Sunday, 31 January 2016

Suffolk Under 160s

The County Under 160 team faced Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire at the Turner Hall in Newmarket today.   Finding a team of 16 had proved very difficult, with no fewer than 36 potential players being contacted.   The eventual team was considerably lower-graded than usual.

The morning match was against Cambridgeshire, who outgraded Suffolk on every board!   But there were some excellent performances from some of our so-called 'weaker' players, with draws on the bottom four boards.   With just one game (mine) remaining, Cambridgeshire led 8 - 7, but my opponent eventually gave up the struggle when three pawns down.   This drawn match is Cambridgeshire's only flaw this season, having won all the other three matches they have played (they beat Norfolk 9 - 7 in the afternoon).   They head the league table with seven points.   Herts have 5, Suffolk 3 and Norfolk 1 point.

In the afternoon, Hertfordshire also outgraded us, this time on boards 3 to 16.   Unfortunately, Suffolk lost (again), having lost to them back in December.   The score this time was a convincing 5½-10½.

Stephen Lewis (Board 4) won both games, whilst Alan Watkins (Board 1) and John Barratt (Board 13) scored 1½ points.   Six other players scored one point.

John Lambert won an entertaining sacrificial game against Hertfordshire's Michael Flatt, reproduced below:




Saturday, 30 January 2016

22nd South of England Juniors

Eight children from the Bury Knights Junior Chess club are playing this weekend in the above tournament at Yateley Manor in Surrey.   It is one of the qualifying events for the National Junior Squad.

They are playing in the following age-group sections:

Alan John (117)   -   u13
Ralph Martin (72)   -   u13
Adam John (116)   -   u11
Tom Roy (87)   -   u11
Toby Martin (30R)   -   u9
Amy John (42R)   -   u8
Tia Martin (23R)   -   u8
Tania Roy (-)   -   u7 & u8

The results can be found on the Tournament Director website (not yet fully updated).   The Under 7 event was played today, whilst the Under 8 section is tomorrow.   The other sections are played over the two days.

Former BKJCC member Alex Sheerin is also playing, in the Under 14 section.



Friday, 29 January 2016

Tournament updates

The 13-round all-plays-all Tata Steel Masters reaches its conclusion on Sunday, with World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a clear lead on 8 points out of 11.   Fabiana Caruana is second, a point behind, whilst Diren Ling is third on 6½ points.   Carlsen still has to play Ling, as well as Wesley So, over this weekend.

At the other end of the table, England's Michael Adams is propping up the table on 4 points.   In Round 9 he was beaten by Carlsen in a 66-move marathon.

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Meanwhile, over in Gibraltar, Suffolk's David Spence is enjoying the Tradewise Masters, having scored 2/4 against four GMs (+1, =2, -1). Provided he doesn't inbibe too much (don't look at the photograph - reproduced courtesy of Sophie Triay), he must be in with a chance of an IM norm.   His rating performance so far is 2447, just three points short of the required level (over 9 or 10 rounds).

IM Justin Tan is on 2½/4 and needs a few good wins if he is to acquire the sought-after GM norm.

The other Suffolk player in Gib is David Brown, who played in the Challengers A event which ended today.   He scored 1½/5, but lost 31 rating points.




Thursday, 28 January 2016

Gibraltar latest


The Tradewise Gibraltar Masters has reached the third round, which was played today.   The sensation of Round 1, as far as Suffolk is concerned, was David Spence's win against a 2506-rated female Chinese GM.   David (2140) is seeded 187 out of the 255 entrants.   You can play through the game, and read John Saunders' amusing police-related puns here.   For his efforts, he had to face another 2500 GM in Round 2 (which he lost) and a third GM in Round 3, which he drew.   He now faces yet another GM in Round 4, having gained 22 rating points so far.

Justin Tan had a default win in Round 1 (did his opponent fail to turn up?) but lost to a highly-rated GM in Round 2.   He beat a lower-rated opponent in Round 3 and now faces a WGM in Round 4.

Live games and commentary are available daily from 14.00 GMT.



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

New January grades

The new January 2016 ECF grades were published this morning.   Suffolk Grader Dave Wild has worked his usual miracle: he has updated his website already to show all the new grades.   You can view them here.   To check out the full ECF grading database, click here.

