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.

4th February – Leighton Buzzard B v Bedford D

In order of completion, we lost first on board 3 when Callum failed to turn up having apparently confused the words “Tuesday” and “Thursday”. I (John) had another black against Brian Valentine and got nowhere fast. Ben, in an Evans Gambit, pointed his rooks, bishops and queen at the black king and impressively sledge-hammered his way through. Mark, playing the black side of a Kings Indian, reached the point where it looked like all of his pieces were going to be pushed off the board into his lap. A feisty sacrifice gave him some fun. but it was never quite going to work. Richard got the worst of the opening and dropped a pawn. He finally equalised (as white!) at about move 30, at which point they agreed a draw.

Home Team: Leighton Buzzard B Away Team: Bedford B
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Adrian Matthews 166 0.5 0.5 Richard Bodily 140e
2 Brian Valentine 161 1 0 John Harbour 141
3 Tony Readman 125 1 0 Callum Shields 123
4 Andre Eggenhoffner 125e 1 0 Mark Schofield 114
5 Ross Day 73e 0 1 Ben Pike 80e
Date Played: 04/02/2014 3.5 1.5

 

30th January – Bedford B v Leighton Buzzard A

Hard fought but always difficult with little reward for the top two boards (although board 1 might have been less reckless). Alex steadied the ship, John always had chances against the mercurial Hunt and Neil (see Games) avenged his loss earlier in the season with an efficient win.

Home Team: Bedford B Away Team: Leighton Buzzard A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 Steve Pike 170 0 1 Stephen Law 184
2 Giuseppe Valerio 156 0 1 Kevin Williamson 170
3 Alex Taylor 158 0.5 0.5 Andy Tinker 172
4 Neil Hickman 150 1 0 Brian J Valentine 161
5 John Harbour 141 0 1 Peter Hunt 166
Date Played: 30/01/2014 1.5 3.5

 

14th January – Leighton Buzzard A v Bedford A

 

  Home Team: Leighton Buzzard A   Away Team: Bedford A
Board Name Grade Score Score Name Grade
1 John R Sharp 190 1 0 Paul F Habershon 191
2 Stephen Law 184 0 1 Steven C Ledger 188
3 Andy Tinker 172 0.5 0.5 Rajan Ganger 183
4 Kevin J Williamson 170 1 0 Ravi Arulnandhy 183
5 Peter Hunt 166 0.5 0.5 Michael T Botteley 165
Date Played: 14/01/2014

9th January 2014 – Bedfordshire County Individual Round 1

Bedford (players bolded below) is well-represented in the tournament this year.  The first round took place at Milton Keynes.

 

Board        White

Black

1 Paul Habershon  191 1 v 0 Adrian Matthews 166
2 Brian Valentine  161 0 v 1 Steve Ledger 188
3 Richard Freeman  187 1 v 0 Rob Whiteside 160
4 Ray Holland  152 0 v 1 Ravi Arulnandhy 183
5 Rajan Ganger  183 1 v 0 Michael Joseph 152 (played 16/1)
6 Tim Puleston  139 0 v 1 Graham Smith 182
7 Graham Borrowdale  180 1 v 0 Colin Solloway 129
8 Sajan Ganger  123 0 v 1 Steve Pike 170 (played 13/1)
9 Kevin Williamson  170 1 v 0 Dave Phillips 114
10 Bryan Leggett  88 0 v 1 Adrian Elwin 169
11 Peter Hunt  166 1 v 0 Ben Pike 80