Bedford C disappoint

Having drawn the away fixture, just missing out on a win, and bolstered by Mike Botteley on top board, I had high hopes for this fixture against the leaders in Division 2 last night particularly when they turned up without Graham Borrowdale. We comfortably out graded them but it was not to be!

I failed to convert a middle game rated by Hiarcs at one point as 5 points better and when still just about level I left a Rook en prise to a pawn. My opponent Dominic Bartram has won 7 games in the league so far with one draw and no losses mostly against much higher rated opponents. He didn’t play the opening at all well but outplayed me in the ending. I think I was the first to fall but Joe soon followed. I can’t say much about his game against Josue Fernandez – one moment it looked fine and the next he and his opponent were analysing a mate. And to complete the rout of our middle order Richard had all his major pieces aiming at Colin Solloway’s King but got nowhere and ended up in a pawn and minor piece ending a pawn down against an opponent he had beaten twice before this season. He battled on but could not resist a monstrous pair of connected passed pawns in the centre which hatched into a Queen – more than enough to squash Richard’s own hopes of promoting a pawn.

Mike did the business on Board 1 against James D’Alexander converting pressure from a pawn advantage to a classic bank rank mate against the fianchettoed King position with Rook and Bishop. That just left Robert playing on board 5. (When did we last have a Club Div 1 Player on bottom board for the C team?). He didn’t have things all his own way but eventually managed to free his extra pawn to promote.

So a very disappointing 2-3 defeat.

Mike Botteley 1 – 0 James D’Alexander
Joe Valerio 0 – 1 Josue Fernandez
Richard McMorran 0 – 1 Colin Solloway
Peter Gill 0 – 1 Dominic Bartram
Robert Walker 1 – 0 Paul Endersby
2 – 3

Peter Gill, 8th February 2019

Bedford A take the derby spoils

Bedford A hosted Bedford B as both teams kicked off the second half of their seasons with the A Team looking to re-boot their title challenge and B Team looking to pull away from trouble at the bottom of the table.

Blink and you missed the Board 1 clash between Marc and Steve. Marc tried a Ledge-esque opening and initially looked OK, but unfortunately had one of those moments we have all experienced of missing a tactic, and managed to get his queen trapped on h5.

James made is B Team debut against Richard on board 2. A Queen’s Gambit led to a an level position with James having more space, but an isolated queen’s pawn. Matters took a Karpov-Kasparov turn (think about all those exciting draws in their first match) and the game was halved in 18 moves.

Qais faced Andy on Board 5 and initially the game was even, but after queens were exchanged Qais appeared to have a clear advantage with a better bishop v knight and more active rooks. Qais pushed his kingside pawns effective and firstly pushed a protected passed pawn to h6 then finished with bishop sacrifice which was going to lead to the pawn promoting.

Board 4 saw Steve take on Ravi. A Queen’s Indian-style opening saw Ravi get the bishop pair and an awful lot of space. At one point it looked like Steve was going to get crushed in the centre, but he managed to hang grimly on to an ending, where Ravi stood clearly better. I have to confess I did not see the end, but Ravi converted his advantage to a full point.

My game against Paul (see below)was a re-match from earlier in the season. I thought I was OK in the opening (another Queen’s Gambit), but played e5 too early – realising this was a mistake as I played the move. It gave Paul all sorts of chances to take on f7 and cause mayhem, but luckily for me he did not play it quite in the right order. Nevertheless Paul had a clear advantage, which he held into the endgame – a draw offer was refused, but I was not able to create any chances and a draw was agreed.

A 3-2 victory for the A Team re-ignites their title campaign; for the B Team their next match against MK B and their April clash against Luton now look key to their survival chances.

Alex Taylor, 8th February 2019

Youth triumphs

No revenge for the old codgers as the young whippersnappers of the D Team completed a double against us.

Unfortunately our top board Joe Valerio had to pull out on the day because of illness, so Nigel Walker who, as luck would have it, had just returned after a 6 month break from chess was able to step into the breach, playing on board 4. Lucian Cox never got enough for his gambit pawn and Nigel eventually cashed in for a win.
However gone are the days when you could pretty much say two Walkers – two wins. Robert Walker, having achieved a winning position, blundered twice against Callum Shields. He might have survived one blunder but not two.

Mac MacKenzie got into a King and pawn ending a pawn down against Ben Pike and eventually succumbed. I couldn’t work out what was going between Richard McMorran and John Harbour. At one stage I think Richard had two minor pieces for rook and pawn but then he seemed to have cornered John’s King with a tasty choice of dangerous discovered checks. It ended in a draw – perhaps by a perpetual check for one or other!

