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.
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)
Broadstairs 2½ Bridge 1½
|1 ||Andy Flood (115) ||1-0 ||Peter Blundell (115) |
|2 ||Reg Pidduck (99) ||0-1 ||Gary Hilleard (107) |
|3 ||Bob Cronin (90) ||½-½ ||John Dickie (e90) |
|4 ||Mike Doyle (87) ||1-0 ||Ian Redmond (81) |
Mike Doyle writes:
Going into this match, Bridge were flying high with seven wins out of seven but suffered a defeat against a well-drilled Broadstairs team. Bridge were going all out for the Walker Shield until Andy, President of the Thanet Chess League, and our captain Mike clinched wins to secure a 2½-1½ victory.
We arrived ten minutes late because our driver Andy took a re-directed route due to flooding and road maintenance. Our opponents did not press the clocks on time, thank goodness, and the match started out with a draw for Bob. He was frustrated after the game because he had a win against newcomer John with two pawns ahead but squandered his pawns in the end game. On the other hand, Reg, President of the Broadstairs Chess Club, had a tricky opponent in Gary Hilleard, who lost to him last season. Gary, playing White, amassed a pawn structure in the middle of the board and ground down Reg’s Dutch Defence.
At this stage Bridge were a point up, well on the way to winning the shield, but our captain, Mike, got the match squared up with a win against Ian Redmond, a neurologist consultant, who was all at sea with his pieces. He threw away his bishop and I capitalized with a queen and rook invading his king and he resigned. It was all up to Andy on the top board, who lost to Peter Blundell last season with both grades tied. Playing White, Andy was full throttle at the outset with his opponent’s king playing walkabout. He resigned after Andy checked with a rook on the seventh rank about to lose his bishop.
Reg said that after the match if Bridge and Folkestone lost one of their matches, Broadstairs had a chance of winning the Walker Shield with a match behind. Before the match I predicted ‘tables will turn’. Unlucky to Bridge for a well-fought match and here’s hoping that Broadstairs will win the remaining matches and bring home the Walker Shield.
Broadstairs 2½ Woodnesborough 1½
|1 ||Trefor Owens (164) ||½-½ ||Harry Sharples (149) |
|2 ||Bob Page (133) ||½-½ ||John Thorley (120) |
|3 ||John Couzens (108) ||1-0 ||Mark Towlson (101) |
|4 ||Bob Cronin (90) ||½-½ ||Michael Davies (93) |
Paul Carfrae writes:
We welcomed Woodnesborough to Broadstairs for our latest Steele Cup match, looking for our first win in the competition. Harry always brings a competitive team even though we outgraded Woodnesborough on three of the four boards.
Bob C on board four was slightly outgraded by his opponent and had a tight, tatical game. With neither player wanting to give an inch, they agreed a draw. Next to finish was John on board three. He was playing Mark Towlson, who is renowned for his rapid rate of play. By the time I got to see the board, both players had a queen, rook, knight but John had a pawn advantage 7 to 6. After the queens and rooks were swapped off, John cleverly managed to get a passed pawn promoted and won the game.
Trefor on board one was also involved in a close game with Woodnesborough’s captain Harry Sharples. All seemed to be even so after John’s win, Trefor offered a draw that Harry gladly accepted. This meant we would get our first points whatever the result of Bob P’s game. Bob on board two was up against John Thorley whose grade of 120 belies his quality and experience. It was another close game, John possibly having an advantage in the opening but Bob with a clear advantage later on. Time was ticking on and although there was a lot of play left in the game, a draw was agreed, thereby confirming Broadstairs’ first win.
Well done, everyone, and thanks to Harry and his team for a well-fought match.