Cumnor 1 v Didcot 2 [Match Report]

With the only two games left a few things in division two of the Oxfordshire Chess League needs to be finalized.

TrophyBicester 1 are heading back into division 1 after a two year absence, with Cumnor 1 being the only team to win against them this season. At the bottom, Didcot 2 look like they are heading for the drop but they would stay up if they win their last two remaining games. One game against Cumnor 1 and a relegation decider against City 2.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves Didcot 2 needed to beat us to have any chance heading into the City 2 game. The return fixture earlier in the season saw Didcot 2 win against Cumnor 1 but Didcot would need a monumental effort to get the wins they need to reach safety.

Daniel’s game was interesting for two reasons, the first being it only lasted 13 moves and less than 30 minutes, while most of us have barely sat down Daniel was getting up with a victory. This isn’t too unusual, Daniel is known to play quickly and is often the first to finish but I think this could be a new record! Secondly, the win takes his percentage score to 93.75% (with 7 wins and a draw from his 8 games) which is not only the highest in the club but the highest in the league! The Bernard C Wyatt Memorial trophy is awarded to the player who scores the highest percentage in the league who has played more than half the games and it looks like it has Daniels name on it this season.

Gareth was the next to finish, with a victory on board 4. I was playing on board one against Roger Thetford, our game was close, I did have some play against his Kingside and a past pawn however Roger closed it off and I had to accept a draw.

Andrew had an exciting game with many tactics yet had to settle for a draw. This meant Didcot’s faint hopes on staying up where ended. Mark picked up a win on board 6 and Zoe completed the rout with a clinical triumph in a Rook endgame.

Cumnor 1 v Didcot 2

The result means Cumnor 1 have reached 13 points which is a record for us in the second division and we still have a game in hand which is away to Cowley on Monday. Cumnor 1 will finish 3rd in the table (again a record) unless Cowley beat us 4-2 or better on Monday evening.

Check out the table here.

Cumnor 2 v Witney 5 and City 4 (Abingdon Sch)

Junior Chess is well supported in Oxfordshire. Clubs with a strong Junior section include Cowley, Witney and ourselves along with the two School teams, Magdalen College School and Abingdon School.

Whenever we have a match in Division Four between Cowley or Witney, we give the juniors a chance to pit themselves against each other.

Thursday night presented one of these opportunities when we welcomed Witney 5 to Cumnor. The teams contained nine juniors out of the 12 players.

It was an unsuccessful evening for the Cumnor team, however it was a closer match than the 0.5-5.5 scoreline suggested.

Cumnor 2 v Witney 5

Monday evening saw Cumnor 2 head to Abingdon School who are currently in pole position at the top of the table. Cumnor 2 suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Abingdon Boys, with Mark’s win on Board 1 the sole highlight of an otherwise disappointing evening.

Cumnor 2 v City 4

Old-Abingdonian Richard was particularly disappointed with his loss playing for Cumnor on board six. Not only was he playing Black for the 12th (!) match in a row, but he also found himself taken down an unfamiliar variation of the Alekhine defence which saw him sent to an early bath.

Cumnor 2 play their final game of the season at home to Cowley 4 in April – a game that the boys from Abingdon would probably like us to win, as it will help them make the jump to Division 3.

Cumnor 1 v Oxford City 1 FWS [Match Report]

The draw for the 2014/15 Frank Wood Shield (FWS) was not particularly kind for Cumnor 1. Our first game was against Witney 1, currently the Champions of the Oxfordshire Leagues and winners of the Sheild twice in the last 3 years. However, we took them on and won! Well, technically it was a draw but the FWS is a handicap competition and we only needed to “lose” 2.5-3.5 to get into the next round. It was a spectacular result and for the match report please click here.

Simon. Zoe and Liam playing on the top three boards while Daniel and Mark look on.

Simon. Zoe and Liam playing on the top three boards while Daniel and Mark look on.

At least it couldn’t get any harder we said, how wrong we could be. The next round was against Oxford City 1, they are second in the top division with an arguably stronger set of players than Witney 1 to call from! The best analogy I have, is getting Chelsea in the first round of the FA cup beating them only to be “rewarded” in the next round by playing Manchester City and sadly we don’t get the TV money.

Nevertheless the team was in a confident mood for the match which took place at Cumnor on Thursday evening. Again like the first round, we only needed to “lose” 2.5-3.5 to get through or another way of putting it was we only need a draw and 2 wins out of the 6 boards (or better).

