Our 1st team beat Ashfield 1 4.5 – 0.5. Mike B won an exchange and, after avoiding one or two potential tricks by Glenn Halfpenny, mated with a neat sequence of moves. Pete had the edge v Steve Burke and swapped off into a won endgame but then dropped a pawn and drew. Mike N took control of his game v David Levens and forced a swap of pieces on the king side, enabling him to win pawns on the queen side and to win the endgame. Graeme built up pressure on Phil Morgan’s king, played a lovely exchange sacrifice on h7 which allowed his pieces to pour into Phil’s position, and mated. Florian converted a seemingly equal looking position into an endgame against Neil Graham.
Our 3rd team beat Ashfield 3 4-1. There were wins for John H, Keith & Gary against Bob Taylor, Paul Kelman & Trevor Lewis, and draws for Peter GM & Brian against John Shaw and Nigel Wright. This win moves Gambit 3 up to 3rd, level on points with WB 2, and 2 points behind Beeston.
When was the last time a club had two 5-0 results in the same week? Unfortunately only one of them went our way.
Our 4th team, whose aggregate age was about 275 years more than WN 4’s, were all in the bar well before 10pm. Keith, in for John who was celebrating a landmark birthday, patiently beat Alexandra Archalova who had begun brightly. Mick also had to face an enthusiastic start by Kian Chan before taking over with Kian having to give up his queen to prevent mate. Derek took control early on and won comfortably against Arjuna Mendis. Graham totally confused Mankaran Punglia in the opening. Maggie, after a bit of defending, countered with a mating attack. This win moves our 4th team to the top of division 4, above WN 3 on ‘goal difference’ with both having played 6 matches.
Our 2nd team went to Mansfield hoping they might rotate their team but Mansfield, in 6th place and possibly with last season’s draw in mind, fielded all 3 big guns. Drag faced Jon Tait’s Schliemann and winged it during the opening, emerging ok, only to make a small mistake to give Jon the initiative. Jon still had to tread carefully to avoid Drag’s mating threat, and very nearly allowed a queen sacrifice that would have secured Drag a draw. Onos gave Pete Ackley a slight edge and Pete is very good at converting these positions. John, doing ok, played a speculative knight for two pawns sac on h6 which Jim Burnett happily accepted before calmly taking control. Jose uncharacteristically misplayed the opening and found himself an exchange down, but he made Ken Morrison work hard for the full point. Steve’s passive play gave Chris Cantrill the initiative which he never let slip. After our brief flirt with top spot we are now back in our more traditional 6th place and looking forward to our perennial battle with Ashfield 1 to avoid relegation.
Grantham 1 beat their nearest rivals, a weakened Gambit 1, 3.5 – 1.5 to open up a gap at the top of the table with a perfect 6 wins out of 6. The match began badly when Drag misplayed the opening against Stuart Williams and let his queen get trapped. Mike B cancelled that out with an easy win over Nigel after winning two pawns and an exchange. John S defended a potential k-side breakthrough by Peter Cusick and they settled for a draw. Mike N was initially level but after the position opened up Steve Prior gained a powerful passed pawn and his better coordinated pieces told in the end. This left Pete needing to win and, even though a pawn down, he rejected an opportunity to force Paul Cumbers to play perpetual checks to avoid being mated, but eventually lost on time with Paul’s flag also hanging.
Much better news for our 3rd & 5th teams who had very comfortable wins against their corresponding WB opposition. Our 3rd team beat WB 3 4 – 1. John H, Peter GM, Keith & Gary all won with only Brian losing. It looks as if they will be involved in a 4 way battle for promotion against Beeston, WB 2 and RB 1. Our 5th team beat WB 5 4 -0 with wins for Ronnie, Thomas. Maggie & Ken. Ronnie beat Jose Serrano who is about 30 points higher, while the rest beat inexperienced juniors.
Our 4th team beat Central 2 4.5 – 0.5. John T won comfortably against Lucasz Kacprzak. Derek’s pressure eventually told with his d pawn breaking through Mick Frings’ defence. Graham’s solid game caused Simon Parham to drop a piece. Maggie established a mating attack on the K-side which Mike James couldn’t prevent. The other game was drawn by Mick H who let slip a good position against John Moore. This result leaves the team in 2nd place, one point behind WN 3.
