2017-18 Week 22

A mixed set of results with 2 wins and 2 deafeats.

Gambit 1’s faint hopes of winning the title disappeared after a 3.5 – 1.5 loss to WN 1. Three draws by Mike B, Graeme and Mike N but Pete M and John S lost to Jonah Willow and Adi Munchi whose new grades added together total exactly 400.

Gambit 3 also lost, 3-2 away at R/B 1. Only Onos won, v George Murfet. Brian and John H drew with Nick London & Marcel Taylor. Gary’s up and down season continued with a loss for the 2nd time this season to Mike Nailard. Keith, after his 100% record before Christmas, lost his 2nd game this year, to Chris Bonnello. There was an unexpected bonus for the 3rd team as their nearest rivals Uni 2 were stuffed 4.5 – 0.5 by Central 1 who finally have their best team out but have probably left it too late to challenge for promotion.

Gambit X had a good 4.5 – 0.5 win at Nomads 1, who were without Dave Flynn. Graham played very well to pick off Mike Swanwick’s pawns and avoid 2 traps that Mike set. Drag won on time an exchange up v Graham Neil and Steve took early control of his game v Dave Griffiths. Mike N built up pressure on the g-file and eventually broke through after Shane Bhayat missed an opportunity to make life a bit tricky for Mike. Florian tried hard to break through Maurice Hill’s solid position but had to concede a draw.

Gambit 4 also had a good win at Ashfield 4, 3.5 – 1.5, in spite of Drag’s thrashing by Andy Flint. Drag misplayed the opening and Andy maintained a vice like grip on the position and, when Drag tried to break out, Andy launched a devastating mating attack. By then Mick H had beaten George Heath and Maggie had drawn with Ric Dawson. Derek was always on the attack v Pete Clarke who gave up an exchange in desperation but Derek calmly won. Peter G-M played well to win with little time left after spending most of the game in a defensive position v Malcolm Jackson.

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Major Success At Rapidplay

10 Gambiteers entered and John Swain & Mike Naylor controlled the Open and Major. Drag Sudar came joint 1st (with WN’s Armaan Gogia) in the Major section with 5.5/6.
Open: Biermann & Jennings 3, Mercs 2.5
Major: Sudar 5.5, Huthwaite 4
Inter: Harper 4, Gibson 3, Padvis 2
Minor: Gretton 4.5, Watson 2.5

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Gambit 2 good for Grantham 1

Jiri Jires                  1   0  Chris Dorrington
Tom Adams            1   0  Nigel Birtwistle
Graeme Jennings .5  .5  Paul Cumbers
Mike Naylor          .5  .5   Steve Prior
Oliver Graham       0  1    Stuart Williams
3  2

Tom finshed 1st, exploiting inaccuracies by Nigel. Then Graeme drew after playing a very good solid game against Paul. Oliver started ok v Stuart but eventually was driven back and Stuart converted his advantage. The other two games went deep into the night.

Steve Prior sacrificed a bishop on g3 to win two pawns but Mike fended off the challenge and posted a very nice knight on e5, which later was able to exploit a mistake by Steve to win an exchange. At the end Mike had Q+R v Q+3 and should have won but after swapping off the queens he was unable to force a win.

Jiri was defending for most of the game but the game looked as if it was going to be drawn when Chris made a critical error to go a piece down and Jiri was comfortable after that. What a fantastic way for Jiri to end his final game for the club and I’d like to thank him for playing for the 1st and 2nd teams this season and wish him all the best in the future.

Apart from Tom, our players were heavily out graded so this is a truly remarkable win.

Meanwhile Gambit 4 continue their charge at the top of division 4 with a 4-1 win over Central 2. John Tassi made a welcome return to action with a win over Ed Robinson. Peter beat Simon Parham and Mick beat Alex Meade, but Gary was taught a lesson by Andy Sutton. Central defaulted board 5.

Finally, everyone at Gambit sends their condolences to Ashfield for the sad loss of Stan Cranmer who died a few days ago, aged 87. Stan was never without a smile and was universally liked. He remained a difficult player to play against even in his advancing years.

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Ashfield 1 v Gambit 1 – 17/01/18

Asfhield 1         1   4   Gambit 1
J. Molyneux   .5  .5  M. Barnes
G. Halfpenny  0   1   P. Mercs
S. Burke          .5  .5   J. Swain
D. Levens         0   1  J. Jires
J. Herrington  0   1  T. Adams

Mike was settling down to what looked like being a tricky middle game when John offered the draw. John and Steve unsurprisingly drew. Jiri had a relatively comfortable win over an out of form David. Tom slowly edged his way to a better position before smashing through Jerry’s defence. Glenn missed a chance to swap off Pete’s f4 knight and this cost him as Pete played a lovely Nxh3 move which swiftly led to a win. This result keeps the 1st team’s slender title hopes alive and boosts our 2nd team’s chances of staying up.

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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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