Broadstairs   2      Ramsgate    2                       

1 Andy Flood (115) ½-½ Tony Buck (109)
2 Reg Pidduck (99) 1-0 Bob Wallace (10o)
3 Bob Cronin (90) ½-½ Malcolm Snashall (98)
4 Mike Doyle  (87) 0-1 Ken Keeler (91)

Mike Doyle writes:

Broadstairs gave up the ghost of winning the Walker Shield when we drew with Ramsgate. Our captain, needing to win to stay in the hunt, lost to his bête noire, Ken Keeler. Bridge, with only one match to play, having scored eight wins from nine matches, are set to win the shield. Their only a loss was to Broadstairs on their turf.  In this match we were outgunned with three of their players having ratings above us. Only Andy’s grade on the top board was higher.

I was the first to go when I blundered a bishop. At this stage I was set for a win as my opponent’s king was wide open to attack, charging his pawns with no defence. I blundered when a knight took a bishop and forked my rook. I resigned. On board three was Bob Cronin and he too had a win with a rook and queen attacking on ‘h’ file but a reliable Malcolm Snashall saw he had a way out and it ended with a draw.  On board two was Reg who saved the day when he won with a piece up against Bob Wallace. The match was even at this stage with our hopes on Andy on board one against a tricky opponent, Tony Buck. It was fierce in the middle game with White attacking with a queen and bishop but Andy fought back and it ended with a draw with only a rook and three pawns on either side.

It was sad that Broadstairs drew as we won at Ramsgate in the first leg. Full credit to Ramsgate, though, and my nemesis Ken winning against me, a disappointing loss for the captain.




This is the crucial game from the drawn Steele Cup match with Margate where a win for Paul would have put Broadstairs 2-0 ahead with two games to play. However, a draw was agreed and the final position led to lengthy debate upstairs. Should White, who offered the draw, have continued? Was there a win? Was the draw a fair result? The consensus among the players of modest ability on show eventually was that  there was a win. Disappointingly, Stockfish thinks otherwise and so the final position, tantalising though it may seem, may slightly favour Black! However, it’s an interesting game – not exactly error-free but who has not had what was thought a gem cruelly exposed as a fake by the all-seeing eye of a computer – and see what you make of the final position without the aid of any technological wizardry.


White:  Paul Carfrae (131)    Black:  Keith Findley (125)

Steele Cup v Margate

                                                   Broadstairs   2      Margate   2                       

1 Manoj Natarajan (149) 1-0 Colin Gregory (127)
2 Paul Carfrae (131) ½-½ Keith Findley (125)
3 Andy Flood (115) ½-½ Clive Le Baigue (121)
4 Reg Pidduck (99) 0-1 Leon Garfield (104)

Bob Page writes:

This was a tough match and in the end a fair result. A win would have kept Broadstairs in the hunt to win the Steele Cup at our first attempt but at the half-way stage in the competition, with only one win from four matches, we have it all to do. Apart from Manoj’s clear grading superiority on board 1, all the other three pairings were fairly evenly matched and this is how the games turned out. Board 1 was the first to finish when, in an innocuous position, Colin miscalculated and instead of winning a pawn he lost a bishop in the exchange and resigned soon afterwards. The next to finish was Paul’s game on board 2. After a rather messy opening with doubled pawns and his queen’s rook dragged out of position, Paul recovered and looked to be winning when a draw was agreed. Keith’s king was trapped in the corner and while he appeared to have sufficient defence to hold off an army of White attacking pieces, to the neutral eye a win seemed distinctly possible and with analysis after the game, the answer was found (No it wasn’t! Stockfish thinks otherwise. See Game of the Week – Ed.).

The draw on board 2 was with hindsight the decisive result. On board 4 Reg, having sacrificed a pawn, in the opening, did not appear to have gained anything for it and canny play from Leon later won a second pawn and Reg could not prevent Black’s queenside pawns from marching up the board. So, with the scores level, it was left to Andy and Clive to decide the outcome of the match. The game had been even all the way through and it was no surprise when the players agreed a draw which was how the match ended.

