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Saturday, 28 October 2017


And the night, and the match and indeed the Knight.

       MARPLE C   2.5-2.5  ALTRINCHAM B
1.  Toby Brown         0-1     Tony Lane
2.  Martin Cutts      0.5-0.5  Bill McCartney
3.  Neil Dainty       0.5-0.5  Vijay Kakarparthi
4.  Tony Doust       0.5-0.5  Steve Ward
5.  Joseph Anderson  1-0     Kip Summer

We got off to a bad start.  Toby was the only one of us to be outgraded and he lost quite quickly on top board.  All the other games were pretty level for most of the evening but there was plenty of action on four and five.

Next to me, Martin was pressing against a strong opponent, but Bill seemed to have little trouble keeping him at bay.  A draw was agreed.  On my right Tony was a piece down, which I presume was a sacrifice as Steve's King was under siege in the middle of the board.  However Tony lost another piece later on and was relieved to come away with a draw.

My own game with Vijay was quite enjoyable and I thought I had good prospects most of the time, but offered a draw when I realised I hadn't! Note to self: stop kidding yourself.

The real fun was on Board 5.  Kip had a passed pawn on d6, supported by his queen and later a rook.  Joseph had a rook on a8 ready to skip to d8 if needed, but he also had a nasty attack on the other wing. with a passed h pawn behind his queen and the other rook behind the pawn.  He also had a Knight totally out of the game on the a-file which was screaming to be employed.  Eventually it came to the d-file, protected by two pawns and isolating Kip's passed pawn; it also threatened to join the attack.  Kip managed to free his queen which continually checked the king.  Once the king got to safety it was Joseph who had the threats and more than one opportunity for a royal fork from the freed knight.  Lots of wood was traded and then we had a pawn race resulting in two new queens and a time scramble, with Joseph having a few extra minutes.  The new queens were exchanged leaving Joseph with three or four passed pawns and Kip resigned.

The knight had saved the day!

Friday, 1 September 2017


Well, we did it. A win last night against fellow contenders Blue Club 2 saw Marple win Division B of the S.E.Lancs Summer League with 9 points from 5 matches. The next four clubs shared second place with 5.

Our opponents were not as strong as they might have been, so the teams were fairly evenly matched on most boards, but I had a weaker opponent on board 6 and Chris faced a twenty point deficit on 2.  My opponent quickly went astray and I checkmated him in 13 moves - good start.  Soon after that Glenn took the opportunity to strengthen our position, agreeing a quick draw with Tim Hilton.  But the tension increased as the remaining games did not seem to be going our way.  Toby had been an exchange up, but next time I looked a pawn was forking his Queen and Bishop.  His position then collapsed with nearly all his pieces under attack and it was all square, but with Chris half an hour behind on the clock.  On board 3 Neil Jerzynek had his Queen on the sixth rank and a strong-looking attack, but David cleverly trapped it and Neil resigned.

So spirits rose again, but the last two games looked tight.  Jeff's game seemed blocked and Chris had a good position but time problems, although he was playing well and getting a positional advantage. And then almost simultaneously it was all over.  Jeff found a move which threatened checkmate and a discovered attack on the Queen, and Mark offered Chris a draw as his position was worsening.  All over. Champions!

Thanks to those who played last night and Alan, Tony Kay, Tony Doust and Joseph who also deserve medals.  (They're aren't any).  Tony D even turned up last night just in case he was needed.  Team Spirit!

Finally as Glenn has kindly suggested I show my "beautiful game" here it is:

1.e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nf6  3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nxd4
 I have been playing the Scotch for the last few games.  It's supposedly sound at any level and allows weaker opponents opportunities to go wrong, as here:
5. Qxd4 c6  6. Nc3 a6  7.  Be2 h6
These last two moves just give me a big advantage in development
8. Be3 Qa5  9. Bd2 Bc5??  10. Qxg7 Bf8  11. Qxh8 Ne7
12. Nd5 expecting to swop off the Knights when the Queen moves, but Black's move gives me a lovely opportunity...
12...Qd8 13. Nf6#

