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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Test yourself against the club's finest - Cancelled

Due to lack of interest the event below has been cancelled. Instead we will run a 5-round, 15-minute tournament. Just the usual £1 in the pot.



To mix things up a little and also to raise some funds for the club, our next event at chess club will be a Simultaneous exhibition. To help with planning, it would be great if you could let me know whether you’ll be joining us. Just drop an email to Steve Lovell. For details on the event, read on.


When

Thursday 30 August, 7:15pm at Moreton Hall Community Centre. 7:30pm start, or as close to that as we can manage.


Format

Clock simul using the Bury League timing of 70 mins + 15 sec/move. If the games are over with time to spare, we may be treated to some coaching afterwards.


Your Opposition

Adults should expect to play Mike Harris and juniors should expect to play Jaden Jermy. Depending on numbers in each category, strong juniors may be asked to play Mike or weaker adults to play Jaden. Read on for a little info on both possible opponents.
Mike Harris has an ECF Grade of 220, putting him at 73rd in the list of England’s top players. The grade is comfortably enough to earn the title of National Master. Using the standard formula that grade would convert to a FIDE rating of 2350, which would be enough to earn Mike the title of FM (FIDE Master).
Jaden Jermy has an ECF Grade of 164, putting him 12th in the list of England’s top u14 players and joint 100th in the list of u18s. Jaden won the Bury St Edmunds Club Championship in both 2017 and 2018 (confirmed just last week). Details of both events can be found on the club website. There have been some great articles on Jaden in the local press, for example here.


Entry Fees


Playing
Mike
Playing
Jaden
Adult
£ 5 (£ 10)
£ 5
Junior
£ 5
£ 5
Newbie*
£ 1
£ 1

* Not a member last season, and not a member of another chess club.


If you win

Your entry fee will be returned.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Jaden Jermy retains club championship title

The club championship was held over the summer weeks again this year, and saw thirteen of our members compete in the five-round event. Jaden scored a full five-out-of-five, winning the event by one-and-a-half points.

The full cross-table of results is available here.



With Jaden having won the 2017 event, there was no danger of his opponents underestimating him this time around. I faced his favourite London system in the second round. My forces swiftly found themselves in an uncomfortable bind as Jaden's kingside pawns marched forward to open up my king, which succumed to a mating attack after a mere 23 moves. His other opponents held out rather longer, but all ultimately met the same fate. Until we reached the final round I didn't see much of Jaden's other games, but the results speak for themselves.

Jaden would face Bob Jones in the final round and a draw would be enough to retain the title. Needing to win, Bob used the white pieces to create complications from the outset, and generated a vicious attack using the Morra Gambit. So menacing was the attack that, at least to my eyes, it continued to look dangerous even after Bob lost a bishop by inadvertently releasing it on the wrong square. Jaden navigated his way through the complications, calmly collecting and retaining the extra material, and going on to win.

Congratulations Jaden on another very well played event!

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Seaching for a Swindle

The following position is from my recent game against Jon Collins in the club championship. I have the black pieces, and it's me to move.


White's plan is obvious. Get the rooks onto black's back rank and mate with Ra8#. Those queenside pawns create a tomb for the black king. According to Stockfish, black's best move is Nc5, but even then it gives an evaluation of +5 for white. Black will die a slow death. In this sort of situation, why not look for a swindle?

Swindles rely on the opponent not seeing the danger, cooperating with your sneaky plan when they don't have to, or playing plausible moves without sufficient thought. It can be easy to make mistakes like these when you're clearly winning.

That's why I should have tried Ng5. Can you see what the idea is?

A plausible continuation is :

Rd8+ Ka7
Rc8 Nf3+
Kg3

White mustn't play Kh1, as Re1# is mate.

...   h4+

This leaves only the black knight and rook with moves, so now to secure the full point white must avoid

Kxf3 Re3+

When the desperado rook is invulnerable, but the white king cannot hide from the checks, and taking the rook (unless with a pawn) will leave stalemate!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Club Championship 2018

Results and a cross-table for the 2018 event are available here.



Following the success of last year's event, we are again running the Club Championship over the summer. Apologies for the late publication of dates.

Format
It will be organised as a 5-round Swiss event, using Fischer Timing (70 mins + 15 sec / move). The event will run in one or two grading sections depending on entries.

Rounds
We have set aside the following club nights for the five rounds:
Round 1:   10th May
Round 2:   7th June (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 3:   21st June (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 4:   19th July (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 5:   16th August (or at or before the next club night, 30th August, by prior agreement)
Entry
The event is open to all club members holding ECF membership. Pairings for round 1 will be finalised "on the day" allowing you to simply turn up to enter. If you want to enter but would like to take a bye in the first round, please notify the organiser, Steve Lovell.

