"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Grantham-1 Beat University Nottingham-1

Another round of Division 1 of Nottinghamshire League brought an easy victory for Grantham 1 who hosted University Nottingham top team.
The truth is that University player were outgraded on all boards and despite that some games were not only interesting but very even.

University Nottingham-1
Birtwistle N
Lee D
Cumbers P
Hofi O
Mangione C
Nagijew E
Payne N
Le, Nguyen
David I
Byrne J

Another step in the quest for Champion title for Grantham-1.

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Tarrasch Defence: David I. vs Walker C.

Recently, I had the pleasure to play for Worksop B team in Sheffield League. And the opponent was rather challenging for Worksop team because we had to face to the leader of Division 2 - Phoenix.
They kindly offered me top board and because we won the draw and I was asked which pieces on the top board I wish to play with, I opted for White. Certainly.... what else?
My opponent was Carl Walker, strong player rated about 170 or so. 
Before I tell you bit more about the game I have to tell you that the rate of play in this competition is rather unpleasant especially for the player who is not used to it. Thirty moves in 60 minutes (!) then 15 minutes each till the end of the game.... I wish I had the pleasure of full time as it were some forty years ago... Well, I have to forget about it.
Not knowing my opponent whatsoever I started with modest 1.Nf3 but the game quickly went into Tarrasch Defence. I opted for less commonly played side-line but after several moves my opponent devised over-the-board-novelty which reportedly has never been played before. Alas, this natural move was pretty good and difficult to meet... I realised that I had just two options, either suffer under terrible pressure or give up material... I decided to sacrifice an exchange... and now just enjoy the game.


Just some info out of County....

It was an interesting match and I had the pleasure to take part in. Details of that match you can find under the link above. There was interesting game played on top board which ended up in theoretically know position which just justify the known fact that "all rook endings are drawish".

Cooper JG -  Hankinson M, 2012

White is to move and has massive material advantage of two pawns. Despite that he is not able to turn such an advantage into a victory. This is what happened in the game Cooper vs Hankinson which decided that Sheffield B lost to Hull DCA.
White to move played 1.g6 threatening the mate however, Black has an easy equalizer 1...Rxg6 and the game is over. White cannot take the Rook because of stalemate and White is not able to force victory being h-pawn up.

Grantham Chess Club: Parking in Morrisons' Car Park

Grantham Chess Club: Parking in Morrisons' Car Park: It has come to our attention that one of our members was penalised for parking over the two hour limit in Morrison's car park on a club nigh...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Grantham-2 beat Radcliffe & Bingham

Another round of Nottinghamshire league was played at Grantham Chess Club. The visitors came from Radcliffe &  Bingham.

Radcliffe & Bingham
David I
London N
Hebert A
Murfet G
Palmer T
Taylor M
Mason B
Morell LJ
Grummitt W
Buttery J

The match started on the top board with quick drew in 18 moves. Nick London, who has got very good season this year and has beaten several strong players in this league (Alex Combie [192] or Richard Webster [182] for instance) launched London System  (1.d4, 2.Nf3, 3.Bf4, 4.e3, 5.Bd3, 6.c3), a deadly weapon quite popular at club level, but the game quickly came by transposition into Exchange variation of Caro-Kann with Black's king-side fianchetto. Shortly afterwards both players liquidated the centre and exchanged so many pieces reaching deadly drawish position.

Another draw was agreed later on the board 3 between Trevor Palmer and Marcel Taylor.

Ben Mason playing Len Morell on the board 4 gained positional advantage which was later transformed into material one and later into final victory for Grantham team. Good stuff Ben.

Will Grummitt on board 5 played quite interesting game which went into ending with blocked position where his opponent playing White had doubled pawn but pair of Bishops. 
Buttery J - Grummitt W after 34.fxe3

Will's opponent - John Buttery - mistakenly exchanged his light-squared Bishops and then Will's Knight became superior piece to opponent's dark-squared Bishop which, together with his very active centralized King gave William massive positional advantage and later on Will secured another victory for Grantham. Let's have a look what happened in the diagram position:

34... Kf8 35.Kg2 Ke7 36.Kf2 Nf8 37.Bb2 Ke6 38.Ke2 N8h7 39.h4 g5 40.hxg5? 


40...Nxg5 41.Bg2 Nfxe4 

Amazing position. Two Knights are superior to pair of Bishops! Exceptions that proves the rule. 41...Ngxe4?! 42.Bh3+ Kd5 43.Bc8


White made a school-boy-mistake. He traded his "good" bishop. From now on the position is lost, however, even after better 42.Kd1 White's position is not very promising... 

42...Nxe4-+ 43.Kf3 Nf6 44.e4 h5 45.Bc1 Ng4 46.Kg2?! 


46...f5 47.Kf3 fxe4+ 48.Kxe4 Nf6+ 49.Kf3 Kd5 50.Bg5 

[50.Ke3 Kc4-+] 

50...Ng4 51.Bd2 Kd4 52.Ke2 e4 53.Be1 Nf6?! 

Black threatens.... what? Better was 53...e3! which was gaining space.... 

54.Bd2 Nd5 55.Be1 Kc4 56.Bd2 Nxb4 57.Ke3 a5 58.Kxe4 a4 59.Ke5  

[59.Bc1 Kxc5 60.Kf5 Kxb6 61.Ke6-+] 

59...Kxc5 60.Be3+ Kc4 61.Kd6 Nd5  

[61...a3 62.Bc1 a2 63.Bb2-+] 

62.Bc5 Nf6 63.Ba3 Nd5 64.Bc5 Kb3 65.Kd7 a3 66.Kc8 a2 67.Bd4 Nxb6+! 68.Kxb7  

[68.Bxb6 a1Q] 

68...Nd5 69.Kxc6 Nc3 70.Kc5 a1Q and White resigned. 

