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.


                                                  Broadstairs   1      Folkestone    3                       

1 Andy Flood (115) 1-0 Andrew Haycock (106)
2 John Couzens (108) 0-1 David Erwee (95)
3 Nikos K-Whittaker (e104) 0-1 Ben Kiss (95)
4 Michael Doyle  (87) 0-1 Robert Twigg (80)

Michael Doyle writes:

The Broadstairs team was looking forward to this Walker Shield match against Folkestone in the New Year, outgrading them on all four boards. It was a disaster! Only Andy on the top board won as we lost 3 – 1. First to go was Nikos when he failed to castle and was in check with a rook and bishop. He resigned after his opponent threaten to take off his queen. Next to go was John on Board 2 with Black forcing him to resign with doubled up rooks on the h-file and the queen threatening mate. Better luck next time, John. With two boards fighting it out for a draw getting on for 11pm, Andy won two pawns up in the end game and your captain fought to the end with an English opening. It was down to the endgame but with a rook down, I resigned. Well done, Folkestone, for coming all that way – you deserved to win.

Welcome back to Game of the Week. It is only the third offering we have had this season which means one of two things: either players are too modest to send in their spectacular efforts or that few games have been played worthy of sharing with a wider public. In the case of your correspondent it is certainly the latter. Not so for Dominic Blundell who has the rare distinction of appearing in all three Games of the Week. However, after his excellent victories in the first two, he was brought down to earth in the folllowing game although he gave as good as he got which made it all the more entertaining. Trefor Owens, who watched this slugfest from the adjacent board when he should have been concentrating on his own game, kindly added the comments.

Congratulations to Michael Jenkinson on a tremendous win. “We both had less than optimal openings,” he said, “I was definitely playing safe and refusing to sacrifice pieces or letting his rooks into play that later Stockfish analysis showed could have worked, but guaranteed mates in 8 or 13 are well beyond my neuron compliment. Happily, Dominic gave me the pawn fork I was wanting and let me castle out of potential hell. That pawn wall threat of Dominic’s was really scary and I was wondering for much of game if I had to lose a piece to destroy it.” For Dominic it was a more sobering experience. “I don’t think I made a good move after move 3,” he said.

White:   Michael Jenkinson (83)    Black: Dominic Blundell  (e126)

Goodall Cup