Archive for the ‘A Team’ Category

Keith Arkell Visits East Cheshire

Posted on: May 15th, 2010 by Phil Ramsey
East Cheshire member Sean Hewitt recently organised a simultaneous display by Grandmaster Keith Arkell at our normal club venue. For the measly sum of £10 we could pit our wits against chess professional and Grandmaster Keith.
In the end 14 contenders turned up including myself. Keith dispatched 12 of us, with 1 draw and 1 defeat.
Keith played in his normal solid style and raced around the boards, often leaving us needing one of our “passes” just to finish thinking. Less than 3 hours and a few endgame lessons later it was all over.
Keith was in good humour tonight and the night was fun and instructive.
Below are a couple of photos and a position from my game.
Keith, with White to play, won a pawn. Can you see how?

East Cheshire member plays Nigel Short

Posted on: April 21st, 2010 by Phil Ramsey
Nigel Short recently gave a simultaneous exhibition in Manchester as part of a visit to the North West. Our own David Broadbent was there and by all accounts made Nigel work pretty hard, finally falling in a good Knight vs. bad Bishop endgame.
Here it is with David’s comments:
Nigel Short vs David Broadbent
Ashton Under Lyme
20th March 2010
1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. cd ed
5. Bg5 Be7
6. e3 c6
7. Bd3 Nbd7
8. Ne2 0-0
Short is preparing centre / kingside attack.
9. Qc2 Re8
10. 0-0 g6

All standard book until my 10. … g6. The book move is Nf8 but I decided it was good tactics to block Short’s Bishop and Queen and move out of book (I had a plan!)

11. Rae1 Nh5
12. Bxe7 Rxe7
13. Qd2 f5
Attempting to block a centre attack. Short now switches to the Queenside.
14. b4 Nhf6
15. f3 Qe8
16. Nc1 Kg7
17. Nb3 Rb8
Determined not to move my Queenside pawns.
18. a4 Nf8
19. a5 Bd7
20 Bc2 Qf7?

Ne6 is possibly best.

21. Nc5 Qe8
Two moves wasted. I expected Short to play e4.
22. Nd3 Ne6
23. Ne5 Nd8
24. Na4 Nf7
25. f4 Ne4
26. Bxe4 dxe4
27. Nc5 Nxe5
28. fxe5 Be6
29. g4 Rf7
Short switches to the Kingside.
30. gf gf
Short obviously has an advantage but ais running out of attacking pieces. I can still defend easily.
31. Kh1 Kh8
32. Rf4 Rd8
33. Rg1 Qe7
34. Qg2 Bc8
Looking to cover a6 / b7 in the ending.
35. Qg5 Re8
36. h4 Rg7
37. Qxe7 Rxg1+
38. Kxg1 Rxe7
39. Kh2 Kg7
40 Rf2 h6?!
h5 is maybe better? Or b6 to free the bishop?
41. Rg2+ Kh7
42. h5 Re8
43. Rg6 Rg8
44. Rxg8 Kxg8
45. Kg3 Kf7
46. Kf4 Ke7
47. Na4 Be6
48. Nc3 a6?
What else? (How about Bc4 to stop the Knight manoever? -Ed.)
49. Ne2 Kf7
50. Ng3 1-0
Instructive endgame. Short probably knew how he could win 15 moves ago. Still, 50 moves was not bad.

Attacking with the Modern Defense

Posted on: March 3rd, 2010 by Phil Ramsey
Keven has been in fine form recently and is about the only East Cheshire player who does not have a negative score this season! Here is one of his recent wins in Division II. Notes by Keven.
P Coleville .v. K.R.Holton
B1 ECB .v. Macclesfield B
24th February
Opening – Modern Defence
e4 g6
d4 Bg7
Nf3 d6
Bg5 Nc6 (Bg5 shades of John Reed !! c5 is the alternative line to Nc6)
Bb5 a6
Be2 Bg4 (Fritz favours his Be2 but it looks passive)
c3 Nf6
Nbd2 e5
d5 Nce7 ( Souped up KID according to Nigel Davies)

