Saturday, 31 October 2015

Divisions 1 and 3 in action

This past week has seen three matches in each of Divisions 1 and 3 of the Suffolk League.   Manningtree A moved to the top of Division 1 with a convincing 3 - 1 win over Ipswich A, whilst the other two Ipswich teams, C and B, faced each other with Ipswich C running out winners by the narrowest of margins,   This match saw two surprising individual results, with Silas Peck (179) beating Graham Moore (200), and Martin Fogg (171) beating Ian Wallis (189).   The other Division 1 saw newly-promoted Saxmundham A beat a weakened Bury St Edmunds B 2½-1½.

The only player with a 100% record is Manningtree's Andrew Lewis, who has won all three games.

In Division 3, the two Ipswich teams played each other, with E beating F 3 - 1.   Both the Bury St Edmunds teams won, with D beating Felixstowe B 3 - 1 and E winning 3½-½ against a Stowmarket Rooks team that contained three members of the same family - Dad Gareth Young, daughter Bethany and 7-year old Harry playing in his first-ever league match.

Two players have a 100% record - Phil Mortensen (Ipswich) and Adam Leigh (Bury St Edmunds).

Friday, 30 October 2015

Tournament reminders

There are two tournaments taking place next weekend, both within easy reach for Suffolk players.

The Herts 64th Annual Congress is being held at the County Hall in Hertford.   This is a five round tournament, with Open, u170, u140 and u110 sections.   There will be three rounds on Saturday (7 November) and two rounds on Sunday.   You can enter online, or email the organiser, Kidge Elder.

As of today's date, 72 players have entered (the organisers are hoping for 150 by next weekend).   The only Suffolk players to have entered so far are Graham Moore (Open) and David Wood (Minor).   Closing date/time for online entries is 17.00 on Friday.

The Norfolk Rapidplay takes place on Sunday 8 November, at the City of Norwich School.   There are sections for Open, u160, u120 and u100, as well as separate Junior sections for Under 13s, Under 10s and Under 8s (ages as at 31/8/2015).

Stephen Orton is the tournament organiser (01603 451572).   Entries to be received by Thursday.


The Junior 4NCL, planned for the weekend of 21/22 November, has had to be cancelled, negotiations with the hotel (near Reading) having fallen through.   A team from the Bury Knights had planned to enter.   The remaining two weekends for the Junior 4NCL will now be 9/10 January and 12/13 March 2016.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

World Youth Championships latest

Suffolk players Justin Tan and Adam Taylor are finding life tough in the Under 18 Open section of the World Youth Championships in Greece.   After four rounds, Justin is on 2½ points and Adam is on 2.

Justin is yet to play an opponent who is higher-rated than him, having lost in Round 3 to a lower-rated player from Iran.   However, if he can win the next few rounds, he should have an opportunity to challenge the top seeds in this eleven-round event.   Today he plays an untitled Georgian opponent.

Adam has won both his games with White, but has lost his two Black games.   Today he faces a lower-rated opponent from Armenia.

Live games can be viewed from 13.00 GMT daily (except tomorrow Friday, which is a rest day) here.   Justin's game is on today's live boards.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Game from the Bury Congress

Perhaps the most outstanding result from the Open section of last weekend's Bury St Edmunds Congress was the draw obtained by David Spence against top seed and eventual joint winner GM Matthew Sadler.   David played a solid game throughout; at the end the draw was the only sensible decision.

Edit.   The game continued for a further 18 moves or so.   David will provide the missing moves soon and the page will be updated.

Edit 2.   Remaining moves now added.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ipswich try to encourage more juniors

Recently, Ipswich Chess Club opened its doors for an Open Evening, having contacted 45 local schools to invite interested pupils and teachers to an event that was informal and informative.   Tim Lunn, one of the club's senior players, gave a short presentation on king and pawn endgames, after which the audience (a mixture of inexperienced youngsters and Ipswich club members) practised the ideas over the board with each other.

