Taunton v Glastonbury 15-10-13 Match Report

Tuesday 15th October 2013

Match Report – Taunton v Glastonbury

Ok, the season has now started. Slowly the match calendar creaks and groans into life and the traditional Division One season opener looms – yes, its the dreaded Glastonbury match. Why dreaded I hear you ask? (well, actually you’d only be asking if you’d never read any of the previous opener match reports..). Well, its dreaded due to many moons ago, and I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but Taunton’s Division One team was a little, er, cocky. Back then, we brashly settled down to routinely crush a much weaker Glastonbury team, only to be stunned as one by one, our gods fell at the hands of mortals. Yes, that historical loss still hurts, and the only benefit is it gives me an easy opening paragraph to this match report…

Well, not this year. We’ve learned our lesson and won’t be over-confident. So MikeR arranged a team. A quick bit of maths showed we had a average grade of 185, and even board 6 was 177. Wow! Has there ever been a Division One team so strong, mighty and embigenned? We are going to crush them! This is going to be amazing! 6-0 anyone? Bring it on!!

arrgh.. no .. wait… Its happening again! Must.. not… be.. overconfident.. one game at a time… etc…

Anyway, match night came around, and two things happened which, I stress are not connected in anyway whatsoever. Firstly, England’s vital final Euro 2014 qualifying match v Poland was scheduled for the same night. Secondly, Terry phoned in to say he was (and try to keep a straight face while you read this).. sick, and couldn’t make it tonight…

So, Alex was drafted in at the last minute – thanks Alex.

Glastonbury turned up with the usual mix of Millfield pupils, Sedgemoor players, Grandmasters and a token Glastonbury player. (normally, I’d make some edgy quip about origins of players and teams, but seeing as we have a German, a Cornishman, and a Sedgie in our team, maybe we’ll pass on this… the teams are perfectly cromulent as they are)

Ok, on to the games.

Pawnstar was distracted through much of the match (busy trying to keep up with the England – Poland match), and so whilst the games are accurate, the order of finishing is a mystery, so I’ve just listed them in board order. Also, Dave and Alex haven’t sent their .pgns to me, so their game reports are partly based on my unimaginative imagination…

Board One – Matthew Turner 1 v Ben Edgell 0
Ben, recently promoted to the ‘200 club’ found himself up against a GM… and to think we’d earlier said to Taunton-resident, Mickey Adams, don’t bother turning up, you won’t get a good game… Anyway, the game started and looked like a beginners game with a Giuoco Piano (sp?). Things looked pretty equal until Ben lost a pawn, then a piece, and then the game.

Board Two – Dave Littlejohns 0.5 v Stephen Whatley 0.5
No game score here, but you’d assume this was a dreary, exchange-laden draw. Dave might supply the moves to disprove this, but I’m not holding out much hope… Mind you, Dave’s opponent was quite young, and its always scary playing rapidly-improving youngsters, so perhaps Dave got off lightly with a draw?

Board Three – Cosima Keen 0.5 v Mark Hassall 0.5
Another young player for Mark. This also was a draw, but there seemed signs of life in this one.

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Board Four – Mike Richardt 1 v Neville Senior 0
A nice win from Mike – who supplied the game and comments here –

Board Five – Martin Willis 0 v Nick Wilson 1
Nick outgraded his opponent by a large margin, and in such circumstances you must ensure two things – firstly win(!), and secondly, try to do it in as flashy way as possible! Well I’m saddened to report that Nick failed in one of these two objectives. Yes, he won, but missed a golden opportunity for flashyness – a Queen sac leading to mate – namely 42. .. Qxg2+!!, followed by Ra1+ and Bxe4 mate! Shameful.

Board Six – Alex Conway 1 v George Galliano 0
Alex applied good kingside pressure, winning a pawn and a controlling position, which lead to victory. Well played.

Final Score – Taunton win 4-2!

Great start to the season and not tripping up at this first hurdle!

Well played everyone!

2013 All Divisions – Current Standings

2013 Division One fixtures

Taunton v Yeovil report (9-4-2013)

Regular readers will know that the TSTCPGs have already won the Somerset Division One Title (again – I’ve lost count how many times on-the-trott it is now…), and so this last fixture in our Div 1 calendar whilst largely academic, is still important to us as we want to end undefeated again (yes Glastonbury, that 5-1 defeat all those years ago still spurs us on.)

