Robert Shaw vs David Bedwell

Darnall & H B vs Nomads

Darnall & H B 0 5 Nomads
Andrew Nettleship 0 1 Steve Withington (w)
Harry Feather 0 1 Les Day
Joel C Fair 0 1 Rob Nield
Colin Greighton 0 1 Eric McKenna
Ralph Batty 0 1 Jo Woollard

Nomads’ first match in the Summer League was played in blistering heat. Fortunately Darnall & Handsworth provided an excellent selection of fine ales. Steve was first to finish with an early pawn promotion, and soothed his parched throat with a Blond Witch and an Old Speckled Hen. Nomads were to win on all boards in some quite tough games.

Ravenfield Bishops vs Nomads 400

Ravenfield Bishops 2 1/2 3 1/2 Nomads 400
Tim Gollens (w) 0 1 Peter Morton
David Tate 1 0 Keith Wicks
Andrew Shaw 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna
Brian England 0 1 Robert Nield
Barry Shaw 0 1 Jo Woollard
D Hill 1 0 Robert Shaw

Robert Shaw got his bishop trapped early on, so was a piece down for most of his game. When his opponent forced a mate in 2, Robert resigned.

Peter and Tim both castled kingside. Peter gained a pawn. After further manoeuvring left Peter a s rook up, Tim resigned. Robert Nield gained a knight, then mated Brian.

Jo and Barry traded off the light-squared bishops, castling king-side. After further exchanges left Jo with a queen, rook and single pawn against a knight, rook and five pawn Barry resigned while Eric’s game deadlocked.

Keith ended up with two rooks and two bishops against two rooks, a bishop and knight, but resigned once David forced promotion.

Nomads 400 vs Woodseats

Nomads 400 1/2 3 1/2 Woodseats
Robert Nield(b) 0 1 Martyn Edwards
Jo Woollard 1/2 1/2 Alexander Pilakoutas
Robert Shaw 0 1 David Margerison
Ashley Rogers 0 1 Stephen Daykin

Ashley and his opponent played a four knights opening, then swapped down to a queen, bishop and multiple pawns endgame. After Stephen forced a queen swap then secured promotion Ashley resigned.

Robert Shaw blundered away a rook pretty quickly. He played on for a few moves longer, attempting to trap his opponent’s rook, but when that failed he resigned.

Robert Nield lost a bishop for a rook, leaving him with a queen, rook, bishop and five pawns against a queen, two rooks, and five pawns. When Stephen won the bishop Robert Nield too resigned.

On board two, the initial exchanges left Jo with a rook, bishop and five pawns against a rook, bishop and six pawns, a marginal material disadvantage, but Alexander had doubled pawns, so the position looked pretty even. After swapping off the remaining pieces, Jo reached this position at move 41.

Soon after, Jo agreed a draw, saving the team from a complete whitewash.

Stannington vs Nomads 400

Stannington 3 1/2 1/2 Nomads 400
James Allen (b) 1 0 Eric McKenna
Paul Cheshire 1/2 1/2 Jo Woollard
Francis L Kay 1 0 Robert Shaw
Glen Marvin 1 0 Gordon Shaw

Nomads won the toss, and chose white on odd boards.

Playing against the French Defence, Robert lost two rooks in quick succession to knight forks, ending up with a decisive material disadvantage, and resigned. Gordon and Glen both castled king-side, exchanging minor pieces, but after Glen’s queen captured Gordon’s a8 rook he too was faced with a decisive material disadvantage, and resigned.

Eric and his opponent traded off pieces. After 33 moves each, Eric was left with a rook, bishop and three pawns against a rook, knight and five pawns. Recognising his opponent’s pawn majority would be decisive he also resigned.

Meanwhile, Jo and Paul maintained approximate material parity. Jo had a well placed knight, and Paul had doubled pawns, but this did not prove to be quite enough for a win. After both players’ attacks fizzled out they agreed a draw, saving Nomads from a complete whitewash.

Ecclesall vs Nomads 400

Ecclesall 2 2 Nomads 400
John Speck (w) 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna
Ivan Basarab-Horwath 1 0 Jo Woollard
Mike Howarth 1/2 1/2 Dave Kesteven
Alex Parker 1 0 Robert Shaw

Eric traded minor pieces with his opponent, maintaining material parity, but eventually deadlocked. While one of them might have had a theoretical advantage, they’d have probably run afoul of the fifty move rule trying to exploit it, so a draw was agreed.

