Archive for the ‘A Team’ Category

ECA 2 Chorlton A 4

Posted on: November 10th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

Aaaaagh Aaaaagh Aaaaagh

If our loss to Macclesfield A was frustrating then this defeat was a kick in the proverbials.

We managed to throw away 3 winning positions against a strong Chorlton team.

Keven’s game was first to finish with Keven being ground down in a Reti / Catalan. David then won his game, winning a piece in the middlegame. This left the match at 1-1 and at least three of the remaining matches were winning for us.

Paul played a great modern defence and was the exchange and pawns up but allowed a swindle.

Sion was easily winning with a strong Kingside attack but in time trouble lost his Queen.

I had my best scalp ever, winning on the Black side of a mainline Sicilian Dragon. Once we had banged out all the theory Hope went wrong quite soon, allowing a piece to be trapped. In bad time trouble I managed to find the right plan to close out the game efficiently.

This left Tudor needing to win to draw the match. As he had Queen against Rook and Bishop this looked achievable. However when all the pawns were traded except for the Kingside ones it became rather technical. Tudor wanted to accept the draw offer but gamely agreed to continue for the sake of the team. I still maintain that he had winning chances but unfortunately Tudor lost.

So two defeats out of two. The good news is that we should have Dave Newall and John back for the next game – away to Denton B in three weeks.

1. Phil Ramsey 1-0 Hope Mkhumba (184)
2. Keven Holton 0-1 Philip Olbison (162)
3. Tudor Rickars 0-1 Alan Beresford (150)
4. David Taylor 1-0 Steve Fogg (150)
5. Paul Bamford 0-1 David Kierman (143)
6. Sion Howells 0-1 Khalid Khokhar (128)

ECA 2.5 Macc A 3.5

Posted on: October 27th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey


We almost had the result of the (admittedly young) season last night with a narrow loss to a very strong Macclesfield A side.

With just my game remaining the score was 2.5 each. Sadly I had thrown away my advantage and had no time left to find a swindle so we lost. Here is the scorecard:

1. P Ramsey 0-1 A Soames (172)
2. K Holton 0-1 D Risley (171)
3. D Broadbent 0.5-0.5 V Kumar (155)
4. D Taylor 0-1 D Lobo (153)
5. T Rickards 1-0 G Laurence (150)
6. P Bamford 1-0 P Caulkett (148)

Their average grade was 158 against our 137!

I had a nice King’s Indian against Soames. He had no threats at all in the middlegame whereas I had a Kingside pawn storm so I turned down his draw offer. Sadly at one point I pushed the wrong pawn and lost a pawn for not enough compensation. I managed to create some threats in the late middlegame but his time advantage was too great and he found a way to exchange into a winning endgame. An enjoyable game though.

Keven was gradually ground down by Risley who had long-term Queenside pressure on Keven’s pawns.

Dave B had a great opening against Kumar and was a pawn up at one stage. He exchanged off into a good endgame but Kumar managed to draw.

David T lost the exchange to Lobo and then won it back but was ground down in the ending.

Tudor has a great King’s Indian as his opponent castled Queenside and Tudor flung his pawns forwards. Laurence had little counterplay and Tudor’s attach was irresistible.

Paul had a great opening against Caulkett and was far ahead in development. Next time I looked Paul was defending an endgame 2 pawns down but he managed to win it!

A great performance. We will play weaker teams in future and field stronger teams so if we can keep this level up we will be fine.

Next match in two weeks at home to Chorlton.

Wilmslow A 2 ECA 4

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

Last night Wilmslow A had their chance to avenge the defeat they suffered against us last week. Happily for us they didn’t take it and we collected another valuable 2 match points.

1. S Shepherd (158) 0.5-0.5 J Reed

John managed to play another Queen’s Gambit Exchange and, shock horror, did not win! Steve forgot to follow the script and created some kingside counterplay, forcing John to exchange Queens and force the draw.

2. C Guffogg (126) 0.5-0.5 G Ball

Chris proved that his draw last week was no fluke with another cut and thrust game taking on Graham’s Dutch Defence.

3. R Warhurst (122) 0-1 P Ramsey

I continued to ride my luck with another unconvincing victory. I played the opening and early middlegame rather smoothly, trying the Catalan again and winning a queenside pawn. Then in time trouble I played a horrendous move which gave Robin two ways to win a piece. Fortunately he spotted neither of them and I then ground out the endgame.

4. M Palmer (114) 0-1 D Newall

Dave seemed to get the better of things quite rapidly with his Dutch Leningrad and then Mike blundered a piece to bring things to a rapid conclusion.

