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Archive for the ‘Tournaments’ Category

South Tyne Jamboree

Posted by Tim W on March 23, 2015

A date for the diary. This information has come through Bill Hardwick from Steve Larkin, who is organising the Jamboree.

This year’s Jamboree will be held at the Haydonian in Haydon Bridge on Tuesday May 19th. As in previous years, the format will be two one hour games (30 minutes per player) with a break for refreshments midway. So round 1 will start promptly at 7.30 p.m. and round 2 at 9 p.m. The charge for refreshments will be somewhere between £2 to £3 per head.

To help make the organisation of the event less of a last-minute scramble, I am asking all teams, whether complete or incomplete, to register with me at stevejlarkin01@hotmail.co.uk by midnight on Monday May 18th at the latest. This should allow me to organize composite teams where necessary in advance of the event and should remove uncertainty surrounding late arrivals. So any team or individual arriving after 7.30 p.m. will find that their clocks have been started in the normal way.

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the four-way tie for first which we had last year, the following tie-break rules will apply this time:

  1. The team with the most wins, excluding any wins by default, is the winner.
  2. If two or more teams are still tied, board 4 results will be discounted.
  3. If two or more teams are still tied, they will share the trophy.

I realize that the first rule can be tough on the team with a win by default, but in an event with only two rounds, a default assumes a disproportionate significance; and a win over the board should surely count for more. So I fear that everyone competing will just have to accept that, where defaults are concerned, it is down to the luck of the draw!

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Northumberland rapidplay championships

Posted by fellman01 on March 17, 2015

This event was held at Forest Hall on Sunday March 15th. Three club members took part. Peter Crichton played in the Major (under 160) where he was ranked 6th of the 14 entries., while Steve Larkin and Damian Rudge played in the Minor (under 130), where they were ranked respectively 19th and 24th of the 26 entries. The format was 5 rounds of one hour each (30 minutes per player), with 2 rounds before lunch and 3 afterwards.

Peter’s first game was against Manoj Arora (Gosforth 130). With mistakes on both sides, the game ended in a draw. In round 2 he had a good win against Andy Robinson (Gosforth 151) and in round 3 drew with the top seed, Robert Mitcheson (Morpeth 157): this game was even throughout, coming down to an opposite-coloured bishops ending – another good result for Peter. Round 4 produced another draw, this time against Darren Laws (Tynemouth 147), so Peter went into the final round undefeated. Alas, he came unstuck against his lowest-graded opponent, Mark Younger (Forest Hall 121), who was having a blinder of a championships. With white he launched a strong kingside attack which Peter was unable to repel. So Peter emerged with 2.5/5, a good result in a strong field.

Steve’s first game in the Minor was against Ralph Firth (Alnwick 123). Steve looked good for at least a draw and maybe a win till he allowed Ralph’s knight to fork king and queen. In round 2 his opponent Richard Kuby (Middlesborough 73) resigned after touching one piece and wishing to move another (he had already made one illegal move which would have lost him the game had Steve been minded to claim it). Round 3 brought Hanif Zaman (Jesmond 115), a very sharp young lad who played very quickly and opted to force a draw by repetition. In round 4 Steve launched a speculative kingside attack against Graham Matthews (Hartlepool 114). It failed to have the desired effect, and thereafter Steve was comprehensively outplayed. Steve rounded off the day by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Dave Parlour (South Shields 101). With queen, rook and pawns against bishop, rook and pawns, Steve played the one move which made possible a forced mate for Dave – oh dear oh dear! So 1.5/5 was the unimpressive outcome.

Damian had a tough time, with a succession of strong and experienced opponents. In round 1 it was Jeff Baird (Forest Hall 117), to whom Damian lost by a miscalculation. His big moment came in round 2 when he defeated Kevin Waterman (Hartlepool 111). The euphoria was soon dispelled when he was outplayed in round 3 by Joe Chan (Gosforth 121). Against Stan Johnson (South Shields 108) he blundered and lost. His round 5 game against young Johnny Wall (Forest Hall 95)  was much closer but came down to his rook and pawns against Johnny’s queen and pawns and the queen prevailed. So 1/5 for Damian, but no easy rides and an impressive victory.

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Open Cumbria chess championships

Posted by fellman01 on March 4, 2015

This event was held on Feb 27th, 28th and March 1st at Eamont Bridge and two club members took part. In the Major (under 150) Peter Crichton was 9th highest graded of the 18 entries, while Steve Larkin was third highest graded of the 8 entries in the Minor (under 125).

