Team News 24.10.12

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.

Team News 19.10.12

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.

Fuller – Sidcup v Lewisham Match Report

Sidcup 2 v Lewisham 7

Result 2 – 2 Draw

Not a bad result for the start of the season. Lewisham won their first match of the season, 3-1 against Petts Wood. It will be a tough return match against them.

The results were as follows Sidcup‘s team is in the first column. The figures in the first and last columns are the players gradings:-


Dennis Halton



John Allen



Keith Thompson



Cerden Mincher



Ken Grist



Lomy Mincer



Leon Hopkins



Tom Allen


The evening started well with Keith, who played well to beat Cerden in 20 moves.

Our new player Leon then beat a young and up and coming Tom Allen, so giving us at least a half point.

Both Ken and Dennis took there opponents to the end game and both could not stop their player pawns from getting to the eighth rank and thereby, gaining a queen. Each would have been checkmated a few moves later if they had not resigned.

Special mention should be made of Dennis who fought a hard battle against a player who is much higher graded.

It will be a tough return match against them when they will be looking for a win instead of the draw and we will also be looking to improve.

In the end a draw was a fair result for our first match of the new season, hopefully better things are to come in our next match on the 24th November against Petts Wood.

Keith Thompson

Intro – Sidcup v Lewisham Match Report

Captain’s Report

Not a very good evening for us after our good win a few weeks before; I was at least hoping for draw.

Lewisham had their number 1 player drop out the night before so they had to bring in John Allen as acting Captain for the night (the father of Thomas). John is rated 159 and consequently, this pushed their average ratings above the legal limit, leading to a half point forfeit.

Derek Johnston was the first to lose, going down a piece early on in his game which he never really recovered from. After that, we all went down during the course of the evening one by one.

I think perhaps Phil Broughton put up the best fight, only losing out to a promoted pawn he could not stop. So in the end it must have been sweet revenge for Lewisham trouncing us 3.5 to 0.5.

It was pity as losing the match, we finished 3 out of 3, but it was close thing in the end, as had we had won that, we would have finished equal top perhaps only finishing second in the league on games diff.

Play chess online

Keith Thompson

Fuller – Sidcup v Lewisham Match Report

Captain’s Report
Sidcup(2) v Lewisham(6)
Played at Sidcup on Wednesday 14th January 2010

After the difficulties of the winter condition, we are now able to resume playing chess after the weather enforced extended Christmas break.

Sidcup fielded a strong side with :-

Board 1 Ken Grist 119 v Ian Moody 111
Board 2 Dennis Halton 112 v Delroy Bennett 104
Board 3 Keith Thompson 107 v Ken Smith 98
Board 4 Peter Houchin 95 v Daniel Dacra 95

On paper it looked as though we had the stronger side, but things aren’t always as they seem. We started the evening off well by winning the toss and decided to play white on the odd board.

I got us off to good start by beating Ken Smith with the white. I have played Ken on 2 occasions before, having won with the white piece and drawn with the black. He tends to play e5 to my e4 so I can play the Spanish or the Ruy Lopez, which I play when e5 is played. On this occasion, Ken played the Steinitz Defence. I was never in too much trouble and it was the first game to finish.

Then Dennis got us 2 points up by beating Delroy Bennett. I think after about 20 moves, Delroy offered Dennis a draw, but from what I could see, there was still plenty of play left in the game, so I think it was more out of hope than anything else. Dennis managed to exchange 2 pieces for a rook and from then on, he just had to take care to secure the win.

Peter had one of those nights where nothing would go right for him, but he played on to the end, where his opponent had pawns ready to queen. Peter said he was in a lost position from about move 10. It was a surprising loss as this is his first lost for the season and Peter has been playing well, where we could have hoped he would secure a draw at least.

The last game to finish on the night was Ken. I was hoping he could reverse his previous loss earlier in the season. Although Ken put up a brave fight, he was a piece down when I started looking at the match and after about 35 moves he was in a losing position.

