Tans end of season round-up

The Tans welcomed Jesmond Knights in the knowledge that a draw would see them safe – anything less would leave their fate in other hands.

Tim Wrigley quickly swept to victory – aggressive attacks on both sides of the board left Ron Plater’s King imperilled – one false move from Ron and it was all over, Tim had a convincing mating attack.

Jeremy Handley had a tough day at the office as John Turnock slowly outmanoeuvred him. John can be a terrible force on his day and this was one of them, Jeremy attempted to find some counterplay with a central break but John’s position was too strong.


David Wrigley organised his forces well in the opening and had decent attacking chances with lots of minor pieces to support his IQP.Under time pressure he sacrificed a pawn to guide the game into an opposite coloured bishop ending. Another pawn fell in the process and Prasath Malola judged the position better, eking out a win.


Derek Blair had the best of a tactical tussle with Amarvansh Singh, but he fell behind on the clock whilst the position remained very complicated. Each side had a rook and minor piece, and passed pawns and Derek couldn’t quite keep the game safe as his time dwindled to nought. A good game undeserving of the loss.


Dave Weldon had another double-edged affair. After a cagey beginning, the game lit up in tim trouble and once again Dave proved his mettle, mating Ed Dodds with seconds to spare.

Tynedale Tans 2-3 Jesmond Knights
David Wrigley 0-1 Malola Prasath (185)
Dave Weldon 1-0 Edward Dodds (178)
Jeremy Handley 0-1 John Turnock (171)
Tim Wrigley 1-0 Ron Plater (167)
Derek Blair 0-1 Amarvansh Singh (164)

So the Tans lose and their fate is not their own. However, on Friday the news trickled through that Gosforth Empire had been held to a draw by already-relegated Tynemouth Castles, which sees the Tans safe for another year.

The Tans have fought well this season, scoring 22 points from 53 games (42%). As a consequence almost all of our matches have been close fought affairs. It became clear fairly early on that two teams from 4 would go down and we have not helped our cause by losing to all the other three! Our points have all come against strong teams and apart from the inevitable loss to Leam Lane and a tough night in Morpeth, we haven’t been overwhelmed.

Player stats

David Wrigley  dld-dddwwdl p10 5pts av bd.1
David Weldon dldldllwlww p11 4.5pts av bd 1.9
Jeremy Handley     -dldllld-wl p9 2.5pts av bd 3
Tim Wrigley   —ldldxwdw p7 3.5pts av bd 3.7
Derek Blair   ddwldw—ll  p8 3.5pts av bd 4.3
Peter Crichton   dddd—xd– p5 2.5pts av bd 4.6
Bruce Reed l———- p1 0pts av bd 5
Dave Foster sr ——–l– p1 0pts av bd 5
Phil Taylor ——d—- p1 0.5pts av bd 5
Overall: won 10 drawn 24 loss 19

The draw count is impressive! This is largely down to Peter “Stopper” Crichton who hasn’t lost a game (but hasn’t won one either!) and David Wrigley who managed to draw 60% of his games. The points have been fairly well shared out otherwise – a big thank you to all who’ve played.

Until next season!

Club Championship March 2013

The all-play-all phase of the championship is now over. The final scores are as follows:
1. Alex Ashworth 6/7
2. Bruce Reed 6/8
3. Derek Blair 5/7
4. Peter Crichton 5/8
5. Dave Foster sr 4.5/6
6. Jeremy Handley 4.5/7
7. Steve Larkin 4.5/8
8. Phil Taylor 4/6
9. Malcolm Reid 3/4
10. Karl Skowronski 3/7
11. Peter Booker 2.5/8
12. David Wrigley 2/3
13. Tim Wrigley 1.5/3
14. Christine Moorcroft 1.5/7
15. Raoul Weston 1/1
16. Dave Scott 1/3
17. Damian Rudge 1/8
18. Dave Foster jr 1/9
It will be immediately apparent that more players have taken part and more games have been played than at any time since the championships started in this format – many thanks to all for this support.
Now we enter the knockout phase of the championship, involving the top 8 players, less Dave Foster senior who has withdrawn, making way for Malcolm in eighth spot. In accordance with the rules, this gives the following line-up in the quarter-finals:
A. Alex v Malcolm
B. Derek v Steve (for the third year running!)
C. Bruce v Phil
D. Peter C v Jeremy
If humanly possible, the quarter-finals should be completed by the end of April.
Good luck to all concerned and commiserations to those who did not make the cut.

