Sunday, 27 December 2015

Xmas Blitx Results

Eight players took part in the Xmas Blitz, games were played with 5 minutes on the clock plus 3 seconds per move.

After the all-play-all Nathan and Norbert were joint leaders with 6.5/7; Matt recovered from a slow start (losing to Nathan and Norbert in the first two rounds) to finish in 3rd with a score of 5/7. The 6th round game between Nathan and Norbert had seen Nathan gain a material advantage which was sacrificed back to expose the king, however Norbert successfully held the position and a draw was agreed with both players running out of time.

Dave Wood finished in 6th place after two good results against higher-graded opponents.

    Matt    Nathan  Norbert    Clive     Pete     John      Ed       Dave  POINTSPOSITION
Matt Stemp-001111153rd
Nathan Barnes1-0.5111116.51st=
Norbert Voelker10.5-111116.51st=
Clive Bellinger000-111144th
Pete Smith0000-11135th
John Duff-Cole00000-0.500.58th
Ed Goodman000000.5-0.517th
Dave Wood0000010.5-1.56th

An Armageddon game was used to decide the overall winner (White had 5 minutes, Black 4 minutes - but a draw would mean that Black wins). Norbert won the toss and chose to have the Black pieces. Nathan played a wing gambit against the Sicilian and won a piece for two pawns fairly early on. He held the advantage into the endgame but sped up to avoid losing on time. Norbert was able to successfully improve his position and by the time Nathan lost on time the position on the board was also lost. Therefore, Norbert won the blitz tournament.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Xmas Blitz

The club will be open as normal on the 23rd December. There will be an all-play-all blitz tournament - everyone welcome.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Colchester B

Colchester B have had a good start to the season in Division 2 of the NECL. They finished in 2nd place last season (behind Colchester A) and are currently top after a 3-1 away win against Braintree B and a 4-0 win over Dunmow.

Last minute reserve Martin Harris had a quick win in the match against Dunmow, annotated in the viewer below.

[Event "Colchester B v Dunmow"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.11.18"] [Round "?"] [White "Harris, M."] [Black "Birdi, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C21"] [WhiteElo "120"] [BlackElo "110"] [Annotator "Harris, M"] [PlyCount "35"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 {As I am sure you know, I hate gambit openings but just this once I thought I would try it out!} dxc3 4. Bc4 d6 5. Qb3 (5. Nxc3 Nf6 6. Qb3 $11) 5... Qf6 (5... Qd7 6. Nxc3 Nc6 7. Nf3 Na5 $11) 6. Nxc3 c6 7. Nf3 Bg4 $4 8. Bg5 Qg6 9. Qxb7 d5 10. Qxa8 {I didn't want to goof up here and spent a relatively long time over this move. But really there was no need to be concerned because here, all roads lead to Rome.} (10. h3 f6 11. hxg4 fxg5 12. Qc8+ Ke7 13. exd5 Nf6 14. O-O-O cxd5 15. Rhe1+ {was a better way to win but I could not see this variation clearly over the board, though I did look at it in part. There were a great many sacrificial lines and I didn't want to allow some finesse that would lead me to disaster.}) 10... Bd6 11. exd5 (11. e5 Bxf3 12. exd6 Qxg5 13. Qxb8+ Qd8 14. d7+ Kxd7 15. Qxa7+ Ke8 16. gxf3 dxc4 {was something I looked at but it didn't seem totally conclusive even though I had a clear material advantage. So many options!}) 11... c5 (11... Bxf3 12. h4 {was better for Black but White still has an attack so Black's actual move was understandable in a way.}) 12. Bb5+ Kf8 13. O-O (13. Qxa7 { might have been better but I didn't want to reveal my hand too early as I had seen some interesting options with the rook, sacrificing the knight and even sacrificing the queen. Style over matter!}) 13... Bxf3 14. Rfe1 {Take that!} f6 (14... Nf6 {was the only way to keep the game going but after the following sequence, Black is hopelessly boxed in.} 15. Qb7 Kg8 16. Qc8+ Bf8) 15. Re8+ Kf7 {I was honestly expecting 15...Qg6xe8 here, because the alternative is a complete rout.} 16. Qxa7+ Ne7 17. Rxh8 Qxg5 18. Be8# 1-0

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Colchester C

Colchester C have played 3 league matches and won all 3 (a 2.5-1.5 win over the D team and 3-1 wins against Chelmsford C and Chelmsford D) so they are currently top of Division 3. Rest of this post is from Clive.

Here is a position from a league game, White is already a piece up and has a winning position with plenty of options, but can you find the crushing move?

Did you find it? The answer is: Qd1-a1 The threatened loss of the g pawn is overwhelming (computer gives this as +8). If you picked Rc6xd6 (I did) that is still pretty good at nearly +7.

Following Qd1-a1, if black castles, Ne4-c5 Bd6xc5, b4xc5 white is 2 pieces up, game over. If : Ke8 (to give the rook room) Ne4-c5 Bd6xc5, b4xc5 Rh8-g8, c5xb6 a7xb6, again 2 pieces up If: e6-e5 (to try and block in centre) Rc6xd6 c7xd6, Ne4xd6+ Ke8-f8, Be3xb6 Rc8-c2, Bb6-c5

If: Bd6-f8 then white has Ne4-c5 Bf8xc5 (forced) Qa1xg7 Bc5xe3 Rc6xe6+ f7xe6 Bg2-c6+ Nb6-d7 Qg7xh8+ Ke8-f7 f2xe3+ Kf7-e7 Qh8xh7+ Ke7-d6 Qh7xd7+ Kd6-e5. Lovely line this... Black King all alone in the middle of the board!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Club Championship

The draw for the first two rounds (out of 5) of the club championship has been made. The first round is scheduled for the 4th November. The 2nd round for the 2nd December. Any player unable to make one of those dates is responsible for contacting their opponent to organise an alternative date. Matches must be completed by 18th December at the latest.


Round 1

Nathan Barnes V Ed Goodman
John Duff-Cole V Felix Schnell
Svein Kjenner V Mark Johnson
Clive Bellinger V Brian Remmer
Phil Daley V Pete Smith
Norbert Voelker V Martin Harris


Round 2

Pete SmithV Nathan Barnes
Martin HarrisV John Duff-Cole
Brian RemmerV Svein Kjenner
Ed GoodmanV Clive Bellinger
Felix SchnellV Phil Daley
Mark JohnsonV Norbert Voelker

Tony Locke Rapidplay

A number of matches have already been completed in the Tony Locke Rapidplay - the remaining matches from rounds 1 to 3 should now take place on the 11th November. If you are unable to make that date then you are responsible for organising an alternative date with your opponent(s). All matches from the first three rounds need to be completed before December 18th, on this date the 4th round draw will be made and the results of any incomplete matches will be decided by default wins/losses as decided by the tournament secretary (largely based on who turns up on the 11th).

Currently the outstanding games are:

Matt Stemp V Martin Harris
Simon Denney V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Denzel Gonzales
Pete Smith V Nathan Barnes
Felix Schnell V Dave Chatfield
Dave Chatfield V Leon Parker
Phil Daley V Felix Schnell
Felix Schnell V Mark Johnson
Leon Parker V Phil Daley
Martin Harris V Ed Goodman
Martin Harris V Norbert Voelker
Nathan Barnes V Svein Kjenner
John Duff-Cole VPete Smith
Mike Wagstaff V Clive Bellinger
Denzel Gonzales V Simon Denney
Denzel Gonzales V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Simon Denney
Mark Johnson V Brian Remmer

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Knockout first round

The first round of the NECL knockout saw the three Colchester teams all playing on the same night. Both the A and B teams had unlucky draws having to play Division 1 teams. The A team were drawn against Writtle A, one of the favourites to win the cup and the B team were drawn against Witham A. The C team had a home match against Witham B. A number of players were not available resulting in the A and B teams having to poach players from the C team.

