Mighty Bees v The Champions

Image result for bee cartoon pictures

The second half of the season got underway after a long break (our last fixture was way back in December).

Many of the players were blowing off the winter cobwebs and trying to remember how to play !!!.

The Bees started the year pitched up against the 2018/19 Champions (yes our A team !).

A match between defending champions and just promoted teams often end up as one sided affairs, and the final score suggested this was the case, but the scores from the individual games show that the match was a lot closer than the final score suggests………

First the match score which flattered the champions……

The Bees V The Champions 05/02/2020
1.Keith Maudsley 0-1 Marek Mazek
2.Steve Cole 1-0 Jonathan Smith
3.John Reyes 0-1 Iain Johnson
4.Nick Burriss 0-1 Robert Furness
5.Mike Rotchell 0-1 Damian McCarthy
6.Nick Cooke 0-1 Alex Robinson
Final Score 1-5

The Champions won the toss and elected to play black on odd boards (not the last surprise of the evening !!!)…….

To the games……..

Board 1: Keith v Marek

This was a very close encounter with both players missing good opportunities.

Marek’s quick play is always difficult to manage, as his opponents often fall well behind on the clock bringing that extra pressure of trying to find good moves in time pressure.

Keith normally manages time pressure well… he describes the closing phases of the game……

On Marek’s 43rd move he played Qa7, missing 43…h5+ 44 gxh6  f5+.
The move he played (43…Qa7) allows 44 Qe8+ , when both 44 …Bf8 and 44…Kg7 can be answered by 45 Re2 (or possibly even 45 h5 which, in the case of 44…Kg7 carries the threat of 46 h6 mate !). That seems to halt black’s attack (45…Qd4+ 46 Qe4 and with the Q on e4 protected by the R, 46…h5+ can be answered by 47 Kh3 and White is at least equal, if not the one with any winning chances). In time pressure, I missed 44 Qe8+ and 45 Re2.
On such margins, and by the grace of the ticking clock, can games be decided !

Board 2: Jonathan v Steve

 As it turned out the only “shock” of the evening as the Champions captain was “stung” by the Bees captain by some clinical finishing……

Black had sacrificed a pawn to open lines to the white king as the game reached the above position.

The computer has this position as equal/slight advantage to black, white is on the defensive and the next few moves decide the game….

White continued 28. Nf2 – eyeing up the e4 square but restricting the knight’s defensive options (The computer suggests Nh2 preparing to rebel borders via the f3 and f1 squares as well as covering the h2 square).

Play continued 28. Nf2 Qh4 29.Ne4 f3 (opening up the f file for the second rook to join in) 30.Qxf3 Rf8 31.Qe2 Bg4 ! now blacks pieces are all nicely positioned for the final assault….

32.Qe3 Bf3!!! The killer move (the computer shows that black wins in all variations). The game concluded quickly

33. Rg1 Qxh3 mate 0-1  

Board 3: John v Iain

Iain can always be relied upon to play off beat openings today was no exception as play started…..

  1. e4 a6 2) Nf3 b5 3) d4 Bb7.

After 23 moves the game reached the following position

The computer gives black a slight edge……

Game continued 24. Nxf4 Rxf4 25.Qxf4 Rxa5 and the material inbalance that followed favours black.

Iain managed this in balance into a won endgame, and despite John’s attempts to reach a theoretical drawn ending the following rare ending was reached

This endgame is rarely reached in chess so requires some theoretical knowledge on how to win. Can you find the winning plan before white claims a draw on the 50 move rule?

Iain to his credit managed it !!

Board 4: Rob v Nick

This should have been another upset as by move 17 Nick had built up a good advantage…..

White had just played 17.Ne4 to which black replied 17…..h6 but if instead black played….

17….bxa3 18.bxa3 Rxb1 19.Qxb1 Nxe2 wins a pawn !! and the computer has black better.

Nick continued to out play his stronger opponent and by move 27 was clearly better having pinned white down to passive defence….

It is sometimes difficult to convert a better position into a decisive one.

One rule of thumb I use is do not allow dominant pieces to be swapped off by more passively placed counterparts.

Using this rule black’s next few moves probably “let white off the hook” and turned the tables. Play continued….

17….Be3 18.Bd2 Bxd2 19.Qxd2 Nd4 20.Kh2 Nxf3 21 Rxf3 and white is ok, black has allowed his dominate Bishop and Knight to be exchanged !!.

The remaining moves saw Rob show why he is graded 50+ points higher than Nick, isolating the weak b pawn and building up an decisive advantage in a time scramble.

