Ilford Kings Online Odyssey

As our previous post (in March!) noted, league chess has had to go online for the last few months. Since we have just won an online match, it seems a good time to post (rhymes with boast), and do a match report.

As mentioned previously, the club’s competitive online chess is taking place on LICHESS.ORG, where the club takes part in the League of Mayhem. Feel free to contact Tom using his handle “gandto“ . Our most recent match took place on Thursday 12th November 6.45pm start. 60 Minutes +15 seconds per player

llford Kings                                            Chingford Bunnies

  1. gandto          [W]  (1908)   ½ – ½         Kingdeathv        (2013)
  2. Chessleveller [B]  (1923)    1 – 0           dab62                 (1833)
  3. chessbore      [W] (1750)   ½ – ½         rosey5464          (1810)
  4. JefPage100    [B]  (1630)    1 – 0           hierchon            (1368)

A 3-1 win. Gandto (Tom Barton), Chessleveler (Neville Twitchell), Chessbore (Anthony Kent) and JefPage100 (Jef Page).

Although we are a team, one cannot easily follow other games while playing, and the feeling is more alone than over the board, apart from group Zoom before and after playing.

Tom’s game saw him gain some useful advantage against the modern defense, but this petered out to a drawn position. As Black on board 2, Neville played the Nimzowitsch Defense against 1.e4 . The position came down to a level ending before White (heading down the board) played 67. h7?? (instead of 67.Rc2 which draws). This enabled black to push his pawn up followed by his king. Black’s king is nearer the vital b pawns than white’s.

White on board 3, Anthony’s game was also against the Nimzowitsch Defense. White managed to swap down to B v N and an extra pawn up. With very best play, white can probably win (per the computer) with pro-active pawn play on the king side, but black secured a comfortable draw (position after 27….a6).

Board 4, Jef built up a very strong position against his opponent, and he eventually won the hard way (black to move below).

All players’ Lichess games are publicly available on line. Useful for checking out prospective opponent’s openings, which works both ways.


London League – another defeat against Streatham & Brixton

BoardStreatham & Brixton 2Ilford
Wednesday04/03/2020difference (Δ)
oneLiam M Hylands s184A (W)1-0Paolo Casaschi es170 (B)14
twoMartin G Smith s170B1-0Dee Fault
threeJagdip Patel s168C1-0Gary Thurston s152C16
fourKostyantyn Titorenko s167B1/2-1/2Anthony R Kent s158A9
fiveAndrew Ponting s164D1-0Andrew Medworth s146A18
sixAntony C Hall s163A1-0Jason W Klimach s145C18
sevenJames Fox s151A0-1Venkatesh Subramanian es1501
eightDavid A Varley s147A1-0Aidan T Corish s146A1
nineJohn McKenna s131A0-1Gideon Vecht s142B-11
tenStuart McCormack s97C0-1Jeffrey Page s128B-31
Mean gradingHome team: 154.2Away team: 148.6Δ = 5.6
NotesIlford Board 2 did not show up.

We have known better evenings. The board order reflected the January 2020 ECF gradings for the first time to alter the board order a little. We only managed to pick up up half a point on the top 6 boards where we were outgraded (An Italian 4 knights draw on board 4 got the half). On board 3, Gary Thurston got tied down to his back rank in a locked position with a bishop stuck on a8. Andrew Medworth could not recover from a pawn down. Jason Klimach bravely castled queen-side against a modern defence and got heavily attacked on the queen-side.

We were relatively stronger on the bottom 4 boards. Board 7 saw a fine combination win for Venkatesh Subramanian.  Jef Page put strong pressure on his opponent’s back 2 ranks, and a slip up gave him a back rank mate. Aidan was material down in a queen and pawn ending and lost. Gideon Vecht was last to finish with some advantage in a king and minor pieces ending. Eventually, he was left with just an unstoppable solitary pawn to win.


Under pressure on board 3. Draw agreed on board 4.
Boards 5 to 9

North Circular League Division A – Double wins against Wanstead II

We have not had much joy in this league, so 2 wins is very welcome. There is no relegation this year as Barnet have withdrawn, but we don’t want to win the wooden spoon.

Tuesday 11th February. Wanstead House
120 I Singh0-1TAHA UNDRE
Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 24th February

Away match:

The match started well for us when Taha caught Singh with a knight check that forked a Rook. But other Ilford players were under considerably more pressure. Kalinsky held off Hunnable’s strong Q&B attack and Phillip Staniland sent his pieces swarming into the attack against Venkatesh’s King but came unstuck. Jef got the advantage over Harte in the opening & middle game but trying to press for a win, blundered in a time scramble rather than asking for a draw earlier in the game. On top board, Neville played a very open attacking game. He sent his a-pawn into the attack up to the 6th rank and with Bancroft’s B pinned in front of his King on the open g-file by Neville’s Queen, Bancroft’s defences on both sides of the board was impossible.

