Update at 28th June This will be the last update of the season as the next entry will start the 2014-15 news and hopefully incorporate at least the opening fixtures for the club. Formby entered a team of four in the Mside lightning competition and we were very pleased to welcome James Clarke to join David, Mike Barooah and MDB for a very enjoyable evening at P&KA venue. Wins against Liverpool and Prescot 2 were countered by losses against a strong Atticus team, Prescot 1 and ultimate winners Waterloo who had IM Gary Quillan on top board and were captained by David Colbourne in his last Waterloo event before joining us for the new season.We ended up prior to a last round bye with 9/20 game points and each member scoring 2 or 2.5 Last night seven members met at the Grapes before going on to the Shantii Indian restaurant for a very leisurely but enjoyable meal.
Update at 10th June The AGM took place as planned on 3rd June and draft minutes of that meeting have been circulated to all members having e-mail facilities. One or two suggested minor amendments have been made to my original and the amended version will be made available to all members in the near future.The minutes contain relevant details of the Mside AGM held in May. The end of season social was postponed from 6th June and will now be held at the same venues of Grapes pub and Shantii Indian Restaurant on Friday 27th June. Names for the meal to Paul S please if you haven't already done so. MDB played in the South Lakes Congress last weekend and his report of the weekend is now on the congress page. A more concise report is also on the Atticus website newspage. We do agree that the congress was very enjoyable and well worth participation.
Update at 15th May Both finals have been played this week and the successful players are
Club Champion Mike Haslinger
Challengers Champion Rob Haseman
Congratulations to both players on their results
The Merseyside AGM is next Wednesday 21st May at Aigburth Club venue. David Williams and I are going and if anyone else wants to go and represent Formby please let me know. Paul S is organising an end of season social on Friday 6th June starting at the Grapes pub Formby at 7-30 -8-00 and on to the Shanti Indian restaurant (almost next door to the pub) at 9-00. Paul would like names of people intending to eat ,for booking purposes.
Update at 1st May On Monday the 2nds played at Prescot 1 against the team that with the win got first place in Div 3. There were no individual wins altho' Mike F accepted a draw when missing a move that would have left him a clear rook up and John G had the better position but with the match result settled. Duncan's place on board 1 means that he often plays players graded well above him as was Kevin Sartain. On Tuesday the 3rds finished their season with a clear win against Hoylake 3. Wins were by Alan, Andre and Bob G.
As the competitive team season has now finished my updates will not be so regular but I will report on specific items including he club championship, and the AGMs mentioned on 17th April.
Update at 26th April The only formal chess this week has been the playing of two club championship games . Kevin and Mike H drew so will have to replay to determine the Club Champion for 2013-14. In the Challengers' Eddy beat Joe on time in their 30 minute semi-final replay and will now play Rob H in the final. The last two team matches of the season will be played in the coming week, the 2nds on Monday and the 3rds on Tuesday. John G reports that Skem won their last match in the Warrington League so his Woodvale team finish 2nd in Div 3. Update at 17th April It appears from comments that the 3rd team match v Skem 2 was a typical end of season affair with neither side having anything to play for. Formby were helped to a 4-2 win by a default and wins by Rob and Eddy and a draw from Peter. Wildly fluctuating games by Andre and Alan should both have been won but ended with a loss and draw respectively. On the same night Mike H beat Gareth in the club championship semi-final but only after Gareth had had some advantage. Several club players have been assisting John Grady's Woodvale team in Div 3 of the Warrington League .In their last match of the season they beat Ormskirk C helped by wins from Mike Bh and MDB and a draw from Peter B.2nd place is now the minimum and if Skem fail to win their last match Woodvale will take the title. Woodvale via the kind efforts of Joe Dilworth have again offered Formby their facilities on Thursdays for chess playing (and the bar !)in the summer when Ravenmeols is not booked between May and the last week in August. The exception is Tuesday 3rd June when the Formby AGM will be held at Ravenmeols at 8-00 pm. The Merseyside AGM is taking place at AIgburth Chess Club on Wednesday 21st May.