But things could have been so much different for the Bees – well played but ultimately unlucky Nick.

Board 5: Mike v Damian

The first 12 moves of this game have been played in a number of master games in which black has a good win ratio.

The computer has black better.

As in the previous game the key is turning a better position into a decisive one.

Damian demonstrates this very quickly as Mike errs from known theory………..

Mike played 13.h3? (cxb4 or f3 is better) bxc3 14 bxc3 Ba3 !! – eyeing Bb2 forcing the Rook on a1 to move and winning the a pawn! – which white cannot effectively defend !!

Mike tried 15.f3 Bb2 16.e4 Bxa1 and Black has already converted his better position into a small material advantage.

The game continued for a few more moves but Damian converted his material advantage into a win.

Board 6: Alex v Nick

Alex is the latest recruit to the Culcheth Chess Club so was making his debut in this match.

He will be a regular Bee in future matches but for this match was “loaned” to the A team.

The game was very evenly matched throughout with the critical moment happening on move 26……

The computer gives black the edge being an exchange to the good.

Here Alex played…..26. Bxe5 (according to the computer this gives Nick a better position) but……

Nick replied…..

26……Qxe5 ? this natural capture is a decisive mistake (fxe5 is the only move)…. The black queen is needed for defensive duties and is better placed on c7 to defend the h file.

Alex takes full advantage of the misplaced queen and switches his attack to the h file which black can no longer defend….

27.Qh3 !! Qc7 (the queen tries to scramble back to the defense but it is too late !!) 28.e7 !! (Cutting the queen off) Rf7 29. Qxh6+ Rh7 30. Qxf6+ Kg8 31. Qg6+ Kh8 32.e8/Q + Rxe8 33. Qxe8 mate

On fine lines are games decided – here taking with the wrong piece proved decisive.


The next Bee team game is on Wednesday 12th February against 1st Division regulars and contenders St Helens, perhaps the Bees can convert their chances better and cause a few more upsets.

Tales from the Mighty Bees

v Atherton (Away)

Atherton Culcheth/Lymm B
Martyn Hamer Tom Vout 1-0
Lee Kay Keith Maudsley 0.5-0.5
Peter Mulleady Andy Coe 1-0
Mark Whitehead John Reyes 0.5-0.5
Martin Lythgoe Nick Burriss 0.5-0.5
Dave Martindale Mike Rotchell 0.5-0.5

Acting captain on the night Mike Rotchell rallied his troops to some heroic performances and writes……….

Atherton turned out a very strong team against us with an average grade of 174 against our 142. On some occasions they have fielded a weaker board 6, but not this time as I found myself up against Dave Martindale! Considering the stength of the opposition a 4 – 2 defeat with 4 drawn games seems quite respectable. 

John (Reyes) was the first to finish. John had black against Mark Whitehead on board 4 and played the Tartakover variation of the Caro Kann. The game was agreed drawn after 15 moves with the position showing no advantage for either player.

Atherton  0.5    0.5 Culcheth

Tom was the next to finish on board 1 against the highly rated Martyn Hamer. I don’t have any details for this game but from what Tom said afterwards it appears that Martyn calculated a bit further in a critical position.

Atherton   1.5    0.5 Culcheth

The next game to finish was between Keith and Lee Kay on board 2. Keith was black and had been anticipating Lee to play Bird’s opening which is apparently a trademark opening of his. Instead Lee opened e4 and after Keith replied with c5 played a3. Keith thought that this might transpose into a Wing Gambit variation but not so. Queens came off early and though Lee had some pressure with his minor pieces Keith was able to defend carefully and avoid any tactical shots to achieve the draw.

Atherton   2    1  Culcheth

The next game to finish was my own against Dave Martindale on board 6. Dave had white and opened Nc3. I replied Nf6 ( probably my first mistake ) and after e4  e5 I was in a totally unfamiliar position. It appears that Dave missed a chance on move 10 to set a trap that l would have to jettison a pawn to avoid but this would also have left him with doubled isolated pawns on the c file. After this the game was even and l offered a draw after my 23rd move which Dave quickly accepted.

Atherton   2.5     1.5  Culcheth

We now had white on the two remaining boards.

Andy was the next to finish on board 3 against Peter Mulleady. I was only able to get a cursory look at Andy’s game. Material was equal but it looked as though Andy was under a little pressure. Soon after though Andy fell into a mating attack.

