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Friday, 29 November 2013

Match Result: Marple D vs Marple E: 25-11-2013

Match Card for  Marple D vs Marple E

Monday 25-11-2013

Tony Kay                1-0      Trefor Thomas
Andy Jenkins       0.5-0.5   Tony Doust
Terry Cowling        0-1      Neil Dainty
Jeff Barlow             1-0       Barrie Edwards
Joseph Anderson    0-1       Peter Kelly

Total                    2.5-2.5

This was the third head to head encounter of the season for the D and E teams and it ended drawn after a hard fought match.  In my game against Barrie, I played another Vienna which of course invited a tactical battle.  Both players missed open goals but eventually I had a couple of advanced passed pawns which were enough to win provided I could survive a double rook invasion of my position.  I did manage to stay on my feet and went on to win.  I saw some of Joseph's game against Peter which seemed to be even and open for a long time before Peter managed to get a decisive advantage.  I didn't see any of the games on boards 1 and 2 and just saw the end of Terry's game against Neil.  This finished with a neat mating attack but I have no idea how the game went before that.  Anyway it was enough to tie the match.  If anyone would like to publish their games please feel free.


Holmes Chapel     V     Marple B    28/11/2013   Stockport Lge. Div. 1

1 P Bennett           1         M  Fernandez  0
2 JM Turner          0.5      J Horton     0.5
3 R Clark              0.5       I Lentzos    0.5
4 M Hancock        1          S Hewitt       0
5 B Scattergood     0.5      P Kirby       0.5
6 I Bates                1         G Trueman   0

                             4.5                           1.5

A very disappointing evening in South Cheshire  where we failed to win a single game.
At around 9.00 things looked okay, I was concerned about Jamie and Ioannis but we seemed to be doing well on the other four boards and then it all seemed to fall apart.
For my part, since the summer I have been doing what have been  preaching for ages by spending any  chess time looking at endings rather than openings. It's funny therefore, that in the last three months I have misassessed more endings than in the last ten years!. Here I was able to reach a position where Ian and I both had dark square Bishops only. Ian as White had pawns on b2,b3  and on the e-h files. I had pawns on a6,b7,c5   and f -h7. I thought I had a big advantage but computer analysis shows that even with best play the position was level. Foolishly I embarked on a misguided attempt to pick up b2 with Bc1 only to suddenly see the potential of Ians Kingside play. By the time I started to understand what was going on I was already lost and although I carried on for many moves I really didn't have a chance against Ian's excellent technique.
I was too occupied with my problems to see the latter stages of the other games so if anyone wants to share their experiences it would be interesting.
To round off a dismal occasion I got home at midnight to discover I had left my fleece in Holmes Chapel........


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Match Result - Marple v Stockport (Reyner Shield)

Match card from Monday night

Marple Stockport
1 Daniel Fernandez 0.5 0.5 Alan Smith
2 Alex Longson 1.0 0.0 Paul Cawley
3 Michael Fernandez 0.5 0.5 Andy Reeve
4 Sarah Hegarty 0.5 0.5 Phil Siddall
5 Paul Kirby 0.0 1.0 Stuart Murray
6 Glenn Trueman 1.0 0.0 Dave O'Toole
7 Nigel Livesey 0.5 0.5 Mike Taylor
4.0 3.0

A good result for the Manchester League team against a strong Stockport lineup and we now progress to the Semi Finals where we will play either Bolton or Chorlton.  Excellent result in particular from Glenn.

Some very interesting and hard fought games.  The match went down to the wire - I don't even know who was last to finish - either me or Glenn I'm not sure.

Thanks all for playing!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

East Cheshire C vs Marple D - Wednesday 20th November

Bill Tait                 0.5-0.5       Andy Jenkins
Geoff Clarke              0-1        Chris Baker
Keith Hodgson           0-1        Terry Cowling
Ian Vaughan               1-0        Trefor Thomas
Duncan Chandley       0-1        Jeff Barlow

Total                      1.5-3.5
The D team had a comfortable win in the end but we started off with a loss and a draw.  I then managed to win against the run of play to level the match.  Terry looked comfortable at this stage and duly converted to win the point. Finally Chris won a closely fought game which featured a skilfully played pawn endgame.  I can't comment too much on the early stages of these games as I was too busy trying to climb out of a hole I had managed to dig for myself.
I will publish my game as it contained a couple of interesting features, particularly for fans of the Vienna Game, that I had failed to observed over the board.  If anyone would like to comment on their games (or mine) please feel free.
Barlow,Jeff - Chandley,Duncan

