Update at 2nd May There were two matches this week which affected Formby and Southport clubs in different ways. On Monday Formby played Southport in the Final of the Knotty Ash Cup and won the trophy by 3.5 --1.5. The match was closer than the score might suggest and a detailed report is on the relevant League K/O page. At the same time Skem drew 3-3with a Hoylake team missing only Thomas Carroll in the John Ripley Cup and winning it with the aid of the handicap of 1.5. On the following night Southport 2 were due to receive Atticus 5 in Division 4 in a match which would determine the title. Following Formby 3's win last week against an Atticus team with 3 defaults, Southport needed to win 4-2 to snatch the title from Formby on board points. On Monday night it was reported that Atticus would default on 1 board. In the early evening of Tuesday they defaulted the match in its entirety to give Southport a very anti-climactic title. On Tuesday evening the Club Championship final was played between Mike Barooah and Gareth who had made the sacrifice of putting chess over Spurs football. This decision went in his favour when playing black and after a close game he came out on top. Congratulations go to him. MDB attended an MCA committee meeting on that night and will now circulate some informal notes of discussions and decisions ready for our AGM on 4th June. Update at 26th April Formby 3rds finished their season on Wednesday with a slightly less of an anti climax than the 2nds whose last match on Tuesday as reported last week was conceded by Hoylake. Atticus 5 playing at home at least had three players on the night and had a win when Steve Winstanley beat Dave McK. Bob G and Eddy both won to go with the defaults against Rob O, Rob H and Paul S. This win puts F3 on top of Div 4 but they will be overtaken by Southport 2 but only on game points if that team has similar good fortune against Atticus 5. The Hoylake default enabled Rob O and MDB to contest the Challengers' Final after MDB had beaten Dave McK in a very close semi-final replay. Rob playing black sacrificed rook for knight on f3 to open up MDB's king and utilise his knights.MDB hung in and felt quietly confident until he overstretched in search of a pawn and allowed a king and rook fork. Congratulations therefore to Rob. Rob together with Mike Bh had also played in the Bolton Congress over the Easter weekend. He was not very successful in the main competition but was very pleased to have beaten a grade 180 in the Saturday Blitz. Mike was more successful when with 2.5 from 5 in the U170 he won a quarter share of an under 150 grading prize and he also won a half share of a grading prize in the Blitz. N B we have two more Tuesdays of club nights on 30th April and 7th May before breaking until AGM on Tuesday 4th June. However next Monday 29th April Formby will be contesting the Knotty Ash Cup Final at Alder Rd Social Club at 7-45pm at which time and venue the final of the John Ripley Cup will also take place. Spectators/supporters will be welcome. Update at 18th April Formby 1sts played Atticus 4 on Tuesday needing to win and Liverpool 2, playing on the same night, to lose for the team to win Division 2. The first part went well with a 6--1 win helped by a default and also an early win by James who thus made certain of winning Division 2 Player of the Year- congratulations go to him and he has almost done as well playing top board in the 2nds. There were also wins for Gareth, Dave C and Mike Bh. Had Liverpool drawn there would have been equal match and game points and two draws when playing each other so at least Leon as Controller will be relieved. On the same evening and also at Formby, the 3rds continued their push for the Div 4 title against newcomers Ormskirk. They struggled to a narrow win with an early win by skipper Paul against an inexperienced junior and after some draws another win by Andre when he had been under pressure for a long time coming up trumps. Bob G was the only loser but he fought long and hard when 4 pawns down against a player whose end game was less than certain. Formby 3 are on top of the table and play their final match against bottom club Atticus 5. Teams in 2nd and 3rd places are to play each other so there remains a chance of the title. Last night the 2nds played their rearranged game at Hoylake, missing James who had a football priority but with Paul J who had sworn all team mates to secrecy on score or result on pain of being left to find their own way home. Formby's first two winners were the top boards against opponents graded 15 points higher. First MDB was the recipient of a surprising resignation when he thought with accurate play his opponent would only go the exchange down but who thought erroneously that he was losing a rook for nothing. Paul's opponent gifted him a knight before ten moves and was always struggling finally resigning when faced with a supported passed pawn on the 6th rank. Rob O drew but the other games were tight and it seemed possible would all be lost. Andre did lose after allowing a rook into attack in an open file but Dave Mck absorbed the pressure and was the recipient of an error which gave us the match. Alan defended stoutly ,managed to clear the strong attack and came out the exchange up and won when forking king and bishop with his more mobile knight. Hoylake have conceded next week's return fixture so with a 6-0 victory thereby Formby 2 are likely to finish 2nd or at the least 3rd.
