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Monday, 18 March 2019


Bear with me on this one, all will be revealed in due course.  But now I have your interest here is the result of Thursday's match:

              Marple B   1.5 - 3.5  Altrincham B

1.   107  D Preen       0-1    A Lane           129    -22
2.   100  N Dainty   0.5-0.5 N Lowe           128    -28
3.     93  A Doust       1-0    T Tomkins      127    -34
4.     99  T Thomas    0-1   V Kakarparthi  119   -20
5.     94  N Dee.         0-1   W McCartney  108   -14

So we were out-graded by an average of twenty three points with Altrincham's top three boards all equally strong.

My game with Nick Lowe was first to finish.  We met only a few weeks ago in an A-team match and once again I was pleased to get a draw. After my twentieth move we each had two rooks, bishop and seven pawns with the e-file open but locked.  Nick accepted my offer and my German overseer was unable to find an error by either player.

On board five Neil's castled king was under seige and his defiant defence eventually crumbled.  Nothing to be ashamed of as Bill was graded 141 only a couple of years ago.

Trefor too only lost after putting up a good fight and it was only Vijay's strong endgame play that won the point.  David also had an equal game which was the last to finish.

Which leaves me with our only win to comment on (and that headline to explain. Ed.)   Put simply Tomtom Kins was the latest to face the Douster; and dousted he was!  The game seemed equal but Tom's position collapsed and he resigned in a remarkably good humoured and sporting manner when Tony forked his king and rook.  

Now it not be unreasonable to think that if you've just passed your eightieth birthday and your grade is 93 it may not be long before the larger number becomes the smaller.  Not so!  In case you haven't noticed, Tony's SDCL performance after fifteen games this season is a mighty 122. Better even than (better not mention names! Ed.).  He then followed that with a strong performance in the Blackpool Chess Congress scoring 3.5 from 5 games with a tournament performance of 118.

So perhaps my headline should have read 80 getting on 120!  Happy Birthday!


Monday, 26 November 2018

Remembering Andy

I was devastated to learn of the passing of Andy Jenkins. Andy had been a member of Marple Chess Club since the 1970's and  has probably played more competitive games for Marple than anyone else - ever. I count myself privileged to have been a friend of Andys for most of this period. Our friendship which started with chess became ever deeper as we discovered other mutual interests such as test cricket and the nuances of Bob Dylans lyrics (Andy knew so much more than me about this....). I really admired Andys commitment to social justice and will miss our long conversations. In my life there have been very few people that I have been willing to tell my exact, unvarnished thoughts on any subject to, that group of people is now even smaller.
Andy had a deep understanding of chess and was one of the best players at Marple for several decades. In the 1980s he often played top board for a highly talented first team that included the likes of Mike Peel and Eric Harrison who alas are also no longer with us.

Here is the first game I ever played against Andy -

White: Andy Jenkins  Black: Glenn Trueman  Marple V High Peak : Board One:
Stockport League : 01/10/1991 : Queens Gambit Declined Tarrasch  D32
1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 c5 4cd: ed: 5Nf3 Nc6 6Be3 An interesting sideline that the likes of Korchnoi have dabbled with. The Bishop goes to a slightly strange square but Black is forced to immediately clarify the central pawn structure.6...c4 7g3 Nf6 8Bg2 Bb4 90-0 0-0 10Ne5 Re8 11 f4 Bc3: 12bc: Bf5 13Bf2 Qa5 14Be1 Ng4 15Qd2 f6 16h3 Nh6 17g4 fe: 18gf: ed: 18...e4 seems more helpful to the Black Knights 19cd: Qd2: And here I should have retreated the Queen to d8 20Bd5:+ Nf7 21Bd2: Nd4: 22e4 c3 23Bc1 Rab8 24Rf2 Nb5 25e5 Red8 26Bc4 Rd1+ 27Kh2 Na3? The game would still have been balanced after 27...Nd4. Now Andys Bishops cut me to pieces....28Ba3:! Played instantly in mutual time trouble 28...Ra1: 29e6 Kh8 30ef: b5 31Re2! A final deft touch, faced  with unstoppable mate I resigned 1-0.

