Division 1 tense

Three division 1 games were played last night:-

Habershon 0-1 Ledger
Bodily 1-0 Botteley
Qarimi 1-0 Obi

This leaves Marc and Steve Ledger on 5 each with 1 and 2 games to play respectively.  Richard could still catch them but this seems a long shot.

The fight to avoid the drop is much more open!  Qais has shown Houdini like qualities, winning his last 3 games to assure safety (due to his high s-b).  Everybody else, bar Marc and Steve L could go down.  One scenario actually has 7 players in equal 3rd (or last!) place on 3.5, when a 3 way play off would be required to decide!

Still all to play for.

Divisions 2 and 3 still have a number of unplayed games.  Clearly illness and absence has affected them but there are still games that can be played.

County Championship decided

Congratulations to Gary Kenworthy for becoming Bedfordshire Champion. Final placings were as follows:-

[table2] Position,Player, Points (/6)

1, Gary Kenworthy, 5
2, Steve Ledger, 4.5
3, Paul Habershon, 4
4, Peter Hunt, 4
5, Eric Meichel, 4
6, Brian Valentine, 4
7, Graham Borrowdale, 3.5
8, Adrian Elwin, 3.5
9, Abhishek Pradhan, 3.5
10, Kevin Williamson, 3.5
11, Michael Botteley, 3
12, Ben Cox, 3
13, James Gardner, 3
14, Adrian Matthews, 2.5
15, Rob Whiteside, 2.5
16, Richard Bodily, 2
17, Toby Cox, 2
18, Fred Dorn, 2
19, Marc Obi, 1.5
20, Richard McMorran, 1
21, Karthik Ramesh, 0

[/table2]

Richard Bodily, Richard McMorran and Marc Obi had to withdraw from the last two rounds.

Notes from the final two rounds by Paul Habershon:-

The top games on the morning of Sunday 13th May (Round 5) finished Kenworthy ½ – ½ Habershon and Ledger ½ – ½ Pradhan, though both Bedford players missed clear wins. The last round started with three players on 4/5: Kenworthy, Habershon, Hunt. I had already drawn with Peter Hunt so it had to be Hunt v Kenworthy and Habershon v Ledger (3½). Gary Kenworthy absorbed a lot of pressure and then won with a counter attack. This left me having to beat Steve to tie first. (See game) He could have done better early on with 14…h4 instead of 0-0, but I went on to achieve a winning position but lost my head in mutual time trouble. 31 Qxe5! looks so obvious in quiet contemplation, but I think we all recognise what can happen when the pressure is on. Not the first time that I have been swindled by Mr Ledger! He finished second on his own with 4.5 to Gary’s 5/6. They did not play each other.

 

Bedford A Clinch Third

Home Team: Bedford A                Away Team: Milton Keynes A

Board    Name    Grade   Score     Score     Name    Grade

1              Steven C Ledger 190         0.5          0.5          Gary Kenworthy                 202

2              Michael T Botteley          178         0.5          0.5          Graham E Borrowdale 193

3              Paul F Habershon             177         0.5          0.5          Graham Smith     188

4              Raymon Gompelman     173         1              0              Adrian G Elwin     183

5              Andrew J Chapman         175         0              1              Eric Meichel                      158

                                                                  2.5   2.5

Played: 03/05/18

Bedford A clinched 3rd place in the league with this hard fought draw. (W3 D5 L2 for 11 points out of 20). Milton Keynes A, like Bedford A, finished below their B Team. Steve Ledger easily held Gary Kenworthy’s closed treatment of the Sicilian while Mike Botteley, just returned from holiday, did well to hold a position with a slightly worse bishop. I was in serious trouble on Board 3 but managed to squirm my way to a drawn minor piece ending where my knight and king were active enough to neutralise Graham’s bishop. Raymon’s impressive win from a less than promising position is given below. This left Andy needing a draw to win the match, but his position looked dire and he was behind on the clock. Eric Meichel had his spectating captain, Gary Kenworthy, in anguish as he missed some killer blows. However, his position was so superior that he simplified into an easily won knight ending with a passed a pawn.

