Match Report Div2 Taunton v Weston Super Mare

Poor Martin. As captain of our Div2 side, he had the task of rounding up six players to venture out in the freezing cold rain and journey up to Weston in the darkness for our next Div2 match. Of course, most people had pre-prepared excuses for when he called asking if they could play – “No, I’m working nights”, “Sorry got guests”, “Hello?.. Hello?… sorry… line’s gone dead…. “. Click. Brrrrrrrrrr. Etc.. Etc..

Melissa George, pouting a gun.. er sorry.. pointing a gun.

I had my excuse all lined up, that being “No, Hunted is on BBC1 on Thursdays with the very pouty Melissa George and the randomly un-comprehensible plot-line (but who cares when she just pouts her way through all of it, totally unconcerned)”, but when asked I suddenly remembered that the last episode was already shown, and therefore I had to come up with something fast…. i came up with “er.. Yes, I’ll play”. D’oh!!

I can only assume there must be six Melissa George fanciers in Taunton as Martin managed to locate them all, who suddenly having no excuse to hand, were drafted in to play. Oh, did I mention, Martin wasn’t playing. Yes, he’d used the “Sorry, I’m working nights” excuse…

So off we went, armed with a postcode of the new venue and vague descriptions of it – a bowling club of some sort… Now, many veterans of the Taunton club will fondly remember Arthur Mansfield. Once when driving us back from Yeovil, he took us on a ‘shortcut’, only for us to get horribly lost in an Asda car park. All very amusing, and recounted many times, until horror of horrors, years later Nick somehow managed to do the exact same thing – much to the amusement of everyone else in the car! Don’t let anyone ever tell you that Karma doesn’t exist!

Well Karma came and bit Nick on the backside again, this time en-route to the bowling club. Somehow, we ended up in a Tesco car park, and to make matters worse, we couldn’t find a way out. “Please Mr Karma”, Nick begged, “I’ll not poke fun at Arthur’s shortcuts ever again. Just let me out of this revolving hell….”. And then it happened. By some Karmic magic, right before us was the exit. We were free! “Hmmm… I spose this means I really can’t recount the Arthur Mansfield shortcut story ever again..” mussed Nick. (Hmmm… I do see the irony here – immediately recounting it the very next day on this website to billions round the world… Mr Karma, just so we are clear, this doesn’t count. Ok?).

We eventually arrived. Our team was Nick, Stan, Robin, Jorge, Roger and, wait… who?? Roger?? Yes, Roger, doing a Michael Schumacher, was brought out of retirement to play. MikeW made up the six.

Taunton are currently unbeaten on 3/3 in Div2, so important for us to continue this winning streak. The games started and finished like this –

Board 3: Robin Challenor 1 v M Cooper 0
Robin emerged from the opening with a lovely position. Opposite castling, with all sorts of lines and about-to-open lines for his Rooks, Bishops and Queen, all bearing down on Black’s king. Sure enough it wasn’t long until a tactic presented itself, and Robin quickly won.

Taunton lead 1-0. Next was Roger –

Board 5: Roger Waters 1 v J Parsons 0
Roger played a nice tactic to emerge an exchange up after the opening and skilfully used this extra material to press for more advantage and then the win.

Great – Taunton now lead 2-0!

Next was Mike with this –

Board 6: K Kyriacou 1 v Mike Ward 0
I glanced over at Mike’s game and got a fright – Mike had a draughty King, all exposed with all his major pieces elsewhere, whereas Whites heavy material was all looking to gang up on the lone King. Oooeeer – didn’t look good. I glanced again a bit later and saw Mike’s King, now on the sixth rank – it was more advanced than his Queen or Rook – never good to see that! Sure enough, a bit later he was lost.

Weston Super Mare start to comeback – now Taunton lead 2-1

Next to finish was Jorge –
Board 4: M Dinham 1 v Jorge Pineda-Langford 0
Jorge made a slip in the late opening and found himself a piece down, but with an extra pawn or two and some pressure. He played on and for a while it looked like a Jorge swindle was on the cards, but sadly, for Taunton, ’twas not to be. The game had a few more moves after those listed, but the scoresheet didn’t make sense… Black is lost anyway.

