Update at 27th April All three main teams have been in action in their final matches of the season and all had very satisfactory results. On Monday the 2nds played their rearranged match v Fazakerley at a very cosy Skem venue as Skem were also playing a rearranged match in the same division.This had clearly caused some last minute availability problems as Eddy had no opponent so we were 1-0 immediately in a match we had to win to avoid relegation. MDB was then very pleased with his Q sacrifice for R, N and B plus attack. When his opponent went pawn grabbing with his queen hich put it out of play and gave a rook up for bishop MDB was able to force a mating attack. At this time Dave McK was a rook up so John G obtained a draw in a rook and pawn ending. Paul J was always likely to struggle against Stephen Melia and so it proved but Dave then won for a winning team score enabling Mike Bh and Melia senior to agree a draw. This result will keep us in Div 3. On Tuesdaythe 1sts received an Atticus 3 team also needing to win to avoid relegation and the result whils a win was much closer than anticipated by grading difference. Jim Wiseman's comprehensive report appears on the Atticus website and Dave's is below ''The final game of the season, against an Atticus side with rather more to play for than us. Luke Boumphrey and I had a very eventful game. Firstly a couple of nice moves from him had me on the brink of resignation. I found an unexpected pawn move on the other side of the board that confused things a little. He then declined to capture any one of three pieces en prise and we came down to a level ending to my relief. (Until I got home and Fritz told me this was the main line and I would have won if I'd played it right.) Luke then outplayed me, reached a completely won position which he misplayed to leave me a great chance to draw, which I in turn missed. For anyone interested in the other games, which I had very little chance to see being otherwise occupied, I refer you to Jim Wiseman's report on the Atticus website. I didn't even know that Phil had lost and regained a piece. The only quibbles I would have are that Phil's name isn't Chris, and Gareth seemed to me to have a crushing advantage for nearly the whole game. So we finished ten points clear, an astonishing margin, though with a fair sprinkling of 4-3 wins. Which does of course mean that everyone has managed to pull us over the line on one or two occasions. Last night's results mean that Gareth and Dave finish with equal points, which I think makes them joint Player of the Year even though Dave played one game less. Atticus 3 finish bottom, just five points behind second place. One would hope the league return to having eight teams in the division next season which would save them from relegation'' Last night the 3rds went to Aigburth 4 and finished with a 3-3 draw aided by a win by BOb G who has had a very good season and draws for Eddy, Dave McK Rob and skipper Paul S. The unlucky player was Alan W NB The club's last night of the season is next Tuesday after which we will have a break until August 29th other than the AGM on Tuesday 6th of June. The Mside AGM at which the club will be due some trophies is at AIgburth venue on Wednesday 24th May
Update at 20th April Formby chess club was well represented at the funeral of its long time member Bob Platt. It was also very pleasing to see several members of other Merseyside clubs with whom Bob had crossed swords over the years. It was clear from what was said in the eulogy that Bob was a very self contained man keeping his own counsel.His allegiance to LFC was known but it was rare for him to get very involved in the football based banter when travelling to away matches. His thirst for knowledge involving the learning of Russian did come as a surprise but was needed to translate the large number of Russian language chess books accumulated over his lifetime and it was clear from chatting with Beryl Platt that chess had been a very important and rewarding part of his life. Over the board Formby 2gave themselves a lifeline when beating division 3 leaders Liverpool 2 on Tuesday. All games were close and lasted over 21/2 hours. The top four boards did well to hold their opponents to draws leaving boards five and six to get wins in end games within a time scramble. Formby are not yet safe as Fazakerley have matches in hand but if we can beat that team in our final match that may do it. Update at 15th April. The week began with the sad news of the death of Bob Platt. Bob had been a member of Formby Chess Club for well over forty years and had earlier connections also with Waterloo and the Royal where he had worked until retirement.During his long association with Formby he had been Club captain playing board 1 and winning the club championship a number of times. He had also been the club's treasurer for some years in the past. In recent seasons his comparative grading had allowed him to play both towards the bottom of the firsts and the top of the seconds and this he did with continuing enthusiasm and success into his eighties. He will be sorely missed. The first team'ssuccessful season has continued with an away win at Wallasey B and EDW's report follows ''A visit to old friends at Wallasey, likely runners-up, and we were applauded on to the pitch as champions - a nice touch. The opposition were not at full strength,(outgraded 1066 v 898-MDB) and early on I thought we might be heading for a comfortable win. Phil was a safe pawn up, and we seemed to have the initiative in most of the other games. Phil duly won, but for quite a while things began to unravel on the other boards. Paul shipped a bishop and his opponent made no mistake. James made no progress, took too long about it - and, unusually, lost on time. One down. I had a nagging initiative which was winning me a pawn, but made one waiting move too many, leaving a dead draw. Still one down. Dave seemed to have a powerful attack early on, but had reached a position where his only advantage was on the clock, but that was enough. There was a slightly comical finish as Dave made two or three moves without noticing he had won on time, while his opponent was already conducting the post mortem. So it was all down to the Haslingers, with about three minutes on the clock between them. Gareth was struggling to hold a slight advantage when Colin Hughes missed a knight fork, and Gareth was able to finish off with a neat mate. And Mike managed a draw by what looked like a six-fold repetition, though with neither recording the moves it might have been difficult to prove if there had been a dispute. So, eventually a 4-3 win and a 10 point lead in the league. And either Gareth or Dave will be Player of the Year, with Dave still half a point ahead going into the final match. New member Adam continues to do well in the Club internal competition beating Alan W to