Update at 10th April Congratulations go this week to Rob Owens who last weekend won the Chester Rapidplay Minor section (U1600) with a score of 5.5 /6. With a grade of 1288 he was ranked 27th of the 51 starters and started with a game against the top ranked player with a grade of 1593. he drew this and then went on to beat the 3, 5,7 and 18 seeds finishing with another win against an estimated 1000 grade player. Overall his performance was of a 1849 standard. On Tuesday he was back in Formby playing his Challengers semi-final with black against Andre. He was put under a great deal of pressure when Andre opened up the rook file with a strong attack but was able to mass his defences and came out of a piece up. This told in the end game when in his usual quick play style he ended with Band P against Andre's solitary king. MDB played Dave McKee in the other semi-final with both having chances and surviving under pressure to agree a draw and go to a replay. Update at 4th April Formby 1sts played Atticus 3 on Monday whilst at the same time and venue Div 2 title rivals Liverpool 2 were playing Atticus 4. Whilst both won Liverpool gained another game point advantage to add to that of their match point. The 1sts had an immediate win by default with the illness of the Atticus board 7. Wins by Dave C and Mike H added points but both Gareth and Phil lost. James' win against Jim Wiseman, whom I am pleased to hear is recovering well from a recent operation, means that he remains very much favourite for the Div 2 Player of the Year title. There is a more detailed report on the match on the Atticus website. There was another top of the table struggle in Div 4 when Formby 3 ,second, played leaders Southport 2. The situation remained the same with a 3-3 draw although Formby might claim some kudos in view of the comparative grading totals.There were wins by Bob G and Eddy, countered by losses from the two Robs. Eddy describes his game as a real roller coaster going a piece ahead , having to give it back and then going a piece down only to mate his opponent with only a couple of minutes left on his clock. The mating possibility had been there for some time and defended against only for the Southport player to then forget this much to his disgust. As an advance notice there will be two team home matches involving 1sts and 3rds on Tuesday 16th April so the titles may well be decided on that night. Members should also note that a donation of some boards and sets has been made to St Peter's Church from where in late May a group is going out to give assistance to a school in Uganda. About the same time Eddy will be hoping to have his now annual 'congress' at St Jeromes and will be circulating members soon about this.
Update at 28th March Formby have reached the final of the Knotty Ash Cup by beating old rivals Prescot in the home semi final. Full details are on the relevant page. The final will be played at Prescot venue Alder Rd Social Club on Monday 29th April. Mike Barooah has reached the final of the Club Championship with a very entertaining win against Dave C. He went two minor pieces up in an end game but Dave's pawns were dangerous and Mike as usual was in some time trouble . However he was able to get rid of the pawns against his pieces and queen a pawn himself within the time limit. He will play Gareth in the final. The Challengers section is still at the semi final stage as all players involved have been required for team matches. It is anticipated that the competition will be settled by the final day of the season on 7th May.