Atherton   3.5   1.5  Culcheth

Nick had white against Martin Lythgoe on board 5 and continued playing on in a level postion until the result of  Andy’s game was known.Nick opened e4 and Martin responded with the Caro Kann. Believing this to be an opening Martin normally uses Nick tried a novelty on move 5 to get out of main lines. Apparently though this is not an opening Martin  is too familiar with.Nick obtained a decent position but Martin’s position was very solid. With the position very equal and the result of the match already decided a draw was agreed.

v Ormskirk (Home)

On the 27th November Ormskirk were the visitors to the Datum, they arrived with a record of played 4 lost 4 so are finding life in Division 1 tough.

Defaulting a board didn’t make their chances of pulling off an upset any easier

1-0 to the Mighty Bees (without even moving a piece !!)

Culcheth/Lymm B Ormskirk
Tom Vout Andrew Hawkins 1-0
Keith Maudsley Robert Owens 1-0
Steve Cole Vaughan Wall 1-0
Andy Coe David Tompkins 1-0
Nick Burriss Anthony Wells 0-1
Mike Rotchell Default 1-0

The visitors chances of pulling off their first top flight win was made worse when their top board blundered a piece and tried to redeem the situation by sacrificing a second, but Tom took full advantage and won in 19 moves.

2-0 to the Mighty Bees

And within 2 minutes of Tom’s victory the visitors board 3 decided to castle straight into mate !!

20) ……. 0-0 ?????? 21) Qh7 mate 1-0

3-0 to the Mighty Bees

Andy was next to finish

In the position below Andy already has a big advantage threatening to breakthrough on the A file.

White played 37) Qe2 e4 38) Qc4 e3 and quickly lost.

Instead 37) d6! is an interesting idea

After 37)…..exd6 38) Rb2 Bxa2 39) Bf3! And although black is still winning white has some material compensation for his lost pawns.

4-0 to the Mighty Bees

Nick was next to finish…..

Chess can sometimes be a frustrating experience, you sit for hours building up a winning position only to find out you don’t have enough time to convert the win !!.

This was the fate of poor Nick in this match, winning a pawn early and slowly building up a winning advantage, Nick didn’t manage his time and found himself in a position no chess players wants to be in… won position but lost on time.

Unlucky Nick ☹

4-1 to the Mighty Bees

Last to finish but by no means least was the board 2 game

The game was very interesting though out and was certainly the game of the match.

Keith has kindly provided notes to the game………………..

If you prefer the click and play version it can be found here

R. Owens v K. Maudsley

1 c4 Nf6 2 d4 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 O-O 5 Nc3 d6 6 e4 Nbd7 7 Nge2 e5 8 d5 Nh5
9 O-O f5 10 exf5 gxf5 11 f4 exf4 (I wanted to keep the position open. 11…e4 is also fine) 12 Nxf4 Nxf4 13 Bxf4 Ne5 14 Qb3 b6 (As well as defending b7, giving white the possibility of Ba6 to think about) 15 Ne2 Qf6 16 Nd4 Kh8 (Dealing with white’s Ne6 possibilities) 17 Rfd1 Ng6 18 Be3 f4  19 Rf1 Qe5 20 Bf2 fxg3 21 Be3 (not relishing 20 hxg3 Rxf2 , picking up the N on d4. 20 Qxg3 is much the same) gxh2+ 22 Kh1 Bg4 23 Qd3 Rae8 24 Rxf8+ Rxf8 25 Re1 Qg3 26 Qd2 Nh4 27 Be4

(How best now to finish the game ? 27.. Nf3 looks right, but after 28 Nxf3 Bxf3+ 29 Bxf3 Qxf3+ white doesn’t have to oblige with 30 Kxh2 Be5+ 31 Kg1 Rg8+ but can just play 30 Qg2. Of course black is winning, but it isn’t a quick kill. A better try is 27..Nf3 28 Nxf3 Rxf3, when white can try either 29 Bd4 Bxd4 30 Qxd4+ Kg8 31 Bxh7+ Kf7 – but not 31 ..Kxh7?
32 Re7+. Or  white can try 29 Bg5 and White is still alive after 29…Rf2 30 Qd3. After my 27th move I had about 15 minutes on my clock and my opponent had about 5. I didn’t wantto spend 10 minutes on what didn’t immediately seem a forced win with 27..Nf3 and be left with not much time for a winning but much longer endgame  So I played 27..Re8 ( I reckoned the pin on the e file, coupled with the threat of Bf3+, should be enough) 28 Bf2 Qh3 29 Bxh4 Qxh4 (Now white is almost in zugzwang. Blocking the e file with 30 Ne6 doesn’t help, as black has 30…Bxe6 31 dxe6 Rxe6 32 Qe2 or Qe3 c6 with d5 to follow. If White does nothing eg 30 b3, black continues with 30…Qg3 with the threat of Rxe4 and Qg1 mate) 30 Nc2 Rxe4 31 Rf1 (31 Rxe4 Bf3+) Re2 32 Qf4 Qh3 33 Ne3 Rxe3  34 Qf7 Bf3+ 35 Rxf3 Re1+ 36 Rf1 Rxf1+ 37 Qxf1 Qxf1+ and White resigned.

