The Thanet Chess Congress has been and gone for another year and we shall be devoting a few pages to it over the next couple of weeks while Broadstairs enjoys its brief summer break. We hope to feature some of the winners’ games and perhaps one or two disasters if players are brave enough to send them in. Let’s begin with one of our own. Nick McBride and David Faldon were always going to find it tough in the Open with five of the thirteen players graded 200 or above and three over 230. However, there were also five players including Nick and David in the 170s so there was healthy competition for the U180 grading prize. In the end, both players scored 2/5, only half a point behind Kevin Bowmer, the eventual grading prize winner. In the first round Nick found himself paired against Freddie Hand who may only be 14 but already has a grade of 205. This is the position after White’s 28th move.
White: Nick McBride (173) Black: Freddie Hand (205)
Thanet Chess Congress 2017
Nick takes up the story:
“I’m white against Freddie Hand (205J). For a while now I had been working towards: Rbg1, Rxh6+, gxh6, g7+!, Bxg7 and mate next move. But Freddie ignored this. He now played 28… Nd2! I continued with what I thought was nearly a forced mate 29 Rbg1. Then Freddie played 29… Be6!! and I’m dead. The rook on c7 now stops my g7+! He’s pretty good.”
The Walker Shield team were unable to defend the title they won last year despite a strong finish to the season that saw them win their last three matches. Bob Cronin’s own form (6/8) was similar: two defeats followed by six victories. Here is the sixth of those wins, a neat conclusion in the final game.
White: Ronnie Melhuish (96) Black: Bob Cronin (103)
Walker Shield v Herne Bay
Having featured three wins by Nick McBride already this season, it seems only fair to redress the balance by showing one of his defeats. This may not be an especially exciting game nor a particularly impressive performance by Black but the difference in grade is sufficient to make it significant. The victor would like to make it known that he will be offering autographs at the next club night if he is not too busy opening supermarkets.
White: Nick McBride (171) Black: Bob Page (136)
Our first Game of the Week for 2017 is another fine win by Nick McBride, now with an official grade of 171. This is taken from our Millar Cup victory against Herne Bay and it is typical of Nick’s modesty that he descibed it as ‘not so great a game really…’ If that’s so, we look forward to posting one of his great games in the future. Meanwhile, those of us unable to contribute to the team’s victory will happily settle for this one.
White: Nick McBride (171) Black: Bob Pooley (153)
Millar Cup v Herne Bay