The top grades (over 200 ECF) of those who either play in the Suffolk League or who represent Suffolk are:

NameClubJuly 2015Jan 2016+ / -
Justin Tan(Suffolk)238235-3
Adam Hunt(Suffolk)229229=
Alan Merry(Suffolk)221226+5
Dagne Ciuksyte(Suffolk)216223+7
Adam TaylorManningtree214217+3
Andrew LewisManningtree215216+1
David Spence(Suffolk)216215-1
Francisco Garcia-MendozaBury St Edmundse200204(+4)
Mike HarrisBury St Edmunds201203+2
Graham MooreIpswich200201+1

There are few surprises, although the following lists show those players who have either improved (or declined) by ten points or more (Juniors = J):

NameClubJuly 2015Jan 2016+
Alan WatkinsBury St Edmundse141165(+24)
Adam John (J)Bury St Edmunds93116+23
Ralph Martin (J)Bury St Edmunds5072+22
Richard DickinsonBury St Edmunds85105+20
Tom Roy (J)Bury St Edmunds6787+20
William Moody (J)Bury St Edmunds96111+15
Martin TomesIpswich139153+14
Fraser Fallows (J)Bury St Edmunds6879+11
Bob StephensManningtree135146+11

NameClubJuly 2015Jan 2016-
Nathan BarnesClacton158146-12
Ed KirkhamFelixstowe164152-12
Colin RobertsBury St Edmunds135124-11
Hugo BrownSaxmundham10797-10
Ray FirmanStowmarket8474-10

In addition, there are a number of players who have their first-ever standard-play grade:

NameClubJan 2016
Adam LeighBury St Edmunds141
Jaden Jermy (J)Bury St Edmunds94
Trevor WrightFelixstowe63
Michael SchalitIpswich43

If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Justin's best win?

Suffolk-based IM Justin Tan is hoping to gain some GM norms during his 'gap' year, before he starts university in September.

Back in September 2015 he played in the Illinois Open, in the USA.   After four rounds, Justin stood on 3½ points and in Round 5 faced Bulgarian GM Vladimir Georgiev (2541), now representing Macedonia.   He had won his three previous rounds (plus a bye in Round 4).

Justin won the game in 33 moves and followed up with a draw in the final round, to finish equal first on 5 points. He won $649 for his efforts.

For ease of viewing, the game has been uploaded to the Bury St Edmunds club's website.   You can play through the game here and see Justin's detailed annotations.


Monday, 25 January 2016

FIDE Student Membership

The FIDE Chess in Schools Commission (chaired by former Suffolk player Kevin O'Connell - right) is offering free Student Membership to all junior players.   When Kevin lived in Ipswich in the 1990s he played an important part in the success of Suffolk Junior Chess, which included national titles for the County at a number of age-groups for both boys and girls.   Kevin still writes a weekly chess column for the East Anglian Daily Times.

Student membership comes at two levels - Basic and Premium.   The latter only costs 10 euros a year.   Apparently, most of this fee goes back to the English Chess Federation (assuming you're English!).

Click here and then go to 'Registration'.

If you don't have a FIDE number (most juniors don't) then you will need to go for Basic membership first.   You will then be given a number which you can then use to upgrade to Premium membership.

There are several benefits available for both types of membership.   At the Basic level, you get a monthly newsletter and a membership card.   At Premium level you get a 'Student' rating, a weekly newsletter, a free gift (?) and access to a website which has various training resources.

I will be interested to hear if any Suffolk juniors take up this offer.



Sunday, 24 January 2016

4NCL report (Divs 1 & 2)

Divisions 1 and 2 of the 4NCL played this weekend at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport.

In Division 1, FM Alan Merry scored 1½/2, playing on Board 4 for Barbican 1.   IM Justin Tan also scored 1½/2 on Board 2 for Oxford 1 and IM Dagne Ciuksyte scored ½/2 on Board 8 for Guildford 1.

Meanwhile, the Anglian Avengers team, in Division 2, included five Suffolk players:

Andy Lewis   -   2
Ed Player   -   1½
Graham Moore   -   ½
Steve Gregory   -   ½
Alex Sheerin   -   1

This was Alex's first outing for the Anglian Avengers first team, and he didn't disappoint, beating an 1890-rated player in the second game today.

Anglian Avengers won both their matches: 4½-3½ against Hackney 1, and 6½-1½ against CSC Dragons.   They now lead Pool B with seven match points (out of a possible 8).   They still have to play the third and fourth-placed teams, who stand just behind on 6 points.


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Norwich come to Bury

The Bury Knights Junior Chess Club entertained 24 members of the Norwich Junior Chess Club today, at Horringer Court Middle School, the 'home' of the Bury Knights.

