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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Macclesfield B vs Marple B: Monday 25th April 2016

Also played at the Queens Hotel Macclesfield last Monday evening -

Macclesfield B      vs      Marple B :    Stockport League Div Two  : 25/04/16

1        Geoff Laurence             0-1              David Preen
2        Dave Risley                  1-0               Jeff Barlow
3        John Paul Taylor        0.5-0.5            Holly Jacobson
4        Anthony Brough           1-0              Anthony Doust
5        Phil Colville                  0-1              Trefor Thomas
6        Joachim Trier                0-1              Ben Jacobson


This was a very good night for Marple, both A and B teams winning away from home against strong Macclesfield teams. It must be very unusual for Marple A and B to share the same room away from home.

There were very good wins for David, Trefor and Ben and Holly's draw got us over the line. On paper, Macclesfield were much stronger so this is a very creditable result.  At one stage I even thought I had a winning position but unfortunately let it slip away.

Anyway thanks to all for their efforts throughout the season. Marple B finished in third place behind Stockport and Macclesfield, in mid-table respectability!


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Manic Monday

Played at the Queens Hotel Macclesfield last evening -

Macclesfield A       V      Marple A :    Stockport Lge Div One  : 25/04/16

1 K Smallbone       0-1    A Longson
2 R Shaw            0.5/0.5  M Fernandez
3 C Sizeland          0-1    A Walton
4 A Soames         0.5/0.5 G Trueman
5 C Davison          1-0     A Hall
6 P Cattermole     0-1     T Cowling


I was very impressed by the number of active players Macclesfield have. In addition to the above match  Macclesfield B were also hosting our B team and their C team were playing at Wilmslow. Even so there were still four or five additional Macc club members playing casual chess. I'm very pleased to see chess is so popular in a town where I spent so much time during my formative years. (Mainly watching the  mighty Macclesfield Town FC but thats another story we won't go into here).

I don't know if Jeff will have the time to write anything about the B match but I was very impressed by the performance of our players who despite being outgraded pulled off a 3.5/2.5 win that perhaps deserved to be a more emphatic victory. Ben (Jacobson) stole the show with a sensational Rook sacrifice that was much admired by the watching audience.

In the A team match  Marple also triumphed. Alan (W) played a very nice attacking game against Chris (Sizeland) and Alex ground down  a very strong opponent in Kieran. I feared the worst for Michael who was a pawn down in a Rook ending but somehow, magically  it seemed to me, he found enough counterplay for half a point. In my game Tony showed himself to be well versed in the White side of Nimzo-Indian theory, we agreed a draw in a position where I thought Tony had a slight edge. Alan (H) was again unlucky reaching a very nice position with pressure against a backward pawn on e6. Colin is a very resourceful player though and he somehow wriggled out and eventually triumphed. So with the score at 3-2 Terry ensured Marple won the match with an excellently played Rook ending against Phil. This was the first game I have seen Phil lose for several years. I thought it was  a nice touch that the final move by Marple in this seasons Stockport League was g2-g1, although I never did find out which piece Terry was intending to promote to.....

Thus ends a successful season for Marple A in the Stockport League. Thanks to all who have played and/or  helped in various ways. It's not all over yet though, we still have a Cup Final and two Manchester League matches to keep us busy.  

Friday, 22 April 2016

Lets Go Crazy

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A           V      Stockport A    :  Stockport Lge Div One: 21/04/2016

1 A Longson     1-0    P Cawley 
2 M Fernandez 1-0    A Reeve
3 S Longson      1-0    D Toole
4 G Trueman 0.5/0.5  J Pink
5 S Hewitt      0.5/0.5 D Sheppard 
6 A Hall           0-1     M Taylor