Update at 9th April The 2nds have failed in their bid to avoid bottom place in Div 3 after a valiant effort only produced a draw against Waterloo 2. Very early on Duncan's disappointing season continued when he was obliged to give up a rook to avoid mate. He soldiered on during which time Mike F, MDB, and John agreed draws with none being able to get a worthwhile advantage. Alan had a two pawn advantage going into the end game but an error cost him a piece and he also was forced to concede a draw. Duncan finally fell on his sword and this left Mike Bh whose attack succeeded but a team draw was not quite good enough. Meanwhile Kevin H got to the Club C'ship final with a win over Phil and Rob H also got to the Challengers' Final by beating Andre. His opponent is not yet known after a draw between Joe and Eddy. Stewart was in action in the Bundeslega in an extended programme involving three games.Several teams b(r)ought out the big guns with Aronian, Shirov Adams and Karpov playing. Stewart's team Trier seemed a little weaker than previously with his playing on board 2 and losing all three games to other GMs, two of whom were graded considerably higher than he. The club's involvement in the Wirral League has finished in an unsatisfactory and anti-climactic fashion.With Dave, Bob and Kevin unavailable on the due date, the match requiring a round trip of 100 miles and nothing hinging on the result MDB bit the bullet and informed opposition and League of the teams default of the match. Thus ends over 20 years of good chess and social interaction but an awful lot of car travel. Update at 4th April 2014 Two of thethree team results this week had categoric consequences. On Tuesday the 1sts received top of the table Atticus 2 who were unfortunately without their usual board 2 but still well outgraded a Formby team missing Bob Platt. After a draw from Kevin F1 went behind with a loss by Phil but equalised with a win by Gareth. Opposition skipper Steve Burge may have been hasty when, altho' short of time but three pawns up, he offerered a draw to MDB. Perhaps he thought that Mike could hang on with some checks against an open king. Well fought draws by Paul J, skipper Dave and late substitute John G left the score 3.5--3.5 and then Mike H turned theory into practice with a forced draw with a well placed K against K and RP. This draw guarantees that Atticus 3 will finish bottom but also gives Widnes a chance to overtake Atticus 2 for the title. On Wednesday the 3rds blew their slight chance of the Division 4 title when crashing 1--4 against Aigburth 4 with a series of errors and only Peter B and Paul S gaining draws. On Monday the 2nds had gone to Prescot 2 needing a win to escape from the bottom of Division 3. However results posted at the same time had gone against them. A 4.5--1.5 loss with only a win by the skipper and a draw by MIke Bh agreed when the team result was known leaves them on the bottom of the table and needing to win both remaining matches to stand a chance of staying up. Coincidentally both games will be against their two closest rivals for the drop.
Update at 27th March David reports on a very good result for the 1sts which with the latest defeat of Atticus 3 all but guarantees 1st Division chess next season. Only an 8-0 victory for the bottom team in their last match would spoil things. '' We travelled to Aigburth knowing that a point would ensure another year in Division 1. Despite Bob's late withdrawal we had a strong team, with a welcome appearance by Peter Brocklebank. Kevin and Duncan both drew before things began to unravel. Phil seemed to be always losing, I played two moves the wrong way round while consolidating the win of a pawn, Gareth suddenly shipped a lot of pawns, and we were 4-1 down. However Mike H, a pawn up from the opening was winning an exchange, and Peter, with rook and three pawns against rook, had only to avoid stalemating his opponent. And so it was 4-3, and we all gathered around Paul. His attack had won him two pieces, though with only seconds left it seemed that a mating attack was the only way. A plaintive question to his captain left him in no doubt that only a win would do, but when he exchanged queens and lost one of his pieces that seemed unlikely. But at that moment his opponent, with ten minutes left, stopped recording moves and began to play at breakneck speed. And Paul was able to take all his pieces and, with the laws of gravity ceasing to apply to the flag on his clock, mate him with king and rook. So, with two points more than Atticus 3, a better goal difference, and only one game to play, a happy band headed for the train.'' The previous night Mike H's win against Mike Bh had put him in the main Semi Final to play Gareth whilst Kevin beat Duncan in their replay and now faces Phil in the other. Update at 19th March The 2nds continue cling to their place in Div 3 after a hard fought draw at home against leaders Wallasey C. Mike F was as usual the first to finish and having applied a great deal of pressure came out of the exchanges a piece and pawn up to win. Unfortunately Duncan came up against a very strong Div 3 player and with Alan drawing the match remained level. Once out of the opening MDB was always on top with the exchange up and about to win queen for rook when his opponent resigned and John immediately agreed a draw to give at least a team draw leaving the onus for the team victory on Mike Bh who was just not able to hold on in the face of a pawn majority. The 440 team were whitewashed by a strong Fazackerly side in their final match but all agreed on the benefit from playing competitive chess.
The semi-finalists in the Club Challengers are now known. Joe and Rob H both had good wins with black against Alan W and John G respectively whilst Dave McKee ran out of time in an equal position against Eddy. The fourth contender is Andre who beat Richard.
