Update at 12th June Messrs Patten, Barrett,Grady and Greaves arrived early for the Mside team lightning last Wednesday and being the first team to register found themselves on the top table in their match against Atticus 3. A 3-1 win followed and in Rd 2 with late arrival Mike Barooah taking Bob's place by rota a 2-2 draw v Liverpool was achieved. Thereafter it was downhill with 0-4 v Atticus 2, 1-3 v Prescot 1and .5-3.5 v Prescot 2. The final round( 6 ) saw us on the bottom table but (un)fortunately we had already played our announced opponents and the redraw saw us back on Table 1 facing Atticus 1 in the shapes of Messrs Redmond, Kee, Stancak and James. Their 4-0 win gave them the title. John was our best player with 2/5. The following evening Mike Barrett and Phil Fisher were facing opponents in the 1st round of the South Lakes Congress at Grange. Both lost and by the Sunday evening had won only one game each altho Mike managed two draws to Phil's one. There were few Mside participants but if as seemed likely when I left ex Formby member Carl Heald beat Widnes player Simon Woodcock in the last round he would take the Major section on his own, richly deserved as he had beaten the top seed in the first round, won his next two games and drawn in the fourth. I shall now take a break until late July when the match schedules etc for 2013-14 will be available.
Update at 31st May The competitive season ended last night when Rob Haseman beat Mike Barooah in the Challengers' final. This game took place at Woodvale Chess Club and I remind members that these premises at St John Stone Church Hall Sandbrook Rd Ainsdale are being used in the summer for social chess (with bar).Mike had had his success earlier in the month when winning outright the Minor Section at Rhyl with a score of 4.5/5. Joe was also taking part but has since been taken seriously ill. He has spent time in hospital but is now at home. Our thoughts and best wishes go to him, Teresa and Tony at this time. The social evening went well with 11 members having a meal at the Balti after drinks at the Cross House. This coming Tuesday we have our AGM which will start at 8-00pm at RAVENMEOLS. Next Thursday there is the Mside Team Lightning Competition at Prescots venue , Alder (Rd) Social Club. Formby will enter at least one team.
Update at 2nd May The Club Challengers finalists are now known. On Tuesday Mike Barooah beat Joe and Rob H beat Eddie on time when a piece up. The Merseyside AGM will be held on Wednesday 22nd May at the Aigburth Chess Club venue immediately next to St Michael's Station so easily accessible by train. We are entitled to 3 votes(1 per team) so MDB would like to have company at that meeting. The team lightning competition will be on Thursday 6th June at a venue to be announced. MDB and Mike Barooah would like 2 or 3 others to make up a Formby team. To celebrate the end of the season a social evening will take place on Friday 24th May starting at the Cross House between 7-30 and 8-00 and going on to the Balti at 9-00. Names for the meal to Paul Sutton please.
Update at 24thApril The final two competitive team matches of the season served to emphasise the narrowness of margins between success and failure. The 3rds played Waterloo and won convincingly by 5-1 with yet another win by John Grady to give him 9.5/11 for the team. Unfortunately on the previous evening Prescot had beaten Southport 2 and with equal points have pipped Formby 3 to the Division 4 title by 1.5 game points. Success is possibly a poisoned chalice as Prescot rather than Formby will therefore have to cope with two teams in Division 3 next season. On the same night Formby travelled to Chester 1 in the Wirral League needing to draw to stay in Division 1. The evening did not start well for the skipper as he gave away a piece and his game to an 11 year old who despite the Wirral Web site stats suggesting otherwise already outgrades him. Phil fought to put the score level but could not break down Dave Robertson's defence and when Dave Williams fell to a king and rook fork the team were doomed. Kevin was only a pawn down but it was unstoppable and Bob and His opponent agreed a draw when the team result was clear. Chester 1 therefore win the title and as prophesied the 1-4 defeat relegates Formby by reason of the two default game points obtained by Buckley-Mold against other opponents. It may well be that this is the appropriate time for Formby to call a halt to their long Wirral adventure. This is something that can be discussed at the Club AGM which will be held at the RAVENMEOLS CENTRE on TUESDAY 4TH JUNE. Next week will be the last chess meeting at Ravenmeols for the season and thereafter members and friends can play social chess on THURSDAYS at the Woodvale chess club based at the St John Stone Church Hall in Sandbrook Rd Ainsdale as kindly arranged by Joe Dilworth, returning to Ravenmeols on the last Tuesday in August. Members wanting more information re Woodvale or help with travel should contact Mike Barrett.
