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Friday, 27 February 2015

Marple secure place in Charnley Cup Final

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple                 V       Stockport     Charnley Cup Semi-Final   26/02/2015

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


Stockport arrived in Marple with a somewhat depleted team,  at least two players short of their strongest line-up because of illness and work commitments. Although this made us favourites there was plenty of good chess played by both sides and the final score was somewhat flattering.

My opponent was John Kelly. Although this probably looked like a relatively easy victory for me to the watching  spectators they wouldn't have been aware that the last time we played (albeit it in a five minute game) I was very lucky to swindle a draw after losing a Rook. This time the boot was on the other foot as John let my fianchettoed Bishop gobble up first the pawn on b7 and then his Rook on a8. I was slightly nervous with memories of Nunn-Petrosian from Hastings in the 70's coming to my mind. However on this occasion the sac wasn't really sound and I soon managed to consolidate and John resigned (1-0).

John (Bentley) then drew with Dave Toole. John was obviously not very well and I was grateful that he had turned up. To make matters worse Dave launched a four pawn attack against Johns KID.I was somewhat concerned as to how this line would turn out but John was able to reach a position where a draw was agreed. (1.5-0.5).

Board two saw Michael take on Paul Cawley for what seems about the fifth time in the last year. This particular encounter saw Michael secure a spatial advantage but ultimately a hole on d4 gave Paul enough play for a draw. (2.0-1.0).

Jamie played a very interesting game against Mike Taylor "sacrificing" his Queen for three minor pieces. In general I prefer to have the minor pieces and this turned out to be the case here. Eventually Mike felt he had no option but to lash out with d5 although after this Jamie's prosecution of his attack was clinical and soon Mike had to resign. (3.0-1.0).

Sarah faced a double fianchetto from Andy Coe. To me the key factor was, were Sarahs doubled Rooks on the h file well or badly placed? After Andy erred Sarah found a very fine sequence of moves to give her a winning attack with just two Rooks and one Knight on the board.We had definitely won. (4.0 - 1.0).

The final game to finish on board one was another double fianchetto from White. This was a long  quality manoevering game between two players of the highest class. One problem for Andy (Reeve) was that he was always about twenty minutes behind on the clock. Slowly Alex tightened the screw and the White position went from equalish, to just about tenable, to lost without Andy seeming to do much wrong. He resigned without about 25 seconds left on the clock. (5.0 -1.0).

So we  are now in the final and will have to find the time to record a novelty single and get fitted for the cup final suits.......

Thursday, 26 February 2015


I should have approached this match like a young boy going to his first FA Cup Final, but I didn't.  I knew I was going to face a very strong player.  I also knew that Neil Dainty, playing for Marple 1 away to 3C's 1 was only Captain because he knew how to toss a coin and had a car!

So I sat down on Board 7 with the black pieces (yes, I lost the toss) against a young lad called Daniel Lea.  I didn't know his grade and I didn't ask; but I did know their team contained some of the strongest young players in the land and some very strong experienced players.

(55) LEA,Daniel (172) - DAINTY,Neil (108) [E87]
MCF d1, 25.02.2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 The Samisch.  I don't know this properly but I do recall a quote from a famous Grandmaster - "just ask the Knight on g1 what he thinks of f3!"
.....0–0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 a5  to prevent b4 and allow Nc5
8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.Nge2 I'm not really sure now but I want to play f4. My next move is common in the KID 
......Ne8 10.Qd2  threatening Bh6, but I'll just have to ignore it
......f5 this is probably not right; one of the purposes of the Samisch is to negate this.  However my opponent had seemed unsure what to do from the start and used a lot of time thinking.  So much so, that I was wondering if he really was a strong player.  His next move seemed to be made in a "there's nothing else" manner.  His next repetitive moves were all made in the same way....very,....very,.. slowly.
11.Bg5 Bf6 12.Bh6 Bg7  if he retreats f4 looks good, anything else leads to Qh4+, winning the Bishop
13.Bg5 Bf6 14.Bh6 Bg7 and he put out his hand. 
I now realise he wasn't unsure what to do.  His apparent indecisiveness  was because, for once, I was playing all the right moves and in the right order!  My day out wasn't so bad after all!


