Saturday, 29 August 2009

Another endgame

Earlier in the season I'd been a little lucky to agree a draw in a rook ending, with both players failing to notice that the pawn ending they were about to enter was won for Opponent.

In this game I actually went into the losing pawn endgame - and was again lucky enough to get away with it.

I strongly suspect that all of the last four moves have been half-point blunders and in this position 33. a4? almost certainly is (I think that 33. axb4 holds). After 33. ... Rxd5 34. Rxd5+ Kxd5 35. h4

... Opponent played 35 ... gxh4?, missing a win that I'm tempted to describe as "study-like". Correct is 35. ... c4 36. bxc4+ Ke6!

In the game position with the g-pawns exchanged, 37. ... Ke6? loses easily to 38. Ke3, when white has the b-pawn covered and black cannot stop both the c-pawn and the h-pawn. However with the g-pawns still on the board, the line goes 37. Ke3 b3 38. Kd2 b2 39. Kc2 f4!

and black wins.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


When I was last here, some months ago, my chess was going rather well. Results from the second half of the season, though, were distinctly less good - I reckon that I lost about a dozen (ECF) grading points by continuing to play from April onwards.

Obviously it's not all about the grades, but while I'm on the topic... I see that the online database claims that I played 26 games last season. I can only find 25. I wonder how I did in that bonus game.

So anyway, I'd better start working my way through the backlog - here's the first of several more-or-less disappointing games.

If I remember rightly Opponent offered a draw at move 13 or thereabouts, which I turned down mostly on the grounds that it was a bit early for that sort of thing. Instead I went wrong almost immediately with 14. ... e5?. It's a doubly bad move; tactically speaking I'd stopped too soon (at 18. ... exf3, failing to notice that 19. Bxf3 hit my knight), but in any case it doesn't now look like the sort of move that Black should be playing even if it were not an outright blunder. A definite case of trying too hard to make something happen - perhaps the draw offer was a cunning piece of provocation all along!

Friday, 21 August 2009

New club grades are out

Ref Name Sex Age Club(s) Category Grade Last Year Cat Rapid Last Year
117144G Pigott, John C M Barnet Elizabeth D 218 200 B 221 220
111156F Georghiou, Paul T M Barnet Elizabeth A 207 201 205
110285A Ethelontis, Alexandros N M Barnet Elizabeth A 195 193 C 194 190
111117G Gavriel, Tryfon C M Barnet Elizabeth A 188 196 D 209 206
113039A Hotham, David C M Barnet Elizabeth B 175 171 D 187 185
259880C Zajicek, Petr Barnet Elizabeth D 167 162 E 178 178
246276L Ben-Nathan, David M Barnet Elizabeth E 165 165 E 154 155
118406E Royce, Roy M Barnet Elizabeth D 161 168
144928L Pepe, Salvatore M Hendon C 159 163 B 162 154
268300D Shalabayev, Syrym M Ealing A 157 162 D 177 177
234128B Desai, Amit M 16 Q Elizabeth School Barnet C 153 140 B 137 147
230252E Ahuja, Akshaya M 17 Q Elizabeth School Barnet D 151 160
164371L Myers, Philip M Barnet Elizabeth B 150 153
107078C Bowie, Brian S Barnet Elizabeth D 150 151
275984G Shalabayev, Salim Ealing D 148
150997E Wright, Dennis J M Barnet Elizabeth B 143 153
208832A Pattni, Kishan Hendon C 139 132 B 142 139
113863H Jones, Michael N M Barnet Elizabeth A 138 138 D 138 136
234129D Desai, Anup M 16 Q Elizabeth School Barnet C 135 127 B 141 129
225946B Hoong, Jonathan M 17 Q Elizabeth School Barnet D 134 160 C 140 137
106033J Baig, M Azam Barnet Elizabeth A 125 118
261452C Butcher, Ray Barnet Elizabeth A 123 117 C 109 114
144358G Perlstein, Steve Barnet Elizabeth D 120 123
252240J Elango, Madhi M 13 Q Elizabeth School Barnet A 118 112 A 105 111
181078K Robson, Caroline J F Barnet Elizabeth A 118 114 C 118 125
182955F Macaulay, Ian M Barnet Elizabeth C 117 100
234975K Leighton, Ian M Barnet Elizabeth B 116 109
273581H Njoku-Goodwin, Jamie M Barnet Elizabeth B 114 85
270488C Close, Dean Barnet Elizabeth E 111 108
241546L Devan, Matthew Barnet Elizabeth B 110 113
112080D Harding, Malcolm S M Barnet Elizabeth A 108 127
204712D Nunn, Geoffrey C M Barnet Elizabeth B 106 108 E 95 95
179705A Riddoch, Ian M Barnet Elizabeth B 98 122 D 97 94
105207L Osland, Brian M Barnet Elizabeth C 96 112
266709F Van Der Schyff, Kevin Barnet Elizabeth E 69 71

Pigott beat Vaganian!

Vaganian - Pigott, London 1975, simul
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nbd7 9.e5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Nh5 11.e6 fxe6 12.Nf3 exd5 13.O-O O-O 14.Qxd5+ Kh8 15.Bg5 Ndf6 16.Qxc5 Bf5 17.Rad1 Qa5 18.Nd4 Rac8 19.Qe7 Bg4 20.Rd2 a6 (see diagram) White has 69 moves here. 21.h3 axb5 22.hxg4 Nxg4 23.Rxf8+ Rxf8 24.Qe6 Nhf6 25.Bxf6 Nxf6 26.Ndxb5 Qb4 27.Qd6 Qh4 28.Re2 Ng4 29.g3 Rf1+ and White resigned.