Blackpool and Other Congresses
Blackpool 10-12th March 2017 (8/16 grades)
1 2 3 4 5 Total
INTER U155 75
M Bh 135 w 149) 1 b146) 1 w148) 0 b143) 1 b142) 1 4
MINOR U135 82
MDB 130 w117) .5 b111).5 w117) 0 b118) 0 w122) 0 1
JG 124 b ug) 0 w132) 0 b ug) .5 w115) .5 b ug ) .5 1.5
D McN 110 bye) .5 w126) 1 b128) 0 w125) 1 b125) .5 3
STANDARD U115 87
RH 106 w80 ) 1 b ug) 1 w113) 1 w106) .5 b112) 0 3.5
RG 90 w110) .5 b114) 1 w106) .5 w108) 0 b108) 1 3
AE 82 w106) 1 w106) 0 b104) .5 b 99) .5 w113) .5 2.5
N B Mike Bh won a full grading prize and Bob Greaves 1/3rd of one
Our intrepid travellers (other than Duncan who came on later) arrived in Blackpool on Friday for their annual pilgrimage full of hope for the fray. MIke Bh had a very good win as did Andre, albeit with the help of his opponent who gave his queen away. John was the only member to lose and in questionable circumstances. His opponent was shown as ungraded for this Section which seemed to go against the conditions of entry of the congress but which the Congress Director overturned.On enquiry there was some doubt on specific identity and four straight wins later the potential for doubt was more obvious but he lost his last game.
Saturday morning saw John lose his second game whilst MDB drew again and Andre lost. Bob took 3 hours to win as did Rob against another junior.whilst Duncan's board had not lost any piece or pawn after two hours so his win was very much ground out. Meantime Mike Bh continued to overcome higher graded opposition.
On Saturday afternoon there were a large number of early draws in the halls with other sports clearly getting priority.John got his first half point and both Bob and Andre also drew. Duncan lost after a long struggle as did Mike Bh but Rob got his 3rd win and went to the top of the table. MDB lost after taking a great deal of pressure and with several pieces pinned for a long time..
In the evening our group of six (MBh excepted) were welcomed with open arms and hugs from our favourite Indian restaurant possibly because without our presence it would have been almost empty. The food was up to its usual high standard in quality and quantity as was the repartee and the four doughty souls who continued to the British Legion were greeted in similar fashion. The foray into the bingo and raffle were however unsuccessful and the buffet laid on was not really attacked. It was again Members' night for entertainment which was warmly received.
Throughout the evening the emphasis had been on getting Rob psyched up for the final push and on Sunday morning he agreed a 'grandmaster' draw to keep his hopes high for some prize. MDB was absolutely battered in fifteen moves and thirty minutes.He would probably had had a better weekend had he been hammered on Saturday night rather than Sunday morning. At least he then had the time to look at other games especially in the Open where top seed GM Mark Hebden had not been doing well. At the other end of the scale Bob played to the bitter end when three pawns down losing on time when about to be mated after 3 hours 55 minutes. Duncan offered a piece up which when taken allowed him to give an unstoppable mating move and force resignation. Meanwhile at the far end of the first floor Mike Bh was back to winning ways with his main problem being the long distance to the toilets as those next to his playing area were out of action all weekend.
In the final round Rob was playing for prize money but unfortunately lost as did MDB albeit taking quite a bit longer for it to happen. There were draws by John, Duncan after 3 1/2 hours and Andre but Bob ended with a win and MIke Bh got back to winning ways and must .surely gain several grading points and a nice cheque for his efforts. Well done to him.
FRODSHAM CONGRESS FEB17
UNDER 160 1 2 3 4 5 TOTAL
Mike Bh (24) 135 w 116 0 b 148 0 b 142 1 w 153 0 b 137 .5 1.5
Eddy (1) 119 b 98 0 w 84 .5 b 50 1 w 81 .5 b 80 .5 2.5
PRESTON CONGRESS DECEMBER 2016
OPEN 33 1 2 3 4 5 total
Gareth (18) 176 bye .5 w135) 1 b183) .5 w187)0 b182).5 2.5 18
Mike H (6) 162 bye .5 b153) 1 w156)0 b148) 0 w133) 1 2.5 14
Mike Bh (28) 135 w156).5 b156) 1 w164) .5 b157) 0 w153) 0 2.0 21
Eddy (3) 119 w104) 0 b94) .5 w61) 1 b93) .5 w108) .5 2.5 15
Dave McK (17) 107 w119) .5 b118) 0 w94) 0 b u/g) .5 w91) 1 2.0 25
A mixed result for the Formby players ,with Mike Bh again testing himself against higher graded players. His good start may give him a share of a grading prize. His Rd 1 opponent went on to beat Mike H in the 3rd round.Mike also lost in Rd 4 to Sam son of GM Nigel Davies and whose grade in the last two years has shot up from below 100. Gareth's 4th Rd opponent is the new Wallasey A top board and apparently a very positive character.
