Manningtree Chess Club Match Results.

A-Team B-Team Divisional Rapidplay U1800

B-Team PerformancesGradeAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Graeme Jones17711.06222050.0
Jim Buis17971.54130062.5
Bob Stephens17852.04121050.0
John McAllister17542.022000100.0
Simon Webber16372.610721080.0
Adrian Sanderson15033.48170056.3
Nick Margerum14463.73111050.0
John Price15404.011000100.0
David Welsh15414.011000100.0
Bradley Bush13564.0100100.0
Performance stats for all Competitions

1Manningtree B1071225½
2Ipswich C1072123½
3Saxmundham B1033421
4Bury St Edmunds D1034319½
5Bury St Edmunds C1034318½
6Felixstowe B10001011
Full Table

 Manningtree B27/04/22Saxmundham B
1Jones, Graeme17880 - 1Gaffney, Samuel1826
2Stephens, Robert W1775½ - ½Usher, Michael E1711
3McAllister, John WF17511 - 0Brown, Hugo E1333
4Webber, Simon16251 - 0Lawes-Wickwar, Matthew1300
   2½ - 1½
We began our final league match of the season with a one point advantage at the top of the table, but knowing that we would need 3½ points from tonight's match to guarantee the top spot. In the event we got 2½ points and would have to wait another day to find out if we had done enough.
  Saxmundham were not giving anything away, and they put up stiff resistance on all boards. At the halfway point it was difficult to see where any wins were coming from, and three draws (four at most) looked a distinct possibility. And then we got our first breakthrough.
  John had faced a Queen's pawn opening in which his opponent played safe and steady moves as he whittled away at the pieces. The rook, knight and bishop ending looked destined to draw until John's opponent unwisely left his king exposed to a discovered check just a move too many and was about to lose a piece. Placing his bishop on an undefended square meant that he lost two pieces instead, and promptly resigned.
  By this time things had taken a turn for the better in Simon's game, and having won a pawn he was now entering a knight v bishop ending with a clear advantage. Simon had to exercise great care however as his opponent had an isolated, but unopposed pawn on the a-file, quite some distance from Simon's king. Simon's knight however was remarkably well placed and snuffed out any king's side counter play while his king made it's way up and across the board to snuff out that pawn.
  We were now feeling a little more comfortable, our lead at the top was now extended to three points, and while Graeme's position was coming under heavy fire, we were looking good for at least another half point from Bob. Pawn thrusts from both players gave this board a somewhat unusual look, and made it difficult to assess. Both players had to tread very carefully and eventually reached a queen and bishop ending with neither side possessing any significant weaknesses to exploit. With the clocks running low the draw was agreed.
  On Graeme's board the clocks were also running low, although at this point that was the least of his problems. A somewhat under-developed queen's side, and a rather over-exposed king's side left Graeme's king looking very uncomfortable. The fact that he had to give up the exchange didn't help matters, so we ended the match hoping our 3½ point lead would be sufficient.
  P.S. It proved to be more than sufficient, particularly as Ipswich C travelled to Bury with only three players, which means even had they won all three boards, we would still have finished top!

 Manningtree B09/03/22Bury St Edmunds D
1Buis, Jim1797½ - ½Garcia, Laureano1679
2Stephens, Robert W17751 - 0Taylor, Anthony1548
3Webber, Simon1625½ - ½Garside, Lawrence1500
4Sanderson, Adrian1506½ - ½Lepley, Robert1402
   2½ - 1½
Like our A-Team, Manningtree B are poised to take Divisional honours, with one match remaining to decide things. And like our A-Team, our B-Team need to finish at least half a point clear of their nearest rival (Ipswich C) as they have the better match score. Unlike our A-Team however, we play our final match before rival, so they will know what they need to achieve going into their final match. Unfortunately we will have to wait a month and a half before this is settled.
  The games tonight all began fairly quietly and carefully, except perhaps on board one, where Jim's irregular opening looked as though he might be brewing up one of his specials. However, barely out of the opening, and with nothing but a couple of pawns off the board, he was offered a 'grandmaster' draw, which he accepted on the grounds that his isolated c-pawn meant that his position was already inferior.
  Simon kept things level after an interesting game in which his opponent resolutely refused to blunder no matter how many opportunities he was given to do so, which left Bob and Adrian to secure the match. Both had done well to prise a pawn from the respective opponents and embark on a rook and minor piece ending a pawn up.
  While Bob's extra pawn was an isolated centre pawn, he had advanced it to the sixth rank, and it was giving his opponent a major headache. Bob then produced a very nice finish in which a defending rook had run out of safe squares, and after some thought his opponent resigned.
  Adrian's game finished in a rook and knight ending, but after a lot of probing, and a lot of thought Adrian determined his opponent's defences were adequate, and not wishing to mess things up, he offered a draw while that pawn advantage was still in his favour. And that maintained Adrian's unbeaten B-Team record, and secured our fifth successive match win, and our place at the top of the table.