After half an hour of queened pawns, draws and stalemates, Tim then returned to the display board to talk about the King's Indian Defence and to illustrate a particularly violent example of this strategy.

The club have their next Open Evening on Weds 9 Dec 9 at 7 pm, when Ted Matthewson will be the guest presenter.

Monday, 26 October 2015

World Youth Championships update

After two rounds of the FIDE World Youth & Cadets Championships in Halkidiki, Greece, the two Suffolk players, IM Justin Tan and FM Adam Taylor are on 1½ points and 1 point respectively.

In Round 1 Justin appeared to fall for a neat trick in a Sicilian opening, which cost him a queen and a pawn for three pieces.   This was the position after Justin's 7th move with Black (... a6?!):

His lower-rated Italian opponent banged out 8. Bb6!, probably to Justin's surprise.   Justin played 8... axb5   9. Nxb5   Bb4+, when 9 ... Ra5 would probably have been better, vacating a square for his queen.   The game continued 10. c3   Ba5   11. Nc7+!   Black is just about forced to take with his queen, as 11... Ke7 would be followed by 12. Bc5+, 13. Nxa8 and 14. Bf8, with a disastrous position for Black.   In the game, Justin fought tenaciously throughout a long game (83 moves), using his three pieces to thwart danger from his opponent's queen.   No doubt Justin was pleased to have a more straightforward game today, which he won.

Adam won his first round yesterday, but faced a strong Iranian IM today and was ground down in a difficult knight endgame.

Both Justin's first game and Adam's second can be viewed in full on the 'Live Games' section of the tournament website.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Bury Congress Day 2

The fourth and fifth rounds of the Bury Congress were played today.   The main prize-winners were as follows (Suffolk players in bold):

Open   -   GM Matthew Sadler, FM Alan Merry   -   4½ points, sharing £750 prize money.   Nine players were joint third on 3½ points, including David Spence, IM Dagne Ciuksyte and Edmund Player.

Major   -   Natasha Regan, Andrew Waters   -   4 points, sharing £375 prize money.   Four players scored 3½ points, including Phil Hutchings (Manningtree) and Somton Ukken (now Nottingham).

Intermediate   -   David Bird, Rich Wiltshir   -   4 points, sharing £300 prize money.   Six players scored 3½ points, including Andrew Donnelly and William Sait (both Bury St Edmunds).

Minor   -   Francois Swiegers   -   4½ points, winning £160.   Four players shred second place on 4 points.   Amongst those on 3½ points were Scott Taylor, Zac Vane and Jaden Jermy (all Bury St Edmunds).

The full cross-tables are now available on the Congress website.

Full marks to Steve Lovell, Congress Secretary, for all his hard work to ensure the event was a great success!   Thanks too to John Wickham and Paul Kemp for ensuring the pairings and results were available at the appointed times.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Bury Congress Day 1

147 entrants are playing in this year's Bury St Edmunds Congress, with top seed GM Matthew Sadler.   There are four graded sections: Open, Major, Intermediate and Minor.

The event is being run by John Wickham, with assistance from Paul Kemp and Steve Lovell.

All results are being posted on the Congress website.   At the time of writing, only the first two rounds can be viewed, but Round 3 should be added very soon.

Click here for the results.


The first round of the World Youth Championships will take place tomorrow.   Live games can be watched here.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Justin and Adam in action tomrrow

The FIDE World Youth Championships begin tomorrow in Halkidiki, Greece.   The Under 18 Open section of 116 entrants includes two GMs and 16 IMs.   IM Justin Tan (2445) is seeded 8 and FM Adam Taylor (2292) is seeded at 46.

The event is over eleven rounds, with next Friday as the only rest day.   Games commence daily at 15.00 local time and a number of live games can be viewed here.


