Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Colchester C round-up

Colchester C finished in 5th place (out of 6) in NECL Division 2 with three wins, one draw and six defeats in the league. Their best results were probably a 2-2 draw against league winners Clacton A and a 3.5-0.5 win against Baddow B. The latter result took place on the same evening as a B team match making it an even more impressive result as they were not able to use the highest-graded player eligible for the C team (as they were playing for the B team).

The player statistics (by board) are:

Board 1 (Total 6/10)
Felix Schnell3/4
Svein Kjenner2.5/3
Clive Bellinger0.5/2
Emil Tihov0/1

Board 2 (Total 4.5/10)
Felix Schnell2/2
Svein Kjenner1/1
Mike Wagstaff1/3
Emil Tihov0.5/2
Clive Bellinger0/1
Pete Smith0/1

Board 3 (Total 3.5/10)
Emil Tihov1.5/2
Clive Bellinger1.5/4
Mike Wagstaff0.5/1
Phil Daley0/1
Brian Remmer0/1
Pete Smith0/1

Board 4 (Total 5/10)
Brian Remmer1.5/2
Clive Bellinger1/1
Emil Tihov1/1
Pete Smith1/3
John Duff-Cole0.5/1
Phil Daley0/2

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Tony Locke Rapidplay 2018

The club's internal rapidplay championship (Tony Locke Rapidplay) was held on Wednesday 30th May. The competition was won by Nathan Barnes (with a score of 4.5/5, matching his score from the previous year). Dom Lee, with an unbeaten 4/5 was second. Matt, Felix and Pete tied for third with 3/5. Ten players took part.

In round 1 Matt and Felix were the first to finish. Nathan got a slight edge in a queen-less middlegame against Brian's Grob, it took a while to get there but once the position opened up his more active rooks finished the game quite quickly. Craig sprung the upset of the round - he won a couple of pawns against Mark and that was enough to convert a potentially tricky queen and pawn endgame. The last game to finish was between Dom and John which reached a knight and four pawns each endgame. The position looked drawn but Dom was down to his last few seconds and looked like losing on time. However, an illegal move from John meant Dom gained two minutes and a draw was agreed.

Round 2's main talking point was Pete beating the much higher-graded Felix. There were also wins for Nathan, Phil, Matt and Dom. The first two rounds had all been based on seeding with the top 5 seeded players (Matt, Nathan, Felix, Dom and Mark) playing against players from the other half but only two players - Matt and Nathan - had won both their games. This meant that round 3 would see the top two seeds play each other. A blunder in the early middle game saw Nathan lose a piece for no compensation; however, active play in a QRB5P v QR5P endgame along with an awkwardly-placed White king saw Nathan get a couple of pawns and then the bishop. Pete laid a successful opening trap against Craig; Felix recovered from his round 2 loss by beating John; Mark against Brian saw a rematch of the club championship quarter-final with the same result; Phil and Dom's game went to the wire with Dom having a very strong attack but only six seconds on the clock to Phil's 20 seconds, Phil tried to find a defence and lost on time.

Round 4 saw the two unbeaten players drawn against each other. A long game went to a fairly even knight and pawn endgame. Nathan had two minutes on the clock to Dom's one but offered a draw to preserve his tournament lead rather than risk going wrong. Matt resigned after blundering a piece against Felix; Pete beat Phil to win his third game in a row and bring himself into contention for first place; a hard-fought game resulted in a draw for Mark and John; Brian beat Craig meaning that everyone had at least a point.

Going into the final round, Nathan was in the lead with 3.5/4; Dom, Felix and Pete were half a point back. Mark and Matt's game resulted in a queen and pawn endgame where Matt always had an advantage, these endings can be tricky to win as both sides have to be wary of the other's queen. This was Mark's second queen and pawn endgame of the evening but Matt's extra pawn proved sufficient. Brian beat Phil when he managed to bring his rook down to the 7th rank after a fairly even struggle. John versus Craig saw John pick up his first win, to go with his two earlier draws. Dom and Pete went into an even endgame where Dom had a rook and five pawns against Pete's bishop, knight and four pawns. A risky knight incursion resulted in Dom being able to trap the knight and force an exchange of his rook for Pete's two pieces, the extra pawn was then decisive. Nathan forced a transposition from a Sicilian to a symmetrical English in his game against Felix, and the typical queenside pawn advances resulted in a clear edge. The finish to this game can be seen below.

