Match Results

RAPIDPLAY HANDICAP
Team PerformancesRatingAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Wins
%
Bob Stephens17811.06123033.3
Simon Webber17882.06330075.0
Graeme Jones17003.022000100.0
John McAllister16743.36231058.3
David Welsh14984.02101050.0
Jamie Jamieson12504.0200200.0
TOTALS24987054.2
Performance stats for all Competitions

RAPID PLAY HANDICAP
PWDLGamesPoints
1Ipswich2200104
2Woodbridge22004
3Manningtree3102132
4Saxmundham210182
5Felixstowe30030
Full Table

 Felixstowe05/02/24Manningtree
1Weidman, Mark J15900 - 1Stephens, Robert W1781
2Lewis, Alan J1648½ - ½Webber, Simon1788
3Robertson, David15850 - 1Jones, Graeme1700
4Alderton, Aarone12500 - 1McAllister, John WF1674
1Weidman, Mark J1590½ - ½Stephens, Robert W1781
2Lewis, Alan J1648½ - ½Webber, Simon1788
3Robertson, David15850 - 1Jones, Graeme1700
4Alderton, Aarone1250½ - ½McAllister, John WF1674
 Ave=15312 - 6Ave=1736
By our calculations on the night, we needed six points to win this match against Felixstowe, but according to the LMS the following day we only needed five and a half. But then the LMS featured a few category P ratings in its calculations, including Graeme's at 1441, which is clearly ridiculous. Apart from the fact that even on a bad day Graeme's rating would be higher than that, it would make our board order illegal and we would be penalised one and a half points and thus lose the match. There are clearly still a few wrinkles in the system to be smoothed out, but it'll get there in the end.
  Playing at the Dooley Inn can sometimes be a noisy experience, but tonight it was quite peaceful, especially towards the end of the evening when there was hardly anybody in the place apart from ourselves. Although we significantly out-rated our opposition tonight, none of us got everything our own way and we had to fight hard for every point. There was the usual mix of blunders and missed opportunities but we just about managed to get the six points we needed, and get our first match points on the board. We have just one match left in this competition (at home to Ipswich) and it would take a very strange combination of results indeed for us to even stay where we are in the table, let alone share the top spot, but hopefully it will have achieved at least part of it's objective and given a lot more players a more accurate rapid play rating. And besides that, it is quite fun.

 Manningtree22/11/23Woodbridge
1Stephens, Robert W18130 - 1Gaffney, Samuel1729
2Webber, Simon1772½ - ½Wesson, Timothy J1626
3McAllister, John WF16601 - 0Whatling, Darius1500
4Jamieson, Gary12500 - 1Such, Daniel1437
1Stephens, Robert W1813½ - ½Gaffney, Samuel1729
2Webber, Simon17721 - 0Wesson, Timothy J1626
3McAllister, John WF1660½ - ½Whatling, Darius1500
4Jamieson, Gary12500 - 1Such, Daniel1437
 Ave=16243½ - 4½Ave=1573
Rapid play ratings might appear to exist in some kind of parallel universe. Based on our rapid play ratings we averaged 50.75 more than Wood- bridge, hence according to the handicap rules, we needed 5 points to win the match. In the real world of standard ratings, Woodbridge averaged 90.75 more than us, with the biggest difference of nearly 200 points on their board 2. Evidence of the very different nature these two forms of chess, or just evidence of the more random nature of rapid play ratings? That´s something the introduction of this division is intended to find out.
  We didn´t get off to a very good start chasing that five points. And while we were unlucky on board four, where after staging an excellent come back from a lost middle game, Jamie missed a draw by repetition, we were lucky on board two where Simon managed to salvage half a point with a fair bit of help from the clock.
  We did slightly better in the second round, but we were still a very long way from grabbing the 3½ points we now needed to take the match. And thus we finished with the same score as our previous match against Saxmundham, and remain on zero match points. As a post script here, you may have read in the rules that the wining team is awarded one point, with draws getting half a point each. However the tables show two points have been awarded for each win. The reason for this is quite simple - the computer says no! The LMS doesn´t have a setting that allows teams to receive one point for a match win, so the league is going to have to change its rules.

