Saturday, 10 May 2014

A game from Ed

This is the last article for a while as the writer is off on holiday tomorrow!

The following game between Oskar Hackner (2127) and Ed Player (2246) was played at the e2e4 Sunningdale Congress over Easter.   The annotations are by Ed.   Apologies for the odd layout - the best I could do from Ed's Chessbase file.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Spence v Munson

The Board 1 match between David Spence and Shaun Munson in yesterday's Norfolk & Suffolk Cup had an interesting finish.   This was the position after White's 24th move:

The game continued: 24... b4   25. c4   Qc5   26. h4   Rd4   27. Qg3   a5   28. h5   Bc6   29. hxg6   hxg6?   (see diagram below)

After the game, both Shaun and David agreed that 29... fxg6 would have been better.   The computer agrees!

30. Qh3   Bf8   31.Nh7!   Be7   32. Bf8!!   A great move and a difficult one to find across the board.   Rh4   (what else?)   33. Qxh4   Bxh4   34. Bxc5   Kxh7   35. Rh3 and Black resigned.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Norfolk & Suffolk Cup

The Suffolk Final of the Norfolk & Suffolk Cup took place this evening, between Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.

The result was as close as possible.   With the final score of 3 - 3, it was down to tie-breaks to decide the winners.   With the bottom two boards finishing as draws, it was Ipswich's win on Board 4 that gave the match to Bury St Edmunds.   Here's the winning team:

(left to right): Rob McCorry; David Spence; Mike Harris; John Peters; Ed Player; Steve Ruthen

The first game to complete - at 10.15 pm - was the draw between Rob McCorry and Ted Matthewson on Board 6.   Almost immediately, Shaun Munson resigned his top board game against David Spence.   With the scoreline 1½ - ½ to Bury, the situation soon changed around, with successive wins by Mike Cook against Steve Ruthen, and Steve Gregory against Mike Harris.   The score now stood at 2½-1½ to Ipswich!   Both the remaining games appeared to be going in Bury's favour, but Nick Savage managed to hold out, two pawns down, against John Peters, with a draw in an opposite bishops endgame.

The final game between Ed Player and Tim Lunn went down to the wire.   Earlier in the game Ed had succeeded in reaching the 30-move time control with four seconds remaining (having made his last six moves within the final minute).   With both players running very short of time, Ed managed to checkmate Tim, bringing the final result to 3 - 3.   Rule 47 decides a tied match by "elimination of bottom boards until a result is achieved."   So Bury St Edmunds go forward to play Norfolk winners Broadland, probably at the end of May.

Individual results were:

David Spence   1 - 0   Shaun Munson
Mike Harris   0 - 1   Steve Gregory
Ed Player   1 - 0   Tim Lunn
Steve Ruthen   0 - 1   Mike Cook
John Peters   ½ - ½   Nick Savage
Rob McCorry   ½ - ½   Ted Matthewson

Another IM norm for Justin

Congratulations to Woodbridge School's Justin Tan, who has achieved his second International Master norm, following an excellent performance in this season's 4NCL.

He played in nine rounds, scoring an unbeaten 6½ points.   This included three draws against GMs, as well as two wins and a draw against IMs.   The average rating of his opponents was 2394, resulting in a rating performance over the nine games of 2560.

Had he beaten GM Matt Turner last Saturday (and he's cross because he should have won), his performance would have been 2614 - a Grandmaster norm!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Correspondence team latest

The eight-board Suffolk Correspondence team, playing in the Sinclair tournament, have scored 9 points out of 14, with just two games (both by Silas Peck) remaining to be completed.   This is an excellent score, which improves considerably on last season's performance.

The following scores have been recorded:

Board 1   -   Ian Wallis    ½ - ½
Board 2   -   Bob Jones    1 - 1
Board 3   -   Silas Peck
Board 4   -   Phil Revell    1 - ½
Board 5   -   Kevin Greenacre    0 - 0
Board 6   -   Jim Buis    1 - 1
Board 7   -   Bob Stephens    1 - 1
Board 8   -   Jakob Tulic    0 - ½

Captain Jim Buis would like to field a second Suffolk team next season.   Anyone interested in playing should contact him.

Monday, 5 May 2014

4NCL - Final results

A total of 25 Suffolk players travelled to Hinckley and Daventry for this weekend's final rounds in the 4NCL.   The results were mixed, with disappointment for two of the Anglian Avengers teams, who were hoping for promotion to Divisions 1 and 2.

The results for the five Suffolk-based teams were:

Anglian Avengers 1   -   one win and two draws
Anglian Avengers 2   -   one win and two losses
Anglian Avengers 3   -   one win and two losses
Iceni 1   -   one win and two losses
Iceni 2   -   three losses

So overall there were four wins, two drawn matches and nine losses.

AA1, in the Championship pool of Division 2, really needed three wins to be promoted to Division 1.   They won their first match convincingly (6 - 2), but could only manage 4 - 4 draws in Rounds 10 and 11.   They finished the pool with 6 points.   The four promoted teams scored between 7 and 9 points.

AA2, second in Division 2 before the weekend started, won their first match but lost the next two.   They finished one place away from promotion, in fifth place.   Iceni 1 ended up in 20th place (out of 63 teams); AA 3 were 32nd and Iceni 2 were 57th.

The three Suffolk players in Division 1 were all unbeaten over the three games: Adam Hunt scored 2½, Justin Tan 2 and Dagne Ciuksyte 2.   One of Justin's draws was against GM Matt Turner.

