Category Archives: Reivers

Reivers v South Shields B

This match was played at South Shields on Thursday March 26th, with the following line-up:

1. Ben Wood (121) v Derek Blair (135)

2. Stan Johnson (111) v Alex Ashworth (124)

3. Mike Savin (110) v Steve Larkin (107)

4. Gary Hunter (u) v Malcolm Reid (c101)

5. Ansaga Gunasakera (u) v Dave Foster jr (84)

Dave ‘s was the first game to finish, when on move 11 he was forced to swap his queen for a rook – game over. 1-0

Next up was Derek, who went the exchange up (rook for bishop) and was in a strong position when his opponent resigned on move 29. 1-1

Steve’s game was materially even throughout, but positionally he was on the back foot. It came down to King and 6 pawns on either side and Steve managed to close things down for a draw. 1.5-1.5

Alex had a very even game with Stan. It came down to rook and 3 pawns each, then rook and two pawns, then Alex dropped a pawn, but the game had in effect been a draw for some considerable time. 2-2

Which left the match hinging on the out come of Malcolm’s game. He was a pawn up and doing all the attacking, then gained another pawn. In a fascinating endgame, he had 2 rooks, a bishop and 3 pawns to Gary’s 2 rooks and 3 pawns, but Gary’s rooks were the more active and eventually he forced a draw by perpetual check. 2.5-2.5

This result meant that the Reivers finished in fourth spot in the division, just one game point (not a match point) behind South Shields B, with Gosforth IV and Forest Hall Rockets taking the two promotion places. Given our dismal start to the season, this was not at all a bad performance overall.

My thanks to all eleven players who turned out during the season. These are the stats:

Steve Played 7 Won 1 Drew 4 Lost 2

Derek       ”    6    ”    3    ”     1    ”    2

Bruce       ”    5    ”    2    ”      2   ”    1

Dave        ”    5    ”    1   ”      0    ”    4

Phil           ”   4    ”    1    ”     2    ”     1

Peter B     ”   3    ”    3    ”      0   ”     0

Damian    ”    2   ”     2    ”      0   ”    0

Malcolm     ”  2   ”     1    ”     1    ”    0

Alex           ”   2    ”    1    ”     1    ”   0

Peter C      ”    1    ”   0    ”     0   ”    1

Jeremy      ”     1    ”   0    ”     0   ”    1


Alnwick v Reivers

This fixture took place at Morpeth on Wednesday March 4th with the following line-up:
1. G. Ellames (147) v Jeremy Handley (144)
2. R. Firth (123) v Derek Blair (135)
3. J. Pharoah (116) v Phil Taylor (115)
4. V. Cowley (u) v Steve Larkin (107)
5. C. Cox (37) v Peter Booker (77)
A quick finish on top board where Jeremy was so focussed on his own plans that he failed to spot a pawn check leading inevitably to the loss of his queen. He resigned on move 14. 1-0
On board 5 Peter, who was comfortably ahead, was likewise so engrossed in his own strategy that he allowed his opponent back into the game. Fortunately he was able to retrieve the situation and his opponent resigned when faced by a barrage of passed pawns. 1-1
Steve’s game should have been a straightforward win against a weak opponent, but it came down to a rook and pawns ending with Steve holding just a one pawn advantage. It took him forever to queen a pawn and force mate. 1-2
Phil likewise went into a rook and pawns ending one pawn up, but while his king was in the corner of the board, James’s was in the centre supporting a passed pawn. The pawn queened, obliging Phil to sacrifice his rook, and he resigned shortly afterwards when it was clear that he could not stop a second pawn from queening. 2-2
With the match result hinging on this game, Derek found himself in a complex position which was materially even but where he was very much on the defensive, as well as being down on time, so when the offer of a draw came he was happy to accept it. 2.5-2.5
So with one match point, the Reivers remain in 4th place in division 3, half a point behind Alnwick but with a game in hand (this was Alnwick’s last match of the season, while the Reivers have still to play South Shields B), so a third place finish is a distinct possibility.

Reivers v Jesmond Wasps

This match was played at Corbridge on Tuesday Feb 24th, with the following line-up:
1. Derek Blair (135) v Rohan Rawat (91)
2. Phil Taylor (115) v Weiming Xu (90)
3. Bruce Reed (106) v Jamie McIntosh (65)
4. Dave Foster jr (84) v Simon McIntosh (u)
5. Damian Rudge (65) v Default
Unfortunately, Jesmond arrived without their top board, so all their players moved up one board, leaving Damian without a game but with a point. 1-0
Derek had a comfortable win, Rohan dropping a piece early on and allowing Derek to control the game. 2-0
Phil had his work cut out and his offer of a draw when there were only equal pawns and kings on the board was eventually accepted. 2.5- 0.5
Dave had a disaster and was caught, I believe, by a back-rank mate. 2.5-1.5
Bruce had to work quite hard for what eventually proved a clear-cut win. 3.5-1.5
So the Reivers picked up two more points and moved into the top half of the table. Where will this meteoric rise take them?

