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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Match result: Marple B vs Stockport B: 11th December 2014

Match result: Marple B vs Stockport B: 11th December 2014

1.      Andy Jenkins     0.5-0.5             M Tunstall
2.      Chris Baker           0-1                A Coe
3.      Terry Cowling       0-1                J Mason
4.      David Preen          1-0                P H Taylor
5.      Jeff Barlow           0-1                J Barber
6.      Tony Doust           0-1                V Rushworth

Total                            1.5-4.5

Apologies for the late posting, but I thought I had better post it before the year is out.  Again the B team were playing a much stronger team and despite sterling efforts by our regular players the result was never really in doubt.  Andy gained a very creditable draw against Mike Tunstall, which he has already shared with us. Congratulations to David who managed our only win!

I tried a Budapest gambit against Jill, but I was rather put off my stride when she declined it with d5.  I feel there must be something wrong with this but can't find what it is! I have been trying to analyse my game but unfortunately my score sheet doesn't make sense, even more than usual!  A job for Bletchley Park, is this.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

The Presidents Christmas Quiz

The evenings are getting longer so it must be time for the quiz. Two points for a correct answer, one for what is in my view  partially correct . It's only a bit of fun so don't take it too seriously but there is a prize for the highest score by a bona fide (geddit?) Marple member, namely "White King and Red Queen" by Daniel Johnson (Atlantic Books £22.00). Entries to me by the 2nd of January please.

1 As a warm up see if you  can do better than one of my nine year old students who solved this in less than ten seconds and then prompted by the startled  look on my face gave me the variations to prove it wasn't a lucky guess.
White has Ral, Kc8 and pawn at b6. Black has Bb8,Ka8 and pawns at a7 & b7. It's White to play and mate in two.

2 But enough of this frippery let's get on to the serious stuff. Who was the only participant at the Hastings 1895 tournament without facial hair?

3 Here's the start of  my favourite game in 2014 played by two very experienced GMs. 1d4 f5 2Bg5 g6
3e3 Nh6 4h4 Nf7 5Bf4 d6 6Nf3Nd7 7Bc4 Bg7 8Bf7: Kf7; 9Ng5 Kf6 10Nc3 c6 11Qf3 e5. What did White play now?

4"Like the moon but colder" was Michael Steans description of the venue of which chess event?

5 What building was the 1995 world chess championship match played in?

6 Heres a game played on New Years Day 1955 - 1c4 Nf6 2Nc3 e6 3Nf3 c5 4e3 d5 5d4 Nc6 6Bd3 a6 70-0 dc: 8Bc4: b5 9Bb3 Bb7 10Qe2 cd: 11Rd1 d3 12Rd3 Qc7 13e4 Be7 14Bg5 h6 15Bh4 Nh5 16Bg3 Ng3 17hg: 0-0 18Re1 Rfd8 19Rd8 Rd8 20Nd5 ed 21ed Bf6 22dc Qc6: 23Rd1 Rd1 24Qd1 a5 25Qd2 a4 26Bc2 g5 27g4 Qc4 28Bf5 Kg7 29a3 Qb3 30Qd7 Bd5 0-1.
Name the players please.   What - you  want some clues? OK, well White was born less than two miles from where I'm writing this. What can I say about Black....Hmm well I was I was saddened to hear that his Wife Maria died on the 31st of October this year.

7 According to Suetin who said "You must always play on the edge of the abyss"?

8 In 1972 Viktor Korchnoi gave a simul at Marple Chess Club, he stayed at Don Swifts house! The only player to beat VK was Clifford Hilton but he did concede draws to Vic Knox and which Marple player?

9 Which World Championship challenger used to routinely annotate 3...Nf6 with a ? in the sequence 1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Nf6 ?

10 This is probably my favourite position with both sides only having one pawn each. White Kb4, pawn b2, Black Kh6, pawn g7. Its White to play. What should he do and what should the result be with best play?

11 The Noteboom  (some prefer Abrahams) variation is becoming popular with some of our players. How old was Daniel Noteboom when he died?

12  The following game was played at Queen odds on the 17th of September 1893. (Remove Whites Queen from d1) 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nf6 3Ne5 Ne4 4d4 d6 5Nf3 Be7 6Bd3 Nf6 7c4 0-0 8Nc3 Nc6 9a3 a6 10Bd2 b6 11 0-0-0 Bd7 12Kb1 Na5 13Rc1 Nb3 14Rc2 c5 15d5 Re8 16h4 b5 17g4 Nd4 18Nd4 cd: 19Ne4 bc: 20Nf6:+ Bf6: 21Bc4: Bg4: 22Bd3 Bf3  23Rh3 Bd5: 24h5 Be6 25Rg3 g6 26f4 Bh4 27Rg1 Kh8 28f5 Bf5: 29Bf5: gf: 30Bh6 Rg8 31Rcg2 Rg2: 32Rg2: Qf6 33Bg7+ Qg7: 34Rg7: Kg7: 35Kc2 Kf6 36Kd3 Ke5 37h6 f4 38Ke2 0-1.
You may be wondering why this game has any significance - Black didn't really need the extra Queen. However I think Blacks play in this game may be one of the greatest achievements in the history of chess. Why?