Update at 13th March The Blackpool Congress was a great success socially and with a reasonable degree of success over the board. A detailed schedule of results and narrative comment is now on the Congress page below. Formby 1 and Atticus 3 continued neck and neck in Cheltenham week both losing heavily and therefore staying in the same positions. . There are now only 2 matches each left and the final holder of the Lanterne Rouge (see Tour de France ) may well be dependant upon how keen other teams are to challenge for the championship or top three places. Formby 2 did not play in the week but Jim Moran's updating of the Division 3 stats does not suggest a positive outcome to the season. A helping hand for the club may come from the 3rd team who maintained their challenge for the Division 4 title with a 4-2 win against Hoylake 2 aided by wins from Alan W and Bob G. It may yet turn out that 2nds and 3rds change places for the next season and the club retain a Division 3 presence. Update at 7th March Relegation rivals Formby 1 and Atticus 3 were able to keep a close watch on each other last Monday when both played at Atticus.Again heavily outgraded on the top boards F1 were thankful to 2nd team players for game points with Mike F getting a quick win and matched by John Grady. Unfortunately the only other positive was a draw by Bob P with the top five all losing. However we sneaked a game point advantage when our rivals lost more heavily. Full details of both matches are again on the Atticus web site. The following night Formby 3 received an Atticus 5 team yet to gain a point in Div 4 and with an opening default point went on to win by 4.5 --1.5 with wins by Rob H and Paul S. Jeremy Hawthorne of Atticus will be sick of the sight of Formby as in the last month he has played against different Formby players in three matches and lost each time. Last night Formby's Wirral team bade farewell to their Wallasey hosts with their last 'home' game against runaway leaders Chester A. A 1--4 defeat means that we shall finish bottom of Division 1 but we at least did slightly better than the season average of matches against that team, outgrading us by 199 points, helped by draws from David and Phil. Two Club championship games were played on Tuesday. Gareth gradually ground down MDB whilst Kevin H and Duncan will have to play again after a draw in which a knight v 2 pawns difference was insufficient to force a win for either. Next week'supdate should include not only the next instalment of the F1 v A3 saga but also a detailed report of the Blackpool Congress in which Formby will be well represented. Update at 27th February To the extentthata Formby 1st team outgraded by 200 points would not have expected to beat title challengers Aigburth 1 the 1--7 defeat was not a surprise. Draws by Gareth and Phil were the only 'successes' but again the team result had been matched earlier in the week by Atticus 3 so we stay off the bottom. The previous night the Knotty Ash Cup team had been severely handicapped by the non arrival of its intended board 1. Rob Haseman stepped in to a rapidly rearranged team. An early win by MDB augured well but that was the only victory. Rob lost soon after and Andre's winning streak came to an end against an opponent whose relatively low grade belies his tenacity over the board. A draw by John G meant that only by Mike Barooah winning on top board could the match be won and he was behind when his opponent offered the draw knowing that this was sufficient for a team win. The knockout stage of the club championship began with Phil tying Paul J up including a 'Carberry bishop' which even when sacrificed did not help Paul to break out.
Update at 23rd February Followinga three day break in a very wet Keswick I can provide a few supporting comments to the week's statistics previously entered. On Tuesday the 1st team played the current highest placed Atticus team the 2nds.What was already a much higher graded team was strengthened when Skipper Steve dropped himself to allow a stronger player in. Paul J therefore faced a disadvantage of 30 rather than 10 points but rose to the occasion brilliantly to get his best result of the season.Unfortunately Phil had already lost by then, whilst Kevin (-40)had drawn. Bob then drew and time scrambles were the major factor in three of the other games. MDB had to accept a draw altho 3 pawns up but with no hope of winning within the limit whilst Gareth lost and David won on the clock. In the last game Mike H was not able to do anything and the team thus went down by the narrowest of margins. Atticus' report of the match is on their website. On the same night our 440 team were also playing Atticus and with a very good and speedy win by Andre following a default point the team ended up victors by 3-1. On Wednesday Andre was a late substitute for the 2nds at Aigburth and continued his recent good form with a win on bottom board. On top board Mike F battled away against veteran Dave Pearcey but could just not force a win. The skippers attack ran out of steam as did John Grady and with Alan drawing the team result depended upon Mike Barooah up against an unknown ,ungraded quality. After an extended struggle Mike won to give the team a draw and a small chink of light for 3rd division survival remains visible.
Update at 12th February The two team matches this week both ended in defeat to teams with material grade advantage. On Monday the 3rds visited Southport 2 where losses on the top three boards basically 'did for them' A good win by Andre and draws by Bob G and skipper Paul S were not sufficient to avoid the team's promotion hopes being somewhat dented by a 2--4 result. The following night Formby 1 received Widnes who now have only one team in the Merseyside league and whose make up can differ greatly from match to match but always with strength in depth. At least David was not faced by a 200+ player on top board and drew and similar results by Phil, Kevin, Bob P and Mike Barooah all giving away approx 20 grading points were satisfactory in themselves. However the compensation of Gareth's ultimate win was countered by defeats for Mike H and Paul J and the team went down by the narrowest of margins. The week's silver lining was that bottom team Atticus 3 had also lost on Monday. At the weekend several club members had played in the Frodsham congress to good effect and a report is now on the relevant web page. The web also now has the KO draw for the Club Championships albeit day later than intended.