This is the Norwich team, together with coach Stephen Orton hiding at the rear and parent Liam Dolder (right):

The Norwich players were, on average, considerably older that Bury's, with many of them of secondary school age.   They also had strength in depth, whilst most of Bury's lower boards were very young and inexperienced.   Three of Bury Knights' bottom boards (Tania Roy, Dylan Rajayogan and Harry Butterworth) were only six years old.

The final score was 62 - 34 to Norwich.   However, over the top 15 boards, Bury would have won narrowly by 30½ to 29½!   Bury only scored 3½ points out of a possible 36 on the lower nine boards, but won 8 - 4 on the top six boards.

Bury players scoring the maximum 4 points were Alan John (Board 1), Jaden Jermy (Board 3), Tom Roy (Board 4) and Mario Saenz de Villaverde (Board 7).   Adam John (Board 3) scored 3 points, whilst his sister Amy, still only 7, scored 2½ points.

Two Bury members scored 2 points: Aaron Saenz de Villaverde (Board 8) and Aidan Myerscough (Board 12),

The top six boards played two games each with 40 minutes on the clocks, whilst the remaining 18 boards played four games each with 20 minutes on the clocks.   The top six boards scored double (a win = 2 points etc).

Norwich JCC have invited the Bury Knights to a return (revenge?) match on a Saturday in the summer term.


Friday, 22 January 2016

Forthcoming tournaments

There are a number of events coming up in the next few months within easy reach.

Sunday 7 February   -   Norfolk Rapidplay

Sunday 6 March   -   Bury St Edmunds Junior Congress

Fri/Mon 25 - 28 March   -   Southend Easter Congress

Sat/Sun 9 - 10 April   -   34th St Albans Congress

Sat/Sun 23 - 24 April   -   Great Yarmouth Congress

Details and entry forms for all the above can be found on the ECF Calendar.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Justin goes home

Justin Tan (2446) recently returned to Australia to take part in the 2016 Australian Chess Championships, held in Melbourne from 2 to 12 January.

Seeded fourth, Justin finished in equal fourth place.   He had a disappointing start, scoring only 2/5, but finished strongly with four wins and two draws.   His score of 7/11 was a point and a half behind the eventual winner and joint top seed, IM Kanan Izzat (2480).

Justin is now back in the UK, having spent a few days with family and friends.   He will be playing in the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters, which starts next Monday (25th).

He plans to return to Australia in August, before starting university in Edinburgh in September.


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tata Masters latest

After four rounds of the Category 20 Tata Steel Masters in Wijk-aan-See, the lead is held by Fabiano Caruana, on three points.   A further five players are on 2½, with World Champion Magnus Carlsen lagging behind on two points (four draws).

England's Michael Adams is in last place, having drawn two and lost two of his games.

Live games can be followed from 12.30 daily on the tournament website.

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A good number of Suffolk chess players attended Peter Keffler's funeral on Monday, held at Weeley Crematorium near Clacton.   Appropriately, the flowers on the coffin were in the form of a chess board.   Peter's three children, Raymond, Andy and Sue, were all pleased to see so many chess-players present.



Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A game from the 4NCL

Steve Lovell (right), playing on Board 4 for Iceni 2 on Saturday, faced 17-year old Barnet Knight Jake Hung (1892 / ECF 159) with the Black pieces.   Steve had a poor start to the current league season, failing to win in his first seven games.   But then in November he beat Ted Matthewson, sparking a recovery in his performance.   Steve drew his 4NCL game on Sunday.

Here is the game, annotated by the winner:

Monday, 18 January 2016

New ECF Chief Executive

The English Chess Federation has been without a Chief Executive for the past three months, following the vote of no confidence in Phil Ehr at the AGM in October last year.   On Friday, a new CEO was appointed.   This is the well-respected Mike Truran (left), formerly Chairman of the ECF Finance Committee.   Mike is also on the management board of the 4NCL.

Hailing from Witney in Oxfordshire, Mike was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to bioscience in the 2013 New Year's Honours List.

The ECF has been through a torrid period in the past few years, going back as far as 2008.   From comments posted on the chess forums, it appears that this appointment has met with considerable approval.   Let's hope he can restore pride and faith in the ECF.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

4NCL report

Three Suffolk-based 4NCL teams were in action this weekend in Rounds 3 and 4.   The excellent new venue (for this season) was the Radisson Park Inn, Telford (see photo above).

