Post Tournament Analysis

Tournament play in action

On Monday night (18th March 2024) Broadstairs Chess Club welcomed back to the club our previous club secretary, for the celebratory Robert Page Rapid Play Tournament 2024. Robert (Bob) Page was Broadstairs Club Secretary for 27 years between September 1994 – September 2021 until he left Broadstairs to relocate to be closer to family. Bob had been a chess club member at Broadstairs since 1986.

John Couzens another former club member from 1990 – 2021 took part in the competition as well as Reg Pidduck, our President and long standing current club member since 1975, as well as Paul Carfrae who has been a club member for 30 years.

In all 19 people including guests and members played in Tournament over 6 rounds, and all played at a “rapid pace” showing some outstanding chess skills. As reminisced in the Bradstow Mill bar afterwards, the field of players included three former individual Kent Champions (Bob Page, Manoj Natarajan and John Couzens) who were Tournament winners in the famous and never to be forgotten 50th Thanet Chess Congress in 2019 which resulted in Broadstairs Chess Club being able to boast of having four individual Kent Champions in a single year.

The Robert Page Rapid Play Tournament 2024 produced an impressive and worthy winner in Samuel Marsden with a winning score of 5.5 points out of a possible 6, beating two of the former Kent Champions and only dropping half a point against Paul Carfrae who skilfully carved out a draw with opposite coloured bishops in the only drawn game of the evening. For us oldies it is amazing to think that Samuel’s lifetime and age is less than half of the years that Bob was at the club in his role of Club Secretary.
David Marsden (Samuel’s dad) also had a great tournament finishing joint fourth with 4 out of 6 along with Bob Page and Clive Le Bague.

Paul Carfrae finished third with 4.5 points out of 6 and Manoj Natarajan was the runner up with 5 points out of 6, only losing the one game against Samuel.

The top 10 finishers were.

Samuel Marsden   5.5/6,    Manoj Natarajan  5/6,   Paul Carfrae 4.5/6,

Robert Page          4/6, David Marsden   4/6, Clive Le Bague   4/67.

Geoff Foxon  3/6, Steven Blay 3/6, Reg Pidduck 3/6, Paul Verrall  3/6

Broadstairs Chess Club’s fourth match against Bridge in a month resulted in a narrow 3 – 2 Mick Croft Cup win and an overall encounter of honours evens. Bridge registered wins in the Millar Cup and the Walker Shield competitions, with Broadstairs triumphant in the Hargreaves Shield and the Mick Croft Cup.

The match saw another first to finish impressive win by Samuel Marsden with Black on Board 2 that gave Broadstairs a 1 – 0  lead before Bridge fought back to lead 2 – 1 with Broadstairs defeats (Paul and Nik ) on Boards 1 and 4.

Bob Cronin’s victory evened things up, so the result was dependent on the Board 3 match between Andrew Flood and Zachery Stonier. A poor opening by white saw Broadstairs go a piece down (Knight for Pawn) but resulted in an exposed Black King.  Black though had a clear advantage and superiority going into the middle game. One weak backwards move by Black allowed the momentum and attacking play to switch in favour of Broadstairs and the White pieces attacking the King and threatening mate or loss of Black’s Queen to the extent that Black resigned and Broadstairs progressed to the next round with the narrowest of wins 3 -2.

Broadstairs Result Bridge
Paul Carfrae       (1747) 0 -1 (2194) Richard Eales
Samuel Masden (1742) 1 – 0 (1670) Mats Nordgren
Andrew Flood    (1638) 1 – 0 (1521) Zachary Stonier
Nik Loginov        (1436) 0 – 1 (1500) Zhang Hanshuo
Bob Cronin         (1405) 1 – 0 (1417)  Graeme Boxall

Total (7968)

3 – 2 (8302)





Broadstairs Chess Club’s final league game of the season saw the team live up to the name of the competition demonstrating true steel and grit. A win would secure a top of the league finish and Broadstairs first win of the Steele Cup in its modern history writes Andrew Flood.

As non- playing captain it was possible to follow from the start all four games, with Boards 2 and 4 being anything but steady and predictable. First game to finish was Nik making his debut for the team playing white on Board 4. What looked like a strong advantage for Nik became a likely lost game as Nik went a Rook down, however a tremendous fight back saw white’s bishop fork and capture back his opponents Rook through a checking manoeuvre, and then go on to play a strong ending to win the end game and his match.

Dominic on Board 2 was in real trouble with the white pieces. Attacking from the first move he overstretched himself and his opponent steadily got into a stronger position going 1, 2 and then 3 pawns up. With most of the major pieces on the board it was all that White could do to defend his position and his rather open King. White however managed to create some strong counterplay and Dominic surprised his opponent with a Queen sacrifice to mate his opponent and secure the second win of the evening.

