We move onto our 3rd game of the season (our 1st at home) where we welcomed Woodseats to the Trades & Labour Club. We won the toss & Jon chose to play black on odd boards. After a shaky start we managed to get the edge in the match & it looked like we were heading for a win. But in the end the match ended in a 4-4 draw. Wins for Chris, Vasilis (in his first game for the club) & Pete who has a 100% record so far with 3 wins from 3 games played. Jon & Duncan both drew. Still unbeaten after 3 games a great achievement with a win & 2 draws (4 points from 6). we next play on Wednesday 21st Nov away to University lets keep our unbeaten run going.
Our second match of the season saw us travel to Darnall for what was going to be a tough match, and tough it was. The match ended all square 4-4. Wins for Stuart, Pete & Steve & draws for Chris & Nick secured us a share of the points. Unbeaten in our first 2 games is a fantastic achievement with 3 out of 4 points. On to next week where we have our first home of the season against Woodseats.
Another great result, ensuring the C team remain on maximum points so far this season. Four out of the five new players who recently joined the club took part in this game and we all returned home unbeaten, with wins for Ray, myself, Arkady and Rory (in his first game) and draws for Eric & Sean. Well done everyone 🙂
Eventually the A team gets its campaign underway with a trip to Hillsborough, and what a fantastic result for us winning 5-3. Wins for Jon, Chris (by default) John & Pete and draws for Nick & Steve gave us the points to secure a well deserved victory. Thanks to everyone who played tonight, what a great way to start the season. On to next match away to Darnell next Monday 5th Nov.
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.