Update at 21st March The 1st team's title hopes in Div 2 were dealt a blow this week when they were only able to draw at Southport whilst Liverpool 2 thrashed Atticus 3. Without a full report I can only comment on what I saw for a few moments after just over one hours play. Gareth was level with two minor pieces off but went on to win. Dave and Mike H were both level and drew. Phil had exchanged down to 2Rs and 4p to R N and 5 but was not able to convert this advantage and also drew. James had the most interesting position with pieces en pris all over the board and his was the only other Formby win. John was the exchange down and late substitute Rob O was 2 pawns down with both ultimately losing. Update at 15th March reports on the 2019 Frodsham and Blackpool Congresses are now on the relevant page Update at 14th March After a weekends exertion at Blackpool for several of the players (of which a more detailed report will appear shortly on the congress page) the 2nds and 3rds resumed in Divs 3 and 4 respectively. On Monday the 2nds went to bottom team Skem 2 where a win would ensure no relegation. The necessary result followed but by the narrowest of margins. Rob H, to whom the skipper was very thankful for his stepping in at the last moment, was an early loser but Duncan then won as did Rob Owens with his normal very attacking play. MDB agreed a draw against a very useful but as yet ungraded player. and after at first turning down a draw offer Paul J's opponent realised the inevitable and one was agreed. This left James on top board against one time Formby player Bart McHugh. Queens had been exchanged and James' clock seemed to be running down very rapidly in a rook and pawn ending. Although Bart got a pawn to H7 his rook had to be on H8 and his king was elsewhere to stop James' pawn and in such circumstances James' technique enabled him to clear the pawn and gain a draw with seconds remaining. On Tuesday the 3rds received Hoylake 3 and Rob H played his 7th game in 5 days so it was little wonder that there was a very early draw. Halfway through the match Rob O also playing his 7th match in the same period was level with both kings stuck in the middle. Bob G was 3 pawns up with one on the 7th rank but subject to counter play.Eddy had lost/given up Q for R but Andre had a two piece to 2 pawns advantage and the skipper was a pawn up. At the end of the evening Andre and Paul had won whilst Eddy had lost but with draws for Rob O and Bob the match was won 3.5--2.5 and the teams push for the Div title remains on course. On the same night Gareth and John played their Club Championship semi-final duly won by favourite Gareth with the black pieces. Update at 8th March At the beginning of this week's match in Div 2 the 1sts were ahead of Liverpool 2 by only 1 game point and at the end of Tuesdays match it remained the same with an unusual symmetrical draw. There was an early win by MIke Bh after 13 moves but followed by defeat for Dave. Gareth then lost to Liverpool's find of the season who in Divs 1and 2 has won 9 of 11 games and drawn 2 and plays on a grade of 190. Phil drew in a very tough battle but Mike H lost leaving John and James to determine the team result. John had been worried by an opening b4 and then an offered sacrifice but after countering this and forcing his opponent's king into the open was able to win a piece and the game. James' win meant that a draw was achieved with 3 losses on boards 1-3 ,a draw on 4, and wins on boards 5-7 Update at 27th February I have at long last been able to reconnect with this site so am able to enter various stats. I will not give narratives of individual games in matches but mention that the 1sts lost v Aigburth 2 but remain top of Div 2 as Liverpool 2 also lost their last match. They play each other next Tuesday in what could be the decider for the title. The 2nds have beaten Wallasey B and drawn with Wallasey C and are seemingly out of danger in Div 3 with their next match at Skem to be played on Monday 11th March The 3rds have beaten Prescot 2 but had to postpone this week's match v Atticus 5 as have the 440 team against St Helens. The 3rds next match will be on Tuesday 12th March at home v Hoylake and they remain contenders for the Div 4 title. Before then several members will be making the annual pilgrimage to the Blackpool congress on the weekend 8th to 10th March In the club championships all games in the quarter finals have been played which will please JMH although he himself lost on time in a very close contest with John Grady which with Andre's win against Duncan were the surprises of the round. Update at 31st January The 2nd team restarted after their long layoff(from 6th Nov) with a trip to play Liverpool 3 in their last match in their Crown Pub venue.They were met with a large room packed with 40+ players, some clearly there for the first time. Jim Gallagher