Ashfield 3 v Gambit X

Gambit X continued their unexpected good form by beating Ashfield 3 4-1. Mike N played out a fairly mundane draw with Neil Graham who uncharacteristically played very quietly. Florian was happy to be sent down a opening line he understood well by Steve Bak and took control of the board before winning a piece. Steve steadily built a strong position against Nigel Wright and, when it appeared he couldn’t make progress on the K-side, he switched to the Q-side and broke through. Nigel Wright sacrificed a bishop for two pawns but it didn’t help him. Drag was lucky to beat Pete Clarke who, after playing well to reach a drawish endgame, swapped off rooks leaving Drag with a won position.

Graeme and Ray were seemingly heading for a draw when Graeme went trigger happy and successive checks took Ray’s king from g7 to h3. Graeme played Bf1+ and Ray responded with Qf3+. What happened next proves why captains should not have arbiter rights in league matches. Graham asked for advice after Ray’s illegal move but all his captain Drag (allegedly a qualified ECF arbiter) could remember to advise was that Graham could have 2 extra minutes, completely forgetting to also advise that Ray still had to make a legal move with his queen if there was one (Qg2) which would have resulted in Ray losing his queen. Ray moved his queen back to d5 and his king out of check and a couple of moves later they agreed a draw, which was a fair result based on how the game was played.

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WB 1 v Gambit 2

Gambit 2 won this vital relegation battle 4-1 against a WB team that yet again was without some of its better players, a problem they have had all season. Jiri, Mike N and Oliver beat Robert Richmond, Chris Budd and Bob Abrahart respectively. Graeme drew with Harry Croasdale and Tom lost to Brian Thompson. This win moves the 2nd team a point above Ashfield 1.

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Gambit 1 v Gambit 2

The 2nd half of the season saw the 1st team narrowly beat the 2nd team 3-2. Mike B pounced on an error by Graeme to win. Pete M trapped Oliver’s rook but the position was blocked so he couldn’t make progress and a draw was agreed. John S punished Florian’s poor move after Florian turned down John’s offer of a draw. Steve and Drag played out a rather dull draw. The real fireworks were on board 5 after Onos castled Q-side allowing Mike N to build pressure on the open b-file before smashing open the centre to win material.

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Table Topping Trio

Table Topping Treble

The last time three teams from the same club won three divisions was in the 1986-87 season when West Bridgford 1, 2 & 4 won divisions 1, 2 & 4 respectively.  Currently  Gambit X, 3 & 4 lead divisions 2, 3 & 4.

Gambit 3 have won all 7 matches so far this season and are 3 points clear with a match in hand over 2nd placed University 2. Keith has won all his 7 games and everyone else except Gary has winning records. All 5 have played in every match this season. There is a note of caution though. Four of the matches have been won 3-2 so they will have to remain focused in the 2nd half of the season to maintain their place at the top of the division.

Gambit 4’s passage has not been as plain sailing as Gambit 3’s. Although they won their 1st match (against Newark 3) on the night, captain Derek had played Peter G-M above Richard Edwards thinking Peter was 127 and Richard 145 when Peter was actually 125 and Richard 147. The match result changed from a 3-2 win to a 2-3 loss.

They recovered well though, with a 5-0 thrashing of Central 2, and have won their other 4 matches to lead division 4 by a point with a game in hand over WN3 and are two points above Newark 3 who have also played just 6 matches.  Maggie has won 4 and drawn 1 of her five games and both Mick and Peter remain unbeaten, with Derek having lost just one game. As with Gambit 3, there is a note of caution. Their wins, in order, were 5-0, 4-1, 3.5 – 1.5, 3-2 & 3-2, so their winning margin has narrowed as the season has progressed. With 8 matches left, they still have a lot of work to do to maintain their lead.

The surprise package is Gambit X which was cobbled together at the start of October to fill the gap in division 2 left by the withdrawal of University 1. Almost immediately after the team was entered, they lost the services of John Tassi, who is gradually recovering from illness, so, just like Gambit 4, there have only been 4 regular players.

After drawing with Nomads 1 they beat LE 5-0 and have won the other 4 matches to lead division 2 by 3 points more than Nomads 1 with a game in hand, and are 4 points above Ashfield 2 having played one more match. Drag has won all 6 of his games and Steve has won 4 and drawn 2. Florian has a 3-0-1 record.

Graham has yet to record his 1st win. His game against Alan Robinson in the Ashfield 2 v Gambit X match is currently a matter of dispute and is with the LMC. The issue involves a faulty clock, interference by a spectator (Ashfield 2’s captain), what happened afterwards (and what could or should have happened), the impact on the game (an almost certain win on time became a loss over the board), and clarification both about the laws of chess and whether a captain can dispute a result after signing off the match result when he later becomes aware of the interference.

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Nottinghamshire County Championships

10 Gambiteers, a quarter of the total entry, played at the NCC last weekend.

In the championship section, Jiri and Mike B both scored 2.5 points but Jiri faced considerably stronger opponents with an average grade of 196 while Mike’s opponents’ average was only 179. Jiri beat Mike in round 1 and Florian in round 4. Peter M and Florian both scored 2 points.

In the U155 section Drag scored 3 points after throwing away a won game in the final round against eventual winner Jonathan Finn. John H scored 2.5 and Graham got 1.5

In the U125 section, Mick H scored 3 points, beating Ronnie in round 4. Ronnie got 1.5 points and drew with Maggie who also scored 1.5 points.

