Newark all over 3rd team

Our 3rd team suffered a 5-0 battering by Newark 2 this week. John H was checkmated by Alex Combie when Alex had just 1 second left on his clock. Brian, in a tricky rook & knight & pawns ending, lost material when short of time and ended up losing on time to Daniel Jazdzewski. Keith could not defend his rooks & pawns ending against Richard Myers. Peter G-M started brightly against Graham Ladds but then began to retreat and lost his knight after an oversight. Gary found himself two passed pawns down to Keith Aiton and could not prevent one of them getting promoted.

This is the 3rd team’s first ‘proper’ 5-0 loss (i.e. not involving any player defaults or any game point penalties) since ‘records began’ (based upon the NCA website which shows match details going back to 2005-06). As a club, we have ‘properly’ won 5-0 7 times and lost 8 times, with our 4th team losing 5 times. In total, there have been approximately 70 ‘proper’ 5-0 wins since 2005-06. 7 of these wins were between teams from the same club (Ashfield twice, Grantham twice and WN three times). Beeston have already recorded their first 5-0 win, at WB3 in September. Apart from them, Grantham are the only club not to have ‘properly’ lost 5-0 to any other club, while Long Eaton have never ‘properly’ beaten any other team 5-0. Navigation 2 (now Central) did the 5-0 double over WB 3 in 2008-09.

Our 1st team had a good 3.5 – 1.5 win at WN 1 on Monday. Mike B gained a useful draw against Jonah Willow. Tom also drew, with Shabir Okhai, Pete M beat Anthony Clare. Mike N could only manage a draw with Susie Wang who developed a good position but ran short of time. Graeme had an easy win over Rob Willoughby.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Newark all over 3rd team

League Weeks 3 & 4 Roundup

Gambit 1        1-4   Grantham 1
Grantham 2  4-1   Gambit 2
Ashfield 1      2-3   Gambit 3
Central 1        3-2   Gambit 4
Gambit 5     2.5-1.5  WN 4

Grantham did the double over our 1st and 2nd teams. In the 1st team match Tom & John S managed drew with Nigel Birtwistle & Francis Bowers, while Mike B, Florian & Mike N lost to Chris Dorrington, Steve Prior & Paul Cumbers respectively. For the 2nd team, Steve & Florian drew with Peter Cusick & Francis Bowers but Drag, John S & Onos lost to Paul Cumbers, Chris Holt & Andy Hebert. John, a pawn up and trying to get into Chris’ position, made the only move that allowed a mate in one. Oops.

Our 3rd team had a nice win at Ashfield 2 even after Brian kindly gave Bob Taylor his queen. John H succeeded with his mating attack on Phil Morgan. Peter G-M fell to solid play by John Shaw. Gary withstood an attack from Peter Brace, who sacrificed a piece, to eventually win. Nigel Wright was two pawns up against our Keith but couldn’t make progress and was eventually ground down.

Our 4th team played at Central’s new venue, the Vat & Fiddle. John T & Graham were outplayed by Kev Harvey & Mark Radford. Derek fell to Andy Sutton. Mick & Maggie beat John Dell & Mick Frings.

Our 5th team beat WN after Keith & Ronnie beat Arjuna Mendis & Mankaran Punglia, and Alan drew with Chris Hurst. Ken was beaten by Jonah Tomsett. Will this Jonah one day reach the heady heights of the club’s other Jonah?