 Saxmundham07/11/23Manningtree
1Wilks, Simon20451 - 0Stephens, Robert W1813
2Carter, Dominic A16380 - 1Webber, Simon1772
3Lawes-Wickwar, Matthew1619½ - ½McAllister, John WF1660
4Cartwright, Paul14000 - 1Welsh, David1500
1Wilks, Simon20451 - 0Stephens, Robert W1813
2Carter, Dominic A16380 - 1Webber, Simon1772
3Lawes-Wickwar, Matthew16191 - 0McAllister, John WF1660
4Cartwright, Paul14001 - 0Welsh, David1500
 Ave=16764½ - 3½Ave=1686
There was a certain amount of confusion over the ratings to use to determine the handicap for this match, to the point where we all assumed that Saxmundham had the highest average and needed to get five points in oder to win the match. And we went away thinking that we had won by denying them that. As it turned out, in the cool light of the following day, it was Manningtree who had the highest average, but not by enough to invoke the handicap, so it was the actual score that determined the winner.
  We started well enough, winning the first round 2½-1½, but fell back in the second to hand victory to Saxmundham. Simon was the star once again winning both of his games, although it has to be said he was a bit lucky in his first game, going from a lost endgame the exchange down, to an endgame two pieces up in the space of half a dozen moves. Bob was always going to be up against it, but made a good fist of it, especially in the first match. Both of John´s games looked headed for draws when the loss of a pawn in a BvN ending proved decisive in the second. David did very well, and should probably have won both games, but two pawns down in a rook and minor piece ending he overlooked an exchange that would have seen him win the piece, although the ending would not have been plain sailing by any means.
  So our first match in this new competition and we come away empty handed. It was good fun nonetheless, and at least we didn't get lost on our journey into deepest Suffolk.

DIVISION ONE RAPIDPLAY CUP
Team PerformancesRatingAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Wins
%
Panagiotis Kanellopoulos22451.022000100.0
Andrew P Lewis23422.02110075.0
Phillip J Hutchings19463.02020050.0
Graeme Jones17214.0200200.0
TOTALS8332056.3
Performance stats for all Competitions