Dave’s opponent castled first, kingside. After some tense manoeuvring they ended up with a rook and four pawns each, then quickly agreed a draw.

Robert made some questionable moves early on, but won a knight with a fork, and kept this material advantage throughout the game, ending up with a rook, bishop and two pawns against just a rook and two pawns. He also had an extra fifteen minutes on the clock. A draw might still have been achievable for Alex, but then he lost his rook and resigned.

R Shaw vs A Parker

Woodseats A vs Nomads A, The Red Lion 10/04/2017

There was a time, not that long ago, when this would be a clash of the Titans – but neither side is as strong as it once was and Woodseats’ issues were exacerbated by someone dropping out at around 7pm. All of which meant that Steve and Keith tossed a coin to see who would play, and Keith lost the coin toss… so played. Not sure how that worked but fair enough!

As it happens, Keith was first to finish. He entered a pretty drawish looking endgame with an extra pawn but the same coloured bishop as Dave. At some point, Dave exchanged those pieces and in the circumstances that was a mistake that let Keith invade with his king and make the extra pawn tell. The 2pt gap didn’t last long though. Simon got trapped by Bill’s trappy opening, and lost a piece. He picked up a couple of pawns for it but his own position was reminiscent of the Swiss cheese in my fridge – a second piece was lost and eventually his king was driven to mate in the middle of the board. Sadly for Woodseats, that was to be their only win of the night. Board 5 was next to conclude – Stuart picked up a piece for a couple of pawns during the opening at some point and Brendan found himself on the back foot for most of the remainder of the game – not sure how the game finished but it was our man that carried the day. Jon scored another full point a little later – his knights were causing havoc on Mark’s kingside and he eventually won the exchange before smoothly converting the win.

Mike and Dave on board four had been quite standoffish – a Rossolimo Sicilian had led to a relatively quiet middlegame with neither player making a great deal of headway and the minutes ticking by. A draw offer was accepted and that was the match sealed for us, leaving just myself and Chris still playing. I finished first this time – a potentially very sharp opening was avoided by Peter and we entered a rooks and pawns ending where I felt I had a slight space advantage and a centralised king. Naturally I didn’t play the ending so well, but Peter missed some defensive tricks and eventually I was able to do what I had set out to do and get a pawn to the 7th that was going to win a rook and the game. A fortuitous point. All of which left Chris playing out his match with Nigel. He had been exerting severe pressure on the queenside for most of the game, with Nigel’s pieces clumped together uncomfortably. When he did break through, however, his time was nearly up and Nigel found some tactics with queen and knight, including two mating threats that Chris did well to avoid with a minute or so left on his clock. Nigel then found himself a piece down with no checks and Chris threatening to consolidate – a deep think at just the wrong time saw his own clock tick down and over the line… giving Chris and Nomads the last win of the night and a 6.5 – 1.5 win. Some fun games, interesting positions… and the bonus of being able to do it all again in a fortnight when Woodseats visit us for our final match of the season.

Andrew Hards vs Peter Hulse

Barnsley A vs Nomads A

I woke up on the morning of this match with 6 players and the fear that we were going to turn up for the second season in the past 3 or 4 with only 3/4 of a team. Miraculously we had managed to win with 6 players the last time that happened, but I didn’t foresee that happening again so it was with a pretty big sigh of relief I secured the Woollards (yes, John too!) around mid-day and knew we wouldn’t be defaulting any boards. Barnsley had sportingly moved the fixture back a week when I realised I’d be defaulted 5 boards the previous Tuesday – this time around we were still missing most of our middle order with Jamie, Ian, Mike, Geoff, Henry, Arjun and Stuart all otherwise indisposed but we had a side, with B team captain Keith filling in to free Ian up for a vital match for the Bs on the same evening. Oven-related difficulties meant I was late turning up (with Nick in tow) and by the time I was settled at the board John and Neil were already into a queenless middlegame which was agreed drawn around about 8.15pm; Jo’s game finished maybe 15 minutes later when Anthony blundered his queen – after being the last to join the team, the Woollards were the first to leave, out the door well before 9.00pm with 1.5/2 pts in the bag. It wasn’t a whole lot later that Keith managed to turn his game around – Paul had had a good opening and was pressing on the queenside but Keith’s black-squared bishop and queen combined nicely for a mating attack, giving us a healthy lead. Nick and Ken drew shortly afterwards in what looked to be a fairly even and quite blocked-up position. That left the top three boards and Simon on 6 still playing. Jon had opted for complications in what had looked a pretty quiet middlegame – his king was dangerously exposed to mating threats but interposing his spare bishop to prevent Andy landing a knockout blow meant they eventually exchanged queens and were left with a rooks and pawns ending – all of which are drawn, right?

