Long Distance Win

Witham v Ilford 1, Wednesday 16 November 2022.
Essex D2, 6 board match, G80 + 10, Ilford won the toss: White on odd boards
Jef Page, captain.

WITHAM  1½  –  4½  ILFORD
1865        JAMES STEELE   0-1 TOM BARTON 1935
1582          LYN STIFFELL  0-1  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1965
1561       BARRIE WHITE  0-1  JEF PAGE 1644
1605                             Av grade:                           1805

Full details see the ECF LMS: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/125086

On an awful windswept, sodden rainy night we traveled to our most distant venue this season. Ilford’s players made it in good time to pull off a valuable away win against a weaker than expected Witham. Newcomers to the Essex League, they’re trying to provide more competitive games for their members. But Ilford were in no mood to be generous.

I rearranged the board order a bit to promote Rahul who has done well this season. It didn’t quite work out as Barnes won pawns and held his K-side together as Ghose strived to put in an attack but when Queens were about to be forcibly traded the game ended. Neville meanwhile benefited. Witham’s Captain Lyn Stiffell’s French Defence got nowhere as he was never able to develop his pieces properly. Quin completely missed the point of my attack as I picked off an undefended Knight and then upgraded that to go a Rook up. Adhar won a pawn but in an opposite colour Bishop ending he couldn’t quite force the win. On top board Steele was reduced to having a Knight languishing on a8 as Tom threw up his King and Queen-side pawns, went a vital pawn up, and then was able to mount the coup-de-gras threatening mate.

Thanks to everyone who made the journey to play. We are currently top on 3/3, but we have the strongest teams in division 2 to play next year.


Banger Match in Essex

Ilford 1 v Thurrock 1, Monday 24 October 2022.
6 board match, G80 + 10
Jef Page, captain.

              ILFORD I  4½ – 1½ THURROCK I
1.  1930   TOM BARTON     ½    BARRY SHEPPARD 1810
3.  1644  JEF PAGE  1-0  JIM ARBUCKLE        1733
4. 1556  ADHAR JAISWAL   ½   MATHEW WILSON   1530
5. 1575 TAHA UNDRE  1-0  MALCOLM CRANE   1488
1713                                  Average grade                             1653

Toss won by Ilford, White on odd boards.

On one of the worst nights for quiet and concentration in chess matches with bangers & rockets going off overhead during Diwali (the other is Guy Fawkes night) the last thing you want is a player dropping out at 7pm. So a quick text from Tom brought an answer from Faheem who made his instant debut for Ilford and rapid promotion for the bottom 3 players who were instantly promoted. Muhammed got into trouble, as he dropped pawns facing Van Litsenborgh’s Queen & Rook, but he completely outplayed Rudi in the ending to force a queen promotion. With Taha winning a Knight we soon went 2-nil up but the other games were much closer.

I played a very passive and restrained (for me) 3-N‘s opening but after fiddling around trying o develop my pieces I decided I’d had enough of that, gambled, and attacked. It paid off when I won a N, only to blunder it back minutes later in the time scramble, but when I offered Arbuckle an exchange of Q’s (who declined a draw offer) he made another move and I picked off his Q for nothing. Neville strong opening yielded a N for 2 pawns but as Woodard’s pawns dangerously advanced down the board Nev thought it best to return the bit and a draw was agreed. On top board Tom had the attack out of a Dragon Sicilian opening but couldn’t quite find the winning combination to break through Sheppard’s K-side.  So we race to the top of the table. Let’s hope we can stay there. Thanks to everyone who played.

Essex D3 – Close fought match

Ilford 2 v Wanstead 3, Monday 17 October 2022.
5 board match, G80 + 10
Tom Barton, captain.

This was a tight match won by Wanstead 3-2.

Euan opened up the centre before castling and rapidly ran into trouble which lost his queen. Jiayi reached a level middle game with opposite side castling but when his opponent sent pawns down the board to attack his king Jiayi didn’t get counterplay going on the opposite wing which left him under pressure. So we went two down but then both Dan and Rayyan played nice attacking chess using pressure to create mistakes and win, this levelled the match up at 2-2. So the match result hung on Biel’s game. He’d gone a pawn up with a slightly better position but his opponent gained pawn activity and pressure that proved decisive.

Given the Wanstead team were very experienced and out-graded us heavily this was a good showing.

Thanks to David and Krish on the Wanstead boards 4 and 5 who went through some game analysis with Euan and Jiayi.

Full details of the result are on the ECF LMS here

Essex D3 Opener Win!

Ilford 2 v Southend 2, Monday 3 October 2022.
5 board match, G80 + 10
Tom Barton, captain.

This was the second team’s first game of the 2022-23 season. I lost the toss so over this five board match we had two whites and three blacks which was not a disadvantage as apart from the draw on board two all the games were won by black!