Home match:

Doing the ‘double’ over any club or team is always pleasing so after beating Wanstead II at Wanstead 4-2, we managed to repeat the trick at home & beat them again, this time by a narrower margin. They arrived at Ilford with a stronger team all the way down but it was on the top boards that we won and held the match.

Hassan quickly got the better of Chirea-Florica and won a R to give Mugalu 2 B’s against a lone Knight which was hopelessly overworked. Neville beat off Hunnable’s good opening and his counter attack paid dividends. Anthony Kent took took control of the centre to slowly but surely ground down SIddo’s game.  But, on the lower boards it all changed where Venkatesh lost to Keith Jones (again) and Sid, although playing well, his 2 B’s against 2 N’s seemingly had a draw in hand at least, until he blundered at the end. So it came down to Jef’s game where his development was good held Nickal’s King in the centre. But as black unravelled his pieces, it then came down to an endgame where with only had seconds left, Jef did enough so that his extra pawn advantage was squandered in the time scramble and they ended the game with just 2 Kings on the board.

This result takes us off the division’s bottom, one place above Wanstead II and both clubs have 1 match each to play. We finish against Chingford (23/3/2020) whilst they will face Barking. The race for the wooden spoon is still open.

The action on board 4
Boards 5 and 6

London League – defeat against British Bangla CC

Division 2
19 February 2020
BoardIlfordGradingBritish Bangla CCdifference (Δ)
onePaolo Casaschi es170 (W)1/2-1/2FM Jovica Radovanovic s223B-53
twoAnthony R Kent s158A0-1Nasir Rizvi s185A-27
threeGary Thurston s152C0-1Swadesh Malik s184E-32
fourVenkatesh Subramanian es1500-1Christopher Dunne s176D-26
fiveAidan T Corish s146A0-1Andrew McGettigan s164D-18
sixJason W Klimach s145C0-1Tariq Khan s153D-8
sevenGideon Vecht s142B 1-0Oliver Finnegan s160A-18
eightMalcolm Gesthuysen s139B1/2-1/2M Mohammed Hossain s149D-10
nineJeffrey Page s128B0-1Mohammed Alahi s150F-22
tenTaha Undre es1000-1Mostaque Choudhury s143D-43
Mean gradingHome team: 143Away team: 168.7Δ = -25.7
2 — 8

Not our best night against the likely Division 2 champions. Gideon Vecht gained our only win. Good draw on top board for Paolo Casaschi who lost the exchange but managed to gain a passed pawn to tie down his opponent. Also a draw for Malcolm Gesthuysen. Jef Page won material and had perpetual check for the taking which he did not take trying to win for the team.

Jeff Page had perpetual check with Queen to Qc5 and back to g1.

The battle on boards 4 and 5

London League – Another Win against Kings Head

Date: 29-01-2020, Division 2 at Citadines Hotel. Ilford White on odd boards

BoardHome PlayerResultHome PlayerDifference
onePaolo Casaschi es1700-1Andrew Gilfillan s187A-17
twoAnthony R Kent s158A0-1Simon Randall s180C-22
threeGary Thurston s152C1/2-1/2Conor O’Shaughnessy s175D-23
fourVenkatesh Subramanian es1501-0Alex Bourke s155B-5
fiveGideon Vecht s142B1/2-1/2Peter Grant-Ross s138A4
sixJason W Klimach s145C1/2-1/2WK (Bill) Osborne s135C10
sevenJeffrey Page s128B1/2-1/2Richard A Balatoni s122A6
eightTaha Undre es1001/2-1/2Faye Ainscow s113A-13
nineWalk Over1-0For Feit
tenWalk Over1-0For Feit
Mean gradingHome team: 143.1Away team: 150.6Δ = 7.5

Although we were 2 up to start with, Kings Head were stronger than us on top 3 boards and teams broadly level below that. Paolo’s Queens gambit accepted gave him some initiative but he lost material. Anthony’s hedgehog was going well but he missed a tactic for his opponent.

Gary Thurston, Jason Klimach and Jef Page agreed draws in even fairly positions and things looked in the balance. Gideon Vecht had a Knight for 2 pawns in a rook ending but had to settle for a draw as his opponents pawn reached the 7th rank. Venkatesh won material and saw through our only win on the night in a tense open board. Now 5-4 to us. Taha Undre and Faye Ainscow had 7 pawns each in a fairly locked position. Taha lost his a pawn but got active play with his knight as both players started running out of time. An honorable draw was agreed to give us the match. We now have 2 wins from our last 2 matches, after suffering 4 defeats since the season started.

Our next match is against British Bangla Chess Association on Wednesday 19 February.

