He was on the back foot for much of the game, but I couldnt push the advantage home. I refused two draw offers, but when the match was lost I agreed.

From memory we had only my draw and another on board 2 from Ian Farqharson in the top 8 boards, so we were well and truly sent home with our tails between our legs.

The highlight of the day for me was on the journey home. Talking all things chess again. Parin told us that he had played Gary Kasparov in a 30 board simul. Not only that, but a few years ago he had met Vishy Anand in Delhi, and had played a one to one game with him!

To have played against two of the greatest ever chessplayers. Wow!

Cheers all,


Friday, 9 November 2012

Ashby 4 Vs HA3

An excellent away win at Ashby with wins on four boards out of a possible five.

If anyone would like to post a game, please send it on to me.
08 NovAshby 4vHeathcote Arms 3
1 - 4
1B106Williams, Richard0 - 1Manger, John131
2W83Page, Peter1 - 0Ricketts, Dave95
3B61Holmes, Stephen0 - 1Beach, Ray91
4W69Holmes, David0 - 1Harbidge, Drew60
5B57Nicholson, Brian0 - 1Milner, Gordon43
Well done everyone,

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

HA2 Vs Wigston 4

A clean sweep at home for HA2.

John scored an early victory. I then won. Mike won on time in a superior position when his opponent failed to make the first time control. Pete had been up against it and had a Bishop and four pawns against a Rook and four pawns, but then his opponent put his rook on the same diagonal as his king. Pete apologised as he placed his Bishop in between the two of them.

06 NovHeathcote Arms 2vWigston 4
4 - 0
1B151Peter the President1 - 0Smith, Stephen142
2W147Mad Mike1 - 0White, David122
3B131The Grinder1 - 0Eastlake, Charles120
4W119Big Boss1 - 0Winterton, Paul112

Here was my game:

HA3 play away at Ashby on Thursday.

Well done everyone,


Monday, 5 November 2012

Update, John's Raffle, and declining interest from Russia.

Thursday 1st November.

Last Thursday saw a good win for HA1 away at Shepshed 1 and a surprise loss for HA3 away at Kirby Muxloe 3.

01 NovShepshed 1vHeathcote Arms 1
1½ - 3½
1B171Bowley, Rupert½ - ½Sharpe, Graham196
2W174Henfrey, Robert½ - ½Bray, Dave169
3B158Toothill, Neil0 - 1Cowley, Michael147
4W157Farrall, David0 - 1Harrison, Peter151
5B155McDermott, Patrick½ - ½Booley, Graham152

01 NovKirby Muxloe 3vHeathcote Arms 3
3 - 1
1B117Townsend, Arthur1 - 0Ricketts, Dave95
2W80Crouch, Brian0 - 1Beach, Ray91
3B75Shaw, Peter1 - 0Harbidge, Drew60
4W55Kellock, Jim1 - 0Milner, Gordon43

Here is Drew's game. Fritz reckons that Drew first reached a won position on move 11 and that the position from moves 15 to 27 was also winning for Drew.

This Week.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 6th November) HA2 play at home to Wigston 4, and on Thursday HA3 play away against Ashby 4.

John's Raffle.

The Grinder is raffling off a rather nice chess set for £3 a square. The pieces are Lewis Pattern Chessmen and they come with a wooden board (5cm squares, i think). An auctioneer recently valued the set at around £200.

When all the squares have been accounted for, we will ask an independent player to draw the winning ticket. Proceeds will go to the club.


Since we started referring to Ray as TPFKAR (The Player Formerly Known As Raymondov) instead of Raymondov, the number of visits that we have had from Russia has dropped off a cliff with no hits at all last week. Raymondov, Raymondov Raymondov - let's see if that improves things over the next seven days.

Well Done Everyone,


Thursday, 1 November 2012

HA2 Vs Willowbrook 2

I offered Mick Tate a draw on move 30 thinking that i had a slight edge and he accepted. Later on, however, i checked with Fritz and the machine thought that the difference was two and a half pawns. Next, John lost out to Paul Deacon, and then Pete beat Gavin Hart to make it 1.5 points each.

The deciding game was Mike C Vs John Pattinson. Mike had queen and knight against John's two rooks and i think there were about three pawns each. Both were short on time, but Mike was shorter.
Both kings were in exposed positions, John's rooks were working well together, and Mike's job looked far from easy. Mike was eventually able to swap off his knight for one of John's rooks. John resigned a short while later when Mike had a few seconds left on the clock.

30 OctHeathcote Arms 2vWillowbrook 2
2½ - 1½
1B151Peter the President1 - 0Hart, Gavin152
2W147Cowley, Michael1 - 0Pattinson, John158
3B131The Grinder0 - 1Deacon, Paul158
4W119Big Boss½ - ½Tate, Michael142

Here is my game:

Well done everyone,


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

League Matches this Week

Tonight (Tuesday 30th October 2012) HA2 play at home to Willowbrook 2.

