Club Championship 31/10/12

As at the end of October the pecking order is as follows (edited version to include a missing game):

Steve            4/5

Phil              3/4

Dave F sr    2.5/3

Derek          2/3

Jeremy       1.5/2

Peter B       1.5/3

Bruce           1/1

Peter C        1/2

Karl              1/3

Dave F jr     1/4

Malcolm   0.5/1

David Wr    0/1

Christine    0/3

Damian      0/3

Scarborough Chess Congress

I entered the Foundation section, for players graded 120 0r under, and found I was seeded 21st of the 62 entries. My first game, on the Friday night, was against Michael Kitching of Northallerton, 49th seed with a grade of 90. I pressed from the start, picked up a pawn, then a knight and reached a forced mate on move 22. The game lasted just an hour and a quarter and I was relieved to get an early night after a long day.

On Saturday morning I had black against J. G. Clayton of Leyland, 45th seed with agrade of 95. This was a real humdinger of a game which lasted almost three hours. White castled long and black short, so both sides pushed attacks against the opposite king. I was fortunate in that I had a small edge with my attack, given that the a and b files were open and I could exploit them more quickly than could my opponent on the closed f, g and h files. In the end that edge told and white resigned on move 34 when facing serious material loss and, possibly, a mating attack.

By the afternoon I was feeling a bit punch-drunk and found myself playing white against the equal top seed, Tony Robinson, graded 120. He opened by fianchettoing both his bishops, allowing me a big centre. Then I was able to trap one of his knights for a pawn, whereafter I built up a kingside attack. Mental fatigue was kicking in and trying to maintain mental concentration was a full-time job, but I cranked up the pressure on his king and he resigned on move 25, by which time we had been playing for two and a half hours.

So here I am on 3/3 and it all feels a bit unreal, especially after I had played so poorly at Morpeth just a couple of days earlier. Will tomorrow bring a reality check? Incidentally I note that someone in the Foundation section with a grade of 0 (yes, zero) has two and a half points. What’s the betting the missing half point was a bye?!

Sunday brings me back to earth with a bump. In the morning I have white against Barry Williams of Aughton, Sheffield, another player graded 120. It’s a long game (three and a half hours), evenly balanced till move 29 when I miscalculate a complex exchange and emerge a knight down. I struggle on, not helped by a couple of weak moves, and succumb on move 52. My opponent will go on to record a straight 5/5.

On Sunday afternoon the final round sees me drawn against the zero-graded player mentioned above, young Thomas Hill, who it seems lives in France and plays for a club there (and so ought, presumably, to have an elo grade?). He certainly knows his onions and plays at a rate that would make DF senior look positively sedentary, witness the fact that we played 43 moves each in a total time of one hour fifty minutes (most of it mine). Pieces flew off the board from early on and when the dust settled I found myself a pawn up in a rook and 5 against rook and 4 ending. There should have been a way through but I couldn’t find it and, terrified of blowing it completely, I settled for a draw.

Normally speaking a final score of three and a half out of five would have left me delighted, but on this occasion I felt a shade disappointed after such a splendid start, though it did bring me a share of a grading prize. It’s the second time I have played this congress and I certainly hope it won’t be the last. The venue is excellent, the sea is just outside the window and the fish and chips are superb!

Leam Lane 3.5- 1.5 Tynedale Tans (Or: How to lose a chess team in Gateshead)

Peter Crichton was left wondering whether or not he’d have to take on the whole of League champions Leam Lane’s awe-inspiring first team, as David Wrigley’s failure to master a sat-nav meant his Tans comrades had a rather fraught journey round Gateshead and arrived twenty minutes late.

Panic over, apologies given, and with the clocks sportingly only just started, the match could get underway.

Jeremy Handley, on his first outing for the Tans after heading a Reivers team the week before, was quite undaunted by his clock deficit and Kyrill Gara’s imposing grade (173) – Jeremy bashed his way into an ending a pawn up, and took a very valuable draw.

Derek Blair’s contribution will be uploaded shortly, though he did well to diffuse Richard Doyle (174)’s play and his draw is another great result. His opening choices are also to be admired (no secrets given away here- gotta keep your powder dry!!!)

Dave Weldon writes of his game:”N Tavoularis as white played a strange kind of Birds opening variation (1 f4 d5  2 c4) and gained a small advantage going into the middle game. Alas there was to be no endgame – on move 14 I embarked upon a rather rash material squandering combination at the end of which I could only resign.” After the game Nick pointed out to Dave that his grade will be approx 220 at the next count – fairly terrifying.

Peter Crichton’s effort against Bob Forsythe (138) was almost entirely missed by DW – more to follow, but another creditable draw!

Which left David Wrigley  needing to win to secure a match point! In David’s way was IM Jonathan Hawkins (251). David did his best to drag it out (and played some extremely boring moves) but Jonathan’s superior positional sense meant he jostled David into a lost position, then found an attractive tactical finish.

The journey home was much less exciting!

