Wednesday 22 December 2010

Christmas Pairs

Last night we played some non-serious chess. We had enough people for four pairs with representatives of HA1, HA2, and HA3. We played some short pairs games without consultation. Food was chips, mushy peas and faggotts (British faggotts - meaning fancy meatballs - not American faggotts). The winners of the evening were Graham S and Drew who went undefeated. A fun evening.

No chess on the 28th, but a club night will be had on Tuesday 4th January.

Merry Christmas everyone,


Friday 17 December 2010

Spinney Hill 2 Vs HA3 & Some Good News for HA1

We were not really expecting to win this fixture. Spinney Hill 2 are a strong side. Having said that, however, Gary scored his first league win in some style against the very experienced Rich Davis.

Gary Sanders Vs Rich Davis (Gary is keen to point out that he was playing white)

1 d4 d5, 2 Nc3 g6, 3 e4 dxe4, 4 Bc4 Bg7, 5 Nge2 Bg4, 6 Nxe4 Bxd4, 7 f3 Bxf3, 8 gxf3 e5, 9 c3 Qh4+, 10 N2g3 Bb6, 11 Bg5 black resigns. The black queen is somewhat trapped and mate is also threatened on d8.

The rest of us did slightly less well.

16 DecSpinney Hill 2vHeathcote Arms 3
3 - 1
1B131Colver, John1 - 0Ross, Colin102
2W126Garland, Michael (snr)1 - 0Bubb, Andrew80
3B101Davis, Richard T0 - 1Sanders, Gary80
4W89Butler, Alan1 - 0Bubb, Michael60

Very well done to Gary.



Shepshed beat Wigston 1 last night so HA1 go into Christmas top of league again!!

Graham B

Monday 13 December 2010

Ray and Colin at the London Chess Classic

On Friday, Ray and i travelled down to Kensington to see the World's elite and the top four English Grandmasters competing in round three (of seven) of the London Chess Classic. We could have watched all the moves along with commentary over the Internet, but this would have been nothing like being there.

We started off in the auditorium watching the players with giant screens projected behind them, but after half an hour or so we headed to the commentary room to have it all explained to us by yet more Grandmasters. This was where we stayed for most of the day. These guys were extremely good and entertaining - analysing what was going on, and talking through the different variations, whilst the audience called out their own moves. There was a VIP room that we did not get to see - Viktor Korchnoi and Julian Hodgson were commentating in there and that is where the wine was kept.

Round three was when Vishy Anand, the world Champion, played white against Magnus Carlsen, the world number one. This game was an epic struggle with Anand missing a couple of mating chances (although Ray hadn't) before finally finishing Carlsen off. As Malcolm Pein had pointed out, this was the first time that Anand and Carlsen had met since Carlsen had withdrawn from the World Championship Cycle and there was rather more at stake, in this tournament, for these two players, than just the prize money.

The other games were all draws - though one sided draws- and when analysed in the commentary room were still very instructive. The Fortress was a recurrent theme.

At the conclusion of each of the games, the players came in to the commentary room and went through their games explaining their thoughts and plans. This was really useful.

It was great also to walk around people spotting and putting faces to names.

This was an excellent day out and well worth the six hours of travelling.

Club Night
On Tuesday 14th, Ray will be at the Heathcote if anyone fancies a game.

Radio Programmes
Haka Dave has spotted some Chess related programmes on the Radio3 listings. They are:

Night Waves (? or should it be Knight Waves at 9PM tonight (Monday)), and The Essay at 11PM all week.


Thursday 9 December 2010

HA2 & HA1 at Home 7.12.10

It was an evening of draws on Tuesday (7 out of 9). With Ray (for HA2) and Mike C (for HA1) winning the decisive games for both home teams. Ray was material up from an early stage, but faced some tactical threats. Mike was a pawn up, but time down when his opponent made a slip losing his last remaining piece.

07 DecHeathcote Arms 2vWigston 5
2½ - 1½
1B139Ensor, Rob½ - ½White, David113
2W122Manger, John½ - ½Hammond, Grant111
3B102Ross, Colin½ - ½Winterton, Paul102
4W90Beach, Ray1 - 0Vaughan, Ben100

07 DecHeathcote Arms 1vScraptoft Valley 1
3 - 2
1B192Sharpe, Graham½ - ½Burgess, Ray173
2W168Bray, Dave½ - ½Graf, Roland162
3B167Ganger, Rajan½ - ½Deacon, Paul159
4W156Cowley, Michael1 - 0Tate, Michael145
5B153Booley, Graham½ - ½Collins, RF (Bob)129

Upcoming Events

HA3 play away at Spinney Hill 2 on Thursday 16th December - we play five boards.
HA2 next play at home to Braunstone 3 on Tuesday 4th January.
HA1 next play away against Wigston 1 on Thursday 13th January.