 Felixstowe B01/03/22Manningtree B
1Robertson, David14260 - 1McAllister, John WF1751
2Wright, Trevor13160 - 1Webber, Simon1625
3May, Henry12990 - 1Sanderson, Adrian1506
4Ross, Bernard12420 - 1Price, John1540
   0 - 4
We were well aware of the fact that a 4-0 win would take us top of the table (albeit temporarily), and that on paper we should be able to do it, but we were also aware that while Felixstowe B were the lowest rated team in the league, they had also managed to take 1½ points from over half of their matches, and had not yet been beaten 4-0. We did not therefore want to jinx proceedings by contemplating who they might take their 1½ points from tonight.
  John M finished first. He faced a quiet response to his Nimzo-Larsen leading to a balanced middle game until his opponent lost a pawn. Slow and steady pressure followed, but it was a one move blunder (a queen and rook skewer) that caused his opponent´s resignation. And as is so often the case, he only saw the blunder the instant after he made it.
  Adrian then continued his unbeaten run for the team by chalking up his first actual win. A solid English gave him a strong positional advantage, but when his opponent was starting to shed the odd pawn or two, it was another one move blunder that decided things - this time a knight fork of rook and queen. In both of these games, both players resigned immediately after the blunder, the same was not to be the case in the other two games.
  Simon wasn't taking anything for granted and developed steadily, until his opponent also lost the exchange. With a couple of pawns as well, the two rooks v knight and rook were clearly heading for victory. At just the right moment Simon returned a rook for the knight and went for a rook ending with four pawns against two. His opponent fought to the very end, resigning only when he was about to face-off a rook and queen with just a pawn.
  With the score now 3-0 it was looking ever more likely that we were heading for a clean sweep. John P (with very little notice) polished off the rust and returned to the fray almost exactly two years to the day since his last game. He too had played a steady game, building his advantages slowly but surely. As the ending approached there still a lot on the board, which made things rather complicated, particularly for his opponent. After a little queen chase followed by a judicious exchange of rooks, John was threatening to win a piece. His opponent thought long and hard about his options. Knowing that he could not save the piece he decided to make his move and offer a draw. John turned it down took the piece, and a few moves later he was threatening mate in two. This could only be saved by giving up the queen for a bishop. His opponent decided to give up the queen for nothing and a move later resigned.
  We were pleased with the result, though not so much with Felixstowe's new venue. The side room off the main bar/restaurant area wouldn't be so bad if the room had a door. Noise from the clientele wouldn't be quite so bad either, if many of them weren't children, who generally make enough noise for two adults. I think ear plugs might be a good idea next time.

 Ipswich C09/02/22Manningtree B
1Lunn, Ken1523½ - ½Buis, Jim1797
2Wilson, Adam14750 - 1Webber, Simon1625
3Smith, Roger N1399½ - ½Sanderson, Adrian1506
4Chapman, Philip J1263½ - ½Margerum, Nick1500
   1½ - 2½
A good result tonight, ending Ipswich C´s unbeaten record. We´ll need to score some big wins in our remaining three matches if we are to catch them at the top though.
  Adrian and Nick on boards three and four both had English openings to deal with, both ending in draws, although Nick´s was rather quicker after all the pieces (barring a pair of rooks) were exchanged early on, leading to a very equal position and a very early draw. Adrian´s English was a bit more complex, but after the pawns locked on both sides of the board, despite having a much better knight than his opponent, there was no way to break through.
  Simon was a bit surprised to face the Nimzowitsch-Larsen attack, but after the early moves his opponent played very cautiously, playing e3 and then e4, losing time. Simon won the exchange with a threatened royal fork and after that his opponent fell apart.
  Jim had a closed Sicilian with most pieces remaining on the board well into the game. There was little penetration by either side though, and with the match in the bag should he draw, Jim took it to seal the win.