h3 Bd7
0-0 h6
Be3 g5
Nh2 Ng6
Ng4 Nf4 ( Many Davies Modern’s go like this )
Nxf6 Qxf6 (Fritz concurs but I quite liked Bxf6 so the Q can take back on d7 after Bg4 and the g-file is less cluttered)
Bg4 h5!
Bxd7+ Kxd7
f3 Rag8
c4 Bh6 ( Fritz prefers Nc4 for White here)
Qa4+ Kc8
c5 g4!!
Bxf4 Qxf4 (Fritz prefers e/f4 for Black here)
c6 gxh3
cxb7+ Kxb7
Qb4+ Kc8
Rf2 Rxg2+
Rxg2 hxg2
Nc4 Qxf3
Nxd6+ c/d6 ( Calm under fire as the B thwarts Rc1+ with chances)
Qc4+ Kd8 ( Important to avoid immediate checks from the Queen)
Qc6 Be3+ ( White has one minute left I have five)
Kh2 Qf4+
Kh3 Qg4+
Resigns as he cannot prevent Kh2 g1=Q+ and Rxg1 Qxg1+ and then R g8+++

Taming a GM

Posted on: February 16th, 2010 by Phil Ramsey

Playing in the Stockport Chess League we don’t meet many Grandmasters but new member Sean Hewitt did once hold seasoned GM Mark Hebden to a draw. Sean describes how he did it:

[Date "2008.11.24"]
[White "Hebden, Mark [246]“]
[Black "Hewitt, Sean [161]“]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. d4 Nf6
2. Nf3 g6
3. Nc3 d5
4. Bf4 Bg7
5. Qd2 Ne4
6. Nxe4 dxe4
7. Ne5 Nd7
8.O-O-O O-O
9. Nxd7 Qxd7
10. Bh6 Rd8
11. Bxg7 Kxg7
12. e3

Knowing that I was playing Mark I had done some prep and seen that he had had this position before and I was quite compfortable playing into it as I have no real weaknesses. However, I had decided that being meek for the whole game would get me nowhere.

12. … Qa4
13. Kb1 Be6
14. b3 Qa3
15. c4 c6
16. Be2 b5
17. Qb2 Qxb2+
18. Kxb2 bxc4

Although there are still 4 rooks on the board, I decided it was time to activate my king as I figured it couldn’t get into trouble.

19. Bxc4 Kf6
20. Bxe6 Kxe6
21. Rc1 Rac8
22. Rc5 Rd5
23. Rhc1 Rxc5
24. Rxc5 Kd6
25. Kc3 f5
26. Ra5 Rc7
27. Kc4 Rb7
28. h4 e6

I figured this to be pretty level now. I’d be happy if I didn’t have to move!

29. b4 h6
30. a4 g5

Classical he attacks on one wing, I attack on the other. If I can make my kingside majority count…

31. hxg5 hxg5
32. f3 exf3
33. gxf3 Rg7
34. e4

This puzzled me as it gives me a passed pawn. But then I saw his plan. If I push the passed pawn after we swap he plays e5+ followed by Rxa7+ and the rook on g7 bites the dust.

34. … fxe4
35. fxe4 e5

But this clever pawn sacrifice stops all the GMs tricks! After the game, Mark told me that he had missed this move – GMs are human too. (35… g4 36. e5+ and the rook is lost after Rxa7+)

36. Rxe5 g4
37. Rh5 g3
38. Rh6+ Kd7
39. Rh1 g2
40. Rg1 Kd6
41. Kd3 Rg3+
42. Ke2 a6
43. a5 Ke6
44. Kf2 Rd3
45. Rxg2 Rxd4
46. Rg6+ Kd7
47. Ke3 Rxb4
48. Kf4 Rb5
49.e5 Rxa5

And now I have the draw. This position is drawn even if I don’t have any pawns. I just have to make sure they don’t get in the way, and that I don’t do anything stupid. If you don’t know how to draw this ending a pawn down, learn it. It will make you many draws!

