Thursday, 12 May 2016

World Amateur Championships, Kos

Bury St Edmunds' Mark Le-Vine (right) is one of just eight English players competing in the World Amateur Championships, in Kos, Greece.   This nine-round tournament is divided into seven rated sections; Mark is playing in Group C, for players rated between 1800 and 2000 Elo.   Mark doesn't have an official Elo rating, so he is top seed at e2000.

Today is a rest day, but after six rounds Mark shares the lead on 5/6.   He has already played the other two opponents on five points, beating one and drawing with the other.   The remaining three rounds will be played Saturday, Sunday and Monday.   Mark is the only English player in his section (56 players).

To see Mark's results click here.

This is Mark's sixth round win, a crazy Budapest Gambit, well worth playing through:

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Megafinal results

The Suffolk Megafinal took place at Woodbridge School on Sunday.   This is the second stage of the Delancey Schools UK Chess Challenge, in which over 60,000 children participate each year.

Qualifiers from local rounds, at schools or clubs, compete in the Megafinal for a place in the Gigafinal, the penultimate stage of the competition.   Two Gigafinals are held and Suffolk is deemed to be a 'northern' county, so qualifiers need to travel to Manchester in July.

Players from Woodbridge School and the Bury Knights (BKJCC) just about swept the board.   Top boy in each age-group is awarded the title 'Supremo', whilst the top girl becomes a 'Suprema':

Under 7   -   Rowan Kent (Woodbridge and BKJCC) - Supremo on 6/6; Edison Lorejo (BKJCC) 5/6; Tania Roy (BKJCC) 4/6.
Under 8   -   Tia Martin (BKJCC) - Suprema on 5½/6; Amy John (BKJCC) 5; Harry Young (BKJCC) - Supremo on 4/6.
Under 9   -   Marina Pommier (Woodbridge) - Suprema on 6/6; Toby Martin (BKJCC) - Supremo on 5/6.
Under 10   -   Adam John (BKJCC) - Supremo on 6/6.
Under 11   -   Jaden Jermy (BKJCC) - Supremo on 4½/6; Tom Roy (BKJCC) 4/6.
Under 13   -   Alan John (BKJCC) - Supremo on 5½/6; Mario Saenz de Villaverde (BKJCC) 5/6; Ralph Martin (BKJCC) 4/6.

Good luck to all the above qualifiers!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Holiday time

This website will be offline for three weeks from next Thursday.   In the meantime, there's the Suffolk Megafinal at Woodbridge School on Sunday, with about 100 juniors expected to play.

Apart from the County First Team National Quarter-Final match against Somerset on 21 May and the Suffolk Cup Final between Ipswich B and Manningtree A on 24 May, the only other match still to be played is the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup Final, between Broadland and Bury St Edmunds.   The date has not yet been fixed, but it is likely to be on Wednesday 25 May.

Articles will now be limited to occasional reports, so if you want to be reminded that a new article has been published, make sure you sign up for alerts.   To do this, enter your email address in the box at the bottom right of the screen 'FOLLOW BY EMAIL'.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

4NCL summary

A total of 19 Suffolk-based players travelled last weekend to Birmingham and Telford for the final three rounds of this season's 4NCL, as reported here.

Top scorers were: Ed Player, Ian Wallis and John Feavyour, all on 2½ points.   Scoring two points were Justin Tan (unbeaten) and Steve Lovell.   Alan Merry scored 1½ points, having played three GMs - Jones (0), Williams (1) and Emms (½).   This brings his 'live' rating to 2390, just ten points short of the level required for his long-awaited IM title.

Other scores were:
Paul Botham   1½ (unbeaten)
David Brown   1½ (unbeaten)
Dominic Carter   1½
John Peters   1½
Silas Peck   1
David Spence   1
Laurie Pott   1 (played 1)
Dagne Ciuksyte   ½
Steve Gregory   ½
Alex Sheerin   ½ (played 1)
Martin Fogg   0
Graham Moore   0 (played 1)
Tim Lunn   0 (played 1)

Next season, teams will use three different venues. Divisions 1 and 2 start the season on 19 November at Wokefield Park, Reading, with Divisions 3 and 4 playing at the same venue one week later.   Divs 1 and 2 visit Northampton for the next four rounds, with the final five rounds being played at Telford.   Divs 3 and 4 stay at Wokefield Park for all rounds except 5 and 6, which take place at Telford.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ipswich F gain revenge

The Final of the Plate competition took place this evening, with Ipswich F whitewashing Bury St Edmunds D 4 - 0.   This was sweet revenge for the Ipswich team, who were pipped for promotion from Division 3 by just half a point by Bury.

Congratulations to the Ipswich F team: Alex Sheerin, Andy Molloy, Mike Spalding and Adam Wilson.

The other Final - the Suffolk Cup, between Ipswich B and Manningtree A - is due to be played on 24 May.

Monday, 2 May 2016

4NCL success

Two locally-based teams have won promotion in the final rounds of this season's 4NCL, played over the last three days.

