Broadstairs 1 Folkestone 3
|1 ||Andy Flood (115) ||1-0 ||Andrew Haycock (106) |
|2 ||John Couzens (108) ||0-1 ||David Erwee (95) |
|3 ||Nikos K-Whittaker (e104) ||0-1 ||Ben Kiss (95) |
|4 ||Michael Doyle (87) ||0-1 ||Robert Twigg (80) |
Michael Doyle writes:
The Broadstairs team was looking forward to this Walker Shield match against Folkestone in the New Year, outgrading them on all four boards. It was a disaster! Only Andy on the top board won as we lost 3 – 1. First to go was Nikos when he failed to castle and was in check with a rook and bishop. He resigned after his opponent threaten to take off his queen. Next to go was John on Board 2 with Black forcing him to resign with doubled up rooks on the h-file and the queen threatening mate. Better luck next time, John. With two boards fighting it out for a draw getting on for 11pm, Andy won two pawns up in the end game and your captain fought to the end with an English opening. It was down to the endgame but with a rook down, I resigned. Well done, Folkestone, for coming all that way – you deserved to win.
Welcome back to Game of the Week. It is only the third offering we have had this season which means one of two things: either players are too modest to send in their spectacular efforts or that few games have been played worthy of sharing with a wider public. In the case of your correspondent it is certainly the latter. Not so for Dominic Blundell who has the rare distinction of appearing in all three Games of the Week. However, after his excellent victories in the first two, he was brought down to earth in the folllowing game although he gave as good as he got which made it all the more entertaining. Trefor Owens, who watched this slugfest from the adjacent board when he should have been concentrating on his own game, kindly added the comments.
Congratulations to Michael Jenkinson on a tremendous win. “We both had less than optimal openings,” he said, “I was definitely playing safe and refusing to sacrifice pieces or letting his rooks into play that later Stockfish analysis showed could have worked, but guaranteed mates in 8 or 13 are well beyond my neuron compliment. Happily, Dominic gave me the pawn fork I was wanting and let me castle out of potential hell. That pawn wall threat of Dominic’s was really scary and I was wondering for much of game if I had to lose a piece to destroy it.” For Dominic it was a more sobering experience. “I don’t think I made a good move after move 3,” he said.
White: Michael Jenkinson (83) Black: Dominic Blundell (e126)
It would seem churlish not to congratulate Magnus Carlsen for his victory in the World Blitz Championship that has just finished in Moscow but rather like Tiger Woods in his prime or Liverpool currently, one wonders who can ever beat him in the big tournaments? Sure, he’s lost a few but how many has he won and how many more will he win? On the way to his latest triumph, however, he did have a stroke of fortune in his game with the latest chess wunderkind, Alireza Firouzja (pictured). Firouzja was a grandmaster at 14 and earlier this year became the second youngest player (after our good friend, Wei Yi) to achieve a rating above 2700. He won the Iran Chess Championship aged twelve but in a dramatic twist last week, he announced he would no longer play under the Iranian flag as Iran issued a ban on its players competing against Israelis in competitions. (In light of recent events, is it possible that the USA might be added to the list?). Consequently, Firouzja now plays as a FIDE licensed competitor. Anyway, in his game with Carlsen, the following position was reached with Firouzja (White) to play.
Ha! Piece of cake, you’re thinking. Even my cat could beat Magnus in this position. The problem was that while Carlsen had 19 seconds left on his clock – an age in blitz terms – Firouzja had only three. How did the arbiter get involved? Well, in his haste to move his king to g4, Firouzja knocked it over and in the time it took for him to stand it up, his flag fell. So, you want to be an arbiter, sort this out. Does Black win because White’s flag fell or is it a draw as Black does not have mating material? If you think Black wins, sign up for the next arbiter’s training course now because as you probably know, FIDE rule 6.9 states that “…the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.” The point here is that the player whose time has run out always loses unless his opponent has no possibility of giving mate, however remote that may be. The regulations make no mention anywhere of “having enough material to give mate” and as Chess 24 reports in its detailed account of this subject, “the false rumour of being able to draw based on the remaining material alone is widespread, and partly fuelled by the different conventions of internet chess.” And for those of you disbelievers who can’t envisage a position where Black could win in this particular game with just a bishop against a bishop and three pawns, click here to see the whole article.
Congratulations to Alan Atkinson (centre left) of Bridge Chess Club and former Chairman of the Thanet and East Kent Chess League on his appointment as the new ECF Manager of Arbiters. We all know what arbiters do and how indebted we are to them for their assistance but your correspondent is unsure whether this is a newly created position or, indeed, what the job entails. At a guess, it suggests that he will be the organiser of arbiter meetings, training and conferences. There is nothing on the ECF site about his role other than the announcement although there is an ECF Arbiters Course advertised which may or may not be within Alan’s sphere as manager. There is also an item headed ‘Opportunities for Arbiters’ which can be found here which does carry his name. This is, however, aimed at existing arbiters. What if you fancy having a go at being an arbiter yourself? I think we need to contact Alan and find out. Watch this space.