Manningtree Chess Club Match Results.

A-Team B-Team Divisional Rapidplay U1800

A-Team PerformancesGradeAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Andy Lewis22431.06330075.0
Panagiotis Kanellopoulos21611.88701087.5
Phil Hutchings18992.97331064.3
Jim Buis17973.02011025.0
Graeme Jones17713.52110075.0
John McAllister17543.52011025.0
Bob Stephens17854.04130062.5
Rowland Kerr18334.010001-
Performance stats for all Competitions

1Manningtree A 852122
2Bury St Edmunds A853021½
3Felixstowe A824215
4Ipswich A822413
5Ipswich B8017
Full Table

 Ipswich A26/04/22Manningtree A
1Lunn, Timothy20980 - 1Lewis, Andrew P2249
2Lewis, Stephen19530 - 1Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis2159
3Shephard, Andrew18640 - 1Hutchings, Philip J1900
4Irving, Angus1747½ - ½Stephens, Robert W1775
   ½ - 3½
It wasn't so long ago that we considered our chances of taking the Division One Trophy to be "vanishingly slim", and that our 2-2 draw against Felixstowe back in March had "probably scuppered" our chances. But tonight the team defied the odds and pulled off their second successive big result to top the table buy just half a point. And while it is true that we out-rated them on every board, this was still a tremendous result, returning the trophy to Manningtree for the fourth time in less than ten years.

 Felixstowe A08/09/22Manningtree A
1Gemmell, Peter A20600 - 1Lewis, Andrew P2249
2Hopkins, Phil20500 - 1Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis2159
3Kirkham, Ed17830 - 1Hutchings, Philip J1900
4Hemsworth, Gary16280 - 1Jones, Graeme1788
   0 - 4
Just when we were thinking that our chances of lifting the Division One trophy were vanishingly slim, this happens, and we are back in the mix with every chance of success. Who would have thought that both Manningtree A and Manningtree B would thump their Felixstowe equivalents 4-0 in consecutive weeks, giving both teams a big boost for divisional honours.
  The race for Division One will therefore go down to the final match, and both Manningtree A and Bury St Edmunds A face the same team in their final matches - Ipswich A. Bury still have the advantage however, for all they need do is match our final score, while we need to exceed theirs by at least half a point. Bury take on Ipswich next week, over a month before we do, so we'll know the size of the task ahead of us long before it arrives. We ought not forget of course, that if Ipswich A thump both us and Bury in those final matches 4-0, it will be them who take home the trophy.

 Bury St Edmunds A03/03/22Manningtree A
1Harris, Michael23110 - 1Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis2159
2Jermy, Jaden2111½ - ½Hutchings, Philip J1900
3Balogh, Jan1949½ - ½Jones, Graeme1788
4Ruthen, Stephen W18511 - 0McAllister, John WF1751
   2 - 2
This result probably scuppers our chances of taking the title this season - we would need to win big in our remaining two matches, while Bury A would need to lose big in their last one. It's possible of course, but the smart money has got to be on Bury A.
  There was quite a variety in the games tonight. Panagiotis was quite lost in the opening, but managed to equalise by the middle game and then went on to win the ending. A very valuable win, which keeps our slim hopes alight.
  Phil faced a quiet London, and managed to avoid damaging mistakes, something his opponent was probably banking on. Without speculative attacks from either player, the draw was eventually agreed.
  Graeme was offered the opportunity to attack Alekhine's Defence, and he took up the challenge. It produced the usual complications and lively play, but as the ending approached the complications reduced and the draw agreed.
  John faced the Flohr-Mikenas Attack, although he didn't know it at the time, he thought it was going to be a standard English. He followed the book for the first eight moves (again without knowing it) but captured a pawn out of book order which led to the loss of a piece, and that was that.

