Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Latest from Gib

David Spence is having an interesting tournament in the 247-player Masters!   After taking a first round bye and drawing in the second round, he faced one of the lowest-rated players in the tournament, in Round 3.   And what happened?   1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 ... and David's mobile phone rang!   0  -  1.

That's how to lose nearly 14 rating points; he should've been arrested for that.

After that, he picked himself up, beat Cambridge's Ashley Stewart in Round 4, won again in Round 5 and then took another half-point bye in Round 6 (don't know why - a heavy night's drinking?)

The next two rounds have been David's best.   In Round 7 he beat a Spanish FM with Black in a French Milner-Barry Gambit (see below) and then drew with GM Womacka (Germany) in Round 8.   Today, in the penultimate round, he faces another GM, Ralf Akesson from Sweden.     Latest news (19.50 on Wednesday): David has just lost against GM Akesson.

So he's on 5 points out of 8, and one of only two untitled players in the top 72.

This was the position after Black's 26th move (Kh7).   Despite his two-pawn advantage, David's position looks distinctly shaky.   But Rybka gives Black a +1.26 advantage:

Clearly, great care still has to be taken.   Eventually, after careful manoeuvring by Black, and the first time limit being reached after 40 moves, White resigned, having failed to improve his position.

The other Suffolk player, David Brown, suffered losses in his first three games in the five-round Challengers A section, but finished strongly with two wins.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cup Competitions

The following has been received from SCCA Competitions Secretary Mike McNaughton:

"I hope that we are now in a position to make a draw for the various cup competitions.


Felixstowe will play Ipswich or Stowmarket (this match is due to be played 26 February I believe).
The final will be played on 23 April.


To resolve the log-jam, Felixstowe and Saxmundham were asked if they wished to re-enter.  Irregular, but one way of finishing it.  Felixstowe have accepted the offer and, not having heard from Saxmundham, I assume they have declined.

Therefore, in what will be the semi final, Ipswich will be home to Adastral.  26 February, 12 or 19 March are possible dates for this match, but not perfect (Ipswich are involved in an u125 fixture on 26 February).

Manningtree will be at home to Felixstowe.  13 or 20 February look all right for this.  I think the 23 April will be a suitable date for the final.


It has become clear that there is little chance of playing the outstanding match in the B Group.  Hence Group A has Sudbury as the winners with Ipswich A runners up.

In Group B, Saxmundham are the winners and Manningtree runners up.  According to the rules the draw must be:

Sudbury v Manningtree: 26 February appears clear for both clubs.
Saxmundham v Ipswich A: 26 March appears clear for both clubs.
The final will be on 30 April.


The regional (Suffolk) final will, as arranged, take place on 23 April.  As always the contestants are Ipswich v Bury St Edmunds."

Monday, 28 January 2013

Snow King

OK, the snow has disappeared now, but last week Thetford's Kevin Moore built probably the best snowman you'll ever see:

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Top Tens

Here are the 'Top Tens', showing new and old grades:

Top players

NameClub(s)New gradeOld grade
Adam HuntWoodbridge School226229
Alan MerryBury St Edmunds214225
Ed PlayerBury St Edmunds214208
Mike HarrisBury St Edmunds211214
David SpenceBury St Edmunds206207
Shaun MunsonIpswich/Bury St Edmunds206191
Mark Le-VineBury St Edmunds193177
Mike CookIpswich190189
Adam TaylorManningtree187181
Graham MooreSudbury186197

Top juniors

NameClub(s)New gradeOld grade
Alan MerryBury St Edmunds214225
Adam TaylorManningtree187181
Silas PeckIpswich154
Sam BrennanIpswich/Bury St Edmunds152157
Nikolay LastochkinWoodbridge School139136
Emilia JewellBury St Edmunds132133
Daniel SuchWoodbridge School11792
Alex SheerinIpswich10569
Artem EmelyanovWoodbridge School101103
George HoranBury St Edmunds98100

Top ladies/girls

NameClub(s)New gradeOld grade
Anna York-AndersenIpswich155158
Emilia JewellBury St Edmunds132133
Vicky AllenStowmarket112122
Adele LunnFelixstowe/Ipswich105100
Alba Saenz de VillaverdeBury St Edmunds76
Anita SomtonBury St Edmunds58

(Only six with grades are currently playing)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

New January grades!