Speaking of draws, Pete and I have a habit of playing those out and this time around we had a slightly different game but the same outcome – once the queens were off there didn’t seem to be a huge amount left in the position for either of us and that’s now P3 D3 in our head-to-heads. Simon, on the other hand, was making headway in his game on the queenside – with Richard having castled long his king was gradually coming under sustained assault and although I missed the ending, it did seem likely that either Simon would crash through and win quickly or Richard would spend a significant time grovelling before possibly escaping into an ending. Judging by how soon the game finished, I would assume the former outcome. That took us over the line, with a 5-2 lead unassailable and only Chris left to finish. It wouldn’t be Chris without a little bit of time pressure, but once he had successfully reached 30 moves, and once Martin had generously adjusted the clocks by giving Chris 15 mins back and himself only 10 (which Chris realised and corrected not long after, for the record!), a draw offer followed shortly afterwards. A nice win, with all top five boards drawing and the bottom three winning, was done and dusted around 9.45 for what must have been our earliest finish of the season. Fair play to Barnsley, for letting us move the match, and whilst the title has already been decided, we move on now to a back-to-back matches against Woodseats to round off the season.

Pete Micklethwaite vs Andrew Hards (Round 3)

Pete Micklethwaite vs Andrew Hards (Round 3)

Nomads B vs Rotherham A

Nomads B 2 4 Rotherham A
Ian Barwick (w) 1/2 1/2 Chris Williams
Ken Dewhurst 1/2 1/2 Pete Ballard
Lucas Roshani 0 1 Ed Sowerby
Steve Withington 1/2 1/2 Chris Willey
Les Day 1/2 1/2 Phil Sharp
Eric McKenna 0 1 Mick Snowdon

Usual captain Keith was playing for the A team in Barnsley, so Steve stood in.

First to finish was Les, with a short brutal game that ended in a draw. Meanwhile Steve allowed Chris an early threat of checkmate that could only be stopped by giving up a bishop. This, however, was met shortly after with a nice counter-blunder from Chris, and a draw was agreed in a game both players would rather forget. New Nomad Lucas crumbled early and things weren’t looking good. A draw on board two and defeat for Eric meant Nomads had lost the match.

Ian was last to finish with an interesting queens and pawns endgame from which he secured a draw.

Darnall & Handsworth B vs Nomads D

Darnall 3 1/2 2 1/2 Nomads D
Danny Dawson 1 0 Les Day (w)
Craig Chatterton 1/2 1/2 Eric McKenna
Robert Black 1/2 1/2 Jo Woollard
Harry Feather 1/2 1/2 Robert Shaw
Bob Lindsay 0 1 Gordon Shaw
Joel Fair 1 0 Sam Humphrey

Robert won a rook for a knight early on, but then had to trade a rook for a bishop to prevent his queen being trapped, leaving Robert just one pawn up. After some manoeuvring a draw was agreed in this position, with white to move.

Later, Harry Feather checked this position with an online chess engine, which confirmed it was a draw.

Les and his opponent both castled kingside, then traded off queens and minor pieces, leaving Les five pawns down in a rook endgame so he resigned.

Jo and her opponent began by trading knights. Further exchanges followed, leaving them in a deadlocked position. Eric’s game also quickly deadlocked, giving another draw.

Sam and his opponent both castled kingside. After trading off the minor pieces Sam emerged into the endgame with a queen and four pawns against two rooks and six pawns, a small material advantage, but enough for Joel to force a win.

H Feather vs R Shaw

Nomads 400 vs Stannington

Nomads 400 1/2 3 1/2 Stannington
Eric McKenna(b) 0 1 Kevin Keenan
Jo Woollard 1/2 1/2 James Allen
Robert Shaw 0 1 Francis Kay
Gordon Shaw 0 1 Glen Marvin

Eric swapped knight for bishop, then both players castled kingside. After a few more exchanges they were each left with a queen, rook, knight and four pawns, but while they had material parity Eric was coming under time pressure. When his opponent threatened promotion Eric lost a rook for a knight, then resigned.

Robert’s opponent played the English opening. Robert was quickly outmanoeuvred, and resigned on move 22, facing a mate in 2.