Colchester C were out-graded on three boards and lost a close match 1.5-2.5, they will now be in the plate competition. The A and B teams were out-graded on every board. Alex was on board 1 for the A team and was unable to hold a difficult position resigning when losing a piece was inevitable. John Duff-Cole played well against a much higher-graded opponent but lost a couple of pawns in the late middle-game. Felix pulled a point back with a good demonstration of the advantage of two minor pieces over a rook and pawn. Nathan then levelled the match after some unsound but dangerous tactics which gave his opponent the chance to go wrong. The final score was 2-2 with the A team winning after bottom-board elimination. For the B team Clive and Martin had solid draws, Norbert maintained his winning start as a Colchester player but result of the night was Svein's well-controlled win against an opponent graded 180 (33 points higher than his own grade) following an early piece sacrifice.

Two games are shown in the viewer below - the wins from Felix (annotated by Nathan) and Svein (annotated by Svein).

[Event "NECL Knockout"] [Site "Witham"] [Date "2015.10.14"] [Round "?"] [White "Kjenner, Svein"] [Black "Coughlan, Stephen"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C44"] [Annotator "Kenner, Svein"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2015.10.14"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {Witham A - Colchester B 2015 I did not know anything about my opponent. and had no idea about his strength. That, I think, was to my advantage.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. Bb3 a6 7. h3 O-O 8. Bg5 Ba7 9. Nbd2 Be6 10. Bc2 {I read some place that it is safer to allow the exchange of the light-squared bishops.} h6 11. Bh4 g5 12. Nxg5 $5 {To me this seemed very promising. (I am sure many will put a question mark to this move). If I knew the strength of the player facing me, maybe I would sit on my hands and consider more seriously to retreat the bishop.} (12. Bg3 {would be a completely different game.}) 12... hxg5 13. Bxg5 Kg7 {During the game I got impressed by the way my opponent manoeuvred his pieces to defend the position. He got both rooks into play, the knight via b8 and also the bishop on a7,} 14. Qf3 Rh8 15. Nf1 Nb8 16. Ne3 ({I also considered} 16. Ng3 {but on e3 it seemed more flexible.}) 16... Nbd7 17. O-O-O c5 18. Bb3 ({Here, and also later in the game, I considered} 18. Nf5+ {But here I did not feel the need to give my opponent the chance to exchange pieces. I felt it would give him better chances to defend with} Bxf5 19. Qxf5) 18... Qe7 19. g4 $6 ({As next note shows, I should not allow black to play the ...c4. That's why I should have played} 19. Bd5) 19... Rag8 ({I did not even look at the better move} 19... c4 {which my engine suggests as the best move. A line goes} 20. Bxc4 Bxe3+ 21. Qxe3 Bxc4 22. dxc4 Qe6 23. f3) 20. Bd5 ({Maybe now its time to exchage some pieces. It is not easy to hold the position for black. The bind is irritating and the white initiative is dangerous.} 20. Nf5+ Bxf5 21. Qxf5 b5 22. h4) 20... Nb6 {Here I did not even consider Bxb7.} 21. Rdg1 ({but I was tempted to play} 21. h4 {which is more to the point.}) 21... Nbxd5 22. exd5 Bd7 23. h4 Bb6 24. Nc4 {Maybe not the best knight manoeuvre.} ({One good alternative was} 24. Nf5+ Bxf5 25. Qxf5 {The bind is still annoying black. Specially in his dawning time trouble.}) 24... Bd8 25. Nd2 Qe8 26. Bxf6+ {The bind is no longer, so I might as well get rid of my bishop to give room for the pawns to advance.} Bxf6 27. g5 Be7 28. Ne4 Qd8 29. Rg2 ({My opponent had time trouble here. I should have played} 29. h5 {which, beside being a better move, would been more difficult to meet with little time left on the clock.} Rh7 {would have been a terrible mistake because of} 30. g6 {and it all falls apart.}) 29... Rh7 30. h5 Kh8 { And here Black got extra 15 minutes on the clock. To be honest I did not expect Black to manage to get out of this, as well as he did. I think he played these difficult positions very well. It was much easier to play the white side.} 31. Rhg1 Qe8 $4 {The first real blunder in the game. As often it comes just after the time control.} ({Better is to bunker in with} 31... Rgg7 { The Black position looks solid, and it is not clear how White can improve the position. Still I would not mind to play this positon as White. In the game I had much better time on the clock, and new timetrouble for Black was approaching.}) 32. Nf6 {The game is now lost for Black.} Qd8 33. Nxh7 Kxh7 34. g6+ fxg6 35. Qf7+ Rg7 36. hxg6+ Kh8 37. Rh1+ Bh4 38. Qf3 Kg8 39. Qh5 Qf6 40. Rxh4 Re7 41. Rg3 {Several moves were better, but I saw this forcing line and did not really consider anything else.} Bf5 (41... Be8 42. Qh7+ Rxh7 43. gxh7+ Kf7 44. h8=Q) 42. Rf3 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.10.14"] [Round "?"] [White "Smith, Ivor"] [Black "Schnell, Felix"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C02"] [PlyCount "110"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [EventDate "2015.10.14"] {C02: French: Advance Variation} 1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 e6 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. cxd4 d5 6. e5 {The opening has transposed from a Sicilian to a French (Advanced Variation).} Qb6 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Bd3 Bd7 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Nge7 11. O-O O-O $2 12. Bxh7+ $146 {The Greek sacrifice is sound - it is a good move in the position but there was a better one.} ({One example of how dangerous the position is for Black...} 12. Rb1 $1 Qc7 13. Bxh7+ Kh8 14. Ng5 g6 15. Qf3 {1-0 (15) Albu,M-Lecoq,E Huy 1993}) (12. Rb1 $142 $1 Qa5 13. Bxh7+ Kxh7 14. Ng5+ Kg6 15. Rxb7 $18 f6 16. Qd3+ $18 {and the rook along the 7th combined with the open kingside leads to a clear advantage for White}) 12... Kxh7 $16 13. Ng5+ Kg6 $8 {Almost always forced after the bishop sacrifice on h7.} ({Obviously not } 13... Kg8 $4 14. Qh5 Rfb8 15. Qh7+ Kf8 16. Qh8+ Ng8 17. Nh7+ Ke7 18. Bg5+ Nf6 19. Qxg7 Kd8) 14. Qg4 f5 15. exf6 Kxf6 $14 (15... gxf6 $2 16. Nxe6+ Kf7 17. Qg7+ Kxe6 18. Re1+ Ne5 19. dxe5 $18) (15... Rxf6 $4 16. Nxe6+ Kf7 17. Qxg7+ Kxe6 18. Re1+ Ne5 19. Rxe5+ Kd6 20. Qxf6+ Kc7 21. Qxe7 $18) 16. Nh7+ $6 {Solid play from Black has panicked White into trying to recover the sacrificed material - it would be better to have just kept the pressure on the black king. } (16. Qf3+ $142 Kg6 17. Qd3+ Kf6 18. Rb1 $14) 16... Kf7 $15 17. Nxf8 Rxf8 { White's attack has gone, the Black king is safe now despite the open nature of the kingside. Black has two minor pieces for a rook and a pawn which is normally enough for a decisive advantage in the middlegame.} 18. Bd2 Kg8 19. Rfb1 Qc7 20. Qg3 Qxg3 21. hxg3 {Exchanging the queens helps to consolidate Black's advantage.} b6 22. Bf4 Rc8 23. Kf1 Na5 $19 24. Bd2 Nc4 25. Ke2 Nf5 26. g4 Nfd6 $19 27. f3 Kf7 (27... Ba4 $5 28. Rb4 a5 29. Rxa4 Nxd2 30. Kxd2 $19 { The rook on a4 is trapped.}) 28. a4 $17 Nxd2 29. Kxd2 Nc4+ 30. Kd3 Kf6 31. Ra2 Be8 32. Rc1 $2 Bg6+ {Black is winning but missed a nice tactic to increase the advantage} (32... Bxa4 $142 $5 33. Rca1 (33. Rxa4 $2 Nb2+) 33... b5 34. Re2 $19 ) 33. Ke2 Rh8 34. Kf2 a5 35. Re1 Be8 36. Rb1 Bd7 37. Re1 Rc8 38. Rc1 Rb8 39. Rb1 Kg6 40. Kg3 b5 41. axb5 Rxb5 $19 42. Rxb5 (42. Raa1 a4 $1 $19 {the a-pawn can safely advance}) 42... Bxb5 43. Kf4 a4 44. Ra1 a3 45. Kg3 Kf7 46. f4 Ba4 47. f5 Bc2 48. Kf4 Bb3 49. fxe6+ Kxe6 50. g5 a2 51. Re1+ Kf7 52. g4 Bc2 53. g6+ Bxg6 54. Kg5 Bc2 55. Rf1+ Ke6 {White resigns} 0-1