In Division 3 South, Anglian Avengers 2 faced probably their strongest opponents in Round 3, West is Best 1 (average rating 2134) and lost 1½-4½ despite an excellent win by their captain, Ian Wallis.   In their second match they faced Welsh team Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg (which means 'heavy infantry from Monmouthshire') and lost again, this time 2 - 4.

Over the two matches, Suffolk players scored:

Tim Lunn   -   0
Ian Wallis   -   1
Martin Fogg   -   ½
Richard Lamont   -   ½
Keith Woodcock   -   ½

In Division 4, the two Iceni teams were in action.   Iceni 1 and Iceni 2 won both their matches.   Iceni 1 won 3½-2½ against Ashfield-Breadsall 2, and by 5½ - minus ½ against Cambridge University 3.   More on this strange result below.

Suffolk scores:

Paul Botham   -   2
John Feavyour   -   ½ (from one game)

Iceni 2 won 4 - 2 against Barnet Knights 1 and by 3½ - 2½ against Shropshire 2.   The average rating of both their opponents was 100 points higher, so these were excellent results.

Suffolk scores (including former Suffolk players)

Somton Ukken   -   ½
Bob Jones   -   1 (two draws)
Steve Lovell   -   1½
Laurie Pott   -   1 (two draws)
Anita Somton   -   2

In the Division 4 league table only one team (Sussex Martlets) have won all four matches.   Three teams are on six points (three wins), including both Iceni teams.

Anita is ridiculously under-rated at 1488.   This is a legacy of her first rating from a couple of years ago, when she was only 9.   Since then she has not played many FIDE-rated games.   Meanwhile her ECF grade has improved to 148 and is likely to be in the region of 160 when the new grades are published soon.   There is a strong case for a radical revision - perhaps to about 1900 - but I don't think FIDE allow this sort of thing.

Now about that strange result, when Iceni 1's opponents Cambridge University 3 recorded a 'minus ½' score.   This is because they defaulted on two boards, resulting in the penalty of the loss of one point.   Their four remaining players scored just half a point between them, so when the penalty is deducted, the minus score results.

This is far from the first time that Iceni teams have suffered from defaulting opponents.   Last season it happened on a number of occasions.   When it takes more than three hours for some players to travel to Telford, it is galling when opponents default without notice.   In today's incident, the opponents were not known until late on Saturday evening, when the pairings were made.   So it was impossible to prevent two of Iceni's players from spending a lot of money on travel, accommodation and food.   Captain John Feavyour nobly stood down to allow other team members to play, but he shouldn't have had to do that.

There's a strong case to increase the penalties for defaults, and for financial compensation to be paid to the offended team(s).   Also, perhaps, teams with two or more defaults should not be allowed to compete in that round.   If you have any thoughts on this issue, please respond via 'comments'.


Saturday, 16 January 2016

4NCL this weekend

Rounds 3 and 4 of the 4NCL take place in Telford, Shropshire, this weekend for teams in Division 3 South and Division 4.

In Division 3, Anglian Avengers 2 face West is Best 1 in Round 3 and an unpronounceable Welsh team in Round 4.   In Division 4, Iceni 1 and Iceni 2 are drawn in Round 3 against Ashfield-Breadsall and Barnet Knights 1 respectively.   The pairings for Round 4 will not be known until Saturday evening.

All results for Suffolk players will be reported here tomorrow evening.

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Peter Keffler's funeral is taking place on Monday 18th January, at 2.00 pm, at Weeley Crematorium, CO16 9JP.   I'm hoping that there will be a strong contingent of Suffolk chessplayers and if anyone who like a lift, please contact me.





Friday, 15 January 2016

Busy night at the Knights

31 children turned up this evening for the weekly meeting of the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club.   As well as the usual rated games, members played the third round of the Delancey UK Chess Challenge.   The lead in this competition is held by four players, Alex Sheerin, Tom Roy, Alan John and Alwin Jose, all on the maximum score of nine points.

Ed Player (right) was also in attendance, giving a demonstration to the club's top players of how he shouldn't have lost his game the previous day against Steve Gregory, when both were in mutual time trouble and relying on 15-second increments!

The club's membership currently stands at 40, of whom eight are girls.



Thursday, 14 January 2016

Tata Steel Masters

The 78th Tata Steel Chess Tournament starts tomorrow in Wijk-aan-See in Holland.   Amongst the Grandmasters competing in the Masters section is ninth seed Michael Adams, the only English entrant.   With nine of the top 20-rated players in the world, this category 20 tournament is one of the strongest ever.   The average rating of the 14 GMs is 2748.

