London League – Comprehensive win against Metropolitan

London League D3 East, Metropolitan 2 v Ilford 1 75min+10sec
15 June 2022 – Tom Barton

After being walloped last match by DHSS 1-7 we turned this around to thrash Metropolitan 7-1. In both matches the grading advantage proved decisive.

Aidan’s opponent failed to show so after a 60 minute wait he claimed the default. Venkatesh was next to finish with a win and Neville drew after playing a provocative “wing” opening gambit. Rahul looked to be in control and winning but his opponent fended him off to take it into an endgame. Anurag drew, Taha won and that left three boards which went to late in the evening. Rahul, well ahead on the clock, got the better of his endgame to win. I managed to get a win from what I think was a drawn position and Dlawar broke through to wrap up the thumping win.

Her are links to games from the top three boards:
Dlawar Hameed
Neville Twitchell
Tom Barton

Toss won by: Metropolitan – White on odd boards

BdMetropolitan 2GRADESCOREIlford 1GRADE (Sept 21)
1Jan Lepetun18400 – 1Dlawar Hameed1950
2Younis Quershi1846½ – ½Neville Twitchell1923
3Jonathan Marrow18330 – 1Tom Barton1918
4Bengo Amusa18180 – 1Rahul Ghosee1850
5Geoff Bishop17180 – 1Venkatesh Subramanian1818
6default17430 – 1Aidan Corish1780
7Ronan Kelly1660½ – ½Anurag Chauhan1773
8Noel Stewart16450 – 1Taha Undre1540
 Total 1 – 7  
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Double Match Night Drubbing

Jef Page, Captain, Ilford CC.
14 June 2022

NORTH CIRCULAR CHESS LEAGUE    RAPIDPLAY SUMMER LEAGUE   13.6.22
Ilford v Barking Time control: 15min + 10sec/move

The first of a double-header of matches against Barking on the same night and it turned into a  grim one for Ilford. In this first match we were completely outplayed in both rounds which was agreed to be a rare 7-board match. Barking turned out their strongest team & I have added all their players rapidplay grades to show their strength in depth. Tom, Rahul and Venkatesh were our only players to come out of the carnage with credit; Anurag and Daniel found it very hard going as did Neville on board one.
One of our players (‘Simon Trelawney’) has just had a Sherlock Holmes mystery published- not sure if even he could solve this problem of how to win!

Results below and on the LMS here.


ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE   RAPIDPLAY    ESSEX KO CUP 13.06.2022
Ilford v Barking Time control: 15min + 10sec/move

After our trouncing in the 1st match, this 2nd match of the double-header turned out to be much closer than I expected. We were crushed in the first round but we turned the tables and won the 2nd round- a very good result. After the 7-board match this was agreed to be 5-boards each. We also agreed to change the board order in the 2nd round to give our players a new opponent to face and it clearly worked for us. It wasn’t planned but I stepped in as a late sub. It was a heavy night of chess as with the increment of 10-seconds a move many games went the full distance. And in this match at least all our players scored at least 1 point or a ½.

Great Thanks to those who played all 4 games- a heavy night of rapid chess, as we didn’t finish till near 11pm, and Tom and Rahul scored 1½  points overall. We won’t do this again too often (!), though it did save us the cost of hiring our room for another night. In all probability we will now go into the Plate competition for 1st round losers of this Essex cup competition.

Results below and on the LMS here.


NCCL ILFORD  1½ – 5½   BARKING (Rd 1)
NEVILLE TWITCHELL  0-1 DAVID SANDS  2245
TOM BARTON  0-1  JEFF GOLDBERG 2110
RAHUL GHOSE  ½  P JASZKIWSKYI 1900
VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1-0   JM ROBINSON 1953
ANURAG CHAUHAN  0-1  COLIN RAMAGE  1908
JEF PAGE 0-1   E FIGEROA  1906
DANIEL LOWE 0-1  SW BERKLEY  1683

NCCL ILFORD  ½-6½  BARKING (Rd 2)
N TWITCHELL  0-1   D SANDS
T BARTON   ½   J GOLDBERG
R GHOSE  0-1    P JASZKIWSKYI
V SUBRAMANIAN  0-1   J ROBINSON
A CHAUHAN  0-1  C RAMAGE
J PAGE  0-1    E FIGEROA
D LOWE  0-1   S BERKLEY

Final score: 2-12


ESSEX KO CUP – ILFORD 1-4   BARKING Rd 1

TOM BARTON  0-1  DAVID SANDS
NEVILLE TWITCHELL  0-1 JEFF GOLDBERG
VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN  0-1  P JASZKIWSKYI
JEF PAGE 1-0  J ROBINSON
RAHUL GHOSE 0-1  COLIN RAMAGE