The first game to finish was Daniel’s game. An early kingside attack by Sean Terry put Daniel’s King under some pressure and he had to resign. Gareth went an exchange down but his Knight was well placed when entering the endgame meaning Philip Hayward did not have enough to win and the draw was agreed. Phillip even said he thought Gareth was better!

Mark pulled off the first shock of the night as he set up astonishing Queen sac which Lief Dixon missed. Mark never got to sac the Queen as Leif resigned once he spotted it. The pressure was all of a sudden on Cumnor, 1 more point from the remaining 3 games would take us over the finish line and into the next round.

Could you win this position with only 24 seconds left?

Could you win this position with only 24 seconds left?

My (Liams) opponent spent a large chunk of his time in the early midgame, the result was by move 25, with much more of the game remaining than had past and just as Marks game finished, Christian only had 5 minutes left while I had 45 minutes. The seconds lapsed by and I had to decide whether I could play well enough to make him slip up in time trouble or keep him at bay until his clock fell. As the seconds ticked by he opened the game, promoted his Pawns into Queens and checkmated me with only 7 seconds left. It was something like out of a James Bond film!

I will be honest I was concentrating on my game so much I did not see much of Simon’s and Zoe’s but both made their opponents work exceptionally hard so beat them.

CCC1 v City 1

The tie finished 1.5-4.5, a commendable result against such a strong team but sadly not enough to get us into the next round. Congratulations to City 1 as they are head into the next round with a game against Cowley 2 and I would not be surprised if the Sheild has City 1’s name on it come May.

As Simon summed it up best “Ahh well, that’s what makes sport great – there is no script. An interesting night and I learned a lot.”

A thanks goes to Sean Terry who took the pictures.

MCS/B1 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

“Tick Tock goes the clock and what now shall we play?”

I think this nursery rhyme sums up last Wednesday’s game vs Magdalen College School.

But let’s start at the beginning of the evening, MCS/B1 had a very strong team. I am guessing they had seen our recent results against Witney 1 and Bicester 1. As normal, I order this on how we finished but 2 hours 35 minutes into a 3 hour game, no one had finished.

I was the first to finish after 2 hours and 38 minutes played. I got a little lucky, I was a pawn down and had to lose a second just to try and get some counter play. Nigel looked like he played a smart move, pinning my Knight but he did not look far enough ahead and I won his Knight.

Gareth was down a pawn for most the game but ended up holding the position in the endgame. Gareth got it down to Bishops and a wrong rook pawn, click here for explanation.

Zoe was on top board after her rapid grade rise, the position was too complicated for me to analyse and Zoe did lose. Richard played very well against John who is 60 grading points above him. However, John had more active pieces against Richard’s King and delivered a checkmate.

I did not see much of Daniel’s game as I was notating Andrews game, as he was down to less than 5 minutes. But in the endgame Daniel got a pawn promoted and had many threats against Robin’s King which was more than enough to win.

With the match level at 2.5-2.5 it all went down to the last game. Andrew made a great effort to get to the match and both players had only minutes left while still in the midgame. A time scramble ensured but Andrew’s clock ran out of time first. The final score was 2.5-3.5, a close match but a loss for Cumnor.

“Tick Tock goes the clock and Cumnor lost this one”

MCS/B1 v Cumnor 1

Cumnor 1 v Cowley 3 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 had an early Christmas present, after beating Cowley 3, 4-2 on Thursday night.

Cumnor 1 Cowley 3
1 Terrington, Simon (173) 1-0 Idle, Oscar (150)
2 Stevens, Gareth (147) 0-1 Robson, David W (149)
3 Glenn, Liam (147) 0-1 Rasell, Geoff C (147)
4 Varney, Zoe (149) 1-0 Keeling, David (136)
5 Sayers, Mark (139) 1-0 Stanley, William (Bill) (133)
6 Varney, Daniel (137) 1-0 Taylor, John F (131)
Match played on Dec 11 2014. 4-2

Cumnor 1 played the same starting 6 which had beaten Wantage 1 only 3 weeks before, so confidence was high. As tradition dictates Daniel was the first to finish with a win on the bottom board. I (Liam) was the next to go but I ended my night badly with a loss, mainly caused by Geoff playing very accurate and quick moves, poor piece co-ordination and some time trouble at the end. I might ask Father Christmas for an extra 10 minutes on my clock in my stocking this year.

Simon won for the third game in a row on the top board against Oscar just before Gareth lost his game on the board below.

Christmas chess

Zoe confirmed at least a draw for the team with her win and Mark finished it off with a win on board 6. So at the halfway point in the season we have 3 wins and 3 losses out of the 6 games, click here for the table.

