The England Open team had a good 2½-1½ win against Israel on Tuesday (2nd October), at the Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia. But one that got away was David Howell’s game against Emil Sutovsky. Here is the position at a critical point (after 26. Re1-e2…), with Howell (Black) to move):
Here he played 26…Rfe8, allowing White to play Nf4 and then Rd1, consolidating (though I assume it’s still much better for Black) – the game ended as a draw.
Can you do better than our grandmaster in this position?! There are actually two very strong continuations. Solutions in a few days!
The British Chess Championships take part in Hull this year, 27th July – 5th August. Jon Nelson is so far the only Nomad in the entries but it’s not to late for anyone who wishes to take part. There are classes for all abilities.
And so to Woodseats and the Red Lion for our first match of 2018. Andrew was missing (we wish him and his family well, of course) and Woodseats were also missing one or two others towards the top end of the team that left them comfortably outgraded on nearly every board. However, that didn’t prevent them from making a fight of things and the scoreline, as ever it seems, flattered us somewhat. First to finish were David and Geoff – Geoff forgot the usual continuation in the opening he played and things petered out quickly. But his was the only game to finish (relatively) quickly. Elsewhere, the battles were fought hard and long into the night.
Stuart entered into a King’s Gambit of sorts with Bill and seemed to hold onto the extra pawn, and hold it, and hold it… and eventually his pawn became a thorn in Bill’s position that he wasn’t able to round up as Stuart picked up pawns elsewhere on the board. Nick followed a little while after, also winning a number of pawns in the endgame to break Steve’s resistance.
After this, everything was something of a blur as most of the remaining games finished at a similar point. Mike’s kingside pressing eventually told as he forced his way into Brendan’s position; Ian’s pieces initially seemed to be getting in a bit of a tangle but once he sorted them out he too, was able to eke an advantage and overturn Steve’s brave resistance. On three, I got dragged into a very drawish opening line (I am sure I didn’t play it well but that’s no surprise!) and once everything came off Shane and I were left with a very drawish rook and pawn ending (one where I nearly walked into a mate in 1!) that ended in a draw, unsurprisingly. On two, Chris gradually wore Stuart down and in the ending, Chris’ more active king and better placed pawns were crucial (aided and abetted by a pawn advantage, as I recall). And on top board Jon and Daniel were out of book on around move 4… the game became exceedingly sharp and when I thought Daniel might be lost, he managed to wiggle some more before eventually entering an endgame where he was a piece down. Jon’s technique at this point was flawless, though, culminating in a nice mating pattern without need to promote his final pawn.
A one-sided result, but not so much a one-sided match – and a convincing enough start to 2018.
Disappointed that only Robert & Myself bothered to turn up to Phil Fords Memorial Tournament tonight. Don’t know why nobody else turned up to what normally is a well attended evening in the Clubs calendar. So far the Summer events we planned at our AGM have mostly been poorly attended which I find very sad indeed. Hope the few events we have planned in September are better attended. Cheers Lez
8 players turned up for our second Club League night. In Division 1 Henry kept up his winning start with a win over Nick, while in Division 2 Eric remained unbeaten with a win over Rob. Steve & Lez played out a draw. Only one match in Division 3 with Lucas playing his first game winning against Gordon. Thanks to all for playing tonight the next Club League night is on Sept 19th, hope to see everyone there.
For those with long memories, the Richardson Cup final was played on 15th March 2016. on 26th September 2016 the replay was held. By agreement between the captains and Phill Beckett (controller) we played over 4 boards and agreed that board count and board elimination would be used to settle a 2-2 draw. There was no agreement or facility for 4 draws. Cue collective crossed fingers.
The teams were again very evenly matched and probably had their best 4 available players out.
So off we went. That is to say they played and the general retired for a coffee.
Soon Chris and Jonathan walked in to my bunker all smiles. Jonathan was happy to have drawn in 16 moves. Chris likewise, citing that he was after all black and hadn’t played for 3 months. 1 draw down 3 to go. followed quickly by Jamie with another lame excuse for drawing in 18. 2 draws 2 to go. I wonder what Ian’s players told him!!
So off to the front line to observe the remains of the battle. To my amateur eyes we stood better on both games. Jon’s was messy but he has a good score against Oskar. Paul seemed to have more space and an easier position against Peter. Now a win on board 1 would have decided the match there and then. Hence another draw. Jon muttered something about time pressure. 3 draws 1 to go.
So all eyes on Paul and Peter, except mine, I retreated to the safety of the bunker to await reports. Paul was a pawn up but had doubled isolated b pawns. I again ventured forward and concluded that the game would be won or lost by Paul on the kingside or centre. I will not name the pessimist in our side who was strongly betting on Peter.
Finally, finally it was confirmed that Paul had won.
A postscript is that during the match Phill Beckett and I finalised the draw for next year’s Richardson cup. The loser of this game were to play Woodseats, the winner got the bye. Thought it better not to mention it during the game.
Thanks to everyone who played all season, including Pal and his dad who came back from Grantham for this match.