Update at 10th May
Dave William's last match as 1st team skipper and possibly Formby player did at least end in personal and team victory. his report follows
''At one stage we might have hoped that our rearranged match against Wallasey might be a relegation decider. In the event, it wasn't, but a 5-3 win against a fairly strong team was a positive end to our season in Division 1. Draws from Paul and John, with wins from me, Dave C, Phil and Mike Barooah outweighing defeats for the Haslingers.
The writing was on the wall for us when Waterloo re-signed Gary Quillan, and our final seven points was about seven more than I feared we would get at the outset. No-one had a really bad season, but Mike's 8/14 was our only scorer over 50%. Sadly the other teams are just stronger than us. We took our chances if the opposition were not at full strength, but never really looked to be in with a chance of avoiding the drop.''
In the previous week MDB and Dave C had played in the MCA individual lightning tournament but without the previous year's success. Hopefully there will be a team lightning in early June for which I would like to enter a Formby team. Further details will follow.
NB The MCA AGM will be at Aigburth venue on Wednesday 23rd May. I will circulate agenda in next few days and would like company on the night.
Update at 29th April
The 2nds played their last match of the season when they received Aigburth3 on Tuesday. Due to a mix up the home side defaulted on board 5 but after a draw by MDB who remained unbeaten for the team Alan W gained a very good win against
an opponent who was vying for the title of player of the year for Division 3. John G then drew on top board but Bob G lost to leave the team 3-2 down and dependent upon Dave Whitby on bottom board. He had gone a piece up and when he had a defended pawn on the seventh rank there was a resignation to give the team a draw.
On Thursday the 3rds went to play Hoylake juniors. With wins by Rob H, Eddy, Andre and Paul S the team won 4-2.
Mike H as tournament Organiser will be very pleased that this season it finished on time with all games played. He will be especially delighted that he himself won the Championship when beating son Gareth in the Final. Members' thanks go to Mike for yet another well organised tournament.
There will be no chess on Tuesday 1st may altho there is a rearranged 1st team match ar home on 8th may and the AGM on Tuesday 5th June. the club will then have its summer break until the restart on Tuesday 28th August.
Update at 19th April
All three teams have played this week and all lost!
The 1st's defeat at Hoylake was the most injurious as it consigns the team to Div 2 next season. Skipper EDW reports;
''We travelled to Hoylake for a last chance to preserve our Division 1 status, having drawn with them at home earlier in the season, but it was not to be.
Outgraded on every board, as so often, for a while we could claim to be ahead. Phil a pawn up, the rest of us level on material at least. But Phil could only draw, followed soon by Mike Barooah, our top scorer this season, and you sensed the writing was on the wall. Gareth and I both drew after blundering in winning positions, but even that made little difference with Mike H, Paul J and John G all losing. Dave C finished the night off with a draw with both flags hanging.
So, a 5.5 - 2.5 defeat, and Division 2 beckons again.''
On the same evening the 3rds went to Southport and were soundly beaten by their 2nd team. Rob H soon lost his queen and was followed by Bob G being mated when his king was chased up the board by two rooks to be snared by the opponents pawns. Alan and Andre had creditable draws but that was it with Eddy and Paul S also losing.
The 2nds went to Atticus 4 knowing that Prescot were the fall guys for relegation and buoyed by a default win on bottom board. The opposition skipper had also said that their board 5 was very very rusty so it was a surprise when Alan soon announced a loss to even the score.
MDB scrambled a draw against a very tenacious opponent and Dave McK was losing pawns to a marauding queen. His exchange sacrifice unfortunately did not help and the opponents rook was on the verge of taking more pawns when Dave resigned.. John G playing his third game of the week got no joy from one of the division's leading scorers so that Paul J's win on top board was unfortunately ineffective for the team result.
On Tuesday Dave McKee and Rob Owens contested the final of the Challenger's Trophy.
After a hard struggle in which both players turned down the opportunity of a repetitive draw and wriggle out of mating threats Dave ended up with the only pawns on the board at which time Rob resigned.
Update at 12th April
Just the one match this week and EDW reports on it as follows;
''We ran a weakened Atticus 1 team close in the reverse fixture, but this time they were (sadly) at full strength for a match we really needed to win.
I saw very little of the earlier finishes, draws for Mike Barrett and Dave McKee against the odds, a win for Mike Barooah and a loss for Phil. At that point Mike H and Dave C were both holding their own against highly graded opposition, Gareth was getting battered, and my position seemed to be getting gradually worse, so hope was dwindling
Dave drew, Gareth lost, but then a mistake from John Redmond suddenly left me the exchange up, for a pawn. Not too difficult to draw, but needing a win I went for it - got my analysis wrong, and lost the game and the match. Frustrating, and doubly so when Nick Martin blundered into a mate against Mike, limiting the defeat to 4.5-3.5.
On reflection, a good performance against the odds, but even a draw would probably not have been enough, and our place in Division 1 is hanging by a thread'.
The Atticus website contains their version of events ! and I would like to add a little about our two wins. MBh did well to see the clear advantage in exchanging pawns in a particular order which allowed him to swap off the remaining minor pieces and leave him with central king and connected passed pawns.Mike H did benefit from his opponents failure to fully realise the effect of Mikes ignoring a passed pawn and swinging his queen to the other side of the board to be supported by an immoveable knight. Nick's resignation avoided an actual mate.
