Saturday 15 September 2007

Harrod Cup Triumph 11/09/07

The first team faced Melton Mowbray on Tuesday, knowing that losing no worse than 2-6 would secure the Harrod Cup for the club for a fifth consecutive year. In the event, a 5.5-2.5 victory meant that the cup was won, with the team unbeaten during the five round campaign! Congratulations to all involved: Sean Hewitt, Andy Johnson, Howard Phillips, myself, and Richard Smith (who stood in for a couple of matches). Roll on next year!

Thursday 30 August 2007

Birstall Cup Semi-final

Unfortunately Littlethorpe 2 lost 2.5-2 against Scraptoft Valley, due to the handicap bonus they received. We won comfortably against their two lower boards and only needed a draw from the top two, on which we were in excellent positions. But it all slipped away at the last moment, with blunders from both our players, who complained afterwards of fatigue.

Saturday 18 August 2007


Last Tuesday, the Chairman and Secretary went to the Coventry League's Formation Meeting, the outcome of which, from Littlethorpe's perspective, was satisfactory. We got the three teams in, with A being in Division 1, B being in Division 2 and C in Division 3.

The B and C teams were also entered in their respective Divisional Cups, as it is thought that with only having 9 teams in the Leicestershire League, the pool of players wanting more chess will be large.

There is also a Knock-Out Cup, played on a handicap basis. The A and B teams have both drawn a Woberley team at home, whilst the C team have a trip to Newdigate, a Division 2 side.

Following the conclusion of the Formation Meeting, at which score cards were distributed (differing colours depending whether you are playing at home or away - quaint) the adjourned AGM was completed. This was interesting as two items were up for discussion: consideration of whether if a side has two teams in a Division, some attempt to equalise the strengths of the two sides should be undertaken, and whether admission of teams whose night wasn't Tuesday should be allowed. These were both discussion papers. The former is an issue as Woberley have six sides, the University have five sides and Nuneaton have four sides, in a League (including Littlethorpe) of 24 sides. There was a counterview that instead of penalising sides with more than one team in a Division, the number of Divisions should be increased. The "play on other nights than Tuesday" debate was a modernisers vs "we've always done it this way" debate.

There is clearly a modernising tendency at Committee level in the Coventry League. All power to their elbow!

Saturday 11 August 2007

Littlethorpe 2 Crash out of Harrod Contention

In the match against Melton, the second team went down 5-3, despite a valiant 2/2 from Pete Harrison. Unfortunately, it was one of those nights when it could have been so different, with good positions being generated, but not closed out. To cap it all, at the end of the match, it was noted that Melton's Board 3 (who scored 2/2) had a League assigned Grade of 100, but was ECF graded 116, so that Melton were in actual fact (although not in the eyes of the League) above the 399 cap. The end result is that Melton will play Littlethorpe 1 in Round 5 with the winner (if Littlethorpe 1) taking all, although a Melton victory will lead to three clubs all on 8 points and the dreaded tie-break.

C'est la vie about the grading, as they say. Interestingly, the League have altered a number of grades for the final round, including the man from Melton, and Findleys Senior and Junior. I am slightly bemused by the approach to this action, as surely the new grades ought to be the recently published by the BCF, rather than some slightly arbitrary Leicestershire numbers?

Wednesday 8 August 2007

How not to claim a draw

I had fun on Monday evening when I played Mick Tate in the County Championship. We simplified into an ending where I was a pawn up, but he had a bishop against my knight. Was it enough to win? I wasn't sure, but I was going to flipping well try! We played over 100 moves and it came down to Knight and Rooks Pawn -v- Bishop. I couldnt force a win but I tried to induce a mistake. By this time Mick was shuffling his bishop (ooh err) saying "Its a draw, this is drawn!" Then Micks time ran out (I still had a full minute left!). I didnt claim the win on time, although I could have done and would have got the point because I still had mating material. What should Mick have done? Well, firstly he should have offered me a draw! Stating that a position is drawn is not the same as offering one to your opponent. If I had turned it down, he could have claimed a draw (once he had less than two minutes left to the end, and as long as it was his move). The claim has to be that either the opponent isnt trying to win by normal means (not the case here as I was trying to queen my pawn. This usually applies where your opponent makes aimless moves until your flag falls) or that your opponent cannot win by normal means. That would be Mick's case here because Mick had got his King onto the right square and wasnt going to move it! Where there is no arbiter present (ie league games etc) the draw claim ends the game. Thats it. You send the position and a scoresheet off to the powers that be. If your claim succeeds you get your draw. If not, you lose! Remember, this is not an adjudication. Its not about who would win with best play. Its about what could feasibly happen. A draw claim is unlikely to succeed if there are still lots of bits on the board. But then again, if you're going to lose on time anyway, what is there to lose?!