ESSEX KO CUP –  ILFORD 3-2   BARKING Rd 2

T BARTON 1-0  DAVID SANDS
N TWITCHELL  ½  J GOLDBERG
V SUBRAMANIAN   ½   P JASZKIWSKYI
JEF PAGE 0-1  J ROBINSON
R GHOSE 1-0  C RAMAGE

Final result: 4-6 

Easy Essex League win

Essex League D2 – 30 May 2022
Ilford won the toss, White on odd boards.
Time control: 80 minutes plus 10 seconds a move.
Jef Page, Captain

                                     ILFORD  5½ – ½   LOUGHTON II

1923                  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1-0    KEN GROCE  1713  b

1908                            TOM BARTON   ½      GRAHAM KERSHAW  1675  w

1830                           RAHUL GHOSE  1-0    MYLES BRUNGER  jun

1818 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN  1-0    LESLIE SARGENT  1380

1750                                TONY KENT  1-0     MICHAEL SMITH  1308

1630                                    JEF PAGE 1-0     J BRUNGER

Our final match of the Essex Chess League season and a storming way to finish it though one Ilford player missed out. Up against a strong Ilford team Loughton had little chance.

Venkatesh arrived late but soon made up for it by going 2 Bishops up and the result was never in doubt whilst Bunger junior was also quickly overwhelmed when he made a bad error against Rahul. Close behind them was Tony whose Bird’s type opening led to a storming Kingside pawn push which crushed the life out of Sargent’s opening. I also had little trouble when Brunger elder blundered away a pawn in the opening and as the pieces came off I was able to win further pawns and a Rook.  But on the top boards it wasn’t so easy even though I won the toss to give Neville the relief of white pieces (after 7 blacks). When I tossed the coin up to decide colours I thought Kershaw saw that it came down tails but he still wrongly called heads. Groce played a clever French Defence and it took a bit of calm positional play from Neville to find the win. But Tom wasn’t so lucky and suffered from not playing the best Sicilian opening but still managed to secure a ½ at the close.

Only a moderate season overall blighted by defaults. I will complete a full list of scores for everyone over the 7 matches: won 5, lost 2. Thanks to everyone who played and helped out arriving early & helping us set up matches and clearing away at the end. We now move on to rapidplay matches through the summer.

London League Thrashing!

London League D3 East – 25 May 2022
Tom Barton, Captain

A disappointing loss of 7 – 1 in this match, the only win was by Rahul.
Neville arrived slightly late, got into difficulties and departed early. Dlawar had a challenge playing a FM on board one and he tried getting out of any standard lines but the decision not to castle proved to be a mistake. Last to finish were Jef and myself. I had equality for much of the game but my opponent had the bishop pair and I made a mistake allowing him to clear pawns and open the board up which made his bishops powerful.

We were out-graded overall, and heavily so on some boards so the result was not that surprising.

 DHSSGRADESCOREIlford 1GRADE  
1Rafe Martyn23951 – 0Dlawar Hameed1950
2Sam Walker21731 – 0Neville Twitchell      1923
3Simon Lunn20251 – 0Tom Barton              1908
4Greg Edwards18560 – 1Rahul Ghosee1850
5Ray Harper18021 – 0Anthony Kent1750
6Rob Parsons17551 – 0Jef Page1630
7Stephen Pride16461 – 0Taha Undre1540
8  1 – 0 forfeit 
 Total 7 – 1  

London League Win against Kings Head 2

London League D3 East. 4 May 2022
Tom Barton, Captain

Kings Head defaulted the bottom two boards in this match. We also substantially out graded them on the remaining boards so not surprisingly we ran out an easy winners 7.5 – 0.5

Aidan won early on and Venkatesh reached a position where a draw was agreed. With Anurag winning his game played in the lobby where he was moving the pieces for his opponent it was only on the top three boards where we were being stretched at all. Neville looked to be losing but in a sharp game his opponent blundered to gift Neville the point. I reached a level looking endgame but used my knight to good effect to win the exchange and obtain a resignation. Dlawar was last to finish, he had made steady progress to a won position when his opponent lost on time.

 Ilford 1GRADESCOREKings Head 2EGRADE  
1Dlawar Hameed19501 – 0Bill Osbourne1699
2Neville Twitchell      19231 – 0Peter Grant-Ross1690
3Tom Barton              19081 – 0Richard Balatoni1686
4Venkatesh Subramanian1818½ – ½Faye Ainscow1597
5Aidan Corish17801 – 0Alistair Morton1586
6Anurag Chauhan17731 – 0John McGann1188
7Jef Page16301 – 0default 
8Taha Undre15401 – 0default 
 Total 7½ – ½  