So, now all square at 2-2. Nick and Stan were left.

Nick was next –

Board 1: Nick Wilson 1 v Peter Chaplin 0
Peter is a strong player and Nick has an overall 1-2 deficit in playing him. The game, while short, hinged on how Black captres on f5 on move 12. The move played seems to lose quickly for black, but an interesting variation was with the knight, which whilst both losing a knight for two pawns, and letting White’s Queen in on f7, would have given Black strong counterplay down the h file. Post match analysis was wildly inconclusive of this line, but in full agreement that the played line loses.

Taunton now lead 3-2, with just Stan left.

Some interesting facts for you –

FACT: As of now, all 5 games completed thus far have been wins for White.
FACT: Taunton need 0.5 or 1 point to win he match.
FACT: Our last player has, er.. oh dear.. – Black!

So, can Stan do it and avert the tide of White wins –

Board 1: D Gough 1/2 v Stan Wojcik 1/2
Stan from the opening onwards always seemed to be on the back-foot slightly in this game, always responding to whites (relatively harmless) pressure. By the middle game White’s pressure had won a pawn, but Stan played the latter game accurately (EDIT – well maybe not quite 100% true – see MikeR’s comment below) and his strong King allowed him to force the draw. Well played Stan!

Final score – Taunton Win by 3.5 to 2.5!!

A great result keeping our 100% record. Well played Taunton!

– pawnstar

Div 2 Match Report – Taunton v Wellington

Match report from MikeR –

Taunton vs. Wellington 3 ½ – 2 ½

This week’s encounter in Division 2 was against Wellington. I remember playing Wellington last year and we won 6-0 but I had a feeling this might not happen this year. Wellington welcomed Simon Pickard back this season; I guess a welcomed edition to their rather weak-ish team.
To my surprise Wellington turned up in Taunton School without Simon Pickard, which means I had another encounter with Piet Dobber. Looking at the overall team sheet Taunton had a slight advantage.
Unfortunately I couldn’t observe all games but this is my take on the games:

First to finish was Stan on board 2:
Stan Wojcik (143) vs. Chris Barrett (136) ½ – ½
Stan with the white pieces played a solid London System. In the early middle game Stan offered a draw which Chris declined only to offer a draw a few moves later himself which Stan accepted.

Next up was Jerry Kilby on board 3:
R. Harris (117) vs. Jerry Kilby (141) ½ – ½
Before the match I was certain Jerry would win this game just by looking at the ratings. Jerry with the black pieces played a Sicilian type structure but Harris played this quite well and when in the middle game, all pawns were locked at each other on ¾ of the board; a draw was the only logical option. Not sure where Jerry could have broken though to get some counter play.

Then it was Dave Graham’s turn to finish his game. Unfortunately Dave has a terrible season so far and last Tuesday was the same:
Dave Graham (96) vs. A. Stonebridge (113) 0 – 1
In a Sicilian game Dave didn’t find the best moves in the middle game and black took the initiative in the game:

With 3 games remaining we were 1-2 down and Mike Ward’s game did look lost. Vic McAndrew’s game looked better for him and my game was looking drawish to be quite honest or only very slightly better for me. So the best we could have hoped for was a 3-3.
So what does a German do in a situation like this: I went to one of my team mates, who had already finished (I think it was Jerry), and told him to tell Vic that he needs to win his game and I’ll do the rest in my game (HOPEFULLY!!!!).

Mike Ward finished next and to my surprise he managed to scrap a draw (in my humble opinion):
D. Smith (81) vs. Mike Ward (94) ½ – ½
I didn’t see a lot of Mike’s game but when I had a look Mike was a pawn down in a Rook/pawn endgame. I am pretty sure, that looking at the position at the time, that it was lost for black. I am not sure how Mike saved the game but I am not complaining about the fact that he did.