Our 2nd team was crushed 0.5 – 4.5 by Grantham 1. John S tried to play positively against Nigel Birtwistle but eventually had to concede. Florian misplayed the opening and Paul Cumbers is too good a player to hand him even the smallest advantage. Drag, distracted by captain matters, played too loosely and Stephen Prior took advantage, smoothly avoiding the last gasp trap Drag set which much lesser players may have fallen into. Steve began ok against Stuart Williams but a misjudgment resulted in his centre collapsing. Onos played very well to draw against Peter Cusick after being delayed for 20 minutes due to traffic.
A win and two draws this week.
Our 1st team beat Newark 1 4-1. There were good wins by Mike B & John S over Murray Smith & Andy George. The other 3 games were affected by players getting themselves into time trouble. Pete lost to Zoltan Tardi after running low on time. Graeme beat Alex Combie after Alex got into time trouble. Florian won on time against David Coates.
Our 3rd team drew with Central 1. There were 3 draws between Brian, Keith & Gary and Andy Sutton, Pat Allen & Terry Lavelle. Peter GM began brightly against Mark Radford but allowed Mark to develop a strong attack which Mark finished very smartly. John H looked to be in a fairly dull drawn position against Mark Darlington but John posed questions as Mark’s time went down, and eventually broke through, winning material.
Our 5th team also drew, against Grantham 4. Ronnie drew fairly quickly with Alan Nelder. Ken found himself a couple of pawns down in a R+pawns endgame and couldn’t prevent Chris Cumbers from winning. Thomas had a fortunate moment when John Pocock missed a chance to win a piece but after that he played nicely to win. Graham was a pawn down in a R+pawns end game against Richard Frankland but managed to draw.
Our 4th team beat division 4 leaders WN 3 3.5 – 1.5 to move up 4 places to 2nd, one point behind WN 3. John T had a solid draw with Rob Willoughby. Derek touched a bishop and had to move it, allowing his K & Q to be forked by Andrew Watson. Mick H brought the scores level with a good win over Mike Herbert with passed queen side pawns. Graham played well to go a piece up and, although he missed a mate in 2, he eventually won in slightly bizarre circumstances with Nigel Marshall conceding, incorrectly thinking he was mated, but he was a rook and bishop down by this point. Maggie was in an equal N + pawns position when her opponent, Daniel McWilliams, offered a swap of knights in an attempt to win to draw the match. Maggie accepted the swap but then missed an immediate chance to win the resultant isolated king’s pawn. The game was heading for a draw when Daniel suddenly resigned, thinking he couldn’t prevent a pawn rushing to the 8th even though he could easily do so.
Our 2nd team missed a chance to put some distance between themselves and their relegation rivals Ashfield 1 as they lost 3.5 – 1.5. Drag completely misplayed the position and allowed John Molyneux to win easily. Steve had created a passed pawn but then dropped an exchange after which David Levens missed a chance to win a bishop. Steve still had good chances but, with his time running low, unfortunately allowed a mate in one. Onos was slightly worse but managed to hold onto a draw against Neil Graham. The other two games, Jose & Brian against Steve Burke & Phil Morgan, always looked drawn. This important win for Ashfield brings them up to just 2 points behind our 2nd team and still to play Uni 1 & WN 1 before Christmas.
Three Gambiteers went up to Scarborough for the congress. As forecast, it rained incessantly from Friday pm until Saturday lunch and getting to the venue down the narrowed path from the foot bridge involved wading through a large puddle. The rain stopped on Saturday and on Sunday the sun came out and the sea became blue.
In round 1 in the Open, Mike Barnes beat a 170 who lost in round 2 when an arbiter caught him looking at the rugby score on his mobile at the bookstall and had to penalise him for having taken his phone out of the playing area in spite of clear warnings before play began. In round 2 Mike faced 2nd seed Lawrence Webb (222) and eventually had to concede. Two wins against 170s followed before he found himself floated up to face 6th seed James Moreby (211). Having to win to stand any chance of prize money Mike gave it a go but James was a bit sharper. Still, 3/5 with a 198 average, and playing two of the three joint winners (the other being GM Danny Gormally (245)), was a very decent performance.
Mike Naylor also entered the Open. He faced a 204 in round 1 and played very well with an equal or possibly better position deep into the game before a lapse of concentration allowed a simple trick winning material. A win and a loss to 170s followed; the loss after being an exchange up as he didn’t defend as tightly as he could have. A very quick draw on Sunday am v a 160 was followed by a long game v a 135 where Mike had to play accurately to win in a rooks plus pawns endgame. 2.5 and an average of 170 was a solid performance.