The three juniors in the team all played well. Euan played calmly to claim a pawn out of the opening with a piece development advantage, this turned quickly into a greater advantage as he won his opponent’s queen with a simple tactic and he went on to win. Jiayi played quick development against his opponent’s Sicilian defense but then his co-ordination became a bit loose and the weakening move g3 led eventually to pressure on his rooks and with his opponent’s bishops invading his position he lost an exchange and the game went away from him. So one point each at this stage.

Rayyan had a very complex middle-game position against his opponent’s London opening. In the critical position Rayyan found better moves than his opponent to go the exchange up in the endgame and win.

Adhar’s game on board two went into an extremely closed position with the pawns locked together across the board and not surprisingly ended with a draw as neither side’s king and bishop could make any progress.

So the match now hung on the result of Dan’s game. He played a very tricky open position well and although an exchange down had his bishop pair aiming at his opponent’s king creating more pressure than his opponent’s bishop pair which were doing the same. Dan was well up on the clock and created complications. His final rook move was excellent and struggling for a response his opponent’s flag fell. A win for Dan and a win for the team 3.5 – 1.5

Well played all! Thanks to Southend for travelling to us.

Match result details and league tables are on the ECF LMS. See the match result here: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/125065

Essex Knockout Plate Final – a Trophy!

Thurrock v Ilford – Plate Final 21 September 2022
5 board match, time control G20+10
Jef Page, 22 September

The winning team with Plate and prize clock

Championes, Championes’.. the champagne was sprayed around, we’ve booked the open-topped bus… For winning the event Ilford holds the silver Plate for a year and a new additional chess clock.

The match was played at Thurrock who were due a home venue. I won the toss & Ilford were white on odd boards in round 1. Our agreed starting time was 7.45 and Thurrock’s captain Malcolm Crane generously agreed to wait till 8pm for Venkatesh to arrive.

For the 1st time in over 20 years Ilford appeared in a final: true, just a rapidplay Plate event for 1st round losers, but still a long overdue resurrection of our fortunes and the first time I’ve led a team to victory. We heavily outgraded Thurrock and for once our stronger members played to their standard as Tom, Neville and Rahul each won both games. The match was won in the 1st round as Ilford achieved a rare 5-nil clean sweep towards victory. Ilford went into an early lead in round 1 when Rahul came up with a sweet Bishop move that won him the exchange and I wriggled out of Van LItsenborgh’s tricky French Opening to demolish his qeenside and followed that up by forking his King & Queen.

Round 2 was a bit closer at 3-2. Neville won a nice Rook and pawn endgame but I lost a pawn in the opening and was always playing catch-up. Venkatesh got caught when his King was surrounded by Omoruyi’s Queen, R & Bishop.

We played just 3 matches: losing to Barking A 4-6, just getting past Wanstead B 5½-4½ and beat Thurrock 8-2. Best individual score was: Rahul 5/6; Tom 4½/6, Neville 3½/6, myself 2/4, Venkatesh 1½/2, Asif Ryan 1/2, Daniel Lowe 0/2.

Match score on the ECF LMS here.

On the ECL website there is a report and another photo of our winning team which was presented by the organiser Ian Hunnable, Essex League Controller. See here

Thank you to everyone who played and took part.

Comfortable Baum League Win

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Enfield 1 – 8 August 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control G20+10
Tom Barton (09.08.2022)

On a warm summer’s evening we opened the club up for this Baum League match against Enfield 1. With team sheets exchanged it soon became clear we heavily out graded the opposition and this translated into a 5-1 first round lead. In the second round Ilford went even better by a half point so ran out very comfortable winners by a match score of 10.5 – 1.5.

The match result details can be found on the ECF LMS here.

Essex Summer Knockout Plate

Plate semi-final: Wanstead B v Ilford
2 games of G20+10 with colours reversed between rounds
Tuesday 2 August 2022 Tom Barton

Having lost 6-4 to Barking A in the first round of the ECA Summer knockout we entered the Plate competition. With Jef Page away I captained the team in what was a tight match where we had a grading point advantage on the higher boards but not on the lower boards.

Round 1 saw us take a good lead, 3.5 – 1.5 with a nice win from Rayyan on board 5 under time pressure. Round 2 didn’t go so well as we lost on boards 4 and 5 early on. Neville halved out against the Wanstead draw expert, Paul Barclay, and Rahul won. I was last to finish. I managed to get a rook trapped and gave up a piece for two pawns and had a losing position. I hung on in the time scramble for a draw which gave us a match winning score putting us through to the Plate final where we will meet either Barking B or Thurrock.