Marple 4-2 Blue Club 2

165  Trueman, Glenn 0.5-0.5 Hilton, Tim           169
126  Baker, Chris EJ 0.5-0.5 Taylor, Mark         152
129  Preen, David W 1-0 Jerzynek, Neil       119
101  Barlow, Jeff J 1-0 Somogyi, Gabor      97
110  Brown, Toby GS 0-1 Wilson, Jeff           100
100  Dainty, Neil C 1-0 Vernon, Frank         67

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ue o Muite Arukou

Not played at Chorlton Chess Club last evening -

Chorlton A 6-0 Marple A (Default)

Unfortunately I could only find three players able to play in our final match of the season so I had no option available other than to default. Fortunately Chorlton had already won the League ( Congratulations to them) so there was nothing really at stake but even so it was a very sad way to end things. It's perhaps indicative of the problems evening league chess faces that our last two matches have been a 6-0 default win and a 6-0 default loss.....

After five years captaining various Marple teams and three years captaining our A team I am now standing down. I simply don't have enough time to continue. I hope someone can be persuaded to take over - I will give them all the help I can. Many thanks to everyone who has played or driven for us in this period, it has been much appreciated by me.

To finish on a chess note (sort of) I am indebted to Andy Jenkins for solving something that has puzzled me for years.  Saemisch - Capablanca : Karlsbad 1929: started 1d4 Nf6 2c4 e6 3Nc3 Bb4 4a3 Bc3:+ 5bc: d6 6f3 e5 7e4 Nc6 8Be3 b6 9Bd3 Ba6??? 10Qa4 Bb7 11d5 winning a piece. How could such a brilliant player overlook something so trivial? - and equally puzzling why did Capa not resign?. He carried on playing a hopelessly lost position until move 62.....

The  explanation is as follows - after Saemischs 9th move Capa became aware that both his wife and his mistress were in the playing hall, a double attack that even the great Cuban could not deal with....

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Chorlton B vs Marple B: 25/04/17

Our side of the cookie crumbled more than theirs, which was a shame because we had a strong side out last night. Unfortunately so did they........  Like us they would like to avoid relegation

Glenn agreed an early draw with David Knox, who is still a tough opponent. David and Chris, lost and won, respectively but I didn't see their games so can't comment.  I was reasonably pleased with my opening, once again, the Budapest gambit bemused my opponent and I achieved good development. I thought I should  manage a draw with black at least.  Initially I was behind on time but I managed to complicate matters and regain the deficit. We were playing a straight 90 minutes for all moves, I really don't like the cliff edge nature of this time control, it seems to ignore the benefits of digital clocks. The skirmishing started before either side had completed development. The position looked innocuous enough, but my opponent managed to whip up an attack which I underestimated and led to a win in all variations, though I have yet to consult with Fritz.

Marple were now losing 2.5 - 1.5 with two boards to be decided. Paul, playing black, had a large time advantage and latterly was a pawn up. It looked like he just had to untangle his pieces to get a favourable position. His opponent, seemingly very relaxed about the time deficit, mounted a king side attack which I thought was defendable but I failed to spot a zwischenzug queen check, which was decisive.

Alan had 2 knights vs 2 bishops (and major pieces) and the knights weren't well placed. From there I think he did very well to get a draw, which was agreed when both players had very little time left.

1.    D Knox             0.5-0.5        Glenn Trueman
2.    A Elliot                 1-0           Paul Kirby
3.    R Nurse             0.5-0.5        Alan Hall
4.    A Cowan              0-1          Chris Baker
5.    A Beswick            1-0          David Preen
6.    H Manassian        1-0          Jeff Barlow
        Total                     4-2

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Welcome Home

Played at the Ladybrook Hotel last evening -

Stockport B       V     Marple A   : Stockport League Division One: 18/04/2017

1 D Parotta       0-1         A Horton
2 D Toole          0-1         A Longson
3 M Crowther  0-1          I Craft
4 M Tunstall   0.5/0.5      S Longson
5 A Coe             0-1          G Trueman
6 J Mason         1-0          P Kirby