NB the MCA individual Lightning competition will be held at Prescot venue on Monday 30th April starting at 7-30pm.. I shall be defending my (shared) title from last year and would appreciate some playing company. No advance notice essential.
Update at 5th April
The 3rd team received Skem 2 on Tuesday and their run of defeats continued. Skem's top four boards all outgraded their hosts and especially on top board where Alan was faced with a player graded 142. He therefore did very well to hold him to a draw. Bob G was the only full point winner in a game that had his king on the 6th rank and then having to go forward to avoid being mated with the opponent's pawns stopping any retreat. At least the king was able to shepherd a pawn forward and I presume it was the threat of this queening that led to victory.
In their replay Challengers' semi-final Dave McKee gave away the exchange but had Eddy in so much time trouble that he could not capitalise on his good fortune in this 30 minute game..
Update at 30th March
Both 1sts and 2nds needed to 'get a result ' in their matches this week but it was not to be
EDW reports on Monday's match at Waterloo.
' We picked up our first points of the season back in November against a Waterloo team missing IM Gary Quillan. The return match found us two points behind them at the bottom of the table, but a glance at their team sheet revealed we were going to be up against it this time. Looking at the grades afterwards, this was the strongest team we have faced all season, stronger even than Atticus 2 who have just clinched the title with two matches to spare.
No surprise then that we lost - indeed to lose only 5.5-2.5 was more than we might have expected. Standout performance (not for the first time) was from Gareth, with a win against a 200+ graded new member. But another win from Paul, who I'm told sprang a mating surprise on his opponent, and a draw from Phil, was all we could muster from the other games.
So we are now four points adrift with three matches to play, and needing to pick up points from unlikely sources if we are to avoid the drop.''
Last night the 2nds went to Wallasey C. The home fixture had been a 3-3 draw and although we had a slight aggregate grading advantage it soon became clear that it would again be a struggle to get both points. Draws by Rob G ,Rob H and Paul were followed by a draw by the skipper who sacrificed a rook to try for a perpetual check and then chased the opposition king across the board until he could defend the mating squares. In turn he was subject to a number of checks but then his opponent offered a draw which was eagerly accepted. At this stage I think the Wallasey player forgot that he was not two pawns down but a rook up and with a little more patience had a clearly won position. On board 5 Rob H was having a battle against he county u 120 captain with neither being able to force the issue so a draw was agreed . This left John G on board 2 and he was down on time. Although he presented his opponent with some problems so that he was down to a couple of minutes Johns clock was the first to fall for the narrowest of defeats. . .
On Tuesday there was considerable progress in the club championships as reported by Mike H.
' It was so good to see so many attendees at the club this week, especially as there was an England football match on TV at the time,and that only the previous evening had involved the first team in an away game in Waterloo.
Also notable was that all eight semi finalists were contesting their matches simultaneously!
All matches involved a coin toss for colour, the winner to be White
All the games were fiercely contested, and Eddie and Dave McKee drew.
Their replays with 30 second increments, initially with 30 minutes to start, and subsequently with 10 minutes to start until a result emerges will all be on Tuesday April 3rd.
Rob Owens defeated Rob Haseman
Mike Haslinger defeated Mike Barooah.
Gareth Haslinger and Phil Fisher battled it right down to a K and 4 P ending, which eventually resulted in a win for Gareth.''
Update at 22nd March
Missing their top two players and facing a Skem team including for the first time in the season.their top player graded 168,and with an aggregate grade advantage of over 190, Formby 2 knew they were in for a hard time and so it proved. Early draws by the skipper and Rob H were the best that could be done. Any hope that the Skem No 1, who had missed their first 7 matches despite being listed, might be rusty were swiftly cast aside as he beat Dave McK to be followed by a defeat for DMcN. Andre a substitute on the night did very well and posed a serious mating threat before his opponent found the only reply that gave back a piece against the rook Andre had given up. Alan was also unlucky up against an opponent with 6.5 from 7 to date when his time ran out with what seemed to be a drawn position with both players having rook and two pawns. Thus the 1--5 defeat leaves the team in need of a win from the final three matches to be sure to avoid relegation.
Formby 3 are in no danger in Div 4 but their slight promotion hopes were squashed with a 2.5 --3.5 defeat at Atticus 5. It might have been worse as Rob H, Eddy and the skipper lost to go 0-3 down but wins by Bob G and Andre together with a draw on top board for Alan made the final score much more respectable.
Update at 15th March
EDW reports on last Tuesday's Div 1 match which incorporated the John Ripley Cup tie
'' Having been drawn at home to Atticus 2 in the John Ripley Cup, it was agreed that the top six boards of our league game against them would count for both competitions. Top versus bottom in the league, and a strong Atticus team, left us hopelessly out-gunned on paper, but it didn't seem like that on the night.
For a long time, Gareth, Dave C and Duncan were each a pawn up, the rest of us level. It was well past the two hour mark when the first game finished, a draw when Duncan could make no progress. A draw also for Mike Barooah, but wins for Dave and Gareth, very much against the odds from a grading perspective. Dave had a grip from very early against Tom Bimpson, which he duly converted. And though Steve Kee had managed to blockade Gareth's passed centre pawns, that opened the way to a very neat mating attack instead. 3-1 up in the league game, and another draw from me, Mike H or Phil would have seen us in the cup final, but sadly it was not to be. All three of us, and Dave McKee on Board 7 as well, will probably think we should have drawn, but in the end none of us did, and a relieved Atticus team took a step nearer the league and cup double. Next up for us is a possible last chance against Waterloo the week after next.