Miracle on Middlesex Street (or nearby)

London League Division 2 . Metropolitan v Ilford. Ilford White on odd boards.

Thursday 23 January 6.30pm start

Home player Result Away player Grading difference (Δ)

Tanguy Deflesselle s202C 0-1   Paolo Casaschi es170 +32
D Ian Calvert s179A      1-0   Anthony R Kent s158A +21
Trevor Coote s182A       1-0   Venkatesh Subramanian es150 +32
Fraser A Lees s174A    1/2-1/2 Aidan T Corish s146A +28
Jeremy Law s169A         0-1   Gideon Vecht s142B +27
Jan Lepetun s167B        0-1   Malcolm Gesthuysen s139B +28
Petr Vachtfeidl s164A    0-1   Jeffrey Page s128B +36
Toby Rolls s141C         0-1   Taha Undre es100  +41
Walk Over                1-0   Forfeit
Walk Over                1-0   Forfeit

Result                 4.5-5.5
Average grade   172.3              141.6              Δ = 30.7  

Something strange happended in this match. A 6.30pm start on a Thursday in January was proving difficult to raise a full 10 person team. We turned up with only 8 players, and were missing 3 of our regular high boards due to holiday and clashing fixtures. Outgraded on every board by an average of over 30 on the ECF scale. But,there was a minor miracle on Middlesex Street and we won the match! Our first points of the season after 4 defeats.
We got off to a good start as Boards 5 and 8 (Gideon Vecht and Taha Undre) won to bring us on level terms. Then Malcolm Gesthuysen won after his opponent misjudged a combination, and Malcolm's advanced 8th rank Queen and Rook set up an unstoppable checkmate. Jef Page was under a bit of pressure on the board and the clock, but played some bold moves to grab the initiative and checkmate his opponent. Paolo Casaschi was last to win on top board in a tense opposite colour bishop and rook ending. Paolo's King walked up the board and helped shepherd his extra pawn to victory. Aidan Corish was a pawn up with opposite colored Bishops so a draw was agreed. Venkatesh won a piece for a pawn and looked more likely to win than many others, but lost out in the time scramble as black's extra pawn advanced. Hopefully we can build on this victory and get some more points on the board.
Malcolm on board 6 as Black, about to deliver checkmate
Our boards 3 and 4 deep in thought

Essex League: Honours shared with Loughton

Essex Chess League 2019/2020 Division 2
Date: Monday 20 January 2020 Venue: Redbridge Social Centre
Board Ilford 4-4 Loughton I

1 166P Twitchell, Neville H 0-1 Bowmer, Kevin 188P
2 158P Kent, Anthony R ½-½ Stirling, William J 182P
3 141P Kalinsky, Syd M ½-½ Faulkner, David J 155P
4 135~ Subramanian, Venkatesh 1-0 Van Tol, Martin 147P
5 145P Klimach, Jason W ½-½ Moth, Simon C 142P
6 128P Page, Jeffrey 0-1 Groce, Ken 135P
7 125P Ainkaran, Lavanan 1-0 Kershaw, Graham J 130P
8 100~ Undre, Taha ½-½ Stiffell, Lyn 129P

Given Loughton walloped us 7-1 at there place last October, a 4-4 draw was a better far return on our effort. Kershaw sacrificed a N for the attack but Lavanan’s careful defence won him the endgame, and Venkatesh nicely got the better of Van Tol. Stirling had a good position against Anthony Kent but lost his way to give the opportunity to stay level. Taha could make no headway against Stiffell and also took a half.  Bowmer put Neville under attack sending a pawn up to the 7th rank and although it was the last game to finish Kevin won the endgame. Jef was put under pressure on the q-side and lost a N in a time scramble.

The shared points pleasingly takes us, at least temporarily, off the bottom of the league table, but we need at least to win more matches to stay up in division Thanks to everyone who played (from Jef’s notes).

Neville’s losing battle on board 1
Draw on Board 3

Jef deep in thought on Board 6

Outfought in the London League

London Chess League Division 2

6.11.19 Citadines Hotel, Holborn

           BATTERSEA II  7½-2 ½   ILFORD
  1. 196 T KENNA 1-0 JULIAN HUDSON 168
  2. 193 AC ASHBY ½ ANTHONY KENT 157
  3. e173 O MARCIANO 1-0 GARY THURSTON 152
  5. 170j T JONES 1-0 AIDAN CORISH 146
  6. 165 O WEISS 0-1 ANDREW MEDWORTH 146
  7. 161 E TODOROW 1-0 JASON W KLIMACH 145
  9. 147 T WELLS 1-0 JEF PAGE 128
  10. 126 S WARD-RIGGS 1-0 TAHA UNDRE e130

Toss won by Battersea, White on odd boards.

