Category Archives: Reivers

Reivers v Tynemouth D

The Reivers’ first match of the season was played at home on Tuesday October 7th, against Tynemouth D. The line-up was

1. Derek Blair (135)  v Richard Oxnard (138)

2. Phil Taylor (115)  v  Dennis White (125)

3. Steve Larkin (107) v Dennis Beagarie (121)

4. Dave Foster jr (84) v Bob Batten (113)

5. Peter Booker (77)  v Peter Combellack (86)

First to finish was Dave, who writes of his game: “I played the Polish orang-utan, which Bob was unfamiliar with. My game went OK until I left a weak pawn on the c file , which cost me the game. He heavily attacked my queenside with his queen and bishop and it was over in an instant – I resigned” (on move 15). 0-1

Next came Phil, who writes: “My usual QP opening led to a very locked up position with rooks and opposite coloured bishops and pawns providing an almost impenetrable barrier on both sides. The lack of knights didn’t help the position and, although there was the best part of 45 minutes on each of our clocks, I offered the draw and Dennis accepted. I think we were both happy to get the draw in our first game of the new season. My king was less protected than I liked and I had 3 sets of doubled pawns, so I’m not sure I could have pulled off a victory.” 0.5-1.5

On board 5 Peter B. had what looked like a close tussle, from which he eventually emerged victorious – nice to see him beating a higher graded player – and we were back on level terms. 1.5-1.5

Steve went rook for knight down after an oversight on move 16 and thereafter was on the back foot. However a bishop and a particularly active knight kept him in the game and Dennis offered the draw when he had just three and a half minutes on his clock to Steve’s nine and a half. Steve accepted the offer – there was no way he was going to win over the board – though events on board 1 gave him pause for thought afterwards. 2-2

For the second time in 8 days Derek lost on time to Richard, though on this occasion Derek had overwhelming superiority on the board when his time ran out. Given that Richard had no possibility of winning over the board and that he himself had less than 2 minutes left, one might have thought that an offer of a draw was in order, but no such offer was made and so Tynemouth won the match 3-2. Hmm!

This result raises an issue which the Reivers may like to address before they play any further league games, namely where a win on the clock is achievable, should we play on for that regardless of the position on the board?

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Reivers v Tynemouth Warriors