Date: Oct-2015
NECL Knockout Round 1
1 b Alex Orava (165) 0 1 Dave Kraszewski (183) w
2 w Nathan Barnes (158) 1 0 Jim Howson (167) b
3 b Felix Schnell (e155) 1 0 Ivor Smith (160) w
4 w John Duff-Cole (89) 0 1 Robert Rodie (139) b
(avg=141) 2 2 (avg=162)


Date: Oct-2015
NECL Knockout Round 1
1 b Stephen Coughlan (180) 0 1 Svein Kjenner (147) w
2 w James Steele (162) 0 1 Norbert Voelker (e140) b
3 b Chris Darbon (134) ½ ½ Clive Bellinger (130) w
4 w Dave Pearce (130) ½ ½ Martin Harris (120) b
(avg=151) 1 3 (avg=134)


Date: Oct-2015
NECL Knockout Round 1
1 b Phil Daley (120) ½ ½ Barrie Quin (121) w
2 w Pete Smith (119) 0 1 Keith Husband (114) b
3 b Brian Remmer (109) 1 0 Peter O'Malley (113) w
4 w Mark Johnson (100) 0 1 John Staplehurst (101) b
(avg=112) 1.5 2.5 (avg=112)

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Martin Harris has won his first game in the Minor Section of the PokerStars Isle of Man International Chess Tournament - you can follow his progress here. He has been playing a lot recently as he also played in two events at the Paignton Chess Congress - The Walker Minor (U135) and Reg Thynne 5-round morning event (U135) where he won the U125 grading prize.

Coming up soon is the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress on October 24th-25th with two Colchester players entered so far - Nathan Barnes (Open) and Mark Johnson (Minor).

Updated draw for Tony Locke Rapidplay

A few changes have been made to the draw for the competition - with Brian Remmer added to the list for three games and one game removed (Mark Johnson - Phil Daley) to accommodate the extra player. Still no dates for the matches , in the meantime players should complete the games at any convenient time.

Matt Stemp V Martin Harris
Ed Goodman V Norbert Voelker
Simon Denney V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Denzel Gonzales
Pete Smith V Nathan Barnes
Svein Kjenner V John Duff-Cole
Felix Schnell V Dave Chatfield
Brian Remmer V Phil Daley
Dave Chatfield V Leon Parker
Phil Daley V Felix Schnell
Felix Schnell V Mark Johnson
Leon Parker V Mark Johnson
Leon Parker V Phil Daley
Dave Chatfield V Brian Remmer
Norbert Voelker V Matt Stemp
Martin Harris V Ed Goodman
Matt Stemp V Ed Goodman
Martin Harris V Norbert Voelker
Nathan Barnes V Svein Kjenner
John Duff-Cole VPete Smith
John Duff-Cole V Nathan Barnes
Svein Kjenner V Pete Smith
Mike Wagstaff V Clive Bellinger
Denzel Gonzales V Simon Denney
Denzel Gonzales V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Simon Denney
Mark Johnson V Brian Remmer

Friday, 11 September 2015

Tony Locke Rapidplay: draw for rounds 1 to 3

The club's rapidplay competition will be a 6-round event with an adapted Swiss format (the first three rounds are based on seedings, the last 3 rounds will be Swiss). The draw for the first three rounds is shown below - though some changes may be made to some pairings if new club members elect to take part. No dates have been set for these matches until the dates for all league matches have been confirmed, so for now the matches can be completed at any time the two players agree on (and dates will be set, later this month, for the matches that have not been completed).

Matt Stemp V Martin Harris
Ed Goodman V Norbert Voelker
Simon Denney V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Denzel Gonzales
Pete Smith V Nathan Barnes
Svein Kjenner V John Duff-Cole
Felix Schnell V Dave Chatfield
Mark Johnson V Phil Daley
Dave Chatfield V Leon Parker
Phil Daley V Felix Schnell
Felix Schnell V Mark Johnson
Leon Parker V Mark Johnson
Leon Parker V Phil Daley
Dave Chatfield BYE  
Norbert Voelker V Matt Stemp
Martin Harris V Ed Goodman
Matt Stemp V Ed Goodman
Martin Harris V Norbert Voelker
Nathan Barnes V Svein Kjenner
John Duff-Cole VPete Smith
John Duff-Cole V Nathan Barnes
Svein Kjenner V Pete Smith
Mike Wagstaff V Clive Bellinger
Denzel Gonzales V Simon Denney
Denzel Gonzales V Mike Wagstaff
Clive Bellinger V Simon Denney

Monday, 3 August 2015

Nadia is British Girls U11 Champion

Nadia Jaufarally, playing in the British Championships in Warwick, has just become British U11 Girls Champion. Her score of 5/7 came from 4 wins, 2 draws and a defeat in the last round - with six of her games being against higher-graded opponents. The game below, from round 6, is a good example of how to play for a win in a very even position and shows strong endgame technique, her opponent is graded 155 - 57 higher than her own grade.