Gordon avoided any early exchanges, but eventually went a knight and pawn down, then his opponent won a rook with a knight fork. Faced with a decisive material loss Gordon resigned.

Jo was the last to finish. After a quiet opening she went into the endgame with a rook, bishop and five pawns against a rook, knight and five pawns, then won pawns with a discovered check, but her opponent regained one of the lost pawns. After 39 moves each, they ended up in this position, with Jo to move:

Here Jo and her opponent agreed a draw, thus preventing a complete whitewash of Nomads.

Nomads D vs Darnall

Nomads D 2 2 Darnall & Handsworth
Eric McKenna(w) 1/2 1/2 Harry Feather
Robert Nield 1 0 Brian Stephenson
Robert Shaw 1/2 1/2 Bob Lindsay
Gordon Shaw 0 1 Mick Turnidge

Eric and his opponent both castled kingside, swapping off pieces in an open position, but neither was able to gain any advantage. Eric described the final result as a hard-fought draw.

Robert Nield and his opponent also both castled kingside. After the initial exchanges Robert was left with a knight and four pawns against a bishop and five pawns, a slight material disadvantage, but his opponent’s bishop was badly placed so he resigned.

Gordon and Mick both advanced a rook pawn before move 9, on opposite sides of the board. Then Gordon lost material, going two bishops down, and resigned in the face of a mate threat.

Robert Shaw was the last to finish. He opened quite aggressively, but failed to make any headway. After some manoeuvring he swapped off queens, then minor pieces, ending up with three pawns and a dark squared bishop against four pawns and a light squared bishop. Unable to see any way for either player to get anywhere Robert offered a draw which was soon accepted.

The consensus on the night was that Lindsay had a slight advantage when he agreed the draw, but not sufficient to force mate. Robert might well have found defending the position challenging, but overall a draw was considered reasonable.

R Shaw vs R Lindsay

Sasca vs Nomads D

Sasca 4 0 Nomads D
Andrew Ball 1 0 Jo Woollard (B)
Michael Hughes 1 0 Robert Shaw
Andrew Wilson 1 0 Sam Humphrey
I Sopalidi 1 0 Ashley Rogers

We found Sasca’s new venue easily enough, but ran into our first snag when we got out of the car to be met with a locked door. It turned out we’d gone to the wrong entrance, not exactly the best start to the evening.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good look at Ashley’s game, but he described it as a thrilling tactical battle, ending in his mate.

Sam pushed a pawn to the seventh rank, but then his opponent mated him on h8, with bishops of b2 and f7. Jo also succumbed to a similar mating pattern, attacked in the corner down the long diagonal.

Early on, Robert manoeuvred his opponent into doubling his pawns, leaving his king open. The game was looking promising, but then Robert blundered away a rook, placing himself at a decisive material disadvantage, and was unable to recover.

Clay Cross vs Nomads C

Clay Cross 3½ – 2½ Nomads C
Dean Hartley 0 – 1 Henry Withington (w)
Phil Morgan 0 – 1 Steve Withington
Paul Kelman 1 – 0 Les Day
Jerome Redhead 1/2 – 1/2 Eric McKenna
Brian Redhead 1 – 0 Robert Shaw
Dudley Thorpe 1 -0 Mike King

Waiting in the freezing rain on Bramall Lane for Les’s lift, I was reminded of the fact that a healthy dose of masochism is an asset in chess. As usual there was a warm welcome when we finally arrived at Clay Cross. They even had the heating on full blast.

Excellent wins for Withingtons on the top boards were not to be enough. Les, Robert and brand new Nomad, Mike, all fell to Clay Cross. Eric could still draw the match with a win, and although a pawn down, he had a big time advantage. In the end Eric had to offer his opponent a draw. Jerome, with only minutes left on the clock, mulled this over for what must have been an agonising amount of time for his captain as the seconds ticked away. He finally agreed the draw, winning the match for Clay Cross.

All in all, an enjoyable night out, and second place in division three is still up for grabs.

Phil Morgan vs Steve Withington

Robert vs B Redhead, Clay Cross 28-2-17

Ravenfield vs Nomads 400

Ravenfield 2 2 Nomads 400
David Hill 0 1 Eric McKenna (b)
Michael Hoyes 0 1 Jo Woollard
Andrew Rangecroft 1 0 Robert Shaw
John Beasley 1 0 Sam Humphrey

Eric and his opponent both castled kingside, then traded off minor pieces, leaving Eric with two rooks, a bishop and seven pawns against two rooks, a knight and six pawns, then Eric won a rook for a bishop, which proved decisive.