 Manningtree A16/02/22Felixstowe A
1Lewis, Andrew P22491 - 0Gemmell, Peter A2060
2Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis21590 - 1Hopkins, Phil2050
3Hutchings, Philip J1900½ - ½Kirkham, Ed1783
4Stephens, Robert W1775½ - ½Hemsworth, Gary1628
   2 - 2
It was a tough struggle for the whole team this evening, with Felixstowe putting up stiff resistance on all boards. And was it just a coincidence, or where there signs of some advanced preparations in the enemy camp? Boards one and three both started as regular Italian games, but both launched immediate pawn advances on the king´s side, and both castled long - although the games themselves then trod quite different paths.
  In Phil´s Italian the advancing king´s side pawns where heading for their own lock down, and we reached an unusual position where all four bishops (and only those bishops) had departed the board. Both sides had to be very careful that the four knights didn't cause an upset, especially with a full complement of pawns each. And when those knights were finally removed, Phil was offered a draw, and while he was reluctant to accept it, the semi-locked pawns, behind which the major pieces seemed somewhat lacking, he felt he had no choice.
  Meanwhile Andy´s Italian took a different path. His opponent´s king´s side advance was met with a counter on the queen´s side, leading to a very open and unbalanced game. Andy had given up two pieces for a rook and a couple of pawns, although one of the pieces was always going to come back, leading to an endgame the exchange and two pawns up. It was not, however as one sided as that might suggest, for the queen´s side threats could not be ignored, and Andy was reduced to less than two minutes. It ended with a bit of a king chase, which resulted in his opponent having to surrender his queen for a rook, so he resigned instead. And after three draws, that gave Andy his first win for the club this season.
  At almost exactly the same time, Bob´s game ended. Bob opened with his usual Modern, and once again with an early b4. It proved to be a long struggle, and as the ending approached it appeared Bob was sitting on a clear advantage - a better pawn structure and a good bishop versus a less good knight. On several occasions it looked as though Bob had it in the bag, but it was surprising how often his opponent managed to slip through his fingers. And as the pawns disappeared it became ever clearer how the game would end.
  Panagiotis now had the pleasure of finishing his game with at least half a dozen pair of eyes watching his every move. Panagiotis opened with the English, while his opponent chose the Caro-Kann. It produced an extremely lively and entertaining game, although it was hard to see who was getting the better of it. At one point it looked as though Panagiotis was going to lose the exchange, but he ended up with two pieces for his rook, plus a one pawn deficit. When the queens came off, us mere mortals expected a draw to be agreed - a bishop, knight and two pawns facing a rook and three pawns, how was either side going to win that? Panagiotis´s disadvantage was as much the clock as the position - at one point he made his move with only a solitary second to spare. The game covered two score sheets and about a hundred moves, but the rook and king eventually penetrated Panagiotis´s heroic defences, which ended his run of four successive wins, giving Panagiotis his first defeat for the club this season.
  This gives us a much harder task in catching Bury A, who we will be facing in two weeks time - but only marginally harder than the task than our B-Team face. There is a striking similarity between our two teams this year. Both are in second place. Both have three matches left to play. Both have a game in hand. And both are four points adrift (rounded up that is). Bodes well for an exciting finish to the season.

