Sunday, 20 April 2008

If I followed this blog more closely...

... I'd have been better prepared for this Opponent, as one of my fellow bloggers reported his game against him earlier in the season.

In my last post, I complained that my games were too often spoiled by blunders. This game certainly wasn't error-free (I doubt I've ever played a game where I would be happy to repeat every single move, much less one that was objectively without error), but both players avoided anything too grotesque - and I'm beginning to think that that's half the battle.

As Black, I mixed up my opening lines and was probably rather worse for a while - White's two bishops had me worried. The curious 21. Kf1, though, allowed me to exchange some pieces, after which I was presumably better due to the weakness on c3. (Sadly the game was late to finish and I didn't get a chance to ask Opponent for his thoughts. 21. Kf1 looks to me like the sort of move you play when you're not sure what to do, but maybe he had something concrete in mind).

White possibly should have made the endgame a bit tougher, but was beginning to run short of time. At 37... Nc3+ it took me far too long to convince myself that I would have time to queen before White did the same... I felt sure I must be OK, but we've all seen endings where miracle saves are pulled off by a single tempo; and I really didn't want to be a victim of one of those.

Friday, 18 April 2008


I played the following game recently against George Monk

MNJones - G M Monk NCL B Barking v Old Elizabethans played 10.04.2008 at Barking

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.e3 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.exd4 d5 6.Bd3 Bg7 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.dxe5 Ng4 11.f4 Qb6+ 12.Kh1 Ne3 13.Bxe3 Qxe3 14.Qe2 Qb6 15.Qf2 Qxf2 16.Rxf2 f6 17.exf6 Rxf6 18.Nd2 e5 19.g3 e4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Bxe4 Rb8 22.Rd2 Be6 23.a3 Kf7 24.Kg2 Ke7 25.Re1 b5 26.Bc6 Kf7 27.Bd7 Rb6 28.Red1 Bb3 29.Re1 Rbd6 30.Be8+ Kf8 31.Rxd6 Rxd6 32.Bxb5 Rd2+ 33.Re2 Rxe2+ 34.Bxe2 Ke7 35.Bd3 Kd6 36.Kf3 Kc5 37.g4 Bd5+ 38.Ke3 a5 39.Kf2 1/2-1/2


Too anxious to attack I played 9 Ne5

Too anxious to develop I played 18 Nd2 when King G1 was much better

I had overlooked e5 and the consequences

However after my knight sacrifice on move 20 I had two extra pawns and

I think a postional advantage

Winning a further pawn on move 32 I settled for a draw

but I wonder whether I should have pursed a win ?

Thursday, 17 April 2008 presents P.Kemp vs M.Jones

This was a major Scalp for Barnet chess club's Team Captain Mike Jones ECF 115 against Hertfordshire League's No.1 team - Royston Chess club

Mike played against a player more than 50 ECF points higher - Paul Kemp, rated about ECF 175.

All this playing Black and with a near 20 minute time odds!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Chess Party on Saturday! :)

This invitation extends to members of Barnet chess club or Blog readers of our site who happen to be in London on Satuday, and fancy a few games of blitz chess:

Chessworld London Social April 2008

Hi All

Message from Ockendon, the London social event organiser follows:

When is the London Social?

On Saturday, 19th April, from 11.30 a.m. to 5.45 p.m.

A restaurant has also been booked for 6.00 p.m., for those members who wish to go on to a meal after the social (see below).

(For anyone who can’t make this one - and for those who can! - there will be another London Social on Saturday, 30th August. Details of this will be posted at a later date.)

Where is the social?

This year we are trying a new venue, the Walgrave Arms, 40-42 Brendon Street, Marylebone W1H 5HE. Click here for details:

Wargrave Arms pub details

This pub is already used regularly by the Kings Head Chess Club, and Kingscrusher has checked it out; click here for his pictures:

Venue pictures

The Walgrave Arms is within easy reach of Edgeware Road, Marble Arch and Paddington stations.

Who can attend?

The social is open to all members (whether full or guest members) and to their families and friends.

Please let us know if you are planning to attend, by adding your name here:

Event Calendar entry

If you are planning to bring more than 3 friends/family members it’s essential that you check first with me (ockendon) to check that we can accommodate you.

Also, please message me if you have any additional needs, such as mobility or sensory needs, so that we can do our best to ensure that everything goes smoothly for you. We want to make everyone feel equally welcome.

People of all ages are welcome to attend; however, anyone under 18 must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult.

What does it cost?

There is no charge for coming along to the social. Those attending are, of course, responsible for purchasing their own food and drink.

So, what actually happens at a social?

Chessworld socials are friendly, informal events. Some people come mainly to play chess, others prefer to socialise and play the occasional game. Some non-playing friends or relatives like to spend the time visiting the sights or doing a bit of shopping.

You can drop in whenever you like, and stay for as long or as short a time as you want to.

What about the chess?

There is plenty of that! Most games are informal, just ask someone if they’d like a game. It doesn’t matter if they’re much stronger or much weaker than you! Some people like to use clocks, but most games have no time limits. There is no competition, and games played at the social will not, of course, have any effect on your chessworld rating.

If you are new to socials, I will personally greet you, and will also find your first opponent for you if you wish.

Do I need to bring anything?

Yourself! Plus a chess set if you have one that you can carry easily. But if you don’t, please do still come; there will be quite a few spare sets around that anyone can use.

What was that about a meal?

The social at the Walgrave Arms is of course the main event of the day. However, some people like to stay on a bit longer and have a bite to eat. It’s also a chessworld tradition to play a communal game of chess during the meal!

We have booked tables for 20 people at a nearby Italian restaurant, Bizzarro, at 18 Craven Road W2 3PX.

Places will be allocated strictly on a first come, first served basis. Please message me directly as soon as possible if you do wish to come to the meal. For the sake of fairness, we will not be able to accommodate more than one guest per member at the meal.

Here is the restaurant’s website:

( )

Many thanks to Cuppablanca for finding this restaurant for us.

I’m coming from a long way off. Where can I stay?

There is, of course, plenty of accommodation in London. We are not able to recommend a particular place, but try typing “London hotels”, “cheap accommodation in London”, etc. etc. into Google for some ideas.

I have another question

Excellent! Please message me directly with any questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer.

If you’ve never been to a social before, please do consider coming along. I was pretty nervous at my first social a few years ago, but I was quickly made to feel welcome, and by the end of the day I already felt at home!

Reply to Ockendon
London Social Organiser

Thursday, 10 April 2008

J.Hodgson vs T.Gavriel

Match against Ilford chess club. Had a good position until Bxc3?? which was very antipositional.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Another week, another game

Approaching the end of the season, I'm beginning to look for patterns and conclusions. Maybe there aren't really any to be found, but it's fun to try. We've still a few games left, so I'll be thinking more about this when we're done; meanwhile this game exemplifies a couple of repeated themes:
  • My games include a lot of blunders (not all of them mine)

  • Very few games are completely, or even mostly, satisfying

The two are related, of course. Losing feels rubbish; and even winning isn't that great if the game wasn't good.

Put like that, it almost sounds as though I'm not enjoying my chess. That's not the case at all. Probably I should set myself a second end-season task of trying to figure out what I like about the game, and write something about that too.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

N.Syed vs T.Gavriel

This was board 3 for the match against Wanstead chess club.

It was played on Monday 31st March - we managed to beat Wanstead by a whopping 5.5 to 0.5!