Monarchs vs HaydonBridge 12/3/13

Monarchs vs HaydonBridge 12/3/13

This was an important match for both teams – HaydonBridge to lift themselves off the bottom of the league and achieve the double over Tynedale teams; and Monarchs to stay in the title race.  The Monarchs needed to win more than 3 games due to the handicap system.

Steve Larkin was first to finish with an efficient win on Board 4 against rapidly improving Damian Hurst.

 On Board 2 Derek Blair opened with a Veresov Attack which was confounded by solid play by Christine Moorhouse’s aggressive defence.  With the pieces fairly even, and White’s king uncastled, Black tried to develop her queen side as a precursor to attack.  However, her bishop and king were caught on the same row by White whose rook gratefully wiped out the bishop after the forced king move.  With a second rook able to penetrate Black’s position a resignation was inevitable.

Meanwhile Board 1 featured the usual titan battle between David Wrigley and Ian MackayIan opened with the English but had to adapt to Black’s Leningrad Dutch.  Despite losing a pawn and having two pieces swapped off for a rook and pawn, David achieved active play.  Later he won an exchange which led to a quality mating attack.

The match outcome therefore depended on Board 3 the last game to finish and featuring HaydonBridge’s veteran captain David Tulip with white against Malcolm Reid; Or in chess openings a classical English attack against an Irregular defence.  On this occasion and after a complex struggle featuring uncastled kings and unbalanced positions Malcolm forced David’s resignation.

Monarchs breathed a sigh of relief with the 4 – 0 win.


Once upon a time in Cumbria

Once upon a time there was an ageing chess player whose enthusiasm for the game far outstripped his ability, but who nonetheless dreamed of success one day. And so he entered the 2013 Cumbrian championships, in the bargain basement section for players graded under 125. The event was held at the Crown Hotel, Eamont Bridge, just outside Penrith on March 15-17th. Entries were disappointingly low in all three sections, the best supported being the Open with 16 entries, while the Major (under 160) and Minor had just ten entries each. Of those ten, the Ageing Player’s modest grade ranked him fifth.
He was grateful for a gentle opening round on the Friday evening, when he had black against Peter Hanks of Ulverston, graded 66. White blundered a bishop for a pawn on move 8, and further miscalculations followed, permitting the A.P. to queen a pawn. However, white was in no mood to resign, even when he was down by a Queen, rook and bishop to two pawns! Fortunately, black was able to trap his king quite rapidly, otherwise play might have continued till the cut-off point of 11p.m.! 1/1
Saturday morning saw the A.P. with white against Peter Blackmore of Cockermouth, graded 100. The two had played each other several times before and their games had always been close affairs, this one being no exception. The Four Knights opening was very cagey on both sides, with Peter striking first, swapping bishop and knight for rook and pawn, thereby weakening white’s castled king. However, despite doubled rooks on the f file, Peter was unable to break through. When white eventually launched his own kingside attack, it led to a flurry of exchanges from which white emerged with a knight and 3 pawns to black’s 5 pawns. It was just a matter of time before the extra mobility of white’s knight took its toll and Peter resigned. 2/2
On Saturday afternoon, the A.P. had black against the top seed, Chris Underhill of Barrow, graded 124. Black played what he thought was a clever variation of the Benko Gambit, but instead of emerging a pawn down with a strong attack, he emerged two pawns down with no attack at all! White’s unopposed pawns on the open a and b files were a particular worry but, more by good luck than good judgement, black managed to eliminate them and the game petered out into a dead drawn position – phew! This left the A.P. on 2.5/3, half a point off the pace being set by Kurt Moreby of Jesmond, who had a perfect 3.
Sure enough, Sunday morning brought an encounter between the A.P., with white, and Kurt, graded 123. The game was one of the most curious the A.P. had ever come across. His e4 was met by b6, which was duly followed by Bb7 and e6. In no time at all huge pressure was being exerted on white’s e pawn, forcing the A.P. to forget about castling and concentrate on plugging the gaps in his position by using his Queen. His position was defensible, but only just, when on move 12 Kurt played his Queen to g5, where it could be – and was! – taken by white’s f pawn! Kurt resigned on the spot, giving white another win, but hardly a deserved one. 3.5/4 and the A.P. leads the field!
In the final round, on the Sunday afternoon, the A.P. had black against young Holden Davis of Penrith, graded 86, who was on 3/4 and was therefore one of only two players – the other being Kurt – who could overtake the A.P. Holden played a Tarrasch in answer to the A.P.’s French, but allowed his bishop to be trapped on move 9 and had to swap it for a pawn. Later exchanges enhanced the significance of that lost bishop and on move 44 Holden resigned, when a bishop and two pawns down in a clearly lost ending.
So the A.P. finished on 4.5/5, a full point ahead of the field. It was the first time he had ever won a tournament, which only goes to show that sometimes dreams do come true!