Also starting tomorrow is the 33rd Bury St Edmunds Congress, at the Apex.   There are 150 entrants, with a strong Open entry of 41.   These include a record number of players (11) graded 200 and over.   It is hoped that round-by-round results will be published on the Congress website.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Division 3 latest

There is only one unbeaten team in Division 3: Ipswich F, who have won both their matches.   The division is currently led by Saxmundham B and Ipswich E; both have won two matches and lost one and have amassed a total of 8 points.

At the other end of the table, Felixstowe B (3½) and Bury St Edmunds E (2½) have beach played three matches but are yet to record a win.   They drew against each other when they played last week.

Individually three players have a 100% record (2/2): Adam Leigh (Bury St Edmunds), Phil Mortonson and Mike Spalding (both Ipswich).

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Division 2 latest

The only team with a 100% record in Division 2 is Ipswich D, who have won both their matches by convincing margins.   However, Sudbury top the table, having played an extra match.   Both Stowmarket and Sudbury have drawn two of their three matches.

Individually, Phil Hopkins (Felixstowe A) and Rob Sanders (Sudbury) have scored 3/3, whilst Alex Sheerin (Stowmarket A) and Andrew Shephard (Ipswich D) are on 2/2.

The next Division 2 matches are in week commencing 3 November.   See the latest league table here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Division 1 latest

With most teams having played two matches (Bury St Edmunds C and Ipswich B have played three times), the only team in Suffolk League Division 1 with a 100% record is current league champions Ipswich C (Wallis, Cook, Peck, Matthewson).

It looks as if this division could be closely fought this season.   Manningtree A have two players graded over 210 (Adam Taylor and Andrew Lewis); Bury St Edmunds B also have two 200-graded players.   But last season it was the consistency of the Ipswich C team that took them to the title, with an almost unchanged team throughout.   The grades of their team were all within ten points of each other, so it was impossible for their opponents to predict the board order.

This season, the grades are a little more spaced, with Ian Wallis 18 points clear of Ted Matthewson.   Nevertheless, some board order manipulation will still be possible, with boards 1 to 3 interchangeable, as well as boards 2 to 4.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bury Congress latest

As at the time of writing there are just 106 hours to go before the Bury Congress starts.   The number entered so far is 135, a little down on last year, but still a good number with four days left to enter.

The Open section contains nine players graded 200 or higher, with top seed (and last year's winner) GM Matthew Sadler at ECF 279.

The most popular sections are the Intermediate and Minor, both with 40 entrants.   The Major section has only 21, which is unusual, as the sections have been more balanced in the past.

It's not too late to enter.   Click here to enter online.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Suffolk First Team continue their winning ways

Current Champions Suffolk continued today where they left off last season, winning both matches in this season's EACU County Championships.   In the morning, Suffolk (average grade 182.6) thrashed an under-strength Bedfordshire (average grade 162.2) by 12½ points to 3½.   Beds were missing several of their top players.

In the afternoon, a much closer match against Norfolk (average 178.6) resulted in a win by the narrowest of margins, 8½ - 7½.   Suffolk captain Ian Wallis reports that at one time it looked as if Suffolk might even lose.

Four players won both their games: Alan Merry (Board 1), Mike Cook (8), Leon Burnett (12) and Steve Ruthen (14).   A further five players scored 1½ points: Mark Le-Vine (7), Nick Savage (9), Silas Peck (10), Tim Lunn (11) and Martin Fogg (13).   Three players were unbeaten (two draws): Ed Player, Ian Wallis and Rob Sanders.