In Division 2, Ed Player and Mark Gray were unbeaten on 2 points, whilst David Spence recorded three draws.   Other scores were Shaun Munson 2, Alan Merry 1½, Adam Taylor 1½.

In Division 3, individual scores were as follows:

Steve Gregory   -   2½/3
Vivian Woodward   -   1½/2
John Peters   -   1½/3
Nick Savage   -   1½/3
Dominic Carter   -   1½/3
Bob Jones   -   1/1
John Feavyour   -   1/3
Mike Cook   -   1/3
Silas Peck   -   1/3
Richard Lamont   -   1/3
Steve Lovell   -   1/3
Peter Collicott   -   1/3
Steve Ruthen   -   0/1
Ian Wallis   -   0/1
Martin Fogg   -   0/3

Sunday, 4 May 2014

4NCL - Final Weekend

At the time of writing (late Sunday evening), the final weekend of this season's 4NCL is two-thirds complete.   The 4NCL runs across five weekends in total, with two rounds being played on each of the first four weekends.   This weekend, however, is a three-day event, with Round 9 being held on Saturday, Round 10 on Sunday and Round 11 on the Bank Holiday Monday.

This programme creates a real problem for team captains, who have to find teams of eight (Division 1) or six (Divisions 2 and 3), for each of the three days.   Not everyone is prepared (or able) to commit to three days of chess (especially at a time of year when they should be busy in the garden!)

Five Suffolk-based teams are competing as usual - the three Anglian Avengers (captained by Ian Wallis) and the two Iceni teams (captained by John Feavyour).

After the completion of Round 10 today, Anglian Avengers 2 lie in second place in Division 3.   After Round 11, the top four teams in Division 3 will be promoted to Division 2.

This is the current top of Division 3:

Any three of eleven teams could accompany already promoted Guildford 3 into Division 2 next season.   The final column is match points, with two points being awarded for a team win (and one point for a draw).   The penultimate column is game points, which is the tie-break for teams on the same match points.   So if Anglian Avengers 2 can win their match tomorrow, they will definitely be promoted.   If they draw 3 - 3, they could still be promoted on the basis of the number of game points, which is greater than most of the opposition.

Tomorrow's article on this website will give the full results for all the Suffolk-based teams, as well as the individual scores recorded over the weekend.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

BACL Players of the Year

In the Bury Area Chess League, qualification for Player of the Year in each division is based on percentage score, rather than actual score as in the Suffolk League.   Hence, someone scoring 8 out of 9 would win over another playing scoring 9 out of 11.   Suggestion for the Suffolk League - isn't this a better way to judge this competition?

A minimum of eight games need to be played in order to qualify (two-thirds of the available games).   Games won by default count towards the minimum number of games needed to qualify.

Winners are:

Division 1
1    David Redman (Cambridge)    79.2%   (9½/12)
2    Paul Kemp (Linton)    77.3%   (8½/11)

Division 2
1    Richard Newman (Cambridge)    80.8%   (10½/12)
2    John Daugman (Cambridge)    75.0%   (12/16)

Division 3
1    Adam Harvey (Bury St Edmunds)    93.8%   (7½/8)
2    Mike Angel (Newmarket)    92.9%   (6½/7 + 1 default)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Sudbury win League Cup

Sudbury Chess Club, one of the smaller clubs in the Suffolk League, has won the League Cup following their convincing win over Ipswich B on Tuesday.   Played over two rapidplay games for each player, the League Cup featured five teams (two from Ipswich, plus Manningtree, Clacton and Sudbury).   Sudbury won three matches and lost one, gaining a total of 20½ game points, three more than runners-up Ipswich (incidentally the only team to beat Sudbury).

In the final match, Sudbury beat Ipswich B 7 - 1, with Rob Sanders scoring 1½ against Tim Lunn, Vivian Woodward winning both games against a currently out-of-form Silas Peck, Jakob Tulic scoring 1½ points against Alex Sheerin, and Philip Chapman winning both games against Mike Spalding.   Despite being outgraded (569 to 553) the winning margin was exceptional.

Over the eight games played in the whole competition, captain Rob Sanders on top board for Sudbury remained unbeaten, with three wins and five draws.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Roger Goldsmith finals

In the Bury Area Chess League, the Roger Goldsmith competition is a graded event, played initially as a round-robin league.   There are two divisions, with grading limits of 580 and 450 for Divisions 1 and 2 respectively.   On completion of the round-robins, the top two teams play each other again in a Final.

Both finals took place this evening at the Bury St Edmunds club, because two Bury teams - 'Abbey' and 'Cathedral' - had both qualified in first place (which gave them home advantage).   Not only that, but the rules state that in the event of a tie, the team with the higher total at the League stage will win.

In the Division 1 Final, Bury Abbey faced Cambridge Masters.   The Bury team was Mike Harris, Jon Collins, last-minute replacement Dave Clark and Fraser Fallows.   15-year old Fraser managed a good draw against Andrew Ellis, but the result of the evening was Dave Clark's win against John Cooper, graded more than 30 points higher.

The final match to finish, on Board 1, secured the win for 'Abbey' when Mike Harris forced John Daugman to resign.

In the Division 2 Final, between Bury 'Cathedral' and last year's winners Linton Lions, early wins from Steve Lovell and Hugo Smith ensured that even if the match ended in a tie, that 'Cathedral' would win.

And that's how things ended, with Patrick Gembis and Bob Jones both losing their matches.