We don’t appear to have quite got the hang of this new competition yet. Perhaps having too many players available – the team’s total grades must not exceed 500 – is a disadvantage because ten different players have represented the club in four matches where a settled side might be more successful. Still, four wins from the remaining four matches could make for an interesting finale.


When 22 players enter an all-play-all club championship, some imagination is required to ensure that all the games are played, especially when league matches, the club knockout competition, the five-round Summer Swiss and the annual Blitz tournament are also taken into account.  It helps that our season runs until August and we weren’t to know that two players would drop out for different reasons. The solution was hardly revolutionary, but it was not something we had done before: timetable each round. The problem in the past that was (a) not all players were pro-active when it came to arranging games and (b) some players would not turn up on the off chance on a club night if they had no game. Consequently, games were sometimes left unplayed and if we were to play 21 games in a season alongside everything else, the solution was to timetable games, so everyone knew when they were playing.

With 13 of the likely 19 rounds played, we are two-thirds of the way through the competition and it seems to be working.  Club nights are busy and although there have been some postponements and a few players are behind the run-rate as it were, several games have been brought forward so we have a strange situation where one or two players are still in single figures in games played while others have notched up over thirteen games and Michael Jenkinson has played 16. The reason it works, of course, is that the onus for arranging games has been taken from the players and assumed by one all-powerful dictator but it’s a benevolent dictatorship.

But who is winning, you may ask? A glance at the excellent ECF LMS which now has 52 leagues and 35 clubs under its umbrella – it is a mystery to this writer why all the chess leagues in the country are not using the same system – shows that the defending champion, David Faldon, has a 100% record but he still has to play his two closest rivals, Trefor Owens and Arnaud Wisman. Full details can be found here.

It seems appropriate to feature a game from the club championship, but those submitted for Game of the Week have already appeared which only leaves my games, most of which are x-rated. However, take a look at this ending which demonstrates two things: (a) the sort of mistakes I have been making and (b) how well Fredy has been playing.  What follows from Black could qualify as Blunder of the Week but that would not be fair to Fredy who played well throughout the game which had been level for some time. We join it after Black has just played 36….Qd5.

White:  Fredy Reber (63)    Black:  Robert Page (133)

Goodall Cup

White now played 37. Qg5 offering an exchange of queens. This was a mistake and I could sense a clear win. The game continued:


  1. hxg5    f6
  2. f4        fxg5
  3. fxg5    Kf7
  4. Kf2      Ke6
  5. Ke3     Kf5
  6. Kd3     Kxg5?!

This was careless. According to Stockfish, Black can still mate in 20 but 43…..Kg4 was better.

  1. Kc4      Kg4??

A blunder that loses the half-point. Not only does Black waste a crucial tempo but it puts the king on the square that will allow White to queen with check so although Black will come out of these exchanges a pawn up, it will count for nothing because he has lost two tempi and his newly crowned queen will become a hopeless spectator. The correct move was, of course, 44…..h4. Black’s winning chances have gone from mate in 20 to -1.33 at best. White was not going to waste his chance.

  1. Kxc5     Kxg3
  2. b4         h4
  3. b5         h3
  4. b6         h2
  5. b7         h1 (Q)
  6. b8 (Q) +   Kg4
  7. Qc8

And a draw was agreed soon afterwards.


This latest Game of the Week is the crucial deciding game in Monday’s Walker Shield match between Broadstairs and the runaway leaders, Bridge. Having won all seven matches of their matches so far with only three to go, victory for the Bridge team here would have been a major step towards becoming Walker Shield champions for this season which, of course, may still happen. However, it was a must-win match for Broadstairs if we were to maintain our slim chance of becoming champions ourselves. With the scores level, everything rested on the result of the board 1 game between Andy Flood and Peter Blundell. Both players were in good form but it was fortunate for us that Andy came out on top on this occasion. Peter readily admitted afterwards that it ‘must have been my worst effort all season!’ and he deserves great credit for agreeing to let us feature the game. Full credit to Andy, though, for an excellent win and his fine form continues.

White:  Andrew Flood (115)    Black:  Peter Blundell (115)

Walker Shield v Bridge