Manningtree Chess Club Match Results.

A-Team B-Team Divisional Rapidplay U1800

U1800 Team PerformancesGradeAve BoardPlayedWonDrawnLostDefault
Bob Stephens17851.04022025.0
Jim Buis17971.01010050.0
John McAllister17541.85212050.0
Simon Webber16372.54220075.0
John Price15403.33111050.0
Adrian Sanderson15033.33102033.3
Nick Margerum14464.03012016.7
Performance stats for all Competitions

UNDER 1800
3=Bury St Edmunds621310
Full Table

1Gaffney, Samuel17801 - 0Stephens, Robert W1788
2Skirrow, Chris1683½ - ½McAllister, John WF1743
3Such, Daniel14731 - 0Price, John1540
4Douse, Dominic13501 - 0Margerum, Nick1500
   3½ - ½
Well, we said 4-0 should do it, and this was as close to 4-0 as you can get, and was so very very close to becoming just that. But when we said 4-0, we naturally meant it to be in our favour - Caïssa was clearly having a laugh this evening.
  Things started to unravel when Nick overlooked an early mate - not so much early in his game, but early in the match, and the least said about that the better. The better for Nick at any rate. So we knew quite early that our chances of the trophy went from very slim to being ridiculously slim. Although looking at the remaining games, ´ridiculously slim´ was putting it ridiculously optimistic.
  John P at least looked good for a point. His queen´s gambit, rather than giving him a pawn deficit (albeit temporary) gave him a pawn surplus, and he was carefully nursing that surplus to a winning endgame. But then he blundered and thus suffered his first defeat for the team this season. And that was that as far as the trophy was concerned.
  Our remaining two boards were looking decidedly dodgy. Bob's Reti didn't go quite according to plan, and as the game emerged from the opening, his inferior pawn structure meant that he spent the second half of the game on the back foot. He put up stubborn resistance, but in the end the weak holes proved too many for his defending forces to plug, and his opponent eventually broke through.
  John M came out of a queen´s gambit slightly the worse for wear, and was very lucky to reach an endgame with a knight and bishop facing two bishops. He was just as lucky to survive that endgame, but after a pawn race in which his opponent had to exchange the knight in order to queen his pawn, material was level. And after a dozen or so checks the draw was agreed.
  So while we are tied for last place at the moment, there can be no doubt that Bury will break that tie and we will own that honour outright. One is tempted to say that there can also be no doubt that Woodbridge will be this years U1800 Champions, but if Bury were to win big in the last match they will take the prize - 3½ points will do it. Now that has probably put the jinx on Bury's very slim chances, unless of course, Caïssa wants to have another laugh.

1Stephens, Robert W1788½ - ½Irving, Angus1750
2Webber, Simon1608½ - ½Riley, Simon1698
3Price, John15401 - 0Paez, Alonso1653
4Margerum, Nick1500½ - ½Dolewka, Piotr 1510
   2½ - 1½
A satisfying result against a team that were, on paper, the stronger side. It means that we go second in the table (for a day), separated from the top spot by our match score against the leaders.
  Bob was first to finish after risking a pawn developing his attack, but ended a pawn down in a bishop of same colour ending. He was safe enough however, with the pawns on both wings locked and the extra isolated pawn in the centre block by his king, his bishop was able to soak up the moves.
  It was a while before Simon (our Simon) followed suit after a long and tense King´s Indian. The complications throughout made it difficult to tell who had the advantage. Simon had started with an early advance of his queen´s side pawns - all his c-e pawns were on the fourth rank within the first half dozen moves. His opponent responded with a similar advance on the king´s side, making his king appear a little naked. The game was reaching a critical stage where Simon had to repeat an attack on his opponent´s queen to keep things together, and his opponent, not able to find anything better to offer, followed the repetition.
  Our expectations from the bottom two boards led us to believe we were heading for another 2-2 draw - how wrong we were. Nick had played a steady and careful game that was pretty much level throughout. Until that is, we came to the R&N v R&B ending. Spotting the opportunity of surrendering a pawn or two for his opponent´s bishop, Nick ended up with more than he was expecting, having hovered up his opponent´s remaining pawns in the process. He now found himself with R,N&P v R, with every expectation of the full point. His opponent was nothing if not tenacious and Nick slipped up, losing the knight. The game was now theoretically drawn, but Nisk´s misplaced king meant that his opponent had no need to employ Philidor´s method to achieve it.
  It was now down to John, who had slipped up in the opening, allowing a bishop to get caught in a "Noah´s Ark" manoeuvre. John got two pawns for his bishop and set about putting them to good use. It was quite something to see, both sides had castled long and John was advancing a phalanx of three unopposed pawns down the King´s side. Great care was still needed however to prevent them collapsing like a deck of cards, but slowly and surely the phalanx advanced ever closer to their goal. While contemplating a decisive advance of his h-pawn to the seventh, John nearly gave us a heart attack as the clock ticked down to the last few seconds before he finally made the advance. After that it was plain sailing, in spite of an effort by his opponent to advance his king´s side pawn majority by way of a counter. When John queened his second pawn his opponent resigned. As a footnote, this must be a rare occasion when black´s king´s knight, developed on it´s natural f3 square, found itself occupying a critical square in such an ending.
  From being joint top for a day, we are now level on points with Woodbridge at the bottom, but a big score against them next week gives us every chance of an unexpected trophy. 4-0 should do it.