                                                                                                               Paul Habershon 3rd May 2018

Bedford D do the job for Bedford C

The C team captain had told us we needed to beat Milton Keynes C to lift them out of the Div 2 relegation places. We thought we had failed, but it turns out that a draw was enough to do the job.

Milton Keynes C v Bedford D

  Home Team: Milton Keynes C   Away Team: Bedford D
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Alan Heath 152 0 1 James Gardner 173
2 Dave Wells 133 1 0 Qais Karimi 140
3 Colin Solloway 133 0.5 0.5 John J Harbour 138
4 John McKeon 121 0 1 Robert S Walker 117
5 Geir Erik Nielsen 116 1 0 Toby Cox 112
    2.5 2.5    
Played: 03/05/2018          

Toby was first to finish after a bold attack, pushing the pawns in front of his castled king, rebounded on him.

Qais “sacrificed” first one pawn, then another. His position looked poor to me, but I was still expecting him to be explaining later on how he was “always better”. It wasn’t to be…

Robert and John took about 2 hours to exchange any material. I was otherwise engaged as Robert won first a rook and then the game.

James came out on top against Alan in a complicated, tactical affair. When glancing at their game I never felt I knew what was going on.

I got my pieces into a tangle, but after the first exchanges was able to build up a strong-looking king-side attack. This came to nothing, and we entered a R+B endgame with me a pawn down. When Colin offered a draw I nearly grabbed his hand off.

John

Bedford C disappoint

Home Team: Bedford C Away Team: Milton Keynes C
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Giuseppe Valerio 154 0 1 Alan Heath 152
2 Richard McMorran 130E 0 1 Colin Solloway 133
3 Robert S Walker 117 0.5 0.5 Dave Wells 133
4 Nigel B Walker 86 0 1 John McKeon 121
5 1 0 def
1.5 3.5
Played: 26/04/2018

When our opponents turned up without a board 5 (flu) I thought we might finally get a win against another club without needing guest stars, but it was not to be. I opted to take the evening off. I normally enjoy watching other people’s games – it’s usually less stressful – but not on this occasion!

Nigel spent most of the evening on the brink of losing material. He just managed to cling on at the expense of getting his King stuck in the middle where it was chased from pillar to post by John who didn’t waste time castling either. Eventually Nigel’s position collapsed.

Richard built up a strong position, spearheaded by a bishop which settled on the sixth rank, and it seemed to be a matter of time before he broke through. Too hastily he picked up a Knight and then realised that moving it anywhere gifted Colin an overwhelming and unexpected attack.

I had high hopes of Robert’s game. He seemed to have all the pressure when he exchanged Queens in order to create a passed pawn. Unfortunately that left just a rook each and opposite coloured Bishops and he could make no further progress.

At this stage Joe still had 25 moves to play and ten minutes left before the time control. After appearing to prepare to fianchetto his Queenside Bishop Alan cunningly played it to a3 instead of b2. Joe, not content with a prosaic defence of his threatened pawn, hit the Bishop with Queen to a5 but soon had to make an ignominious retreat with his position in tatters. Miraculously he made the time control with only opposite coloured Bishops and two pawns down but the two pawns were passed and connected and could not be stopped.

We now must rely on the D Team to get a win or a draw away to MK C next week to stay in 4th place. Otherwise Bedford will fill the bottom two places in Division 2.

Peter Gill, 27/04/2018

Division 1 too close to call

The two games played in Division 1 last night left everything completely undecided.  In-form Qais and Paul beat Richard and Alex (too much champagne gents?) respectively.

This means that, with only 11 games to play, 7 players can still win it, no-one is doomed but only Marc is certain to stay up!

Divisions 2 and 3 still have many unplayed games.  Obviously there are some unfortunate absences due to illness but, with the Bedfordshire League season nearly complete, now is the time to play as many as possible.

Bedford A hammer Leighton Buzzard A so Bedford B are CHAMPIONS!!!