Update at 19th April The week started with the 1st team going to Atticus 2 to play their last game. Formby were back to full strength a more accurate description than that of 'very strong ' as quoted on the Atticus website this latter being very much comparative in nature. There is little to report on the actual games and again the Atticus site has some comments. Bob was disappointed with his loss but closer inspection shows his opponent to be a rapidly improving and enthusiastic player. The very cramped conditions were caused by two 8 board matches being played but at least it meant that the team found that with the Waterloo loss against Atticus 1 relegation was avoided. On Tuesday the Knotty Ash saga of Formby and Southport was settled and a report is on the relevant page. The approach of the Formby team to the situation is to be applauded and more than compensates for the defeat over the board. On the same evening the 440 team played Aigburth and won 3.5-0.5 with Richard Potts getting through time trouble to gain a win. The Club Championship Final was also played with Phil getting an early positional advantage over Duncan, going the exchange up and finally giving that up to leave himself with 4 unstoppable pawns at which point Duncan fell on his sword. Before their final match at Wallasey the 2nd team knew they were safe in Div 3 following a Hoylake defeat whilst Wallasey needed at least a draw. This was quite easily achieved with a 5--1 win. Mike Barooah's draw was hard earned whilst the skipper's was offered when the match result was settled. Following Alan W's late withdrawal because of a family bereavement, Richard Potts is thanked for standing in and he fought long and hard against an opponent with more than double his grade and experience. Next Tuesday the 3rds receive Waterloo 3 by which time they shoud know whether the title can be won with Prescot 2 having played the previous evening. Also on Tuesday the Wirral team will do their David v Goliath thing at Chester 1 but not expecting the same result. Joe has asked me to publicise the Woodvale AGM which will be held at St John's on Thursday 9th May at 8-00pm Update at 10th April The1st team knew that a match against Atticus 1 would be hard without the Haslingers and despite the opponents being similarly weakened so it proved with an absolute drubbing by 1--7 with only Kevin and Mike F drawing . I refer you to the Atticus site for more detail and the silver lining that Atticus 1 are still in with a chance of the title and will therefore be anxious to beat Waterloo twice in their remaining fixtures. I am also told that Atticus 3 beat Waterloo recently. JMH and GH were supporting Stewart in his seasonal debut in the last round of matches in the Bundesligue where he drew all his 3 games including with black v A Naiditsch the German No.1 graded 2705. On the following night Formby 3 still pressing for the Division 4 title played Southport 2. Wins by John G and Rob H were countered by defeats for BobG and skipper Paul so with a draw by Eddie all depended on MIke Barooah who was in severe time trouble but reduced his opponent to king only and mated him with seconds left. Formby therefore remain top but Prescot 2 can overtake them if winning their remaining matches. At the same time 2nd team players Mike B and Duncan played their club championship semi-final which Duncan won after an epic battle. He will play Phil in the final hopefully next Tuesday when the Knotty Ash semi final will also be replayed. The Formby 2nd team will play their last game next Thursday (18th)knowing that only a draw or win will make them safe as Hoylake 2 surprisingly made up some ground this week by beating Aigburth 3. The Wirral Team has also suffered without playing. Buckley Mold drew with title chasers Wallasey 1 (see 6th March report) so that unless we can hold Chester 1 to better than a 4-1 defeat we will be relegated possibly only by reason of 2 game points that Buckley have gained by default wins! Update at 3rd April Formby 2 received a Prescot 1 team that has progressed well during the latter part of the season and although not able to win the division recently beat EEC (despite what the Mside site shows). Formby were outgraded on every board but in these circumstances started well with Mike F on top board drawing with Kevin Sartain. However defeats for Joe and Alan put us behind. Mike Barooah and opponent had all but B and 1P still on the board after an hour, and 30 minutes later still seemed very wary of advancing pieces towards the enemy. The skipper was very surprised therefore