Category Archives: Dyvels

Final South Tyne Table – April 2013

Conratulations to Monarchs who have won the S Tyne League (for the 4th time in a row?)

S Tyne Chess League – Final Table – Apr 11 2013 Handicap Pts Results Pts Match Pts
Team Played Won Drawn Lost
Monarchs 8 5 1 2 111 72 11
Friars 8 5 0 3 103 90 10
Austins 8 4 0 4 156 54 8
Dyvels 8 3 1 4 115 70 7
Haydon Bridge 8 2 0 6 177 34 4

Dyvels v Friars, 8th April 2013

Friars put out their strongest team of the season to play their last match against the Dyvels, with John Kelly (grade 165) brought in for his first game of the season on board 1, and team captain Daniel O’Dowd, who had scored 6.5 out of 7 he had mainly played on board 2 or 1 dropping to board 4.

It was clear from the Friars line-up that they were keen to win so that they could take the top spot in the league table ahead of the Monarchs final game against Austins.

John Kelly (grade 165) played against Jeremy Handley on board 1. Like many of the Austin / Friars players, John is a member of the Carlisle club (see, which offers the Austin / Friars teams a powerful resource to draw upon for crucial games.

John played a Dutch Defence (f5, responding to d4), and Jeremy (grade 151) appeared to have the better of it until, right near the end he managed to leave a rook en pris, handing the game to his opponent.

On board 2 Tim Wrigley (grade 149) had a battle against Paul Rivers (grade 151), whose only previous outing had been a draw on board 1 against Ian Mackay of Haydon Bridge.

Paul pressed with advanced white pawns on the Queen’s side, and Tim had a hard fight for equality. In the end the match resulted in a draw, claimed by Tim on the grounds that the position had been repeated three times.

Tim wrote : “Paul Rivers and I played a French Defence Advanced variation, that I should have been familiar with, but I went wrong early on, and ended up going backwards, Paul pushed his Queen side pawns, and had all the initiative. He then tried to weave a trap to catch my Queen, harassing my King & Queen with his Bishop & Queen. In the process he repeated a position three times and I was glad to take advantage of the “Three position repetition rule”. With hindsight he should probably have swapped the Queens off for a won ending of “Bishop & 4 Pawns against Bishop & 3 Pawns”.

Paul Rivers disputed this (on the incorrect grounds that the position had to be consecutive repetitions – see the relevant rule at the end of this report), but, with fellow Carlisle club members Bill Hardwick and Ian Mackay in attendance to help arbitrate, the game was replayed and Tim’s result was upheld as a draw.

With Friars needing to secure 2.5 out of 4 games to win the match, Friars were particular anxious not to let the match slip away, following an excellent win by Peter Crichton (137) against Jason Maxwell (grade 133).

Jason has had a terrific season, with 5 wins out of 5 playing on boards 2 and 3 for Friars. Peter, however, had one of his most assured games of the season:

Peter wrote: “I was on the White side of a Queens’ Gambit. The opening was fairly even but my opponent, Jason Maxwell, allowed me to push my d pawn to d6 where, if it could survive, it would cause disruption to his slightly cramped position. It did survive and with most of his major pieces isolated on the queenside I was able to generate a kingside attack which yielded a pawn and the exchange. Jason fought on but, constrained by the d pawn, he was unable to generate any counter play and when a pair of rooks came off he was forced to sacrifice a knight for the advanced pawn leaving a hopeless position which he duly resigned.”

With the match at 1.5 all, and the Dyvels needing only a draw to win on handicap, it all came down to the result of the final game between Daniel O’Dowd (grade 130) and Bruce Reed (grade 121).

Daniel has had a magnificent season, finishing joint second in the British under 160 grading championship – a performance which has helped take his previous grading of 130 to 147 in the latest ECF grading adjustment.

Daniel O’Dowd has played thoughtful and very committed chess recently, and triumphed earlier in the season against Jeremy Handley on board 1 of the Dyvels v Friars home match – annotated, as one of several of his South Tyne games, on You Tube:

The game between the captains was closely fought throughout , with Bruce electing to play an Accelerated Fianchetto Sicilian defence (e4 c5, Nf6 Nc6, d4 cxd4, Nxd4 g6) – also known as the Accelerated Dragon.

Until the last 5 minutes (under 3 minutes on Daniel’s clock, and under 2 on Bruce’s) the game looked fairly even with a lot of potential play on both sides, and two rooks, minor piece and six pawns apiece.