Fate decreed that Andys last ever competitive game of chess would be against another good friend of mine John Reed. John is one of the strongest players in the North of England and when this game was played was graded around 35 points higher than Andy. So you might expect a victory for John ...not so ..... in Johns words "Andy played a great game against me"  I am indebted to John for sending me all the moves of the following game and  for allowing them to be published here.

White: Andy Jenkins  Black: John Reed  Marple  V East Cheshire :Board One :
Stockport League : 18/04/2018 : English Opening  A20
1g3 e5 2c4 A move order favoured by Tony Miles 2...Nc6 3Bg2 f5 Really going for it , Andys  comment to me afterwards was "After 3...f5 , I was very apprehensive" 4e3 Nf6 5Ne2 Be7 6d4 e4 7a3 a5 8b3 0-0 90-0 d6 10Bb2 Qe8 11Nbc3 Qh5  Most chessplayers are familiar with this type of position. White may have a theoretical edge but the prospect of Black attacking  on the Kingside is terrifying. However Andy plays the entire game like a Grandmaster and never allows John to get any initiative at all. 12Nf4 Qh6 13Nfd5 Bd8 14f3! Breaking up the Black centre 14...ef: 15Nf6:+ Bf6: 16Qf3: Bd7 17Nd5 Bd8 18Rae1 Rc8 19e4! Shades of Reti....19...Bg5 20e5 de: 21de: Nd8 21...Qg6 might have been a better try but White is still well on top after something like 22Qc3 Be6 23h4 Bh6 24b4 22h4 Bh4: 23gh:Qh4: 24Re4! A beautiful final shot, John now resigned as he has no good moves at all, for example 24...Qg5 25Bc1 or 24...Qh6 25Ne7+. 1-0.

I stand by what I wrote the day after this game was played "The whole game could be included if anyone ever writes a book on what to do when Black plays aggressively against 1g3". I only hope my final game of chess is half as good as this one.

Farewell my friend, the world will be a  colder, darker place without you.

Glenn Trueman : 26/11/2018.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

United we fall!

Our trip to Chorlton was off to bad start, we could only muster six players.  Paul made his own way there and the rest of us travelled together.  And travel we did!

Everything was going well until we tried to exit the M60 and Princess Parkway was at a standstill.  We stayed on the motorway and someone remembered United were at home, chaos!  Each exit was the same and we found ourselves on the 602.  A trip round a housing estate didn't help; we knew there was a reason no one else tried it.  We eventually arrived just after 8pm to find Paul well into his game and our clocks running.  About twelve minutes gone I think.

Anyway we got on with it.  I sat down to play against Alan Beresford (130, although he wrote 138 on my scoresheet) who asked me my grade.  He asked me again when I ignored him.  I was quite happy to tell him (100) in the hope he would think he was in for an easy night.  Anyway I managed to play a very reasonable Bb5+ opening and get a decent position.  I had a space advantage with all Alan's pieces on the back two ranks.  As the game went on though Alan gradually freed his position and built an attack on the f-file which saw him win an exchange and a pawn.  So I went into a fairly hopeless endgame but managed to hold on and find a couple of resources which frustrated his rooks.  A fairly feeble attempt at a trick saw me check with his rook forked by my bishop, but  protected by one of my pawns.  I tried to find the right time to move my pawn but when I did Alan only had to move his rook.  He didn't leaving me with bishop and pawn against three pawns which were going nowhere.  A draw was soon agreed.  In Tony's words "a great fightback".

Next to me, board three was looking a bit bare and Tony Kay (132) seemed in trouble.  His game with Daniel Otto (126) finished early so I shoved a message in front of him "Report please".  So the following comments are his.  He had blundered in the middle game, losing a piece and the position.