On Thursday, we have two away matches: HA1 at Shepshed 1, and HA3 at Kirby Muxloe 3.

Good Luck Everyone,


Monday, 29 October 2012

Problem Answer: A Rather Sad Affair...

The answer as to what happened wasn’t obvious. Biggg Boss Ross correctly identified (as befits a winner of the Sunday Times Chess Problem Competition) that 45 …Qd5+ wins (46. Ne4 Qxe4+ 47. Rf3 Qxf3+ 48. Kg1 Qg2#.) Unfortunately that isn’t what Black played.

The position had arisen from a couple of Queen checks in an attempt to find a perpetual check. At this point, in the actual game, Black resigned! He had completely missed the mate in two (with the possibility of a couple of pieces being sacrificed to delay the inevitable.) He had considered a further check by Qe4, but had completely missed the fact that he could check by Qd5, as he’d thought that he then couldn’t deliver a further check in pursuit of his desire for a perpetual, as the pawn was in the way.
So who was the guilty party? The game was Garland (Latimer) – Ricketts (Heathcote Arms) on Board 2 in the Minor League Cup last week, so it was moi. Probably this was the biggest debacle of my chess playing career, although there have been a few. (Up to this point my being mated in 13 moves in the County Championship by Colin Ross probably held the title, although my play as Black against Dorothy Blampiad at Hinckley this year ran it very close.) At the time we were leading 3-2, so half a point would have secured the victory. As soon as I tipped my King TCPFKAR said “Why didn’t you play Qd5?” It was then obvious without too much analysis that I had blundered. To be fair, my team mates offered to enter a vow of silence about the matter to save my blushes, but you’ve either got to laugh or cry. (The only redeeming feature of the game was I managed to extract a new rude comment out of Fritz for an earlier move where I set up a Knight fork for Mick by moving my Queen into its optimal position for a fork, Fritz said “strolling merrily down the path to disaster”, which I don’t recollect I’ve seen before.)
I had thought that as we’re publishing games on the site we ought to have an award for the best game each year. I now think we need an award for the worst – I’d be a shoo-in already for 2012-3.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Davis R (98) Vs Milner G (43)

25 October 2012
Gordon Reports: 

Gordon’s run of three wins on the trot came to end on Thursday when he came up against Richard Davis playing white in the Minor League.

Both players started well with only a bishop and Knight exchange during the early opening moves.

The game was fairly tight with both players having pieces tied up Gordon’s concentration was on Richard’s Queen’s side. Richard changed tactics and after some minor exchanges left Gordon with a weaker King’s side and a vulnerable pawn.

Despite Gordon’s efforts to fend off the attack Richard managed to exploit Gordon’s King side weaknesses and brought the game to an end with a checkmate on the 45th move.  


Minor League Cup - and a Little Puzzle

Last night we trekked over to Latimer to play the Minor League Cup.  Things got off to a good start - Ray managed to avoid crashing into anything on the way.

On arrival, as I was playing Board 2 I ensured (as acting unofficial Vice-Captain) we lost the toss, but Mick Garland chose Black on odds, so my cunning plan failed

As my game was the last to finish, I didn't see any of the other games, but Ray, Gordon & I were outgraded.   Gordon succumbed to Rich Davis, Ray lost too, and the Grinder, continuing his good form from his weekend on the Yorkshire Coast, won.  Unsurprisingly, I lost to Mick Garland, but at least I wasn't bust after a dozen moves.

Given  the grading difference we had a two point start, so the match finished as a 3-3 draw.   It seems the Conservative Club has sold their car park and installed a heating system.  Mick G even suggested that it was warm, and disrobed somewhat.  However, the bar, after the match, still resembled the Marie Celeste.

To do a Biggg Boss, Well done everyone. To do a Hacker, Some more than others.

On a different note:

This is from a game I've recently played through.

Black to play and neither player is in time trouble.



All will be revealed in a few days time, if no-one knows.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Scarborough 2012 - Sunday

The Grinder Reports:

My opponent offered a draw in the fourth round game. I had a small positional advantage, but agreed, knowing I would have the white pieces and still be sharing the lead going into the last round.

Fifth round. Didn't play a great opening, was under a bit of pressure. Managed to extricate myself and started to get counter play. Again my opponent offered a draw. I agreed, maybe a little hastily with hindsight.

So 4/5. A couple of other results worked in my favour and I ended up sharing first place with eight others.
Prize money was £1000 so my share was £112.

I was more than happy, as there were 74 entrants in the u136 section.