MDB also refers readers to the Atticus website where there is our opponents take on the match(es).
Last night the 440 team had a good win at Aigburth with individual wins for Bob G and Dave Wh and draws for MDB and Rob H
Last weekend the club were well represented at the Blackpool Congress with MDB's report on the relevant page. Several MCA club members were also involved with Gary Quillan of Waterloo winning the Open with 5/5 and Mike Connor of Widnes the Intermediate. A full schedule of all results can be found on 'chess-results.com'
Update at 9th March
There has been limited chess recently with the 2nds also postponing their match from last Monday to 18th April. The 3rds were able to play v Wallasey D on Tuesday with a draw resulting. Individual draws by Rob, Bob G, Andre and Dave Wh were coupled with an early and welcome win by the skipper but a defeat for Eddy.
On the same night Mike Bh beat Dave C in their championship replay and previously Rob H had beaten Bob G so all semi-finalists in the two competitions are now known and matches should be played before the end of March.
This weekend the usual suspects are off to Blackpool where chess might interrupt the social activities. A report on both will be published in the next week with the usual riders on veracity and libel implications.
Update at 28th February
Last night's 1st team match v Wallasey was postponed at Wallasey's request because of potential travel problems arising from the bad weather..
the Atticus '1' 440 team were able to come to Formby and a very close match ensued. It didn't seem likely when Both Eddy and MDB were early and easy losers within the hour. Thereafter there were two enthralling and lengthy games. Alan and Tom Webb exchanged down to K B and 2P v K B and 1P. When Tom was forced to give up bishop for a pawn Alan was able to force the other pawn to the 7th rank and when it could not be stopped Tom resigned. ANdre and Natasha were also involved in a similar material end game but with Andre's bishop up against Natashas knight. Whilst spectators thought that Andre could possibly have stopped a passed pawn both players queened pawns but then a forced exchange of those queens led to an honourable draw and the narrowest of wins by the visitors.
Update at 22nd February
The 3rd team lost only its second match of the season away v Liverpool 4 on Tuesday..
As is becoming more usual in recent seasons we were faced on top board with an ungraded player who beat Alan and whose grade having regard to the 2nd board grade of 123 has been estimated at 130. Kevin had a very good win on that second board. Unfortunately although outgrading their opponents by an average of over 20 the lower boards could not follow his lead. There were draws by Rob H and Eddy but losses by Rob and Andre gave a 2--4 overall loss.
In the replay in the club championship the experience of Phil told against John G and he goes through to the semi-final to play Gareth.
Update at 15th February
Both 1st and 2nd teams played this week and achieved results that could be regarded as very satisfactory. On Tuesday the 2nds received Hoylake 2 with both missing their regular upper boards members.An early draw by Eddy was followed by a loss by late substitute Dave Whitby Duncan then drew but the skipper continued his run of wins by beating veteran Ron Ledgard with a very neat attack forcing the loss of two pieces and resignation by his opponent..
On top board John was battling both against a talented youngster and raging toothache and it was to his credit that he not only played but got a draw. This left Alan up against the Hoylake skipper in an end game of king and pawns. Alan had two connected passed pawns on 5th and 6th rank which kept the opponent's king in place but Alan did not fully appreciate that his own king sideways move would give him the opposition and a most probable win so accepted the offer of a draw to leave the match level and satisfaction for both teams in the fight to avoid relegation.
On the following night the 1sts including both MDB and John G but still a man short played at Widnes. EDW's report follows
''It says something about our team that more people were worried about missing the Liverpool game than Valentines Day. We travelled one short, missing two of our regulars, anticipating a drubbing at title-chasing Widnes, only to find that virtually the whole of their first team was missing. (indeed not one of their 7 listed players was in the team. MDB)
Mike Barrett had an early draw, John Grady lost a pawn and eventually the game, but Mike Barooah had a controlled win, gradually increasing the pressure to break through - probably the only one of us who could be totally satisfied with his night's work. Phil was winning, then losing, and looked totally lost to me in a pawn ending but somehow queened first, to win.
That left the top three boards in play, and the match level. Mike Haslinger desperately short of time, Gareth a pawn up but under a lot of pressure, and me a pawn down but with a massive time advantage. Given the match score I turned down a couple of draw offers, particularly as I could see that Gareth had lost his extra pawn.
But then a loud groan from Mike Connor signalled a blunder and a win for Gareth, and though Phil Coughlin had managed to reduce our game to a dead draw, which he could have stopped the clock and claimed, he did not, his time ran out in a series of checks, and the match was won. And finally Mike H's opponent first made an illegal move to give Mike an extra two minutes, and then ran into a checkmate.
Not quite the end though. After sleeping on it I felt what I should have done was wait and see how MIke got on before claiming the win, and, as he won, I've entered my result as a draw, and a 5-3 victory for Formby.''
