Sunday 24 March 2013

Minor and Major League Cup 5th Round

I got a bit aggressive early, but messed things up.

Chris had been doing alright against a new but decent Braunstone player.

Ray had been all over the reigning Atkins Minor Champion, but let it slip away. Fritz had Ray winning up until move 36.

Seeing that Ray was about to lose, Graham H offered his opponent a draw and had it accepted.

That Red Admiral butterfly was fluttering about the alley again - we must return it to Stan Parsons.

19 MarHeathcote Arms 2vBraunstone 2GD
½ - 3½28
Handicap½ - 0
1 - 3½
1W119Ross, Colin0 - 1Oliver, John1223
2B110Hewitt, Graham½ - ½Robinson, Anthony12010
3W91Beach, Ray0 - 1Hoch, Toby10615
4B80Johnson, Chris0 - 1Hamby, Stephen800

On the same evening in the alley, HA1 drew over the board, but lost on the handicap.

19 MarHeathcote Arms 1vLatimer 1GD
2 - 2-19
Handicap0 - ½
2 - 2½
1B196Sharpe, Graham½ - ½Nwachukwu, Chino172-24
2W174Ganger, Rajan1 - 0Potter, Karl160-14
3B131Manger, John½ - ½Foreman, Brian14918
4W129Ganger, S0 - 1Hill, Granville1301

Ray's game below:

This coming week: No matches, but a club night on Tuesday at the arms.

Well done everyone,


Saturday 16 March 2013

Syston 3 Vs HA3; Melton 1 Vs HA1

Syston 3 Vs HA3

Ray agreed to a draw when there was nothing in it.

Chris is down from Oxford for a few weeks. He was even on material into the late middle game, but a more passive rook put him at a disadvantage.

Gordon had some real pressure on the King's side and swapping off the pawns in front of Nando's king looked like it might have been a good plan. The side became locked, however, and the game turned in Syston's favour.

The all improved, super slow, Drew was our last man standing and managed a well deserved draw.

I was non-playing Captain, and The Grinder was also in attendance as a super sub.

12 MarSyston 3vHeathcote Arms 3
3 - 1
1B108Cresswell, Peter½ - ½Beach, Ray91
2W111Leonard, John1 - 0Johnson, Chris80
3B81Mundy, Rob½ - ½Harbidge, Drew60
4W80Morelli, Nando1 - 0Milner, Gordon43

Here is Gordon's game. Things looked fine until 20...h4

Whilst all this was going on, there was a very exciting match going on in the same room between Syston 1 and Ashby 3:

Brian Galligan had to work hard to draw. There was much blood in Cyril Johnson versus David Reynolds. A very much in form Peter Page (he beat me a few weeks ago) was always better against Stuart Hollingworth; and Vic Armstrong faught hard, but lost out against Parin Suchak.

12 MarSyston 1vAshby 3
1½ - 2½
1B181Galligan, Brian½ - ½Gibson, Paul143
2W133Johnson, Cyril0 - 1Reynolds, David142
3B119Suchak, Parin1 - 0Armstrong, Victor119
4W107Hollingworth, Stuart0 - 1Page, Peter83

Melton 1 Vs HA1

On Wednesday, HA1 scored a decent win against Melton 1.

13 MarMelton Mowbray 1vHeathcote Arms 1
1½ - 3½
1B190Denton, John0 - 1Bray, Dave169
2W172Reynolds, Tom½ - ½Ganger, Rajan174
3B165Billingham, John½ - ½Hewitt, Sean164
4W144Knight, Christopher½ - ½Harrison, Peter151
5B142Botteley, Gerald0 - 1Booley, Graham152

Next Week

Two Cup matches at home on Tuesday 19th March:

HA1 Vs Latimer 1, &
HA2 (2&3) Vs Braunstone 2

Well done everyone,


Thursday 7 March 2013

HA2 Vs Ashby 3

Another decent result for HA2:

05 MarHeathcote Arms 2vAshby 3
3½ - ½
1B152Booley, Graham1 - 0Tipper, Christopher138
2W147Cowley, Michael1 - 0Reynolds, David142
3B131Manger, John1 - 0York, Russell132
4W119Ross, Colin½ - ½Armstrong, Victor119

Here is my game against Vic Armstrong:

Well done everyone,


Tuesday 5 March 2013

Warwickshire Chess Congress

The Grinder Reports:

Gordon had agreed to join me, to play in his first congress. “It will be an experience” he said. Hacker Dave thought about it but declined. I suspect he has a distraction of the female variety.

I picked Gordon up at 8am on Saturday. We were both getting our excuses in early. “I was awake half the night with leg pains” said Gordon. “I haven’t slept properly all week. My wife’s got a throat infection and coughs at night” I whinged.

The venue was the Trident Centre, a college in Warwick. The sat nav got us there without incident.

Three games on the Saturday, two on Sunday. Time control 36 in 90 plus 15. So up to 10.5 hours play on Saturday.

I had entered the Intermediate (U145), Gordon the Minor (U120).

Round 1

I had a fairly straightforward win with the black pieces, my opponent resigning on move 37.

