Bulletin No 44

Tynedale Chess Club: e-bulletin no 44 (1.12.11)

Northumbria League division one

Two matches to report here. The first was at home to Tynemouth Hobbits on November 8th. I am once again indebted to David Wrigley for this report and the next one.

“The Tans first outing against title pretenders was an interesting one, but grading won out in the end.

Jeremy Handley, wearing Tans colours for the first time, took the sensible option of an early draw against John Clarke. Their position was balanced (much like the match position) and both sides were solid (a far cry from the match position!). 0.5-0.5

Alex Ashworth was next, suffering a torrid time at the hands of Alec McFarlane. A couple of Alex’s pawns went begging, and he couldn’t find a way back 0.5-1.5

Dave Weldon’s bloodlust continues unabated. He got a nice space advantage in the centre, so Michael’s pieces were a bit cut off from his king. Dave found a pretty temporary knight sac to bust open Michael’s centre and picked up his defensively important king’s bishop. After that, it was only a matter of time before Dave’s attack hit home. Another clinical display. 1.5-1.5

Clive Waters had David Wrigley in serious trouble in the opening, but David rode his luck a bit and found himself with an appreciable advantage. Clock management was his downfall. Clive managed to make things murky and David’s queen relieved herself of active duty. 1.5-2.5

Tim had a double-edged battle with Lara. In a slightly unusual opening line, Tim accepted doubled f-pawns and left his king in the centre in return for the bishop pair and a half-open g-file winking at Lara’s king. Lara’s play in the centre proved strong and, as material was swapped off, her positional advantage grew, though Tim maintained some counter-threats against her king. In time trouble, and aware he needed a point to save a match point, Tim over-stretched a passed pawn which Lara munched (she could also have munched his queen at about this point, but decided not to!). Tim had no chance of winning the resulting endgame, but the chances of a draw were decent, but he slipped and Lara decisively snagged a couple of pawns.1.5-3.5

We was robbed! In reality, these were good performances all round, but we came up against a better side.

Tans 1.5-3.5 Hobbits
David Wrigley 0-1 Clive Waters (186)
Dave Weldon 1-0 Michael Hubbard (173)
Tim Wrigley 0-1 Lara Barnes (156)
Jeremy Handly 0.5-0.5 John Clarke (155)
Alex Ashworth 0-1 Alec McFarlane (ug)”

Next up were Morpeth A in an away match on November 23rd.

“Morpeth A. Genuine title contenders. Let’s  ‘ave ‘em! They’d won all their games so far against teams of about Tansian™ calibre. Would we provide a sterner test?

Jeremy made his return to olde Morpethe as an enemy player! He and John Horton agreed a grandmasterly draw in a position Jeremy later described as “relatively boring”. For the sake of inter-club relations, this was definitely the right result. 0.5-0.5

Peter was up against tactical demon Phil Eastlake, and after some opening transposition battles they ended up in a sort of French defence. Phil smushed his queenside pawns forward and Peter was too cramped to muster enough counterplay to hold him back. Material ruin followed.0.5-1.5

Dave Weldon writes of his game “Playing Black I defended against Mike Smyth’s Double Fianchetto Queen’s Pawn opening with a solid c6-d5-e6 pawn triangle and gained a small edge a few moves later with the c6-c5 pawn push. Black’s subsequent development came easier than White’s and the small edge was maintained throughout 3 sets of minor piece exchanges. The game headed towards a heavy pieces plus bishop ending, and just as White managed to centralise his bishop with equality he unexpectedly blundered a whole rook and resigned immediately.” Dave is seemingly unstoppable at the moment. 1.5-1.5

David Wrigley had a peculiar game against Roger Coathup. Determined to get out of normal opening lines, David was quickly positionally kaput. Roger pinched a pawn that was going begging, but released his grip on the position. David, by now in time trouble, sacrificed a knight to open up Roger’s kingside and grabbed back a few pawns, but when the dust settled Roger’s king looked safe and his material advantage remained. Roger relaxed at this point, and fell into a cheap 2 move-trap, losing queen for bishop, and David’s queen swept up in a blitz finish. 2.5-1.5

Derek had an exciting game against Les Whittle. He sacrificed a knight for two pawns, then casually won another two, before exchanging a hatful of material to end up in a 6 pawns vs knight and 2 pawn ending. Derek won the knight for two pawns and had a completely won position when his flag fell. The result is a real pity for Derek after an excellent swashbuckling effort.