Update at 9th February
Last weekend four club members took part in the Frodsham Congress and a detailed report is on the congress page. It was a successful weekend at a venue which is now less than 45 minutes from Formby and well organised. The counting team of three from four fared better than several Chester teams and other singleton clubs to come away with the prize of a digital clock and Eddy has a share of a grading prize although I have to emphasise (as no doubt he will ) that it is insufficient for any wild celebrations at the Railway!!
On Tuesday the 3rds confirmed the overall grading differences with a 4-2 win against Aigburth 4. Whilst Alan lost to an equally graded player there were wins by Bob G, Andre and Dave Wh and draws by Rob H and Eddy.The team is now well placed to push for promotion in the last part of the season.
Update at 2nd February
The 1sts started their return fixtures with the visit of Aigburth1 but it was not a happy new year. EDWs reports
''Aigburth arrived with a strong team, leaving us heavily outgraded at the start, and sadly seven of us were even more outgraded by the end. Mike Haslinger's opponent sacrificed a piece for a couple of pawns, and that's how it remained until they agreed a draw when Mike might have been thinking of a win. Of the rest, a couple were under the cosh from early on, some of us held our own for a good while, and MIke Barooah and Paul Jordan were even winning, but what all the games had in common was that the second our opponents were given a chance, they took it with a vengeance.''
The 3rds did much better at Hoylake last night when they beat Hoylake 3 by the narrowest of margins with wins by Alan and Eddy and draws from Rob H, Bob G and skipper Paul.
Update at 26th January
The 2nds were in action on Tuesday in the return match v Prescot 2 and fielded what might be considered to be their strongest team. However it did not start well with Paul J on top board succumbing to a very strong and seemingly sacrificial attack. Rob Owens (now graded 103 at 1/18) escaped with a draw .in an end game of pawns and opposite coloured bishops, despite his opponent having a supported pawn on the seventh rank. Fortunately despite or maybe because of his irregular pawn structure Rob was able to prevent the king coming up to cover the eighth rank square.Dave McK and John G both had good draws against veteran players and then Duncan who had won his opponents queen and then gave up his own for a material advantage in the end game duly won to leave the team result down to the skipper on bottom board. He had neatly won a piece but gave it back to get rid of connected passed pawns. His opponent then erred in swapping off queen and one rook which allowed MDB to force victory in a rook and pawn ending.
In the club championship replays Mike H beat Alan and Eddie was possibly fortunate to beat Dave Wh on time in what looked to be an equal position. Dave C and Mike Bh had a battle and will now have to start again after a draw was agreed.
Members should note that the new January grades are available on the ECF site and Dave W is no longer the sole leading player being joined by Gareth at the top of the club ranking.However the respective results in the match v Hoylake when entered for July 18 may well change the situation.
Update at 18th January
Formby 1 received Hoylake 1 on Tuesday and EDWs report is below
''Hoylake were close to winning the league a couple of years ago, so it was a bit of a surprise to find them level on points with us at the bottom (though they do have two games in hand). They arrived with a couple of their better players missing, so we were heavily out-graded on the top boards, but with the advantage lower down.
Paul's first outing of the season for us moved smoothly from a strong position to the win of a piece and inevitable victory. Unfortunately Phil's game was following similar lines, but in the opposite direction. All the other games had at least one 'if-only' moment for one team or the other.
James had looked to be a sound pawn up but could only draw, and Gareth had gone from a pawn up (though probably only a draw) to a pawn down and a loss. Meanwhile Mike H had, in his own words, a Houdini-like draw from an exchange down and no time. Dave C was always on the back foot and did lose, though there were times when it looked as if it might have gone the other way.
I then survived one hairy moment when Dave Tebb missed a clear win, before my four pawns overwhelmed his lone rook, for my first ever victory over him at the umpteenth attempt. This left Mike Barooah needing to win, a bishop up and with eight minutes against three. He duly used up six of those minutes flirting with disaster until, now behind on the clock, he calmly won his opponent's two remaining pieces. 4-4, probably a fair result, and we remain level at the bottom.''
Last night the 2nds went to Aigburth3 and the match started well for the visitors when opposing captain Will Cook was tempted by MDB into an attacking move which in fact cost him a rook whereupon he resigned. Paul J was having battle on top board and both players could make no real headway so agreed a draw. Rob Owens was a very welcome returnee to the fray at Formby but his opponent soaked up the pressure and hit Rob on the counter punch. It still looked good for the team when John G went into an end game having had a draw offer turned down and his opponents subsequent offer was only made when John was clearly winning which he did with two passed pawns. Unfortunately Dave Whitby erred when he had a clear drawing position with rooks and a pawn on the 7th rank and then Alan W going for a win rather than a clear draw by repetition used up all his time advantage and more in so doing.. It was therefore a rather disappointing team defeat by 2.5--3.5
In the replay in the club championship QF Dave McK beat Duncan. .
Update at 9th January 2018
The first club evening of the New Year was spent in four games in the Knock Out stage of the Club Championships and it is clear from the results that the competition will be hard fought. Although Gareth overpowered MDB, his father was held to a draw by Alan and there were also draws between Eddy and Dave Whitby and between the two Mcs, Duncan and Dave.
The previous evening the 440 team had played at Prescot, fielding a team totalling 439 points reasonably evenly spread. The opponents used a different method of two strong players on the top boards so having to use a very low graded player on board 4. Eddy was duly victorious against him. Bob won on board 3. After MDB had secured the team win with a draw on board 2, John 'escaped 'with a draw by giving up a rook to ease a perpetual check when in some time trouble.