5-1 to the Mighty Bees

The B Team have completed their 2019 Division 1 fixtures to finish the first half of the season with a credible played 6 Won 3 Lost 3 (Mid-table stability).

See you all in 2020 have a good festive break.

Winwick v Culcheth B

The B team returned to action on another dark wet miserable Monday night (There is a theme here !).

This time we travelled to Winwick who like us had recorded one win in the league so far, so the battle for mid-table supremacy was at stake.

The coin went up to draw colours which Culcheth won and opted to play white on odd boards.

Clocks started promptly at 7.30pm, with six players still missing (three from each side).

Slowly the missing players began to arrive and all the games (bar one) got underway….

So to the match……..

Board 5

Andy Coe is quickly building up a reputation as the player to fear,

so much so that his opponent decided not to turn up and Culcheth registered the first point of the match by “default”.

On a more serious note “defaults” are becoming too common in the Warrington league, it is a shame especially when players (like Andy) travel in atrocious conditions to away venues only to find they have no game.

Andy has turned out in all four B team matches this year and has a 100% record. Two wins, and two defaults. Hopefully this is not a common theme for the rest of the season.

Cox,L (Default) 0-1 Coe,A

Culcheth B 1 Winwick 0

Board 4

My game was next to finish.

My opponent was determined to attack my king and threw everything into the attack.

The only issue with this approach was he had also castled the same side, so throwing pieces down this flank also weakens his own king’s defenses.

White continues to throw everything into the attack… but falls foul of a tactical trap

21.f5? exf5 22.gxf5 gxf5 23.Bxf5 Qd5+! 24.Qf3?? Rxf5 and white resigned

Johnson,K 0-1 Cole,S

Culcheth B 2 Winwick 0

Board 1

Damian was making his debut for the B team this season and looked in sharp form……

Having built up an impressive advantage following some slack play by his opponent, Damian dispatched his opponent with ruthless efficiency….

Blacks decision to castle long had backfired on him and the white pieces were now all focused on the queenside ready to pounce…..

21…….Nb8 22.Rc3 Nc6 23.Bxa6 Kb8 24.Rb3 Na5 25.Bb6 and black resigned

The final position is worthy of a diagram on its own !!!!

McCarthy,D 1-0 Clissold,R

Culcheth B 3 Winwick 0

Board 6

Reliable Mike brought the team to 3.5 points and our second win of the season with a hard fought draw on board 6.

To be fair the game looked like heading for a Culcheth win…..

Mike’s advantage here is -3.5 according to Fritz and the computer recommends a number of winning ideas including 30….e3 !

Mike decided to simplify and soon found his advantage disappearing

30…..Nxe1 31.Rxe1 e3 32.Qe4 Rd2 33.Qe8+ and Fritz has this dead level

Fleming,M ½–½ Rotchell,M

Culcheth B 3½ Winwick ½

So with the match won all attention turned to the last two matches

Board 2

Tom always looks assured and calm at the chess board (even when he is losing !!!).

Today was no exception, as he calmly accepted his opponents early pawn sacrifice, calmly neutralised any threats and slowly but surely took complete control of the position before setting a lovely mating net and all in just 30 moves.

Play concluded

26.Re7 Bf3 27.Qe1 Rf8 28.Qe6+ Qxe6 29.Rxe6 Rf5 30.bxc5 Rh5 and the mating trap is complete !!

Stuttard,D 0-1 Vout,T

Culcheth B 4½ Winwick ½

Board 3

Keith was the last game to finish.

When I joined it Keith had over 20 minutes on his clock and his opponent less than 5 minutes.

What followed was a very entertaining endgame

Keith looked to have lost control of the position and Fritz has his opponent ahead.

What a difference a pawn makes !! Fritz recommends Rxf3 (-0.94) but black took the h pawn and paid the penalty..

Keith now demonstrates how to win a rook and pawn endgame a pawn down !!.

