When entering a team in the Stevenson Kent league we always knew it would be a tall order. As even with our strongest available side we would be giving 10 grading points. So, when we were unable to field full strength teams it was no surprise we lost our first 2 games. However, they were narrow losses, which was encouraging.
Since then we have been fortunate to gain Greg Edwards to strengthen the team on board 1, in addition to everybody being available since then.
As a result, we had a good win against Lewisham in our next game. Then faced Dartford at home.
This was a very tight affair in which after 5 draws, this left Tony Packham with the fate of the team in his hands. Fortunately, Tony managed to find a way to win and provide our second victory.
Finally, last Wednesday we hosted Gravesend. After an early draw on board 1 for Greg, we went 1 down after David Helps lost on board 6. This was followed by another loss when Rob Pezet lost on board 4 in a very sharp French defence game, which had everyone guessing who was winning for long periods. This left us 2 down with 3 still playing. However, this was soon put to rights when Gary Sharp won an endgame which looked tricky to win, and Ian McAllan converted a winning position with time tight for both players. So once again we were all level and Tony Packham was left contesting the final game. As usual he didn’t disappoint winning an end game in which material was even, but his active pieces eventually managed to dominate after he showed just the right level of patient play.
This has given us 3 wins in a row and a current standing of Won 3 lost 2.
Next game is Gravesend away.
Lee Brockwell Match Captain
On 25th January the Harvey Cup team played Chislehurst and won 4-2.
Rob Pezet started the match with an excellent win by a direct king’s side attack, mating a player graded 31 points above him. Then Chris Cheeseman, who had only agreed to play on the afternoon of the match after a player dropped out because of family illness, blundered a pawn, sacrificed another one and emerged victorious. After a loss on board six the other games went the distance. Bob Mitchell lost his opening advantage and had to accept a draw offer, while Gary Sharp with no winning prospects also accepted a draw. In the last game to finish Dave Helps found a queen sacrifice which would have won an exchange for a pawn had his opponent not preferred to lose a piece and then lose on time in a lost position.
On 11th January our Harvey Cup team played Dartford and won by 3.5 – 2.0, making the half-point penalty that Dartford conceded for being overgraded irrelevant to the result.
Don Chapman gave us a good start by drawing with a much higher graded player, but all the other games apart from Ian McAllan’s looked bad. However, Gary Sharp held the draw and Dave Helps, who had been a pawn down, equalized and then took advantage of a blunder to win. With Ian McAllan winning the pressure was off Lee Brockwell, who after an up-and-down struggle, accepted a draw offer when both players had less than a minute left.
On 4th January our Stevenson Cup side played Dartford in the reverse fixture from our 5 – 1 defeat at the beginning of the season and reversed the result, winning 3.5 – 2.5. Greg Edwards, Ian McAllan, Rob Pezet, Gary Sharp and David Gilbert all drew and Tony Packham’s win provided the winning margin.
On 7th December our Stevenson Cup side won its first match with our strongest side beating Lewisham 3.5 – 2.5. Tony Packham gave us a good start by winning a piece and then the game. Dave Helps’ dubious piece sacrifice came good when he emerged a piece up, but the game was drawn. Rob Pezet’s opponent afterwards lamented moving the “wrong rook” to attack Dave’s king and Rob survived and won. Ian McAllan then converted the piece he had won for two pawns early on to give us victory.
On Wednesday 16th November the Harvey Cup team played Lewisham. Don Chapman had a quick draw, Ian McAllan and Gary Sharp had solid draws and Ken Smith had a good draw. The other two games swung about wildly. Lee Brockwell after being on top and then being totally lost won when his opponent made the last mistakes. Dave Helps, who had two extra pawns, was mated. So the match was drawn 3-3.
On 26th October we played our first Harvey Cup match of the season, losing 2-4 to Gravesend. Chris Cheeseman had a quick win, but two other positions went downhill quickly and when we lost on board 1 as well it looked grim. However Dave Helps had a very wild position and came out on top in his opponent’s time-trouble and Gary Sharp, who had been defending valiantly, won a pawn, but his opponent’s attack was too strong and he was mated.
On 2nd November we played Beckenham and won by 2.5-1.5. Chris Cheeseman had a good win.
On 9th November we played Eynsford and again won by 2.5-1.5. Nigel Threadgold and Janis Elton won quite quickly and Masud Hoque was beaten by a significantly stronger player. Chris Cheeseman appeared to be in difficulties, but continued to fight and eventually accepted an offer of a draw to win the match.
Sidcup went to Dartford on Thursday 20th Oct to play their first En Passant of the season against last year’s champions.
Fortunately everybody was available and we were able to field our strongest team against what is always a very strong Dartford team.
Whilst the match ebbed and flowed during the evening, fine winning performances by Ian McAllan, Gary Sharp, David Gilbert, and a draw by Robert Pezet, resulted in a 3.5 – 2.5 win for Sidcup.
After a first rate start our campaign continues with a tricky away match at Gravesend on Monday the 24th.
Lee Brockwell – En Passant Captain
Our Intro Cup side played its first match of the season on Wednesday 12th October against Lewisham and won 2.5- 1.5.
Chris Cheeseman finished first with a solid (!!) draw. Masud Hoque playing his first competitive game for 8 months lost. Janis Elton, who had not played a competitive game for years, won by queening a pawn and then mating,and then Nigel Threadgold won his first competitive game ever. This was a really good game where Nigel kept control for a long time, building up the pressure until his opponent cracked in a very difficult position.