All in all, an excellent day's work.   The next matches, against Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire (again), will take place on 29 November.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Local events in November

November is a busy month for chess tournaments in East Anglia.   Here is a list of events and contact details:

Sat 7 / Sun 8   -   Hertfordshire Congress.   County Hall, Hertford.   Open / u170 / u140 / u110.   Organiser - Kidge Elder

Sun 8   -   Cambridgeshire Girls Challenge.   Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.   u8 / u10 / u12 / u14 / u18   Organiser - Anna York-Andersen

Sun 8   -   Norfolk & Norwich Rapidplay Congress.   City of Norwich School, Eaton Road, Norwich.   Open / u160 / u120 / u100 / u13 / u10 / u8.   Organiser - Stephen Orton

Sun 15   -   Basildon Junior Congress.   Kingswood Primary School, Basildon.   u6 / u8 / u10 / u12 / u14 / u18.   Qualifier for the London Junior Chess Championships.   Organiser - Nathaniel Lutton

Sun 29   -   Woodbridge Junior Open.   Woodbridge School.   u8 / u10 / u12 / u14 / u16 / u18.   Qualifier for the London Junior Chess Championships.   Organiser - Adam Hunt

More details, including entry forms, can be obtained by emailing me, or by going to the English Chess Federation Calendar.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Chess in Schools and Communities

This excellent initiative, established several years ago by IM Malcolm Pein, is gathering speed.   CSC coaches are now working in over 300 locations to bring chess to schools where it hasn't been played before.

In Suffolk, Saxmundham's Mike Usher is one of these coaches, working at two Ipswich Primary schools, The Oaks and Ranelagh.

The CSC website has some interesting articles about recent developments.

CSC is always seeking new coaches; you can read about volunteering here.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

John Charman

John Charman, 'Jaycee', one of the mainstays of Norfolk Chess, sadly took his own life last Saturday.   After settling in Norfolk following his time in the RAF, John joined the Fakenham Chess Club, where he remained a member.   While an average chess player (last graded 100), John excelled in chess administration.   He had been involved in running and organising chess events in Norfolk for the past 30 years.   He made the League Controller’s position his own, and will be very difficult to replace.  

John Wickham says: "These few words do not do justice to all the hard work and devotion John put into chess.   We always worked as a team and I shall miss his support and great friendship.   John will also be missed by his many chess friends, based not just in Norfolk but worldwide, by his wife Gloria, his children and grandchildren."

The funeral will be at the Earlham Crematorium in Norwich at 3pm on the 29 October.   It has been requested that there should be no flowers, but donations can be made to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Nakamura wins 2nd Millionaire Chess

GM Hikaru Nakamura won $100,000 in Las Vegas on Monday, beating Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem in the Final.

Nakamura had to fight his way through a number of qualifying matches, having failed to qualify automatically for 'Millionaire Monday'.   After seven rounds of 'normal' chess, three players on six points qualified for the Final.   A further nine players on 5½ points had to fight for the fourth qualifying spot.

The two sections (one of four and one of five) were won by Nakamura and Wesley So, who then faced each other in best-of-three rapidplay games.   Nakamura won this and progressed to the Final, where he joined the other GM qualifiers, Yu Yangyi (2721) from China, Le Quang Liem 2697 (Vietnam) and Aleksandr Lenderman 2615 (USA).   At 2814, Nakamura was clearly the favourite, despite having had to play six rapidplay games between 6.30 and 11.30 the previous evening, in order to qualify.

In the first semi-final on 'Millionaire Monday', Nakamura beat Yu Yanghi 2½-1½.   Then in the two-game final he beat Le Quang Liem in the first game and easily drew the second.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Under 11s

Three Bury St Edmunds youngsters travelled to Nottingham last weekend to play in the English Under 11 Closed Championships.   Good performances at this and similar events throughout the year can result in 'norms' or 'half-norms', depending on the score.   Two half-norms (or a full norm) are required to qualify for the Team Trial, which takes place next April.

The three were Tom Roy and Jaden Jermy (both Under 11) and Adam John (Under 10).

Needing three points for a half-norm, Adam came closest, scoring 2½ points out of five.   He has another year at this level, so this weekend will have been a great experience for him.   Next year, many of his competitors will have 'aged out'!

Jaden scored 1½ and Tom one point.

The next opportunity for these young players to obtain a norm is the London Junior u12 Championships, held just after Christmas.