Please note that through the generosity of a local Charity there is now a defibrillator hanging on the wall in the classroom for use in any relevant emergency. Detailed instructions are with it and should remain so.
Update at 6th February The group stage of the Club Championship was concluded this week with a win by Kevin H over Alan and a very creditable draw by Eddie against Mike H. The K/O draw has been circulated to members on E-mail and will appear on the web site and notice board by next Tuesday. The Wirral team's final season unfortunately will most likely end with a bottom place after defeat by their closest fellow strugglers. We at least arrived at Mold after a 90 minute journey punctuated by traffic accidents detours and jams and an opening draw by driver John outgraded by almost thirty points was welcome. It was followed by a draw by Bob but as regularly has occured this season the skipper was unable to help and lost. However a rare win by David against his bete noir Andrew Barber put the pressure on Phil. In a pawn ending his were less well placed and he paid the price. With the last two matches being against unbeaten league leaders Chester 1 and third placed Penyffordd the necessary two wins are very unlikely. It is now reported that the initial disappointment of the Haslinges results in Seville referred to in an earlier news item had a silver lining in that Gareth's results gave him a grading section success. Congratulations to him. PS a late submission from Bob G has reported the 440 team win at Atticus helped by wins from the skipper and Andre.
Update at 31st January It was a busy but generally successful week for Formby chess players and it might have been better but for a sting in the tail. On Monday the 1sts played relegation rivals Atticus 3 away and devoid of Haslingers and Paul J. Yet again the substitutes from the 2nds did their bit with draws by the three Mikes and a good win by Duncan. A win by Kevin was countered by a defeat on top board of David by Luke in a very hairy game left the team dependant on Bob's game but all his efforts came to nought when he ran out of time to give a team draw and leave the team bottom but one. A more detailed report is on the Atticus Website On Tuesday both 2nds and 3rds played . The 2nds well and truly on the bottom of Div 3 after their defeat against Prescot 1 received high flying Skem and basically tore into them. Wins by John G and another good one by Duncan set them up and draws by Skipper MDB and season team debutant Joe ensured at least a team draw. A win by Mike F was sufficient. The final success by Mike Barooah who withstood some pressure from a mobile knight in a long drawn out game gave the team an overwhelming victory and the impetus to keep doing it. The 3rds were away against bottom club Atticus 5. Wins by Eddie, Bob and Paul S and draws by Alan and Rob gave a win that keeps the challenge going for the division 4 title. On Thursday the Wirral team with a 0/4 record in their final season played Wallasey 1 who outgraded us at Jan 2014 by 716-826 The reduced gradings reflected Formby players' general lack of form this season so the resulting draw was very welcome if surprising. However it could have been much better as after David's win and 3 draws the skipper needed only to draw for a team victory and he held the better attacking position for some time. He was able to win a piece but chose the wrong combination with which to capture it and was forced to return it a few moves later. The alternative would have lost a pawn but kept the piece advantage whilst getting rid of the queens. To cap it all he then allowed a back row mate but he was lost anyway by that time. The crunch match therefore remains that against Buckley-Mold next week
Update at 24th January This was another team match free week but four are due to be played next week. The group stages of the Club C'ship are all but concluded with five of the eight players for the main K/O now known. The outstanding game recently played was the win by Richard against Rob H. The Haslingers' foray to the Seville congress ended with some disappointment. Stewart lost in his last round to the 1st seed and ultimate winner, ending equal 11th (bc 13 ) with 6.5/9 whilst Gareth had 6/9 and was equal 21st (bc 26) and Mike with 4.5/9 ended equal 95th (bc 104) all from a total entry of over 200.
Update at 17th January It has been a quiet week in the club with no team matches played. Any club championship games played will be reported on next week. On Tuesday evening MDB attended a M'side Assn committee meeting where the main topic of discussion was Junior Chess. M'side will be hosting the Regional Final of the English Primary schools championship, an all day event, being held at Broadgreen International School on Saturday 15th March. Volunteers from all Association clubs are requested as is the loan of equipment and I am sending a separate e-mail on this matter for members' early and serious consideration. An allied item to be considered re junior players in the M'side League is the interaction of such players with their reduced playing time and home fixtures and the operation of Division 5 and 440 divisions. Away from Formby the Haslinger family are in Seville where Stewart is defending his title in the Congress. After 7 of the 9 rounds Stewart, seeded 2nd is equal first (5th on countback) with 6/7 whilst Gareth, seeded 51st is equal 15th (25) with 5/7 and Mike seeded 133rd is equal 95th (102) with 3.5/7. All 3 won in the 7th so hopefully will be confident in the final rounds the reeport on which will appear next week
Update at 9th January 2014 Formby 2 welcomed in the New Year receiving Prescot 1 and giving them a belated Christmas present. The skipper was lost within the first 15 minutes and on top board Kevin Sartain was too wily and experienced not to take full advantage of Duncan's unsound sacrifice and play which left him two pieces down. The match was lost with John and Eddie's defeats followed by that of Mike Barooah so that only Alan's draw prevented a whitewash. On the previous night Formby 3 had played at Skem 2 and altho bolstered by wins from Peter B and Rob H losses by Eddie and Alan equalised the score and draws by Andre and Paul S left the team result the same. The 440 team received Aigburth and an early win from a positive opening also used the previous night by Rob was unfortunately followed by losses from Andre ,Richard and finally, on time, after a long struggle by skipper Bob Greaves. Mike and Gareth H caught up on their club championship schedule with wins against Paul J and Joe D respectively. Joe was welcomed back by everyone but Gareth reached a K and P endgame which was always going to go his way. Mike got the exchange up and his rook was a lot more mobile than Paul's bishop allowing Mike to break through with a passed pawn and supporting king to mate his opponent.