 Manningtree A10/01/24Ipswich A
1Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis22471 - 0Lunn, Timothy2013
2Lewis, Andrew P22961 - 0Lewis, Stephen1895
3Hutchings, Philip J1935½ - ½Shephard, Andrew1911
4Jones, Graeme17290 - 1Irving, Angus1692
1Kanellopoulos, Panagiotis22471 - 0Lunn, Timothy2013
2Lewis, Andrew P2296½ - ½Lewis, Stephen1895
3Hutchings, Philip J1935½ - ½Shephard, Andrew1911
4Jones, Graeme17290 - 1Irving, Angus1692
   4½ - 3½
Although we have out-rated Ipswich on both of our two previous encounters this season, they have managed to hold us to a 2-2 draw on both occasions. And tonight looked remarkably close to following suit.
  Things started quite well in the first round, and at one point we were a pawn up on every board. But it was not to be Graeme's night tonight. He was about to enter a rook and pawn ending a pawn up (albeit a temporary one) but he then inexplicably blundered by failing to recapture the final bishop, so when the rooks were exchanged he entered the ending with pawns v pawns and a bishop. Phil followed next, and although a pawn up, his opponent defended well by creating all sorts of complications that prevented him capitalising on that pawn. Very soon after that, Panagiotis levelled the score. It was a highly tactical and entertaining game that was on a knife edge for much of the time, with (amongst other things) both sides threatening to win the exchange. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more complicated, it actually did. Panagiotis was finding moves most of us wouldn't dream of, however his opponent was countering doggedly, but in the end too much was lost in those complications and his position gradually crumbled. Andy brought up the rear and put us in front. His opponent offered the Budapest Gambit. Andy accepted the pawn, but his opponent struggled to prove compensation and accumulated a substantial time deficit. His position collapsed on move 27.
  It was now apparent that with the score at 2½-1½ in our favour, we only needed one and a half points in the next round to progress to the final, as long as one of those points came from the top three boards. But we didn't want to go through on board elimination, so two points was our target.
  In the second round Andy went from being the last to finish to being the first. It was an early draw with a lot of material still on the board. His opponent had offered a typical "Greek Gift" (Bishop x h7-pawn) for a king-side attack. Although dangerous, the sacrifice was unsound. However, Andy misplayed the defence and allowed his oppoenent to escape with a draw by perpetual check on move 19. It was a satisfactory result that brought us half a point closer to our goal. Shortly after that, Phil edged us another half point closer. His game had gone from looking pretty good to somewhat worrying, as his control of the queen's side was slipping away. Fortunately he had enough threats around his opponent's exposed king for his opponent to accept a draw by repetition. We were now half a point away from the final and barring disasters, we looked certain to get it.
  Not from Graeme unfortunately. He was doing ok (in spite of a cramped queen's side) until an advanced bishop, supported by a pawn, could not be retreated, leading to the exchange of the bishop and the loss of the pawn. Graeme fought on but he was very much on the defensive for the rest of the game. Panagiotis' second game was quite unlike his first. This time it was much less tactical with a rapid exchange of pieces into a rook and pawn ending. It boiled down to a rook and two pawns v rook, but it was far from clear if it could be won. Panagiotis gave up the rook pawn in order to advance his bishop's pawn, and stubborn defence meant that took a very long time. Both players were down to the increments as that pawn advanced towards that queening square with all the agility of an arthritic snail. Stubborn and accurate defence in these endings is difficult enough at the best of times, but when you're down to your last few seconds it's even harder, and in the end it was the clock that decided it and we came away with the clear victory that we wanted.

DIVISION TWO RAPIDPLAY CUP
Team PerformancesRatingAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Wins
%
Rowland Kerr18631.02101050.0
Bob Stephens17141.54202050.0
Simon Webber17482.544000100.0
Roderick Saines16773.02101050.0
John McAllister16434.02110075.0
Jamie Jamieson12504.0200200.0
TOTALS16916059.4
Performance stats for all Competitions

 Sudbury09/01/24Manningtree B
1Sanders, Robert R19510 - 1Kerr, Rowland1793
2Donnelly, Andrew J17601 - 0Stephens, Robert W1782
3Kent, Robert16010 - 1Webber, Simon1780
4Coleman, Peter16001 - 0Jamieson, Gary1250
1Sanders, Robert R19511 - 0Kerr, Rowland1793
2Donnelly, Andrew J17600 - 1Stephens, Robert W1782
3Kent, Robert16010 - 1Webber, Simon1780
4Coleman, Peter16001 - 0Jamieson, Gary1250
   4 - 4
Our line-up was a little unusual, with Rowland subbing for Graeme, and Jamie making his first appearance for the B team as an emergency sub on Board 4 for David (more on this later).
  The first set of matches had four decisive results, but ended 2:2. Rowland was first to finish, playing a flawless exchange version of the QGD with a minority attack and grinding his advantage in the endgame. Bob and Jamie both lost their games with positions where they lost a pawn and then another, and the endgames were too tough to hold. Jamie had an incredibly tough match as his opponent, despite playing his first competitive match in 25 years, had an estimated rating of 1600 and looked if anything stronger. Simon's game went the distance in a sharp KID in which he managed to neutralise black's kingside activity and break through on the queenside, winning a pawn and then converting that to a piece, and the endgame, while sharp, was clearly winning.
  So with all to play for we started the final games with anticipation. Things started well, as perhaps annoyed at his first round loss, Simon's opponent played a hyper aggressive opening against his Caro Kann that unfortunately led to the loss of the exchange and two pawns by move 12 and, with Simon achieving a passed D-pawn on the seventh rank by move 17 he resigned.
  Here the fortunes turned, with Jamie unable to overcome his opponent's very careful play aimed at picking up pawns despite a good attempt at a counter attack on the kingside. 3:3. Next was Rowland, who despite a stated intention to continue playing positionally, decided to defend with a Sicilian and messed up his move order leading to a clearly worse position out of the opening, requiring him to use a lot of time calculating every move. It proved too much to handle in a rapid game and we were 3:4 down.
  However, if we could draw the match at 4:4 then the rules are that the lowest board score is eliminated first. With Jamie having lost his games, elimination of this board in the calculation would mean we win the match overall, something that wouldn't have been a possibility if we had had to default this board (thanks Jamie!).
  Easier said than done, however, and Bob's game was going the distance and with a complex middle game, and with most pieces and pawns still on the board to navigate, anything could happen. Unfortunately his opponent's careful manoeuvring steadily shifted the position away from Bob, and with a minute on the clock Bob was staring at a position two pawns down with an exposed king, effectively a completely lost position. Knowing only the win would do he battled on, playing the most active moves and keeping pieces alive. Suddenly, with himself under time pressure, Bob's opponent inexplicably (although we all know how this happens!) recaptured a pawn with a rook instead of his queen, allowing Bob's queen and rook to leap into action and execute an immediate checkmate. No-one could quite believe it at first but there it was, a stunning last minute victory and a 4:4 result. That means Manningtree win the match on board elimination, and are through to the final against Woodbridge A in May. This all made for a merry drive back. Next week we play them in the league and Sudbury will no doubt be out for revenge.

