The new six-monthly grades were published yesterday morning. This is the second time the English Chess Federation has issued half-yearly grades for standard-play games, and generally people seem pleased to get the update. Of course, the July 2012 grades are still used for Kent League matches, but the latest grades supercede any estimated grades given at the start of the season. The excellent on-line Grading Database provides details of grades going back to 1994, and details of individual games from 2003.
There are congratulations for Ian McAllan who equalled his highest grade which he achieved in 1996. David Helps goes on improving. He had a grade of 95 back in 2006 and has moved up every year and has now reached 149. Lee Brockwell and Ian Reeve have played enough games to get their first grade. Lee comes in at 110 and Ian at 99. That compares with their estimated grades of 99 and 98 respectively. It makes you want to play more chess doesn’t it!
Jan '13 July '12
Ian McAllan 176 175
David Helps 149 143
Gary Sharp 137 136
David Gilbert 131 130
Robert Pezet 129 129
Keith Thompson 115 124
Kenneth Smith 113 115
Leon Hopkins 112 107
Lee Brockwell 110 -
Chris Cheeseman 99 99
Ian Reeve 99 -
Dennis Halton 96 99
Peter Houching 95 100
Ken Grist 83 84
John Morris 75 76
Don Chapman 71 72
Phil Broughton 32 32
Sidcup 3 finished with a 2 – 2 draw at Lewisham in their latest Tom Fuller league match. Rather unusually, all four boards ended in draws. After Peter Houching and Chris Cheesman achieved the first 2 draws, hopes for a win were high with David Helps an exchange up on Board 1 and Lee Brockwell looking to have a won game in a knight pawn ending in which he was 3 connected pawns ahead. However, with both suffering time issues, David did the sensible thing and accepted the draw in a very locked down position, only for Lee to blunder a pawn away and then see his opponent make a clever knight sacrifice to remove the other 2 pawns and get the draw.
Whilst it felt like one that slipped away, the result means our final game against Petts Wood at home only requires a draw to reach the next stage.
Sidcup 3 staged an incredible come-back on Thursday evening in their Tom Fuller top-of-the-table clash with Beckenham 5. They looked to be heading for defeat after David Gilbert and Peter Houching had lost tamely on the top two boards. But the match turned into a thriller. Chris Cheeseman began the revival, winning on time from a good position as his opponent failed to cope with the rate of play. Then with a few minutes left, captain Lee Brockwell rescued a 2-2 draw with a brilliant and over-powering King-side attack that involved all his pieces.
That was close – but very exciting and enjoyable. The next match for the 3rd team is on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 when we travel to Catford Cricket Ground in Penerley Road to play Lewisham 6, another of the leading contenders.
Gary Sharp, Lee Brockwell and David Gilbert made their way to Harpenden on Saturday to join the Kent Under 140 team for a match against Hertfordshire. Conditions at the Senior Citizens’ Centre were excellent, and the mouth-watering display of luxury dark, milk and white chocolate biscuits added to the pleasure.
In the end, Kent ran out comfortable winners by 10-6, with our three Sidcup players earning precious draws, although everyone was left scratching their heads at how Lee Brockwell came back from two pieces down to get his half-a-point. The result leaves the Kent 140s in a good position with 1½ from two matches. Their next match is a crucial one against an unbeaten Middlesex side at Rochester in a fortnight.
Sidcup’s third team were back at the board against Gravesend 5 in the Tom Fuller Cup on Wednesday night. The evening started with the bad news that Peter Houching had had to withdraw at the last moment in unavoidable circumstances. The only alternative was to bring in a higher rated substitute, David Gilbert, on board two and concede a full penalty point to Gravesend.
That point gave the away team some impetus, and Gravesend were more than holding their own on all four boards for most of the evening. But as time ticked away, Chris Cheeseman struck in a complicated position to force his opponent’s resignation, then captain Lee Brockwell agreed a draw in an equal position on board three. David Gilbert created two connected passed pawns in the centre which proved too powerful as they marched forward. And finally David Helps’ extra piece was good enough to seal overall victory on top board.
Sidcup 3 Gravesend 5
David Helps (145) 1 - 0 John Flowers (115)
David Gilbert (130) 1 - 0 Alan Evans (110)
Lee Brockwell (99e) ½-½ Peter Belka (100)
Chris Cheeseman (95) 1 - 0 Bernard Lis (80)
Next up for the third team is an away trip to Beckenham 5 on Thursday, 17 January 2013.
The Club Championship is in full-swing. Games are played on a handicap basis, with the stronger players giving a time advantage to their opponents – for example when Ian McAllan (175) was taken-on by Jack Hollands (86) last night, Ian started with just six minutes on his clock whilst Jack began with 54 minutes. Although Ian eventually won the game with just seconds left, Jack missed his drawing chance in a King and pawn ending.
Ian’s win pushes him clear at the top with a 100% record of four wins from four games and he’ll be difficult to catch. That doesn’t mean that others won’t be trying to knock him off top spot in the coming weeks. They include Lee Brockwell who sits in second and the two Davids, Helps and Gilbert, who are tied for third. And it would be foolish to rule out Dennis Halton and Jim Appleton who both have perfect scores, or last year’s champion Leon Hopkins.
P W D L Pts
Ian McAllan 4 4 0 0 4
Lee Brockwell 5 3 0 2 3
David Gilbert 3 2 1 0 2.5
David Helps 5 2 1 2 2.5
Dennis Halton 2 2 0 0 2
Jim Appleton 1 1 0 0 1
Leon Hopkins 2 1 0 1 1
Jack Hollands 4 1 0 3 1
C Cheeseman 4 1 0 3 1
Chris F-Jones 1 0 0 1 0
Ken Grist 1 0 0 1 0
D. Johnson 1 0 0 1 0
Ian Reeve 1 0 0 1 0
P Houching 2 0 0 2 0
David Gilbert finished at Hastings with three successive wins to take a share of the grading prize. Taking his turn with the black pieces, in the fourth round David found himself up against the wily Barry Sandercock, a regular at Chess congresses up-and-down the country. The game begins as a Queen’s Pawn opening, with a hint of Colle, Benoni and the Benko Gambit. David soon reaches equality and begins to open up the game. After a series of complications, David finds a tactic to secure the two bishops and with their combined power he gradually turns the screw.
Three Club members, Lee Brockwell, David Gilbert and Ken Smith were in action at Hastings over the weekend.
Lee Brockwell took up the game in the Summer after many years of inactivity, and is now improving fast. Playing in the Under-120 section in his first Chess Congress he accumulated 3½/5 points, giving him a share of fourth place and a grading performance of 125. In the same event Ken Smith scored a respectable 2/4.
In the Under-150 event David Gilbert had a shaky start, but then found his form with three successive wins to leave him on 3½/5, good enough to pinch a half-share of the grading prize.
The latest League Tables for 1 January 2013 are now available on the League Tables tab. At the half-way point Sidcup 1 share first place in the Harvey Cup, Sidcup 2 sit second and Sidcup 3 fourth in the Tom Fuller Cup, while the Intro Cup team are second in their group.
January will be a busy month for the Club. Sidcup 3 have three matches – at home to Gravesend 5 on Wednesday, 9 January 2013; away to Beckenham 5 on Thursday, 17 January 2013; and away to Lewisham 6 on Wednesday, 23 January 2013. The intro Cup team end the month with an away match against Lewisham 7 on Wednesday, 30 January 2013.