Phil Harlow won a share of 3rd/4th in the u151. I think Karl Potter also got a placing in the u171.

Cheers all


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Scarborough 2012 - Saturday

The Grinder Reports:

A quick report, just got to bed after a three hour analysis session with Phil Harlow. Knackered now!

Leicestershire players holding up pretty well. Phil doing particularly well in the U151 section, he won this morning but was very annoyed with himself for letting the win slip away to a draw in the third round. That leaves him on 2.5/3 but still capable of winning it.

I had a quick 23 move win this morning followed by a 'grinder' in the third round. With 72 entrants in the U136 section I'm amazed to be sharing the lead on 3/3.

It's going to be tough to add to that score tomorrow.

Cheers all

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Scarbrough 2012 - Friday Evening

The Grinder Reports:

It really is a fantastic venue for a chess tournament. 300 people playing in one huge room, large windows the full length, looking out to the sea only a few yards away.

There are six other Leicestershire players here. Phil Harlow (Wigston), Tony Robinson (Braunstone), Larry Hayden, Dave Reynolds and Richard Vann (Ashby), and Karl Potter (Latimer).

There are five sections with 50-70 odd entrants in each.

First round wins for Phil, Tony, Dave and myself. Phil and I left before the others finished. It's an accelerated Swiss pairing so we are sure to face the sharks tomorrow.

Cheers all,


Wigston 5 Vs HA3

Report from Ray:

Set off for wigston 7pm pulled out of my drive and reversed into parked car. Smashed my tail light cover 100 pounds for my car to be fixed - don't know cost of third party car yet.
Got to Wigston, could not get mind on chess for half the night and got into time trouble. I was offered a draw and agreed.
Three on the trot for Gordon.


18 OctWigston 5vHeathcote Arms 3
2½ - 1½
1B106Hammond, Grant½ - ½Beach, Ray91
2W105Hulford, Frank1 - 0Harbidge, Drew60
3B83Dean, Simon0 - 1Milner, Gordon43
4W85Poulacheris, Darren1 - 0Sanders, Gary40

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

HA2 Vs Syston 1

Not such a good evening resultswise.

Ray was first to finish with a draw. I seemed to be heading towards a draw, but left the queens on when i should have swapped them off. Pete had played well, but lost to his much higher graded opponent. With the match won, Cyril offered the Grinder a draw and this was accepted - this was an interesting Budapest Gambit.

16 OctHeathcote Arms 2vSyston 1
1 - 3
1B151Peter the President0 - 1Galligan, Brian181
2W131The Grinder½ - ½Johnson, Cyril133
3B119Big Boss0 - 1Stone, Robert113
4W91TPFKAR½ - ½Cresswell, Peter108

Here is Ray's draw with Peter Cresswell.

Well done everyone,


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nottinghamshire Vs Leicestershire

The Grinder Reports;

County U140 match

I'm again playing in Cyril's U140 team this season. On Saturday the first match was played against Notts at Bramcote Memorial Hall, and it turned out to be quite exciting.

Outgraded on 14 of the 16 boards, we were expected to struggle. Notts took what looked like an unassailable lead early on, but were gradually pegged back.

My game, on board 4, was the last to finish. I had held a strong positional advantage from the opening. My opponent, Barry Redburn (136), had defended doggedly through to the endgame, and I'd been unable to make it count.

Cyril kindly informed me that the match was tied at seven and a half points each, as about thirty people gathered round the board.

I had turned down three draw offers during the game. Running short of time and trying to force the win, I made a mistake which handed the advantage to Barry. He ended up with an extra pawn in the bishop and pawn endgame.

I found a saver that forced him to give up his bishop for my advanced passed pawn, leaving me with a bishop and well positioned king against his two connected pawns, ensuring the draw. Whew!

Notts 8 - 8 Leics


Friday, 12 October 2012

Round-Up of Week 2.

HA3 Vs Braunstone 6

I made a stupid move on move 5 and Pat Reid was too good to let me get away with it. Things got much worse as the game progressed. I cheekily offered a draw after move 38.

This was the score over the boards. Drew scored his first win and Gordon made it two wins in a row. Tonight Graham Hewitt returned to Leicestershire Chess after a break of a couple of years. He lost on time to the rapidly improving Conor Reid.

09 OctHeathcote Arms 3vBraunstone 6
2 - 3
1B119Ross, Colin0 - 1Reid, Patrick102
2W110Hewitt, Graham0 - 1Reid, Connor85
3B60Harbidge, Drew1 - 0Frataczak, Edtya60
4W43Milner, Gordon1 - 0Li, Mark60
5B40Sanders, Gary0 - 1Khawaja, Okash100

There was a board order anomaly, however. This was completely unintentional and nobody noticed until play was under way. Okash should have played either board 1 or board 2 for Braunstone rather than board 5. The LMC has ruled that for the purposes of the match result, the board 5 result will be reversed i.e. the match result will read 3-2 in HA3's favour.

