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Thursday, 28 August 2014


We played this game with Andrew Lowndes in mind and most of our team started with 1. c3 or 1....c6 as a mark of respect.  We then gave Eccles their first points of the season.  Terry got a lost position early on when he couldn't transpose after playing c6.  I missed a mate in 2 against a player graded 20 points above me.  If you look at the diagram below you'll see what I've been seeing all day but missed last night.

Eccles 3.5-2.5 Marple 2

Harold, Lawrence 0-1 Preen, David W
Holland, Nigel 1-0 Cowling, Terry
Whitehead, Gerry J 0-1 Kay, Tony
Lysons, Chris 1-0 Dainty, Neil C
Perryman, Des J 0.5-0.5 Doust, Antony
Unsworth, William 1-0 Edwards, Barrie R

(24) LYSONS,Chris - DAINTY,Neil [B18]

SELSCL, 27.08.2014
1.d4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bc4 e6 8.c3 Be7 9.0–0 Ngf6 This allows Nh4 trapping Bg6; not a problem but probably I should have played h6 first.
10.Re1 Qc7 11.Nh4 Nb6 12.Nxg6 hxg6 13.Bb3 0–0–0 14.Qf3 Bd6 15.Bg5 Nbd7 I'm quite happy at this point; the open h file looks promising

16.h3 Kb8 He wants to play Bf4 and I convince myself the King would be better in the corner. Mistake!

17.Ne4 Ka8 I looked (and kept looking) at Bh7+ but couldn't see where to go from there. Mistake.
18.Nxf6 Nxf6 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Qxf6 Rh7 21.Re2 Be7 22.Qe5 Bd6 23.Qe3 Bf4 24.Qf3 g5 25.Rae1 Rg8 26.d5 g4

I'm not unhappy now

27.Qd3 gxh3 28.Qxh7?? Diagram


The game should now be over. I played gxh3 instinctively. I felt it must win somehow! Taking the rook loses but I was a bit shaken because I hadn't looked at it. I was also well behind on time but this wasn't really an issue. However I I believe these factors muddled my thinking and helped me miss mate in 2.
28...Rxg2+ [28...Bh2+ 29.Kh1 hxg2#] 29.Kf1 Qb8 30.f3 Qg8 31.Qxg8+ Rxg8
I thought I still had chances (doh!) but things went quickly downhill from here.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Remembering Andrew Lowndes

I didn't know Andrew all that well, but he was the first person to give me a game when I turned up at the club six years ago.  After beating me he was kind enough to say "well, you certainly know your way around the chess board".  Kind enough for me still to remember.

I have been swotting up on the Caro-Kann to play it as a tribute in tonight's match, using Collins' "Understanding the Chess Openings".  Fitting, because the book was given to me by Andrew and has his name inside the cover.  Checkmate comes to us all eventually.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Remembering Andrew Lowndes

Today I learned the sad news that Andrew had passed away. By way of a tribute here's a game Andrew played in 2009. He had a very fine feeling for Black systems based around ...c6. The notes are Andrews, the  exclamation marks mine.