Paul (149) and Paul Harnett (134) had a knife-edge position  in the late middle game but the Chorlton Paul got a passed-pawn and was about to force a queen sacrifice or pawn promotion when the game ended,

On board 2 Chris Baker (137) had a tough battle with Graham Phythian (129) but Graham's strong pawn centre forced the win.  Meanwhile David Preen (109) ha an interesting end-game with Hooman Eskandari (127).  With the black pieces David had connected passed pawns and knight, while Hooman had 3 isolated pawns and Bishop.  Good play by both players ended with the game drawn.

On board 6, Tony Doust (89) faced Howard Hughes (125) and Tony lost a piece in a tough endgame.  Howard's two bishops won the day.

So a six one defeat left us free to go and join the even more unhappy United supporters now clogging the roads of Chorlton once more.

Friday, 8 June 2018


My fan club has requested that I revitalise the blog which has been idle since February, so here is my latest attempt to explain the brain processes of lower level chess!

In fact my game has improved considerably since January after a disastrous run.  I realised my loss of form was due to turning up for matches with no study since the last match.  Changing this has resulted in a run of sixteen games with a grade averaging 119 and including a win against last night's opponent Bill McCartney.  In that game Bill played the Alekhine Defence which you may be surprised to learn I have never faced before in my short career, a mere 299 games.  Things are different at this level.

So I arrived knowing what do against the Alekhine in case I faced Bill again.  I did, but we won the toss and I had black.  However without a game for some time and only just back from two weeks in Cornwall I was nearly back to my old ways, as you will see!

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. d3 e6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. f4 d5 6. Bb3 {I considered dxe4
here with a view to swopping queens and preventing him castling, but convinced
myself that I might end up with doubled isolated c pawns.  In fact dxe4 was the best
move} Bd7 7. e5 {so now my knight can only run home.  After some thought I
found....} d4 8. exf6 dxc3 9. bxc3 Qxf6 10. Bd2 Bd6 11. Ne2 Qh4+ {quite
pleased with this move, g3 is forced and leaves the king open} 12. g3 Qf6 13.
Rb1 O-O {queenside castling would have allowed h4 then h5} 14. c4 Rfd8 (14...
e5 15. Ba4 exf4 16. O-O f3) 15. Nc3 Qe7 16. Ne4 Bc7 17. Qh5 {after this I was
too concerned with preventing Ng5 (which is harmless) and didn't even see Qxc5.
If I had I might not have missed what I'm just about to miss!} f6 18. Bc3 Rf8
19. O-O Be8 20. Qxc5  {Diagram [#]} {missing the easily spotted Bb6! at
which point Bill might well have immediately resigned} Qxc5+ 21. Nxc5 Bb6 22. d4
Bxc5 23. dxc5 Rc8 {I offered a draw here} 24. Ba4 Rf7 25. Rfd1 Rfc7 26. Rd6 Bd7
$4 27. Rbd1 Rd8 28. Bxc6 Bxc6 29. Ba5 {and now I convinced myself I was
totally lost when in fact it's only +0.83!  Rxd6 is the obvious move I missed.}


Sorry that should have said "CUP RUN OVER" and it also should have said "before it started!"

Neither club fielded as strong a team as they would like in last night's Alan Yarker cup match.  Altrincham however had newcomer David Soares on top board, graded 206! Paul gave him a tough game and was an exchange up, but told me he was up against a fantastic chess player. I can't tell you much about the other games but a report of how I missed an easy win will be on here shortly.  I think I'm right in saying that Neil Dee, Tony and Chris all thought they had winning chances at some point. Anyway well done Altrincham and good luck in the semi-final.

07/06/2018 Marple 0.5-5.5 Altrincham

Kirby, Paul 0-1 Soares, Danilo V

Baker, Chris EJ 0-1 Lane, Anthony J

Preen, David W 0.5-0.5 Lowe, Nick

Dainty, Neil C 0-1 McCartney, William

Doust, Antony 0-1 Tomkins, Tom

Dee, Neil 0-1
Davies, J Michael

Friday, 9 February 2018


Instead it will be Marple in the final of the President's Cup, after a 4-2 win in the semi-final last night.