 

Home Team: Leighton Buzzard A Away Team: Bedford A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Evgeny Tukpetov 210 0 1 Mindaugas Beinoras 231
2 Andy Tinker 177 0 1 Paul F Habershon 177
3 Stephen Law 181 0.5 0.5 Andrew J Chapman 175
4 John R Sharp 174 0 1 James Gardner 173
5 Peter Hunt 170 0 1 Qais Karimi 140
0.5 4.5
Played: 24/04/18

An unexpectedly big win by Bedford A denied last year’s champions the chance to overtake Bedford B and retain their crown. Congratulations to Bedford B on their championship – we were delighted to help.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost Points Wins Draws Losses Pen Pts
Bedford B 10 5 3 2 13 19 17 14 0
Leighton Buzzard A 10 5 3 2 13 18 15 17 0
Bedford A 9 3 4 2 10 16 17 12 0
Milton Keynes B 9 3 2 4 8 16 12 17 0
Milton Keynes A 8 2 2 4 6 15 9 16 0
Luton 8 1 2 5 4 9 14 17 0

Travelling without Steve Ledger (too recently returned from Las Vegas) and Mike Botteley (Naples) we were just hoping not to flop as so often this season. The top two games are appended: Mindaugas was allowed a big centre and was always in control. I like the way his king found a safe haven at the end. I wasn’t expecting to play Andy Tinker and got into a tricky Benoni variation which I hadn’t mugged up on since a previous occasion against him. I used up lots of time grovelling but Andy can’t have found the most accurate moves. After a time I stopped hoping he would offer a draw as my position gradually improved.

Board 3 seemed to swing one way and the other, but eventually came down to a drawn rook ending. James on Board 4 won or was given the exchange early on and never relinquished that advantage. Super-sub Qais did the business again, turning down a draw, establishing a huge knight on e5 and finally delivering mate.

League Secretary Adrian Elwin and County Secretary Brian Valentine came along to watch the fun. County Captain Kevin Williamson arrived too late to see the carnage.

Paul Habershon 24/04/2018


 

Bedford D stays bottom!!

  Home Team: Bedford D   Away Team: Northampton
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 John J Harbour 138 0 1 Chris Ross 207
2 Qais Karimi 140 1 0 Nigel Young 146
3 Callum T Shields 130e 0.5 0.5 Shane Ashley 138
4 Toby Cox 112 1 0 David P Curran 123
5 Lucian Cox 73 0 1 Dion G Lindsay 105
    2.5 2.5    
Played: 19/04/2018          

The D Team performed well against Northampton, though this will be a bare-bones report as I sat tight for the evening trying to forget about my allergy to dogs whilst being steadily crushed by Chris Ross.

Qais continued his recent good form, finishing off by skewering Nigel’s Q and K.

Callum received a generous draw offer from Shane late in the evening. I suspect that given more time white’s extra pawn could have been converted into a win.

I first saw Toby’s game when he was swapping of the last pieces to go into a K+P ending three pawns up. Dave resigned a couple of moves later.

And Lucian’s game I saw not at all. Sorry.

If any of the spectators (Peter?, Paul?, Mary?) can provide more details I’ll update this report.

John

Bedford B go top!! (game added)

Home Team: Bedford B Away Team: Milton Keynes B
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Marc ON Obi 166 0.5 0.5 Richard CP Freeman 177
2 Alex Taylor 163 0 1 Francesca Matta 172
3 Richard T Bodily 168 0.5 0.5 Peter C Clarke 170
4 Steve Pike 161 1 0 Phillip Ekhaesomi 165
5 Ravi Arulnandhy 161 1 0 Robert Whiteside 164
3 2
Played: 19/04/18

The B Team played their last match against Milton Keynes B with a chance to secure at least second place in the league. As with all Division 1 matches it was not going to be easy!

Marc completed a superb season with a very easy draw against Richard. The game itself was one of few chances and neither side could really make much progress

For the second week running my game on board 2 was a bit of a disaster. I completely misplayed a Sicilian as white and was routinely crushed.

The action really happened on the bottom three boards.