The fixture was to be played at Yeovil and they have a varied history of locations, these include from the Red Cross Centre – bright, quiet and with the added comedy value of the only toilet having two, near-identical, switches – one does the light and the other sets off the help-i’m-disabled-and-trapped-in-the-loo alarm (klaxxons, red flashing lights etc…). And of course its only a matter of time until some unsuspecting sap triggers mayhem here.

Other locations have been pub-based, which meets pawnstar’s approval and obviously gives rise to barmaid hotness scales and whether there is anything to do there (like playing pool or looking at long wall murals) to help stave off the boredom of waiting for one’s opponent to move.

Yeovil recently played in the Plucknet, which sadly scores low on the barmaid hotness and other activity ratings, but does have beer (and beer helps solve most issues), and a relatively quiet playing area.

However, just before the match we were told the landlord had done a runner and the pub was temporarily closed. Rumours about recent cash-only takings at the bar and landlords fleeing with bags of cash (allegedly..) were whispered, albeit not quietly as pawnstar overheard pretty much all of them…

Anyway, Yeovil hastily rearranged a venue – The Fluer de Lys pub. I wasn’t too sure where it was and so googled it. Got the address quickly and also found the only online review of the place, and I quote from viewbath.co.uk – “dirty, smelly, unkempt, and thats just the landlord. The beer is flat and lifeless and the atmosphere is about the same. Is it possible to give a negative score? as this pub deserves it”

Hmmm.. our expectations were low, but on arrival we thought the place was very good, nice and clean – either the place has been spruced up or that review is a very harsh…

Ok, on to the chess – our team was MarkH, DaveL, MikeR, NickW, AlexC (its the easter holidays..), and MartinW.

Before I show you the games, its interesting to see how three of the games were heavily influenced by the recent Candidates Tournament in London. Sadly however, it seems most had been watching Ivanchuck, and rather than learning from his opening style or middlegame play, they tended to copy his time-management techniques. Yes – two of the games tonight were lost on time and the third was clearly decided by it… I spose I should be grateful as didn’t Ivanchuck lose 5 games on time – at least only 3 here were affected…

The games finished something like this –

Board 6: G Crocker 1 v M Worral 0
A game Martin will want to forget quickly. Whilst 20. … Qxh5 would have delayed things a while, the game was already looking shaky. In the end, once more than a Rook down (and therefore no longer drawish), Martin resigned.

Next was Dave, yes Dave, with this –

Board 2: D Botting 0 v Dave ‘Draw’ Littlejohns 1
Comments are in game, but yet again Dave lures an opponent into a tediuos drawish looking position, only to grind out a win while the opponent nods off…

Next was Alex –

Board 5: Alex Conway 1/2 v Nigel Mills 1/2
Ok, Alex played well to get into a positon where there were many many ways to win. Unfortunately he missed them all. In the final position, Black is ahead by at least +2.0 but probably agreed to the draw due to being shellshocked that he hadn’t actually lost by then.
Here is the game, with comments by Alex –

So far, three games gone an no ‘Ivanchuck’ influences.. well, next was Nick –

Board 4: M Baker 0 v Nick Wilson 1
Nick tried to create some threats to White’s slightly exposed king, and may in some lines have had an advantage, but nothing significant. However, White, clearly influenced by Ivanchuck, spent ages over each move and quickly got into time trouble. Nick then moved even faster with more strong looking, but substance lacking, threats, and shortly white lost on time in a pretty even position.

So, Taunton lead 2.5 – 1.5 Just 1 needed to secure the win!

Next was MikeR –

Board 3: Mike Richardt 1 v Roger Knight 0
Mike, in-book to move gazillion, had a stronger position throughout. Roger, just like Ivanchuck spent too much time trying to find solutions to this and although ultimately lost on time, the game was looking lost too.

This win ensures Taunton win the match!

Mark’s game was now the last to finish.

Board 1: Mark Hassall 0 v P Kryzanowski 1
Mark had, I felt, an average to good position throughout. And he was ahead on tim up to the time control. But after the time control, Black moved quickly and Mark suddenly found himself with no time to find a saving line in a surely-drawn rook and pawn ending.