This match took place in Corbridge on Tuesday March 4th, with the following line-up:
1. Dave Foster sr (120) v Richard Oxnard (135)
2. Steve Larkin (125) v Phil Jackson (124)
3. Phil Taylor (125) v Dave Pearson (118)
4. Bruce Reed (118) v Peter Combellack (91)
5. Peter Booker (80) v default
The Tynemouth side arrived nearly 20 minutes late, due to travel problems, and lacking their board 4 player, so we started the match one point up and Peter Booker vented his spleen at having no opponent to play by thrashing Derek Blair twice!
On top board Dave continued his fantastic season with a fine win over a strong opponent. He writes: “I played black against Richard, and played the Old Benoni Defence against his d4. 1. d4-c5, a sort of Queens Gambit.
2. dxc5… accepted, so I followed with Nc6 preventing easy protection to his “won” pawn. White dutifully taking the pawn allows Black to develop both Queen and Bishop queen side, this happened quickly (!) and although Richard did counter-attack down the centre I was allowed to push a queen side Rook pawn to dissolve his position. My surprise refusal of an offered Bishop, instead taking a crucial centre pawn, elevated his already compromised position into a car crash. As any attempt to reinstate his attack led to either mate or material loss he resigned after a fair bit of thought.” 2-0
On board 3 Phil faced another man very much in form and was swept aside. He writes: “With a significant workload on recently I have not been at my best over the past few months but my game with David Pearson of Tynemouth took me even further down the performance ratings. With his e4 start and my O’Kelly variation of the Sicilian I felt comfortable but for some reason I thought I’d introduce a bit of a novelty, fianchettoing my King side bishop before playing d6. This was a big mistake and white promptly placed his queen on d6 which basically set the tone for the rest of the game. Instead of accepting my punishment and bringing my bishop back to f8 to chase the queen away I linked knights with Ne7. Extricating myself from this tight squeeze took me more moves than I wanted and this allowed my opponent to bring a speedy King-side attack into play. I was running out of options and pieces as I had to lose first a couple of pawns and then a Knight just to stay in the game. It was all to no avail as my restricted pieces could not mobilize fast enough on the King side and the inevitable came at move 26. I’m looking forward to the end of this season.” 2-1
Bruce ensured the overall victory with a win on board 4. He writes: “By move 15 of the game against Peter Combellack of Tynemouth Warriors I had pawns on a3, b4, c4, d3, e4, g3 and h3, and Peter had pawns on a6, b5,c6,d6, and e5 with all remaining pawns on their starting squares, and both kings castled kingside. All minor pieces were active, and mutually supportive of each other on our own halves of the board, with my bishops on b2 and g2, and all of Peter’s pieces centralised on the first second or third ranks. After a flurry of small exchanges in mutual attempts to find a breakthrough / gain the upperhand in the following 10 moves the game was still evenly balanced. A misjudgement (‘blunder’ !) on my part as I began to attack on the king’s side lead to the loss of a rook and pawn for a bishop, but gave me the chance of an open f file controlled by my rook, and to redeploy a bishop and queen in attacking positions. Within the space of a couple of moves, as he sought to protect pawns and pieces under attack, and limit the potential for queen/bishop/rook combinations winning pawns and pieces, he misjudged his options. In successive moves I won a rook, threatened to win a knight and / or his other rook, and as he sought to limit the damage I took a pawn with a bishop, forked king and rook, and when he realised I also had a forced mate on the next move he resigned. For most of the game it was an evenly balanced and tight contest for space and position, which briefly swung his way after the bishop/rook exchange, and then as it opened up, presented me with strong attacking chances that proved decisive when he made unwise choices on two successive moves under pressure.”3-1
Steve was last to finish. In an otherwise even game, he blundered a bishop for nothing on move 32 and resigned a hopeless position on move 41. 3-2.
So the Reivers finished their season as they started, with two wins which moved them firmly into the top half of the table. Overall performances during the season were as follows:
Alex Ashworth Played 3 Won 1 Drew 0 Lost 2 Ave board 1.0 33%
Dave Foster sr ” 7 ” 5 ” 2 ” 0 ” ” 2.1 86%
Steve Larkin ” 7 ” 3 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 2.2 50%
Phil Taylor ” 6 ” 0 ” 2 ” 4 ” ” 2.2 17%
Bruce Reed ” 5 ” 1 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 3.8 30%
Dave Foster jr ” 5 ” 1 ” 1 ” 3 ” ” 4.0 30%
Damian Rudge ” 4 ” 3 ” 0 ” 1 ” ” 5.0 75%
Peter Booker ” 2 ” 1 ” 0 ” 1 ” ” 5.0 50%
Many thanks to all who played and special congratulations to Dave sr and Damian, both of whom make the division 3 leaderboard.

Forest Hall C v Tynedale Reivers

This match was played at Forest Hall on Friday February 21st, with the following line-up:
1. Tania Kisseljov (u) v Alex Ashworth (127)
2. Johnny Wall (47; 85RP) v Dave Foster sr (120)
3. Mark Shone (u) v Steve Larkin (125)
4. Dylan Shone (49RP) v Dave Foster jr (91)
5. Sofia Kisseljov (36 RP) v Damian Rudge (68)
Dave jr and Damian were first to finish, both having very comfortable wins over very young opponents. Mark Shone, father of Dylan, made Steve work hard for a win which came only on move 38, after Steve had weathered a torrid kingside attack. Dave sr went a piece up in the O’Kelly variation of the Sicilian but, sensing that his opponent was more than capable of retrieving the situation and being anxious to preserve his unbeaten record in the league this season, he accepted the draw when it was offered. All these games were over in less than 90 minutes, which left Alex sweating it out on board one in a game which must have come close to setting a record for the fewest moves recorded in a three-hour game. In a very dense middle-game position, both players were thinking long and hard, and eventually Alex lost on time a game he felt he should have won.
So the Reivers notched up their first win since beating Forest Hall B back in October 2013. But Forest Hall are to be congratulated on their sterling work in attracting no fewer than twelve junior members (plus a mum and a dad) and in ensuring that they get experience of league matches. If every club did as much, chess in the north-east would be thriving!

