The 3rd team played their final Tom Fuller league fixture against league leaders Beckenham, knowing a win was essential to guarantee progression to the semi-final stage.
The teams were evenly matched and grades suggested we should win the top 2 boards, and lose the bottom 2.
However junior David Dallakyan bucked the grading and produced his debut win for the club on board 3, against the experienced Alan Fraser.
David Helps then provided a 2nd win on board 1 after his opponent left his queen en prise.
The final 2 games were quite even until Don Chapman blundered a piece and eventually lost.
This left everything depending on Bob Mitchell, who’s opponent was in time trouble in a very locked up position. They played on for some time keeping the crowd on tender hooks, but eventually the position become completely locked and they agreed a draw.
Result Sidcup 2.5 – Beckenham 1.5
Sidcup hosted Charlton in their 3rd Tom Fuller league match on Wednesday the 6th January, in their first 2016 fixture.
Bob Mitchell led from the front on board 1 and recorded an early win, after his opponent played an debatable knight sacrifice, when underdeveloped. Bob took advantage of this and delivered a convincing attack to win early.
Lee Brockwell, on board 2, was offered a draw shortly after.
At this point board 3 was even and board 4 was looking like a win. Masud was a piece in front and had a strong attack building. Having refused a couple recently in similar situations and going on to lose tricky end games, I was determined to put the team first this time and took the draw.
However one can never be sure at this level, and shortly after, Masud gave back his piece advantage and lost the initiative. There was a noticeable change in body language, with Masud looking like he had given up for a couple of moves, when he lost another pawn. However he regrouped and made it difficult for his opponent, who eventually blundered a piece after leaving a knight defended by a pawn which was pinned and couldn’t be used to take back without losing his queen when the pin was removed. Surprisingly not only did he miss the loss of his knight, he touched the pawn and knight before realising, but was forced to take and lose his queen.
A resignation followed immediately which clinched the match. Sarah played her usual solid game and eventually agreed a draw in a very tight, well matched game.
Final result Sidcup 3 Charlton 1.
League situation: Played 3 Won 2 drawn 1.
Sidcup travelled to Petts Wood for their first Tom Fuller fixture on Friday with a team of David Helps, Lee Brockwell, Chris Cheeseman, and Masud Hoque.
Following his confidence building win at Lewisham earlier in the week, David made fairly short work of this test, after his opponent blundered a rook early on.
Masud then managed to win a very sharp game against an improving junior.
Chris then offered his opponent a draw despite having the better position following his usual sacrifice, to try and secure the team win and it was accepted, guaranteeing the team win.
I finally managed to win my game after winning the exchange in the middle game.
Final result Sidcup 3.5 Petts Wood 0.5
On Wednesday 29th April, our 3rd team playing in the Fuller Cup had a semi final match at home against a strong Snodland side who came runners up in their section of the Fuller Cup.
After a very hard fought match, Sidcup won the match 3 games to 1.
Snodland had a very strong side with the team grading just below the limit of 440 at 439 so they were stronger on 3 of the 4 boards. The evening started with Keith losing the toss and Rob Thompson (no relation) the Snodland Captain playing on board 1 electing to play white on boards 1 & 3.
The first to finish was Keith Thompson (93) playing white against his namesake Matt Thompson (60) (again, no relation) forcing black to resign on move 42 when Keith had mating attack which Matt could not escape.
The next match to finish was Sarah (93) playing against Hugh Broadbent (her father) (117). The game was very hard fought and Sarah had her chances but finally Sarah’s father finally managed to win the day. At one stage during the match, Hugh asked his team mates if a draw was going to be good enough but their matches were still going on and they could not say.
Hugh had the first good chance on move 36 when Sarah played an incorrect queen move and gave Hugh good chances to win from the position. Then 3 moves later she grabbed a pawn that could not be taken and the position was even again. I think here it could have been an easy draw for both players if they kept checking their respective kings but Hugh (I think) went for the win. He moved his king up to assist his queen and made a mistake on move 39 so chances were equal again. On move 43, Sarah had a slight advantage and a further mistake 2 moves later by her father gave Sarah a winning advantage. On move 47, she missed her chance to move her e pawn to a square nearer promotion and the position was equal again. Then, on move 48, she gave her father the winning advantage which he took and Sarah resigned a move later.
While Sarah was in her struggles, Bob and Lee were having there own gigantic problems.
