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

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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.

London League – first win of the season.

LONDON CHESS LEAGUE Div 3 East 2021- Wednesday 22 24.11.21 Citadines Hotel, Holborn. 75 minutes + 15 seconds a move. Metropolitan won the toss, White on odd boards.

ILFORD I 5 – 3 METROPOLITAN II

1 1923 Neville H TWITCHELL 1-0 KEVIN LENAGHAN 1878 W

2 1818 Venkatesh SUBRAMANIAN 1-0 default (A Amusa) B

3 1780 AIDAN CORISH 1-0 TOBY ROLLS 1780

4 1750 Anthony R KENT 1-0 CHARLES COOKE 1743

5 1680 Shakeel CHOUDHURY 1-0 CHEIKH NDIAYE 1690

6 1636 Jef PAGE 0-1 RONAN KELLY 1660

Iford defaulted boards 7 & 8

(Edited from Jef Page’s nates notes)With regular captain Tom Barton away, Jef took duities. A very good and amazingly easy Ilford win having conceded 2 defaults before a pawn was even moved, and rarety, winning all 5 top boards. One of the keys to winning a match is always getting a full team sitting down and playing, and Metropolian suffered when their board 2 failed to arrive so we cut the deficit to 1-2. The Citadine hotel venue remains an excellent venue – after a gap of over 18 months- but tables and boards are now more distaced distanced with 1 board per table and everyone in the room wearing a mask, except those with medical exemptions. Brian Smith did well to organise the matches being played.

Anthony Kent led off for Ilford with a Bird’s attack crushing the life out of Cooke’s position. Tony doubled his Rooks on the d-file and with both Knight’s hitting d6 and Cooke’s pieces huddled in a mass around his fearful Queen the result was never in doubt. Black to move below resigned.

Winning attack on board 1
Anthony’s position when Black to move resigned on Board 4

Aidan won a knight and mopped up the endgame and Neville forced a well-supported pawn up board for a fine win. New team member Shakeel Choudhury had a very tricky game. The pawn structure disintegrated for both players as Shakeel tried to develop his pieces but when his Q finally invaded the Kingside and with Ndiayes’s attack stopped, the match result was clinched. Jef entered a same coloured bishop ending a pawn down. 5-3 win for Ilford in the end.

Jef and Shakeel deep in thought on boards 5 and 6

Ilford scrape ahead of Upminster II in tight match

Essex League  Division 2  – 16.11.21
Jef Page, Captain

UPMINSTER II   2½  – 3½  ILFORD

1855                  LES CRANE ½ –  ½   NEVILLE TWITCHELL  1923
1780           AIDAN CORISH  1 – 0    ADRIAN JOSEPH  1888
1690              PETER BIGGS  ½ –  ½  CHARUKGAN MUHUNTHAN  1840
1578 JAMIE HANNAFORD   ½ – ½  ANURAG CHAUHAN  1773
1600     MATT GARWOOD  0 – 1  JEF PAGE  1630
1200 ALEX PERESLAVTSEV  0 -1  TAHA UNDRE  1540 

Full league details on the ECF LMS website here

A very close match where Ilford only just scraped by even though we outgraded our opponents. But it’s always good to welcome a new Ilford member- Charukgan- making his club debut. He did well always having the better of Biggs and even though Muhunthan won a pawn, in a long, opposite colour Bishop ending, it was never enough to secure the full point.

Twitchell by comparison arrived late, played an Alekhine opening and soon agreed a quick grandmaster draw against Les Crane & Neville was soon on his way home.

I didn’t get a chance to see much of the other games as I was too busy trying to get out of my own mess. Nobody seemed to be doing badly but we went a point down when Joseph lost to Corish but this was levelled by Taha who developed strongly on the Kingside to restrict junior Alex’s development and overwhelm his opening.

The match hinged on my horror-show nightmare of a Caro-Kann opening. Going for broke, I nicked a pawn and as Garwood lost his way I won a Rook for 2 Knights. But with the supported d-pawn I pushed it for home & got both my R’s on the 7th rank to win not just 1, but both N’s, to seal the match win.