has done a fantastic job in promoting chess and in particular in the Liverpool club but admits himself that the club may have become too popular and he is unable to offer all his attenders competitive team chess. If only it were possible and practical to spread some of this undoubted pool of talent and enthusiasm, which I presume is city centre and university based, around the outlying clubs in Merseyside. An example of this situation was soon very apparent on board 2 where Paul J (126) was faced by Sr. Ramirez a newcomer to club and team but with a grade (presumably computed from FIDE figure) of 169. Paul fought hard and long and indeed thought he was winning at one time but failed to complete the task. This made the score 2-2 following earlier draws by Duncan and Dave McK and a win on top board by James. On board 4 Rob O had given up/lost 4 pawns for a piece a situation which proved fatal leaving the skipper to decide the match result. He had been under pressure but then countered giving up a N for two pawns and then a third with his own progressing down the board. Unfortunately he did not keep them sufficiently connected and relied too much on his time advantage. He was ultimately mated with 5 seconds left on his opponent's clock. The draw for the knock-out stages of the Club Championship has been made and details circulated by e-mail and placed on this website. Rob H has also sent a message re the Knotty Ash Cup match to be played at home on Tuesday 26th March
Update at 24th January The 1st team started the second half of the season with a visit to Prescot where their victory plus Skem's win over Liverpool puts them equal top of Division 2. Dave C's reports on the match ''Another tight encounter, with P&KA. The results throughout the match kept the final score on a knife edge. First to finish was Dave with prod and pull game with Kevin Sartain, resulting in a final position much like a Mexican standoff, where neither player could push without exposing himself to severe problems so a draw was agreed. Mike Haslinger finished next with 6 pawns, a rook and light coloured bishop lined up against each other. After a few attempts to break the deadlock, to no avail, a draw was agreed. Mike Barooah attempted the new Timex Gambit by accidentally pressing the off button on his digital clock. So match captains had to agree a clock switch from digital to analogue to resolve the situation. A very amicable agreement was reached on timings between players which made it easy for the captains. It is refreshing when these things are resolved quickly and with such sportsmanship. My great respect is extended to our hosts as a consequence. Whilst fairly even, although Mike B might suggest otherwise, he was deeply behind on time so gratefully accepted a draw to make the match all square with 3 draws. Speaking of time trouble Gareth was equally well into his final 5 minutes and shortly agreed a draw after Mike B's result. Gareth seemed to get into a spot of bother before doubling up his rooks, with pawns on the 5 rank supporting his rooks he forced a strong attack under time pressure to even things up and agree the 4th consecutive draw of the evening. It was only at this point that any individual game was won or lost. James had kept the tension in the middle of the board with pawns well advanced down the centre, supported by his rooks. His opponent probably felt imprisoned, with James able to ultimately capitalise and win a rook and pawns before his opponent conceded. Meanwhile John, who was fighting a terrible cold and came out despite it, also appeared to be suffering in his game. Having lost an exchange of a rook for a minor piece, John's pawns seemed very vulnerable and his opponent did an assured job of picking them off. John accepted the inevitable and resigned. So again the match was level 3 all. This left Phil in the final game and match decider. Phil had won a rook for a bishop. However his opponents bishops were savage and Phil's rook was stranded in its starting position. It took some brave and patient moves to free up his rook but it exposed his King in the process. His opponent had some strong attacking lines and Phil had to be careful. However Phil kept a back row mate option alive and when time pressure forced his opponent into a hurried move, Phil was able to apply the final blow and win the match. A close finish in game and match. Thanks to all for a close match and great hosts. On the following night the 440 team received Hoylake and got a good draw. Dave Whitby's rustiness showed with an early loss but following hard fought draw by Dave McK, Andre showed excellent end game prowess to win on bottom board leaving Rob O fighting with Band 2 pawns against N and 3 one of which was on the 6th rank. The opponent then made the wrong decision as to which pawn to support with his king and Rob was able to swap off to a draw.
