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Monday, 26 November 2018

Remembering Andy

I was devastated to learn of the passing of Andy Jenkins. Andy had been a member of Marple Chess Club since the 1970's and  has probably played more competitive games for Marple than anyone else - ever. I count myself privileged to have been a friend of Andys for most of this period. Our friendship which started with chess became ever deeper as we discovered other mutual interests such as test cricket and the nuances of Bob Dylans lyrics (Andy knew so much more than me about this....). I really admired Andys commitment to social justice and will miss our long conversations. In my life there have been very few people that I have been willing to tell my exact, unvarnished thoughts on any subject to, that group of people is now even smaller.
Andy had a deep understanding of chess and was one of the best players at Marple for several decades. In the 1980s he often played top board for a highly talented first team that included the likes of Mike Peel and Eric Harrison who alas are also no longer with us.

Here is the first game I ever played against Andy -

White: Andy Jenkins  Black: Glenn Trueman  Marple V High Peak : Board One:
Stockport League : 01/10/1991 : Queens Gambit Declined Tarrasch  D32
1d4 d5 2c4 e6 3Nc3 c5 4cd: ed: 5Nf3 Nc6 6Be3 An interesting sideline that the likes of Korchnoi have dabbled with. The Bishop goes to a slightly strange square but Black is forced to immediately clarify the central pawn structure.6...c4 7g3 Nf6 8Bg2 Bb4 90-0 0-0 10Ne5 Re8 11 f4 Bc3: 12bc: Bf5 13Bf2 Qa5 14Be1 Ng4 15Qd2 f6 16h3 Nh6 17g4 fe: 18gf: ed: 18...e4 seems more helpful to the Black Knights 19cd: Qd2: And here I should have retreated the Queen to d8 20Bd5:+ Nf7 21Bd2: Nd4: 22e4 c3 23Bc1 Rab8 24Rf2 Nb5 25e5 Red8 26Bc4 Rd1+ 27Kh2 Na3? The game would still have been balanced after 27...Nd4. Now Andys Bishops cut me to pieces....28Ba3:! Played instantly in mutual time trouble 28...Ra1: 29e6 Kh8 30ef: b5 31Re2! A final deft touch, faced  with unstoppable mate I resigned 1-0.

Fate decreed that Andys last ever competitive game of chess would be against another good friend of mine John Reed. John is one of the strongest players in the North of England and when this game was played was graded around 35 points higher than Andy. So you might expect a victory for John ...not so ..... in Johns words "Andy played a great game against me"  I am indebted to John for sending me all the moves of the following game and  for allowing them to be published here.

White: Andy Jenkins  Black: John Reed  Marple  V East Cheshire :Board One :
Stockport League : 18/04/2018 : English Opening  A20
1g3 e5 2c4 A move order favoured by Tony Miles 2...Nc6 3Bg2 f5 Really going for it , Andys  comment to me afterwards was "After 3...f5 , I was very apprehensive" 4e3 Nf6 5Ne2 Be7 6d4 e4 7a3 a5 8b3 0-0 90-0 d6 10Bb2 Qe8 11Nbc3 Qh5  Most chessplayers are familiar with this type of position. White may have a theoretical edge but the prospect of Black attacking  on the Kingside is terrifying. However Andy plays the entire game like a Grandmaster and never allows John to get any initiative at all. 12Nf4 Qh6 13Nfd5 Bd8 14f3! Breaking up the Black centre 14...ef: 15Nf6:+ Bf6: 16Qf3: Bd7 17Nd5 Bd8 18Rae1 Rc8 19e4! Shades of Reti....19...Bg5 20e5 de: 21de: Nd8 21...Qg6 might have been a better try but White is still well on top after something like 22Qc3 Be6 23h4 Bh6 24b4 22h4 Bh4: 23gh:Qh4: 24Re4! A beautiful final shot, John now resigned as he has no good moves at all, for example 24...Qg5 25Bc1 or 24...Qh6 25Ne7+. 1-0.

I stand by what I wrote the day after this game was played "The whole game could be included if anyone ever writes a book on what to do when Black plays aggressively against 1g3". I only hope my final game of chess is half as good as this one.

Farewell my friend, the world will be a  colder, darker place without you.

Glenn Trueman : 26/11/2018.