Tonight saw Sidcup’s 2nd team battle it out with a relatively strong Beckenham 5 team in the Fuller Cup. Beckenham arrived at the Hurst Community Centre with an over-strength side and conceded a half-point penalty before the teams had tossed for colours. But that half-point turned out to be insufficient compensation as the visitors punctured the Sidcup defences. Beckenham’s prolific top board, Alan Fraser, who played more long-play than anyone else in the country last season, made short work of captain Keith Thompson to give the away team an early lead. That was soon followed by wins for Fred Williams over Ian Reeve and Geoff Kelsey over Dennis Halton – Dennis running into problems with Old Father Time. It was left to Leon Hopkins to salvage Sidcup’s pride as he eventually pushed over Mike Spencer in a closely fought game.
The 2nd Team are back in action next week when they face Lewisham 5 in another thrilling Fuller Cup match.
We’ve now moved over to a WordPress based site which will make it much easier to maintain.
Some notable changes are that firstly, we are now able to view the chess games without scrollbars and the like going haywire. Over the coming weeks, I will be transferring the old games into this new format, so if you can’t see a game you’ve seen before, that is why.
I have also added some new links down the bottom right (scroll down). You can access both our club’s grades plus those of the other clubs that we are playing against this season. This might be useful to captains of the various teams.
It is also possible to comment on the articles and items here. Give it a try!
Lastly, we still have our fixtures tab at the top so you can quickly see upcoming games and results.
Sidcup sent out two teams on Wednesday night. The first team travelled to Catford Cricket Ground for a Harvey Cup match against Lewisham’s fifth team, whilst the fourth team entertained Gravesend’s sixth team again at the Hurst Community Centre in the Intro Cup.
Down at Catford, Captain Ian McAllan made himself 12th man and sent a balanced side into bat. That policy paid off when Ken Smith, making a welcome return after several years’ absence, had a crushing early win, and Dennis Halton and Dave Helps turned around bad openings to win handily. Lewisham then staged a recovery when Keith Thompson dropped a piece and David Gilbert’s opponent made an excellent exchange sacrifice, but Gary Sharp secured the match win 3.5 – 2.5 by accepting a draw offer when he had the better of it.
Meanwhile Peter Houching’s Intro Cup side were enjoying a comfortable 3.5 – 0.5 win over Gravesend. The Captain believes you shouldn’t change a winning team and stuck with the same players who had beaten the same opponents six days earlier. The strategy was rewarded with wins from Leon Hopkins, Lee Brockwell and Ken Grist, whilst John Morris drew. That’s two wins out of two and a great start for the fourth team.
The Chess season got off to an exciting start at the Hurst Community Centre on Wednesday night as Sidcup’s 2nd team faced arch-rivals (and good mates) from the new 3rd Team in the Fuller Cup. Third team captain Lee Brockwell kept his line-up a closely guarded secret until the last moment and then revealed his big gun, David Helps, on Top Board. As it turned out, the 3rd Team out-graded their 2nd team rivals by an average of six points per Board. In the end those extra points made the difference and the 3rd Team won through by a 3-1 scoreline. Keith Thompson was not worse until he made a small mistake that lost the exchange and eventually the game to David Helps. On Boards two and three Leon Hopkins and Peter Houching, and Ian Reeve and Lee Brockwell reached equality, and eventually agreed honorable draws. On Board four Chris Cheeseman finished with a nice mating attack to take a full point from his game with Ken Grist.
The following evening the Intro Cup team travelled to Dartford to meet a Gravesend 6 team, made up of players from both Gravesend and Dartford Chess Clubs. The evening went largely according to plan – but with one or two hiccups on route! On top Board Leon Hopkins playing his second match on consecutive evenings eventually ground down his opponent for the win. But on Board two, Lee Brockwell blundered a Knight and went down – in the post-match analysis Lee found the move that would have won the game, but that’s chess! Gravesend’s Junior, Conner Phillips, had Ken Grist on the ropes for a while, but the position became blocked and both players shook hands on a draw. Board four provided all the excitement. In a wild game, John Morris first won the exchange, but then dropped a piece, albeit with good counter-play. The game ended when John found a ‘royal’ fork. His Knight checking his opponent’s King whilst also attacking Queen and Rook. The game was over and Sidcup had won the match by the narrowest of margins – 2.5 – 1.5.
Matches for the new season are now on the website (see Fixtures tab). The new season kicks-off on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 when Keith Thompson’s 2nd team – last season’s League winners – take on a brand new Sidcup third team, captained by new recruit Lee Brockwell, in the Tom Fuller Cup. The following night, on Thursday, 18 October 2012, Peter Houching’s Intro Cup team start their campaign against Gravesend 6. The match is being played at Dartford so our team can be in their beds before midnight. The Harvey Cup team reached the knockout stages last season and their programme gets underway a week later, on Wednesday, 24 October 2012, when captain Ian McAllan takes our first team to down to play Lewisham 5.