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
http://pgn4web.casaschi.net/home.html  (using the green, medium, horizontal template) and i am rather pleased. Let me know what you think though.

I tried http://chessflash.com/chessflash.html 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.