[Event "2015 British Chess Championships: Under "] [Site "University of Warwick, Coventr"] [Date "2015.07.31"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Jaufarally, Nadia"] [Black "Sanitt, Leo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "98"] [BlackElo "155"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2015.07.27"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "ENG"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 {4...Nf6 is the mainline; though c6 is one of the most commonly-seen replies.} 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bd2 Qc7 7. Be2 Bf5 8. Be3 (8. Nh4 {is a better option as Black's bishop is most effective on the b1-h7 diagonal and the knight forces it to give up this diagonal or allow White to gain the bishop-pair advantage.}) 8... e6 9. Bd3 {Not bad but Nh4 was still the best option.} Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nbd7 11. g3 Bd6 12. O-O-O O-O-O 13. Ng5 Nb6 (13... -- 14. Nxf7 {winning the exchange}) 14. Rhe1 h6 15. Nge4 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 Nd5 17. Nxd6+ Qxd6 18. c3 Nxe3 19. fxe3 Qd5 20. b3 Rd7 $11 {The position is very even, though it is not yet drawn.} 21. e4 Qg5+ 22. Qe3 $5 {Taking the game into an equal endgame - this is often a good plan against juniors who often have limited experience in these types of position.} Qxe3+ 23. Rxe3 Rhd8 24. Red3 Kc7 (24... e5 $142 {would lead to a pawn endgame, that while likely to be drawn, gives Black any winning chances.} 25. d5 cxd5 26. Rxd5 Rxd5 27. Rxd5 Rxd5 28. exd5) 25. c4 e5 26. d5 {Anything else loses material} c5 27. Kc2 f6 28. h4 Rf8 29. Rf3 h5 30. Rg1 Rdf7 31. g4 $5 {White is still playing for the win and this move gives more space for White's rooks.} hxg4 32. Rxg4 Rh8 33. Kd3 Kd7 34. Rfg3 {White's rooks have better activity than Black's which are being tied down to defending the g-pawn.} Rh7 35. Ke2 Ke7 36. Rf3 Kd6 37. Rf5 Ke7 38. Kf3 Rh6 39. Kg3 Kd6 $6 (39... g6 {would free Black's rook from the defence of the weak g-pawn.}) 40. h5 $1 {Playing a few waiting moves in the endgame often works as it can then make the breakthough moves more unexpected, White now starts to force matters.} Ke7 41. Rg6 Rh7 42. Kf3 Rf8 43. Kg3 Kf7 44. Kh4 Rfh8 {missing a tactic that leads to a much easier, though not winning endgame, for Black.} (44... Rxh5+ $5 45. Rxh5 (45. Kxh5 $2 Rh8+ 46. Kg4 Kxg6 { and Black's control of the open file should be enough to win.}) 45... Kxg6) 45. a3 a5 46. Rg3 {Setting a trap} g5+ $2 {that Black fails to spot, Black thinks that this move blocks the line of communication between the f5 rook and the h5 pawn allowing him to win the isolated h-pawn.} 47. Rgxg5 $1 {The rook is safe as the f-pawn is pinned.} Ke7 $2 (47... Rh6 $142 {though Black is still lost this puts up more resistance.}) 48. Rg6 Rf8 49. h6 b6 50. Rf1 (50. Kh5 Rhh8 51. Rg7+ {leads to a quicker win}) 50... Rff7 51. Kg4 Rf8 52. Kf5 Rff7 53. Rh1 Rh8 54. d6+ Kxd6 55. Rxf6+ Rxf6+ 56. Kxf6 a4 57. bxa4 {Black resigns - he will have to give up his rook to stop the h pawn.} 1-0

Note: picture taken from the English Juniors Twitter account.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Club Championship Final

After numerous replays in the semi-finals, Brian Remmer and Phil Daley contested the final of the 2014/15 season club championship. Phil, playing Black, won the match and becomes club champion; Brian wins the Club Shield for best performance by a player graded under 120. The game is shown below, with brief annotations. The Club Honours page has been updated to include the results of this year's competitions.

Club Championship Final
[Event "Colchester Club Championship"] [Site "Colchester"] [Date "2015.07.22"] [White "Remmer, Brian"] [Black "Daley, Phil"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "40"] [SourceDate "2015.07.25"] {A00: Irregular Openings} 1. g4 e5 2. Bg2 Ne7 {A rare, but not bad, line to play against The Grob.} 3. c4 Ng6 4. Be4 Bc5 5. e3 O-O 6. Qc2 d6 7. h3 { Protecting g4} Nd7 8. Nf3 $6 {The wrong square for the knight as it gets in the way of the bishop on e4.} (8. Ne2 Nf6 9. Bxg6 hxg6 $15) 8... Nf6 9. Nc3 Nxe4 $17 10. Nxe4 Bb6 11. b3 $2 (11. Ng3 $5 $17) 11... f5 $19 12. c5 $2 (12. gxf5 $142 Bxf5 13. Rg1 $19) 12... fxe4 13. Qc4+ (13. cxb6 Qf6 14. Ng5 Qxg5 15. bxc7 $19) 13... d5 14. Qc3 exf3 (14... Rxf3 $142 {is even better} 15. cxb6 axb6 16. d3 $19) 15. cxb6 axb6 16. Bb2 Qe7 17. a4 d4 18. Qc2 c5 19. O-O (19. Kf1 $19 {there is nothing better in the position}) 19... Qh4 20. Kh2 (20. Qc4+ {just delays the inevitable} Kh8 21. Rfe1 Qxh3 22. Qf1 Qxg4+ 23. Kh2 Rf5 24. Qh3 Rh5 25. Qxh5 Qg2#) 20... Bxg4 {White resigned} (20... Bxg4 21. Qc4+ Rf7 22. Qxf7+ Kxf7 23. Kg1 Qxh3 24. exd4 Qg2#) 0-1

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New ECF grades

The July 2015 ECF Grading List has been published. The standard play grades for active Colchester players are:

256466LGooding, Ian190B183C
186371LStemp, Matt174E
295981BRuano Marco, Javier173F
297026AOrava, Aleksandr165E148F
140673FBarnes, Nathan158B152B
299554CKjenner, Svein147E
120924DWagstaff, Michael147C148D
250046CBellinger, Clive130D138D
155695CDaley, Phil120D123C
150405JHarris, Martin120A121A
213710ASmith, Peter119C119D
268163JDenney, Simon118B114D
117812LRemmer, Brian109D109D
298130AJaufarally, Mohammud100A99A
293018DJohnson, Mark100B71D
297586FJaufarally, Nadia1198A97A
283272AHarris, Peter1791D76D
227455DDuff-Cole, John89C87C
297619FJaufarally, Shazia1480A77D
256466LGoodman, Ed74B73C
297620BJaufarally, Zahra972A55D

There are also a number of other Colchester players who have played some standard play graded games in the last half-season (but not enough to have a grade yet).


A few players have increased their grades - with Mark Johnson (+29), Zahra Jaufarally (+17), Alex Orava (+17), Peter Harris (+15), Ian Gooding (+7) and Nathan Barnes (+6) having the most significant increases.


The following players have a standard play grade for the first time (or reappear on the list) - Matt Stemp, Javier Ruano Marco and Svein Kjenner.


The rapidplay grades for active Colchester players are:

140673FBarnes, Nathan160F153F
299554CKjenner, Svein151F
250046CBellinger, Clive136F
268163JDenney, Simon119D
297586FJaufarally, Nadia11114A100A
293018DJohnson, Mark107D103D
298130AJaufarally, Mohammud101A97A
150405JHarris, Martin94E96E
297619FJaufarally, Shazia1482A74A
256466LGoodman, Ed78F
297620BJaufarally, Zahra972A58A
301407BParker, Leon1646F
283272AHarris, Peter1739F

There are also a number of other Colchester players who have played some rapidplay graded games in the last half-season (but not enough to have a grade yet).


A few players have increased their grades - with Zahra Jaufarally (+14), Nadia Jaufarally (+14), Shazia Jaufarally (+8) and Nathan Barnes (+7), having the most significant increases.


The following players have a rapidplay grade for the first time (or reappear on the list) - Svein Kjenner, Clive Bellinger, Simon Denney, Ed Goodman, Leon Parker and Peter Harris.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Issues raised at the AGM

Post from Clive

Below is a brief summary of salient some of the issues that were raised at the AGM

Treasurer’s Report

Phil Daley presented the financial reports for the year. The accounts reflected a surplus of £8.