HA1 Vs Wigston 2

A draw at home for HA1

09 OctHeathcote Arms 1vWigston 2
2½ - 2½
1B196Sharpe, Graham½ - ½Horspool, Philip178
2W169Bray, Dave½ - ½Morley, Andrew173
3B147Cowley, Michael0 - 1Ward, Alan171
4W152Booley, Graham1 - 0Wylie, Stephen158
5B151Harrison, Peter½ - ½Dodds, Iain153

Next week, HA2 play at home on Tuesday against Syston 1.
HA3 play away on Thursday against Wigston 5.
HA1 do not have another League Match until 1st November.

Bizarrely, the first round of the League Cup matches has been arranged during the half term holiday.

Well done everyone.

If anyone would like to see their game put up on the site, please send me an e-mail detailing the moves.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Round-Up of Week 1

Tuesday 2nd October

HA3 and HA1 both played at home in the skittle alley.

For the HA3 match, we were outgraded. Drew and Dave both lost.

Gordon scored the result of the night with his first ever league win.

I had the upperhand for most of my game against Stuart Hollingworth, but made mistakes - particularly at the end when we were both in time trouble, and we agreed a draw. I have never beaten Stuart and he is quite happy about that.

02 OctHeathcote Arms 3vSyston 3
1½ - 2½
1B119Ross, Colin½ - ½Hollingworth, Stuart107
2W95Ricketts, Dave0 - 1Cresswell, Peter108
3B60Harbage, Drew0 - 1Mundy, Rob81
4W43Milner, Gordon1 - 0Morelli, Nando80

Braunstone 1 were not taking any chances and brought a Grandmaster with them.

02 OctHeathcote Arms 1vBraunstone 1
1½ - 3½
1B196Sharpe, Graham0 - 1Hebden, Mark244
2W169Bray, Dave1 - 0Colburn, Paul182
3B147Cowley, Michael0 - 1Robinson, John170
4W152Booley, Graham0 - 1Hanscombe, Richard156
5B151Harrison, Peter½ - ½Sandrovitch, David150

Thursday 4th October

Peter the President Reports:
We lost 3-1. Me and John drew, the others didn't. I was a pawn up and pressed and pressed, but ran out of steam and time had to take the draw. John had to fight hard. Ray played well, but succumbed in the end against Ray T. Dave was lost from very early on. His position was horrible, but he rallied really well but not quite enough.


04 OctKirby Muxloe 1vHeathcote Arms 2
3 - 1
1B138Gray, Paul½ - ½Harrison, Peter151
2W135Walton, Dave½ - ½Manger, John131
3B130Townsend, Ray1 - 0Beach, Ray91
4W129Walker, John1 - 0Ricketts, Dave95

Next Week:

HA1 Vs Wigston 2 at home on Tuesday 8th October.

HA3 Vs Braunstone 6 at home on Tuesday 8th October.

Nothing for HA2. Their next match is at home on Tuesday 16th against Syston 1.

Well done everybody,


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Views of the Part time F.A.T. controller

Here we all were again at Regent College for the Atkins Chess Congress, the one and only chess congress in Leicester. I have to say that it was alot easier to move around and play chess with no construction work this year. It was strange not having to duck under scaffolding or dodge around the odd pile of chairs that inconvienienced the builders.

I arrived on the Saturday, for the second round of games. I was at Bistro Live on the Friday night having a good old knees up and a drinky poo or two. Or Six. I was a little groggy on the Saturday morning. I could see that my old mates from the Heathcote were there, Raymondov, Colin, Rob Ensor (The Heathcote leaver) and I was most disappointed to see that my fellow controller from last year, Haka Dave, (yes I am sticking to the original Haka, not serial killer hacker), had decided to play instead of officiate in his own special way. I also saw The Grinder, (who I suspect wasn't playing because he couldn't have fun in the Minor tournament because his grade is too high!). I was given my badge - it looked exactly like the one from last year, I could see where I had started to scrawl FAT in front of the word controller. I really did have to heavily resist doing so - especially when I was prompted to do so by Colin. I was joined in the controller's room by Andy Morley and Sean Hewitt - these guys know what they're doing - and then there was me. Who doesn't know what he's doing. Oh well.

