Broadstairs  2         Margate   5 

1 Nick McBride (171) 1-0         Peter McGill (150)
2 Bob Page (141) 0-1        Harry Sharples (150)
3 Paul Carfrae (131) 0-1         John Thorley (142)
4 John Couzens (125) 0-1         Colin Gregory (106)
5 Andy Flood (117) 0-1         Clive Le Baigue (105)
6 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½         Leon Garfield (102)
7 Bob Cronin (103) ½-½         John Clarke (94)

Bob Page writes:

Broadstairs’ Millar Cup campaign for the 2016/17 season ended in disappointment with a comprehensive defeat by Margate, the same team we had beaten comfortably only three days earlier. On reflection we were probably doomed from the start as at 7.30 only four of our team were present. Mr X – some names have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty) – forgot there was a match which would be a problem in itself. Unfortunately, he was the designated driver for two other members of our team which meant that Mr Y and Mr Z were also late. Consequently it was almost 8.00 before all seven games were up and running. As far as the chess was concerned, Nick won an exchange early on and gradually asserted his authority, beating Peter for the second time in a week. The only other game where we appeared to have an advantage was on Board 7 where Bob C had a slight edge but accepted a draw.  John seemed to have good compensation (three pawns) for a piece but Colin fought back and the game was lost. Andy was in familiar time trouble against Clive and this told in the end, Paul had a tight game where one pawn made all the difference as it did with Bob P’s game on Board 2. Reg took a draw against Leon with the match lost. On reflection, the team did not play badly and were simply beaten by better players on the night. One consolation is that with a better record against Margate in all three competitions, Broadstairs retain the Thanet Shield.

Broadstairs  4½         Margate   2½ 

1 Nick McBride (171) 1-0         Peter McGill (150)
2 Paul Carfrae (131) ½-½        Harry Sharples (150)
3 John Couzens (125) 1-0         John Thorley (142)
4 Andy Flood (117) ½-½         Colin Gregory (106)
5 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½         Clive Le Baigue (105)
6 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0         Leon Garfield (102)
7 Michael Doyle (90) 0-1         John Clarke (94)

Reg Pidduck writes:

Broadstairs were given a great start from Paul Carfrae on Board 2 with a fine draw (no rust there as Paul has not played much lately). Wins then followed from Bob C. and then John Couzens . John’s was a swashbuckling game that he modestly says could have gone either way. Michael then put our first zero on the sheet with a loss against steady John Clarke. So four results were in with three to go. Next to finish was a win for our Nick on Board 1. So half a point was needed for the match .I was in dire straits against Clive with less than two minutes to go when Clive slipped up and I forked his king and rook .Clive now up against it .I offered a draw and Clive took it gladly. Match won and now Andy and Colin agreed a draw. It was a terrific evening and thanks to Matgate for their efforts.



  The Hargreaves Shield team v Woodnesborough  

Broadstairs  1½         Woodnesborough  2½ 

(Board positions based on July grades)

1 John Couzens (125) 0-1 David Erwee (108)
2 Andy Flood (117) 0-1 Mark Towlson (101)
3 Reg Pidduck (107) ½-½ Bryan Rodwell  (90)
4 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0 Roy Dawson (71)

Andy Flood writes:

Another close match saw Broadstairs’ poor run both continue and end with a disappointing final game and result against Woodnesborough who won on the top two boards to secure a 2.5 – 1.5 win and this despite being outgraded on all four boards. The positive was a secured win on Board 4 by Bob Cronin who again demonstrated the team’s strength on the lower boards and he was the first to finish to secure an early point. Reg was last to finish on Board 3 with a certain drawn position and with added time pressures it was pointless for him to continue and attempt to draw the match by trying to win a certain drawn game whilst under such time pressure. On the top board, from being a pawn up John made a blunder losing a piece for a pawn and solid play by his opponent meant that it was a long night for him as he sought to get something from his match but to no avail as his disadvantage went into a losing end game resulting in a certain passed pawn and queen for his opponent. On Board 2, the team captains came head to head in what could have been a drawn game and match for Broadstairs, but the lightning quick play of the Woodnesborough captain saw him force the Broadstairs captain to go down with the ship, losing on time on move 70 with just a rook and two pawns on the board. So the Broadstairs name will not be on the Hargreaves Shield this year. It could be the new name of Woodnesborough or the winners of the Margate v Bridge match – a close league this year with a guaranteed maximum difference of two points only separating all four teams.

Welcome, once again, to the familiar world of Blunderland, a place we have all visited far too often but which never fails to entertain us when it is someone else’s misfortune we are witnessing. If you have ever been in this situation and thought to yourself, ‘Why doesn’t this ever happen to top players?’, take heart from this excruciating oversight from the Women’s US Championships currently taking place in St Louis. In the black corner we have the top seed IM Anna Zatonskih (2451) and in the white corner, the 16 year old WIM Jennifer Yu (2196). It is Round 1 and perhaps Anna viewed the pairing as a gentle full toss to get off the mark. It clearly was not that but at least she had a draw. White had just played 57.d6 and the following position occurred:

At this point the computer has the position as 0.00 i.e. dead equal. What could possibly go wrong? That pesky pawn is uncomfortably close to queening but dealing with that shouldn’t be a problem.  Well, have a look at the position and be honest – how many of you would have played the seemingly logical 57…..Rd1+??  That is precisely what Anna played and who knows what was going through her head were she able to see the computer’s analysis jump from 0.00 to ‘White can mate in 8 moves’ ! What had she overlooked? Why, of course, 58. Kc2!  Black resigned.   To Anna’s credit, she won her next game in 23 moves, has won three out of her four games since this defeat and is currently joint leader with 3½/5 while Jennifer, notwithstanding her good fortune in Round 1, has only won once since and is on 2½/5.

If you come across any similar blunders worth sharing – either your own or any you have seen or read about – please send them in so that next time we are feeling miserable after our latest disaster, we can console ourselves that even the best in the land get it wrong sometimes.


The 48th Thanet Chess Congress will be held from Friday August 18th to Sunday August 20th at its usual venue of Canterbury Christ Church University, Broadstairs Campus, Northwood Road, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 2WA. Thanks to generous sponsorship by John Couzens Roofing, Chandlers Builders Merchants and Cramptons Thorley Taverns, the organizers have been able to introduce a number of initiatives this year. Firstly, the prize money has been increased in all sections. Secondly, there will now be five categories with the introduction of a Challengers section for those graded under 170 – with only twenty points separating top and bottom in each of the middle three categories, chances of winning a prize will be higher.  Thirdly, entry for GMs and IMs is free and only £5 for U15s. Accommodation is available at the University if you book early and the food in the canteen is highly recommended. If you haven’t played at Thanet before, there is no better time to make this your first visit. If you don’t fancy playing all five rounds, take a bye and enjoy Broadstairs in the summer.  Further details are available at the new dedicated Congress website where you can enter online or download an entry form if you prefer, find information about travel to and within Thanet, choose from the different types of accommodation available and check out all the results from last year. Early booking is recommended. Good luck!