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.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

February summary

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

1stNathan Barnes14.5
2ndClive Bellinger10
3rdMohammud Jaufarally8
4thMartin Harris8
5thMike Wagstaff7
6thSvein Kjenner6.5
7thMatt Stemp6
8thEd Goodman6
9thAleksander Orava5.5
10thMark Johnson5.5

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.

In the club championship three of the preliminary groups are complete. In group 1, Nathan Barnes finished 1st with Ed Goodman and Mohammud Jaufarally in joint 2nd. John-Duff Cole and Clive Bellinger finished in joint 1st in group 2, with John getting the bye for the 1st round of the knockout on tiebreak. In group 4, Brian Remmer and Dave Chatfield finished in joint 1st, with Brian getting the bye for the 1st round of the knockout on tiebreak. Martin Harris and Phil Daley have both won a game in group 5, so the match between them will decide the top two places. The knockout rounds will start in April, group winners will have a bye for the 1st round.

In NECL Division 2, Colchester A are in 1st place having won five matches and drawn one. Colchester B are in 8th place (two wins and two losses) - but have played four of the top five teams and have played fewer games than their rivals. In Division 3, Colchester C are in 2nd place (on tiebreak with 1st) after winning three matches, drawing two and losing one - though they have played more games than most teams; Colchester D are in 5th place (on tiebreak with 3rd) with three wins and one loss.


In the first match of the four February matches, Colchester B beat Braintree B (who beat the A team last year). Alex Orava won on board 1, as did Clive Bellinger on board 4. Mike Wagstaff had to move quickly to meet the time control and lost a pawn doing so. Svein Kjenner had a winning position but miscalculated a queen sacrifice, active play helped him to recover a draw from a completely lost position to seal the team win.

Date: Feb-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Alex Orava (148) 1 0 Kenn Butcher (140) b
2 b Mike Wagstaff (148) 0 1 Greg Mantle (134) w
3 w Svein Kjenner (e139) ½ ½ Gerald Conley (128) b
4 b Clive Bellinger (138) 1 0 Peter Copsey (89) w
(avg=143) 2.5 1.5 (avg=122)


The next week it was the A team's turn to play Braintree B. First to finish was Nathan Barnes winning with an overloading tactic in the transition from the middle game to the end game - the game finished with only 11 minutes showing on the combined clocks (though the time control had been reached). Mike Wagstaff won by sacrificing pawns to set up a powerful kingside attack with his major pieces. Matt Stemp finished his opponent off with a neat deflection tactic to set-up a mating net. Last minute reserve Martin Harris played a risk-free game where neither player had any real chances of losing or winning.

Date: Feb-2015
NECL Division 2
1 w Kenn Butcher (140) 0 1 Matt Stemp (e165) b
2 b Greg Mantle (134) 0 1 Nathan Barnes (152) w
3 w Gerald Conley (128) 0 1 Mike Wagstaff (148) b
4 b Bill O'Leary (115) ½ ½ Martin Harris (121) w
(avg=129) 0.5 3.5 (avg=146)


The following week saw two matches on the same night - both featuring the same scoreline. Colchester C beat Chelmsford D 4-0 and Colchester A beat Dunmow.

Date: Feb-2015
NECL Division 2
1 b Ian Gooding (183) 1 0 Derek Jones (132) w
2 w Nathan Barnes (152) 1 0 Bill Attwood (109) b
3 b Mike Wagstaff (148) 1 0 John Fletcher (e100) w
4 w Clive Bellinger (138) 1 0 Andrew Shoolbred (51) b
(avg=155) 4 0 (avg=98)


Date: Feb-2015
NECL Division 3
1 b Phil Daley (123) 1 0 Alan Reynolds (106) w
2 w Peter Smith (119) 1 0 Peter Saunders (97) b
3 b Simon Denney (114) 1 0 Trevor Adams (89) w
4 w Brian Remmer (109) 1 0 Mario Cassar (73) b
(avg=111) 2 2 (avg=107)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

What would you do? Part 2 continued

Below is the game continuation from the position given in "What would you do? Part 2". White declined the draw and did go onto win the game - but, while it worked out, it is not clear that this was the right decision - the time spent calculating had made had made it clear that with this continuation White was playing two losing sacrifices to try and swindle a win.

