Cumnor at the Witney Congress

Last weekend saw the return of the Witney congress, its first running in the post-Covid era. Three Cumnor players took part, Nigel in the open, myself (Ian) in the under 2000 section, and on loan from Bicester guest superstar Tony in the under 1800. It was great to see another sign of the return to some form of normality in the chess world, but in many ways even more great to see so many faces I hadn’t see for so long, 2 years in some cases.  As usual Mike Truran and his team organized it all excellently – a special mention going to the arbiters Matt Carr and Hannah Richmond for doing what I view as the job from hell; hopefully nothing to controversial happened, I certainly didn’t notice any major problems.

So back to normality? Well mostly, of course Covid had to be respected, but one big innovation, at least for me, was the use of electronic boards in the open section which allowed the games to be followed on the internet in real time, giving the best of OTB and online all in one package! The sign of things to come, possibly, but not for a while yet – these things are not cheap but increasing use can only be a good thing. As a result all the open section games are already available .It looks as though the rest of the games will be on the Witney web site, but as that relies on old fashioned manual entry (and deciphering hand writing!) they’re not there as I type this.

So how did we do? Well Nigel got 2, and I got 2.5, but Tony continued his great form to score 3.5/5 for a share of third, half a point of the leading pair; full results can be found here . Speaking for myself I had some fun and tough games, and played not too badly. Maybe I could have got 0.5 points more, but then again there were a lot of good players in the U2000 section, especially the youngsters, and it was won by two very good juniors, Kenneth Hobson and Tashika Arora.

So let’s have a quick tactical quiz or two! I’ll put answers at the end after a game from each of us. So firstly from Tony’s round 5 game. Your are black. You have to win to have a hope of first place. Time is fleeting. What should you play?

Now one from my fourth round game against Matthew Deacon, a very useful 12 year old. It really was a full blooded encounter, starting with my Smith-Morra Gambit against his Sicillian and no messing about from beginning to end. Anyway here’s where I missed my big opportunity – White to play and win:

Solutions to the above follow the games

Ok, my choice of games from each of us. First Nigel’s first round win, and Tony’s fourth round victory, both of which show in very different ways a nice understanding of minor piece endgames

And one from me, the one I enjoyed the most, my first round game against the top seed in my section. Another no holds barred game ending in a draw, a genuine 1 e4 e5 game:

So now the solutions to the puzzles above. Note being real games they are more complex than most puzzles, so I’ve shown the most thematic lines – believe me bung them in the engines and the evaluation won’t change:

Anyway thanks again to Mike Truran and his team for a very enjoyable weekend, and well done to Tony on his prize!

Witney Online Congress

Please see a message from Mike Truran of Witney Chess Club

“Many thanks to everyone who played in last weekend’s Witney Online Rapidplay. We were very encouraged by the support, and to see so many old friends playing.

As many of you will know, the current pandemic forced us to cancel this year’s OTB Witney Congress. However, the success of the Witney Online Rapidplay has given us the confidence to organise a Witney Online Congress – five rounds of standardplay chess with a 45 mins/15 sec increment time limit over the weekend of 7-8 November. The congress is closely modelled on the successful 4NCL Online weekend congresses, and we thank the 4NCL for allowing us to crib unashamedly off their work.

You can find full details about the Witney Online Congress here: http://www.witneychess.co.uk/online/congress20_info.htm.

Frank Woods Shield

Since the Frank Woods Shield was revamped a couple of seasons ago we have had some good results in the competition, winning the inaugural year and reaching the semis last season.

This year we have decided to two enter two teams.

The Frank Wood Shield, Players Cup and the Bill Laar Trophy

Our first team is:
The Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Our second team is:
The Six Donkeys of the Acropolis

The draw for this season’s Frank Wood Shield will take place on the Saturday of the upcoming Witney Congress, on the 2nd November.

Five Cumnor players are down to take part; Nigel, Nick and Simon in the open, Ian in the U170 and Gareth in the U145.

