Sunday 29 December 2013

Chess on the Radio

Hacker Dave has spotted some chess related programmes on Radio 4. On Friday, there was a programme about the Polgar Sisters (sorry don't know the title, but it will probably still be available to listen to from the Radio 4 listen again website).
And, Monday to Friday this week in the 13.45 slot, Dominic Lawson interviews 5 different people whilst playing a game with them. Apparently John Ely, of the Grass Arena, is one of them.


Tuesday 17 December 2013

This Week

Just a few friendlies, and maybe some sims and blindfold exhibitions in the bar.


Thursday 12 December 2013

Ben Speaks

The Tuesday before last, I decided that I needed some match practice and I decided that the one friendly club I know was the Heathcote and whaddya know, they play on Tuesday nights. I donned my jacket and I tried to remember my chess head as I usually forget it on Thursday nights at Wigston.
I was slightly disappointed to see that it was a busy night and Heathcote's 1st and 3rd teams were playing. I gave a quick wave/nod of acknowledgments to Raymondov, Sean Hewitt (still burning hot from Atkins duty I guess), The Grinder and Colin.
I settled down to play Rajan's brother. He was a very accommodating opponent, massaging my ego a bit, letting me go two pawns up and then proceeding to grind me down, winning the two pawns back wih interest and beating me. I didn't mind as I was there for practice.
Meanwhile Big Boss Ross had sat next to us and played a 5 minute game against a new face. I don't think anyone at the Heathcote had seen him before and it was quite exciting to see a new face. During the 5 minute game there were a couple of sighs from Colin after he lost a piece, or two, or three. I also believe that the call 'I think we have an internet shark here', was heard. Big Boss Ross got absolutely spanked. Not one for losing, Colin decided that he didn't like 5 minutes and said 'Can we play a 15 minute each game?' His opponent obliged and proceeded to spank him again, albeit a little slower.
I must say that by this time, myself and Rajan's brother had gotten about halfway through our second game. Interest in our game was fading due to the fresh piece of meat that had showed up. Big Boss Ross's opponent then chirped up 'Do you mind if I play you blindfolded?' Now I am not sure how I'd have taken that. By this time my game had no significance to me whatsoever. I was reeled in. I said what I felt - 'Are you taking the ****?' (This is a family website people!)
We all had a good laugh about it to be fair and we all decided not to turn it into a riot. Colin played him whilst he faced away from the board, without looking at it once, he steamrolled Colin again. I think I may have played one or two moves of my own game, I was fascinated by this new guy. After steamrollering Colin (who I'm sure was a bit peeved by now), this new guy said 'I can play more than one of you if you like'.
We were game. I think Colin had had enough and decided to let me and Ray play. It is only now that I've realised that Ray's game for Heathcote's third team must have ended quickly! But enough about that, I'll save Raymondov's blushes. We settled down to both getting torn to shreds by this guy who was playing a game against Ray and myself whilst facing away from the boards. I don't think that Raymondov will mind me saying that me and him aren't the best chess players in the world, but to be part of that, being spanked by a guy that wasn't even looking at the board, was phenomenal. And against two of us too. I've never seen anything like it. I was in awe of this guy, I don't mind saying it.
Now for legal reasons and my own self will, I am going to insert the fact that I beat him in the second game that we played on the night. As Colin has eluded to, I was in short, erm, slightly happy about that. The last phrase was understated. Slightly.
Last night I had the same thoughts as I had the previous week about getting match practice and so on and I was also dying to know if our new friend had showed up. I got to the Heathcote and got the usual warm welcome from Colin, Gordon and Ray who were having a drink at the bar. I found out the his name is Pritpal and just as we were talking about how good he was/is, he turned up with his ears on fire. Tonight, he played 5 of us at once. Me, Colin, Ray, Gordon and the Grinder, (who joined us around the same time as Pritpal).
Me, Colin, Ray and Gordon were no match for this guy but John beat him twice and the relationship (or lack of) between chess and alcohol was confirmed. As Pritpal consumed more alcohol, to be fair to him, his chess dropped a little. I can't think of any other examples of alcohol affecting performance, I might ask the wife if she has an opinion. Peter Harrison joined the little gaggle of chess players and took on Pritpal whilst he was blindfolded. Pritpal lost the position and resigned after being an exchange up.
My only success of the night was speaking to Ray and Gordon about golf and arranging to have a game of golf with them when the summer starts to appear on the horizon. I am as good/poor (delete as necessary) at golf as at chess and so are Raymondov and Gordon, so I'll be in good company again.