In other news, Mike B scored 3 points in the Open section of the 4NCL FIDE rated congress in Nottingham, which GM Keith Arkell won. In the Major section (U2050 & U175) Drag got 3 points while Florian could only manage 2,5 points, losing to Long Eaton’s Julian Cast in round 5. Radcliffe & Bingham’s recently qualified ECF arbiter Marcel Taylor controlled the Minor section. After many years with just two ECF arbiters (Neil Graham & John Swain), Nottinghamshire now has 9, after Somton Ukken & Anita Somton also qualified to join Phil Beckett, Mike Nayor, Simon Scott and Drag.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on League Weeks 3 & 4 Roundup

Flukes and Frustrations

The 1st team had a fortunate 3.5 – 1.5 win over the 2nd team in the first match of the new season. Tom Adams (Gam 1) was very lucky to beat Steve Hunter (Gam 2). Tom had played very passively and Steve had gradually improved his position before smashing through on the ‘f’ file, winning a piece. Tom, ever resourceful, played a couple of very dangerous moves and, in severe time trouble, Steve missed both the winning line and perpetual check, and played a move that allowed a mate in one. By this time Florian Biermann (Gam 1) had exploited Drag Sudar’s opening errors and won relatively comfortably even though he did get down to 13 seconds at one point; the 10″ increments helped him. The other 3 boards were drawn: Mike Naylor (Gam 1) and Onos Kofi-Ofuafor tip-toed around each other; John Huthwaite (Gam 1) and Brian Hayward fought out a complicated draw; Mike Barnes (Gam 1) agreed a draw in a marginally worse position against Graeme Jennings.

It was a frustrating evening for the 4th team as they lost 3-2 to RB 1 when John Tassi lost on time against Nick London in a opposite coloured bishops ending. Graham Gibson fought well against Marcel Taylor but eventually lost. Derek Padvis had a good draw with Ben Vaughan and Mick Harper won fairly quickly against Len Morrell. Maggie Gretton had to give up a knight after 8 moves to avoid checkmate but somehow managed to draw against Charlotte Attwood.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flukes and Frustrations

Darnall Rapidplay 2018

Three Gambiteers played at the Darnall Rapidplay in Sheffield on Sunday 1st September.

In the Open section Pete Mercs beat International Master and top seed Andrew Ledger (FIDE 2390 = ECF 225) but unfortunately lost twice on time when winning, even with 5″ increments. He finished on 3 out of 6.

Drag Sudar came joint 2nd in the Major section with 4.5 points after winning his final game and two other results went his way. He didn’t know until Nomads’ Shane Bhayat congratulated him.

Derek Padvis put in a solid performance in the Intermediate section, winning 2 and drawing 3 to finish on 3.5 points. One of his wins was against a player with a 123F rapidplay grade but whose standard play grade was 146 in January.

The results and pairings can be found on

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Darnall Rapidplay 2018

2018-19 Pre-Season Swizzle

Twenty-four members and guests participated in the popular pre-season time handicap blitz, run very smoothly by John Swain.

There were five rounds with players having the basic 10 minutes each adjusted by the difference in ratings, with the most extreme possible being 3 mins v 17 mins for a gap of 70 points or more. As a result of this format, it was impossible to predict the result of individual encounters, which is part of the fun of the event. The small entry fee (£1) was returned as cash prizes.

This year’s joint winners were defending champion Jonah Willow (now a FIDE Master having reached 2300 and, at 217, the highest graded U16 in the country) and promising newcomer Nikola Baltov, with 4.5 points. Michael Barnes, also a FIDE Master, came third on 4 points. Florian Biermann and Mick Harper finished on 3.5 points to share the Slow-Starter Prize (no more than one point from the first two rounds).

Nikola (FIDE 1645 but, judging by his play, clearly stronger) outplayed Florian in round 2 and then beat Hambel Willow and Pete Mercs before sportingly offering a draw to Michael Barnes in the final round – Mike had a won position but only a second left! Top seed Jonah Willow drew in round 4 with Michael and had to be content with sharing the spoils with Nikola.