Jo won a queen with a bishop fork fairly early on, ending up with a rook and seven pawns against just four pawns, after which her opponent resigned.

Robert won a rook for a knight early on, but at the cost of positional weakness. His opponent soon won the lost material back, then forced mate.

Sam had good early development, tried a sacrifice which worked well enough, then attempted a second sacrifice which didn’t go so well, and resigned in the face of inevitable mate.

Nomads D vs Ravenfield

Nomads D 3 1/2 2 1/2 Ravenfield Bishops
John Woollard (w) 1/2 1/2 Tom Gollens
Les Day 0 1 Andrew Shaw
Eric McKenna 1/2 1/2 Brian England
Jo Woollard 1/2 1/2 Barry Shaw
Robert Shaw 1 0 Roy Evans
Robert Nield 1 0 Martin Wilkes

Robert Nield castled kingside, establishing a solid defensive position, then swapped down to knight, bishop and six pawns against two knights and four pawns, a slight material advantage, but sufficient to force mate.

Robert Shaw lost material to a fork early on, but then won a rook with a knight fork, leaving him slightly ahead. Once it became clear he couldn’t be prevented from swapping down to a won endgame, his opponent resigned.

Jo and her opponent began by swapping off the light-squared bishops. Exchanges of knights and queens soon followed. After much manoeuvring the game deadlocked. Eric also began with an early queen exchange. With neither player able to gain a clear material advantage this game too deadlocked.

Les castled queenside. In a complicated position he missed a pin, and was mated. Afterwards, he said he’d just been outplayed.

John emerged from the middle game with a rook and three pawns against a rook and four pawns, a slight disadvantage, but not enough to force a win. Instead, a draw was agreed.

Stannington C vs Nomads C

Stannington C 2½ – 3½ Nomads C
John Neely 1/2 – 1/2 Steve Withington (b)
Ken Kay 0 – 1 Duncan Chambers
Stephen Lee 1 – 0 Les Day
Kev Keenan 1/2 – 1/2 Keith Wicks
Ron Keenan 1/2 – 1/2 Eric McKenna
Pete Locking 0 – 1 Jo Woollard

Outgraded on the top and bottom boards, Nomads C were slight underdogs on an evening where underdogs were to triumph. (As the Nomads A were to find out. Nightmare at the New Barracks….)

The match could easily have gone the other way but Nomads held on with some deft defending. With everything even it all hinged on Jo, who put in a sterling performance and won her game, securing the match for Nomads.

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 2 vs Stannington

Richardson Plate (Sam Haystead Trophy)

Nomads2 2-4 Stannington
Mike Newett (W) 1-0 Carl Walker
Henry Withington 0-1 John Fletcher
Ken Dewhurst 0-1 Khaled Muflehi
Steve Withington 1/2-1/2 Kier Morton
Duncan Chambers 1/2-1/2 David Grobler
Eric McKenna 0-1 John Mercy

Nomads 2 faced a strong team from Stannington in the semi-finals of the Richardson Plate competition. The highlight was Mike’s win on top board against Carl Walker, while Steve and myself drew with higher graded opponents. In the last game to finish, Ken sacrificed the exchange to obtain a dangerous passed pawn but his opponent was able to cover the queening square and Ken eventually ran out of time. Overall, this was a good performance considering the difference in grades between the teams. Many thanks to everyone who played for Nomads 2 this season.

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 D vs Worksop

Nomads D 1 4 Worksop
Ben Remy (w) 0 1 Nigel Baxendale
Reggie Kush 0 1 Andrew Smith
Robert Shaw 0 1 Ian Barker
Robert Nield 1/2 1/2 Frank Holt
Gordon Shaw 1/2 1/2 David Bedwall

In his first game for the club, Robert Nield played the Dutch defence, ending in a hard fought draw,

Gordon also drew. Both players castled kingside, then swapped down, ending up in this position.

Ben maintained material parity throughout most of his game, but eventually resigned after falling to a pawn fork on the king and queen.

Robert tried a speculative attack, which fizzled, then blundered into a knight fork and resigned.

Reggie and his opponent swapped down to rook, bishop, and five pawns against two rooks and six pawns, not far off material parity, but then Reggie resigned after his opponent found a way through.