Many moves later…

81. e6

Moving the pawn admits defeat, and accepts that white cannot win. The white king now has no shield from checks from the black rook.

81. … Rb1
82. Rg8+ Ke7
83. Rg7+ Ke8
84. Rg5 Rf1+
85. Ke5 Re1+
86. Kf6 Rf1+
87. Rf5 Re1
88. Rf4 Re2
89. Rf1 Re3
90. Rd1 Re2
91. Kf5 Rf2+
92. Ke5 Re2+
93. Kd6 Re3
94. Rd5 Re1 1/2-1/2

Surviving a storm

Posted on: January 31st, 2010 by Phil Ramsey
The East Cheshire B team recently had a great result against Macclesfield A, securing a draw against a higher-rated team. David Taylor’s win was a key part of that result and he has sent us the game with his comments:
White: Marc Jouannet (Macclesfield, 127) Black: David Taylor (130)
Opening: d4 d5 “unusual lines”.
1. d4 Nf6
2. Nc3 d5
3. Bf4 e6
4. Qd2 Be7 (I thought about Bd6, but it turns out that the black squares will be crucial)
5. 0-0-0 0-0
6. f3 (uh oh! He’s planning a K-side pawn storm! All his moves have been reflex actions, he’s done this before…)
7. g4 (here we go!) Nb6 (I better make room for the K-side knight, and Nc4 could be useful later)
8. e4 (damn! now he can take on c4)

8. … c5 (Counterattack on the Q-side must be essential; have I got time?)
9. e5 fNd7 (now my king is looking lonely)
10. h4 (as expected; note that Bxh4 11. Qh2 looks terminal)
11. Nb5

11. a6 ( decided I don’t mind 12. Nd6 because BxN 13. exB f6 looks good for black; then he can’t take on d4 because of e5)
12. Nxd4 Nc4 (I must try and control those black squares on d2 and e3!)
13. Bxc4 dxc4
14. Nh3 (Rated poorly by Fritz, it worried me because my e6 is looking at possibly 2 knights planning to take and fork Q and R, after 15. Ng5. I could defend via Nc5, but I want to control d2 and e3 from a Nd5… so….)

14. … Nb6 (& defend e6 with my bishop)
15. Bg5 Nd5 (I got there! Now I’m thinking of ….c3!)
16. Qe2? (at last, he’s blundered!)

16. … c3!
17. b3?? (Fritz scores this position as -12. You can see why: his Q-side black squares have been abandonned)
Qa5? (Bxg5+ is better, but Qa5 is still winning)
18. a4? (Fritz score now at -22 … he had to play Rd3 when if I take on g5, he must play Kd1)

18. Qc5 (Fritz still reckons Bxg5+ should be played first)

19. Bxe7 Qxe7
and black resigned. He can’t stop mate after the impending …..Qa3+
Lessons learned: Don’t open the h-file whatever you do, if you have castled 0-0 and he has castled 0-0-0.
Counterattack a.s.a.p. when your king is being stormed.
Stay positive when the missiles are pouring in!
A castled king can be securely trapped by a pawn on the 3rd (or 6th) rank.

Killing the King’s Indian

Posted on: January 30th, 2010 by Phil Ramsey

Last summer our number 1 board John Reed showed us his system against that pesky King’s Indian. Just to prove that he practises what he preaches here is a recent crush against a strong opponent. Comments by John.

John Reed – Hubert Pierrard (1982)
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 g6
3. Nc3 Bg7
4. e4 d6
5. Bg5 (of course)

5. … Nbd7
6. f4 h6
7. Bh4 c6 (slow but allows Qb6 or Qa5 . The problem for White in Bg5 is always the black squares on the Q side and centre))