[Event "Tony Locke Rapidplay"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.05.30"] [Round "5"] [White "Barnes, Nathan"] [Black "Schnell, Felix"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "157"] [BlackElo "155"] [Annotator "Barnes,Nathan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "b1r2rk1/4np1p/1q1pp1p1/Rp6/1P1PP3/1QN1P1P1/6BP/R5K1 b - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "3"] [EventDate "2018.05.30"] [EventType "rapid"] {The pressure on the b5 pawn and the control over the a-file give White a definite, but not yet decisive, advantage.} 1... e5 $2 {Putting pressure on White's central pawns and trying to take advantage of the fact that Black's queen and White's king are on the same diagonal.} 2. Ra6 $1 {Forces the queen to move off the diagonal and means White will win material - the knight on e7 is loose, the pawns on b5 and d6 are both attacked and Black is tied down protecting the bishop on a8.} (2. dxe5 $4 {is clearly very bad} Qxe3+ 3. Kf1 Rxc3 $19) (2. d5 $4 {is just as bad}) (2. Rxb5 $2 Rxc3 3. Qxf7+ Kxf7 4. Rxb6 $17) (2. Nxb5 $2 Nc6 3. Bf1 Nxa5 4. bxa5 $15) 2... Qb8 $2 {[%csl Ra8][%cal Ra6a8,Ra1a8] and realising the error immediately Black resigned without waiting for White to move.} (2... Qb7 $142 3. Ra7 Qc6 4. Rxe7 Qxc3 5. Qxc3 Rxc3 6. d5 Rxe3 (6... Rc4 7. Rea7 Rcc8 8. Bf1 Rb8 9. Rd7 Rb6 $18 {Black is completely tied down and will eventually lose material.}) 7. Rea7 $18 {and Black has some, but not enough, compensation for the piece that is now lost.}) 1-0

Colchester D round-up

Colchester D finished in 2nd place (out of 11) in a closely-contested NECL Division 3, with six wins, three draws and one defeat in the league. Billericay B finished in first, one point ahead of the D team - with Clacton C and Clacton B close behind. The club introduced a D team to try to ensure that all who wanted a game got a game and this has been the main success of the team this year; with 12 people playing in at least one match (including 7 different people playing on board 4). Dom Lee, Emil Tihov, Craig Bradshaw, Asci Catabay and, 7-year old, Mae Catabay all made their competitive debuts for the club.

The player statistics (by board) are:

Board 1 (Total 6.5/10)
Brian Remmer2.5/4
Pete Smith2/2
Emil Tihov1.5/2
Clive Bellinger0.5/1
Mark Johnson0/1

Board 2 (Total 6.5/10)
Mark Johnson2/2
Pete Smith1.5/2
John Duff-Cole1.5/2
Dom Lee1/1
Brian Remmer0.5/1
Phil Daley0/2

Board 3 (Total 7/10)
John Duff-Cole3/4
Dom Lee2/2
Brian Remmer1/1
Pete Smith1/2
Craig Bradshaw0/1

Board 4 (Total 7/10)
Craig Bradshaw2.5/4
Mark Johnson1/1
John Duff-Cole1/1
Dom Lee1/1
Luke Sheppey1/1
Asci Catabay0.5/1
Mae Catabay0/1

Saturday, 17 March 2018

HOCCC: 1904 correspondence match

In the 1903-04 season two correspondence games were played between the chess clubs of Colchester and Tunbridge Wells. According to a newspaper article about the match "In game one Colchester, playing Black, soon turned the attack into a defence, and at one time looked like winning, but White found the right replies, and a draw resulted."