The fee levels were discussed for the forthcoming year they would be:

  • Full members (gainful employment)£30
  • Students,Senior Citizens & Unemployed £20
  • Family membership £30
  • Juniors £10
  • Casual £2 per night

All members are responsible for their own ECF membership

PD requested the club recognise Dave Chatfield as Assistant Treasurer, this was seconded by Nathan Barnes, all in favour.


The number of teams to enter in NECL league next year are to remain at 4. The number of teams to enter in NECL knockout next year was agreed at 3.

NECL Player of the Year

This has been won by a Colchester player for the 2nd year in a row (Eldar Lachinov last year) – this year Alex Orava is player of the year with 7.5/8 (mostly on top board for the B team). A small trophy to be presented to Alex. Of the top 6 in the player of the year listings, 5 are Colchester players

Appointing more match captains

Matt Stemp and Michael Wagstaff offered their services as match captains.

Election of Officers

Roger Sharman stated there were no new applicants for any committee position, and that the existing Officers were prepared to stand again. The following Officers were therefore elected un-opposed:

  • Chairman: Roger Sharman
  • General Secretary: Clive Bellinger
  • Treasurer: Phil Daley
  • Match Secretary: John Duff-Cole
  • Tournament Secretary: Nathan Barnes

Match Nights

Setting-up for match nights.  There have been occasions when NB has been the only person setting-up boards and tables - if he arrived early then he has no problems with this but he does have a bit of an issue with not being helped when other people are there.  Non-drivers who play in matches should be responsible to arrive at 19:00 to set up for the match.

Organised Coaching sessions

It was discussed that it may be possible to arrange an organised coaching sessions from a strong player. It was agreed that Clive, Nathan, and Matthew would look into the possibility.

Player of the Year Award

It was agreed the club would present a Player of the Year award. Nominations were to go to the Secretary prior to next year’s AGM, the Committee would then decide on the winner.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Club championship quarter-finals

The club championship quarter-finals have been completed, while there have been numerous upsets prior to this round this time the games were all won by the higher-graded player.


Nathan Barnes1 v 0Simon Denney
Phil Daley1 v 0John Duff-Cole
Ed Goodman0 v 1Martin Harris
Mark Johnson0 v 1Brian Remmer


These results mean that Brian Remmer will win the Club Shield for best result by an U120 graded player (unless he wins the Club Championship which will mean a 4-way play-off between Simon, John, Ed and Mark will be needed). The draw for the semi-finals is:


Nathan Barnes v Phil Daley
Martin Harris v Brian Remmer

Sunday, 21 June 2015


The previous post in this occasional series was an example of forgetting opening preparation, today is an example of playing your normal line without paying sufficient attention to the move order being used by your opponent and is taken from the same tournament.

When playing the first game in your first tournament for nearly two decades it always helps if your opponent has a DITO...

Lines where Black plays an early ...d5 in the Symmetrical English are quite common as instead of trying to maintain symmetry Black tries to grab the initiative. 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 leads to a fairly common position:

There are numerous possibilities after this e.g. 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nc7 is the Rubinstein System, a complex line often seen in grandmaster play.

Today's DITO shows an example of ...d5 being played too early in a Symmetrical English, taken from Barnes, N (ECF:146) - Burrows, J (ECF:164)(2014).

2.g3 is the 4th most common move in response to 1...c5; Nc3, Nf3 and d4 are the more frequently seen alternatives. The game continued in a normal manner 2...Nc6 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nc3

However, 4...d5? just throws a pawn away. The difference from the line shown at the top of the post is that White has played Bg2 instead of Nf3 and so d5 is attacked three times and only protected twice. Black has not noticed the move order difference and has lost a pawn. It is going to get worse though...

Black still hasn't noticed that the knight is not on f3 and played 5...Nxd5??

White is a piece up after just six moves and the rest (should be) simple.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Colchester D: season round-up

Colchester D finished the season in 5th place in Division 3. They won 5 matches, drew 1 and lost 3 (despite being out-graded in 8 of their 9 matches).


The player statistics (by board) are:


Board 1 (Total 1.5/9)
Pete Smith0.5/4
Simon Denney1/3
Mo Jaufarally0/1
Ed Goodman0/1


Board 2 (Total 4.5/9)
Simon Denney1/1
Brian Remmer0/1
Mo Jaufarally2/2
John Duff-Cole0.5/2
Ed Goodman1/3


Board 3 (Total 6.5/9)
John Duff-Cole1/1
Ed Goodman3/4
Mark Johnson2.5/4


Board 4 (Total 5/9)
Mo Jaufarally1/1
Denzel Gonzales0.5/2
Shazia Jaufarally1/3
Mark Johnson2.5/3

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Colchester C: season round-up

Colchester C finished the season with a 3-1 win against Billericay B and a 3.5-0.5 loss against Brentwood C. The team were in with a a chance of winning the league up to the last match but, in a very close division ended up finishing 4th - if the first match of the season (against Colchester D) had gone as expected then they probably would have won the division.

Date: Apr-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Dale Bailey (133) 0 1 Martin Harris (121) w
2 w Chris Van Veen (113) ½ ½ Simon Denney (114) b
3 b Ken Young (112) ½ ½ John Duff-Cole (87) w
4 w Charles Newman (105) 0 1 Mark Johnson (71) b
(avg=115) 1 3 (avg=98)


Date: Apr-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Robert Davies (130) ½ ½ Mike Wagstaff (148) w
2 w Timothy Weaver (127) 1 0 Martin Harris (121) b
3 b Chris Phillips (105) 1 0 Mohammud Jaufarally (99) w
4 w David D'Cruz (100) 1 0 Mark Johnson (71) b
(avg=115) 3.5 0.5 (avg=109)


Nine league matches were played by the C team, with five wins, two draws and two losses. The player statistics (by board) are:


Board 1 (Total 5.5/9)
Mike Wagstaff0.5/1
Clive Bellinger2/3
Phil Daley1/1
Martin Harris1.5/3
Pete Smith0.5/1


Board 2 (Total 6/9)
Martin Harris2.5/4
Pete Smith2/3
Simon Denney1.5/2


Board 3 (Total 5.5/9)
Martin Harris0/1
Simon Denney3/3
Brian Remmer1/2
Mohammud Jaufarally1/2
John Duff-Cole0.5/1


Board 4 (Total 5/9)
Brian Remmer1/2
John Duff-Cole2/3
Denzel Gonzales1/1
Shazia Jaufarally0/1
Mark Johnson1/2

Thursday, 28 May 2015

HOCCC: Capablanca visits Ipswich

The text and game below are taken from the 28th October 1919 edition of the East Anglian Daily Times. The only alterations made are those necessary to "translate" from descriptive to algebraic notation. There are errors in the comments in the game (e.g. in the note for move 33 it says that g4 would allow chances of a draw when actually it would allow a Black mate in 8 moves). Just over a year later Capablanca became world chess champion.




Senor Capablanca, the Cuban chess master, writing through the manager of his tour, says that the arrangements for the exhibition at the Town Hall, Ipswich, on Thursday evening were excellent, and that he will remember his visit with the greatest pleasure. He states that he had some very interesting games.

