Friday, 19 May 2017

Summer programmes

Which Suffolk chess clubs will be open over the summer?   Please add a comment below if your club plans to open.

The Bury St Edmunds club will open on alternate Thursdays, with its AGM planned for 1 June.   Yesterday, the Club held a four-round 15-minute tournament, with three adults and nine juniors (!) present.

1st   Bob Jones   4/4
2nd=   Steve Lovell, Adam John, Tom Roy   3/4

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Born on this day...

... 181 years ago.   (Sorry, nothing to do with Suffolk Chess.   Just thought it may be of interest!)

For the remainder of the summer, postings here will be less frequent.   Important events, such as the progress of the County First Team in the Minor Counties Championship, and the Suffolk County Chess Association AGM, will of course be reported on.

If anyone has had any interesting games, or positions, during the season, please send them to me.

To save checking if there has been a new article, why not 'Follow by EMail'?   All you need to do is enter your email address in the box at bottom right and you will receive notification whenever a new article is posted.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A nice finish from Jaden

Four Suffolk players featured in both County matches (First Team and Under 160s) at the weekend: Phil Hutchings, Alex Sheerin, Andrew Shephard and Jaden Jermy.   It will not have escaped most people's notice that 12-year old Jaden (graded 123) won both his games, against opponents graded 148 and 144.

In the Under 160s he faced Lancashire captain Bill O'Rourke.   After a see-saw game, the following position was reached, with Jaden (White) to play.   Although a pawn down, Jaden is clearly winning.   But what move did he play (probably the best move in this position)?   Answer below.

43.   Bb7!   If ... Rxb7, the pawn promotes.

The game continued 43... Nxb4   44.   cxb4   Kf8   45.   d7   Rd8   46.   Bc6   Ke7   47.   Bxb5   c3, to reach the position below.   Now can you reason Jaden's next move, again an excellent one?

48.   Re1+

This moves forces the Black king to move and therefore no longer protecting the promotion square.   The game concluded:   48... Kd6   49.   Rc1   Rb8   50.   Rxc3!   Ra8   51.   Rc8   1 - 0

Monday, 15 May 2017


The Annual Meeting of the Suffolk County Chess Association will be held at the Ipswich Chess Club on Tuesday 30 May.   This meeting is open to all chess-players, not just club secretaries and committee members.   And if you turn up, you get a vote!

The Agenda contains a number of proposals for amending the competition rules.   Amongst these are a couple which may require some discussion:

*   Nominations.   It is proposed that following publication of the mid-season grading list, re-nominations will only be permitted for a three-week period.   Thereafter no further re-nominations will be allowed.

*   Fischer timing.   It is proposed that the use of incremental timings should become the default in Division 1.   If both players are in agreement, the standard time control can be used.

Other proposals should be non-contentious.   The Agenda has been circulated to all club secretaries.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Suffolk Under 160s fall at the quarter-final hurdle

Suffolk's Under 160 team travelled to the outskirts of Nottingham today to play Lancashire in the National Quarter-Finals, but failed to repeat the First Team's victory yesterday, losing narrowly by nine points to seven.

The result was close throughout; at one stage it stood at 5½ points each.   With just two boards remaining and the score 7½-6½ to Lancashire, Suffolk needed to win both to go through to the semis.   This was because an 8 - 8 tie would have been insufficient, with Suffolk losing on board count.   However we only achieved half a point from these two games.

The Suffolk team was outgraded by an average of seven points per board, but surprisingly it was on the lower boards, where the grading differences were greater, that Suffolk fared well.   Bury juniors Adam John (Board 13) and Jaden Jermy (14) both won, as did Keith Woodcock on 12 (this was Keith's fifth successive win this season for the u160s).   Other Suffolk winners were Ed Kirkham (6) and Bob Stephens (7).

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Suffolk First Team through to the semis

Suffolk's First Team travelled to Milton Keynes today to play Worcestershire in the National Quarter-Final of the Minor Counties competition.

Suffolk were weakened by a late withdrawal, with Phil Hutchings standing in.   In this competition, each team's average grade must not exceed 180.   Suffolk were outgraded by Worcestershire by an average of four points per board.   Nevertheless, Suffolk won through by the clear margin of 10½ - 5½, with wins for David Spence, John Peters (capt), Tim Lunn, John Feavyour, Andrew Shephard and Jaden Jermy.   Grandmaster Keith Arkell was on top board for Worcestershire, but Alan Merry was able to draw with him.   Others to draw were Ian Wallis, Steve Gregory, Nick Savage, Mark Le-Vine, Leon Burnett, Jon Collins, Phil Hutchings and Alex Sheerin.   The only player to lose was Silas Peck on Board 5.

Suffolk will now play either Cornwall or Leicestershire in the Semi-Final on 10 June.

Tomorrow (Sunday) sees the Under 160s playing their Quarter-Final against Lancashire.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Manningtree scoop the lot (well, nearly!)

