The fourth team played Petts Wood in the Intro Cup on Wednesday 20th March and won 3-1. This means that we finished 2nd in the Metropolitan section of the Intro Cup and will be playing in the semi-finals next month.
Only three Petts Wood players turned up, so John did not get a game and we had a free point. Ken Grist won efficiently after his opponent blundered away a knight and Leon’s win gave us the victory needed to reach the semi-final.]
Disaster! Against a Beckenham team which had scored 5.5 out of a possible 24 game points this season we were crushed. To be fair Beckenham did have a maximum grade team out.
Only Ian ever had a better position and he fluffed it and drew. Don had a good draw against a much stronger player and Gary also drew, but in the three losses we were fighting for the draw from the opening.
So we finish third, a disappointment after the season’s promising start.
On Wednesday 6th March the Harvey Cup team played Gravesend and drew 3-3. The match began with Don losing the opening and then the game and Ken Smith winning a pawn and then the game. Lee lost after appearing to be coasting to victory, when he blundered a rook. Gary had lost the opening, but made his usual recovery for a good win and with Ian winning all depended on Keith not losing. Keith has annotated his game below in which he did not look like losing until he blundered a pawn and a rook to leave the match drawn.
We now need to win our last match to be sure of reaching the semi-finals.
Four Sidcup players were involved in County matches at the weekend. At Dartford, Ian Mcallan drew on top board for Kent’s Under-180s, which helped his team to a 10-6 win over Surrey. While at Rochester, the Under-140 team triumphed over Essex by 9½-6½ with wins for Gary Sharp and David Gilbert, and a draw from Lee Brockwell.
The Under-180s, Under-160s, Under-140s and Under-120s have all reached the national stages of the County Championships. Quarter-Final matches are due to take place on Saturday, 18 May 2013 at neutral venues to be decided once our opponents are known.
Petts Wood 4 were always up going to be against it after turning-up with just two players for Wednesday night’s Tom Fuller match with Sidcup 3. With defaults on Boards 1 and 4 Sidcup needed just half-a-point to win the match. On Board 3 Peter Houching soon had his opponent in trouble and had reached a dominating position after just ten moves, which he soon converted into a win. Meanwhile on Board 2, Petts Wood’s Phil Wheeler found a back-rank mate to gain sweet revenue for his recent Harvey Cup loss to Lee Brockwell. But by the end of the evening Sidcup 2 ran out comfortable 3-1 winners, good enough to take them through to the next stage of the competition.
Some of the basic principles for chess openings include developing your pieces by moving them once; not making too many pawn moves that have little purpose; making coordinated moves that form a plan; and by-the-way watch out for your pawn on f7 if you are Black, it can sometimes be vulnerable to early attacks.
Lee Brockwell (ECF 111) playing White in his first Harvey Cup match for Sidcup was up against Petts Wood’s Phil Wheeler (ECF 112) playing Black a couple of weeks ago. The pair should have been equally matched, but Phil decided to ignore some of those basic opening principles and the lesson was quickly over.
This is what can happen if you make a few aimless pawn moves, pick up the same Knight three times, and forget about that exposed f7 square in the opening. The game started as a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. By move 7 White has a huge advantage in development. At this stage Black has been weakened, but not beaten. He then makes a disastrous move, b6 in an attempt to fianchetto his light squared Bishop, when e6 would at least given his dark squared Bishop some scope and helped defend the f7 pawn. Lee wastes little time in bringing the game to a swift conclusion.
The Kent Under-160 team has won the Southern Counties Cup and qualified for the national stages, after another scintillating Saturday afternoon at the Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford where they drew 8-8 in a thrilling match against Essex.
Kent initially went three points down, but fought back to share the match with Sidcup’s Gary Sharp contributing a win. Gary and his opponent had reached an equal looking end game, each with a Rook, Bishop, Knight and six pawns. Gary first forced off the Bishops and then the Rooks. It looked a draw to most observers but Gary then started to outplay his opponent. First he got his Queenside pawns moving, then exchanged his Knight for three pawns and ended the game with his opponent in zugzwang.
