Once again, John Upham is organising a UK Chess Challenge (UKCC) competition for juniors at Crowthorne Chess Club.
In case you don’t know, the UKCC is a series of competitions for juniors, starting with qualifying tournaments and then going on to Megafinals, Gigafinals and Terafinals. More details can be found on the Delancey UKCC web site.
In the first week we already have 19 entrants signed up for the competition, more may well enter in later weeks. You can follow the progress of the competition on chess-results which has full details of entrants, results, individual performance etc.
Rounds 3-4 of the over-the-board 4NCL have completed, with Crowthorne Chess Club’s two teams competing over the last two weekends. The B team played over 6-7 January and the A team on Jan 13-14.
Both teams won their Saturday matches, but then followed with losses on Sunday. This was particularly unfortunate for the A Team who came close to winning a couple of their games, but without quite managing to press their advantage for a win. Crowthorne A lost the match 2.5 – 3.5. To be fair, their opponents (Sussex Martlets) also came close to winning one or two of their other games, and after four rounds they lead the division with 4 wins out of 4.
Richard had a tremendously complicated game, with an “unclear” assessment being reasonable for most of the game. Then his opponent decided that his king was safer out of the centre, and he castled (on move 29!) into a strong attack. Neither player could see a forcing line for Richard (playing White), and the game soon ended in a repetition. At that point, Richard was playing on increment and got down to 1-2 seconds on a couple of occasions.
In the cold light of day, and with access to a strong engine, we can see that White did have a win available, although this was also missed by players and kibitzers alike in the post-mortem. The lines are quite pretty, though, so you may like to play through them.
We held the annual Crowthorne Christmas Speed Handicap last Friday (15th December), in the Pinewood bar & café using the function room at the back, which proved to be a perfectly suitable room for us. We set a new record for attendance – 28 players, including seven juniors, two parents and two newcomers.
Given the number of players, we split into four for the group stage. The club’s strong established players did well, with Paul, Richard, Harvey and Robert winning their respective groups. This despite Paul, for example, having less than 5 minutes total playing time across all 6 games.
For the knockout stage we also introduced a novelty, a round of 16. The field was reduced to 3 juniors in the semi-finals, Matthew, David and Dylan, along with Hamid attending his first club competition. The final saw David and Dylan playing a fine and evenly balanced game, both playing with great maturity. David pushed for an attack, but Dylan gave no ground and after an even and well fought battle, it was Dylan who had the better time control and won the game, and with it the Harvey-Ironside Shield.
Congratulations to Dylan, and indeed to David too for doing so well.
We had two other “winners”, both earning themselves a bottle of wine: Scott for the most outrageous Christmas costume (the snowman onesie, slightly tighter fitting this year) and Michael for sportingly giving all the other players a chance.
This (13th December) is the last Wednesday this term in the Monro Pavilion for juniors and matches. We resume again on Wednesday 10th January.
We thought three consecutive nights of chess would be a bit much, so there is no Pinewood social chess meeting this Thursday. We should be ok to meet again next Thursday, 21st Dec before taking a break over the Christmas/new year period.
Christmas Handicap is on Friday, doors open 7:00, rules read-out 7:30, play start about 7:45.
Jonathan sent an email yesterday to people who are down as playing. If you didn’t receive it, but you expect to be playing, please let Jonathan know ASAP.
Season 8 of the Online 4NCL Tournament has finished and we finished 7th out of 32 teams in Division 5. We were helped by 4 defaults by our opponents, but, we did share the games a round the squad rather than always pick the strongest team.
On Wednesday 29th November we will not have access to the Monro Pavilion. This is the last Wednesday we don’t have access to the building this season (i.e. until the summer holidays). We will be meeting there again as normal on Wednesday, 6th December.
Both Crowthorne teams had solid starts in this season’s over-the-board 4NCL. Crowthorne A played its first weekend (Rounds 1&2) over Nov 11-12, and the B team played this weekend (18-19).
Crowthorne A drew their first match 3-3 against Poole Patzers and followed up with a good 4.5-1.5 win against Surbiton in round 2. This puts us near the top of Division 3 Knights, but obviously it’s early days yet.
Crowthorne B played the strong Guildford Young Guns team in round 1, and only lost 2-4 despite being outgraded on every board (by an average of 267 points). For a while, we were even leading the match, after a nice win by Scott (see below). This was followed up by a good 4-2 win against Iceni 2, despite again being outgraded (by an average of 120 points). A very good start for the B team against strong opposition, which leaves us mid-table in Division 4.
In Scott’s first round game, he had white in the position below. Black has just played Be7-d8, defending against White’s threat of Nb6. However, he overlooked a tactical shot which Scott played. Can you find it? Click the “?” to reveal the solution.
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