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.

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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


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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

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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.

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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.

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1st team keep up pressure on Mansfield 1

The 1st team kept up the pressure on Mansfield 1 by beating Newark 1 4-1. Both teams were without important players with us missing Pete M, Florian and Graeme while Newark were without Daniel Jazdzewski, Ian Burridge and Murray Smith, which probably hurt them more than us. Mike B created a passed e pawn and played a neat bishop move that destroyed Alex Combie’s position. Tom exploited a poor move by Andy George to win material. John S played out a tight draw with Zoltan Tardi. Drag, a pawn and two minor pieces down for a rook, should have lost to Tony Bourke, but Tony was concentrating so hard on a choice between two good moves that he failed to notice his time run out. Mike N had managed to turn a good position into a tricky one so happily accepted Graham Ladds’ draw offer after Drag won. The 1st team have now completed their fixtures and are two points ahead of Mansfield 1 with the same game points difference, aka ‘goal difference’, but Mansfield 1 have three matches left, v Gambit 2, WB 1 & Newark 1 so should win the title very easily.

The 3rd team kept up their challenge for the 3rd division title by beating a tricky looking Nomads 2 4.5 – 0.5 to leave themselves on the same number of points as University 1 but just behind them on game point difference. University 1 have completed their fixtures so our 3rd team just needs to avoid defeat in their final match v WB 3 in mid April to claim the title.

The 4th team had a good 3.5 – 1.5 win at Nomads 3 on Monday to stay first in division 4. They are 3 points ahead of WN 3 and have one match left to play, v WB 4 while WN 3 have two matches left, v RB 2 & Ashfield 4. A draw v WB 4 next week will clinch first place for our 4th team due to their vastly superior game point difference.

The 5th team retained their 3rd place in division 5 with a 4-0 win over 2 man University 3.

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One Title And Two Promotions

Gambit X, thrown together in October to fill a gap in division 2, have surpassed all expectations by winning division 2 with three matches to spare after we defeated WB 2 4-1 and Nomads 1 lost to Ashfield 2.

Gambit 3’s promotion was confirmed after Uni 2 beat WB 3, but the 3rd team still have to battle it out with Uni 2 for the division 3 title.

Gambit 4 won promotion in style by beating Newark 3 5-0. I understand that the games were closer than the score suggests. Gambit still have work to do to win the division 4 title.

Our 2nd team missed the chance to secure safety in division 1 as we lost 3-2 to WN 1. To stay up we need to take at least a point off title chasing Mansfield 1 in our final match or, if we lose, Ashfield 1 must drop at least one point in their final two matches, v WB 1 & WN 1.

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EOF February Summary

Our 1st team defeated Grantham 1 3-2 this week to keep up their slim chances of winning the title. They are behind Mansfield 1 on ‘goal difference’ and with only one match left, v Newark 1, while Mansfield 1 still have 3 matches left, v WB 1, Gambit 2 and Newark 1, so it will require a massive collapse by Mansfield 1 for Gambit 1 to win the title.

At the other end of the table, Ashfield 1 narrowly beat Newark 1 to close the gap to Gambit 2 to 3 points but as they still have WB 1 to play, the gap is effectively just one point. Both teams have to play WN 1 at home so this relegation battle might not be resolved until April.

Nomads 1 beat WB 2 to keep up their challenge to Gambit X in division 2. We need 2 more points to guarantee promotion, and 3 for the title, but if Nomads 1 fail to beat Ashfield 2 next week and if we beat WB 2 then it’ll be all over.

Our 3rd team made life difficult for themselves last week by being thrashed 4.5 – 0.5 by closest rivals Uni 2, with the ‘goal difference’ turning in Uni’s favour. However, they got back on track this week by thrashing Grantham 3 4.5 – 05, and are 4 points ahead of Uni 2 with two matches left compared to Uni’s three. Only WB 3 can now prevent one of these two teams being promoted by winning all their remaining 6 matches by large margins. At the time of writing the result of the WB 3 v Uni 2 match was unknown but if WB 3 have failed to beat Uni 2 then Gambit 3 will already be promoted.