Ben Vaughan
Wigston Chess Club
(Frequent visitor to Heathcote Arms until sub demands are made again)

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Last Tuesday at Home

Tonight saw Richard's first win:

03 DecHeathcote Arms 3vKirby Muxloe 3
1 - 3
1B110Hewitt, Graham0 - 1Townsend, Arthur135
2W92Beach, Ray0 - 1Shaw, Peter85
3B80Maconnachie, Richard1 - 0Richardson, Gary75
4W80Urquhart, Graham0 - 1Bowles, Les69

A great result for HA1 with Raj and Sean.

03 DecHeathcote Arms 1vAshby 1
4½ - ½
1B178Sharpe, Graham1 - 0Vann, Richard156
2W176Bray, Dave1 - 0Hayden, Lawrence144
3B183Ganger, Rajan1 - 0Gibson, Paul142
4W166Hewitt, Sean1 - 0Tipper, Christopher139
5B156Harrison, Peter½ - ½Reynolds, David136

Meanwhile in the bar, this guy had shown up and was playing blindfold chess against two of us at a time. Ben Vaughan was very pleased to win a game:

Pritpal Thethi, 138537K, Enfield , 183 E in July 2012.

Pritpal is working in Leicester at the moment.

Well done everyone,


Away matches for HA3 and HA2

A bad night on Tuesday away for HA3 at Braunstone:

26 NovBraunstone 6vHeathcote Arms 3
3½ - ½
1B100Reid, Patrick½ - ½Beach, Ray92
2W100Read, Barry1 - 0Maconnachie, Richard80
3B95Chen, Qiyuan1 - 0Harbidge, Drew65
4W80Barker, Ian1 - 0Milner, Gordon49

Also, a bad night on Thursday for HA2 away at Latimer. Both teams had been at the top of Div 3:

28 NovLatimer 1vHeathcote Arms 2
3 - 1
1B163Potter, Karl1 - 0Harrison, Peter156
2W118Slater, Brian L0 - 1Manger, John140
3B114Hill, Granville1 - 0Ross, Colin107
4W113Gurney, Roy1 - 0Urquhart, Graham80

Here is my loss against Granville Hill:

Sunday 24 November 2013

HA3 Vs Red Admiral 2

Things looked to be quite promising when Peter Barabas did not appear.
Ray and Mick were first to finish with Ray losing out. Drew versus Ben were next - this was very sharp stuff and could have gone either way. Graham U versus Stan was also very close, with Stan taking the point. John managed our only win as Andy played down to a lone king and certain death.

19 NovHeathcote Arms 3vRed Admiral 2
2 - 3
1B140The Grinder1 - 0Carter, Andy105
2W107Not so big boss1 - 0**DEFAULT**?
3B92Raymondov0 - 1Slater, Mick91
4W80Urquhart, Graham0 - 1Parsons, Stan94
5B65Harbidge, Drew0 - 1Cunnold, Ben60

A win for HA1 away at Melton 2:

20 NovMelton Mowbray 2vHeathcote Arms 1
1½ - 3½
1B148Mitchell, Rob0 - 1Sharpe, Graham178
2W146Jex, Alan1 - 0Peter the President156
3B146Cope, Shaun½ - ½Booley, Graham153
4W145Knight, Christopher0 - 1Mad Mike141
5B?**DEFAULT**0 - 1The Grinder140

This week, HA3 plays away at Braunstone on Tuesday, and HA2 plays away at Latimer on Thursday.

Next weekend is the highlight of the Leicestershire Chess Calendar. Please follow the link:


New World Champion

Magnus Carlsen has defeated Vishy Anand to become the new World Chess Champion at age 22. The match was scheduled for 12 games, but only 10 were necessary. After 6 draws and 3 wins, Carlsen got the draw he needed today to win the match by 6.5/3.5.

For anyone who isn't aware, Carlsen became a GM at age 13, and is the highest rated player of all time at 2870 FIDE. ( This converts to around 280 ECF!).


Tuesday 19 November 2013

Wigston 6 Vs HA3

A draw away at Wigston. Drew scored a win on board 4, John mated his opponent whilst he was away from the board, I lost on board 2, and Graham U lost out against a pawn rush.

14 NovWigston 6vHeathcote Arms 3
2 - 2
1B111Winterton, Paul0 - 1Manger, John140
2W109Hammond, Grant1 - 0Ross, Colin107
3B109Hulford, Frank1 - 0Urquhart, Graham80
4W69Dean, Simon0 - 1Harbidge, Drew65

Here is my loss:

Well done everyone,


Wednesday 30 October 2013

HA2 Vs Kirby Muxloe 1

A third win out of three matches for HA2. I think Mike Cowley was first to finish (with a win), followed by a draw for Pete on board 1. I was in my usual time trouble, but was able to convert the full point. At this point, Ray was an exchange and two pawns down and was unable to stop the inevitable.