8. Nf3 0 -0
9. e5 de5
10. fe5 Ng4 ( not bad Nh5 may be better)

11. e6 !? (introducing huge complications. Blacks pawns are a mess. Is his Knight good or bad on g4?)
11. … Nb6. (better to take fe6. Then not 12 Bd3 because of e5! better 12 Qe2 ! e5 ! 13. 0-0-0-! . very hard to find this over the board )
12. ef7 Rf7
13. Qd2 (keep the Knight out )
13. … Qd6 ( with the idea of Qe6 +, better Qd7 as Q now vulnerable )
14. 0-0-0 ! Qb4 (better Qf4 but Black is now worse )
15. h3 (go away ) Nf6 ( disaster. only way to keep game alive was to give this up)
17. Ne5 Na4 (desperation)
18. Nf7 (why not?) Bf5
18. Na4 Qa4
19. b3 Qa3+
20. Qb2 Qa5 ( he had to swap but its terrible now)
21. Be1 (guards the dark squares ) Qc7
22. Ne5 ( a whole rook up ) h5
23. Bd3 ( finally get the bishop out) Ne4
24. g4 (oh dear) Bh6+
25. Kb1 1-0

So another King’s Indian bites the dust thanks to John’s unusual system. Just be prepared to play sharply if you want to get the best out of it!

Double Discovered Check

Posted on: January 14th, 2010 by Phil Ramsey
Well finally I have a chess game worth blogging about! Here are the highlights of my game against Lysons of Denton last night.
1. White has just played 12. Bb2. Can you see a shot that I missed?

I played 12. … a6 but 12. … Ne5 would have ruined his kingside pawns.

2. White has just played 21. a4? What did I play?
21. … Ne5! wins a pawn, as does 21. … Nxc5!
3. We then reached the following position with Black to move. What should the plan be?
The problem is that if Black swaps queenside pawns and the Queens the position will probably be drawn. Therefore I decided to use my extra kingside pawn to storm his king.
26. … b4 would have been good but I began the storm with 26. … e5.
4. I then got the below position with Black to move. It is useful to know some of the cast iron rules of chess. One is that in double discovered check you have to move your king. Knowing this rule allowed me to bash out the winning move in time trouble. What was it?
33. … Rxg3+ wins the house.

Another victim of the system

Posted on: August 15th, 2009 by Phil Ramsey
While most of East Cheshire Chess Club have been sunning themselves in various parts of Europe our top player John Reed has been honing his opening system (which he kindly shared with us in a number of recent lectures) in France.
Here is another Queen’s Gambit Declined steamroller with notes by John:
My opponent is an up and coming Azerbaijani junior who plays in France rated about 2000 ELO. The opening is simliar to the Queen’s Gambit exchange. Note the standard metod of nullifying his early kingside attack. I prat around a bit on moves 21 to 23 but then it is amazing how quick the game collapses after g4 and Rg1. I don’t think g4 is a great computer move but deserves a ! for unsettling the game at a crucial point.
JR – R Kasimanali
1.d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Be7 (avoids many openings)

4 Bf4 Nf6
5. e3 0-0
6. cxd exd
7. Bd3 c6
8. Qc2 a5
9. N1e2 Na6
10. a3 Nc7 (this is a modern way of deploying the Queen’s Knight)

11. 0-0 Ne6
12. Bg3 h6
13. f3 Nh5
14. Bf2 Bd6
15. e4 (probably too soon)
15. … Nhf4
16. e5 Nxd3
17. Qxd3 Be7
18. f4 f5 (Black Knight on e6 now crucial piece)
19. h3 b6
20. Kh1 Ba6
21. Qf3 Ra7 Black has nice position.
22. Rc1(prevaricating) Rd7
23. Rfe1 Rc7
24. g4 Kh7
25. Rg1 g6 starting to lose the thread
26. Rg2 b5
27. gxf gxf? better Rf5 ( I will attack the king, you try to win on Qside!)
28. Rcg1 (it’s going)
28. … b4 (too late)
29. Rg6 Rf7
30. Qh5 ouch Bf8
31. Re6 bxc3
32. Qg6 1 – 0
Let’s hope for some similar crushes in the Stockport league this season!

A Tudor Triumph

Posted on: April 23rd, 2009 by Phil Ramsey

Just to cheer up the B team after being denied their match last night here is Tudor showing us all how to swindle again Denton last month. Notes by Tudor.

