Hurrah! A win for Ilford

Essex Chess League    Division 2
Monday 2nd December 2019
ILFORD  I 4½ – 3½  UPMINSTER II
Report by Jef Page

1.         TOM BARTON   ½   STEVE KELSEY    164
2. NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1-0  LES CRANE         159
3.        ANTHONY KENT   ½   ROB IANNETTA 151
4.       VENKATESH  SUBRAMANIAN 1-0  AIDAN CORISH  146
5.         SYD KALINSKY  ½    STEVE ABBOTT 143
6.     JASON KLIMACH   ½   M RAHAMAN  136
7.         JEF PAGE   ½   NICK PELLING  134
8.         TAHA UNDRE 0-1  PETER BIGGS   121

(From Jef Page’s notes). In a galaxy far, far away Ilford used to win bucket loads of chess matches. Hurraahh! At last a match win for Ilford- our first this season and for ages. We did just enough to beat Upminster 2 who we get on well with as many of their players have played for us (or still do: Crane, Corish, Abbott, Rahaman, Pelling) in the London & Essex leagues.

Drawn games dominated the match. One of the best moves I played was to win the toss and give us White on odd boards so Tom on board 1 played well opposing Kelsey’s Sicilian Defence. But, with no clear advantage, both agreed a draw. Syd had a good attack against Upminster captain Steve Abbott who defended well and Jason also stopped Rahaman developing his pieces but both accepted draws. I attacked Nick Pelling’s Alekhine’s Defence but as it went down to a level endgame with just a minute left I also had to take a half. Taha (who came from a hospital appointment) attacked Biggs’ King with Q&N but when forced back he lost control of an open board. Anthony managed to hang on under attack and a draw was agreed as time was short.

The match was levelled when Neville neatly beat Les Crane but the result hinged on Venkatesh who having won Rook for Knight against Aidan Corish, in a tense endgame with only minutes left, Venkatesh raced both g & h pawns for home supported by his King to clinch the match win for Ilford. Our biggest danger now is defaults in future matches, more players are needed!

They key game on board 4.

Disappointing London League Loss

Dulwich 1 v Ilford 1, London League Div 2
6 – 4
27 November 2019
Report by Tom Barton

1Ryan
Randall             (w)
2051 – 0Julian
Hudson
168
2Andrew
Pridding      (b)
1981 – 0Tom
Barton
162
3Haran
Rasalingam
1771 – 0Anthony
Kent
157
4Peter
Andrews
1771 – 0Venkatesh
Subramanian
e150
5Slobodan
Svircevic
1561 – 0Aidan
Corish
146
6Gary
Peebles-Brown
152½ – ½Andrew
Medworth
146
7Marlon
Seton
142½ – ½Jason W
Klimach
145
8Norman
Watson
  800 – 1Gideon
Vecht
142
9Default 0 – 1Malcolm
Gesthuysen
139
10Default 0 – 1Jef
Page
128

We started the evening two points up after defaults from Dulwich but lost the match over the top five boards where we were out graded on average 183 to 157. I fell early in the sharp Mieses variation of the Scotch where I’d considered and discarded the correct move for a decent game. Anthony was slowly strangled for space and play, Venkatesh had his king stranded in the centre of the board but although he got through the pressure to a rook and pawn endgame he was pawns down and couldn’t hold. Aidan’s opponent had a slight edge but it looked drawish until Aidan dropped a pawn. Andrew worked hard for his draw , Jason drew and Gideon found a mating attack.

The game of the evening was by Julian on board one. He played really well and his opponent and Dulwich captain, Ryan Randall, struggled to find a way to break down Julian’s defence. An exciting endgame saw passed pawns created on both sides of the board and with the game being played on incremental time Julian found the right moves to keep up the tension until he gave up the exchange. In the final position Ryan decided to repeat a few moves and waited for time to be called at 10pm. Initial analysis on the night suggested a white win. In Ryan’s word the following day:

“As we suspected, Stockfish confirms it’s winning for white by 1 tempo. I should’ve found and played this at the time, but I was too exhausted to calculate. Tough game!”

And Julian duly resigned.

Adjournment position
Ryan Randall v Julian Hudson – white to play
White can move to capture e6, trading rook for bishop and then winning the pawn race
Ryan and Julian still playing a few moments before time was called.