Update at 18th December David Williams reports on the falling to earth of the 1st team. ''After last week's crushing victory, we returned to the more usual "outgraded on all boards" scenario, and a crushing defeat. Kevin and Mike Barooah were first to lose. My game quickly turned wild, and I was somewhat disconcerted to learn from my opponent afterwards that he had lured me into a book variation. The fact that he took all but five minutes of his time to reach move 20 suggested that he didn't know it much better than me, but my one glaring oversight meant an early loss. Phil and his opponent could probably have agreed a draw much earlier than they did, but Mike H had the worst of it for the whole game, and finally succumbed, meaning the match was lost. At that stage a respectable scoreline was still a possibility, with a couple of wins in prospect. However Paul's position deteriorated very quickly, Gareth spurned a draw when two clear pawns up but lost on time, and Bob and his opponent, after a fluctuating game, called it quits with both flags hanging.'' Mike Haslinger reports on two club championship games played last night ''I beat Andre and Gareth beat Duncan. Both of us emerged from complications with an extra piece, and both of us found it a not as easy to convert to a win in the subsequent play than one might generally expect. In my case, it was because I suddenly found nearly all my pieces uncoordinated, because they had been well organised to gain an edge which resulted in winning the piece, but were totally ill placed for further play. As Andre pointed out, with a piece advantage, I could afford to lose a few tempi to get re-organised, and this I succeeded in doing after a while. In Gareth's case, he had a rare opportunity to escape from a triple fork by castling in a position in which the R castling was under attack. In the B and K v K endgame with P's, it was more difficult to convert than one might expect, but eventually zugzwang provided the route to success.'' Meantime Dave Mck and I had a very enjoyable ladder 3 (10min + 30 secs per move) game which I eventually won and I recommend this format as a very good way of passing an hour and sharpening ones skills Finally I wish all members and friends a very Happy Christmas and prosperous chess playing New Year. The Club will NOT be open on either 24 or 31 December but the 3rds have an away match on 6th January and the 2nds a home match on 7th Jan. There is also a 440 home match on that night
Update at 12th December There was an expectation of a tense battle when Atticus 3 arrived to play the 1st team as neither side had scored a point so far.We had a grading advantage but have found previously that this may not matter against this particular club who have a reputation involving (disguised) rabbits and hats. however the evening started well with a win for Gareth against the Atticus skipper followed by a captain's victory by David. A welcome first win by Bob and a draw by Kevin kept us well ahead so that when MDB on bottom board refuted an unsound bishop sacrifice for his first win the match was won. Another first win was gained by Paul J whose opponent gave away a rook whilst Mike H drew and after a protracted struggle Phil also gained his first win of the season. A 7-1 team win is a rare if not unique experience for Formby in the First Division and hopefully a sign of things to come starting at Widnes next Monday. A positive factor is the above average results by second team players when called on for the bottom boards. A report and full details are also on the Atticus web site On the same night Formby 3 received Southport 2 but despite an early win by Alan W and another by Dave McK there were losses on the other four boards. I hope this is a temporary stumble in the fight for promotion from Division 4. It was good to hear that Joe had re-entered the competitive chess ring with a club championship game v John G albeit that he lost. We look forward to his participation in team matches in 2014.