Dartford’s David Orr (pictured above), playing White against Alan Riddoch on Board 16 attracted the attention of on-lookers. He had sacrificed both Bishops for a powerful attack with Queen, Rooks and pawns. But, as David moved to connect his Rooks on the d-file, he inadvertently knocked over his King which had sat on g1, only to replace it on the f1 square. Neither player had noticed and so the game continued. As you’ll see that proved to be important to the outcome of the game.
Black gave back a Bishop for a pawn in an attempt on free-up his position and both sets of Rooks were exchanged. With David about to Queen his h-pawn Alan found the game-saving move (see diagram), Qh5 threatening checkmate on White’s back rank and vacating the f7 square for his Knight. However, you’ll notice that if the White King had been where it should have been on g1, rather than f1, there would have been no defence. The game ended in a draw. Afterwards both players were surprised to discover that the White King had jumped a square during the game!
With one match each to play the Under-160 table looks like this:
Kent’s Under-120 team were also in action against Essex. They travelled across the River to Wanstead for the match and included Sidcup’s Lee Brockwell in their twelve. Lee now plays off a grade of 111 and has moved up to board 6 where drew with the Black pieces against Stephen Woodall. That half-point helped Kent to a 7-5 victory, which leaves them in a very strong position in the Union stages with three wins and two draws. The League table looks like this:
The first team went to Petts Wood on Friday 15th February to play a Harvey Cup match against the only team in the division wih a 100% record and won 4-2.
Lee won a quick game and Don accepted a draw offer, but with Dave losing his first game for the club for over 4 years the match was evenly balanced. However, Gary turned his poor position around with a queen sacrifice to win and Ian agreed a draw, so it came down to Chris’s wild game. When material down, Chris spurned a perpetual check, which he had seen, and his optimism was rewarded. This win was Chris’s first game for the Harvey Cup team.
Having dropped only one draw, the Metropolitan title is ours to lose.
The latest Kent League tables were published at the weekend. These appear on the League Tables tab above. They show the Club having a very decent season so far. The Harvey Cup team will be within striking distance of the next stage if they can beat Gravesend 4 on Wednesday evening. Although the 2nd team look out of the running in the Tom Fuller, the undefeated 3rd team look assured of making progress if they can avoid defeat against Gravesend 5 in March 2013. The Intro Cup side have won two and drawn two of their four matches and lie second, albeit with another four matches to play. They’re looking good!
Last Wednesday the Intro Cup side travelled to Lewisham for an exciting 2-2 draw. With Peter Houching and Ian Reeve going down on the top two boards, Sidcup’s bacon was saved by wins on Boards three and four by Chris Cheeseman and Ken Grist. Another close encounter!
On the County front, Gary Sharp and David Gilbert made the journey down to Rochester with the Kent Under-140 side two Saturdays ago. Both suffered defeats as Kent went down 6½-9½ to a strong Middlesex team. Kent will need to beat Essex in their remaining fixture to have any chance of making it to the national stages.
Kent’s Under-160 and Under-100 teams were snowed-off a few weeks back and last weekend picked-up where they left off. The teams had mixed fortunes. David Helps was playing for the Under-160s at Willesden. Although David lost his game, the team came back from the brink of defeat to win a thrilling 8½-7½ victory, with Lewisham’s David Helsby securing victory with the last kick. All this achieved with a team decimated by congress entries at Hertford, Imperial College and Kidlington. It means Kent have already done enough to qualify for the national stages.
The Under-100 team went down to Ashtead where they were well beaten by Surrey. The match saw Chris Cheeseman turn out on top board and the welcome return of his bother Frank. Chris suffered defeat, whilst Frank had one of his team’s four wins. Unfortunately it’s very unlikely that the team will progress any further in this year’s competition.
Finally, on the grading front, there were some 2000 changes made to the Grading Database this morning (mostly people going up or down by a point) with three Sidcup players affected.
Lee Brockwell was 110 goes up one to 111
Chris Cheeseman was 99 and moves up to 100
John Morris was 75 and drops five to 70