Yeovil v Taunton Div.2

On Wednesday the 2nd May Mike Wards Division 2 team travelled to Yeovil. The Team Stan board 1 White, Martyn board 2 Black, Matthew board 3 White, David board 4 Black. We felt at a slight disadvantage when we seen our opponents Grades,, totalling 583 to 424. As I have been told many times ‘play the board not the grade’.

Matthew opened with his favourite opening c4 the English. Fairly quickly his opponent gained control of the centre with advanced pawns and a well placed troublesome Knight. This proved to strong a position and Matthew graciously resigned.1-0

Martyn played the Sicillian Najdorf against his opponents e4. His opponent made some inaccurate moves and gave Black the advantage. With two very strong Bishops forcing Whites King into the corner on h1. White under developed was under severe pressure. Black appeared to lose the advantage when the Queens were exchanged, but still looked good for a draw. Until move 22 Nb6 giving opponent a pin on Blacks Rook and Knight. Black Rook Knight v Two Rooks this proved decisive. 2-0. (see game)

David board 4 again out graded and playing his second Div.2 game in three days having beaten Theo Kirby in his previous match got off to a good start. Developing a strong Kingside attack with a well advanced Pawn with supporting Queen and Rook. Opponent defended well and created strong counter play. This resulted in White having passed Pawns which advanced up the board with supporting King. 3-0.

Stan played an exceptional game frustrating Black with excellent defensive play. Gaining momentum had Black losing positional space which White took advantage of. White was now in the driving seat and Black was 30 minutes behind on clock. White was playing very strong moves keeping Black on the back foot. Black had a very strong Knight which defensively stopped him being defeated. With White unable to find a way through and not able to use his King to support the attack, as it was defending his pawn structure Black now playing Blitz chess to avoid losing on time was offered a draw with 10 seconds left on his clock, duly accepted. An excellent result Stan and well done on offering the draw thus avoiding your opponent losing on time.
3 1/2 – 1/2. Well played Taunton score does not reflect how close the match was.

Div 2 Match v Glastonbury

On Monday 30th April Steve Smith, Stan Wojcik, Martyn Maber and David Graham went to Glastonbury. Arriving on time we found that we were each outgraded by 20 or 30 points. Hey-ho. Anyway we got the digital clocks going (Stan needed a lot of help to push the right button to start the clock!) and the match started.

Steve succumbed quickly having made a small error on move 4, Martyn was doing well and advancing his king well up the board and Stan made an unwise sacrifice which his opponent managed to capitalise on. David managed to get a 2 pawn advantage and just as he was threatening to win a 3rd pawn his opponent resigned. Click here for the game. Match lost 1-3.

We were not down hearted though and eventually managed to find the right road out of the car-park.

2017/2018 – Division 2 Fixtures / Results

Click here to see Somerset League Division 2 West results so far.

19/9/17 Tu Taunton - Wellington 3 – 1 (Review)
17/10/17 Tu Taunton - Yeovil 2 – 2
2/11/17 Th Chard/Ilminster - Taunton 2 – 2
14/11/17 Tu Taunton - Glastonbury 3½ – ½
12/12/17 Tu Taunton - Wells 1 – 3
17/1/18 W Wellington - Taunton 2 – 3
30/1/18 Tu Taunton - Weston 3½ – ½
27/3/18 Tu Taunton - Sedgemoor ½ – 3½
2/4/18 M Sedgemoor - Taunton 4 – 0 (Match defaulted)
11/4/18 W Wells - Taunton 4 – 0 (Match defaulted)
24/4/18 Tu Taunton - Chard/Ilminster 2 – 1 (3 boards played)
30/4/18 M Glastonbury - Taunton 3 – 1 (Review)
2/5/18 W Yeovil - Taunton 3½ – ½ (Review)
10/5/18 Th Weston - Taunton (Postponed from 5/10)

2014 Division Two Fixtures and Results

Div2 match report megathon!