Ilford were missing a couple of regulars on top boards, and well outgraded on the first 9 boards. Well, at least that has got the excuses out of the way. The match stated badly for Ilford when Taha Undre rashly sacrificed a Bishop in the opening against Ward-Riggs, and was doomed. I got ground down by Wells in the endgame in a cramped position never being able to develop my bits forcefully. However, Subramanian played well and won a Rook and Andrew Medworth won ably yet again.Board 1 saw a Colorado gambit (not the marijuana variety). Black fought hard, but white seemed to always have an edge. Board 2 saw a feisty Birds opening, with White gaining strong material advantage, but going into a drawn bishop ending as the clock ran down. So nil points in London after 2 games. Plenty to play for.

Next London League match: Ilford v Dulwich, 27 November. New players very welcome!

Essex League Win – Off Bottom of the Table

Essex Chess League Division 2

Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 15th April


          TOM BARTON    ½   PAUL BARCLAY 149 w


               TONY KENT   ½   KEITH JONES 150


          SYD KALINSKY   ½   DAVE RAWLINGS  145

                  JEF PAGE  1-0  PETER McCARRON  135


                    default    0-1  M Wilson

Toss won by Wanstead- White on odd boards. 80 minutes + 10 seconds per move each

(Edited from Jef’s notes) From a man down, and 2-0 down, Ilford fought back to win the last 3 games being played and win the match.

Early draws from Tom and Anthony kept Wanstead in the lead. It was good to see Syd back and on form after his recent operation. Marshall had a tough time against Smith. As Dave pressed with a kingside attack, Black misplaced – and lost – a knight. Neville had a victory leading with a kight and Bishhop plus 2 pawns for a rook against Collyer- never allowing Alex’s Rooks to get into the game and a passed centre pawn proved to be a useful thorn in Collyer’s’s side. Jef came under severe pressure from McCarron who also attacked with a passed pawn. But black blundered when jef only had around 30 seconds left and was survinving in 10 second increments. First McCarron lost his advantageous pawn, and then worse, lost a Bishop and the endgame. The final and winning game to finish was Jason’s. His kingside attack had Siddo tied up for the whole game- hardly a piece of his passed the 4th rank. After refusing repeated offers of a draw, Jason cleaned up the endgame to win us the match.

A good win for Ilford which takes us off the bottom of division 2. Our main problem now is avoiding defaults- 5, the greatest in the division (after 8 defaulted games we will lose match points).

Jason (foreground) and Neville behind on their way to wins

Jef facing a tough position short of time

Essex League: Battered in Brentwood

Division 2
Date: Tuesday 11 December 2018
Venue: Brentwood Baptist Church

Board    Brentwood                       6½-1½ Ilford
1              235 Haydon, David          1-0        Twitchell, Neville 174
2              165 Adams, Ronald F     ½-½    Barton, Tom  166
3              159 Kingsley, Malcolm P 1-0      Kent, Anthony R 151
4              157 Hughes, Gavin J        ½-½    Kalinsky, Syd M 141
5               128 Davies, Robert J V      1-0      Page, Jeffrey 139
6               115 McGee, Aidan            ½-½    Tutu, Marshall 094
7               106 Fisher, Russell            1-0       Pakovlevas, Aleksandras
8               89 D’Cruz, David                1-d      Default

“Been beat up and battered ’round, Been sent up, and I’ve been shot down (Travelling Willburys, ‘Handle With Care’)    

(from Jef’s notes) A poor night for Ilford, and not so surprising a win for Brentwood- with only a slight discrepency in the grades of the players on board 1! Another default to contend with- again… Neville had a tough time against Haydon which went into the endgame with Haydon 2 Bishops & 4 pawns up against Twitchell’s lone, overworked Rook and a single pawn. Anthony lost control of the opening leading to a quick win for Kingsley, and likewise Fisher rounded up many of Pakovlevas’s pieces for a rapid victory. After a good opening, Jef blundered and allowed ex-Ilford member Rob Davies to trap and win his Bishop leading to a forced win for Rob.

Tom seemed to have Adams on the ropes but he defended adroitly to hold, whilst Syd attacked Gavin Hughes really hard and forced him, in a very sharp attack, to give up his Queen for 2 Rooks but again good defence held. Our most improved player Marshall arrived straight from work 30 minute late, but he played calmly as McGee could find no gaps to exploit and Tutu easily held for a deserved draw.

It’s a credit and compliment to us that Brentwood felt compelled to pull in a 230+ player to beat us (some sort of consolation?). But we need to find some match wins soon. Thanks to everyone who played- especially Marshall.

So, 1 win from 4 away matches. Now, 5 of the 6 remaining Essex matches in the new year are at home. Hopefully we can get full 8 man teams for all the home games and things will look up!