Bedford A v MK A

Great 4-1 win for the A team to keep their title hopes (and the B team’s third place aspirations!) alive.
Notes by Paul:-

  • Ravi was first to win. Borrowdale gave up a pawn for active play which seemed only to expose his own K side.
  • Bd 1 got into a major piece ending where Steve neutralised pressure on his f7 pawn and eventually drew when it came down to a rook and pawns each.
  • I won a pawn on Bd 2 going into a rook and minor piece ending, but my bishop wasn’t working as well as his knight and a draw was agreed, fine for me as Ravi had already won and we were up on the bottom two boards.
  • Nick somehow got to be an exchange up and hung on to it before returning it for a won knight ending. A frantic time scramble ended with Nick delivering mate with his flag already ‘down’ (do we say ‘showing’ for a digital clock?!). Possibly Adrian could have previously claimed a win on time as he still had a pawn on the board. see game
  • I was down in the bar when Peter Gill came down to say there was a dispute on Bd 5, apparently involving inability to add two minutes to a clock. Luckily my technical expertise was not called on because Adrian Elwin, a qualified arbiter of course, had already sorted it all. The position by then was a trivial win for Michael and he had enough time. I remember seeing some tightwire tactics in the middlegame.
Home Team: Milton Keynes A Away Team: Bedford A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Graham Smith 182 0.5 0.5 Steven C Ledger 188
2 Richard Freeman 187 0.5 0.5 Paul F Habershon 191
3 Graham Borrowdale 180 0 1 Ravi Arulnandhy 183
4 Adrian Elwin 169 0 1 Nick P Collacott See game 167
5 David Martinez-Willena 174 0 1 Michael Botteley 165
Date Played: 13/03/2014 1 4

 

OU v Bedford D

Home Team: Open University
Away Team: Bedford D
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 George Ward 147 0 1 Richard Bodily 140e
2 Aidar Talibzhanov 143 1 0 John Harbour 141
3 Mark Wasserberg 132 1 0 Gerry Nolan 141e
4 Richard Keane 120 0 1 Callum Shields 123
5 David Phillips 114 1 0 Ben Pike 80e
Date Played: 13/03/2014 3 2
  • Ben played a solid opening and looked fine until he dropped a couple of pawns. When Dave forced the queens off it was all over.
  • Callum played a fine game, and finished it off with a neat rook sacrifice to force mate.
  • Gerry’s game looked under control until he swapped two minor pieces for rook and pawn. Mark’s extra piece proved stronger than Gerry’s passed pawn.
  • John was solid but short of space after the opening but then allowed Aidar to push his queen into a corner. It never got out again!
  • Richard was better against George, though over 30 minutes behind on the clock as George played rapidly as usual. Then Richard dropped a piece to a fork, but managed to push a pawn to the 7th as compensation. In a wild and exciting finish George tried to find a mate, and in doing so underestimated the threat to his own king.

John

6th March – MK B v Bedford B

The B team more or less cemented their position in division 1 for next season with an efficient demolition of the only other second team in the top flight. The home team looked second favourite on every board from quite early on – it finished 4-1 but might have been more!

  • Ekhaesomi clearly does not visit our website or he would have not followed the same game as last year – Pike played a little dubiously (as ever) at times but won in 22 moves inside the hour
  • Joe played a calm captains role, efficiently converting a space advantage against Whiteside  into a winning R+Ps endgame
  • Alex obtained a strong middle game position with Holland’s king and queen caught in the centre.   He converted this into an advantageous N+Ps ending but running very short of time had to concede a draw
  • Mike won a piece in the opening against Puleston and never looked troubled
  • Neil looked to have the better of a rather weird game (imho – Ed) against Ward but settled for the draw with one eye on the team’s result.

3rd March – Kents Luton v Bedford D

Home Team: Kents Luton Away Team: Bedford D
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Andrew Perkins 188 0.5 0.5 Richard T Bodily 140e
2 Michael Joseph 152 0 1 John J Harbour 141
3 Pete Montgomery

145 0 1 Gerry Nolan
see game
141e
4 Marek Gladysz 142 0.5 0.5 Callum T Shields 123
5 Samir Vora 140 1 0 Ben Pike 80e
Date Played: 03/03/2014 2 3

Captain John’s notes – in approximate finishing order:-

  • Callum and Marek swapped off some pieces and agreed a draw
  • Ben played the Morra Gambit against Samir but got distracted on the Kingside when the c file was begging to be owned
  • Gerry planted a bishop on d6 early on, and Pete’s position was horrible from then on see game
  • Richard had no real problems against Andrew’s Sicilian and agreed a draw an exchange up with just four minutes left on his clock
  • Michael and I manoeuvred patiently (at one point he played Nf3-e1-d3-c1-b3 – I thought it was better placed on f3). At the first time control we had exchanged just three pairs of pawns, and we entered the blitz finish in a complicated middle game position. We both missed chances (Fritz has him as +6 immediately before the move that allowed me to win a piece) and his final mistake was to resign when we both had a minute left and I could easily have lost on time trying to mate him.