a few minutes later to be told by Mike that he had won to give him three successive wins for the 2nd team. Unfortunately at this time the skipper who earlier had come from two pawns down to being the exchange up and then trapped his opponents king in the corner came a cropper . Needing only to swap his rook for bishop and leaving his opponent defenceless to passed pawns he made the one move that gave stalemate when any other move would have resulted in resignation. This left the team result dependent upon Duncan who had been two pawns up but needing to defend. Time pressures told and with Duncan having queened a pawn to counter attack his opponents time ran out A draw which Formby would have snatched at at the start of play was thus slightly disappointing .A win would have made the team safe in Div 3 The draw still leaves the team with a possibility of finishing bottom in a very tight relegation struggle. Update at 29th March There was only one league team match this week with the 3rds away to bottom team Wallasey D. With a material grading advantage it might be expected that top would beat bottom but the top three Wallasey players did well and only with wins by Rob H and John G was a draw achieved. This leaves Formby still top but with a possible challenge by Prescot and Waterloo with this latter team having several matches in hand and now having to play Formby in the rearranged last match of the season on 23rd April. The saga of the Knotty Ash cup continued and again Southport were the other club involved. After Southport 1 had conceded in the previous round it was their second team that Formby faced in the semi-final. There is some detail on the relevant page but the outcome is that the match will be replayed at Formby on 16th April. On Tuesday Phil Fisher beat Kevin in th main semi-final although Kevin reports that he was on top and about to mate Phil when his time expired. In the challengers Mike Barooah beat Richad Potts to reach the semi-final where he will play Joe. Update at 21st March The two vital matches both went Formby's way this week and give us some breathing space in our relegation battles. Formby 2 went to fellow strugglers Hoylake who on paper had the stronger team. After an early draw by Mike F on top board Mike B on bottom board had another good win. Joe's disappointing season continued and with draws by Duncan and Alan the team result depended upon the skipper. He had sacrificed a piece to get rid of a dangerous advanced pawn but himself had two connected pawns on 5th and 6th ranks. With his opponent's king out of the way taking an isolated pawn MDB won the piece back with the swapping off of rooks leaving his two unopposed pawns and his opponent's concession. Dave reports that 'Formby had what is probably our strongest team out for the match that may well decide the relegation place in the first division, and with Waterloo's usual top board missing on family duties we had a grading advantage on every board. Phil continued his fine recent form with a win in double-quick time, soon followed by Peter overpowering his opponent. Bob and Paul took steady draws, and when Gareth's opponent conceded, faced with a large material deficit, we led 4-1. But though Kevin had an extra bishop, his opponent's seventh rank pawn looked threatening, Mike H looked very weak on the white squares, and my only advantage was on the clock. So it was a relief to hear Kevin's draw offer accepted. Mike then lost, before my opponent slipped up in time trouble, and though I immediately let him straight back in, his time ran out. So a very welcome win puts us four points ahead of our opponents, though their three matches in hand mean that we are by no means safe yet.' On Monday Widnes 1 had drawn with Atticus 1 to emphasise Dave's last comment Update at 14th March Last weekend nine current members and honoury member Peter Willoughby entered the Blackpool Congress and a detailed report of at least their chess playing activities is on the relevant page below. Congratulations are due to Duncan and John G who by their strategic claiming of a half point bye and actual defeat respectively in the first round then came through to win quite handsome amounts of money in grading prizes. Rather than shattering them the concentrated chess playing seems to have had a good effect as on Tuesday Andre, Mike Barooah and Bob Greaves together with Richard Potts whitewashed an Atticus team in a 440 match away whilst at Formby Mike Barrett beat Alan W to get to the semi-final of the club championship when he will meet Duncan who , to misquote