Andy's game finished early.  He told me he played a Scandavian but failed to equalise and resigned facing bid material losses.  My game finished about the same time; here it is from my perspective:

Isaac's game finished next:  "after a lazy day I thought I should continue in the same spirit when I sat down at the chess board.  When Mr. Walton decided to put 1. ...e6 onto the board (after 1. e4) I thought to myself  what better way to do justice to my idea than the exchange French (with 3. Bd3).  As you could guess this led to an unexciting draw on move 27, where we had a symmetrical pawn structure and a single knight each.  (I used 45 mins cf.70 mins approx.)

Meanwhile Paul put up stiff resistance against our friend John Bentley.  Paul had two passed pawns on the flanks, but John had two united passed pawns in the centre.  Paul told our correspondent "I was slowly crushed."  Terry was also putting on a great show, he opened up the h file for his rooks to support a passed g-pawn, but was very low on time and eventually lost.  His opponent thought Terry had missed a strong tactic just before this.

Chris was also playing strongly against Jamie Horton, who recently played in the world U20 championships in India.  Jamie had a strong bishop on h6, Chris had pawns on h7, g6 and f7, King on g8, Bh8.  A Knight check on e7 forced Chris to lose the exchange, but he fought back bravely despite the strong Rook on his second rank before Jamie eventually won.

The last game to finish was a cracker.  Daniel Abbass had a very strong unmovable Knight on g6, supported by a pawn on h5.  However Ioannis, a pawn down,  slowly pushed a passed pawn on the other flank which became a serious threat.  In a very tense finish he exchanged material and Daniel had to reluctantly agree it was drawn.

1.  Daniel Abbass 0.5 - 0.5   Ioannis Lentzos
2.  Alan Walton    0.5 - 0.5   Isaac Craft
3.  John Bentley       1 - 0     Paul Kirby
4. Jamie Horton        1 - 0     Chris Baker
5.  Jason Lau             1 - 0     Andy Jenkins
6.  Dale Jones           1 - 0     Terry Cowling
7.  Daniel Lea        0.5 - 0.5  Neil Dainty

              3C's 1      5.5 - 1.5   MARPLE 1

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Marple B vs Altrincham A: 12th February 2015


MATCH:     Marple  B            v          Altrincham A

Home Team


Away Team

1       Nigel Livesey
     Yaroslav Kolodiy
2       Andy Jenkins
      Reg Clucas
3       Chris Baker
      Mark Whalley
4       Terry Cowling
      Tony Lane
5       David Preen
      David Hughes
6       Jeff Barlow
      Steve Douglas


DATE:  12/02/2015


At the outset I was reasonably confident that we would get something from this match.  While the rest of the team dug themselves in for a lengthy struggle, I managed to throw away my game in very short order, 18 moves in fact, though I was already going to lose at least the exchange after my 11th move, my queen after my 13th move, and after my 14th move it was mate in five!  This might be regarded as the perils of playing an open game, where catastrophe lurks around the next corner, but it is  hard to work out any single outright blunder. My opponent had not played the most critical moves in the first 10, so I thought I had time for the extravagance of a3 to conserve my white squared bishop. I failed to spot that black's white squared bishop can go to h3 after the exchange on f3.  I considered playing f5 earlier to block the egress of black's WSB, I have had good results with this move, but I was chastened by criticism from Fritz for this kind of positional malarkey, but nevertheless, I should have played it.  Later, I could have played f x e5, or I could have played h3 after black's ...Bg4.  There were plenty of better moves I might have played, but the game still felt like I had just tumbled headlong down a very large rabbit hole!

The Vienna game, don't try this at home, it's too embarrassing.

Barlow,Jeff - Douglas,Steve [C28]


 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d3 h6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.a3 Be7 8.0–0 Nd4 9.Qd2 Nxf3+ 10.gxf3 Bh3 11.Re1 Nh5 12.f5 Bh4 13.Rd1 Nf4 14.Ne2 Qg5+ 15.Ng3 Bxg3 16.hxg3 Qxg3+ 17.Kh1 Bg2+ 18.Kg1 Nh3#  0–1

Congratulations to Andy and David on their excellent wins.