Update at 10th January 2019 The 1st team match on Monday at Atticus 4 completed the first half of the season with the win leaving the team second in Division 2 below Liverpool 2. Atticus have not put a report on their website and Dave's very brief comments follow ''I didn't get to see many games, so can't offer a match report. GH finished first with a win followed by JH with a draw. Then JC won his game followed by PF. This gave the team 3.5 points so a good lead. Despite an unfavourable position JG then got a win to secure the match. DC agreed a draw next. MB continued until his clock had 10 seconds left and his opponent had 24 seconds before they agreed a draw, despite a very open game.'' On the following night the 440 team received Atticus B and lost narrowly. Bob G went a piece up but was then 'suckered' into a mate.This was countered by a good win by Rob O who made a two pawn advantage tell with a discovered check about to win a rook when his opponent resigned. Andre's draw meant the team was relying on MDB but unfortunately a concerted attack with both knights and a queen cost him the exchange plus passed pawns and his resignation. The knock out stage of the Club championships will be published in the next week. Update at 23rd December The Christmas meal took place last night and a very enjoyable evening was had by the 11 members attending. Thanks go to Paul S for organising this. There is no club meeting for the next two weeks and we shall reconvene on Tuesday 8th January 2019. Matches in early January are as follows; Monday 7th 1sts away v Atticus 4 Tuesday 8th 440 home v Atticus ( Tuesday 15th 2nds AWAY v Hoylake ) now postponed MDB 26/12 in the meantime I wish all members and chess playing friends a very Happy Christmas and a successful New Year. Update at 14th December The only team match this week was the Knotty Ash cup played at Liverpool on Tuesday evening. This was won 4-1 and Rob's brief report and details appear on the knock out page. Any Club championship games in the last fortnight will be recorded next week. In the meantime this is a reminder to the message below on 15th November that the Christmas meal will be on Saturday 22nd December and names should go to Paul Sutton asap. Update at 6th December Congratulations are due to Rob Owens who came 2nd from 43 in the U120 section of the Preston Congress last weekend. He scored 4/5 without any loss and in the last round beat the first seed. The section was won by an ungraded player. Mike Bh was less successful but as usual played quality opposition in the U170 section. He scored 1.5 from 5 but his one win as against a 160 player in the first round. Rob also played in both Formby team matches this week. On Monday the 3rds went to newcomers Ormskirk and kept up their winning ways by 4.5--1.5. Skipper Paul reports '' Wins for Eddie & Paul against younger but keen opponents followed by a defeat for Dave on board 1 set the team up well. Bob Greaves then secured a win that put us in the driving seat, enabling the 2 Robs to offer draws that would have given us the match but their captain advised them to play on for the wins. Rob H secured the draw needed after 3 repetitive moves followed by Rob Owens winning on time in a very close game. A good result all round. Too many Bobs & Robs though!'' Last night the 440 team were at Aigburth. Eddy had an early draw and then Bob won against a currently ungraded player whose history albeit almost 20 years ago indicated a good chess brain. Rob O then drew after an end game which could have gone either way leaving MDB fighting on top board. He finally resigned when against two connected passed pawns but subsequent analysis showed he missed winning a piece and possibly the game very early on. Update at 29th November The 1st team played Atticus 3 on Tuesday and the result I think outstripped all expectations. The first win came from Phil whose opponent resigned when faced with forced rook loss to avoid a back row mate.Soon after James won on bottom board followed by Gareth at the other end. Gareth reports as follows ''My game last night with Luke had an unusual opening which I spent far too long thinking about. It soon got into an early endgame in which I won a pawn with a tactical trick. However in the resulting Rook and pawn ending Luke had some compensation for the pawn. I've had a brief look at the ending and I think we both made some inaccuracies. Eventually I think it became roughly equal and having little time remaining, I was fortunate that Luke lost his R to a discovered attack.'' John H drew whilst Mike Bh who seemed to be under a strong attack with his king stuck in the middle all of a sudden got a win as did Dave C. Mike H then finished the match to give a 6.5--0.5 victory. Mike reports '' My opponent played a rather unusual move sequence in the opening but after a few moves, I took a small risk of possibly losing a pawn in order to seize the initiative with black. This sort of plan will often not work out, but on this occasion it worked well and although neither of us made perfect selections, we had an interesting tactical scuffle which ended favourably for me.'' At the same time the 440 team were playing Waterloo and started well when Dave Mckee won a piece with a discovered check and then kept