Yes, whilst pawnstar’s fingers are resting from pushing wood and tapping plastic, Martin has been busy and provided us with the following match report –

Taunton Chess Club – Match Reports – Division two

Yeovil vs Taunton 18th December 2013

Has there ever been a normal chess match where there are no unexpected results, no quirks with the venue or players, no controversial incidents or issues, just 12 blokes sitting down and pushing bits of plastic towards each other for 3 hours. What could go wrong with that?
Almost every match seems to be notable for some reason! A stand-out match worthy of mention in an end of year review. And so it was with our away fixture against Yeovil. Our previous fixture, away at Weston was postponed due to only one Taunton non-driving player being available. (Surely a record, worthy of note and a mention in an end of year review)
Yeovil are a strong team and I suspected we would struggle against them as we lost twice to them last season. So far this season Taunton have played three and won three, so we could take one loss along the way. Being so close to Christmas and being an away fixture I knew it would be more difficult than usual to get a team. I couldn’t get a strong over 170 player to play but Alex is a good reserve and we went with a team of five, sadly dropping a board to start with. Five became four when I got a call whilst on the road at 7.05 from Matthew Haines who was making his own way there. Due to the terrible weather and intense rainfall he became trapped at home in a local flash flood. He could have possibly made it but getting back was too risky so had to pull out.
The biblical/Noah style rainfall made driving very difficult and we were stuck in slow or stopped traffic for a while and arrived late and flustered to the venue. Not in the right frame of mind to play chess I lost a shocker of a game (worthy of note for the wrong reasons!) and Robin and Stan drew theirs. Alex’s game was a great fight against A Footner with interesting edge-of-the-seat tactics all over the board (ask to see it if you see him at the club). He lost in the end but it was a great game to be involved in. So we lost 3-1 on the day and 5-1 overall. Thanks to everyone for coming out on a horrible night so close to Christmas. At least it was another away match ticked off.

Chard and Ilminster vs Taunton 9th January 2014

After the 5-1 loss at Yeovil we needed a 5-1 victory to put us back on track. Chard/Ill have a strong team too and on paper they matched us uncannily closely.
Arturo Wong 181 v M Richardt 181 P Chapman 144 v S Wojcik 144
TA Lawrence 133 v Robin Challoner 136 P Brown 129 v M Worrall 132
A Copley Smith E107 v M Ward 90 F Burridge 86 v M Haines 85
Only Mike Wards game was more than 3 point difference. This would suggest over six games a 3-3 draw would be the fair result or perhaps a 3.5-2.5 win for one side.
Mike Ward, playing with white, finished first with a win after a blunder lost black a piece, (if I remember the bits of the game I saw.) Stan and Matthew both drew with the black pieces and Robin played a solid piece sacrifice to force black to resign. 3-1 to Taunton. I played a risky trappy line with black against a c3 Sicilian. If white can navigate the tricky first 10 moves then he usually has very good space and development advantage but my opponent missed the out-of-book-not-easy-to-see best moves and I soon won the exchange and two pawns. White played on as I had a couple of pieces trapped on the back rank but after a few exchanges and as soon as I freed them up he resigned.
Mike R and Arturo Wong usually play 18 moves of theory and call it a draw. But this time their game was last to finish. In what initially looked like a drawn endgame Mike, playing with white, had less than 2 minutes on the clock and Arturo over 15. Mike seemed to be taking longer than his 2 mins left and Arturo moved quickly to press Mike on time. Of course moving quickly without studying the position can lead to mistakes and this is what happened. Arturo missed a drawing move. In a beautifully played endgame by Mike he played very precise moves- including using his king as an attacking piece- to get black in Zugzwang a few times with still 20 pieces on the board! Arturo resigned making the score 5-1 to Taunton. A game and overall result worthy of note and a mention in an end of year review!
Who would have thought a 5-1 win when looking at the grade match ups? At least it makes up for the 5-1 loss to Yeovil. Thank you everyone for playing, especially Mike Ward for driving as well after Alex had to withdraw the night before.
Next match is the Thursday 23rd Jan with another away match against Sedgemoor who are ahead of us and top of the division by two points, but we have a match in hand. This is a real crunch game and could go some way to deciding the title. We must put out a strong team for this one…..
Division 2 captain

Div2 Taunton 4 – Sedgemoor 2 (8/10/2013)

Yes, Taunton won their first Div2 match last night v Sedgemoor by 4 – 2

A full report may follow, but it is fair to say Taunton got lucky, and Sedgemoor let us off the hook.