White : PT Taylor
Black: A Lowndes

Marple V Stockport  15/10/2009

1d4 Nf6
2Nf3 c6
3Nbd2 d5
4e3 Bg4
5Be2 Nbd7
6c3 Qc7!
7h3 Bf3:
8Bf3: e5! (White has allowed Black the opportunity to play both d5 and e5!)
9de: Ne5:
10Be2 Be7
11Qc2 0-0
12Nf3  (Now White allows Black a strongly posted Knight)
130-0 Rac8
14b3 f5
15Bb2 Nf3:+
16Bf3: (At this point I wanted to move a Rook to g6 but it could easily be driven off by Bh5 so I opted for the following Queen manoeuvre)
17Rad1 Qg6
18Be4: (My opponent thought for a long time over this move but the exchange helps Black)
19Qe2 (Too slow. I felt that I had some initiative here and looked for a forceful continuation. White still needs to spend a tempo to activate his b2 Bishop. I didn't want White to play Qg4 to exchange Queens, nor did I want him to advance his f pawn when he would be better able to defend along the second rank, so after a few seconds thought I played:)
19...Rf3!! (The Rook is obviously immune from capture, but I could see that it would remain so no matter what continuation. The rest of the game plays itself, really)
20Kh1 (To break the pin, if 20Kh2 then Bd6+ 21Kh1 or  21g3 the Rook on f3 is still safe)
20..Qh5 (Threatens Rh3:+ followed by winning the Queen; If 21 gf3: then Qh3:22Kg1 ef3: and White has to give up his Queen to avoid mate)
21Rd2 Bd6 (Renews the threat of ...Rh3:+ with 22..Rh3:+ 23gh3: Qh3:+ 24Kg1 Qh2#)
22g3 Qh3:+
23Kg1 Rcf8! (Bringing up the reserves - it is important to block the f file)
24Rdd1 Bg3:
25fg3: Rg3: (With mate next move) 


A lovely game played by a lovely man  - RIP.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Me vs Bob

A game from a couple of months back.  Brief and was fun to play !

Longson,Alex (227) - Newton,Bob (175) [B31]

Manchester Summer League, 16.06.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0–0 Bg7 5.c3 Qc7?! 6.d4 a6 7.Bxc6 Qxc6 8.d5 Qc7 9.e5?! [9.c4 Also seems quite good 9...b5 (9...d6 10.h3 Nf6 11.Nc3 0–0 (11...b5!?) 12.Re1 Intending Bf4 and e5 with a pleasant game) 10.Nc3 bxc4 (10...b4 11.Ne2) 11.Nd2; 9.d6! Funnily enough I had originally considered this but then became preoccupied with e5 9...Qxd6 10.Qxd6 exd6 11.Bf4 Looks very promising for white] 9...Bxe5?! I was pleased to see this - now my idea is justified [9...d6 10.exd6 Qxd6 (10...exd6 11.Re1+ Ne7) 11.c4 Nf6 12.Nc3 0–0 13.Bg5 Bf5 (13...b5! 14.cxb5 axb5 15.Nxb5 Qxd5³) 14.Re1 Rfe8 15.Qd2 Seemed pleasant to us for white after the game though the computer likes an earlier ...b5] 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Re1 Qg7 [11...Qf6 12.Nd2±; 11...Qc7 12.d6; 11...Qf5!?; 11...Qh5!?] 12.Bf4± g5 13.Bd6 h5 14.Bxe7 Nxe7 15.d6 Rh6 [15...0–0 16.Rxe7 White is dominating] 16.Rxe7+ Kf8 17.Na3 b6 [17...Re6 18.Rxe6 fxe6 (18...dxe6 19.d7+-) 19.Nc4 b5 (19...Qf7 20.Nb6 Rb8 21.Qf3 Qxf3 22.gxf3+-; 19...Rb8 20.Nb6 It took the computer a few moments to realise the complete futility of blacks position here !) 20.Qf3++-; 17...Qf6 18.Nc4 b5 19.Qd5 Rb8 (19...bxc4 20.Qxa8+-) 20.Ne5 Rh7 21.Qxc5+-; 17...b5 18.Qd5 Rb8 19.Qxc5 Qf6 20.Rd1+-] 18.Nc4 Rb8 19.Ne5 g4 [19...Rf6 20.Qd5 (20.Qxh5 a5 21.Re1 a4 22.Ng6+ Qxg6 (22...Rxg6 23.Re8#; 22...fxg6 23.Re8+ Kf7 24.R1e7#) 23.Re8+ Kg7 24.Qh8#) ] 20.Rxf7+ Qxf7 21.Nxf7 Kxf7 22.Qd5+ Re6 23.Re1 Bb7 24.Qxh5+ Kf6 25.Rxe6+ Kxe6 26.Qxg4+ Kd5 27.c4+ Ke5 28.Qxd7 Black resigned 1–0

H.O.P.E Hold on, pain ends

Annotated versions of my two recent games versus Hope Mkhamba.  We ended up losing both matches - Tuesday was particularly close when we crashed out of the cup!  Previous to these two games my record against Hope was played 3, won 2 drew 1. 

