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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Quiz

The theme of this years christmas quiz is "Chess and Popular Music" (groans) - It's only a bit of fun but you will need to think laterally to have any chance with some of the questions. To give you an idea of what I am looking for here is an example

Q. In 1975 the Bosses seminal album title track told us to do what in the endgame?
A. Pawn to Run - Bruce Springsteen (apologies Tony!)

So here we go then, if I give the name of the artist I only need the song -otherwise artist and title please...

Q1. Which Flying Pickets No. 1 single was a tribute to the most underated and as we see here most  mispronounced  of all the world chess champs.

Q2. Have you  played through Karpov-Huebner Graz 1972?. Possibly as a result of this game Suzi Quatro advised us to do what the following year (though apparently Phil Adams disagrees).

Q3. Scandalously kept from the No.1  spot by Joe Dolces "Shaddap Your Face" this superb piece of gothic pop tells the sad tale of a poor boy forced by peer pressure to play the Lopez.How he wishes he had played 2Nc3 instead.

Q4.Its rare for three chessplayers to appear in a pop song but is this 1969 Motown hit is a tribute to (a) arguably the real inventor of the Noteboom (b) perhaps the most prolific chess dvd author of all time and (c) A very underated Polish/German player active in the early C20 (Check out his win in the McCutcheon against Spielmann in 1908)

Q5.This celebrated singer/songwriter of genius was the subject of "Killing me Softly". Here he  sings about the only chess move involving two pieces - performed in an unusual setting.

Q6. Author of possibly the most interesting chess book ever written this Dutch GM amazingly apparently also co-starred in the first reggae song to top the British charts. It tells the tale of how it is much easier to get a high rating at metropolitan, city tournaments than rural ones. Artists and song title please.

Q7. ABC's 1987 hit was a tribute not only to one of the greatest motown stars but also a Latvian chess genius who tragically committed suicide in 1997. Usually the is shortened , I need the full version here.

Q8.Fischers play at the Stockholm Interzonal in 1962 was most likely the reason Susan Maughan wanted to be what?.

Q9.It's 1965 and this girl on a motorcycle thinks 1f4 is a very small opening.

Q10. Look at this - 1e4e5 2f4 ef: 3Nc3 Qh4 4Ke2 d6 5Nf3 Bg4 6d4 g5 7Nd5 Kd8 8Kd3 c6 9Qd2 Bf3 10Qa5 b6 11Nb6: Be4: 12Ke4: ab: 13Qa8: Qe1 14Kd3 Kc8 15Bf4 Qa1:16Be2 Qh1: 17Bg4 f5 18Bf5: Kc7 19Qa7 Kd8 20Qb8 Ke7 21Qd6 Kf7  22Qe6 Kg7 23Be5 1-0.  Liam and Noels tribute to the winner of this game was?

Good luck, if anyone gets over 50% I'll be astounded. Seasons Greetings to all.
The nature of chess

I thought this was a nice quote from the BBC News web page. It introduces an article about Lennox Lewis’s chess playing hobby.
“Chess and boxing seem as bizarre a pairing as anything, but they do have something in common, writes David Edmonds. One is a duel often characterised by cruelty, ruthlessness and violence. And boxing is much the same. “
You might also be interested in this article in which Dominic Lawson reports on Lewis’s chess abilities.
Happy Christmas to all!
Chris Baker

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Across the Board with Dominc Lawson

Chris mentioned yesterday that Dominic Lawson (journalist brother of Nigella) has done a series of interviews with people whilst playing chess.  Details are here

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

B and C team matches 16/12/13

Here are the results lof last nights B and C matches -

Marple B  V Macclesfield A  Stockport Lge. Div.1  16/12/13

1 J Horton  0    R Shaw    1.0
2S Hegarty 0.5 C Davison 0.5
3 I Lentzos  1.0 G Lawrence 0
4 S Hewitt  1.0   D Lobo      0
5 P Kirby    0.5   A Soames 0.5
6 G Trueman 1.0 P Cattermole 0