up the pressure getting a passed pawn on to the 7th rank to cause an unstoppable attack. Both Bob G and Andre won against ungraded and therefore unknown opponents and finally MDB agreed a draw having lost the initiative against an opponent who was in serious time trouble. Update at 22nd November Three further games were played in the Club championship this week. Phil beat MDB to keep his 100% record and finish top of Group A. In the same group Eddy continued his good run by beating Duncan and will be the other player from the group to go into the main knock-out stages. Dave C also kept his 100% record by beating Dave McK. Notice at 14th November and revised 15th November. The meal is now fixed for Saturday 22nd at Sorrento at 8-30 pm with drinks as previously. £15 deposit is required so please be firm in commitment and see Paul with money asap ( Paul S is suggesting Friday 21st or Saturday 22nd December for Christmas drinks and meal ,both at CROSS HOUSE PUB from 7-30 eating at 8-30. Please let him know preferred day. Sorrento in Three Tuns Lane is a second choice.) Update at 14th November The 1st team played local rivals Southport last night and Mike H's brief comments are given here ''Mike H was offered a draw in slightly passive position after a difficult opening and early middle game James agreed a draw in a balanced position John defended resolutely against a strong attack but as he was up a R,he was able to win eventually. Dave was struggling in a position in which both sides had active play but were not fully developed but he was only slightly worse when a tactic secured a big advantage and a win for Southport. Mike Barooah was about equal for a long time but eventually dropped a P and it was sufficient for Southport to win the board. Phil won after struggling for a very long time. And finally Gareth agreed a draw in an opposite B ending.'' Three games were played in the Club championship. Duncan felt a little fortunate when offered a draw by Rob H and Rob O put too much pressure on Bob G. MDB had his usual messy position when playing with black and gifted Eddy a pawn. He then felt he was getting back into the game but was completely conned by Eddy who took an age for a rook move which MDB thought did nothing to prevent his own rook move winning back the pawn and attacking the queen. He then realised that when Eddy simply took the rook with his queen his knight was prevented from recapturing as a back row mate followed immediately.
Update at 7th November It was the 2nd team's turn to play Skem this week when their 2nds came to Formby. Formby were able to field their strongest side and had a material grading advantage on the three bottom boards.Rob O soon finished winning after 30 minutes when winning queen for rook but able to gain back the rook a few moves later. An hour later James drew with ex Formby member Bart McHugh. At that time the other games were basically level although MDB was up against an immovable bishop preventing him from castling. Alan then gained the exchange but up against two mobile knights and Duncan went two pawns up. Alan got rid of a knight and his king went pawn gobbling to obtain a resignation. This was quickly followed by a win by Duncan to give a team win. In these circumstances MDB's opponent accepted a draw offer. Paul J's opponent turned down a similar offer but then promptly lost the exchange and Paul's supported passed pawn was unstoppable on the 7th rank when his opponent accepted that the previous half hour had been a waste of time. Two games were played in the Club championship.Dave C had an expected win v Andre and Phil's greater expertise in the end game overcame Eddy. NB there is no 2nd team match on 21st November as Aigburth2 have withdrawn
Update at 1st November The first six boards of the 1st team appearing as the John Ripley cup team played at Skelmersdale but were unable to repeat the league win of a month previously. The return of Steven Melia on the home team top board strengthened them and his win against Gareth helped Skem to a 3.5--2.5 victory. Only Mike Bh was able to repeat his earlier success. Detailed results and a report from Dave C is on the relevant page. Four games were played this week in the club championship. In both the games between MIke H and Alan and Phil against Rob pins against their king cost Alan his queen and Rob a rook with consequential resignations. Gareth took longer to grind down Rob O as did John G against Andre. Update at 25th October The 440 team were in action again this week at home against the 'senior' Atticus team. Bob had been able to select his strongest four as had the opponents and it proved to be a very close and tense contest. MDB led from the top with a win against old foe Jim Wiseman. Jim had been attacking strongly until he fell for a bishop fork of rook and queen. He went a knight down getting out of trouble but when the queens were forced off he was left facing a passed pawn which he could only stop with the loss of a rook. Andre lost for the second time this season against Natasha and the teams remained equal with a draw by Bob.This left Rob O up against Tom Webb. Bishops and rooks swept around the board for a long time but when the dust settled Tom had to give up his remaining rook to stop a pawn