The first game here was quite painful as I was better for most of the game but then overpressed at the end.  However these things occasionally happen and one of the things I want to get better at is playing positions out - even at the risk of losing.  The second game was sweet revenge!

Mkhumba,Hope (185) - Longson,A (227) [B12]

Summer League, 21.07.2014

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bb5 Qa5+ 7.Nc3 e6 8.Be3 a6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.Qd4 Bxf3 11.b4 Qc7 12.gxf3 Ne7 13.f4 Nf5 14.Qd3 g5!? 15.Ne2 gxf4 16.Bxf4 Bg7 17.Qc3 Nh4 18.Bg3 [18.0–0–0 Ng6 19.Rde1 Bxe5] 18...Bxe5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.0–0–0 Qxc3 21.Nxc3 Black is clearly better due to the central pawn masse and whites broken structure 21...a5? allows some counterplay [21...Ke7³] 22.b5! cxb5 23.Nxb5 Ke7 24.Rhe1 Kf6 Chances are equal - black has the better structure but all of whites pieces are actively placed 25.c6 [25.Nd6 Nf5] 25...Nf5?! [25...Ra6 is more accurate 26.c7 Nf5] 26.a4 [26.c4] 26...Ra6 27.c7 Nd6 28.Re3 Nxb5 29.axb5 Rb6 30.Rc3?! [30.Rf3+ Ke7 31.Rg1 Rxb5 32.Rg7 is a clever drawing mechanism we both missed 32...Kd6 (32...Rf8?? 33.Rgxf7++-) 33.Rfxf7 Rc8 34.Rxh7=] 30...Rc8 31.Rc5 Ke5 [31...Rb7 32.Rd4 Rcxc7 33.Rxc7 Rxc7 34.Ra4 Rb7 35.Rxa5 I saw here that the white king could support the b-pawn but should have looked a bit further 35...Ke5 36.Kb2 Kd6 37.Kb3 Kc5 38.Ka4 Kc4 39.Ra8 Rxb5 40.Ra7 Rb4+ 41.Ka3 Kc3 42.Rxf7 Rc4–+ after black captures on c2 the d-pawn will be too strong] 32.Rd3 Inexplicably I missed this - just thinking that ...Ke5 prevented Rd4 32...Kd6 33.Rdc3 Kd7 [33...Rb7 34.Rc6+ Kd7 35.b6] 34.Rf3 Kd6 [34...Ke7 35.Kb2 black is in trouble once the white king gets to join the party(35.Ra3 Rb7 36.Rxa5 Rbxc7 37.Rxc7+ Rxc7 38.Kb2 Kd6 39.Kb3 Kc5 40.Ka4 Kb6 41.Ra6+ Kb7 42.Kb3 Rc5) ; 34...f5! it seems that this is the only way to play for the win 35.Rh3 h5 36.Rxh5 Kd6 37.Rc3 Rxc7µ is a very clever solution pointed out by the computer] 35.Rfc3 d4 Desperate to win I avoid the repetition but this is overpressing and my position becomes dangerous.  I was tired (blowing a good position can do that) and in time trouble and the rest is agony! 36.R3c4 e5 37.c3 [37.Kb2] 37...d3? [37...dxc3 38.Rxc3 f6 39.Kb2± (39.Rc6+ Rxc6 40.Rxc6+ Kd7 41.Rxf6 Rxc7+ 42.Kb2) ; 37...a4! 38.cxd4 exd4 39.Kb2 (39.Rc6+ Rxc6 40.Rxc6+ Kd7; 39.Kd2 a3 40.Rh5 Rxc7 41.Rh6+ f6 42.Rxf6+ Ke7 43.Rxc7+ Kxf6 44.Rxh7 Rxb5 45.Ra7 Rb2+ 46.Kd3 Rxf2 47.Kxd4 a2 48.Kc3 Rxh2 49.Kb3; 39.Rh5 Rxc7 40.Rh6+ Kd7 41.Rxc7+ Kxc7 42.Rxh7 Rxb5 and whites position is dangerous) 39...d3 40.Rh5 d2 41.Rd4+ Kxc7 42.Rxd2²] 38.Kd2 e4 39.Rc6+ Rxc6 40.Rxc6+ Kd7 [40...Kd5 41.c4+ Kd4 42.b6] 41.Rc4 White plays well in the time scramble 41...Rxc7 42.Rxe4 Rc5 [42...Ra7 43.Kxd3 a4 44.Re2 a3 45.Ra2 Kd6 46.Kc4; 42...Kd6 43.Kxd3 Kc5 44.Rc4+] 43.c4 a4? [43...Rf5 44.Kxd3 Rxf2 is a much better try] 44.Kxd3 a3 45.Re2 Rf5 [45...Rh5] 46.Ke4 Rc5 47.Kd4 Rf5 and white won (the exact moves I can't remember as we were desperately bashing moves out - however by now white has a very serious, possibly decisive, initiative due to the connected passed pawns) 1–0