Update at 5th December first for the positive- members are reminded that the club bowling and curry evening is on Saturday 14th December starting at 7-00 pm at Ocean Plaza Bowls and going on to the Indian on Eastbank St at 9-00. Names and any queries to Paul Sutton please at 07775 878 105 or 01704 224642. There were two team matches this week both ending in defeat and both leaving the teams on the bottom of their division. David reports on the 1sts ''We started well enough, with a draw from Bob and a controlled win from Duncan. Mike's game on the board next to me looked much more interesting than mine, as he sacrificed a bishop very early. Sadly, though he retained the initiative for a very long time, he never got his bishop back. I managed to get to near-equality when my opponent refused a sacrifice that turned out to be completely bogus, but then went astray. And with Phil and Paul also losing, the match was lost as well. The remaining two games went to time scrambles, and both were wins for us. Gareth's opponent conceded that a queen and bishop would not need 50 seconds to mate his bare king, and Kevin's offer of a draw while a queen down was refused, rather unwisely, given that he had a more important advantage of ten seconds left to his opponents two. So overall, some encouragement but not perhaps as close as the score suggests.'' There is also a detailed schedule and report on the Atticus website The 2nds went to Waterloo without Duncan but with Peter B taking his place but also missing John G. After only 30 minutes the skipper was told that draws had been agreed on the top two boards whilst he could see no way forward when offered a draw after an hour's play. The bottom three boards were fighting hard but after another hour Alan W found himself out manoeuvred in a K and P end game and Bob G facing a rook defended pawn on the 7th rank allowed a rook check that cost him his own rook and the game. Mike B and his opponent both had attacking chances after his opponents bishop sacrifice but ultimately with a very good defensive strategy Mike won, unfortunately when the match itself had been lost. Two games in the club championship ended with a win for Alan W over Bob G and a draw between Rob H and Dave McK.
Update at 28th November Our Wirral team met a Chester side for the second time in a week when receiving Chester B. We did a little better gaining draws by Phil and Bob but ending losers by 1--4 and are firmly rooted at the bottom of division 1 after losing all 4 matches (half the season's quota) to date. The following night Formby 3 received Aigburth 4 in M'side Div 4 and aided by wins by Peter B on top board and Dave Mckee on bottom plus draws from Eddie, Rob and Paul S won the match 3.5--2.5. Only Alan W was a loser on the night but will be looking for an improvement with the 2nd team next Wednesday. The one club c'ship game played ended in a win for Duncan against John G. Update at 22nd November On Tuesday the 2nds received Prescot 2 a team that skipper MDB thought would give his team a good opportunity of a first win. It was not to be as John G was completely lost within 30 minutes and 15 moves. Draws by Mike F ,MDB and Dave McK kept our hopes alive. Mike B was attacking hard but had sacrificed a piece to do so , so when he then gave a rook away he resigned. Duncan was fighting hard on top board but could not force a win so agreed a draw and the match finished 2--4. Formby's last season in the Wirral league was always going to be a struggle and Chester's third string overwhelmed them with only David's draw preventing a whitewash. Next Monday we move up to face Chester's second team. Two games were played in the club championship this week. With his new found wealth (see congress page) and confidence Bob G went on the attack against a very steady Kevin H and caused him some concern. However a rook sacrifice altho' appearing for some time to give a strong attack against an open king ultimately failed and when Kevin forced the exchange of queens the game was lost for Bob. In the other game Eddie and Paul J fought an attacking duel which ended up all square. Update at 14th November David's report is appended. There were late substitutions following a close family bereavement for Mike and Gareth and our sympathy is extended to the Haslinger family 'A match that began with four draws with black on the odd-numbered boards. However things were not so good for the four whites. Mike B, a rook down, managed to bamboozle his opponent into a draw offer, gratefully accepted. With Phil and Bob up against it, a possible mating attack from Duncan appeared to be only a consolation, and even that was denied to us when his opponent adroitly sidestepped it. There was a late twist, when Bob completely turned the tables, but with the match lost he agreed a draw. David' Aigburth's perspective on the match is on their website! Last weekend three members played in the Preston congress and Eddy's (unexpurgated) report has been added on the congress page. Joe Dilworth was intending to go also but didn't make it. On Tuesday Mike Barooah played Dave Mckee in the club Ch'ship and found himself two pieces down. However he had a strong attack with queen and two rooks and forced errors from his opponent whose lack of recent chess showed. However Dave is a player who will be a force within the club as he clears his rustiness P S at 15th My comment on Dave was prescient as I have just received 440 result for match v Waterloo which was drawn 2--2 with Dave beating veteran Jim Moran
Update at 8th November Skipper David Williams reports on last night's match ; 'With Peter Brocklebank making a welcome appearance we travelled to our second home at Wallasey with our top eight grade-wise. A foray barely out of the opening revealed half a dozen promising positions at first glance. A second glance clarified that three of them were at the expense of being a piece down - an inauspicious start. With these three duly translating into losses we were quickly up against it. Gareth made a steady draw, but Mike's opponent developed strong pressure out of what looked to me a fairly level position to win material. With Bob's early promise not materialising, a victory for Peter and a last-gasp win for me were nowhere near enough.' On Tuesday Phil had completed his Club C'ship group stage with a win against Richard Potts so achieving a 100% record whilst Rob H and mike Barooah drew. Andre beat Bob Greaves in a ladder 1 game and MDB and Eddie drew in the first Ladder 3 game with confirmation that the latest instructions work for operating the digital clocks for ladder games. Update at 2nd November Mike H reports an error in my 26th October entry in that he started at No. 48 not 28. His results gave him a rating prize in his particular section. Update at 31st October David writes on the match whose full details are on the league K/O page 'The John Ripley Cup has not been Formby's forte. And having been thumped by Aigburth 1 in the league, a match against Aigburth 2 might have seemed easier, but we were still outgraded on every board. Mike H began with a very early draw, and Mike F followed suit before I had stirred from my chair. My own game fluctuated, with my knight and bishop facing a rook and a variety of pawns in threatening positions. My opponent refused a draw offer, but after that I managed to eliminate his threats and launch a pawn of my own, and was winning before he blundered his rook. When Mike Barooah managed to convert his considerable material advantage we led 3-1.