I don’t have the moves, but an unfortunate end to the match for us.

Final result – Taunton win 3.5 – 2.5!!

Great end to the season, remaining undefeated! Thank you and well played everyone!

– pawnstar

Match Report – Taunton v Glastonbury

Thanks to Mike for this match report –

4-2 win against bottom of the league Glastonbury

As a team captain it isn’t easy to assemble a team week in week out. Well, at least once a month. Despite the fact that the date are usually know well in advance life gets in the way of playing chess and as a team captain this isn’t a good thing.
I explain what I mean: When booking my 3-4 days off in Rome I realised I couldn’t be playing against Glastonbury. So a nice talk with my wife and we postponed the holiday by 24h and flew the next day. Well, not sure if my wife was happy about but it meant I could play chess. The downside was that when we turned up in Rome the weather was typical English: It was raining cats and dogs and I am on exaggerating. The heaven opened its doors just to punish me? or the freshly resigned Pope? We’ll never find out.
Nick on the other hand did it the right way. He didn’t try to explain to his wife that chess is a too important part of his life so he went onto his scheduled skiing trip and missed the match.
In the end I had the following players at my disposal: Ben Edgell, Mark Hassall, Dave Littlejohns, Mike Richardt (me), Stan Wojcik and Martin Worrall.

When turning up at Glastonbury Tor Leisure Centre we had the usual mix of Glastonbury players and Millfield youngsters and their GM coach Matthew Turner. Millfield was missing ther star player on that evening: Nikita Ayvazyan, only 14 years old but he has an impressive ECF rating already.

As this match was well over a week ago I can’t remember all positions and the order they finished:

I think First to finish was Dave Littlejohns on board 3:
Dave Littlejohns – Roger Morgan 1/2 – 1/2
Dave has a sticker of season this year and once the rot has started it’s not easy to stop it. So a quick solid draw with white is probably what the doctor had ordered.

Martin was next and he was up against one of the Millfield juniors who hasn’t even a grade yet.
Carlos Guzman – Martin Worrall 0 – 1
Martin played one of his Sicilian lines and had a nice advantage after the opening. In the middle game Martin won a piece for 1 or two pawns and the rest was good technique on his part.

Stan was next against Tristan West.

Stan Wojcik – Tristan West 1/2 – 1/2
I think this was Stan’s 3rd encounter with Tristan this season and the scores before the game were equal 1-1. Stan played his usual London System and the was equal for the whole game, so a draw was agreed in the late middle game.

With the scores 2 – 1 in our favour it was my turn to bring home my full point.

George Galliano – Mike Richardt 0 – 1
I played the French opening, as I sometimes do, and didn’t had the best of positions after the opening. In the middle game, where I thought I had some initiative against White’s isolated d-pawn I missed a really good move from George and suddenly I was on the back foot when we entered the endgame. Luckily George play the endgame not very accurate and I was able to advance my position into a winning one. A lucky point for me but in the end it’s the point what counts not how you got there.

Only half a point needed and Ben was the next to finish.

Ben Edgell – Neville Senior 1 – 0
Ben played an interesting opening and I wasn’t sure if that was all sound. On the way home Ben assured me that it was all fine for white; I am still not convinced!!! Anyway the game was quite dull for most part of the game but when the blitz phase arrived, due to time shortage of both players, the position heated up and Ben had a won position after the time control. Neville resigned shortly after reaching the time control.

With the match won it was down to Mark to finish the match off in style.
Cosima Keen – Mark Hassall 1/2 – 1/2
I think this game had an interesting middle game with plenty of tactical and positional options and the youngster from Millfield played it quite well. At some point I thought Mark was worse but that might have just been my imagination. With the match won a draw was agreed which both players deserved.

4,5 – 1,5 was the final result and we are well on course for our next division 1 title.
I have to apologise for the lack of commentated game in this report but life got in the way this time. Also as I am writing this report we have already secured the Division 1 title with a win against Frome. Hopefully one of my team members can write a little report as I wasn’t playing in that fixture.