We append below what was stated by Senor Capablanca to be the best game played against him. The finish of the game is particularly good, but the play is of interest from the commencement:-

[Event "Simul at Ipswich"] [Site "?"] [Date "1919.10.22"] [Round "?"] [White "Capablanca, J. R."] [Black "Robinson, T."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Comments from original article, author unknown"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "1919.10.28"] [EventType "simul"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 {Avoiding the more analysed variations of 2...Qxd5, etc... and also the dangers of the b4 Gambit. Blackburne favours this move. It was also played by Capablanca against Chajes in the New York Tourney, 1915.} 3. Nf3 {Apparently an innovation by Capablanca. 3.d4 or Bb5+ may be played.} Nxd5 4. c4 Nb4 5. d4 Bf5 6. Na3 {Although this move is forced (a privilege seldom granted by Capablanca), Black's knight remains a weakness through the whole game, and the ultimate failure of the defence is brought about by its necessary retreat to a6 on move 24.} e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O N8c6 10. Qd2 Qd7 11. Qc3 Rad8 12. Rfd1 Bf6 13. Ne5 Qe7 14. f4 Be4 {To prevent White's light-squared bishop attacking Black's f6 knight and obtaining command of the diagonal e4-d5.} 15. Bf3 Bxf3 16. Nxf3 Rd7 17. Nb1 {The knight is now of little used on a3, and must come into play somehow. The move has the semblance of a trap, as the moves which follow are unusual and intricate, but the result is the loss of a move for black and a weak queenside. Such a move as Nb1 would not be played by Capablanca unless something definite lay behind.} e5 18. fxe5 Nxe5 19. Nxe5 Bxe5 20. Nd2 Bf6 21. Nf3 Rfd8 22. Re1 Qf8 23. Qb3 c6 24. a3 Na6 {White is step by step improving his position, and Black gradually goes to pieces (see note to move 6).} 25. Bf2 Re8 {Black cannot allow the command of the open file.} 26. Rxe8 Qxe8 27. Re1 Re7 28. Qxb7 {A brilliant coup, inaugurating the final breakthrough. There appears to be nothing better for Black, as Ne5 was threatened.} Rxe1+ 29. Bxe1 Bxd4+ 30. Kf1 Nc5 31. Qxa7 Be3 32. b4 Qd8 33. Ne5 {g4 would have allowed chances of a draw, but this move is also part of the combination.} Qf6+ 34. Ke2 Ne6 35. Qb8+ Nf8 36. Qxf8+ {And wins, for 36.Kxf8 37.Nd7+ Black king moves 38.Nxf6, and Black has still his bishop en prise. A good example of the skill with which Capablanca takes advantage of small weaknesses, gradually accumulating, until the resulting decisive move is possible.} 1-0

Monday, 25 May 2015


DITO (Disaster In The Opening)

This is the first in an occasional series of posts about openings going badly wrong in the hands of experienced players (no beginners falling for Fool's Mate here). The guilty will be named. Today's example is Lamont, R (ECF: 169) - Barnes, N (ECF: 146)(2014).

To show that nobody is safe we will start with a DITO of my own at the 2014 Bury St Edmunds congress.

This was my first chess tournament for nearly 20 years and the first day had gone well (scoring 2 out of 3 against higher-grade opposition). The morning of the 2nd day didn't go quite to plan. I had stayed overnight in Bury St Edmunds - not realising that the church bell would ring every 15 minutes throughout the night (so I knew exactly what time it was when I couldn't sleep).

I was a bit groggy at the start of the day but was pleased to see my opponent go for a line that I (thought) I knew well.

On move 3 I played c5 entering a respectable line (though not the main line) against the Advanced Variation of the Caro-Kann.

White accepted the pawn (the first person to do against me since I had started playing chess again), which is the critical response to 3...c5, and after 4...e6 played 5.Be3 protecting the pawn.

So far, so normal. However, I now couldn't remember the continuation to play. At the back of my mind something was telling me to go with 5...Nh6

The idea is to swing the knight to f5 where it will attack the bishop on e3 and start to put pressure on White's weakened pawn structure in the centre. This is generally considered to be the best plan. But I couldn't remember if this was right or not. After a few minutes thought I was confident that I had worked out something a bit better than Nh6...

A temporary sacrifice of a bishop that will regain a pawn and leave Black with a decent position. After White captures the bishop the queen can come out with forking White's king and bishop.

But this overlooks the obvious...

Black has lost a piece and the rest is simple for White.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Club Grand Prix update

The current top ten players in the club grand prix are:

1stNathan Barnes19.5
2ndClive Bellinger14
3rdMartin Harris13.5
4thSvein Kjenner13
5thMark Johnson13
6thJohn Duff-Cole11
7thEd Goodman10
8thMike Wagstaff9.5
9thMatt Stemp9
10th=Phil Daley9
10th=Simon Denney9

Games played in the club championship, Tony Locke rapidplay and the NECL league/knockout count for points in the grand prix. Where points are equal percentage score is used as a tie-breaker.

There are still a few games to play in both the club championship and the Tony Locke rapidplay but recent results mean that Nathan Barnes can't be caught and has won the grand prix. There is still a lot to play for in the battle for a "podium" finish with Clive Bellinger currently in 2nd and Martin Harris currently in 3rd, but there is only 1 point separating positions 2 to 5.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Club championship update

The club championship has now reached the quarterfinal stage. There have been a few defaults and a few wins against seeding (Mark, Denzel and Simon have all eliminated higher-seeded players). The quarterfinal matches should be played on Wednesday 27th May.


QUARTER-FINAL - Wednesday 27th May
Nathan Barnes v Simon Denney
John Duff-Cole v Phil Daley
Martin Harris v Ed Goodman
Brian Remmer1 v 0Mark Johnson


One of the quarterfinal matches has already been played with Brian gaining revenge for last year's defeat in the Club Shield decider against Mark.


SEMI-FINAL - Wednesday 3rd June
winner of Nathan Barnes/Simon Denney v winner of John Duff-Cole/Phil Daley
winner of Martin Harris/Ed Goodman v Brian Remmer


In addition to the final, there will be a 3rd place play-off. The final, and 3rd place play-off, will take place on Wednesday 17th June.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Colchester A win NECL Division 2

Colchester A won their last match to finish the season unbeaten in their 14 matches. They had already won division 2 but moved to 3 points clear of the B team with a 4-0 win at Chelmsford. The final league table can be seen here.

Three out of nine matches were won by the maximum score of 4-0 (including matches against the teams finishing 2nd and 4th). In the 36 individual games played in league matches there were only two losses.

Date: Apr-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Ed Porter (143) 0 1 Ian Gooding (183) b
2 b Peter Brander (110) 0 1 Matt Stemp (e165) w
3 w Trevor Dickerson (122) 0 1 Felix Schnell (e155) b
4 b Alan Reynolds (106) 0 1 Svein Kjenner (e139) w
(avg=120) 0 4 (avg=160)


Nine league matches were played by the A team, with eight wins and a draw. The player statistics (by board) are:


Board 1 (Total 7/9)
Javier Ruano Marco1/1
Ian Gooding4/5
Matt Stemp2/3


Board 2 (Total 8/9)
Ian Gooding1/1
Matt Stemp2/2
Alex Orava1/1
Nathan Barnes3.5/4
Mike Wagstaff0.5/1


Board 3 (Total 8.5/9)
Matt Stemp1/1
Alex Orava1/1
Felix Schnell1/1
Nathan Barnes1/1
Mike Wagstaff2/2
Svein Kjenner2.5/3


Board 4 (Total 6/9)
Nathan Barnes1/2
Mike Wagstaff0.5/1
Svein Kjenner1/1
Clive Bellinger2/3
Phil Daley1/1
Martin Harris0.5/1

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Colchester B finish 2nd in Division 2

Colchester B won their last two matches to move ahead of teams from Chelmsford and Maldon and finish in 2nd place in NECL Division 2 (the A team have one match left but the B team's results mean that they are now guaranteed to finish in 1st place).

