Manningtree Chess Club Match Results.

A-Team B-Team C-Team Suffolk Cup Suffolk Plate U145

B-Team PerformancesGradeAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Buis, Jim 1541.02110075.0
McAllister, John WF 1381.511263045.5
Stephens, Robert W 1391.99531072.2
Phillips, Carl 1172.84310087.5
Welsh, David 1173.01010050.0
Sanderson, Adrian 1113.48431068.8
Webley, Mark A 1193.54121050.0
Kerr, Rowland 1124.011000100.0
Simon Webber1004.02020050.0
Story, Alan 784.02011025.0
TOTALS 4417207061.4
Performance stats for all Competitions

1Manningtree C1055035½
2Manningtree B1055033½
3Woodbridge B1044232
4Bury St Edmunds F1033428
5Ipswich E1041519½
6Ipswich F1040619
7Felixstowe C1022616½
8Ipswich G1022616
Full Table

 Manningtree B 27/03/19Woodbridge B
1Stephens, Robert W 139 1 - 0Gaffney, Samuel 134
2McAllister, John WF 138 ½ - ½Lewis, Alan J 121
3Sanderson, Adrian 111 ½ - ½Skirrow, Chris 106
4Webber, Simon e100 ½ - ½Pepper, Michael 89
   2½ - 1½
Manningtree B needed at least a draw tonight to avoid the embarrassment of dropping even further down the table, and for quite a while it seemed more than likely that they weren't going to get it.
  Simon finished first in a somewhat unconventional opening in which his opponent delayed advancing any pawns beyond his third rank for quite some time. Simon did the opposite and built quite a spatial advantage, but he didn't quite capitalise on it, and when his opponent's pawns did start to advance, the position solidified with prospects for either side diminished.
  John was next, responding to a French Defence with a pawn thrust through the centre, and when that didn't work he was about to try one on the kingside when he was offered a draw. It was a fair offer, but because both Bob and Adrian were looking decidedly dodgy, he turned it down. Hastily removing a knight that was hindering any kingside advance he suddenly realised he'd blundered and left himself with two rooks and bishops of opposite colour, making any pawn advance impossible. Two moves later his opponent had locked the pawns and that was that.
  Now things got very tense, for Adrian was looking quite lost, and Bob was looking far from good, with a draw being the best he could hope for, and that would mean our first league defeat of the season, and ending up third in the table. For over half an hour our prospects looked bleak until Adrian made the first breakthrough.
  He was on the black side of a Queen's Gambit, with a somewhat unconventional move order, but it left him on the defensive with a rook for two pieces down. As the ending approached, his opponent added to his advantage an unopposed if isolated a-pawn far from the action. Rather than play it strategically, his opponent was looking for a killer move, and this allowed Adrian to position his rooks for maximum effect. Suddenly Adrian managed to pick off two pawns, including the lazy a-pawn, and offered a draw. This was accepted, for if anything, Adrian was the one with the advantage now.
  Meanwhile Bob's game was going to the wire, but the tension was calming, for by now his opponent's grip on the open c-file had been neutralised and Bob was looking good for a draw. In the rook and queen ending his opponent's pieces had surrounded Bob's king's position, with Bob's king hiding at the edge of the board behind his rook. It took a while to realise, but it was Bob who was in the driving seat, for while his opponent was threatening mate in one, he had left his own king vulnerable. Spurning any repetition of moves, Bob made a series of checks, picking up pawns as he went, and when he finally brought his rook back into play with a check, his opponent resigned, for now he was the one facing mate.
  We breathed a collective sigh of relief, but really, we cannot regard this season as a great success - we have had far too many slip ups. It's somewhat ironic that the one match we won with a convincing 3½-½ score, was the one that was expunged after Bury E folded at the beginning of the season.