Under pressure, however, Daniel’s play was far superior. A mistake by Bruce – trying for the third positional repetition which would have resulted in a drawn game and drawn match – leaving Dyvels sister team, the Monarchs, to get only a draw in their final match of the South Tyne League to win the League title – allowed Daniel to break open his defence, and seize the initiative in the final rapid play scramble. Bruce resigned, material down, with 4 seconds remaining.

The relevant thrice recurring position rule in the FIDE laws of chess is 9.2, is as follows:

The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by sequential repetition of moves)

a. is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or

b. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.

Positions as in (a) and (b) are considered the same, if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same.

Positions are not [considered to be] the same if a pawn that could have been captured en passant can no longer be captured or if the right to castle has been changed. (FIDE 2005, Article 9.2)

Dyvels (away)         Friars (home)
  H’cap Result points points Result   H’cap
Jeremy Handley 2 0 0 4 1 John Kelly 1
Tim Wrigley 2 1/2 2 2 1/2 Paul Rivers 2
Peter Crichton 3 1 4 0 0 Jason Maxwell 3
Bruce Reed 4 0 0 4 1 Daniel O’Dowd 3
Totals 11   6 10     9
Combined scores   17     19    

(This Table was revised by Tim W in the light of Daniel’s comment on the post – 9:03 on Apr 10 )

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    

Dyvels v Haydon Bridge 7th February 2013

With seven of the players involved in this match playing on Wednesday afternoons at Hexham Golf Club it was inevitable that all would have a good idea of what kind of chess their opponents played.

As the Dyvels were playing away we had white on boards 1 and 3, and black on 2 and 4.

First to finish was Jeremy on board 1. The game was even throughout, and with queens and bishops of opposite colours left in the depleted – but otherwise even ranks, Jeremy and Ian quickly agreed a draw.

In David’s match against Bruce he swapped off pieces until all that was left were queens, a single bishop (of the same colour) and seven pawns each. In what looked like a fairly even position, however, the positional advantages were with white – with black having doubled central pawns and white having opportunities to push either the a or b pawn through to the back rank.

In his anxiety to try to open up the white’s king side, and get a decisive advantage, David miscalculated a pawn exchange, and rapidly found that white had gained 2 pawns, and exchanged queens and bishops left him with an unstoppable tide of pawns threatening to queen.

At this point with Dyvels having 1.5 to 0.5 we looked on course to secure the 3 points we needed to win on handicap.
After a fairly even opening and middle game Peter Crichton was able to win a pawn which, being supported and passed, probably should have secured victory, and he looked comfortably in charge. Christine had other ideas, as Peter explained.
“I foolishly underestimated Christine’s tenacity and overlooked counter-play that allowed her to promote a pawn and by so doing win the game”.

For onlookers that appears an understatement. The realisation that he could not get his bishop back to stop an advancing pawn gradually dawned on Peter and onlookers alike. Christine – never to be underestimated, despite her grading/handicap – played well, and deserved her victory.

Peter Booker had a fairly even game against Damian, until he pushed too hard as the time left on his clock dwindled away. Damian (who like Christine joins the Tynedale players on Tuesday nights) played solidly, and patiently, as Peter gradually risked too much, and saw his pawns picked off. Peter lost on time, when Damian was a rook and several pawns to the good

It was not the match result the Dyvels hoped for, but a timely reminder that higher gradings do not guarantee victory.


Dyvels (away)         Haydon Bridge (home)
  H’cap Result points points Result   H’cap
Jeremy Handley          2 1/2 2 2 1/2 Ian Mackay 3
Peter Crichton  3 0 0 4 1 Christine Moorcroft 5
Bruce Reed                     4 1 4 0 0 David Tulip 7
Peter Booker 8 0 0 4 1 Damian Rudge 8
Totals 17   6 10     23
Combined scores   23




S Tyne Table & Fixtures – 13 Feb

S Tyne Chess League Table – Feb 13 2013   Handicap Pts Results Pts Match Pts
Team Played Won Drawn Lost
Friars 6 4 0 2 82 68 8
Monarchs 6 3 1 2 96 44 7
Austins 5 3 0 2 96 34 6
Dyvels 6 2 1 3 86 52 5
Haydon Bridge 5 1 0 4 110 26 2
Remaining Fixtures – as at 13 Feb 2013        
Date Home Team Away Team
Tuesday 5th March 2013 Dyvels Austins
Thursday 7th March 2013 Haydon Bridge Friars
Monday 11th March 2013 Friars Dyvels
Tuesday 12th March 2013 Monarchs Haydon Bridge
Tuesday 18th March 2013  Austins Haydon Bridge
Tuesday 9th April 2013 Monarchs Austins

