Saturday, 27 August 2016

Martin Harris

Colchester Chess Club mark the sad death of Martin Harris 1957 - 2016

Martin Harris came to Colchester Chess Club 3 years ago at a time when the club was on a low ebb and he was a big factor in its recovery. He played for all the teams, sometimes at a moments notice. He had been known to walk miles just to get to a game, when playing he was tenacious and dogged in his approach. He also went to many congresses, including Bury St Edmunds 2013 where he came joint first in the under 120 section. This year he was named player of the year, completing 24 graded games. He also had a great sense of humour and would entertain us with jokes and games.

A valued club member and friend, he will be missed.

Post from John Duff-Cole

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A game from the past 3

The Essex & Suffolk Border League was formed in 1950 and ran for twelve seasons. When it finished there were just five member clubs: Colchester, Chelmsford, Clacton, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. The North Essex Chess League was formed a couple of years after the Border League stopped and covered a smaller geographical area.

D Brown, with the Black pieces, is the Colchester player in the game below.

[Event "Essex & Suffolk Border League"] [Site "?"] [Date "1959.11.09"] [Round "?"] [White "Smith, M. C."] [Black "Brown, D."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A50"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "1959.11.09"] [WhiteTeam "Ipswich"] [BlackTeam "Colchester"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 b6 3. d4 Bb7 4. d5 d6 5. e4 c6 6. Nf3 g6 7. Be2 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bf4 cxd5 10. cxd5 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Nxa6 12. Qe2 Nc5 13. Rfe1 Re8 14. Nd4 $2 Qd7 $2 (14... Nfxe4 $1 15. Nxe4 Bxd4 {Black has won a pawn}) 15. b4 e5 16. dxe6 Nxe6 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Rad1 e5 $6 (18... Nh5 $142 $11 {with a discovered attach on the c3 knight} 19. Rxd6 $2 (19. Bxd6 Bxc3 20. Be5 Qc8 21. Rc1 Bxe5 22. Rxc8 Raxc8 $17 {Black has a clear edge with a rook and two minor pieces for the queen.}) 19... Qe7 $19 {White has no way of protecting both his minor pieces}) 19. Bg5 Kh8 {There was an error in the game record at this point. The moves Qd2 Rec8 were missing but make sense based on the subsequent moves so have been added. It is possible that Qd3 was played instead of Qd2 and that a different rook move was made (though the latter is unlikely).} 20. Qd2 Rec8 21. Qxd6 Qxd6 22. Rxd6 Rf8 $2 (22... Rxc3 {was much better, though white would still be much better, Black's chances of holding for a draw would be improved.} 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Rxf6 Rd8 25. Re6 $16) 23. f3 Ng8 24. Red1 h6 25. Be3 Bf6 26. b5 Rad8 $2 {While Black already had a lost position this makes things easier for White.} 27. Rd7 $1 Rxd7 28. Rxd7 Rd8 29. Rxa7 Rd3 {The fork of the two minor pieces is easy to deal with.} 30. Nd5 Bg5 31. Bxg5 hxg5 32. Kf2 Rd2+ 33. Kg3 Nh6 $2 34. Nf6 {Resigns, mate can't be stopped Board 5 Ipswich (5) - (1) Colchester 36 moves in 90 minutes Played at Ipswich Chess Club} 1-0

See also, a game from the past: 1, 2

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A game from the past 2

Below is a game played in 1957 between Ipswich and Colchester. It was played in the Essex & Suffolk Border League - a predecessor to the North Essex Chess League. G Sainsbury, with the Black pieces, was a Colchester Chess Club member for a number of years.