A match point nobody saw coming! It could’ve been more…

Morpeth A 2.5-2.5 Tans
Roger Coathup (200) 0-1 David Wrigley
Mike Smyth (172) 0-1 Dave Weldon
John Horton (150) 0.5-0.5 Jeremy Handley
Phil Eastlake(149) 1-0 Peter Crichton
Les Whittle (146) 1-0 Derek Blair “

An excellent result for the Tans and proof positive that they truly belong in division one!

Northumbria League division two

The Reivers faced the division leaders, Jesmond Rookies, at the Dyvels on November 15th.  With a 100% record after three matches, the Rookies looked as though they would provide a stern test. The sides lined up as follows:

1. Jeremy Handley (141) Chris Wardle (167)
2. Derek Blair (138) Robert Archer (158)
3. Phil Taylor (124) Michael Beaty (147)
4. Bruce Reed (123) Jason Carter (u)
5. Steve Larkin (119) Carl Schneider (u)

First to finish was Jeremy, who got stuck in a bad line of the Sicilian. Chris exploited the situation skilfully and, as Jeremy put it somewhat ruefully afterwards, “I felt as though I was at least two moves behind for most of the game.” 0-1 

On board five, your editor eventually (move 50) managed to mate his opponent, who had been drafted in at the last moment and was an unknown quantity not only to us but to his team-mates as well. He played soundly enough and the game came down to rook and five pawns (white) against rook and seven (black). Your editor had no idea how to turn those two extra pawns to advantage but, fortunately for him, Carl accepted an exchange of rooks, after which it was plain sailing. 1-1

On board three, Phil looked to have one of those complex games he loves, with not so much as a pawn missing after an hour’s play. He writes: “I was playing Michael Beaty  and probably let his grade affect my game. I was too cautious in my response to his Queen’s Gambit and consequently locked my white squared bishop at home with an early e6. The next mistake I made was tactical, swapping my knight for his dark squared bishop on g3 allowing him to open the h-file to his rook as he hadn’t castled yet. Finally, chess can sometimes be a race as to who can get their attack in quicker and he managed his king-side attack skilfully, quickly locking my Q-side pieces away from the defence of my king. All over by move 21 – no blunders – just a lesson in how to play chess better than I am at present. Hope I learn from it.” 1-2

On board four, Bruce appeared to have a pretty even game, till a miscalculation let him down. He writes:”Our first six moves were, in effect, the mirror image of each other. As the game developed, however, my bishops became more mobile than his, combining with my centralised rook and queen on the flank to attack his pawns, rooks and queen as they combined in the central ranks. His bishops (fianchettoed on b7 and g7) came into their own after I miscalculated on move 23, however, and his nicely combined pieces created a passed pawn. My resignation came on move 28 before a combination which would have led to his getting an extra queen. It was one of those games where I thought my attack was solid, but his defence matched me, and then overwhelmed me when I made a crucial error of judgement.” 1-3

At this point the match was lost, but that did not prevent Derek battling on in fine style, forcing an excellent win with an unstoppable attack on his opponent’s king, which Derek had bottled up into a corner. 2-3

The final result, against a side which looks likely to be the runaway winners of the division, looks fairly respectable, but the Reivers will need a few match points soon if they are to avoid finishing embarrassingly near the bottom of the table.  And indeed their next match, away to Jesmond Wasps on Dec 2nd, provided one point, though not the two which might have been hoped for. My thanks to stand-in captain Phil Taylor who not only transported the team but also filled me in on the outcome, which was as follows:

1. Z. Zhang 0.5-0.5 Jeremy Handley
2. W. Wilkinson 1-0 Alex Ashworth
3. J. Dalton 0-1 Dave Foster sr
4. K. Krishnan 0-1 Phil Taylor
5. P. Oisen (?) 1-0 Peter Booker

As Phil observes, Jeremy was up against the best nine-year old in the country (grade 135 and rising fast!). Phil had a comfortable win against a poor player graded just 79, and Peter was a piece up and then somehow found himself a piece down! As for Dave, he has provided the following delightful account of his game:

“We arrived at the school to be treated to the view of a full layout of chess boards across a dozen tables, laid on for a regular junior congress at the weekend…amazing. There were other matches going on but eventually Paul Bielby pulled the Wasps together to commence their game against us. I was on board three playing white against Joseph Dalton. He seemed a bit young, I was surprised not to see a bottle of warm milk on the table, his high chair and a creche in the corner of the room. However, youth does not mean beginner and caution had to be the order of the day, NOT, I played my usual game and threw an aggressive Ruy Lopez at him, won the pawn in the centre and dominated his kings side. He had to lose a rook exchange as I pushed my extra (and) supported kings pawn. I made a slight mistake and exchanged a knight on Kings Rook 6 which allowed him a potential mating attack later in the game, however in doing so he trapped his king on the rook side allowing me a very cheeky and obviously unseen mate. Very fulfilling. No doubt Joseph will get full revenge at some point in the very near future.”