The Christmas pairs competition will definitely be taking place on Tuesday 21st December (not on Wednesday 22nd as we thought that it might).

Well done everyone - especially to Ray and Mike C.


Friday 3 December 2010

Tuesday 30th November

On Tuesday, HA2 Versus Syston 2 was snowed off.
With Pete, Dave, Ray, Drew, Michael and myself however, we had a good few friendly games in the dining room.

On Tuesday 7th, HA1 play at home against Scraptoft Valley 1, and HA2 play at home against Wigston 5, and there should also be the opportunity for some friendlies for anyone who pops down.


Thursday 25 November 2010

HA2/3 Vs Hinckley in Minor League Cup

We won the toss and opted for white pieces on the odd numbered boards. Grade difference meant a one point head start for us. It was quite a while before the first result when Ray succumbed to Jason Smith.  Michael put up an excellent fight against Terry Clay staying equal on material almost into the endgame, but as Terry is a renowned for losing on time, he did exactly the right thing in not resigning until defeat was inevitable. Pete then won with the white pieces against Barry Bailey. The final game to finish was my own against Brian Radesk. There hade been time scrambles at the first and last time controls. I offered Brian a draw (for our game and the match) in what was a lost position for me, and around three moves later, Brian left his queen en pris. The final result including handicap, therefore, was a 3-2 win for us in what should have been a 3-2 defeat. That is two wins out of two for us in the Minor League Cup.

Radesk,Brian - Ross,Colin

1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bd7 8.c3 f6 9.Qg4 Qe7 10.f4 Nc6 11.Bd3 0–0–0 12.Nf3 Nh6 13.Qg3 Rdg8 14.Qh4 Nf7 15.Qf2 g5 16.exf6 Qxf6 17.fxg5 Qe7 18.h4 e5 19.dxe5 Nfxe5 20.Nxe5 Nxe5 21.Kd2 Rf8 22.Qe3 Bf5 23.Bxf5+ Rxf5 24.Kc2 Rhf8 25.Re1 Qd7 26.Qc5+ Nc6 27.Re2 d4 28.Qc4 Rf2 29.Rd2 Qf5+ 30.Kb2 Rxd2+ 31.Bxd2 Qf2 32.Rd1 Qxg2 33.cxd4 Rf2 34.Qg8+ Kc7 35.Qxh7+ Kb6 36.Qd3 Rf3 37.Qc4 Rf5 38.Ka1 Rb5 39.d5 Na5 40.Be3+ Ka6 41.Rb1 Nxc4 0–1

23 NovHeathcote Arms 2vHinckley 1GD
2 - 249
Handicap1 - 0
3 - 2
1W138Harrison, Peter1 - 0Bailey, Barry129-9
2B102Ross, Colin1 - 0Radesk, Brian11311
3W90Beach, Ray0 - 1Smith, Jason10212
4B60Bubb, Michael0 - 1Clay, Terry9535

Upcoming Matches and Events.

Wednesday 24th November HA1 away against Melton Mowbray 1.


Tuesday 7th December at home against Scraptoft Valley 1.
Thursday 13th January away against Wigston1.

Tuesday 30th November at home against Syston 2.
Tuesday 7th December at home against Wigston5.
Tuesday 4th January at home against Braunstone 3.

Thursday 16th December away against Spinney Hill 2 (Spinney want to play 5 boards)
Tuesday 11th January at home against Oadby 1.

Christmas Pairs Competition

We will be having a Christmas friendly match against The Red Admiral, on Wednesday 22nd December, at the Heathcote Arms. This is a pairs competition without confering. We will be playing to Harrod Cup time controls, and like the Harrod Cup, each pair play one game with the white pieces and one with the black. This evening will not be too serious and we will be laying some food on.

London Chess Classic

Ray and i will be visiting the London Chess Classic on Friday 10th December. If anyone wants to tag along and see the world's and the English elite in action, there may still be tickets available at

Club Night

There will definitely be a club night on Tuesday 30th November.

Well done everyone,


Friday 19 November 2010

Shepshed 1 (2-3) HA1

Graham B reports:

Always tough at  Shepshed. They start clocks at 7.15 and only play 30 in 60 mins.
We all started 5 mins down on the clock, Graham equalised on time after 10 moves and then his opponent took 40 mins to make the next 10 moves, something you can't afford to do on these time limits, as his opponent found out and lost on time at 1st time control.
Dave took a draw as the clock ticked close to the time control.
Raj, although an exchange up, couldn't break down his opponent's pawn structure and had to settle for draw.
Mike's opponent blundered in the time scramble, I heard whilst in my own time struggle Mike's voice 'YOU TOOK YOUR FINGERS OFF THAT' and he subsequently won.
I lost another 5 mins on clock looking for Raj as he hadn't been there before, so I was 10 mins down, made 1st control with seconds to spare, 2 pawns down in rook/bishop v rook/knight I fought on only to have my flag drop just as i made the move that gave me a drawn ending.     
18 NovShepshed 1vHeathcote Arms 1
2 - 3
1B170Toothill, Andrew0 - 1Sharpe, Graham192
2W167Bowley, Rupert½ - ½Bray, Dave168
3B171Henfrey, Robert½ - ½Ganger, Rajan167
4W164McDermott, Patrick0 - 1Cowley, Michael156
5B165Farrall, David1 - 0Booley, Graham153

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Braunstone 3 Vs Heathcote Arms 2

I was just about to head out to the Club night when i received a call from Pete asking if i could play at Braunstone. Everything went according to plan.

16 NovBraunstone 3vHeathcote Arms 2
0 - 4
1B117Lathwood, Roy0 - 1Ensor, Rob139
2W108Khawaja, Okash0 - 1Harrison, Peter138
3B104Read, Barry0 - 1Manger, John122
4W94Martin, Paul0 - 1Ross, Colin102

Meanwhile at the Heathcote, there were Drew, Michael, Ray and Dave.

Next week, it is the League Cup matches. HA2/3 play at home against Hinckley on Tuesday 23rd November, and HA1 play away against Melton on Wednesday 24th.

Well done everyone,


Friday 12 November 2010

Kirby Castlers 2 Vs HA3

Our first visit to Leicestershire's newest Chess Club provided a great result.
The first result was a win for me with the white pieces as my opponent blundered a piece and then allowed me to swap everything off. Michael had two queens towards the end and converted a huge material advantage into his first graded win. Drew took a bit longer, but also took the whole point. Ray had the hardest job of the evening against Les Bowles, but an even-ish game swung towards Ray in the ending.

I had predicted that Drew and Michael would be winning competetive games this season, but i doubt if they expected to manage their first wins on the same night and on only their third or fourth games.

11 NovKirby Muxloe 2vHeathcote Arms 3
0 - 4
1B100Turner, Scott0 - 1Ross, Colin102
2W100Bowles, Les0 - 1Beach, Ray90
3B80Gonzaga, Edda0 - 1Bubb, Andrew80
4W50Brown, Audrey0 - 1Bubb, Michael60

Paul Gray and Ray Townsend, both formerly of Wigston, have been very busy over the summer organising their new club at the Bowls Club in Kirby Muxloe (if you have trouble finding it - as i did - find Station Road, and look behind the Village Hall).

The club has been built around a club night with lots of internal competitions. All Swiss - no knockouts - and often with handicaps. One of the competitions involves two hour games with the time allowed to each player determined by their grade e.g. if Paul with the Club's highest grade against Audrey with the lowest grade - Paul would have six minutes on the clock to Audrey's one hour and 54 minutes.

The venue was warm and the lighting was good. The home team operate the bar themselves. Things were pretty noisy to begin with, but this soon settled down. There were lots of players at the venue playing friendlies, and after all the games except Ray's (which was the last to finish) there was some analysis.

Next week, there will definately by a club night on Tuesday as HA3 has no matches. HA1 plays away against Shepshed on Thursday 18th, and HA2 plays away on Tuesday 16th against Braunstone.

Well done everyone, especially to Drew and Michael. Congratulations to Paul Gray and Ray Townsend on their excellent new chess club.


Melton Mowbray 3 Vs HA2

10 NovMelton Mowbray 3vHeathcote Arms 2
3 - 1
1B153Jex, Alan½ - ½Booley, Graham153
2W147Wallace, Robert1 - 0Ensor, Rob139
3B139Peters, Simon1 - 0Harrison, Peter138
4W110Toon, Roy½ - ½Manger, John122

Wednesday 10 November 2010

HA1 Vs Wigston 2

Graham B says:
I wasn't at the match so can't give a report but it seems quite a weak wigston 2 team, however we can only play what is put before us and it's nice to get a good win and back on track in our fight for survival in div 1.

09 NovHeathcote Arms 1vWigston 2
4½ - ½
1B192Sharpe, Graham1 - 0Dodds, Iain157
2W168Bray, Dave1 - 0Galyov, Ed163
3B167Ganger, Rajan1 - 0Harlow, Phil145
4W156Cowley, Michael½ - ½Daniel, John131
5B138Harrison, Peter1 - 0Wilkins, Denis110
Graham B

Wednesday 3 November 2010

HA3 Vs Red Admiral 2, and HA1 Vs Braunstone 1

There were two matches at home again this Tuesday.

