Richmond B v Uxbridge 17-01-19

Richmond B  finally got off the mark for the season with a strong performance against fellow strugglers Uxbridge.

Wins by the powerhouse of Sampson, Richard and Maks on boards 2-4 saw us home. Well played to them, and thanks to all the team.

Richmond B Uxbridge
1 Bertie Barlow 161 ½:½ Peter Walters 167
2 Sampson Low 157 1:0 Colin Hughes 154
3 Richard Thursby 156 1:0 Peter Lord 150
4 Maks Gajowniczek – 1:0 Michael Price 144
5 Adrian Waldock 141 ½:½ John Woolley 140
6 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 142 ½:½ David Knight 118
7 Masoud Molazadeh 137 0:1 Brian Foster 109


Richmond v Wimbledon 1 16-01-19

Our first London League match of the new year saw us facing our South West London rivals from Wimbledon.

The result was an outstanding victory, including a clean sweep of the top seven boards. Many congratulations to Gavin and his team, who are well on track to repeat last season’s second place in the country’s strongest evening league.

Richmond Wimbledon 1
1 Ameet Ghasi 255 1:0 Alberto Suarez Real 225
2 Iain Gourlay 226 1:0 Default
3 Callum Kilpatrick 220 1:0 Ivar Chavannes 198
4 Gavin Wall 222 1:0 Russell Granat 203
5 Mike Healey 205 1:0 Dan Rosen 194
6 Caspar Bates 194 1:0 Peter Hasson 183
7 Andreas Wetscherek 176 1:0 Girinath Haridas 180
8 John Burke 177 ½:½ Mark Dubey 176
9 Jonathan Somekh 179 ½:½ Tony Hughes 171
10 Martin Benjamin 174 0:1 Neil Cannon 161

At the time of writing the league website mistakenly names David Rowson as the Wimbledon B5. Mike assures me this is incorrect.

Here’s the game, with Mike paying tribute to Abraham on move 1.

1. b4 e5 2. Bb2 d6 3. e3 Nc6!? 4. b5 Nce7 5. Nf3 Nf5!? 6. h3!? Be7 7. c4 Bf6 8. g4!? Nh4 9. Nc3 h5! 10. gxh5! Rxh5 11. Ne4!? Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Rf5? 13. Qg2 Bh4?? 14. Qxg7 Ke7 15. Bd3 Be6 16. O-O-O Nf6 17. f4 Bxc4 18. Bxc4 Nxe4 19. Qg4 1-0

Staines B v Richmond E 14-01-19

Congratulations to Richmond E for being the first of our teams to score a point in 2019 after a narrow victory at Staines. Well played Barry and Ken for beating higher graded opponents, and also Dan, who drew with a higher graded opponent.

But there was something controversial about Barry’s game. First, though, the results.

Staines B Richmond E
1 Richard Dulley 126 ½:½ Dan Donohoe 104
2 Usman Butt 109 0:1  Barry Sutton 97
3 Shahanah Schmid – 1:0  George Dokic 90
4 Martin Conlon 59 0:1 Ken Broadley 47

As it happens, I know the Staines board 3, who runs a fantastic monthly girls’ group at Richmond Junior Club where her young son is also a member. I know she’s a WFM from Switzerland who currently lives near Staines, and has a FIDE rating of 2069 (that’s about 180 in British currency). I can only assume Staines made no attempt to find out her strength before selecting her for the team. I also note that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in one of our matches this season.

I’m not sure what the league can do about it, though. It’s hard to legislate against incompetence.

Wimbledon D v Richmond D 14-01-19

Our D team visited Wimbledon D last night, and, after a close match suffered their first loss of the season.

Our recent promotion of social chess has led to a welcome influx of new members, and we’re going to be using the D team to give them their first opportunity for match chess. It was great to see Michael playing his first match for us, while Max, in his third appearance, recorded a draw against an experienced opponent. Well done, Michael and Max. Congratulations also to Eamon and Omar on their excellent victories.

Ealing C Richmond D
1 Michael Williams 133 0:1 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 142
2 Andrew Blackburn 128 1:0 Masoud Molazadeh 137
3 Paul Carter – 0:1 Omar Anbagi 107
4 Pawel Slonczuk 120 1:0 Michael Majkuth –
5 Alex Brett 110 ½:½ Max Brindley
6 Mario Avendano 108 1:0 Julian Bedale 62

One curiosity: as Wimbledon had White on the odd numbered boards, you’ll be able to work out that Black scored 5½/6 in this match.

If you’re following the Tata Steel Masters (which you should be) you’ll have seen that, in the first three rounds there have been six black wins and only one white win. The question has been posed on Twitter: is black the new white?

Richmond C v Surbiton C 08-01-2019

In our first match of 2019, Richmond C welcomed Surbiton C to the Twickenham Club. In spite of some solid performances by our top boards, our higher rated opponents emerged triumphant thanks to wins on the lower boards. Congratulations to Omar, Dan and Laurie, who all held much higher graded opponents to a draw.

Richmond C Surbiton C
1 Omar Anbagi 107 ½:½ David Cole 122
2 Dan Donohoe 104 ½:½ Alexey Markov 129
3 Laurie Catling 101 ½:½ Oleksiy Podolyan 123
4 Barry Sutton 97 Adj David Morant 101
5 George Dokic 90 0:1 Paul McCauley 82
6 Ken Broadley 47 0:1 Kavin Thooran 97


Chess Puzzle of the Week (16)


The latest edition of The Problemist arrived in my letterbox yesterday.

It included a review of Practical Chess Beauty, a new book by Yochanan Afek, who is both a GM study composer and an OTB IM.

This is the conclusion to one of his studies. White to play and win.

Last week I left you with this position, from a game between Steve Berry and Keith Arkell, published as a tribute to Steve, who sadly passed away earlier this month.


The game concluded:

30. Bxf5 gxf5 31. Re6 Nxe6 32. Rxe6 Rh8 33. Rh6+ Kg7 34. Qg5+ Kf7 35. Qg6+ Kf8 36. Rxh8# 1-0

You had to find Steve’s first two moves to gain full credit: congratulations if you did so.

Chess Puzzle of the week (15)


You’ll have read elsewhere the sad news of the passing of Wimbledon star Steve Berry. In tribute to Steve, this week’s puzzle sees him beating his good friend GM Keith Arkell (Paignton 2013).

It’s White to play, and you’ll need to provide more than one move for full credit.

Last week, I asked you for White’s next move in this position:


This position was taken from Paravyan-Golubov, Korchnoi Memorial, which the staff of voted the third best game of last year. White’s spectacular winning move was Qc7!!.

You can find the top 10 games of 2018 here.