All the Latest News from the St John's Chess Club 2017-18
Dear St Johns Club Members,
On another great night at the club, it was a pleasure see Jonathan Wells in the Coachmakers. Jonathan is one of the top players in the county, and I worried briefly who we might find to give him a decent game. Anyway, he was there to introduce yet another potential new member, Mike, who lives just around the corner, and who enjoyed playing several friendlies against Richard. Our young Spanish visitor from last week also showed up and played some friendlies with Ed.
Meanwhile in the Rapidplay, Alan and Vijay won one game each (both victories with the white bits) in their Group C encounter. I have the score-sheet for both games (the opening that Alan employed in his win was apparently a Reversed Leningrad, Flying Dutchman Variation!) and I will upload to the club website whichever game seems the most interesting, later on this week.
Action aplenty in the Ladder, and the following results were recorded:
Richard v John 1 - 0 Richard will be challenging for top spot next week. If he gets there, how long can he stay there?
Gerry v Sebastian 0 - 1 The Sebastinator continues to make his mark in this competition, and may also soon be vying for top spot.
Harry v David E 1 - 0 Harry gets off the mark with his first game under rules.
Brian v Simon 0.5 - 0.5 Both players agreed that the position was just too complicated for their tired little brains after a long day. Phew!
There's a real buzz about the chess club at the moment, and I hope we are soon able to carry that forward into an enjoyable and successful league and cup season.
As always, updates attached, will post on the website and all games will be submitted for grading.
Dear Club Members,
Good, competitive, interesting chess was the order of the day at the Coachmakers, as several Internal Ladder and Rapidplay group stage games were played out. At the same time, the club's reputation for fun, social chess was much in evidence, with several friendlies between members, and the visit of a young Spanish couple who seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
In the Rapidplay group stages, just one fixture was played out, with David P taking all the points from a still a little off-colour Gerry.
In the Ladder, we saw the following results:
Tom v Rod 0 - 1
John v Dennis 0 - 1
Nigel v Brian 1 - 0
Alan v David E 0 - 1
John is the beneficiary of the anomaly I described last week, laddering down two places by losing to Dennis, then laddering back up one as a result of Alan's loss to David E. I have incorporated my solution to this (entering results in the order in which they come in) into the list of rules for the competition.
The game between Alan and David E looked fascinating. When I looked, Alan had seven connected pawns to David's two, in exchange for a rook. That's one of those situations where the chess books will tell you it is materially level, and really strong players will often favour the mass of pawns over the lone rook. I always seem to find that the rook just slowly gobbles up all the pawns, one by one, and that was the fate that Alan ultimately suffered.
In my game against Nigel, I was given a masterclass in sound positional technique. It isn't necessary to blunder away a piece in order to lose against a player of Nigel's strength. I just placed my queen, as early as move four, on a square that I should have reserved as an escape square for my knight, and Nigel just ruthlessly exploited that weakness until the knight was trapped and lost, then placed his own knight on an unassailable central square, and built his attack around that piece. It was lovely stuff to be on the wrong end of!
As always, updated ladder/results tables attached, games all to be submitted for grading, website updated.
Let's do it all again next week!
St Johns club members Alan Holmes and David Elsey battle out the finish of their Internal Ladder match. Alan had five pawns for David's extra rook, in a tricky endgame. Which way would it go? - 14/09/2017
With no fewer than five Ladder matches and three Rapidplay double-headers tonight, it was difficult to keep track of all the action.
In the Ladder competition the results were as follows:
David E v John 1 - 0 (Our newest member John Waite joined the ladder in top position with an estimated 50 grade, but lost his first game and so drops to second place)
Ed v David P 0 - 1
Rod v Richard 0 - 1
Sebastian v Nigel 1 - 0 (Sebastian obviously has some talent. His initial 125 estimated grade may well need revision before too much longer!)
Alan v Dennis 0.5 - 0.5
Tonight's results have highlighted an an anomaly in the ladder scoring method. When there are several games on the same evening between players positioned near to each other on the ladder, it is possible that a player may find himself laddering up as a result of a win, only to ladder back down again if the player subsequently below him also wins. David Payne has been affected by this tonight; laddering up three places by beating Ed King, then dropping back one place as Sebastian leapfrogged him by defeating Nigel. I have decided that the only fair way to address this is to enter the revised positions on the ladder in the sequence in which the games finish. So as David's win came earlier in the evening than Sebastian's, his result was entered first. I trust everyone is happy with my logic.
In the Rapidplay the group stage games are being played out:
Gerry v Ken 1 - 0 (Welcome back Gerry - great to see you on your feet and enjoying chess club night again)
Ken v Gerry 0.5 - 0.5
Brian v Phil 0 - 1
Phil v Brian 0.5 - 0.5
Simon v Crumpton 1 - 0
Crumpton v Simon 0 - 1
There is still all to play for in each of the groups, though Brian, Alan and Ken all look like taking an early bath!
Next week I have agreed to play Nigel in the Ladder. Please try to prioritise your remaining Rapidplay group stage fixtures (Charlie, where are you?) and try to arrange matches in advance rather than hoping for a match-up on the night.
As always, I will be submitting all the games for grading. The Ladder game between David Elsey and John Waite may be delayed a bit because I have to get John registered on the Norfolk results site first.
Dear Club Members,
It was quite literally wall to wall chess tonight, with almost all the boards and sets in play. It's great to see the club thriving like this; makes me proud to be a member of St Johns! I wonder how many other chess clubs could boast such a turnout on a non-league or cup match night? Rod Mills brought in one clock which he had fixed up (by cannibalising another broken one) and one which had defied his clock-mending skills. I think we need to consider replacing some of our clocks, several of which are past their sell-by date, and I'm sure there will be discussion about whether that should mean going digital or not. While we're at it, how about some new boards too, the green and white ones seem to be everyone's favourite. Gerry, get the cheque-book out! Meanwhile, we have another new member; John Waite has given me payment for both club membership and ECF Bronze membership. I will pass his details and payment to Gerry and then get him enrolled into the club ladder. Welcome to the club John!
Anyway, tonight we had some good, competitive friendly chess games between two of our guests, Richard's sister Bonnie, and Harry. Not sure of the results, but the banter sounded good. In the club internal competitions, I can report the following results:
Simon v David Payne 0 - 1 (David P ladders up one position at the expense of Nigel. Simon remains temporarily stuck at the bottom, but fear not Simon, there are plenty of weaker players soon to be heading into your range!)
David Elsey v Tom 1 - 0 (David E wins his first ever graded game and stays top. Tom drops one place)
Brian v Sebastian 0.5 - 0.5 (A cracking battle and a pleasure to play. Sebastian, playing in his first ever graded game, experienced last game to finish syndrome when you suddenly find you have an audience!)
Nigel v Phil 1 - 0
Phil v Nigel 0 - 1 (Ladbrokes now have Nigel odds-on to win the group)
Vijay v Richard 0.5 - 0.5
Richard v Vijay 0.5 - 0.5 (Vijay is proving to be a tough opponent at Rapidplay time limits)
Ken v Rod 0 - 1
Rod v Ken 1 - 0 (Rod goes top of group D)
See you all next week when we'll do it all over again! I have arranged to play Phil in either the Ladder or Rapidplay, whichever format takes our fancy on the night. Don't forget to get your games arranged by email beforehand. As always, all games will be submitted for grading, updated tables attached to this email, but not to the website until we get a technical hitch resolved.