The new grades have been published today!    They can be viewed on Dave Wild's grading site.

You are reminded that these grades don't affect events in progress, such as the u125 and u145 cups, or the Suffolk u160 team; for those tournaments, the September 2012 grades still apply.   But if you enter a future event, for example the Southend Easter Congress, you would have to use these new grades to determine your eligibility for graded sections.

The new grades will also affect board order.   If, for example, you played below someone earlier in the season because you were graded 5 points lower, but now you are 15 points higher than that same person, then you must play above them.   Conversely, if someone graded 5 points below you normally plays above you, and that person's grade is now more than 10 points lower than yours, you must play ahead of them.

For players with a first-time grade, their new grade must now be used, instead of any previous estimated grade.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Three-way chess

Only three people turned up to play chess at the Ipswich Club recently.   But that didn't put them off:

(l. to r.) - Silas Peck, Les Jones, Ken Lunn

Silas was the only person to submit a correct answer to the puzzle from a few days ago, as follows:

1. Ne3+   Ke2  2. Bxh2   Kxe3  3. Kh8   Bd5   4. g8Q   Bxg8   5. Bg1!   Now ...fxg1Q or R is stalemate.   If ...Bd5, then Bxf2+.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Correspondence team news

The eight-board Suffolk team is currently playing in the Sinclair tournament against other five other counties.   Our team is:

Ian Wallis
Bob Jones
Tim Lunn
Phil Revell
Kevin Greenacre
Jim Buis (captain)
Bob Stephens
Jacob Tulic

Everyone plays two games, as White and Black, against the same opponent.   So the final tally will be out of 16 points.

So far, five games have been completed - and Suffolk has won them all!   Two wins each for Phil Revell and Kevin Greenacre, and one for Bob Stephens.

Keep this up and we could actually win the section!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Upcoming events

There are a number of tournaments coming up over the next few months. Click on the links for more info.

Herts Chess Association Congress - 2/3 February (in Hertford)
Open, u175, u150 and u120 sections

Peterborough Rapidplay - Saturday 9 February
Separate sections for adults and juniors.

Norfolk Rapidplay - Sunday 10 February (in Norwich)
Championship and Challengers sections

Bury St Edmunds Junior Congress - Sunday 24 February
u8, u10, 12, u14, u18 and Parents sections.

Southend Easter Congress - 29 March - 1 April
Open, u180, u150 and u120 sections

South Herts Congress - 13/14 April (in St Albans)
Open, u180, u160, u140 and u120 sections

Cambridgeshire Rapidplay - Sunday 21 April (in Peterborough)
Open, u160 and u120 sections

Great Yarmouth Congress - 27/28 April
Open, u165 and u130 sections

Or contact me (Bob Jones) if you need further information.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Gibraltar Festival starts today

Now in its eleventh year, the Gibraltar Chess Festival goes from strength to strength.  This year an amazing 246 players have entered the Masters section, over 20% of which are Grandmasters.  Top boards include Ivanchuk, Kamsky and Adams.

The only local entrant in the Masters section is David Spence, who at 2226 is ranked about halfway down the list of entrants.

The first (of ten) rounds atarts at 15.00 today and you can watch the games here.

Also playing, in one of the two 'Challengers' sections, is David Brown (of Saxmundham and Bury St Edmunds).

Good luck guys!

Monday, 21 January 2013

This week's fixtures - snowed off?

There are five fixtures scheduled this week.  Will they be affected by the weather conditions?

Sudbury v Ipswich B (Division 1)
Saxmundham A v Adastral (Division 2) - postponed
Clacton B v Ipswich D (Division 3)

Manningtree v Bury St Edmunds A (Division 1)

Bury St Edmunds B v Stowmarket A (Division 2)

Team captains - please keep in contact with each other and keep the Match Secretary informed!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Nothing much changes

In the 'good old days', the minutes of SCCA meetings were handwritten and kept within a bound book.  The first entry was made in October 1930 (see here).

