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.

Broadstairs  3     Woodnesborough A  1 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 0-1    Steve Garrett (e79)
2 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Oli Garrett (e53)
3 Bob Cronin (104) 1-0    George Allen (36)
4 Michael Doyle (81) 1-0    Sarah Garrett (e25)

Reg Pidduck writes:

BOARD 4. OUR RED HOT CAPTAIN. Sarah Garrett,  playing her first game, was unlucky to come up against our red hot captain Michael Doyle and lost after eight moves with a Queen and Bishop mate. 1-0 up

BOARD 3. RELIABLE BOB. Young George also  had an early bath with Bob finishing by 8 o’ clock.  2-0 up

BOARD 2. STAR OF THE NIGHT.  What a fight young eight-year-old Oli put up against Andy. Although Andy had gone a knight up early on, Oli did not allow him to make any mistakes as Andy had to slowly find the right moves to avoid the young star coming back at him, Andy finally winning. 3-0 up

BOARD 1. WELL PREPARED STEVE. Steve and I had already drawn in our previous encounter. So we were both up for a return match. Steve had anticipated my playing a Dutch against his 1.d4 and had planned his game. For the first 24 moves I felt I was okay but needed to press and made a bad move on my 25th which Steve pounced on and from then on pounded my King all the way from f7 over to a7  finishing with a mate. Well played, Steve.

We have now played four, won three and lost one in our quest for the Walker Shield.


                                               Broadstairs  2         Folkestone   5 

1 David Faldon (174) ½-½   Jim Bayford (178 )
2 Nick McBride (173) 0-1    Martin Cutford (173)
3 Bob Page (135) 0-1    David Shire (168)
4 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1   Kevin Smyth (163)
5 Richard Clement (e130) 0-1    John Atherton (163)
6 Andy Flood (106) ½-½    Tayfun Demirbilek (155)
7 Michael Doyle (81) 1-0    Robert Twigg (70)

David Faldon writes:

The match got off to a cold start, not surprising for early January, but after an hour or so hats and gloves could be discarded and the pieces started to fly. Nick’s game on board 2 was especially violent with sacrifices on both sides and the pieces seemingly randomly scattered in the far corners of the board – but unfortunately for Nick his opponent had played much of it before and this proved decisive in the long run. The games on boards 4 and 7 were more one-sided with white doing all the pressing. Paul (black on board 4) defended hard but in vain while Michael (white on board 7) calmly brought home the point. Andy (black on board 6) then took a draw by perpetual check against his highly-rated opponent. That left us 1½-2½ down, but at that stage we still had a real hope of getting something positive from the match. David (board 1) had a very good position and both Bob on board 3 and Richard on board 5 (playing his first game for the club) were holding on tenaciously in difficult endings. In the end, though, none of the results went our way and we lost the match 2-5. Still, not an awful result against a Folkestone team packed with strong players on the middle boards. Many thanks to everyone who played, and especially to Bob and Paul for driving. Congratulations to Folkestone on their victory. They made us feel very welcome and even provided tea!

                            Broadstairs  2½         Bridge A   4½ 

1 David Faldon (174) 0-1   Vishnu Singh (205 )
2 Nick McBride (173) 1-0    Shany Rezvany (167)
3 Bob Page (135) 0-1    James Essinger (164)
4 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1    Robert Collopy (156)
5 John Couzens (116) 0-1    Tim Spencer (121)
6 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½    Peter Blundell (120)
7 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Ian Redmond (75)

David Faldon writes:

The match got off to a bad start for us when our boards 1 and 3 both lost quickly in different ways, neither good. But Nick on board 2 soon had us back in the match with a quick mating attack after a wild passage of play. The surviving players calmly ignored all the bloodshed on boards 1 to 3 and set themselves up for a long hard slog of proper chess. Due to my accident on board one I had more time than usual to watch the bottom four boards and great fun it was. All four games were hard fought with lots of cheeky tactical ideas. In the end only Andy and Reg had any success. Reg carefully withstood a bit of pressure and came out with a level position. Andy won a tricky rook and pawn ending the hard way, swapping off into a pawn ending where both sides were going to queen a pawn each, the crucial difference being that Andy’s pawn would queen with check. Brilliant! Anyway, congratulations to Bridge on their victory and many thanks to all of our players for putting up stiff resistance (except me).