29 OctHeathcote Arms 2vKirby Muxloe 1
2½ - 1½
1B156Harrison, Peter½ - ½Walton, David135
2W141Cowley, Michael1 - 0Gray, Paul135
3B107Ross, Colin1 - 0Walker, John125
4W92Beach, Ray0 - 1McEachran, Ewan124

Graham Hewitt made an appearance for club night - the first since his recent surgery, and Richard, Drew, Graham U, and Bill Roberts (friend of Gordons who was an active player in Leicestershire up until the 1980s) were also up for some friendlies.

Next week, HA3 are at home to Syston 4 on Tuesday 5th November, and HA1 are also at home against Ashby 2.

Below is my game against John Walker.

Well done everyone,


Friday 18 October 2013

HA1 & HA3 at Syston

Syston had three matches at home on Tuesday and there was not enough space in the usual rooms.
As a result, I did not get to see any of the HA1 match. There was a good result, however.

15 Oct
Syston 1
Heathcote Arms 1
2 - 3
Galligan, Brian
0 - 1
Sharpe, Graham
Pourmozafari, Ben
½ - ½
Bray, Dave
Suchak, Parin
1 - 0
Booley, Graham
Gramaticu, Constantin
0 - 1
Cowley, Michael
Johnson, Cyril
½ - ½
Manger, John

Meanwhile, HA3 played in the bar, and as there was an England football match on, things were a bit noisier than usual.

Gordon and Drew both finished with losses - Gordon had been material up.
Graham U got a decent result against the solid Reg Agger. I had a winning position, but was under time pressure (as always) and missed a mate. My opponent and I agreed a draw.

15 OctSyston 5vHeathcote Arms 3
2½ - 1½
1B94Adams, Mick½ - ½Ross, Colin107
2W88Agger, Reg0 - 1Urquhart, Graham80
3B86Mundy, Rob1 - 0Harbidge, Drew65
4W58Morelli, Nando1 - 0Milner, Gordon49

There were a couple more moves, which, in time trouble, I failed to record. My b-pawn dropped in the scramble.

The missed win was 58 Bc3 Rf3+ 59. gxf3 gxf3 60. Ra1#.
Fritz and John Manger both spotted it.

Next Tuesday, friendlies at the Heathcote Arms.

Well done everyone,


Sunday 13 October 2013

HA2 and HA3 last Thursday. This week...

Ashby 4 Vs HA3

HA3 lost away at Ashby 4 on Thursday. Peter Page's Steinitz Defence failed against my Ruy Lopez as he got his king stuck in the centre. Drew then lost on board 3, but his opponent looked very relieved. Gordon's game went too and fro, but he eventually lost out. Graham U was a pawn up in the late middle game but a few moves further on was a pawn down and was then unable to stop the march of pawns.

10 OctAshby 4vHeathcote Arms 3
3 - 1
1B107Page, Peter0 - 1Ross, Colin107
2W86Williams, Richard1 - 0Urquhart, Graham80
3B87Brown, Mick1 - 0Harbidge, Drew65
4W54Holmes, Stephen1 - 0Milner, Gordon49

HA2 Vs Hinckley 1

08 OctHeathcote Arms 2vHinckley 1
2½ - 1½
1B156Harrison, Peter1 - 0Phillips, Howard128
2W140Manger, John1 - 0Radesk, Brian113
3B92Beach, Ray0 - 1Smith, Jason109
4W80Maconnachie, Richard½ - ½Clay, Terry108

On the same night, HA2 were in action against Hinckley. A good result with Richard scoring a draw, in his first league game, against Terry Clay - nice one!

This Coming Week:

On Tuesday, most of us will all be at Syston. There may be some players at home for some friendlies, but don't quote me.

Syston 1 Vs HA1 on Tuesday 15th.
Syston 5 Vs HA3 on Tuesday 15th.

HA2 have a rest until Tuesday 29th at home against Kirby Muxloe 1.

Here is my game against Peter Page:

Well done everyone,


Sunday 6 October 2013

HA2 Vs Thurnby 2 & Wigston 3 Vs HA1

There was a great start to the season for HA2 last Tuesday with a 3-1 win against visiting Thurnby 2.

The first result in was a draw on board 1 for Graham B. This was followed by a win for Ray on 4 against Bob Collins. I was being crushed, but some exchanges let me out of gaol and I was able to recover and win against Mick Tate. John was in a materially unbalanced game, but when his opponent overlooked a win and offered John a draw, he was lucky not to lose his hand shaking arm.