Saturday passed without much trouble, a few clocks to add the 20 minutes to was about as exciting as it got. I continued to walk round as if I knew what I was doing, secretly thinking 'I hope that nobody asks me anything'. Perhaps the highlight of the day was the great Russian Raymondov approaching me, bemoaning the fact that he'd got 0 points after two games. Comments like 'I'm gonna give up chess' and 'I just want to get better' were particular highlights. I feel the same and I can't be bothered to do anything about it. That is probably why I'm not getting any better. Hey Ray? The most amusing thing after all that, is that he went on to win his next two games! I hope that if and when I ever play him again, he doesn't approach me with the same attitude - it must spur him on......

Having played football on the Sunday morning - and missing the fourth round, I was all present and correct for the fifth and final round. Only to be told that I would be paired against a lady who had got a bye in the last round. After making a total embarrassment of myself, by blundering away a rook and a Bishop, I resigned. The adrenaline was flowing from the earlier football and I had too many rushes of blood to the head. Sean, very generously, put the loss down to 'Keeping the punters happy'. Cheers Sean. I was quite glad to be back to controlling again. It was well worth going as Brian Foreman approached me saying 'I want to claim a draw on the two minute rule'. Short of thinking 'What the heck are you on about?' I asked Sean for help. There was also a moment of controversy as the game between Terry Adcock and young Conor Reid of Braunstone exploded into life. I won't put the details of the game or the dispute on here but let's just say that Terry was unhappy at losing and Conor (and his Dad) were, erm, slightly pleased that he won.

All in all, it was another big success for the Atkins. Well organised (I take no credit for that whatsoever), well populated and a general success for Heathcote aswell. Well done to Colin for winning some dough - it's always nice to get any sort of grading prize.

It was good to see you guys again and I'll see you all soon.

Ben Vaughan
Wigston Chess Club

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Atkins 2012 - Colin's 4th and 5th Round Games

Sunday morning had me with black against the 11 year old Karam Sangha. We played an exchange French. Even on material and looking drawish, i offered a draw and Karam accepted.

Later i realised that Karam had beated Bill Egan in the third round, and went on to beat Tony Robinson in the last round (i watched this and although Tony had the option of a perpetual, Tony went for the win despite being material down). I suspect that i may have gotten lucky here when Karam accepted the draw offer.

For the last round, i played Andrew Thompson, a compatriot of Rob Ensor's from Gambit. Another exciting game.

I finished on 3.5/5 and i do not know about anyone else, but i had an excellent weekend and picked up my first ever professional chess winnings: £12-50 (half of the under 120 grading prize split with Karam Sangha). If this health service management thing doesn't work out i might just turn pro (ha ha ha).

Besides me, Dave, Ray, and Graham B all competed. Rob Ensor was in the Major and played Graham B at one point. John, Gordon and Drew all visited, but did not compete this time. There were loads of Leicestershire players either competing or involved in the organisation of the event. If anyone has a blog to share, e-mail it to me and i will put it up on the site.


Atkins 2012 - Colin's 2nd and 3rd Round Games

Saturday morning was harder work. Ken Alexander (also from Devon) took control early on leaving me grimly defending for a couple of hours.

In the afternoon, i played the white end of a seriously sharp Winawer against Braunstone's Paul Martin.

I was fairly happy with two points out of three at the end of Saturday.


Atkins 2012 - Colin's First Round Game

An early draw for the first round is said to have had Hacker Dave and myself playing each other.
My first round game on Friday night was against Hazel Welch from Devon.

I played the Grand Prix attack with a good result.

This is the first time that i have tried embedding a playable game into this blog. I used  (using the green, medium, horizontal template) and i am rather pleased. Let me know what you think though.

I tried first, but could not get it to work.

Actually, having spent most of the morning looking at these things, i think i prefer the look of these boards to the ones on chessflash.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Leicester Chess Congress 2012

It is that time of year just before the beginning of the new season when suddenly there is loads and loads of chess to play.

This week there will not be any matches on Tuesday, but there may be the chance of some friendlies down at the Heathcote Arms, although i probably will not be there.

On Wednesday 26th, there is the annual LRCA prizegiving and charity quickplay event at the Latimer Club. Contact Graham Booley if you are interested in forming a team.

The Leicester Chess Congress (The Atkins) begins on the evening of Friday 28th and finishes on Sunday 30th September. This takes place at Regent College off University Road and is Leicester's chess calendar highlight of the year. See for details. Even if you do not want to play, it is worth coming down just for the bookstall.

So far, Graham Booley and Rob Ensor (Formerly of this Parish) will be in the Major; with Hacker Dave, TPFKAR, Gordon and myself will be in the minor [a blog from everyone would be great].

There may be other Heathcote players too, but time to register, without the late entrance fee, is running out.

Like Sean says, 'Get your entries in'.

The following week, all three of our teams have their first matches of the season: HA1 is at home on Tuesday 2nd October against Braunstone 1. Also at home that night is HA3 against Syston 3. On Thursday 4th October, HA2 is away against Kirby Castlers 1.