move forward whilst Gareth also won ,beating Paul J. Update at 7th April Frustratingly both team matches due to be played this week were not. the 2nd team captain was aware that Fazakerley had changed venue but not that the match night had also altered cso this vital match for each team will have to be played later in the month. The 600 team were unable to function so conceded against Prescot. In the only club championship game played Dave McKee edged past Eddy. Update at 31st March Of the three team matches played in the week two confirmed the Formby team as divisional champions. On Tuesday the 1sts received Prescot 1 and EDW reports '' We had reached a stage where everyone else thought it a foregone conclusion that we would win Division 2, and we could only see pitfalls. So the visit of Prescot, the only team to take a point off us this season, was another potential pitfall. Dave C's opponent began with an early speculative knight sacrifice, but by the time I saw it Dave had consolidated and went on to win without further ado. It looks as if Dave and Gareth are the main contenders for Player of the Year, so Gareth's draw puts Dave half a point ahead. Phil had a strong position but couldn't make progress, and allowed a draw by repetition. When I saw James' game he had an extra knight which looked as if it might be trapped, but not before considerable damage to his opponent's position. So with James winning and Mike Barrett salvaging a draw from a lost position we were on the brink. And soon the match was won, as Kevin Sartain offered a rook sacrifice he thought led to mate, and I accepted it having seen a couple of moves further than him. Which left Mike H to play on for half an hour on his own, with his probing attack first netting a pawn and gradually increasing the pressure, to the point where his opponent resigned, as much as anything because he simply didn't have the time to work out how to respond to all the threats he was facing. So we finished the night knowing our next match at Wallasey would guarantee us the title with a game to spare. And then discovered that Wallasey had lost to Widnes, so no-one can catch us and we are back in Division 1. If anyone has a spare Grandmaster around the house, that would be very useful!'' ON Wednesday the 440 team went to Aigburth and Bob G reports ''A well earned draw in the final 440 away fixture against Aigburth was enough to beat closest rivals Atticus 1. A fantastic team effort from a squad of 9 team players. Match roundup. Eddy playing in his second 440 game spent a lot of time successfully defending a queenside attack. However he'd left his R pawn on the opposite side weakly defended. His opponent, Will Cook, found a way in and won the pawn and went on to win. Dave McKee, a key player in the team this year, helped secure a valuable team point after a rapid swap off of pieces in the middle game resulting in a draw Bob G went a pawn down early on and defended well to recover the lost pawn later on in the game. With his rooks doubled on 1/2 open g file but unable to make progress against a well defended King agreed a draw. Adam's debut for the 440 team was impressive, with all pieces swapped off and 4 pawns a piece he played with precision to covert a past pawn for a queen resulting in a win.'' Bob has received a congratulatory note from rival Atticus skipper Tom Webb and an indication that Bob personally has won P of Y for that division. Also on Tuesday the 3rds received Southport 2 who included two ungraded players including their top board. There was an early draw by Andre and a loss by Duncan was countered with a win by Dave McK. When Rob lost it was all down to the top two boards but both lost after quite a battle. the team therefore lost but other results have left the team safe in Division 4
Update at 22nd March The two teams playing at home were both well beaten but not without a fight. The 2nds continued to falter against higher graded Aigburth 3 with a 1--5 loss. There were early losses for both Bob P and MDB but there were close games on all other boards who felt the need to fight on when draws might well have been achieved. After 21/2 hours new member Adam was level with K and 5 pawns but inexperience told and he lost both pawns and game. John and Mike Bh both got their draws and Alan was still level when his time ran out. Duncan got the only half point for the 600 team against an Atticus side who had signalled their intention by having a grading aggregate (8/16) of 598. Dave C was unfortunately just one move behind with the pawn chase for queening which came with a check. There has been only one game of progress in the Club Championship with Rob H beating Bob G. To the problems of team matches on a Tuesday has now been added the closeness of games played with a glut of draws. Update at 16th March The weekend at Blackpool went well for all except MDB won at least one game with Mike BH and Rob probably ?possibly getting a prize. The weekends chess was played to the accompaniment of several dozen ukeleles as the main hall had been given over to the George Formby Appreciation Society Convention. A report and further details are on the congress page. PS and NB Mike Bh has won a full grading prize and Bob G has shared his with 2 other players. Well done to both members. Rob was unlucky with several in his sub- section getting 4 points. Formby 1 continued to press for the Div 2 title with a win away against Liverpool 1 and EDW's report is here ''My early recce was distinctly unpromising. Mike Haslinger a piece down in the opening, and Mike Barooah, possibly still high on his Blackpool victories, a whole rook down. At least Gareth was hoovering up his opponent's central pawns. Mike H duly lost, and Phil drew. By this time Gareth's opponent had sacrificed a piece to get his pawns back, leaving a difficult position for both players - two exposed kings, with queens, rooks and bishops all threatening. Dave C's game was surprisingly similar, James was short of time (no surprise) in the battle of the Clarkes, and I had a slight plus going into the ending, but with knight against bishop always the possibility that things might turn against me. But suddenly, and decisively, Mike B had his rook back, with two pawns to the good and we were level. My opponent refused a draw, which suggested he thought we were now winning, and Dave put us ahead. Gareth's opponent kept coming up with good moves, until, almost simultaneously, Gareth found a mate and I saw a draw by repetition, so we had won the match, despite James losing. We now have a very healthy lead in Division 2, though we have played several more matches than most of the others.'' Update at 10th March Formby 3 continued their fight to stay in Div 3 with a home match versus division leaders Liverpool 3. Their cause was immediately helped by the absence of the opposition top board so a default win and