Online League – First Week

Nomads A 2.5 – 1.5 Rotherham
Oskar (w) ½ – ½ Peter Ackley
Paul 1 – 0 Peter Catt
Chris 1 -0 Nat Holroyd-Doveton
Peter 0 – 1 Udin Wade
Nomads B 2 – 2 Hillsborough B
Vasilis (b) 0 – 1 Ben Wood
Henry 0 – 1 Andrew Birtwhistle
Arjun 1 – 0 Dave Grobler
Geoff 1 – 0 Stephen Lee
Nomads C 2.5 – 1.5 Darnall B
Duncan ½ – ½ Joe Primrose
Steve 1 – 0 Andrew Nettleship
Robert 0 – 1 Kevin Randle
Lucas 1 – 0 Daniel Crampton


Henry wins Third Arena

Henry Withington (Nietzschescat) took first place losing one game to Jeremy and  being held to a draw in one game by his dad. Jeremy came in second with a 100% win record. In third place was Robert from Wales, winner of the two previous arenas.

We had nine players taking part, including new player Matthew and Arjun Babu (who joined late). I think this was probably our best Arena event yet. The seven minutes plus ten second increment worked well and two hours seems to be a good length of time for the whole event.

Thanks to everyone who could make it.

For those of you not yet familiar with the Arena, it works like this:

You play blitz game after blitz game within a  limited period of time. (This is usually two hours for Nomads tournaments.)  You can take breaks and play as many or as few games as you like.  It is a lot of fun, and you can play to win the tournament, or just to have a few good games of chess.

The Third Arena

Tuesday 8th September 7.30pm till 9.30pm is the date for the Third Nomads Arena. After two very enjoyable events we are doing this one with an eight minute plus five seconds increment played over a period of two hours.

To take part you need to be a Lichess member (completely free) and to join the Sheffield Nomads team on Lichess.

Club Night in the Real World

We will be meeting at the Trades and Labour club next Tuesday, 1st September at 7.30pm for casual games of chess. Me and Lez are guaranteed to be there. Anyone who fancies coming down please do so for our first club night in months.

We will be following the rules of the Trades and Labour club regarding social distancing etc.

We all appreciate that some Nomads are shielding and will not be able to come down, and really look forward to the time when things get back to normal and everyone can come and play as usual.

Also, we can discuss playing rated games in some kind of club tournament which could be a good alternative to the league games that sadly we won’t be playing.

Beautiful Bad Chess

The beauty of flawed chess games should never be underestimated. Here is a raw blitzy adventure that illustrates how plain bad moves can sometimes deliver unlikely victories.

In this game white strays from the path of righteousness quite early on. However, there are useful themes contained in this little rough gem that could be used in more serious games.

Has anyone else got crazy blitz games they’d like to post here. I’d love to see them.

Norbury goes Ape, explorations of the Reverse Polish

Allergy advice: may contain cheap tactics.

In this article Ken Norbury looks at the Reverse Polish/Orang Utan.

Forking Good Game

This game is somewhat flawed and has more to do with psychology than `best move chess` From the beginning Black is intent upon drawing his opponent into a fist fight where crude and nasty tactics have a fair chance of success. Keen observers may recognise certain similarities to the obscure lines in the Greco Counter Gambit (1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3Bc4 b5) where White can get into trouble quickly, even when making natural looking moves. Once committed to this kind of counter attack there is no turning back. Black has to find new ways of applying pressure and causing chaos and confusion, whilst always looking to justify and benefit from his early seemingly recklessness play. In this Reversed Orang Utan it should come as no surprise that there are elements of provocation and devilment in which false move can cost the game for either side.
Black is technically on the back foot in the initial stages but takes advantage of some inaccuracies that allow him to regain material and threaten checkmate.