Update at 19th December
At the last club night of 2017 the group stage of the club championship was concluded for which JMH will be very pleased.Both Dave C and Bob G played twice, Dave beating John and Bob beating Eddy before Dave then beat Bob. Dave Whitby drew with Mike Bh in the other game. It was a pleasure to meet up again with Rob Owens who has tested the water with a couple of congresses and is now anxious to take part in team competitions. As his last grade was 119 he will be a very welcome addition..
The club is closed on 26th Dec and 2nd Jan reopening on 9th. The team matches in early January are;
Mon 8th 440 v Prescot away; Tuesday 16th 1sts v Hoylake 1 at home;
Wednesday 17th 2nds v Aigburth3 away
In the meantime I wish all members a very Happy Christmas
Update at 14th December.
This week was programmed for cup matches so both J Ripley and K/A teams played on Tuesday evening. At Southport the K/A team met stronger opponents and lost 1.5--4.5. At home the JR team received a Liverpool team receiving a 1.5 handicap but the players themselves were not as strong as our top 6 and we ran out winners by 5--1(+1.5). Fuller details are on the relevant page.
Last Saturday the pre -Christmas meal was held at Bistro Moulin after pre-prandial drinks at the Cross House. 11 members sat down to the very satisfying meal and a good time was had by all. Thanks go to Eddy for the organisation.
N B Mike Barooah's talents stretch beyond the chess board and he is holding a photography exhibition at Calderstones Park Readers' Gallery with an open day next Tuesday 19th and running until Saturday 23rd. No doubt he can give you more information if requested at 0151 526 0676 or email@example.com
Update at 6th December
Both 1sts and 2nds suffered defeats in their final league matches of 2017.
On Monday the 1sts played against Atticus 1 which team is not doing as well as their 2nd team to whom we had lost heavily earlier in the season. They were missing heir usual boards 2,3 and 4 but Formby were a man short so immediately at a disadvantage. This was made worse by an early defeat for Dave C but then lessened by a win for MDB and at that stage all remaining games appeared level. Gareth drew as did Phil who although going the exchange down had a very troublesome passed pawn. Dave W agreed a draw but thought on reflection that earlier he had not taken full advantage of a better position. This left Mike Bh who got into his not unusual and irreversible time trouble leaving Mike H as last man standing. At this stage the match was lost so that whilst his opponent was very short on time neither player could see a win arising and Mike courteously offered a draw and the match ended 3-5.
On the following night the 2nds played their return match v Liverpool 3 having drawn with them a fortnight previously. Both teams were changed but with Liverpool slightly stronger and Formby weaker. However Formby gained an almost immediate advantage on top board when John Gs opponent lost a minor piece on his 7th move and immediately resigned. the other matches remained level for a while until Rob H was very neatly mated. MDB had a draw offer accepted as queens were about to be swapped although subsequent examination indicated that he retained an advantage because of his stronger pawn placement. Dave Whitby, a late substitute was playing someone apparently playing his first competitive game but no rabbit. Dave went a N to 2 pawns down and lost when his pawns were hoovered up. Duncan lost and finally Eddy fell to a sucker punch of a mate when he ignored the threat of a Q on the longest diagonal to b7.
Mike H and Gareth both won their club championship group games v Andre and Alan respectively and Mike asks that all outstanding group games be played before the month's end. Members are reminded that the club will be open on 19th but closed on 26th Dec and 2nd Jan 2018
Update at 30th November
The 2nd team went to play Skem 1 on Monday lacking our board 1 and knowing Skem could put out a strong team and the result confirmed the position. After 90 minutes both John G and very late substitute Rob H were the exchange down and Duncan was a piece down.John and Duncan duly lost but Rob gained a very creditable draw. In the game of thee skippers Bart McHugh sacrificed a rook to break up MDB's pwn structure but when he was obliged to exchange queens his attack dissipated and the clear material advantage prevailed. Dave Mck
was level for a long time before losing and Bob Gs loss gave Skem a clear win.
On Tuesday the 3rds played Southport 2. Rob's efforts the previous night must have told as he was an early loser to a talented junior.Thereafter there were close struggles with a 3-3 draw with good wins by Kevin G and Andre.
Dave McK and Mike H played their group game in the Club championship and Mike reports that after an early advantage to Dave it took time for him to get back in the game . It was level thereafter and with opposite coloured bishops a draw was agreed.This was a very good result for Dave.
Update at 23rd November
Two matches were played on Tuesday with two wins resulting. The more important one was the 1st's first win of the season and skipper EDW reports ;
''We've had some good battles with Waterloo in the last few years (mostly losing battles) and this season they have been massively strengthened by the return of IM Gary Quillan. But Gary was playing elsewhere, and we were at full strength with our top three preferring chess to Champions League, so the grades suggested a very even match.
Mike Barooah (now with 4NCL experience!) and Duncan always looked strong and both won, while alongside them Phil and James both drew. At one point I thought Gareth was in serious trouble, and soon he was shaking hands and I feared the worst, but it seems his opponent and I were both victim to the same optical illusion, and it was actually a win for us. All of a sudden we were 4-1 up.