Longson,Alex (225) - Mkhamba,Hope (190) [B78]

Summer League, 19.08.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0–0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0–0–0 Ne5 11.Bb3 Rc8 12.Kb1 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.Nde2 I forgot my theory here and played quite weakly [14.g4 b5 15.b3 Is the main line 15...b4!? (15...Rc8 16.Ndxb5 Qa5 17.a4 a6 18.Nd5 Qxd2 19.Nxe7+ Kh8 20.Rxd2 Rce8 21.Nxg6+ fxg6 22.Nxd6 Re6 23.Bc5±) 16.bxc4 bxc3 17.Qxc3 Qc7 Gives interesting compensation for the exchange] 14...b5 15.b3 Rc8 16.g4 b4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5 Qa5 Here I noticed the ...Rxc2 tactic and sunk into thought - I didn't like my position  [18...a5 19.h4] 19.Rhe1 [19.h4 Qa3 20.Bd4 Bxd4 21.Qxd4 Was my original intention but here I saw 21...Rxc2 22.Kxc2 Qxa2+ 23.Qb2 (23.Kd3 I couldn't refute this but I didn't really want to contemplate it much either 23...Bb5+ 24.Ke3 Qxe2+ 25.Kf4 e5+ 26.dxe6 fxe6+ 27.Kg5 e5 28.Qd5+ Kg7–+) 23...Rc8+–+] 19...Rc5!? Totally unexpected [19...Qa3 20.Qc1 (20.Bd4 Is possible now as the knight on e2 is defended) 20...Qxc1+ I thought black might have some edge in this endgame - I wasn't sure what the best recapture was here (20...Qa5) 21.Bxc1 a5 22.Bb2 Bxb2 23.Kxb2 Rc5 24.c4 bxc3+ 25.Nxc3] 20.Bxc5 dxc5 21.Ng3! Qa3 [21...Bc3 22.Qc1 Bxe1 (22...Rb8) 23.Rxe1±; 21...Rb8 22.Rxe7 Rb6 23.a4 (23.Rxd7 Qxa2+ 24.Kxa2 Ra6+ 25.Kb1 Ra1#) 23...Bxa4 24.Rde1 (24.bxa4 Qxa4; 24.Qf4 Was the intention 24...Bf6! I missed ...Bf6 25.Rde1! Bxb3 26.Re8+ Kg7) 24...Bxb3 (24...Bc3 25.Qf4 Bf6 26.g5 Bxb3 27.Re8+ Kg7 28.gxf6+ Rxf6 29.Nh5+ gxh5 30.Rg1+ Rg6 31.Qe5+ Kh6 32.Rxg6+ fxg6 33.Qf4+ Kg7 34.Qf8#) 25.Re8+ Bf8 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 (26...Kg7 27.cxb3+-) 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.Re8#] 22.Qc1 Qa6 23.d6! exd6 24.Ne4± Be6 [24...Bd4 25.Rxd4 cxd4 26.Nf6+ Kg7 27.Nxd7 Rd8 28.Re7] 25.Rxd6 Qa5 26.g5 [26.Qf4!] 26...c4 [26...Bd4 27.Qd2] 27.Nf6+ Kh8 28.Qf4 cxb3 29.cxb3 Bf5+ 30.Ka1 Rc8 31.Red1 [31.Rc6] 31...h6 32.h4 [32.R1d5 Qc7 33.Rd8+ Qxd8 34.Rxd8+ Rxd8 35.Qxb4] 32...Qc5 [32...Bxf6+ 33.gxf6 Kh7] 33.Qd2 [33.Qd4 Qc1+ 34.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 35.Kb2 Rb1#; 33.Rd8+ Bf8 (33...Rxd8 34.Rxd8+ Bf8 35.Qe3!+-) 34.Rxc8 Qxc8 35.Qd4+-] 33...Qe5+ 34.Qd4 Bxf6 35.gxf6 [35.Rxf6 Qxd4+ 36.Rxd4 Rc1+ 37.Kb2 Rb1#] 35...Qxd4+ 36.R6xd4 Rc6 37.Rxb4+- Rxf6 The remaining moves were played in a time scramble and may not be entirely accurate  38.Rbd4 Be6 39.R1d3 Rf5 40.Kb2 Kg7 41.Kc3 Rc5+ 42.Kd2 Ra5 43.a4 Rc5 44.Rc3 Re5 45.b4 g5 46.hxg5 hxg5 47.Rc5 Kf6 48.Rd6 Black resigned just before he ran out of time 1–0

