Nightmare at the New Barracks Stannington A v Nomads A

Stannington A 5½ – 2½ Nomads A
Paul Fletcher 1 – 0 Jon Nelson
Carl Walker 0 – 1 Chris Shephard
John Fletcher 1 – 0 Jamie Hillman
Khaled Muflehi 1 – 0 Geoff Frost
Bryan Wood 1/2 – 1/2 Ian Barwick
John Mercy 1/2 – 1/2 Mike Newett
Alan Sutton 1 – 0 Nick Mahoney
Adrian Millward 1/2 – 1/2 Arjun Babu

It is not enough to have higher graded players but in a tight league we have to perform every week. This was a collective night off, but credit to Stannington who took their chance. They seemed as surprised as we were.

After a few days in bed, at the last minute I declared myself fit. Buoyed by an examination of Gawain Jones website, I knew that Sue was in the Far East so I felt pretty confident……A quick draw or even loss and I could go home.

Whilst wandering aimlessly through my opening, I sat amazed at Jamie being tricked in the opening on the board next to me. Well this could be hard. Then suddenly Nick lost seemingly very early, it was clear this was going to be a long night. Mike drew and then Jamie lost, so problems were mounting. Khaled neglected to win my Queen to a fork which actually gave me false hope.

Chris then won like Chris does but then Jon lost like Jon doesn’t.

All over.

Ian tried manfully to win a materially level ending. Well he does most weeks but not this. Arjun apparently created a stalemate in a lost position.

And of course the quick draw became the very long loss. A few tactics near the end but not enough.

Well done to Stannington, always good hosts and nice sandwiches.

 

 

Nomads 1 v Chesterfield 1 Richardson Cup

Nomads 1 4 – 2 Chesterfield 1
Jon Nelson 1/2 – 1/2 Peter Ackley
Chris Shephard 1 – 0 Mike Alcock
Kieran O'Driscoll 1/2 -1/2 Mike Johnson
Jeremy Hamm 1/2 -1/2 Martin Howard
Geoff Frost 1/2 – 1/2 David Ashcroft
Ian Barwick 1 – 0 Andy Mort

After the disaster in the league last week, this was a chance to redeem ourselves. We were from last weeks team missing boards 4 & 5. Chesterfield were missing Dave Latham on 1 but had Mike Alcock on 2. Otherwise it was their first 6.

We won the toss but Jon felt that himself, Kieran and Geoff did not deserve white again after only 3 draws last week. So black on odd.

A slow and cagey start with no obvious advantage for anyone. after only about 30-40 minutes, Andy offered a draw to Ian. It was very flat and level and was going to be a queenless middle game. Ian declined. I did wonder if that would come back to haunt us. not long afterwards Jon and Peter agreed a draw. They seemed to have played quite quickly and was already in a late middle game. Emboldened by this friendliness, Geoff offered a draw in a very early middlegame. Dave accepted. The spectre of 6 draws seemed likely.

I should say that my pre match e-mail predicted 5 draws and a win for Kieran. It seems that Kieran had also offered a draw which Mike had turned down.

There was nothing really happening but I felt that we could get something from 2 & 3 which at this stage looked like our powerhouse. Soon afterwards Jeremy and Martin drew. Ian had been pressing on, exchanging pieces and had reached B+5 v N+5 all very even. The Bishop should be better on an open board but I always fear sneaky N forks in time trouble!

Then Chris won. He obviously claimed that he had been losing…..

This put a different dynamic on the match. unless we lost BOTH outstanding games we would win. Kieran said he understood the arithmetic, so expected another draw offer at an appropriate stage. Ian had not stood up to look at the score and was playing the ending like a superstar. He won and it was all over. Kieran and Mike settled for the draw so 4-2.

Well done everyone and thanks to Chesterfield for a good and friendly evening.

Nomads 1 v Ecclesall 1

Nomads 1 3.5-2.5 Ecclesall 1
Jon Nelson 0-1 David Adams
Paul Cumbers 0-1 Jim Burnett
Chris Shephard 1-0 Peter Hempson
Jamie Hillman 0.5-0.5 Ewan Cormack
Jeremy Hamm 1-0 James Marley
Geoff Frost 1-0 Safdar Alam

The first thing to note is that we comfortably outgraded Ecclesall on all boards. The second thing is to note that was by and large irrelevant!

Having won the toss there was a long debate between all 6 of us about choice of colours. Jon eventually took black and Paul white.