The final scores were:

4.5: Nikola Baltov (1645 FIDE =126 ECF), Jonah Willow 217 (£7.50 each)
4.0: Michael Barnes 200 (£4)
3.5: Florian Biermann 173, Mick Harper 120 (£1.50 each)
3.0: Richard Edwards 125, Peter Gorecka-Marshall 137, Onos Kofi-Ofuafor 159, Drag Sudar 163, Hambel Willow 133
2.5: Maggie Gretton 96, Mike Naylor 172, Derek Padvis 123
2.0: Alan Groves 93, Ken Heath 71, Gary Hopkinson 129, Pete Mercs 184, Ronnie Watson 97
1.5: Brian Hayward 140
1.0: Graham Gibson 114, John Huthwaite 150, Keith Roper 136

Additionally, Simon Scott (133) helped out by playing in three rounds, scoring 1 point and new member Robert Baker (ungraded, estimated 70) played in the last two rounds, scoring 0 points.

As always, it was a highly enjoyable event, and helps brush off the cobwebs before the new season starts in 3 weeks time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2018-19 Pre-Season Swizzle

GASH 2018

CWANG wasn’t held this year so Ashfield invited Gambit to join them in a mini-CWANG on 1st August. It was a 4 round Swiss (10′ + 5″ increments) where you always played against someone from the other club. It’s a good format. 10 players on each side.

There was never more than one point between the two teams and Gambit just edged it 20.5 – 19.5. Neil was in good form as the controller and it was a very enjoyable evening.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on GASH 2018

Onos Wins At Huddersfield

Congratulations to Onos Kofi-Ofuafor for coming joint first on 4.5/6 in the Major (U166) at Huddersfield Congress. Detailed results of all the sections are on


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Onos Wins At Huddersfield

2017-18 Club Champion – Pete Mercs

Congratulations to Pete who won the club championship with about 20 seconds left on his clock after Brian Hayward allowed a mate in one when a whole rook up.

The club championship is a 6 round Swiss held over 2 weeks at the end of the league season with players having 25 minutes for their moves +/- time depending on the difference in grades.

There were no shocks in the 1st two rounds but in round 3 Peter Gorecka-Marshall beat Mike Naylor to join Pete in the lead on 3/3. He continued his fine form by drawing with Pete in round 4 but his run was halted by Brian Hayward in round 5.

Going into the final round, Pete Mercs and Brian Hayward led on 4 points with Mike Naylor, John Huthwaite and Peter Gorecka-Marshall on 3.5 points. Pete G-M and John drew and Mike beat Derek Padvis to finish 2nd on 4.5 points.

Brian had used his time advantage well to go an exchange up v Pete and then won a knight. Although he was now a rook up (Q+R+2 v Q+3), his king was exposed to potential perpetual check (K on g3, pawns on f4 and h3) while Pete’s king was ‘hidden’ on h6 with pawns on h7, g6 and f5. Brian decided to hide his king on h4 but that allowed Pete to play Qxf4#

18 members took part with the final scores being:
5.0 Pete Mercs
4.5 Mike Naylor
4.0 Peter Gorecka-Marshall, Brian Hayward, John Huthwaite, Michael Harper
3.5 Onos Kofi-Ofuafor, Richard Edwards
3.0 Graham Gibson, Gary Hopkinson, Derek Padvis
2.5 Maggie Gretton, Grenville Brazener
2.0 Mark Radford, Keith Roper, Alan Groves
1.5 Ken Heath
0.0 Geoff Smith

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2017-18 Club Champion – Pete Mercs

Gambit 3 and Gambit 4 Champions!

Gambit 3 and Gambit 4 have won divisions 3 and 4 respectively – congratulations!

Florian was the club’s best performer with 10 wins, 1 draw and just 2 loses = 81%
6 more players had 70% or better: Peter Gorecka-Marshall 8-3-1=79%, Maggie Gretton 8-4-1=77%, Drag Sudar 16-4-4=75%, Keith Roper 15-0-5=75%, Alan Groves 8-1-3=71%, Tom Adams 12-4-4=70%. 6 more got > 60%, 9 more got at least 50%, with only 7 getting < 50%