The vagaries of the tie-break system meant that we still needed half a point. Phil had a promising position at one stage (or so Mike H told me), but by this time he was succumbing to a massive attack, which left Gareth, short of time and a pawn down in a queen and pawn ending. However he played quickly and accurately and his opponent could make no progress, and in the end conceded the draw we needed for a 3.5-2.5 victory.' There were three Championship games played on Tuesday. Alan W with black swapped his queen for two rooks and a pawn against MDB and had the better of it until he allowed the queen to penetrate the 7th rank and in trying to save a rook Alan was mated. Dave Mckee with black went the exchange up against Richard and his rook was able to hoover up pawns and create a mating position. Eddie with white defended stoutly against Andre and was so engrossed that at one stage he triumphantly captured his own piece. He was however worn down by Andre who a little earlier had missed an opportunity to win queen for rook. Update at 26th October The Haslinger family finished their 9 round Unive congress today. In the Open section Stewart was 4th with 6.5 points drawing in the last round against the ultimate winner . In this game of 70+ moves he had the better of the draw but could not convert his R and 2 pawn to R end game advantage into a win. In Amateur section 1 Gareth scored 5 points and ended 19th having started as 1st seed. However I understand that his ELO grade deciding this was somewhat generous. Mike also finished with 5 points and thus advanced from his opening 28th place. His play was clearly positive as he had 4 wins to 3 losses and only 2 draws. Update at 25th October Formby's 440 team is intended to give the weaker and/or new players a competitive game of chess. It is clear that they will struggle against teams who put out as strong a team as possible and so it proved against Prescot on Tuesday when they lost 1--3. Dave Mckees win was a very good start for him and the club. It is ironic that after all Formby's good natured chivying to Wallasey to obtain and use digital clocks the Wirral match v Wallasey 2 was decided on time control failures in this 35 in 75 and 15 minutes to finish format still used in the Wirral league. Kevin's draw had been followed by Phil's loss and David's draw leaving the two bottom boards in play. Bob was attacking Ed who was behind on time whilst Mike was defending stoutly v Chris and neutralising attacks by clearing pieces off the board. However the intermediate time control and subsequent allegro detail on the clocks appeared to confuse both Ed and Mike. Ed was losing when his time ran out but when Mike's immediately did likewise he had a clear draw and was just confused expecting a further 15 minutes. In the heat of the battle and with no idea of the actual time in the evening he had not realised that the extra 15 minutes had already been put on the clock and elapsed! On the matter of digital clocks it is not clear that the current advice on the ladder 2 and 3 settings is correct and this will be revisited. One club championship game was played this week when Phil completely bamboozled Rob H with his opening and came out of it a piece and two pawns up. It was then relatively easy for Phil to make this advantage tell. Update at 18th October The captain reports : ''A full-strength Formby team would struggle against champions Aigburth 1, and this Formby team was missing the Haslingers. We did at least surmount the first problem, which was that none of the early arrivals had ever set a digital clock before, and we began with one point when the visitors turned up with only seven players. Disappointing for Mike Barooah, who was left without a game. After that most of the rest of us were put to the sword in short order, with the honourable exceptions of Bob and Duncan, who both appeared to have the better of their drawn games. While we might not have expected to get anything from this match, a 6-1 margin in games actually played has to go down as a below-par performance.''