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Marple A win at East Cheshire

Played at East Cheshire on Wednesday -

East Cheshire A          V        Marple A            11/02/2015

1 P Ramsey            0-1          A Longson
2 S Tranter             0.5/0.5    M Fernandez
3 J Reed                 0.5/0.5     S Hegarty
4 T Rickards           0-1          I Craft
5 A Stokes               0-1         P Kirby
6 B Tait                   0-1          N Livesey

                               1 -5

A good result -Many thanks to all who played.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Match result: Denton B vs Marple B: 4th February 2015

Match result: Denton B vs Marple B: 4th February 2015

1          Pablo Lopez (172)                   1-0       Andy Jenkins (130)
2          Laszlo Antal (170)                  1-0       Chris Baker (129)
3          Tim Hilton (158)                     1-0       David Preen (125)
4          John Ryan (165)                      1-0       Jeff Barlow (124)
5          George Kolbusz (155)             1-0       Tony Kay (120)
6          Dave Holt (146)                      0.5       Tony Doust (99)

Total                                                5.5-0.5


The B team suffered another heavy loss last Wednesday at Denton.  Tim looked a little disappointed when we exchanged team sheets, he had expected us to field at least some of our stronger players and had planned accordingly.  We were heavily out-graded and although we put in a good performance the deficit was borne out in the score. Tony D saved us from another whitewash with a draw against Dave Holt, so well done Tony.  I'm afraid I didn't see enough to comment on individual games except my own.  I was doing well for most of my game and I now think I missed a winning move!  The move I played seemed almost too natural, but my opponent defended my attack and survived with enough material advantage to win.


Playing the French with black, my opponent chose the Tarrasch variation which I haven't seen for a long time. I decided to play 3 .... c5 and if 4. exd5 then 4. .... Qxd5.


 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 6.Ngf3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qd8


Petrosian preferred  7 ....... Qc6


 8.0–0 0–0 9.Qe2 Bd7 10.Nb3 Bb6 11.Bg5 Qc7


Offering white the option to double my f pawns but giving me a semi-open g file,  he takes it and I am happy with that.


12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Bd3 Qf4 14.Rad1 Bc6 15.Nbd2 Kh8 16.Be4 Rg8 17.Kh1 Bc7 18.g3 Qh6 19.Rfe1 f5 20.Bxc6 Nxc6 21.Nc4 f4 22.gxf4 Bxf4 23.Rg1 Rxg1+ 24.Kxg1

I was surprised that white recaptured with his king, I felt there must be a strong continuation here but at this point I missed a winning move! I played Rg8+ too quickly, it allows the white king to escape.


The correct move is 24...Qh3! and the king can't run away now!  25.Ne3 Rg8+ 26.Kh1 Ne5 27.Rg1 Nxf3 28.Rxg8+ Kxg8 29.Ng4 Bxh2 30.Qxf3 Qxf3+ 31.Kxh2 Qxg4

Even I could win this position.

The rest of the game is a severe case of brain fade


Rg8+ 25.Kf1 e5 26.Qd3 Qh3+ 27.Ke2 f5 28.Nfxe5 Qh5+ 29.Qf3 Qxf3+ 30.Nxf3 Re8+ 31.Kf1 Nb4 32.Rd7 Nxa2 33.Rxb7 Nc1 34.Rxa7 Ne2 35.Rf7 Bh6 36.Rxf5 Nf4 37.Nce5 Ra8 38.Nf7+ Kg7 39.Nxh6 Ra1+ 40.Ne1 Kxh6 41.Rxf4



Friday, 6 February 2015

Marple Limit League Team March Forward

Played at the Navi last evening -

Marple               V      Altrincham   :     Stockport Limit League   :   07/02/2015

1 N Dainty          1-0    T Hague
2 T Thomas         1-0    S Douglas
3 M Cutts         0.5/0.5  S Ward
4 J Anderson      0-1      P Armand


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A team draw at Sporting Chorlton

Played at Chorlton Chess Club last evening -

Chorlton  A          V            Marple A  -  Stockport Lge. Div 1 - 03/02/2015

1 J O'Neill          0-1           A Longson
2 R Doney          0-1           M Fernandez
3 D Owen            1-0          I Craft
4 D Knox            0.5/0.5     S Hegarty
5 S Foulkes        0.5/0.5      G Trueman
6 A Beresford     1-0           N Dainty