Gordon was obviously super confident, because he didn’t feel he needed his queen, giving it up for nothing early on.

Round 2

In the opening, the young chap I played seemed more interested in his friend’s game on the next table than his own. I found this a bit irritating. I think this is what led me to make a somewhat hasty sacrifice of a knight for two pawns with some attack. It was not particularly sound, as I had underestimated the power of a tempo gaining pawn move which blunted my follow up. I hung on, and actually could have won when he fell apart when we were both in time trouble. It ended in a draw though, probably a fair result.

During the game, I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of Colin ‘Biggg Bosss’ Ross. He had brought the family out on a trip to Kenilworth Castle, which is rather conveniently just up the road from the chess venue. Well planned Colin!

I didn’t see anything of Gordon’s game. He said he almost fell asleep and couldn’t remember anything about it. His score sheet, however, revealed that he was checkmated on the 18th move.

Round 3

Due to late starts (technology problems), this round started only about 40 minutes after the end of my second game. Luckily, this game was not overcomplicated for me. My opponent resigned on move 26.

Gordon opened well, but lost a pawn after some exchanges, and it all went downhill after that.

So, at the end of the first day, I was on 2.5 / 3. Gordon had drawn a blank, but was nevertheless in good spirits and looking forward to Sunday.

We walked out to the car at about 10:15 pm.

“Let me buy you a pint” said Gordon.

I reminded myself that I was already in the doghouse over this weekend. I was about to say I should really get back, when I found myself saying

“OK Gordon, I need one after a day like that.”

Gordon had earlier sniffed out the pub just over the road from the college, even though it could easily have been mistaken for a derelict building.

Now then my friends, what do you think this welcoming place might be called?

It was ‘The Heathcote.’ Spooky or what?

Anyway, we went in, got the beers, and sat having a chat about the day. Suddenly we became aware of a conversation between two local yobbos and the landlord. He was, it transpires, banning them for being involved in a fight in another pub, during which one of them stopped the fat end of a pool cue with his head.

They weren’t happy, and voices started being raised. Gordon and I were just getting ready to slip under the table to avoid flying glass, when the police walked in.

Got home at 12:30 am to a frosty reception, sleep 1 am, woke up 5 am. Tossed and turned till 6, got up knackered. Back at Gordon’s at 8 am. He was driving today.

Oh, this is supposed to be about chess isn’t it, almost forgot.

Round 4

I was paired with super kid James Kearney. 12 years old, already rated 139 and improving fast no doubt.

I had the white bits. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5. Here we go, I expected something tricky. The bloody Albin Counter Gambit. These kids always know these openings inside out and all the traps.

This is Howard Phillips’ favourite opening, and I vaguely remembered him giving me a quick rundown on it a few years ago. After 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. a3 Be6 6. e3 dxe3 7. Qxd8 Rxd8 8. Bxe3 I was solid.

I soon got a really strong position where his undeveloped kingside was virtually paralysed by my pawn on e5, knight on e4 and rook on the d file.

Unfortunately, I hesitated at the critical moment. I knew what I should play, but paranoia and doubt set in. I started to see risks that weren’t there (warning - chess can send you insane). I played a defensive move instead of going for the jugular, he consolidated and the game petered out into a draw.

Gordon had a much better game this time. 72 moves. It went to a rook and pawn endgame, where he fell foul of a runaway passed pawn for which he had to give up his rook. He was eventually mated by king and rook.

Round 5

Gordon was disappointed to have been given the bye in this round, but had the pleasure of watching the rest of us struggle.

I was on 3.0 /4, target score already reached, and felt rejuvenated. Only one player was in the lead with 3.5.

My opponent was a useful Chinese guy, Yu Chin Lim. It was an incredible game to play. Seemed to be heading for a draw, I offered it, he said play on. Two moves later he grabbed a pawn, only to find my rook move threatening his queen and a separate threat of mate. He had to sac his rook to allow his queen to escape with a check.

So, queen, rook and 3 pawns against queen and 5. My problem was time. I had under 5 minutes, he had plenty. He also had three pawns for his king to shelter behind, I had one.

I managed to manoeuvre to get mating threats whilst avoiding his checks. He was forced to give up queen for rook. I had under a minute left by this time. I had to mate him or lose on time, and my king was in the opposite corner and he had pawns. I managed to make the 15-20 moves needed to force mate in about 30 seconds.

The player on 3.5 lost, so I ended up sharing first place in the U145 with two other players on 4/5.


Hang in there folks, there’s more.

We needed a drink after that, so went back over the road to The Heathcote. Left the car in the college car park, as we did the night before. Came back to the car an hour later to find the exit barrier down and locked. Checked around, no other way out. Frantic phone calls to the organisers, it was not looking good.

Now don’t get me wrong, Gordon’s a lovely bloke and all that, but I didn’t really want to share bodily warmth with him to get through a freezing night. (And I’m sure the feeling was mutual).

We were getting desperate, when Gordon decided to go for a pee.

He came back and said he had found an unlocked wooden gate, leading onto a cycle path. He wondered whether the car would squeeze through. I did a quick measurement using my size 11’s, and there were a couple of inches to spare. Celebration time.

And some people think chess is boring…..