Regular readers will have noticed more than the usual lack of detail in this report. Playing on Board 1 for only the second time in decades I had my hands full playing rising star Toby Cox. I knew he would play the French and decided to follow our last game (in which I managed to scrape a draw) but carelessly played e5 instead of Nc6 on move 3 and found myself in unfamiliar territory. He soon equalised and throughout the middle game he was better but never by very much. As the first time control loomed I wasted a lot of time pondering a Knight sacrifice to get at his King. (It would have been a disaster.) In the end I opted for exchanging off the rooks and got to a drawn ending which, short of time and endgame technique, I duly lost.

Peter Gill 0 – 1 Toby cox
Richard McMorran 0.5 – 0.5 John Harbour
Robert Walker 0 – 1 Callum Shields
Nigel Walker 1 – 0 Lucian Cox
Mac Mackenzie 0 – 1 Ben Pike
1.5 – 3.5

January gradings are out!

Old news really – sorry, I was throwing myself down a mountain last week – but worth a look if you haven’t already.  Very little movement but praise should go to all the Cox’s and Qais who hit all-time highs.  Toby managed a 10+ increase also which is always impressive in this context in 6 months!

Name Standard Grade January 2019 Standard Grade July 2018
Ravi Arulnandhy 168 D 169 D
Mindaugas Beinoras 227 D 229 D
Richard Bodily 176 B 178 B
Mike Botteley 153 B 154 A
Andy chapman 166 C 169 C
Nick Collacott 166 C 164 C
Ben Cox 130 A 124 A
David Cox 74 A 63 A
Lucian Cox 111 A 107 A
Toby Cox 150 A 139 A
James Gardner 171 B 167 C
Peter Gill 133 C 138 C
Paul Habershon 183 A 180 A
John Harbour 141 C 139 C
Chris Hill 146 B 140 B
Qais Karimi 164 A 159 A
Tony Lawrence 49 C 54 D
Steve Ledger 188 A 186 A
Mac Mackenzie 67 C 71 C
Richard McMorran 138 A 132 A
Gerry Nolan 127 D
Marc Obi 167 A 167 A
Ben Pike 102 D 103 C
Steve Pike 168 C 170 C
Callum Shields 137 D 134 E
Alex Taylor 164 C 163 C
Giuseppe Valerio 149 C 150 C
Robert Walker 128 C 128 B

Bedford D 0-5 Open University

  Home Team: Bedford D   Away Team: Open University
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Toby Cox 139 0 1 Graham E Borrowdale 177
2 John J Harbour 139 0 1 James NO’D Alexander 149
3 Callum T Shields 134 0 1 Josue Estevez Fernandez 130e
4 Gerry Nolan 130e 0 1 Dominic Bartram 111
5 R David Cox 63 0 1 Paul Endersby 107
Played: 24/01/2019   0 5    

As I wandered around occasionally the other games were hard to judge: the typical complicated, level material, positions that we all get into. How we managed to lose them all is a mystery. All I can say is well done to the O.U. players.

In my game a dodgy “theoretical novelty” at move 5 led to a decent position where I eventually won a pawn. Disaster struck as I was coasting to victory, with more spectators than time.

Bedford A slip up


Home Team: Milton Keynes B Away Team: Bedford A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Richard CP Freeman 181 0 1 Mindaugas Beinoras 229
2 Francesca Matta 178 0 1 Steven C Ledger 186
3 Phillip Ekhaesomi 166 1 0 Richard T Bodily 178
4 Peter Edwards 160e 0.5 0.5 Paul F Habershon 180
5 Robert Whiteside 160 1 0 Andrew J Chapman 169
2.5 2.5
Played: 24/01/19
Bedford A slipped up again and were indeed lucky to draw the match. First to finish was Mindaugas whose central control proved too much for Richard when short of time. Mindaugas was then dismayed to see his four colleagues under time pressure and with poor positions. On Board 3 Richard at first seemed to have better development but once his opponent had untangled his pieces it was Richard whose king was more exposed and he reached a lost Q and N v Q and N ending two pawns down. On Board 5 Andy had a promising position but once the ending came his pawns were scattered  and weak. So we were 1-2 down with my game looking dire and Steve at best level in a rook ending after being a pawn up for most of the game. However, my opponent missed the killer punch (see game) and in the ending I even declined a draw in a level position in the hope of something good happening with both of us short of time. Eventually I thought I’d better not push my luck, agreed a draw, and then was delighted to see Steve pull off yet another trademark swindle with each side down to a rook and one pawn each. Steve’s h pawn was motoring and Francesca’s f pawn was going nowhere. Indeed the pawn soon fell and Francesca would have had to give up her rook when Steve’s pawn queened.
Paul Habershon