On 25th January the Harvey Cup team played Chislehurst and won 4-2.
Rob Pezet started the match with an excellent win by a direct king’s side attack, mating a player graded 31 points above him. Then Chris Cheeseman, who had only agreed to play on the afternoon of the match after a player dropped out because of family illness, blundered a pawn, sacrificed another one and emerged victorious. After a loss on board six the other games went the distance. Bob Mitchell lost his opening advantage and had to accept a draw offer, while Gary Sharp with no winning prospects also accepted a draw. In the last game to finish Dave Helps found a queen sacrifice which would have won an exchange for a pawn had his opponent not preferred to lose a piece and then lose on time in a lost position.
On 11th January our Harvey Cup team played Dartford and won by 3.5 – 2.0, making the half-point penalty that Dartford conceded for being overgraded irrelevant to the result.
Don Chapman gave us a good start by drawing with a much higher graded player, but all the other games apart from Ian McAllan’s looked bad. However, Gary Sharp held the draw and Dave Helps, who had been a pawn down, equalized and then took advantage of a blunder to win. With Ian McAllan winning the pressure was off Lee Brockwell, who after an up-and-down struggle, accepted a draw offer when both players had less than a minute left.
On 4th January our Stevenson Cup side played Dartford in the reverse fixture from our 5 – 1 defeat at the beginning of the season and reversed the result, winning 3.5 – 2.5. Greg Edwards, Ian McAllan, Rob Pezet, Gary Sharp and David Gilbert all drew and Tony Packham’s win provided the winning margin.
On 7th December our Stevenson Cup side won its first match with our strongest side beating Lewisham 3.5 – 2.5. Tony Packham gave us a good start by winning a piece and then the game. Dave Helps’ dubious piece sacrifice came good when he emerged a piece up, but the game was drawn. Rob Pezet’s opponent afterwards lamented moving the “wrong rook” to attack Dave’s king and Rob survived and won. Ian McAllan then converted the piece he had won for two pawns early on to give us victory.
On Wednesday 16th November the Harvey Cup team played Lewisham. Don Chapman had a quick draw, Ian McAllan and Gary Sharp had solid draws and Ken Smith had a good draw. The other two games swung about wildly. Lee Brockwell after being on top and then being totally lost won when his opponent made the last mistakes. Dave Helps, who had two extra pawns, was mated. So the match was drawn 3-3.
On 26th October we played our first Harvey Cup match of the season, losing 2-4 to Gravesend. Chris Cheeseman had a quick win, but two other positions went downhill quickly and when we lost on board 1 as well it looked grim. However Dave Helps had a very wild position and came out on top in his opponent’s time-trouble and Gary Sharp, who had been defending valiantly, won a pawn, but his opponent’s attack was too strong and he was mated.
On 2nd November we played Beckenham and won by 2.5-1.5. Chris Cheeseman had a good win.
On 9th November we played Eynsford and again won by 2.5-1.5. Nigel Threadgold and Janis Elton won quite quickly and Masud Hoque was beaten by a significantly stronger player. Chris Cheeseman appeared to be in difficulties, but continued to fight and eventually accepted an offer of a draw to win the match.
Sidcup went to Dartford on Thursday 20th Oct to play their first En Passant of the season against last year’s champions.
Fortunately everybody was available and we were able to field our strongest team against what is always a very strong Dartford team.
Whilst the match ebbed and flowed during the evening, fine winning performances by Ian McAllan, Gary Sharp, David Gilbert, and a draw by Robert Pezet, resulted in a 3.5 – 2.5 win for Sidcup.
After a first rate start our campaign continues with a tricky away match at Gravesend on Monday the 24th.
Lee Brockwell – En Passant Captain
Chess at Sidcup remains outstanding value at £50 for 51 three-hour meetings. Even better, pensioners get a £5 discount and anybody whose yearly income is under £12,000 pays only £30. And the most outstanding value is for juniors under 18, who pay nothing at all! Joiners during the year pay pro-rata. This is even better value than the cups of tea or coffee available at 20p per cup.
In the Kent League this season we have four teams of various average strengths: three six-board teams and one four-board team. Members who intend to play in the Kent League should now renew their membership of the English Chess Federation (see the English Chess Federation website for details).
Like last year the club will run its knock-out tournament for all members bar the stronger (“over 120 grade”) players and an all-play-all handicap tournament where the handicap is that the stronger player has less time to make all the moves than the weaker player. Perhaps you will play a game worth showing on the website. If you have items for the website, continue to send them to Steve at email@example.com
A new season has started and we have entered the Stevenson Cup for the first time in many years with probably the weakest side in the competition. Our first match could not have been tougher, playing the strong Dartford side that has won the Stevenson Cup three times in the last five years and we duly lost 1-5 with Ian McAllan the sole winner.