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2017-18 League Season so far

It’s been a busy season so far. We gained several new players and as a result were able to enter an extra team, Gambit X, in division 2, replacing the withdrawn University 1 team.

Gambit 1 beat Grantham 1 last week to go 2nd on 8 points from 5 matches in division 1, behind Mansfield on ‘goal difference’.

Gambit 2 have picked up a win and a draw from their 5 matches and remain in the relegation places.

Gambit 3 have had a tremendous start to the season winning all 5 matches, and their two matches before Christmas are against the bottom two teams so they could be on maximum points at half way.

Gambit 4 had a win turned into a loss in their 1st match due to a board order mix-up but have won all 3 since and lie 2nd to their next opponents West Nottingham 3.

Gambit 5 have also had a decent start, lying 3rd in division 5, but Beeston are running away with the title.

Away from the league Florian came joint 1st in the Birmingham Rapidplay Major (u171) in October, his first event since coming to the UK, and has just come joint 3rd in the Major section of the British Rapidplay Championships.

As well as winning the club championship in May, Mike Barnes also won the club summer lightning competition in July and last season’s ECF graded Gambit Rapidplay Championship, which he leads this season after 3 rounds.

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2016-17 Individual Performances

This was a tough season for most of our members, with 3 of our teams finishing in relegation places. However there were some notable individual results.

The best 4 wins of the season were:
Graeme Jennings (159) v Nigel Birtwistle (196) and Richard Truman (180)
Onos Kofi-Ofuafor (167) v Robert Richmond (192)
Ken Heath (72) v Alberto Rodriguez (116)

The best draws of the season were:
Tom Adams (ung) v Alex Posazhennikov
Alan Groves (88) v Graham Neil (122)
Rob Ensor (124) v Owen Hunt (154)
Derek Padvis (127) v Matt Smith (160) and John Harrison (151)
Keith Roper (137) v Anita Somton (165)
Charlie Grainger (139) v Alex Combie (171)
John Tassi (142) v Steve Prior (190) and Glenn Halfpenny (176)
John Huthwaite (148) v Zoltan Tardi (181)
Drag Sudar (152) v Steve Prior (190) and Peter Mercs (180)
Mike Naylor (164) v Jim Burnett (197)
Graeme Jennings (159) v Peter Mercs (183)
Onos Kofi-Ofuafor (167) v Mike Barnes (203)

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NCA takes incremental steps towards new match time controls

Several league rule change proposals were passed at last night’s well attended rules revision meeting, but probably the most interesting one for players will be the option for teams to mutually agree to use increments in league matches from next season. Teams will be able to agree to play all moves in 75 minutes (60 in div 5) plus 10 second increments. This is a welcome and logical step forward from the introduction this season of all moves in 90 minutes (75 in div 5) as clubs obtain more digital clocks.

Rule C7 has also been greatly simplified, focusing entirely on the 20 points tolerance when determining board order, with the administrative aspects of how temporary grades may be assigned next season to be covered by hopefully ‘user friendly’ LMC guidelines.

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2016-17 Club Champion: Michael Barnes

Congratulations to new club champion Mike Barnes (left, with club president Alan Groves).

Mike had to work hard to win the title after slipping to a first round draw against a dogged Peter Gorecka-Marshall.

The only shock result in round one was Peter G-M’s draw with Mike. In round 2, Drag Sudar laid a trap which John Swain fell for, leaving Drag on 2 points alongside Pete Mercs and Tom Adams with Mike and Peter G-M on 1.5 points.

In round 3 Peter G-M beat Drag to join Mike in 2nd place behind Pete M who had beaten Tom. Round 4 saw Mike finally wear down Pete M, while Drag missed a chance to win a rook in his draw with Tom.

Drag made up for this in round 5 with a nice win over Pete M while Tom beat Peter G-M and Mike beat Brian Hayward. Mike was worse than Tom in the final round but fought his way back to win and take the title. Drag managed to beat Brian and finished 2nd on 4.5 with Pete M third after beating Mike Naylor.

The club championship is held at the end of the season over 2 weeks with 3 rounds in each week. Games are 25 minutes per person +/- a time handicap depending on differences in grade. This year 16 club members took part.

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LMC’s illogical decision relegates Gambit 2

After several weeks of delay, the LMC has rejected Gambit’s appeal and will not penalise Ashfield 1 for using Dong against Gambit 2 when he had neither an August grade nor an assigned temporary grade (he did have a January grade but that doesn’t count according to both rule C7 and the instructions issued to clubs last September by the records secretary).

The LMC has mishandled this case at every stage from start to end. For example, there was never a proper face to face meeting between the 5 members who could vote (the other 4 couldn’t vote as the matter directly involved their clubs), therefore not all of them got a chance to hear directly from the records secretary how and why rule C7 had been administered throughout the season, and so they could not possibly have made a fully informed decision.

So Gambit 2 have joined the 3rd and 4th teams in being relegated this season.
On the bright side we’ll be competing for 3 clocks next season!

Meanwhile, after week 1 of the club championship, Peter Mercs leads the other 15 competitors with a perfect 3/3, closely followed by Mike Barnes & Peter Gorecka-Marshall on 2.5 points, and with 4 players on 2 points. Peter played really well to take a draw off Mike in round 1 and then exploited a bad move by Drag to beat him in round 3.

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