 Manningtree A12/01/22Ipswich B
1Lewis, Andrew P0000½ - ½Fogg, Martin0000
2Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis00001 - 0Paez, Alonso0000
3Hutchings, Philip J00001 - 0Dolewka, Piotr 1520
4Stephens, Robert W00001 - 0Riley, Simon0000
   3½ - ½
A very valuable three and a half points for the team that gives them a fighting chance of catching league leaders Bury A, who initially appeared to be running away with the title. And just in case you had forgotten, Bury are the current Division One Champions, having won the trophy back in 2018-19 (although on that occasion it was their B-Team).
  The games were quite varied, and while we never looked in any real danger in any of them, it wasn't at all clear if we had enough to win many of them either. Except that is for board two, where, after winning a piece, Panagiotis had set up, what looked very much like a mate in two composition. After satisfying himself that whatever option at his disposal was taken, a mate in two was the outcome, his opponent laid down his king.
  It was a while before Bob and Phil put us further in front. Bob´s Modern, which included an early b4, developed into a struggle for control of the queen´s side. Little by little Bob´s advantage grew, and accurate play saw him convert that into a win. Phil, meanwhile had the advantage of a passed protected d-pawn, although it was a long hard slog to make that pay. Andy was last to finish, in another long and difficult game. In the minor piece ending, Andy was a pawn up and had the two bishops facing a bishop and knight. However, winning a second pawn by exchanging the knight for the wrong coloured bishop meant the game was drawn several moves before it was actually agreed.
  If we can repeat this performance against Ipswich A in two weeks, Bury had better watch out.

 Manningtree A15/12/21Ipswich A
1Lewis, Andrew P2260½ - ½Lunn, Timothy2103
2Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis21331 - 0Irving, Angus1750
3McAllister, John WF1743½ - ½Jones, Les J1728
4Kerr, Rowland18331 - 0Default
   3 - 1
Our last match before the Christmas break and it was a fully masked affair. It was unfortunate that Ipswich were a player short, especially as it was one of the few occasions when Rowland would have been able to play for us this season. This result takes us off the foot of the table, and with the games in hand, this puts us in good stead for climbing further up, although we´re going to have to go some to catch Bury A.
  The games were about as varied as you could get - from Rowland's zilch to Andy´s fireworks. Panagiotis was somewhere in between. A steady build of pressure that threatened to win the exchange, led to a series of exchanges that won a piece instead. Thus by about nine o´clock we were 2-0 up.
  John's opponent is known for his sharp lines in the Italian Game, but tonight chose the Quiet variation. And that´s exactly how the game went, about as quiet as you could get.
  The same could certainly not be said for Andy´s game. That became about as noisy as you could get. With a significant time advantage Andy appeared to be getting the advantage, especially after his opponent had to give up the exchange. However Andy was a little too ambitious and underestimated his opponent´s counter, which, after the dust had settled, had restored the material imbalance. Well it would have done had they actually played the moves out. With little time to fully access the position Andy offered a draw, which his opponent readily accepted.
  On the surface, a good result, but one can´t help feeling that Manningtree are struggling a bit to find their true form.

 Manningtree A10/11/21Bury St Edmunds A
1Lewis, Andrew P2260½ - ½Jermy, Jaden2058
2Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis21331 - 0Quader, Z Zia Mohammed1983
3Buis, Jim17880 - 1Balogh, Jan1923
4Hutchings, Philip J19150 - 1Pack, James1908
   1½ - 2½
We must be among the first, if not the first team in the Suffolk League to take advantage of the revised Covid Related rules. Up until this week, if any member of a team insisted on a face covering then all members of all teams present would have to cover up. Chris Whitty would no doubt approve but the SCCA felt that that was a little too draconian and so revised the rule such that a player can only insist that their opponent wear a face covering. To allow for cases where a default may occur, the change also allowed teams to change their board order to accommodate willing/unwilling opponents, even if that meant breaking the 80 rating point rule - hence the reason Jim and Phil swapped positions. Mind you, had Bury reversed their bottom two boards instead, the 80 rating point rule would have remained intact.
  Unfortunately, none of this contributed to the result we were looking for. This defeat levels our aggregate score at 50% and leaves us at the foot of the table. We do have games in hand however, so we do not expect to be there for long.
 Ipswich B12/10/21Manningtree A
1Fogg, Martin20580 - 1Kanellopoulus, Panagiotis2133
2Pulman, Mark A1623½ - ½Hutchings, Philip J1915
3Riley, Simon1620½ - ½Buis, Jim1788
4Doleuka , Piotr 1520½ - ½Stephens, Robert W1788
   1½ - 2½