Bedford at the British!

Three quarters of the Cox’s and Paul Habershon have entered the British Championships at Torquay this year.

David lost his first game in the under-120 section. Toby and Lucian both have 1/2 in the under 14’s and 12’s respectively.

You can follow the Championships here but we are also lucky again to have some regular insights from Paul ….

“So here I am again, another year older but no wiser. I arrived on Ftiday and played unsuccessfully in the 5-round weekender: WLLDD for 2/5. It was either to exhaust myself or warm up for the Seniors. I am rated 16th of 50 players. Top seed is Danny Wright making a long delayed debut in the O-65s. Few of you are old enough to remember him from the 1960s when he won the Hastings Challengers and qualified to play in the following year’s elite 10-player Premier. However, in the usual top half v bottom half first round he only drew with Philip Stimpson, so I am temporarily ahead of him after a rather fortunate win v Colin Ramage. As you will see in the notes to the attached game I thought I had played well, but Fritz soon put me right afterwards. My opponent missed a win and then a draw.

There was an incident with the Rd 2 pairings this evening. I happened to be in a Chinese restaurant with Adrian Elwin, Stewart Reuben and others when Adrian decided to look up the pairings on his phone. Reuben was on Board 3 with one point but he had lost his first round game! Mild panic from the Director of Home Chess. All he could do was phone the relevant arbiter, but we decided the rule is that the pairings cannot be changed once published. We don’t yet know if the players wrote the wrong result on their scoresheets.” – Paul

Tales from the riverbank

Neil shows his observation and analytical skills are still well-honed …

Leonard Barden had a rather unfortunate account yesterday of a Latvian/Czech GM being caught whatever the equivalent of red-handed is when someone points a camera over the side partition of the bog and catches you analysing your game on your phone. The man concerned had a rather good game a few years ago against Keith Arkell which Arkell is now convinced involved cheating; he also got quite neatly stuffed by one D. Ledger. Neither game really fits into the categories on the site, but hey…

Old Americans

Richard suggests an interesting game between 2 decent GMs in USA seniors championship.

Jan Ehlvest blunders a piece on move 5 (!!) realising too late that 6 d4 isn’t possible then continues to find counterplay. The end of the game is unexplained but it is thought that they had agreed a draw on move 28 then realised they had to play to move 30 I think so it didn’t matter what they played. There is a massive swing in what the engine thinks of the position on moves 25-26.

All interesting stuff and shows what can be achieved.

July gradings are out

Name July 2019 January 2019 July 2018
Ravi Arulnandhy 170 C 168 D 169 D
Mindaugas Beinoras 228 D 227 D 229 D
Richard Bodily 173 B 176 B 178 B
Mike Botteley 160 C 153 B 154 A
Andy Chapman 160 B 166 C 169 C
Nick Collacott 170 C 166 C 164 C
Ben Cox 137 B 130 A 124 A
David Cox 77 A 74 A 63 A
Lucian Cox 113 A 111 A 107 A
Toby Cox 164 A 150 A 139 A
James Gardner 187 B 171 B 167 C
Peter Gill 135 C 133 C 138 C
Paul Habershon 175 A 183 A 180 A
John Harbour 133 C 141 C 139 C
Chris Hill 147 C 146 B 140 B
Qais Karimi 166 A 164 A 159 A
Tony Lawrence 45 C 49 C 54 D
Steve Ledger 195 A 188 A 186 A
Mac Mackenzie 68 D 67 C 71 C
Richard McMorran 138 A 138 A 132 A
Gerry Nolan 124 D 127 D
Marc Obi 160 A 167 A 167 A
Ben Pike 104 D 102 D 103 C
Steve Pike 163 C 168 C 170 C
Callum Shields 128 D 137 D 134 E
Alex Taylor 168 C 164 C 163 C
Giuseppe Valerio 140 D 149 C 150 C
Nigel Walker 96 E 95 D 95 D
Robert Walker 128 B 128 C 128 B

Some notable improvements by Steve L, James and Toby. Full details may be found here.

For team selection, an ordered list of available players may be helpful:-
228 – Mindaugas Beinoras
195 – Steve Ledger
187 – James Gardner
175 – Paul Habershon
173 – Richard Bodily
170 – Ravi Arulnandhy
170 – Nick Collacott
168 – Alex Taylor
166 – Qais Karimi
164 – Toby Cox
163 – Steve Pike
160 – Mike Botteley
160 – Andy Chapman
160 – Marc Obi
140 – Giuseppe Valerio
138 – Richard McMorran
137 – Ben Cox
135 – Peter Gill
128 – Callum Shields
128 – Robert Walker
113 – Lucian Cox
96 – Nigel Walker
77 – David Cox
68 – Mac Mackenzie
45 – Tony Lawrence





Junior success

Some junior chess news from the weekend.

Toby and Lucian both attended the “Gigafinal” of the UK Schools Chess Challenge in Manchester, one of four Gigafinals being held, having previously qualified from the more local “Megafinal”.

Lucian scored 4/6 in the Under 11 section. His tournament was noteworthy for playing against prodigy Yichen Han (candidate master, and a grade of 207!); Lucian managed to enter the end-game a pawn up, but was unable to sustain it and eventually lost.

Toby won the Under 14 section with a score of 5/6. He now goes on to compete with the winners from the other 3 Gigafinals in the Terafinal (the national final) in September.

Summer specials

Over the Summer, we will be once more organising some light-hearted (?) events:-

11 July             Time/material handicap                            Peter Gill

18 July             Variations                                                        Toby Cox/Joe Valerio

25 July             Endings                                                           Richard Bodily/Alex Taylor

1 August         Gambits                                                           Steve Ledger

Everyone is very welcome.

Additionally, Steve Ledger will be organising a curry evening in August to which John Harbour and Chris Hill will be invited so that we can give them both a proper send off – he will advise the date separately but let him know if you don’t hear.

Apart from the night chosen the club will be open throughout August for casual chess or one night competitions.

Division 2 playoffs – promotion decided

Thanks to Peter for his report:-


A hard fought draw in the second playoff game so James goes up. Mike managed to win a pawn but his own pawn structure was poor and though he later got to two Rooks against Bishop and Rook (I’m not sure how many pawns each by then) he had to settle for a draw.

Ravi plays the Game of the Season!

In the game of the season competition, Ravi’s game against Graham Borrowdale accrued the most votes. Nick’s game against Marek Gladysz and Qais’s draw with Steve Pike shared second place.

All three games are worth a look if you haven’t already.

Division 2 Playoffs

Thanks to Peter for his report:-

Despite pressure from Alex and having at one point been down to 7 seconds on the clock for all remaining moves Toby held out for a draw in a pawn and minor piece ending to clinch a place in Division 1, having won last week.

James, playing white against Mike in their first play off, had sustained pressure, chasing Mike’s King up the board and delivering a neat check mate by the Queen, I think from her starting square. They will play the second game on 11 July.