Well done Will.

The most interesting battle we witnessed on board 2 where Andy Hebert played against George Murfet. George employed Modern Defence and Andy simply developed pieces in the Dragon Sicilian style putting dark-squared Bishop on g5, Queen on d2 then castled queen-side.
George weakened his king-side by not inevitable move h5 which from the first sight looks bit "unpositional" and which also lost some time. Despite that such a move has already been played in the competitions it is difficult for me to recommend it. 
Then Andy stroke sacrificing his light-squared Bishop on f7 which objectively was an unsound sacrifice in Tal's style, however, in over-the-board fight with time more limited than it used to be in the Tal's era such a sacrifice could work. In tactical struggle not without inaccuracies on both sides the position was unclear, sharp but long time balanced. Both players missed several chances to gain advantage but finally it was Black who made decisive mistake and Andy turned the advantage into final victory.

Interesting game in fighting spirit.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Nottinghamshire League: Newark-1 Beat Gambit-2

After Newark's victory over Gambit Newark has good prospect to be promoted to Division 1.
On the other hand, University-2 team is now one of two teams which will be relegated.
The league table of Division 2 is as follows:

Division 2 (2011-2012)  

Team   P  W  D  L  F  A Dif Pn Pts
1 Newark-1  11   8  1  2 34.5 20.5  14  0 17
2 Long Eaton  10   7  0  3 31 19  12  0 14
3 Grantham-2  11   6  1  4 27.5 27.5   0  0 13
4 Nott'm Central-1   9   5  0  4 26 19   7  0 10
5 Gambit 2  11   5  0  6 27 27   0  0 10
6 Radcliffe&Bing'm-1  10   4  1  5 23 27  -4  0  9
7 West Bridgford-2   9   3  0  6 19 26  -7  0  6
8 University-2   (R)  11   1  1  9 16 38 -22 -4 -1
(R) - Relegated

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Nottingham University-2 vs Grantham-2 2:2

Nottingham University campus was the venue of another match in Division 2 of Nottinghamshire team championship where University team 2 hosted Grantham 2. Being one man down was not very promising start for Grantham.
Match started with rather quick draw which was agreed between Joe Scarborough playing Black against Onas Hofi on board 4. 
Second draw was agreed on the top board where Ivan David faced to Tim Poole and in the English opening game went into a drawish  opposite coloured Bishop ending. 
Chris Holt, a Grantham hero, on the board 3 overplayed his opponent, gained material advantage and gained full point for his team.
Adam Rubinson who was supposed to play for University team on board 5 did not show up, so at this point Grantham team was point up. 
All eyes were focused on board two where Ben Mason of Grantham played with Black pieces against James Byrne. After complicated middle game there was unbalanced material situation on the board. Ben was exchange up and the only compensation which his opponent had was terribly looking two connected passed pawns on the queen-side supported by King, Rook and Bishop. Ben tried to do his best; however,  in complex ending he run out of time and finally in rather worse position he lost on time.

University Nott’m-2
Poole T
David I
Byrne J
Mason B
Al-Sebai H
Holt C
Hofi O
Scarborough J

Monday, 12 March 2012

Classical French - McCutcheon Variation

In recent county match Lincolnshire-Worcestershire there was interesting game played on the board 2 where Paul Cumbers faced to Pavel Besedin. Both players are rated 190+.
Paul, playing Black, employed his favourite French defence to meet Besedin's 1.e4. McCutcheon variation was played and both players followed the current theory till the move 18. when Besedin came up with a novelty. The position looked very sharp but next Besedin's move was nearly losing mistake. In interesting battle with the mistakes on both sides under the time pressure finally Paul turned his advantage into the victory and gained for team one of decisive points.
Game is an interesting contribution to the theory of this line. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Leicestershire vs. Derbyshire 8.5 : 7.5

Position Teams Pl W D L Game Points Match Points
1st + Leicestershire 5 4 0 1 44½ 8
2nd Lincolnshire 5 4 0 1 52½ 8

Derbyshire 5* 2* 1 2 45½ 5

Worcestershire 5 2 1 2 37½ 5

Shropshire 5* 2* 0 3* 35½ 4

Greater Manchester 5* 0 0 5* 24½ 0

+ Leics beat Lincs in the individual encounter. 
* Includes defaulted match

Date Match Result
15 Oct Leicestershire - Greater Manchester 12½ - 3½
15 Oct Lincolnshire - Derbyshire 10½ - 5½
15 Oct Shropshire - Worcestershire 7½ - 8½
29 Oct Greater Manchester - Lincolnshire 6 - 10
5 Nov Shropshire - Leicestershire 10 - 6
5 Nov Worcestershire - Derbyshire 8 - 8
3 Dec Leicestershire - Lincolnshire 8½ - 7½
3 Dec Worcestershire - Greater Manchester 8½ - 7½
3 Dec Derbyshire - Shropshire 16 - 0 def
28 Jan Leicestershire - Worcestershire 9 - 7
28 Jan Lincolnshire - Shropshire 14 - 2
18 Feb Greater Manchester - Derbyshire7½ - 8½
3 Mar Shropshire - Greater Manchester 16 - 0 def
10 Mar Derbyshire - Leicestershire7½ - 8½
10 Mar Worcestershire - Lincolnshire 5½ - 10½

More in details on Midland Counties Chess Union.