Dyvels v Monarchs 29th January 2013

The Dyvels v Monarchs game was another ‘in-house’ South Tyne fixture, with the handicap system playing its part in making the contest a thrilling encounter.
On Top board Dave Foster (Senior), playing white against Jeremy Handley saw Jeremy respond g6 to his e4 (The Modern Defence, giving up the centre to white, and allowing white to block the Bg7 bishop with a pawn on c3). Missing out the standard d4 Dave’s second move was c3, and his third d4.
Dave’s very strong attack developed with a mix of the h pawn advancing to h4 (which I discovered had been suggested as third move for white by Bobby Fischer) combined with bishop and queen pressure on the kingside pawns. In wriggling out of the pressure of the attack Jeremy gave up a queen bishop pawn. After pieces were exchanged the endgame saw David a pawn up and Jeremy fighting hard for equality. In the end he made it, and an honourable draw was agreed when neither player had enough on the board to force a mate.
Tim Wrigley, on board 2 for the Dyvels, reported his game as follows: “Alex Asthworth and I played a Symmetrical English opening, with me white and Alex black. I suspect that Alex knew more about this than I did but maybe he was just copying all my good moves. This leaves both sides with the problem of how to break the symmetry, and my book says can be boring and drawish, as neither side can afford to perform the break.

“That’s not how it felt to me as I struggled to negotiate Alex’s opening traps. Having just survived the opening I had just decided to try and open up the Queen’s side and get play down the b file, when Alex opened up the middle with e5 and lost a crucial pawn. The ending was Rook & six pawns against Rook & five pawns, which was not easy until the rooks were swapped off.”

As an observer it looked as if Alex slightly miscalculated the possibilities following the rook exchange, and Tim’s calculation of who could get pawns to queen first was well justified. When Alex recognised that he could not stop the upcoming onslaught he resigned.

In Peter Crichton’s game, Malcolm Reid launched his enthusiastic e4, f4 assault on the king’s side supported by knight, queen and rook while Peter calmly (or worriedly) sought to thwart the onslaught. For a while, with his queen, queen’s bishop and rook unable to get off the back rank he looked very much on the defensive. It all changed, as Peter described it: “Malcolm embarked upon a typically aggressive sacrificial attack on the kingside against my Sicilian but fortunately failed to find the best continuation; once a few pieces had been exchanged and things had settled down he was left a piece down with few counter-chances in the endgame.”
The most exciting – and most worrying – game for the team captains was that of Phil Taylor against Steve Larkin (who had just returned from a successful tournament in the Hastings championship). The game, and its outcome are well described by Phil:
“As there was a good possibility that I would be playing the ‘Hero of Hastings’ I thought I had better do some preparation. Looking through my database of 10 games with Steve I found he liked to play the Benko Gambit as black against d4.
“The line I had prepared was a Benko declined with the b5 pawn taking on c4. As usual, this didn’t happen so I reverted to plan B, eventually taking the b-pawn and supporting this and the d-pawn with knight and bishop. This gave good counterplay for quite a long period but black had fianchettoed his bishop on g7 and this proved a useful strategy as time wore on. By move 28 we were both perspiring with the effort but by move 36 black had broken through and was two pawns to the good. On move 39, black thought he’d pinned my Knight and was expecting to add a piece to the two pawns but I had managed to see a clever way out which equalised material.
“Clocks were coming into play now and I had an edge. Black offered the draw but I was under team instructions to win.” (This was the last game to finish, and Phil knew that for the Dyvels to win the match he needed to win – ‘team instructions’ is a little strong).
“This pressure led to my losing a piece and eventually chasing my opponent’s King into a tight space looking for a cheap mate. What I hadn’t realized was the peril I was putting my own king in. Fortunately, under severe time pressure, Steve again offered the draw, seeing a repetition and thinking the match would be won by the result. I accepted the offer and as onlookers helpfully pointed out, Steve had missed a one move mate and the match result was a draw. I think the result was a fair one given the complexity and ebb and flow of the game.”
As a match amongst friends in the same club the drawn match was an honourable outcome.
Result Points Points Result
Jeremy Handley (2) _1/2__ 2__ _2_ _1/2__ David Foster (Snr) (4)
Tim Wrigley (2) 1 __ 4___ 0___ 0_ Alex Ashworth (5)
Peter Crichton (3) _1__ 4__ _0_ _ 0__ Malcolm Reid (5)
Phil Taylor (4) 1/2__ 2__ 2_ _1/2__ Steve Larkin (5)
Handicap points 11 19
total match points 12 4
Combined scores 23 23