BLACKPOOL CHESS CONGRESS 2016
MAJOR <181 50+entries
1 2 3 4 5 Total
12) GH 172 Bye .5 w 166 1 b 157 .5 w 159 1 b 178 .5 3.5
1/16 176 169 152 155 173
INTER <155 75+ entries
68) MBh 127 b 145 .5 w 146 0 b 148 1 w 143 0 b 137 0 1.5
1/16 127 136 151 150 145 149
MINOR <135 70+entries
10) MDB 132 b 120 .5 w 125 .5 b 121 1 w 124 0 b 119 1 3.0
1/16 129 127 128 125 124 124
50) DMcN 120 Bye .5 b 128 1 w 130 0 w 133 0 b 128 0 1.5
1/16 117 ‘’ 124 124 133 126
STANDARD <115 85+ entries
9) JG 111 w 96 1 b 99 .5 w 95 .5 w 84 0 b 105 0 2.0
1/16 116 87 102 96 75 113
12) RH 111 b 95 1 w 101 1 b 107 0 w 103 1 b 106 1 4.0
1/16 106 85 102 112 104 113
53) RG 95 b111 0 w 111 1 b 107 0 w 79 1 b 95 0 2.0
1/16 92 105 104 107 82 95
59) AE 91 w 109 1 b 107 0 w 104 1 w 105 .5 b 113 .5 3.0
1/16 82 119 115 110 113 111
Yet another very enjoyable weekend in Blackpool where as can be seen from the above there were some very good results and every Formby player had at least one win and a grading prize for Gareth and possibly for Rob. The highlight of the weekend however was without doubt the introduction of Mrs Grady, after an Indian meal, to the sheer delight of Members' night at the Royal British Legion. Her wonder at the performers was matched only by that in having Andre, this year without suit, singing along to everything whilst sat next to her. To cap it all he won a bottle of Vodka in the raffle.
On the chessplaying front there was the obligatory 10 year old opponent, this year for Andre in the first round, and whilst there was a 14 move defeat for MBh in round 4 it must be stressed that he again challenged himself by playing in a higher section than necessary.
The sections were spread around three floors of the hotel so MDB was not able to check on many other games and his own were generally taking over 3 hours. His only loss came when he forgot that in thinking at least two moves ahead one must start with the next move and not leave the queen en pris! Club participants have contributed to this article as follows
JG ' I went from the sublime to the ridiculous. My first game was a mate in 15 moves, followed by a draw in a winning position and another draw in a clogged position.
After a sleepless noisy night due to our heroes of the Falklands conflict (...but that's no excuse!) I played badly against a Dutch defence, then blundered move after move against a Grand Prix attack. In this last game I played against an opponent who refused to note his moves ("... I can't, 'cos I'm dyslexic..") and argued about the en-passant rule for a few minutes after he tried to take a pawn I'd already moved - and I still lost to him .... sorry don't know his grade but I'd estimate about 25... yours, in misery still,'
GH 'This year I took a bye on the Friday night. Dad didn't fancy driving there and back in the dark on Friday, but in the end I was much fresher for the Saturday games than I was last year. On Saturday we gave Phil a lift. All my games were very close and my best game was on Saturday morning with white against Mick Riding from Tynemouth. I held a slight advantage in the early middlegame due to my better development and pressure on my opponents weak e6 square. I ended up with a pawn on e6 and in trying to win this pawn too early my opponent allowed me to expose his king to my Queen and rooks. I was a little short of time and maybe missed the best way to win but at the end I managed to force a position where he had to lose his queen for a rook or get mated. On Saturday afternoon against James Rothwell, from Ormskirk, I was caught out in the opening and had to play carefully in the early middlegame. However my opponent exchanged the wrong minor pieces and, left with a bad dark squared bishop, he gave up two pawns to go into a single rook ending. Although these extra pawns were doubled on the kingside, I should have done better but as we approached the time control I rushed my pawns up the queenside hoping to provoke some weaknesses but instead allowed him to create some passed pawns forcing me to give up one of my pawns. We reached a Rook and 2 pawns against rook and 1 ending which, although theoretically drawn, I probably offered a draw a bit prematurely considering my opponent had less time than me.