                        4.0                      2.0

Marple C V Wilmslow  Stockport Lge. Div. 2 16/12/13

1 N Livesey  0       C Mills   1.0
2 T Kay         0.5    K Moran 0.5
3 A Jenkins   0.5     R Warhurst 0.5
4 T Cowling     1.0    M Palmer  0
5 T Thomas   1.0      T Flynn     0
6 Walkover    1.0      Dee Fault  0

                        4.0                      2.0

Playing B and C matches simultaneously was always going to be difficult and was made more so by the unavailaibility of several players. Owing to a series of unfortunate and unavoidable events I arrived late and after going wrong on move 3 (Yes really!) I saw very little of the chess that was played, so if anyone wants to post their own experiences that would be good.

In the B team match Sean won well very early on. Sarah and Paul both drew against strong opponents. Fortunately for me Phil erred in the middlegame and when Ioannis triumphed we were over the finish line. Unfortunately Robert then ground down Jamie in a R+P ending.

I saw even less of the C team match. Trefor won very nicely and then Tony and Andy both drew. Adding the default point gained by Wilmslow having no Board 6 and we were 3-1 up. Sadly Nigel lost against Colin (Mills) who I have always found a difficult opponent. However in the last remaining game Terry prosecuted a magisterial attack to remove any doubts.

So on an evening that I thought might prove very difficult we recorded two wins. Many thanks to all who played and to those that set all the equipment up.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Limit League host Altrincham

Our new venue looked great on Monday when we hosted three matches.

I've been a little tardy posting this report as I'm still trying to work out how to put what I learnt from my game into practice.  The short version is that I lost on time despite having what should have been a clear win after about eighteen moves onwards.  I hope to post my critical self-analysis later today when the Marple Chess Club's wives section go to Flower Club.

I spent so much time dithering over my game that I saw nothing of the other games.  All I know is that Barrie lost when his favourite Opening ( Gambit in Six Languages) lost him a piece from which he never recovered.  Peter continued his much improved form with a win and Joseph lost to a back rank mate (note to teacher).

86    Neil Dainty        0 - 1 Steve Douglas  99
77     Barrie Edwards 0 - 1 Steve Ward      86
66    Peter Kelly         1 - 0  Wayne Kranz 60
        J Anderson         0 - 1  D Osborne      51

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Match Result: Marple D vs East Cheshire C: 09-12-2013

Match Card

1        Tony Kay             0.5-0.5           Bill Tait
2        Andy Jenkins          1-0              Hartley Oldham
3.       Chris Baker             1-0              Ian Vaughan
4.       Terry Cowling         0-1              Myles Heywood
5.       Jeff Barlow              1-0              Roy Burrows

Result                            3.5-1.5

It was a busy night at the Conservative club last night with three matches being played, is this a first?

The D team match finished with a comfortable win and unlike the B team match we reached a winning position of 3-0 with 2 matches still playing; these seemed evenly balanced to a casual glance.

Earlier in the evening I had thought Chris was potentially losing, but he turned it around in the endgame, his opponent having been careless with his pawns.  Andy finished quickly with a win and I did not see anything of that game. My game wasn't too difficult though we had to pause to reconcile our score sheets.

The last two games went close to the time limit.  Tony agreed a draw in an even position and Terry lost under time pressure.  Thanks to all our players and season's greetings to all.

Marple B V Chorlton 09/12/13 Stockport Lge Div 1 Match Result

Here's the scorecard from last nights encounter-

Marple B          V       Chorlton

1 J Bentley    0.5           C Vassilou   0.5
2 M Fernandez 1.0        R Doney      0.0
3 J Horton          1.0      P Olbison      0.0
4 I Lentzos         1.0       D Owen         0.0
5 P Kirby            0.0       A Beresford  1.0
6 N Livesey          0.0      D Kierman  1.0

