Gambit 2 v Gambit 1 – 19/09/17

Gambit 1 escaped with a narrow victory away to Gambit 2 after Gambit 2 missed a chance to draw the match. On board 1 Mike Barnes (Gam 1) set a trap which Graeme Jennings  fell for, losing a piece. Graeme didn’t give up and fought gallantly but was eventually ground down by Mike. On board 5 Onos Kofi-Ofuafor (Gam 1) dropped an early pawn and John Huthwaite played nicely to win the game. On board 2 Ray Evans (Gam 1) found himself very short of time in a tight position and offered a draw which Drag Sudar accepted. Board 3 was the first to finish. Peter Mercs (Gam 1) exploited Oliver Graham’s failure to castle early by pinning his bishop and Oliver, making his debut for Gambit, was unable to recover. Meanwhile on board 4, John Swain (Gam 1) was under pressure from Steve Hunter who was making inroads into John’s position. John played an exchange sacrifice to allow him to swap off queens to dull Steve’s attack. Unfortunately for Steve, the moment he took the rook he noticed that he could have mated in 3. Steve tried hard to break John’s position down but, with both players very short of time, in spite of using increments for the first time, they agreed a draw. Gambit 1 were very lucky to win and Gambit 2 have missed out on what could have been a vital point, especially after Ashfield 1’s victory over a seriously weakened WB 1 last week.

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Good start for Gambit 3

Gambit 3 faced Radcliffe & Bingham 1 on Tuesday and emerged with a valuable 3-2 win in which all 5 players with the black pieces won.

Onos profited from a mistake from Nick London to win material and scored an early point. Brian was at least equal in a rooks and pawns ending but wily Marcel Taylor managed to find a way to win. John H defeated George Murfet but Gary never got going against Mike Nailard. In the final game to finish Keith was a piece up against Chris Bonnello but had to fight hard to eventually win.

Even though it’s only the first match of the season this result could prove to be very important as RB 1 could be our third team’s main challengers for promotion.

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Who would have won the Notts Trophy?

Several years ago Mansfield cc suggested the NCA award a trophy for the highest placed Nottinghamshire based team in the league, due to Grantham’s dominance.

Had this trophy existed, who would have won it? It depends on which method of assessment is used. If it’s the team that finished 2nd in div 1 the winners would have been:
2009-10 Uni 1,  2010-11 WB 1,  2011-12 WB 1,  2012-13 Gam 1,
2013-14 Ash 1,  2014-15 Man 1,  2015-16 Gam 1, 2016-17 Man 1

Gambit 1, Mansfield 1 and WB 1 would each have won twice, with University 1 winning once and Ashfield 1 finally winning a trophy since their one and only league title in 1989.

The 2nd method is to ignore all the results against teams not based in Nottinghamshire:
2009-10 Uni 1,  2010-11 Gam 1,  2011-12 WB 1, 2012-13 Gam 1,
2013-14 Gam 1,  2014-15 Man 1,  2015-16  Gam 1,  2016-17  Man 1

Gambit 1 would have won 4 times, Mansfield 1 twice and WB 1 & Uni 1 once each.

This season, the challenge for the ‘Notts Trophy’ could be very competitive between Mansfield 1, Gambit 1 and WN 1. The relegation battle appears more clear cut with Newark 1 and Gambit 2 considerably weaker by grade to the other teams, although Ashfield 1 could also struggle as they might be without a couple of key players.

There’s hardly any point in playing the matches in division 2; might as well award the title to Grantham 2 now (they finished 5th in div 1 last season). Long Eaton look best placed for 2nd place. Ashfield 3 will finish last but it’s anyone’s guess who will join them.

Division 3 looks far more interesting. Central 1 would be firm favourites if all their strong players turn out regularly this season. If they don’t, then Gambit 3 should be favourites but could face a strong challenge from Grantham 3, RB 1 and possibly WN 2.

Gambit 4 should win division 4; hard to see any challengers, possibly WN 3.

Beeston should walk division 5. Normally they would have been placed in a higher division but at the time of entering the league they could not guarantee having 5 players available for matches. Hopefully, as the season progresses, they will attract new members. We wish them well in their efforts to establish a new club in what should be a good area to attract new members.

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August 2017 Grades

The August 2017 ECF grades have been published:

M Barnes 207, T Adams 192, R Evans 179, P Mercs 178, J Swain 177
G Jennings 169, M Naylor 165, O Graham 162, S Hunter 162, O Kofi-Ofuafor 158
D Sudar 151, H Edwards 147, B Hayward 145, J Huthwaite 144, J Tassi 142
G Hopkinson 131, G Gibson 128, D Padvis 126, K Roper 126, P Gorecka-Marshall 125
M Harper 124, M Gretton 92, A Groves 88, R Watson 84, K Heath 67, G Smith 50

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Darnall Rapidplay

Three Gambiteers entered the FIDE rated Darnall Rapidplay.

John Swain narrowly missed out on a prize after losing in the final round, leaving him joint 5th on 4/6 (Aditya Munshi & Anita Somton from WN were joint 2nd on 4.5/6).