5. T Flynn (109) 0-1 K Holton

Tony merrily flung his pawns forwards without bothering to castle and Keven eventually made him pay for his bravado.

6. C Jackson (108) 1-0 D Broadbent

Dave once again wheeled out his Cambridge Springs Defence but Chris played well, won a pawn and then unleashed an unstoppable attack.

So 2 more match points and 4 more game points for ECA. Now we just need to win against Denton B and Macc A!

ECA 4.5 Wilmslow A 1.5

Posted on: March 24th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

ECA discovered that winning feeling again last night with a comfortable win over Division II strugglers Wilmslow A. Here is what happened:

1. John Reed 1-0 Steven Shepherd (158)

Playing against the English John got a great position out of the opening and never let go, eventually winning the exchange and a pawn. A great win against their strongest player.

2. Graham Ball 0.5-0.5 Chris Guffogg (126)

Knowing that he was playing a weaker opponent and taking on his own favourite French Defence Graham must have thought he would have an easy night but Chris more than held his own in an exciting game and in the end Graham was happy to take the draw.

3. Phil Ramsey 1-0 Robin Warhurst (122)

My swindling skills have improved this season – I have now won at least three games that should have been drawn. Robin played the solid Torre Attack but I managed to get a good endgame only to throw away my advantage in time trouble (as usual.) Robin was better in the knight endgame but then miscalculated and let me queen a pawn.

4. Dave Newall 0-1 Colin Mills (120)

Dave played his favourite Bird’s opening and had a very long think on move 4. This cost him dearly later as he ended up in desperate time trouble and allowed a snap checkmate.

5. Dave Broadbent 1-0 David Booth (111)

Dave has had a lot of success with his Cambridge Springs System recently but David played all the right moves and didn’t succumb until the endgame.

6. Keven Holton 1-0 Tony Flynn (109)

Keven played his new Bird’s Opening which ended up looking more like an Advance French Defence. Keven had a lot of space and eventually swept Tony away with a Kingside attack.

Wilmslow will get their chance for rematch on Monday night. See you at the Ship Inn?

The Stockport Jinx strikes again

Posted on: March 18th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

East Cheshire have lost every match against a Stockport team that I have been involved with and last night the run continued against a weakened Stockport C. Dave B got us off to a good start with a quick win as Black and then Dave N won to keep us in the lead but things went downhill after that. Here is what happened:

Andy Coe (148) 1-0 John Reed

Andy played a strange kind of Queenside Scandinavian Defence and John built a very strong position. However the wily Coe got a sniff at John’s King and duly built a winning attack. Ouch.

Peter King (146) 1-0 Graham Ball

Peter played the Catalan and gradually built up an overwhelming position.

Mark McNulty (144) 0.5-0.5 Phil Ramsey

In a Classical King’s Indian I never found a way to build an advantage and in the end was glad to take a draw a pawn down in the endgame.

Vic Rushworth (139) 0-1 Dave Newall

Playing his favourite Accelerated Dragon Dave won a pawn with a clever tactic and then won Vic’s queen.

David Preen (131) 1-0 Keven Holton

Keven inadvertently invented a new gambit, losing a pawn on move four. He had insufficient compensation and eventually had to give up his bishop to avoid a back rank mate.

Ray Bradney (80) 0-1 Dave Broadbent

Ray fell into an opening trap against Dave’s Cambridge Springs Defence and lost in 12 moves. Well played Dave!

We out-rated Stockport on every board so a disappointing result. Maybe we will do better against Wilmslow next Wednesday?

Another QGD, another win for John

Posted on: March 2nd, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

John is doing his best to persuade us all to play the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Exchange Variation. The game below, with notes by John, explains why.

Three wins and a near miss

Posted on: February 16th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

East Cheshire A kept their promotion drive on track with a 3.5 – 2.5 victory at Altrincham.

Graham lost a game he could have won and Dave N won a game he should have lost so in the end the luck cancelled out and our strength showed.

1. John Reed 1-0 Y Kolodiy (160)

Is the Queen’s Gambit Exchange Variation a forced win for White? John thinks so and here is more evidence. John bashed out his first 15 moves in about 5 minutes and ultimately had to apologise for knowing the opening so well. Kolodiy played actively but got ground down.

2. Graham Ball 0-1 K Lockett (159)

Graham appeared to have a slightly dodgy opening (too many pawn moves on the Kingside maybe?) but played actively and created some nasty threats. He appeared to be winning but then allowed Karl a mating attack.

3. Phil Ramsey 1-0 N Lowe (148)

I played a Reti / Catalan hybrid and Nick seemed rather unsure what to do against it. After 20 moves Nick had used nearly all his time and he then collapsed in the middlegame complications.