HA3 Vs Red Admiral 2
HA3 was outgraded on every board. The first result was a loss for Gary against Stan. Gary lasted longer than in previous matches and is showing signs of improvement. The next result was a draw for Brian against Amber. This had looked equal for a long time, although Amber began to take control in the end game. Brian fought back and was able to force a draw be perpetual check. Great result. In my game, Andy blundered a piece quite early on, but made me work for the win. Ray had been a piece for a pawn down, but regained the piece during extra time. After some swaps, it was Ray's King and Pawn against King and he could not be stopped - Ray, yet again, snatching victory from the jaws of seemingly inevitable defeat. With the final result being 2.5 to 1.5 in our favour, this was HA3's first League victory of the season.

02 NovHeathcote Arms 3vRed Admiral 2
2½ - 1½
1B102Ross, Colin1 - 0Carter, Andy111
2W90Beach, Ray1 - 0Slater, Mick108
3B80Martin, Brian½ - ½Carter, Amber94
4W80Sanders, Gary0 - 1Parsons, Stan92

HA1 Vs Braunstone 1
Grandmaster Mark Hebden was in action for Braunstone. I did not see a lot of this match and cannot really add much - although there is a match report on the new Braunstone website

02 NovHeathcote Arms 1vBraunstone 1
2 - 3
1B167Ganger, Rajan0 - 1Hebden, Mark242
2W168Bray, Dave½ - ½Colburn, Paul167
3B156Hewitt, Sean½ - ½Robinson, John170
4W156Cowley, Michael0 - 1Salisbury, Michael167
5B153Booley, Graham1 - 0Bingham, James157

Christmas Do
The Red Admiral have suggested a Christmas challenge. Last Easter we played a pairs competition, with some food laid on, at their place, for the George Winterton Trophy. This was a good night and Christmas seems like a good excuse to do it again - it would also be good to show some support for our new landlord. Further details will appear on the blog when we have them.

Upcoming Matches.
Tuesday 9th November at home against Wigston 2.
Thursday 18th November away against Shepshed 1.

Wednesday 10th November away against Melton Mowbray 3.
Tuesday 16th November away against Braunstone 3.

Thursday 11th November away against, new club, Kirby Castlers, then a long break before -
Thursday 16th December away against Spinney Hill 2.

Keith Arkell Simul
If you would like to try your hand against a Grandmaster, Keith Arkell will be playing a simultaneous display at Braunstone Civic Centre on Friday at 7.30PM. Cost £10 and includes some refreshments. There are still some boards available. If you don't want to join in, you can still go along and watch.

Well done everyone,


Monday 1 November 2010

Leicestershire Under 160s Match away against Nottinghamshire

Report from Graham B:

3 heathcote players. Mike Cowley managed the only win in the whole team, Rob a creditable draw, and I lost.








Bingham, James T
Dodds, Iain F
Cowley, Michael H
Pattinson, John
Jimenez, Alfonso
PLACE, William
Adcock, Gregory
Booley, Graham M
Watkinson, Phil K
ROPER, Keith W
Turvey, Steven S
Glover, John
Harlow, Phil
CRANMER, Stanley E E
Tate, Michael J
MORGAN, D Philip
Ensor, Rob
ALI, Hamzah
Reynolds, David
Adcock, Terry D
TAYLOR, Robert P
Farquharson, Ian



Saturday 30 October 2010

HA2/3 Win in First Round of Minor League Cup

On Thursday, we played our first round of the Minor League Cup away at Spinney Hill. We won the toss and opted to play white on the odd-numbered boards. Owing to the handicap system, we started with a one point advantage (because of some dodgy arithmetic, at the time, we thought this was one and a half points).

The first result was a loss for Michael against Alan Butler, this was followed by a victory for Ray against Rich Davis. Pete had looked strong for a long time against John Colver with connected queenside passed pawns provoking his opponent into some desparate tactics leading to a win for Pete. Much the same then happened on my board except that it was my opponent with the connected passed pawns and i was slowly, but surely losing. My beautiful, but fatally flawed, queen sacrifice failed to come off (although it did result in Mick looking fairly horrified for a moment). Including the bonus, the final score ended 3-2 to us.

28 Oct

Spinney Hill 2


Heathcote Arms 2

2 - 2-57
Handicap0 - 1
2 - 3
1B131Colver, John0 - 1Harrison, Peter1387
2W126Garland, Michael (snr)1 - 0Ross, Colin102-24
3B101Davis, Richard T0 - 1Beach, Ray90-11
4W89Butler, Alan1 - 0Bubb, Michael60-29

 Upcoming Matches:

HA1: Tuesday 2nd November at home against Braunstone 1.
Tuesday 9th November at home against Wigston 2.

HA2: Wednesday 10th November away against Melton Mowbray 3.

HA3: Tuesday 2nd November at home against Red Admiral 2.
Thursday 11th November away against Kirby Muxloe 2.

Well done everyone.