Lee (117) playing white against David Lettington (129) missed a chance to take an advantage on move 27. David tempted Lee to take his knight playing Nxd5 but Lee could not take this as then the sequence would be Rxd5 Rxd5 pxd5 Rxc2. Lee saw this a played Bxh7 but a pawn move to f4 attacking his rook would have given David something to think about and given Lee an advantage. After this, the position for the next 10 moves was very equal and David was the one to crack making an incorrect king move on move 37. Lee took advantage and went on to promote his d pawn to a queen whereupon David resigned.
Bob (125) playing black on board 1 against Rob Thompson (137), was the last to finish after playing over 100 moves in an epic battle. Rob had a slight advantage and because it is sometimes a struggle for black to reach equal terms, Bob had to play 39 moves before white gave him any chances whatsoever. Then white played the incorrect Qe3 and gave Bob the advantage but at move 40 missed Nxe6 and the position was equal until move 47 when white again played an incorrect queen move. This gave Bob the advantage again who then played an incorrect RXR move on move 52 leaving the position was equal again for the next 34 moves. The duel and finally came to an end on move 86.
Rob made the final queen mistake to give Bob a winning game and mated Rob on move 101 to send us through to the final where we play Weald of Kent. They topped the Mid Kent division and found that Gravesend defaulted in their semi final.
So, it looks as though it will be another epic struggle next Sunday .
(Photos courtesy of Brendan O’Gorman)
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 3 played their last match for this season in the Fuller League on Thursday against a strong Gravesend 5 who, because their grading was higher than the limit, were deducted .50 point.
The team was in fine form and come away with a 3.50 to .50 win but because they had the half point deducted we won 3.50 to 0.
Gravesend plays underneath a pub so meant that we could play till 11.30pm leaving an agreed time to play of 35 moves in a hour and 15 minutes with 15 minutes to finish the game.
The evening started of well with Mark Lenette grade (70) winning with white against Conner Phillips (60) on board 4 in quick time.
Then after a hard game, about an hour later, Ken Smith (117) playing black, had a terrific win on board 1 against Paul Le Bretton (135) 18 grading points higher.
Third to finish was Lee Brockwell when a draw was agreed between Lee (113) playing White against Lee Phillips who was 20 grading points higher on (133).
Last to finish, after a very hard game, Keith Thompson (112) brought the evening to a close with a good win against John Fowers (120) who had soundly beaten Keith on the last 2 occasions.
A bad week for us this week after a good win against Beckenham at the end of January. I had been suffering a flu virus during February so I decided to drop out and let the others have crack against Lewisham and what is a tight league. All teams are dropping points and 1 ½ points separate the top team Lewisham from us propping up the bottom.
Lewisham turned up with 3 players but we still went down 3 -1.
The top 2 boards where of a high standard and Lee (board 2) did well to keep fighting to move 28 where he made a blunder and allowed Bob Hewitt to capitalise and take his Bishop. He kept on fighting though and managed to get back into the game, but time run out on him in the end.
Ken Smith playing on board one was up against a player who has a rating of 131 against 117 so he was always going to be up against it. Being on board 1 can be a bit demoralising as you always seem to come up against the good and higher graded players. I do not think Ken has played a player lower than 131 this year for us. Playing Black, Ken was always playing to get even from a Kings Gambit declined opening and White was able to get a good position. However, by move 17, he was a rook exchange up for a knight.
I had hoped that Chris Cheeseman would get my revenge over Delroy Bennet playing on board 3 for me as I lost to a blunder in the away match, but unfortunately he got into a losing endgame and lost.
Our fourth player was Mark Lenette who turned up to play and was without a game, giving us our 1 point.
Last Wednesday our 3rd team played a home match against Gravesend but despite being very enthusiastic did not perform too well and went down 3 -1.
Playing on Board 1 was Ken Smith (117) against Paul Le Breton (135) who again had to face a player who was of a much higher grading and went down in the endgame.
On Board 2 was Keith Thompson (112) playing against John Fowers (120) who didn’t really use the advantage of playing White and come out of the opening in a bad position and never regained equality.
Don Chapman (74) playing on Board 4 against Paul Loasby (65) went down to an endgame but had to resign when his opponent managed to secure a passed pawn which Don could not stop from arriving at the eighth rank.
Our only success of the evening came when Chris Cheeseman (99) playing against Peter Belkka (111) played a great game and was a Rook, Bishop and 2 pawns up when White decided to call it a day and resign.