2017-18 Season – Weeks 9 & 10

We won 4 of our 5 matches in the past two weeks with wins for the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th teams; only the 2nd team lost.

Gambit 1 defeated a weakened WB 1. Mike B defeated Robert Richmond with a neat mating attack that Robert allowed by castling. Pete M also had a nice win over Brian Thompson. John S lost to the rarely seen Tim Walker. Jiri had a comfortable win over Steve Wootton who was making his debut for WB. Tom lost an exchange early on to Ross Murphy, but fought back to draw.

Gambit 2 fell to strong WN 1 team. Jiri accepted Zhe Law’s b-pawn offer but lost his e4 pawn as a result and later had to give up an exchange but couldn’t hang on. Tom beat Jonah Willow after Jonah spent lots of time trying to find ways through Tom’s position and this ultimately cost him later as he lost an exchange with no compensation. Oliver, in his desire to create activity against Aditya Munshi, weakened his position and then allowed his queen to be trapped behind enemy lines when pawn grabbing. Mike N tried to create q-side activity against Antony Clare but left himself overstretched and lost a piece. Graeme quickly gained a strong position against Karam Sangha and won material before returning it for an easy endgame.

Gambit 3 had a narrow win at Nomads 2.  Gary lost a piece early on but managed to recover to draw against Graham Neil. Brian lost to Will Eyre and Onos could only draw with Dave Griffiths. However John H and Keith had nice wins over Mike Swanwick and Paul Rees respectively.

Gambit 4 had a comfortable win over Nomads 3. Derek outplayed Clement Owusu. Mick H outplayed Alberto Rodriquez. Maggie was equal until her opponent (name tbc) gifted her a knight. Peter G-M was a pawn up against Dave Dunne but could only draw. Richard appeared to have a good k-side attack but lost a pawn and his position collapsed against Graham Neil.

Gambit 5 had a comfortable win over the WN 4 girls’ team with wins for Gary, Alan and Ken, but Ronnie escaped with a draw when totally lost as his opponent ran out of time.

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10 Gambiteers in action at the weekend

The Notts Open team that hosted Warwickshire last weekend included 7 members from our club, scoring 4/7 in a 10-6 win. Oliver and Florian won, Jiri, Pete M, John S & John H drew and only Tom lost. Details of the match result can be found on the www.mccu.org.uk  site.

Neil Graham did well to put out a competitive team as several of his likely 16 were at the Scarborough congress, including 3 from Gambit. Mike B scored 3.5 in the open after a shock 1st round loss to Richard Webster. Mike N scored 2.5 in the open and Drag scored 2.5 in the major.

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2017-18 – Week 8 Round Up

Two wins and a draw this week.

Gambit 2 drew with Ashfield 1 after looking like winning at one point. Jiri was beaten fairly quickly by Dong. Tom was two pawns up against John Molyneux but as the game exploded into life John managed to get both back and after the dust had settled Tom found himself with a bishop v 2 connected pawns. Fortunately he was able to get his king back just in time to ensure a draw. Oliver was looking very comfortable against Steve Burke with at least a draw and a strong pawn on the 7th rank. He then played a couple of weakening moves allowing Steve a mating threat which he could only stop by leaving his support of the advanced pawn. Steve took the pawn and proceeded to invade Oliver’s position and it was soon over. Mike N was involved in a tight battle with Glenn Halfpenny who had a good looking pawn advance. However Mike played nicely ending a pawn up and, although he missed a forced win, he did pounce on a later mistake by Glenn to win. Onos also had a tight game v David Levens but took advantage of an error by David to win a piece and the game.

Gambit 4 had a nice 4-1 win over Ashfield 4 on the same night (very nice fixture scheduling by Robert Richmond). Dick was under pressure from Trevor Lewis but Trevor made a mistake which allowed a mating attack. Peter outplayed Peter Clarke winning material on the way to a mating combination. Derek dropped a pawn in an equal position v Richard Dyce but the players agreed a draw. Mick H was winning against George Heath but lost a piece; however he was able to hold on for a draw. Maggie beat Ric Dawson with a potentially mating attack which resulted in the win of a piece.