Marple Club Tournament - Annotated Games

Here are my three games from the Marple Club tournament played at 20 minutes each plus 10 seconds per move.  All 3 lead to endgames quite early on...

Longson,Alex (225) - Hegarty,Sarah (180) [B22]

Marple Rapid, 18.08.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 g6?! A bit passive [3...Nf6] 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 Bg7 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d5 Not necessary but leads to more direct play than simple development 7...Ne5 8.Nxe5 dxe5 [8...Bxe5 9.Be2 Nf6 10.Bh6 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Nxe4 12.Qd4 Nf6 13.0–0] 9.Be2 Nf6 10.0–0 0–0 11.Bg5 [11.Be3 e6] 11...Ne8 A good thematic move [11...h6 12.Bh4 g5 13.Bg3 Ne8 Here I hoped to exploit the weaknesses of the light squares though it isn't completely clear 14.Bg4 Nd6] 12.Qd2 Nd6 13.Bh6 f5?! I think this is a bit too weakening [13...Bd7 Sarah was concerned about a bishop exchange followed by f4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.f4 But here black has 15...Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Qd4!] 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.exf5 [15.f4 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 Qd4] 15...gxf5 16.Qe3 Nf7 17.f4 Qb6 18.Qxb6 axb6 I figured white must be considerably better (pawn structure, development) but probably didn't play this phase too well 19.g3 So to take back on f4 with a pawn and keep black knight out of e5 [19.Nb5 Bd7 20.Nc7 Rac8 21.Ne6+ Bxe6 22.dxe6 Nd6 23.fxe5 Loks tempting but it looked fishy as e pawns are doubled and black is getting active; 19.Bb5 exf4 20.Rxf4 Nd6] 19...Bd7 20.Kf2 [20.fxe5 Nxe5 21.Rae1] 20...Ra5 A clever multi-purpose move 21.Ke3 Rfa8 [21...Rc8] 22.a3 Kf6 23.Rfc1 b5? This spoils the coordination of the black pieces and creates a weakness on b5 [23...Nd6 I wasn't sure on what my plan is here - I think black is OK] 24.Na2 exf4+ 25.Kxf4 [25.gxf4] 25...Nd6 26.Nb4 Ra4 27.Rab1 [27.Rc7? Rxb4+ 28.axb4 Rxa1 29.Rxd7 Rb1µ] 27...Be8 28.Bd3 Bf7 29.Ke3 Rd8 [29...Rg8] 30.Rc5 Nc4+? The knight was excellently placed on d6 - the simplification helps white [30...Ra5] 31.Bxc4 bxc4 32.Rd1± the position has clarified and white is wel on top - black has too many weak pawns  [32.Rc1] 32...e6 33.Rxc4 Ra5 [33...exd5 34.Rc7 (34.Nxd5+?? Rxd5–+) ] 34.Rc7 exd5 35.Rxb7 Re8+ 36.Kf2 Rc5 37.Rd2 Re4 38.Rb6+ Kg5 39.Rd6 Rc1 40.Nxd5 Ree1 41.Ne3 Rh1 42.Kg2 Rcg1+ 43.Kh3 Bh5 44.R2d5 Bg6 45.Rd1 Black lost on time 1–0


