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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.