Sarah and Alex  were able to make a most welcome return to our team for this fixture. Since Andy and Isaac were also available it meant we were able to field our strongest team of the whole season.
As Stockport A were also playing in the Charnley Cup Final simultaneously for once we were favourites going in to a match. Stockport B were still strong opposition though with 160+ strength players all the way down the line .....
I haven't got time for a full report but a summary would be this was a much closer match than the scoreline would suggest. Although we won all our games with the White pieces it was much more difficult with Black. I do think this is a common feature of evening chess played at fast time limits. So many slightly off beat lines for White place great demands on the opponent, who has to move fast and can be tired after working all day. Sarah and Paul both got very difficult positions. Somehow Sarah managed to get enough counterplay for half a point despite being well behind on the clock, but there was no escape for Paul whose opponent conducted a difficult to convert ending with what looked like extreme precision to me.
A quick word about the Charnley Cup Final where congratulations are due to Stockport A who beat Macclesfield on tie -break after a 3-3 scoreline in a match with an incredibly tense finish.. For the second time in two weeks I felt immense sympathy for Mike Taylor who lost a Queen ending with two extra pawns on time. There is no criticism of his opponent, who having to play to win for the sake of the team was himself in a awkward position and did even offer Mike a draw when he was down to the last minute, but once again I was left with the feeling that , despite the problems, playing with increments is the better way.
Thanks to all who played in our match. The mathematicians in our team have convinced me that we are now safe from relegation!.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hall in the Game

So many extremely strong young  players have represented our club over the last few years that if you learned that a Marple player has just won an international chess tournament  you might not be too surprised.....
However in this case it was not one of the "usual suspects".....
Congratulations to Alan Hall who won the under-1900 tournament at the recent Jersey chess festival with the fine score of 7/9. Highlights included an 80 move grind of a win in the penultimate round against the highest ranked player in the event, rejecting possible repetitions when perhaps slightly worse and a fearless quick win  with the Black pieces against a player who has been over 160 in the nerve jangling final round.
Alan won £400 and a magnificent(?) vase which now resides proudly at his home...

Friday, 7 April 2017

You Never Can Tell (Part Two)

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A            V       Stockport A: Stockport Lge Div One: 06/04/2017

1 A Horton      0.5/05    A Beardsworth
2 A Walton      0.5/0.5   A Reeve
3 G Trueman   0.5/0.5   P Cawley
4 P Kirby         0.5/0.5    D Sheppard
5 C Baker           0-1       D Parrotta
6 B Jacobson      1-0       M Taylor


After succumbing 1-5 to Stockport B in our previous match I had been fearing the worst. Fortunately Andy (Horton) and Alan (Walton) were able to make a welcome return to our team, however this was balanced by Michael and Isaac not being available. We were also without Alan (Hall) , Terry, and David (Preen) from our usual line ups this season.
When Stockport arrived I noticed they were perhaps a couple of players short of their strongest possible side. They were clear favourites though as they outgraded us on the bottom four boards, fielding a 2102 Fide player on Board 5 and a vastly experienced 171 ecf on Board 6.
Paul (Kirby) and myself both drew. My game with Paul Cawley was fairly uneventful but Paul (Kirby) had a fascinating encounter with Dan, winning the exchange but allowing a lot of piece activity. With Paul down to the last couple of minutes a draw was a completely acceptable result.
Mr Parrotta showed why he has such a high elo with a polished performance against Chris in a game that was very reminiscent of a Hort V Nunn encounter from the "Master Game" series in the late 70's. (Ed - He's really showing his age...). Chris gave it his best shot and taking on a 2100 with the Black pieces is of course an extremely tough ask.
Ben has been playing some tremendous chess for Marples second and third teams. Last season he played a beautiful winning Rook sac at Macclesfield and I seem to remember he won in 9 moves with Black at Altrincham  just before Christmas. He superseded these achievements last evening with what I suspect may be the best first team debut in the history of Marple Chess Club, beating an opponent graded a mere 55 points higher than him! Mike went wrong in what should probably have been a drawn Rook  ending allowing liquidation to a pawn ending that was clearly won for Ben. Whilst  I am tremendously pleased for Ben I do feel immense sympathy for Mike who took defeat with admirable good grace. Unfortunately for him one of my laws of "negative chess"  came in to play - trying too hard to win a slightly advantageous Rook ending is very dangerous....
So incredibly the score was 2-2 with the top two boards still in play and all four players running out of time.
Andy (H) had been trying for three hours to create something in a position that had been looking drawish from about move 10.Ultimately there was no way for either side to make progress and the game was drawn.
That  left  everything in the hands  of Alan and Andy (Reeve). A fascinating battle which at one point had featured two Knights against two Bishops with your correspondent having no idea who was better had boiled down to a N v B ending with Alan having a pawn less but a passed "a" pawn and  slightly  better King. With Andy down to less than two minutes and Alan not having much more the players agreed to halve the point and the match.
Thus ended a memorable encounter played in excellent spirit. Many thanks to all who played.

