Broadstairs  5         Bridge B   2 

1 David Faldon (174) 0-1   Richard Eales (195)
2 Bob Page (135) 1-0   Alan Atkinson (173)
3 Paul Carfrae (133) 1-0    Peter Blundell (120)
4 John Couzens (116) 0-1   Graeme Boxall (99)
5 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0   Ray Rennells (75)
6 Andy Flood (106) 1-0    Ian Redmond (75)
7 Michael Doyle (81) 1-0    Barnaby Wills (e35)

David Faldon writes:

What a surprising scoreline! By way of explanation, Bridge had trouble putting out a representative side for a damp Monday in February, but in the end seven opposition players did turn up. Many thanks to Graeme Boxall of Bridge for making sure that all of our players got a game. Was the final score of 5-2 a fair representation of the play? Not really. With a bit more concentration from John on board 4 and myself on board 1 we could easily have won 7-0. Mike Doyle on board 7 was first to finish after a complicated tactical mess in which Mike proved stronger than his young opponent. John was next to finish on board 4 when his extra pawn in a king and pawn ending proved less important than his opponent’s central king. That blip levelled the match at 1-1 but by then most of the other games were very much in our favour. Paul (board 3), Reg (board 5) and Andy (board 6) duly converted their advantages after a steady accumulation of pawns and pieces leaving the match score 4-1 to us with just two to play. At this point we suffered our second reverse when my opponent on board 1 pulled off when he called “an outrageous swindle”. 4-2. For the last half-hour Bob on board 2 took centre stage, carefully advancing his two extra pawns to victory after a very well played game against a strong opponent. This unexpected victory leaves the Millar Cup table as follows:

Team Play Won Draw Lost For Against Points SP MP IM
Bridge B 7 4 1 2 29 20 9 0 0 0
Bridge A 5 3 2 0 21½ 13½ 8 0 0 0
Folkestone 6 3 1 2 23 19 7 0 0 0
Broadstairs 6 2 0 4 18½ 23½ 4 0 0 0
Margate 6 1 0 5 13 29 2 0 0 0

Bridge A have three matches left, against us (next week), Folkestone and Margate. If they win two of these three matches then they will win the Millar Cup for 2017-18.

                                               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.