Marple fielded a strong team and were always favourites to win since the average grading difference was a massive thirty five points.  But Sale didn't half put up a fight.  The only comfortable victory was on board 5 where Terry quickly used his white pieces to get an early space advantage. He then had his queen backed up with a rook on the half-open C file.  Qxc6 not only won a pawn, but also forked the bishop on c7 and the rook on a8.  He was soon an exchange and two pawns up, the pawns became united passed pawns and the game was over.

Meanwhile Neil Oddie was playing a great game against Paul; he had his queen on the open g-file with a rook alongside pointing at Paul's king.  Paul managed to defend without much problem but with bishops attacking both f1 and f8, neither player could progress.  Drawn.

At this stage it was far from over.  A drawn match would be decided by bottom board elimination and our only win was on 5.

On 2, John Hennessy seemed to have a reasonable position, albeit with an isolated queen's pawn, but next time I looked Alan had won a piece.  John defended resolutely but Alan gradually improved his position and converted.

Andy wasn't having things his own way either.  Gary Jackson had played his favoured King's Indian Defence so Andy pushed his  h-pawn; Gary played h4 to block, and calmly took on g4 when the chance arose.  The h-file was now open but Andy couldn't make progress.  Next Gary had queen on a1, pinning the b1 knight against the king on c1.  Gary threatened a mating attack but Andy saw this off without any problem.  With position and material level Gary offered a draw. Andy asked if he could accept but at this stage we needed the comfort of another point, so I asked "Can you win it?"
"No!"  Draw agreed.

Meanwhile on 4 Andy Parry was also making our player work hard.  This was the last game to finish
but eventually Chris's experience and endgame technique lead to another win.

So well done both teams, but a fine fighting performance from Sale who, as always, were great company.  Marple now wait for the winners of Monday's match between Stockport and Wilmslow.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


And the night, and the match and indeed the Knight.

       MARPLE C   2.5-2.5  ALTRINCHAM B
1.  Toby Brown         0-1     Tony Lane
2.  Martin Cutts      0.5-0.5  Bill McCartney
3.  Neil Dainty       0.5-0.5  Vijay Kakarparthi
4.  Tony Doust       0.5-0.5  Steve Ward
5.  Joseph Anderson  1-0     Kip Summer

We got off to a bad start.  Toby was the only one of us to be outgraded and he lost quite quickly on top board.  All the other games were pretty level for most of the evening but there was plenty of action on four and five.

Next to me, Martin was pressing against a strong opponent, but Bill seemed to have little trouble keeping him at bay.  A draw was agreed.  On my right Tony was a piece down, which I presume was a sacrifice as Steve's King was under siege in the middle of the board.  However Tony lost another piece later on and was relieved to come away with a draw.

My own game with Vijay was quite enjoyable and I thought I had good prospects most of the time, but offered a draw when I realised I hadn't! Note to self: stop kidding yourself.

The real fun was on Board 5.  Kip had a passed pawn on d6, supported by his queen and later a rook.  Joseph had a rook on a8 ready to skip to d8 if needed, but he also had a nasty attack on the other wing. with a passed h pawn behind his queen and the other rook behind the pawn.  He also had a Knight totally out of the game on the a-file which was screaming to be employed.  Eventually it came to the d-file, protected by two pawns and isolating Kip's passed pawn; it also threatened to join the attack.  Kip managed to free his queen which continually checked the king.  Once the king got to safety it was Joseph who had the threats and more than one opportunity for a royal fork from the freed knight.  Lots of wood was traded and then we had a pawn race resulting in two new queens and a time scramble, with Joseph having a few extra minutes.  The new queens were exchanged leaving Joseph with three or four passed pawns and Kip resigned.

The knight had saved the day!