Vic got the first full point of the day:
Vic McAndrew (93) vs. A. Smith (75) 1 – 0
Vic played his usual Colle/London System and played it quite aggressively which had the desired effect. Black had a cramped position in the middle game and Vic managed to win a pawn in a double rook endgame. After the rooks came off the board, Vic managed to convert his advantage in a nice win by check mating his opponent with two queens on a1. Nice one!!!

Vic has delivered the full point it was now my turn to win the match against Piet Dobber. Despite my overall score of 5-0 against Piet I always struggle against him. I also seem to have black against him in 4 of our last 5 games. This time I had black again:
Piet Dobber (149) vs. Mike Richardt (177) 0 – 1
I replied with my usual Philidor to Piet’s 1.e4 as I was still ‘suffering’ from my recent trip to Germany, where I visited family and friends and also tried to play chess in the German league. I reached a usual 6.Bc4 position and had a slight advantage in the middle game but not enough to secure a win really. I had a draw offer from Piet and I need to check the remaining two games (as above). I declined the draw offer and found a plan to win a pawn in Piet’s time trouble. The game was over only 9 moves after Piet’s draw offer.
I didn’t have a chance to look at the game yet but I do think Piet could have played much better and maybe saved the game.
With this win we won the match 3 ½ – 2 ½ and now have 3 wins out of 3 matches.

Div2 Taunton v Glastonbury report

Yes, yes, I know. We’ve only just played Glastonbury (in Division one), but here we are again, up against them, this time in the lower, 145-average graded, Div 2.

Regular readers will note the, ahem, modest gradings Glastonfield produced in the Div 1 match and due to the 145 rating rule, a quick calculation shows the entire Millbury team would only have been 3 points outside the limit – so we expected maybe the same team, with one weaker addition to bring the average down. As it was, we found ourselves up against a pure-strain, non-hybrid Glastonbury team, with an average graded of just 129. Very sporting of them not to eck out every last average grading point. Anyway, on our side Martin had done the maths – an average of 143.6! Nice work on the maths, but still 1.3 down on ideal! It meant the team was MikeR, Nick, Stan, Martin, Robin and DaveG

The journey to Glastonbury was eventful for a few reasons – firstly, Martin has traded up his old MOT-failed Freelander for a much newer and far fancier Rav4 type thingy. Very comfortable, and all passengers enjoyed being ferried to the match in speed and comfort. All, that is, except one, who screamed like a girl everytime the Rav lolupped round a corner. He shall remain nameless… Martin remembers it as this – “When driving to the venue, I heard someone’s girly screams when gliding smoothly around corners because they were in an elevated seat and not sitting with their backside scrapping the floor, thinking therefor the car will roll over at any moment”. But the real drama was midway through the journey as Martin, whilst driving, struggled to answer the phone, or at least get it out of his jeans pocket, whilst driving. So, er, he, ahem, slowed down, indicated, pulled over, and answered the phone whilst safe to do so, officer. It was DaveG, with bad news – family illness/emergency meant he couldn’t make it. Hmm… 7.15pm, nothing we can do now – we are already 1-0 down…

. We arrived at Glastonbury and the playing area was health’n’safety-ed with this!

Un-supervised!? Where’s my Mummy?

Also, is that some sort of subconscious, subliminal message going on, especially in the “… no playing outside the Castle..” – will we find our on-board action mysteriously being directed to other parts of the chessboard??

