Kings have the Foxgloves on the run

4 very exciting games of attacking chess which are worth playing through.

3-1 victory to Ilford in the end. https://www.leagueofmayhem2020.com/

 East Ham Foxgloves                                               Ilford Kings

  1. Aircplp      [W]     2013                     1 – 0          gandto  [B]      https://lichess.org/MU7B5rf2/black#0
  2. ConradAllison  [B]   1837 (Fide)     0 – 1           Chessleveller [W]        https://lichess.org/DWZFdspv
  3. Mr_Mayhem    [W]    1908              0 – 1           JefPage100  [B]        https://lichess.org/g0k4TvMG/
  4. Dnazreal            [B]   e1638              0 – 1          Jasonthegiant [W]       https://lichess.org/m82bZQXZJasom

gandto – Tom Barton, chessleveller – Neville Twitchell, Jefpage100 – Jef Page, Jasonthegiant – Jason Klimach

A very nice win by Neville saw an early point. A Ruy Lopez Morphy defence led to a position after 10 moves which was a forced draw by repetition in a number of top historic master games, including Kaoults v Nigel Short 2012. Rather than accepting the inevitable draw, his opponent gave up a pawn and his position spiraled rapidly down hill. Below, Black has played 19…BxN(d5) and white responded 20. Qc3 ch. Black moved Kg5?? which walks into a 3 move checkmate after 21. f4. Black regretted his decision not to take the draw!

Tom had a very sharp game, a counter-attacking Najdorf, in which he had an opportunity on move 18 to gain a strong edge. Tom thought about the move, but played a variation to the move order which saw loss of material and defeat. In the position below, White has just played BxN(c5), and black has the excellent 18…Nc4! . If 19. Qxb black has Bxa. Black actually played 18….Bxg check, and after 19. f4, the computer gives 19… Bxc which is fairly even, but hard to find.

Jason was on the back foot in the middle game, but gained a pawn, followed by a a piece in the endgame. This then forced the win so we were 2-1 up wth Jef’s game to finish. This went right down to the wire with both players low on time, but Jef found good moves pushing his opponent back by advancing his f and e pawns to secure the win. His next move 45…..Be1 effectively ended the game.

Kings Unseated By The Wanderers

Board   Ilford Kings   0.5 v         Wanstead Wanderers 3.5 

1   Tom Barton       1908 gandto W    0 – 1 John Hodgson  2103 EastCoker  https://lichess.org/WeCJKqeg/white#0

2  Venkatesh Subramanian   1818  B  qvenky  0 – 1     Ian Hunnable  1968  Chesstera1h8             https://lichess.org/LB8dDNTN/black#0

3  Anthony Kent 1750  W   Chessbore    ½ – ½    Mark Murrell  1855                  WWJammyDodger https://lichess.org/zOY9TtfW/white

4  Jef Page 1630    B    JefPage100        0 – 1 Matthias Lataille  1578                   SanMatthias    https://lichess.org/2VYwxbva/black#1

At least we avoided a 0-4 bagel against our nearest neigbours Wanstead, with a solitary draw giving a match score of 0.5 – 3.5.

On board 1, Tom played the opening OK, but then traded into a position with a poor bishop against a good knight, not the sort of thing to do against John Hodgson who is very adept at exploiting small advantages. Tom entered a knight versus bishop endgame a pawn down, but could not find anyway to hold it. The Stockfish computer analysis agreed with him. Black to move below (move 47) can bring his knight round to d4 and manouver his king. White has no counter-play.

Venkatesh, playing back, was getting pushed back by Ian Hunnable. His exchange of a knight for 2 pawns eventually yielded some attacking play and created some pressure. It was very difficult to keep having to find the right move in such an open, interesting encounter. The computer threw up one opportunity for black on move 37 where Rc4 (hard to spot under pressure) is very strong. Black played the solid 37….f4, but could hold the game.