I picked Isaac up from Stockport Station feeling pretty rough with a virus that had kept me in the house for the last three days only to discover my passenger was probably in a worse physical state than me. Whilst we compared ailments I began to notice the traffic wasn't moving very well at all and glancing down at the M60 from the "Pyramid" roundabout saw total gridlock in all directions. I later learned there had been a big accident and added to the congestion caused by a benefit football match being staged for a presumably impoverished American family in the Old Trafford area the result was "carmageddon". I was on the verge of contacting one of our players when Sarah rang to say their satnav was forecasting an eta of after 8pm. I then rang Neil, who was also taking Michael to discover they were about three miles behind us.
Fortunately when we finally arrived at Chorlton their Captain Alan (Beresford) had not started the clocks and said he would not seek to take advantage of the situation, an attitude which I thought was very sporting .

So to the chess. I've often wondered why Chorlton do not feature in the race for the title in this league. They certainly have plenty of strength in depth as evinced by the fact that my opponent on Board 5 has a grade of 177. After an unusual move order from Stan we ended up in a relatively tranquil backwater of a g3 Bogo-Indian. I may have missed the opportunity to gain a slight positional advantage in the early middle game, as played the game drifted into a very dull equality and we agreed a draw soon afterwards. 0.5/0.5

Sarah had got what is probably the hardest pairing relative to grade in the Stockport League - Black against David Knox. Most of you know that 25 years ago he was one of the strongest players in the country and when firing on all cylinders is still in my view capable of playing at IM level. After David played the lovely 12Qb1! in an e4 Anti -Slav line  (1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 c6 4Nf3 dc: 5a4 Bb4 6e4 b5 7Bd2 a5 8ab: Bc3: 9Bc3: cb: 10b3 Bb7 11bc: b4) I feared the worst and when the f pawn started to roll I didn't really see a good line for Black. From this point though Sarahs defensive play was absolutely superb as she found a long sequence of only moves and finally emerged with a slight advantage. The Rook ending that resulted turned out to be drawn though. I was left thinking about the inequities of a grading system that will give Sarah fewer points for this brilliant effort than I will receive for my limp display. 1.0/1.0

It had been a real struggle finding six high graded players for this match. On Sunday Neil had bravely agreed to my request for him to help us out even though we both knew he would be facing an opponent graded  at least fifty points above him. For a very long time Neil stayed in the game and looked to me to have good chances against Alan. Ultimately though a very cruel pin on the a2-g8 diagonal with a Rook on f7 and a King on g8 proved decisive. 1.0/2.0

Things got even worse when Isaac lost on Board 3. His Stonewall system didn't come off against Dennis and he spent a long time trying to find some play in an impossible ending where Blacks kingside majority was always likely to be decisive. Although Isaac made Dennis work very hard by about move 50 there was no defence. 1.0/3.0.

So we were up against it now. Michael had Black against Maths Professor Ron Doney. Once again Michael didn't castle and created a very unclear position that I suspected would not be to Rons taste. Although I should perhaps add a "Don't try this at home" warning, if you are very talented playing in this style is one way of achieving a  high percentage  of wins with the Black pieces. Although the game lasted a long time Michael ultimately clinically "sacrificed"  his Rook against a knight on b7 to win the critical a4 pawn and suddenly, from nowhere, Rons King was in a mating net..... 2.0/3.0

Alex' game was the last to finish. The intended Chorlton Board One failed to show and a very late substitute was drafted in. He certainly played well though and if I am being honest I got rather worried as Alex drifted further and further behind on the clock. When I  started watching properly Alex had two minor pieces against a Rook, but arguably an out of play Knight on a4. What  worried me most though was the fact that Alex had less than ten minutes left whilst Jim had over twenty. The  next passage of play was instructive as Alex great strength  exerted itself on Blacks position. Slowly Alex invaded and when f7 couldn't be defended  it was game  over.    3.0/3.0

So our 100% record in the Stockport League is over, but in the circumstances I am not unhappy. After all at 7.30pm I thought the most likely result was a 6-0 defeat on time.
Many thanks to all who played/drove.

PS - Dont miss Alans (Walton) exploits at Gib. He's getting great results and several of his games are already on the Chessgames site.