This was a win in the olde Ilford style- just about holding the top boards but cleaning up at the bottom. Top of the table 2 wins out of 2, and unbeaten. So far so good.  Next match: 2nd December at Barking. 

Inauspicious start to Ilford’s London League Campaign

9 Nov 2021 – DHSS 1 v Ilford 1

Ilford are in Division 3 East of the reconstituted London League and this was the first match back as over the board chess gets restarted. Unfortunately we were short of two players and had a late Covid withdrawal which made it a 7 board match by agreement with the opposition.

Taha got into trouble in the opening leaving his King stranded in the centre of the board and that eventually proved terminal. Jef came out of the opening OK but then lost the initiative and ended up taking a draw. Venkatesh played the smoothest game of the evening with good control of his game winning a pawn and with positional control converting to a win. Neville went well ahead on the clock in his game, entered an endgame that was about level but then pushed a little too hard. My game was a Kan Sicilian and finished last, it was an interesting encounter where I missed a winning move and with time very short for both me and my opponent we agreed a draw as it was difficult to calculate the best way to take the game forward. See my game here.

With the two defaults we lost the match but over the five boards played we gave a good performance despite being outgraded.

DHSS 1Ilford 1
1Simon Lunn s2007CSimon Lunn had the white pieces1-0Neville H Twitchell s1927BNeville H Twitchell had the black pieces
2Gary Cook s2000C Gary Cook had the black pieces1/2-1/2Tom A Barton s1916D Tom A Barton had the white pieces
3Greg Edwards s1872C Greg Edwards had the white pieces0-1Venkatesh Subramanian s1818DVenkatesh Subramanian had the black pieces
4Brendan O’Gorman s1864ABrendan O'Gorman had the black pieces1/2-1/2Jeffrey Page s1625C Jeffrey Page had the white pieces
5Robert Parsons s1750BRobert Parsons had the white pieces1-0Taha Undre s1554DTaha Undre had the black pieces

With two defaults the match score was 5 – 2 to DHSS

DHSS provided excellent playing conditions for the five games played. Many thanks to their captain David Gilbert.

Tom Barton, LL Captain

Ilford win opening match of the Essex Division 2 Season

25 October 2021

Over the board chess returned to Ilford chess club with a visit from Southend 2.

A good start for Ilford with only one blemish spoiling the final score and clean sweep. It got a bit tense with our players arriving late due to road works in Beehive Lane sending us in all directions to find a way around them but once we settled down Ilford began to make progress though most games were close lasting over two hours.

Dlawar led off when he invaded Saunders’ back rank with his Queen and began to pick off loose pawns.  One late arrival was Adrian- one of our players making a welcome return- who soon got Chris Wray tangled up with no development from which he could ever break out and when Adrian trapped Wray’s Bishop the result was never in doubt. Chauhan likewise arrived 20 minutes late but made up for it in what looked like a level game also winning a Q, B & pawn ending.  Neville dropped a pawn to Fred Whitefield but Neville’s active Q and Knight won the pawn back and he too got the better endgame. I spent so long trying to find a good attack I ran out of time- almost a cardinal sin. The last game to finish almost going the full 3 hours was Tom’s who forced his c and d pawns up the board to win after Chris Newton let slip a good opening.

                                        ILFORD  5-1  SOUTHEND II

1. (e.1940) DLAWAR HAMEED    1-0   MICHAEL SAUNDERS (1769)
2. (1910) TOM BARTON        1-0  COLIN NEWTON (1756)
3. (1923) NEVILLE TWITCHELL  1-0   FRED  WHITEHEAD (1685)
4. (e.1888) ADRIAN JOSEPH         1-0   CHRIS  WRAY  (1357)
5. (1773) ANURAG CHAUHAN  1-0   JOHN CHAPMAN  (1240)
6. (1636) JEF PAGE                     0-1   DAVID  KING (1699)      

Jef Page, Captain.

Full match details on the ECF League Management System: Ilford v Southend 2

Ilford win the London League Season 2 Knight Division!