They will play 13 rounds (all-plays-all) over the following 15 days, with Round 1 on Saturday (start time 12.30 UK time).   Live games and commentary can be followed on the tournament website.

There is also a 14-player Challengers section and other sections for 'amateurs'.   The amateur sections start tomorrow.


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Shropshire Congress report

Alan Merry travelled to Telford in Shropshire last weekend to play in the Open section of the FIDE-Rated Shropshire Congress.

The event attracted a strong field, which included five Grandmasters, three IMs and three FMs.   Predictably, the five GMs finished in joint first place on four points each, with none having lost a single game (all recorded two draws).

Seventh seed Alan was on his own on 3½ points, finishing in sixth place.   His best result was in the final round, when he ignored the obvious charms of French IM Sophie Milliet (right)) to record a draw.   Alan was a little lucky to survive.   In the position below Sophie (Black) could have won the exchange with ...Bf2 (there are other good moves too), but she went all passive with ...Be6, and followed up with several other sub-optimal moves.   Alan failed to gain any rating points (he lost 2), so remains 26 points short of the elusive IM title.

Also playing, in the Major (u160) section, was former Suffolk junior Anita Somton.   She scored 3½ points, including wins against a 153 and a 155.   Her grading performance for the four rounds she played (she took a bye in Round 1) was 167.   It surely won't be long before 11-year old Anita is playing regularly in Open sections.



Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Gibraltar

The Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival takes place between 25 January and 4 February.   This event usually attracts a number of Suffolk players.

To date, IM Justin Tan and David Spence have entered the Masters section.   David is also playing in the Challengers (u2250) section during the first week.

The deadline for entries (avoiding a £50 late entry fee) is this coming Friday (15th), so if you plan to go, get your entry in now!

The Masters section has an amazing 245 entries, of which 76 are Grandmasters.   The popularity of this event seems to be increasing year on year.


Monday, 11 January 2016

Four go to Yorkshire

Four Suffolk players travelled to Wetherby in West Yorkshire at the weekend to take part in the 6th 4NCL Congress.   All four played in the Open section (38 entries).

4th-seeded Ed Player finished in equal second place, losing only to the eventual winner, Martin Brown.   Both players are pictured above in their top board Round 4 match.

David Spence, Steve Gregory and Nick Savage all finished on three points.   Both Steve and Nick played (and lost to) Ed.

Ed won £100 for his efforts (probably barely covering entry fee, travel and accommodation!).   He also gained 14 rating points to take his live rating to just short of 2200.

There were two other sections (u1900 and u130), attracting a total of 52 players.   It's surprising how few people entered, especially as the venue (the Mercure Hotel at Wetherby) was easily accessible to thousands of chess-players in the Midlands and North of England.   The prize-money was good too, with £750 paid in each section.



Sunday, 10 January 2016

Bury Junior Congress

This annual Junior Congress, organised by the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club, will take place this year on Sunday 6 March - that's just eight weeks today.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the ECF website (calendar page).

The tournament takes place at the Moreton Hall Community Centre IP32 7EE (home of the Bury St Edmunds Chess Club).   The Centre sponsors the event by providing the hall free of charge, which enables more prize money to be provided.

There are sections for Under 9s, Under 11s, Under 14s and Under 18s.   A maximum of 100 entrants can be accommodated.

Last year 73 children entered.   The section winners were:

Under 18   -   William Sait (Bury St Edmunds)
Under 14   -   Karthik Saravanan (Lowestoft)
Under 11   -   Tristian See and Julia Volovich (both Cambridge)
Under 9   -   Adam John (Bury St Edmunds)



Saturday, 9 January 2016

UK Chess Challenge underway

This annual tournament, sponsored by Delancey and organised by IM Mike Basman, takes place in many schools and clubs across the UK during the Spring Term.   Those who score well in the local rounds progress to the 'Megafinal', a county-wide tournament.   There are then two further stages, the 'Gigafinal', usually in Manchester and the 'Terafinal', which takes place in the Midlands.

Bury's juniors have a proud record in this event, first with Alan Merry and more recently with Anita Somton and Adam John; all three progressed to the Terafinal stage, where fewer than 70 players compete for the 'Strat' title from more than 50,000 original competitors.