Gambit X had a very nice victory at LE who suffered an early blow as Alex Bentley failed to show, giving Florian a win by default. Steve took advantage of opening inaccuracies by Andy Robins to completely paralyse Andy’s position and Andy resigned when faced with the inevitability of losing material. Drag won Wallace Bryce’s e4 pawn, then his h2 pawn (Wallace could not take the bishop as it lead to mate in 4) and then his f2 pawn. John S took an early grip of David William’s position and forced through a victory. Graham ended up in a typically stodgy position and agreed a draw with Johnathan Swift. The match result was 5-0 due to the half point transfer but it was nice to win the match 3.5 – 0.5 over the 4 boards played meaning we didn’t have to rely on the defaulted board for the win.

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2017-18 – Week 7 Round Up

A busy week with 4 of our teams in action.

Gambit 1 faltered again with another draw, this time at WN 1. The most notable individual result was WN’s Karam Sangha drawing with Tom. WN’s Robert Willoughby gave Jiri a scare before Jiri recovered to win. Michael and John drew with Law and Clare but Pete was easily beaten by Jonah Willow.

Gambit X missed an opportunity to get off to a winning start by only drawing with Nomads 1. Mike N and Steve drew with Dave Flynn and Maurice Hill. Drag beat Will Eyre. Florian turned down perpetual check to go for a win after sacrificing a bishop, but it didn’t work and Shane Bhayat won. Graham missed the same ‘mate in 2’ three times (could only be stopped by Graham Neil giving up his queen) and eventually they drew.

Gambit 3 beat Uni 2 (in reality their 1st team now that Uni 1 have withdrawn) 3 – 2. Keith, Gary and Brian won, while Onos lost and John was mated by ex Gambiteer Charlie Grainger who had just 14 seconds left on his clock.

Gambit 5 had a 4-0 win over WN 5 but Gary had to work hard to beat Alexandra Arlachova who played very sharply. The other winners were Ronnie, Alan and Ken.

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Rapid Success For Florian At Birmingham

Florian Biermann has only been a Gambit member for a few weeks but wasted no time in winning his first UK weekend event, coming joint 1st in the Major at the Birmingham Rapidplay with 5.5 / 7.  Drag Sudar finished joint 4th, one point behind Florian. Pete Mercs had a less successful time in the Open, finishing on 2 points. Central’s Mark Radford came joint 1st in the Intermediate section with 5.5 points.


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2017-18 League – Week 6 Round Up

Gambit 4 had an excellent 5-0 win at Central 2 this week. Gary Hopkinson won Mark Radford’s queen. Derek Padvis sacrificed a rook to win Kevin Argyle’s queen. Mick Harper  and Maggie Gretton both won pieces against Mick Frings and Simon Parham respectively. Peter Gorecka-Marshall escaped with a win on time against Andy Sutton who was better at one point.

This win makes up for the unfortunate loss to Newark 3 two weeks ago which the 4th team won 3-2 but then had a penalty of loss of game plus a 0.5 point transfer for fielding an ineligible player. Captain Derek mistakenly thought Dick Edwards was 145 and Peter G-Marshall 127 rather than 147 and 125, so played Peter on 2 and Dick on 3. An easy mistake to make at the start of a season when players have new grades.

Gambit 2 got their first win of the season thanks to a 3-2 win over a much weakened WB 1 who have now lost all their opening 3 matches, all to their main relegation rivals. Steve Hunter and Florian Biermann (making his debut for the club) comfortably beat Frank Hill and Terry Lavelle. However Oliver Graham fell to a very nice move by Ross Murphy that won a queen  and 2 pawns for his two rooks. Mike Naylor found himself in a lifeless R+5 pawns endgame and drew. This left Graeme Jennings trying to hold on for a draw against Robert Richmond with R+3 v R+4 (all on the same side). Graeme played very nicely and a draw was agreed when it got down to R v R+1. Graeme benefitted from the new time increment as he knew he could focus on the game rather than worrying about his time running out.

We have entered an extra team into division 2 to replace the withdrawn University 1.

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Gambit 1 v Ashfield 1 – 3 Oct

Ashfield 1, with their best line-up, escaped with a draw when they maybe should have lost.
Mike Barnes played well against N Dong but missed a subtle and difficult to spot mate in 3 when in time trouble and Dong eventually won.
John Swain’s exchange sacrifice was refuted by John Molyneux and later our John missed a chance to win material and their John needed no more chances.
Pete Mercs and Steve Burke fought out a tight draw.
Jiri Jires, making his debut for us, nicely outplayed the normally solid Glenn Halfpenny.
Tom Adams won a game he was losing to Ashfield’s latest recruit David Levens, who suffered further indignity the following night by losing to another Gambiteer, Drag Sudar, in the Derby League.

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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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