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.

Kings held in the House of Lords

Thursday 19th November 2020 in the online League of Mayhem 2020 Result and links to games below

 Lords of Hackney                                    llford Kings

  1. Jonnyt    (2020/176)        [W]          1 – 0       Chessleveller   (1923) 
  2. Marceli123 (1769/143)    [B]          1 – 0        qvenky              ( 1818)  
  3. Jmorgan (Est 1690/Est 132)  [W]   0 – 1       Chessbore (1750) 
  4. Marc1959 (1660 / 128)      [B]         0 – 1      Lakshan18  (e1450)   

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
120 I Singh0-1TAHA UNDRE
Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 24th February

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