 Saxmundham B11/01/22Manningtree B
1Gaffney, Samuel0000½ - ½Jones, Graeme0000
2Usher, Michael E0000½ - ½Buis, Jim0000
3Cartwright, Paul14000 - 1Webber, Simon0000
4Lilley, Geoff00000 - 1Margerum, Nick1500
   1 - 3
Congratulations to Manningtree B for this impressive win against fellow contenders for this division. And while Ipswich C would appear to be running away with it (with six wins out of six) they are only two game points clear, indicating the narrow margin of most of their wins.
  Making his third appearance for the club, Nick got us off to an early lead with a quick win with the black pieces, pinning and winning his opponent´s queen very early in the game after white´s ill advised kingside pawn advances. This time Nick didn´t let his advantage slip through his fingers, and chalked up his first win for the team.
  Simon´s game was a straight forward queen´s gambit declined in which his opponent never got going and was positionally worse the whole game. With a backward c-pawn and a cramped position, that pawn was always likely to fall, and it wasn´t long before we were two up.
  While Jim and Graeme both drew, their games were very different. Jim was a piece for two pawns up in a Trumpowsky as black, but the position was incredibly unbalanced and with five minutes each on the clock, both players felt that repeating moves was the better option.
  Graeme had the better position and a stronger attack in his game, but though his opponent´s position was passive, all his pieces seemed to just about hold each other together, and with no clear way through a draw was agreed.
  Due to the postponement of our January 26 fixture, our next match is, oddly enough, the home fixture against Saxmundham B on February 2nd. A chance to put a clear space between us for at present we are only above them in the table because of this result. And take no notice of the ratings column. The empty fields are presumably the result of the ECF´s monthly ratings calculator and the New Year celebrations and will no doubt be sorted soon.

 Bury St Edmunds C02/12/21Manningtree B
1Newton, Peter00000 - 1Jones, Graeme1818
2Bradshaw, Craig1353½ - ½Stephens, Robert W1788
3Thomson, Christopher13000 - 1Webber, Simon1608
4Williamson, Jake1300½ - ½Sanderson, Adrian1540
   1 - 3
A pleasing win that puts Manningtree B mid-table at the exact mid-point of the season. Adrian and Simon had daunting match-ups against 13 year olds on their first proper outing who could have been junior Carlsens for all they knew. Simon got an early fright, expecting an onslaught when his opponent castled long, but the young lad then bailed out of the attack, allowing Simon to get there first.
  Both Adrian and Bob had solid draws (that´s five out of five for Adrian) while Graeme´s game was heading for time trouble. With only two minutes on the clock (five minutes for his opponent) Graeme turned down a draw offer with equal material and made the pressure count in a pawn endgame by creating a much better king´s position and forcing black´s king out of the game. All in all, a pretty good day´s work for Manningtree B.

 Bury St Edmunds D11/11/21Manningtree B
1Garcia, Laureano1683½ - ½Jones, Graeme1818
2Strela, Zbynek14501 - 0Stephens, Robert W1788
3Lepley, Robert13900 - 1Webber, Simon1608
4Calumpiano, Raf1090½ - ½Sanderson, Adrian1540
   2 - 2

 Manningtree B27/10/21Bury St Edmunds C
1Webber, Simon1608½ - ½Kent, Rowan1495
2Sanderson, Adrian1540½ - ½Smith, Hugo1495
3Margerum, Nick00000 - 1Bradshaw, Craig1353
4Bush, Bradley00000 - 1LaMarca, Anthony1250
   1 - 3
Manningtree B introduced two of the Club´s new members to the world of competitive, over the board, league chess for this encounter with Bury´s 4th team (it may be Bury C, but it's still Bury IV in terms of their team's playing strength). While not the sort of result we would like to see, valuable experience was gained, and the games were nowhere near as one-sided as the score might suggest. Both Nick and Bradley had their chances, but as a famous Grandmaster once said, the winner is the one who makes the second to last mistake. Everyone finished with lots of time to spare, which no doubt contributed to the end result, so a word of advice from Bobby Fischer might be in order, ´sit on your hands´. And that certainly served him well.
 Manningtree B20/10/21Felixstowe B
1Jones, Graeme18181 - 0Robertson, David1443
2Buis, Jim17881 - 0Wright, Trevor1338
3Webber, Simon16081 - 0May, Henry1293
4Sanderson, Adrian1540½ - ½Barty, John1285
   3½ - ½
Last week we probably should have clocked up a 3½-½ victory. This week we made sure of it. Felixstowe B were fresh from their match against Saxmundham B on the previous evening - two away matches on consecutive evenings - that´s dedication for you, and nearly 100 miles of travelling - it´s a good job the PBPP is over.
  First to finish was Jim, who finished his game before any of the other boards were much into the opening. His opponent played the Sicilian and simply left his king in the centre for longer than was wise to, especially as this gave Jim the opportunity to brew up one of his specials. He first set up various pins to win a piece, and by the time black had castled he had added a rook to his tally. Shortly after, with his king surrounded and more material threatened, his opponent resigned.
  Graeme was next to win a point, entering a sharp middle game characteristic of the Latvian. He had already won his opponent´s f2 pawn with a temporary piece sacrifice (which had the added benefit of preventing his opponent castling) when he followed this up with a nice rook fork on his opponent´s king and queen, his opponent being more focussed on trapping Graeme´s bishop. After that, black never had a look in.
  Simon´s game was a hillbilly attack by his opponent, although he immediately retreated his light squared bishop blocking his d pawn. Simon then had a space advantage throughout, and created an isolated passed e-pawn on the sixth rank that created too much pressure and eventually pinned rook and king to win the exchange, which would have been enough for the endgame so his opponent resigned.
  Adrian drew a complex position resulting from his English, which was offered by his opponent the moment Simon´s game was decided. Clearly Felixstowe did not want to go home completely empty handed, and besides, with the session only 90 minutes old, why drag it out for another 90 minutes? Despite all pieces except one knight and one pawn each still on the board, none of us could really see a decisive plan for either side afterwards, so this seemed a fair assessment of the position.