The team beat Witham B 3.5-0.5 and followed this with a 2.5-15 win against Maldon B - both these results were better than the results obtained by the A team against these teams! Felix Schnell made his Colchester debut in the match against Maldon. In the Maldon B match Phil drew quickly, Svein's opponent claimed a draw by repetition soon after the opening, Felix's game was quite sharp and had plenty of opportunities for both sides to go wrong - eventually finishing in a repetition, Nathan won after a long same-colour bishop endgame.

Date: Apr-2015
NECL Division 2
1 b Felix Schnell (e155) ½ ½ Tom Winter (143) w
2 w Nathan Barnes (152) 1 0 Keith Cook (139) b
3 b Svein Kjenner (e139) ½ ½ Ian MacLachlan (137) w
4 w Phil Daley (123) ½ ½ Frank Sealey (103) b
(avg=142) 2.5 1.5 (avg=130)


Date: Apr-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Barrie Quinn (119) 0 1 Alex Orava (148) b
2 b Barry Mitchell (112) 0 1 Mike Wagstaff (148) w
3 w Peter O'Malley (116) 0 1 Svein Kjenner (e139) b
4 b John Staplehurst (103) ½ ½ Clive Bellinger (138) w
(avg=112) 0.5 3.5 (avg=143)


Nine matches were played by the B team, with seven wins and two defeats (against the A team and, narrowly, Chelmsford B). The player statistics (by board) are:


Board 1 (Total 7/9)
Alex Orava5.5/6
Felix Schnell0.5/1
Mike Wagstaff1/1
Pete Smith0/1


Board 2 (Total 5.5/9)
Nathan Barnes2/2
Mike Wagstaff1.5/4
Svein Kjenner1/1
Martin Harris1/2


Board 3 (Total 6/9)
Mike Wagstaff1/1
Svein Kjenner3/4
Clive Bellinger1/2
Pete Smith1/1
Brian Remmer0/1


Board 4 (Total 6/9)
Svein Kjenner1/1
Clive Bellinger1.5/2
Phil Daley1.5/2
Martin Harris0/1
John Duff-Cole1/2
Mark Johnson1/1

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Colchester win NECL Plate

Colchester A have won the NECL Plate competition, beating Maldon B 3-1 in a replay. Ian and Matt won their games with Mike and Javier drawing. Other players who were part of the team in earlier rounds of the competition were Nathan Barnes, Alex Orava and Martin Harris.

Date: Apr-2015
NECL Plate Final - Replay
1 b Dave Pearse (153) ½ ½ Javier Ruano Marco (e189) w
2 w Tom Winter (143) 0 1 Ian Gooding (183) b
3 b Keith Cook (139) 0 1 Matt Stemp (e165) w
4 w Ian MacLachlan (137) ½ ½ Mike Wagstaff (148) b
(avg=143) 1 3 (avg=171)


Five matches were played in the knockout competition, with only one game lost out of the 20 played. The player statistics (by board) are:


Board 1
Javier Ruano Marco1.5/3
Ian Gooding0/1
Matt Stemp1/1


Board 2
Ian Gooding2.5/3
Nathan Barnes1.5/2


Board 3
Matt Stemp2/2
Nathan Barnes0.5/1
Alex Orava1/1
Mike Wagstaff1/1


Board 4
Mike Wagstaff3/4
Martin Harris0.5/1

Friday, 17 April 2015

Annual General Meeting

Post from Clive


Colchester Chess Club A.G.M. will be held on Wednesday 24th June.


Any items for inclusion on the Agenda to the undersigned by Wednesday 10th June


Clive Bellinger

Friday, 10 April 2015

Tony Locke Rapidplay - round 7 draw

The draw for round seven (the last round) of the Tony Locke Rapidplay has been made (first named player has white):

Clive Bellinger (4.5)v    Nathan Barnes (6)
Svein Kjenner (4.5)v    Mark Johnson (4)
Ed Goodman (4)v    Martin Harris (4)
Alex Welge (3.5)v    John Duff-Cole (2.5)
Luke Tatchell (3)v    Phil Daley (2)
Matt Stemp (2.5)v    Pete Smith (2.5)
Simon Denney (1)v    Dave Chatfield (2.5)
John King (1.5)v    Denzel Gonzales (1)

Where previous round games have not been played both players have been given half a point for the purpose of making the 7th round draw - when the games have been played both player's scores will be updated. These half-points are shown in player scores above - so some scores could potentially go down as matches from previous rounds are played. The number after the player's name indicates their current (provisional) score. Matt, Simon and Denzel joined the competition at the round 4 stage.

The following games from earlier rounds still need to be played:

Pete Smithv    John Duff-Cole
John Kingv    Simon Denney
Denzel Gonzalesv    Phil Daley
Luke Tatchellv    Pete Smith
Martin Harrisv    Alex Welge
Luke Tatchellv    Dave Chatfield
John Duff-Colev    Matt Stemp
Pete Smithv    John King
Luke Tatchellv    Pete Smith


Results on the top boards in round 6 saw wins for Svein Kjenner and Clive Bellinger in the chasing pack, but a win for Nathan Barnes means that he now can't be caught and has won the competition.

There is still a battle for the podium places with Clive and Svein currently occupying 2nd and 3rd - Martin Harris, Mark Johnson and Ed Goodman are also in contention.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Late-March summary

The A, B and D teams all played a match at the end of March. The D team beat Billericay B to keep their chances of winning Division 3 alive. The A team beat Witham B to stretch their lead at the top of Division 2. The B team beat Clacton B, they can no longer catch the A team but can still finish 2nd in the division. The A team have one match left - if they win or draw then they will win the division, they may even have won the division before they play that match (depending on how Maldon B and Chelmsford B do in their two remaining matches).


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Simon Denney (114) 1 0 Chris Van Veen (113) w
2 w Ed Goodman (73) 1 0 Ken Young (112) b
3 b Mark Johnson (71) ½ ½ Charles Newman (105) w
4 w Denzel Gonzales (e80) 0 1 David Wilson (94) b
(avg=84) 2.5 1.5 (avg=106)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Javier Ruano Marco (e189) 1 0 Keith Husband (121) b
2 b Ian Gooding (183) 1 0 Barry Mitchell (112) w
3 w Matt Stemp (e165) 1 0 John Staplehurst (103) b
4 b Nathan Barnes (152) 0 1 Peter Hughes (67) w
(avg=172) 3 1 (avg=110)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Martin Alvin (135) 0 1 Mike Wagstaff (148) b
2 b Melvin Steele (127) 0 1 Martin Harris (121) w
3 w Mike Coughtrey (113) 0 1 Pete Smith (119) b
4 b Nigel Lake (87) 1 0 John Duff-Cole (87) w
(avg=115) 1 3 (avg=118)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Draw for club championship - knockout rounds

The seeding rounds for the club championship are now over. Group winners (who get byes for the first two rounds) were: Nathan Barnes, John Duff-Cole, Martin Harris and Brian Remmer. Runners-up were: Phil Daley, Dave Chatfield, Mohammud Jaufarally and Clive Bellinger.

No seeding games were completed in two of the groups. All players go through to the knock-out stages but players who have not played any games in the group stages count as having come 3rd in their groups for seeding purposes.

Matches have been randomly determined for each round.

Time limit is the same as for league matches, players should toss a coin to determine colours. In the event of a draw players can either have a rematch (swapping colours; this must take place before the scheduled date for the next round) or an armageddon game should be played (players swap colours; White has 5 minutes on the clock, Black has 4 minutes; if game is drawn Black wins). Unless agreed otherwise by the two players before the game starts, an armageddon match will be used to determine the winner if the game is drawn.

