Northwich v Culcheth B

Following our disappointing loss to St Helens (2.5-3.5) and our opening day thrashing against the A team (1-5) we faced Northwich on a cold dark wet Monday night.

Driving in lashing rain with poor visibility is no fun, but the B team all arrived safely so well done to everyone for their dedication to the cause – lets hope it was all worthwhile !!.

On to the match……..  

Both teams had started their A division campaigns with 2 losses so this was an opportunity for one of us to put points on the board.

A bad start as we lost the toss and Northwich had white on odd boards.

And the games began……….

First Blood to Culcheth…….

Board 6

Mike’s opponent decided he wanted to get home early (who can blame him) and generously allowed his knight to become isolated, unprotected and lost after only 8 moves…

The game had just gone 5….f6?! 6.Bh4 and now black followed up with 6…g5?? Oh dear !! 7.Nxg5 Bf5 ??? (Oh Dear twice) 8.Qxh5+

Rotchell,M – Spencer,M 1–0

Culcheth 1-0 Northwich

Board 3

My game was next to finish.

Travelling 120 miles from Teesside, working all day and then travelling to Northwich in lashing rain is probably not the best way to prepare for a chess game, so my play was less than inspiring and I found myself in a lost position very quickly !!

I had just played 17…h5 in a desperate attempt to get some play (Fritz has this position as +2.50)

Play continued 18 Rc7 Bg4…..white seemed  a bit perplexed by this move which was the whole point of h5 and started looking a bit uneasy.

The game continued 19.Ba7 Bxf3 20.gf3 Rd8 21.Rxd8 Bxd8 22.Rxb7 (Fritz has this +1.93).

Amazingly here my opponent offered me a draw…..mmm let me think….sometimes you just get lucky !!!

Beynon,J – Cole,S ½–½

Culcheth 1½–½ Northwich

Board 4

Andy has 100% record for the B team this season so is our man on form !!

He didn’t disappoint against Northwich courtesy of some very good play and an horrendous blunder by his opponent

Andy had already steadily built up a clear winning position (Fritz +4.5) so it looked like we might have the game of the day………….his opponent decided to blunder horribly with 21….c4??? 22. Rxd5

Andy soon mopped up the position to give Culcheth a great start…..

Coe,A – Metcalfe,C  1–0

Culcheth 2½–½ Northwich

Board 1

The top board was a tightly contested affair with a draw agreed in the above position.

Tom felt his position was better and Fritz confirms this view (-0.75).

Woodfinden,P – Vout,T ½–½

Culcheth 3–1 Northwich (Nearly there just a half point from the remaining 2 games)

Board 2

Keith played very well throughout and always looked to have the better of his opponents Scandinavian Defence….

By this position Fritz already had Keith well ahead (+2.5) play continued…..

17.c6 Nb8 18.cxb7 Qa4 and Whites advantage increases (+4.0)

Keith never looked in danger and the game finished after 52 moves….

Maudsley,K – Major,R 1–0

Culcheth 4–1 Northwich (and so we had secured our first A division win !!!)

Board 5

Last but not least to finish was Nick.

The crowds gathered around his board with eager anticipation. When I joined Nick had 10 minutes left on his clock and his opponent 40 seconds !!!.

Nick demonstrated his won position efficiently – albeit I’m sure he milked the crowd a bit !!

Count how many times the white knight lands on b3 – at the position below the knight had already visited this square 4 times……

The game concluded as follows……

34.Na5 Ra4 35.Nb3 (one) Kf7 36.g3 Kf6 37.Kg2 Rc4 38.h4 g5 39.hxg5+ hxg5 40.Na5 Rc7 41.Nb3 (two) Rd7 42.Nc5 Rd5 43.Nb3 (three) Ke5 44.Re2 Nc3 45.Re1 Rb5 46.Nd2 Kd5 47.Nb3 (four) Rxb3 48.cxb3 d3 49.Rc1 d2 50.Rxc3

Hamill-Stewart,P – Burriss,N 0–1

Culcheth 5–1 Northwich

So concluded our first league win of the season

Well done everyone !!