Sunday 5 August 2007

Hammers pre season at Spinney Hill

Littlethorpe 3 travelled to Spinney Hill for their Harrod cup match 2/08/07
We were outgraded on every board but determind to give it our best.
Littlethorpe ; Board 1. Theory books Findley (80), 2. Stan the man Parsons (78)
3. Laurence the Hammer (63) 4. Captain Pete Arland (60)

Spinney Hill ; Board 1. Karl Potter (110) 2. Brian Slater (99) 3. Michael Garland (96)
4. Stevan Preocanin (92)

Round 1 ...was it really only 30 mins on each clock?...the games were all tough. 1.5 points came from Stan's draw and a win from the Claret n Blue Laurence.
Round 2...equally as tough and seemingly long...once again 1.5 points for Littlethorpe...this time coming from a draw from Findley senior and another win from Laurence (lucky West Ham top).
Final score : Spinney Hill 5 Littlethorpe 3. West Ham 2

Wednesday 1 August 2007

The Ghost of Seasons Past

The boards were set up and the scene set. A Harrod cup match, two club championship ties and a couple of county championshp games were about to be played when in the door walked Frank Weidt! Frank is German lorry driver who played for Littlethorpe for a couple of years before moving to Switzerland last year. Smiles and handshakes all round. Apparently he had been to Leeds and was on his way back to Switzerland. His lorry was parked outside The Plough, although I dont think the residents were too chuffed! He was infamous. Always in time trouble, his post mortem analysis was great. The funniest thing were his sayings. He was often heard to exclaim "un-bee-leee-va-bull" and "fa-king" or, after playing an iffy move when playing blitz "I am a bi-ginn-errr" So it was no surprise when, 20 minutes into play, someones mobile phone started ringing. After a seconds delay Frank grabed his bag and ran for the door, but pushing it instead of pulling he made more noise than the phone itself! And to top it all, he let rip with "fa-king!!" Ah, the memories came flooding back like he'd never been away!

Tuesday 31 July 2007

Birstall Cup

The first team lost their semi final to Loughborough 3-0. However, fortunately for us late replacement Brandon Clarke (97) beat Alan Jex (155) to secure the one point required for a win on handicap!! In the final we will play the winners of Scraptoft Valley and Littlethorpe2. If the second team make it we might need a minibus for the trip to Loughborough for the final!

Monday 30 July 2007

Our Man in Havanna

Or, more accurately, Our Boy in Austria (Mureck to be precise). Yep, Brandon is on his travels again, playing in the U12 section of the European Union Youth Chess Championships from 31 July - 9 August. Hopefully we will have reports here but you can follow his progress via the official results site by clicking here Or you can play through his games online by clicking here

Thursday 26 July 2007

Coaching Sessions

I will be available for swindling coaching lessons Tues evening in the bar at The Plough. I feel that I am an expert following this effort in the U125 County Championships this week.

White - Johnson, Andy ; Black - Crane, David

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bd3 Bd6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. c3 h6 7. O-O c6 8. Re1 Qc7 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Nf6 12. Bd3 Bd7 13. Bd2 b5 14. a4 a5 15. axb5 cxb5 16. Qe2 Qb7 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. Qxe5 Bc6 19. Bf1 Bd5 20. Bf4 Qc6 21. Qc7 Qxc7 22. Bxc7 O-O 23. Bxb5 Rfc8 24. Bxa5 Rab8 25. Ba6 Re8 26. Bb4 Ne4 27. Bd3 Nd2 28. Ra3 Nb3 29. Bc2 Nxd4 30. cxd4 Rxb4 31. Ra5 Rxb2 32. Rxd5 Rxc2 33. Rd7 Rec8 34. g3 Rd2 35. Kg2 Rcc2 36. Rf1 Rc4 37. Rd8+ Kh7 38. Rd7 Kg6 39. d5 Rxd5 40. Rxd5 exd5 41. Kf3 Kf5 42. Ke3 g5 43. h3 Ke5 44. f4+ gxf4+ 45. gxf4+ Kf5 46. h4 h5 47. Kd3 Rc5 48. Kd4 Ra5 49. Re1 f6 50. Re7 Kxf4 51. Rf7 f5 52. Rh7 Kg4 53. Rg7+ Kxh4 54. Rg1 f4 55. Ke5 f3 56. Kf4 f2 57. Rh1# 1-0

Tuesday 24 July 2007

Littlethorpe Quickplay

A fun evening was had by all as another of our quick play evenings was held. Five rounds of mayhem saw the "foreigner" Martin Burrows win with 4½/5. Highest placed Littlethorpians were Sean Hewitt and Ioannis Karsisiotis with 3½/5. Click here for full details.

Saturday 21 July 2007

2007 ECF Grades

The new ECF grades are out. Brandon Clarke wins the David Ward Memorial Trophy with a fantastic 25 point increase. Lets hope for a similar increase next season!

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Harrod Cup

The Harrod Cup 1st team take a giant leap to retaining the cup with an impressive 6½-1½ win over the previously unbeaten Ashby. Full details here.

Saturday 7 July 2007


The club has decided to run coaching sessions for Junior players every Tuesday from 4th September 2007. The club has more Juniors playing for it than any other club in the county and consequently, we will operate a junior section every Tuesday starting 4th September 2007. The section will operate 6pm - 7pm and will cost £1.50. The idea is to give the players somewhere to play other juniors as well as get some coaching and we will be looking at entering junior teams in suitable events. We will also actively encourage those who want to to play for one of our adult league sides, as we do now.

For more details please contact our Junior Chess Manager Paul Findley either by email or call him on 07896 810 401.

Friday 18 May 2007

Club Subscriptions

At the AGM, Annual subscriptoions were held at £25 pa, with a £5 discount if you pay by 30th June 2007. Payments to Sean, Dave Ricketts or our new treasurer Dionne Clarke please!

Monday 30 April 2007

April Quickplay

Peter Harrison was grinning like a Cheshire Cat as he retained the Club QuickPlay championship when he scored a perfect 5/5. He has now conceded just one draw in the two events!! Click here for full details.

Tuesday 17 April 2007

Valcovny Cup

Brandon Clarke returned from Czech Republic victorious having scored 8½/9 in the U12 section of the Valcovny Cup. Click here for details of his victory.