I was lost for quite a while but hung in there, got some rather nasty counterplay which seemed to force a repetition, and when Colin Horton offered the draw I was happy to take it (though I was momentarily disconcerted when one of his teammates told Colin the score was 3-3, but that was another match altogether!).
If the plan had been to draw as black and win as white, it went flawlessly until Mike H spoilt the pattern after Dave C had drawn, but with four draws and three wins already chalked up we had a 5-3 win and our first points of the season.
Bob Greaves' 440 team received Atticus second string.With draws from him and Eddy plus a win by Andre the match depended upon MDBs game on top board. With only one knight each and pawns on opposite sides of the board Steve Philp's connected pawns on 6th and 7th rank looked very dangerous but MDB was able to engineer a passed pawn to which Steve had to give his attention and a draw followed when MDB was able to give up his knight for both pawns.
Update at 16th November
The bubble burst this week for Formby 2 and 3, with first defeats for both.
On Monday the 3rds went to Skem 2 and were hammered 5-1. The aggregate grading suggested a close fight but a possibly artificially low grade for one Skem player put the total out of kilter. Alan's win was the one silver lining to the evening's cloud, although it was on time that Eddy lost.
The following evening the 2nds received a Liverpool team and with the influx of players to that club it was impossible to foretell the likely team and result. Draws were agreed by Paul S, Dave McK and then Rob for whom I'd made a note 45 minutes previously that the game looked 'extremely drawish'. Shortly before that MDB had benefited from his opponent attacking with a wrong alternative piece to allow a mating counter attack leaving Duncan and John to decide the match. Duncan had gone the exchange down to stop an attack but remained under pressure and in time trouble which cost him the game. John has been successfully relied upon as last man standing for several matches but this game went the other way. From having a few minutes more than his opponent in the last 10 minutes it went the other way and with some minor errors preventing any draw acceptance John also lost on time to give a 2.5--3.5 team defeat.
Eddy asks that members be reminded of the Christmas Meal at Moulin Bistro Old Mill Lane Formby on Saturday 9th December and for anyone wishing to go but not already on his list to contact him asap.
Update at 9th November
The 1sts continue to struggle in Div 1 losing away to Atticus 2 . Dave W reports
'Top versus bottom as we travelled to Atticus 2.
Dave McKee took an early draw on his first team debut. At this stage Phil was struggling a pawn down, but Gareth was pressing, Mike H had a goodish knight against a baddish bishop and James seemed to have some play against his opponent's undeveloped position, with none of the rest of us significantly worse.
But sadly Atticus are just better than us. There was no way back for Phil. I made a couple of mistakes as time ran short, Gareth went the same way, then some consolation in the middle order with a late win for Dave C, and a draw from Mike H. But losses for Mike Barooah and James took us to our third 6-2 defeat of the season.
At least we're consistent.''
The 3rd team however show their strength and had a good win against Atticus 5 to stay on top of Div 4. Early wins by Paul S and Andre plus a draw by Rob was the start wanted and despite a loss by Bob G on top board a draw by Eddy and a very good win by Alan gave a 4-2 victory..
MDB finished his group games in the Club championship with a win against Dave McK..
Last night the Woodvale contingent lost in the cup v St Helens but there were good performances by Phil with a draw against Graham Lilley and a win by Bob G
Update at 3rd November
The only competitive chess this week has been three club championship games.
Eddy achieved the best result with a draw against current champion Dave Colbourne in a rand P ending following mutual chances in the middle game. Rob admits to making an error when ahead against Dave Whitby and John G beat Bob G on time when he had R and passed pawn against B Nn and passed pawn
Update at 28th October
The two matches this week continued the long but friendly(?!) rivalry with Wallasey Chess Club.On Tuesday the 2nds received Wallasey C and there was the expected very close and hard fought match. Dave Mck and opponent agreed a draw when all major pieces had gone from the board followed by a similar decision by Duncan. Paul J's draw on top board and a similar result for John G whose attack was never quite enough to succeed left the bottom two boards to decide the team result. MDB went a pawn up and found a very strong position for his knight which negated Graham Heath's attack and also led to further pawn captures and a resignation when faced with mate or loss of queen. On bottom board Eddys position was breached by an unexpected queen check supported by a bishop on an open long diagonal and which proved fatal. The match was therefore drawn.
On Thursday the 3rds went to Wallasey where their D team were hosts. Eddy faced the same opponent as earlier in the week and improved his response with a draw. there were also draws by Kevin G, and skipper Paul so wins by Rob H, Alan W and Andre gave a 4.5-1.5 victory.
Formby's Woodvale contingent were in action on the same night with a draw by Phil 'spoiling ' a whitewash. There were wins by Dave C Mike Bh and John G. Those by Bob G and MDB were especially noteworthy. In Bob's game I have never seen so many threats by way of pins, forks and discovered checks as he put on his opponent to force resignation. MDB countered an attack and forced the exchange of queens and other pieces whilst retaining all his pawns, of which he retained all eight until the 44th move. By the time of his opponents resignation a few moves later MDB had N and 7 pawns v R and 1 pawn and his only concern was to avoid a stalemate position. Indeed if his opponent had given up R for a pawn he might have managed it .