Friday, 1 September 2017


Well, we did it. A win last night against fellow contenders Blue Club 2 saw Marple win Division B of the S.E.Lancs Summer League with 9 points from 5 matches. The next four clubs shared second place with 5.

Our opponents were not as strong as they might have been, so the teams were fairly evenly matched on most boards, but I had a weaker opponent on board 6 and Chris faced a twenty point deficit on 2.  My opponent quickly went astray and I checkmated him in 13 moves - good start.  Soon after that Glenn took the opportunity to strengthen our position, agreeing a quick draw with Tim Hilton.  But the tension increased as the remaining games did not seem to be going our way.  Toby had been an exchange up, but next time I looked a pawn was forking his Queen and Bishop.  His position then collapsed with nearly all his pieces under attack and it was all square, but with Chris half an hour behind on the clock.  On board 3 Neil Jerzynek had his Queen on the sixth rank and a strong-looking attack, but David cleverly trapped it and Neil resigned.

So spirits rose again, but the last two games looked tight.  Jeff's game seemed blocked and Chris had a good position but time problems, although he was playing well and getting a positional advantage. And then almost simultaneously it was all over.  Jeff found a move which threatened checkmate and a discovered attack on the Queen, and Mark offered Chris a draw as his position was worsening.  All over. Champions!

Thanks to those who played last night and Alan, Tony Kay, Tony Doust and Joseph who also deserve medals.  (They're aren't any).  Tony D even turned up last night just in case he was needed.  Team Spirit!

Finally as Glenn has kindly suggested I show my "beautiful game" here it is:

1.e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nf6  3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nxd4
 I have been playing the Scotch for the last few games.  It's supposedly sound at any level and allows weaker opponents opportunities to go wrong, as here:
5. Qxd4 c6  6. Nc3 a6  7.  Be2 h6
These last two moves just give me a big advantage in development
8. Be3 Qa5  9. Bd2 Bc5??  10. Qxg7 Bf8  11. Qxh8 Ne7
12. Nd5 expecting to swop off the Knights when the Queen moves, but Black's move gives me a lovely opportunity...
12...Qd8 13. Nf6#

Marple 4-2 Blue Club 2

165  Trueman, Glenn 0.5-0.5 Hilton, Tim           169
126  Baker, Chris EJ 0.5-0.5 Taylor, Mark         152
129  Preen, David W 1-0 Jerzynek, Neil       119
101  Barlow, Jeff J 1-0 Somogyi, Gabor      97
110  Brown, Toby GS 0-1 Wilson, Jeff           100
100  Dainty, Neil C 1-0 Vernon, Frank         67

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ue o Muite Arukou

Not played at Chorlton Chess Club last evening -

Chorlton A 6-0 Marple A (Default)

Unfortunately I could only find three players able to play in our final match of the season so I had no option available other than to default. Fortunately Chorlton had already won the League ( Congratulations to them) so there was nothing really at stake but even so it was a very sad way to end things. It's perhaps indicative of the problems evening league chess faces that our last two matches have been a 6-0 default win and a 6-0 default loss.....

After five years captaining various Marple teams and three years captaining our A team I am now standing down. I simply don't have enough time to continue. I hope someone can be persuaded to take over - I will give them all the help I can. Many thanks to everyone who has played or driven for us in this period, it has been much appreciated by me.

To finish on a chess note (sort of) I am indebted to Andy Jenkins for solving something that has puzzled me for years.  Saemisch - Capablanca : Karlsbad 1929: started 1d4 Nf6 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Bb4 4a3 Bc3:+ 5bc: d6 6f3 e5 7e4 Nc6 8Be3 b6 9Bd3 Ba6??? 10Qa4 Bb7 11d5 winning a piece. How could such a brilliant player overlook something so trivial? - and equally puzzling why did Capa not resign?. He carried on playing a hopelessly lost position until move 62.....

The  explanation is as follows - after Saemischs 9th move Capa became aware that both his wife and his mistress were in the playing hall, a double attack that even the great Cuban could not deal with....