Steve always looked to have a slight plus in his game against Philip, but there appeared to be nothing telling. Philip then dropped a pawn and the exchange and the game looked very winnable. Steve avoided any swindles and comfortably won the game to level the scores. [Alex is very kind – in reality Steve played in his usual overreaching manner but, just as it looked like the tables would turn, his opponent inexplicably started to give away all his material – Ed]

Ravi’s game on board 5 was an odd affair. Rob sacrificed a bishop for a couple of pawns and an attack in the opening. Ravi looked to have it under control, but the next time I looked he was two pawns down in ending with Rob having a pawn on d6 and active rook and bishop. Ravi is nothing but resourceful and regained the lost material, and declining a draw for the team then activated his rook and knight, created a passed a pawn, marched it to a2 and won the game!  [See below to re-live the miracle! – Ed]

This left Richard to bring home the bacon. His game was another tight affair. Peter seemed to have a slight advantage as Richard first had an isolated d pawn, then an isolated e pawn which both looked weak. Some good defence and perhaps a slight inaccuracy allowed Richard to equalise and reach a king and pawn ending where Richard had a 2-1 queenside majority and Peter had a 3-2 majority on the kingside. The position simplified to that classic drawing position of king v king, giving Bedford B a gutsy and well deserved victory, which had looked unlikely earlier in the evening.

Bedford B is therefore guaranteed second place, having achieved its best ever points haul and will finish above the A team. However, if the A Team can beat Leighton Buzzard A on Tuesday then the B Team could actually win the league! Come on Bedford A – do it for the club! Whatever happens it has been a great season for the team – so thank you all who have contributed along the way.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost Points Wins Draws Losses Pen Pts
Bedford B 10 5 3 2 13 19 17 14 0
Leighton Buzzard A 9 5 3 1 13 18 14 13 0
Milton Keynes B 9 3 2 4 8 16 12 17 0
Bedford A 8 2 4 2 8 12 16 12 0
Milton Keynes A 8 2 2 4 6 15 9 16 0
Luton 8 1 2 5 4 9 14 17 0

Bedford C falter

Home Team: Bedford C Away Team: Leighton Buzzard B
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Giuseppe Valerio 154 0.5 0.5 Adrian Matthews 159
2 Peter S Gill 134 0.5 0.5 Peter Taylor 154
3 Richard McMorran 130E 0 1 C Fred H Dorn 148
4 Robert S Walker 117 1 0 Edward P (Ted) Brown 149
5 Nigel B Walker 86 0 1 Tony Readman 113
2 3
Played: 12/04/2018

Having drawn the away fixture I fancied a win in this match but it was not to be.

Richard had the unenviable task of tackling Fred Dorn with black. Against Richard’s modern defence Fred sacrificed (a pawn I think!). The black pawns looked as though they had been randomly scattered over the board. Richard’s Kingside came under severe pressure and he duly succumbed.

Nigel Walker’s games are often hard to judge. He seems reluctant to part with any pieces or pawns even by trading them so the board is usually heavily populated until well into the evening. I thought he was holding his own but as the pieces came off his opponent threatened to win a rook and mate simultaneously. I thought I spotted a desperate defence but Nigel assures me there was nothing he could do.

There’s not much to say about my game. I maintained a slight edge against Peter Taylor’s Alekhine’s Defence but couldn’t see a way to progress and settled for another rather tame draw. Joe soon followed apparently under the mistaken impression that we were winning.

Robert Walker was out for revenge against Ted Brown who had landed a sucker punch against him in the away fixture. Their clock had fallen off the table and when the dreaded black flag appeared on Ted’s side with nothing like 35 moves completed they didn’t believe it. Robert had tied Ted up in knots but Ted kept wriggling and I was starting to wonder what we’d have done if he didn’t make the second time control. Fortunately Ted slipped up and Robert pounced to lend the scoreline some respectability.

So we have fallen from the dizzy heights of the second division to mid table – let’s hope we can stay there in our final match against Milton Keynes C on 27 April.

Peter Gill, 14/04/2018