So at the end of the evening, the result was 2-2. This was a better than when we played the away fixture (where we lost) so they have taken 3 points off of us this year.

As I wrote earlier re: being the stronger side on paper: even though we had beaten Petts Wood in our first game of the season and they had beaten this Lewisham side, things don’t always turn out as expected.

Keith Thompson

Fuller – Sidcup v Lewisham Match Report

Captain’s Report
Sidcup v Lewisham
Played at Lewisham on Wednesday 18th November 2009

Last Wednesday our Fuller team lost to Lewisham.

The game was played away at Catford Cricket Club in their Pavilion where we were playing black on boards 1 & 3 and both boards 1 & 3 lost.

Board 2 finished first when I (Keith Thompson) accepted a draw from a position which I thought was going to be hard to win; neither of us making any grave errors in the game. My only chance came on move 17 when I could have played a pawn move to g4 which could have given me a pawn up. I saw the move but having lost a bad game the previous week decided that my confidence was at a low and needed to play safely. COnsequently, I didn’t want to take too many chances, where playing g4 could have led to opening my king to attacks which I did not feel confident of repelling. So the game petered out into a draw which at the time I thought may be quite good.

Then unfortunately, Ken (playing on board 1) made an error in castling on move 18, which immediately lost him a pawn and he went on to lose in 27 moves to Ian Moody.

Stephen Moon then lost, surprisingly, to Ken Smith.

Lastly, Peter Houching then won a fine game (which at one stage looked as though it was heading for a draw) playing an endgame in which he created a passed pawn which black was not able to stop from queening. He won the game after a hard 58 moves played.

Keith Thompson

Play online chess

Play chess online

Fuller – Sidcup v Beckenham Match Report

Captain’s Report
Sidcup v Beckenham
Played at Sidcup on Wednesday 11th November 2009

With both Beckenham and Sidcup having won their first matches and only 4 teams in the league this year, this was a match between the top two teams at this stage of the tournament.

The evening started off well for Sidcup with Stephen Moon playing on Board 3 (white) beating a very experienced player in Alan Fraser.

Keith Thompson (black) on board 2 then missed a winning chance on move 18, but never really got back into the game and should have had at least a draw. He went on to lose, playing badly from thereon in.

Ken Grist playing board 1 (white) against Richard Putham, agreed a draw on move 40.

Unfortunately for Sidcup and Peter playing on board 4 (black), time for the evening ran out and at the end, a draw was agreed, although there was still a lot a play in the game and white had just made a mistake which could have proved costly if play had carried on.

In the end, a draw for both teams was a fair result, but I am disappointed that Sidcup did not secure all the points.

Keith Thompson

Play online chess

Play chess online

Play chess online

Fuller – Sidcup v Petts Wood Match Report

Captains Report
Petts Wood v Sidcup
Played at Petts Wood on Friday 6th November 2009

Sidcup had a good win against a good Petts Wood side, which on paper looked a very evenly matched game; the average rating being only 1 point difference with Sidcup 104 against 103.

After winning the toss, Jack Hollands (board 1) decided to play black. Sidcup got off to a good start after about 1 hour’s play when Keith Thompson (white) won the first game in 36 moves on board 2 and Stephen Moon (black) won on board 3 about 10 minutes later.

The win for Sidcup looked on the cards; it was just a question by how much the margin was going to be.

Peter Houching’s (white) game on board 4 could have turned out very differently if Roy Ellis (Petts Wood) had taken advantage of an early mistake by Peter on move 11. After Roy missed this chance, Peter fought his way back into the game and in the end could have won it. Peter finally secured the win for Sidcup accepting a draw (from what looked like an advantage for white with a pawn up) to give the half point Sidcup needed to take home the win for the team.

Jack Hollands drew the last match on board 1 after what was a 2 hour struggle of 64 moves, finishing at 10.30pm with only the 2 Kings, a rook and a pawn each, on the board.

Play online chess

Play online chess