Manningtree Chess Club Match Results.

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

1Bury St Edmunds431011½
Full Table

 Manningtree 10/04/19Bury St Edmunds
1Stephens, Robert W 139 ½ - ½Donnelly, Andrew J 144
2McAllister, John WF 138 0 - 1Martinez, Rene M 136
3Welsh, David 117 0 - 1Lovell, Steve 135
4Sanderson, Adrian 111 ½ - ½Garcia, Laureano 128
   1 - 3
We entered this match needing 3½ points to retake the U145 Trophy - Bury St Edmunds just needed 1 point to do the same. It was clearly a tall order for us, especially as two of our team had to pull out just before the match, but thankfully Adrian and David were on hand to fill the gaps.
  Chess is very much a 'non contact' sport but Adrian, with his safe English opening, and his opponent's even safer responses, managed to raise the term 'non-contact' to another level! The moment a minor piece ventured over halfway and was exchanged, a draw was immediately agreed.
  David handled the Scotch opening in his own defensive style by swapping off minor pieces before they could do any harm. The position got complicated with David advancing his queenside pawns while his opponent did the same on the other wing. David's advance left him with a backward pawn on d6, which became a prime target and was soon lost. The complications continued, but after the queens came off his opponent's pawn surplus proved decisive.
  John achieved a winning position from his Nimzo-Larsen attack, a pawn up with a 3-1 majority on the queenside, while his opponent had doubled f-pawns with his 4-3 majority on the kingside. But then he did his usual trick this season and let a won position drift, only to cap it off with a catastrophic blunder. Mind you, the game should have finished half a dozen moves earlier when John illegally moved a piece while in check, and the only way to get out of check with the touched piece would have been to give it up. But neither player appeared to realise that at the time, and the game continued with the king being moved. Such outrageous behaviour did not go unnoticed by the spectators.
  Bob brought up the rear and played his usual modern defence, but appeared to struggle to locate his king to a good square when the queens came off very early. He then blundered a pawn, and although his opponent managed to retain the bishop pair, he failed to open the position up quickly for his bishops and Bob managed to get a protected knight on e5. This knight was a monster and helped salvage the game. In the end it boiled down to a rook ending with his opponent having two connected wing pawns to Bob's none, and Bob's only compensation was that his opponent's king was stuck on the opposite wing. When his opponent placed his rook behind the wrong pawn Bob was able to bring his own king in front of them and stall their advance.

 Manningtree 12/12/18Ipswich
1McAllister, John WF 137 ½ - ½Holt, H Roger 141
2Stephens, Robert W 135 1 - 0Jones, Les J 138
3Phillips, Carl 127 0 - 1Smyth, Pete 136
4Webley, Mark A 123 1 - 0Irving, Angus 113
   2½ - 1½
This win puts us on top of the table, but unless there's a fortuitous result in next week's Woodbridge v Bury match, we won't be there for long. And after that, well we will have to wait until April for our final match against Bury, by which time we'll know if that mathematical possibility of winning this trophy is in any way realistic.
  John finished first tonight, on the black side of a rather quiet Italian Game, and after all the minor pieces came off, it was his opponent who had the better options while John had to repeat moves to prevent the loss of a crucial pawn. His opponent chose to repeat the threats rather than find any new ones, so the game was over relatively early.
  Mark finished next, and somehow managed to come back from the dead after his King's Gambit was declined and a chaotic looking game ensued. He was the exchange and a pawn down, and appeared to be soon out, when he suddenly managed to thrust his queen deep behind enemy lines, and the tables were completely turned. His opponent then did that rather odd thing that some players occasionally do - he spent about fifteen minutes thinking when there was only one legal move available.
  Bob put us further ahead with another solid performance in a double fianchettoed Modern and at one point it looked as though he was going to get all a, b and c pawns connected and passed. His opponent managed to thwart that plan, and even though he broke them up, the damage was done and Bob's single advancing pawn proved decisive.
  Carl brought up the rear and was beginning to regret not taking the more complicated line in his Sicilian and consequently spent most of the game a pawn down. He had invested a lot of time considering his options, and consequently spent most of the game considerably behind on the clock as well (at one point he had less than a minute to his opponent's 25, and would certainly have lost much earlier had we not been on incremental timing). He was not without compensation for the loss of his pawn, but as the ending approached, and the pieces thinned out, he was unable to save a second pawn and thus had a 3v2 pawn minority on both wings. No one could accuse him of giving up without a fight, the game went beyond the normal three hours, and it was about move seventy before he was forced to throw in the towel.

 Manningtree 14/11/18Woodbridge
1McAllister, John WF 137 0 - 1Wesson, Timothy J 141
2Stephens, Robert W 135 1 - 0Weidman, Mark J 125
3Webley, Mark A 123 ½ - ½Lewis, Alan J 119
4Story, Alan 80 ½ - ½Skirrow, Chris e110
   2 - 2
Not a bad result, but certainly not good enough to put us in contention for this trophy this year. Alan was first to finish and had an excellent game in what he considered to be his best game so far. He held out against steady pressure, taking great care not to allow his opponent to take advantage of his passed central pawn in the major piece ending. John followed next, and once again a momentary lapse in care cost him a piece. His kingside attack was looking good, but it was at the cost of queenside development, and it was that that cost him the game when his attack stalled.
  Mark put in a solid performance, but the game lacked any real bite and looked heading for a draw long before it became one. Trailing by a point, it was left to Bob to bring up the rear. His was an interesting game with his opponent pushing first down the centre, and then against his king's position. His opponent overreached himself however, and left a piece hanging, which Bob was happy to take. A few move later with his attack in ruins, his opponent allowed a knight fork of king and queen, and that was that.

 Clacton 16/10/18Manningtree
1Alvin, Martin 125 0 - 1McAllister, John WF 137
2Lambert, John E 128 1 - 0Stephens, Robert W 135
3Steele, Melvin 128 1 - 0Phillips, Carl 127
4Ciorga, Marek 121 1 - 0Webley, Mark A 123
   3 - 1
Well, this wasn't supposed to happen. Travelling with what is probably our strongest U145 squad, we went to Clacton expecting a comfortable win tonight, especially as we knew that all of the Clacton squad were under 130.
  It was not to be however, and things started to unravel when Bob's Modern ended with his king in the centre, surrounded on all sides by enemy pieces, and facing more mating threats that could ultimately be fended off.
  Things got worse when, instead of pulling us level, Mark blundered in a completely won position, after he had negotiated a tricky middlegame to achieve total control and a three pawn advantage.
  John then pulled us one back after winning a pawn in the opening and nursing it through to a won queen and bishop ending, but we were clearly going to need a lot of luck to get any more from this match, as by now Carl's position had deteriorated badly.
  Carl had sacrificed a pawn for the initiative early in the game, but not only did his opponent defend well, he also picked up another pawn as the first time control approached with Carl rushing to meet it (we had no choice but to use the guillotine time control as Clacton do not posses any digital clocks). Not long after that, Carl was three pawns down and eventually gave up a piece to reduce the deficit. But with the final guillotine fast approaching it was clear that even if Carl could survive on the board (highly unlikely), he wouldn't on the clock, and so the anticipated comfortable win was achieved, but not by us.