However I am pleased to say that the previously worst-lit-playing-area-in-the-league has now been massively improved (unsurprisingly, by the addition of some lights), and now is very good, and looks like this –

Martin adds about the venue – “…as always and the noise from the Tor Centre’s PA was a little distracting as always especially when some cheesy 70’s disco number came on. At least this was drowned out by the live band, a 12 bar blues outfit with earth moving bass riffs and ear wax clearing guitar solos. It wasn’t too loud and of course as they were on the other side of the building and it’s the same for both teams but it’s still a little distracting”

Anyway, as we arrived with a default board 6, this meant the thorny issue of average grades was raised – so without a board 6 what do you do? Calculate the grade based on the 6 that were meant to come? Use a default 100 rating for the player that’s not come? Or average the 5 that have arrived? Taunton would be OK on the two former routes, but not on the latter. Of course that’d be unfair as we’d only found out 15 minutes ago of our situation. Clearly this rule is easily open to abuse and needs to be fairly corrected to avoid abuse without penalising genuine issues like ours tonight (honest, guv!). Certainly something for the next AGM, but it would be good to have clarity of direction prior to then

Anyway the games finished like this –

Board 6: Taunton Default

then this –

Board 1: Mike Richardt 1 v Paul Moody 0
Mike had a quick win, taking advantage of some errors in Paul’s play. I leave the accurate comments to Mike in his annotated game here

Next was Stan –

Board 3: Stan Wojcik 0 v Tristan West 1
I didn’t see much of Stan’s game. The opening looked pretty even, with no obvious play for either side. The next I saw was Stan had lost! Others said he’d sacc’ed a piece for a couple of pawns, and things got worse, but surely there was more to it than that? I’ll let Stan add comments later.

Then Robin –

Board 5: Robin Challenor 1 v Martin Willis 0
Robin played a fantastic game, with a lovely attack tie-ing blacks king in a bishop and pawn cage. I didn’t see the final position, but overall a lovely controlled attacking win from Robin.

Score now 2 – 2

At this point just Nick and Martin were left. Nick’s game was looking level and Martin said his was ‘drawish’. Maybe this is going right down to the wire??

Next was Martin –
Board 4: Roger Fenton 0 v Martin Worrall 1
When the 1 million strong Persians met the 300 Spartans, did they say it looked ‘drawish?’. Well, it turns out Martin was a whole rook up, and yet felt it was drawish… Unbelievable. How many rooks does he need to say “Ok, I think this one is in the bag??”
What was believable was that Martin won shortly after, whilst being (just the one) rook up…

Martin, as black, felt this was “drawish”…

Martin adds his comments here – “Having not played a proper game for nearly 6 months I was concentrating on my own fascinating game against Roger Fenton too much to really take in anyone else’s game. I remember looking at them but not thinking about them. I believe ‘pawnstar’ is doing a ‘Match and Games report’ about them you can read alongside this report. I sure you’ll read about my draw prediction when I was a rook for 2 pawns up. What can I say? It was opposite coloured bishops and Roger had a 3-1 pawn majority on the queen side with one being a passed pawn and I was having trouble working out how to break it down, etc, etc. Frankly, I can make all the excuses I want I’m sure I’ll get reminded of it occasionally over the next 10 years…”

Only 10 years – little does he realise…!!

Taunton now lead 3 – 2. Just Nick’s game left…

Board 2: Tim Wallis 0 v Nick Wilson 1
For once, Nick didn’t shed any pawns in the opening. In fact a casual observer might feel they’d stumbled across one of Dave’s diazapamed games, but no,this really was Nick playing some dreary stuff. Nethertheless, the game came alive in late middle game and Nick pressed a winning attack – White is mated or loses his Queen at the end.

So final score Taunton win 4 – 2 !!

Fantastic result and great start to the division 2 season with 2/2 so far!

Well played everyone!


Mike’s final game position

Match Report 9th October 2012 Division 2 Taunton vs Sedgemoor

We always kick off the season with a home match against Sedgemoor. The Chess Gods have deemed it thus. They have also deemed that we usually lose against them.

The grading limit once again is a maximum average of 145 across 6 players. So it’s out with the calculators to work out all possible combinations of players grades. Everyone’s grade, except 2 players went down this year, so it is now possible to have 2 strong players on boards 1 and 2, just. I had half expected 1 player to drop out so I arranged for 7 players to turn up and I would step out if indeed 7 did turn up.