Yesterday, the Bury Knights Junior Club held the first two rounds (of seven).   In the first round, William Moody (ECF 96) was paired against Amy John (left), who is just half his age. Amy is the third chess-playing member of the John family (Alan and Adam already play regularly in the adult leagues).   Below is the position with Amy (Black) to play.   The clocks were set at 25 minutes each and Amy was down to two minutes whilst William had about five minutes remaining.

Although only 7½ years old, Amy is a deep thinker and seemed unaware that her time was rapidly running out.   The following moves were played, but at the end, with Amy having a mate in one, her time expired, leaving a most relieved William to reflect on his good fortune.

1... Qd5   2. Rf3   Ree2   3. Rg1   Bf2   4. Rf1   Bxd4   5. Rg3   Rxg2   6. Be4?   and Amy's flag fell before she could make a move.   William had played Be4 instantly, with less than two minutes remaining on his clock.   At first glance it looks good, forking queen and rook, but in fact he could not have avoided mate, even if he had played a different move.   Given a few more seconds, Amy would have surely spotted ... Rh2 mate!

Incidentally, there's a rather neat line (thanks computer) if William had played 6. Rf2 instead of Be4.   It goes: 6... Rgxf2+   7. Kg1   Qh1+!   8. Kxh1   Rh2 mate.



Friday, 8 January 2016

Answers to Christmas puzzles

Five sets of answers were received by the deadline of 3 January, although one (Stephen Lewis) had only provided three answers.   He did find the answer to the fourth one, but three days too late!

So that leaves four contenders for the prize, in alphabetical order: Nathan Barnes, Chris Chambers, Kevin Greenacre and Steve Lovell.

All four provided correct answers, but only one person had them absolutely correct.   For the winner, see the foot of this article.

Here are the answers:

Puzzle 1


From this position (left), the moves were:   1... Ne5+,   2. g4   fxg3   3. Kxe5, which gives us the position in the problem (right):

Puzzle 2


There appear to be two possible alternatives for White's last move: e4 and c4. As all eight black pawns are still on the board, they can only have reached the given position by making at least ten captures.   As there are only six white pieces remaining, all the captures of white pieces must have been made by the black pawns.   White's f1 bishop cannot have been taken on its starting square by a black pawn, so it must have been allowed to move.  This would only be possible by the e-pawn having moved some time before.   Therefore the only move is c4, with mate following by bxc3 abd c2.

Puzzle 3


This was the easiest of the four puzzles, and everyone got it right.   1. Qd6, maintaining the symmetry.   If the Black king takes a pawn, then Qa3 or Qg3.   If ...d4, then Qxd4.

Puzzle 4


Whilst everyone found the correct answer, only one person had it exactly right.   Black's last move must have been g7-g5.   It couldn't have been g6-g5, or Kg7-h6, as checks would've been involved.   Steve Lovell said the only two-move mate would be if the last Black move was g7-g5.   Kevin Greenacre said that he 'thought' Black's last move was g7-g5.   Nathan Barnes thought the previous Black move was one of three possibles.

So, after Black played g7-g5, White took en passant hxg6.   After Black's only move Kh5, Rxh7 is mate.

That leaves just one person, Chris Chambers (who appreciated that g7-g5 had to be the last Black move).   Chris wins the book prize!

For those who don't know Chris, he was a strong player back in the '80s, who left chess to concentrate on the game of Bridge.   Now to find out where he lives...


Thursday, 7 January 2016

A new Junior Club!

At long last, there is another junior chess club in Suffolk.   Martlesham Junior Chess Club held their first meeting last Saturday, when 12 children turned up.

This is the brainchild of Dagne Ciuksyte, who is assisted by Graham Moore.   With two strong players available to coach the children, there are high hopes for this new club.

To assist this start-up, Bury Knights JCC has provided six boards and sets for their use.   These were handed over recently to Graham Moore - see photo left.

Dagne and Graham are hoping that there will be as many as 17 attending next Saturday.

The club meets at the Scout Headquarters on Martlesham Heath (IP5 3PL), from 14.00 to 15.30 every Saturday.   For more information, contact Dagne on 07574 936810 or email her.


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Suffolk Cup & Plate semi-finals

The draw has been made for the semi-finals of the Cup and Plate competition, as follows:

Cup:

Manningtree A v Felixstowe A   (to be played 2 March)
Sudbury v Ipswich B   (to be played 7 March)

Plate:

Saxmundham B v Ipswich F   (to be played 23 February)
Bury St Edmunds D v Manningtree B   (to be played 25 February)

If there are any clashes with these dates, please notify David Green, the Competitions Secretary, immediately.