MK B 2-3 Bedford B (game added)

Home Team: Milton Keynes B Away Team: Bedford B
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Richard CP Freeman 177 0.5 0.5 Marc ON Obi 166
2 Francesca Matta 172 0 1 Alex Taylor 163
3 Phillip Ekhaesomi 165 0 1 Richard T Bodily 168
4 Robert Whiteside 164 0.5 0.5 Steve Pike 161
5 Ray Holland 158 1 0 Chris Hill 145
2 3
Played: 09/11/17

Bedford B headed to Milton Keynes B for their first away match of the season.
Recently matches between the two teams have been tight affairs and this proved
to be no different.

If you were a betting man, you would put your money on Richard’s game against
the quick-playing Philip Ekhaesomi being the first to finish. It was a tight
game with Philip’s control of the a1-h8 diagonal balanced by Richard’s control
of the e-file. After about 30 moves Richard had about 15 minutes on the clock
to 55 of his opponent. However, this counted for nothing as an incautious
queen move allowed Richard to move his bishop into the heart of his opponent’s
position, forcing off a key defending knight and winning decisive material or

On Board 4 Steve’s game was the usual dull affair you expect from him! Things
looked pretty complicated and although Steve won a pawn with a clever tactic
and opened up his opponent’s kingside,he had to defend carefully against
white’s active pieces. Steve held on to his extra pawn, but it was doubled on
the h-file and a draw was agreed.

Chris looked to have the better of the Queen’s Gambit opening on Board 5
against Ray Holland. His pieces were more active but the isolated queen’s pawn
which is typical of the opening was always a problem. In the middle game Ray
was able to win two decisive pawns and won the queen and pawn ending.

The Board 1 game between Marc and Richard Freeman was an intriguing affair.
Out of the opening Marc had a space advantage, but there were no clear
weaknesses in Black’s position. Richard then managed to activate his queen
which led to him winning a clear pawn and he was able to simplify into a bishop
v knight ending with this advantage. To the untrained eye (ie mine!) the
position looked very difficult to hold at best, but some skilful defence meant
that Marc escaped with a draw (see game below).

My game on Board 2 against Francesca Matta was a topsy-turvy affair. I came
out of the opening having levelled and had built up some pressure against the
white position. However, a couple of occasions I put pieces on the wrong
squares and the position turned, and I was defending for dear life. Around the
time control Francesca tried to be a little to attacking and I was able to win
a pawn. It then came down to a rook and pawn ending, which I actually won for
a change! (a proper captain’s performance imvho – Ed)

Overall a 3-2 victory, but a very hard-fought one.

Alex Taylor, 12th November 2017

Bedford A 2-3 Leighton Buzzard A

Bedford A

Leighton Buzzard A









Steven C Ledger




Evgeny Tukpetov



Michael T Botteley




Stephen Law



Paul F Habershon




Andy Tinker



Andrew J Chapman




Kevin J Williamson



Raymon Gompelman




Peter Hunt




Played: 09/11/17



An agonisingly close defeat in this key match v last season’s champions.

Andrew finished first when Kevin offered a draw after a flurry of exchanges.

On Board 3 I was struggling with a cramped game and a one pawn deficit. It was a relief when Andy suddenly offered a draw due to my king becoming active and threatening to regain material.

Board 2 then produced the third draw after a seesaw rook and pawn ending.

Meanwhile Steve had reached a rook ending with a poor pawn structure and little time on the clock, so hopes rested on Board 5 (see game below) where Raymon looked to have a comfortable win. However, Peter Hunt wriggled successfully and the draw was agreed before Steve finally succumbed.

Paul Habershon 10/11/17


Game of the year…?

No, not my win against Mike Botteley (which was a bit flaky to be honest) but Ding Liren’s defeat of Bai Jinshi takes king hunting to a new level in my very humble opinion.

Jan Gustafsson, an old friend of our site (?), does a pretty good job of explaining it here.

Although it seems quite unlikely you can surpass Ding’s efforts, I would still be very interested in any games you care to send me for publication.  This years current crop may be found here – more are required!

Bedford D 1-4 Leighton Buzzard B

Well outgraded against experienced opponents, Bedford D struggled against Leighton Buzzard B.

  • John played his now traditional abject opening, fought hard to almost equalise, but never quite did so.
  • Callum went for a very aggressive attack whilst leaving his queenside open and his c3 knight en prise. He continued to press after losing the exchange and his game continued to go downhill rapidly.
  • Ben C appeared to be losing an endgame being 2 pawns down and his opponent converted.
  • Ben P had a probably lost endgame after allowing his opponent to exchange on f3, but then blundered and lost a piece.
  • Toby’s opponent failed to materialise. Hate it when that happens.