queening and was left with no alternative to resignation. The 1st team faced Liverpool 2 at the same time after an exchange of venue. As seems now to be the norm especially at the beginning of the season Liverpool were basically an unknown quality with only one listed player appearing. Subsequently they have added their player on board two to their list, very appropriately as he was the first to finish with a win against Dave C. After 2 hours the other games were still being fought but then after Mike Bh had drawn Phil lost in an end game and Mike H won from being three pawns up. When James won after an exchange advantage but John lost to an ungraded newcomer the team was 2.5 to 3.5 down. On top board Gareth had a passed pawn on the seventh rank altho' his opponent was defending desperately. Gareth had rook and knight both attacking and defending his pawn and in particular was able to stop the opposing king from helping out. His technique and patience overcame the resistance and so his win gave the team a well deserved draw against a Liverpool side who no doubt will be competing for promotion. In the only Club Championship game Eddie was not able to convert a pawn advantage against Rob Haseman and a draw was agreed. Update at 17th October The 440 team opened their season with a trip to Prescot a club who take this competition very seriously and who won by the narrowest of margins. Eddy went a pawn up against old foe Peter Bassett and was able to convert this advantage to a win when Peter blundered a piece. However the score was levelled when Bob G lost and remained so with a draw by MDB. Rob H was under attack for some time before losing. The 2nd team received a Wallasey C side who appeared slightly stronger than its B team who had won against F2 in the previous match. it was thus pleasing when Formby went 2-0 up after 2 hours. MDB overcame the early loss of a pawn and an inability to castle to use his two bishops and a knight firstly to get the exchange up and then to get two pawns advantage with a clearly winning endgame. Andre had gone the exchange down but put in a concerted attack and with a very neat combination won his opponents queen and the game. James then drew on top board and even after a loss by Paul J, a fighting draw by Duncan meant we could not lose the match. Rob O seemed to be holding his position against veteran Graeme Heath but Graeme's king was much more mobile in an end game in which he went two pawns up and with Rob under considerable time pressure was able to convert to a queen and force mate to give a team draw. The previous weekend Rob had been the sole Formby entrant in the Crewe Congress where he was ranked 25/44 in the Inter section. he ended 14th with 3 wins against grades 127,127 and 105 and two losses. In the only club championship game of the week Gareth overcame a rearguard action action by Bob G who fought for some time whilst a rook down but finally had to admit defeat. Update at 14th October The 1st team received Aigburth 2 on Tuesday with the respective gradings giving the home team an advantage especially on the bottom three boards. however Aigburth had not read the script and were able to draw boards 5,6,and 7.After 1 1/2 hours Phil won but Mike H was three pawns down and could not claw his way back. On top board Gareth was a pawn up against veteran Dave Pearcey but could do nothing with this advantage leaving Dave C also a pawn up on board 2 to decide the result. In a time scramble his opponent gave his queen away leaving Formby winners by the narrowest of margins. The 3rds had their longest away trip on Thursday to play Hoylake 3 so it was disappointing that the home team were a player short leaving Rob H without a game.Unfortunately Formby were unable to build on this. A draw by Paul S was followed by losses by both Eddy and Bob G. Rob O could make no headway so agreed a draw as did Dave McK in similar circumstances. Formby 3 have lost their 100% record but still stand well in the division. Further games have been played in the club championship with MDB beating Duncan after a long and hard struggle whilst Andre had a very good win against Dave McK. Update at 5th October The two team matches this week had differing results. The 3rds welcomed local rivals Southport 2 on Tuesday and narrowly kept their 100% record. Dave Mck had an early draw on top board followed by a win from Andre at the other end. He went two pawns up whilst opening up his opponent's king to a rook and queen attack which forced a resignation.Bob G was under a great deal of pressure from a supported pawn on the sixth rank and soon lost. After a draw from Eddy, Rob H restored Formby's lead after queening a pawn leaving the team result dependant upon Rob O. He played on after his opponent had given a clear indication that he would take a draw by repetition only to allow the queening of a pawn and imminent loss. He was therefore very lucky when he was allowed into a stalemate to give a 3.5--2.5 victory. The 2nds went to Wallasey B last night where the teams were evenly matched.Both skipper MDB and Paul J got draws when analysis suggested inferior positions. Alan W made the wrong choice when under attack and went a piece down. This proved fatal when his pawns were mopped up.Duncan also lost a piece