The 2016/17 league season has now finished with Sidcup’s four teams finishing no lower than 2nd= in their leagues.
In the Stevenson Cup, which this season we entered for the first time for many years, we hoped for no more than a respectable mid-table position. However we came a clear 2nd, qualifying for the all-Kent semi-finals of the competition (the top two in the metropolitan area qualify), where we played Tunbridge Wells. In that match we raced into a 2.5 – 0.5 lead with wins from Rob Pezet and Dave Helps and a draw from Gary Sharp. Unfortunately we lost the other three games and so lost 2.5 – 3.5.
The En Passant Cup side finished 2nd= on match points and game points and failed to progress to the semi-finals having lost our match during the season with the team that we tied with.
The Harvey Cup side also finished 2nd= on match points and game points with a team that we had drawn our match during the season with, but failed to progress to the semi-final on the next tie-break of which boards in the drawn match were won: we won on board 4, but they won on board 3.
The Intro Cup side finished equal top on match points, but were placed second having fewer game points than Petts Wood. In the semi-final we overcame Tunbridge Wells, when a tie-break finally went our way. Don Chapman won and Chris Cheeseman and Gary Sharp drew in a drawn match, where we went through to the final as we had won on board 3 and they had won on board 4. In the final we played Maidstone. Rob Pezet had a smooth win on board 1 while Nigel Threadgold could not quite recover from a poor opening and eventually lost. David Dallakyan found himself in a difficult position, but managed to liquidate down to just three king’s side pawns each and accepted a draw offer. Janis Elton had a very exciting game watched by lots of spectators; when the dust settled there were just pawns left and neither side could make any progress. So it finished 2 – 2, and as we had won on board 1 and lost on board 3 we were champions on tie-break.”
Congratulations to Janis on winning the Intro Cup and Lee Brockwell on his organizational help.
The final League Tables are now available on the tab. Sidcup 3 and Sidcup 4 have qualified for the Kent League semi-finals in their respective competitions. Sidcup 3 will be away to Snodland 3 in the Tom Fuller Cup while Sidcup 4 take on Snodland 4 in the IntroCup. Match dates have still to be finalised, but must be played by Sunday, 5 May 2013.
The full draw is as follows:
Tom Fuller Cup
Beckenham 5 v Sittingbourne 2
Snodland 3 v Sidcup 3
Beckenham 6 v Medway 3
Snodland 4 v Sidcup 4
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
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 latest League Tables for 1 January 2013 are now available on the League Tables tab. At the half-way point Sidcup 1 share first place in the Harvey Cup, Sidcup 2 sit second and Sidcup 3 fourth in the Tom Fuller Cup, while the Intro Cup team are second in their group.
January will be a busy month for the Club. Sidcup 3 have three matches – at home to Gravesend 5 on Wednesday, 9 January 2013; away to Beckenham 5 on Thursday, 17 January 2013; and away to Lewisham 6 on Wednesday, 23 January 2013. The intro Cup team end the month with an away match against Lewisham 7 on Wednesday, 30 January 2013.
David Helps won his game for Sidcup in the Harvey Cup last week. That in itself should be no surprise. David’s unbeaten run in the Kent League stretches back to February 2009. That’s coming-up for four years. During that period he has played19 games winning ten and drawing nine, while his ECF grade has risen from 102 to 143.
On Wednesday night the game begun as a Four Knights Symmetrical English but soon transposed into a sort of Tarrasch Defence. In the middle game David playing Black loses a pawn, but gains some compensation by placing his dark squared Bishop on the long a1-h8 diagonal. David gradually creates activity for his Rooks, establishes a Rook and Bishop on the second rank, and marches his c pawn down the board. With David in complete control, he misses a mating combination at move 48, but the long route is still winning and his opponent eventually resigns a Queen down.
The Kent League tables reflect the fortunes of the four Sidcup teams.Ian McAllan’s first team are tied second in the Harvey Cup, but it’s still early days with just one match played. The team visit Chislehurst 2 on Wednesday, 5 December 2012 in a clash of the two unbeaten teams.
Sidcup have two teams in the Tom Fuller Cup. Sidcup 2 had their first win of the season last week. It moves them into second place, but all the teams around them have matches in hand. Up next is an away trip to Gravesend 5 on Thursday, 13 December 2012. Club rivals, Sidcup 3, are currently sitting in fourth spot, but have only played once. Their season really gets moving in the New Year with three matches scheduled in a busy January 2013.
In the Intro Cup, Sidcup 4 and Beckenham 6 drew their match back in November, and these two teams sit unbeaten in first and second places. Peter Houching’s charges will hope to close the gap at the top next Wednesday when they face the mighty Petts Wood 5.
The Kent Under-160 team were back in action against Surrey at the weekend, with Sidcup’s Gary Sharp representing the County. Gary was paired with Michael Gunn. Michael is the closest thing we have to Chess Royalty – he is currently the Non-Executive Chairman and Acting-CEO of the English Chess Federation. But the presence of aristocracy had no effect on Gary who soon had his opponent in trouble and helped Kent to a comfortable victory by 9½ – 6½, leaving them top-of-the-table with a 100% record of three wins from three matches.
In other news, last weekend, Lee Brockwell (captain of the Sidcup 3 side in the Fuller Cup) made his debut for Kent’s Under-100s. Although Lee won his game, it wasn’t quite enough as Kent slid to a narrow 5½ – 6½ defeat at the hands of Surrey.
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.