Broadstairs  1½         Margate   3½ 

1 David Faldon (174) ½ -½   Peter McGill  (144 )
2 Paul Carfrae (133) 0-1   David Rogers (e125)
3 John Couzens (116) 0-1   Colin Gregory (122)
4 Michael Doyle  (81) 1-0   Paul Ruffle (e117)
5 Michael Jenkinson (80) 0-1   Leon Garfield (100)

Nick McBride writes:

When I told my wife I’d been made captain of the team for the Mick Croft cup, she pulled a face that grandmasters of non-verbal communication might assess as ‘unclear’ or ‘dubious’. This lack of faith in my organisational abilities made me even more determined to have a great team lined up for the Tuesday 14th November match at Margate. Unfortunately, I had got the date wrong. The match was on Thursday 16th. This technicality meant we had a few last minute team changes but we looked good with David Faldon, Paul Carfrae, John Couzens, Michael Doyle and Michael Jenkinson. As one of the designated drivers I had most of the team in my car and I said, “I think we’re going to hammer them”.  John replied “You’ve jinxed us. We’ll lose now”.

After the first hour things were looking good. No single board looked in any serious trouble, but then things got serious. First to finish was John Couzens. John’s opponent, Colin Gregory, played an anti-Sicilian system with e4, Nf3, d3, Be2, 0-0, c3, Qc2. John played the opening and early middle game very well, swapping off bishops, opening a file and Colin had to find an excellent freeing move (d4) to avoid passivity. John when faced with the choice to move a knight to a central square or a non central square, chose the latter, and this single-handedly led to the loss of pawn which turned into a lost knight and a lost game. One down.

Paul Carfrae was next to fall. Paul was up against one of the younger players in the league, David Rogers. Rogers played the French, and Paul chose the advance variation. This variation typically leads to a backward d-pawn for white, and a good black knight on f5, but Rogers brought something interesting. He manoeuvred his positionally well-placed knight from f5 to a tactically useful square on g6 and Paul’s position fell apart with the loss of two pawns. Rogers is very good with knights. I suspect he’ll be playing board 1 for Margate within 12 months, if not sooner. Two down.

Good news came on board 4. Broadstairs’ Michael Doyle played Paul Ruffle. Ruffle chose to play the ultra-sharp Two Knights Defence, an opening that Wiki says was invented over 500 years ago. Black’s sacrifice of a pawn in the opening, and Michael Doyle’s almost immediate consolidation of that pawn, ultimately lead to a rook and pawn ending in Michael’s favour. Michael centralised and advanced his king, got an active versus passive rook, made an outside passed pawn, swapped that for an advanced protected passed pawn and won. Two-one down.

But with two games left things weren’t looking good. On board 5 Margate’s Leon Garfield had played the opening in a solid but passive manner leaving few opportunities for Michael Jenkinson. I hadn’t paid much attention to the game after the opening but a quick look showed Leon to have conjured up a huge attack and taken key squares. Soon after this he gained material and entered into what would be described as a king and pawn endgame if Leon didn’t have an extra bishop. The bishop was telling but Leon moved very slowly and was down to two minutes left on his clock for the last 15 or so moves. That was enough, though, and Leon won. Margate now had an unstoppable three-one lead.

The top board saw the home team’s Peter McGill against David Faldon. Peter McGill, the County Major Champion, winner of his section at the Thanet Congress with a 175+ result, and is listed with a 144 grade. He’s way better than that. Peter with white played a King’s Indian Attack against David’s initial French setup. David gained space with d5 and then grabbed some more with d4, but that was his first and last incursion into white’s side of the board. Peter got his minor pieces into good positions, forced David to create weaknesses around his king and controlled key squares. Instead of an attempt to open the position and get his rooks better placed, Peter arranged for a knight and queen to infiltrate David’s position and even threatened a smothered mate. David is very tenacious, ridiculously tenacious. You need more than a positional advantage to get him, and in this position Peter needed more than a queen and knight. However, what both Peter and David needed at this point was more time. At move 20 both were left with little over 10 minutes each. In the final position, if Peter had an edge, it’s the same sort of edge white has in the starting position, i.e. not very much. A draw was agreed.

(This is from memory so there may be transpositional issues)

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Qe2 Ne7 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 Nbc6 6.Bg2 d4 7.Nbd2 Qc7 8.e5 Nf5 9.O-O Be7 10.a4 b6 11.Nc4 O-O 12.Ng5 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 f6 14.exf6 gxf6 15.Bd2 e5 16.Qg4+ Ng7 17.Qe4 Bd7 18.Qd5+ Kh8 19.Nd6 Ne6 20.Nb5 Qd8

(At black’s 19th move, if instead David wasn’t careful and had played something foolish like 19….Rfd8, then there’s a great mate with 20. Nf7+ Kg8 21. Nh6+ Kh8 22. Qg8+ Rxg8 23. Nf7 mate)

They won this time by 3.5 to 1.5, but next time I think we’ll hammer them.