a moving up a board by each team member and overall Liverpool seemed not to have their strongest team. There followed relatively quick wins for Duncan and Rob. Although Paul lost a draw by Alan gave the team win so the well earned draw by Eddy with R and N v Q was icing on the cake and the team are now safe from relegation. The following night the 1st team as leaders of Div 2 went to Widnes who are always an unknown force especially this season having only played three matches to date. EDW's notes follow; ' The long trip to Widnes, who have had a lot of postponements this season and are still something of an unknown quantity. But in the end a steady Formby showing, with three wins and no defeats, and another two points in our quest for a return to first division chess. Mike Barrett sent us on our way with a spectacular attack including a double check leading to a mate in the middle of the board. (MDB ; I did not in fact mate my opponent. After a sacrifice and double check he would be forced to lose his queen to avoid mate so resigned.) Other than my own game, which fluctuated, it never really seemed that anyone had the worst of it. After Phil and James had agreed draws, I thought that Dave and I had strong positions, with the Haslingers both fairly level. But in the event Gareth and Mike both conjured wins in the endgame, while Dave and I could only draw, though I flirted with defeat until my opponent and I ran out of material. So 5-2, and with others faltering we have a pretty healthy lead in the table, though we have played several more games than some of our rivals. On Tuesday the first of the quarter finals in the club championship was played between MDB and Phil who won. Unfortunately the rapid succession of team matches both home and away on Tuesdays has prevented club tournament games being played. All members are asked to try and and catch up and play these asap This weekend there is the annual excursion to the well known Indian restaurant and R.B.L Club in Blackpool with some chess games as fillers. 7 members are scheduled to play and a (full??) report of the weekend's activities will appear next week. Update at 4th March Two team matches ,two draws but with different effects this week Formby 2 went to Hoylake 2 without usual top board Paul J and other than on top board met a side of equal grading. An overall draw was therefore a fair result but does little to help the team off the bottom of Div 3. Bob P was an early winner against a player 70 years his junior but there followed disappointing defeats for both Mikes. A draw by substitute Rob and a good win in an attacking game by John G left the match level but neither Alan nor his opponent could succeed in an end game with opposite coloured bishops. Bob G continues to lead his 440 team from the front with another personal win and was helped by Dave McKee winning against someone graded 20+ points higher but neither Dave W nor Andre could add to the score so the team dropped its first point but remains on top of the division.
Update at 23rd Feb The 3rds continued their fightback in Div 3 with a draw in their away match v Prescot 2 last Monday. Captain Paul's reports ''Paul lost early on after a disappointing game but was quickly followed by a win for Bob G. Adam was in time trouble and nearly won with a mate but his opponent had a stroke of luck in blocking the rook check and putting Adam in a discovered check position. The clock fell soon after but well played Adam. Rob H agreed a draw with a very equal opponent. Eddie also agreed a draw in a hard fought game. Kev looked set for a draw at best but managed a check on his opponent which would have resulted in him taking his queen. His opponent resigned which gave us a very creditable draw. Survival in division 4 is looking better now!'' The following night the 2nds continued to struggle despite their opponents, Skelmersdale, missing their usual top two boards. Mike Bh was missing also so Eddy was brought in on bottom board and ended as Formby's only winner. There were creditable draws for Bob P and John G but defeats for Paul J, Alan and yet another loss from the jaws of victory by MDB mean that we stay rooted to the bottom of the Division with reducing opportunities to climb upwards. In the Club Championship Andre and Rob drew their second game in the quarter final of the Challengers but at the second attempt Adam beat Andre in the preliminary round. Players are reminded to get all quarter final games played by 7th March following flurry of 1st and 2nd team matches in February.
Update at 17th Feb Skipper Dave writes on the only team match of the week ''We beat Southport fairly easily in the reverse fixture despite missing two of our regulars and defaulting one game, so it probably comes as no surprise that with our strongest team out, the return was a very close run thing! Mike Barooah fell victim to a massive attack early on. James turned down a draw offer, but that merely delayed the inevitable, so we were still one down. However a sudden flurry of wins, from Gareth, Phil and Dave C, while my attention was elsewhere, guaranteed us at least a draw. With Mike H a piece down, never having recovered from his opponent's shock move 1 e4, it needed a draw from me to win the match. And fortunately I had achieved a strong enough position that my opponent was agreeable. So, 4-3 and we remain undefeated and top of the league.''
Update at 10th Feb this period started with Eddy and Mike BH playing in the Frodsham congress. Their stats are on the congress page and Eddy has submitted a narrative as follows ''After last years success, winning a clock for the club as well as personal cash prizes, this year results were pretty average. We had 1 hour fifty minutes to complete all our moves plus 10 seconds extra for each move. Eddy Patten and Mike Barooah represented Formby and both lost their 1st round matches comfortably! In the 2nd round Eddy managed a draw whilst Mike went 2 Pawns down and eventually succumbed. In the 3rd round our dynamic duo both had wins, Mike beating a much higher graded player whilst Eddy grabbed a couple of Ps, in the French, early on, and made his advantage count. Those extra 10 seconds proved very valuable for Mike who was constantly in time trouble and almost playing 'Lightening Chess'! During the time outs we went to see the construction of the new Gateway Bridge... Back to the chess! In round 4 Eddy fended off a strong Sicilian attack to agree a draw. Mike was pushed back by a passed P backed up by Rooks and a clever veteran! Mike's opponent eventual gave up his rook to queen his pawn and won on time. In the last game Eddy got off to a great start and should have won but missed his chances and begrudgingly agreed a draw. Mike, who was 2 pieces down managed a draw against a good opponent via repetitive check! Final results E Patten 2.5/5. M Barooah 1.5/5. Roll on Blackpool.''