Steve Cole

Culcheth B Team Captain

Full game scores given below for completeness…

(1) Woodfinden,P – Vout,T [C27]

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 d6 5.Na4 Nbd7 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 a6 8.Nxc5 Nxc5 9.a3 Be6 10.Bxe6 Nxe6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Qf3 Qe7 13.Ne2 0–0 14.0–0 Rad8 15.Rad1 c6 16.Qf5 g6 17.Qh3 Qg5 18.Qe3 d5 19.Qb6 Rd7 20.exd5 ½–½

(2) Maudsley,K – Major,R [B01]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6 6.0–0 Be7 7.c4 Nb6 8.Be3 Nc6 9.h3 Bf5 10.Nc3 0–0 11.Qd2 Nb4 12.Rac1 Qe8 13.a3 Na6 14.b4 Rd8 15.c5 Nd5 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.c6 Nb8 18.cxb7 Qa4 19.Rxc7 Bd6 20.Rc3 Rd7 21.Bf4 Be6 22.Ng5 Bxf4 23.Qxf4 Rxb7 24.Rfc1 Qe8 25.Re3 h6 26.Nxe6 fxe6 27.Qe5 Rbf7 28.Bh5 Nc6 29.Bxf7+ Rxf7 30.Qxe6 Qxe6 31.Rxe6 Nxd4 32.Re8+ Kh7 33.Rd1 Nb5 34.Rxd5 Nc7 35.Rdd8 Nxe8 36.Rxe8 Rc7 37.Re6 Rc1+ 38.Kh2 Rc3 39.Ra6 Rc7 40.Kg3 Kg8 41.h4 Kf7 42.h5 Rd7 43.f4 Ke7 44.Kg4 Kf7 45.g3 Ke7 46.Kf5 Kf7 47.Ke5 Ke7 48.g4 Rb7 49.g5 hxg5 50.fxg5 Kf7 51.h6 g6 52.Rf6+ 1–0

(3) Beynon,J – Cole,S [B22]

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 d6 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.cxd4 Nc6 7.Be2 Bf5 8.0–0 Rc8 9.Nc3 dxe5 10.Nxd5 Qxd5 11.dxe5 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 e6 13.Be3 Be7 14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 a6 16.Bf3 Rb8 17.Rac1 h5 18.Rc7 Bg4 19.Ba7 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Rd8 21.Rxd8+ Bxd8 22.Rxb7 ½–½

(4) Coe,A – Metcalfe,C [A35]

1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.e3 b6 5.d4 Nf6 6.Be2 e6 7.0–0 Bb7 8.a3 a5 9.Qc2 Ne7 10.Rd1 d5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Nb5 Nf5 13.b3 Nd6 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.Ne5 Rc8 16.Bb2 Qb6 17.a4 Nf5 18.Nc4 Bxc4 19.Qxc4 Nd6 20.Qf4 Nd5 21.Qe5 c4 22.Rxd5 Kd7 23.Nxd6 Bxd6 24.Rxd6+ Qxd6 25.Rd1 Qxd1+ 26.Bxd1 cxb3 27.Qxg7 Rhf8 28.Qd4+ Ke8 29.Bxb3 1–0

(5) Hamill-Stewart,P – Burriss,N [B28]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nb3 Bb4 7.Bd3 d5 8.0–0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 dxe4 10.Be2 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 0–0 12.Be3 Nbd7 13.a4 b6 14.c4 Bb7 15.h3 h6 16.a5 bxa5 17.Nxa5 Bc8 18.c5 Re8 19.c6 Nf8 20.Nb7 a5 21.Nxa5 Ba6 22.Bxa6 Rxa6 23.Rd6 Ne6 24.Nb3 Rxa1+ 25.Nxa1 Rc8 26.Nb3 Ne8 27.Rd2 Rxc6 28.Nc1 Nd6 29.Re2 Nd4 30.Bxd4 exd4 31.Nb3 Rc4 32.Kf1 f5 33.Rd2 Nb5 34.Na5 Ra4 35.Nb3 Kf7 36.g3 Kf6 37.Kg2 Rc4 38.h4 g5 39.hxg5+ hxg5 40.Na5 Rc7 41.Nb3 Rd7 42.Nc5 Rd5 43.Nb3 Ke5 44.Re2 Nc3 45.Re1 Rb5 46.Nd2 Kd5 47.Nb3 Rxb3 48.cxb3 d3 49.Rc1 d2 50.Rxc3 0–1

