4NCL Divs 3 & 4 at Park Inn, Bedford Sat. 12th Jan. at 2 p.m. and Sun. 13th at 11 a.m..
Marc Obi and I in action for MK Phoenix 1 and 2 along with several Beds. League players. You do get a smattering of 2200+ players in these divisions. First time at Bedford, I think, and only time this season.
Neil Hickman (and I for that matter!), believes some of you may be interested in this survey from New in Chess. I have taken it and it didn’t immediately paralyse my laptop but obviously the risks are all yours.
Richard Bodily reports:-
I did visit again this year but only last Friday. They’ve split the venue and several days were sold out at the smaller site, Google HQ. Still good to see the Fide open though, just a few hours wandering around.
Anyway, I always look at the results in Round one for any surprises and there was one on Board 1, GM Bognor (2610) lost to Johnson (2111)!! That’s a 255 losing to Steve Ledger.
To be fair to the GM he recovered well to finish 0.5 point off the top.
Ed – Take a look at the game. See how the GM steadily builds up an advantage over the first 37 moves and then …!? – there’s hope for us all it seems.
The 5 old codgers of the C team faced the OU away last Thursday. Having lost heavily against the D team in our only previous game and against an OU team which had won their first three matches we were not at all confident.
Richard’s game against Colin Solloway was the first to finish when in a tense middle game Colin left a piece ( or two?) en prise. Joe and I, against higher graded players, were happy to settle for rather tame draws, but after glancing at the remaining games I got a bit excited. I saw that we might actually win!
Robert had grabbed a dangerous pawn in front of his King (a sac I think) and had survived the attack which followed to be the exchange up in an ending. But he had an abysmal Bishop, trapped behind its own pawns, and reluctantly had to settle for a draw. So we still needed half a point for a memorable win!
All eyes turned to Board 5 where Tony having outplayed his much higher graded opponent in the opening had not managed to finish him off. Never mind – material was level and neither player had made any progress for several moves. His opponent offered a draw but Tony thought he saw something in the position which no-one else in the large crowd could see. He would have none of it.
I would like to have dropped a heavy hint by offering to tell him the match position but Adrian Elwin, ECF Director of Home Chess no less, told me that would not be proper (at least whilst Tony was at the board). Nor apparently are a player’s Captain and colleagues allowed to stand opposite the player to watch the game. Had Tony been able to see my body language there might have been a different outcome! I am of course famously draw ready.
As it was Tony played on and blundered the exchange within a few moves. A bit tragic for him after playing so well in the opening but if we had been offered a drawn match at the start of the evening we’d have jumped at it!
Peter Gill, 16th December 2018
No excuses, on the top three boards Bedford were comprehensively outplayed.
Steve and I both reached inferior Q and B versus powerful Q and N positions and duly succumbed.
Richard lasted longer but reached a rook and pawn ending one pawn down and Adrian proved that not all rook endings are drawn.
The last time I saw Board 4 it had a double-edged middlegame position but I didn’t see how it ended.
Qais arrived nearly half an hour late, but clocks do not faze him and he was the first to finish after a dominating position led to material gain.
Unfortunately one win wasn’t going to save the day. Milton Keynes A maintained their 100% score, including a win v Leighton Buzzard, so a lot depends on the return matches.
Paul Habershon, 8th December 2018
… not in Spanish apparently!