Broadstairs  2½         Folkestone   4½ 

1 David Faldon (179) 0-1         Andy Hammond  (197)
2 Nick McBride (e160) 1-0         Martin Cutmore  (178)
3 Bob Page (141) 0-1         John Atherton (163)
4 John Couzens (125) 0-1         Kevin Smyth (153)
5 Andy Flood (117) 0-1         Mathew Cussens (136)
6 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0         David Erwee (108)
7 Bob Cronin (103) ½-½         James Smith  (e50)

David Faldon writes:

What do we want for Christmas? A new board 1! And, hey presto, we have one after our latest match. Nick McBride has a new estimated grade of 181 and so he takes over as our board one in the new year (at least until the new grading list is published – Ed). Congratulations! With apologies to Reg, Nick’s game was the highlight of the match for Broadstairs. A slightly odd opening on both sides turned out well for Nick, so much so that his opponent felt compelled to sacrifice a piece to get a passed pawn on the last-but-one rank. For some time the attack appeared dangerous but Nick cemented a knight on a perfect defensive square and his opponent was unable to break through. I’m afraid I didn’t see much of Reg’s game at the other end of the room but I’m told he won a bishop for a pawn early on using his trusty Ruy Lopez . Reg now has three wins from his last three games, all with the Ruy Lopez. Maybe we should all be using it? Anyway, some of the other games were interesting too, especially the game on board 3, but apart from Bob C’s well-played draw on board 7, none of the unmentioned Broadstairs players were able to contribute to the team total and so we lost the match. A shame, but the Folkestone guys played well and deserved their win.

                Wesley So

The 2016 London Chess Classic, the final leg of the Chess Grand Tour, began on Friday and features all of the world’s top 10 apart from Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin. Wesley So leads the Grand Tour after three of the four rounds and with the World Champion absent, he is the favourite to win the overall prize money of $100,000 ($75,000 for the winner of the London Chess Classic). Hikaru Nakamura, the only person who can stop Wesley from taking first prize, was drawn with the white pieces against him in Round 1 and blundered with 13.Ne2?, giving So a comfortable victory which he followed up with another win in Round 2 after another blunder, this time from Michael Adams. As the only player with a 100% score after two of the nine rounds, So’s position as favourite is even stronger now than it was at the start. In beating Adams, So took his rating beyond 2800, only the 12th player in history to achieve the feat. A draw in Round 3 maintained his half-point lead at the top.

White: Hikaru Nakamura (2779)         Black: Wesley So (2794)  

London Chess Classic 2016 Round 1

Broadstairs  2         Bridge   2 

1 John Couzens (125) 0-1     Tim Spencer  (130)
2 Andy Flood (117) 0-1     Chris Stampe  (127)
3 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0     Graeme Boxall (83)
4 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0     Ray Rennells (81)

Andy Flood writes:

A well-equipped Broadstairs team (torches, coats and boots) registered an early victory by locating the new Bridge venue, known as “the pavilion” at around 7.35. Both teams had a 100% win record, so something had to give. First game to finish was Broadstairs Bob who secured an early point on Board 4 and was always in control, quickly getting to the end game and promoting his two pawn advantage to a queen. The other games were close and difficult to call but Bridge managed to even up the match as Gullbuster John lost on the top board against his higher-graded opponent. The President (Reg) on Board 3, emulating the world championship games with a Ruy Lopez opening managed to gain an advantage with white to beat the Bridge skipper to guarantee as a minimum a draw for Broadstairs. So the final game on Board 2 was to decide the result. The match was always close, difficult to call with Broadstairs playing black and at one stage up by two pawns. However black was always defending against aggressive white play before finally succumbing under time pressure to a pawn breakthrough in the centre of the board resulting in a resignation at around 10.45 as the pawn was promoted to a queen with five minutes left on the clock. A good team performance and a valuable draw for Broadstairs in their final 2016 match which keeps the Hargreaves team jointly on top of the league with their Bridge rivals with both teams undefeated.


How could we ever have doubted it? Surely it was written in the stars that Magnus Carlsen would retain his World Chess Championship title.  Perhaps he was toying with us by losing Game 8 then disappointing us all by drawing Game 12 meekly when everyone was expecting the grand finish. Was this a deliberate ploy to ensure that he retained his title via the tie breaks on his 26th birthday? Well, if people were denied a grand finish in the classical format, they got a spectacular one instead with the dénouement of the decisive fourth tie break game.

White: Magnus Carlsen (2853)            Black: Sergey Karjakin (2772)

World Chess Championship Tie Break 4  

The excitemered-squarent that accompanied the final day of this enthralling match was not confined to the 600 spectators crowded into the Fulton Market Building in New York. As well as the millions following the game online, here is the reaction in Moscow’s Red Square……and remember this is in the middle of the night in late November! And the excitement among the spectators only increased when Karjakin opted for the Sicilian Defence in reply to Carlsen’s 1. e4,  suggesting that if he were to go down he would not go quietly. Eventually, however, Carlsen’s pressure told and the reaction of the spectators when the Champion played 50. Qh6 – gasps and then applause – finally made them realise that here was the grand finish they had hoped for but at the right moment.

There has been almost unanimous agreement that Carlsen has not been at his best and that Karjakin excelled most predictions by clinging on to within touching distance of winning the championship, and there can be no doubt that the match has grabbed the public’s attention. The poetic nature of Carlsen’s victory – a queen sacrifice to conclude the final game to win on his 26th birthday – was the perfect way to win a world championship.


                                                Broadstairs  2         Margate   2 

1 Reg Pidduck (107) 1-0     Colin Gregory  (106)
2 Bob Cronin (103) 1-0     Clive Le Baigue  (105)
3 Michael Doyle (90) 0-1     Leon Garfield (102
4 Michael Jenkinson  (83) 0-1     John Clarke (94 )

Reg Pidduck writes:

BOARD 4:  JOHN HOLDS ON  John Clarke gets to a solid position in the early stages then has to fend off Michael’s strong comeback. Michael offers a draw which gets turned down and John holds on.   1-0 down

BOARD 1: LOPEZ – MY FAVOURITE  The Ruy Lopez is one of my best openings, and I quickly got in charge against Colin. He lost a lot of time in finding the correct moves to thwart my advances and when I was running out of ideas Colin was running out of time and his flag fell.  1-1

BOARD 3: LEON TOO STRONG  Our Michael lost a bishop early and was always struggling to find a way back in but Leon held on. 2-1 down

BOARD 2: COMEBACK BOB. After losing an exchange early on, Bob looked in trouble and every time I took a glance at his game I feared the worst but slowly he got back to an even keel and while we all watched on at the final minutes he gained the upper hand and Clive lost on time.

Result: a 2-2 draw  We now have played 4  won 0 drawn 3 lost 1  in the Walker Shield. Well done team and well done Margate.