(6) Rotchell,M – Spencer,M [D02]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 Nh5 4.Bg5 c6 5.e3 f6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Nxg5 Bf5 8.Qxh5+ Bg6 9.Qg4 Nd7 10.Ne6 Qc8 11.Qf3 Bh6 12.Bg3 Nf8 13.Nc7+ Kf7 14.Nxa8 Qxa8 15.Bd3 Ne6 16.Bxg6+ hxg6 17.h4 Bg7 18.Nc3 Qd8 19.0–0–0 a6 20.Kb1 a5 21.e4 dxe4 22.Nxe4 Qb6 23.Qb3 Qxb3 24.axb3 f5 25.Ng5+ Nxg5 26.hxg5 e6 27.Rxh8 Bxh8 28.Be5 Bxe5 29.dxe5 Ke7 30.Rh1 1–0

Northwich V Culcheth A

The A team managed a comfortable win in the end against Northwich. At the bottom of the page, Rob Furness kindly provides us with an insight into his standout game against Tom Walton.

Match Report – 23 rd Sept 2019 – Northwich A.
Apologies for the late submission of this report – my opponent’s efforts deserved sooner praise, but I
found myself deluged in work.
5½ – ½ is one of those scorelines that gives the impression of a fairly straightforward evening, but
although though Northwich A were short of their top 2 board players (Richard and Paul’s absence
meant that Northwich’s average grade was 100 (against our 175)) we were given more than a
decent match.
I acknowledge that this report is woefully short on match commentary: the reason is that I spent
little time on manoeuvres checking out the other boards and spent most of the evening at my board
undertaking significant works of repair to my increasingly threadbare position.
Damian was the first to finish and did so before I even got a chance to have a good look at it, 1-0.
However, although I got the sense that things were starting to turn in our favour on most boards
(mine being the notable exception), there was no change to the match score until the sun had long
disappeared below the horizon and we had got to the business end of the evening.
John Benyon’s 2.e5 against the Sicilian on top board appeared to be holding material equality
against Marek, but Marek found a tactic with queen and rook which (IIRC) exploited a possible back
rank mate and gain the upper hand – 2-0.
Rob was next to finish, and his game with annotation of the tactics is already on the blog, 3-0.
I had expected Tom to finish off his board 6 opponent somewhat sooner, not because of the grade
disparity, but because Tom had steadily accumulated a significant material advantage at seemingly
minimal risk, but he later observed that although he was a rook up he still had to work hard for the
win. 4-0.
Iain had started off in usual buccaneering style and entered into tactics early on, but they seemed to
fizzle out, and he ended a pawn up in a better ending, 5-0.
My ‘trauma’ was the last game to finish, and is one which I would prefer to forget. This is not
because Charles missed a clearly winning knight sac (or to be more exact, spotted it and then
rejected it) so strong that I had seriously considered resigning on the spot.
No, Caissa had worse to come…
Charles played well but it is fair to say that the game was not ‘el classico’. Charles managed to lose
the exchange but still had a lot of play with connected passed pawns, but after much effort (and
clock time !) I had shepherded the game into a winning K+P ending, and needed only to choose
between pushing my remaining pawn (to where it could not be caught before queening), or moving
my king, I inexplicably and somewhat absent-mindedly touched my king….and we all know the rules
don’t we ? Ouch ! 5½ – ½ .
No excuses…It brought back terrible memories from last season when I did the same at St Helens
and there is a moral about sitting on your hands here somewhere. In truth, I could, and probably
should, have been dead and buried at least a couple of times. I didn’t get any traction in the
opening, shoved my h pawn down the board, failed to castle, and for these sacrifices of position, I
got nothing of note for it except grief.

Next match: St.Helens (home) on 9 th Oct.

Jonathan Smith – A Team Captain

NorthwichVCulcheth A
John Benyon0-1Marek Mazek
Charles Metcalfe0.5-0.5Jonathan Smith
Peter Hamill-Stewert0-1Iain Johnson
Tom Walton0-1Robert Furness
Aaron Milne0-1Damian McCarthy
John Lightfoot0-1Tom Vout
Final Score0.5-5.5(Culcheth white on boards
2,4 & 6)

Culcheth A V Culcheth B 11/09/19

Board one’s game can be viewed below along with the Captains match report and also board four can be viewed here, with many thanks for the humorous annotation of his game given by Nick Burriss!

Culcheth BVCulcheth A
Keith Maudsley0 – 1Marek Mazek
Stephen Cole0 – 1Jonathan Smith
Andy Coe1 – 0Iain Johnson
Nick Burriss0 – 1Robert Furness
Mike Rotchell0 – 1Damian McCarthy
Nick Cook0 – 1 Tom Vout

1 – 5 Final Score

Match report: Culcheth A v Culcheth B – 11 th September 2019.

