Chess Puzzle of the Week (11)

Last week‘s puzzle was a rather sweet Mate in 3:


The solution:

  1. Kd7 Ke4
  2. Rd5 Kxd5
  3. Qd4#

Many of you may not be aware that Richmond London League star (and former RJCC member) Caspar Bates is also a distinguished composer of endgame studies.

This study was published in The Problemist, the magazine of the British Chess Problem Society, in September 2006.


As always in endgame studies, there’s some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you’re two knights and three pawns behind and your opponent has an unstoppable passed pawn. The good news is that you have two passed pawns yourself.

It’s White to play and win.


Richmond A v Ealing A 06-12-18

This was what might become a vital relegation match between two teams who are strong at the top but lack depth.

After a predictably close encounter we ran out narrow winners. I was relieved to win my first game for many months. Well done to Gavin, who won in spite of starting half an hour behind on the clock due to teaching commitments, to Chris, for continuing his run of good form, and to Mike, Max and Adrian for their vital half points. Thanks to everyone for playing, and to Huw for setting everything up for us on Tuesday evening.

Richmond A Ealing A
1 Gavin Wall 222 1:0 John Quinn 204
2 Mike Healey 205 ½:½ Alan Perkins 202
3 Julien Shepley 180 0:1 Phil Makepeace 192
4 Richard James 170 1:0 Hristo Colov 162
5 Chris White 167 1:0 Andrew Reeves 143
6 Max Wood-Robinson – ½:½ Simon Healeas 149
7 Adrian Waldock 141 ½:½ Jason Obihara 138
8 Masoud Molazadeh 137 0:1 Alastair Johnstone 135

Our next match is away to Ealing Juniors (who won and drew against Ealing A at the start of the season) on Monday 17 December. See you there for a Christmas Special!

Hounslow A v Richmond B 03-12-18

Our TVB team visited Hounslow, and again suffered a narrow defeat in a close contest against evenly matched opposition. Congratulations to Raghu and Sampson on beating strong opponents, and to Henk and Adrian for solid draws, and thanks to all who played.

Hounslow A Richmond B
1 Mateusz Dydak 173 1:0 Bertie Barlow 161
2 David White 159 0:1 Raghu Kamath 168
3 Frank Zurstiege 156 0:1 Sampson Low 157
4 Leon Fincham 152 1:0 Maks Gajowniczek –
5 Seshagiri Vaddadi – ½:½ Henk Van Oosten –
6 Peter Hawran 137 1:0 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 142
7 JJ Padam 135 ½:½ Adrian Waldock 141


We Were the Champions (5)

On this day in 1975 we visited London University for our fifth match of the season. Our opponents suffered from a familiar problem with respect to student teams: lack of organisation. They only had 11 named players, two of whom failed to turn up, so we were three points ahead right from the start. Although we were unable to match our Hendon result, we still had no problem scoring a comfortable win.

1 December 1975 University of London Union
Richmond & Twickenham 1 Hendon
1 MF Stean 233 1:0 AH Perkins 219
2 AP Law 225 1:0 AC Melville 190
3 DSC Goodman 200 1:0 MI Hassall 194
4 GH James 211 ½:½ DS Tucker 190
5 MJ Franklin 192 ½:½ R Delnon 189
6 KI Norman 191 1:0 Default
7 MJ Lightfoot 183 ½:½ BD James 170
8 PJ Stubbs 179 1:0 Default
9 AR Bracher – 0:1 WL Saunders 178
10 DM Andrew 182 1:0 RD Picken 174
11 P Gillham 184 ½:½ T Goldrick –
12 AA Thomson 181 1:0 Default

London University top board Alan Perkins currently plays for Ealing in the Thames Valley League. Will he be making a visit to the Roebuck next Thursday? We’ll soon find out.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (10)

Last week I asked you to adjudicate this position with White to move, a variation from my game with Black against Ivar Chavannes of Wimbledon.


If you switch the engines on they’ll tell you, correctly, that Black is winning, but they will give seemingly random sequences of moves followed by White giving away a piece for no very obvious reason.

In fact the position is a rather remarkable Zugzwang.

First of all, if the knight moves, then Rf2 will win for Black. Likewise, if the queen moves westwards, Rf3 will win for Black.

What seems to be happening is that Black has a slow threat of playing g5, Qg6, h6, Rf6, Qf7 and finally Rf3 with winning threats. White might try to defend by playing Be3 followed by Nf2, so Black has to be very careful with his move order.

If White plays 1. Bd2 the bishop is now loose in some variations so Black has the winning tactic 1… Bf1, for example 2. Rxf1 Nxh2 3. Qxh5 Rxf1+ 4. Kxh2 gxh5 and the white pawns will fall like the proverbial ripe apples.

