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.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Colchester Junior Chess Club

A new junior chess club has been set up in Colchester.


Commences on the 21st September 2017 and then every Thursday (school term dates)
4:30pm – 6:00pm


  • 07838085656


Michael Catabay (DBS checked)


£3.00 per week per child


Hythe Community Centre
( 1st Floor )
1 Venture Drive
C01 2FG

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Mate in two

The puzzle below was written in 1920 by Lionel Penrose of Colchester Chess Club. It is probably his best known puzzle and took 1st place in The Observer's puzzle competition. White to play and mate in two. Solution given in the comments section.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Rapidplay grades

The rapid play grades for active Colchester players on the July ECF Grading List are:

302172LVoelker, Norbert170E
274746HCatabay, Michael164F 
186371LStemp, Matt162E
140673FBarnes, Nathan158E150E
299554CKjenner, Svein150D151E
250046CBellinger, Clive140E
293018DJohnson, Mark117B118B
155695CDaley, Phil106E
213710ASmith, Peter99E
227455DDuff-Cole, John97E
256466LGoodman, Ed67E70E

A number of players appear on the list (or have non-F grades) for the first time.