Wimbledon D v Richmond C 19-11-18

Apologies for the delayed report on Richmond C’s visit to Wimbledon last week.

Wimbledon fielded a team with more strength in depth and ran out convincing winners. Congratulations to them, and to Alex and Laurie for their draws.

Surbiton C Richmond C
1 Michael Williams 133 ½:½ Alex Shard 137
2 Andrew Blackburn 128 1:0 Omar Anbargi 107
3 Pawel Slonczuk 120 Adj Dan Donohoe 104
4 Robbie McCarthy – ½:½ Laurie Catling 101
5 Alex Brett 110 1:0 George Dokic 90
6 Omar Selim – 1:0 Ken Broadley 47

Chess Puzzle of the Week (9)


Last week’s puzzle was taken from my game from this match.  I had the black pieces and, up to this point, I had inadvertently outplayed my much higher graded opponent. I now had to decide on my 29th move. We were playing 30 moves in an hour, and I had, probably, about 10 minutes left to reach the time control at this point.

I looked at various tactical ideas such as trying to get Bf1 to work but couldn’t see anything. As I always panic and lose in quickplay finishes, and knowing that my opponent was a lot stronger than me, I chose to play Nf6, forcing a queen trade. My opponent duly played Qxh5, accompanied by a draw offer, which I immediately accepted. I was intending to offer a draw myself on recapturing the queen.

The easiest way to reach a winning advantage is to play 29… b5 30. cxb5 c4 31. Nb2 Rf2 32. Qxf2 Nxf2 33. Kxf2 Bg4 when, although material is about equal, White is totally lost.

Finding this was way beyond my capabilities within the time I had available: I wasn’t looking at the queen side at all.

But I’m rather more interested in the position which could have been reached if I’d just waited: 29… Rf7 30. a4 a5. Move 30 would have been adjudication in the distant past when I first played in the Thames Valley League. For this week’s puzzle, I’d like you to adjudicate this position. It’s White’s move. Your decision – and your reasons – please!



Richmond B v Surbiton B 22-11-18

Our TVL B team had another tough match at home to Surbiton B at the Roebuck.

This was a hard fought encounter, with the teams attempting to emulate Carlsen and Caruana by drawing all their games. Surbiton veteran Stef Bruzzi (who represented Italy in the Clare Benedict Cup way back in 1960) hadn’t read the script, though, and his win saw Surbiton B record a narrow victory.

Congratulations to everyone on a close encounter, and especially to Raghu and Max for sharing the point with strong opponents.

Richmond B Surbiton B
1 Raghu Kamath 168 ½:½ Ian Henderson 183
2 Max Wood-Robinson – ½:½ Angus James 179
3 Ian McLeod 154 0:1 Stefano Bruzzi 155
4 Sampson Low 157 ½:½ Malcolm Groom 158
5 Adrian Waldock 141 ½:½ Paul Durrant 152
6 Henk Van Oosten – ½:½ Mark Hogarth 150
7 Masoud Molazadeh 137 ½:½ Robert Faint 132


Richmond v Wood Green 21-11-18

Up against perpetual league champions Wood Green, we know in advance what the result is going to be.

Wood Green fielded 8 GMs, with IMs on boards 7 and 9. Nevertheless, we did pretty well, especially Chris White, who defeated his GM opponent on board 10. I hope Chris will be able to provide the game for your enjoyment at some point. Congratulations also to Iain, Gavin and Caspar, who all drew with their illustrious opponents.

Brian Smith, Wood Green’s captain and sponsor, commented: “Many thanks indeed Gavin to you and your colleagues for 8 QP bds with zero adj. You gave WG its toughest match last season – and very nearly copied it this season against a much stronger team – starting with the first win (with black) on bd10 against a GM in the History of the Universe. Good luck to all your players for the remainder of the season.”

Richmond Wood Green
1 Iain Gourlay 226 ½:½ Luke McShane 268
2 Gavin Wall 222 ½:½ Tamas Fodor 256
3 Mike Healey 205 0:1 Nick Pert 245
4 Ashley Stewart 204 0:1 Stephen Gordon 249
5 Julien Shepley 180 0:1 Jon Speelman 241
6 Caspar Bates 194 ½:½ Bogdan Lalic 237
7 Martin Benjamin 174 0:1 Richard Pert 237
8 John Burke 177 0:1 Neil McDonald 235
9 Chris Baker 169 0:1 Sophie Milliet 233
10 Chris White 167 1:0 Alexander Cherniaev 230

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.