If White tries 1. Be3, Black wins with 1… Nxe3 2. Qxe3 (or 2. Qxh5 gxh5 3. Rxe3 Rf1#) 2… Rf3 3. Qe2 Qg4 when 4. Qd2 is met by Qxe4 as the rook is tied to defending f1, while 4. Nc1, for example, allows the winning sacrifice 4… Rxg3 5. hxg3 Qxh3+ 6. Kh1 Bg4 and White has no defence.

If 1. Rd1 Black presses on with his slow plan: 1… g5, having spotted that if White tries 2. Be3, planning Nf2, he has the tactic 2… Bg2 3. Qxg2 (or 3. Kxg2 Qxh2#) 3… Nxe3.

You can have (and I have had) hours of fun looking at the different continuations for both sides in this fascinating position.

This week: something a lot more gentle: a mate in 3 composed by Frank Healey (not, as far as I know, related to Mike) and published in the Illustrated London News in 1858.





Richmond C v Ealing C 27-11-18

Richmond C entertained Ealing C on 27 November, with the visitors running out winners. Congratulations to Henry on sharing the points with a formidable young opponent in the all-RJCC encounter on top board, and also to Laurie.

Richmond C Ealing C
1 Henry Shard 126 ½:½ Nishchal Thatte 157
2 Dan Donohoe 104 Adj Nandinee Thatte 109
3 Laurie Catling 101 ½:½ David Websdale 103
4 George Dokic 90 0:1 Alex Lushpa –
5 Jim Anandajeyarajah 85 0:1 Neville Rowden 82
6 Ken Broadley 47 0:1 Amardeep Sachdev 81

White Wins with Black

I’m pleased to present two games from Chris White. First, his win against GM Alex Cherniaev from our London League match against Wood Green.

[Event “Richmond v Wood Green”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2018.11.??”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Cherniaev, Alexander”]
[Black “White, Chris”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A43”]
[PlyCount “54”]
1. d4 c5 2. d5 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e4 ({Avoiding} 4. Nc3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 f5 {which
is also chaotic}) 4… d6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nge2 Ne7 7. h4 {Quite dangerous} h6 8.
h5 g5 9. f4 {All quickly played by Cherniaev, and it forces black to make a
decision. I decided to allow fxg5 if it meant in return I could install a N on
the lovely e5 square.} exd5 10. cxd5 a6 $2 {Unfortunately too slow.} (10… Bg4
$1 {is a much better version of same idea} 11. fxg5 Nd7 12. gxh6 Bxh6 {black
is doing fine and has …Ne5 to look forward to}) 11. fxg5 Nd7 12. gxh6 Bxh6
13. Bxh6 Rxh6 14. Qd2 Rh8 15. Ng1 {Regrouping to challenge the imminent
arrival of the N on e5} Ne5 16. Nf3 N7g6 {This is the move I want to play but
of course going via g6 involves its own risks…} 17. hxg6 Rxh1 (17… Nxf3+
18. gxf3 Rxh1 19. O-O-O Kf8 $44 {says Stockfish}) 18. Nxe5 Qh4+ {objectively
not the best move but on the plus side it gives white plenty of ways to go
wrong…} 19. Qf2 dxe5 20. gxf7+ $2 ({a different mistake would be} 20. g7 Qg5
$17) 20… Kf8 21. g3 Qg5 22. Qxc5+ Kxf7 23. Qf2+ Kg7 24. Qf3 Rh2 25. Ne2 Bd7
26. Qb3 b5 27. a4 Rf8 {Here Cherniaev resigned. Threats include …Rh1 or …
Rxf1+ with .. .Qf6+ and Qf2+ to follow.} 0-1

Click here to play through the game online.

Another game with the same opening, played again in the London League, at the end of last season. Chris’s opponent here, Bill Phillips, started Pinner Junior Club shortly before we started Richmond Junior Club in 1975, and was very helpful in getting us established.

[Event “Richmond v Drunken Knights”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2018.06.11”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Phillips, William”]
[Black “White, Chris”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A43”]
[PlyCount “40”]
1. d4 c5 2. d5 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Bd3 e6 6. Ne2 Ne7 7. Nbc3 O-O 8. O-O
exd5 9. cxd5 Nd7 10. f4 f5 11. Ng3 Nf6 12. Qc2 fxe4 (12… Ng4 $5 {is another
idea when if white removes his K from the dangerous diagonal} 13. Kh1 (13. h3
fxe4 14. Ngxe4 Bd4+ 15. Kh1 Nf5) {there is a surprise winning tactic} 13…
Nxd5 $3 14. Nxd5 Qh4 $19) 13. Ngxe4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 Nf5 15. Ng5 Nd4 16. Qf2 Bf5
17. Bxf5 gxf5 18. Nf3 Re8 $1 $19 19. Be3 (19. Bd2 Re2 20. Qg3 Nxf3+ 21. Qxf3
Rxd2 $19) 19… Nxf3+ 20. Qxf3 Rxe3 {White resigned as recapturing allows …
Bd4} 0-1

You can play through this game here

If any other RTCC members have played any interesting games recently we’d be happy to present them here, with or without annotations.