Reivers v Newcastle University

This match was played on Tuesday February 3rd 2015 with the following line-up:

1. Jeremy Handley v Alistair Ridley

2. Bruce Reed v Michael Knight

3. Steve Larkin v Pavel Shakavets

4. Peter Booker v Dimiter Shinkov

5. Damian Rudge v Gautam Mokan

No grades were available for any of the university players, though apparently Michael Knight was graded 150 a couple of years ago.

First to finish was board 3 where, in a lacklustre performance, Steve was swept away by Pavel, who used just 10 minutes of his allotted time to inflict a decisive defeat on Steve, aided and abetted by the fact that Steve presented him with a mate in one! 0-1

Much later, on board 2, Bruce had to settle for a draw in a complex situation after having earlier won a queen  for a rook and a knight. 0.5-1.5

Much later still,Peter and Damian, who had both achieved overwhelming superiority in the end game, eventually translated their advantage into victories after many an anxious moment on the way! 2.5-1.5

Which left Jeremy, a last-minute replacement for Alex, conducting a strong endgame against his hitherto unbeaten opponent. Alistair resigned when it became clear that Jeremy’s passed pawns were unstoppable. 3.5-1.5,

So despite the example set by their captain, the Reivers emerged with a clear win which moved them four places up the league table . Bravo! .

Reivers v Gosforth IV

This match was held at Corbridge on Tuesday January 20th 2015, with the following line-up:

1. Peter Crichton (140) v Bob Heyman (140)

2. Alex Ashworth (124) v Martin Beardsley (125)

3. Phil Taylor (115) v Joe Chan (121)

4. Bruce Reed (106) v Gary Clarke (108)

5. Steve Larkin (107) v Tony Neville (u)

The Reivers went into an early lead, both Phil and Alex winning early on. Much later Steve got away with a lucky draw and one match point was in the bag. Bruce and Peter both succumbed at the end of the evening to superior play and so Gosforth salvaged a point. Even so, that is the first point they have conceded this season, so the reivers can feel satisfied with the result.

Reivers v Forest Hall Rockets

This match was played at Forest Hall on Friday Dec 12th, with the following line-up:
1. John Wall sr (124) v Derek Blair (135)
2. Mark Broughton (67RP) v Bruce Reed (106)
3. John Wall jr (96) v Steve Larkin (107)
4. Steve Black (u) v Dave Foster jr (84)
5. Dylan Shone (34) v Damian Rudge (65)
On the face of it, the Reivers looked to be on a winning wicket here, but the reality proved otherwise.
Damian got us off to a good start with a brisk victory over young Dylan, who was, in Daman’s words, “all attack and no defence”. 0-1
Dave’s opponent played really quickly and perhaps this unsettled him for, after going a pawn up from the opening, he blundered first a knight and then a rook. He played on to the bitter end, but there was no way he could make up the material deficit. 1-1
Bruce’s game was a Queen’s Gambit. Mark consistently opted to exchange pieces, then made a bishop sacrifice with a mating threat. Bruce survived but was now 2 pawns down in a rook and 4 versus rook and 6 ending. However, he won back the 2 pawn deficit and, in a position where repetition was the order of the day, Mark offered the draw which Bruce accepted. 1.5-1.5
Derek played a Torre opening but lost a pawn on move 14, then another on deciding to be more aggressive. He had some chances on preventing John from castling, but John’s centralised king and rooks gave him a superior position once the queens came off. 2.5-1.5
So the outcome of the match hinged on Steve’s game. A closely contested Sicilian saw Johnny emerge with a pawn advantage, but Steve had 3 pieces pressurising Johnny’s f-pawn and this meant that Johnny’s major pieces were tied to e defensive role. The position became increasingly static, but there was no weakness in Johnny’s defence and a draw was agreed. 3-2
So the Rockets confirm their surprise position at the top of the division, while the Reivers sink ever further into the murky depths at the bottom end!

Reivers v Forest Hall Invicta

This match took place at Forest Hall on November 7th, with the following line-up:

1. Tatjana Kisseljov (122) v Derek Blair (135)

2. Keith Brooks (109) v Steve Larkin (107)

3. Dingyu Chen (125 rapid) v Bruce Reed (106)

4. Robert Hudson (55 rapid) v Malcolm Reid (c101)

5. Dylan Shone (34) v Dave Foster jr (84)

Dave was out of the blocks very fast, disposing of his young opponent in just 9 moves. 0-1

The other games were all more competitive. Malcolm’s opponent had good attacking opportunities, but overreached himself, allowing Malcolm to trap his queen. 0-2

Bruce also faced an initial onslaught, but the tide turned as he pushed his pawns, won the exchange and was on the brink of mating his opponent when the latter resigned. 0-3

Derek’s game was finely balanced till the endgame, when he was able to win a knight and then force a passed pawn through, at which point Tatjana resigned. 0-4

Steve’s game went to the wire. It had been even throughout, but allowing Keith’s queen onto the 7th rank, backed up by a rook, proved a fatal error and one by one pawns dropped on both sides of the board. When one of Keith’s pawns queened it was all over. 1-4

So a comfortable win, marred only by the captain’s performance.