Anthony’s game was a Hopton Attack against the Dutch (1.d4 f4 Bg5) . White emerged well from the opening, but went badly astray against a sort of Stonewall Defence. In the position below, black has just played 27….Re8-e6, when he could have won a pawn 27…Bxd due to a back rank mate threat. Relieved, white went 28. Be5. White is still worse off due to black’s strong queenside, but 28 …BxB 29. dxB RxB 30. f4! won white’s pawn back due to 31. NxB, and equalised for a draw.

Jef had chances in his game with Black. He went from a cramped position to having counter-play. The computer analysis shows the advantage swinging widely between Jef and his opponent, and he built up a good position as shown in the diagram below. Short of time, Jef played 44….g4 which is effectively drawn after white played g3. Unfortunately, in pushing for a win he lost. 44…f4 would have posed white a lot of problems.

Kings held in the House of Lords

Thursday 19th November 2020 in the online League of Mayhem 2020 https://www.leagueofmayhem2020.com/ Result and links to games below

 Lords of Hackney                                    llford Kings

  1. Jonnyt    (2020/176)        [W]          1 – 0       Chessleveller   (1923)           https://lichess.org/4V7XMVOv
  2. Marceli123 (1769/143)    [B]          1 – 0        qvenky              ( 1818)            https://lichess.org/EphmQvjb
  3. Jmorgan (Est 1690/Est 132)  [W]   0 – 1       Chessbore (1750)           https://lichess.org/w96dIYbq
  4. Marc1959 (1660 / 128)      [B]         0 – 1      Lakshan18  (e1450)             https://lichess.org/5AWxSInt

Some very interesting games in this match!

A tight game for Neville on Board 1. His opponent won a pawn then always kept control of the position. When centre pawns started marching down the board Neville couldn’t stop a passed pawn being created and when it hit the seventh rank it was only a matter of technique by his opponent.

On board 2, Venkatesh’s faced the Albin Counter-Gambit and built up a nice position. But an ill advised pawn grab of a d pawn on move 12 allowed his opponent to castle queenside with the initiative. His position crumbled despite his spirited attempts to find counter-play.

Board 4 saw Lakshan’s opponent misplaying a very level queen and rook endgame, instead of trading off for what was very probably a draw.

So everything hung on a thriller in Anthony’s game on Board 3. His opponent played the white side of a Yugoslav attach against the Sicilian Dragon, playing the natural looking 14. Bh6? (below) which was a mistake. Black spotted 2 sound sacrifices on offer: RxN(d4) or Nxe4. The first was better per the computer, but black played the second one.

14…Nxe4 15. NxN RxN 16 Qe3 Qa4

Black is clearly better at this point but did not follow up so well, allowing white back more into the game. In the end, black had a bishop and three extra pawns against a rook. With time short, it swung towards Anthony, who pushed his pawns for a win to tie the match at 2-2

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.

Covid-19 – Club closed and all chess leagues suspended

Ilford Chess Club over the board chess and the venue it uses closed on 16th March. The London, Essex and North Circular Leagues are all suspended for the time being.

The club is playing online chess, mainly on LICHESS.ORG, where the club takes part in the League of Mayhem. Contact me there using my handle “gandto

Tom Barton

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
WANSTEAD II 2-4 ILFORD
169 PAUL BANCROFT0-1NEVILLE H TWITCHELL w
167 IAN HUNNABLE1/2SID M KALINSKY b
165 P STANILAND0-1VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN
152 PAUL BARCLAY1/2JASON KLIMACH
141 BEN HARTE1-0JEF PAGE
120 I Singh0-1TAHA UNDRE
Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 24th February
ILFORD 3½ – 2½ WANSTEAD II
NEVILLE TWITCHELL1-0167 IAN HUNNABLE w
HASSAN MUGALU1-01-0 A CHIREA FLORICA b 171
ANTHONY KENT1-0CARLTON SIDDO 143
VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN0-1KEITH JONES 142
SID KALINSKY0-1BEN HARTE 141
JEF PAGE1/2PAUL NICKALS 132

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