Championship Results 2016 - 2017

Round 1       Players' Scores

Pat Coleman 0  -  1 Paul Evans
John Cooper 1  -  0 Phil Raynor
Peter Wilson 0.5 - 0.5 Colin Wilkes
Keith Sansom 0  -  1 Ben O'Rourke
John Regan 0.5 - 0.5 Graham Taylor
John Cox 0  -  1 Bob Tinton
Dennis Davies 0.5 - 0.5 Geoff Robinson

Round 2

Paul Evans 0.5 – 0.5 Bob Tinton
Ben O'Rourke 0 – 1 John Cooper
Geoff Robinson 0 – 1 Peter Wilson
Colin Wilks 0.5 – 0.5 John Regan
Graham Taylor 0.5 – 0.5 Dennis Davies
Phil Raynor 1 – 0 John Cox
Keith Sansom 0.5 – 0.5 Pat Coleman

Round 3

John Cooper 0 – 1 Paul Evans
Bob Tinton 1 – 0 Peter Wilson
Dennis Davies 0 – 1 Ben O'Rourke
John Regan 0 – 1 Phil Raynor
Graham Taylor 1 – 0 Colin Wilks
Pat Coleman P – P Geoff Robinson
John Cox 1 – 0 Keith Sansom

Round 4

Ben O'Rourke 0 – 1 Paul Evans
Bob Tinton 0 – 1 John Cooper
Phil Raynor 0 – 1 Graham Taylor
Peter Wilson 0.5 – 0.5 John Regan
Colin Wilks 0.5 – 0.5 Pat Coleman
Dennis Davies 1 – 0 John Cox
Geoff Robinson 0 – 1 Keith Sansom

Paul Evans Report

I had lots of feedback from the games to tell you all about, starting with Graham’s win over Phil, which was very much a David and Goliath event. An Exchange Slav was played and Phil was slightly better out of the opening but Graham countered with a sound queen side attack to level the position and then kept the pressure up until Phil blundered a rook, allowing it to be pinned to his king. I know from my own experience of playing Graham he’s relentless and doesn’t seem to have a reverse gear, and one slight inaccuracy and it’s usually game over. A very good result there, Graham.

Pat and Colin agreed a draw after 20 moves when it became apparent neither player was making much progress. Most threats were on the g and h files but careful play shut that down and with a long night ahead of them in a balanced ending they thought sod it and shook hands.

Peter Wilson looked to be setting up a nasty attack on John Regan’s king with everything directed at His Royal Highness, but I also know from experience John is quite adept at defusing such positions and he was able to steer the game into a knight ending whereby a draw was agreed.

John Cox and Dennis didn’t get their game played because John’s not been so good (speedy recovery, John) and so John graciously said to give Dennis the point and they’ll try and get the game sorted soon.

Keith was hosted by Geoff and tells me he enjoyed a very pleasant time before having the bad manners to defeat his host in a game loaded with shenanigans.

By sheer luck I was down the club playing Ben on the same night Bob and John played their game and I was onhand to see the final stages when, after cramping Bob’s counter play, John was able to make a temporary exchange sacrifice to win a pawn. Thereafter it was down to technique and recognising this Bob resigned, which I thought very gentlemanly seeing as in his place I’d have played on in a strop and made John queen his extra pawn and then show he could mate with king and queen vs king, all the while hoping Mrs Cooper would save the day with a timely phone call to remind John he was out past curfew and to get home immediately. Whereupon I would have magnanimously offered him a draw and then insisted I could have held the position anyway.

This left my game against Ben, which I was very much looking forward to because Ben preps well and always comes armed with something nasty. This time it was a particularly aggressive version of the 150 attack against my Modern, whereby white’s opening 10 moves involve getting long castled quickly and going mental up the king side with g and h pawns pushed to h4 and g4, backed up by bishops, knight, rooks and queen all firing down at black’s king side. It’s actually possible for black to castle into this and get good counterplay by doing the same up the queen side against white’s king, and tactics most definitely win the day in such games. However I’m not playing anywhere near the level I need to be to take Ben on in such a position and so I opted for the lesser known plan which involved leaving my king uncastled on e8, where it’s surprisingly hard to get to, and playing for a minor piece endgame. The idea being white’s king side pawns often become targets in an ending because they’re so far advanced and black also has the chance to strangle white on the queen side thanks to his own advanced pawns and better placed bishops. Fortunately I was able to carry out this plan and, in a cramped position for white, I was able to sneak a cheapo which was enough to win the point.

Round 5

Paul Evans 1 – 0 Graham Taylor
John Cooper 0.5 – 0.5 Peter Wilson
Dennis Davies 0 – 1 Bob Tinton
Ben O'Rourke 1 – 0 Phil Raynor
John Regan 0.5 – 05 Pat Coleman
Keith Sansom 1 – 0 Colin Wilks
John Cox Geoff Robinson

Paul’s Summary

John/Peter’s game sounds a belter. Peter opened the Sicilian and a Grand Prix attack ensued, with John able to launch a kingside attack despite both players having castled kingside, with a knight spearheading the assault on h5. However Peter remained calm and countered with resourceful defence and a timely g6 saw John’s knight trapped. Peter then accepted John’s offer of a draw in a murky position, which the post match analysis suggests was fair because of the counterplay John was able to generate against Peter’s king.

John R tells me Pat had a superior middle game position but he was able to hold this off to share the point. That means John lost only one game this event, which doesn’t bode well for me in our Summer match up and may see me have to retreat to my Bumper Book of Cheapos for a suitable opening to play against him.

Keith, who’s had a quiet tournament by his standards, saved a fine performance for last with a win over Colin, who as we know is a solid player and not easy to beat. Ben sent me a message to express surprise at overcoming Phil in their match but you all know by now my view on such results…we’re all capable as long as we keep our bottle and don’t bail out with a draw the first chance we get.

This leaves my game against Graham. I only know e4 so I trotted that out and Graham matched it with e5 and played a Bb4 variation against my Vienna. I’m quite well prepped on this position after the usual d5, but Graham scuppered that by playing quietly with d6, about which I know nothing. So I was in a strop after only 6 moves, so nice headology there, Graham. Our game continued with the usual Vienna thematics – I opened the f file and tried to apply pressure along there, and Graham countered by building up a queenside and central break. In a level position I overlooked a nice knight sacrifice by Graham which won my e pawn and left my queen and bishop and HIS queen and knight all en prise at the same time! However I luckily had an ‘only’ move which I found after a 10 minute panic attack and suddenly the position had evolved into one chokka with cheapo potential – and you all know how much I love those. I would like to say I had seen Graham’s sacrifice and tricked him into it…but sadly it would be untrue. I got out of jail, as simple as that. The game ended with me able to force a weakness on the f file and launch a mating attack, which Graham was forced to drop material to stop and after that it was a matter of technique to steal the point. So that means I’m this year’s champion and – I think – Bob and Peter claiming the u150 title. I understand we’re going to twiddle with this next year so watch this space.