 Manningtree C 14/03/19Manningtree B
1Phillips, Carl 117 ½ - ½Stephens, Robert W 139
2Kerr, Rowland 112 ½ - ½McAllister, John WF 138
3Welsh, David 117 ½ - ½Sanderson, Adrian 111
4Price, John 106 ½ - ½Webber, Simon e100
   2 - 2
We said at the end of the first half of this season that if the results of the first half are repeated in the second half, our C-Team will increase their lead over our B-Team at the top of the table by another point. And all four of the matches played so far have done precisely that! In board order, the games tonight went thus;
  Bob somewhat prematurely overcommitted his king side pawns in the opening before castling, which backfired when Carl correctly sought counter play in the centre. This soon left Bob a pawn down and his pieces uncomfortably short of options. He eventually managed to castle queen side, but the damage was done, but when Carl offered a draw in what was probably a won position, Bob was both surprised and relieved, and gladly accepted it.
  Rowland handled the English pretty well, but the middle game was swinging in Johns' favour when Rowland offered one of his doubled e-pawns. John accepted it, following which Rowland threw his g and f pawns up the board. John was hampered by a hemmed in light squared bishop but knowing that his knight could get pinned if he took a second pawn, he ran the risk. He should have thought one more move and after the knight was lost, it looked as though the game was as well. However, the extra pawn eventually reached the seventh and Rowland had the choice of giving up his rook or give perpetual check.
  Not surprisingly David also faced an English, and he appeared to have only one thing on his mind - swap pieces and keep it simple. So when Adrian appeared similarly inclined the result was never in doubt, although David may have had a slight edge when the draw was agreed.
  Simon played the King's Indian well, waiting for John to overplay his hand. John built a significant space advantage but the position became somewhat blocked, and as neither player wanted to risk the outcome of opening it up, a draw was eventually agreed.
  So three points from the C-Team's last match against Bury F next week will guarantee they take the Trophy, and as that's exactly what they got first time round, they must be odds-on favourites. Anything less than that gives our B-Team a faint chance in their final match against Woodbridge B the following week, but as the B-Team have lost both Jim and Mark, it would seem the C-Team can start celebrating now.

 Manningtree B 27/02/19Bury St Edmunds F
1Stephens, Robert W 139 0 - 1Taylor, Anthony 108
2McAllister, John WF 138 1 - 0Smith, Hugo 105
3Phillips, Carl 117 1 - 0Kosviner, Emile 92
4Sanderson, Adrian 111 0 - 1Kent, Rowan 94
   2 - 2
We said at the end of the first phase of this division, that if the scores of the first matches are repeated in the return matches, Manningtree C will increase their margin at the top by another point. Well the first of our two teams' six return matches was precisely that, a repeat of the first one, but it should not have been. We had high hopes of a 4-0 victory tonight, and that's what it should have been.
  Adrian finished first and came out of his English Opening with a strong position, and was about to go a piece up. But he was concerned about his opponent's counter, which looked at the time as though it could be dangerous. But it was a phantom, and as if by some other magical force, a little later Adrian found himself a rook down instead of a piece up. This was even more of a surprise as this was Adrian's first loss for Manningtree this season.
  John levelled the score, but it was not an easy ride. The threats posed by his Nimzo-Larsen never seemed quite enough to deliver a knockout blow as his opponent defended well, and there was a real danger of this game petering out into a draw. But thanks to a single blunder, he was able to use the back rank mating threat to win a piece, after which it was plain sailing.
  Bob was looking good to put us a point up, after steadily building a strong position, and exchanging the pieces for a winning ending. The double rook and pawn ending soon become a single rook and pawn ending, and Bob was in the driving seat. After exchanging the final pair of rooks Bob inexplicably missed the winning line, made worse of course because it not only threw away the win, it turned the game completely on its head.
  This just left Carl, who's opponent had failed to fend off the many threats posed by Carl's Sicilian, and got himself into a right pickle. When asked, "why didn't you trap his queen?" Carl's response was, "Yes, that was one way of winning, I chose the other way". And with that the match was drawn, and now Manningtree B not only have Manningtree C breathing down their necks, but also Woodbridge B, who both face each other next week. And after that match, Manningtree B will almost certainly drop to third in the table.