                            3.5                             2.5

 Your correspondent and acting B team captain found himself with an "embarras de richesses" with seven eager players and only six boards. In such a situation my only option was to deselect myself and so for the second time in sixty hours I found myself thwarted in  my attempt to play chess as my county match opponent failed to materialise on Saturday. However it is a strategy that Stephen Gerard may wish to employ in Manaus next June.
When belatedly the match started things did not proceed according to plan. Paul and Nigel both lost quite early in the evening. Fair play to Alan Beresford  he showed me afterwards just how much he knows about the frighteningly theoretical 6Bg5 Najdorf and in fact Paul succumbed to exactly the same variation as Chris Sizeland did against Alan a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile Nigel fell foul of a vicious and very well played attack from Dave Kierman. Next John agreed a draw in a position where it was impossible to play for a win.
So it was looking a bit bleak at this point but not for the first time this season the tables slowly turned.
Ioannis had faced his own favourite defence. Having reached a position where there was no way to make progress he offered Dennis (Owen) a draw. To my surprise Dennis declined and instead embarked on a very risky winning attempt. Accurate play from Ioannis resulted in a Rook ending where he was clearly better and his usual superb technique brought home the full point.
Michael was engaged in an interesting battle with Ron Doney. After various travails a position was reached where Michael had Q+ B pawn V Q. Although the general consensus afterwards was that this was a drawn position I am not so sure - didn't Botvinnik  win an ending like this once? In any event facing Michael with twenty minutes less on the clock I wasn't too surprised when Ron lost...
So all square with one game left. Jamie had won a pawn for nebulous compensation but making progress wasn't easy and Jamie was well behind on the clock. It all came down to a frantic blitz finish where Jamie found some excellent moves very quickly and Phil ran out of time. No mean achievement as Phil has beaten Nakamura at bullet chess on the internet.
So another Marple "comeback" was complete. Many thanks to all who played.


Saturday, 7 December 2013


We took the opportunity to play Joseph and Stuart in our visit to Denton this week.  Stuart lost a piece early on and never recovered.  Joseph played solidly throughout against an experienced opponent and had two bishops against rook with six pawns each.  When neither side could find a breakthrough Joseph calmly shuffled a bishop back and forth until he was offered a draw.  Peter did well against a higher graded opponent but couldn't push his kingside attack.  He also drew as did Tony.

107     D Cook          0.5      A Doust        107
 98     A Ryder          0.5       P Kelly           66
 78     S McIlvenna   1 - 0     S Anderson    u/g
 74    A Williamson    0.5       J Anderson    u/g

          DENTON    2.5 - 1.5 MARPLE  

We have two more games, both at home, on the next two Mondays.  this week it's Altrincham followed by East Cheshire on the 16th.  All welcome!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Match Result, Marple v Bolton (2/12/13)

Here is the match card from Monday nights clash against Bolton.

Marple Stockport
1 Daniel Fernandez 1.0 0.0 Joe McPhillips
2 Alex Longson 0.5 0.5 Jeff Horner
3 Michael Fernandez 0.5 0.5 Nathan Taylor
4 Sarah Hegarty 1.0 0.0 Harry Lamb
5 Glenn Trueman 0.5 0.5 Allan Gardner
6 Iaoannis Lentzos 1.0 0.0 S Dohery
7 Paul Kirby 0.0 1.0 Adam Tyton
4.5 2.5

A great result which for me justifies our decision to enter the Manchester League.  Bolton are a very strong club with a lot of depth but we thoroughly deserved our win.

Michael was better out of the opening (Sicilian) and won a pawn though black had some comp.  Michael later missed a tactic that led into a nasty looking double rook ending.  Bizarrely though Nathan offered a draw just as it looked as though white might be in some significant trouble.

Daniel was able to beat Joe after a Joe blundered an exchange in a drawn looking ending.  Until then it seemed a correct game from a Queens Indian Defence.  Joe is a very talented junior (211) and has even drawn a proper game against Nigel Short.

Sarah played a very controlled game against Harry Lamb.  The game started as a Kings Indian Attack (KIA) but soon resembled a Catalan.  Harry misplayed the position and had to work hard to win back his "gambited" pawn on c4.  Sarah was able to extract the bishop pair for this though with a small edge.  Some inaccuracies from white allowed Sarah to finish the game convincingly with some nice tactical touches.