As Eddy says the Blackpool congress is in a months time and several Formby members have already entered
On Tuesday the saga of the John Ripley tie with Waterloo finally concluded with what turned out to be a narrow loss for us after we had a 1.5 point handicap benefit. The bare details are on the League knockout page. MDB watched during the evening and could see that despite having a lone pawn on the seventh rank David W was under the cosh as was Phil whilst Mike H was pressing against a weak pawn structure .All others seemed equal but losing on both the top and then the bottom two boards cost us by the narrowest of margins MDB was able to watch even tho' due to play in a 600 match v Liverpool. He knew at the start of the evening that he needed another player so grabbed Alan when he arrived. The non appearance of Mike Bh was countered by him then getting Andre and also meant that MDB would have to play top board only to find after 30 minutes that the Liverpool No 1 was absent through illness. In the games played Both Alan and Andre lost against much higher graded players and indeed Alan was on the verge of victory when his flag fell. Adam on bottom board played another good game in drawing against a grade 129. The best news came on Thursday with their first win of the season by the 2nds at Wallasey. There were early draws on the top two boards but the skipper was under a lot of pressure and John G was the exchange down. Then John turned the tables and Alan on bottom board redeemed himself with a well played end game. MDB scrambled a draw when down on time but threatening with a mobile knight against a stuck bishop and the match was won at which stage Bob's opponent sportingly offered a draw when also ahead on time In the firstgame of the knock out stage of the Club Championship a replay will be necessary after a draw between Rob and Bob G and it already apparent that the timing of fixtures for 1sts and 2nds during the rest of February will result in some slack being necessary in the period for playing the quarter finals. Players should ensure that these games are played at the earliest opportunity albeit that this might be the first week in March. Update at 1st February It has been a quiet week for the club with no team matches. However the group stages of the Club Championship have been concluded with wins for Mike Bh v Rob and John G in his playoff v Alan plus a draw between Eddy and Bob G. The draw for the knock out stages is now on the relevant page and a hard copy will go on the noticeboard next Tuesday. On that night the long awaited John Ripley match v Waterloo is due to be settled and there is also a home 600 team match v Liverpool. Update at 26th January The 2nd team are at the foot of Div 3 after their defeat at Atticus 4 last Monday.The match started well with a win for Bob P whose opponent resigned when faced with a king/queen fork but the score was evened when the other Bob lost.There were then draws on the top two boards. The skipper was always on the defensive faced with several pins on his pieces and finally succumbed to leave John Grady to fight for a personal win and a team draw. He refused a draw offer and fought on seeming to create an advantage but ran out of attacking material and was caught by a perpetual check position to give a 2.5--3.5 result. On Tuesday the 3rds continued their comeback with a 3.5--2.5 win against Hoylake 3 and Paul's report follows ''Early draw agreed by Rob followed by a good win for Andre put us in the driving seat.Paul offered a draw despite being a piece up and a strong position but having only 59 seconds left on the clock!The time did not allow to push his advantage. Draw accepted although Paul did miss a mating opportunity! Duncan followed with a win shortly after and Eddie gallantly agreed a draw knowing this would win the match. Alan unfortunately lost in the end but fought well. His opponent forcing a pawn through to queen, Alan resigned. Overall a good team performance and results now going our way!''
Update at 19th January The 1st team maintained their winning ways at Atticus 3 on Monday with a 6-1 victory but The Atticus report on their website is fully endorsed when it says that the result did not reflect the closeness of the individual games. After an early draw for Phil, an effectively quick play win by James (7mins v 65 mins) and a win by the skipper put us ahead but none of the other games seemed to be advantageous to Formby. However by the time MDB on bottom board was holding Natasha's two connected passed pawns with his extra piece,unbeknown to him the the score was 5 -1 and her clock fell. P S at 20th Dave's take on events '' Atticus 3 are a team we usually struggle against despite a grading advantage. Last season we had a draw and a narrow victory. Both teams were at full strength, so another hard night was in the offing Luke Boumphrey normally beats me, so I was very pleased to be a pawn up early, with a fine position. Next to me, Gareth was winning a pawn with a nice combination. Looking good. A quick stroll round the other boards was a bit less encouraging, with not much to report other than James in a typical James position, king-side in a horrible looking mess. Normally he tells me it's all book (he reads different books than me) but this time he was an hour behind on the clock. I returned to my game, where Luke was generating a nasty looking attack, and Gareth's advantage was dwindling. Looking not so good. Phil came in with a draw, and next was James - with a win! (It was book - he just couldn't remember it.) Eventually I managed to resist Luke's attack and claim the win, to leave us two points ahead. And to find, gratifyingly, Mike Barrett a bishop up in the ending, Dave C pushing home his two extra pawns in a queen ending, and Mike H also material up in a very congested position which he managed to win at the death. So, though Gareth eventually had to concede the draw, that was still a very pleasing 6-1 win in the end.'' The following night there were five Club Championship games played all with clear results and no surprises.Despite considerable efforts by Eddy and Bob G there were wins by MDB and Mike H respectively with other wins by Dave C, Gareth and Paul J. PPS at 20th Mike H tells me that his game was in the Ladder but the comment remains valid There remain only a few group games still to be played in the final 2 weeks of January but if not completed the final group positions will be settled where necessary by an executive decision of the Tournament Controller. The onus is therefore on the individual players!! Update at 12th January Playing table toppers Liverpool 2, Formby 2 might have expected to struggle but Liverpool put out a much weakened team with a long tail. However the skipper's initial confidence in this situation soon evaporated with defeats on the top five boards. Only new member Adam's win gave any relief. A win in the next match versus bottom team Atticus 4 will be vital. Meanwhile the 440 team won 3-1 with Bob getting a fifth successive win and Dave McK beating a much higher graded player on top board. Andre also won and the team remain top of the table and unbeaten.