1Riley, Simon1698½ - ½Buis, Jim1788
2Paez, Alonso16531 - 0McAllister, John WF1743
3Dolewka, Piotr 15100 - 1Sanderson, Adrian1540
4Lunn, Ken1503½ - ½Price, John1540
   2 - 2
We are not holding out much hope of any honours in this division, although in reality there isn´t much between the top and bottom here, so big wins in our last two matches will make for an interesting finish.
  As far as tonight's match is concerned, our top and bottom boards finished relatively early, although neither could be described as grandmaster draws. Jim pressed hard against his opponent´s Sicilian, but his opponent is nothing if not resourceful. It was good to see John P making another appearance this season, and once again the two year gap didn´t affect his performance. John M faced a sort of delayed Nimzo-Larson and after a tough middle game he finally thought he was winning the ending. Shame he didn't spot that two move mate threat until it became an inescapable one move mate. Adrian brought up the rear in a similar fashion to his previous game, except this time he continued to press his one pawn advantage to the very end. In the pawn ending his opponent missed the moves that would have saved him, and Adrian came away with his second win in a fortnight.

1McAllister, John WF17430 - 1Gaffney, Samuel1780
2Webber, Simon16081 - 0Wesson, Timothy J1795
3Sanderson, Adrian15400 - 1Ross, Bernard1203
4Default00000 - 1Cater, Sam1000
   1 - 3
Probably best not to dwell too much on this match, sandwiched as it was between A and B team matches, during a week when several players were unavailable. We could have sought a postponement but with matches every week until the end of April we decided to see it through. And so John, Simon and Adrian, all playing for the second consecutive night, took on Woodbridge for this U1800 match.
  Adrian finished first, and after winning his first league game for the club yesterday, ended his unbeaten run and lost his first one tonight. He was doing fine until a serious blunder sealed his fate.
  John faced a Queen´s gambit and was also doing fine until an injudicious pawn advance was followed by an injudicious knight exchange, the latter costing a pawn. And while he had a passed a-pawn in the queen and minor piece ending, his position was in tatters, and didn't hold out for very long.
  Simon played a queen´s gambit, and they were barely out of the opening when his opponent overlooked the loss of a pawn, which Simon gladly took, and nursed through to a pawn ending. It was about to end in a pawn race, but as Simon would queen with check, his opponent sensibly resigned.
  We face Woodbridge again in four weeks - hopefully with a full team and a better result.

 Manningtree23/02/22Bury St Edmunds
1Stephens, Robert W17880 - 1Pott, Laurie1788
2McAllister, John WF17431 - 0Heffer, Judith1728
3Webber, Simon1608½ - ½Jones, Robert L1765
4Sanderson, Adrian15400 - 1Heffer, Mark1698
   1½ - 2½
Bury St Edmunds arrived with the same team that we faced in our earlier encounter, although with a slightly different board order. Unfortunately for us the end result was also different.
  Bob started well enough, but his opponent´s king´s side pawn advance led to serious complications, and Bob slipped up and lost a piece. He struggled on for a while but had to bow to the inevitable as his opponent showed no sign of returning the favour.
  Adrian also slipped up, missing a knight fork in a far less complicated position. He too struggled on for quite some time before his opponent was able to claim the whole point.
  John pulled us one back, although he was tempted to accept a draw offer in a rook and pawn ending with material equality. His advantage however was the isolated state of one of his opponent´s pawns, and that proved sufficient.
  Simon brought up the rear after a very long and tough struggle. Both sides maintained a tight grip on the game, and it was hard to tell who stood better, if either did. After more than three hours of play a draw was finally agreed, making our aggregate score level at 4-4.

 Bury St Edmunds04/11/21Manningtree
1Pott, Laurie(1788)½ - ½Stephens, Robert W(1788)
2Jones, Robert L(1765)0 - 1McAllister, John WF(1743)
3Heffer, Judith(1728)0 - 1Webber, Simon(1608)
4Heffer, Mark(1698)1 - 0Margerum, Nick(0000)
   1½ - 2½
We will start with a big thanks to Nick for stepping in at the eleventh hour after Jim had to pull out. And once again, Nick should probably have come away with the full point tonight after going the exchange and a pawn up. But grabbing a second pawn proved unwise, allowing his opponent a decisive counter attack, demonstrating the need to check your defences before going on the offence.
  Bob was next to finish after his Modern turned into quite a tussle. Both sides contested control of the queen's side, and after all the queen's side pawns were gone (except for the queen's pawn itself) the remaining pieces started to follow. There wasn't much in it at the end, so Bob was happy to accept his opponent's draw offer.
  John then levelled the score, although if truth be told his opponent did. Facing a Scotch Opening in which he never quite gained equality, the R&B ending was looking grim. With his c-pawn lost and his opponent's rook on the seventh it was looking curtains for his a and b pawns as well. Completely against the run of play, his opponent then made a fatal blunder, losing his bishop, and with it the game. Although John's attempt to use that very bishop to capture his opponent's rook was a bit weird - a case of playing the second move in your analysis instead of the first.
  All eyes were now on Simon, who had quite an extraordinary game. His opponent seemed to be throwing caution to the wind in an all out assault on Simon's king's position. Having sacrificed a knight, then a bishop (not to mention a few pawns) it was clear the wheels were starting to come off. Simon had another advantage as well - he had eleven minutes to his opponent's one. And it was the clock that eventually decided it, although at this point, and in spite of missing a two move mate, Simon was commanding the board now.
  So our first outing in the U1800, and it puts us in good stead for the future. And while we were very lucky on board 2, we were also unlucky on board four, but as long as the luck is equally shared, who can complain?