 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.f4 [last book move]
5          ...Bb4         Can black afford to move his bishop twice?  I start to relax, fatally.
6.a3        Bxc3+    I must remember that this is not the French defence! Nf3 is much better.
7.bxc3    d5
8.exd5    Nxd5
9.Qf3     Nxc3
10.Ne2   Nxe2
11.Qxe2 Qd4
12.Rb1   0–0
13.Be3   Qd6       
14.0–0   a6±         A bit of a wasted move this - gives me a chance to breathe
15.f5 [-0.44/16]    Fritz doesn't like this but I think it has positional and psychological value
[Fritz 12: 15.Qf2 b6 16.fxe5 Nxe5 17.Bf4 Bd7 18.Rb4 Be6 19.Re1 f6 20.d4 Bxc4 21.Rxc4 Qd5 22.Rxc7 Nc6 23.c3 Rfe8±0.71/16]
15...Nd4                 On second thoughts ....
16.Bxd4 Qxd4+
17.Kh1  b5
18.Bb3   Bb7
19.Qh5 [-1.14/17] Trying to drum up some counter play but I'm not optimistic and of course Fritz doesn't like this either, he has found a way to lose more slowly
[Fritz 12: 19.f6 g6 20.Qd2 Qg4 21.Rf2 Qh5 22.Qa5 Rac8 23.a4 e4 24.dxe4 Bxe4 25.Qxa6 Rb8 26.Qa7 Qe5 27.axb5 Rxb5 28.Re2 Rd8-0.37/18]
19...Bd5?+–          Now I did not like this at all, black is forcing the exchange of my lovely WS bishop.  But it seems, in hindsight (and Fritz sight), to be the losing move!!!
20.Bxd5  Qxd5
21.f6 [4.90/18]     So Herr Fritz, you see it was handy having that pawn on f5 after all!
21.          .....g6?    This is a losing blunder, but the alternatives are not good.
22.Qh6                  1–0
I am really surprised that black's 19th move looks logical and strong and apparently drawing one of white's remaining teeth, but turns out to be disastrous.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wilmsow V Marple C 18/11/2013 Match Report

Wilmslow V Marple C  18/11/2013

1 C Mills        (155)      0        I Lentzos    (e170)     1
2 S Shepherd (154)      0.5     G Trueman  (159)      0.5
3 K Moran     (142)      0        N Livesey   (147)      1
4 C Guffogg    (134)      0      A Jenkins      (127)     1
5 R Warhurst   (115)      0     C Baker        (126)     1
6A Flynn          (95)       0       T Cowling    (125)     1

                                      0.5                                     5.5

After attempting cryogenic chess at Altrincham I arrived prepared for Arctic tundra  conditions only to find a warm, comfortable  club room (different from the one used for the Cup match) and Boddingtons Best Bitter on sale at £2.30 a pint. Quite a contrast from the £7.95 I paid for a glass (yes a glass) of wine at the Daventry Court Hotel at the weekend.

Anyway to the match...Andys opponent played an old style of the Queens Gambit against him (e3,b3,Bb2), this set up was very popular in the latter half on the C19 and is still worth considering today. Here however Chris seemed to waste a little time and after Blacks c5 break he was doing well. Further strong play from Andy won the exchange and faced with both material and positional negativity Chris promptly resigned.

Wilmslow 0 Marple C 1

Meanwhile I was also on the Black side of a Queens Gambit. Steve played one of my favourites, the Exchange Variation, against me. One of the reasons I like this line is that in games between players of similar strengths Black has very few winning chances. This proved to be the  case here , I equalised  but nothing more and we agreed a draw in a very dull position. With Andy having already won and things looking good on the other boards though this seemed ok.

Wilmslow 0.5   Marple C 1.5

On board 6 Terry faced a highly speculatrive Nf7: sacrifice. As Terry commented it is unusual for a Nf7: sac to be followed up by e3 next move and I think Tony would agree he never got enough compensation for the material. Terry calmly consolidated and when his Rook reached the 7th rank it was all over. So all the games where we had Black had finished and we had 2.5 points.

Wimslow 0.5  Marple C 2.5

Ioannis was playing a very interesting game where he had castled Queenside and Colin Kingside. Although Colin came up with an intersting idea based around Bd4 as soon as I saw a White pawn reach f6 I felt the end was not too far away and so it proved....

Wilmslow 0.5    Marple C 3.5 

Chris opponent met his usual opening move with the symmetmetrical variation which I think is one of Blacks best defences. Here however in the critical early d4 line Chris' fine play led to Robin having a very dodgy Tarrasch structure with weak pawns on c6 and d5. Eventually Robin succumbed to a Rook invasion on the eighth but  he had been losing for a long time.

Wilmslow 0.5   Marple C   4.5

In the final game to finish Nigel seemed to have held a nagging plus for a long time. Although it got down to a Queen +Knight position Kevin was desperately short of time and Nigels Queen was busy setting up mating nets from the unusual square c1. Eventually Kevin ran out of both time and moves.