Update at 4th January 2017 Thenew year began with a surprising result in the Club championship when Alan beat Gareth. Gareth said that after an initial positional error he had made another and Alan had played strongly and correctly to take advantage. Mike H beat MDB when the latter allowed an exchange sacrifice but then could not stop a concerted attack with supported advanced pawns. MDB's efforts to chase the king round the board failed as he had only his queen to do so. Rob and Dave McK fought out a close game which ended in a draw. N B will players please complete their group games before the end of January
Update at 16th December The week's activities started last Saturday with the Christmas meal at the Balti Indian restaurant preceded by drinks at Wetherspoons. Nine members sat down to eat. Eddy remembering past problems elected for a well done steak and Mike B was called away on a domestic emergency before he could have his speciality ice cream but the evening in a crowded restaurant was a success and thanks go to Paul S for its organisation. On Monday the 600 team missing skipper Dave C went to Widnes and were well beaten, Mike Bh, Mike B and Eddy lost but John G had a good draw against a 150 graded player. On Wednesday Mike B was the only Formby player to take part in the MCA individual Lightning competition. Deciding to get to Alder Rd via the M57 and Huyton he got lost and arrived 10 minutes late to find that he was the 13th participant. This proved lucky for him as Controller Dave Welch gave him a bye in the 1st round.Two wins and a loss kept him in the hunt and the winning of a queen against Brendan Kane put him on top board in the final round with 4 points against Gerry Cohen who had won all his five games. Entering the end game a piece up he was able to clear Gerry's pawns and force his own home. A thoroughly entertaining evening therefore ended wth he and Gerry sharing first place. The club is now closed for two weeks reopening on Tuesday 3rd January for when several club championship games have been arranged. The earliest team matches of the New Year are;
Tuesday 10th Jan 2017 440 home v Waterloo -''- 2nds away v Liverpool Monday 16th Jan 1sts away v Atticus 3 Monday 23rd Jan 2nds away v Atticus 4 Tuesday 24 Jan 3rds home v Hoylake 3
In the meantime I wish all club members and chess playing friends a Very Happy Christmas and a Successful 2017
Update at 8th December Formby 1remain top of Div 2 after beating Wallasey B at home on Tuesday. EDW's reports as follows ' Wallasey arrived one short, so James had a night off. For a long time the match looked very even. I had slightly the worse of it, Gareth looked slightly better, and all the other boards had level material and symmetrical pawn structures. First to finish was Bob, with a draw. And then, in a sudden flurry, we were 5-1 up. I gave up a pawn to reach a drawn opposite coloured bishop ending, Gareth unleashed a nice winning combination, and opposition mistakes led to wins for Dave C and Phil.
Thoughts of an early night receded, however, as Mike H and Mark Spriggs fought to the death, between them using all but 11 seconds of the available time. Mike was surely winning, lost the thread, shipped vast amounts of material, and missed the win of a queen a second before his time ran out. But a very satisfactory 5-2 win that leaves us top at Christmas'. Three club championships games were played with Paul J beating Andre. John G drew with Alan and Mike Bh drew with Dave McK. Both John and Mike said that at one stage they had an advantage but were then somewhat fortunate to hold on for a draw. P.S the social evening is this saturday 10th with drinks at Wetherspoons from 7-30 and a meal at the Balti(opposite Waitrose car entrance) at 9-00 approx. Please see 23rd November update for more detail PPS the MCA individual lightning Tournament is on Wednesday 14th December at Prescot venue. Please see MCA website news page for details
Update at 30th November This week's matches and games were all confined to last night. Formby 2 received Fazakerley newly integrated with Skelmersdale and thus with John Reid as a welcome participant. Skipper MDB was hopeful of a first team victory of the season as on paper whilst there was likely to be a loss on top board the bottom four boards all had significant grading advantages. It started exceptionally well with a 13 move mate with a supported queen on f7 for Mike Bh but neither Alan nor MDB could make headway. on 4 and 6 with pawns and opposite coloured bishops resulting in a stagnating draw for the skipper.Bob then came under a sustained attack from veteran Billy Melia losing his queen to a knight fork when trying to stop a fork losing 'just' his rook. John G gave us back the lead and at least a team draw but Paul J on top board and with a 36 point grading deficit took too long in trying to hold out against Billy's son Steven. Bob G's 440 team played Atticus B and maintained their 100% record with a 4-0 whitewash. Special congratulations go to Dave W on top board and Bob reports in response to my querying the bald stats! ''Yes we all played, Andre won his match first after declining a draw offer, I won my match after going a pawn up early and after winning a bishop my opponent conceded after move 29. Paul played particularly well, using his bishops and rooks with laser accuracy forcing his opponent to submission. Dave was able to unleash his knight to win the queen for a piece with a forked check, his opponent limped along for some time then resigned after making a blunder. Great performance all round.'' In the club championship Duncan was not able to stop Dave C finishing his three group games on 100% whilst Eddy almost upset the applecart against Mike H. He had the better of a game in which, following Mike's exchange sacrifice, he had a good attack with Q and R working together. However in time trouble he swapped off queens when it might have been better to keep them on and possibly force a queen for rook further advantage. Eddy was subsequently earnestly trying for stalemate when his clock fell. Update at 23rd November The 3rd team gained their first win of the season when hosting Aigburth 4. An early win by Duncan and a draw by Rob H was a good start but countered by a defeat for Paul S. Eddy drew on top board to keep the scores level. Well played attacking games by Alan and Kevin resulted in wins and a final 4-2 victory. Three games were played in the Club Championship. Dave C was too good for Andre and Mdb was let off the hook after being under great pressure from Bob G. The game between Phil and Mike Bh was a very close