Nick was particularly lucky in winning his game as Will Taylor slipped in time pressure (albeit in a very double-edged position) and should have otherwise won. Credit due however to our bottom two boards, with both Matthew Haines and Mike Ward having wins, particularly so to Mike as he was significantly out-graded. Mike has suppiied the game here –

Alex had a very boring draw and Jerry had an exciting draw, although had Martin seen the game, it was yet a further example of being a rook down yet drawsih..!

Meanwhile, Stan over pressed an attack and sadly lost.


Div2 Taunton v Chard match report

This just in from Martin –

Match Report: Taunton vs Chard/ Illminster 7th May 2013
This was our final match of the season. It was a re-arranged fixture from a few weeks previous when Chard – who only have 8 members in their club – couldn’t raise a team.

The situation was that if we could win by a score of 5-1 or better, then we would leap frog Chard into second place. Yeovil had already won the division by a clear 3 points. (If only we had done better in our Wellington match and hadn’t had a group shocker against said Yeovil…)

I arrived at room M4 for the last time (We are in room D2 from next week) at 7.25 to find all the boards set up an a few Taunton players chatting and playing. As it transpired Chard had only 5 players anyway and then another one dropped out at the last minute. They decided not to play and forfeited the match to us 6-0.

So we move into second place in the division. Of course it’s not the way any team would like to win a match let alone move up the league but what can you do? There seems to have been a lot of default matches this season, I’m sure the point will be made at the upcoming Somerset AGM. It must be said that Taunton hasn’t defaulted any matches (er.. not sure if that is 100% accurate – see here, regarding Div3 – pawnstar), and only defaulted one board all season, which was a last minute unavoidable situation during our first match in October.

Amazingly Mark Hassall was scheduled to play for us 4 times this season but each time events got in the way and hasn’t actually got a game!

Thank you to everyone who turned up. At least we got in a few knock-a-bout games in our final night in room M4. Next week we have to move our equipment and seek out room D2.
Overall I think the best team won the Division. Yeovil constantly put out a high graded team and we sometimes struggled to get a strong player one board one which means everyone plays one board higher and therefore can find it a little more tricky than usual. Over the course of a season this makes a difference and at the end of the day every team usually finishes up where they deserve.
The number of team default wins across the division is a concern, we’ll see what happens next year.
Next season Chard/Ill have suggested they may not enter a team in Division 2 due to their lack of players. It’s also worth noting that the system for grades will change again. Whereas this year it was a team average of 145 or under, next season it will be one player only over 165, and then everyone else under 165. This should cause less problems than the current system.
Thank you to everyone who played in Division 2 this season. Second place is an improvement over 5th place last year. The team done good.

Also: Farewell to room M4. You have been good to us. Always warm, always light, and for the most part nice and quiet. Oh yes and free. I hope D2 (which is a square on a chess board! There must be a pun in there somewhere) is up for the challenge.

Cup final on Monday 20th May at Glastonbury, and the Somerset AGM on Monday 3rd June, again at Glastonbury. Should be interesting this year after all the grading fun and games.
Martin Div. 2 Captain”

Div 2 Taunton v Chard

Match report from Martin –

Match Report
10/1/13 Chard/Ill vs Taunton Div 2
Again at 7.00pm we are racing through the Somerset night to another chess away match. Hang on, we seem to be doing that a lot. In fact I believe all our Div 2 matches been away this season. Well it seems like it anyway.
A good team, but not the strongest possible from a grading point of view. I wasn’t sure we could win it but I thought a draw would be a good result. Due to our excellent start to the season (5 matches, 4 wins and 1 loss.) we had to draw at least.
Have a look at the people and grading match ups and see if you can predict the outcome
A Wong 178 v D Littlejohns 180
E Cole 142 v SWojcik 143
P Chapman 139 v M Worrall 139
P Brown 133 v R Challoner 139
T Lawrence 123 v M Ward 94
J Webb 120 v V McAndrew 93

As always I cannot analyse others games as well as other report writers but here goes in the order they finished.