South Tyne League

Two results to report here. The first, involving the Monarchs, comes courtesy of acting captain Tim Wrigley:

“Last season’s S Tyne League winners Tynedale Monarchs fell to their second consecutive defeat against an Austins side from Carlisle. First to finish was Dave Foster Jnr, who lost a bruising pawn endgame to Drew Millar. Fallowfield favourite Tim Wrigley once again played a variation of the English Opening he didn’t know and had to rely on native wit to pull through against Bill Hardwick. Raoul Weston was caught with a weak back rank when winning against Camas Millar, which left David Wrigley to win a tight match against Bruce Wallace. Under the S Tyne handicap system, this meant a loss even though the scores were level across the board :

Monarch H/c   H/c Austins
David Wrigley 1 4-0 3 Bruce Wallace
Tim Wrigley 2 4-0 5 Bill Hardwick
Raoul Weston 6 0-4 5 C Millar
Dave Foster Jnr 7 0-4 5 Drew Millar
Total 16 8-8 18

It is looking very much as though the three-year reign of the Monarchs as league champions is coming to an end, and perhaps that is no bad thing. But nothing, it seems, can deflect the Wrigleys from their winning ways!

The second result involves the Dyvels’ match against Austins, which resulted in a draw. Thanks to Bruce Reed for the following report:

Austins       Dyvels
B Wallace 3 0-4 3 J Handley
B Hardwick 5 2-2 3 D Foster Snr
C Millar 5 0-4 4 P Taylor
D Millar 5 4-0 4 B Reed
  18 6-10   14
  24 24    

My game against Drew Millar was the decisive one. In the opening Drew combined his pieces well at the White end of a Sicilian, with lots of central pressure. Despite my winning a pawn in an exchange of minor pieces his threats kept on coming. Towards the end of the middle game I had strong pressure which he resisted, and we entered the endgame with both of us having only a few minutes left on our clocks, and my having a slight edge (two exposed, connected passed pawns, and both rooks active for each player). In the event he played this better than I did in the rapidplay approach to the finale, and with a passed pawn and king against a king in the centre he triumphed.
Dave Foster also went a pawn up in his match against Bill Hardwick, but Bill fought hard, and earned a good draw. Phil had a more comfortable game against young Camas Millar (son of Drew).”

So the Carlisle revival proceeds apace!

Club Championship

Some significant changes here. Dave Foster sr has dropped four places and Alex Ashworth three. The top three players are setting a fearsome pace, but at the bottom, with the cut-off point currently at 1.5 points, there is the prospect of a huge scramble.

Derek Blair 5.5/7
Peter Crichton 4.5/6
Jeremy Handley 4/5
Bruce Reed 4/7
Dave Foster sr 3.5/5
Phil Taylor 3/7
Alex Ashworth 2.5/4
Tim Wrigley 1.5/3
Peter Booker 1.5/6
Raoul Weston 1/1
Matthew Taylor 1/2
Dave Foster jr 0.5/3
Steve Larkin 0.5/4
Malcolm Reid 0/1
David Scott 0/5


Zollner. In round two, David Wrigley has bounced back after his roasting at the hands of Charlie Storey to record a fine win. He writes: “Wrigley – Moon. 1.Nc3! Frank played down one of my favourite lines, and I got some slight pressure out of the opening. We kept on swapping bits, I managed to sneak a pawn and he resigned immediately (and extremely prematurely – I played it through with Fritz, and Frank had decent chances for a draw in the ensuing endgame). A win is a win!” It certainly is! Well done, David!

Please note that our last meeting at the Dyvels before Christmas, on Tuesday Dec 20th, will be a grand all-play-all (as far as possible) rapidplay competition, starting promptly at 7.15 p.m. Be there!

Nothing else to report this time.

Steve Larkin


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