run affair with Mike as usual using up a great amount of time in countering Phil's attack. The end game included both players queening pawns but after these were exchanged Mike was left with a king that was completely out of position to stop another pawn advance. The club 'social committee' met in the Railway after the serious part of the evening and it was agreed that the Christmas meal should be at the Balti Formby after meeting for drinks in Wetherspoons. This will take place on Saturday 10th December from 7-30 with the meal at 9-15pm. Names especially for the meal to Paul Sutton please at 01704 224642; 01775878105 or firstname.lastname@example.org. P.S. A report on the chess afternoon at St Jerome's mentioned below has now appeared in the Champion, courtesy of Eddy. P.P.S Eddy's report is accompanied by a photo in the 24th Nov issue of The Bubble Update at 18th November It has been a busy week for Formby players with several playing two games and Mike Bh turning out on three consecutive nights. On Mondaythe 1sts went to Prescot and Dave's report follows '' Kevin Sartain made an early mistake in our game, and in one of those positions where the more you try to wriggle out of it, the worse it gets. And with an early lead in the match, things were looking good elsewhere. The Haslingers both had some initiative, Dave C was a piece for a pawn up, Mike Barooah was in the middle of a promising combination, and the other two boards were OK as well. But this was about the high point, and Prescot began to play rather well. Mike B's opponent found a couple of good moves to turn the position round, and Gareth's attempts to find a win rather flirted with disaster, so two draws was quite a good return in the end. Meanwhile Dave's game had turned decidedly dicey, though Mike H had forced an exchange sacrifice, evaded a mate threat and exchanged queens to a dominant position. After a brief visit to the bar, we returned to find that Dave had managed to exchange down to a totally won ending, but something had gone decidedly wrong for Mike, with an opposition pawn about to queen unchallenged. And with Phil being mated, to his evident surprise, we were back to 3-3. Attention turned to James. Two minutes on the clock against twelve, and his position beginning to unravel a little, one assumes that Prescot were beginning to feel optimistic. But those of us who have seen James before were not totally surprised when it was his opponent, down to two minutes, who proposed the draw, and James, on twenty seconds, who looked for a moment as if he would play on. So in the end our first dropped point of the season. Slightly disappointing, but we are still top.'' On Tuesday the 3rds were away against a strong Southport 2. Eddy's loss was countered by a win by Rob and it was good to see Kevin for his first game with a draw. After draws by Alan and Paul S the match result was dependent upon D McN and in what he felt was a good position he had turned down a draw offer. As often happens in such circumstances there was a turnaround and with his defeat went the team's fortune. On the same nightthe 600 team were at home to Waterloo but struggling for players having to default on board 4. Thus draws by Dave C and Mike Bh were not enough when Andre lost. On Wednesday the 2nds played against Aigburth 3. An early draw by Rob was followed by a win by MDB. His was a hairy game in which he continually checked his opponent for 7 moves and got a resignation with a forced mate due whilst himself being one move away from being mated. Unfortunately with only Alan getting a draw defeats for Mike Bh Bob P and John G led to a 2-4 loss. Both 2nds and 3rds stillawait a much needed win this season. Update at 9th November The 1st team were back at home last Tuesday against a Liverpool 1 team which MDB immediately realised was missing four of its first team squad, a fact reflected in the comparative aggregate gradings. EDW's commentsfollow; 'Liverpool seem to have taken over from Atticus as first port of call for newcomers to the city, which does make them something of an unknown quantity. We were expecting a tough match, and a 4.5-2.5 win was perhaps better than anticipated - at least until I realised afterwards several of their better players were absent. Bob and Paul were both down to the endgame before the rest of us had really got going, Bob a pawn up, Paul a pawn down, so that was a win apiece. The match really turned in our favour with wins from Dave C and Phil, the two team members who were not, on paper, significantly stronger than their opponents. After that we rather limped over the line. Gareth had sacrificed (so he said) a pawn or two for a lasting initiative (so he said), and did eventually get his material back, but for no more than a draw. My opponent surprised me with a speculative pawn sacrifice just when time was running short, so when I saw a perpetual to win the match I went for it, and missed him blundering into a mate in one in the middle of it. And, with the match decided, Mike's opponent conceded that he could make no progress, and agree the draw.' The previous evening the 440 team had gone to Prescot and returned with a very good 3-1 victory. In the skipper's absece Eddy reports; 'Bob was starting a flu but supported the team with a fine early win. His game was a bit of a slog, but Bob went a piece up although he was 4 pawns down. He managed to use his queen, rook and bishop to force a check mate. Then Rob H managed a draw after considering a Knight sacrifice. Duncan, however, did sacrifice Knight for 2 pawns which gave him a winning attack ! Eddy played Joe Butterworth who with good attacking options for both White and Black, offered a draw. As the match was already won the draw was accepted by Eddy so Formby won 3-1.' This afternoon in an event organised by Eddy and Teacher Jordan Whiffing several club members held a 2 1/2 hour chess seminar with 32 year 5 pupils at St Jerome's Primary school in Formby. The aspects covered and considered appropriate for their varying chess knowledge included quiz and ranged from the basic opening positions of pawns and pieces to the more involved positional nuances. It ended with actual games at the end of which trophies were given to all participants who had clearly enjoyed this activity. Thanks go to Eddy and Jordan plus Alan, Andre, John, Mike and Rob for their assistance. Update at 4th November