13 Black in this game played in about 1920 is Brian Harley, chess editor of the Observer. It shows why Kramnik doesn't take on d4 in the Berlin. 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nc6 3Bb5 Nf6 40-0 Ne4 5d4 ed 6Nd4 Nd6 7Re1+ Be7 8Qg4 Nd4: 9Qd4: Nb5: 10Qg7: Rf8 11Bh6 d5 12Qf8:+ Kd7 13Qf7: Kd6 14Re7: 1-0.
Who was White? What - another clue? OK, well he wasn't well known as a chess player but reached the top of the greasy pole in his  chosen profession.

14 Alex's 16/16 in the Stockport League last season was an awesome achievement but at the Berlin tournament of 1885 who scored 34/34?

15 And finally which  novel finishes with -

"It was night. I went home and put my old house clothes on and set the chessmen out and mixed a drink and played over another Capablanca. It went 59 moves. Beautiful cold remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability.
When it was done I listened at the open window for a while and smelled the night. Then I carried my glass out to the kitchen and rinsed it and filled it with ice water and stood at the sink sipping it and looking at my face in the mirror.

"You and Capablanca" I said"

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A team end year with victory at Denton

Played last evening at Denton chess club.

Denton A             V      Marple A

1 L Antal         0.5/0.5   A Longson
2 T Hilton          0-1       M Fernandez
3 D Holt             0-1       A Walton
4 P Boyd             0-1       J Bentley
5 T Ireland          0-1      S Hegarty
6 M Furlong        0-1      G Trueman


Arriving in Tameside expecting a very tough battle I discovered that  there was one factor I hadn't taken into account. As Manchester University had already finished for Christmas, Denton were deprived of nearly all of their top players. Although their top couple of boards were capable of giving anyone a tough game their strength tailed away, particularly towards the bottom end. This meant we started this match as very clear favourites although the play was not without interest.

My opponent launched a ferocious attack at my fianchettoed King position. Although after the first few moves it wasn't too sound it was somewhat unnerving and I was glad there wasn't a kitchen sink to hand. I succeeded in repelling the invaders and matters ended swiftly when unfortunately Malcolm left his Queen hanging on move 21.

Often when there is a large disparity in playing strengths the games can be very educational and this was the case on board 5. Although Mr Ireland was probably happy to develop his dark squared Bishop outside a d6,e5 pawn chain it meant it could do nothing at all to help defend his King as Sarah built up a massive Kingside attack. The game ended with a nice mate on the h8 square.

Alex was involved in a very interesting and theoretical Breyer Spanish. Although I didn't see too much of the game the Queenside pawn play of both players was fascinating and I must admit I really didn't know who was better at all. Eventually a draw was agreed.

John seemed to have a won position as Black from a very early stage. I liked the way his dark square Bishop continued to have an impact on the game despite being posted on the unlikely square a1. In the end a Knight fork on d2 left Phil with no alternative to resignation.

David (Holt) fought hard against Alan despite losing a pawn early on. I was pretty sure Alans remorseless technique would triumph in the end and so it proved but not before Alan had to go on to a second scoresheet.

I was intrigued as to how Michael would go about trying to defeat Tim (Hilton) on Board Two particularly as Tim had the White pieces and is playing at a much higher level than his grade would suggest.  The answer was a very complicated middle game where Michael left his King in the centre of the board. I don't know really know who was better but eventually a double Rook ending was reached. I felt Tims decisive mistake was moving his Rook from behind his passed pawn but both players seemed to think that Michael was well on top by that point anyway. What was impressive was the way in which being very short of time didn't seem to worry Michael at all and in the end his central pawn mass prevailed.

So that concludes the A teams fixtures for this year. As always thanks to the players and the drivers.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Wins for Sarah and Alex lead A team to victory

Played at Stockport chess club last evening -

Stockport A                      V      Marple A       Stockport Lge. Div 1   02/12/2014

1 A Smith                    0-1         A Longson
2 P Cawley                  0.5/0.5   M Fernandez
3 A Reeve                   0.5/0.5    A Walton
4 P Siddall                   0-5/0.5    J Bentley
5 D Toole                    0.5/0.5    G Trueman
6 M Taylor                  0-1          S Hegarty


Alans game against Andy Reeve was the first to finish. Alan told me afterwards that he had felt he got the worst of the opening against Andys d6,g6 system but he managed to get enough play to encourage Andy to make a draw offer. 0.5 -0.5

Eagle eyed readers might have already spotted our unusual board order. I hadn't come to play merely to watch and go through some games with Neil. When Ioannis wasn't around when the match started  I wasn't too concerned as there was very heavy traffic in the area. By 7.45 I was getting worried and a phone call revealed that Ioannis had got the dates mixed up. The only possibility was for me to take his place and play Dave Toole. In a 3...Nd7 Moscow variation I tried a somewhat bizarre retreat of the Bishop to d3. I had seen the Canadian GM  Erik Hansen play this way  at the 4NCL last year but the whole idea is apparently one of Peter Svidlers  creations. I'm not sure whether it is good or simply too artificial but whatever it's merits it enabled me to catch up on the clock as Dave took quite a bit of time deciding how to combat it. The game was reasonably accurately played by both players and we agreed a draw in a position the engines think is level.In the circumstances I was quite happy with this, particularly as the remaining games seemed mainly to be in our favour. 1-1.