Our 4th team and Next Gen Super Kids WN 3 won their respective matches last week and only Ashfield 4 can now prevent one of these teams from gaining promotion by winning their remaining 5 matches. Gambit 4 are a point ahead of WN 3 with a better ‘goal difference’ with both teams having 3 matches left so the battle for the title could go all the way, especially as WN 3’s final 3 matches look easier on paper.

Our 5th team lost to WB 5 this week but were already out of the promotion race as Beeston and Central 3 are too far ahead. They will be looking forward to their final match of the season at Central 3 when more pints might be sunk than moves made.

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1st team relegate WB1

On Monday the 1st team beat WB1 3 -2 to send them down. There were 4 draws from Mike B, Pete M, John S & Graeme v Robert Richmond, Brian Thompson, Will Atiomo & Chris Budd respectively with the only win coming from Tom v Mike Hunter. WB 1 still have an important role to play in helping determine who joins them as they have to play Ashfield 1.

The 2nd team beat Ashfield 1 3.5 – 1.5 on Wednesday. Oliver never got going against David Levens and never recovered. Mike N played Neil Graham for the 3rd time in 2018 and couldn’t do better than draw. Both Tom and Drag won with the same combination against Steve Burke and Jerry Herrington respectively; they both took a white squared bishop on the 7th rank with their queen and then forked their opponent’s king and queen with a knight. How often does something like that happen? Florian defended his e6 pawn v Derek Jarvis for a long time, getting down to about 10 seconds at one point, but the increments (thanks Steve!) allowed him to continue playing and when he counterattacked, Derek, also now short of time, made a mistake allowing Florian to win. We are now 5 points ahead of Ashfield with two to play. Ashfield 1 have three matches to play so can still catch us.

Gambit X narrowly beat Ashfield 3 by 3 – 2 on Tuesday. Mike N won an exchange v Neil Graham (how often have the same two players played each other on consecutive nights with the same colours, for different teams?) and won fairly comfortably. Graham won a pawn v Richard Dyce but promptly lost one and the game petered out to a draw. Drag was in a drawn position versus Trevor Lewis but stupidly decided to try to win and played a losing move. What game management and experience? (see Phil’s article on the NCA site). Andrei Procopie made his debut for the club, v Alan Robinson. Andrei built up a decent queen side position but Alan is nothing if not resourceful and eventually Andrei had to accept a draw. This win leaves Gambit X on 18 points from 10 matches, needing two more points from their remaining 4 matches for promotion and 3 points for the title.

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Double Defeat in Week 24

Both the 2nd and 4th teams lost narrowly this week.

The 2nd team lost 3-2 against Newark 1 who still have a mathematical chances of winning the title. Tom was doing fine against Murray Smith but allowed his knight to wander away from where it was needed and Murray punished him. Graeme played a good opening against Alex Combie and they agreed a draw with Alex probably gaining a small positional advantage but short of time. Steve and Zoltan played out a very drawish line in the French. Mike N quickly found himself in a bit of a mess v Andy George and was never able to equalise. Drag had a slight advantage out of the opening with Daniel Jazdzewski and won a pawn. Daniel, relying on the 10 second increments to prevent his flag falling, missed a move that would have drawn the game. This is the 6th time Gambit 2 have lost 3-2 this season so if we do go down I guess it might be a case of ‘if only….’.

The 4th team also lost 3-2, to their closest promotion rivals WN 3. John T played very nicely to go a piece up against Armaan Gogia and won. Peter GM built up a good attacking position v Ritika Maladkar but allowed her to counter attack and soon found himself in trouble, eventually losing a piece. Keith played one of his typically steady games and won Lavanya Maladkar’s pawn and later her rook. Mick H was doing fine v Vidura Mendis but then dropped a rook. Maggie started ok v Kim Enkh Mergen but then he built a ferocious attack with all sorts of threats and Maggie was forced to yield. A few years ago we saw the emergence of Taylor Pearson, Adi Munshi, Anita Somton and Jonah & Hambel Willow. Now we are seeing the emergence of the next generation of super kids thanks to the brilliant work done by everyone at WN. What is so refreshing about their play is their fearlessness and their ability to find really good tactics.

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