Peter took a bye in round 1, then defeated Dave McMath (Penrith 147) in round 2 after Dave had earlier declined Peter’s offer of a draw! In round 3 he defeated M Gawne (Barrow 143) who went astray in the opening. So at the end of day 2 Peter shared the lead with one other. In round 4 he drew with G. Horne (Barrow 148) and shared the lead with 3 other players. In the final round all four players on 3 were in action against each other. Peter drew with F. Whalley (Barrow 145) to finish second equal with Whalley, a fine performance given that 8 players were ranked above him.

In the Minor, Steve faced P. Hanks (Ulverston 67) in round 1 and was looking forward to an early finish. In fact the game lasted 3 hours 20 minutes and went to 69 moves before Steve squeezed a win. Round 2 was another 3 hours 20 minutes affair, this time against Kurt Moreby (Gosforth 121) whom Steve eventually mated on move 44. In round 3 Steve played J. Grave (Penrith 104) and this was the last game of the round to finish, with Grave’s clock falling on move 63 when Steve had a winning position on the board. So at the end of day 2 Steve was on 3/3, one point clear of the field. Round 4 brought an unfortunate administrative slip when Steve was paired with a player who it turned out had requested a bye for that round. The only solution, given that all other players were already 30 minutes into a game, was to give Steve a full point bye, which meant that, with 4/4, he could not be caught, his nearest pursuers being on 2.5/4. In the final round he faced the ungraded Tom Bradfield of Haydon Bridge, returning to chess after a 30 year break. Tom played skilfully from the outset and it was soon clear that Steve was never going to get more than a draw, which he did. So he finished on 4.5/5, one point clear of Moreby and Grave.

And so ended a very successful weekend for the Tynedale duo.

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Scarborough chess congress 2014

Posted by fellman01 on November 2, 2014

Two club members, Steve Larkin and Damian Rudge, were amongst the record-breaking 356 players who took part in this event. Both played in the Foundation event for players graded 120 and under. There were 82 entries in this section, with Steve ranked c35th and Damian c76th.

In round 1 on the Friday night, Steve had a rapid win (45 minutes) over Les Hall (71) of Crewe. Les played very passively, allowing Steve a massive kingside attack which proved decisive. Damian was active for much longer, but still played too passively against Anthony Robinson (107) from Branstone(?) and found himself trapped in a very cramped position before losing.

In round 2 on the Saturday morning, Steve had a cracking match with Chris Budd (118) from West Bridgeford. We castled on opposite sides and both attacked. The game was equal throughout and came down to his bishop and 3 pawns to my knight and 3 pawns. I had 2 connected passed pawns in the centre and he had a passed pawn on one flank and threats on the other! It was all very exciting and we agreed a draw on move 63! Damian achieved a drawish position against Peter Willoughby (100) from Ecclesall (?), but then blundered his queen.

In round 3 on Saturday afternoon, Steve was pressuring Marvin Carbin (113) from Priorslea from the start, so much so that in the end Marvin had only 3 minutes to the time control while Steve had 40. Along the way Steve picked up 3 pawns and Marvin resigned when it became clear that this advantage would be decisive. Damian had a fine win over Frank Tanner (91) from Crusaders. When Frank castled kingside, Damian castled queenside and pushed his pawns to devastating effect. No blunders this time!

In round 4 on Sunday morning, I offered a draw to Andrew de Santos (112) from Preston on move 19 and he accepted. We both had queen, 2 rooks and 7 pawns, but the position was dead level, I had no ideas, and a seaside walk seemed a better option than another 2 hours or more of chess! Damian set a much better example against Boris Garanins (98) from Preston. Boris, with white, played very aggressively and by move 25 had a 2 pawn advantage, at which point Damian pinned white’s 2 rooks with a bishop. Damian continued to defend until white miscalculated the exchange on move 35, losing knight and bishop for rook. Shortly after, white forced the exchange of queens, leading to a drawn position after 49 moves.

In round 5 on the Sunday afternoon, Steve was up against Mark Radley (120) from Grimsby. The game was level till I miscalculated a complex exchange and emerged a rook down, whereafter my opponent was clinical. So 3/5 for me. Damian was up against Stan Johnson (111) of South Shields. Damian, with white, pushed his queenside pawns, restricting Stan’s major pieces and gaining rook for bishop on move 19. Alas he too subsequently blundered a rook and, like my opponent, Stan was clinical. 1.5/5 for Damian.

We both enjoyed the congress very much. Despite the large numbers, the event ran like clockwork and it was a pleasure to be a part of it.

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Northumberland Chess Congress

Posted by fellman01 on September 28, 2014

The 50th version of this event was held at North Shields on September 26th-29th 2014. Three club members took part, Alex Ashworth and Steve Larkin playing in the Minor (34 entries, grade 135 and below), while Damian Rudge played in the Foundation tournament (15 entries, grade 105 and below).