This view was confirmed  when Alex beat Alan Smith. Alex met Alans 2...e6 Sicilian with g3 which I have also seen other 3C's players use. This idea receives scant coverage in the books but I have yet to see a game where Black has come anywhere close to equalising. Later Alan told me his position seemed very bleak after he had allowed Alex to play an advantagous d4.This was a  nice game from Alex as he always seemed to be in control against a very strong opponent. 2-1.

John then drew with Phil Siddall. This was a type of Kings Indian Defence where John had good play but the fact that all his pawns were advanced in front of his King made things very double edged. Later John told me for a lot of the game he didn't know who was better and I wasn't too surprised when a draw was agreed. 2.5-1.5.

Sarah took us over the winning line with a lovely game against Mike Taylor. In an e3 Slav Sarah seemed better to me from very early on and try as he might Mike could never quite get his pieces working. The game was concluded with the White King on h1 getting mated with just Rooks on the board. I struggled to understand the finish as in my head Whites pawn was on h3 rather than h2 which did make quite a difference! 3.5-2.5.

Michaels game was the last to finish. Paul played the London system against him which I think is an excellent choice against a higher graded opponent. Michael played to get a complicated middle game and certainly achieved that, although I was somewhat concerned about Michaels King wandering around on the third rank. Eventually it came down to a blitz finish in a position where 5 minutes per move would have not have been enough and I really don't have a clue what was going on.Ultimately a draw was agreed with Michael having about 40 seconds left to Pauls 80. By the way this match was played without increments, each player having 90 minutes for all moves. 4-2.

So a good win in the end. Thanks to all who played/drove. Although we  slightly outgraded the opposition on five of the six boards this is no guarantee of success as we saw with roles reversed in the Manchester League fixture between the clubs. Our next A team match is at Denton on Wednesday the 17th of December.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Match result: East Cheshire B vs Marple B: 26th November 2014

1.      T Rickards (137)        0-1       Andy Jenkins   (130)
2.      D Taylor   (144)      0.5-0.5    Chris Baker    (129)
3.     K Holton    (134)        0-1       Terry Cowling   (127)
4.     A Stokes    (129)         0-1       David Preen   (125)
5.     B Tait         (129)        0-1       Jeff Barlow     (124)
6.     P Bamford  (117)       1-0       Trefor Thomas (100)

Total                                1.5-4.5

This was a very satisfying win after our mauling by Denton B.  I was pleased also with my own game, finally winning against the Caro-Kann.  My last (several) CK games were against Andrew Lowndes and I don't think I ever got a point out of him, so I was a bit wary.  However everything seemed to go well,  near the end I had the option of a pretty mating attack but couldn't quite work it out through to the end so ducked it.  In retrospect I feel I should have played it intuitively and wasn't brave enough. Fortunately my opponent didn't take advantage of my timidity!

[White "Barlow, Jeff"]
[Black "Tait, Bill"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bf4 Nf6 6. c3 Bg4 7. Nbd2 Qb6 8.
Qc2 e6 9. Bd3 Bxf3 10. Nxf3 h6 11. h3 Qd8 12. O-O Bd6 13. Ne5 a6 14. a4 Rc8 15.
Qe2 Bb8 16. Bg3 O-O 17. f4 Nh7 18. Rf2 Bxe5 19. fxe5 Qd7 20. Bh4 g5 {Diagram
[#]} 21. Bg3 f5 22. exf6 Nxf6 23. Raf1 Qg7 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. Rxf6 Rfe8 26.
Rxh6+ Qxh6 27. Qxh6+ Kg8 28. Qh7# 1-0

I should, of course, have played 21. Bxh7 followed by Rf6, cutting off Black's King, then say Qh5.

I saw the end of Andy's game (published already) which by that time was an endgame.  It seemed that Andy had the advantage but there was still a lot of work to do.  However he seemed to calmly convert the win with ease against a strong opponent.

When I saw Chris' game it didn't look promising with Chris having 2-3 minutes left and his opponent had nearer twenty.  This was the first time I have seen the difference that the incremental system can make.  After watching the game for about 15 minutes, Chris still had about the same time but by this time his opponent had less than him and a draw was agreed.

I didn't see enough of the other games to comment.  Well done all!