Thursday, September 26, 2013

July 2013 ECF Grades

Here is the annual inspection of Trowbridge players using the latest grading list.

Player Jul 2013 Jan 2013League Results (2012-13)
Andy Cooper 170 168 +1 =6 -1
Arthur Hibbitt 161 153 +4 =1 -2
Tim Woodward 159 146 +4 =5 -0
David Weston 153 149 +4 =2 -3
Mark Leonard 153 163 +4 =6 -5
Dave Marshall 148 164 +4 =3 -6
Chris Lamming 147
+3 =0 -1
Derek Rothwell 145 137 +5 =1 -5
Gareth Williams 138 144 +3 =4 -2
Roy Ludlow 124 119 +4 =5 -4
Louis Burton90 89 +3 =4 -7
Nigel Crucefix 81 75 +1 =3 -5
Anthony Ransom 6671+2 =1 -4

This year no fewer than seven players are graded over 145 and are therefore ineligible to play in the lower divisions. (Last year Tim somehow scraped under the limit using the July 2012 grading list.)

Wiltshire Minor League

This season affords an opportunity for the Minor team to make amends for last season's poor showing. Trowbridge lost 7 of 8 matches, only drawing with Swindon A at home. Swindon A, of course, won all 7 of their other fixtures!

Derek drew 5 out of 5 games (3 of those with Black pieces). In fact we did not win a single game on boards 1 to 3. However we managed 7 draws and a loss on board 1 (even with a guest appearance from Tim).

10-7-1 Derek (2/4) Roy (½/1) Tim (½/1) Gareth (½/2)
20-4-42 Louis (0/2) Roy (1½/5) Derek (½/1)
30-2-61 Nigel (½/4) Louis (½/4)
42-1-5 Richard White (0/2) Anthony (1½/5) Nigel (1/1)

On a positive note for those in the Minor league,the following very successful players are no longer able to play: Ricardo Rei and Peter Musgrove. Perhaps Swindon will not be the dominant force this time around.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

White to move and win....

One of my favourite chess quotes is "If God played God at chess white would probably win". I am not sure whether this means that God would win every match with white, or just that maybe out of one million games the score would be 1 win and 999,999 draws, but of course I am merely being pedantic. The implication that there is such a small advantage of having the white pieces only God could take advantage, all other things being equal, is a simple yet charming notion. At the time of writing this I am unsure whether this particular debate is of interest to manufacturers of our super computers, and whether the above quote applies in this sphere i.e. Does it mean that white, always having the miniscule advantage of playing first, would definitely win with equal computer processing power over 1 million games. Or are they searching for less meaningful concerns such as time travel or prevention of global economic downturn etc?

Okay so this brings me on (rather tentatively I must confess) to my recent game at the WECU jamboree on September 22nd 2013. I had the white Ivory and the opening was a Grand Prix attack, and after a couple of less than God like moves on either side I sacrificed a Bishop for a pawn and the position eventually developed as per the diagram below.

                                                                  BLACK Chris Strong

                                                                WHITE Yours Truly

Now I wasn't necessarily thinking of the above dictum at the time, indeed I might not win because although I had the white pieces, I was out-graded by six points(!), but I knew I was in a strong position and still had enough major/minor pieces to cause severe pain to my opponent. However, here it is a good example of a chess game that has been played to such an extent that it is a clear win whichever side has the next move. As mentioned earlier I had the white pieces so my luckless opponent had to face the delightful move (even though I say it myself) Rxf5+ fireworks...ouch that must have hurt, being a piece down and now going for a further exchange sac. He has no option but to take and white is now able to force a won endgame position although as it happens this game ended in a checkmate, - I think my opponent was mentally fatigued by this time. If however, it is Black to move he simply plays Qxd5 check, and he is able to save the day and secure an easily won position.

Thank God I had the first move!

For those who want to see the full game here is the PGN:

[Event "Wecu Jamboree"]
[Date "22/09/2013"]
[White "GW 138"]
[Black "Chris Strong 144"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B23 Sicilian Grand Prix Attack"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 e6 6.d3 Nge7 7.O-O O-O 8.Qe1 Nd4 9.Nxd4 Bxd4+ 10.Kh1 d6 11.f5 exf5 12.Bg5 Qd7 13.Qh4 Re8 14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 15.Qxh7+ Bg7 16.Bh6 Rg8 17.g4 b5 18.gxf5 gxf5 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.exd5 c4 21.dxc4 bxc4 22.Rae1 Qb7 23.Rxf5+ Bxf5 24.Qxf5+ Bf6 25.Qe6+ Kg6 26.Rg1+ Kh7 27.Qf5+ Kh8 28.Qxf6+ Kh7 29.Qf5+ Kh8 30.Bg5 Raf8 31.Bf6+ Rxf6 32.Qxf6+ Kh7 33.Qh4# 1-0