 Manningtree B 09/01/19Manningtree C
1Buis, Jim 153 ½ - ½Phillips, Carl 127
2McAllister, John WF 137 0 - 1Kerr, Rowland e110
3Stephens, Robert W 135 1 - 0Webber, Simon e100
4Webley, Mark A 123 ½ - ½Price, John 106
   2 - 2
This was a bit of an upset for Manningtree B, who now face the very strong likelihood of seeing Manningtree C finish above them at the end of stage one of the season. But it could have been a lot worse for them as the C-Team were a hair's breadth from causing an even bigger upset as a 3-1 victory was more than just a possibility.
  All boards were strongly contested, and all provided some very entertaining games. On board 1, Carl chose the line in the Trompowsky that involves sacrificing the b2 pawn, his strategy being to exchange and nullify white's lead in development. Carl appeared to have successfully achieved this aim before overlooking a second pawn sacrifice on e5. The position then became seriously messy with both Jim and Carl overlooking some obvious and better moves. Upon entering mutual time trouble Carl 'generously' offered a draw in a winnable position, although Carl didn't know it was winnable at the time, and Jim felt he was no position to refuse, as he didn't know that Carl didn't know.
  On board 2, John kept with the Nimzo-Larsen attack to which Rowland responded with gusto. Allowing the opening of his g-file for a king-side attack, Rowland's chances looked promising, but John's defences were more than adequate, and after the queens came off, attention turned to control of the c-file. It was here that Rowland won John's a-pawn, leaving himself with two passed a-pawns of his own, but by this time it was just knight v bishop, and John's passed and protected c-pawn kept Rowland's bishop from supporting the advance of those a-pawns. At this point the game was clearly drawn, but John thought otherwise and it wasn't long before he paid the price for that misjudgement.
  On board 3 Simon responded well to Bob's Modern Defence. It was a very active and open game, filled with all sorts of tactical possibilities for both sides. Bob appeared to have the upper hand after going a pawn up, but while Simon's mating threats might not have been perfect, they were enough to cause Bob some concern and could not be ignored. As the pieces came off, it boiled down to a queen and pawn ending, with both sides having an opposite coloured bishop. It was an ending with draw written all over it, but Simon was down to his last minute, and even though we were on the incremental time control, Simon's flag fell, and with it, the B-Team's humiliation was spared.
  On bottom board Mark had employed the King's Gambit, and John had accepted it. Mark's early (and somewhat risky) 3.Bc4 soon meant that he was unable to castle, and the usual complications this opening produces followed. John spurned the more defensive lines and after castling queen-side he continued his counter attack. Both players held their nerve, and having successfully negotiated the threats posed by their opponent, honours were divided. Unfortunately, this will be Mark's last game for us, as he is now leaving the area and returned to Sussex. We wish him all the best.

 Ipswich F 04/12/18Manningtree B
1Brennan, Samuel J e155 ½ - ½McAllister, John WF 137
2Jones, Les J 138 0 - 1Stephens, Robert W 135
3Wilson, Adam 103 ½ - ½Phillips, Carl 127
4Glason, Patrick e75 0 - 1Kerr, Rowland e110
   1 - 3
We didn´t notice it, but Ipswich F had changed their nominations before this match, so instead of finding Les Jones on board one, with much weaker opposition on the lower boards, a new face appeared, and Ipswich F were suddenly a more formidable side than the one our C-Team squashed 3-1 just three weeks earlier. No matter, we were not going to let that put us off, we had a job to do, and that was get back above Manningtree C in the Table. And yes, we did have to pull in a couple of C-Team players to achieve this, both of whom incidentally, contributed to the aforesaid squashing.
  And it was Rowland who got us off to the start we wanted. It was a lively game with bishops on both of the long diagonals threatening to win the exchange. Rowland took his advantage, while his opponent thought his mating threat more valuable than getting the exchange back. It wasn´t, but by this time Roland was comfortably in control of the open board.
  Bob finished soon after, and was well on top of his game from the start. Employing his trusty Modern Defence, everything just went right for him and he was soon a pawn up. Not long after that his opponent decided to exchange a piece for two pawns, so Bob progressed a piece for a pawn up. And as if that wasn´t enough, a well advance central pawn was a real problem for his opponent, and there was no doubt how this game would finish.
  Carl had been working on the compensation he had gained from giving up a pawn in the opening when he lost a second one, also with some compensation. But it was doubtful if the two ´compensations´ outweighed the two pawns, so Carl had to dig deep, and eventually got both of his pawns back. By this time however, there wasn´t much play left in the game, apart from some risky play, so they agreed to divide the honours.
  John persevered with the Nimzo-Larsen Attack, especially as it had finally sunk in what 1.b3 actually is. A fairly quiet game ensued, more strategic than tactical, which developed into a fight for control of the open c-file. It petered out into a 2N v B&N ending with 2N John having to repeat moves or allow the breakup of his pawns, something that the post-mortem proved was more disastrous than it looked.
  So we ended the night repeating the C-Team´s score, and climbing 1½ points above them, althought they do have a game in hand. The B v C Derby in the new year is going to be the crunch match - if the C-Team can grab 1½ or 2 points, they could well take the top spot by beating Ipswich E later in the month.