Glenn's game was a draw which suited us just fine given the match situation.  Position looked like a good Benoni for white.

The key game was probably Ioannis on board 6.  Ioannis looked under serious pressure for most of this game but managed to escape to an ending where he had 2 pawns for a knight.  (plus rook and two pawns each on the kingside).  These pawns were connected though so I'm not even sure black should be worse in that position.  Ioannis was able to simply keep pushing the pawns and even won the game.  This was a great turnaround from a game I had written off as a probable loss at one point.  By now we had reached 4 points and had won the match.

Paul lost against the experienced Tyton.  As white Paul seemed to have a slightly passive position out of the opening and then, in his own words, blundered a pawn.  I didn't see the rest of the game.

For my part I had an interesting game against North West 'Legend' IM Jeff Horner.  Until his semi-retirement from the game Jeff was probably the strongest player in the North West (at least until the emergence of Stephen Gordon) and used to win Opens for fun.  I've played Jeff a few times and it's normally an interesting tussle.  Jeff is well known for steering games into 'his' kind of positions.  with white this means the 'Slow Spanish' (or Ruy Lopez) structures against 1...e5 and also 1...c5.  Our game opened 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.h3 Nbd7 5.Bd3 b6 6.0-0 Bb7 7.Re1 Qc7 8.Bc2 Rc8! which I've used successfully before as black.  I got a nice position out of the opening temporarily sacrificing a pawn for active pieces and initiative in the centre.  It was a complicated middlegame but by the time control it looked like I had a winning game.  Jeff gave up an exchange to reach an endgame that seemed trivial at first but transpired to be quite tricky due to my vulnerable king (I had Q, R and 5 pawns vs Q, B and 4 pawns).  With about a minute left each at the end I'd stumbled into a perpeptual check and had to accept a draw (or risk getting beat).

So an a personal level a disappointing finish to the evening but I was thrilled with the team performance.

Many congratulations everyone!




  1. e4 d6
  2. d4 Nf6
  3. Nc3 Nbd7 I've no idea what opening this is; whatever it is Terry knows more about it than I do. I'm itching to play f4, but not sure so I delay Nf3
  4. Bd3 e5
  5. Nf3 Be7 where to put my Bishop? b2 followed by exchanging on e5 looks the best
  6. O-O c6
  7. b3 O-O
  8. Bb2 Qc7
  9. Ba3 Re8 Why did I do that; it just forces him to develop?
  10. Qd2 b5 after only 10 moves I am 17 minutes behind on time
  11. Rad1 Bb7 The Bishop doesn't seem a threat here as if he plays c5 I can block the Bishop with d5
  12. dxe5 dxe5
  13. Bb2 Rad8 ...Nc5 is coming so I think I need by Queen off this file
  14. Qc1 Nc5 I now spend a lot of time pondering my next move. I should be calculating, but pondering is more accurate. I'm not too worried about NxB because a pawn on d3 looks potentially good, even though it would initially be backward; but I suspect he wants the Bishop pair. I spend ages looking at Nxb5 cxb5 Bxc5 followed by Bxe5 but I decide against.
  15. Rfe1 Nxd3
  16. cxd3 a5 I've been eyeing either of my Knights on f5. If it provokes g6 all the better. This advance helps me decide which Knight
  17. Ne2 Bd6
  18. Ng3 g6
  19. Qg5 Qe7
  20. Nf5! Qe6 (the !is mine).
  21. Nh6+ Kf8 Aware I'm about twenty five minutes behind I now miscalculate.
  22. Nxe5 Bxe5
  23. Bxe5 Qxe5
  24. Qc1 c5
  25. f4 Qd4+
  26. Kh1 Kg7
  27. f5! Qe5 I now have only 17 minutes left compared with 43 for Terry; but the moves are coming much quicker
  28. Qg5 Qe7
  29. fxg6!! Can I have !!! please? Ng8
  30. Nf5! Kh8 Terry sportingly lets me play it out..
  31. g7++