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fifth Rounds of the Wylie and Harrod Cups

Our club finished its Summer Rapidplay competitions with two home matches on the same night.
We all fitted into the dining room.

All the Heathcote Arms players began their first games with white. Graham S defeated Alan Byron and Graham B beat Ed Galyov to finish the first half of the Wylie fixture even with their opponents.

Meanwhile, in the Harrod we had two new players on boards 3 and 4 both against experienced Willowbrook players. Chris was not messing around and managed a convincing win, whilst Drew went down on material quite quickly, but hung on until the bitter end with a lone king. Pete and John both lost their first games.

After the break, the home team went down 4-0 in the second games of the Wylie.

In the Harrod, Pete and John both won. Chris left a bishop en prise and was being forked all over the place, but managed a partial recovery, but then swapped off queens when material down. Drew played a far better second game - still equal on material until the ending. He was outplayed here, but again played down to a lone king, offering his opponent a draw on the way.

On paper the results for the night were quite bad, but there were good individual performances. Chris and Drew both show considerable promise.

This Tuesday (18/9/12), there are no matches and the dining room and skittle alley are both booked out, but we should be able to play some friendlies in the bar.

Well done everyone,


Wylie Cup

11 SepHeathcote Arms 1W - BB - WWigston 2
2 - 6
1192Sharpe, Graham1 - 00 - 1Byron, Alan203
2160Cowley, Michael0 - 10 - 1Horspool, Philip177
3141Booley, Graham1 - 00 - 1Galyov, Ed151
4105TPFKAR0 - 10 - 1Harlow, Phil155

 Harrod Cup

11 SepHeathcote Arms 1W - BB - WWillowbrook 1
3 - 5
1149Peter the President0 - 11 - 0Pattinson, John151
2130The Grinder0 - 11 - 0Deacon, Paul150
380Chris Johnson1 - 00 - 1Busby, Michael118
460Drew Harbidge0 - 10 - 1Adams, Mick81

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Harrod Cup Last Round

On Tuesday 11th September 2012, we play at home in the Harrod Cup against Willowbrook. This is an opportunity to field a couple of new players.

There will be friendlies too.


Friday, 31 August 2012

Only a month to go

The new season is not too far off now.

This Tuesday we had a decent club night - John and Dave both showed up after their long weekend chess marathon, Pete appeared, Drew the younger was there, and Chris - a new player.

On Tuesday 4th, we have another club night. Come down if you can.


e2e4 Hinckley Congress

Great result for Heathcote players - John Manger and Ray Beach got into the prizes.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012



Or Three Go Mad(der) in Hinckley

This story started a few weeks ago one Club night evening. John “The Grinder” Manger said that he’d seen that Sean was organising an e2e4 Congress at the Hinckley Island Hotel over the Bank Holiday weekend. It was a seven round event, with a game on Friday evening and two games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I said that if John entered, I would too. Imagine my horror when I received a text the following morning saying he’d entered. I texted back to say what great news that was (or words not exactly to that effect.) Anyway, being a man of my word, I followed suit. Then the Chess Player formerly known as Raymondov (“TCPFKAR”) said he’d come too.

Friday Evening - Round 1

On arriving at the Hotel, we perused the draw. Our two former compadres at Littlethorpe, Stan Parsons & Mick Slater, who now grace the Red Admiral team, had also entered, and as our grades were contiguous, we played in the first round on four boards next to each other. As we were in the lower half of the draw we got players who outranked us by a margin.
I played Neil Graham who was graded 125. I was White and played a d4 opening. Due to some phaffing about and losing a pawn pretty carelessly on move 15, I wasted a number of tempos and having castled long, I couldn’t hold out against a ferocious attack on my Queen’s side, and resigned after my opponent’s 30th move, a Knight check, which would lead on move 31 to my King & Queen being forked. It might be time for me to dust down my campaign to remove the Knight as a chess piece.

The game time control was all moves in 90 minutes with a 30 second increment per move. I resigned after an elapsed time of 2 hours. By this point Stan had lost, and John had won.

On the adjacent board Ray was black, and although he put up a strong fight, he eventually, after 2 hours 50 minutes, resigned against his opponent John Woollard. Some time later Mick got a good draw against his higher rated opponent. Stan joined Raymondov and I in not bothering the scorers.

There were a couple of other matters of interest: one being an extremely noisy pre-wedding party going on in the vicinity, which was a distraction, to say the least. The other was a visitation by the recently wedded Mr & Mrs Vaughan – at least I wasn’t dazzled by Ben being dressed in all white on this occasion.

The song that might best sum up the evening is “Cum On Feel the Noize” by Slade.