T Rickards 1 J Lysons 0

1. e4 …e5
2. Nf3 …d6
3. Bc4 …Be7
4. O-O …Nf6
5. Re1 …0-0
6. c3 …a6
7. d4 …e x d
8. c x d …Nc6?! (don’t like this now, must find a better move)

9. h3 …b5
10. Bb3 …Bb7
11. Nc3 …h6 (shows B is running out of decent moves)
12. e5! ..dxe
13. dxeQxQd1
14. RxQd1 (black in some trouble).
15. R1d7 (wish I was White)

Instructive. White completely in charge but needs to find best plan. I suspect gradual strangulation. Black has to, well, just hang in there

16. Bf4 …Bc8
17. Rd2 …Be6!? (I like it. What else? )
18. Nd5?! ( Looks strong. Ducks the obvious 18 B x B with severe B p weaknesses to avoid (doubtful) F file counterplay? )
18. …Na5
19. Rc1? Loses. In pursuit of a win down the c file stuffs himself. Ra1d1retains probable win

19 …c6! (thank you, white)
Nothing to do. Black forces material gain.
20. Nb4 …B x Bb3 and wins comfortably. White quickly finds a few more moves to lose more quickly before the endgame.

Lesson: …Nf6 is rarely played in Philidor’s defense. Game shows one reason why. If offered a simplification to a v good endgame, take it.

Keven the Najdorf Killer!

Posted on: April 1st, 2009 by Phil Ramsey

K.R.Holton v. D Toole
East Cheshire B .v. Denton
Board 2
25th March/2009

1. e4 (I had a panic attack about his battle tested Kings Indian v. my new Reti!)

1. … c5 (I hope he doesn’t know the Sicilian as well!)
2. Nf3 (Martian logic says if you play something you don’t know make sure you really don’t know it – hence the open Sicilian!)

2. … d6
3. d4 c/d
4. Nx d4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. Be3 e5 (Hmm he does !?…)
7. Nb3 Be6 (Mum I want to go home now!)

8. Be2 Be7
9. 0—0 Nbd7
10. f4 Qc7
11. f5 Bc4 I didn’t like f/e5 and I felt a King-side assault was my best chance
12. Bxc4 Qxc4
13. Nd2 Qc6 Fritz gives Black 0.34 at this stage but I’m still punching.

14. Qf3 Rc8 I was surprised by this expecting Nc5 keeping 0-0-0 in reserve
15. g4 ! h5 ! After the game my opponent graciously told me g4 “was an “awful move”
16. h3 h/g
17. h/g Rh4 Looks good to me, a really Tudor type slugfest. I need a good cuts man !

18. g5 Nh5?? I had thought for 20 minutes cogitating his Ng4 where after Qg3 he had Nxe3 and then after the sequence Qxh4 Nxf1 Rxf1 I was loose but with K side pressure. I think the move played loses a piece to a pawn.

19. Bf2 ! Bxg5
20. Bxh4 Bxh4 ? The Martian mind scrambler I keep down my inside leg ( no not from one of those films Jackie Smith’s house husband watches !) has done the trick he had to play Bxd2 to have any worthwhile counter play.

21. Qxh5 Qb6 +
22. Kg2 Qe3 Oh No! — he’s up to something, why did I cheapskate with ‘Pound Shop’ batteries in the mind scrambler………….. Pleased I played g2 to hold f2 though.

23. Qxh4 Rxc3 ?! Phew mind scrambler still working what is this? I had expected Qxd2 when Rf2 held well and allowed me to attack with Qh8+. Hasn’t he given me enough material?

24. b/c Qxd2+ No perpetual here Sunny Jim !
25. Rf2 Qxc3
26. Rd1 Nf6
27. Rxd6 Ke7 Otherwise Qh8+ and mate with Qd8
28. Rf-d2 g5 A desperate shot but Nxe4 forking both rooks and the queen is not on.
29. Qxg5 His flag had fallen to deprive me of mate in two………..
I politely said I wanted to avoid his KI so played e4 “off the cuff” and didn’t know it. “It showed “ he added rather sagely…………….

Blog Links