Trueman,Glenn (170) - Longson,Alex (225) [E10]

Marple Rapid, 18.08.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.e3 Kind of expected - and certainly not a bad move 4...cxd4 I know Keith has played this was previously so thought it was worth a try.  I don't know much about the resulting positions 5.exd4 b6 [5...d5 Will likely transpose to some kind of standard IQP position at some point] 6.Be2 Bb7 7.0–0 Be7 [7...Na6 Keith played this move in a similar position versus Horton-Kitchlow (a very interesting game). In that game white had played Nc3 instead of castling] 8.Nc3 0–0 9.d5 I like this move - leads to an interesting game [9.Bg5 d5] 9...Bb4 10.Bg5 h6 [10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 h6 12.Bf4 exd5 13.Bd6 Re8] 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Rc1 Na6 13.a3 Bxc3 14.Rxc3 Rac8 [14...Nc5 Was my initial intention and is probably more to the point] 15.Qd4 Qxd4 16.Nxd4 Nc7 17.dxe6 [17.Bf3! exd5 18.Nf5 looks unpleasant for black] 17...dxe6 18.Bf3 Bxf3 19.Nxf3 [19.Rxf3 Na6 20.b3 Rfd8 21.Nb5 Rd7³] 19...Rfd8 Surprisingly black has emerged with ever so slightly the more pleasant position.  For the moment white has problems coordinating his rooks and black has the simple plan of expanding in the centre with ...f6...e5...Kf7...Ne6 20.Rfc1 [20.Ne5 Ne8] 20...f6 21.Kf1 Kf7 22.Ke2?! Too routine - whites king will be badly placed here once the knight comes to e6 22...e5 23.R1c2 [23.Rd1 Ne6] 23...Ne6 24.g3? [24.Ke3] 24...e4–+ 25.Nd2 Nd4+ 26.Ke3 Nxc2+ 27.Rxc2 f5 28.Ke2 Ke6 29.Nf1 Ke5 30.Ne3 Rd4 31.b4 g5 32.c5 bxc5 33.bxc5 f4 34.Ng4+ Kd5 35.Nxh6 f3+ 36.Ke1 Rxc5 37.Rxc5+ Kxc5 38.Nf5 Rd3 39.h4 gxh4 40.gxh4 Kd5 41.Ne3+ Rxe3+ 42.fxe3 Ke5 White resigned[42...Ke6 the game might have finished 43.Kf2 Kf5 44.Kg3 Kg6 45.Kh3 (45.Kh2 Kh5 46.Kh3 a5 47.Kg3 a4 (47...f2?? 48.Kxf2 Kxh4 49.Kg2 Kg4 50.a4= is the only thing black needs to avoid) 48.Kh3 f2 49.Kg2 Kxh4 50.Kxf2 Kh3–+ makes no difference) 45...Kh5 46.Kg3 a5 47.Kh3 a4 48.Kg3 f2 49.Kxf2 Kxh4 50.Kg2 Kg4 51.Kf2 Kh3 52.Kf1 Kg3 53.Ke2 Kg2 54.Ke1 Kf3 55.Kd2 Kf2 etc]  0–1