and the game so when James was only able to force a draw the match was lost. On bottom board Rob O built up a very strong attack with both rooks and queen and when he brought a bishop into play it was too much. facing mate or the loss of his queen his opponent resigned There were four club championship games on Tuesday with the highlight being Mike Bh's draw against Gareth. In the other games status told with Mike H beating Dave Whitby, Phil beating Duncan and Dave C beating John G. Update at 26th September The two team matches this week both ended in wins. On Monday the 1sts went to newly promoted Skem 1 and came away with a 5-2 victory. Dave C reported on the match ' JC finished first with position that cancelled each other out so a draw was agreed early. Then PF finished by getting into a favourable end game with a piece up. Eventually the army of pawns could not be stopped. MB got a good win from a very unorthodox position, but with MB playing B. Melia you could not expect a traditional game. Next DC finally resigns after losing a few pawns in a tight formation by missing a simple knight move. JG got into a Rook and 2 pawns vs a Bishop and pawn ending. He sacrificed his Rook for pawn and Bishop and managed to guide a pawn home for a win. MH managed to get the advantage at the expense of time so agreed a draw. This also secured the match. This left a tense finish for GH who whilst low on material had a strong attack. Playing for a draw by checking his opponent presented him with a forced win with seconds to spare.' The 3rds received Prescot 2 and gained an immediate advantage by default.Thereafter there was quite a struggle although no Formby player appeared in difficulty. When Eddy exchanged pieces he was a pawn up and then was able to have two separated passed pawns which could not both be stopped. Bob G came out of a mutually threatening position two pieces up and his opponent then gave up his queen and only very reluctantly conceded defeat(an approach not unknown to Bob!). Andre then agreed a draw to get the team win followed by draws on the two top boards. The club championship started with a win by MDB against Rob H Update at 20th September The only team match this week was the Knotty Ash match v Wallasey which was won 5-0. A detailed report is on the relevant page. The full schedule for the club championship is now on the notice board having been previously circulated by e-mail.I am sure that Mike Haslinger would like group matches to be played at the earliest rather than latest opportunity.
Update at 12th September 2018 I start with apologies for the late entry of this item. The new season started two weeks ago with a very enjoyable contest organised by Phil and using Fischer variable placing of pieces. After 5 rounds of sometimes frustrating play James Clarke emerged the winner having won all his games.The treasurer also had a successful evening collecting subs. A week later the serious chess started with both 1sts and 3rds playing at home v Prescot 1 and Atticus 5 respectively and therefore bringing into use some of the newly purchased clocks. The 1sts were into a new era of matches without previous skipper and board one Dave Williams but Gareth took the top position in his stride with an early win followed by a draw for Dave C on second board. John Grady elevated to board 5 went the exchange down but got it back whilst under pressure and forced his opponent to get a draw by perpetual checks.For a long time there were very few pieces off the board for James and his opponent but when the position cleared he was the exchange up and was able to force an end game win. Mike Bh was only able to confirm his availability at a very late stage so played on bottom board. Unfortunately he turned down a draw offer only to then lose a piece and the game. Mike H had gone the exchange down but was then able to pick up some pawns and ultimately a draw was agreed. This gave Formby at least a draw with the team result resting on Phil.He had gone a piece to two pawns up but his king was exposed and there was a passed pawn. This and the time pressure prevailed and so the team drew. The 3rds match was very tight also with early draws by Dave McK and Paul S. when Eddy had a good win and Rob drew the team were ahead but Andre's defeat left it all square. Bob G then secured the win with victory in a time scramble against a very experienced opponent. Yesterday the 2nds were also at home for their first match against Liverpool 3 who as might be expected had two unknowns on the bottom boards and which were the first to finish. Dave McK had an easy win after his opponent lost his queen but Bob G's game went the other way with Bob disappointed by his performance. Duncan lost but a win by MDB kept things even. Both James and Alan had the better of the positions but the worse in time and Alan's clock told against him. James was in an ending with R and 4 pawns v R and 3 and advanced his pawns gradually but with a time cost. Ultimately his opponent had to sacrifice his rook to when a pawn was queened and James had 15 seconds to mate with R and K v K. This he achieved with 7 seconds remaining to give a team draw. Will 2nd team squad members note that Aigburth 3 have withdrawn so there will not be a match on 21st November.