We needed to draw this match to win the Stockport League for the fifth consecutive season. When I looked at the pairings I was reasonably confident that with the immense strength of out top three boards we would score at least +1 there. What concerned me slightly were the Stockport boards 4,5 and 6 - They comprised Joshua who has won virtually every game he has played in the league since he moved to the area from Coventry, Dan who is a tremendously gifted and innovative player  and the vastly experienced Mike Taylor.
My feelings improved when I saw Dan play a line that gave Sean his beloved Bishop pair. The position became double edged and a draw was agreed in a complicated Queenless middlegame. From a match perspective I felt this suited us fine (0.5/0.5).
Joshua move ordered me into a variation of which I have very little experience. I found the position from move 10 onwards virtually impossible to play accurately and if I am being really honest I felt I was guessing  rather than analysing what was the best move.Playing games on two consecutive evenings is a bit much for me at my advanced age. To be fair the position was very difficult to play and Herr Fritz has many suggested improvements for both sides. We eventually agreed a draw in a position that the computer does think is equal, but not for the reasons Joshua and  I decided it was in a long post mortem....(1.0/1.0).
We took the lead when Michael defeated Andy (Reeve) in what looked to me and David (Preen) like a tremendous attacking game of chess although afterwards Michael said to me he had made several inaccuracies.(2.0/1.0)
Stockport hit back with Mike beating Alan. This was very unfortunate for Alan who looked on  top for most of the game but Mikes Bishop became a devastating piece. (2.0/2.0).
In keeping with some of the strange things that have been happening we won the league in very bizarre circumstances. Sarahs opponent Dave was the exchange down and in a difficult position, he planned to take Sarahs pawn on b7 with his Rook. for some reason though he picked up his Knight and executed the move Nd7 xb7 .....Chaos inevitably ensued and I am very grateful to the Stockport player Joshua for clearly explaining the relevant rules and even more impressively being able to reset the clock with the two minute time penalty added. Faced with a choice of irrelevant Knight moves Dave resigned  with good grace. We had won the League! (3.0/2.0).
However Alex was not aware of this as he was under the impression that Michael had lost! Therefore he thought he had to win. Alex had gained an advantage early in his encounter with Paul although the latter had fought back admirably. Eventually a R+2 V R+1 ending was reached with Alex having the two pawns. These positions can be very tricky particularly with little time left and playing on increments Alex made the winning move with all of two seconds to spare (4.0/2.0).

Thanks to all who played on another historic night for Marple .In my view we should do "something" to celebrate the clubs achievements. All opinions welcome.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Close thing at Altrincham

 I am away this week and getting a team out was difficult with the club having four matches in three days.  Thanks to Chris for stepping in at the last minute.  We were fortunate to be able to call on Ben and Holly to stand in for our missing regulars.

Ben has given me a pgn of his game but at the moment I can't work out how to open it on my p.c. and translate it to text (even though I can open it on my phone).  Hopefully I'll post it here later .

Chris writes:
I finished first in a game marked by blunders on both sides – first I gave away a piece but had an attack as some compensation but he later he returned the piece. Later still he stopped the attack by giving up a piece for 3 pawns. The final stage was rook, 2 bishops and 4 pawns against rook, bishop and 7 pawns but my pieces were well coordinated and his pawns kept dropping off.
Holly had a very close game which eventually came down to a rook and pawn endgame with Holly one pawn down – a very close finish. Toby and Peter made quite a few mistakes (so Toby tells me) and it could have gone either way but sadly the final mistake was Toby’s! I watched the end of Ben’s game which was a very nice mating attack. Toby’s game looked very hard fought with both kings under attack but eventually his opponent checkmated him.

Altrincham B 3 - 2 Marple C

1     John Reyes (136) 0 - 1 Chris Baker (136)

2  Tom Tomkins (122) 1 - 0 Holly Jacobson (101)

3 Bill McCartney (133) 1 - 0 Tony Doust (111)

4    Peter Hawes (101) 1 -  0 Toby Brown (102)

5   Vijay Kakarparthi (-) 0 - 1 Ben Jacobson (111

Friday, 1 April 2016

Reelin' In The Years

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple 1            V        Bolton 1       Manchester Lge Div One      31/03/2016

