Wimbledon A v Richmond A 20-01-22

Another disappointing evening, I’m afraid. Up to this point we’d won all our matches, while our opponents had lost all theirs, but last night they blew us off the board. I was there as non-playing captain and travelling reserve in case of any late Covid-related withdrawals.

No hard luck stories and no excuses: all their team played very well.

  1. Russell Granat (2260) 1:0 Bertie Barlow (2006)
  2. Tony Hughes (1945) ½:½ Julien Shepley (1971)
  3. Sean Ingle (1810) ½:½ Andrew Hebron (2020)
  4. Mike Williams (1788) ½:½ Chris Baker (1960)
  5. Shahvez Ali (1784) ½:½ Ian McLeod (1908)
  6. Alex Boitier (1705) 1:0 Maks Gajowniczek (1750)

Richmond won the toss, but Bertie chose to be black on top board. There were early queen exchanges on boards 1, 2 and 4. Julien’s game was quickly agreed drawn, and Chris reached a minor piece ending before sharing the point. It quickly became clear that we were likely to lose. Russell had played an unpretentious opening (a Four Knights with 4. d3) but he is exceptionally strong in this sort of position and Bertie soon went wrong, losing a couple of pawns. He struggled on to the end but his opponent was never going to make a mistake. Maks had blundered a piece and his opponent managed to avoid the traps. That left boards 3 and 5 to provide the evening’s excitement, but both Andrew and Ian were in cramped positions from the opening. Ian ended up with two rooks against a queen and a couple of pawns in a position where one side or the other would give perpetual check. Andrew seemed to be in trouble after neglecting to castle at the start of the game, but did very well to complicate matters in his opponent’s time trouble. He bravely turned down a draw in the interests of the team, but, once the match had been decided, accepted the second offer in a position where he was going to find himself in a bad ending but where Sean had virtually no time left. A fair result, I think.

Thanks to all for playing, and to Andrew for the lift. Thanks to Wimbledon for their hospitality and congratulations on an excellent performance.

Our next match is away to Hammersmith on Monday 31 January, by which time the mask mandate will no longer be in place.

League Results Update 21-01-22

It’s been a disappointing week as far as results go.

Our Surrey team in the Centenary Trophy went down 1½-4½ to Epsom C on Tuesday, although the match was closer than the result suggests and our opponents admitted to being flattered by the final score.

  1. Maxim Dunn (1900) 0:1 Chris Wright (-)
  2. Paul Evans (1563) ½:½ Mike Wickham (1675)
  3. Levente Lencses (1525) 0:1 Venkatesh Subramoniam (1660)
  4. Rob Hunter (1540) 1:0 Alistair Mackenzie (-)
  5. Ron Bilkhu (-) 0:1 Alex Ferrario (-)
  6. Lewis Low (1435) 0:1 Haris Nisic (1465)

It’s good to know that the Epsom team were impressed with our new venue and the warm welcome they received there from our players.

Congratulations to Paul and the fast improving Rob on their excellent results. Thanks to all for playing.

On the same evening, Richmond D went down 5-1 to a strong Hounslow B team.

  1. Alex Shard (1720) 1:0 JJ Padam (1765)
  2. Barry Sutton (1600) 0:1 Frank Zurstege (1690)
  3. Dan Donohoe (1533) 0:1 Calum Kinloch (1720)
  4. Laurie Catling (1390) 0:1 Vibhush Pusapadi (1278)
  5. George Dokic (1338) 0:1 Barry Fraser (1433)
  6. Ken Broadley (1075) 0:1 John O’Toole (1413)

Again, thanks to everyone who played, and congratulations to Alex for beating a higher rated opponent.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (166)

Percival Guy Laugharne Fothergill Schachminiaturen Neue Folge 1903

The splendidly named Percival Guy Laugharne Fothergill (1868-1948), who lived at various times in Twickenham, Staines and Isleworth, was a composer of mostly lightweight problems who was active between the 1880s and the 1940s. I’ll be writing a lot more about him for British Chess News in a few months time.