Best Individual Wins:
Brian Hayward 143 beat Kevin Harvey 182
Jiri Jires 195 beat Chris Dorrington 231
Ronnie Watson 84 beat Michael Milford 105
Peter Mercs 179 beat Nigel Birtwistle 196
Drag Sudar 155 beat Kevin Simpson 170
John Huthwaite 144 beat Onos Kofi-Ofuafor 158
Peter Mercs 179 beat Jim Burnett 193
Ronnie Watson 90 beat James March 104

Best Individual Draws:
Peter Gorecka-Marshall  128 drew with Alan Griffiths 165
Oliver Graham 162 drew with Paul Cumbers 193
Drag Sudar 151 drew with Stuart Williams 182
Drag Sudar 151 drew with Ray Evans 179
Graeme Jennings 170 drew with Paul Cumbers 196
Graeme Jennings 170 drew with Jim Burnett 193
Maggie Gretton 92 drew with Vidura Mendis 114
Graham Gibson 124 drew with Alan Robinson 145
Peter Gorecka-Marshall 125 drew with Graham Ladds 146
Oliver Graham 159 drew with Peter Mercs 179
Michael Naylor 171 drew with Steve Prior 191

Probably the most remarkable story of the season was Gambit X winning division 2 after replacing the withdrawn University 1 team in October.

The club started the season with 26 members but in late September Jiri and Florian joined us, meaning 4 captains would have to rotate players and players would only get about 11 or 12 games rather than 14, so we began to discuss the idea of an extra team and the initial line up was going to be Florian, me, Graham Gibson plus whichever two other players I could call upon. In early October Steve and John T were added as regular team members and I expected us to finish 4th or 5th. Promotion was never our aim; we just wanted to give players more games.

On the day before our 1st match John T withdrew through illness and I used 3 different players in our 1st 3 matches before Mike N became the regular sub. By Christmas we found ourselves with a clear lead and only then did we begin to think about possibly winning the division. By now Mike was an established member of the team so we continued with this line up in the new year and found ourselves winning the title with 3 matches to spare. Florian turned out to be considerably stronger than his FIDE rating of 1802 (= 147 ECF).

Within the club there was considerable juggling of players during the season. We began with 26 players, increased to 28, entered an extra team, almost immediately lost Ray, Dick and John T to go down to 25 players, lost Jiri in February after he completed his course here, and then gained Andrei for a few games in Feb and March. In November we had just 25 players for 29 boards and in early February just 11 players to cover the 15 boards in Gambits 1, 2 and X. Gambit 4 had just 4 regulars for a large part of the season until John was well enough to play again, while Gambit 5 had only 3 regulars all season, so it is quite amazing that we did not default any boards at all this season. Great work by all our captains.

We haven’t decided yet whether to enter 5 or 6 teams next season but I doubt it will be anywhere near as exciting as this season has been.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gambit 3 and Gambit 4 Champions!

Congratulations to Mansfield 1 and Ashfield 1

Congratulations to Mansfield 1 for winning the 1st division title.

Also, congratulations to Ashfield 1 who beat WN 1 yesterday to finish 6th in division 1.

Our 2nd team missed numerous chances to convert some of our 8 (!) 3-2 losses into draws or wins and paid the price by ending up 7th. It’s not all bad news as we’ll be replaced by our X team who won division 2.

The only matters that are still outstanding for the club are whether our 3rd team will be able to clinch the 3rd division title in their final match and what the final score of the WB 4 v Gambit 4 match is. Our 4th team are guaranteed a draw and the 4th division title, but the result of one board is in dispute as both players are claiming a win on time.

With option 03 on the DGT2010 clock, which was used in this match (i.e. no increments), the first player to reach 00:00 gets a blinking black flag on their clock which remains there even if the other player’s clock reaches 00:00, so it’s impossible not to know who lost on time, so I’m struggling to understand how the above situation could have occurred.

Had the players used increments (option 18), when one player’s clock reached 00:00, not only would the blinking black flag have shown on their clock but the other clock would not have counted down any further, which makes it even more impossible (if that is possible) to not know who lost on time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Congratulations to Mansfield 1 and Ashfield 1