1 A Longson     0-1      J McPhillips
2 S Longson      0-1      J Hall
3 J Reed            0-1      H Lamb
4 G Trueman 0.5/0.5   N Barnaby
5 A Hall             0-1      A Tyton
6 C Baker       0.5/0.5   A Gardner
7 T Cowling      1-0       J Clissold


As the Bolton players entered the playing room I realised they would be formidable opponents for a below strength Marple team. They comprised one young superstar and six very strong and very experienced chess players. One measure of their experience is the fact that Harry Lamb has just been officiating at the Bolton Easter Congress. This is the 61st consecutive occasion when he has participated either as a player or organiser.Surely this must be some kind of record?

The last time your correspondent faced Nick Barnaby he obtained a terrible position against a Trompowsky. Deciding  discretion was called for I eschewed 1...Nf6 in favour of defending a Queens Gambit. I tried a line I have never played before and Nick chose the one plausible continuation I haven't really looked at. Consequently I was on my own from move five and drifted into an uncomfortable situation. Fortunately my position remained just about plausible enough to offer a draw in the early middle game which after some thought Nick accepted. I was quite happy about this as winning the toss meant we had white on four of the six remaining boards and more importantly what appeared to be good positions on the majority of them. (0.5/0.5).

Alan was unfortunate on board five. Adam played very aggressively as black with h6, g5  and Nh5 hitting the dark squared Bishop. However the very nice retreat Ne1 left the Knight on h5 vulnerable and it seemed to me that Alan had the advantage. When the players entered the analysis room I expected to hear result was either a draw or a white win but sadly Alan had gone wrong somewhere and lost. (0.5/1.5)

The remaining five games all finished well after 10.30 and I am not sure of the exact sequence as all ended within a few minutes of each other.

Terry came into the team as a last minute reserve after Isaac was unable to play. He played superbly to create a beautiful attack with Harrwitz Bishops raking the black King. Julian is a very good defender but although he held out for a long time eventually Terry crashed through. (1.5/1.5)

The battle of the Titans on Board One had distinct echoes of Spassky - Fischer 1972 game 13 with a Rook trapped on the first rank by a pawn on the seventh and a Bishop on the eighth although  I suspect Bobbys five passed pawns offered more compensation  than Alex' attacking chances against g7. Among his many attributes Joe is a very quick player and Alex not only had problems on the board but also on the clock. Ultimately the situation became untenable and sadly for the first time since we returned back to the Navi, Alex lost a home game (1.5/2.5)

Johns game was a epic fluctuating struggle. Harry eventually got on top and was a pawn up in a R+N position. By Houdini like play John got back in the game and I really had no idea of what would happen. The big problem was lack of time and with less than minute left John lost his Knight to a Rook fork and Harry just had enough time to finish things off. A very unfortunate loss. (1.5/3.5).

On the latest ECF gradings Chris was outgraded by 34 points on Board Six. He did tremendously well to turn things round from what seemed to be a somewhat inferior position and won the exchange for a pawn to create a position where from a chess point of view only Black had winning chances.However time was again  major factor with Allan a couple of minutes ahead and a draw was agreed in a position where it wasn't really possible to make progress. (2.0/4.0)

The last game to finish in some ways encapsulated the entire evening. John Hall is a superb player of the white pieces and Sarah played tremendously well to reach a position where only two results, draw or Black win were objectively possible. After Sarah won a pawn to reach a B V N endgame with Black a clear passed c pawn  ahead John must have feared the worse. Yet again however time played the leading role. With both players down to about one minute each , what happens so many times in blitz games occurred, as the Knight forked King and Bishop. As in the Board 3 game there was just enough time for the Bolton player to finish things off. (2.0/5.0)

So a very disappointing loss but congratulations to Bolton on their win. For me the evening was a further confirmation that playing with increments , even ten second ones, is vastly preferable to a straight blitz finish. In my view you are far more likely to get a result that is in accordance with the chess that has been played previously.

Many thanks to all who played. We are in a real relegation dogfight now and our last two matches in this competition against Denton and Heywood will be critical.