Heathcote Arms (2) Vs Thurnby 2
Graham Booley (B) 153
John Pattinson (W) 155
John Manger (W) 140
Mick Busby (B) 137
Colin Ross (B) 107
Mick Tate (W) 130
Ray Beach (W) 92
Bob Collins (B) 125

Here is my game against Mick Tate:

HA1 played away on Thursday and scored a 4-1 win against Wigston 3.

03 OctWigston 3vHeathcote Arms 1
1 - 4
1B158Reeves, Andrew0 - 1Sharpe, Graham178
2W158Harlow, Phil½ - ½Bray, Dave176
3B152Dodds, Iain½ - ½Booley, Graham153
4W151Wylie, Stephen0 - 1Harrison, Peter156
5B143Vaja, Ricky0 - 1Cowley, Michael141

This week, there will be a club night at the Arms on Tuesday.

Then on Thursday we have two matches:

HA2 Vs Hinckley AT HOME on Thursday.

Ashby 4 Vs HA3 Away.

We could do with someone else to play at home. James or Richard, are you available?


Sunday 29 September 2013

Start of the Season

HA2 plays at home on Tuesday.

We need to sort out ECF memberships as a matter of urgency:

Adult Membership of the Club and Bronze ECF membership = £27-50
                            "                           Silver ECF membership = £33-50
                            "                           Gold  ECF membership = £42-50

For juniors, knock £10 off - and I think the LRCA have been talking about paying the bronze portion for juniors in their first year - there is something about this on the website

Bronze entitles people to have their league games graded, Silver allows people to enter congresses at a reduced rate, and gold allows people to enter FIDE competitions. People can start off with Bronze and pay the difference if and when they need to.

Our membership rates are far less than most other Chess Clubs in Leicestershire and these are the only fees for members to pay all year.


Saturday 21 September 2013

Final Round of CCs (Open and Major)

The Grinder Reports:

Ricky Vaja exacted revenge for his defeat by me in round 4. I lost both of the quickplay games in the playoff so Ricky takes the Major title.
Apologies to Ray, who turned up to offer moral support but witnessed an inept performance by me!

The main event was much more interesting. Andy Morley vs. Graham Sharpe and Martin Burrows vs. Alan Byron to decide the county championship. Andy held a half point lead from the others.

Alan beat Martin in a queen vs. rooks ending. So Graham needed to win to force a playoff against Alan. A draw would see Andy vs. Alan in a playoff, and a win for Andy would give him the title outright.

It was a great game. Andy had a pawn wedge on e5, open lines and appeared to have prospects for a kingside attack. Graham held a solid defensive position and exchanges took place which led to a bishop v knight ending with 6 pawns each.

It was a superb endgame. Graham's knight seemed better than the bishop. His pawns were all on the opposite colour squares, king holding the centre and threatening the pawn at e5. Andy's h3 pawn also came under attack by the knight, but it could not be taken due to the threat of being paralysed by the bishop. It was complicated, and Andy came under great time pressure. He offered the draw. Graham, knowing a draw was no use to him, played on, and  with his own time ebbing away, lost whilst trying to get the win he needed.


Sunday 15 September 2013

County Champs (Open and Major)

The last round (6), of the Open Championship was due to be played last night at Wigston, along with the remaining games of the final round of the Major.
It turned out that all the leading contenders are due to play next Thursday due to other commitments.
Three games were played. Paul Colburn drew with Karl Potter, Mike Salisbury also drew with Phil Harlow. I think Jez Wells beat Mick Tate but I'm not certain.
Next week, the leading contenders play each other. Andy Morley has a half point lead (4), and plays our own Graham Sharpe (3.5), with the white pieces. Martin Burrows (3.5) has white against Alan Byron (3.5). They all need to win so it should be interesting to watch.
Three players shared the lead on 3.0/4 going into the final round, Ricky Vaja, Toby Hoch and myself.
Pat Reid played a good game against Ricky, but blundered late on. My game against Toby was quite exciting, with mistakes made on both sides. A difficult ending was reached. I had a bishop and 5 against a knight and 4. My extra pawn was passed and isolated, and his knight was a good blockader. I think Toby might have drawn this but lost his way in the end.
This leaves myself and Ricky Vaja to play off with two 20 minute games. If a decider is needed its Armageddon.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Horrid Cup 5th Round

The fifth (and final) round of the Harrod was our first outing for James and Graham U. They played on boards 2 and 3. John (The Grinder) Manger was on board 1, and Drew was our board 4.

Ray and I were along for support.