We had 7 players in the end and Sedgemoor only had 5 with one player ‘on the way’. Their strongest player, Ben Edgell, is a very high grade (199) and I was sure wouldn’t play as it meant playing a very low grader to balance things out. Their missing player was an 85 junior which meant they came in at 142.3 average grade. Taunton was slightly higher at 143.8 average. Was their missing player a plant to allow Ben to play? Well they hinted themselves that there was some truth in it. However, thinking about it there is nothing wrong with this. After all I did just the same. I played one low graded player to allow a second strong player on board 2. Isn’t it what all division 2 captains do for every match? As long as the average is 145 or under what does it matter?

Match gets underway

Their missing player never showed up so Vic McAndrew had a 1-0 default win.

Robin overcame Stan Hill who put up a good fight. I think Robin was under pressure for much of the game but wriggled out of it with an outside pawn up. Stan had given up his last piece to stop it queening which gave Robin a routine win. This looked like a good tussle which I think both players enjoyed. Taunton 2-0 up.

Jerry and Steve Green played a bit of a crazy game. Steve always plays very off beat openings which gets everyone out of book within a few moves. Jerry seemed to have all the pressure and controlled the centre with queen and rooks bearing down on Steve’s uncastled king. Somehow Steve untangled his position by pushing his black pawn up to h2 with check (!) and came out a pawn up and 2 rooks each. After some subtle king and rook shuffling they agreed a draw with a probable repetitive check looming.

Taunton 2.5-0.5 up

Nick (white) played a version of the Blackmar Gambit and had a great tactical tussle with Neville Senior. I saw it at one point where Nick had a piece for 3 pawns. Neville always defends very well and is difficult to break down. His pawns were pushing dangerously forward in the centre but Nick’s queen moved down the long diagonal to a8 and checked black’s king on the back rank. Repetitive check followed, therefore a draw, but even here one slip from Neville by trying to run his king away would have ended in mate.

Taunton 3-1 up

Stan’s game against Chris McKinley was pretty even and very clogged up. After 2 hours no pawns had been taken and just a few pieces. Most of the pawns were zigzagging across the centre of the board leaving very few open lines for break throughs. I can only assume there was a slip from Stan as Chris had the initiative next time I looked and Stan had the worst of it for much of the last hour. Myself and a couple of others thought Stan may well lose it, but to his credit he hung on in a 2 rooks and 6 pawns each endgame and played very accurately to hold the cramped position. Well played Stan Draw.Taunton 3.5 1.5 up.

What a game on board 1 between Ben Edgell and Terry. Too much to talk about here but a very dramatic finish. Terry, playing black, had 3 (yes 3) connected passed pawns in whites half of the board and was edging them forward while blockading white’s only isolated advanced pawn. Terry’s 2 bishops were more powerful than Ben’s 2 Rooks and given enough thinking time Black would surely Queen a pawn and wrap things up, but time was against both players and one slip from Terry with only a couple of minutes to go, and one quick Queen move from Ben to fork blacks King and Bishop and blacks position fell apart. This was a real shame as Terry out manoeuvred Ben to set up a virtually won position. Of course time is part of the game for both players but in this case it seems very cruel. Afterwards Ben commented how he felt he had used up a whole season of luck in one game. Terry should take a lot of heart from the game though. To be in such a position to a 199 player with black deserves huge credit. At least the match result wasn’t riding on this result.

Taunton win 3.5-2.5

So, of the games played on the night it was 2.5 each, but the default win swung it Taunton’s way. (We lost a match last season in this same manner)
I hope we haven’t displeased the Chess Gods with this result by upsetting the natural order of the universe.
It’s played one, won one. All we have to do now is win all the games for the rest of the season and we win the second division. How difficult can it be?!
A big thanks to everyone who played, I hope we can put out a team just as strong in as many up-coming matches as possible.
Next match: Monday 22nd October. Away at Glastonbury.
Martin. Division 2 captain