Orang Utan clambers over Stonewall

Towards the end both players overlook the possibility and consequence of White checking with his Black Bishop rather than pulling his other Bishop back to d1. Although this ruins the spectacle and delight of Blacks second Knight sacrifice on d4 in the game it should not detract from the ingenuity of the play as a similar idea would have worked with the Knight moving instead to b4 as Whites pawn structure then would prevent the check.
Black throughout has chosen to engage in direct attack as White seemed to be want to hide safely behind the Stonewall Pawn Formation, and needed to be shaken out of his comfort zone. White wrongly goes out his way to swap Queens perhaps in the belief that this would lessen the impact of Blacks attack. Once the Rooks get a foothold on the seventh Black has some psychological sway as the aggressor. Even if the second Knight had gone, White although technically up by one and a half according to the computer, might still have found difficulty in co-ordinating his pieces.
There are many lessons to be learned from encounters such as this, not least that attitude intent and ambition although not necessarily tangible can have huge determinative effect on the direction and results of games. Had White had a little more self-belief he could have mustered a better defence but needed to do something other than swap hold and stodge.
As it turns out the choice of the Reverse Polish paid dividends as it signalled the fact that Black was not content with a normal game and was willing to use imagination to surprise and defeat his opponent.

The Arena

Here is an idea for a virtual club night. The Arena. Everyday on Lichess there are arena tournaments that take various formats. The Arena is quite unlike a Swiss tournament. For a start there are no rounds. You play, and win or lose, you play again almost straight away, as soon as you reenter the arena and another player becomes available. There are no points for draws and winning quickly is the key to success.

We need a good pool of players for such an event. If we could match our current numbers in the First Nomads Online Tournament we would be doing really well. We could open such a tournament up to the broader Sheffield chess community.

Why not enter a few lichess arena tournaments and get a feel for this fun way of playing chess. When we do an arena tournament we need to get the format right. I think most players are not interested in anything less than five minutes per player.

My gut feeling is a two hour arena tournament with a ten minute time limit for each player. You can rest for as long as you like between games, but of course the energetic and ambitious will have an advantage.

Anyone interested in this please give a couple of arena tournaments a go, and get back to me with your suggestions.

First Nomads Online Chess Tournament

The format is 30 minutes with a 30 second increment, one game per week.

The white player should contact the black player to arrange the game.

An email with all the contact details of players has been sent to all entrants. If you have any queries please contact

Results in by 8pm Sunday at the latest please.

Final Table

The table has been compiled with the highest graded player being at the top of the score group except for 1st place where Chris won on a cumulative score tiebreak. Well done to Chris on becoming our first online Club Championship Winner 2020.

Player/Grade/Rank Score
1st =  Chris Shephard  199 (2) 4/5
1st =  Oskar Hackner  219 (1) 4/5
1st =  Jeremy Hamm  182 (3)   4/5
4th    Stuart Crosthwaite  164 (5) 3.5/5
5th = Vasilis Pasialis  181 (4) 3/5
5th = Henry Withington  158 (7) 3/5
5th = Duncan Chambers   137 (11) 3/5
5th = Lez Day  126 (13) 3/5
9th = Rob Nield  132 (12) 2.5/5
9th = Jo Woolard  112 (14) 2.5/5
11th = Geoff / Arjun  161 (6) 2/5
11th = Ray King 155 (8) 2/5
11th = Dave Norris  89 (16) 2/5
14th = Pete Morton  142 (9) 1.5/5
14th = Steve Withington  138 (10) 1.5/5
14th = Arkady English 96 (15) 1.5/5
17th = Samuel Humphrey  85 (17) 1/5
17th = Robert Shaw  – (18) 1/5

Round 5

Finished games can be viewed by clicking on the result link. Also you can view games live by searching either player on lichess and viewing their game as they play.

White Result Black
1 Jeremy Hamm 3 1 – 0 Chris Shephard 4
2 Oskar Hackner 3 1 – 0 Rob Nield 2.5
3 Henry Withington 2.5 1/2 – 1/2 Vasilis Pasialis 2.5
4 Stuart Crosthwaite 2.5 1 – 0 Arjun Musuvathy 2
5 Duncan Chambers 2 1 – 0 Ray King 2
6 Lez Day 2 1 – 0 Steve Withington 1.5
7 Pete Morton 1.5 0 – 1 Dave Norris 1
8 Robert Shaw 1 0 – 1 Jo Woolard 1.5
9 Sam Humphrey 0  1 – 0 Arkady English 1.5

Round 4

Finished games can be viewed by clicking on the result link. Also you can view games live by searching either player on lichess and viewing their game as they play.