Manningtree Chess Club have enjoyed a fantastic season, winning almost every competition they have entered.   Here is their haul of trophies:

Suffolk League Division 1   -   Champions (Manningtree A)
Suffolk League Division 3   -   Champions (Manningtree B)
Suffolk Cup   -   Winners (beating Saxmundham A 3 - 1 in the Final on 10 May)
Suffolk Plate   -   Winners (beating Felixstowe A 3 - 1 in the Final on 2 May)
Suffolk u145 Cup   -   Winners

The only event that Manningtree did not win was the u125 Cup, where they finished in third place of seven teams.   Also, Manningtree C team finished fourth in Division 3.

Next season Manningtree will have a team in each division, so watch out for a clean sweep!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Roger Goldsmith Trophy

The Roger Goldsmith Memorial Trophy is an annual competition in the Bury Area Chess League for club teams of four players.   Each team's total grade must not exceed 580 in Division 1, or 450 in Division 2.   Roger Goldsmith was a former secretary of the league, who died in 1990 aged only 42.

Teams play each other during the season in a 'round-robin', after which the two top teams play each other again in a Final.

Both Finals took place this week and featured three teams from Bury St Edmunds.   In the Division 2 Final on Tuesday, Bury Cathedral lost ½ - 3½ to Linton Tigers, with only Bury's Rene Martinez gaining a draw.

This evening, the Division 1 Final was held, with two Bury teams playing each other, having both scored 12 points to head the league table.

The current trophy holders, Bury Abbey, were up against Bury Beehive.   The result was a convincing 3½ - ½ win for Bury Abbey, with wins for Mike Harris (Board 1), Bob Jones (Board 2) and Tom Roy (Board 4).   Jaden Jermy on Board 3 was held to a draw by Adam Harvey.

The photo above shows the Beehive captain, Hugo Smith, presenting the trophy to Bob Jones, captain of the Abbey team.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Suffolk League promotion and relegations

The last matches in the Suffolk League were played on 25 April.

Having led Division 2 for most of the season, Bury St Edmunds A were pipped at the post by Saxmundham A.   The two teams ended the season level on points (29½), but Saxmundham have won one more match and will therefore be promoted to Division 1 next year.

Division 1

Champions - Manningtree A
Relegated - Ipswich B

Division 2

Promoted - Saxmundham A
Relegated - Stowmarket A

Division 3

Promoted - Manningtree B

Division 3 Champions Manningtree B managed to finish the season unbeaten (W11, D3)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bury Area League promotions and relegations

All matches in the Bury Area Chess League have been completed.   Here are the results:

Division 1:

Champions - Cambridge Examiners
Runners-up - Bury St Edmunds Scorpions (mainly Graham Moore, Ian Wallis, Steve Gregory, Tim Lunn)
No relegation as there are only five teams in Division 1
Player of the Year - Akito Oyama (Cambridge) 8½/11
Runner-up - Steve Gregory (Bury St Edmunds) 7/10

Division 2

Promoted - Cambridge Oddfellows
Relegated - Bury St Edmunds Vipers
Player of the Year - Martyn Goodger (Ely) 6½/8
Runner-up - Adam Harvey (Bury St Edmunds)

Division 3

Promoted - Cambridge Gowns
Player of the Year - Jim Clarke (Cambridge) 6/8
Runner-up - Vicky Allen (Stowmarket) 6½/9

Those in bold are Suffolk players.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dagne's coaching group

WGM/IM Dagne Ciuksyte's coaching group, also known as the Martlesham Junior Chess Club, meets every week at her house on Martlesham Heath.   At present there are only three 'regulars', as shown above, but Dagne's two daughters, Charlotte and Sofia, also attend occasionally.   In the background of the photo is Dagne's youngest, Daniel, who has yet to show an interest in the game!

Any parent living in the Ipswich - Woodbridge area who would like their son or daughter to receive top-level coaching, should contact Dagne directly.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

UK Chess Challenge Megafinal

75 children from schools and clubs around the county played today at Woodbridge School in the Delancey UK Chess Challenge Megafinal.

Today's event was divided into six sections: Under 7/8 combined, Under 9, Under 10, Under 11, Under 12, Under 13/18 combined.

The photo below shows all the trophy and medal winners.   Those scoring four points or more in the Under 7 to Under 11 sections qualify for the Gigafinal, which is held in Manchester in July.   Older children qualify by scoring 3½ points or more.

Two players scored maximum points: Adam John - Bury Knights (u11) and Rowan Kent - Woodbridge School and Bury Knights (u8).

Saturday, 6 May 2017

4NCL relegations

Last weekend saw the final three rounds of this season's 4NCL.   Sadly, two of the Suffolk-based teams have been relegated.

Anglian Avengers 1, promoted last season to Division 1, will be back in Division 2 next season.   And Iceni 1, who were promoted last season to Division 3, will be back in Division 4 next season.

Both teams will have every chance of bouncing back in 2017/18.

Below is a game from Division 4, where Iceni 2's Dominic Carter (Black) faced a 150-graded opponent on Saturday.