Damian performed best, recording 50% over the 10 two-hour games he played during the five rounds. He might well have picked up two further wins, as he lost two games on time. The latter of these, in the final round, was an absolute cracker in which Damian’s queen and pawns were up against rook, bishop and pawns. Sadly he ran out of time when his opponent had just 2 seconds on his clock, but Damian could be proud of the way he played, avoiding all the traps set by a cunning opponent and almost forcing a win with his kingside pawns.

In the Minor, Steve took a bye on the Friday night and started well enough on the Saturday, with a win over Gosforth’s Anthony Neville. However, the afternoon brought a decisive defeat by Graham Matthews of Hartlepool. On Sunday Steve squeezed a draw with Jeff Baird of Forest Hall, but in his final game, against Bill Penny of Tynemouth, he succumbed to a poisoned pawn and said goodbye to his queen!

Alex, while recording one win and four losses, nevertheless played some good chess, losing a won game against Stan Johnson of South Shields on time, and converting a clear-cut draw into a loss by a careless move in another game. His results will certainly improve during the season.

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Tynedale in final!

Posted by fellman01 on August 23, 2014

On Friday August 22nd, a Tynedale quartet travelled to Forest Hall to play the semi-final of the summer knockout plate competition. The line-up was as follows:

1. Martin Seeber (158) v Tim Wrigley (142)

2. Mike Smith (142)      v Jeremy Handley (137)

3. Sophie Seeber (128) v Steve Larkin (125)

4, Keith Brooks (117)    v Phil Taylor (125)

As both teams fell into the intermediate category, there were no handicap points, but in the event of a drawn match over the board, Tynedale would win by virtue of their lower total of grading points.

Phil got us off to the best of starts, pressuring Keith and going the exchange and a pawn up. In a tense game, Keith got the exchange back but was under extreme time pressure and his clock dropped while Phil still had 50 minutes left! 0-1

Steve was next to finish after rather tamely offering Sophie a draw in what was probably a won position. With just 3.5 minutes left on his clock to Sophie’s 7.5 and with errors creeping into his play as well as hers, it seemed the wisest thing to do and Sophie needed no persuading. 0.5-1.5

Jeremy had a very close tussle throughout with Mike and the two settled on a draw when neither had much time on the clock and there was no obvious way to achieve a decisive advantage. 1-2

Tim’s game was something of a rearguard action, keeping at bay a strong kingside attack by Martin. Tim stuck to his guns and held the position and a draw was agreed. 1.5-2.5

So Tynedale won over the board without needing to take account of their lower grading total! Another fine result against a stronge (just) side.

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Report from the south-western front!

Posted by fellman01 on June 13, 2014

Last weekend I took part in the South Lakeland chess congress at Grange-over-sands. There were five sections and I was entered in the Minor 1 section (135-121). There were 24 competitors and mine was the thirteenth highest grading, so I was pretty much bang in the middle of the field. I took a bye on the Friday night and on Saturday morning had white against Ahmed Abbas (123) from Manchester 3Cs. I played Ahmed in the same tournament two years ago and lost a close game. This time we agreed a draw after 52 moves and a really good, hard and evenly matched game. The afternoon brought black against Ian Blencowe (129) from Gloucester. Ian played really slowly – even slower than me! – which meant that we were one of the last games to finish, even though our game only went to 40 moves. I had a clear positional advantage but was starting to suffer from chess fatigue after over seven hours’ chess that day, and gradually I allowed my advantage to slip away and was obliged to force the draw by perpetual check. Still, 50% so far was OK. Sunday brought white against Nigel Kerby (122) from Bishop Stortford. He turned up 15 minutes late and proceeded to play whirlwind chess, so that by the end of the game he had used an hour (for 15 minutes of which he had been absent) whilst I had used two hours! He outplayed me in the opening, I had the better of the middle game, then he came again in the endgame to checkmate me as my clock fell on something like move 75. It turned out that two years ago his grade had been 160, but he had a high-powered and very demanding job, was working all hours and his grade was in free fall. I certainly felt I had given a good account of myself against a stronger player. And so to the final round, with a win necessary to achieve my 50% target. I had black against Douglas Bromley (123) from Spondon, Derbyshire. This was my poorest game, with a couple of miscalculations each costing me a pawn, which proved decisive. I resigned on move 60 with mate imminent. By now I had played about 14 hours’ chess in two days and my head felt ready to explode, so I made my way home with my tail between my legs! One point out of four was not exactly a glorious result, yet I felt I had learned quite a lot, and I had certainly had four tough games, which is what a congress is all about.

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Haydon Bridge Jamboree

Posted by fellman01 on May 29, 2014

A report on this event can be found on the South Tyne League website.