Preen,David (135) - Longson,Alex (225) [B07]

Marple Rapid, 18.08.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 I didn't fancy a Veresov or Blackmar Diemer after 2...d5 today 3.e4 e5 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8 I've got a fair amount of experience from both sides of this position 6.Bg5 [6.Bc4 Ke8 (6...Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 is also interesting) ] 6...Be6 7.0–0–0+ Nbd7 8.Nf3 [8.f4 exf4 9.e5 h6 is pleasant for black] 8...Kc8 [8...Bd6 9.Nb5 Ke7 is also played.  On reflection I prefer this as black is better cordinated than in the 9.Bh4 line given below] 9.Bb5?! Black wants to play ...c6 anyway so this just loses a tempo [9.Bh4 Is the most popular move amongst strong players 9...h6 10.Bg3 Bd6 11.Nd2 and black has certain problems to solve as he isn't fully coordinated yet and white is starting to 'nibble' (intending Bc4 for example)] 9...c6 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 Nh5 12.Bg3 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Be7³ Black is simply better (bishop pair and easy play) 14.Nd2 Kc7?! A bit careless [14...b5] 15.f4 f6 16.Bc4 Bxc4 17.Nxc4 Bc5 18.Kb1 b5 19.Nd2 Be3 20.Rhf1 exf4 21.gxf4 Rhe8 22.Rf3 Bxd2 23.Rxd2 b4 24.Ne2? [24.Na4 It's funny but I was well aware of this tactic and yet somehow overlooked it specifically here 24...Rxe4 25.Rxd7+ Kxd7 26.Nc5+ Kc7 27.Nxe4 Re8 28.Re3 f5 29.a3 Rxe4 30.Rxe4? (30.Rg3 Rxf4 31.Rxg7+ Kb6 32.axb4 Is more resilient) 30...fxe4 31.axb4 Instructively this endgame is winning for black (the target is the g2 pawn)! 31...h5 32.Kc1 Kd7 33.Kd2 Ke6 34.Ke3 Kf5 35.c4 a6 36.g3 Kg4 37.Kf2 e3+–+ and the h-pawn will decide] 24...Rxe4 The position should be winning but there is of course a lot of work left to do 25.Rg3 g5 26.fxg5 hxg5 27.c3 Rae8 28.Nc1 a5 29.cxb4 axb4 30.Rf3 Re3 31.Kc2 Rxf3 32.gxf3 Ne5 33.Re2 Rh8 34.Nd3 Nxf3 35.Rf2 Nd4+ 36.Kd2 b3 37.axb3 f5 38.Kc3 Rd8 39.Nc5 g4 40.Kc4 g3 41.Rd2 f4 White resigned 0–1

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Alex wins Don Swift Cup

Alex triumphed in the club championship finals held last evening at a time control of 20 minutes + 10 seconds per move. Final standings were -

1  Alex Longson    3/3
2  Sarah Hegarty   2/3
3=David Preen      0.5/3
3=Glenn Trueman  0.5/3

Round 1  - GT 0-1 AL
                  DP 0-1 SH
Round 2   - AL 1-0 SH
                   GT 0.5/0.5 DP

Round 3-  DP 0 -1 AL
                 GT 0-1 SH

Congratulations to the champion.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Marple 2 vs Eccles 11/08/2014

I think we were all expecting a tough match last Monday night, as it turned out Eccles fielded a weaker team and defaulted bottom board.  We out-graded them significantly on all boards but I only discovered this after the match.  Eccles also played quickly, I was trying to avoid time trouble myself but couldn't keep up with my opponent. This didn't matter as it soon became clear that my game would finish well within the time allowed.  In fact my match was the last but one to finish and it was all over by 9.00pm.  I then saw the last 5 -10 minutes of Chris' game in which he had a full rook advantage.