White Result Black
1 Chris Shephard 3  1 – 0 Oskar Hackner 3
2 Arjun Musuvathy 2 0 – 1 Jeremy Hamm 2
3 Vasilis Pasialis 2 1/2 – 1/2 Stuart Crosthwaite 2
4 Ray King 2 0 – 1 Henry Withington 1.5
5 Rob Nield 1.5 1 – 0 Arkady English 1.5
6 Steve Withington 1.5 0 – 1 Duncan Chambers 1
7 Jo Woolard 1 1/2 – 1/2 Pete Morton 1
8 Robert Shaw 1 0 – 1 Lez Day 1
9 Dave Norris 0 1 – 0 Sam Humphrey 0


Round 3

Finished games can be viewed by clicking on the result link. Also you can view games live by searching either player on lichess and viewing their game as they play.

White Result Black
1 Oskar Hackner  2 1 – 0 Vasilis Pasialis  2
2 Stuart Crosthwaite  2 0 – 1 Chris Shephard  2
3 Jeremy Hamm  1 1 – 0 Jo Woollard  1
4 Duncan Chambers  1 0 – 1 Arjun Musuvaty 1
5 Henry Withington  1 1/2 – 1/2 Rob Nield  1
6 Lez Day  1 0 – 1 Ray King  1
7 Pete Morton  1 0 – 1 Steve Withington  1/2
8 Arkady English  1/2 1 – 0 Dave Norris 0
9 Sam Humphrey 0 0 – 1 Robert Shaw 0

Round 2

Finished games can be viewed by clicking on the result link. Also you can view games live by searching either player on lichess and viewing their game as they play.

White Result Black
1 Ray King 1 0 – 1 Oskar Hackner 1
2 Chris Shephard 1 1 – 0 Henry Withington 1
3 Vasilis Pasialis 1 1 – 0 Pete Morton 1
4 Rob Nield 1 0 – 1 Stuart Crosthwaite 1
5 Geoff Frost 1 0 – 1 Lez Day
6 Dave Norris 0 0 – 1 Jeremy Hamm 0
7 Steve Withington 0 1/2 – 1/2 Arkady English 0
8 Robert Shaw 0 0 – 1 Duncan Chambers 0
9 Jo Woollard 0 1 – 0 Sam Humphrey 0

Round 1

White Result Black
1 Oskar Hackner 1 – 0 Steve Withington
2 Duncan Chambers 0 – 1 Chris Shephard
3 Jeremy Hamm 0 – 1 Rob Nield
4 Lez Day 0 – 1 Vasilis Pasialis
5 Stuart Crosthwaite 1 – 0 Jo Woollard
6 Arkady English 0 – 1 Geoff Frost
7 Henry Withington 1 – 0 Dave Norris
8 Sam Humphrey 0 – 1 Ray King
9 Pete Morton 1 – 0 Robert Shaw

List of players

Player/Grade Lichess Username
Oskar Hackner  219 prawiarwac
Chris Shephard  199 Prothiersch
Jeremy Hamm  182 JeremyH
Vasilis Pasialis  181 VSheff
Stuart Crosthwaite  164 StuartCrosthwaite
Geoff Frost  161 Geofffrost
Henry Withington  158 Nietzschescat
Ray King  155 redlentils
Peter Morton  142 PeterMorton
Steve Withington  138 withington
Duncan Chambers  137 DuncanChambers
Rob Nield  132 Rdeborn
Lez Day  126 negames4me
Jo Woollard  112 joffee
Arkady English  96 arkadye
David Norris  89 djn1972
Samuel Humphrey  85 ConBlack23
Robert Shaw  - Carandol

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Challenging an opponent on Lichess