We Were the Champions (4)

This day in 1975 saw one of the most remarkable performances in the history of Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club. Our London League 1st team were facing Hendon, who fielded what was by no means a weak team. No doubt helped by my absence, we ran out winners by the massive score of 11½:½! After our first four matches we were well placed in the league on three points.

18 November 1975 St Bride’s Institute
Richmond & Twickenham 1 Hendon
1 MF Stean 233 1:0 BM Rothbart 198
2 AP Law 225 1:0 S Berry 210
3 DSC Goodman 200 1:0 DP Lynch –
4 GH James 211 1:0 PR Fawcett (Reserve) 147
5 MJ Franklin 192 1:0 RDW Marsh 168
6 KI Norman 191 1:0 IC McAllan 180
7 MJ Lightfoot 183 1:0 AL Natt 169
8 AR Bracher – ½:½ TJ Turner 174
9 PJ Stubbs 179 1:0 JF Lobley 172
10 DM Andrew 182 1:0 B Beavis 163
11 CD Carr 178 1:0 G Lacome 163
12 JM Hodgson 166 1:0 P Kelen 169

You will note that Steve Berry is still playing against Richmond, although he migrated south of the river some years ago. Back in 1975 he was graded 210: 43 years on, impressively, his grade is 211.

Chess Puzzle of the Week (8)


Last week I asked you to solve this Triple Loyd puzzle, taken from Jeff Coakley’s Winning Chess Puzzles for Kids Volume 2.

Place the black king so that it’s checkmate: Kd4

Place the black king so that it’s stalemate: Kf8

Place the black king so that White, to move, can mate in 1: Kh7 (Qh5#)

This week’s puzzle:


Consider this position. It’s Black’s move: what is the best way for him to realise his advantage?

Richmond A v Wimbledon A 16-11-18

We were without Gavin this time, but did have, in theory, nine players. Due to a last minute traffic problem, nine became eight, so I was denied the opportunity to spend the evening in the bar.
Richmond A Wimbledon A
1 Mike Healey 205 ½:½ Marcus Osborne 197
2 Julien Shepley 180 Adj Steve Berry 211
3 Chris White 167 0:1 Robin Haldane 191
4 Richard James 170 ½:½ Ivar Chavannes 198
5 Raghu Kamath 168 0:1 Tony Hughes 171
6 Bertie Barlow 161 ½:½ Ian Heppell 183
7 Max Wood-Robinson – 1:0 Nick Keene 165
8 Ian McLeod 154 1:0 Paul Barasi 161

Level pegging at the moment but the adjournment on board 2 doesn’t look good. Nevertheless, an encouraging performance against strong opposition.

Paul Barasi and I have known each other for more than half a century. It’s a standing joke between us that, while Paul prefers losing to drawing, I prefer drawing to winning.

Having outplayed my much higher graded Norwegian opponent with Black, then, instead of trying to find a win I allowed a queen exchange and agreed a draw. I’ll show you the position in another post.

Meanwhile, on board 8, Paul was beating Ian but losing to the clock. Ian sportingly offered a draw, which Paul, even more sportingly, declined. Soon afterwards his flag well. Bertie’s opponent was also generous in offering a draw: Ian Heppell was two pawns up in a rook ending but thought Bertie had enough counterplay.

Congratulations to Max, who is showing impressive form on his return to chess following the completion of his university studies.

When We Were Very Young

Last week’s TVKO match against Surbiton featured a top board encounter between two Richmond Junior Club alumni, who were born a few days apart nearly 50 years ago.

Here‘s their encounter from the 1983 Richmond U14 Championship.

Travelling even further back, last week’s Richmond B5 and Surbiton B6 met for the first and, so far, only time in 1975.

Of course you want to see the game, so here it is. I was losing from the opening but Nick’s 20th move (Rh1!) allowed me to turn the tables.


Chess Puzzle of the Week (7)


Last week I left you with this position, taken from Ray Cannon’s RJCC Puzzle Grand Prix many years ago. Black threatens two mates on the move as well as a promotion. What can White do about it? The obvious try 1. Rb8+ Kxb8 2. Qb5+ Kc8 3. Qb7+ Kd8 4. Qb8+ doesn’t quite work after 4… Qc8.

We need to buy time by decoying the black queen so start with:

1. Qe6+ Qxe6
2. Nd7

Threatening Rb8# so Black has to return the queen:

2… Qxd7

Now if we take the queen back at once we have no defence to promotion so…

3. Rb8+ Kxb8
4. cxd7 and Black has no defence to 5. d8Q#. Remarkable!

This week, something completely different: a Triple Loyd.

This is a three part puzzle:

  1. Place the black king on a square where it’s checkmate
  2. Place the black king on a square where it’s stalemate
  3. Place the black king on a square where White, to play, can mate in 1


Harrow B v Richmond D 08-11-18

Last Thursday saw our D team make an expedition to the northern wastelands of Harrow in a successful attempt to discover our North West London rivals’ new venue. They chose to use public transport via Willesden Junction and Kenton rather than contend with the rush hour traffic.

They managed to come away with the full point. Congratulations to Eamon, Masoud and Colin on their wins, to Julian for a draw against a higher rated opponent, and to Max on his first competitive game.

Harrow B Richmond D
1 Alan Marshall 123 0:1 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 142
2 David Stott 119 0:1 Masoud Molazadeh 137
3 David Wray 115 1:0 Huw Williams 108
4 Jennifer Goldsmith 105 0:1 Colin Dailley 96
5 Phil Humphry 101 ½:½ Julian Bedale 62
6 David Walker 89 1:0 Max Brindley

Richmond v Surbiton TVKO 08-11-18

Every year we seem to be paired against Surbiton in the Thames Valley League’s knock-out cup. This time we met in the first round, otherwise known as the quarter finals.

It was one of those matches. Sometimes everyone is available and we have too many players, but on other days we struggle to find anyone at all. With only half a dozen boards to fill we were expecting no problem, even with the D team also in action, but it looked until shortly before the start that we were going to be a player short.

Mike had to pick his mother up from hospital but she was unexpectedly released earlier than expected so he was able to make the match.

In a six board match with Gavin and Mike playing we always have a chance. At one point things were not looking good: Raghu and Maks both lost fairly quickly with White and I was in trouble as well. But we fought back, with wins on the top two boards. My opponent miscalculated and lost the exchange, but I in turn let the win slip, and a drawn ending was reached. In the last game to finish Chris was a pawn up in a bishops of opposite colours ending against his higher graded opponent. A draw was again agreed, leaving Richmond the winners on board count.


Richmond Surbiton
1 Gavin Wall 222 1:0 Mark Josse 201
2 Mike Healey 205 1:0 Jasper Tambini 200
3 Chris White 167 ½:½ Oliver Gill 200
4 Raghu Kamath 168 0:1 Paul Shepherd 184
5 Richard James 170 ½:½ Ian Henderson 183
6 Maks Gajowniczek – 0:1 Nick Faulks 169