Grim Night for Ilford

ILFORD 0-6 WANSTEAD I

North Circular Chess League , Division A
Monday 18th November
Report: Jef Page

1.          TOM BARTON  0-1  K BUI  177 w
2. NEVILLE TWITCHELL 0-1  DAVE SPEARMAN 176 b
3.   HASSAN MUGALU 0-1  STEVE RIX  175
4.              TONY KENT  0-1  A CHIREA-FLORICA 171
5.         SYD KALINSKY  0-1  PHIL STANILAND 171
6.                  JEF PAGE  0-1  LARRY MARDEN 170

Wanstead won the toss, White on odd boards.

A grim night for Ilford, can we get any lower, erm…

I had an awful opening, Larry Marden never left me off the hook and I got wiped out- but the pain was over quickly. Tom had a bad Bishop in Q, B & R against Kyan Bui’s Q, R & active N whilst Neville seemed to have good chances a pawn down, but unable to find the right line to break up  Black’s defence, lost the ending as Dave Spearman’s pawns began to roll forward. Tony Kent had an equally bad Bishop that never got into the game and when Alin Chirea-Florica’s passed a-pawn became a threat it was all over. Steve Rix won a pawn and it proved decisive against Hassan, whilst Sid sacrificed a R for a B against Philip Standiland but it proved futile and he fell into a N fork on his K&Q.

News has just reached me that the little known Kalinsky Gambit (players try to Decline it but it’s very difficult) is back in play and very dangerous. Played by Sid Kalinsky it involves making a move whilst knocking a cup of coffee over the board. A bit like Venice in flood over the chess board with you trying to mop it up as Sid just carries on regardless.  Happy days.

Dropped match in Essex League Opener

Essex Chess League  – Division 2
Redbridge Social Centre,  28 October 2019
Report by Jef Page

ILFORD  3½ – 4½  THURROCK

Tom BARTON   ½  Ian WOODWARD 150
Neville TWITCHELL  ½  B SHEPPARD           155
Syd KALINSKY 0-1 Mike BRADFORD  119
Venkatesh SUBRAMANIIAN 0-1  Andy OFFORD      119
Jef PAGE  ½   Malcolm CRANE 105
Lavanan AINKARAN 1-0  D REYNOLDS         102
Taha UNDRE 1-0  Les GROOMBRIDGE  97
default  0-1 B AKINOSOYE

Thurrock won the toss, White on odd boards.

A welcome return to the easier, lower pastures of the Essex League division 2 as it’s clear we’re not going to scale the heights of the North Circular Chess League, division A, however, problems of lack of players and defaults are raising their head early. This turned into a dismal evening as we threw away the chance to win or draw the match,  snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The worst culprit was me.

We did OK on the top boards as Neville lost a pawn against Sheppard’s French Defence opening and could never make progress but held for a draw, whilst Tom did enough to hold his favourite Leningrad Dutch Defence together also for a draw. But the middle boards were grim for us as Syd and Venkatesh made errors in good positions which allowed Bradford and Offord to pick up wins.

For once we cleaned up the lower boards. Lavanan played well, won a pawn and nursed it home with a strong, active King & Knight against Reynold’s King and weak Bishop. Taha developed out of a cramped opening and congested board to beat Groombridge. So the match hinged on my result and as usual I broke out of a poor Dutch Defence opening, finally freeing my pieces but at the cost of Crane having 2 advanced g and h pawns. But as my 2 Bishops & Knight began to work together I chased Crane’s almost trapped Queen around and then won a Rook- which should have been that. But.. I left my Q ‘en prise’ and Crane generously offered a draw- so they could win the match- which I had no choice but to accept. It felt like a loss.