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Chorlton B vs Marple B: 25/04/17

Our side of the cookie crumbled more than theirs, which was a shame because we had a strong side out last night. Unfortunately so did they........  Like us they would like to avoid relegation

Glenn agreed an early draw with David Knox, who is still a tough opponent. David and Chris, lost and won, respectively but I didn't see their games so can't comment.  I was reasonably pleased with my opening, once again, the Budapest gambit bemused my opponent and I achieved good development. I thought I should  manage a draw with black at least.  Initially I was behind on time but I managed to complicate matters and regain the deficit. We were playing a straight 90 minutes for all moves, I really don't like the cliff edge nature of this time control, it seems to ignore the benefits of digital clocks. The skirmishing started before either side had completed development. The position looked innocuous enough, but my opponent managed to whip up an attack which I underestimated and led to a win in all variations, though I have yet to consult with Fritz.

Marple were now losing 2.5 - 1.5 with two boards to be decided. Paul, playing black, had a large time advantage and latterly was a pawn up. It looked like he just had to untangle his pieces to get a favourable position. His opponent, seemingly very relaxed about the time deficit, mounted a king side attack which I thought was defendable but I failed to spot a zwischenzug queen check, which was decisive.

Alan had 2 knights vs 2 bishops (and major pieces) and the knights weren't well placed. From there I think he did very well to get a draw, which was agreed when both players had very little time left.

1.    D Knox             0.5-0.5        Glenn Trueman
2.    A Elliot                 1-0           Paul Kirby
3.    R Nurse             0.5-0.5        Alan Hall
4.    A Cowan              0-1          Chris Baker
5.    A Beswick            1-0          David Preen
6.    H Manassian        1-0          Jeff Barlow
        Total                     4-2

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Welcome Home

Played at the Ladybrook Hotel last evening -

Stockport B       V     Marple A   : Stockport League Division One: 18/04/2017

1 D Parotta       0-1         A Horton
2 D Toole          0-1         A Longson
3 M Crowther  0-1          I Craft
4 M Tunstall   0.5/0.5      S Longson
5 A Coe             0-1          G Trueman
6 J Mason         1-0          P Kirby


Sarah and Alex  were able to make a most welcome return to our team for this fixture. Since Andy and Isaac were also available it meant we were able to field our strongest team of the whole season.
As Stockport A were also playing in the Charnley Cup Final simultaneously for once we were favourites going in to a match. Stockport B were still strong opposition though with 160+ strength players all the way down the line .....
I haven't got time for a full report but a summary would be this was a much closer match than the scoreline would suggest. Although we won all our games with the White pieces it was much more difficult with Black. I do think this is a common feature of evening chess played at fast time limits. So many slightly off beat lines for White place great demands on the opponent, who has to move fast and can be tired after working all day. Sarah and Paul both got very difficult positions. Somehow Sarah managed to get enough counterplay for half a point despite being well behind on the clock, but there was no escape for Paul whose opponent conducted a difficult to convert ending with what looked like extreme precision to me.
A quick word about the Charnley Cup Final where congratulations are due to Stockport A who beat Macclesfield on tie -break after a 3-3 scoreline in a match with an incredibly tense finish.. For the second time in two weeks I felt immense sympathy for Mike Taylor who lost a Queen ending with two extra pawns on time. There is no criticism of his opponent, who having to play to win for the sake of the team was himself in a awkward position and did even offer Mike a draw when he was down to the last minute, but once again I was left with the feeling that , despite the problems, playing with increments is the better way.
Thanks to all who played in our match. The mathematicians in our team have convinced me that we are now safe from relegation!.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hall in the Game

So many extremely strong young  players have represented our club over the last few years that if you learned that a Marple player has just won an international chess tournament  you might not be too surprised.....
However in this case it was not one of the "usual suspects".....
Congratulations to Alan Hall who won the under-1900 tournament at the recent Jersey chess festival with the fine score of 7/9. Highlights included an 80 move grind of a win in the penultimate round against the highest ranked player in the event, rejecting possible repetitions when perhaps slightly worse and a fearless quick win  with the Black pieces against a player who has been over 160 in the nerve jangling final round.
Alan won £400 and a magnificent(?) vase which now resides proudly at his home...