Ewan Cormack vs Andrew Hards (2016-17 season)

Nomads B Vs SASCA B

Nomads B team Welcomed SASCA B on Tuesday 17th, it was our 1st league game since the Christmas break, and with both both teams being slightly weaker than normal due to other commitments and player restrictions, the match promised to be a closely fought contest. Nomads were already 1-0 in front before play even began, but the other five games were not so easy, Ian lost in a closely fought contest, Arjun won in his usual slow, but calculating style, Ken drew his game, Steve, although a piece up, but playing against 2 passed pawns managed a draw with his opponent making the drawing move just a slit second before his flag fell, unlucky Steve!!!! Keith the captain and reluctantly playing showed no mercy to his opponent, making sure to maximise any and all mistakes.

Nomads B 4-2 SASCA B
I Barwick 7428 0-1 D Sullivan 3594
A Babu 3714 1-0 J Fryer 1782
K Dewhurst 1247 1/2-1/2 M Lau 7402
S Withington 3293 1/2-1/2 S Kooner 3366
K Wicks (c) 4298 1-0 I Sopolidi 4427
D Chambers 7523 1-0 Bye

Andrew Hards vs Yang Guo

Nomads 2 vs Ravenfield

Nomads 2 5 1 Ravenfield
Peter Morton (W) 0 1 Tim Gollens
Steve Withington 1 0 Brian England
Keith Wicks 1 0 Barry Shaw
Duncan Chambers 1 0 Roy Evans
Les Day 1 0 David Hill
Eric McKenna 1 0 Martin Wilkes

Despite being a division 5 team, Ravenfield fielded a player graded 169 on top board. However, Nomads had a grade advantage on the remaining boards and this proved enough for a clear win, although as ever most games were hard fought. Thanks to all the players who turned out and we look forward to the next round.

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

 

 

Worksop C vs Nomads D

Worksop C 3 3 Nomads D
Andrew Smith (b) 0 1 Pete Morton (w)
Ian Barker 0 1 Eric McKenna
H Osbourne 0.5 0.5 Dave Kesteven
Alan Story 1 0 Robert Shaw
Cliff Briggs 0.5 0.5 Jo Woollard
David Bedwall 1 0 Ashley Rogers

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good look at Pete’s game but Eric’s opponent opened aggressively, pushing a pawn to his seventh rank by move 13. After Eric rebuffed this attack, gaining a queen and rook, his opponent resigned.

Dave ended up with a queen, rook, and three pawns against a queen, bishop and six pawns, not a decisive material advantage for either player, so a draw was agreed. Meanwhile Jo gained a rook for a bishop, but ended up in a king and pawns endgame, so also agreed a draw.

Robert put his opponent under some pressure early on, but after they swapped down to opposite coloured bishops Robert slipped up in the resulting battle of manoeuvre, losing material without compensation. He played on for a bit, looking for a way back, but then his flag fell. Ashley also had a solid opening which fizzled out.

Nomads 400 vs Ecclesall

Nomads 400 1.5 2.5 Ecclesall
Eric Mckenna 0.5 0.5 John Speck
Robert Shaw 0 1 Ivan Basarab-Horwath
Reggie Kush 1 0 John Eddershaw
Jo Woollard 0 1 Alex Parker

Robert won a rook for a knight, but then lost a rook to an attack on the long diagonal. Unable to recover, he eventually resigned. Eric and John exchanged bishops early on, producing an open position which soon deadlocked, leading to an agreed draw.

Reggie, in his first game for the club, smoothly won a queen, ending up with a queen, rook, and pawns against just a rook and pawns. Before long, his opponent resigned.

Jo was the last to finish. She’d castled king-side while Alex had castled queen-side. After her opponent won a rook with clever manoeuvring, Jo was left with a queen, rook and six pawns against a queen, rook, bishop and three pawns – nominal material parity, but an inferior position. Running short on time, and faced with some strong mate threats, Jo resigned.

Overall, a disappointing result, but an excellent performance from Reggie in his first match for us.

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)

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.