 Manningtree B 28/11/18Felixstowe C
1McAllister, John WF 137 ½ - ½Weidman, Mark J 125
2Stephens, Robert W 135 1 - 0Robertson, David 96
3Webley, Mark A 123 1 - 0May, Henry 74
4Sanderson, Adrian 109 ½ - ½Brazkiewicz, Victor C 74
   3 - 1
We started off this evening in a bit of a panic. With an A-Team match alongside us, we needed the extra sets (not to mention the extra water flask) from the reserve equipment box, but the envelope marked "Equipment Box Key Enclosed" was empty. We searched our cupboard several times, pointlessly looking in places we'd already looked, but no sign of the key. By chance the History Society were meeting downstairs, so we accosted them for a screwdriver to take the lock off. Just before one of their number arrived with a set of screwdrivers Bob found the errant key, in another envelope, also marked "Equipment Box Key Enclosed", which must have fallen from the box in the cupboard. Panic over, the boards were set up and the matches got under way.
  We knew that even a 4-0 win tonight would not be enough to catch the C-Team, but we wanted to get as close to that score as we could, and on paper it shouldn't have been a problem.
  Bob got us off to a good start after his opponent's response to his Modern allowed Bob to beat off an early attack and eventually cruise to victory with a pawn on the seventh, supported by all the major pieces, and no chance of stopping it gaining promotion.
  Mark's unusual 1 ... c5 response to 1.d4 slowly transposed into a sort of Queen's Gambit, but gave him a good edge which he patiently nursed to his advantage to bring home our second point.
  Meanwhile Adrian was trying hard to get something from his English, but his opponent played a steady and safe game, which Adrian couldn't find a way to upset. In the end he just had to accept that a draw was all he was going to get.
  It looked as though we were going to get our third win tonight after John's opponent overreached himself in his attack, and lost first, his crucial spearhead pawn, and then a piece, although his attack was far from over. Springing a counter, John suddenly realised a perpetual resource at his opponent's disposal and spent ages trying to find a way to prevent it. Needless to say, no such way was found. This was a clear case where a little patience would have been very helpful. And with that in mind, we're not going to let it worry us that the C-Team have stretched their lead at the top, we're still going to catch them.

 Woodbridge B 12/11/18Manningtree B
1Gaffney, Samuel 125 1 - 0McAllister, John WF 137
2Lewis, Alan J 119 ½ - ½Stephens, Robert W 135
3Pepper, Michael 84 0 - 1Sanderson, Adrian 109
4Ross, Bernard 75 ½ - ½Story, Alan 80
   2 - 2
This was our first visit to Woodbridge Chess Club (not to be confused with Woodbridge School), and what can one say about the venue? Well, the Cherry Tree is a very nice pub - cosy corners, background chatter, soft music and pleasant staff. The only trouble was that you could hear it all in the playing room. Mind you, it's surprising how quickly you get used to it, and none of us can use it as an excuse for our performance.
  Considering we outgraded them on every board, we should have come away with much more than a draw tonight. But once again our lack of form showed, except in Adrian's case, who's English netted him a piece quite early in the game, after which he simply cruised to victory.
  Alan was likewise a piece up, but in his case it was a sacrifice on his f7 pawn that was responsible. Alan had to weather the storm for a while, and eventually give the piece back to enter a rook and pawn ending with both players having passed pawns on opposite wings. His opponent gave up his rook for Alan's last two pawns and Alan now faced three pawns with his own rook. Believing he couldn't stop those pawns advancing, and fearful that one of them might queen against his will, he decided a draw was his safest option.
  Bob's Modern didn't give him the edge he wanted, and try as he did, he was unable to gain sufficient advantage to get the full point and his game simply fizzled out. John was last to finish, and just when the game had swung in his favour he blundered a crucial pawn that left his king's side teetering on the brink. He could probably still have gotten at least a draw, but he chose the wrong strategy and that sealed it.
  Although a disappointing result, it put us back at the top of the table, at least for a while at any rate.