This has been an 'interesting' week for Formby chess teams. On Tuesday most of the 1st team went to Southport and EDW's comments follow "Tuesday evening got off to an unusual start, with the six of us who read emails in Southport for a rearranged league match, and Dave Colbourne and Waterloo at Raven Meols, under the misapprehension that we had a John Ripley match. Thanks to those who stood in as a scratch team which was put together and soundly beaten, though I gather Andre got a well-earned draw and Dave Colbourne for his'' sins'' faced IM Gary Quillan. I have appealed to the tournament controller, who has indicated that the match should be replayed. (MDB; if this happens I presume that the individual results will be wiped from grading ) So we were one down in what should have been an even match, according to the grades. I have nothing to report from the first hour's play, as my opponent played at breakneck speed and I had no chance to leave the board. We quickly reached a level rook and pawn ending and called it quits. By the time I got to look Mike Barrett was a piece down, and inevitably lost, to leave us two down, though we were looking good in the other games. And so it proved. Paul had a monumental kingside attack, which for a while got more and more monumental without actually winning anything much. But eventually a piece was won, and he could exchange down to a won endgame. Mike H won a pawn, but had a real fight to hang on to it until, in the blink of an eye, it was an unstoppable passed pawn. So, level pegging Gareth had been the exchange up for ages, but with a bishop so buried he might as well have been a piece down for a while. But as material was exchanged and the position opened up a little, all of a sudden he also had an unstoppable pawn. And finally Phil, who had won a pawn when it looked as if he could have won more, showed no interest in the draw that would win us the match, even when his opponent seemed to have blocked the position. And when he had the opportunity to exchange to a won king and pawn ending, he took it. So 4.5-2.5, and all's well that ends well - in Southport, anyway.'' MDB comments that it was very instructive to watch three separate and different end games played so successfully by Formby players. On theprevious evening thethe Knotty ash team had played at Atticus. Whilst drawing 2.5-2.5 helped by wins from Dave McK and skipper Rob the team lost on board count with John G bemoaning the fact that he could have done better.
Update at 26th October Formby 2 are still without a win after they were well beaten by the visiting Hoylake 2 team. The two Mikes were soon in trouble out of the opening but Bob P gave us some hope with a victory of age over youth but things got worse when John visibly and audibly realised that he would have to give his queen up when under pressure. Eddy fought hard for a draw as did Alan on bottom board but succumbing under trying conditions. In the one club championship game Andre refused Duncan's offer of a draw believing his pressure would prevail against Duncan's defence but he took too long in trying to do so. Update at 21st October Two matches were played this week, both on Tuesday. The 3rd team went to play Liverpool 3 at their new venue which was complemented upon. Unfortunately it did not help Formby who were outclassed with only Alan and Andre ontop and bottom boards getting draws in a 1--5 defeat. Liverpool are now a thriving club with an influx of good players (university based?) and their teams in Divs 2,3 and 4 will all be title contenders. Dave Colbourne led his 600 team to a 2.5--1.5 win against his previous club ,Waterloo. His win and that of Mike Bh plus a draw by Phil were the deciding results.
Update at 13th October The 2nd team went to Skelmersdale on Monday with 2 of their squad unable to play only to find that Skem ,no doubt upset at losing their first two matches, had brought in their top two boards from Ormskirk and out graded the visitors by an 119 aggregate. Dave McK soon upset this with a very good win but his was the only one. Bob P drew against one time Formby member Bart McHugh and the other half point was gained by skipper MDB who was last to finish when the match was already lost.The fact that he had missed a forced win two moves earlier and still had one when offering a draw was therefore somewhat immaterial. Thefollowing night Prescot 2 440 team came to Formby and were overcome with Dave McKee again getting a good result albeit just a draw. Bob G and Andre were the winners in the team's second success of the season. After my note last week about the I O M congress at least Peter W took note and ended with three successive wins.
Update at 6th October The 600 match due to be played last Monday was postponed sothe only team match of the week has been the 3rds match at home v Prescot 2. Early finishes went for Dave McK but against Paul S. When Duncan drew and Rob H won things looked OK but Eddy defending stoutly against veteran Bob Amos lost as did Alan to give a team loss of 2.5--3.5 The Haslingers were both in action in the club championship and both won, Gareth v Dave Whitby and Mike v Bob G. Mike's report follows ''Hi Mike. I did win but it was very hard. Bob played very well, but I had a good position when I overlooked his reply taking advantage of a pin of a pawn against my queen, which effectively destroyed my position and cost me a bishop. I chose to give up my Queen for Rook and knight to retain the Bishop so I would have fighting chances. He preferred this offer and the ensuing position was very interesting and hard work for us both. So much so that shortly after he decided to give up a rook for the previously freely available bishop. Eventually I managed to mate him but I suspect anything could have happened.'' Further afield both Phil F and ex member Peter Willoughby are playing in the Isle of Man Congress. whilst there are titanic battles among the 20 or so GMs in the Open neither of our friends are doing well in the Major and Minor respectively. Let us hope that the weather and food are good! Update at 1st October Formby 2nds second match v Wallasey was again against a team who were outgraded and missing their regular top two boards. Formby also had to introduce a late substitute on board 2 so thank you to Alan for filling in. Unfortunately he lost but that was the only defeat. Draws by Paul J, Bob P and Eddy left Formby behind. A well played end game by MDB against a bright junior put the match level. A bit of a misunderstanding of the team score at the time led John G to agree a draw against veteran Graham Heath when level in material but with a slightly better position and therefore a team draw. Our first away match will be a week on Monday but it does seem that Mondays are not the best night for squad members to be available.