Derek Padvis scored 2/6 in the Major, including 2 draws with two 1800+ players.

Drag Sudar also scored 2/6 in the Major after being on 2/2. In the final round his opponent played p-c8, pressed his clock, and replaced the pawn with a queen. Drag should have claimed the win because of the illegal move (you have to replace the pawn with another piece (Q, N, B or R) before ‘completing’ your move by pressing the clock), but didn’t bother. Had this occurred in an earlier round he would have done so.

In a separate game, a player moved his king to a square attacked by a pawn, took his hand off but, just before he pressed his clock, he noticed and and moved his king elsewhere before pressing his clock. This is allowed because the move is not ‘completed’ until the clock is pressed. As long as you spot the error before you press the clock you may correct it if you have a legal move with that piece.

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No Weeping Willows at Pre-Season Time Handicap

Jonah & Hambel Willow showed the Gambiteers how to play by coming 1st and joint 3rd respectively in Gambit’s annual pre-season time handicap (10 mins pp +/- time based on grade diffs).

Although Jonah was mostly drawn against relatively low graded opponents, it meant he had only 4 mins against his opponents’ 16 mins in 3 games and he had 5 mins & 6 mins against two others. He made no mistakes and also had a nice win over Mike Barnes in round 5 on his way to the 1st prize with a perfect 6/6 score.

Hambel had an excellent tournament as she beat John Swain & Mike Naylor and drew with Pete Mercs, scoring 4 points to finish joint 3rd.

The other prize winners were Oliver Graham in 2nd place on 4.5 points, Pete Mercs joint 3rd on 4 points, and John Huthwaite also joint third after beating Mike Barnes & Mike Naylor and drawing with Oliver Graham, losing only to Jonah in the final round.

There were some other ‘giant killings’. Derek Padvis beat Graeme Jennings & Onos Kofi-Ofuafor. Mike Naylor beat Pete Mercs. John Swain, in a very generous mood, handed out full points to Mick Harper, Aiden Mosley and Hambel.

16 club members and 4 guests took part (plus Drag controlling), an excellent turnout.

Final scores:
6.0 J Willow
4.5 O Graham
4.0 J Huthwaite, P Mercs, H Willow
3.5 M Barnes, B Hayward, G Jennings
3.0 M Harper, G Hopkinson, D Padvis, K Roper
2.5 M Gretton, O Kofi-Ofuafor, M Naylor
2.0 A Mosley, J Swain
1.5 M Radford
1.0 G Gibson, P Gorecka-Marshall

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2017-18 Teams

Gambit 2 will remain in division 1 next season, even though they ended up 7th last season, because the LMC has somehow allowed Grantham 2 to be relegated to division 2 even after finishing 5th, 4 points ahead of Gambit 2. Grantham easily has both the strength and numbers to comfortably field two highly competitive teams in division 1, so…

Gambit 1, 3, 4 & 5 will be in divisions 1, 3, 4 & 5 respectively, as expected from their final positions last season.

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CWANG 2017

Gambit finished 2nd in this year’s CWANG. We were equal 1st with a combined Mansfield / RB team going into the final round but they pulled ahead to win on 29.5 points to our 26, with Ashfield on 24, a combined Nomads / Beeston team on 11 and a combined Central /  Gambit team last on 9.5 points.


CWANG Round 1, and members of the winning team: Nick London (RB), Jon Tait (Mansfield), Jim Burnett (Mansfield) & Marcel Taylor (RB)

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2017-18 Gambit Lightning

Mike Barnes came from behind to emerge the winner of the Lightning event. In round 3 he was defeated by Pete Mercs but recovered to win his final 3 games, although he was lucky to win in round 5 against Graham Gibson, who missed a guaranteed draw. Graham also gave away a draw to Drag Sudar in round 1 when clearly winning.

In 2nd place was Pete Mercs who, after beating Mike, only drew with Drag before losing to Derek Padvis, but then beat Mick Harper in the final round.

Joint 3rd were Drag and Mike Naylor, who met in round 5 with Mike punishing a poor move by Drag before losing in the title decider to Mike Barnes.

Final Scores (out of 6):
5.0 Barnes
4.5 Mercs
4.0 Sudar, Naylor
3.5 Padvis, Hayward
3.0 Harper, Jennings, Roper
2.5 Gibson
2.0 Tassi, Huthwaite
1.5 Hopkinson
0.5 Gretton

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2016-17 Gambit Rapidplay Championship

Congratulations to Mike Barnes for winning Gambit’s first graded Rapidplay Championship, played out over 5 rounds during the season. Graeme Jennings and John Tassi were joint 2nd on 6.5/10 points. In each round the opponents play two games against each other, one with each colour. Full Results:

1st: M Barnes 9
2nd: G Jennings, J Tassi 6.5
4th: B Hayward, M Naylor, J Swain 6
7th: R Edwards, J Huthwaite 5
9th: D Sudar 4.5
10th: C Grainger 3.5
11th: D Padvis 1.5
12th: K Heath 0.5

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