Wong v Littlejohns (w)
Dave won the exchange and thought he was winning but winning the exchange came at the price of 2 pawns which cancelled out any advantage. Wong offered a draw a couple of times which Dave accepted. 0.5 v 0.5 All

Brown (w) v Challoner
In the car on the way Robin said he likes to start with Nf3 as it can transpose into a Sicilian. He was playing black but White started with Nf3 and Robin transposed into a Sicilian. Robin said afterwards white didn’t offer much resistance and it was a straight forward win for Black. Taunton 1.5 v 0.5 up

Lawrence v Ward (w)
Didn’t see much of this game, but I think Mike went into his current favourite Torre Attack. It’s never easy playing anyone 27 grading points higher than yourself (at any level). Once your opponent has an advantage it’s difficult to claw it back. Mike lost in the end, but put up a good fight and he felt he had chances of a better result. 1.5 v 1.5 All

Webb (w) v McAndrew
As with Mike, Vic was 29 grading points lower than his opponent. I saw a little of this game and at the Tea and sugar (with a bit of biscuit in the middle) break Vic was struggling a little. Open king, down a pawn, less space. Vic fought on put up a good defence but lost in the end, but I get the feeling Vic was quite pleased with his play. It happens like this sometimes. If you play someone nearly 30 grading points higher than yourself, you wouldn’t really expect to win, but if you can put up a good defence with some chances and get past the time control and make the other player struggle a little it’s actually some encouragement for future games. Taunton down 2.5 v 1.5

Chapman v Worrall (w)
Well, what a game this was. At the tea and biscuit-shaped-sugar break all other games had played 22-26 moves and well into the middle game or even the endgame. We had played 8 moves. Still in the opening it was very tense as neither of us wanted to make the smallest mistake. Both of us were improvising from move 4. White first 3 moves were e4, d4, f4, and black’s d6, c6, Nf6. Black made a small mistake and lost a piece for a pawn but huge pressure on the dark squares at the heart of whites position. After more careful slow positioning, the time scramble started at around move 20!!
The intense -just move anything- scramble started at move 30. Black made a last gasp pawn push with check to make the time control. I had one minute left and Chapman had atoms left, as I think that’s all that was holding up his flag! In fact from one angle I’m sure his flag was hovering in mid air! After the dust had settled and some careful queen and rook positioning by white, black resigned. We had queen, rook and 3 pawns each but I was a strong bishop and safe king against open king up so black resigned. Great game. 2.5 v 2.5 All

Cole (w) v Wojcik
In a slight anti-climax I cannot say too much about this game as I didn’t really see any of it. In a calm manner it was announced Stan had won with an endgame sacrifice. And so in a gentle way we won the match. 3.5 v 2.5 Taunton win

Great stuff. Now 6 matches, 5 wins, 1 loss. We are top of Div 2 on 10 points with Yeovil on 8 points with a game in hand.
Next match 24th Jan and it’s …what a surprise…. Another away match at Sedgemoor.

D2 Taunton v Yeovil – A Christmas Stuffing

A pic from the recent Taunton v Yeovil match?

Its that time of year. Goodwill to all men and all that. Well Taunton gave Yeovil a lot of goodwill in last nights match, but unfortunately it ended being a complete Christmas Stuffing. Bah Humbug…

Yet again Martin had trouble raising a team. We really need two of our 170+ players to help compensate for the, ahem, lower-graded members of our team, so the overall team has balance. As soon as we are short, the whole team is unbalanced and then tends to get stuffed (Xmassy of course).

Or maybe this was?

Anyway, its xmas, and we arrived at a suitably decorated Plunket pub, got Guinness and Fostered up and wandered into the play area, festooned with an entire ceiling of xmas lights, flickering and twinkling way. Whilst normally the chess nerds amongst us would be complaining of these dreadful lighting conditions, we couldn’t help becoming more imbibed with xmas spirit and this seemed to creep into our games…

Yeovil had put out a pretty strong side and it was clear we were comprehensively outgraded throughout. Hmmm.. no Christmas spirit there, but no fear – Taunton carried on dishing out the gifts, as you’ll see…

Our team was Nick, Stan, Martin, Robin, Dave and MikeW.

