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.

This is an unusual choice for Game of the Week. A win for a player graded 178 against an opponent graded 83 is more Goliath beats David than the reverse. Furthermore, it was the winner who submitted the game but he had his reasons as he stated: “The main point of including it would be to point out how well the loser played! In fact both players played very well, but I thought that Mike’s play was exceptionally strong for someone graded 83 (ridiculous!). White gets a slight advantage from the opening, but Black fights back hard to make things as difficult as possible. The result is only decided between moves 27 and 31. White’s 27.Bxc6 is a good shot (nothing else works) but when I missed what would have been a winning follow up (28.Bb6!) Black had his chance to escape. It’s not easy, though, especially as both players were rather exhausted by that point. Black needed to find 30…Ne4! After he chose something else, there is no escape. In the final position, 37.c4 traps the Black knight in the middle of the board.”
White:  David Faldon (178)    Black:  Michael Jenkinson (83)

Goodall Cup

                                                Broadstairs   3½      Margate ½                       

1 Andy Flood (115) 1-0 Leon Garfield (104)
2 John Couzens (108) ½-½ John Clarke (92)
3 Reg Pidduck (99) 1-0 Chris Wyer (19)
4 Mike Doyle  (87) 1-0 def.

Mike Doyle writes:

The Walker Shield comprises four players from each team but unfortunately Margate could only provide three and Broadstairs beat them soundly. It is the third time Margate defaulted on away games this season, the inevitable consequence of a shortage of players affecting some Thanet clubs, namely Birchington who have folded and Herne Bay and Woodnesborough who can’t raise a Walker team. However, Broadstairs is thriving and this season more than 20 players signed on. We fielded four players in the Walker Shield: stalwarts Andy, John, Reg and your captain Mike who got a point on board four for a default.

Reg on board three was the first to win against Chris Wyer who got in a tangle in the endgame two pawns down. Reg cleaned up turning a passed pawn into a queen and Chris resigned. On top board was Andy who had a right tussle with Leon Garfield in the middle game. Leon said after the  game he had won the tactical battle but he lost on time when Andy pointed to the clock to show that his flag was down. That left John on board two who was last to finish. It was a strategic battle with John Clarke. Both players ended up with a knight and a bishop. John Couzens was a pawn down and he managed to get his pawn back and the game ended in a draw.

It was a well-fought victory for Broadstairs but sadly a defeat for Margate who were a player short.

                                      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.


                                                     Broadstairs   2      Sheldwich     2                       

1 Andy Flood (115) 1-0 Felix Coker (111)
2 Mike Doyle  (87) 1-0 Sean Duffy (71)
3 Michael Jenkinson (83) 0-1 Zeno Burns (60)
4 Fredy Reber (59) 0-1 Josh Hayhoe (37)

Mike Doyle writes:

Sheldwich Primary School is a much improved chess team as Broadstairs found out in this match. Making his first appearance for us this season was Michael Jenkinson, who travelled from Reading at the last minute. The journey was a little hectic as was his game against Zeno Burns, an improving chess player. Michael was as fast in the opening as he was in travelling across the country to be on time. He lost a rook at the beginning and it was all downhill from there with only a queen and a bishop left as opposed to a queen, rook and a knight. He resigned after a few more moves. Hard luck, Michael. You’d be better off next time if your journey was a little shorter.

On the bottom board was Fredy, who had earlier said in the car: ‘We are playing children!’ Lo and behold, he lost to a nine-year-old chess prodigy, Josh Hayhoe. In fairness to Fredy, he had a winning game until he lost his queen in front of his king to a rook. Better luck next time. Your captain had a tricky game against one of the top-rated players in the school, Sean Duffy, who had a unusual opening against the Sicilian Defence. In the middle game Sean lost a bishop and a few moves later he resigned. On the top board Andy had a thrilling game with Felix Coker, who beat him last season. To avenge his defeat, Andy, with a queen and two rooks lined up with a bishop, had Felix on the back foot. He mated with a queen and bishop. The final result was a draw so thanks to Sheldwich for a nail-biting match. We will see you for the return match in Broadstairs with a fired-up team in the spring.