Reivers v South Shields B

This match was played at the Dyvels on Tuesday March 19th, with the following line-up:
1. Phil Taylor (126) v Ben Wood (127)
2. Bruce Reed (121) v Stan Johnson (119)
3. Dave Foster sr (117)v Terry Scollan (u)
4. Alex Ashworth (113) v Jack Burnett (u)
5. Peter Booker (77) v Default
First, many thanks to Peter for agreeing to stand in for Damian, and for getting us off to a flying start, and for accepting most graciously that he would not after all get a game! 1-0
Last to start and first to finish was Alex, who destroyed his opponent in eleven moves with an unopposed Queen and Knight attack, before going on to play a club championship game with Peter B! 2-0
Much later, but still quite early in the evening, Dave’s opponent resigned in the face of unanswerable pressure on his King from two rooks, a bishop and a knight, following some very neat attacking play by Dave… and already the match was won! 3-0
A lot later still, Phil emerged victorious from a hard tussle, in which his favoured Sicilian O’Kelly opening served him well, before a decisive skewering of Queen and Rook paved the way to an impressive win. 4-0
Bruce’s game was closely contested throughout, with Stan always having the edge, both in material terms (he went a pawn up early on), but above all positionally as he put Bruce under sustained pressure. Eventually this led to Bruce misplacing his queen and allowing Stan in to checkmate him. 4-1
A welcome victory and two much needed match points in the drive to achieve a modicum of respectability in division 2!

Hobbits cut down to size by folk from the ‘shire

Hexhamshire’s(ish) finest Tynedale Tans have hit decent form of late. A default-assisted victory over Jesmond Rookies and a spirited draw with Tynemouth Trojans meant that relegation is now merely a pressing concern, rather than a formality. Match Points against Tynemouth’s other first team, Tynemouth Hobbits, would mean a good chance of survival.

We arrived in good spirits and bolstered by Jeremy and Derek’s returns from warmer pastures.

Derek Blair played a new invention, the novo-Portuguese attack, and picked up a pawn from Lara Barnes fairly quickly. A miscalculation during a tricky heavy piece exchange left him a knight down, and Lara won efficiently. 0-1

Jeremy Handley found himself under some pressure against Michael Hubbard. However, he was blessed with a clear defensive plan, whilst Michael had too many options to choose from – the tide turned swiftly and the rest of the game was a comfortable attack for Jeremy and his position was soon overwhelming. An excellent point against a super-solid player.

1-1 and all to play for!

Clive Waters’ opening move order meant David Wrigley was soon out of book and uncomfortable. Clive didn’t seem to like his position either and both sides seemed happy to simplify the position. A level quadruple knight ending appeared on the board – David was well behind on the clock, but Clive (somewhat generously) accepted David’s draw offer.


Tim Wrigley was under the cosh against John Clarke but did his usual trick of resisting and making the most of his defensive opportunities – John missed a subtle tactical blow to win material, but the resulting position would have been very messy.  John offered a draw when the position was simplifying into a level ending with Q&N apiece. After a quick scan of the game on board 2, Tim accepted.

2-2, it all comes down to board 2.

Dave Weldon continues to play the most exciting chess in the division. His game was a tactical blaze: A piece sac for an attack on Antonio Moneva-Jordan’s king looked pretty dangerous, but Antonio resisted well and his position held together. The position was so complex that both players were moving slowly. Under time-pressure Dave managed to reignite his attack and Antonio couldn’t find a good defence – Dave delivered checkmate with three minutes to spare.


Tynemouth Hobbits 2-3 Tynedale Tans
Clive Waters (201) ½-½ David Wrigley
Antonio Moneva-Jordan (174) 0-1 Dave Weldon
Michael Hubbard (166) 0-1 Jeremy Handley
John Clarke (162) ½-½ Tim Wrigley
Lara Barnes (159) 1-0 Derek Blair

An unexpected victory!

Title courtesy Gandalf Rudge!

Dyvels v Austins 5th March 2013

With two matches against each South Tyne team in the season there have been plenty of chances to get to know other teams and players.