Taunton are currently unbeaten on 3/3 in Div2, so important for us to continue this winning streak but it looked unlikely. The games may well have finished in the following order, and being Christmas I will focus on the Xmas gestures given, of course –

Board 3: M Baker 1 v Robin Challenor 0
Robin was feeling in a particularly Christmassy mood and happily gave white a gift on move 15. Feeling all warm from his generosity, Robin waited to see if white had something for him in return. Yes, but it wasn’t on his letter to Santa – instead he got a pawn storm and crushing defeat. Robin’s goose was well and truely cooked.

So Taunton now lead in the xmassy giving stakes…

Next might have been Stan –

Board 2: Les Cutting 1/2 v Stan Wojcik 1/2
Stan, being a regular church-goer, would have been top of my list for Christmas generosity, but as it turned out, this Christmas Carol featured two Scrooges, with neither giving anything, and the game ended frozen.

Taunton still ahead in Xmassy giving…

Next was Mike with this –

Board 6: S Gray 1/2 v Mike Ward 1/2
This was like two people pulling on a xmas cracker, but failing to go off. It ended with them putting it down, giving up on festive cheer and no gifts being offered. However, the more astute among us will realise that in fact Mike made a small gift in not playing 34.. b4, which may have been sufficient for a win. But credit to white, I assume, that in recognising Mike’s gift, he chose not to play either 49. Ne2 or 50. Rh4, both of which may have tipped the game in his favour. Very seasonal.

You expect to see chess (and pipes), but its Xmas, so here is a scantily clad blonde too! (albeit a 1940’s style one…)

Taunton still a nose ahead on the festive gestures, but if you want to be pedantic, technically we are 1-2 down when scoring using the more recognised approach to that sort of thing.

Next to finish was Nick –
Board 1: Nick Wilson v Patrik Kryszanowski 1
Nick initiated the gifts with a pawn early on, followed by allowing black to get a strong pawn wadge. He then gifted an exchange and later tried to gift a piece, which wasn’t accepted – how un-christmassy! So to be certain, he then gifted the back rank. Yes, Nick was truely festive. On a slightly more serious note, Nick having twice got rubbish positions after 4. Bd3, will be changing his (admittedly extremely limited) opening repertoire.

So, Taunton now very much ahead in the Christmas giving stakes!

Not to be out-done, Martin was feeling generous too –

Board 2: Martin Worrall 0 v Roger Knight 1
These two always seem to end up playing each other, and Martin had prepared a special gift. 11. Ne6 scores 10/10 for looking cool (and even attracted photographic attention on the night – sadly pawnstar doesn’t have that shot to show you here), but Roger quickly realised it was a gift, somehow costing White’s queen. A few moves later the dust settled from some tactical scaps and it emerged Martin was a rook down.

STOP THE PRESS!!! There is a whole rook material imbalance in one of Martin’s games!

Regular readers will no longer be surprised to hear that Martin assessed the position as ‘drawish’ and therefore offered black a draw!!

Very, unfestively, Black refused the draw offer and won a bit later. I just don’t understand – somehow all these drawish, rook-up postiions tend to end up being decisive…?! So, with the Queen and Rook, Martin score a clear advantage for Taunton on the festive giving stakes.

Taunton miles ahead in festive giving, although eagle-eyed readers armed with a calculater might realise we are techincally 1-4 down.

Just Dave left, and he was wearing his santa hat in this one –
Board 5: Dave Graham 1 v N Mills 0
This was a double edged game but Dave was festively generous, by not playing 24. Qh6 forcing a win, or even 37. Qf5 which was also winning.

A final festive gesture from Taunton, giving us a festive generosity victory, although it should be noted for the more bureaucratic reader the final score – Taunton were (xmassy) stuffed by 1 – 5

Well played by Yeovil.

If we want to avoid these losses, we need to field 2 of our 170+ players. We still lead Div2 and can win it, but we need to field our best team!

Anyway, pawnstar would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!

The club is now closed until Tues 8th in January. See you all then.

– pawnstar