Sidcup’s first team went to Gravesend on Monday, for their first fixture in the Met section of the En Passant League.
After a tough contest we managed our first win, with a score of Sidcup 4 – Gravesend 2.
Bob Mitchell got us off to a great start with a solid win on board 5. Draws then followed in quick succession, for Lee Brockwell on board 6, and for Gary Sharp on board 2. David Gilbert looked to have a won end game at first glance, but as it played out “the opposition” and who had to move first became key. Eventually despite being a pawn up in a king pawn end game, David recognised the game was actually lost. However his opponent failed to realise the full significance, and offered a draw, which David accepted.
Ian McAllan on board 1 reached a draw by repetition, in a very sharp game, with little time left on his clock. Which meant we couldn’t lose with one game remaining.
This left David Helps who played out a very exciting win to the remaining crowd, and securing the match win.
I attach David’s game below as it was an interesting finish.
18. Nb5 is tempting and maybe better
36. Re4 is better but not an easy win. The rook sacrifice gave the queen more room with the runaway pawns compensating.
We are now halfway through the season and we have achieved our 4th win out of 4 for the Fuller Team. The match was against an Eynsford team which is what I call front loaded with a very strong no. 1 Greg Edwards (160) and it was Ken Smith (115) who drew the short straw too play against him.
After a very long game, Ken resigned when Greg broke through his defence to miss a mate in 3 chance. Greg then went on to win in about 60 moves although the last moves were not recorded because of the time factor.
Lee Brockwell (109) playing with black on board 2, had an up and down game after coming out of the opening with a slight advantage with his opponent Gary Owen (115) not seeming to know what to do on move 6. Gary made a slight blunder moving his knight to g3 and then back to e2 on the next move giving black a strong advantage which he kept until move 15, at which point, Lee made a blunder moving his Knight to f4 where it could be taken. Lee then worked his way back into the game and managed to obtain a passed pawn on the d file which was to prove crucial in the endgame. He obtained his win on move 36 – his opponent made the mistake which Lee was looking for, and allowed Lee to capture his bishop back and have a superior position with his passed pawns proving very strong.
Sarah Walker-Buckton (97) playing on board 3 was playing David Glenister (74) whom she had played before and won playing black for our 4th team in the Intro League back in mid November. This time Sarah was playing with white and David badly miss calculated on move 18. David resigned a few moves later on move 22.
Keith Thompson (93) played John Owen (60) aged 13 and Keith managed to trap John’s queen so he had nowhere to go but in front of his King and then pinned it with his Bishop on move 15, going on to checkmate his opponent on move 36.
The Fuller team is now at the halfway stage of the season and are in a very strong position having played 4 matches and won all 4 with 1 point for a win and a half point for a draw; we have 4 points out of a possible 4. Our nearest rivals could be Beckenham or Pett’s Wood having a possible 2 points as they have to play each other. At present our nearest rivals are Gravesend on 1.5 points. If Beckenham and Pett’s Wood draw against each other which they could well do, they would both be on 1.5 points that would give us (going into the second half of the season) a 2.5 points advantage over our nearest rivals.
Our next game if you are superstitious could be a stumbling block for us as it is away on Friday 13th February 2015 against Eynsford again.
Another good win this week for the Fuller team against what is a strong Beckenham and Bromley team. There is not much to choose between the number 1 board player Tony Foreman graded (112) and Alan Fraser (105) playing on board 4.
The best result came from Lee Brockwell (although a draw) it was of a very high standard and not many mistakes occurred in the match where one player could get an advantage over the other. I ran Fritz over the match and it could only find one better move that Lee could have played in the whole 44 moves. Even Grandmasters do well to do this.
Keith Thompson (93) finished playing first, securing a draw for the team after losing a won position, letting Alan Fraser (105) get into a position where he could get a draw by repeating the moves.
Lee then followed up with his good draw. At this point in time it looked like the match would end in a draw as Ken Smith looked like losing his match and Sarah Bowden-Walker was in a good position and could win .
Third to finish was Ken Smith (115) (playing white for the first time this season) with a win on time over Tom Foreman (112) – this was a good result for Ken. Playing on Board 1 you usually play people with higher grades than 115 so it makes a change for Ken to play someone of similar grade. Him picking up 2 points (2 draws and a win) for us on board 1 has definitely been a contributing factor to the team’s good performance in the 3 matches played so far this season as it is so hard to pick up wins and draws from that board.
Sarah (97) finish of her opponent Laurie Roberts (108). Well done to herafter picking up her first win for the team against a higher graded opponent, to give us a good victory.
This means now that the Fuller team has 3 out of 3 points.
We have to play Eynsford on Wednesday 3rd December at home which could well be stumbling block for us as they tend to load there team with high graded players on boards 1 & 2, and then hope to get something out there much lower graded players playing on 3 & 4.
Sidcup’s David Gilbert was joint winner of the London Classic Weekday event at Olympia for players with an ECF grade under-135. David finished with four points out of five, tied with Hugh Tassell, another Kent player. In the photograph both are playing with Black pieces in the final round of the event.
David won his first two games relatively comfortably, then faced a stiff task against his Sidcup teammate, Bob Mitchell, in the third round. Bob had the better of the game which went for 60 moves, but David defended stoutly and held out for a draw. He was even more fortunate in the fourth round where he came up against Oxford mathematics student Sam Bentham. David found himself a piece down for two pawns, but managed to create counter-play with two passed pawns. The threat was too much for Sam who gave back the piece for two pawns and the game petered out to a draw.
David was now running in a tie for second and faced the leader Peter Rawcliffe in the final round needing a win to finish top. Peter is a seasoned performer at this level and won his section at the Berks and Bucks congress earlier in the year with a convincing 5.5/6.