In the first round our side had the black pieces. Drew dropped a rook; James looked solid enough, but was ground down; Graham and his opponent played a very exciting game which ended when Graham (realising that he was about to lose on time) was in a winning position, but wisely offered his opponent a draw; John and Parin agreed a draw.

After the break, with the white lumps, Graham dropped a clanger immediately, but came back with a sharp win; Drew exacted his bloody revenge in what was a truly horrible position for Reg; and James was again ground down.

Three points to four down, it was all up to The Grinder to secure the draw. When James had finished, John was an exchange up and looking good. In a sharp middlegame, however, John castled queenside and then it all fell to bits.

10 SepSyston 1W - BB - WHeathcote Arms 1
5 - 3
1127Suchak, Parin½ - ½1 - 0Manger, John143
2125Damodaran, Somanathan1 - 01 - 0Roberts James90
3100Mutambara, Seth½ - ½0 - 1Urquhart Graham80
492Agger, Reg1 - 00 - 1Harbidge, Drew67

Next week, friendlies at home. Any new players out there are welcome.

I have had an e-mail from Chris Johnson - he has now finished at University and has taken a job in Poland. He hopes to see us again next Summer.

The new handbook for the coming season is now available online at:

Well done everyone,


Sunday 8 September 2013

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

No matches tonight, but a few friendlies in the Skittle Alley.

Drew was there, Graham Urquhart returned, and James Roberts (age 11), a very promising Leicestershire junior came for the first time. Pete was around, but was acting.

On Tuesday 10th, we play away in the Harrod against Syston 1. The format is that each player plays the same opponent twice - once with the white pieces and once with the black. Time limits are 30 minutes each, with no need to record the moves. This will be a good opportunity to give Graham and James some match experience before the start of the season.

Graham has been given a provisional grade of 80, and James 90 (having beaten a 105 graded player recently).

Tuesday's team already know who they are, but supporters will be welcome.


Saturday 31 August 2013

CCs Major (5) Ross Vs Beach

On Tuesday, Ray and I played our fifth round major tie at the Arms. Ray had been playing at the e2e4 Coventry Congress for most of the weekend - see previous blog.

The Grand Prix Attack was popularised by Mark Hebden and a few others who won a lot of games very quickly with it in the 1980s. Gawain Jones has written a nice book on it and has also produced a DVD ROM with Simon Williams' Ginger GM Series - both really good. I learned to play this from AWOL Hacker and have been able to surprise a few 130 and 140 players with it.

White plays an early f4 and develops rapidly on the kingside before pushing the pawn to f5. If Black accepts the pawn, this opens up a file and white has a space advantage. White then attempts an early attack on the castled black king.

Here, Fritz gives 10. Ng5 as a ?? preferring 10. d3 d5, 11. exd5 Nxf3 12. Rxf3 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Nxd5 14. Qh6 with an advantage for white.

Gordon, Drew, and new Graham were also in the skittle alley for some friendlies.

Next Tuesday, there will some friendlies at the Arms, and on the 10th we have an away Harrod Match against Syston 1.


Friday 23 August 2013

Horrid Cup / CCs

The AGM minutes will be out soon. Annual subs are due now and unchanged from last year: £27-50 Basic Adult membership to include Bronze ECF membership, £6 more for Silver etc etc.

Our Harrod Cup team should have been at home on Tuesday, but there was some confusion over the dates and Loughborough did not arrive. We could have rearranged the match, but we were holding up the draw for the next round. Loughborough has defaulted.

We had a new player show on Tuesday; Graham (this will be our 4th Graham) is rusty, but can play.

On Thursday, it was the Minor and Challengers Sections of the County Champs at Wigston.

In the Minor, Ray and Gordon played each other with Ray winning. I beat Stan.
I left before the end of John's game against Andrew Reeves, but John was a pawn up with the black pieces.

Here is my game against Stan. 14...Re8 would have been better:

Next Tuesday, Ray and i play our Major game at the Heathcote.

Well Done Everyone,



The Grinder adds:

My game against Andrew Reeves (158) was going my way until late on. I had won his h-pawn in the middle game with some tactics, but I knew it was a bit double edged.

We were both low on time in the rooks and pawns ending, although I had a bit more. Although I ended up with two unconnected passed pawns, I had difficulties due to one of my rooks being badly placed. I was unable to prevent him doubling rooks on my 7th rank and forcing a draw by perpetual check.


Ray is spending the bank holiday weekend at the e2e4 Coventry Congress. Follow his progress at:

Friday 2 August 2013


Our, somewhat belated, AGM will be held on Tuesday 13th August at the Heathcote Arms.