Saturday – Rounds 2 & 3

On examining the draw for Round 2, there was both good news and bad news for me. The good news was that I was White once again, but the bad news was that my opponent- Stephen Crockett - was graded 132. I enquired of Sean whether there had been some mistake, but he said, with a smile, “That’s the beauty of a Swiss.”

Despite my stunning lack of success in Round 1 with a d4 opening, I persevered with it. Early on, I was beginning to regret this, as the position seemed to become fairly sticky early on, and despite saying to Ray beforehand that my ambition was to avoid losing a pawn on move 15 I’d managed it by move 13. However, due to some nifty play (if I say so myself) I’d equalised material on move 23, and at this point I employed some “Biggg Boss Ross” tactics and offered a draw, which was accepted. This is by some distance my best result for a very long time. The elapsed playing time for the game was 1 hour 25 minutes.

The Grinder seemed to be in a good position, but somehow managed to lose. (His post-game quote: “I had too many options” – into the Top Ten of Excuses proffered for a loss?) Stan had a good position in a pawn endgame, but couldn’t quite cash in and ended up with a loss. Mick was mated very neatly by his opponent.

One of the longest games in the round was that involving Ray and his 119 graded opponent Nigel Redmond. Ray, with White, had all the threats, and as the game entered its final phases, the time. His opponent bravely sacrificed his bishop for two pawns, and so the game became a King, Knight and h pawn versus King endgame. Unfortunately Ray didn’t know the theory so his opponent’s King snuck into the corner after the pawn hit the seventh rank, and so a draw resulted. This game had an elapsed time of 3 hours 35 minutes. A further incident of note was that Raymondov was pulled up (very politely by Alex the Abiter for not writing his moves down, so he was forced to do so to catch up whilst his clock was running. Mind you he didn’t seem to be phased by this and it was helpful that he had plenty of time. (This game was an interesting illustration of the Fischer time control, as Nigel seemed to spend a very long time with between 4 minutes & 6 minutes on his clock. I am not sure what the procedure about being able to stop writing your moves down, as you can get your time up again.)

In the afternoon, both Ray & I had black. Ray played my morning opponent, and although he reported that he was better out of the opening, his opponent mated him in (in terms of a Ray game) in pretty quick time (2 hours 5 minutes).

I, for a pleasant change, outgraded my opponent Jo Woollard, for all the good it did me. She played the English and I frankly was completely flummoxed in my response. I made one exceedingly poor move (suitably annotated with ?? by my Silicon Buddy Fritz), which dropped a Knight and then swopped off my Queen for two Rooks. After that it was just a question of playing for pride, as I was singularly unsuccessful in attempting to join my two Rooks together. I hung around for 41 moves (2 hours 45 minutes) before the inevitable resignation. Once again the biggest pain was inflicted by a marauding Knight. (More grist to the mill of my currently dormant “Ban Knights Campaign.”) I also accidentally spilled a cup of water on the adjacent board, where Mick was playing, which led to lots of jokes subsequently from the Red Admiral Crew about not spilling my pint, etc., etc.

John won, but Ray and I didn’t hang about to see it.

Saturday’s song might be “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters (which I confess is one of my guilty pleasures.)

Sunday - Rounds 4 & 5

The draw for Sunday morning pitched me against another lady player – Dorothy Blampiad, with Black. Without dissing my opponent who is slightly lowlier graded than me, my performance was an utter debacle. My response to a c4 opening was hopeless.


Above is the position I found myself in – after White’s 12th move. Unfortunately, the Knight steadfastly refused to move for the rest of the game, corralling my King on d8. Needless to say although I once again hung about for a few more moves, I was utterly busted, and resigned on move 26 (1 hour 55 minutes). The d pawn & Knight took up 7 moves of the 12 to get to their positions. If anyone is writing a book on how you shouldn’t play an opening, I’ll supply the moves if you want a great example.

Ray was playing another lady, who sounded like she was one of Raymondov’s compatriots – Monika Gergelova. Although she is rated at less than 60, she has a razor sharp concentration at the board and plays in a very steady and considered style. Watching her in action, I think that I could learn from her approach. Although Ray was White, Monika put a ferocious kingside attack in, having castled long. Unfortunately (for her, not Ray) Monika dropped a piece, and ultimately lost. Ray clocked up another 3 hours 10 minutes.

The longest game in the Minor involved the Grinder, doing what he does best – grinding away with an infinitesimal advantage and spending hours making it miniscule and then minute! (John asked at one point over the weekend why he had the tag – the obvious response is look at that game.) John eventually won in about 4 hours and 20 minutes, so had just enough time for a brief drink and relax before the commencement of Round 5.