[Event "NECL Division 2 2014/15"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.10.22"] [Round "?"] [White "Barnes, Nathan"] [Black "Coughtrey, Mike"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A24"] [WhiteElo "146"] [BlackElo "120"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r3r3/pp4np/2p1bR2/2PpP1k1/1P4P1/3P1B2/P6P/4R1K1 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "19"] [EventDate "2015.02.18"] [WhiteTeam "Colchester A"] [BlackTeam "Clacton B"] {A24: English Opening vs King's Indian: Lines without ...Nc6} 31. h4+ $2 {An unsound sacrifice. Technically, this is a ? move but if you are going for a win as White playing sensible moves will result in a draw at best.} (31. Kf2 $142 Rf8 32. h4+ Kxh4 33. g5 Rxf6 34. exf6 (34. gxf6 $2 Nf5 $19) 34... Kxg5 35. fxg7 $15 {but if White is going to go down this line it would be best to accept the original draw offer.}) 31... Kxh4 $19 32. g5 $2 {Unsound sacrifice - again this is really a ? move but Black's king is exposed.} Kxg5 33. Kf2 Nf5 $2 (33... h5 $1 {was the only move that leads to an advantage for Black and shows that White's play was unsound - it gives an escape route for the king behind the h pawn.}) 34. Rg1+ $1 $15 Kf4 {the only sensible move} (34... Ng3 35. Rxg3+ Bg4 36. Rxg4+ Kh5 37. Rg1+ Kh4 38. Rh6#) (34... Kh4 35. d4 Re7 36. Rh1+ Kg5 37. Rh5+ Kf4 38. Rh4+ Kg5 39. Rg4+ Kh5 40. Rg8+ Kh4 41. Rxa8 {and White is winning easily}) 35. d4 {the only move that keeps the position as roughly equal - White must protect the pawn on e5.} Rg8 {Pushing the pawn to h5 was slightly better - but either way White is not much worse anymore.} (35... -- 36. Rg4# {was White's threat.}) 36. Rh1 $1 $11 { Every other move leads to an easy win for Black.} Rg4 $4 {Prevents mate but leads to an easy win for White.} (36... -- 37. Rh4+ Kg5 38. Rg4+ Kh5 39. Rg7+ Kh4 40. Rxh7+ Kg5 41. Rh5+ Kf4 42. Rh4+ Kg5 43. Rg4+ Kh5 44. Rxg8+ Kh4 45. Rg4+ Kh3 46. Rg1 Kh4 47. Rfg6 Ng3 48. R6xg3 a5 49. Rh1+ Bh3 50. Rhxh3# {is a forced mate - it is unlikely that all this could be calculated but it is easy to see that 37.Rh4+ would lead to an easy win.}) (36... Rg6 {is the only move that saves Black} 37. Rh4+ Kg5 38. Rh5+ Kf4 39. Rh4+ Kg5 40. Rh5+ Kf4 41. Rh4+ { with a draw by repetition. White can't play Rg4+ instead of Rh5+ as the king will be able to escape via h6-g7 leading to a win for Black.}) 37. Bxg4 $18 Kxg4 38. Rxe6 Nxd4 39. Rf6 $1 Kg5 $2 {Not that it really matters anymore} 40. Rg1+ {Black then actually played 40...Kh6 (an illegal move as the king moves into check) and White played 41.Rf5 (not noticing the illegal move). Black then resigned as the knight can't be saved due to the threat of mate.} (40. Rg1+ Kh5 41. Ke3 Ne6 42. Rxe6 d4+ 43. Kf4 Rf8+ 44. Rf6 Rxf6+ 45. exf6 d3 46. b5 cxb5 47. f7 d2 48. Rh1+ Kg6 49. f8=Q h5 50. Rg1+ Kh7 51. Qg7#) 1-0