This match was a chance for the Dyvels to even the score, having lost to Austins earlier in the season. To win (over the boards, and on handicap) Dyvels needed 2.5 points from 4 games.

In the first game to finish Peter Booker (handicap 8) was at a strong disadvantage playing one of South Tyne’s most reliable players this season, Drew Millar, on board 4.

Although Peter often plays the Queen’s Gambit on this occasion he appears to have been thrown by Drew’s use of the Symmetrical (or Austrian) Defence (d4, d5; c4, c5)

“I should have handled it better”, explained Peter,  “but I was surprised, but failed to castle and failed to chase off his queen which he put on the a file immediately. He quickly brought up his two knights and a bishop and castled. I had no attack plans that I could develop and got cramped and confused trying to defend. I was completely outplayed and swiftly executed.”   1 – 0 to Austins.

The second game to finish was that of Tim Wrigley on board 1, in which Tim played a French Defence – exchange variation, which has a reputation for grandmaster draws – against Chris Royle.

“However,” as Tim explained, “Chris played an early c4, and then castled Queenside, which seemed anything but drawish. He also pushed his c pawn to c5, which blocked the middle, and gave me a clear strategy. I fianchettoed my King’s bishop and pushed the Queens side pawns. Although I had a clear advantage, I was getting short on time, and unsure how to continue, until an attractive Rook sacrifice won the day.”

Playing through the game later it looked as if Tim encouraged Chris to choose options that increasingly limited his choice of options for his pieces, and took full advantage of Chris’s decision to castle Queenside with a nice combination of pawns pushed on, and a nice combination of knight, rook and queen closing in to secure the win.  1 -1 the game score.

TW Rook sacrifice

Black (Tim) to play and win

On board 3 the two team captains, Bruce Reed and Bill Hardwick, played a game of two halves. In the first half Bill attacked strongly with pawns, knights and queen bearing down on black’s Kingside castled king while Bruce steadily defended using everything he could muster after an early (rash) Queen foray on the white Queenside turned to nought.

 In the second half an unwise choice of a square for Bill’s Queen (as he tried to find another way through the black defence) lead to a pin, an exchange of minor pieces, a won pawn, then an exchange winning a rook for bishop, followed by further material gains, and the game was over.  2 -1 to Dyvels.

 Phil Taylor and Bruce Wallace are fairly evening matched (graded 120 to 115), with Bruce having had the better of previous encounters between the players.

The game started evenly. “I have been trying out the Queens Pawn game sliding into a Kings Indian”, explained Phil, “and black matched my moves, the both of us being in book until move 7. With both of us finishing the King-side development the Queen side came into play with Queens mirroring each other on c2 and c7. I developed multiple threats against blacks a, c & e-pawns and something had to go. But it didn’t for a long while.”

Knowing that he needed a win to save the match (and secure a win for Austins on handicap) Bruce showed signs of the pressure, and with 10 minutes on his clock to Phil’s 30, he made “a minor mistake” that Phil capitalised on, winning a piece.

“Black resigned immediately, feeling the position was lost – knowing my propensity for blunders I’m not so sure. It was a tight game with threats on both sides but I managed to keep my opponent defending for the most part and eventually it paid off.”

This match finished  3-1  to Dyvels, and 30 to 23 including handicap points. With a loss to Austins away, and a win at home, the result evened up the score.

Dyvels           Austins  
  H’cap  Result  Points  Points  Result   H’cap
Tim Wrigley 2 1 4 0 0 Chris Royle 4
Phil Taylor        4 1 4 0 0 Bruce Wallace 5
Bruce Reed                     4 1 4 0 0 Bill Hardwick 5
Peter Booker                             8 0 0 4 1 Drew Millar 5
Totals 18   12 4     19
Combined scores   30     23    

Club Championship update

Here is the current state of play as at March 6th 2013:
Bruce 5/7
Peter C 5/8
Dave F sr 4.5/6
Steve 4.5/8
Alex 4/5
Derek 4/6
Phil 4/6
Jeremy 3.5/6
Malcolm 3/4
Karl 3/7
Peter B 2.5/6
David Wr 2/3
Tim 1.5/2
Raoul 1/1
Dave Scott 1/5
Dave F jr 1/8
Damian 1/8
So at this point in time everyone from Jeremy upwards makes the cut to the knockout stage. There are still three Tuesdays left before the cut-off date of midnight on March 26th, but of course some of these will be taken up by matches for some people. Who, if anyone, will make a late run? Have Jeremy and co done enough to be safe? Watch this space!!!