July Grades

Ref NameSexAgeClubStandardPreviousRapidplayPrevious
263015BBeach, RayMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms92A101A95D99D
106989FBooley, Graham MMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms153X151A139C139C
107208ABray, Dave JMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms176C167C165E
282104HBubb, Michael AM17Blaby District aka Heathcote Arms40E38C
108975ECowley, Michael HMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms141B144B146C146C
263024CEnsor, RobMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms135B140B147D
161682BGanger, RajanMRushden183X179A187D191E
288540CGanger, SajanMRushden128X136D
291278JHarbidge, DrewM13Blaby District aka Heathcote Arms65D67E89E
112216CHarrison, Peter KMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms156B152B147D151D
112575JHewitt, Sean DMMarple166X151A159D
250159EManger, John DMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms140X139X140D143D
288615HMilner, GordonMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms49B50D
263017FRicketts, Dave CMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms78B83A103E103D
272934KRoss, ColinMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms107A117A89D89D
283533CSanders, GaryMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms37E37D
118781JSharpe, Graham JMBlaby District aka Heathcote Arms178B184B188D185D

Heathcote Arms exit from Birstall Cup

Syston had the slightly stronger team - with 24 grading points difference - but not enough difference to give us a handicap bonus.

Mike Cowley scored an early win. Ray then went on to lose. I had been doing fine, but, in my usual time trouble, managed to implode at around move 52. We were not playing with Fischer incremental times and Bob Wallace was down to one second remaining on the clock. The rest of us crowded around the one remaining table and telepathically willed John to make any move whatsoever. This did not work, however, as John's remaining minute and a half counted down to zero.

John was not at all happy afterwards and said that this was the most stupid thing that he had ever done. I pointed out that this was nothing like as stupid as AWOL Hacker resigning in a won position against Mick Garland (October 2012 - see past blogs), but this did  not seem to cheer him up any.

30 JulHeathcote Arms 2vSyston 1GD
1 - 327
Handicap0 - 0
1 - 3
1W144Mad Mike1 - 0Pourmozafari, Ben1473
2B139The Grinder0 - 1Wallace, Robert136-3
3W117Not so big boss0 - 1Suchak, Parin12710
4B101Raymondov0 - 1Stone, Robert11817

Here is my game against Parin Suchak:

Well done everyone,


Thursday 1 August 2013

County Champs 4th Round (Minor and Challengers Sections).


In the Minor, Ray had a bye. I was paired with Gordon.

Also in the Minor, there was an upset on board 1, with Nick Chalashkanov beating the previously undefeated Mr McKiernan. Also Paul Martin, looked sure to beat Stan, but left himself vulnerable to some mischief from Stan's queen.


In the Challengers, The Grinder had the white bits against Steve Wylie - things went down to an endgame with Steve coming out on top.

Chess Set Raffle

At the end of the evening, Andy Morley pulled out the winning ticket. The set of Lewis Chessmen with wooden board was won by Paul Martin of Braunstone Chess Club. John's efforts have succeeded in raising over £100 towards club funds.

Well done everyone,


Harrod Cup Third Round

I am a bit behind with updating the site. I hope to put this right over the next day or two.

On the 16th, I had food poisoning, so Ray stepped in as Captain.

A 4.5 to 3.5 point win gave us our first win, this year, in the Horrid Cup.
16 JulSyston 2W - BB - WHeathcote Arms 1
3½ - 4½
195Martin, Maurice0 - 10 - 1Manger, John143
288Mundy, Rob1 - 00 - 1Beach, Ray99
383Adams, Mick1 - 0½ - ½Harbidge, Drew67
465Morelli, Nando0 - 11 - 0Milner, Gordon50

Well done everyone,


Sunday 7 July 2013

County Champs Major Round 3

On Thursday, I was up against Conor Reid in the Major. I had the Black pieces. My final mistake was a schoolboy error - not counting the moves that Conor's king had to make in order to intercept my pawn.

Ray had the White pieces against Kevin Bennett, but lost.

The Grinder had the White Pieces against Guy Closs and was material up. The board, however, was cluttered and John's queen was unable to get back to help repel an attack from Guy.

Meanwhile in the Open, Graham Sharpe was victorious with the White pieces over Graham Booley.

My game against Conor. Another Tarrasch Variation French:

Club night at home on Tuesday.
Our away Harrod Cup fixture is now on the 16th.


Monday 1 July 2013

Indian Summer Chess Tournament

Graham B Reports:
The inaugural Indian Summer tournament was won by Brian Galligan of Syston, with 4.5 out of 5.
There were 12 entries and it was a pleasant few hours chess. 
6 of the entrants were non-club players, but all looked reasonable players and took away details of all the local clubs.
A few casual games took place with spectators and local players who had turned up to give support and help. 