Poor Essex League Result

Essex Chess League  Division 2  26 April 2022
Jef Page

                        BRENTWOOD II  3½ – 2½ ILFORD

            1893 MALCOLM KINGSLEY  0-1  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1923

     1733 ANDREW WILLOUGHBY ½   RAHUL  GHOSE  e1850

                         1713 ROB DAVIES 1-0  ANURAG CHAUHAN 1773

                   1390 DAVID  D’CRUZ  0-1  JEF PAGE 1630

                                         C ELLLIS  1-0  default

                                       R FISHER  1-0  default

Time control: 1hr 20 minutes & 10 seconds a move.
Brentwood won the toss: White on odd boards

A poor result for Ilford. I knew I’d struggle to get a full team to Brentwood and then to cap it off Tom caught Covid and had to isolate at home. I won easily. D’cruz blundered badly in a Kings Gambit Declined and with his King stuck in the centre I won a piece & soon resigned when his Queen was lost as well. But the remaining games went the distance. Rob Davies forced his Q-side pawns up the board completely shutting Anurag’s Bishop out of the game and also gained a 2nd Queen as  Anurag’s attempt at a perpetual check or mate proved unsuccessful.

Rahul was doing nicely and won a pawn but Willoughby managed to get counter-play with his Rook to win not only the pawn back and go a pawn ahead but in a difficult endgame they accepted a draw. On board 1 Neville found it hard going in his Alekhine Opening to gain an advantage in a minor piece ending. But he played well to win a R for a B, and then to clinch the win pinned Kingsley’s Knight as well to secure the full point.

Thanks to players who agreed to play.

Comfortable London League Win

GLCC 2 v Ilford 1, London League D3 East, 22 March 2022
Tom Barton

This was a very comfortable win of 6.5 – 1.5 and a winning first outing for Ilford by Rahul on board 3.

We out-graded our opponents so the result went with that. Neville had a very interesting double edged game that was agreed drawn in a complex position with both clocks very low. Game here.
I was always slightly on the back foot in a Dutch and my opponent gained a queenside passed pawn which proved decisive.

Full result below, thanks to all who played.

 GLCC 2GRADESCOREIlford 1GRADE  
1James McDonnell1858½ – ½Neville Twitchell       (w)1923
2Tony Packham18031 – 0Tom Barton                (b)1908
3Aron Penczue18000 – 1Rahul Ghosee1850
4Matthew Taylore17000 – 1Venkatesh Subramanian1818
5Martin Leman15400 – 1Anurag Chauhan1773
6Robert Gordon14650 – 1Shakeel Choudhury1660
7Gordon Broadbent14200 – 1Jef Page1630
8Delroy Bennett13200 – 1Taha Undre1540
 Total 1½ – 6 ½  

Essex D2 win

THURROCK I  2½ – 3½  ILFORD I 16 March 2022
Result on the ECF LMS here

1608 ANDREW OFFORD  0-1 DLAWAR HAMEED 1940    w
 1608 MIKE BRADFORD    ½   NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1923  b
1548 DEREK REYNOLDS  0-1  TOM BARTON 1908
1300 DREW LAWRENCE 1-0  JEF PAGE 1630
  930 FARHAN ABEDIN  0-1  DANIEL LOWE 1500
                       M CRANE 1-0     default

It’s never good to have a default but a late Covid withdrawal meant it couldn’t be avoided. In compensation, Ilford welcomed new member Daniel to the Club and team and it’s always good when a newcomer can get a win on their debut.

Dan’s opponent Abedin played a Benko/Volga gambit and put pressure down the a-file but made a mistake which Dan capitalised on to win a Knight and despite conceding some of the play moved to a won position. Game here.

On board 1 Dlawar made a welcome return to Ilford’s team. His game was an unusual Ruy Lopez line, things were fairly equal up to move 22 but then his opponent unsoundly sacrificed for the attack and calm defence saw him claim the win. Game.

Neville found Mike Bradford not so accommodating as his Alekhine opening led to a level minor piece & pawns ending which neither could win.

Tom is in a good run of form at the moment and he soon gained control of the centre constricting Reynolds development, he then failed to find the best continuation, a couple of good tactics escaped him, but he still entered a winning endgame when his opponent blundered. Game

Jef was last to finish. He had a clear advantage which he frustratingly messed up, chess is cruel when you make a mistake!

Team at play, Dan in the foreground

Although we heavily outgraded Thurrock they put up resistance and it was a good win when carrying a default.
We remain 2nd to Wanstead: played 6, won 5, drawn 1: 11 points; 1 match to play- home to Southend. Ilford played 5 won 4: 8 points, 2 matches to play; at Brentwood 26/4 & Loughton home, date tbc

Top of Essex D2 Clash – Disappointing Result

ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE  Division 2   17.1.2022
Jef Page, Captain

                                        ILFORD  2½ – 3½  WANSTEAD II

1908                      TOM BARTON    ½  TERRY WHITTON     1924   b
1923            NEVILLE TWITCHELL    ½   MARK MURRELL     1861  w
1888                   ADRIAN JOSEPH  0-1  PHILIP STANILAND 1851
1818 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1-0  KEITH JONES      1840
1750                    ANTHONY KENT  ½   PAUL BARCLAY   1803
1773            ANURAG CHAUHAN 0-1  ROBERT PARKER 1705
Av grade: 1844                                             1831

Ilford won the toss and were White on odd boards.
Time control: 80 minutes plus 10 seconds a move.