On Sunday morning playing white against Matthew Wilson from Torquay I made a careless error in the early middlegame which allowed him to wreck my central pawn structure. I ended up losing my isolated pawn to increase the activity of my pieces and although I tried to create play against my opponent's king along the the b1-h7 diagonal I didn't really have enough compensation. So I was very fortunate that my opponent, thinking he could fork my Qe4 and Bb1 with his N to c3 had missed that my rook on an unusual square (g3) could just take it! So in the afternoon I was black against a strong player, Daniel Ellis from Hendon. He played a Blackmar-Diemer gambit and I was in trouble after only a few moves. I was lucky to escape into a nasty position where I had a weak pawn and his bishop pair were menacing my two rooks. I managed to exchange one of the rooks and to sacrifice my isolated pawn to activate my N. He allowed me to swap off both of his bishops into a rook and pawn ending where he was just a pawn up and I managed to draw this fairly comfortably'.
RH ( 5th round) 'My opponents name was Stanley Johnson, highs were winning the last game with him which I was losing, and the lows was the game I lost on a 5 pawns against my four pawns end game, good weekend again most enjoyable. regards rob'
DMcN ' Abysmal performance throughout the whole Congress; particularly in round 3, where I managed to miss 2 mating opportunities, and subsequently snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.'
Frodsham Feb 2016
Eddy Patten reports
'' I am pleased to report that we had an enjoyable and successful congress.
Ed Patten and John Grady finished joint 2nd in the Under 120 section with 4/5 each, and won £75 each ! Mike Barooah did well in the Under 160 Section with 2.5/5 and also earned a small grading prize
But the icing on the cake was winning the Overall Team Prize with 10.5/15 and the Formby members were presented with a Fine Digital Chess Clock which, of course, we will donate to the club!
In the first round John overcame an unorthodox chess player whilst Eddy won his game after his neat Q and N combination won him a B.
In round 2 Mike, who had lost his 1st game to a 159, drew to a 145 by ensuring his B covered a P queening square. Eddy drew his game, but John was inconsolable. His opponent only had a minute left on his clock. John tried to ‘rush’ him but ended up blundering away his position and lost!
In round 3 John got back on track with a quick win and Mike, using his passed P to best advantage, had a fine win against a 140. Eddy, however, was glad of a draw when his opponent probably had all the winning chances.
Going into the last day we were told that we had chance of the team prize and we got off to great start with all three Formby members winning. John refuted his opponent’s gambit and went on to win. Eddy won a P in the middle game which proved decisive in a B and P’s end game. Mike, after offering a N sacrifice and then declined a draw offer went on to beat his 155 graded opponent.
In the final round Eddy, playing black, started badly but managed to secure a N outpost on c5. Then started to push his KP, protected by doubled R’s, up the e file. 3 moves later, his opponent, with a choice of losing his Q or checkmate, resigned. John, who was now well on form, won his game comfortably. In Mike’s last game he was a P down in R and P’s ending against an experienced 143 player who slowly made his advantage tell. Mike tried his best but had to concede.
So, a great congress for the Formby Club members, with a Team prize, Section Prizes and a Grading Prize. Long may it continue.''
UNDER 120 36 entrants
1 2 3 4 5 total
J Grady 6. 112 w 76 1 b 109 0 w 70 1 b 106 1 w 96 1 4 2nd=
E Patten 7.112 b 74 1 w 101 .5 b 106 .5 w 95 1 b 119 1 4 2nd=
UNDER 160 52 entrants
M Barooah 40. 127 w 152 0 b 144 .5 w 140 1 b 151 1 w 143 0 2.5 40th
Preston November 2015
Eddy Patten reports with apologies for any error prior to the official publication of full schedules
''Four members of Formby chess club attended the Preston Congress and I am pleased to report that we had, overall, a good tournament. Ed Patten, Bob Greaves and Dave McKee entered the Standard whilst Mike Barooah tested his skills in the Major.
However the 1st game for all of us did not inspire confidence, with both Mike and Bob losing. Eddy and Dave’s opponents did a ’no show’ so after 30 minutes the arbiter was forced to play Eddy and Dave against each other ! The game was very even and draw was agreed after 38 moves in a Q, N and Ps v Q, B and Ps ending.
