Hot on the heels of our victory in the Team Buzzer comes news of another Broadstairs triumph – joint winners of the Jamboree. For the uninitiated, the Jamboree is an annual competition where teams from Thanet League clubs turn up and pairings are mixed so you could be playing anyone from another club at your level i.e. Board 1 plays against Board 1 or 2 etc. Unlike the Team Buzzer, however,  this was a genuine contest with five teams competing: Broadstairs, Margate, Bridge, Herne Bay and Woodnesborough. Here are our pairings and results:

1. David Faldon   1-0   Peter McGill (Margate)

2. Nick McBride   0-1  Shany Rezvany (Bridge)

3. Bob Page        ½-½   Paul Arnold (Herne Bay)

4. Paul Carfrae      1-0     David Erwee (Woodnesborough)

5. Andy Flood       ½-½  Malcolm Snashall (Bridge)

6. Michael Doyle    1-0   James Maskell (Margate)

The first three games finished quite early. Michael had an easy win over James Maskell, Paul won a piece against David Erwee who never managed to achieve parity and Andy drew a game he thinks he probably should have won. When Bob agreed a draw in a complicated game, Broadstairs were on 3/4. David was already in a strong position against Peter McGill which he soon managed to convert into a win. By this time, most other matches had finished and Herne Bay with 4/6 were the only team who could prevent Broadstairs becoming outright winners. All eyes now turned towards Nick McBride, who needed only a draw in his match. Unfortunately, Nick did not know this and, valiantly chasing a win, he lost on time with both players having seconds left. Disappointing but we all agreed we would have settled for joint winners at the start of the evening and our name will still be on the trophy. Many thanks to all who took part.










                             The 2016 Open in action (photo courtesy of Brendan O’ Gorman)

Encouraging numbers of entries are already coming in for the 48th Thanet Chess Congress at Canterbury Christ Church University, Broadstairs, from August 18th-20th 2017. The attraction of free entry for IMs and GMs had already been noted and we are delighted to welcome back last year’s winner of the Open, IM Alan Merry. Here he is the picture above, possibly surveying the opposition although more likely simply returning to his chair on the number one board.  It is also hoped that the offer of a reduced entry of just £5 for U15s will encourage several of the strong Kent Juniors to take part. Facilities are excellent: a comfortable and air-conditioned playing area, a well-priced, stylish canteen – how often do you hear that about a chess congress? – offering a varied menu and excellent breakfasts. The canteen combines as an analysis room (see picture) and accommodation is available at the venue but book early if you want to take advantage of this as rooms are limited. See for further details including online entry.

                 The canteen and analysis room

Twenty-nine years ago your correspondent was fortunate enough to win the Minor section at the Congress.  Some might consider that use of the word ‘fortunate’ is false modesty but not so. No matter how well you may be playing, there is always that element of luck that you need – the draw, mistakes by an opponent, rivals faltering at key moments – that invariably play a part in ultimate victory. The Thanet Congress has taken place at several venues over the years – none as smart as the current one – and this was the last to be held at Holy Cross School in Broadstairs. Here is the decisive game in the final round. My opponent was on 4/4, half a point ahead of me so that essential good fortune was needed.

White:  Joe Farrell (113)   Black:  Robert Page (100)      

Thanet Minor 1988 Round 5




Broadstairs ‘A’: Bob P, Nick, David , Paul

All hail the conquering heroes! Broadstairs ‘A’ won the Team Buzzer for only the second time since 1990 with a storming performance against all the other…er…two teams (one of which was Broadstairs ‘B’).  It was disappointing that none of the other Thanet League teams turned up but well played Broadstairs in managing not only to be there but to put out two teams. Indeed, as Colin Gregory wryly pointed out early in the evening, it looked as if only two teams turned up and Margate would come third.

For those unfamiliar with the format of the Team Buzzer, it is quite simple.  Once players are paired, a buzzer sounds every ten seconds and players must move on the buzzer – not before and not after or you lose the game. An illegal move also results in a loss as does failure to recognise a check when the king can be taken and the game ends.

     Broadstairs ‘B’: Jordan, Bob C, Tim, Viktor

It was decided that the competition would be an all-play-all double round and the ‘A’ team began with an excellent 3½-½ win against Margate but round two between the two Broadstairs teams saw the first surprise when Tim beat David on Board 1. Fortunately, the other three ‘A’ team boards managed to hold on for a 2½-1½ victory and the last two rounds were 4-0 formalities. The ‘B’ team did not disgrace themselves and it was a good evening for the Selyukovs as Viktor also managed to win a game, defeating Clive Le Baigue. Indeed, Viktor proved to be a tough opponent in all his matches, achieving an excellent draw in the first game with Paul Carfrae. 

The last time Broadstairs won the Team Buzzer was in 2012, once again with an ‘A’ team consisting of David Horton, David Faldon, Nick McBride and Ian Hames. Before that we have to go back to 1990 when Broadstairs won with Mac Greaves, Bob Page, Hugh Hosking and Alek Zielinski. Many thanks to all those who played and the trophy will be presented at the Thanet AGM in July.

                                                              Final Table

Pts Game Pts
Broadstairs A 8 14
Margate 4 7.5
Broadstairs B  0 2.5


The Summer Swiss is a long-standing competition for Broadstairs members to keep them busy once league and championship games have been completed. Not everyone enters as there are five rounds and with three bank holidays occurring between now and the end of the season – the club is open but some members prefer to give chess a miss on bank holidays – those with five or more Goodall (championship) games still to play tend to opt out. Ideally, the competition probably needs at least twelve players to make it work but the difference with the Summer Swiss is that there is no prize for the winner! Instead, there is a grading prize for the best performance so uneven pairings are not a major problem and, anyway, as we are always told, it’s only a game….The draw for Round 1 has been made and matches have to be played by May 15.

Round 1

Reg Pidduck (107) v Nick McBride (171)
Bob Page  (141) v Michael Doyle  (90)
Michael Jenkinson (83) v Paul Carfrae (131)
John Couzens (125) v Fredy Reber (e50)
Jordan Leach (46) v Andy Flood (117)




Welcome, once again, to the familiar world of Blunderland, a place we have all visited far too often but which never fails to entertain us when it is someone else’s misfortune we are witnessing. If you have ever been in this situation and thought to yourself, ‘Why doesn’t this ever happen to top players?’, take heart from this excruciating oversight from the Women’s US Championships currently taking place in St Louis. In the black corner we have the top seed IM Anna Zatonskih (2451) and in the white corner, the 16 year old WIM Jennifer Yu (2196). It is Round 1 and perhaps Anna viewed the pairing as a gentle full toss to get off the mark. It clearly was not that but at least she had a draw. White had just played 57.d6 and the following position occurred:

At this point the computer has the position as 0.00 i.e. dead equal. What could possibly go wrong? That pesky pawn is uncomfortably close to queening but dealing with that shouldn’t be a problem.  Well, have a look at the position and be honest – how many of you would have played the seemingly logical 57…..Rd1+??  That is precisely what Anna played and who knows what was going through her head were she able to see the computer’s analysis jump from 0.00 to ‘White can mate in 8 moves’ ! What had she overlooked? Why, of course, 58. Kc2!  Black resigned.   To Anna’s credit, she won her next game in 23 moves, has won three out of her four games since this defeat and is currently joint leader with 3½/5 while Jennifer, notwithstanding her good fortune in Round 1, has only won once since and is on 2½/5.

If you come across any similar blunders worth sharing – either your own or any you have seen or read about – please send them in so that next time we are feeling miserable after our latest disaster, we can console ourselves that even the best in the land get it wrong sometimes.