[Event "Essex & Suffolk Border League"] [Site "?"] [Date "1957.03.25"] [Round "?"] [White "Smith, M. C."] [Black "Sainsbury, G. H."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A10"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "1957.03.25"] [SourceDate "2016.08.18"] [WhiteTeam "Ipswich Chess Club"] [BlackTeam "Colchester Chess Club"] 1. Nf3 b6 2. g3 ({The only comments on the original score sheet (made by M. C. Smith): "What about"} 2. e4 Bb7 3. Bc4 Bxe4 $2 4. Ng5 $1 {"winning". The annotation is inaccurate though as after} d5 {Black is fine}) 2... Bb7 3. Bg2 f5 4. c4 Nf6 5. O-O e6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. Re1 O-O 8. d4 d6 9. Qc2 (9. d5 $5 { is a more dynamic choice} exd5 10. Nd4 Qd7 11. cxd5 {White has an isolated queen's pawn but has a decent long-term advantage due to the semi-open c-file.} ) 9... h6 $2 10. Nh4 {Missing a much better move} (10. Ng5 $1 {wins material} Nc6 ({the alternatives are no better - White wins the exchange no matter what Black does} 10... hxg5 11. Bxb7) (10... Bxg2 11. Nxe6 Qc8 12. Nxf8 Be4 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. f3 Ng5 15. Ng6) 11. Nxe6 Qd7 12. Nxf8 Rxf8) 10... Bxg2 11. Nxg2 Nc6 12. d5 {best} Nd4 $2 13. Qd3 $16 {OK, but White missed the opportunity to win material.} (13. Qd1 $1 $18 e5 14. e3 {The knight has no where to go. The difference between Qd1 and Qd3 is that on d3 the pawn moving to e3 gives Black the f3 square for the knight.}) 13... e5 14. Nh4 Ne4 15. Ng6 $1 Rf6 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. f3 Ng5 18. f4 exf4 $2 (18... Ne4 $142) 19. Qxd4 {There was no need to take the knight yet} (19. Bxf4 $1 Nh3+ 20. Kg2 Nxf4+ 21. gxf4 c5 22. dxc6 Ne6 23. Nd5 Rg6+ 24. Kh1 Qf7 25. b4 {White is a pawn up and has a protected passd pawn on c6.}) 19... Nf3+ 20. exf3 Qxe1+ 21. Kg2 fxg3 22. hxg3 Rg6 $14 23. Qf2 Re8 24. Rb1 Qxf2+ $2 {With the queens swapped off the advantage of two pieces against a rook is magnified.} 25. Kxf2 a6 26. Bd2 Rf6 27. Re1 Rxe1 28. Kxe1 g5 29. Ne2 Rf7 30. Nd4 Re7+ 31. Kf2 Kf7 $2 32. Nxf5 {Resigns Played at Ipswich Chess Club Ipswich (7) - (1) Colchester (5-1 prior to adjudication) Time Limit: 36 moves in 90 minutes} 1-0

See also: A game from the past 1

Monday, 8 August 2016


An opening disaster caused by playing a sideline which an opponent was able to prepare for, taken from Barnes, N (ECF:146) 0.5 - 0.5 Kjenner, S (ECF:154) (2016).

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 is the Scotch Opening. 4...Qh4 is a sideline, but not a bad one. This was the move that White had expected Black to play.

5.Nb5 is not the most common reply but does give scope for Black to go wrong. The knight threatens to fork the king and rook by capturing on c7. 5...Bc5 replies with a stronger threat.

6.Qf3 is one way of protecting the f2 pawn and also sets a trap.

6...Ne5 looks strong as it threatens the white queen on f3 and so seems to be bringing another piece into the attack with tempo.

However, Ne5 was a serious error allowing White to win material.

7.Qf4! was the prepared trap. According to the computer the best option for Black is 7...Qxf2+ 8.Qxf2 Bxf2+ 9.Kxf2 and White has won a piece for a pawn. The game continuation was 7...Qxf4. White missed the best move here - 8.Nxc7+ as after 8...Kd8 9.Bxf4 the knight on c7 is safe as 9...Kxc7 10.Bxe5+ Kd8 11.Bxg7 and White has an even greater material advantage than if Black allows the knight to take the a8 rook.

White's preparation ran out on move 7 though and 8.Bxf4 Bd6 9.Nxd6 cxd6 leaves White much better (more than +2 according to the computer) but the advantage is not as clear cut as after 8.Nxc7+.

Previous opening disasters: DITO 1, DITO 2, DITO 3

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Club competitions

The games listed below are the outstanding games from the 2015/16 Club Championship and 2015/16 Tony Locke Rapidplay. Final date for completion of these games is Wednesday 31st August. Incomplete games will be defaulted by one or both players at the discretion of the tournament secretary.


Club Championship

Pete SmithV Clive Bellinger
John Duff-ColeV Svein Kjenner
Ed GoodmanV Mark Johnson
Svein Kjenner V Mark Johnson
John Duff-ColeV Ed Goodman
Clive BellingerV Nathan Barnes
Pete SmithV Mark Johnson
Svein KjennerV Ed Goodman
Phil DaleyV John Duff-Cole


Tony Locke Rapidplay

Clive Bellinger V Matt Stemp
Phil Daley V Svein Kjenner
Nathan Barnes V Ed Goodman
Pete Smith V Dave Chatfield
John Duff-Cole VPete Smith
Dave Chatfield V John Duff-Cole
Ed Goodman V Pete Smith

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Three trophies won by Colchester this year. This brings the total to seven in the last three years, after a barren period going back to 2005.

On the left is the Al Scibor trophy - awarded to the adult player with the best performance in the NECL league. This year it was won by Norbert Voelker with a 92% score from 12 league matches. This is the 3rd year in a row that this trophy has been won by a Colchester player (Alex Orava and Eldar Lachinov in the previous two years). Svein Kjenner was 2nd in the standings (for the 2nd year in a row) with Clive Bellinger, Matt Stemp, Martin Harris, Nathan Barnes and Mike Wagstaff also doing well.

In the middle is the NECL Division 3 trophy, won by the C team, who have now been promoted to Division 2.

On the right is the Roy Heppinstall Memorial Shield awarded to the winners of NECL Division 2. The B team were the winners this year, the A team the year before. So it is the C team's turn next...

The Club Honours page has been updated to show known achievements by teams representing Colchester Chess Club.