 Manningtree B11/10/23Bury St Edmunds B
1Stephens, Robert W18191 - 0Jones, Robert L1714
2Webber, Simon17611 - 0Pugh, Daniel1662
3Saines, Rod M17270 - 1Harrison, Danny1896
4McAllister, John WF1662½ - ½Harrison, Sam1600
1Stephens, Robert W18190 - 1Jones, Robert L1714
2Webber, Simon17611 - 0Pugh, Daniel1662
3Saines, Rod M17271 - 0Harrison, Danny1896
4McAllister, John WF16621 - 0Harrison, Sam1600
   5½ - 2½
Manningtree B scored a comfortable win against Bury St Edmunds B, who were without any of their nominated players. We now face Sudbury in the semi-final on January 9th.
  In his first game Bob picked up one, and then a second pawn, to claim the full point, only to find the same thing happen in reverse in his second game. Simon did an excellent job on board two, although he was helped with a little luck in one game after his opponent deliberated for a long time over an exchange sacrifice, which he should have made because the alternative was to lose a piece. Rod got into a little difficulty in his first game, but made up for it in the second with a comfortable win. John probably should have won both of his games, but let his opponent off the hook in the first after having built a two pawn advantage.

DIVISION THREE RAPIDPLAY CUP
Team PerformancesRatingAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Wins
%
John McAllister16531.0200200.0
David Welsh14932.022000100.0
Mark Nowers14503.0200200.0
Kenzie Orr12504.022000100.0
TOTALS8404050.0
Performance stats for all Competitions

 Manningtree C04/10/23Stowmarket B
1McAllister, John WF16620 - 1Caves, Richard1447
2Welsh, David14911 - 0Hall, Adrian1050
3Nowers, Mark14500 - 1New Player0000
4Orr, Kenzie12501 - 0Mackintosh, William1183
1McAllister, John WF16620 - 1Caves, Richard1447
2Welsh, David14911 - 0Hall, Adrian1050
3Nowers, Mark14500 - 1New Player0000
4Orr, Kenzie12501 - 0Mackintosh, William1183
   4 - 4
We entered this Cup Tie with every expectation of progressing to the next round, and we have to hand it to David and Kenzie, who both played their parts with excellent games and performed as hoped. John and Mark, however did not do so well, but at least Mark has an excuse, he´s a beginner. John however, has no such excuse for turning two won games into losses on single moves. Under the rules of a drawn match, the bottom board is eliminated, so unfortunately Kenzie´s 100% score gets nullified.

Tables