Byes
Entrants may nominate one round as a half-point-bye, and must do so before that round is paired. A second bye will be permitted, but this will be a zero-point bye. For the purpose of pairing, a player in the top half of the draw who has received a zero-point bye will treated as having scored a half-point.
Failure to play in three rounds will result in automatic withdrawal from the competition.

Members may also express an interest in playing as a "filler" if they know in advance they will not be available for sufficient rounds to fully participate.

Pairings and Flexible Dates of Play
Pairings for rounds 2 to 5 will be made available in advance as soon as the organiser can manage. Games for rounds 2 to 5 need not be played on the listed dates. However, if they are not to be played on the listed dates, the date of play must (a) be agreed by both parties before the date listed for the round and (b) be before the date listed for the following round (or for the final round, on or before the following club night).

Where not playing on the listed date, the agreed date of play should be communicated to the organiser, Steve Lovell, before the listed date. This allows a player present on the listed date to claim a default should their opponent be absent, though we will repair if possible. Players will be responsible for sourcing the necessary equipment (board, set, clocks, score sheets), though the organiser may be able to assist if help is required.

To prevent delay in producing pairings for subsequent rounds, where a game has not yet been played, it will be assumed to have been won by any player graded 20 or more points higher than their opponent, and otherwise to have been drawn. The players scores will be corrected retrospectively if required.

Notification of Results
Both players in any game must notify the result to the organiser, Steve Lovell.

Tie-Breaks
(1) Direct encounter
(2) Rapid or Blitz Playoff, playing once with each colour
(3) Step (2) will be repeated until a winner is determined

The first tie break is the result between the players involved in the tie. If this is not decisive or not all the players involved in the tie have played each other, then those involved will play an all-play-all mini-tournament to decide the winner, with each pairing occurring twice to ensure a fair colour distribution. Those involved in the tie-break will decide between time controls of 25m+10s or 3m+2s (because these are easily set on a DGT 2010). If agreement cannot be reached, the time control will be decided by the toss of a coin. These games will take place at the earliest opportunity which is convenient for the players (and not necessarily all in one evening).

Friday, 30 March 2018

Match vs Hammersmith Chess Club - 7th April (at our venue)

Hammersmith will be bringing 12 players, with a wide range of grades. In addition to meeting us over the chess board, they are keen to meet us off the board, and plan to visit the Old Cannon Brewery when we're finished.

As Hammersmith are paying their travel fees and for accommodation, we'll be paying the venue hire. We may be able to get this reduced, but it looks like it'll work out at £7 per player (but you'll get free tea and coffee).

Programme:

10:30 am: Arrival and Welcome

11:00 am: Standard play match (graded)
  • Time control: 36 moves in 80 minutes, plus 15 mins + 15 sec / move (from move 1).

3:30 pm: Optional Blitz (not graded, as ECF only grade Rapidplay)
  • Those not interested in Blitz may want to go home / to the pub at this stage.
  • 5 round Swiss-ish. Paired BSE vs Hammers as far as possible.
  • 5 min + 2 sec

5:00 pm: Tidy

5:30 pm: Close / Pub / Home

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

January Grades are Out

As you may have seen elsewhere, the mid-season grades were published yesterday. You can find them via the ECF Grading Database at ecfgrading.org.uk, I hope you're pleased with what you find there!

I'd normally also have them listed on our membership page, but the lower half of that is currently broken. I hope to fix it soon!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Club Championship Results

In a change from recent years, we ran our Club Championship over the summer break rather than our usual programme of events. The only unbeaten player over the five round event was up-and-coming junior Jaden Jermy, who finished a full point clear of his nearest challenger.

The full cross-table of results is available here.

Over the coming weeks I hope to add some of the games to the club website here.



The tournament began before the summer grades were published, so seeding was based on older grades from January 2017. As a result, Jaden was paired against top seed Steve Ruthen in the first round. Jaden surprised Steve with the quality of his play, and after winning a piece in a complex middle-game, quickly went on to win with some very elegant moves.

In the second round, he comfortably beat yours truly (Steve Lovell), and then in the third he took down Bob Jones. These games contained few fireworks. Jaden played calmly, reaching materially equal endgames ... but he judged the transition into those endgames better than his opponents and with this king and pawns better placed went on to win each with relative ease. I was impressed by Jaden's calm and mature approach and his ability to determine which exchanges would work in his favour.

After a taking a bye in round four, Jaden was paired against Jon Collins in the fifth and final round. On paper it was still possible for any of four players to win the event, and I'd had to devise a system of tie-breaks to cater for the possibility of a three-way tie. But Jaden made all of that unnecessary, extracting himself like a magician from the opening difficulties which Jon appeared to have created for him and then going on to win.

A close look at the cross-table shows that Jaden had comfortably the most difficult draw of anyone in the event. He played and beat the top four seeds, all graded over 140 ECF.

Many congratulations Jaden. It was a thoroughly deserved result.