The next game for either team isn’t until 2015 and a quick reminder that the club is closed on 25/12 (Christmas Day) and 1/1 (New Years).

The last club night of 2014 therefore is Thursday 18/12 with an exciting game between Mark and Simon to decide the winner of the 2014 Players Cup on offer and maybe some Mince Pies if you are lucky!

If I don’t see you before please eat, drink and be merry!

Cumnor 2 v Wantage 2 and Witney 5 [Match Reports]

The last week saw mixed results for Cumnor 2.

Last Thursday Cumnor 2 took on Wantage 2 at home. We came out victorious with a 4.5-1.5 scoreline in our favour.

Cumnor 2 Wantage 2
1 Sayers, Mark (139) 0.5-0.5 Ashford, Martin E (134)
2 Carr, Robin (124) 1-0 Booker, Julian (115)
3 Alvarez, Francisco (115) 1-0 Barker, Richard (91)
4 Ives, Marc (97) 1-0 Thompson, Steven (91)
5 Slade, Richard (-) 1-0 Cordon, Ray (85)
6 Steel, Robert (85) 0-1 Mahon, Paul (79)
Match played on 13 Nov 2014. 4.5-1.5

Richard’s game against Ray Cordon was interesting to watch. Although Richard clearly made some blunders, he managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat after Ray failed to keep an eye on his clock.

Here are Richard’s notes on the game:

A youthful team (well minus Steve!) took on Witney 5 the following Monday evening, a close match developed however this time Cumnor 2 lost 3.5-2.5.

Witney 5 Cumnor 2
1 Blackwell, David (123) 0.5-0.5 Bennett, Steven (110)
2 Tyne, Stewart (-) 0-1 Ives, Marc (97)
3 Dobrynin, Maxim (72) 0-1 Sterrie, David (78)
4 Read, William (54) 1-0 Ives, Leonora (72)
5 Beneat, Freddie (-) 1-0 Bennett Anton, Susana (44)
6 Soanes, Joshua (36) 1-0 Ives, Frida ()
Match played on 17 Nov 2014. 3.5-2.5

It was Cumnor 2’s first lost of the season, and the team currently sits in second place in the fourth division table, with Cowley 4 ahead of us on game point difference and above City 4 (Abingdon Sch), who are in third.

Cumnor 2 plays both of those teams in December which looks to be a tough month!

Cumnor 1 v MCS/B1 [Match Report]

Thursday evening saw Cumnor 1 play their first game of the season against MCS/B1 who were the team relegated from the first division last season.

It was a closely fought fight but Cumnor 1 ended up on the wrong side of the 4-2 score line.

Cumnor 1 MCS/B1
1 Terrington, Simon (173) 1/2-1/2 D’Souza-Eva, Jon (186)
2 Glenn, Liam (147) 0-1 Moyse, Nigel (171)
3 Stevens, Gareth (147) 0-1 Harskin, Robin (167)
4 Sayers, Mark (139) 1-0 Cole, James (145)
5 Slade, Richard (-) 0-1 Cole, Graham (148)
6 Varney, Daniel (137) 1/2-1/2 Bush, Ian (128)

Match played on 16 Oct 2014. 2-4

As I did for last season I will give you a quick summary of the games in the order they finished. As I was playing myself I can only give a summary on what I saw and the analysis at the pub after, if I make any mistakes or you think I didn’t get the ‘gist’ of your game please let me know.

Gareth suffered from ‘Chess Blindness’ early in his game, after calculating a deep variation which gave him a good position, he left his Queen en prise and resigned immediately after the move.

Daniel was the next to finish, with his usual quick play. He and Ian agreed a draw once they entered an endgame with rook and a bishop each.

Richard was playing his first game for Cumnor 1 after making his winning début earlier in the week against St. Claire’s in the second team.

Unluckily, he was unable to get anything from this game and lost to the much more experienced Graham Cole. Graham if you are reading this I do mean experienced in the nicest possible way!

Mark was playing James Cole on board four and produced a great King-side attack with a terrific tactic which caused gasps from the crowd, when he pinned James’s Bishop to his King and Queen and threatened a Queen takes pawn check! The attack won him the King-side pawns, and once the game entered the endgame James resigned.

My game was the penultimate game to finish and a play through of my game is below. The game was interesting, I think I had an advantage for most of it but in time trouble I missed a mate in 3, have a look and let me know your thoughts.