Friday 28 June 2013

County Champs (Minor) and Free Tournament at Curve Theatre

Paul Findley calls it the Wimbledon Effect. Somehow all of the boards were slippy.

Golf Man had the Black Lumps and lost to Nick Chalashkanov.

The Grinder was due to play Mick Tate, in the Challengers - but Mick did not show.

I played Black against Paul Martin - a Tarrasch Variation French, here below:

Free Chess Tournament at Curve

Tomorrow (Saturday 29th June 2013) there is a free chess tournament at the Curve Theatre. No prize money, but some nice trophies apparently:

Curve Theatre
60 Rutland St Leicester
United Kingdom    

Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM (PDT)      

20 Minute Games.

If anyone would like to send me a report, I will post it here.


By the way, our little site recently made its first 30,000 hits. Thank you to all of our readers.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

A few thoughts of a chess retiree

My Wigston charges joined me at the Heathcote Arms to do battle with the Heathcote lads in the latest round of the Horrid Cup. (Horrid officially being adopted by me last night after last night's shenanigans!) All 4 of my team arrived before the Heathcote lads as we all gathered outside the infamous skittle alley ready to cross swords. As we were waiting we gathered our thoughts - at this moment a cat appeared. Charles remembered how this cat had jumped on his lap in a league game in the skittle alley last year and kept him warm in the chilly alley during winter. He was hoping that the cat would clear off as he lost the last time he encountered the cat.

The Heathcote lads appeared, Raymondov, followed by Big Boss, then young Drew, hastily followed finally by the Grinder. The Grinder was against Phil Harlow, Ray was surprised to be on board 2 ahead of Colin against Charles Eastlake, Colin faced Nikola Chalashkanov (who will now be known as Nik C - I've nicked that from Haka Dave) and I faced young Drew Harbidge.

Battle commenced. I can't really comment on other's games as I was too engrossed in my own games to comment. I casted the odd look at the board next to me in the first game, Colin seemed to be crushing Nik C to the point where Nik flicked his King over in resignation, sending it cartwheeling over the board. Quite a sight. 'I think that was a resignation', I uttered to Colin. Phil beat the Grinder and Charles beat Ray. Drew and I agreed a Grandmaster draw when we were both getting low on time and boring each other by moving our Kings around in a King and pawn endgame.

Now the fun started in round 2 as we all settled down. First to crow up was Ray, who apparently gave a piece away. 'I like giving pieces away', Ray said. Approximately 0.0005 seconds elapsed before the Heathcote lads chorused 'Yes he does'. An extremely funny moment. Ray resigned (I think), followed by John losing to Phil again, Nik beat Colin this time, (Colin showed restraint by gracefully tipping his King as one should) and it was left to Drew and I to close out the night. And boy did we save the best until last! Shortly after Raymondov's groan was one from me after I left a rook en prise. Drew gracefully removed it from the board to shouts of 'Aaaaahhhhhhh!!' from myself. I won't write what I was thinking as this is a family website. We continued and I actually managed to get a foothold in the game being a rook down. As the two of us got into time trouble, I asked Charles Eastlake to record Drew's moves for him. Chas lasted about 2 or 3 moves before he gave up as Drew and I were playing extremely fast. Drew took a pawn which allowed me to win the rook back and in the most horrid (I choose the adjective carefully!) of rapidplay endings I queened a pawn, with check, which I proudly announced was mate. A few grumblings occurred and I heard 'That's not mate', at which point Drew picked up my newly queened pawn and removed it from the board, taking it with his King. The laughter around the room was deafening. I had simply overlooked this move in time trouble. We both had less than a minute left by this point and in a dead drawn position, we agreed a draw. I had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. A good result for me - more often than not, I snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory!

At this point, I should pay due respect to my opponent, Drew Harbidge. I do hope that he reads this. Heathcote have a very promising young junior in their ranks. Drew, I hope that you carry on with your chess this year, keep smiling and keep enjoying the game young man. If I had beaten you in that last game, it would have been totally unjust. A drawn match between us was a very fair result.

Thanks to all of the Heathcote boys for the warm welcome as always, I even managed to get my boys to help you tidy up! I am now retiring from chess until the next game after last night's fun and games.

Ben Vaughan
Wigston Chess Club

Birstall Cup Semi-Final

An early bath for Drew. Almost an earlier bath for me, when my opponent missed a winning move on move 6. I was lucky to get back an equal position. Ray and John both played their socks off - Ray not quite converting the point. John playing a wonderful Bishop, Knight and pawns ending against Peter Gibbs, giving him one of his best ever wins.