Friday, 7 April 2017

You Never Can Tell (Part Two)

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A            V       Stockport A: Stockport Lge Div One: 06/04/2017

1 A Horton      0.5/05    A Beardsworth
2 A Walton      0.5/0.5   A Reeve
3 G Trueman   0.5/0.5   P Cawley
4 P Kirby         0.5/0.5    D Sheppard
5 C Baker           0-1       D Parrotta
6 B Jacobson      1-0       M Taylor


After succumbing 1-5 to Stockport B in our previous match I had been fearing the worst. Fortunately Andy (Horton) and Alan (Walton) were able to make a welcome return to our team, however this was balanced by Michael and Isaac not being available. We were also without Alan (Hall) , Terry, and David (Preen) from our usual line ups this season.
When Stockport arrived I noticed they were perhaps a couple of players short of their strongest possible side. They were clear favourites though as they outgraded us on the bottom four boards, fielding a 2102 Fide player on Board 5 and a vastly experienced 171 ecf on Board 6.
Paul (Kirby) and myself both drew. My game with Paul Cawley was fairly uneventful but Paul (Kirby) had a fascinating encounter with Dan, winning the exchange but allowing a lot of piece activity. With Paul down to the last couple of minutes a draw was a completely acceptable result.
Mr Parrotta showed why he has such a high elo with a polished performance against Chris in a game that was very reminiscent of a Hort V Nunn encounter from the "Master Game" series in the late 70's. (Ed - He's really showing his age...). Chris gave it his best shot and taking on a 2100 with the Black pieces is of course an extremely tough ask.
Ben has been playing some tremendous chess for Marples second and third teams. Last season he played a beautiful winning Rook sac at Macclesfield and I seem to remember he won in 9 moves with Black at Altrincham  just before Christmas. He superseded these achievements last evening with what I suspect may be the best first team debut in the history of Marple Chess Club, beating an opponent graded a mere 55 points higher than him! Mike went wrong in what should probably have been a drawn Rook  ending allowing liquidation to a pawn ending that was clearly won for Ben. Whilst  I am tremendously pleased for Ben I do feel immense sympathy for Mike who took defeat with admirable good grace. Unfortunately for him one of my laws of "negative chess"  came in to play - trying too hard to win a slightly advantageous Rook ending is very dangerous....
So incredibly the score was 2-2 with the top two boards still in play and all four players running out of time.
Andy (H) had been trying for three hours to create something in a position that had been looking drawish from about move 10.Ultimately there was no way for either side to make progress and the game was drawn.
That  left  everything in the hands  of Alan and Andy (Reeve). A fascinating battle which at one point had featured two Knights against two Bishops with your correspondent having no idea who was better had boiled down to a N v B ending with Alan having a pawn less but a passed "a" pawn and  slightly  better King. With Andy down to less than two minutes and Alan not having much more the players agreed to halve the point and the match.
Thus ended a memorable encounter played in excellent spirit. Many thanks to all who played.

Friday, 24 March 2017

You Never Can Tell

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A                   V        Stockport B    :  Stockport Lge Div One : 23/03/2017

1 M Fernandez         0-1      J Pink
2 G Trueman         0.5/0.5   P Cawley
3 P Kirby               0.5/0.5   D Toole
4 A Hall                    0-1      M Taylor
5 T Cowling             0-1      M Tunstall
6 D Preen                 0-1      M Crowther


With Michael making a welcome return to the team I was hopeful of getting something out of this match in a season which has become something of a battle to avoid relegation. However when the Stockport team entered the playing room I realised this would be a very difficult task as our opponents had managed to assemble the strongest team they have fielded all season.Even their bottom board had a grade of about 170 the last time I played him.
In the circumstances a final score of 1-5 wasn't too surprising and a difficult night was encapsulated by Michael losing his first game for Marple in a very,very long time.  
Many thanks to all who played/drove, our next fixture is against the even more challenging Stockport A team......