We’ll have better nights this season!


P.S. I blame myself. Clearly my tweet to Donald Trump about Qais didn’t work. Should’ve emailed.

OU 3-2 Bedford C

After their triumph against the D Team the C Team travelled to the Open University full of hope.

Things didn’t start well when Richard McMorran on Board 3 got behind on the clock (who doesn’t against George Ward?), forgot to castle and succumbed to a crushing attack. However the Walkers hit back in style. Nigel’s young opponent set off playing plausible moves but when things got a bit complicated he started to leak material with an inevitable mid evening finish. Robert, facing a Sicilian defence, appeared to reach a double edged position. He was a piece up but had to be careful about his opponent’s threats. Richard and I were puzzled when he appeared to give up his piece, as was his opponent who promptly took it, only to resign a move later when Robert, still with mating threats of his went a rook up.

So 2 to 1 up and the old codgers on Boards 1 and 2 still very much in their games, both with dour Bishop and Pawn endgames. I had spent the whole evening thinking I was struggling to equalise, managed to steer into what I thought was a drawn ending, only to blow it by a succession of feeble moves and one complete lemon. Actually Hiarcs (Apple’s Fritz) reckons I was better throughout until I opted for an ending. Joe was our last hope but he lost a pawn or two and was finished off (with time running short – when doesn’t it for Joe?) by competent endgame technique.

Home Team: Open University Away Team: Bedford C
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Peter C Clarke 170 1 0 Giuseppe Valerio 154
2 James NO’D Alexander 147 1 0 Peter S Gill 134
3 George Ward 147 1 0 Richard McMorran 130E
4 Lau Gainpaulsingh 78 0 1 Robert S Walker 117
5 Dominic Bartram ung 0 1 Nigel B Walker 86
3 2
Played: 02/11/2017

Peter Gill, 3rd November 2017

Knights of the square table… (with added comments by Mike)

In German, the word for a knight is Springer which is well coined given the following game.  Paul makes 13 moves with his kingside knight alone but sadly, for him at least, misses a nice combination at the critical moment.

Original annotation by Paul, Mike has added some comments which I have marked MB.


All published games for the season may also be found here.

Son of Bedford derby ends peacefully?


Home Team: Bedford C Away Team: Bedford D
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Giuseppe Valerio 154 1 0 John J Harbour 138
2 Richard McMorran 130E 0.5 0.5 Callum T Shields
3 J Nigel Staddon 122 1 0 Ben Cox 129
4 Robert S Walker 117 1 0 Robin Pound 91
5 Diego Alvarez Merino 64 0 1 Toby Cox 112
3.5 1.5
Played: 19/10/2017

Peter narrates the story of an interesting evening:-

The C & D teams kicked off the season by playing each other. It was a story of ancient and modern with only Diego pulling the average age of the C Team below 60 and Captain John pretty much as old as the rest of his team put together.

Robert stationed a mighty Knight on d5 and when Robin lashed out with an ill advised pawn thrust the Knight and its Queen seized the chance of a brutal mate.

On the next board Ben was giving over 70 years to the wily Nigel. I didn’t see how he did it but he forked Ben’s Rooks to win the exchange and then reached a comfortable ending a full piece to the good.

Diego was determined to aim his rooks at Toby’ s King when they might have been better employed defending Toby’s Queenside attack which netted first a pawn and then the game.

I thought Richard was going to be crushed by Callum’s pawn steamroller but Richard assures me he was well placed all along and sure enough after appearing to cower behind their comrades for most of the game his Rooks went for Callum’s King and gave Richard some hopes of a mate before a draw was agreed.

That left the top Board where my impression was that Joe was in trouble when he went the exchange and (I think) a pawn down. What do I know! It was as if John had prodded a sleeping tiger! In winning the material John had ceded the initiative and Joe’s moves seemed to play themselves until he regained the exchange and then went an exchange up with an easily won ending. There was an issue  about recording moves which left the result unclear for a while but that has now been resolved.

[Rule clarification from Adrian Elwin (league chairman) – You do not have to record moves in the last 5 minutes unless the increment is 30 seconds or more, so in the Beds League players can stop when below 5 minutes.  Once a player has dropped below 5 minutes, he does not have to keep score, even if he then goes back above 5 minutes.  However, once the time interval completes and either flag falls, a player must ensure his scoresheet is up to date before making further moves.  Subsequent moves must then be recorded until the 5 minute threshold is breached again. ]

Peter Gill 20/10/2017