Anglian Avengers 1 finished second in the promotion pool of Division 2 to earn the right to compete with the elite of Division 1 next season.   Most of their team are pictured below:

(left to right: Team Captain Paul Talsma [ex Norfolk, now living in Kent], Ian Wallis, David Spence, Steve Gregory, Ed Player, Andrew Mayhew [Kent], Jim Bayford [Kent])

The other successful team was Iceni 1, captained by John Feavyour, which finished second in the new Division 4.   This was a necessary promotion, enabling the two Iceni teams to play in different divisions next season.

More on the 4NCL results tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Results from Gt Yarmouth

The Great Yarmouth Congress took place last weekend, with 96 entrants across four sections.   13 players travelled from various Suffolk locations, including Saxmundham, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Manningtree.

The top seed in the Open section was GM Keith Arkell, who shared first place with FM Paul Cooksey.   In equal third place, on 3½ points, were Steve Gregory, Alan Merry and David Spence.   Graham Moore was close behind on 3 points.   Other Suffolk scores were David Mabbs (Saxmundham) 2, and Martin Fogg 1½.

The Under 170 section was won jointly by Andrew Donnelly (Sudbury/Bury St Edmunds) and Phil Hutchings (Manningtree), both on 3½ points.   There were a lot of draws in this section - in the final round there was only one game that was not drawn!   Malcolm Lightfoot scored 3 points and Alex Sheerin 2.

The only Suffolk entrant in the Under 145s was 11-year old junior Jaden Jermy, who plays for Bury St Edmunds.   Graded only 94, it was brave of him to 'play up', but he scored 2/5 with a grading performance of 114.

The Under 120 section was won by Graeme Jones, who has played once this season for Manningtree, but hails from Hadleigh.   Graham was the only player in the tournament to win all five games.   Also in this section, Roger Smith scored 1½.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Coaching at the Bury Knights

Although the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club doesn't normally meet during the Summer Term, a number of special coaching sessions have been arranged so as to keep the members involved before the club starts up again in September.

Yesterday, the first coaching evening was held with 21 members attending.   The top group benefited from the experience and knowledge of 19-year old IM Justin Tan (pictured right), who was staying with Ed Player prior to travelling to the 4NCL.   Other coaches included Laurie Pott and Adam Leigh.

The Bury Knights' top four members are Alan John (117), Adam John (116), Jaden Jermy (94) and Tom Roy (87).   These players are under-graded and should all see an improvement when the new grades are published in July.

The next coaching evening will be on 10 June.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Bury win the Suffolk Final

Last evening. Bury St Edmunds Chess Club beat Ipswich Chess Club by four points to two in the Suffolk Final of the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup.   The team is pictured below:

(Left to right: Chris Davison (1), John Peters (1), Mike Harris (1), Ed Player (1), Mark Le-Vine (0), Alan Watkins (0))

After 2½ hours play the match was level at 2 - 2, with just the two top boards remaining.   On Board 2 Ed Player was a couple of pawns down to Ian Wallis and was hanging on for dear life.   Earlier he had performed one of his many time-trouble miracles, making moves 25 to 30 inside the last 16 seconds of the first time control.   Move 30 was completed with one second remaining.   Meanwhile, on top board, Mike Harris sacrificed his knight on f7 to open up Shaun Munson's black king.   Shaun's major pieces were over on the queenside and struggled to get back to defend.   After an almost forced sequence of moves, Mike eventually prevailed.   This gave Bury the match win, since the tie-break rules would mean that the bottom board, won by Silas Peck of Ipswich, would be discounted in the event of a 3 - 3 draw.

Almost at the same moment, Ian Wallis blundered in a completely winning position, allowing Ed a snap mate.

Here is Bury's Board 4 John Peters' 23-move win, with Black, against Ipswich Club Champion Mike Cook:

This was the position after White's 21st move (Qg2-f2).   See if you can work out what John played.


It will not have escaped your notice that this website has enjoyed a week's holiday whilst the author has been a) busy re-tiling his bathroom, and b) cataloguing thousands of books from Peter Keffler's vast stock.   Over 400 new titles have been added on Amazon, which can be viewed (and purchased) here.

This website will now resume on its usual daily basis, as there will be plenty of topics to cover, including the 4NCL, county match against Somerset, the Roger Goldsmith Cup in the Bury Area League and various other junior matters.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Players of the Season

All matches have now been completed in the three divisions of the Suffolk League.

The following are 'Players of the Season' and will each be awarded a trophy at the forthcoming AGM:

Division 1   -   Andrew Lewis (Manningtree A)   -   9½/10
Division 2   -   Phil Hopkins (Felixstowe A)   -   9½/12
Division 3   -   Phil Mortonson (Ipswich E)   -   9/9 (including one default) and Michael Spalding (Ipswich F)   -   9/10.

The trophies are awarded for the highest score, not the best percentage.   If the latter method applied, Rob Sanders would have won Division 2 with a 100% score, having won all eight games played.