Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ganger vs Armstrong

The following "Spot the Continuation" position was given in the July 2011 edition of the British Chess Magazine. Black has just blundered with 45...Bc3? Can you find a strong move for White?

5k2/2r1q3/2p2pQ1/1pP1p3/1P3PBP/2b5/3R2K1/8 w - - 0 45
5k2/2r1q3/2p2pQ1/1pP1p3/1P3PBP/2b5/3R2K1/8 w - - 0 45
I.R. Ganger vs W. Armstrong

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Knight in distress

White is threatening to capture the Black Knight, what is Black's crushing reply?
Black to move:

r6r/1p2bpk1/1q6/p2pP3/3n1P2/P1BQ4/1P4PP/R4R1K b - - 0 1
r6r/1p2bpk1/1q6/p2pP3/3n1P2/P1BQ4/1P4PP/R4R1K b - - 0 1

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WWYD? #3

Club champion Louis fought his way to this position last night and uncorked a monster move (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphors).

r2r1bk1/pp1b1p1p/1q1N1np1/4pP2/2PnP3/BPN3PP/P5BK/1R1Q1R2 w - - 0 19
r2r1bk1/pp1b1p1p/1q1N1np1/4pP2/2PnP3/BPN3PP/P5BK/1R1Q1R2 w - - 0 19

White's first move is not that hard, but can you find the crushing continuation?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Somerset Division 2: Frome vs Norton Radstock

Exactly one year ago I participated in the season's opening Division 2 match featuring Frome at home facing a weaker Norton Radstock team. To shamelessly plagiarise from an esteemed co-author it was déjà vu all over again. Needless to say the outcome was much the same as before. It seems quite clear that it's all just a little bit of history repeating.

The Frome team have swapped their boards 1 and 2 this year, owing to Chris's remarkable 18 point grading drop. The other big news is my shocking defection to the Trowbridge team. I'm sure Dave Weston is breathing a sigh of relief. Time will tell if this results in the Somerset trophy spending more time in sunny Wiltshire. Anyway, as a consequence Kevin and John moved up to boards 3 and 4 this time around.

For the visiting team boards 2 and 3 swapped places and their boards 4 and 5 swapped with entirely different people. Thus the scene was set for another unpredictable chess league offering. Norton Radstock are known for playing above expectations on occasion. They only narrowly lost the fixture last year and that was against a stronger Frome side.

Board 6 was first to finish. John Nicholls won against a Scandinavian Defence with an early outing for Black's queen. John decided to swap this off causing some damage to his own pawn formation. However the decision turned out to be a wise one, with White gaining a nice lead in development as compensation.

Chris was next to taste victory, winning a piece and the game. You can review this for yourself using the PGN viewer below. Note that Chris is an exponent of the Petroff Defence and is obviously comfortable taking either side.

Paul Humphreys proved that his defeat of Chris Purry last year was no fluke with an impressive attacking display, causing Gerry Jepps to think so hard that he forgot his queen was attacked. This was duly captured by a bemused Mr Humphreys thus causing immediate resignation. So Frome's lead was cut from 2-0 to 2-1.

Kevin had an interesting game, playing aggressively with Black against White's solid set-up. The opening and middlegame passed by without incident and the game turned into a battle of White's queen and pawn versus Black's rook, knight and bishop. Both players seemed to be uncomfortable with the unusual material imbalance. Kevin eventually broke his opponent and converted to a winning B+2P vs. 3P ending. He then proceeded to snatch a half-point from the jaws of victory having completely forgotten about the "wrong-coloured bishop" drawing idea. Kevin took this change in fortunes graciously, remarking that earlier in the game he had offered to split the point. When queried about this refusal of a draw, it transpired that Geoff Cooper had actually failed to hear the offer!

John Fisher, who had somehow gained a bishop early on, finished his game around this time to win Frome the match. Finally Geoff Berryman converted an opposite coloured bishop ending with apparent ease to wrap things up.

Frome4½-1½Norton Radstock
Jepps, Gerry0-1Humphreys, Paul
Purry, Chris1-0Cook, Stephen G
Paine, Kevin½-½Cooper, Geoff G
Fisher, John1-0Carrick, Peter
Berryman, Geoff1-0Grist, Ivor
Nicholls, John1-0Cooper, Catherine

WWYD? #2

I hate to rub salt into what must be a very sore wound, but a team-mate had this position (or near enough) last night.

8/6k1/6p1/2b4p/P5P1/6KP/8/8 b - - 0 1
8/6k1/6p1/2b4p/P5P1/6KP/8/8 b - - 0 1

Black to play and not throw the win away...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Coaching weekend

Are any readers available this weekend - 15th/16th October (either for one day only or for both)?
Please leave a comment if you are interested in top-class coaching at the Trowbridge Chess Club.
We have a limited number of spaces to offer on a first-come first-served basis.

Endgame Study

Here's a nice little study I saw in this weekend's Daily Telegraph. The solution's moves are hidden but once you've given up(!) use the arrows and you'll see a very eloquent ending. The only clue - White's first move is not check but forces the sequence for a lovely checkmate!

White to move and win.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Clarke vs Jerolim 1954

I found this remarkable game in my copy of 202 Surprising Checkmates by Fred Wilson and Bruce Alberston. If you don't like the pgn4web viewer below then you can play through the game on or NicBase.

The book contains many such unusual checkmating moves. Here's another example. Spot the tactic #2. Black to play and win.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

WWYD? #1

The admirable Streatham & Brixton Chess Blog carries a series of posts entitled Blue or Red Pill?. The premise is simple: sometimes chess offers you a stark choice. For example, trade down to a bishop ending or a rook ending? Continue the attack or swap off the major pieces?

Imitation is the sincerest of flattery, so here is Trowbridge's equivalent. In this game (played on Thursday) White has a choice of square for his queen. Should he keep the queens on with Qe2/e1 or should he force an exchange with Qe4? I've conveniently ignored Qd3 which appears to be a weak alternative allowing ...Qxd3 followed by ...Rxd4.

What would you do?