 Manningtree B13/10/21Ipswich C
1Jones, Graeme18180 - 1Riley, Simon1620
2Webber, Simon16080 - 1Lunn, Ken1503
3Sanderson, Adrian1540½ - ½Wilson, Adam1465
4Welsh, David15331 - 0Smith, Roger N1383
   1½ - 2½
We were unlucky tonight, after all, at one point a 3½-½ victory was looking a distinct possibility, which would have been more in keeping with the average 130+ rating difference between the teams. There were a few other peculiarities in tonight´s match you might be interested to know. The top two boards had been set up with the white pieces occupying the ranks labelled 7 and 8. While board two swapped the pieces around, board one played on regardless, and while this may be slightly confusing to some, it didn´t stop Graeme steaming ahead, setting no end of complications for his opponent to consider. After nearly half an hour of play they had only reached move five, and while Graeme's clock was still at 1:15, his opponent´s was at 0:49. In contrast, ALL the other boards were at move 15, and every clock face was either 0:49 or 0:50.
  Adrian finished first, having deployed his Sicilian against an opponent who didn't appear in the mood for taking any risks. After fairly solid play by both parties, it came as no surprise when the draw was eventually agreed.
  Simon´s game however was quite different. Facing a King´s Indian, Simon built up a clear advantage. Typical of a KID, the centre solidifies, and white storms the queen´s side. The plan was working well, Simon was a pawn up, which although isolated on the a-file, was also passed. Another thing typical of a KID is that black throws everything into a king´s side pawn storm. And that´s when things unravelled as Simon missed the correct defence and his King´s position was overwhelmed.
  David finished next, levelling the score. He had faced a French, and after several exchanges of pieces, David had doubled his opponent´s pawns on the f-file, and established a powerful protected passed pawn on e5. After all the remaining pieces were exchanged, a queen and pawn ending presented itself. And as they had seven pawns each, it was not so easy for David to press his advantage. But then, the opportunity for a bit of a swindle was in the offing. In advancing his h-pawn to attack his opponent´s g-pawn, two things were catastrophic - the pawns could not be exchanged and nor could the attacked g-pawn be advanced. His opponent failed to see the looming catastrophe, exchanged pawns, and was mated in the middle of the board. It was so unexpected that his opponent didn´t realise he'd been mated until David pointed it out.
  With the score now level, things were looking good for a team victory. Especially as Graeme was doing all the running, and his opponent´s clock had gone below one minute. It was incredibly complicated, with several piece sacrifices thrown into the mix, and at the point where it looked curtains for Graeme´s opponent, he threw in a desperate rook sacrifice on h6, right in front of Graeme´s king. Graeme turned that down in favour of getting a second queen. The second sacrifice of the rook by taking the pawn on h7+ could not be declined, and now we were treated to the second swindle of the night. At this point we´ll leave it to Graeme to conclude this report - "Apologies for totally blowing it, I would like to say the mating move was difficult to spot - except it wasn´t!"
  As a footnote, Jim reported that Simon Riley must be blessed with a lucky charm as he was only one move away from resigning to him in the Manningtree A v Ipswich B match the previous evening.