The last entry in this book was the minutes of the AGM held in 1973, forty years ago.   Reading through these minutes, it's almost a case of déja vu.

"The Secretary reported that the competitions had been completed and he thanked club secretaries and captains for their co-operation"

"League winners were Ipswich A; Norfolk & Suffolk Cup winners were Ipswich"

"Mr Adams (Bury) enquired if there was a code of conduct of behaviour for matches, particularly in connection with late arrival of teams and the provision of hospitality"

Two of the 17 people attending the meeting are still around and playing chess in Suffolk - Roger Holt and Jim Buis.   Jim was the current Suffolk Champion.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Another problem

No Suffolk news, so here's another problem to occupy your time.

It's White to play and draw.

Quite a tough one.   Email your answer to me.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Not boring chess

The following position was reached last evening after just 13 moves in my game against Cambridge's Patrick Ribbands, in the Bury Area League (Black to move).   White has four pieces en prise, yet has a completely won game!

Those who know me will appreciate that I don't enjoy 'boring' chess, especially when playing with the White pieces. This opening certainly wasn't boring.

Here are some questions for you to answer before you click on the Games page to see the whole game through to an inevitable conclusion.

1.   What was the opening?

2.   How does White force checkmate if Black now plays 13...Kxf7?

3.   After the game continuation 13...Bxg5 14. Nexg5 Qe7, can you find a mate in 3 (or 5, depending on Black's 15th move)?

Go to the Games page to see the full game (1-0, 16).

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Division 1 update

The top two teams met on Tuesday, resulting in a 3 - 1 win for Ipswich A against Bury St Edmunds A.   On paper, the losers were the stronger team.   The win gives Ipswich A a two-point cushion at the top.

At the other end of the table, Sudbury look to be doomed to relegation, having lost all six matches played so far.

Ipswich A642016
Bury St Edmunds A623114
Ipswich B640213
Ipswich C622212½

With four matches each to play, there's still little in it; the top four teams are separated by only 3½ points.

Shaun Munson (Ipswich A) is unbeaten with four wins and two draws from his six games.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Answers, a game, and another problem

The solution to the Mate in Six position (Friday 11 January) is:

1. Qxg7+    Kd8
2. Nf7+    Ke7
3. Nxh6+    Kd8
4. Qg5+    Re7 (if Qe7 then Nf7#)
5. Nf7+    Ke8
6. Qg8#

No one provided an answer to this one.

The solution to the Four-move poser (Monday 14 January) is:

1. Nf3    Nf6
2. Ne5    d5 (Black's first two moves can be transposed)
3. Nc6    Nfd7
4. Nxb8    Nxb8

Congratulations to Silas Peck and Ian Wallis who both emailed correcr answers!


In the Games section, you'll be able to play through an excellent win by Ian Wallis in the recent 4NCL match.


The 'impossible' problem:

"From the starting position, construct a game where Black checkmates White on the 5th move by taking a rook." Email your answer to me (Bob Jones).

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Snow excuse!

A couple of years ago, members of a chess club in Kent didn't let a few inches of snow get in the way of their club championship match:

Thinking of postponing your league match this week?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Four move poser

Here's an unusual one. The following position arose after each player had made four (legal) moves, White moving first of course.  Can you work out what these moves were?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

4NCL results (Divisions 2 & 3)

Just back from the 4NCL matches at Daventry, where there were some excellent results for the Suffolk-based teams.

Before the start:

In Division 2, Anglian Avengers 1 (including Ed Player, Shaun Munson, Mark Gray, Adam Taylor and Steve Gregory) won both their matches.  On Saturday they won 5 - 3, and on Sunday thrashed the opposition 7 - 1. Unfortunately they had lost, albeit narrowly, the first two rounds back in December, so now lie mid-table with 4 match points.