For the past three years, Suffolk has sent a 20-board team to the EPSCA Under 11 Inter-Association Championships.   Norfolk has provided a few players, so it's really a joint team.   We need to decide by the end of this month whether or not to enter a team this season for the Zonals, which will be held in March 2016.   It can be a problem finding enough players of sufficient standard, especially as junior chess in both counties is currently at a low ebb.   Bury Knights can probably provide eight or nine players, and Norfolk may be able to find four or five.   But we will still need several others, possibly from Woodbridge School and other primary schools where chess is being played.

If you know of any likely candidates, please contact me as soon as possible.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cambridgeshire Rapidplay

Considering the closeness of the event (just an hour's drive from Ipswich), surprisingly few of the 96 competitors in yesterday's 11th Cambridgeshire Rapidplay, held at Whittlesford Memorial Hall, came from Suffolk.   There were eight from the Bury St Edmunds club, three from the Bury Knights Junior club and just one from Ipswich.   Bury's contingent included five juniors.   Other entrants travelled from as far afield as Oxfordshire, Kent and Lincolnshire.

The tournament was split into four sections: Open, Major (u160), Challengers (u120) and Juniors.   To qualify for the latter section, juniors had to be under 12 and graded below 80.

The event was competently run as usual by Paul Kemp, aided by Chief Arbiter John Wickham, and Controllers Patrick Ribbands and Francis Bowers.   Paul is hoping to find someone else to take over the reins for future Cambridgeshire Rapidplays.

The main winners, both on 4½ points out of five, were David Coleman (Linton/Royston) in the Open, and Russell Goodfellow (Tunbridge Wells) in the Major.   No Suffolk player won any prizes!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Pokerstars tournament results

The nine-round Pokerstars Isle of Man International tournament concluded today, with Alan Merry top-scoring of the four Suffolk-based entrants.   Alan finished on 5/9, a tournament performance of 2518 and a gain of 41 rating points.   In fact, his rating improvement was the greatest of all 103 competitors.   This takes his 'live' rating to 2376, just 24 points short of a long-awaited IM title.   In this tournament Alan played five GMs, beating two and losing to three.

In his final game today, against Romanian IM Alina L'Ami (pictured right), Alan (Black) arrived at the following position.   Can you work out his next move?   (Answer below the diagram).

Alan played 31... Qa5!   The queen cannot be taken, because of mate with Rf1 etc.   White continued 32. Rad1, when Black again offered his queen with ... Qxd2.   White took the queen with 33. Qxd2, to be hit with 33... Nf2+, when White must hand back the queen and give White an easy ending.

Justin Tan and Dagne Ciuksyte, both IMs already, finished on 4½ points, whilst the fourth Suffolk entrant, Ed Player, finished on 3½.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SCCA Constitution re-write

At the Suffolk County Chess Association AGM in June it was agreed that "the Committee should propose a revised Constitution by the end of 2015.   Members will consult by email."

Amendments to the existing Constitution (which was last modified in 2013) have already been suggested by Colin Roberts (Immediate Past-President) and David Green (Competitions Secretary).   These will be incorporated into a draft version which will be sent to Committee members by next weekend.

Members are then requested to comment and to suggest any amendments that they feel are necessary.   When a version has been agreed by the Committee, it will be put to the SCCA AGM for ratification in June 2016.

If any other Suffolk player would like to receive the draft version, please email me.

Friday, 9 October 2015

A title for Adam

Congratulations to Manningtree's Adam Taylor, who has achieved his first title - FIDE Master!

At a recent tournament in Barcelona, his 'live' rating went over 2300, although it has subsequently dropped to its current 2292.   The 'magic' number of 2300 is required for the FM title and it doesn't need to be a published rating.