Once again the draw threw up a surprise for me – although I was White, I’d been floated up to the Major section. Obviously, given my run of distributing points freely to my opponents in the Minor (can I register as a charity?), it was felt by the organisers that the area of my largesse should be increased further. I played Amy Milson. Bucking the trend of opening d4, I played e4, and Amy played c5 - an opportunity for the Grand Prix. After the opening exchanges, I sacrificed the exchange and gambited a pawn for a big attack. According to Fritz we both made mistakes, but rather terminally I missed a chance to fork my opponent’s King & Queen with my Knight. I over pressed with the inevitable consequences and I resigned after my opponent’s 40th move (3 hours 0 minutes.). Although I lost, I had thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt that I’d got my mojo back.

Ray played Aron Buxton (126), and although he fought hard, it was in vain. (3 hours 45 minutes.)

John, after his morning’s exertions, was playing the section leader John Murfit, and lost in reasonably short order.

As the bookstall had arrived, the chess bookstall homing instincts of Biggg Boss Ross kicked in, and he put in a brief appearance. (Although he is “A Biggg Boss” he was under orders from Mrs “Obviously Even Bigger Boss” Ross not to be too long.)

Position at the end of Day 3 John 3/5, Ray 1.5/5, moi 0.5/5

Sunday’s song: “Every Loser Wins” by Nick Berry (which is definitely not one of my guilty pleasures.)

Monday - Rounds 6 & 7

The draw pitted me, playing White, against Monika. Raymondov gave me a pep talk, so I took on board his exhortations not to be too passive (see game against Dorothy above), or too aggressive (see most of my games). I reverted to d4. It was a game of significant swings, with initial advantage to me, but having castled Queen’s side, I faced a tricky period. Having escaped there, as we both played a bit less than optimally according to Fritz, I tried to develop some activity on the King’s side. As a result, I trapped a knight, but it ultimately cost me two pawns. Fritz reckoned I was then up in a Rook, minor piece(s) & pawn endgame, but Monika marched her King up the board, and Fritz reckoned we were now level. Fortunately, as we approached the four-hour mark, I “inadvertently” left my bishop en-pris, and this bait was taken, resulting in two nasty knight forks. (A start to the rehabilitation of Knights in Ricketts-land, I wonder? One of my early Knight moves was described by Fritz as “In the Style of Nimzovich.”) A win at last! (3 hours 55 minutes.) I can’t see Monika being lowly graded for much longer, if her games against Ray & I are representative. Dorothy, who was losing to Stan on the next board, reprimanded me for unconsciously clicking my water beaker in agitation as I was being pummelled on the Queen’s side reasonably early on.

Ray won against Roy Watson in relatively short order, although I can’t tell you anything about the game, as I didn’t see it (1 hour 50 minutes.) John won again against my first round conqueror Neil Graham, who I warned before the clock start that based on Sunday morning, his lunch was possibly in jeopardy. This win meant that if John ground out a win in the final round, then, except in one set of circumstances, he’d be on the prize list.

There was clearly a fix in the final round, which saw the draw being Raymondov vs. Stan, and Mick vs. me. So we had a little Red Admiral vs. Heathcote match. Mick opened e4, and in response to e5, he played Bc4. After a fairly level game we got into a Rook and Pawn endgame, and I was looking better with an extra pawn. Mick offered me a draw, which I politely declined. About three moves later, the boot was on the other foot, so I offered a draw, which Mick (rather less politely) declined. Eventually, we got down to a Rook & Pawn vs. Rook position, but fortunately Mick’s pawn was on the h file, and I could get my King in front of it. Mick took a bit of convincing that it was drawn, but after move 65, a draw was agreed. (2 hours 55 minutes.)

Ray and Stan also ended up in an endgame, but Ray converted his position into a point, taking 10 minutes less than our draw. So victory to the Heathcote Arms by 1.5 – 0.5! Ray ended up with 3.5/7. John won his game, to end up on 5/7, which meant he ended up in a three-way tie for second place.

Monday’s song: "Zombies” by The Cranberries.

Brandon Clarke was playing, and he lost twice during the weekend, in both cases to IMs. In the Open another notable result, in the first round, was Rajan Ganger claiming the scalp of Martin Burrows. John Manger also reckoned he’d seen Robbie Coltrane in the corridor, although what he was doing in Hinckley is anyone’s guess.

Summing up my tournament statistically: played 7, won 1, drawn 2 and lost 4 with a grading performance of 80. Total playing time of 17 hours and 55 minutes (viz Ray 20 hours exactly) making 265 moves. I know exactly what I need to do to improve, too – opening, middle game and endgame.

I’d sign up again next year, as the venue was very nice, with (Indian wedding aside) great playing conditions, and copious water supplies to hand. The only (very) small gripe that we could unearth is that the pairing sheets on the wall weren’t immediately updated with the results, which is something we done at the Atkins in the past.