Welcome to a new website and new blog ! We hope, dear reader, you like it. We are looking to raise
the profile of chess and perhaps most of all to have a bit of fun.
With a bit of luck, this will be one of many posts from club members of match and congress reports,
brilliancies, blunders and whatever takes the interest of club members (though anyone writing an
essay on ECF administration will be given a ‘talking to’ by the committee).

“To begin at the beginning…”

There is, apparently, a 1997 slasher flick called “I know what you did last summer”. In my case, this
was breaking the annual promise to myself to ‘learn an opening’ – any opening in fact. As I sat down
with black to play in this season’s curtain-raiser, I noted my lack of industry and poverty of ideas.
Fortunately, my board 2 opponent and opposition captain, Steve Cole, seemed to have had raw
meat for tea and played into one of only 3 openings I know up to move 9, playing 10.f5 to the
poisoned pawn variation of the Sicilian.
However, after move 9 it all became a little hazy, and I was forced to dredge through memories of
playing it in a simul, a Kasparov DVD lost in a burglary (seriously – who in Warrington nicks chess
DVDs ?? Who fences them down the pub ?…ere, fancy a knock orf chess DVD guvnor ?) and my last
competitive matches in the line 35 years ago (as a junior !!). I sank into unproductive thought,
guessed a move because it looked ok to save some time, and then wombled off to look at the other
boards in my first attack of ‘captainitus’* this season. Our game is, for what it is worth, tacked on
below. Steve V Jonathan
Both teams were at pretty well full strength, which meant Marek got white against Keith in a
classical looking queenside opening (I really don’t know openings do I ? – thankfully Damian
identified it in his game comments and analysis – many thanks webmaster !). Iain had white against
Andy’s Owen defence, Rob played a Pirc against Nick B (this game is on the blog with Nick’s
commentary) and Damian faced Mike’s Scandinavian. More on board 6 later.
On my return, Steve seemed to be confidently in known theory and started chopping wood, Nxc6,
Bxf6, and then dropped his Bishop onto e2 hoping to occupy h5. Without the knights, my position
looked bereft of activity for my extra pawn. I played h5, which apparently Steve has seen before. It
looks unconvincing but has the advantage of controlling the dark squares if I can engineer Bh6, e3
etc, and he paused for a bit of a think. In the simul I have vague recollections of playing Rg8-g5 to
cover the square which might be better.
The wood chopping had spread to (or perhaps, from ?) board 4 and there the position appeared
somewhat wild to my untutored eye. Rob’s finish was a nice sac, 1-0.
On board 5, Damian got a lot of play out of the opening, and Mike fell victim to a fork of king and
rook – the pawn covering the check was pinned to the king. The loss of the exchange and position
was too much, 2-0.

Tom beat Nick C on 6, but it was the subject of a little debate in the bar afterwards as to whether
Nick could have struck a glorious win with a Bxh7, Kxh7, Ng5+ etc motif. No final carbon-based
verdict was returned, and I haven’t heard from our silicon friends yet, 3-0.
In my match Steve exchanged pawns on e6 to get his rook round the back on b7 hitting the pawn on
f7, and then without castling lined up Q+R on it as well. My position felt rather loose at the back, but
Steve’s nice idea was lost by an oversight. After the exchanges on f6 the Bishop pinned the knight on
c3 and after…d4 the loss of material was too great, 4-0. Lucky me.
By this time, Iain’s game had started to go south – an open g file turned out to be a disadvantage
because both rooks appeared tied to the defence of wing pawns which were simultaneously
attacked by Andy’s queen on e7, and it was only a matter of time before black’s bad bishop was re-
positioned. A few tricks were soon negotiated by Andy, 4-1.
I will leave you to play through Marek and Keith’s game as annotated by Damian. It had a
conventional look until Marek gave up a pawn on f5 to open the lines, and Keith sacrificed the
exchange on c3 to get his bishop to e4 and eye up an invasion on g2. No-one fancied a draw by the
look of it. The ending was an oversight in time pressure, but entertaining. 5-1.
As Damian has already said on the blog, the match was not as clear as the 5-1 result would suggest.
Next stop: Northwich A – perhaps I can learn some opening theory for this one? You never know –
ever the optimist.
Your unelected despot, JS.

Ps. Captainitus – an obsession with checking the state of the match such that the captain spends
more time at other boards than his own.