Return to winning ways for Nomads B

After Nomads B had Suffered their first loss against Stannington B:

7th November

Stannington B 4 2 Nomads B
Carl Walker 1 0 Ian Barwick
Kier Morton ½ ½ Geoff Frost
John R Mercy 1 0 Stuart Crosthwaite
Bryan Wood ½ ½ Henry Withington
Mike Grimsley 0 1 Ken Dewhurst
Adrian E Millward 1 0 Steve Withington

We welcomed Worksop A to our home venue with with 5 of our 6 players being outgraded on their respected boards,Nomads gained a victory and returned to the top of Div2

22nd November

Nomads B Worksop A
Ian Barwick 1 0 Jim Davis
Henry Withington 0 1 Phil Griffiths
Stuart Crosthwaite 1 0 Oliver Graham
Ken Dewhurst ½ ½ Ionel Dragan
Steve Withington 0 1 Andrew Allen
Keith Wicks 1 0 A David Fidler

 

Nomads D vs Ravenfield

Nomads D 1.5 4.5 Ravenfield
Duncan Chambers (w) 0 1 Tim Gollens
Les Day 1 0 Andrew Shaw
Eric Mckenna 0.5 0.5 Roy Evans
Robert Shaw 0 1 Barry Shaw
Jo Woollard 0 1 D Hill
Francesca Biggio 0 1 M Wilkes

Nomads won the toss, and chose white on odd boards.

Robert emerged from the opening with a bishop and five pawns against a bishop and four pawns. After much manoeuvring, he miscalculated, ending up in this position:

Seeing no way to prevent his opponent forcing promotion, Robert resigned.

Eric’s game began well, but eventually deadlocked, ending in an agreed draw. Duncan went a pawn down, and never quite recovered. Francesca also lost material early on, and eventually resigned.

Jo maintained material parity, ending up with a queen, two rooks, and seven pawns against a queen, two rooks, a knight, and four pawns. However, he defended well, holding Jo at bay until her flag fell.

Meanwhile, Les emerged into a bishop and pawns endgame two pawns up, with a clear time advantage. Before long, his opponent resigned.

Worksop B vs Nomads C

Worksop B 3 3 Nomads C
Phill Beckett 0 1 Henry Withington (w)
Ionel Dragan 1 0 Steve Withington
Dave Fidler 1 0 Duncan Chambers
Rob Porter 0 1 Les Day
Andrew Smith 0 1 Eric McKenna
Alan Story 1 0 Jo Woollard

With the score standing at 3 – 2 everything hinged on Les’s game with Rob. Anything less than a win and the match would be lost. Fortunately Les had an extra pawn, and in a tense endgame accurate play ensured a win, and Nomads levelled the scores for a drawn match.

Eccesall B V Nomads B

The Nomads B team travelled Ecclesall Chess Club on November 2nd. We must apologise to their team for our tardy arrival, the game was a very closely fought match with draws on all of the first five boards reflecting how evenly matched the teams were. Fortunately Keith pulled of a win to swing the tie Nomads way, Nomads B are back on top of the Div continuing their 100% record

Eccesall B 2.5 – 3.5 Nomads B
1 2800 J Marley 1/2-1/2 I Barwick (w) 7426
2 1468 K.McIntosh 1/2-1/2 M Newett 3043
3 1467 A McIntosh 1/2-1/2 H Withington 3414
4 2131 N Wragg 1/2-1/2 K Dewhurst 1247
5 5765 P Cooper 1/2-1/2 S Withington 3293
6 3300 P Hoare 0- 1 K Wicks (c) 4298

Nomads C vs Clay Cross

Nomads C 3.5 2.5 Clay Cross
Henry Withington (w) 1 0 DEFAULT
Steve Withington 0.5 0.5 Brian Lever
Duncan Chambers 0.5 0.5 Jerome Redhead
Keith Wicks 0 1 Frank Pearson
Ben Remy 0.5 0.5 Brian Redhead
Eric McKenna 1 0 Dudley Thorpe

Henry’s opponent unfortunately got lost on his way to Nomads’ venue, but the point was gratefully received. After draws for Steve and Duncan, a quick loss for Keith and a nice win for Eric the scores stood 3 – 2. Everything depended on Ben Remy, who just needed to draw.

His game with Brian Redhead proved that chess can indeed be a spectator sport. After a frenzy of clock-bashing and flying pieces, with both clocks seconds from falling, a draw was agreed. And this was all Nomads needed to win the match.

Nomads A vs Chesterfield A

This match has often been a title decider in recent years, and Chesterfield’s recent away record at our place isn’t half bad. The sides were exceedingly evenly matched as well for this one, with the biggest ‘live’ grading difference across the eight boards being 17pts and no other player conceding 10+ points on either side. So even before we got started it seemed entirely plausible that this would be one of our closest battles yet. Early finishes do not appear to be a hallmark of this season either – the last three matches came down to the final few minutes and at that point the score was still in the balance too; past 9.30 all eight boards were still in action – chess may not be considered a spectator sport but for the few players in attendance tonight it couldn’t have been anything less than gripping stuff to watch. I can testify that it was even more gripping to be playing!