Simon on the top board played Jon D’Souza-Eva. In the endgame with a Rook and pawn Jon reached the Lucena position but was unable to get the win.

Both players were under time pressure and Simon managed to take the last pawn leaving each player with his Rook. A draw was quickly agreed at this point.

The end result was a 4-2 win to MCS/B1. Cumnor 1’s next game is in two weeks at home against Bicester 1, on the same night Cumnor 2 are playing away against Cowley 5.

Cumnor 2 v Cowley Workers 2 [Match Report]

Thursday saw Cumnor 2 play their first game of the season at home to Cowley Workers 2.

Cumnor 2 had to ‘work’ hard for their 3.5 – 2.5 win against the Workers from Cowley.

See what I did there?

Here is the game that Cumnor’s Graham Cluley played against Tamal Matial on board 2, where White grabbed an early piece advantage but both sides exhibited some imprecision.

Cumnor 2 Cowley Workers 2
1 Carr, Robin (124) 1-0 _default (-)
2 Cluley, Graham (112) 1-0 Matilal, Tamal (103)
3 Bennett, Steven (110) 0-1 Collins, Lee (109)
4 Ives, Marc (97) 1/2-1/2 Jackson, William J (88)
5 Steel, Robert (85) 1-0 Miller, David H
6 Sterrie, David (78) 0-1 Buckland, David (78)
Match played on 09 Oct 2014. 3.5-2.5

A good start to the season for Cumnor 2!

Cowley 3 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

The last game of the season for Cumnor 1 was an exciting and nerve-racking game against relegation threatened Cowley 3.

Cowley 3 Cumnor 1
1 Chapman, Andrew (148) 0-1 Terrington, Simon ( )
2 Rasell, Geoff C (144) 1-0 Varney, Andrew (145)
3 Viscu, Catalin (141) 1/2-1/2 Varney, Zoe (150)
4 Idle, Oscar (141) 1-0 Stevens, Gareth (142)
5 Keeling, David (141) 1-0 Varney, Daniel (142)
6 Taylor, John F (138) 0-1 Glenn, Liam (141)
Match played on 07 Apr 2014. 3.5-2.5

Games at the end of the season fall into two categories, either neither team has much to play for and a leisurely game of chess follows or one of the teams has something to fight for and it was the later for Cumnor 1 on Monday night. Cowley 3 needed a result (a win or a draw) against Cumnor 1 to stay up, if Cumnor 1 won Bicester 1 would be relegated in their place. Liam was the first to finish a win on bottom board and Daniel was next he made a real fight of it but lost. With the emotions running high Simon’s opponent tried to claim a draw with only 12 seconds left. The game had just reached drawish position (a draw with correct play), a long discussion started with two outcomes agreed, if the result mattered it would be sent off to George Spalding for a decision. My personal view is that the game would still be awarded to Simon because you can’t claim a draw in a theoretical draw. If it didn’t matter to the result Andrew would resign. With that getting sorted out in the other room, Andrew lost his game saying better theory could have changed the result. Zoe actually sacced a pawn to keep the knight on the wrong side of the board long enough to force a draw. Gareth’s game went down to the wire with only minutes on both clocks but Gareth resigned when he lost an important pawn. That made the result 3.5 to Cowley 3 meaning they would stay up and Andrew resigned. The final score was 3.5-2.5, Cowley were happy to stay up and even though we lost on the night it was an end to good season for Cumnor. The end of season will follow after every match has finished.

Bicester 1 v Cumnor 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 beat Bicester 1 3.5-2.5 last night.

Bicester 1 Cumnor 1
1 Marlow, Mike (165) 0-1 Terrington, Simon ( )
2 Hepworth, Nicholas J (147) 1/2-1/2 Stevens, Gareth (142)
3 Morton, Iain (153) 0-1 Liam Glenn (142)
4 Beckett, Richard (141) 0-1 Sayers, Mark (138)
5 Burcham, Anthony (130) 1-0 Cluley, Graham (110)
6 Maddox, Thomas (127) 1-0 Bennett, Steven (109)
Match played: 18 March 2014 2.5-3.5

Mark was the first to finish his game after Richard made a blunder, allowing Mark a discover check winning the Queen. Gareth’s opponent offered a draw which he accepted in a drawn position. Simon won his game on top board. Steve lost next, along with Graham leaving Liam’s game as the decider. With the game tied at 2.5-2.5 Liam had to accurately play, with his King a little undefended, but he did manage to turn it into a win.

The result doesn’t help Bicester 1 who are only one point from bottom. But Cumnor 1 are currently in 3rd. See the updated table here.