Wilmslow 0.5   Marple 5.5

So a terrfic result as on paper there wasn't that much between the teams. Thanks to all for playing.


Macclesfield v Marple A - Match Result

Macclesfield Marple A
1 Robert Shaw 193 0 1 Daniel Fernandez 216
2 Colin Davison 182 0 1 Alex Longson 216
3 Geoff Laurence 164 0 1 John Bentley 205
4 Anthony Soames 160 0 1 Michael Fernandez 203
5 Denzil Lobo 157 0 1 Sarah Hegarty 182
6 Philip Cattermole 146 0 1 Paul Kirby 158
0 6

A comfortable win for the first team.  Daniel had a particularly excellent game against Robert Shaw with the interesting opening

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5 6.d5 exd5 7.Nh4 Qc8 8.b4!?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

World Championship - Game 4

The match really came alive in game 4 in a really tense and dramatic struggle worthy of the stage.  Carlsen varied and instead of the Caro Kann he played the Berlin Defense, a line he has used a number of times before.  Anand must have been prepared for this and yet played the opening quite weakly even allowing Carlsen to grab a not so hot pawn on a2 (shades of Fischer - Spassky, 1972 Game 1).

After this though Anand defended tenaciously and Carlsen missed a couple of opportunities to apply a bit more pressure - repaying the favour shown to him in game 3.  Around move 40 the game could have fizzled out, but as is typical of Carlsen he continued to set his opponent difficult problems right to the end.  Finally though Anand was able to extinguish all of the threats and earnt a hard fought draw.

Annotations from TWIC with some of my own comments ***[AL]

Anand,Viswanathan (2775) - Carlsen,Magnus (2870) [C67]
WCh 2013 Chennai IND (4), 13.11.2013
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8
Kasparov talked on twitter about the Berlin Defence that caused him so many problems. "The Berlin is a sharp & rich middle-game, not an ending. This was Kramnik's discovery, or re-discovery, vs me in 2000 that I didn't grasp. Nor did most others then. Berlin is more than a wall. After I lost to Kramnik & failed vs his Berlin in 2000, many said it was still lousy, only good against me. Now every top player uses it! Berlin also has benefit of rendering most machine analysis useless. Human chess, deep strategic planning only way. Great from both players." Kasparov has written an essay for Informant 118 on this issue.
***I have played the Berlin a couple of times but never really felt entirely comfortable with it.  In fact my results have been better on the white side