someone, playing all the right moves in the right order, had a sterling win over Gareth, As Mike H lost to Kevin Howard after miscalculating and losing a rook both of the 2011 finalists are out. Either 'Wigan' Mike or 'Milwall' Duncan may spring a surprise in the final against either Kevin or Phil. On Wednesday the two Mikes, Duncan and John together with Alan and Mike Fraser were again in action for the 2nds at Aigburth. An early draw for Duncan was followed by a very good win by Mike Fraser, employing all his old attacking flair against Dave Pearcey. There were draws by skipper Mike, and Alan who went charging into his opponent with an exchange sacrifice on f2 but was always comfortable with his position thereafter . On bottom board Mike B was up against junior Kane and after winning queen for rook and knight brought himself and team victory by forking rooks. John's opponent was clearly playing for personal pride and was the exchange up when John surprised him with what turned out to be a valid claim for a draw after the same position had been reached for a third time but not by repetition of moves (see Fide Laws of Chess Handbook E1.01 Article 9.2) and the match ended 4-2. With these latest wins last week and this for 1sts and 2nds respectively there is a little breathing space at the bottom of Divs 1and 3 but the matches next week against Waterloo and Hoylake 2 remain extremely important for each team's status
Update at 6th March Dave reports very happily that 'Newly-promoted Atticus 3 have had some good results this season, beating Aigburth among others, but we did beat them comprehensively in the first match (our only win). So we went into the return match outgraded, but not without hope. Bob had an early draw. By the time I went for a recce Phil was already easing to victory, a bishop up in the endgame, but Paul seemed to be in a bind, with Kevin a pawn down in a very messy position. Paul fought his way back, and a flurry of draws left us 3-2 ahead. To me, Kevin was still a pawn down in a messy position, though he assures me it was a sacrifice and the win was never in doubt - and so it was 4-2, with the top two boards to finish. Mike's little combination took him into an endgame with a positional advantage which he converted into a two pawn plus and another win. Leaving me the luxury of declining my opponent's draw offer, though I soon missed the winning line and had to settle for the half point, and a 5.5 - 2.5 victory to lift us away from the bottom of the league. Three wins, five draws, and no defeats!' P S (by MDB) Dave may have been well outgraded but the team overall were slightly ahead at 1211 v 1195 on Jan 13 figures.
On the previous evening Dave had had a personal success when the Wirral team played Wallasey 1 beating a 184 graded player. Unfortunately this was the only success and we lost 1-4 . Last night Buckley Mold lost to leave them on the bottom one place and 1/2 point below us. We will not be confident against Chester 1 (Carleton et al )in our last match so must rely on our very good friends in Wallasey 1 to do the necessary in their last match v Buckley.
Update at 28th February Formby 2continued their struggle for survival in Div 3 with a 3-3 draw against Skem 1 on Tuesday. An early loss by Joe in which both players were very rapidly into a K R and P ending was immediately followed by another rapid play win by Rob O who appeared to have made 50+ moves in half an hour.Mike F also went into a K and P ending but did not have the positional advantage of his opponent.Andre who had been called up late on the afternoon made it level at 2-2 and the skipper having put himself down to board 2 at long last played an ending as it should be, forcing pieces off to leave himself with unstoppable pawns on either flank. Duncan tried all he could to get the requisite draw but a pinned knight lost him the exchange and this disadvantage told. The following night the 3rds went to Aigburth 4 and had a very solid 4.5--1.5 win against their close rivals. Pete Brocklebank,Rob H and Mike Barooah won and there were draws for Eddie, Paul S and John G who remains unbeaten for the team and well placed in the fight for divisional player of the year. The 3rds remain top of Div 4and a win against Waterloo who have matches in hand would make them favourites for the title. Formby 2's fortunes are dependant upon their beating Prescot and Hoylake who have had recent successes and it may well be that F2 and F3 end the season swapping places. Phil is the first player into the club championship semi-final with a win against John G.