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! See about 17 mins in:

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

Full details of the final standings are on the LL website:

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

Ilford Draw With Charlton Chess Mates

After a defeat last week ……a 2-2 draw last week against Charlton in the London Online Chess League (win for Neville and draws for Tom and Jef).

The matches are being played on the Tornelo platform. All games to be found on

Ilford                            Charlton Mates

  1. Tom Barton       [W]    0.5 – 0.5       David Morris 1956
  2. Neville Twitchell [B]   1 – 0          Mateusz Bazan, 1501
  3. Anthony Kent    [W]    0 – 1         David Rogers 1893
  4. Jef Page             [B]        0.5 – 0.5       Humphrey Jones 1784

Board 1 saw a Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian. It was a game of fluctuating fortunes where white built a promising King Side attack, but failed to capitalize. Tom then built some advantage with black. Below, white has just played 34. Rg3-f3? which would lose to 34….Bh5 (thank you computer analysis). Black played Ne4 and the game become very equal after some exchanges.

On board 2, black’s French defence was in already in huge trouble after move 13 when white played 13. Ng5. Black responded 13…BxN, but 14 hxB was too strong for black to survive.

After Anthony lost on board 3, the team needed a draw to tie the match. Jef duly obliged with his solitary Knight able to hold white’s 2 pawns. Below, white to move can play Nd4 check and black has no way to queen either pawn.

London League: 4-0 win against Streatham & Brixton C

After a 2-2 draw last week against Battersea 2 (wins for Neville and Dlawar, losses for Jef and Anthony), we faced more South London opposition in the Knight division and duly won 4-0.

The matches are being played on the Tornelo platform. All games to be found on

Ilford A                            Streatham & Brixton C

  1. Tom Barton       [W]    1 – 0         Michael Chung, 1630
  2. Dlawar Hameed  [B]   1 – 0         Ruairi Isaacs, 1465
  3. Anthony Kent    [W]    1 – 0         Matt Carter, 1450
  4. Jef Page             [B]        1 – 0        Enitan Obasa, 1158

Tom had a comfortable Scotch game on board 1 exploiting his opponents poor development after black’s 18th move.

Dlawar had a very interesting position after he played the natural 27….f5 which (with hindsight) the computer gives as poor, due to 28. RxB for white which is then broadly equal. Best was 27….Ba8! As it turned out, white blundered 28. Nd2?? and lost his Queen.

Jef scored a comfortable victory as black with the Caro-Kann.

Anthony misplayed a Vienna Frankenstein-Dracula as white after forgetting the theory. The position below occurred after white’s 34. Bd2-c1 to block check. It turned out that Black (Red) could have won with the queen sacrifice 34…QxBch!! (pink line) which after 35. KxB, is followed by 35…Na2 and a mating web! Both players missed that, and black went 34..Nc2?? instead short of time (blue line) giving white a fortunate 35. Qxf7 checkmate!

Ilford Beat Hammersmith in Online London League

Ilford has entered the online London League. There are over 40 4-man teams in 4 divisions. We are possibly the strongest team in the Knight division and we’ve got off to a good start with a 3-1 win. This division is being run on a Swiss pairing basis so the opponents will probably get a little tougher from now on especially if we can keep winning – which would be nice!

The matches are being played on the Tornelo platform. All games to be found on

 Hammersmith Hodgson                       Ilford A

  1. Chris Moore     [W]      0 – 1            Tom Barton
  2. David Lambert   [B]      1 – 0            Neville Twitchell
  3. Paul Van Kan    [W]      0 – 1            Dlawar Hameed
  4. Raluca Stroe     [B]        0 – 1            Anthony Kent

Fairly smooth wins for everyone except Neville who got an interesting but very unbalanced position.

Tom had a very comfortable Kings Indian Defense. Neville played a Lipnitsky Attack against the Sicilian Nadjorf. One move 17 below, he played Rg1 which loses to …Ne5. Stockfish gives 17 Nd5 for white with equality.

Dlawar, on his London League debut for Ilford, was on top for most of the game and reached the following position as black, with white to move. If his opponent would have played 42. g4, the game would have been drawn. After 42 Kf2, black played 42….h5! which created threats on both sides of the board leading to a win.

Anthony obtained a strong Reversed Leningrad Dutch and won comfortably.

Our match next Wednesday 10 Mar at 19.00 is: Ilford A vs Battersea Too

Kings beat the Loughton Lions

 Ilford Kings     4   – 0                Loughton Lions

Thursday 28 January 2021

  1. Gandto          [W]              1 – 0             MartinVanTol [B]  
  2. Chessleveller [B]                1 – 0           kershaw1953
  3. Chessbore     [W]               1 – 0             Bazwold    [B]                    
  4. JefPage100      [B]             1 – 0             HarveyFrench

We won this online match comfortably against one of the weaker sides we’ve faced this season in the League of Mayhem. Not having posted a match report since 2020, now seems a good to resume.

On board 1, Tom Barton playing white got a slightly inferior position against a Sicilian (Adams Attack). As the game developed, he managed to win a pawn and then ran his very strong passed b pawn which won the game.

On Board 4, Jef Page had a level Caro-Kann position with black. His opponent unwisely advanced his g pawn, and Jef grabbed it with his knight, which could not be captured due to a pin. He then had pretty easy time of it and won comfortably.

Anthony Kent (with white on board 3) played a Polar Bear Opening (more interesting name than “Reversed Leningrad”) . This led to some good central pressure, with black having to play accurately. Black played a poor move 23..Qc7-c5 which was met by 24 Rd5 leading to the gain of material and win.

Neville Twitchell’s game (black, board 2) was a made easier when his opponent lost a pawn. A rook an opposite colour bishop ending was reached, but white’s disjointed pawns were too difficult to defend and the game was won.

A good result – a clean sweep.

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.

 East Ham Foxgloves                                               Ilford Kings

  1. Aircplp      [W]     2013                     1 – 0          gandto  [B]
  2. ConradAllison  [B]   1837 (Fide)     0 – 1           Chessleveller [W]
  3. Mr_Mayhem    [W]    1908              0 – 1           JefPage100  [B]
  4. Dnazreal            [B]   e1638              0 – 1          Jasonthegiant [W]

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

2  Venkatesh Subramanian   1818  B  qvenky  0 – 1     Ian Hunnable  1968  Chesstera1h8   

3  Anthony Kent 1750  W   Chessbore    ½ – ½    Mark Murrell  1855                  WWJammyDodger

4  Jef Page 1630    B    JefPage100        0 – 1 Matthias Lataille  1578                   SanMatthias

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.