39…….. Rxh5 40.Kb3 Rf5 41.Rc3 Rb5 42.Ka4 Rb7 43.b5 h5 44.Rc4 Kd6 45.Ka5 h4 46.Ka6 Rb8 47.b6 h3 48.Ka7 Rh8 49.b7 h2 50.Rc1 Kd5 51.b8Q Rxb8 52.Kxb8 Kd4 53.Re1

Maudsley,K 1-0 Myles,S

So final match score

Culcheth B 5½ Winwick ½

The B team move up to 3rd in the league – who knows what is possible this season !!!

Well done everyone.

Full Game Scores for completeness

(1) McCarthy,D – Clissold,R [B80]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.f3 Nc6 9.0–0–0 Bd7 10.g4 h6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.h4 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 e5 14.Be3 Be6 15.Rg1 Nd7 16.g5 hxg5 17.hxg5 g6 18.Be2 0–0–0 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.Qxd5 Rh7 21.Rd3 Nb8 22.Rc3 Nc6 23.Bxa6 Kb8 24.Rb3 Na5 25.Bb6 1–0

(2) Stuttard,D – Vout,T [C68]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.h3 f6 6.d4 exd4 7.e5 c5 8.0–0 Be7 9.Nbd2 fxe5 10.Re1 Nf6 11.Ne4 0–0 12.Nxe5 Nxe4 13.Rxe4 Qd5 14.Re2 Bd6 15.c4 Qe6 16.b3 Qf6 17.Nd3 Bf5 18.Bb2 Qg6 19.Ne5 Bxe5 20.Rxe5 Bxh3 21.g3 Bg4 22.Qd2 Rae8 23.Rae1 b6 24.b4 Rxe5 25.Rxe5 Rf5 26.Re7 Bf3 27.Qe1 Rf8 28.Qe6+ Qxe6 29.Rxe6 Rf5 30.bxc5 Rh5 0–1

(3) Maudsley,K – Myles,S [B19]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Bd6 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15.Qe2 Qc7 16.g3 0–0–0 17.c4 c5 18.Bc3 cxd4 19.Nxd4 a6 20.Kb1 Rd7 21.Nb3 Rhd8 22.c5 Bxc5 23.Rxd7 Kxd7 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Rc1 b6 26.Qxa6 Ke7 27.Nxc5 bxc5 28.Qc4 Rd5 29.g4 Qa5 30.Qc3 Qa4 31.f3 Qb5 32.Qc4 Qa5 33.a3 Qd2 34.Qc3 Qf4 35.Ka2 f5 36.gxf5 Rxf5 37.b4 cxb4 38.Qxb4+ Qxb4 39.axb4 Rxh5 40.Kb3 Rf5 41.Rc3 Rb5 42.Ka4 Rb7 43.b5 h5 44.Rc4 Kd6 45.Ka5 h4 46.Ka6 Rb8 47.b6 h3 48.Ka7 Rh8 49.b7 h2 50.Rc1 Kd5 51.b8Q Rxb8 52.Kxb8 Kd4 53.Re1 1–0

(4) Johnson,K – Cole,S [B25]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 d6 6.f4 a6 7.a4 Rb8 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.0–0 Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 h5 12.Be3 Qd7 13.Kg2 Nd4 14.Bxd4 cxd4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 0–0 17.g4 hxg4 18.hxg4 e5 19.dxe6 fxe6 20.Be4 Qf7 21.f5 exf5 22.gxf5 gxf5 23.Bxf5 Qd5+ 24.Qf3 Rxf5 0–1

(5) Cox,L – Coe,A

[Default] 0–1

(6) Fleming,M – Rotchell,M [C30]

1.e4 d5 2.f3 dxe4 3.fxe4 Nc6 4.Nf3 e5 5.d3 Nf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Bg3 Bg4 9.Be2 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Bc5 11.Nd2 Qe7 12.c3 0–0–0 13.Nc4 Rd7 14.b4 Bb6 15.Nxb6+ axb6 16.Qc2 Rhd8 17.Be2 h5 18.h3 Kb8 19.0–0 Nxe4 20.dxe4 Rd2 21.Qb3 Rxe2 22.Rxf7 Qg5 23.Rf2 Rxe4 24.Rf3 h4 25.Bf2 Re2 26.Re1 Rxe1+ 27.Bxe1 e4 28.Rf1 Ne5 29.Kh1 Nd3 30.Qc2 Nxe1 31.Rxe1 e3 32.Qe4 Rd2 33.Qe8+ ½–½