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "1904.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Tunbridge Wells"] [Black "Colchester"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "46"] {C54: Giuoco Piano: 4 c3 Nf6, main lines with 5 d4 and 5 d3} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 {The Giuoco Piano is an opening that has started to come back into fashion in recent years with quite a few of the top players using it.} (5. d3 {is the main line but 5.d4 is also a very common move.}) 5... exd4 6. e5 Ne4 (6... d5 {is the main move in this position, it has been played by Caruana recently against Gawain Jones.}) 7. Qe2 d5 {The only move that does not lead to material loss, the knight on e4 has nowhere to go.} 8. exd6 Bf5 (8... O-O {is also possible as the knight cannot be taken} 9. Qxe4 $4 Re8 10. Qe2 Rxe2+ 11. Bxe2 $19) 9. Ng5 $2 {Trying to win the knight but White would be better off taking on d4 and then developing on the queenside.} O-O $1 $17 {The only move to prevent material loss, the knight is safe due to the potential skewer of queen and king on the e-file.} 10. dxc7 Qxc7 11. O-O Rae8 12. Qf3 Bg6 13. Bf4 Ne5 {White is struggling - development is still not complete, the bishop on c4 is loose and vulnerable to potential discovered attacks from Black's queen and Black's pieces are much better coordinated.} 14. Bxe5 Rxe5 15. Nxe4 Bxe4 16. Qg4 Qe7 17. Qh3 (17. -- Rg5 $1 ( 17... Bxg2 {is also easily winning}) 18. Qh3 Rxg2+ 19. Qxg2 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Qe4+ {and White will have to give up a lot of material to prevent mate.}) 17... b5 ( 17... Bxg2 $2 {doesn't work at the moment} 18. Kxg2 Rg5+ 19. Kh1 $11) 18. Bd3 { [%cal Rd3h7,Rh3h7]} (18. Bxb5 $4 Bxg2 $1 {[%csl Rf1,Rh3][%cal Re5g5]} 19. Kxg2 Qb7+ 20. f3 Qxb5 $19 21. b3 {while material is equal (temporarily), White's king is too exposed and the pieces not developed so won't be able to hold on for long.}) 18... g6 $6 {Doesn't achieve much. The idea is to unpin the bishop on e4 so that the tactics on g2 could work.} 19. Bxe4 {only move that keeps White in the game} ({for example} 19. Nd2 $2 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Rh5 21. Qf3 Qg5+ 22. Qg3 Qxd2) 19... Rxe4 20. cxd4 Bxd4 21. Nc3 Bxc3 $6 $15 (21... Re5 $142 $17) 22. Qxc3 Re8 23. a3 a6 {Draw agreed} 1/2-1/2

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Tony Locke Rapidplay

The date for this year's Tony Locke Rapidplay will be Wednesday 30th May. Format will be a 5-round Swiss (possibly with alternative pairing system for first two rounds, depending on numbers). 15 minutes per player per game.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Duck chess competition

Nine players took part in the Xmas Duck Chess Competition, Matt Stemp won with a score of 4/4.

1Matt Stemp+9+5+3+24
2Nathan Barnes+8+6+7-13
3Michael Catabay+4bye-1+53
4Asci Catabay-3+8+6+73
5Clive Bellinger+7-1bye-32
6John Duff-Colebye-2-4+82
7Brian Remmer-5+9-2-41
8Rezin Catabay-2-4+9-61
9Mae Catabay-1-7-8bye1

Here is the finish from Asci - John, the duck means Black has no way of saving his king.

Photos from the event:

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Xmas Competition

The Colchester Chess Club Xmas Competition this year will be on Wednesday 20th December. It will be a duck chess competition - all welcome. To read more about this chess variant go the "official" website.

The evening will start with Nathan and Matt explaining the rules and giving people a chance to practice. The main event will then be (depending on numbers) either an all-play-all or Swiss completion.

Before then there are two matches - one for the A team and one for the B team. After the holiday period the A and B teams will be playing in the NECL knockout quarter-finals with the A team looking to defend the trophy they won last year.