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.
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.
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.
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 first team went to Chislehurst on 5th December for an interesting Harvey Cup match, which was drawn 3-3.
Lee, playing his first game for the first team, drew quite quickly and Don was unfortunate in his loss. Then Ken Smith, playing his first first team game since February 2009, won a good game and Dave Helps won to continue his 3-year unbeaten run for the club (4 years in February!). Gary prudently rejected a bishop sacrifice and took a draw, but Ian blundered in time-trouble to leave the match drawn at 3-3.
Our Sidcup 2 team played their third match of the season against Lewisham 6 which ended up in a 2-2 draw, gaining our first point of the season. It was a bit disappointing as we were hoping for a win.
Ken Grist (playing on board 4) was the first to gain a half point in drawing with Martin Stone. Then Leon performed what is becoming a guaranteed act on board 2 and won a point for us. Then, unfortunately, Dennis lost in a hard match against Delroy Bennet.
The last match to finish the evening was the closest and most exciting when Ken Smith (playing against Michael Knight) gained the draw we needed on the night for our first point of the season. Playing black, he was in a winning position but time was running out for him and the flag on his clock was seconds away from falling therefore losing the match but by repeating a position 3 times, the game ended in a draw. I am sure that if the time had not been a factor, he would have gained a full point for us. The game started in an unusual Queen’s Fianchetto opening after move 5 for both players. I can only find 1 other game played out of a 4 million game database which was played in 2002 by Navis as white and Poobalasingam as black, who went on to win in 33 moves.
I attach part of the game between Ken and Mike taken from Ken’s move list but unfortunately because he was in time trouble at the end, the score is not complete and the moves only can go to move 35. After that, he did manage to get the pawn on d4 home to be a queen and rook up at the end with having to swap his other rook for white’s queening pawn on b8. At the end, he was up a queen and rook against a bishop and knight with pawns being equal, but the three white pawns covering white’s king were stopping black from winning.
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.
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.