Sidcup were finally knocked out of the Tom Fuller at the semi-final stage against a strong Snodland side. For a while, despite Snodland loading top boards with stronger grades, we looked like we might get a result. However David Gilbert on board 1 conceded after blundering a rook whilst in a good position and with his opponent very short of time. The temptation to play quickly when an opponent is in time trouble has been the undoing of many of us.
Following this, Chris Cheesman managed to win on board 4 and maintain his 100% record in the competition.
Sadly Peter Houching finally lost a tight game on board 3 which meant even if the other game was won we would lose on board count.
Lee Brockwell (on board 2) was eventually forced to accept a draw despite being a bishop and pawn up, in an end game in which his opponent only had a king left. The game is useful for anyone like me, who assumed that you must be able to queen the pawn and win in that situation. However I now know that’s not the case, and the key determining factors are which file the pawn is on and which colour square the bishop is on. All the more frustrating as I could have taken numerous other routes to winning the game.
See the game below to understand the issue and maybe avoid this happening to you!
Thanks to all those who have played for this team during the year and supported me as captain. Much appreciated.
Some of the basic principles for chess openings include developing your pieces by moving them once; not making too many pawn moves that have little purpose; making coordinated moves that form a plan; and by-the-way watch out for your pawn on f7 if you are Black, it can sometimes be vulnerable to early attacks.
Lee Brockwell (ECF 111) playing White in his first Harvey Cup match for Sidcup was up against Petts Wood’s Phil Wheeler (ECF 112) playing Black a couple of weeks ago. The pair should have been equally matched, but Phil decided to ignore some of those basic opening principles and the lesson was quickly over.
This is what can happen if you make a few aimless pawn moves, pick up the same Knight three times, and forget about that exposed f7 square in the opening. The game started as a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. By move 7 White has a huge advantage in development. At this stage Black has been weakened, but not beaten. He then makes a disastrous move, b6 in an attempt to fianchetto his light squared Bishop, when e6 would at least given his dark squared Bishop some scope and helped defend the f7 pawn. Lee wastes little time in bringing the game to a swift conclusion.
Sidcup 3 finished with a 2 – 2 draw at Lewisham in their latest Tom Fuller league match. Rather unusually, all four boards ended in draws. After Peter Houching and Chris Cheesman achieved the first 2 draws, hopes for a win were high with David Helps an exchange up on Board 1 and Lee Brockwell looking to have a won game in a knight pawn ending in which he was 3 connected pawns ahead. However, with both suffering time issues, David did the sensible thing and accepted the draw in a very locked down position, only for Lee to blunder a pawn away and then see his opponent make a clever knight sacrifice to remove the other 2 pawns and get the draw.
Whilst it felt like one that slipped away, the result means our final game against Petts Wood at home only requires a draw to reach the next stage.
Sidcup 3 staged an incredible come-back on Thursday evening in their Tom Fuller top-of-the-table clash with Beckenham 5. They looked to be heading for defeat after David Gilbert and Peter Houching had lost tamely on the top two boards. But the match turned into a thriller. Chris Cheeseman began the revival, winning on time from a good position as his opponent failed to cope with the rate of play. Then with a few minutes left, captain Lee Brockwell rescued a 2-2 draw with a brilliant and over-powering King-side attack that involved all his pieces.
That was close – but very exciting and enjoyable. The next match for the 3rd team is on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 when we travel to Catford Cricket Ground in Penerley Road to play Lewisham 6, another of the leading contenders.
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.