Improvement in Barking return match

NORTH CIRCULAR CHESS  LEAGUE  – Division A
24 October 2019
Report by Jef Page

BARKING 1   4-2   ILFORD 1

186 Jeff GOLDBERG 0-1 Tom BARTON
165  John WHITE  ½- ½  Neville TWITCHELL
155 Colin RAMAGE 1-0  Syd KALINSKY
150  J ROBINSON 1-0  Venkatesh SUBRAMANIAN
143   J FIGUEROA  ½ – ½   Jef PAGE
124 George MONK 1-0 Taha UNDRE
Ilford won the toss: White on odd boards

Well, we the found the improvement from our 5-1 loss against Barking last week and made a bit of progress by at least winning 1 game.                                                                                                                                                               Taha got off to a bad start, was never able to develop his pieces properly and was overwhelmed. Taha castled q-side and George Monk won a mass of pawns. It was uphill all the way for us. Syd and Venkatesh got no change from Ramage & Robinson and both got the advantage quickly. My opening was nothing to shout about so with no counter-play, I gambled on a risky k-side pawn advance supporting a Q, R & N attack and it paid dividends as suddenly all my pieces got into the attack & Figueroa was very happy to take a draw even though I only had seconds left on the clock.                                                                                                                            

On the top boards we did very well. Neville pressed hard for a Q,N & 4 pawns win but White calmly held his defence together whilst on board one Goldberg again played his favourite Caro-Kann against Tom and got a clear passed pawn running for home. However, with Jeff being so short of time he lost all his pawns and suddenly, although he won Tom’s Bishop, Jeff’s lone Knight was left to hold off Tom’s pawns which became impossible.

Heavy defeat in North Circular Chess League opener

North Circular Chess League  – Division A
14 October 2019
Report by Jef Page

ILFORD  1 – 5  BARKING I

162 Tom BARTON    ½  Jeff GOLDBERG  186
141 Syd KALINSKY 0-1 Peter JASZKIWSKYJ  167
e150 Venkatesh SUBRAMANIAN  0-1 John WHITE 165
145 Jason KLIMACH  0-1 Colin RAMAGE 158
128 Jef PAGE 0-1 Ken CLOW  138
e130 Taha UNDRE    ½   Steve BERKLEY  115

The opening match of the season is always looked forward to, but yuk! What a way to start, trounced by Barking. A grim night where none of our players could gain a win but we did well to hold 2 boards against a top team.

Colin Ramage’s Morra Gambit was all over Jason Klimach as his open board Sicilian fell apart and Jason was stopped from castling and stuck with a King in the middle of the board with no escape. I could never develop properly as Ken Clow kept the centre buttoned up tight and as he expanded the queen-side, I lost control of his advancing c and d pawns. Syd Kalinsky was outplayed by Peter Jaszkiwskyj, and Venkatesh Subramanian couldn’t stop a central  wedge of pawns following a complicated middle game exchange with John White getting both his Rooks onto the dominant 7th rank. Our only successes were Tom Barton doing well again in holding Jeff Goldberg’s Caro-Kann to share a drawn game and Taha Undre who, although his K-side looked vulnerable, successfully held off Steve Berkley. 

We have the return match to look forward to! Barking’s venue on Thursday 24th October – 1 player still needed.

Tight match in London League season opener

East Ham 1 v Ilford 1 – 9 October 2019
Tom Barton

Ilford lost this opening match of the 2019-20 season 4.5 – 5.5.

With the average grade of the teams being 152.9 (East Ham) to 151.3 (Ilford) a tight match could be expected and was duly delivered. The top three boards halved out fairly early so the attention was on the lower boards. There was some back and forth on those but in the end draws happened on all boards except bottom which proved to be the match decider.

This match also marked the use of a new incremental time control for the London League of 75 mins plus 15 seconds per move. This seemed fine for the first match.

East Ham 1 GRADE SCORE Ilford 1 GRADE
Nigel
Fleming           (w)
177 ½ – ½ Russell White 188
Peter
Jaszkiwskyj      (b)
167 ½ – ½ Chris Fegan 187
Colin
Ramage
158 ½ – ½ Julian Hudson 168
Matthew
Baker
158 ½ – ½ Tom Barton 162
Jack
Sheard
153 ½ – ½ Venkatesh
Subramanian
e150
Peter
Rose
151 ½ – ½ Aidan Corish 146
Martin
Baker
150 ½ – ½ Jason W Klimach 145
Roland
Glotzer
148 ½ – ½ Malcolm Gesthuysen 139
Edison
Figueroa
143 ½ – ½ Jef Page 128
Leon
Cotter
124 1 – 0 Taha Undre e130