Leam Lane Aces 3½-1½ Tynedale Tans

Jonathan Hawkins 1-0 David Wrigley
Nick Tavoularis 1-0 Dave Weldon
Kyril Gara ½-½ Jeremy Handley
Richard Doyle ½-½ Derek Blair
Robert Forsythe ½-½ Peter Crichton

Reivers pipped

On Wednesday October 17th the Reivers faced a Morpeth B side weakened by two absentees. The Reivers were strengthened by the inclusion of Jeremy Handley, drafted in given that up to ten of the Reivers’ squad were unavailable! The line-up was

1. Les Whittle (148) v Jeremy Handley ((151)

2. James Chadwick (135) v Phil Taylor (126)

3. Dennis Patterson (126) v Alex Ashworth (113)

4. Harry Robinson (116) v Malcolm Reid (110)

5. Dave Watson (107) v Steve Larkin (107)

A close match was in prospect and so it proved. Phil was one of the first to finish and chalked up an impressive win. His match report appears elsewhere on the site. 0-1  Alex was involved in an advance variation of the French which ended up with an endgame involving a lot of pawns on both sides locking each other out. 0.5-1.5. Malcolm screamed out of the blocks and soon had a 3 pawn advantage. A win looked assured until … he blundered his queen! 1.5-1.5. Steve likewise cruised to an early advantage of two pawns, but then played much too passively, getting himself into awful difficulties on the kingside before being completely outplayed in the enggame. 2.5-1.5. Jeremy’s game went to the wire. He had the initiative for much of the game but Les was resourceful in defence. With Jeremy pressing and very little time left on either clock, Les offered a draw which Jeremy accepted. Subsequent analysis suggested that Jeremy might have had a mate in two! 3-2. This was a match the Reivers could and should have won, but then we don’t really want promotion, do we?

Tynedale Tans 2-3 Tynemouth Castles

The Tans were undone by the narrowest of margins at the hands of newly promoted Tynemouth Castles.

Peter Crichton and Dave Mear were in a tearing hurry to get off the board, Peter prudently accepting a draw in a rook ending where he was no better.

Derek Blair and Keith Rockett are two entertaining tacticians who managed to neutralise each other on board three without much fuss.

David Wrigley was under the cosh when Dave Jarema, who had an advantage in space and development but an ugly bishop, offered a draw. David calmly bit his hand off.

So the score was 1.5-1.5 and Dave Weldon and Bruce Reed were both a pawn to the good against Dave Hair and Ray Garside respectively. Dave Hair found a cute tactic which led Dave Weldon into a opposite coloured bishop ending where Dave’s extra pawn didn’t count for anything. Bruce, under nasty pressure for the majority of his game, did very well to turn the tide of his Ray’s kingside attack. He consolidated his pawn advantage, but Ray’s pawn structure was solid and his pieces well placed to defend. Bruce’s flag fell before he could wrench the position open.

Tynedale Tans 2 – 3 Tynemouth Castles

David Wrigley ½-½ Dave Jarema (159)
Dave Weldon ½-½ Dave Hair (146)
Derek Blair ½-½ Keith Rockett (138)
Peter Crichton ½-½ Dave Mear (116)
Bruce Reed 0-1 Ray Garside (116)

The season starts here!

Reivers win opener

The Reivers faced Tynemouth Warriors at the Dyvels on Tuesday October 2nd, with the following line-up:

1. Phil Taylor (126) v Richard Oxnard (133)

2. Bruce Reed (121) v Dennis Beagarie (121)

3. Steve Larkin (107) v Alan Harris (114)

4. Dave Foster jr ((82) v Bob Batten (108)

5. Karl Skowronski (u) v Peter Combellack (92)

Steve quickly despatched Alan when a rook for pawn sacrifice led rapidly to a kingside mate. 1-0

Phil allowed Richard to skewer queen and rook with a bishop but emerged unscathed with a brilliant reply, pushing a pawn which attacked simultaneously queen and bishop. No doubt taken aback by this, Richard offered a draw not long afterwards and Phil took it. 1.5-0.5

Karl, in his league debut, found himself in a queen, knight and 2 pawns v queen rook and 2 pawns ending. He fought long and hard but was eventually unable to prevent the knight going. Still he kept harrassing Peter’s king, but in due course the inevitable forced exchange occurred and the game was lost. 1.5-1.5 (Sterling work by Damian, keeping Karl’s scoresheet)

Dave’s game was a close one, with Bob enjoying a space advantage, until Dave took the opportunity to check and thereby win a rook. Bob resigned with mate imminent. An excellent result for Dave, who came into the team for his dad at the very last minute. 2.5-1.5

Bruce’s game went to the wire. He played much of it a piece down, but harried Dennis for all he was worth in the later stages. While Dennis was able to force a couple of swaps, he ran out of time and offered the draw which gave us the match. 3-2


Carlisle Rapidplay

A gallant trio of members ventured west for the Carlisle Rapidplay last Sunday. Bruce and Peter C had hopes in the under 150 class whereas Dave F Snr planned to take advantage of his outrageous handicap in the under 120 category. Bruce and Peter’s hopes were dashed at an early stage when it was announced that, because of a shortage of numbers, their category was being absorbed into the Open section [details of their performances are available on request]. David however performed admirably and at the end was only half a point behind the winners with his prize money covering the cost of his lunch.