As recently as January this year, Adam's rating was only 2048.   So his rating increase in just nine months has been meteoric.   Now it's onward and upward to his next target, that of International Master.   Adam will require a rating of 2400, as well as three IM 'norms', i.e. performances in rated tournaments of at least 2450.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Disaster for Alan

Alan Merry's experience of playing against his highest-ever rated opponent, Michael Adams, yesterday, in the Isle of Man Pokerstars tournament, ended in complete disaster.   Alan managed to make a horrendous blunder as early as move 7.

Players of club standard who play the Caro-Kann or the Scandinavian should be familiar with the trap involving White's Qe2.   This not-so-subtle move pins Black's e-pawn.   This was the position after White's 7th move (Qe2):

It's essential that Black now retreats his queen to either b6 or c7.   Instead, Alan played the disastrous 7...Ngf6??   He could've resigned immediately after Adams' next move:   8. Nb5!.   The queen is attacked and Nd6+ is threatened.   The queen can only go to b6, when Nd6+ wins everything.   Alan played on for a further 14 moves before resigning, but his position went from bad to terrible.

For us mere mortals, it's somehow gratifying to see that an aspiring IM can make such an error.   But our sympathies must lie with Alan, who must be feeling awful after that game.   Today he has a chance to make amends, facing another GM in Round 6.

EDIT (16.00/Thursday).   Alan has just bounced back today, beating a 2500 GM in 32 moves!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ipswich plan Open Evenings

Ipswich Chess Club wants to develop its membership to include juniors and newcomers, by introducing them to social and competitive chess.   To encourage this, the club will be holding two Open Evenings on Wednesday 21 October and Wednesday 9 December.

This is an excellent initiative, and if successful, more sessions will be run in the New Year.

The target audience is school teachers and accompanied juniors, as well as anyone else interested in improving their game.   Basic knowledge of chess is needed, and discussion and participation will be encouraged.   Each session will include a short coaching presentation, followed by practice with club members.

For further information contact Martin Tomes, or ring him on 07791 082574.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Pokerstars derby match

The Pokerstars tournament in the Isle of Man is well under way (see earlier report), with today's fourth round pitching two Suffolk 18-year olds against each other.   Both Alan Merry and Justin Tan were on two points out of three.   Alan had the White pieces and after 26 moves had secured a strong positional advantage:

It's White to play.   Alan played 27. Qc4!   Not an obvious move, but one that Stockfish likes a lot.   The immediate threat is 28. Rf5, which wins a pawn.   Justin played 27... Qd6?!, threatening the g3 pawn.   Alan pressed ahead with 28. Rf5, and after ... Qxg3, 29. Bxc5   Qe3+   30. R1f2, White is +3 on the computer.

The game ended with Alan having a queen and three pawns against Justin's queen.   You can view the game on the ChessBomb site.

Alan has a dream draw tomorrow in Round 5 when he will play Black against tournament favourite and top seed Michael Adams.   The game starts at 13.30.

Ed Player and Dagne Ciuksyte are on 1½ points out of four.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Junior 4NCL results

At the first weekend of the Junior 4NCL (see Saturday's report), the Bury Knights team found life tough in Division 1.   They drew two matches and lost the other three, to finish in last place.

Nevertheless, this was a great experience for the players.   Individually they recorded some excellent wins.

On top board, Alex Sheerin (137) scored 3/5, losing only the first game (when he declined a draw offer!).   His two wins were against 148 and 154 opponents; he finished with a grading performance of 152.

Adam John (93) on Board 3 also won three games, for a performance of 109.   Unfortunately he lost two games against opponents with similar grades due to playing too fast.   Undoubtedly he will learn from this.

Alan John (111) had to face former Bury Knights member Anita Somton (142) in Round 5, with a predictable result.   Anita now plays for the Robin Hood team.   She scored 3½/5 for a 148 performance.

Bury Knights Tom Roy found it tough on Board 4, failing to record a win or draw.