4. Dave Newall 1-0 R Clucas (UG)

Dave played his favourite Accelerated Dragon and got a very nice position from the opening with pressure on White’s queenside pawns. However he then blundered a piece but still managed to win by pushing his central passed pawns.

5. Alan Stokes 0-1 T Tomkins (131)

Alan played a very patient English opening but finally lost his Queen and the game.

6. Dave Broadbent 0.5-0.5 D Hughes (130)

Dave played the French Defence and quickly assumed the initiative with a kingside attack. However David defended well and eventually managed to block off the whole board!

Thanks everyone for making the long trip to Altrincham.

ECA has a few weeks off now until we play Stockport C on March 17th.

Defeated but not disgraced

Posted on: February 10th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

Last night ECA played Holmes Chapel at home in the semi finals of the Charnley Cup. As expected we were heavily out graded but we went down fighting, losing 4-2 in the end.

1. Graham Ball 0-1 P Bennett (190)

Graham was gradually ground down as he took on Patrick’s Pirc defence. In a typical Pirc game Graham set up a big pawn centre and Patrick systematically dismantled it.

2. Phil Ramsey 0-1 J Turner (182)

The problem with the Sicilian defence is that you often come up against someone’s pet anti-Sicilian system which they have been playing for twenty years! So it was last night as John played an obscure system I had not encountered before and I fell into an opening trap which left me virtually lost after ten moves or so. Back to the books for me.

In the unlikely event that anyone is interested in this trap a similar game can be found here. I unwittingly followed it for 13 moves before playing the inferior 14. … b5 and doing even worse than the Black player in that game.

3. Dave Newall 0.5-0.5 M Hancock (181)

Playing against another Pirc Defence Dave played solidly and had his draw offer accepted in the middle game.

4. Dave Broadbent 0-1 I Bates (170)

Ian played the Tarrasch against Dave’s French Defence and a wild game ensued where Dave had an extra pawn but had his King stuck in the centre. Ian played accurately in the end to finish Dave off.

5. David Taylor 0.5 – 0.5 A Raeburn (157)

Playing his favourite Reti David played solidly, swapped off the pieces and got the draw.

6. Keven Holton 1-0 M Roberts (139)

Keven gave the Sicilian a try and it seemed to work – leaving him three pawns up in the middlegame. Keven duly converted the full point.

So as expected we struggled on the top boards and did better at the bottom. Sadly even if Dave B had won we would have lost the match due to their wins being on higher boards but still it was a good performance.

Now who fancies a trip to Altrincham next week?

How to hunt a King

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

John had a nice win recently in our first team match against Bramhall. Using his favourite Schliemann Defense he sacrificed the exchange to force his opponents King into the centre of the board.

See how it happened:

ECA whitewashes again

Posted on: January 13th, 2011 by Phil Ramsey

Last night ECA beat Bramhall 6-0 but this was hardly a fair reflection of the games.

Bramhall are without their two strongest players this season and were not able to field a full team so we started the match at 1-0.

Here is how it developed:

1. John Reed 1-0 Peter Thursfield (134)

John played his favourite Schliemann Ruy Lopez and Peter was clearly uncertain how to handle it. Peter castled Queenside and was attacked mercilessly, ending up with his King in the centre of the board.

2. Phil Ramsey 1-0 Nick Flaherty (125)

Playing my new English opening I achieved a small advantage from the opening but didn’t find a winning plan. However when we reached a Bishop vs Knight ending I decided to play on as a Bishop is normally stronger than a Knight when there are pawns on both sides of the board. I managed to create some pressure and then my opponent, flustered because he thought he was lost, missed a simple draw.

In the above position with Black to move Kc7 gives a simple draw as after Kxd5 Kd7 Black has the opposition and I will not be able to get to his pawns.

However he played d4?? and after Kxd4 Kc7, Ke5 his pawns were toast.

3. Dave Newell 1-0 Keith Hodgson (108)

In a Colle System vs. Dutch Keith held his own until the endgame where Dave finally won some pawns and the game.

4. Keven Holton 1-0 Hartley Oldham (101)

Keven took on the Sicilian again and didn’t seem to get much out of the opening. However, knowing that Hartley is a time trouble addict, Keven kept the position complicated and then launched a winning attack in his opponent’s time trouble.

5. Dave Broadbent 1-0 Geoff Smith (71)

In a Queen’s Gambit Declined Geoff forgot to develop his pieces and allowed Dave to build up an imposing position which he duly converted.

6. David Taylor 1-0 default

So ECA back on track. Next up is Holmes Chapel at home in the Charnley Cup semi final – Feb 9th.

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