So how did things pan out? Well board one featured pretty much every single possible configuration you’re likely to see in a chess match and several you’d probably never see again. An early Kg3 from Dave, some very complicated moves from Jon… I’ll confess here and now I have absolutely no clue what was happening, even after speaking to Dave a couple of times in the course of it. Board two was a little more standard although Chris’ bishop looked particularly unhappy hemmed in on h-file for quite a while as Peter grabbed a kingside space advantage in the opening. Board three… Mike’s slow and steady build up, Jamie’s calm and considered piece play; time a likely critical factor here (with both players not exactly unfamiliar with time trouble!). My own game against Martin featured some pushed pawns, long castling and a long, drawn-out battle for control of d4 and the a7-g1 diagonal. Ian’s game, on the other hand, featured a relatively quick swap down of major pieces and a minor pieces ending with all three results possible. Mike and Andy had a (slightly) standoffish Sicilian going on. Geoff had his ‘favoured’ French (with the Black pieces yet again) and Arjun appeared to be adopting a safety-first approach against notorious gambiteer Steve B.

And then the results started to dripfeed through. First… board 4. Seconds before the time control for Mike, a little longer for Jamie. Heavy pieces ending, some exchanges and an accepted draw offer. Mike might have had a positional plus but his clock negative could have been more telling in a tricky ending so the draw seemed reasonable enough. The second match to finish wasn’t too far behind with Andy and Mike reaching a rooks, piece and pawns ending; Andy slightly more space, Mike perhaps with the more centralised pieces – again a fair result and now this was a six board match.

Arjun was in time trouble. Again. And not in a position that appeared to offer any significant breakthroughs; I must have missed something though because the game that concluded not long after I had last looked at it had concluded in our favour – a surprise additional half point swing (I had assumed it was a draw) that ultimately proved crucial and edged our noses in front.

Boards 1 and 2 were next to finish, albeit not in that order. Chris managed to make his h-file bishop an important piece at the end of the game, winning a pawn, invading with his queen… but not quite having enough for a winning attack. A good draw nonetheless from a tricky position that could easily have come unstuck. Dave and Jon, meanwhile, continued to randomly scatter pieces across the board to an extent that I swear at one point there was a draughts piece involved in proceedings. An early Kg3, a much later exchange sacrifice, Dave with doubled pawns on the 7th and 5th, Jon offering a poisoned bishop – I could make neither head nor tail of it and I’m glad I didn’t record the position as putting it into Fritz might just cause my laptop to explode. Dave felt minded to recall a quote from Howard Staunton – “I cannot see how it is possible for either player to save his game.” And I was obliged to agree. Turns out Dave just about managed it – when the queens came off the pawn on the 7th went from threat to crowning glory as a second queen was enough to win material and enter a winning endgame. I don’t know whether it was myself or Geoff that finished next – either way, at 2.5 – 2.5 we needed 2 from the last 3 and it was these two games that brought the necessary points haul. My game ultimately hinged on Martin’s doubled h-pawns, which occurred on move 6 and gave me a route into the kingside from where I was able to prise open his pawn structure after winning the exchange. Geoff’s game hinged on him winning the d-pawn and then retreating into his shell and staving off Steve’s kingside attack for what seemed like 20 or so moves. Either way, stave it off he did before turning the tables and invading with queen and rook to seal the deal. All of which left Ian’s knight and pawns ending – a probable draw (Steve had repeated at one point and would have again if Ian had also done so) but with a pawn advantage Ian tried to push for more. It didn’t quite work out though – a pawn up became a pawn down (the only pawn left) and careful husbandry of that pawn allowed Steve to queen before Ian’s flag fell.

To sum up… Exciting! Thrilling!! Confusing!!! Classic midweek chess, with two very well matched sides going toe-to-toe and battling to the very end. This didn’t feel like a lucky win, or a one-sided win – it felt like a match that could go either way and would hinge on the smallest of detail. That’s exactly what we got, and fortunately for us it was the Nomads contingent that got that break and brought home the points. It seems that the entire season will be consisting of tight, hard fought but friendly competition – personally, I can’t wait for the next match!

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.