There is still time to The 7th Witney Congress at http://www.witneychess.co.uk/.

Good luck to the Cumnor Players who will take part.

Witney Chess Congress 2017

On the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of October, 100 chess players from Oxfordshire and beyond meet at Cokethrope School for the Fifth Witney Chess Congress.

The Congress had 4 separate tournaments, an Open, an Under 170, an Under 145 and an Under 120 with prize money (a prize fund of over £1900) and a real challenge in each section.

The playing area on Sunday morning by Brendan
Cumnor was well represented at the congress with Daniel (in the open), Ian (U170), Gareth (170), Graham (U120) and myself, Liam (who was playing in the U170).

Sadly this year none of us were among the prize winners, I had a good weekend even though my grade suffered a little.

The complete cross table can be found here.

Pictures from the event taken by Brendan O’Gorman can be found here.

Finally a thanks must be given to all the organisers including Mike Truran and arbiters for providing such a great weekend’s chess and see you all at Kidlington Chess Congress in February.

P.S. Sorry there is an update! Graham won the 1st Round Loser in the U120 section with 3 points from 4 games after losing the first round.

5th Witney Weekend Congress

The 5th Witney Weekend Congress will take place on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of October at Cokethorpe School.

More information and the entry form can be found on the Witney website.

http://www.witneychess.co.uk/5thwitney_information.htm

Sunday morning on the 2016 congress, Liam, Mark and Daniel can be seen in the top left while Gareth can be spotted below the fireplace

Witney Chess Congress

On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October, 73 chess players from Oxfordshire and beyond meet at Cokethrope School for the Forth Witney Chess Congress. Cokethorpe is a Private School set in the west Oxfordshire countryside a few miles south of Witney.

The Congress had 4 separate tournaments, an Open, an Under 170, an Under 145 and an Under 120 with 9 players in the open, including Grandmaster John Nunn and just over 20 players in each of the other three.

Sunday morning, Liam, Mark and Daniel can be seen in the top left while Gareth can be spotted below the fireplace
Sunday morning, Liam, Mark and Daniel can be seen in the top left while Gareth can be spotted below the fireplace
Cumnor was well represented at the congress with Gareth, Mark, Daniel and myself (Liam) all playing in the Under 170’s and Andrew acting as a spare incase a player had a bye and helping his students between games.

Gareth was the most successful and managed to finish joint second with 3.5 out of 5, while Daniel finished with 2.5 and Mark and myself finished with 2 (all out of 5).

I had a good weekend even though my grade suffered a little, the complete cross table can be found here along with some pictures of the event.

Finally a thanks must be given to all the organisers including Mike Truran and arbiters for providing such a great weekend’s chess and see you all at Kidlington Chess Congress in February.

Cumnor 1 v Bicester 1 [Match Report]

Cumnor 1 kicked off the season with a draw against Bicester 1 on Thursday night.

cumnor-1-v-bicester-1

On board 6, Chris was playing his first game for Cumnor, even though he lost the game he did say he enjoyed it.

Move 24 Rd3! Black now can't stop 25 Rh3#
My game (white) against Richard Beckett (black) move 24 Rd3! Black now can’t stop 25 Rh3#
I was the next to finish and the final position found been seen right after a Bishop sac on h6. Daniel and Mark finished shortly after, both picking up wins giving Cumnor 1 a 3-1 lead.

Andrew went a piece down after some good play from Tony and Gareth was forced to carry on playing as a Bicester win would draw the match while any other result would lead to a Cumnor victory.

Mike after the match admitted that he would have accepted a draw if the result had already be confirmed.

Unfortunately, Gareth missed a Knight fork and went an exchange down which gave Mike enough material and time to win the game.

The early table can be found here on the Oxfordshire chess website. Our next game is on Monday against Cowley 3 which should be another exciting match. This weekend is the Forth Witney Congress at Cokethorpe School more information can be found here, currently 4 Cumnor Players are amongst the other 65 players.