13 May 2021

After the loss last week against London Business School, Ilford had dropped to second place in the Knights Division and in this weeks final match Ilford needed to win against Battersea Gambiteers and see the results go against Hackney Hungry to win the league. Ilford won, the London Business School did us a favour to beat Hackney Hungry so Ilford are Knights Division champions! Well played to the team of: Dlawar Hameed; Neville Twitchell; Anthony Kent; Jef Page and Tom Barton.

Neville had a sharp game in a Sicilian with opposite sides castling. His opponent’s attack had pieces pointing towards Neville’s king but they were ineffectual whereas Neville’s attack was conclusive. Anthony played Black in a Sicilian and his opponent gave up a piece on move 10 after which it was straightforward. Jef also had a pretty easy game. In a Pirc, he blocked off the centre and attacked on the queenside. With an already clear advantage his opponent dropped a rook. Tom’s game was last to finish and compared to the others this was a tense struggle. In a Sicilian his opponent blunted his offer of a Najdorf by trading off white squared bishops and going for a Maroczy bind type setup. After trading off in the centre Tom had a centre passed pawn but dropped a pawn to a neat tactic by his opponent. A tricky endgame saw a drawn position arise only for Tom’s opponent to inexplicably fail to move and lose on time.

Neville’s game from last week got star billing as the featured game in this week’s JoRoSaR broadcast on twitch.tv! See about 17 mins in: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1020180824

Neville’s game from this week is here: Farahmandpour v Twitchell

Full details of the final standings are on the LL website: https://www.londonchess.org.uk/main.php

Battersea Gambiteers                               Ilford A

  1. Dieter McDougall     [W]       0 – 1     Tom Barton
  2. Ehsan Farahmandpour [B]   0 – 1      Neville Twitchell
  3. Marc Harvey             [W]        0 – 1     Anthony Kent
  4. Gareth Hilton          [B]           0 – 1    Jef Page

Ilford will enter a team for the LL Online Season 3. The new season starts on Wednesday 2 June

Another Knight Division win in the London League

Another win on Wednesday keeps Ilford top of the Knights division a half point ahead of the Hungry Hackney with two weeks to go in Online Season 2.

Tom didn’t play his opening terribly well but as his opponent pushed pawns at him it got to a position where a knight was won as he missed a tactical mate. However, he then blundered to gift a rook back and lost the game – maybe time for someone else’s turn for board 1!  Dlawar played a very smooth attack and won in style. Neville also won after gradually outplaying his opponent. Jef really went for it with a King’s Gambit and was wining before a mouse slip gifted a rook, however, he came back again against a weak opponent for his game and the match win.

Football Radar                                 Ilford A 

  1. Adam Cranston    [W]    1 – 0                    Tom Barton         
  2. Michael Davis       [B]      0 – 1                 Dlawar Hameed  
  3. David Foster         [W]     0 – 1                Neville Twitchell 
  4. Annie Hawes        [B]      0 – 1                Jef Page 

Play through Dlawar’s game on this link

Ilford Top of London League Knights Division

21 April 2021 – Ilford 3 – 1 MetroGnomes

              Ilford A                                             MetroGnomes

  1. Tom Barton          [W]  ½ – ½                     Henry A Jennings
  2. Dlawar Hameed   [B]    1 – 0                   Peter Szabo
  3. Neville Twitchell  [W]   1 – 0                  Nicholas Nardecchia
  4. Anthony Kent       [B]     ½ – ½                 Mark Nevison 

A win in the top of the table match against MetroGnomes puts Ilford clear at the top of the London League Knights division by a half point with three weeks matches to go in the Online Season 2.

Dlawar’s game was pretty even until the endgame when he outplayed his opponent to win a couple of pawns and provide the win. His opponent missed an interesting tactic to try and keep the game alive – see attachments for the details. Anthony’s game was very even and went into a drawn opposite coloured bishop endgame. Neville and my games were much livelier. Neville’s opponent played an unusual line in the centre counter which gave Neville great development and what looked like a winning advantage, however, it got a little trickier but Neville went into a winning endgame an down on time. I had a pretty even game although I didn’t play the opening at all well and then the tactics got pretty complicated. I managed to get to a won endgame only to miss the right move under time pressure.

Tom Barton

Neville’s game is here