And so we set off. It was very cagey for a long time with no-one clearly doing well (or otherwise). Jamie eventually drew after about an hour and a half, in a position that looked slightly unfavourable for him. Then Chris won and mood in the camp brightened, until Jon lost.

I have played many Cup games against Ecclesall where Dave wins on 1, they win on 2, previously Pete but now Jim, and so only need 2 draws from the remaining 4 boards. Keep a close eye on Paul on board 2.

I eventually won on 6, having played a very forgettable first 25 moves before finding some tactics to win Safdars Queen.

Sat next to me, Jeremy was grinding out a nice ending which he was firstly unlikely to lose, then won with good technique. This was as well because finally Paul lost to Jim. I thought that he was at least drawing but of course I only play on board 6!

Good win and into the semi-final

 

 

Rotherham A v Nomads B

Rotherham A 3-3 Nomads B
Chris Williams 1-0 Ian Barwick
Steve Mann 0-1 Geoff Frost
Pete Catt 0.5-0.5 Henry Withington
Chris Willey 0-1 Ken Dewhurst
Ed Sowerby 1-0 Steve Withington
John Baker 0.5-0.5 Keith Wicks
wickes
Rotherham players look on helplessly as Wicks performs a monumental swindle.

Geoff Frost (Nomads B) v Steve Mann (Rotherham A)

Geoff Frost (Nomads B) v Steve Mann (Rotherham A)

Nomads A v Barnsley A

Nomads A 5½-2½ Barnsley A
Jon Nelson 1-0 Andy Butterworth
Chris Shephard 1-0 Pete Micklethwaite
Ian Barwick 1-0 Ken Hunter
Mike Newett 0-1 Richard Desmedt
Geoff frost ½-½ Neil Todd
Nick Mahoney 0-1 Tony Perry
Arjun Babu 1-0 Paul Lea-Kime
Eric McKenna 1-0 default

Matches against Barnsley are always tough.
We had the advantage of a default win on board 8 after a late withdrawal through illness. The match proceeded cautiously with no real early advantages. Nick took a gambit pawn and seemed to be keeping it but lost it back in the middlegame. Mike won a pawn but the sacrificed it back for play.
Jon’s game was steady, Chris was looking favourable as was Ian. Arjun had a position where all the pieces are put on randomly, on unusual squares. I could not read it at all. My game was another inferior opening as black, and I soon felt in difficulties, real or imagined.
Ian then won with a strong finish. Chris won soon after so with the default we were 3-0.Things then wrong. Nick won/lost 2 Knights for a rook. His Knights were uncoordinated and the Rook rounded up his pawns and won. Mike had sacked a Knight for 3 pawns, but Richard’s Knight was very strong an that was 3-2. I offered my ususal draw at move 29, and Neil correctly declined. Mine then simplified and at move 40 he offered me a draw. I was sure that I was not losing but only had 3 minutes left. 1 of which I spent looking at Jon & Arjun! I concluded that 3 draws would get us home, so took the draw. Later analysis showed me to slightly better but only 2 minutes. Jon then won to secure the match. The icing and my incredulity was Arjun’s win in the last few minutes.

Steve Housley v Geoff Frost

Mike Newett (Sheffield A) v Geoff Frost (Sheffield B)

Nomads B v Barnsley B

Nomads B 5-1 Barnsley B
Ian Barwick 1-0 K Hunter
Geoff Frost 0½-0½ N Todd
Arjun Babu 1-0 R F Hall
Nick Mahoney 1-0 A Perry
Henry Withington 0½-0½ P Lea Kime
Steve Withington 1-0 J Stevens

Standing in as captain for Keith, I was pleased to see what a strong and committed team we had.
First to finish, and playing extremely quickly, was Steve. He won a pawn in the opening and exchanged off to a winning ending where he won a piece.
Second and third to finish were Geoff and Henry. One was a fluid open game and position, one was not…..
Nick wrapped up a win on board 4 with a nice win of Queen, and then mopped up.
So 3-1 everything was fine. Ian had a slight plus in a Q and double rook ending but there were no obvious weaknesses in either position. arjun had his usual complex position and naturally no time. So when he contrived to get his Q trapped and lose it for a Rook, I feared the worst. There was compensation in that he had 2 connected passed pawns on the 5th and two excellent bishops. There was then a flurry of exchanges which left Richard with a Rook and Knight trying to stop the 2 pawns supported by the bishops. It was only going to end one way.
Finally Ian was quietly going about his business. He gave up his passed Q side pawn in exchange for tempi to storm Ken’s King. A nice culmination of a good game by Ian.