So Luton suffered their first defeat of the season. Up the Ds!!

 

27th February – Bedford D v Bedford C

The division two derby match was a titanic battle – a joint(?) report from both team captains.

  • Alex and Richard fought out a Sicilian and agreed a fairly early draw.
  • Chris got nothing as white out of a Catalan Opening (“… need better opening preparation – story of my chess life!”) and was forced to go into a QRR v QRR middlegame with black having the advantage of a Qside majority. Gerry declined an opportunity to go into a probably advantageous Rook ending and Chris managed to hold the draw.
  • Callum built up a strong attack against Peter and always appeared (at least!) to be in control.
  • Ben pushed a phalanx of pawns into Mac’s position but met strong resistance.  When Ben failed to capitalise on his space advantage, Mac unravelled his position to win well.

At two points each, all eyes then turned to board two – John had got the worst of the opening against Peter, but fought through to a K+4P each ending (“Peter amazed me by swapping queens into a seemingly lost K&P ending but our resident expert, the correspondence GM Joe ‘Stockfish’ Valerio, declared the game a draw from the word go!” – Chris) whereupon he turned down Peter’s draw offer.  The outcome of the game (and the match) then seemed to swing from side to side before finally ending in a draw, to halve the match.

 

The captains’ final quotes:-
“With just under a minute left Peter was K+Q vs K+P+P and accepted a draw offer, causing shouts of derision from the spectators…. it’s fair to say that the D team were more pleased with the result than the C team!” – John.
“Victory was snatched from our grasp by Peter’s draw offer but a draw was a fair result to both game and match.” – Chris

 

Home Team: Bedford D Away Team: Bedford C
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Richard T Bodily 140e 0.5 0.5 Alex Taylor 158
2 John J Harbour 141 0.5 0.5 Peter S Gill 133
3 Gerry Nolan 110e 0.5 0.5 Chris Hill 134
4 Callum T Shields 123 1 0 Peter T Housden 102
5 Ben Pike 80e 0 1 RW (Mac) MacKenzie 72
Date Played: 27/02/2014 2.5 2.5

20th February – Bedford B v Bedford A

The A team were comfortable winners in the derby match.

Steve Ledger won efficiently, an exchange sacrifice obliterating Pike’s position.  This gives Mr Ledger 8/8 in the league which is outstanding by any standard.  Ravi never looked in trouble against Joe who suffered on the clock after a late arrival.  Alex and Paul fought out a hard draw.  Nick’s welcome return to league chess was spoilt by finding Neil in good form – the only winner for the B team.  Chris capped his first game for the A team this season with a rather amusing smothered mate (with a Bishop!).

This result leaves the A team out in front of division 1.  Leighton Buzzard and MK with matches in hand  have dropped fewer points but still have to play each other twice.

Home Team: Bedford B Away Team: Bedford A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Steve Pike 170 0 1 Steven C Ledger 188
2 Giuseppe Valerio 156 0 1 Ravi Arulnandhy 183
3 Alex Taylor 158 0.5 0.5 Paul F Habershon 191
4 Neil Hickman 150 1 0 Nick P Collacott 167
5 John J Harbour 141 0 1 Chris Hill 134
Date Played: 20/02/2014 1.5 3.5

(random notes by SCP)

13th February – Bedford D v Kents Luton

Richard achieved a fine draw with black against Andrew Perkins. Callum scored the best win of his chess career against Michael Joseph, again with black. Gerry drew against Pete Montgomery, fending off what looked like strong pressure the one time I glanced at his game.

Mark left his king looking a bit lonely against John Kelly and suffered the consequences. I (John H) won a piece on move 10 in a King’s Gambit – then it all went wrong. A series of backwards moves put me under pressure, then I spotted a line that led to mate on f7. At the end of this I picked up the f7 pawn, and realised that my rook on h8 was not going to defend my queen. Qxf7+??, Kxf7, white resigns.