 Manningtree B 24/10/18Ipswich E
1Buis, Jim 153 1 - 0Smyth, Pete 136
2McAllister, John WF 137 ½ - ½Lunn, Ken 123
3Stephens, Robert W 135 1 - 0Smith, Roger N 101
4Webley, Mark A 123 0 - 1Mortonson, Phil 100
   2½ - 1½
Not as convincing a win as we were hoping for, as Manningtree B continue struggling to find their form. But we can't complain, for things could have been a lot worse. We got off to a good start after Jim's opponent blundered, and lost a central pawn in the opening without any real compensation. Jim soon gained a dominant position and converted the pawn advantage into further material gains before his opponent resigned on move 30.
  John then followed, but was disappointed that after 55 moves he was unable to convert his extra connected passed pawn into a win. In a bishop of same colour ending his opponent's bishop was reduced to hopping between only two squares, but his well placed king was immoveable and prevented John making any progress.
  Mark then leveled the score, but he seemed a bit unlucky. Coming out of the opening with good chances, he somehow allowed his opponent too much space, and the game ended with both players having several passed pawns on opposite wings. It was the combination of weak knight against strong bishop, and his opponents better placed king that decided things
 . With the score level, it looked as though it would stay that way as Bob was struggling to get his pieces co-ordinated, but still looked good enough to hold the draw. As the end approached he thought he could see a way to level the game by sacrificing his bishop in a B&R ending. His opponent not only failed to see the flaw in Bob's strategy, but soon after blundered catastrophically to lose his own bishop instead. A genuine case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and very lucky for us, for it keeps us top of the table, albeit by just half a point.

 Bury St Edmunds F 18/10/18Manningtree B
1Smith, Hugo 103 ½ - ½McAllister, John WF 137
2Kosviner, Emile 99 0 - 1Sanderson, Adrian 109
3John, Amy 98 ½ - ½Welsh, David 116
4Saenz de Villaverde, M80 1 - 0Story, Alan 80
   2 - 2
After a brief spell in second place, Manningtree B are back at the top. Mind you, we were expecting more than a draw from this match, and we should have got more. On the other hand, as we were in reality Manningtree (B+C)/2 things could have been worse. And they very nearly were.
  Alan disobeyed one of those unwritten rules of the game and moved the same piece twice in the opening. He suffered the consequences as his knights were pushed up the board, giving him a cramped position from which he was unable to recover.
  Bury are deservedly famous for developing juniors, and you couldn't get much more junior than David's opponent. It must have been way past little Amy's bed time as she took to the board, but she proved to be no pushover. In fact she managed the game very well to the point where David went astray and lost the exchange as his king, queen and rook couldn't all move together. However, it was now David's turn to harass his opponent's pieces with his knight, and it wasn't long before he won the exchange back. All things being equal David offered a draw, to which his opponent readily accepted.
  John started in a very similar fashion to his previous game against Clacton, winning a pawn in the opening and pushing his advantage towards a won ending. He was careless however and with his king safe from enemy attention he needlessly lost the pawn back, with the added complication of exposing diagonals to his king. After the exchange of all the minor pieces he was again a pawn up, but at the cost of losing control of his second rank, and only a fortuitous perpetual saved him from mate, or a disastrous loss of material.
  Adrian managed to save us from defeat with a steady handling of his Sicilian, which eventually gained him a piece for a pawn. And while his opponent had two connected passed pawns over half way up the board, they were effectively stalled, so Adrian continued chipping away at his opponent's position until his opponent resigned rather than face the hoovering up of his few remaining pawns.
  In our next match we have our full B-Team squad available, something we haven't had for some time, so we'll be looking for a good win to secure our position at the top of the table.