The next day started well with Mike beating a 167 grade, closely followed by a comfortable win for Dave. Eddy’s opponent who’d had several opportunities to force a win didn’t take them! Much to Eddy’s relief, who went on to fork his opponents K and Q with a N! Eddy won soon afterwards. Bob however continued his losing streak.
The 3rd session started with everyone in the Standard gaining ground. Bob at last had a good win using a clever Q and R combination. Dave managed a draw against a very dodgy character who had the habit of moving very quickly then sternly staring at Dave all throughout the game! Very odd. Dave, who was piece down fought back well and gained a draw. Eddy castled Q side early on and push hard down his K side, but after 40 moves neither player could force a decisive move and agreed a draw.
In the 4th game, Mike, who’d lost game 3 to a junior graded 153!, had another excellent win against a 157 graded player. Bob continued his fight back with another win whilst Dave and Eddy drew their respective games.
In the last session, game 5, Eddy tried a new opening, unsuccessfully, and was glad to come away with a draw. Bob unfortunately lost. However Mike Barooah came up trumps with another lovely win against a 164 grade. He ended up with 3/5 in the Major, a great effort and a grading prize, well done Mike! This left Dave still playing but with his 2Rs and 4Ps v R, N and 2Ps he made no mistake. Dave 1st congress earned him a share of 3rd prize. Well done.
We always enjoy Preston, in spite of the weather, but feeling very tired, we were all glad to get home with our reputations intact.
Mike Barooah. 3/5 plus Grading Prize
Dave McKee 3.5/5 plus Grading Prize plus Share of 3rd Prize
Ed Patten 3/5
Bob Greaves 2/5 ''
BLACKPOOL CHESS CONGRESS 6th-9th MARCH 2015
MAJOR Below 181 1 2 3 4 5 Total
GH 164 179. 1 170. 0 173 .5 141. 1 174. 1 3.5
MEDIAN Below 155
JMH 153 141. 1 143. 0 148. 1 149 .5 141. 0 2.5
MBh 127 147. 0 141 .5 141 .5 143. 0 144. 1 2
INTER Below 135
DBMcN 121 130. 1 129. 0 133. 0 ? 0 117 .5 1.5
MINOR Below 115
1 2 3 4 5 Total
EP 109 93. 5 88. 1 99 .5 98. 0 95. 1 3
RH 109 93. 1 101. 1 102. 1 114. 0 87. 0 3
AE 94 111. 0 67. 1 102. 0 D. 1 108. .5 2.5
RG 90 105. 0 35. 1 112. 0 101 .5 95. 1 2.5
MDB unfortunately was unable to participate this year but 8 current club members took part in this congress. Thanks go to Mike H for recording the results scheduled above and which of necessity are briefer than previous years. However a full cross section schedule of all results will no doubt be found somewhere on the web in the near future and there is already a narrative report on the ECF site.
There has been little or no feed back from individual participants to MDB’s request for comments on the weekend activity and it may be that the Imperial’s hosting of a paratroops’ reunion, in answer to last year’s rowdiness ?, put a damper on things.
On the chess playing everyone won at least one game and particular congratulations go to Gareth and Andre who both won grading prizes. Gareth must be pleased with his opening and closing results whilst Andre’s Sunday morning was restful. On the other hand I wonder what Rob felt then having achieved a 100% result to date only to lose his final two games. Mike Bh in his usual way challenged himself by entry into the Inter section and outgraded in every game did well to get a win and two draws. I do not have full information on Duncan’s 4th game although rumour has it that there is a specific reason for this omission!
I am told that there was only a select small party of three for the Saturday night meal but no doubt it was enjoyable as ever and the ECF site gives the dates of the 2016 congress for early entry in diaries.
SOUTH LAKES CONGRESS 6TH-8TH JUNE 2014
Player R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total
S Kee 191 w1v169 b0v202 w0v173 b1v190 w.5v178 2.5
B Ewart 159 b0v184 w.5v174 b0v171 w0v163 b0v175 .5
Minor 1 135 and Under
S Burge 135 w.5v123 b1v113 w1v126 w.5v128 b.5v132 3.5
Minor 2 120and Under
M Barrett 117 w1v94 b0v107 w1v100 b.5v82 w1v112 3.5
J Dilworth 105 .5 bye w0v98 b0v103 b.5v71 withdrew .5
Mike took his now annual short break with wife Tricia for what in recent years has been a very enjoyable experience for both. He was not expecting any company from Formby CC and was pleased to meet up with three old friends from Atticus .