A disappointing result as we let a match win slip away. Wanstead came with a strong team but remarkably the team average grades show that Ilford was marginally stronger. So we can’t have any complaints.

Kent & Barclay soon took an amicable draw but we were doing OK on the other boards. Chauhan quickly sent Parker’s King on a walk-about from e1 out to f3 & e3. At one point his King was his best developed piece and Anurag backed that up by forcing a supported pawn up to c3. But as the win slipped away Robert was able to bring his King safely home & unravel his pieces to win the endgame.

Adrian got nothing out of Phil Staniland’s defence but conversely Venkatesh worked hard to successfully break down Keith Jones’s position with his 2 very strong fianchettoed Bishops.

The match hinged on our top 2 boards and although both played well we couldn’t find a match-saving win. Neville’s game went 1 d4 Nc6 2 e4 e5, a Kevitz Defence transposing to a Nimzowitsch! It allowed him to win a pawn with his 2 Knights hopping around the board but then he got a knight trapped, Murrell managed to win a passed pawn but with opposite colour Bishops Neville held the endgame for a draw. Tom’s solid position out of the opening yielded him little and as his time ran out he won Rook for Bishop but at the expensive of two pawns and with little time remaining he took a proffered draw as Terry’s Q,B & extra pawns were dangerous.

So Wanstead go clear top with 4/4, with Ilford on 3/4: an opportunity missed. I want to thank those players who made themselves available and wore a mask to protect everyone. Next up are Loughton for our last home match- though not till 7th March, then the final two games are away.  A rare luxury being non-playing captain. 1 or 2 players have missed games so I will give them a chance.

Tom (white) has Rook for Bishop, but under pressure

Neville’s game on board 2 which ended in an opposite Coloured Bishops draw

Board 4. Black slowly building up pressure on white’s king

Good Win for Ilford

ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE  DIVISION 2   2 December 2021
Jef Page – Captain

Ilford won the toss, White on odd boards.
Time control: 1 hr 20 minutes plus 10 seconds a move.  

BARKING II  2 – 4  ILFORD
1908   COLIN RAMAGE 0-1  TOM BARTON 1908
1670            KEN CLOW 0-1  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1923
1690 MIKE CRESSWELL  ½   ADRIAN JOSEPH 1888
1683    STEVE BERKLEY 1-0  CHARUKGAN MUHUNTHAN  1852
1683      JOHN FIGGINS 0-1  VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1818
1593        M BLAGIANU  ½   ANURAG s CHAUHAN 1773

Whilst Ilford’s score looks impressive we were a bit lucky. Standing outside the Curfew Tower* at St Margaret’s church Barking like a sentry waiting for lost late comers to arrive, I was very worried that a number wouldn’t make it, but when I sloped back to the match room disheartened, everyone was calmly sitting down and playing. How they all got past me I’m still not sure.

It’s still a rare luxury to be non-playing captain. Riches indeed.

Anyway Venkatesh soon got the ball rolling for us when he advanced his c-pawn down the Queenside to victory. Advanced pawns were much in evidence on the night. Of the two draws Adrian could never quite make his minor pieces produce a weakness from Cresswell who defended his pawn structure well, whilst Blagianu had the same problem against Anurag and when the game drifted into an opposite-colour Bishop ending a draw was inevitable. But then the match got a complicated.

Barton quickly got the better of Ramage who could never get his King safely castled Kingside, his Queen was open to attack by Tom’s Rooks and when Colin tried to escape by castling Q-side he ran into even more trouble overlooking a simple Queen check which forced the win for Tom. Muhunthan’s position was always vulnerable to Berkley’s** two strong Bishops and when Steve got a Rook up to the 7th rank he could stop Charukgan’s pawn, which had made it down to b2, and the game was over. So with Ilford just 1 game ahead it all depended on Neville who was completely penned in fighting-off Ken Clow’s continual attacks. But somehow Neville also forced a pawn down to b2 and when Ken misplayed his attack he blundered into losing a piece and we won the match. So we are 3/3 with Wanstead who are also unbeaten and we face them next in January.

*The Curfew Tower may have got its name by bell being rung to signify the end of the day at Barking Abbey and everyone should head for home.

**Tom reports that in the 1980s he and Steve Berkely were chess playing and drinking pals in Ormskirk at the Snigs Foot? I’m not sure what that means, but maybe it was to snig or snag (drag?) one’s foot and stay for a not so swift pint, or two.