Broadstairs  3         Margate   4 

1 David Faldon (174) 1-0   Dennis Stokes-Carter (152)
2 Bob Page (135) 1-0    def.
3 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    John Thorley (145)
4 def. 0-1   Peter McGill (144)
5 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1   David Rogers (134)
6 Andy Flood (106) 0-1    Colin Gregory (122)
7 Bob Cronin (104) 1-0    John Clarke (104)

Defeat in this match was not so much a car crash but a car crash may well have contributed to our defeat.  An accident on the Sandwich by-pass delayed Harry Sharples and Richard Clement and both wisely turned round once it was clear they would not make the 30-minute cut-off point. So the match stood at 1-1 almost before it had started. Bob C was the first to finish, having carved up John Clarke with impressive ease to give Broadstairs a 2-1 lead.  Things were closer elsewhere. Reg lost a piece early on then won it back but was eventually outplayed for the second time this season by the impressive David Rogers (2-2).  Paul looked to have had a level game with John Thorley but he was eventually ground down and we were now 3-2 behind. David can always be relied upon to steady the ship and he beat another of Margate’s promising young players, Dennis Stokes-Carter, to level the match at 3-3. The result now rested on Andy whose game with Colin was always tight. Afterwards Andy thought he should have drawn but Colin played well so we lost the match 4-3. It was disappointing but whereas Margate were missing one player, we were without Nick, John and Richard so perhaps defeat was not such a surprise.  Well played, Margate.

                                             Broadstairs  2         Folkestone   2 

1 Bob Page (135) 1-0  James Smith (96)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1  David Erwee (96)
3 Richard Clement (e130) 1-0  Benjamin Kiss (95)
4 Andy Flood (106) 0-1  Andrew Haycock (87)

Bob Page writes:

This was meant the day that Broadstairs celebrated winning the Hargreaves Shield, returning home like Caesar from the wars. Alas, it was something of a horror show that could have been a lot worse but for Richard’s late victory that enabled us to scrape a draw. We arrived with a strong side and had every reason to be confident: we were unbeaten, Folkestone were bottom of the league with four defeats in five. What could possibly go wrong? It all began promisingly: on Board 1 Black lost a pawn then the exchange and soon after the game. 1-0 up at 9.00. However, all was not well elsewhere. Paul was a piece down on Board 2, Richard’s game on Board 3 looked tight and on Board 4 Andy was undeveloped and under pressure. When Paul won his piece back with a typically cunning tactic, things were looking up but soon after he miscalculated in a level position, lost a rook and resigned. By now Richard was a pawn ahead but in a tricky double rook and pawns ending and was falling behind on the clock. Victory in the match now seemed unlikely but defeat was unthinkable so for the next hour Andy was forced to die the death of a thousand cuts until eventually, facing mate, he was forced to resign. We then all gathered nervously around Richard’s game as his clock reached the last fifteen minutes. Fortunately, his opponent (with more time) panicked, swapped off one set of rooks and Richard finished off neatly to seal an inauspicious draw for Broadstairs. As the table below shows, we are still in a strong position and a point against Bridge in our final match will be enough but after this result we are taking nothing for granted.

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Broadstairs 5 3 2 0 14 6 8 0 0 0
Margate 5 3 0 2 12 8 6 0 0 0
Bridge 4 1 1 2 7 9 3 0 0 0
Folkestone 6 1 1 4 7 17 3 0 0 0

                                                  Broadstairs  ½     Bridge 3½ 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1    David Gold (99)
2 Bob Cronin (104) ½-½    Graeme Boxall (99)
3 Michael Doyle (81) 0-1    Ian Redmond (75)
4 def. 0-1    Ray Rennells (75)

Reg Pidduck writes:

BOARD 4.  CALAMITY. An eleventh hour phone call from Josh’s mum sealed our fate as Captain Michael had to move up to board 3  and we defaulted on board 4. Get well soon, Josh. 1-0 down.