Reivers v South Shields

This match was played at Corbridge on Tuesday Jan 7th 2014, with the following line-up:
1. Alex Ashworth (127) v Ian Maughan (u)
2. Dave Foster sr (120) v Kevin Rowden (141)
3. Steve Larkin (125) v Stan Johnson (118)
4. Phil Taylor (125) v Ben Wood (112)
5. Bruce Reed v Eddie Czestochoski (u)
This was the Reivers’ very last chance to stay in the promotion race, though South Shields were going to be a tough nut to crack. Still, we had our strongest team out so far, with in-form Dave promoted over Steve and Phil to board 2.
First game to finish was on board 3, where Steve and Stan were having a re-run of their Gilroy encounter of the previous evening, albeit with colours reversed. Yet again it was a very tight affair, evenly balanced throughout. It came down to rook and 3 single pawns each, with one pawn due to fall on either side and endless scope for checking. With no clear advantage, a draw was agreed. 0.5-0.5
Next was Phil, who throughout had been under pressure from Ben. When a rook check won a bishop, it was all over. 0.5-1.5
Dave pulled off the best result of the evening, holding Kevin to just a one-pawn advantage right into the endgame, involving knight and 3 pawns v knight and 2. Holding his nerve, Dave succeeded in forcing a position where not only his knight but also all the pawns came off, thereby ensuring a draw after no less then 55 moves. 1-2
Alex was up against it here. He emerged into the middle game with a one pawn advantage but was being squeezed for space. The pawn advantage was lost and Alex’s king, which was pretty exposed, came under huge pressure. With his time running out, he did his best to keep Ian at bay but Ian, with plenty of time on his clock, steadily eliminated Alex’s defences before checkmating. 1-3
Last to finish was Bruce. The position was materially level throughout, though Bruce had a considerable space advantage, since Eddie never ventured beyond the third rank until the final minutes of the game. It looked as though Bruce might be able to do some damage to Eddie’s castled king with a combination of rook and queen, but it all came too late as Eddie suddenly swung into action with his own rook and queen to force Bruce’s resignation, with serious material and positional damage in the offing. 1-4
So this was a rather chastening evening which confirmed that, if the three-division structure remains in place next season, the Reivers will stay in the bottom division.

Gosforth IV v Reivers

This match took place at Gosforth on Monday December 16th, with the following line-up:
1. Joe Chan (u) v Steve Larkin (125)
2. Bob Heyman (123) v Phil Taylor (125)
3. Tony Neville (u) v Dave Foster sr (120)
4. Steve Wilde (113) v Bruce Reed (118)
5. Dave Turner (104) v Damian Rudge (68)
First to finish was Damian, who was very disappointed with the way he played. Leaving it late to castle, he allowed black to pin his queen on his king and emerged a rook down. Game over. 1-0
Dave evened things up, going a pawn ahead, whereafter he kept Tony confined to his own half of the board until the win was assured. 1-1
Phil accepted Bob’s offer of a draw at a point when he (Phil) was a pawn down with no obvious way of making a break-through in quite a complex position. 1.5-1.5
Steve’s game was even until Joe triggered a whole series of exchanges from which Steve emerged with an inferior position. One pawn was going to fall and possibly two more, but leaving a knight unguarded turned a bad position into an untenable one. 1.5-2.5
Bruce likewise had an even game and was pressing with all his heavy artillery, while white defended with the equivalent pieces. Seeking to force the issue, Bruce blundered his queen.3.5-1.5
Having now lost 3 matches out of 5, and with the two strongest sides yet to be faced, the Reivers are definitely not candidates for promotion!