White to play and force mate in 3 moves, against any defence.

Over to you!

League Results 11-01-22

Tuesday 11 January saw two of our teams playing their first match of the new year.

Richmond B had the privilege of being able to welcome our visitors from Maidenhead A to our new venue. A close match ensued, with honours being shared.

  1. Bertie Barlow (2006) ½:½ Nigel Smith (1960)
  2. Julien Shepley (1971) ½:½ Tony Milnes (1971)
  3. Ieuan Fenton (-) 0:1 Nigel Dennis (1885)
  4. Roger Scowen (1681) 0:1 William Castaneda (1728)
  5. Rob Hunter (1540) 1:0 Yuri Krylov (-)
  6. Victor Bluett (-) 1:0 Dariusz Sikora (-)

We were unlucky not to win as Roger misunderstood the time settings. Congratulations to Rob and Victor (on his debut for Richmond) on their wins.

We also had a team playing in the (rapidplay) Ellery Williams Trophy in the Surrey League. Here, we went down to a narrow defeat, but I understand Paul and Huw both went wrong in good positions. Unlucky again!

  1. Robert Jurjevic (1600s) 1:0 Paul Evans (1563s)
  2. Harshita Jayanthi (1473) ½:½ Ron Bilkhu (-)
  3. Christopher Perks (1450s) 1:0 Huw Williams (1435s)
  4. Nick Thynne (-) 0:1 Levente Lencses (1202)

Thanks to all for playing and well played Levente!

Chess Puzzle of the Week (165)

Bob and Carol were already playing their game at the Adelaide when Ted and Alice arrived.

This was the position on the board.

“What do you think of our new venue, then?”, asked Ted. “You seem to have a few pieces missing, though. Perhaps they’re back at the Roebuck.” “You could always play the position out from here”, added Alice. “You both have the same number of pieces, and my chess teacher tells me it’s good to practise endings.”

“But we started the game five minutes ago”, protested Carol. “Look, the captured pieces are here in the box. How many moves do you reckon we’ve played, Bob?” “Half a dozen or so, I’d say”, he answered. “Yes, exactly six moves each so it’s White’s move now. Perhaps you can work out how we reached this position.”

“I’ll go down and get the drinks while you’re thinking about it”, said Ted. “A pint of Spitfire for you, Bob, and, a G & T for Carol?” “I’ll see if I can solve the puzzle while you’re gone”, said Alice. “It shouldn’t take me that long.”

Can you work out how this position was reached after six moves by each side? If you manage to find the solution, do let me know, preferably privately so as not to spoil the fun.

This proof game problem was composed by Joost de Heer (Probleemblad 2001)

Harrow B v Richmond C 06-01-22

Our first team in action in 2022 was Richmond C, who made the journey to Harrow for a Thames Valley League match against Harrow B, coming away with a convincing victory by 4½ points to 1½.

  1. John Clenshaw (1720) 0:1 Maxim Dunn (1900)
  2. Patrick Sartain (1547) 0:1 Roger Scowen (1681)
  3. David Stott (1513) 0:1 David Heaton (-)
  4. Jennifer Goldsmith (1412) ½:½ Levente Lenszes (1525)
  5. Phil Humphry (1536) 0:1 Yann Sydow (-)
  6. David Wray (1490) 1:0 Ron Bilkhu (-)

Congratulations to Maxim, Roger, David and Yann, and thanks to all for playing.

We’ll be confirming the revised dates of our home matches very shortly.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (164)

Rob Schoorl – Manuel Bosboom Amsterdam 2005

I’m currently reading Chess Buccaneer The Life and Games of Manuel Bosboom by Peter Boel and Merijn van Delft. My review will be published on British Chess News very shortly.

The book includes a chapter on combinations, from which this week’s puzzle is taken. How can White defend here?

This should be a bit easier than some of our recent puzzles. If you’ve found the answer please message me or just post ‘solved’ to give everyone else a chance.