BOARD 3.  IAN TURNS THE GAME.  First to finish, Michael over-estimated his attack and Ian was able to turn the game to his advantage. 2-0 down

BOARD 2.  BEST GAME OF THE NIGHT. An equal struggle developed between Bob and Graeme and every time I looked I could not pick a winner. Down to pawns each, a draw was decided.  2.5-0.5 down.

BOARD 1. DAVID GETS GOLD. This is the first time I have played David and a worthy opponent he turned out to be as at no time did I feel in control and he spotted all my sneaky tricks. I finally resigned being an exchange down and facing his pawn touching down.

Lost match 3.5 – 0.5. Well done, Bridge.

So, as promised, here is the latest Walker Shield table and although yesterday’s defeat was disappointing, all is not lost.  We have only reached half-way in the season and no team is unbeaten or therefore unbeatable. It may come down to ‘goal difference’ in the end so a few crushing victories would come in handy.

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Ramsgate 5 4 0 1 15½ 8 0 0 0
Margate 4 3 0 1 11½ 6 0 0 0
Broadstairs 5 3 0 2 10½ 6 0 0 0
Bridge 5 3 0 2 10½ 6 0 0 0
Woodnesbotough A 4 0 1 3 11½ 1 0 0 0
Woodnesborough B 5 0 1 4 15½ 1 0 0 0

The Millar Cup is the blue riband competition of the Thanet Chess League with no grade limit so it is the one everyone wants to win. We have reached the half-way point in the season and this is the current position:

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Bridge A 4 3 1 0 18 10 7 0 0 0
Bridge B 4 3 0 1 18½ 6 0 0 0
Folkestone 4 2 1 1 15 13 5 0 0 0
Broadstairs 4 1 0 3 10½ 17½ 2 0 0 0
Margate 4 0 0 4 8 20 0 0 0 0

It looks close but we are not holding our breath as everyone expects the usual winners to be either Bridge or Bridge. However, the situation in the next competition, the Hargreaves Shield, for those with a maximum grade of 140, is more promising.

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Broadstairs 4 3 1 0 12 4 7 0 0 0
Margate 5 3 0 2 12 8 6 0 0 0
Bridge 4 1 1 2 7 9 3 0 0 0
Folkestone 5 1 0 4 5 15 2 0 0 0

The third competition is the Walker Shield for those graded 115 and under. Currently Broadstairs lie third but with a crucial match against Bridge tomorrow (Monday), an update will be posted later this week. For those curious to see the table as it is now, click here.

                                                 Broadstairs  3         Margate   1 

1 Bob Page (135) 1-0  Colin Gregory (122)
2 Paul Carfrae (133) ½-½  Clive Le Baigue (118)
3 Andy Flood (106) ½-½  Paul Ruffle (e109)
4 Michael Doyle (81) 1-0  John Clarke (104)

Andy Flood writes:

As a consequence of the worst flu epidemic in seven years, a slightly weakened unbeaten Broadstairs team visited second place Margate with Mike Doyle standing in at very short notice to play on board 4 . In fact he was the first to finish his game. Playing black against the higher graded John Clarke, he managed to drive his opponent’s king into the centre of the board before achieving a checkmate. Broadstairs were soon to go 2–0 up with Bob Page maintaining his 100% Hargreaves win record, going a piece up and generally outplaying Colin Gregory, his opponent on the top board. A tight game was being played out on board 3 between Andrew Flood and Paul Ruffle, a former Broadstairs player of 10 years ago who had recently returned to playing chess. With white having an advanced pawn to the 6th rank and with perhaps a miniscule advantage, a draw was agreed which secured the Broadstairs win. The team left Paul Carfrae to play on against Margate’s Clive Le Baigue, the Broadstairs Christmas quiz champion. With Clive already a pawn up through some very clever earlier play, he subsequently went a further two pawns up. However Paul’s solid end game play was proving an obstacle and with the time control looming and just over a minute left on his clock, Clive offered a draw which was accepted.