Broadstairs 4 Sheldwich P.S. 0
|1 ||Andy Flood (115) ||1-0 ||Felix Coker (111) |
|2 ||Reg Pidduck (99) ||1-0 ||Sean Duffy (71) |
|3 ||Bob Cronin (90) ||1-0 ||Zeno Burns (60) |
|4 ||Mike Doyle (87) ||1-0 ||Joshua Hayhoe (37) |
Mike Doyle writes:
It was an interesting match with the Sheldwich juniors giving it all before Broadstairs finally won 4 – 0. A much improved Sheldwich Primary School, with Felix Coker on Board 1 graded 111, got Andy Flood in a muddle in the middle game but he got out of it with a fork taking his queen and finished with a mate.
Our captain had a right tussle with Josh Hayhoe who belied his grade of 37. I was charging with an Evans Gambit and got Josh on the back foot with a bishop check forcing him to move his king. But Josh got to grips with an uncastled king and by trickery he took my bishop with his knight attacking my queen. Then the fireworks started but with a piece down I managed to get his knight and after a long drawn out end game I won with a rook and he resigned. Reg and Bob had an easy ride with both juniors resigning.
With a game to play, Broadstairs moved up to second in the league. We must beat Folkestone to remain second. Thanks to the juniors who played a thrilling match well above their grade.
Broadstairs 3½ Bridge 3½
|1 ||David Faldon (178) ||½-½ || Richard Eales (192) |
|2 ||Arnaud Wisman (168) ||1-0 || Patrick Burns (161) |
|3 ||Trefor Owens (165) ||0-1 || Alan Atkinson (158) |
|4 ||Richard Clement (145) ||½-½ || Jeff Green (149) |
|5 ||Chris Stampe (141) ||½-½ || Peter Blundell (115) |
|6 ||Dominic Blundell (136) ||0-1 || Gary Hilleard (107) |
|7 ||Paul Carfrae (131) ||1-0 || Graeme Boxall (86) |
Bob Page writes:
It may be Super Tuesday in America but it was Super Monday in Broadstairs yesterday as we played host to two league matches simultaneously for the the second time this season. Our Walker Shield victory over Sheldwich P.S. is reported elsewhere but the big match was undoubtedly the return Millar Cup fixture with Bridge and what a match this was! Drawn matches are not that common in the Millar Cup and the fact that we have drawn our last two home fixtures shows how tight the competition is this year. Team selection was struck a blow the day before the match when Manoj declared himself unavailable. Nevertheless, Paul stood in on Board 7 and for once we outgraded Bridge on five of the seven boards.
This was a cagey affair. For the first hour or so there seemed to be no advantage to either side but Dominic was soon in trouble on Board 6, losing first a pawn and then a piece. He attempted to fight back gamely but there was only going to be one winner. Chris won two pawns on Board 5 but the next time I looked he had lost a piece and a draw was soon agreed. The other games seemed level and it was no surprise when David and Richard both agreed draws in quick succession. Finally, Dominic conceded and Bridge were ahead 2½-1½. This is where the match became quite exciting. On Board 3 Trefor had built up a convincing attack with queen and rook but then lost a key pawn. After a few exchanges he offered Alan a draw which was declined. Trefor fought hard in a rook and pawn ending but Alan held his position and once the rooks were forced off, Trefor resigned. Bridge now only needed a draw from the last two games to win the match while Broadstairs, of course, had to win both games just to draw.
The game on Board 2 had looked level for a long time. Few pieces had been exchanged and with Patrick’s knights firmly embedded in the centre of the board, Arnaud was struggling to make a breakthrough. He had already declined a draw offer before Trefor resigned and now it was clear he had to win. Somehow – and your correspondent, busy watching the game on Board 7, missed this – Arnaud won a piece for a pawn, both knights were off the board and Patrick resigned. So attention now focused on the final game between Paul and Graeme.
Paul had been a pawn down for some time and tried a sharp tactic that only served to lose him the exchange. Gradually, however, he picked off the pawns with the result that he had a knight and two pawns for the rook but Graeme had a strong a-pawn that marched up the board and which Paul could not stop. With Graeme’s time running out, he managed to queen the pawn and Paul was left with queen, rook and knight against two queens and a rook! By this time it was almost 11.00, Graeme had less than a minute left and Paul was forced to check with his queen alone as his knight had gone awol and his rook was pinned by the new queen. But Graeme could not escape the checks and it seemed a draw by repetition might be the likely result and then just when it seemed Paul had run out of ideas, Graeme walked into a mating net where his only escape square after yet another queen check was covered by a lone Black pawn: checkmate!
Phew! What a match! Bridge deserve great credit being outgraded in most of the boards and the home team can count themselves fortunate but a draw is a draw. Well played, Broadstairs!
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)
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.