[9.Nc3; 9.Rd1+]
9...Bd7  (it was this specific move and the plan of ...Kc8, ...b6, ...Kb7 that was so popularised by Kramnik in his match against Kasparov in 2000 - AL)  10.Rd1 Be7
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 10...Be7
Quite a rare continuation.
[10...Kc8 has been played a lot here - though white has some sharp ideas here AL]
11.Nc3 Kc8 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.Rd2
[14.a4 a5 15.Rd2 c5 16.Rad1 Bc6 17.e6 fxe6 18.Ne5 Re8 19.Nb5 Bxb5 20.axb5 Nd5 21.c4 Nb6 22.h4 a4 23.h5 a3 24.b3 a2 25.Ra1 Rd8 26.Rdxa2 Rxa2 27.Rxa2 Rd1+ 28.Kh2 Rb1 29.Ra3 Nd7 30.Ra8+ Nb8 31.Ra3 Nd7 32.Ra8+ Nb8 33.Ra3 Nd7 1/2-1/2 Berg,E (2587)-Hammer,J (2630)/Achaea GRE 2012/The Week in Chess 921]
14...c5 15.Rad1N
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 15.Rad1
"Something went horribly wrong in the opening - I made one illogical move after the next" - Anand. This is the first new move in the game. One can assume Anand's comment refers some if not all of this and the next couple of moves.  ***White's position looks at first glance the more pleasant, but the bishop should not be underestimated in this position.  Blacks queenside pawns, though currently doubled, can also become active. 
15...Be6 16.Ne1?! Ng6 17.Nd3 b6 18.Ne2
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 18.Ne2
"I just missed something after 18.Ne2 and suddenly I was basically lost." - Anand who expanded on the theme later saying that he played the move "just to be consistant" and that he thought there might be tactics with a timely e6 that turned out not to work.
[18.f4; 18.b3]
The bishop cannot be rounded up. White has some compensation for the pawn but almost certainly not enough.
19.b3 c4 20.Ndc1 cxb3 21.cxb3 Bb1 22.f4 Kb7 23.Nc3 Bf5 24.g4 Bc8 25.Nd3 h5
[25...Ne7 "I don't think there's anything wrong with 25...h5 but I thought 25...Ne7 was even stronger. 26.f5 Nc6 Anand said he "didn't see how I could get anything" in this position.]
26.f5 Ne7 27.Nb5 hxg4 28.hxg4
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 28.hxg4
[28.Rc1 was a suggestion of Boris Gelfand's in commentary. 28...Nd5 The only move that promises any advantage. (28...Nc6 29.Rdc2 is what white is hoping for.29.Nc5+ bxc5 30.Rxd5 Bxf5 31.Rdxc5 Rac8 is better for black but I'm not sure by how much. "It just seemed to me some kind of fantasyland" said Anand about his rejection of this line although he showed a rather different set of ideas than this line. But he obviously considered it for some time.]***I have to say that blacks position does 'look' very precarious, but this is one of the reasons the Berlin is such a difficult opening as appearances can be deceptive.  Despite having pieces huddled on the back rank, some of them are active (Bishop on c8, Rook on h8) and if he can bring the a8 rook into the game (via ...a5 perhaps) then the additional pawn may be decisive [AL]
[28...Nc6 29.Rc1 Rh4 30.Nf2 a5 (30...g6) ; 28...a6 If Carlsen wants to drive away the white knight then this proves to be the last chance to do it.]
29...Nc6 30.Rc2
31.Rc4 g6 32.Rdc1 Bd7 33.e6 fxe6 34.fxe6 Be8 35.Ne4
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 35.Ne4
"Curious that - 35.Ne4 was the only move Kasparov wanted to analyse ten minutes ago in Chennai" Ian Rogers on twitter.
[35.R1c3 is an alternative.]
35...Rxg4+ 36.Kf2 Rf4+
[36...Rd8!? may be the best but maybe Carlsen missed it due to the rather rare tactical idea involved. 37.Ned6+ (37.Ke3 is the best white has and black is better.37...cxd6 38.Rxg4 Ne5!! when black is threatening at least three things and is winning.]
37.Ke3 Rf8?!
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 37.Rf8
[37...g5! maintains black's advantage.]***One possible line is 38.Ncd6+ cxd6 39.Nxd6+ Ka6 40.Nxe8 Rxc4 41.Rxc4 Rxe8 42.Rxc6 Kb5 43.Rd6 Kc5 winning the e6 pawn and the game [AL]
Carlsen looked very unhappy when this appeared on the board.
38...Nxd4 39.Rxc7+
Anand commented that he was lucky that here and on move 59 he had checks to take him to time control when short of time.
39...Ka6 40.Kxd4 Rd8+ 41.Kc3 (41.Ke3 was simpler - AL) 41...Rf3+ 42.Kb2 Re3 43.Rc8
There was the expectation that the players would soon agree to a draw but Carlsen kept the problems going for another 20 moves.
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 43...Rdd3
[43...Rxc8 44.Rxc8 Bc6 45.Rxc6 Rxe4 46.Rd6 Kb5 47.e7 Rxe7 48.Rxg6 and the ending is a simple technical draw for a player of Anand's class.]
This finesse may or may not be an improvement over directly capturing the bishop straight away.
44...Kb7 45.Rxe8 Rxe4 46.e7 Rg3
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 46...Rg3
Black needs to hang on to the g-pawn if he is to have any chance to win.
47.Rc3 Re2+ 48.Rc2 Ree3 49.Ka2 g5!?
Again the most taxing.
[49...Rxb3? 50.Rb8+ wins for white.]
50.Rd2 Re5 51.Rd7+ Kc6 52.Red8 Rge3 53.Rd6+ Kb7 54.R8d7+ Ka6 55.Rd5 Re2+ 56.Ka3 Re6!?
Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand
Position after 56...Re6
setting up a final rather evil plot.
[57.e8N Rxe8 58.Rxg5 R8e6 59.Rgg7; 57.Rxg5?? b5 and mate or ruiness loss of material follows. Anand said he thought he had checked everything before this final problem turned up.]
57...g4 58.Rg5 Rxe7 59.Ra8+
a welcome check to take Anand to the time control.
59...Kb7 60.Rag8 a4 61.Rxg4 axb3 62.R8g7
In spite of getting more time Anand played very fast at the end showing he had everything under control.
62...Ka6 63.Rxe7 Rxe7 64.Kxb3 1/2-1/2

The final position is a simple draw.  As it is a b-pawn white can even use the back rank (or passive) defence to draw.

A really high class struggle and I'm not sure who will take the most confidence away from a game like this.  On one hand this was the first game where Carlsen was on top and further more he has had no difficulties at all with black to date.  On the other hand it showed that Anand looks to be in pretty good shape to be able to hold Carlsen at bay in a complicated struggle such as this.
The "warm-up" is well and truly over and I'm really loking forward to battle commencing tomorrow.  Carlsen will have the white pieces - will he stick with 1.Nf3 or will we see 1.d4 or even 1.e4?  One thing is for sure, he will be desparate to put Anand under some pressure in this game as Anand has had two comfortable games with black to date

Match score

Anand    2
Carlsen  2