Results Roundup 2223/1 30 Oct 2022

Our Surrey teams made a perfect start to the season with two long journeys resulting in two narrow wins.

Our Centenary Trophy team visited Guildford 4 on Monday, where, undaunted by being outrated on every board, they came away with the full point.

  1. Neil Crosswell (1765) 0:1 Roger Scowen (1702)
  2. Anthony Garrood (1758) 0:1 Otto Weidner (1684)
  3. Pascoe Rapacci (1723) 1:0 David Heaton (1542)
  4. Peter Horlock (1656) 0:1 George Milligan (1539)
  5. Adam Sefton (1506) ½:½ Ron Bilkhu (1404)
  6. Carlos Moreno Serrano (1532) 1:0 Ollie Taylor (e1350)

Great wins for Roger, Otto (their ages are about 65 years apart!) and George, and an excellent draw for Ron. Welcome to Ollie, playing his first league match for Richmond.

We’ve re-entered the Fred Manning Trophy this season (4 boards: under 1600) to provide more opportunities for some of our lower rated players. Our first match took us to the wilds of South Norwood.

  1. John Ganev (1545) ½:½ David Heaton (1542)
  2. Gengadharan Somupillai (1495) 0:1 Steve Payne (1510)
  3. David Howes (1457) 1:0 Andreas Maroulis (1488)
  4. Michael Collins (1192) 0:1 Huw Williams (1434)

A win for last minute sub Steve on his Richmond debut and also for Huw, our inspirational captain, a draw for David, and good to see Andreas back for his first post-lockdown game.

Well done everyone in both teams. Here’s to more Surrey successes this season. Will we still be at the top of the able by next May?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (202): Solution

This week’s puzzle was taken from Maxim Notkin’s tactics column in the latest New in Chess (2022#6).

In the game Gurel – Pastar (Ayvalik 2022) White won as follows:

44. Bxe5! Kxe5 (44… hxg2 45. Bh2 stopping the pawn) 45. Ne1 Kf4 46. Nf3!! Kxf3 47. a6 h2 48. a7 Kf2 49. a8Q Kg1 50. Qa1+ Kg2 51. Qxg7 and Black resigned because 51… h1Q is met by 52. Qb7+.

A practical ending with study-like components. Well done to everyone who solved this correctly!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (202)

A simple question for you this week.

Gurel – Pastar Ayvalik 2002

White to play. What result, and why?

Good luck to all our members for the new season: first match this evening!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (201): Solution

On Monday I left you with this position, which was agreed drawn in the game Bogoljubov – Thomas, played at Hastings on 13 September 1922.

White could have won by marching his king to b2 to pick up the black pawn, and then back to c8 to set up the Lucena Position.

You do know all about the Lucena Position, don’t you? If not, you really should!

For example, 79. Kd5 Ra5+ 80. Kc4 Ra4+ 81. Kb3 Ra3+ 82. Kc2 Rc3+ 83. Kb2 a1Q+ 84. Kxa1 Rc2 85. Kb1 Rc3 86. Kb2 Rc4 87. Kb3 Rc1 88. Kb4 Rb1+ 89. Kc5 Rc1+ 90. Kb6 Rb1+ 91. Ka7 Rc1 92. Kb7 Rb1+ 93. Kc8 Rb4 94. Rh3 Rb2 95. Re3+ Kf7 96. Re4 Kf6 97. Kd7 Rd2+ 98. Kc6 Rc2+ 99. Kd6 Rd2+ 100. Kc5 Rc2+ 101. Rc4 and wins.

This is basic endgame knowledge for any serious competitive player now, but, 100 years ago, even the world’s strongest players didn’t always get it right.

Congratulations to David Maycock Bates and anyone else who solved it correctly.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (201)

This week’s position is another game played at Hastings on 13 September 1922. This is Bogoljubov – Thomas, in which Sir George has just checked the white king and offered a draw.

Would you accept this generous offer? If not, what would your plan be to try to win the game.

This position is a great test of your rook ending knowledge and skill. Play it out against a friend. If you don’t have any friends, play it out against a computer!

Rook endings are important!!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (200): Solution

Monday’s puzzle was from the game Alekhine – Yates, played in a tournament at Hastings 100 years ago this week.

The future world champion chose the worst option: 35. Rxf7? Rc1+ 36. Kf2? (36. Rf1+ Kd8 37. Qh8+ Kc7 38. Qf6 Qe3+ 39. Kh2 was also losing) 36… Qh4+ 37. Ke3 Qe1+ 38. Kf3 R8c3+!! 39. bxc3 Rxc3+ 40. Bd3 Qf1+! 41. Ke3 Rxd3+! Qxd3+ 43.Kxd3 Kxf7 with a winning pawn ending.