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Northumberland rapidplay championships

Posted by fellman01 on March 16, 2014

This event was held in Jesmond on Sunday March 16th 2014 and involved five rounds at 30 minutes per player per round. Three Tynedale members took part. Gary Murphy was seeded twelfth of twenty in the Open and had a day of mixed fortunes. He started well, drawing with Clive Waters (201), before losing to Kyril Fomin (175) and Martin Seeber (158). Then he really got into his stride, beating Chris Wardle (161) and Zheming Zhang (175) to finish on a very respectable 2.5 out of 5.
In the Major (under 160) Peter Crichton was seeded 5th out of ten. He started well, beating Gary Clarke of Consett, then getting a fine draw against young James Moreby (155) and another against Geoff Harrison (132). Then the gas ran out rather as he lost to Bob Mitchelson of Barrow, graded 155, and to Max Turner of Berwick, graded 128, to finish on 2 out of 5.
In the Minor, Steve Larkin was seeded 2nd of 25 entrants. He started well enough, beating Peter Blackmore of Cockermouth, then drawing with James Pharaoh (117), despite blundering a queen to the latter! However, the afternoon session was an unmitigated disaster as he lost to Fred Stobbart (111), John France (122) and Johnny Wall (47) to finish with a distinctly modest 1.5/5.
Overall the event was well supported, with a fine range of age and ability, and ran without a hitch. I recommend next year’s event, particularly to our speed merchants, without reservation.

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Scarborough Chess Congress 2013

Posted by fellman01 on October 30, 2013

Held on October 25-27, this popular event was very well supported: 50 in the Open, 74 in the Major, 65 in the Intermediate, 77 in the Minor and 77 in the Foundation! I was playing in the Minor (135 and under), my grade ruling me out of the Foundation (120 and under) in which I had played last year. Of the 77 entries I was 38th in the pecking order.
In round 1 I faced Paul Kent of Widnes, graded 125 like me. As black he played Alekhine’s Defence which had me guessing from move 2 onwards! I was soon a pawn down and every time I tried to exert some pressure, Paul came up with a move which not only removed the threat but also posed me problems. To ease the pressure on my kingside, I had to swap rook for bishop, and then proceeded to throw away bishop for pawn through a bad miscalculation. I soldiered on in the hope that, with both queens still on, Paul might overreach himself and blunder, but he didn’t and I resigned with mate imminent. Paul later told me that he had spent quite a bit of last season playing in events above his grading in order to sharpen up his game. An interesting tactic which certainly worked against me!
Saturday morning saw me with black against David Hartley (grade 122) of Poulton chess club. My Benko Gambit gave me a positional advantage but not a material one and around move 25 David offered a draw. We both had a single passed pawn and, as mine was much closer to queening, I felt I could make something of it and declined the offer. Sure enough, we quickly reached a position where only by sacrificing rook for pawn could he prevent my pawn from queening. As that would have left me with rook and five pawns to his six pawns, he resigned.
As a reward (?!) for that win, I was paired with one of the top three seeds, Omer Namouk (grade 135) of Hastings chess club. I had white and Omer gambitted a pawn early on for a lead in development which proved shortlived. I hoped the pawn advantage might prove decisive, but unfortunately I allowed him to build a very strong attack with queen and rook together on an open file. I managed to exchange queens but that left him with a rook on my second rank, with another rook threatening to join it. The only possible response was to attack his rooks with mine. Our rooks danced to and fro a few times before we agreed a draw. So I went home feeling pretty pleased with my Saturday’s work.
Sunday morning brought Paul Horman (grade 133) of Morecombe, who had white. Evidently he didn’t much feel like playing chess, as he turned up almost 20 minutes late, then asked me if I wanted a draw after 8 moves! I declined, since I at least was there to play chess for up to 4 hours, not 14 minutes. On move 13 I picked up a pawn and on move 15 saw the possibility of forcing an exchange of queens and strengthening my pawn structure in the process. Idiotically I opted instead for two moves which chased first his knight, then his queen to squares from where they, together with a bishop, bore down on the h pawn in front of my castled king. I could do nothing to defend it and mate followed a few moves later. A classic example of how to throw away a potentially strong position in favour of a calamitous defeat!
In the final round I had white against Keith Noons (grade 121) of Barton upon Humber. We sparred for quite a while in an even position, till I attacked his knight, which it seemed I could win. Alas, there was just one escape square and from there, operating in tandem with his other knight, this one proceeded to tear my position to pieces.
So Sunday, like Friday, brought me “nuls points” for a dismal overall score of 1.5. Nonetheless I enjoyed the occasion and the masochist in me, as in all chess players, will no doubt be back for more!

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