Monthly Archives: May 2014

We miss you

We miss you

You might imagine a post called we miss you with a picture of my son means I miss my son while he’s away. Well no. That goes without saying! I mean Deaf Dave.

I am sure he has a surname, but I never knew it. And while he was at the club, he could be a little annoying. On match days, you would feel that it was a little futile telling him to be quiet as he didn’t know when he was making a noise. And THAT was most of the time. I guess he knew when he was making a clucking sound though, as every time I retreated a piece, he would hold three fingers over his head like a rooster’s cockcomb, and flap his elbows in an imitation chicken jesture, and cluck.

Despite that, or maybe because of it, Dave was interesting character at the chess club, and I miss his original playing style. I tend to think in English words. Being deaf, Dave clearly did not think the same was that most people do, and some of his moves were both surprising and ingeneous. Unfortunately for his chess results, not all his moves has the same quality.

I wonder what he is up to these days.

Surprisingly Stong Pawn

Pawn Strength

I guess the title gives away the answer here, but white has just threatened black’s bishop.

How does black reply?

The answer surprised me, and even now that I know the answer, I don’t really see it. I suppose I need to play out the various combinations several times, and even then, I don’t think that I am a good enough chess player for a move like this to ever become second nature to me.

The solution is that black just ignores the threat on the bishop and pushes the pawn. If the bishop is taken, then he pushes the pawn a second time. That create back rank mate threats which adequately compensate for the loss of the bishop.

Today’s U160 match …and future options

Hi Mick, all…
Firstly, well done to all involved in getting yesterdays National Quarter Finals matches organised and completed..
And well done to Tim for looking after the County U160 team this past two years…not an easy task.

On another day, I suspect things could have been different. But the result isn`t everything….although `success breads success`, and silverware can definately add shine.

I think we need to convey the full message of the County chess offering to our local players and clubs…
Its about the day out, the camaraderie, the chess/social banter…and the travel, plus the actual match itself.
Key to the whole thing is an enjoyable day out…escape from the daily drudge..etc. You also get to play at a more relaxed rate than normal league chess.

There is nothing quite like the match atmosphere at these 16 board matches..and it should be noted that this competition(s) provides some very good chess playing opportunities for players of all standards in this area.. Important for player development at all levels, and important in fulfilling Manchester’s role in providing good chessing for our local chess community.
Yesterday, Alan Beresford was telling me that Manchester used to play 100 board matches at times… during a journey that was greatly enriched by various unscheduled scenic detours through the Cheshire countryside. Not to mention getting foxed by the Birmingham road jungle. Fortunately, I had Peter King on board to take charge of navigation, decoding my cryptic instructions, spotting key clues on signposts, so we arrived safely in good time. We were also slowed by the Birmingham M6 congestion, on the way to Spaghetti Junction.
Those fortunate enough to go by David Keirmans express high speed service arrived more quickly, I believe.

As to Micks question….below, about possible additional county teams……

I`d agree, but I definitely think we/Manchester should go for an U120 team….and not a U140 team.
I say this, because our other teams need the space to take on a wide range of players e.g., the U160 team yesterday had players graded down to circa ECF 110, and the First team had some players who were U160.
So, this overlap is very useful..

Its not easy to actually raise teams, and county captains really have to battle to complete team lists..specially at the National Counties stages at this time of year, when player availability is more difficult…the summer weather, the FA Cup Final, Juniors on exam duty, players who are getting tired after a long seasons league chess, and other family/social commitments, can prove a challenging obstacle. Having two county matches on the same day adds to the problems for team captains…

So, its vital that Manchester gets plenty of support from across our clubs. These events are all about providing good chess playing opportunities for local players in this area…roughly within a 25 mile radius of Manchester…
I hope our captains continue to get good support from our local players and clubs. Our main neutral venue at Newcastle_U_Lyme Bridge club provides a very good central location to play our matches against other Midlands Counties in the early season, and provides decent refreshments and playing conditions.
I hope players enjoy the summer break, and any of the many congress events going on in the meantime…including the Bolton team Jamboree chess event, later this month .

In the meantime..I`ll just add two points….volunteers are vital to our chess bodies/clubs, and AGM season is fast approaching, so I`d urge support from all players.
Help is always available, so a willing pair of hands is key.
Secondly, a message to local clubs…organise club competitions for novice/beginner players, and advertize these on websites and local press. Clubs really do need an influx of new blood, and really need to encourage new membership at the grass roots..

Good chessing to all..
Dave P Ad hoc publicity


Denton draws

White to play has two drawing moves: defend the pawn with the king, or a rook check.

Hmm. Some website promised me I could put a video on the blog by posting a link like this.

But all I see is the link. Yesterday Denton had a match and Denton drew. Tim arrived half an hour late for his game. Sometimes things like that cannot be helped. But then going off chatting to Dave and Sheila during the game, and walking round looking at other games …
well, if you lose like that, you deserve to lose!

Pablo’s game turned out to be the decider, being the last to finish, and the result being something like 3-3 up till then. Pablo was slightly down and with time presssure things got worse and worse, and the match became a time scramble. Not just that, but faster and faster and more desparate. From where I stood, I had a good view of the clocks and I remember seeing 5 seconds each left.

I then started watching the fast playing of the moves until there was a pause and Pablo failed to make a move. And his clock was ticking. What was happening? Then I heard Pablo say “that is an illegal move”. His opponent had made an illegal move and pressed the clock so that he was possibly going to rectify his mistake, but on Pablo’s time.
Then members of the opposing team started say that “It doesn’t matter – you have lost on time”.

There are a few things wrong there.
1. Firstly, the opponent must claim a win on time; other members of the team should not interfere with a game in progress.
2. Secondly, Pablo’s clock was ticking, but only because the opponent had made a foul move, and pressed the clock.
3. The length of time passed after making the illegal move meant that the opponent’s clock would have expired.

In the heat of the moment, Pablo was rightly (in my opinion) claiming a win. But since his clock was the one with the fallen flag, so too were the opposing team. I think a draw was agreed, but quite who agreed the draw I don’t know. Pablo seemed a bit hot under the collar and did not look to me like he was agreeing anything, but I don’t know.

In comparison the draw on the board above – shown in the video – is very calm, though their player seems more flustered than ours. I don’t know if the draw was by agreement or by repetition, but I think it amounts to the same thing, when players agree to repeat moves. Maybe one claimed repetition, or maybe one offered a draw and the other took it.