 Bury St Edmunds E 04/10/18Manningtree B
1Park, Chris e110 0 - 1McAllister, John WF 137
2Garcia-Leon, Daniel e97 ½ - ½Stephens, Robert W 135
3Rowles, Michael e80 0 - 1Phillips, Carl 127
4Hart, Greg 59 0 - 1Sanderson, Adrian 109
   ½ - 3½
Bury E are among the weaker sides in this division, so we were expecting a comfortable win tonight, and for the most part that's what we got. And we were a whisker away from a full house.
  Carl finished first for his opponent was far too worried about Carl's dark squared "Trompowski bishop" and got himself into a tangle fearing the pin. Carl wasted no time exploiting those inaccuracies and finished well ahead of the rest of the team.
  Likewise, John's opponent didn't handle 1.b3 very well either, and a dubious and premature attack on his c2 square was easily repulsed with the result that his opponent's queen's knight made four of the first eight moves, ending back at b8 where it remained for most of the game, hemming in the queen's rook in the process. (He didn't handle his clock well either, and needed a couple of reminders to press it.) A central thrust netted a couple of pawns and John was spoilt for choice for ways to win more material. It's true to say that he probably didn't make all the right choices, but he still ended up with two pieces and a queen against his opponent's solitary king. His opponent didn't resign however until he was one move from mate, no doubt hoping for a stalemate.
  By now Adrian was ploughing ahead, more troubled by some uninvited but persistent flies than his opponent's play. In the rook and pawn ending his opponent had only one pawn, but it was a passed a-pawn, supported by his king, just a couple of squares from queening. It was clear that Adrian would have to give up his rook for that pawn, but was he bovered? Not a bit! He had four, yes four, connected passed pawns on the other wing, and they didn't even need the help of his king to march them up the board.
  Only Bob was now left, and his was the only board to reach the first time control. His Modern didn't go quite according to plan, and he found himself with a rather tricky middlegame, with his pieces far less coordinated than he would have liked. But as the ending approached he saw the possibility of snatching a potentially dangerous passed h-pawn that was slowly but surely making its way up the board. It was a nice snatch that clearly took his opponent by surprise and meant that for once Bob now had the upper hand. His opponent however proved quite resourceful and could certainly not be underestimated. It's probable that Bob missed a winning line, but as is so often the case, one can see the first move but miss the follow up. On balance a draw was probably a fair result, and we certainly can't complain now that we're firmly placed at the top of the table.
  As an aside, we nearly witnessed another player losing on time in a game using the incremental time control. Twice, a player in another match was down to the last second, hand wavering over the pieces, desperately deciding his next move, before making it hitting the clock and have it jump up to sixteen. A few quick moves later he built up over a minute, and that game ended in a draw.

 Manningtree B 19/09/18Ipswich G
1McAllister, John WF 137 0 - 1Holt, H Roger 141
2Phillips, Carl 127 1 - 0Spalding, Michael GC 101
3Webley, Mark A 123 ½ - ½Housden, Peter T 105
4Sanderson, Adrian 109 1 - 0Stow, James e75
   2½ - 1½
Both our "A" and "B" teams were playing alongside each other tonight and both were playing their first league match. Both were also without their top two boards, and both achieved the same result with the same score. Although due to a number of postponed division three matches, Manningtree B are sitting on top of their table, while Manningtree A are in the middle. But it is of course, very early days.
  Adrian was the first to finish, creating a lot of space from his open English, and efficiently outplayed his opponent, who eventually succumbed to the middle game complications and lost the exchange. Carl followed a little later, having successfully prevented his opponent castling, and nabbing a pawn in the process. It wasn't long before he also nabbed a piece, and before the game was over he added a rook to his tally, giving us a useful two point start. But it was clear that things were not going to continue that way.
  John's four knight's game started quietly enough, but soon followed the lines of his previous game against Stephen Gregory, and not seeing the danger in time meant he was constantly one move short of safety. Mark brought up the rear and ensured we won the match. An open game left him an isolated e-pawn, but he turned that into an asset, marching it up the board supported by his major pieces. It hit the buffers in the end, and a draw was eventually agreed.
  All in all, not a bad start to the season, and looking at the team nominations for this division, we could be in danger of winning it again and yo-yoing back to division two.