Manoj was losing his game on Board 1 but there was an outside chance of a draw, and on Board 3 the match was even but Margate had a slight edge in positional play, but this was compensated by the time advantage that Paul Verrall had. Paul advanced his black pawn towards queening forcing his opponent to exchange his bishop for the pawn. The game continued and with very few pieces on the board a draw was agreed, thus securing a hard earned win for Broadstairs. Manoj resigned his position once the outcome of the overall match had been secured.

So, a big thank you to all who participated on the night and throughout the season. The overall match result was.

Broadstairs Score Margate
1 Manoj Natarajan  (1867) 0 – 1 Peter McGill  (1854)
2 Dominic Blundell  (1659) 1 – 0 Keith Findley   (1628)
3 Paul Verrall            (1435) ½ – ½ Clive Le Bague (1490)
4 Nik Loginov           (1414) 1 – 0 Roy McAloney (1412)
TOTAL 2½ – 1½


Final league positions as following  link



And so, the 2022/23 chess season in the Thanet Chess league is nearing its end. The penultimate Steele Cup match for Broadstairs Chess Club players saw them making the short trip to Sandwich for their final away game knowing that a win would strengthen chances of winning the competition.  On the other hand, a loss would mean that Sandwich would go above them in the league.

Things got off to a poor start with an early loss for Paul Verrall on the bottom board, however Dominic on Board 2 playing black against his sibling rival Kit managed to even the score. By all accounts Dominic managed to save up and play one of his best chess games in the battle of the Blundells.

Paul Carfrae then achieved an excellent turnaround result on the top board by beating Harry Sharples from the position of being a piece down.

The needed win was to be dependent on the result on Board 3 where Broadstairs’ Andrew Flood with the white pieces was playing Jon Hunt. The early positional advantage and piece development was with white, but black managed to turn this around a gain a slight positional advantage, before blundering and losing his knight. This did not deter the Black attack with his advancing black pawns on the G & H ranks supported by 2 rooks. With White’s King trapped in the corner of the board it required a series of accurate moves to prevent the Queening of a pawn. Counter play in centre of the board, following a series of piece exchanges and careful play on the flank of the board saw Broadstairs triumph with Black choosing to resign from a lost position.

An excellent 3 – 1 win sees Broadstairs one point clear at the top of the league, knowing that a win next month in their final home game against local rivals Margate will see them secure the Steele Cup and the top spot in the competition.


Sandwich Score Broadstairs
1 Harry Sharples (1804) 0 – 1 Paul Carfrae          (1668)
2 Kit Blundell       (1664) 0 – 1 Dominic Blundell  (1659)
3 Jon Hunt            (1597) 0 – 1 Andrew Flood       (1594)
4 George Allen     (1300) 1 – 0 Paul Verrall            (1435)
TOTAL 1 – 3




Since the club was first founded in 1887, new Tournaments have been introduced on only rare and special occasions. One such special occasion took place earlier this week (Monday the 20th March 2023) at the clubs Bradstow Mill, Broadstairs venue.

The club was welcoming home Robert (Bob) Page who had relocated away from Broadstairs to be nearer his family and grandchildren during the pandemic, and as such the club never really had the chance to say goodbye.

The Robert Page Rapid Play Championship 2023 Tournament and welcoming back home was a way of more formally acknowledging Bob’s great service to Broadstairs Chess Club where he served as Club Secretary for 25 years.

It was great to meet up with Bob, the current Kent Individual Major Champion and two other current champions Manoj Natarajan (Kent Individual Intermediate Champion) and John Couzens (Kent Individual Minor Champion), who all enthusiastically took part in the tournament along with 16 other participants.

The joint winners were Manoj and Ian with 5 points out of 6, and the top 7 players are listed in the table. There were particularly notable performances from Bob Cronin (4.5) and Nik (4). Young Bayley more than held his own against players 6 times his age.

We are looking forward to continuing the tournament in future years to come and again welcoming Bob back home.

Broadstairs chess club meet on a Monday evenings from 7.30pm until 11.00pm at Bradstow Mill and enters teams into the Thanet and East Kent League. If you are a chess enthusiast of any age why not pop along and say hello. Contact details


Position Name Points
1 Manoj Natarajan 5
1 Ian Hames 5
3 Chris Stampe 4.5
3 Robert Cronin 4.5
5 Robert Page 4
5 Nik Loginov 4
5 Dominic Blundell 4