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Friday, 13 May 2016

Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple 1          V     Denton 1          Manchester League Div One    12/05/2016

1 A Longson   1-0     K Celinsky
2 S Longson    1-0     R Raichev
3 G Trueman 0.5/0.5 T Hilton
4 A Hall         0.5/0.5  J Eversley
5 C Baker     0.5/0.5  I Urwin
6 D Preen       1-0      T Ireland
7 J Barlow      0-1     V Germayo


This was a critical match in terms of our Manchester League Division One status. We needed to win to escape the clutches of relegation, even a draw would have left us needing to get something from a very difficult final fixture at Heywood.

Sarah led the way with the  first decisive result of the evening when she won a piece relatively early.
Alan, Chris and myself all achieved draws. I was surprised by the appearance of my opponent as Tim had "retired" from evening chess a few weeks ago. At least I now know how Reshevsky felt at Sousse in 1967.This was followed up a nice win from David leaving us with a healthy scoreline of 3.5/1.5.

However there was still a twist. Jeff had been looking absolutely fine for a long time but went wrong in a K+P ending resulting in a win for the opposition . All now depended on the last remaining game where both players were down to their last few minutes.

With icy precision Alex "sacrificed"  a Rook to create a most elegant mating net. We were safe (4.5/2.5).

As always thanks to all who played. This has been a difficult season in a very strong Manchester League with a lot of our higher graded players unavailable most of the time, so staying in the top flight is no mean achievement.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Double Fantasy

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple                 V         Macclesfield     Charnley Cup Final   05/05/2016

1 A Longson      0.5/0.5    R Shaw
2 M Fernandez  1-0         C Davison
3 A Walton         1-0        C Sizeland
4 S Longson       1-0        P Cattermole
5 J Bentley         1-0        G Laurence
6 G Trueman     1-0        D Lobo


Marple completed the Stockport League and Cup "Double" for the fourth time in the last five seasons last night.
Unfortunately for Macclesfield several of their stronger players were unable to make this match and as we had got a strong side assembled we were clear favourites as play began. Every board was well contested though and it was late in the evening before we actually won.
Alan got the ball rolling with his second victory over Chris Sizeland in the last ten days. Like last week this was an agressively played game by Alan who once he had seized the initiative never looked like letting it go. It was a good night for Alan with news of a very impressive victory on Merseyside. (1-0)
Alex then drew with Robert. Robert has been one of the best players in the north of England for many years so in having Black against him Alex clearly had the most difficult task of the evening. (1.5-0.5).
I then defeated  Denzil on move 50 after a long struggle. I had managed to come out of the opening with quite a big plus but a couple of inaccuracies made things more difficult than they might have been. Fritz assures me I was always better but it didn't always feel like that at the time. (2.5-0.5)
Two weeks ago Sarah secured the point that won Marple the League and last night she did the same thing in the Cup. Sarah seemed to me to come out of the opening with a clear advantage and although Phil later "won" the exchange it seemed only a matter of time before Sarahs plethora of passed pawns would prevail which they did. (3.5-0.5)
Michael seemed to me to play a very nice game with a pawn sac in the opening originally popularised by Korchnoi and later used to good effect by the likes of Aronian. Colin is a very strong chess player and he defended well but the best he could do was reach an exchange down ending which was clearly lost. (4.5-0.5).
John rounded things off with a very nice late middle game attack to beat Geoff. I thought Geoffs opening was very interesting, possibly inspired by Jobava and worthy of further analysis. (5.5-0.5).

As always many thanks to the players and drivers, and to the Macclesfield team for conducting themselves in such a sporting manner. I  am awaiting details as to the route and date of the open top bus victory parade.