The 440 team began their season with an away win against Hoylake and I (and Bob G )are indebted to Dave McK for the following report ''I think Bob is having a laugh, as he saw me making notes last night. Unfortunately, it was about the logistics of dealing with an urgent family matter. Anyway you will have gathered from Bob' s e-mail and picture that we had a good win as a Team. My opponent made a series of errors which I capitalised on - basically he inadvertently gave away his Queen. Rob had a possible draw but miscalculated a pawn capture/piece exchange. Dave Whitby had a good draw in a blocked position. Bob won a well conducted end game with 2 bishops versus a rook.'' Next week's 1st team match has been postponed but the re are matches for the 3rds and 600 team.
Update at 23rd September. Unfortunately Formby had to seek postponement of the Knotty Ash match on Monday v Atticus, so the only team match of the week was on Tuesday when Formby 2, on their return to Div 3, received Atticus 4. A slight grading deficit on the top two boards was countered by a larger advantage on the bottom three but this was not pressed and the match finished in a draw. Skipper MDB was the first to accept a draw offer although subsequent analysis indicated that with a bishop sacrifice on the immediate next move, that his opponent would be forced to accept, MDB might have put game winning pressure on. Draws quickly followed for Eddy and Mike Bh before Bob lost after being two advanced pawns down. John Grady restored equality with a very positive win leaving the match result dependent upon Paul J on top board. After 90 minutes nothing had been taken from the board but a flurry of activity near to Paul's time limit left him with a rook to 4 pawns 'advantage'. with the queens still on. However Paul thought it unlikely that he would succeed in the time left and a draw was agreed.
Update at 16th September Formby's first competitive team match of the season ended with a clear win at home v Widnes 2. When MDB left the only game in which Formby appeared to be ahead was that of Phil! EDW's brief report clarifies the situation. ''In the end a comfortable 5-2 win against last year's Division 3 champions. We began with a point start as the opposition arrived one short. James and Phil both seemed to generate big attacks, but neither could quite press them home. James bailed out with a draw, but, Phil's material plus fell apart, and he lost. Mike could make no progress and had to agree a draw, but the rest of us all won. I didn't see the end of Dave's game, but Gareth always seemed to have the better of it, and my opponent managed to bury one of his own bishops, leaving me effectively a piece up.'' On Thursday the evenly matchedFormby 3 and Hoylake 3 teams ended with a 3--3 draw. There were draws on the top four boards with Bob's defeat being countered by the skipper's win on bottom board In the light of a number of team matches both home and away being due to be played on Tuesdays I urge individual members to play club tournament games asap.
Update at 9th September As anticipated the 2nd team match due for 6th Sept was postponed and will now be played on 20th. However there were two competitive games played on the night. Bob Platt beat Mike Barooah in the delayed 2015/6 Challenger's final. winn ing a piece and naturally putting Mike in time trouble. In the first group game for 2016/7 Dave C beat Paul J. Last night Formby members contributed to Woodvale's win against St Helens in Div 2 of the Warrington League. Wins by the two Mikes, MDB and MBh, were not fully contra'd by a loss for Phil. Next Tuesday the !st team start their campaign to rise from Mside Div 2 with a home match v Widnes 2. On Thursday F3 travel to Hoylake in their first Div 4 match.
Update at 1st September Members returned to Ravenmeols last Tuesday for an evening of quick play competition organised by Club President Phil Fisher and the paying of subs. 10 players took part and at the end of proceedings Gareth was the winner with a 100% record from the five games played. Equal second a point behind were Mike H and Rob H. with returnee James Clarke and Alan W a further point away. Mside team matches start next Tuesday with a home match for the 2nd team, although at the time of writing their opponents are in doubt at being able to fulfill this fixture.
Situation at 4th August 2016
As the Summer break continues preparations have begun for the new season starting in September. All team fixtures have now been entered on the Formby website and a new and comprehensive web programme covering all M'side fixtures is now on the MCA site. The intention is that this programme will be kept up to date by Divisional controllers and individual club team captains so that a full picture of any team's position can be readily ascertained. Whilst Merseyside chess mourns the loss of John Davis and Formby that of Mike Fraser, there is a happier note in the return to the Club playing ranks of James Clarke who will be a welcome addition to the 1st team squad. The playing situation will also be helped by the relegation of the 2nd team to Div 3 and the freeing up of players that this will provide. Post the AGM at which there was a swap of a 600 team for the 440 team it has been agreed that a 440 team also be entered in the MCA for 2016-7 and Bob Greaves will captain this side. Bob is also continuing to manage the Woodvale team( in the Warrington league) that was set up by the late Joe Dilworth. If any player for whatever reason wants additional match play please talk to him.