N B There are no team matches scheduled for next Tuesday 31st so there will be another opportunity to clear some club games
Update at 20th October
There was an improved performance last night by the 1st team at Wallasey but unfortunately no point at the end of the match. Dave Williams reports
'' Wallasey have mislaid some of their better players, and a weakened team had suffered two defeats even worse than ours, so we travelled in hope. Sadly they were close to full strength last night, so started as favourites.
If we were to get something out of the match I felt that Gareth and I, in the unusual position of having a grading advantage, would need to win, and both of us did. Gareth with one of his trademark temporary sacrifices, me with a pretty combination as Mike Coffey tried to free his position.
Elsewhere things weren't going quite so well. Dave C lost quickly, and with Mike Barrett also losing we were at 2-2. To say the match was 'poised' would be stretching it. James had an extra pawn with no obvious means of exploiting it, the others were all material down, and all four behind on the clock.
When Phil lost and James could only draw the match looked over, till suddenly Mike Barooah's opponent blundered a rook for nothing. With Mike H showing how hard it is to win a rook ending with only one extra pawn and claiming the draw, a win for Mike B would have drawn the match. But he was so short of time, and his opponent had so many extra passed pawns, he did weil to return a bishop and escape with a draw.
So, a 4.5-3.5 defeat that perhaps wasn't quite as close as it seems.''
Three club championship games were played on Tuesday with wins for Andre, John G and Phil.
Update at 13th October
Last Monday the 2nds went to Prescot 2 a team of equal strength and the result confirmed this.Rob H agreed an early draw and then MDB after turning down a draw offer benefited when his opponent although having a lot of pressure made a move which released MDB to threaten mate in one and at the least win a couple of pawns. Unfortunately Henry compounded his error by actively touching his queen which meant that he was either going to lose it or be mated so resigned.Bob G a late substitute then lost as did Paul J on top board. A draw by Duncan left the match result dependent upon John G, a position he's getting used to.Having turned down an earlier draw offer he pressed on and after a wild struggle forced resignation from the very experienced Bob Amos to ensure a team draw.
On Tuesday Liverpool 4 came to play the 3rds. These days one does not know how strong any Liverpool team will be on the night and three of their players had no current grade. The skipper soon won on bottom board and Rob on top board had another draw.Eddy then won but this was countered by a loss for Dave Whitby. Bob G played well to extract a draw when in some time trouble and whilst the last game went on for quite a while longer Alan was able to draw to give the team the narrowest of wins.
Last night there was even more chess for some of the players under the Woodvale colours and a team win helped by draws by MIke Bh and Phil and wins by Dave C, John G and MDB
MDB's other game of the week ended in a loss to MIke H in the Club championship
and Duncan's loss to Gareth gave the Haslinger family a good night.
N B There are no team matches this coming Tuesday so it will be an opportunity to get some championship games out of the way. The groups are on the relevant web page and MDB will provide contact details if required.
Update at 4th October
The 1st and 440 teams were in action at home last night. Dave Williams' report on the 1sts follows
''Another 6-2 defeat, but not all doom and gloom. Widnes outgraded us on every board, but not by wide margins, and we lost a few points by trying for the wins that we needed if we were to get a result. John Grady and I both lost that way, though he had a definite advantage and turned down a draw offer before blundering, whereas my sacrifice was only ever good for a draw, and not even that the way I played it.
By this time Phil had drawn, and Dave C had lost, but things looked up a bit as Mike Barooah exploited his endgame advantage to queen a pawn and record our first game win of the season. (I confess to being pleased that his opponent was unable to sacrifice a rook for this pawn, which would have left Mike the interesting task of mating with knight and bishop.) Sadly this was quickly followed by a loss for Mike H, who had tried hard to generate an advantage until time trouble saw his opponent's pieces co-ordinate rather nicely to win a lot of material
This left Gareth and James in action. Gareth definitely had the worst of it for quite a while, but with Mark Ellis unable to find a decisive breakthrough he fought his way back in, the game seemed to me to fluctuate move by move, but eventually the decisive mistake was Gareth's. By this time I was with James, a piece up but with no time. Somehow in his final few seconds he managed to win a rook, blunder a bishop, lose a rook in a desperate attempt to mate, and be rescued by a generous draw offer from Gareth Ellis.
So, 6-2 again, but on another day ''. . .
The 440 team unfortunately did not start the season in the way they had ended 2016-7 and neither did the skipper in the match v Hoylake. Draws by Dave Wh and Andre were followed by a defeat for Bob who could not stop a pawn advance . In his game MDB swapped off to an ending where he had R and 3 pawns against Rand single pawn. This pawn was however well advanced, on the other side of the board, and supported by the king. Whilst his opponent was in time trouble he was able to repeat moves and get the draw that gave the team win.
In the club championship Alan beat Duncan.
Update at 29th September
The 2nds and 3rds had matches this week and both were victorious. On Tuesday the 2nds were at Hoylake 2 and expected a hard fight against a stronger team. However the top four boards all won with John G, elevated to top board, showing expertise in a K and pawn end game against an opponent 30 points higher. Duncan beat a promising youngster and MDB
was the recipient of a very courteous if surprising resignation. Alan's end game technique was also successful and once the match was won Eddy was content to agree a draw. Opposition skipper and stalwart Peter Inward did his best with a win over Dave Whitby.
The following night Eddy, Dave W and Alan were in action again in the 3rd team match at Aigburth 4 with mixed results of an Alan win, a draw for Dave but defeat for Eddy. However wins for Bob G and Rob H gave a team victory despite the skipper's loss.