Solid performance is not how to describe Drag Sudar’s play in the Major. A lifeless draw in round 1 v a 139 was followed by a careless mistake and a loss to a 139 junior. He played reasonably well in round 3 before his 150 opponent allowed a mating attack. Another turgid draw came in round 4 v a 130. In round 5 he probably should have lost to a 169 before happily accepting a draw offer. 2.5 points with just a 145 average.
Some other Notts players entered and the details are on the Chess Results website.
Next year’s Open and Major might be FIDE rated.
Our 1st team had an important win this week over title rivals Mansfield to go top of the league. Florian continued his good form from the NCC last weekend by comfortably beating Janos Wagenbach. Graeme created 2 queen side passed pawns which Kev Simpson could not stop. Pete had an excellent win over Jim Burnett, forcing a won K + pawns endgame. Mike N ended up unable to hold his queen side pawns in the endgame v Ken Morrison. Mike B put pressure on Pete Ackley’s position but eventually settled for a draw.
Our 3rd team had a useful 3-2 win at Nomads to move into the top half of division 3. There were wins for Brian, Keith & Gary against Dave Griffiths, Paul Rees & Steve Swanwick. John H & Peter GM lost to Will Eyre & Haroon Majeed.
Our 5th team had their 1st win of the season, 2.5 – 1.5, at Ashfield 4. Thomas & Ronnie beat Richard Dyce & Malcolm Jackson. Ken Heath drew with Ric Dawson. Alan Groves lost to Pete Clarke.
The Nottinghamshire County Championships were held this weekend at the High School, ably run as always by Robert Richmond who deserves a lot of credit for his unassuming hard work organising our 3 local events.
The Minor Section featured two Gambiteers, Graham Gibson & Ronnie Watson. Graham scored 3.5 / 5 but Ronnie managed a solitary win while losing the other 4. The winner was Robert Abrahart with 4 points.
The Major Section didn’t have anyone from our club. It was won by Janos Wagenbach on 4 points with Tim Lane coming 2nd on 3.5 points.
The Championship Section included 5 Gambiteers: Mike Barnes, Pete Mercs, Florian Biermann, Drag Sudar & Jose Pinto Vieira. Shabir Okhai became county champion with 4.5 points after beating Mike, Florian, Drag & Armaan Gogia who had produced a major shock in round 2 by beating Jon Tait who also only drew with Steve Burke.
Florian had a fantastic weekend; 2nd place on 3.5 points with a tournament rating of 203! He produced two shocks, beating Jon and drawing with Mike. He also beat Jose & Steve.
Mike came 3rd with 3 points. He escaped with a draw against Pete, who missed a win in the endgame, and beat Drag & Daniel. Drag finished joint 4th on 2.5 points with Jon, Pete & Jose. He defeated Pete & Armaan and drew with Steve. Jose lost an exciting game v Jon, drew with Daniel and beat Pete who managed just one win, v Daniel.
3 of our teams faced Uni teams recently, winning two matches and drawing the other.
Our 1st team scraped past Uni 1 3-2. There was a well played win by Mike N v Jonathan Finn and John S continued his good form by beating Stanislav Huseletov. A surprising loss by the usually solid Graeme to Ewan Fewell gave Uni 1 hope, but draws by Mike B & Pete M against Michael Maciejewski & Tharshan Kuhendiran ensured victory for us.
Our 4th team were also away, at Uni 2, and came away with a draw. Derek & Graham beat Vishu Ketheeswaran & Ashrit Chohan respectively, and John T drew with Tom Dabner. Mick ‘n’ Mags lost to Kaushik Kuralla & Marcos Lopez Lema.
Leaving the best till last, our 2nd team performed magnificently to beat a much stronger Uni 1 team 4-1, a score that flattered them as it should have been 5-0. First to finish was Drag who, thinking his position was looking dodgy, decided to attack and found himself threatening mate against Michael Maciejewski. Although Michael defended the first threat he fell for Drag’s offer of a rook which allowed Drag to play a cheeky little checkmate. Soon after, Jose converted his exchange advantage into a clearly won R & pawns endgame. Jose has settled into the club very nicely indeed. This was soon followed by a very nice win by Florian who played very solidly and then punished an error by Dave Redman. Steve managed to fend off Charlie Grainger’s attack but then missed a winning chance and drew. John S had played very nicely v Tarun Malhotra, 31 points higher than John. Tarun had a rolling ‘a’ pawn which forced John’s king away from his 3 kingside pawns allowing Tarun to draw. Later, after some analysis, we did find a win for John but few people would have found the move with under two minutes left on the clock.