35. Bxf7+?! should draw, for example 35… Kd8 36. Qh8+ Ke7 37. Qh7 Rc138. Bxd5+ Kd8 39. Qh8+ Kc7 40. Qh7+ Kd8.

35. Qh8+?! is about level after 35… Kd7 36. Bf5+ Qxf5 37. Qxc8+ Rxc8 38. gxf5.

The winning move is 35. Qg8+! Kd7 36. Qxf7+ Kc6 37. Qe6+ Kb7 38. Qxd5+ Rc6 39. Be4 Kb8 40. b4! a6 41. a4!.

Congratulations if you managed to do better than Alekhine and find the correct solution!

Here’s the complete game for you to play to (click any move for a pop-up window):

Chess Puzzle of the Week (200)

For our 200th puzzle, a position from 100 years ago.

In 1922 the BCF (as it then was) organised a tournament comprising three of the world’s leading players, Alekhine, Rubinstein and Bogoljubov, Tarrasch, who had been world championship standard back in the 1890s, and England’s two leading active players of the time, Sir George Thomas and Fred Yates.

This is from Alekhine – Yates, played 100 years ago tomorrow as I write this, 13 September 1922.

A few moves ago Alekhine sacrificed the exchange for an attack. He now has four candidate moves. Should he choose a) Rxf7, b) Bxf7+, c) Qg8+ or d) Qh8+?

Alekhine, one of the world’s greatest ever calculators of tactics, got it wrong. Can you do better?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (199): Solution

Monday’s puzzle was a mate in 2 by Comins Mansfield, published in the Morning Post in April 1923.

If it was Black’s move in this position, White would mate next move. After a horizontal rook move, Ng3 would be mate, and after a vertical rook move N1d2 would be mate. The rook cannot hold both key squares. Black’s only other move, d3, takes away a possible flight square, allowing Qe7#.

Frustratingly, White can’t maintain the position as there’s no suitable waiting move, so you have to think of something else.

The beautiful solution is 1. Qa6!. Now the rook has to hold the g6 and e2 squares. So a horizontal rook move will now allow Qg6# while a vertical rook move will allow Qe2#. And if 1… d3, then 2. Qe6# happens.

This sort of problem, with changed mates, is known as a mutate. In this case, after every possible black move the mate changes between the set play (what would happen with Black to play) and the solution.

Amazing! There are two reasons why you should investigate the world of chess compositions. Solving them will improve your calculation skills, imagination and creativity. It will also introduce you to a parallel universe which values aesthetics and beauty rather than the violence of competitive chess.

Morphy Number

Our megamatch against Kingston on Monday was a great success. We lost 11-5 against much stronger and more experienced opposition, but the match provided a first experience of competitive chess to several of our new members.

Looking back at this article, there are two mentions of Mr Jack Redon, whom I knew very well. The information that he played (and beat) JH Blake gives me another route to a Morphy Number of 4.

Film buffs will be familiar with Kevin Bacon numbers. Morphy numbers work in very much the same way.

If you’re Paul Morphy (which is unlikely, unless he’s reading this from another place), your Morphy Number is 0. If you played Paul Morphy, which is similarly unlikely as he was active in the 1850s, your Morphy Number is 1.

Morphy played much of his chess in England, and a few of his opponents had long careers lasting to the end of the 19th and even the early 20th century. He had recorded games against Henry Bird and John Owen (who died in Twickenham) and played many friendly games against Anglo-American James Mortimer, for example.

If you played one of Morphy’s opponents you have a Morphy number of 2: again unlikely unless you were around well over a century ago. Some of these also had long careers, lasting up to the middle of the last century. JH Blake, as mentioned above, was one, as was EG Sergeant, who, like Blake lived in Kingston. Another of my routes to Morphy comes via the German Grandmaster Mieses, who lived the latter part of his life in London. Players who were active at a high level round about 1950 would very often have a Morphy Number of 3.

There are a few MN3s still alive, including Leonard Barden, Stewart Reuben and Bernard Cafferty, the last two of whom are still active players. Most players of my generation who were active at a fairly high level in the 1970s/1980s will have, like me, a Morphy Number of 4. Adding Jack Redon to my list, I’ve played at least five players with a Morphy Number of 3, including both Leonard and Stewart, along with David Pritchard and Ron Bruce.

If you’d like a Morphy Number of 5, then, all you have to do is play a game against me next time we’re both at The Adelaide. What are you waiting for?

Chess Puzzle of the Week (199)

I was going to show you something else, but this morning someone posted this beautiful problem on Facebook. Many leading coaches now see solving both endgame studies and problems of this nature as an invaluable part of your chess training.

White to play and mate in 2 moves, against any black defence.

This was composed about 100 years ago by Comins Mansfield, one of Britain’s – and the world’s – greatest ever problemists and published in the Morning Post in April 1923. It was dedicated to Mrs Edith Elina Helen Baird, herself a distinguished problemist.

To appreciate this problem fully you have to spot the set play (what would happen if it was Black’s move) as well as finding the solution.

Good luck – and do get in touch if you think you’ve cracked it.