The Formby contingent in Woodvale colours were in action last night. Wins for Mike Bh, John G and Andre together with draws by Phil and MDB gave the team a cup win against Skem.
Phil and Mike Bh had played each other in the Club Championship on Tuesday when the game was drawn.
Update at 22nd September
The first three games of the club championship have been played. Whilst there were no shocks there were no easy games either. MDB took over 50 moves and more than two and one half hours to beat Andre with Andre admitting that his stamina is not what it was. Phil beat Dave Whitby with greater possibly knowledge of end game theory and Mike Bh did the same to Rob H, surprisingly without getting into serious time trouble.
On Wednesday Formby renewed their K/A Cup rivalry with Atticus having lost on board count the previous year. This time Atticus were somewhat weaker and were not helped by a unfortunate default loss on board 4. Draws on boards 2,3 and 5 left Jim Wiseman having to beat John Grady on top board to again get a team win on board count. He had won against John last year but this time John was more tuned up and ultimately forced a resignation when JIm was going to lose his queen. The full details of the match are on the appropriate webpage below.
Update at 13th September
The 3rd team began their campaign in the enlarged Div 4( now combined with Div 5) with a visit from Hoylake 3. There was an early win by skipper Paul S on bottom board reflecting the difference in the respective grades followed by another win this time on board 5 by Andre. Unfortunately these were followed by losses on the top two boards and when Eddy s game was drawn it fell to Alan W to decide the team result. He could not make headway so the . team result echoed that of his game and of the respective aggregate grading .
The group draw for the Club Championship has been well publicised, on this web, by e-mail and on the notice board. Special attention should be paid to the Controllers comments.
The K/A Cup match will be played next Wednesday at Atticus at their new venue,Cross Keys Pub Earle St Lpool (where Liverpool played for a while). Rob is organising the team.
Update at 7th September
The 1st and 2nd teams started their season this week. On Tuesday the 2nds received Atticus 4 who appeared with a strong team. There was an early draw for Duncan followed by draws for Paul J and Dave McK. MDB had simplified to go two pawns up but was forced to give them back when under pressure and accepted a draw offer.. Rob was fighting hard on bottom board but had to give up his last piece for a queened pawn and lost in the resultant end game. In all this time John who was feeling under weather from the start was putting pressure on his opponent who had given up Q for R and B. and then got into time trouble. Whilst John missed an opportunity to win a rook his pressure told when Chris's time ran out. A team draw was a very good result for Formby..
On Wednesday the 1sts began their new season in the heights of Division 1 well aware that this was going to be a very tough situation. Their hosts Aigburth1 out graded them by over 100 points and their match was not helped by an early mistake by James who left his Q en pris and resigned..MBh now listed for the 1sts got a draw but EDWs ploy of giving up a minor piece for two potential passed pawns didn't work against a very talented player graded over 20 points
higher. Draws by Gareth, DaveC, and Mike H left Phil and MDB to try their best against opponents who were using a lot more time. MDB had swapped a minor piece for three pawns but ultimately fell apart when his position was very stifled and allowed the return of the pawns plus. Phil had the chance of a draw but a wrong decision when in check cost him. The final 2--6 defeat I'm afraid may not be the only one.
Update at 30th August
There was a good attendance at the Presidents evening last night , a fact appreciated by the Treasurer and by Phil who had 14 members taking part in his competition. Five rounds of quick play were enjoyed/endured by all at the end of which, despite the time handicap due to their 1st team status, Gareth and Dave C shared the spoils of wine and cake with 4 points. Third with 3.5 and recipient of a pack of beer was MDB. Thanks were given at the end to Phil for his usual masterful control and supervision.
The Treasurer will be pleased to receive all outstanding subs for the new season by next Tuesday night at the latest.
A part of Bob Platts collection of chess orientated books was available and several were taken by members. It is the intention to have all his remaining and rather extensive range of books on show at future club nights to be taken by members or opposition teams hopefully on payment of a small donation to club funds. Last night all the books were in the English language. Future showings will include those in Russian, German, Spanish and French!
Fixtures and gradings are now on the club noticeboard and the draw for the club championships will also be publicised when Mike H has received all entries for which the cut off date is next Tuesday when there is the first 2nd Team match v Atticus 4. The 1sts play away at Aigburth the following night and the 3rds start the following Tuesday ,12th , with a home match v Hoylake..
Update at 22nd August 2017
The fixtures for the new season are now available and our club activities restart with the President's evening next Tuesday 29th. Thereafter there are team matches most weeks and for some players who are eligible to play for more than one team two games a week may be the norm. The 1sts and 2nds are rostered to play in the same weeks with 14 matches each but fortunately thanks to Martin and his planners not on the same nights. The 4th and 5th divisions have amalgamated so there will be 16 matches for the 3rd team and Bob will be seeking to retain the 440 title with 7 matches for his team.In addition there will be the club championship so to avoid the problems of 2016-7 it is essential that as soon as Mike H announces the group stage games are played a the earliest opportunity.
In addition in this coming season the MCA have a volunteer captain to supervise a county U120 team to play other NCCU counties. As Formby have two thirds of their membership eligible for such a team I hope that when the call comes we can give a good response..