New Year starts with London League loss to Hackney 2

Wednesday 8 January 2020
Report by Tom Barton
London League D2

Ilford 1 3 – 7 Hackney 2

The new year has started with a match loss which was no surprise given the team were out graded on all boards. The bright spots were good wins for Gary and Andrew and the return of Paolo to the team.

1Paolo Casaschi       e1750 – 1Zoltan Kovacs181
2Tom Barton1620 – 1Piro Balloglu176
3Gary Thurston1521 – 0John Tennyson175
4Venkatesh Subramaniane1500 – 1Adam Robinson170
5Chris Rogal1480 – 1Tobias Baumann175
6Andrew Medworth1461 – 0Frances Chin179
7Aidan Corish1460 – 1Paul Conway166
8Jason W Klimach1450 – 1Jeff Leung173
9Jef Page128½ – ½Peter Burgoyne149
10Taha Undree130½ – ½Paul Rosario143

Hurrah! A win for Ilford

Essex Chess League    Division 2
Monday 2nd December 2019
Report by Jef Page

1.         TOM BARTON   ½   STEVE KELSEY    164
3.        ANTHONY KENT   ½   ROB IANNETTA 151
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

Randall             (w)
2051 – 0Julian
Pridding      (b)
1981 – 0Tom
1771 – 0Anthony
1771 – 0Venkatesh
1561 – 0Aidan
152½ – ½Andrew
142½ – ½Jason W
  800 – 1Gideon
9Default 0 – 1Malcolm
10Default 0 – 1Jef

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


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

1.          TOM BARTON  0-1  K BUI  177 w
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


Tom BARTON   ½  Ian WOODWARD 150
Neville TWITCHELL  ½  B SHEPPARD           155
Venkatesh SUBRAMANIIAN 0-1  Andy OFFORD      119
Jef PAGE  ½   Malcolm CRANE 105
Lavanan AINKARAN 1-0  D REYNOLDS         102
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

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


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
Fleming           (w)
177 ½ – ½ Russell White 188
Jaszkiwskyj      (b)
167 ½ – ½ Chris Fegan 187
158 ½ – ½ Julian Hudson 168
158 ½ – ½ Tom Barton 162
153 ½ – ½ Venkatesh
151 ½ – ½ Aidan Corish 146
150 ½ – ½ Jason W Klimach 145
148 ½ – ½ Malcolm Gesthuysen 139
143 ½ – ½ Jef Page 128
124 1 – 0 Taha Undre e130

Summer Knockout win in the Plate

Essex Summer Knockout Rapidplay- Plate ¼ Final
Tuesday 23rd July, 7.45pm
Report by Jef Page

         THURROCK 2½-7½  ILFORD

                         Rnd 1    Rnd 2 
158r          JOE DERRETT 1-0     0-1  TOM BARTON 167r
100r       ANDREW OFFORD  0-1     0-1  HASSAN MUGALU 151r
104s     DEREK REYNOLDS   ½-½     ½-½  SYD KALINSKY 157r
            RICHARD BALL  0-1     0-1  JEF PAGE 143r
                          ----   ----
                          2-3     ½-4½

Toss won by Ilford, White on odd boards Round 1.

What started off as a tense match ended easily for Ilford. A serious traffic accident in front of us almost closed the road but once we got around that delay we arrived in good time on a very hot night.  The 1st round was very close as Tom lost control in a Scotch opening but we did just enough to get ahead as Syd held out a pawn down in a tricky R&P ending and I came up with a combination that worked but not in the way I had planned. We played 20 minutes plus 10 seconds a move and I only had barely 1 minute left.

Hassan played well in both games overwhelming Offord. In Round 2 he got his Q&B strongly lined up against Reynolds’ undefended King and eventually the pressure told and Hassan won a  piece and the ending. Tom had already won quickly and Neville won Butterworth-Parr’s Queen for 2 Rooks and whilst Francis might have held out, a check threatened a Rook and he resigned, unwisely and prematurely! In the first game Ball played very defensively but in the 2nd he came at me with a quick speculation Knight sacrifice but failed to follow it up correctly and when he overlooked my Knight fork on both his Rook’s I won easily. The evening’s funniest moment was when Reynolds accidently made an illegal move- his Bishop retreated by jumping over a pawn! Syd’s howl of astonishment and complaint “What kind of move do you call that?!” could be heard in Ilford.

We now reach the semi-final of the Plate competition. It will be against Upminster 1, at Ilford, on a Monday in August, date to be agreed.

Ilford close to a shock result in the Essex Summer Knockout

Ilford v Barking A
Essex Summer Rapid Team Knockout
Monday 24 July 2019

Barking won this thriller by 7 – 12 on board count after the match score was tied on 5-5.

Despite conceding an average of 28 points per board Ilford gave Barking a real run in this match with the evergreen Syd Kalinsky halving out over the two rounds and Ilford new recruit Venkatesh doing very well against John White. Unfortunately for Ilford, Jeff Goldberg steadily out-played Neville on board 2 and this was key for Barking to win on board count.

The team now go into the Plate and will face either Wanstead B or Thurrock.

Ilford R1 R2 Barking A
(166r)      (W, B)
½ – ½ ½ – ½ Dave SANDS
(209r)      (B, W)
0 – 1 0 – 1 Jeff GOLDBERG
0 – 1 1 – 0 Peter JASZKIWSKYJ 
½ – ½ 1 – 0 John WHITE
1 – 0 ½ – ½ John FIGGINS
Round Scores 2 – 3 3 – 2
Final Score 5 – 5
Sum of board count by round 5 – 5 7 – 2
Final sum of board count 12 – 7