Friday, 24 March 2017

You Never Can Tell

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A                   V        Stockport B    :  Stockport Lge Div One : 23/03/2017

1 M Fernandez         0-1      J Pink
2 G Trueman         0.5/0.5   P Cawley
3 P Kirby               0.5/0.5   D Toole
4 A Hall                    0-1      M Taylor
5 T Cowling             0-1      M Tunstall
6 D Preen                 0-1      M Crowther


With Michael making a welcome return to the team I was hopeful of getting something out of this match in a season which has become something of a battle to avoid relegation. However when the Stockport team entered the playing room I realised this would be a very difficult task as our opponents had managed to assemble the strongest team they have fielded all season.Even their bottom board had a grade of about 170 the last time I played him.
In the circumstances a final score of 1-5 wasn't too surprising and a difficult night was encapsulated by Michael losing his first game for Marple in a very,very long time.  
Many thanks to all who played/drove, our next fixture is against the even more challenging Stockport A team......

Friday, 3 March 2017

Black is Black

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple A              V       Holmes Chapel         Stockport Lge Div One      02/03/17

1 G Trueman       0-1      P Bennett
2 P Kirby           0.5/0.5   J Turner
3 A Hall                0-1      I Bates
4 D Preen             1-0      M Roberts
5 T Doust             0-1      M Lee
6 S Anderson       0-1      G Scattergood


Given our current resources this was a difficult situation as we faced the task of fielding two teams on the same evening. The strength of the opposition we faced relative to us is perhaps best reflected in our cumulative score with the Black pieces which was 0/5......

Although they were well short of full strength in the Division One match  Holmes Chapel outgraded us on every board and by an average of over 25 points per game. I haven't got time for a full report but it wasn't all doom and gloom as David played sparkling chess to win very quickly and Paul had a well merited draw with a very strong opponent. Thanks to all who played particularly Stuart who nobly agreed to make his first team debut.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Altrincham A vs Marple B: 31st January 2017: Match Result

Hi All,

Marple B gained a well-earned drawn match against a strong Altrincham A side. To my right, Ben had a dramatic win in 9 moves using the Budapest gambit. His opponent only made 3 bad moves, which is a large percentage out of 9! While to my left Terry's opponent was dropping pieces regularly. Every time I looked up Terry was another piece up, The last time I looked his opponent's Queen was under threat and he had give up a fourth minor piece to save his queen! Meanwhile I was losing slowly with the white pieces, I got back into it but it cost me too much time, and I lost to a potential back rank mate. I saw very little of the other games and so cannot comment on them.



MATCH:   Altrincham A       v           Marple B

Home Team


Away Team

1      Mark Hann
         Paul Kirby
2      Reg Clucas
         Alan Hall
3      Richard White
         David Preen
4      Bill McCartney
         Terry Cowling
5      Mark Whalley
         Jeff Barlow
6      Steve Douglas
         Ben Jacobson


DATE: 31/01/17

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Macclesfield B vs Marple B: 23.01.17: Match Result

Dear All,

Marple B suffered the heaviest defeat possible on Monday last. The score is a little misleading in that all of the games were keenly contested through to the end and I was surprised that all boards went to the hosts. Of course, Macclesfield were a much stronger team and I guess they managed to finish more strongly.