Div1 Match Report – Taunton v Frome (29/1/2013)

2013 is underway and what everyone wants to know is – Will Taunton’s all-winning supreme team of chess playing Gods continue slaying all and sundry who dare cross its path??

Well, this time its Frome who stand between us and our unblemished 100% win record. MikeR, being captain, tried to round up a team and did pretty well although DaveL said he couldn’t make it due to being in New Zealand. Honestly, the pathetic excuses people give….

But on the plus side, Ben, our almost-but-not-quite 200 rated player, could make it. And what’s more, the eagerly awaited mid-season grades are now out! Scanning down the list, has Ben’s grade changed by the all-important one point he so desperately needs…? What…?? His grade has changed by one point?!?! He’ll be so…… er… disappointed… (it dropped by one point…). So now Ben is our almost-but-ever-so-slightly-less-than-200-graded-than-he-was-a-week-ago player.

So the final team was Ben, Mark, MikeR, Nick, Stan and MikeW.

Tonight’s theme is – TRAP.

The games finished something like this –

Board 5: S Wojcik 1/2 v R Williams 1/2
The trap here is that Ray Williams is a historically very strong player, yet playing on board 5. Stan managed to negotiate any potential difficulties and the game was agreed drawn. A good result for Stan.

Next was Nick with this –

Board 4: Chris Purry 1/2 v Nick Wilson 1/2
Nick fell into a trap before the match even started. Frome’s club is based on the far side on a never-ending maze of a huge residential housing estate. Nick’s sat-nav broke the day before, and sure enough, en-route Nick got lost. Fortunately there were road sings to the Frome Football Club, which he followed, only to arrive at a completely different football club… Eventually he arrived, nearly 15 minutes late. Nick’s last game against Chris was a nice attacking affair and as the game started, Chris was repeating the same moves… Just as Nick was thinking “Why is he playing the same line that lost so badly last year..?” Chris played a new move. Nick, fell into a time trap, and already behind on the clock now spent 30 mins (on move 6), trying to decide if the Rook sac played last time would still work. (Later computer analysis later proved the agressive Nf6 should win unless Chris were to pick the one correct line from hundreds of certain death ones…). But in the game, Nick meekly played a decidedly un-God-like move instead and the game drearily ended in a draw a bit later. With no DaveL present, the award for the most tedious game had to be awarded here.

Then the game of the evening – Mike Ward – an eleventh hour stand-in. surely a sacrificial lamb? especially against the 140+ opponent. But no. Mike not only accurately followed the evenings theme of ‘Trap’, but also elevated his play on the evening to match the Gods surrounding him.

Board 6: A Champion 0 v Mike Ward 1
The trap, in place by move 26, holding white’s Queen is clear. And what a finish! Well played Mike!!

Taunton now lead 2-1. Next was MikeR, playing the normally very agressive Gerry Jepps. But, again the ‘Trap’ theme continued…

Board 2: Mike Richardt v Gerry Jepps 0
Mike played a commanding game throughout. He are notes from the man himself –

So, Taunton lead 3-1. Just 0.5 needed to secure the win!

Next was our 200, er no, sorry, make that 199, er oops wrong again… 198-rated player, Ben. Despite his grading slipping, he did managed a very good trap, trapping Black’s Queen.

Board 1: Ben Edgell 1 v Graham Steer
Nice game by Ben, gradually squeezing Black, until his Queen is trapped and the game is over.

This win ensures Taunton win the match!

Mark’s game was (possibly) the last to finish.

Board 2: Mark Leonard 1 v Mark Hassall 0
Mark (the Frome Mark) must’ve been so relieved not to see the God-like drawing-Titan that is DaveL sat across the board. Instead he faced MarkH. This was a double edged game (and I thought MarkH was winning) but ’twas not to be. The game and comments are from MarkL (shamelessly stolen from elsewhere on the interwebby). Thanks MarkL for saving me a bit of time here! – pawnstar.

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Final result – Taunton win 4-2!!

So, the answers to the initial question is, Yes, Taunton’s all-conquering team of chess-playing Gods are continuing to slay all and sundry. (cue demonic like – Ha Ha Ha!!!)

Man of the match is most definitely Mike Ward for his stunning win!

And to round off – here is a chess joke –

– pawnstar