If a player is unable to play their match on the date scheduled it is their responsibility to contact their opponent and arrange an alternative date. Wins on default will be awarded at the discretion of the tournament controller.

ROUND 1 - Wednesday April 8th
Matt Stemp v John King
Svein Kjenner v Denzel Gonzales
Pete Smith v Simon Denney


ROUND 2 - Wednesday 6th May
(Match a)Dave Chatfield v winner of Smith/Denney
(Match b)Phil Daley v winner of Kjenner/Gonzales
(Match c)Clive Bellinger v Mark Johnson
(Match d)Ed Goodman v winner of Stemp/King


QUARTER-FINAL - Wednesday 20th May
(Match e)Nathan Barnes v winner of match a
(Match f)John Duff-Cole v winner of match b
(Match g)Martin Harris v winner of match d
(Match h)Brian Remmer v winner of match c


SEMI-FINAL - Wednesday 3rd June
winner of match e v winner of match f
winner of match g v winner of match h


In addition to the final, there will be a 3rd place play-off and (if needed) matches to determine the winner of the Club Shield (for best result by a player with an ECF grade under 120).

The final, and any play-off matches, will take place on Wednesday 17th June.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Another two matches

Two matches were played this week, another two matches next week. The B and C teams both won 3.5-0.5, against Wethersfield and Chelmsford C respectively. The results mean that the C team still have promotion from Division 3 in their own hands and, if the A team and Maldon B slip up, the B team could still win Division 2.


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b John Constantine (125) ½ ½ Martin Harris (121) w
2 w Peter Brander (110) 0 1 Pete Smith (119) b
3 b Trevor Dickerson (122) 0 1 Brian Remmer (109) w
4 w Trevor Adams (89) 0 1 John Duff-Cole (87) b
(avg=111) 0.5 3.5 (avg=109)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Stefaan Van Poucke (149) 0 1 Alex Orava (148) b
2 b Bill Norman (128) ½ ½ Mike Wagstaff (148) w
3 w Ron Vallance (87) 0 1 Svein Kjenner (e139) b
4 b Sid MacDonald (78) 0 1 Mark Johnson (71) w
(avg=110) 0.5 3.5 (avg=126)


Below is Svein's win from the match against Wethersfield, annotations by the winner. A bishop sacrifice leads to an exposed king and a quick win.

[Event "NECL Division 2"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.03.17"] [Round "?"] [White "Vallance, Ron"] [Black "Kjenner, Svein"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C01"] [PlyCount "44"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventRounds "2"] {Wethersfield - Colchester B, Board 3.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. e3 {Now I had no idea how theory goes.} ({I had of course expected} 3. dxe5 Ng4) 3... exd4 4. exd4 d5 5. c5 g6 (5... b6) 6. Be2 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Be3 Re8 9. h3 Bf5 10. Nc3 c6 11. O-O Nbd7 12. a4 ({If white fights for the e4 square with} 12. Nd2 {I could have played} Nxc5 13. dxc5 d4) 12... Ne4 13. Bd3 Ndf6 (13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 b6 {is the preferred line my engine gives. But I wanted a K-side attack.}) 14. Qc2 Qc8 15. Bxe4 $6 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 Rxe4 (16... Bxe4 17. Qd1 {is also good, but I really wanted to hit on h3}) 17. Qd2 {And now: Men or mice?} Bxh3 {Of course there were more quiet continuations,} 18. Ng5 $4 ({ White really had to accept the challenge with} 18. gxh3 Qxh3 19. Nh2 Rh4 20. f3 Re8 21. Bf4 {My engine gives small advantage Black. I am not sure if White would have survived this. Which side would you like to play in this position?}) 18... Bxg2 19. Nxe4 {Now it is mate in five. The Queen and Bishop are perfect together in this positon.} (19. f3 Rxe3 20. Kxg2 {is two pawns up with a winning positon.}) 19... Bf3 $1 20. Kh2 (20. Ng3 Qh3 {and mate next move}) 20... Qg4 21. Ng3 Qh4+ 22. Kg1 Qh3 0-1

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mid-March summary

March is a busy month for matches - 10 matches in total.

The A team have played two matches. The first was the final of the NECL Plate competition against Maldon B, the final result was a 2-2 draw with draws on all four boards. A replay will take place in April. The 2nd match was a 3-1 win against Baddow B; with two league matches left the A team will win the league if they win their remaining matches.


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Plate: Final
1 b Javier Ruano Marco (e189) ½ ½ Dave Pearse (153) w
2 w Ian Gooding (183) ½ ½ Tom Winter (143) b
3 b Nathan Barnes (152) ½ ½ Keith Cook (139) w
4 w Mike Wagstaff (148) ½ ½ Ian MacLachlan (137) b
(avg=168) 2 2 (avg=143)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 2
1 b Michael Spurr (152) 0 1 Matt Stemp (e165) w
2 w Steven Robinson (118) ½ ½ Nathan Barnes (152) b
3 b Graham Brearley (113) 0 1 Svein Kjenner (e139) w
4 w Lionel Kent (95) ½ ½ Clive Bellinger (138) b
(avg=119) 1 3 (avg=148)


The B team also played Baddow B, winning by a larger margin than the A team. The win moves them upto 5th in the table - but having played fewer games than other teams they are one of the only four teams who could win the league (along with the A team).

Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Alex Orava (148) 1 0 Michael Spurr (152) b
2 b Svein Kjenner (e139) 1 0 Steven Robinson (118) w
3 w Clive Bellinger (138) ½ ½ Graham Brearley (113) b
4 b Phil Daley (123) 1 0 Lionel Kent (95) w
(avg=137) 3.5 0.5 (avg=119)


The D team have played three matches so far this month. The first two were on consecutive evenings, with the 2nd on the same evening as matches for the A and B teams - three matches in one evening. The D team drew with Brentwood C, lost narrowly to Braintree C and beat Clacton C. These results mean the D team are still in contention for the Division 3 title - but the league is very close and five other teams (including the C team) could also still win the division.

Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Robert Davies (130) 1 0 Pete Smith (119) w
2 w David D'Cruz (100) 0 1 Mohammud Jaufarally (99) b
3 b Chris Phillips (105) 0 1 John Duff-Cole (87) w
4 w Colin Ellis (98) 1 0 Shazia Jaufarally (77) b
(avg=108) 2 2 (avg=95)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 3
1 w Simon Denney (114) 0 1 Greg Mantle (134) b
2 b Ed Goodman (73) 0 1 Ollie Martin (105) w
3 w Mark Johnson (71) 1 0 Peter Copsey (89) b
4 b Denzel Gonzales (e80) ½ ½ Alan Rutland (64) w
(avg=108) 1.5 2.5 (avg=95)


Date: Mar-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Pete Smith (119) ½ ½ Mike Coughtrey (113) w
2 w Brian Remmer (109) 0 1 Andrew Todd (114) b
3 b Ed Goodman (73) 1 0 Nigel Lake (87) w
4 w Mark Johnson (71) 1 0 Warwick Estlea (80) b
(avg=93) 2.5 1.5 (avg=98)


Last year Colchester players did very well in the NECL - Eldar Lachninov was the NECL player of the year, with Mike Wagstaff in 2nd and Pete Smith in 5th. Also scoring over 60% having played more than 6 games were Nathan Barnes, Phil Daley, Clive Bellinger and Brian Remmer.

This year there are still a lot of games to play but Colchester players are again doing well. Currently the top three are all Colchester players - with Simon Denney, Clive Bellinger and Peter Harris (representing CRGS) also scoring over 60% having played more than 6 games.