I was quite pleased with the opening phase of my game against Chris Sizeland and felt that I had nullified white's advantaged and obtained a comfortable position.  I may post this game later.

Thanks to the team for their efforts.

Meanwhile, our next game is against Altrincham A next Tuesday where we will need to field a stronger team!  Any volunteers?



MATCH: Macclesfield B    v     Marple B

Home Team


Away Team

1       G Lawrence
        Chris Baker
2       P Cattermole
        Alan Hall
3       D Risley
        Terry Cowling
4       C Sizeland
        Jeff Barlow
5       D Lobo
        Tony Doust
6       J Trier
        Neil Dainty



Friday, 13 January 2017

Dear All,

Here is the result of last night's B team home fixture:


MATCH:      Marple B              v             Chorlton B

Home Team


Away Team

1       Alan Hall
          Neville Barnes
2       Terry Cowling
          Mark Harrison
3       Jeff Barlow
          Alan Beresford
4       Tony Doust
          Howard Hughes
5       Trefor Thomas
          Phil Bennett
6       Neil Dainty
          Gary Jackson


DATE:      12/01/17

We were not able to field our strongest side, given the season and all. I would have lost my own game but for some clock mismanagement by my opponent.  I think only Neil's game was anything like comfortable.

I am still short of players for the next two away games, on Monday 24th January and Tuesday 31st January. The latter of these has been rearranged at Altrincham's request.  Please check your diaries.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

One Step Beyond

Played at Macclesfield Chess Club last evening -

Macclesfield              V             Marple               Charnley Cup Semi-Final     09/01/2017

1 R Shaw                  0.5/0.5      M Fernandez
2 C Davison              0.5/0.5      G Trueman
3 D Risley                 0.5/0.5       C Baker
4 G Laurence           0.5/0.5       A Hall
5 P Cattermole           1-0           D Preen
6 C Sizeland                1-0          T Brown


Progress to the Charnley Cup Final proved to be tantalisingly just out of Marples reach yesterday as they were edged out by Macclesfield in a match played in a very friendly spirit.
Once again the odds were against us as we were outgraded on four of the six boards, in some cases by  a wide margin.
In the last game to finish Toby was desperately unlucky to lose a long struggle in which he had dominated for long periods against a very  experienced opponent who was  graded 42 points higher. By this point I had managed to work out that even if Toby had won we would still have been eliminated on tie-break.
Thanks to all who played/drove , particularly Toby who stood in at very short notice.
Please note - the next A team match away to Stockport B scheduled for 24 January has been postponed at Stockports request. Our next match is at home to the same opponents on the 2nd of February.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Tiger Feet

Played at the Navigation last evening -

Marple   A                   V           Chorlton A       Stockport Lge Div One    05/01/2017

1 G Trueman          0.5/0.5       M Carpenter
2 P Kirby                   0-1           R Doney
3 C Baker                   0-1          S Foulkes
4 A Hall                      1-0          D Kierman
5 T Doust                   0-1           N Barnes
6 N Dainty                0.5/0.5       R Nurse


When we lost both our board one and two to illness immediately prior to this match I feared the worse. With  the  arrival of the Chorlton team  however it  became clear that they too were very much under full strength. However they were still massive favourites. Chorlton outgraded Marple on every single board, the average disparity being 22 points.
Against such odds the result was perhaps inevitable, yet everyone put up a real fight with no quick losses at all. Alan had a fine win in a position where both Kings were vulnerable to mating threats and Neil achieved a terrific and very solid draw against an opponent graded 51 points higher. Your Correspondent was being positionally crushed by Martin Carpenter and was also over 30 minutes adrift on the clock when with only a few seconds remaining found a tactical resource/swindle  that resulted in a drawn position. It could have come from Simon Webbs seminal work although I would be the first to admit that I was very,very lucky. It does perhaps show that it is important not to resign too soon, no matter how hopeless the situation appears.
Many thanks to all who played, particularly Neil and Tony who both agreed to play at very short notice and Alan and Paul who were both still suffering from the after effects of flu. It's a curious fact that virtually all of our first team regulars have been very ill over the last few weeks with the exception of Chris. What I would give for his immune system!