Home Team: Bedford D Away Team: Kents Luton
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Richard T Bodily 140e 0.5 0.5 Andrew Perkins 188
2 John J Harbour 141 0 1 Damon D’Cruz 156
3 Callum T Shields 123 1 0 Michael Joseph 152
4 Gerry Nolan 110e 0.5 0.5 Pete Montgomery 145
5 Mark Schofield 114 0 1 John F Kelly 122
Date Played: 16/01/2014 2 3

 

10th February 2014 – Bedfordshire County Individual Round 2

The second round took place (mostly) at the Kents Luton Club (Bedford players bolded below).

Board        White

Black

1 Graham Smith 182 (1)    1 v  0 (1) Paul Habershon 191
2 Steve Ledger 188 (1)    1 v  0 (1) Kevin Williamson 170
3 Steve Pike 170 (1)  0.5 v 0.5 (1) Richard Freeman 187
4 Ravi Arulnandhy 183 (1)  0.5 v 0.5 (1) Peter Hunt 166
5 Adrian Elwin 169 (1)    1 v DEF (1) Rajan Ganger 183
6 Adrian Matthews 166 (0)    1 v  0 (1) Graham Borrowdale 180
7 Colin Solloway 129 (0) DEF v  1 (0) Brian Valentine 161
8 Rob Whiteside 160 (0)    1 v  0 (0) Sajan Ganger 123
9 Dave Phillips 114 (0)    0 v  1 (0) Ray Holland 152
10 Michael Joseph 152 (0)    1 v  0 (0) Bryan Leggett 88
11 Ben Pike 80 (0)    0 v  1 (0) Tim Puleston 139

6th February – Bedford A v Milton Keynes B & Bedford C v Kents Luton

Chris Hill reports on a busy night!

I was present at a remarkable evening at the North End Working Men’s Club last night. The chess was hard-fought but lacking in great quality and certainly in brilliancy but that didn’t matter. The chess club was more alive than on possibly any night I can remember, and certainly on any night since we left St Marks. We have only 22 members in the club but 18 of them were present last night, 10 playing in the A and C Team matches, 4 playing in Division 2 of the Club championship and another 4 drinking, chatting and pointing out the various errors made by the 14 actually playing! Certainly this was the sort of scene that North End envisaged when they offered us the room for £10 per night – plenty of imbibing and cash handed over the bar rather than a few geeks shut away, invisible to the usual members downstairs. But a happy medium should be struck – surely 4 or 5 pints during a game cannot increase playing strength (no names!) and captains should encourage a more conservative approach! The noise levels were perfect – did someone pull the plug on the jukebox!?

In terms of the chess, I cannot say much as, having obtained an excellent position against Andrew Perkins after 15-20 moves, I was keen not to let the tiger escape. But it is one thing to get a strong position against such an experienced and technically sound opponent, quite another to turn that into a winning position and after a long period of sparring he offered a draw which was gratefully received. The rest of the team battled hard into the endgame but against higher-graded opponents a single additional draw, achieved by Mac, was all we had to show for our efforts.

Home Team: Bedford C Away Team: Kents Luton
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Chris Hill 134 0.5 0.5 Andrew Perkins 188
2 Peter S Gill 133 0 1 Damon D’Cruz 156
3 Gerry Nolan 110e 0 1 Michael Joseph 152
4 Peter T Housden 102 0 1 Pete Montgomery 145
5 RW (Mac) MacKenzie 72 0.5 0.5 John Kelly 122
Date Played: 06/02/2014 1 4

The A Team match showed how easily the likes of Milton Keynes B (and indeed our own B Team) can make life very difficult for the top teams. We could easily have lost on Boards 3 & 4 which would have ended our title hopes for the season but Paul (see game) and Mike gained a vital draw and win respectively and, with a point from the ever reliable Steve Ledger, 2 match points were obtained and the pressure on Leighton Buzzard A maintained.

Home Team: Bedford A Away Team: Milton Keynes B
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Rajan Ganger 183 0.5 0.5 Robert Whiteside 160
2 Steven C Ledger 188 1 0 Ray Holland 152
3 Paul F Habershon
see game
191 0.5 0.5 Tim Puleston 139
4 Michael T Botteley 165 1 0 George Ward 147
5 Alex Taylor 158 0.5 0.5 Zbigniew Ledwon 133
Date Played: 06/02/2014 3.5 1.5

Strangely the two club games continued long after the matches had ended – John and Callum (master and pupil a la Star Wars) fought out a draw where neither seemed to want to accept the half point – with the pupil getting closer and closer to becoming the master. Joe finally wore down Sajan to claim a win.

So the evening was enjoyed by most if not all. I visited one of the few absent members this morning. Nigel is looking a lot better and looks forward to playing in the re-scheduled C Team fixture against MK C in April though we may not see him at the club for a while yet.