The half point bonus led to us winning the match and a place in the Birstall Cup Final.

13 JunHinckley 1vHeathcote Arms 2GD
2 - 2-72
Handicap0 - ½
2 - 2½
1B162Gibbs, Peter0 - 1The Grinder139-23
2W116Rist, Trevor½ - ½Big Boss1171
3B112Smith, Jason½ - ½Raymondov101-11
4W106Clay, Terry1 - 0Harbidge, Drew67-39

Well done everyone,


Wednesday 12 June 2013

Wylie Cup, County Champs (Major), and Approaching Fixtures.

Wylie Cup

A draw...

11 JunHeathcote Arms 1W - BB - WWillowbrook 1
4 - 4
1185Sharpe, Graham½ - ½½ - ½Burgess, Ray174
2178Ganger, Rajan½ - ½0 - 1Deacon, Paul151
3167Bray, Dave1 - 0½ - ½Tate, Michael159
4151Harrison, Peter0 - 11 - 0Pattinson, John154

County Champs (Major)

My game from last Thursday in the second round of the Major. I left early and did not see the results in Raymondov's and The Grinder's games.

The Birstall Cup

This Thursday, we play at Hinckley.

Next Week

We play at home on Tuesday 18th against Wigston 1 in the Horrid Cup (Wigston have two teams in the Horrid).

Well Done Everyone,


Tuesday 4 June 2013

County Champs and Summer Cup Fixtures

County Championships

Not for the first time, a rival chesser had used this site to book up against me.

Things did not seem to be going well, but for a short while I thought I might just be able to mate my opponent in the middle of the board - if only...

Elsewhere is the room,

Raymondov lost to N Chalashnakov
Golf Man lost to Paul Findley
The Grinder drew with Andy Pike in the Challengers.

This week, it the Major and the Open Section of the Counties on Thursday. The draws have not yet been published.

Summer Cups

HA1 plays at home on Tuesday 11th against Willowbrook in the Wylie Cup.
HA2/3 plays at home against Wigston 1 in the Harrod. This will likely either be on the 11th, or the 18th.

Well done everyone,


Monday 27 May 2013

Summer Cups and County Championships

This week, we were pretty busy with the first round of the summer cups:

Chapman Cup

We took an absolute pasting from a stronger Wigston side.

21 MayHeathcote Arms 2vWigston 1GD
0 - 4111
Handicap1½ - 0
1½ - 4
1W139The Grinder0 - 1Cohen, Gerry17334
2B117Not as big boss0 - 1Eastlake, Charles1258
3W67Drew the younger0 - 1Winterton, Paul10639
4B50Golf Man0 - 1Poulacheris, Darren8030

Horrid Cup

A more respectable loss.

23 MayHinckley 1W - BB - WHeathcote Arms 1
5 - 3
1130Phillips, Howard0 - 1½ - ½Mad Mike146
2128Rayner, John½ - ½0 - 1The Grinder143
3123Smith, Jason1 - 01 - 0Raymondov99
4116Rist, T1 - 01 - 0Golf Man50

In the next round, we play at home to Wigston 1 before 21st June.

Wylie Cup

A win! HA1 often wins the Wylie outright. Could they do it again?

23 MayWigston 2W - BB - WHeathcote Arms 1
2½ - 5½
1173Horspool, Philip0 - 10 - 1Sharpe, Graham185
2156Dodds, Iain0 - 1½ - ½Ganger, Rajan178
3146Wylie, Stephen½ - ½0 - 1Bray, Dave167
4137Vaja, Ricky½ - ½1 - 0Harrison, Peter151

In the next round, we play at home to Willowbrook before 21st June.

County Championship News

Minor - Thursday 30th May 2013

This Thursday, I play black against Andy Carter; Golf Man plays white against Paul Findley; and Ray plays white against N Chalashkanov.


The second round has not yet been drawn.

Challengers - Thursday 30th May 2013

The Grinder plays black against Andy Pike.

The Open

The second round has not yet been drawn.

Club Night

A club night is unlikely this week owing to the County Championship games at Wigston on Thursday.

Eastlake Vs Ross

Oh dear...

Afterwards, I was asked why I played 34...h5 rather than taking the knight on d2 (which appears to be en pris). Ok, I could have resigned already and h5 was rubbish, but 35 Rxc4+ Kd5 (or Kd6, or Kd7) 36 Rd4+ and then 37 Rxd2 Game Over.

Eastlake Vs Ross after 34 Rg4

Well done everyone,