Andy's game was the first to finish with a draw, so with a default already in the bag things were looking good.  The speed of play was such that I could not follow the other games but all were won for Marple so the final score was as follows:-

1.    Andy Jenkins (130)      0.5 - 0.5      L Harold (118)
2.    Chris Baker    (129)         1 - 0        G Whitehead (104)
3.    David Preen   (125)         1 - 0        C Lysons (117)
4.    Jeff Barlow     (124)        1 - 0        D Perryman (103)
5.    Tony Doust     (99)          1 - 0        J White   (??)
6.    Peter Kelly      (68)          1 - 0         Defaulted

Here is my game

[Event "ManFed"]
[Date "2014.08.11"]
[White "Barlow, Jeff"]
[Black "Perryman, Des"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B20"]

1. e4 c5
2. Nc3 d6
3. Bc4 e6
4. f4 a6
5. a4 g6
6. Nf3 Bg7
7. O-O Ne7
8. Bb3  Of course, Fritz does not like this.  I am trying to side step ...d5 and I suppose it does waste time and allows black to play Nc6 now I think about it.  A better move might have been Qe1 as it is more active and prevents d5 indirectly while the King is still on e8 and it is a move I wanted to play anyway!
9. d3     This also lacks gumption according to Fritz,  d4 is the move evidently he prefers.
10. Kh1  According to Fritz Black is 0.5 ahead now after my timid play.
11. Qe1 Bd7
12. Qh4 Rae8
13. Ng5 h5            A mistake, h6 is more challenging
14. g4                    Tally-ho!
        .....f6              A serious clanger is this one!
15. Nxe6 Bxe6
16. Bxe6+ Kh8     Another 2 pawns down with this move,  Our German friend prefers Rf7.
17. gxh5 g5
18. fxg5 fxg5
19. Bxg5 Rxf1+     This only makes things worse for black but he is losing anyway.
20. Rxf1 Ng8         Sinking deeper, now.
21. Bxg8                Here Fritz gives me a black mark, Nd5 is stronger, but more complicated, while I am simplifying to negate any chance of a swindle for black and I am going to play Nd5 next anyway!
                ......... Rxg8
22. Nd5 Qd7
23. Bf6 Ne5
24. h6 Ng6
25. hxg7# 1-0        It is still a pretty neat finish anyway, a double check with my queen hanging.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Denton 1 V Marple 1 06/08/2014

Played at Denton Chess Club 06/08/2014

Marple 1               Denton 1

S Hegarty    0.5/0.5   L Antal
G Trueman  1-0         M Connor
D Preen       0-1         T Hilton   
T Doust       0-1        D Holt
N Dainty     0-1         E Lesnik
B Edwards   0-1         D Cook

                   1.5  -    4.5

As Alex was unable to play in this match Sarah captained the team and I've been asked to do a brief report.

As we had a number of players missing we were outgraded on the bottom four boards for this match and the final score reflected this.

Tony and Neil both lost material and found themselves in impossible situations. From what I saw of Barries game it was very dramatic as Mr Cook launched an interesting sacrificial attack which ultimately broke through.

At 3-0 down it was virtually all over but for a brief moment after I won when Mick (Connor) found himself in an untenable Rook ending I thought we might still have some chances of halving the match as Sarah was in fascinating middle game where all three results were possible and David had miraculously turned his position against Tim  (Hilton) around from what seemed to be the abyss.

Ultimately it was not to be as Sarah's game ended in a repetition of moves and David was defeated by his greatest adversary ie the clock..........

Many thanks to all who played particularly Barry for playing at short notice and Neil who still turned up despite being ill.As always I would be interested to see any game scores whether annotated or not.