The photo above shows the Bury Knights team (left to right) Tom Roy, Adam John, Alan John, Alex Sheerin.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Taking chess to the extreme

Friday's Guardian reported that a man had been stabbed to death during a game of chess.   It reported, "What started as a peaceful game between friends ended tragically with a man losing his life.   The court heard how, on the night of the murder, the accused, Mr Fishti, had left the shared Leyton High Road flat with two friends, leaving Mr Suditu and a third flatmate playing a game of chess in the kitchen.   Fishti returned a short time later, alone, and complaining about having been stopped by a homeless man who had asked him for 50p.   He grabbed a knife from the kitchen and left the flat, only to return moments later, placing the blade on a kitchen worktop.   Irate, he then disrupted the chess game between Suditu and the third flatmate and threw the board in the air, provoking a reaction from Suditu.   In the ensuing struggle, Fishti stabbed Suditu in the chest before fleeing."

We may see occasional reactions from players when they lose, either storming out of the venue or, in some cases, knocking over the pieces and refusing to shake hands.   Fortunately, nothing as bad as this has ever happened here in Suffolk, and we pray that it never will.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Junior 4NCL

A team from the Bury Knights is playing in the Junior 4NCL, taking place this weekend in Birmingham.

The Bury team finds itself in Division 1 (12 teams), whilst Division 2 has 18 teams.   The average grade of the team determines which division they play in.   The Bury team (Alex Sheerin, Alan John, Adam John and Tom Roy) has an average grade of 102.

Bury Knights lost their first two matches, but drew the third.   They are currently lying in 10th place in the table, having scored 4½ points from their 12 games.   Adam is top scorer on 2, with Alex on 1½, Alan 1 and Tom yet to score.

Their progress can be followed on the main 4NCL website here.   They play their final two matches tomorrow, Sunday, starting at 09.30 and 13.00.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Svidler takes control

After two rounds (of the scheduled four) Peter Svidler has taken complete control of the Final of the World Cup in Baku.   He won both games, largely due to blunders by his opponent Sergei Karjakin.

The second game today, with Svidler playing Black, reached the following position with White to play:

According to Stockfish, almost any sensible rook move, such as Rc2, Rd2, Re2 or Rb1 is a draw.   But Karjakin played 37. Rb5, an error that he compounded after ... Kh8, with 38. Rd5??, an almost incomprehensible blunder.   Of course, 38. Bxf7 is answered by ... Qxb5, but would have been better than 38. Rd5.   From a level position, Karajakin was -5 in just two moves.   He resigned after Black's next move (Nb6).

Svidler needs only a draw from the last two games to win the tournament.   The consolation for Karjakin is that as a finalist in the World Cup, he has qualified for the Candidates, taking place in March next year.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Full house at Bury

With four matches this evening (three in the Suffolk League and one in the Bury Area League), there were 32 players at Moreton Hall Community Centre.   At a push, the Bury St Edmunds club can accommodate six matches, but four is quite sufficient when it comes to finding players.   In fact, five of the eight teams playing were from Bury; next week there are six teams playing.   For a club whose demographic is varied - it includes 14 juniors and 8 retired people - it is often difficult to find players on a regular basis.   For this reason, the club operates a 'squad' system, with between six and eight members in a squad for each team.   Sometimes this works well, with just four people available; at other times the captain may have to choose from six or seven who would like to play.   It's a difficult balancing act, deciding how many teams to enter.

This season, Bury have entered 21 teams in the various leagues and competitions:

Bury Area League   -   7
Suffolk League   -   5
Suffolk Under 125   -   2
BACL Roger Goldsmith   -   4
Suffolk Cup & Plate   -   2
Norfolk & Suffolk Cup   -   1

Who'd be Bury Match Secretary?

Postscript: The above was written (but not uploaded) this afternoon.   Now back from the club and a big apology must be made to the 11 Ipswich players whose games were interrupted by an outburst from one of our (Bury) members.   This was completely unprovoked; be assured that strong measures will be taken against the offending person, whose actions let down the good name of the Bury St Edmunds Chess Club.