Reivers v Morpeth C

This third division match was played at Corbridge on Tuesday December 3rd, with the following line-up:
1. Steve Larkin (125) v Alan Welsh (138)
2. Dave Foster sr (120) v Harry Robinson (116)
3. Bruce Reed (118) v David Watson (111)
4. Dave Foster jr (91) v R. Junges-Stainthorpe (u)
5. Peter Booker (80) v B.Mole (u)
First to finish was Dave jr who blundered a bishop, after which the game was pretty much over. 0-1
Bruce went a pawn up, but with his queen, rook and knight plus pawns to David’s queen, rook and bishop plus pawns in a very balanced position, he took the draw which David offered. 0.5-1.5
Dave sr’s game was largely even till the end-game, when he got the chance to push two connected passed pawns. He executed the finish to perfection, eliminating black’s final pawn before bringing his king across to ensure that one of his two pawns queened. 1.5-1.5
Steve soon found himself bottled up in his kingside corner, with two rooks and a queen pointing at his king. Time for some desperate defending, till the only option available was to sacrifice knight for pawn in order to defuse the situation. After that, he had counter-play on the queenside with a passed pawn, but his king was fatally exposed to the attentions of two rooks and a bishop and, in time trouble, he failed to find the one move which might have saved him, at least for the time being. 1.5-2.5
Spare a thought for Peter on board 5. He reached the endgame a pawn and the exchange down, but used his queen, rook and bishop to put huge pressure on white’s king. The very complex position required a lot of thought, so pity poor Peter, who found a forced mate in two, only for the flag on his clock to drop before he could complete it! 1.5-3.5
So what was morally a drawn match turned into a second defeat and, with the division’s two strongest sides still to be played, promotion now looks a very distant prospect. Never mind. As they say of the Olympics, it’s the taking part that matters.

Tynemouth Sprites v Reivers

This match was played at Tynemouth on Tuesday October 29th with the following line-up:
1. Chris Smith (130) v Phil Taylor (125)
2. David Pearson (118) v Dave Foster sr (120)
3. Bill Penny (u) v Bruce Reed (118)
4. Lewis Self (u) v Dave Foster jr (91)
5. Patrick Pearson (66) v Damian Rudge (68)
I was not at the match myself but I have received the following reports:
Dave senior writes: “I was first to finish, Pearson Jr opened e5 and I went into a sicilian defence-ish. I made a typical Foster Snr uncastled king side (diagonal error AGAIN!) error in the late opening and gifted him a piece. I don’t know why I do this, it happens far too often, all it does is send me into a banzai mood. So with my king wonderfully exposed to an attack consisting of two linked rooks, a bishop and a highly active queen I started a ten move attack on his kings (castled long) side and now unprotected flank. He lost tempo attempting to stop the onslaught and finally succumbed to a three move mate in the centre of the board, resigning before I had the opportunity to move the pieces. I’m pretty chuffed with my attack but why oh why do I have to go pieces down to kick start my game.” 0-1
Damian was apparently the next to finish. He writes: “My opponent’s and my aggregate grading totalled 134 and resulted in a game that went on ,seemingly interminably, for nearly sixty moves. It was more like a suicide-pact than a competition. It was, literally and metaphorically, like watching two bald men fighting over a comb.” Nonetheless, our bald man won! 0-2
Phil writes: “My game was typical of my play at the moment. I’d played Chris once before in 2004 where I beat him in the Northumberland Congress minor. Tuesday’s game was closely fought until move 31 when I decided to offer my opponent a Knight free of charge. He willingly took this and went on to accept my resignation 10 moves later.” 1-2
On board 4 Dave junior was outplayed by a stronger opponent. 2-2
Last to finish was Bruce, of whose game Phil writes: “Bruce almost got out of jail when his opponent blundered a rook to level things up. Bruce, however, was short on time and would probably have lost anyway but he decided to offer a Queen sacrifice (blunder) & immediately resigned.” 3-2
So with this narrow defeat the Reivers’ winning streak came to an end.