In the 1st round Mike found himself in deep time trouble and his opponent turned down a draw offer. Playing on and believing his opponent was concerned only with winning on time Mike queened a pawn and forced mate with a couple of seconds to spare. Steve K also started well whilst Brian, now very much a veteran, was under too much pressure. Steve B meanwhile had an early draw.
On Saturday morning Mike was pleasantly surprised to see Joe Dilworth in the playing hall. Tony had brought him up to ‘test the waters’ in his chess playing. Joe is very bravely trying to keep on with his playing despite now his serious eyesight problems. Elsewhere in the hotel there was tragedy in the death, albeit happening overnight in Barrow hospital, of congress stalwart Conrad Jowett of Stockport.
Over the board Mike lost a game that with a different pawn taking decision he had a forced win whilst Steve won and Brian got his first half point. Steve K found himself up against the current leader of the ECF Open Grand Prix competition. In the afternoon Steve B and Mike both won with Mike’s opponent making the very move that Mike’s previous move had effectively prevented by pinning a potentially defending piece. Steve K who was using this congress to try out some differing ideas and Brian again well outgraded both lost as did Joe after his morning’s loss.
The evening’s social activity included Tricia who having found that the cultural attraction of Holker Hall was shut on a Saturday had indulged in some retail therapy at Hayes Garden Centre and Lakeland Plastics ,plastic or Mike’s ownership of a piece being the operative word. The five of us had a brisk appetite inducing walk into Grange for a Chinese meal and then found a pub in which to watch the England match. Fortunately the pool table became available at the same time as the weather stoppage and several games were played. Styles and standards were varied and fortunately with the size of the table there was no need for the athletic lifting of legs even had anyone been physically capable of doing so. Mike and Tricia left before the end of the football assuring the others that the promenade was both well lit all along and led directly to the hotel driveway. Only the second of these assurances was accurate but there was a noisy return to the hotel heard in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Later in the morning Steve K returned to winning ways whilst Mike and Steve B both drew and Joe and Brian again lost. Discussions at lunchtime centred on Steve B’s chances and how he should approach his last game. There was no runaway leader in Minor 1 and Steve was one of six on 3 points from 4 games. He was encouraged to ‘go for it‘and found himself playing Paul Kent of Aigburth also on 3points. Despite a long and hard struggle Steve could not break through and a draw was agreed. In one of the other games of the leaders a certain drawn position had evaporated with a huge blunder that gave the winner first prize overall and left Steve with joint second place and a prize that heavily discounted his weekend expenses. Meantime Brian again lost but said he found it good training for the Seniors’ section of the British Championship in Aberystwyth in August when he will be joined by Formby President Phil Fisher. Steve Kee drew to leave himself with 50% whilst Joe’s earlier efforts led him to withdraw from the afternoon session. In Minor 1 after four rounds there was one player with 100 % and another with 3.5. On 2.5 Mike did not have any expectations but after 25 moves and 30 minutes of his match his opponent in trying to relieve some pressure castled long only to find in Mike’s next move he would lose his queen with a pin to the king. Mike therefore ended the weekend with 3.5 and for the second year running the probability of a share of 3rd prize that might actually be in £double figures.
BLACKPOOL CHESS CONGRESS 2014
MAJOR (70+)Below 181 1 2 3 4 5 Total
30 JMH 167 b 147 .5 w140.5 b 156 .5 w154 .5 b163 0 2 -75
1/14 164 149 130 142 164 166 -69
51 GH 158 w 173 1 b 174 .5 w 171 0 b 170 0 w 157 1 2.5 +55
1/14 160 174 170 170 178 162 +54
MEDIAN (70+) Below 155
2 PB 153 b144 1 w144 1 b149 1 w152 .5 b146 0 3.5 -30
1/14 156 150 138 150 152 148 -38
72 DBMcN 130 bye .5 w143 0 b144 0 b146 0 w153 0 .5 + 66
1/14 130 151 148 150 161 +90
INTER (80+) Below 135
16 G NEIL 130 b 118 .5 w 118 1 b119 0 w123 ? w115 .5 ? -57
1/14 124 126 110 129 121 115 +19
47 MDB 121 w132 .5 b132 .5 w129 1 b130 .5 %3