Friday, 3 March 2017

Black is Black

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A              V       Holmes Chapel         Stockport Lge Div One      02/03/17

1 G Trueman       0-1      P Bennett
2 P Kirby           0.5/0.5   J Turner
3 A Hall                0-1      I Bates
4 D Preen             1-0      M Roberts
5 T Doust             0-1      M Lee
6 S Anderson       0-1      G Scattergood


Given our current resources this was a difficult situation as we faced the task of fielding two teams on the same evening. The strength of the opposition we faced relative to us is perhaps best reflected in our cumulative score with the Black pieces which was 0/5......

Although they were well short of full strength in the Division One match  Holmes Chapel outgraded us on every board and by an average of over 25 points per game. I haven't got time for a full report but it wasn't all doom and gloom as David played sparkling chess to win very quickly and Paul had a well merited draw with a very strong opponent. Thanks to all who played particularly Stuart who nobly agreed to make his first team debut.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Altrincham A vs Marple B: 31st January 2017: Match Result

Hi All,

Marple B gained a well-earned drawn match against a strong Altrincham A side. To my right, Ben had a dramatic win in 9 moves using the Budapest gambit. His opponent only made 3 bad moves, which is a large percentage out of 9! While to my left Terry's opponent was dropping pieces regularly. Every time I looked up Terry was another piece up, The last time I looked his opponent's Queen was under threat and he had give up a fourth minor piece to save his queen! Meanwhile I was losing slowly with the white pieces, I got back into it but it cost me too much time, and I lost to a potential back rank mate. I saw very little of the other games and so cannot comment on them.



MATCH:   Altrincham A       v           Marple B

Home Team


Away Team

1      Mark Hann
         Paul Kirby
2      Reg Clucas
         Alan Hall
3      Richard White
         David Preen
4      Bill McCartney
         Terry Cowling
5      Mark Whalley
         Jeff Barlow
6      Steve Douglas
         Ben Jacobson


DATE: 31/01/17

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Macclesfield B vs Marple B: 23.01.17: Match Result

Dear All,

Marple B suffered the heaviest defeat possible on Monday last. The score is a little misleading in that all of the games were keenly contested through to the end and I was surprised that all boards went to the hosts. Of course, Macclesfield were a much stronger team and I guess they managed to finish more strongly.

I was quite pleased with the opening phase of my game against Chris Sizeland and felt that I had nullified white's advantaged and obtained a comfortable position.  I may post this game later.

Thanks to the team for their efforts.

Meanwhile, our next game is against Altrincham A next Tuesday where we will need to field a stronger team!  Any volunteers?



MATCH: Macclesfield B    v     Marple B

Home Team


Away Team

1       G Lawrence
        Chris Baker
2       P Cattermole
        Alan Hall
3       D Risley
        Terry Cowling
4       C Sizeland
        Jeff Barlow
5       D Lobo
        Tony Doust
6       J Trier
        Neil Dainty



Friday, 13 January 2017

Dear All,

Here is the result of last night's B team home fixture:


MATCH:      Marple B              v             Chorlton B

Home Team


Away Team

1       Alan Hall
          Neville Barnes
2       Terry Cowling
          Mark Harrison
3       Jeff Barlow
          Alan Beresford
4       Tony Doust
          Howard Hughes
5       Trefor Thomas
          Phil Bennett
6       Neil Dainty
          Gary Jackson


DATE:      12/01/17

We were not able to field our strongest side, given the season and all. I would have lost my own game but for some clock mismanagement by my opponent.  I think only Neil's game was anything like comfortable.

I am still short of players for the next two away games, on Monday 24th January and Tuesday 31st January. The latter of these has been rearranged at Altrincham's request.  Please check your diaries.