Division 2:

In Division 3, top of the table Anglian Avengers 2 (Tim Lunn, Richard Lamont, Phil Hopkins, David LeMoir, Ian Wallis and Mike Cook) scored 9½ points over the two matches, winning 4½ - 1½ and 5 - 1, with no individual losses.

But their performance was matched by the Iceni team (John Feavyour, Alan Downham, Steve Ruthen, Paul Botham, Bob Jones and Colin Roberts), who were also unbeaten over the 12 games.   They won their two matches 5½ - ½ and 4 - 2.

Pretty amazing to have 24 games with no losses!   Anglian Avengers 2 are the only team to have won all four matches.

The third local team in this division, Anglian Avengers 3 scraped a win on Saturday 3½ - 2½, but came a cropper on Sunday, losing 1 - 5.   The Sunday team contained three 'Pecks': Silas, Dad Steve and brother Isaac (who only started playing chess a few weeks ago!).   Sadly, all lost.  The team now lies in 32nd place in the league table.

Division 3

(top teams out of 38):

Friday, 11 January 2013

It's Mate in Six!

Silas Peck has sent in this position, from the second round of the current Ipswich Chess Club Championship.   Silas was playing Black against Tim Lunn (White, to play).

Silas lost this game, on time, but Tim in this position missed a mate in six.   It's not too difficult.  But can you spot it without setting out the pieces on a board?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

A volunteer to be the Under 18 Manager

A month ago, I asked for a volunteer to become Under 18 Team Manager.  Now, Steve Peck, father of promising junior Silas, has stepped forward to say he is prepared to take on the role, for this year at least.

The ECF Under 18 County Championships will be held at the end of June (either 29th or 30th), somewhere in Hertfordshire.  Steve now needs to get commitment from our best juniors if we are to compete with the other counties, many of which have some strong players.

As soon as the date and venue are confirmed, Steve will be in contact with all juniors graded over 100.   In the meantime, if any of these happen to read this, and are prepared to commit now, will they please contact Steve directly?

We now have Team Managers for the Under 18s and the Under 11s.  Perhaps Junior Chess in the county is about to spring back into life?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Various stuff

In the County u160 matches last Sunday, Suffolk's Andrew Shephard recorded a quick win against a lack-lustre Cambridgeshire opponent, forcing resignation in just 19 moves.   You can view the game in the Games section on this website.


No one has yet provided a solution to Monday's 'Five Queens' problem.   If there's no response by tomorrow afternoon, I'll publish the answer then.


Finally, a reminder to let me have any interesting games or positions that crop up.   If I'm to continue to post something every day, I need your support!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Great Escape

In tonight's Division 2 match between Adastral Park and Bury St Edmunds B, Adastral's Board 1 Ed Kirkham managed to con his higher-graded opponent into a draw.   Two pawns down with a piece en prise, Ed played ...Nd2 in the following position:

After a brief think, Bury's Rob McCorry took the bishop on a6, only to be hit by ...Re1+ and ...Nf1+.   Perpetual check!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Five queens problem

League matches in the second half of the season don't start until tomorrow, so in the meantime, here's another problem for youto solve....

On a 5 x 5 chessboard, place five White queens and three Black pawns in such a position that no pawn can be taken.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Under 160 results

The County Under 160 team played two matches today at Newmarket, winning both.  The win against previously unbeaten Cambridgeshire was the highlight, whilst a weakened Norfolk team were soundly thrashed.


(AM)  Cambridgeshire  7½ - 8½  Suffolk
(PM)  Suffolk  10½-5½  Norfolk

Andrew Shephard, Ed Kirkham and John Peters scored 2/2.
Sam Brennan, Rob Harden and Mark Bettley scored 1½/2.

The full results can be seen on Dave Wild's website.

The other matches finished Norfolk  4 - 12  Hertfordshire; and Hertfordshire  7 - 9  Cambridgeshire.

This means that after two rounds, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk share the lead on 6 match points (three wins each out of four).   Cambridgeshire have 36 game points, compared to Suffolk's 35.

The final matches take place on Sunday 3 March, when Suffolk play Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.