Result on the ECF LMS: Wanstead B v Ilford

And the results in the Essex Summer KO are here: ECA Tables

Baum League Thriller

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Wanstead 3 – 18 July 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control G20+10
Tom Barton (19.07.2022)

Both clubs agreed to as many boards as possible for this match as a great opportunity for juniors to gain experience. Wanstead fielded seven juniors and Ilford three in an 11 board contest, the largest team event at Ilford for many years which is something to celebrate, plus one friendly match making 12 boards in all. Given the high 30C heat, cold drinks all round were in order before play commenced.

Round 1 in play – Boards 2 and 10 already complete

Round 1 saw the top three boards halve out, the middle generally going to Ilford, and the Wanstead juniors proving too strong on the bottom three boards so at the halfway mark the match was tied at 5.5 each. After a further drinks break round 2 got underway with everything to play for. I had an early draw aganst Paul Barclay against whom I couldn’t get to complicate the position, this turned out to be the only draw of the second round. The Wanstead juniors were pressing the Ilford adult team hard and once again proved too strong on the bottom boards. Ilford started to reel Wanstead’s lead back in and the match went down to the final game on board 4. Here Adrian had a plus but it was difficult to see how he could make progress, in the event he tried too hard and his position collapsed. So the final result was 12-10 to Wanstead. See the final result on the LMS here.

For the record, the two round friendly on board 12 was between Gurukarthik Gurusamy (Wanstead junior) and Adhar Jaiswal (Ilford).

Easy Baum League Win

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Chingford 27 June 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control 20+10
Jef Page (28.06.2022)

                                               ILFORD   7-1  CHINGFORD

                                                        Rd 1   Rd 2

1997             DLAWAR HAMEED   1-0   1-0   DAVID BRADY  1816 (1902 R)


1854           NEVILLE TWITCHELL  1-0    1-0    BRIAN SPEAR  1741 R

1874                    TOM BARTON   1-0    1-0    STEVEN KLEIN  1517

Ilford won the toss, White on odd boards round 1
Result on the LMS here.

Illness took a toll of this match. One of our players couldn’t make it due to Chicken Pox (!), whilst one of Chingford’s members had caught Covid equally contagious and unavailable. So an easier win than expected for Ilford and on another day a few games could have gone against us. In round 1 Dlawar came up with a neat pawn sac that won the exchange and Tom’s hybrid Alekhine/French Defence held back Klein’s attack and when he left f2 unguarded his K-side collapsed.

On boards 2 and 3 it proved much harder for us.  Venkatesh- promoted due to his good results, held off Robin’s central play but when the g-file opened up it left Oakley’s King open and vulnerable. Neville found Chingford captain Brian Spear’s counter play tricky and only when Neville brought his Queen into the attack did Brian mess up an exchange of bits.

In round 2 we could have lost both boards 1 and 2. Dlawar lost control of a minor piece & pawns ending but this time Brady blundered into a N fork that cost him a Rook. Venkatesh meanwhile tried to attack with Q&B down the diagonal to mate Oakley but he allowed Robin to invade the back rank with his Queen and whilst a repetition of moves seemed likely, Oakley pulled off the win. Tom won easily in round 2 catching Klein with a Rook sac, but Neville had to work hard to convert a R&P endgame into a win with seconds remaining.

So Ilford get onto the scoreboard after our narrow loss to Wanstead.

Close Baum League Match

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Wanstead 1 20 June 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control 20+10
Tom Barton (21.06.2022)

I was captain for the evening as Jef was off sick with Covid and late in the day Rahul also advised he was sick, diagnosed later as chicken pox! The Baum league default board count is 4, with an increase by agreement. This match had been agreed to be 8 boards but very sportingly Mark Murrell (Wanstead captain) agreed a reduction on the night to a 7 board match.

Wanstead turned up with a strongish team (average grade 1897) and I expected a tough evening but the team played really well and pushed Wanstead all the way. In round 1 Dlawar, up against Artur Sygulski (IM, 2336 rapid grade, world rank 3994), played really well to get Artur into time trouble and win his game. Venkatesh also won but Neville and I struggled. The bottom three drew so at the end of round one the score was 3.5-3.5 with everything to play for. In round 2 the games appeared to be going in our favour causing some concern to Mark as a spectating non-playing captain. Venkatesh made it 2 from 2, Neville had a plus but had to agree a draw in an opposite coloured bishop endgame. I got crushed by Ashley but Anthony appeared to be winning as was Daniel. Anthony lost his way somewhere for a draw, Anurag lost and Daniel converted to a win. The match hung on top board but this time around Artur showed technique to open Dlawar’s closed pawn position up and win. So a second round loss 4-3 and overall loss just 6.5 – 7.5.

A very good evening for Dlawar, Venkatesh and Daniel who is improving fast.

The full match result can be found here: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/98340