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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Marple D vs Macclesfield B: 28th April 2014

1.     Terry Cowling        0.5-0.5        Tony Soames
2.     Andy Jenkins             0-1            Chris Sizeland
3.     Trefor Thomas           0-1            Denzil Lobo
4.     Tony Doust                0-1             Phil Cattermole
5.     Jeff Barlow                0-1            Tony Brough

Total                           :    0.5-4.5

Before this match Macclesfield B already had an unassailable lead in SDCL Division 3.  Nevertheless they fielded their strongest team against us and they proved irresistible.  I struggled from the outset in an irregular opening.  I survived and even had an advantage going into the endgame but I had spent too much time keeping my head above water. Eventually I blundered into a knight fork during my last few seconds and had to resign.  I didn't see enough of the other games to comment on them but congratulations to Terry on managing a draw against Tony Soames, that is no mean achievement.

Our season is now complete, so I would like to thank all those who have played for our D team for their hard-fought contributions.  Finishing second to such a strong team is an excellent performance.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

An unlikely win

Played at Stockport chess club last evening -

Stockport B      V       Marple C   Stockport League Div. 2  15/04/14

1D Toole     0.5/0.5   I Lentzos
2M Taylor    0-1       S Hegarty
3M Crowther 0.5/0.5 G Trueman
4M Tunstall   1-0       Default
5J Mason      0-1       P Kirby
6J Kelly         0-1       C Baker


This was a match we had to win to have any chance of becoming league champions. Things got off to a bad start when Nigels train stranded him in deepest Gorton and he was unable to make it to the venue in time....0-1

Things got even worse when for the second time in 24 hours I stupidly misplayed an advantageous position ...G Trueman - M Crowther  1e4e6 2d4b6 3Nf3 Bb7 4Bd3 c5 5c3 Nf6 6Qe2 Be7 70-0 (Afterwards Mike said he had prepared for 7Nbd2 here, which apparently I had played against him in 2008. I think this shows how seriously Stockport were taking this match, it's also a very rare case of a player successfully predicting his opponent in the Stockport League) 8cd: Nc6 9a3 d5 10e5 Nd7 11Nc3 Nf8 (I was starting to like the look of this now) 12b4 Rc8 13Bd2 Ng6 14Rfc1 Nh4 15Be3 Nf3:+ 16Qf3: a6 17Qg4 g6 18Bh6 Bf8 19Bf8: Kf8: 20Ne2 h6  21Rc3(Twenty years ago I sometimes underestimated the strength of an opponents move, now I sometimes don't see them at all- I had never even considered Mikes next) 21...Qg5 22Qg5:?? (This is a really bad move, not only does White want to keep Queens on, this exchange also gives Black play on the h file, After 22Qf3! the Black Queen is not really going anywhere)22...hg: 23Rac1 b5 24g3 Ke7 25Kg2 Kd7. Mike offered a draw here, although I wanted to play on there seems no way for White to improve his position, a fact which Fritz agrees with. Although my position still looks very nice with the bad Black Bishop,  the fact that I have two weaknesses at d4 and h2 makes progress impossible. 0.5/0.5  ....
0.5 - 1.5

So now we somehow needed to score 3/4  against strong opposition ...With hindsight the next game to finish was pivotal. John Kelly had played very agressively against Chris' Sicilian.  Although John had advanced all his Kingside pawns and  shattered his Queenside  both his Rooks, Queen and Bishop were pointing directly towards Chris' King. Playing such a position invites time trouble and when I saw John had  43 minutes left and Chris 5 I feared the worst. However Chris held his nerve superbly, reached a very good ending and John sportingly resigned as Chris promoted with about a minute left. This was a real tour de force from Chris and I would really like to see the moves. However after two good wins on consecutive evenings with a6 Sicilians Chris might feel he wants a Najdorf.
1.5 -1.5

I had been somewhat worried by Sarahs game. It seemed to me that Mike Taylor had come out of the opening  with a significant plus. However Sarah played very strongly and reached an ending which seemed promising. I can think of no higher compliment in describing how she created threats with just a Rook and Knight  than to describe what she did as "Danielesque". Eventually Mike resigned.
2.5 -1.5

Jeff Mason defended an unusual type of Queens Gambit against Paul by playing Nc6 in front of the c pawn. From what I saw it never really seemed to come off and in the middle game Jeff was left defending serious White square weaknesses around his King. Fending off the threats forced Jeff into an impossible endgame which Paul efficiently mopped up. Amazingly we were over the line.

Ioannis' game was the last to finish. He had what looked like a very nice position as Dave  had contracted  doubled isolated e pawns. However the open lines this caused created lots of counterplay. Dave kept finding interesting ideas which Ioannis calmly countered. After a long battle Ioannis advantage proved just not quite enough to win as a drawn Rook and pawn ending was reached with both sides down to the last couple of minutes.

A great result. Many thanks to all who played (or tried to). The situation now is that East Cheshire and ourselves both have equal points and one match left against Denton. Whoever performs best will be champions...............


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Marple D vs Stockport C: 31st March 2014

Match Card

1.    Tony Kay                0.5-0.5         Marc Jackson
2.    Andy Jenkins             0-1            Peter King
3.    Chris Baker                0-1            John Kelly
4.    Terry Cowling            1-0            Ian Anderson
5.    Jeff Barlow                 1-0            Anthony Prime

Total                                2.5-2.5


My game was last to finish and was looking like a dull draw, I was black and we had two minor pieces and pawns each. Anthony offered a draw and I probably would have taken it but we needed the full point to tie the match. Reassessing the position I had a dark squared bishop and a knight, my opponent had the bishop pair. We both had IQP’s and white had doubled isolated f pawns, probably the key weakness.  Normally I would prefer the bishop pair but I suddenly realised that I could attack the f pawn on the dark square with the king and both my minor pieces whereas my opponent could only defend it with one of his bishops.  This is probably obvious to most of you but I hadn’t considered this bishop and knight cooperation before.  It took my knight quite a few moves to get into position but that was not a problem.  Realising that he could not defend against this threat my opponent sacked his WS bishop to get a passed pawn but it turned out that my king could catch it so he then resigned. This was instructive for me in that I could have easily have agreed to draw this position which I now think was winning.

I can’t comment on the other games though Andy has offered to circulate his “amazing” game.