The Club Championship – A Winner Emerges– Alan Winfield !!
After a gruelling 3 months of weekly rounds, last week saw the top two players (Alan and Gordon) play their penultimate round against the top two rated players. With a 1.5 pt deficit, Gordon had to win to keep his hopes alive whilst Alan had the luxury of knowing a draw would be sufficient to give him an unbeatable 11.5 points. With one game left to play. Given what was at stake both players avoided any opening fireworks though Gordon hoped to catch David off guard with the Polish (b4) opening.
Alans’ main plan was to ensure a balanced game and not go into any risky trades. Midway through the night, Alan felt he had achieved his aim of entering in to an end game that had something for both players. which in such unclear positions an offer of a draw has more chance of being successful. Indeed a draw was offered and after some thought, Ross accepted.
In the other match a hard battle was being fought out with both Gordon and David giving no quarter. Whilst both players were fighting to control/defend the centre, a King side attack by David, advancing his “h” pawn to open up Gordons defence around his King, proved to be the game breaker. A mistake by Gordon giving up control of the light squares around his King allowed David to give check with his Queen on the back rank, with the end come a few moves later.
After 13 Rounds with a score of 11.5 pts from 13 – Alan Winfield is the winner of the Kapiti Chess Club Championship.
B & C Grade Championship
Like the A Grade, the B/C Championship has also been going on for 3 months however with 1 round left to play, no clear winner in either grade has yet emerged.
Last week saw the tournament leader Mark Summers, drawn against Mark Woodwood. A serious blunder was made by Mark S (touching a piece then seeking to move another). A polite reminder of the rules from his opponent corrected the action, however it seemed to affect Mark S and he want on to lose the game. Though wins are always nice to get, it is good to remember also, that much can be learned from the games we lose. As disappointed as Mark S may be, all is not lost. In our final games of the series next week, Rick, whose win over Savanah put him level with Mark S on 10 pts also has to get past Mark W. A good performance against Rose may see him crowned B Grade Champion at his first attempt.
In the A Grade Alan reached 11 points out of 12 with a win over Sean (By default) and after a tense battle, Gordon emerged victorious over Ross. This places Gordon on 9.5 and Ross remaining on 8.5. (Their game is shown below). With only two rounds left Gordon is the only player who can catch Alan albeit he needs to win both his games against (Yes you guessed it – against Alan and David Paul). Alans other match is against Ross, so neither of the top two have easy games to finish on. During the second series Gordon has matched Alan game for game however Alan’s stronger showing in Series 1 has given him a strong edge with needing only a draw in either game to win or share the Club Championship.
In the joint B and C Grade Tournament Mark Summers has secured the C Grade Championship with a win (By Default) over Mark Woodwood. Rick Lowe had a most fortunate win over Rose who unfortunately overlooked opportunities to checkmate and to win Ricks Queen to end the game. The pressures of Chess sometimes blinds us all !!! In the other match up an evenly paced game saw Valera and Savanah agree to a draw which advanced them both a little higher on the table. Well done both of you!!
Last week saw a match up in the Club Championship between the top two rated players (Ross and David). After Alan’s win against John Whibley, putting him on 10 points overall, both Ross on 7.5 and David, our current Club Champion on 8, were in need of a win to keep their hopes of winning the Championship alive.
Unfortunately for David, his bad run of form continued, and with 3 consecutive losses his chances of defending his crown are over.
In the third pairing, Gordon Lyall played Alistair McGowan in an entertaining match. With neither player gaining a significant advantage in the early stages, both had winning chances which were missed over the board. Unfortunately for Alistair, whilst pushing hard on the Queen side, he overlooked a rook sacrifice which if taken would be followed by checkmate.
After a couple of moves, a gracious resignation from Alistair saw Gordon take the spoils and join Ross in =2nd place.
In the B/C Tourney Rick lost his opportunity to join Mark Summers at the top[ of the table with a loss to Mark Woodwood. Rose Kingston won her match against Valera and with Savanah not attending Mark Summers was granted a Bye.With three rounds to go is neck and neck for the B/C grades.
With absentees and some games having been played in advance, the only match up in the Club Championship was between the top two players (David & Alan) both of whom were undefeated after the 1st series. Both players expected a tough match as their previous games have been fairly close. David playing White opened with e4 and Alan responded with the Sicilian Defence.
White took the early initiative and Black took some risk leaving his King in the centre. Unfortunately for White, an oversight when pressing on the Queen side, allowed Black to counter with an exceptional move on the King side which ultimately led to white either losing a piece or being checkmated. Hoping for Black to commit a similar error White continued. The final end game was a very strange sight which saw Black exchange 2 Queens for 2 Rooks and win with 2 Rooks and Bishop v Whites lone Queen.
The win puts Alan 1 point ahead of the field with 4 games left to play.
In the B/C Tourney Rick and Mark S remain at the top of the table with wins over Savanah and Rose respectively. Mark W kept up the pressure by beating Velera.
Our championship games go rolling on towards their conclusions. There were wins for Gordon over John, Alan over Alistair and David over Sean (Default) in the A Grade Championship.