Hopefully the first problem has been solved with the issue to members of e-mail advice on the setting of digital clocks. The actual chess playing problem may take a little longer to solve! insert at 19th Oct ( The Haslingers including Stewart are playing in Holland. Full details including live coverage of Stewart's games can be accessed via www.univechess.nl. Stewart drew his first game in the Open. Mike lost in the Amateur 1 whist Gareth who is seeded 1 in that section won.) Paul S has circulated members with the Christmas offer of a Bowling and Curry evening on Saturday 14th December. Bowling of 2 games at Ocean Plaza will start at 7-00pm at a cost of £8-90 to be followed at 9-00 by a meal at Kasturi Eastbank St ( last year's venue)-Names to Paul please. The 1st team match at Widnes has been provisionally re-arranged to MONDAY 16th December. Those team members taking up the offer in the previous paragraph may at least play with fire in their bellies! Update at 11th October The 3rd team played Hoylake 2 at home on Tuesday and after a draw by Andre went ahead with wins by Alan and Peter but a loss by the skipper against a player he had beaten a fortnight earlier. A team win was gained with Eddie winning altho' Rob lost. On Thursday the 2nd team went to Wallasey C and were given a good start by a welcome win by skipper MDB. A draw by Duncan however was followed by a loss by Mike Fraser who is having a frustrating start to the season.Mike Barooah drew leaving John and Rob to fight for the points. Although equal in material the actual position of John's pieces meant he was effectively two pieces down and this told against a strong attack to force John's first loss for several months. Rob was fighting hard in an end game with a two pawn deficit but whilst his opponent was stuck and could not take advantage neither could Rob so a draw was agreed which gave Wallasey a narrow win. Club championship matches on Tuesday gave expected wins for Phil and Kevin but John continued his unbeaten run (see above ) with a draw against Gareth in a game where either could have benefited from opposition errors. Duncan has played two Ladder 1 games recently beating Andre but losing to Mike H Update at 4th October The Wirral team in their last season went to Hoylake on Tuesday and did slightly better than the corresponding match last season when losing 1.5--3.5. it was the first competitive team game for the 4 members of Formby's Mside 1st team.David W began well with a draw against Dave Tebb and after MDB had drawn Phil Fisher also agreed a draw in a game in which both players had imminent mating threats. Kevin struggled with Q B and 2p v Qand 6p but when the queens were exchanged the fact that the pawn advantage was on both wings did for him. Bob had lost piece for 2 pawns when forked and couldn't get back into the game. As I was not at the club any club cship games played will be reported on next week. Update at 27th September There were three team matches this week but unfortunately without any win. However there were some encouraging features. On Monday Bob Greaves led the 440 team against Prescot with a good personal win Richard lost and Mike Barrett could only draw. Eddie then lost against a player with estimated grade of 80 which would have been a shock . Post match research showed that whilst the opponent had not been graded for several years he had been 142 in 1996. OnTuesday Aigburth were again the visitors with their third team up against Formby 2. At the start of play MDB would have taken a team draw when faced with Dave Pearcey et al but after going 2.5-.5 ahead it was ultimately a little disappointing. Wins on bottom boards by John G (again) and Alan W were contra'd by losses on the top two with Mike F having looked in a better position for a while. When the skipper agreed a draw with veteran Frank Barker the match depended upon Mike Barooah who had both material and time advantage against a wily Will Cook but lost both in the final stages and a draw was agreed. Last night the Thirds went to Hoylake and there was another win by Bob G and by skipper Paul S which will give them both confidence.However losses by Alan and Andre and a draw by Eddie left the match shared. Update at 18th September Despite having their strongest team out Formby 2 were slightly weaker than Skem 1. Maybe it was rustiness but a 1.5--4.5 defeat suggests that they might again struggle in Div 3 this season. The first three games to finish were the top 3 and all lost. with Eddie losing on bottom board it was left to Mike Barooah with a draw and John G with a win to salvage a little pride. The following night five of the six (Duncan being illegible by grading ) played in the Knotty Ash cup against an enthusiastic but much weaker second team from Aigburth. After a draw on top board by Mike F wins by the other two Mikes and a draw by Eddie gave us the win before another win by John G gave us a 4-1 team win. Update at 11th September For the few members who found chess more interesting than football there were two club championship games played last night. Mike Barrett capitalised on one error by Bob Greaves whilst reigning champion Phil Fisher's greater experience finally told in a very hard struggle against new member Dave Mckee. Next Monday the 2nds play their rearranged match at Skelmersdale and the Knotty Ash Cup campaign starts the following night. At 4th September 2013 Welcome to the start of a new season when hopes are high and enthusiasm has not been dampened by experience. Last week Phil hosted our reintroduction to competitive chess with our annual President's tournament won by Gareth. Full schedules of all league matches and club competitions are now on the noticeboard and on the relevant pages of this website. Unfortunately there is a frustrating start to the league season with the postponement of 1st 2nd and 3rd team matches and the withdrawal from the competition of the 440 team first opponents. Members are asked to check on their due games in the club championship and this season two new limited time ladder competitions have been introduced by Mike H for which digital clock usage is required. Full details of the required settings will be publicised when Mike and I have worked them out ourselves. My intention is to publish weekly updates of club news and results. Will team captains please copy me their e-mail submissions of results to divisional controllers and if individual members with any interesting chess related news can let me know this can also be published.