In the B/C Tourney Rick joined Mark S at the top of the table with a win over him, Mark W beat Rose and Velera over Savanah (Default). In both tournaments two players are starting to pull away from the rest with Alan and Paul heading the A Grade and Rick and Mark S the B/C however, neither of them can afford any slip ups as the chasing packs are ready to pounce !
Last week saw the Club Championship play out as per current standings with Ross getting the better of Alistair. Likewise with John beating Sean and David and Gordon playing out a hard fought draw. With all games now completed in Series 1 Both Alan and David share the lead with 6/7 pts and both undefeated with 4 wins and 2 draws.
Most of the action was in the B/C Tourney where Valera won his first point over the board with a good win over Rose – Congratulations to Valera (now a fully fledged member !!) Rick didn’t have too much trouble with Savanna though he was probably a little frustrated that she chose to play on, when being 3 pieces down. !!
The fireworks of the night was in the battle of the two “Marks” A good attack by Mark Summers (MS) was initially spoilt by him leaving a Bishop en-pris! — Big + to Mark Woodward (MW) He (MS) then did excellent work to reduce the deficit and win a Knight/Rook exchange. (Little + to MW) MW then turned the screws but made a unsound Bishop sacrifice to threaten checkmate. (Big + to MS) However, feeling a little pressured MS failed to see the correct defensive move and had to sacrifice his Queen for a Rook. (Winning + for MW). However, possibly feeling a little over confident at this stage, MW failed to pay attention to MS doubling his rooks which led to MS swooping down the board to checkmate MW. As can be in chess, a Crazy game by both players but hopefully one both enjoyed.
Many lessons to be learned but I think a crucial one is when playing on the clock don’t get swayed into playing at the same speed as your opponent. When you come to an important stage with attack or defence, taking a little extra time to try and make sure you have looked for the best response, will always pay dividends in the long run.
Though some players in the Club Champs have played Series 2 games, this coming Tuesday is classed as the first round of Series 2 and so players will play the same opponent in Round 1 of Series 1 but with colours reversed.
In the Club Champs as well as the “B/C”, in what was thought to be two straight forward wins for both the seeded players, someone forget to tell their opponents. Though Alistair McGowan was making life a little difficult for David, he wasn’t in too much danger until he left a Rook “En-pris” which Alistair gratefully accepted and David duly resigned. Other results – John Whibley beat Sean Doyle.
All participants of the Club Championship are advised that due to time constraints in completing games prior to deadline of 5 Dec 17, A match will be forfeited if an opponent cannot attend on the night.
In the B/C. Rick on paper should have had a straightforward win against Mark Woodwood, but after beating Mark Summers the previous week to go joint top, losing to Mark W sees Mark S top the race again. Other results – Mark beat Valera and Rose beat Savannah
Both the Club Championships and the B and C Tourney have reached the half way stage with the top two players of each group facing off against each other. In the Club Championship Alan and David, (Alan on 5.5 from 6 and David on 5 from 5), played a mini 2 ½ hr marathon. Like two undefeated boxers, both parties slugged it out but neither could find the knockout punch. Finally, with Queens face to face in the centre of the board, neither wanting to yield ground, both kept their undefeated status, and agreed a draw–A match both players enjoyed.
Alan has now completed the first series and leads the Championship with 6 from 7 pts. David can overtake him with a win next Tuesday.
In the B and C Grades; the top two leaders played against each other, Rick Lowe on 4 from 5 and Mark Summers the tournament leader with 5 from 5. Having already lost to Mark, Rick needed to avoid defeat to keep in touch with the leader however he went one better and returned the favour by giving Mark his first loss. Now with both parties sharing the lead, the B/C Tourney has become a closer race. Due to insufficient support the experiment of opening at 7.00pm was not successful and so the club with resume opening time of 7.30 pm. Look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday at 7:30pm.
After 4 rounds both the Club Championships and the B and C Tourney are starting to take shape with the front runners being Alan Winfield and Mark Summers respectively. But, it’s still early days with David Paul and Gordon Lyall having a game in hand.
With Sean Doyle away and Alan due a Bye, both he and Ross agreed to bring forward their match. After a long tussle with neither player giving much away, Alan was a pawn ahead though Ross had excellent counter play. With K+R+3P v K+R+4P, both players agreed to a draw.
In the B and C Tourney, Mark Summers has already established a healthy 2 point lead after only 4 rounds. Though there is plenty of chess still to play, he is showing that he is the one to beat!!
In general news are any members interested in going to either Wellington or Upper Hutt for a one day friendly match. Just an idea mulling in my head. If 4 or 5 (or more) are keen I will make a few calls and see if either of these are too.
Please email me your thoughts at email@example.com
With the second round completed this week, the Club Championships are well underway with solid turnouts in both competitions.
A minor upset in the ‘A” Grade saw Alistair McGowan beat top seed Ross Jackson with the other two games going to the higher graded players. David Paul had the weeks ‘Bye”.
In the ‘2nd’Tier the battle of the two juniors saw Mark Summers defeat Valera Bonyushkin and Rick Lowe coming out on top over Mark Woodwood. Rose Kingston had the weeks Bye.
On 2 points from 2 games, Mark Summers leads the pack!!