TAFCA week eight

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Dundee A Castlehill A
Brd Grade Players Result Players Grade
1 2257 Jacques Ophoff B ½ – ½ Richard Polaczek W 2354
2 2150 David Findlay W 1 – 0 Declan Shafi B 2169
3 2016 Ed Spencer B 1 – 0 Andre Babin W 1883
4 1577 James Anderson W 0 – 1 Richard Kynoch B 1812
2½ – 1½  

 

An excellent and potentially critical result for the champions, against their likely closest challengers, who indeed outgraded us on three of the boards. All the games were as closely fought as you’d imagine.

The opening skirmishes left Jim struggling for space, but as previously mentioned, this doesn’t usually bother him overmuch! This time however Richard gradually turned the screw too tight, established a passed pawn on the sixth, and a final unwise rook exchange left Jim unable to stop the passer except by giving up his knight for a hopeless ending.

Jacques and Richard P matched each other blow for blow in a heavyweight Slav, and Jacques held firm to secure the vital draw with the IM.

Ed’s enterprising pawn charge from his new favourite Modern seemed to leave Andre as (Easily) Confused as his screen name. Was certainly confusing the heck out of me. A wild position ensued, recalling Tal’s dictum that “You must take your opponent into a deep, dark forest where 2+2=5 and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.” Andre cracked first and most to leave Ed with a clear material advantage, and a fine win.

David led Declan down a Viennese path for their latest encounter, and his early apparently awkward pawn formation belied the space advantage it enabled. David’s positional squeeze finally told on Declan, and he steered his material advantage home masterfully in the ensuing ending.

This could be the biggest step in the champions path to retaining the title.

 

Thu, 9 Dec Castlehill C Dundee B
Brd Grade Players Result Players Grade
1 1570e Rishi Vijayakumar B ½ – ½ Sir Philip Cohen W 1784
2 1569 Robert Jackson W 1 – 0 Alastair Dawson B 1734
3 1554 Leyton D Hackney B 1 – 0 James Anderson W 1577
4 1478 Agnijo Banerjee W 0 – 1 Ray Flood B 1411
2½ – 1½

A disappointing reversal as this time we were the ones outgrading our opponents on three boards, but going down by the same result. Something of a pattern.

Agnijo I think has not been playing much since going down to Cambridge and was perhaps a little rusty. I suspect I also did not play it as accurately as I could have, but I gained a pawn, and the position held sufficiently for me to steer home the point.

Jim was playing his second game in as many nights, and it was just a moment of blindness that allowed the fork gifting Leyton the exchange, an advantage he never looked like letting go, and finished with a nice combination.

Rishi has made great strides in recent years, but his adventurous spirit seemed to get him into trouble early on against Phil, who looked to be getting there first in an opposie side castling race. But things got very complicated in the tactical battle, and Phil found his own king to be the one in greater trouble as both players made errors and dropped material and time, but Rishi seemed to have it sorted. But the right path was not easy, and under great time pressure, the young man was compelled to take the draw by repetition.

So 1½ – 1½  and all to play for. Alastair won a pawn handily against Robert, and settled down to nurse his advantage through to the ending. Easier said than done though, and Alastair later found his extra pawn backward, and difficult to nurse anywhere. In attempting to still squeeze something from the position, it all turned on its head and Alastair went from a pawn up to a pawn down in the ending. It moved onto a pure pawn ending with a passed pawn for Robert which proved hopeless.

So the third 2½ – 1½ loss out of three games for the B team. It’s been as unlucky as it reads, but we’ll be hoping to translate the might-have-beens into points soon.

week seven matches

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Wed, 1 Dec Dundee E Dundee C
Brd Grade Players Result Players Grade
1 872 Henri Meadows B 0 – 1 Ross Bremner W 1565 E
2 780 Peter Gibson W 0 – 1 Ray Flood B 1411
3 649 Scott McKenzie B 0 – 1 Bruce Wallace W 1352
4 559 Max Wang W 0 – 1 Ashley Clayton B 1155E
0 – 4

A win and a margin probably to be expected. All games were comfortable enough for the C team, but Ross produced a nice combinative finish. Good to see Ashley score a debut win for the club. The C team continue along the promotion trail with now nine points from five matches. Looking good, but tough fixtures ahead in the new year.

A good season to date for the E team, with a draw, two losses, and a good win over Castlehill G. We continue to blood new and young players into the squad and have great hopes for them.

Wed, 1 Dec Kirckaldy B Dundee D
Brd Grade Players Result Players Grade
1 1213 Pete Selbie B 0 – 1 Thibault Rosazza W 1164
2 1111 Paul Anderson W 1 – 0 Max Whisson B 1053
3 1067 Alastair Wood B ½ – ½ Christine Sim W 985
4 773 Brian Morley W 1 – 0 Norrie Carroll B 899
2½ – 1½

The line-ups looked roughly even, but this could have gone either way. Not the best of nights for Max and Norrie, but a good win for Thibault against the ever-solid Pete, and a sound performance from Christine, who might have kept winning chances had she not blocked the ending so much. The D team have had tough fixtures to start with,and find themselves with just a point from their three matches (against the E team), but plenty of chess to play.

Castlehill D  v  Dundee A

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Castlehill D  1½ -2 ½  Dundee A

1 Cosmo Bobak 1547 ½-½ David Findlay 2150

2 Andrew Rowe 1518 0-1 Ed Spencer 2016

3 Baillie Armstrong 1490e D-1 Alastair Dawson 1734

4 Ognyan Dimchev Kolev 1481 1-0 James Anderson 1577

What looked on paper a straightforward task for the champions turned out anything but. A disappointing start as Alastair’s opponent failed to show. At least we were a point ahead, but Jim blundered horribly after a solid start to hand Oggy a free queen and level the scores.

There followed a strange sequence for us spectators as Ed’s game with Andy apparently ended in an extraordinarily tame 11 move draw, but more was to come on that. David struggled initially to make much inroads into Cosmo’s sicilian, but a misplayed middlegame allowed him to establish a clear and winning advantage. An uncommon slip dissipated much of that, but David still held a clear pawn plus and seemed certain to nurture it to a win. But with Cosmo defending stubbornly and David unable to find a clear plan, the game slid away into an eventual repetition. Apparently the match had ended in a shock draw.

But, at first unknown to your correspondent, Ed and Andy had resumed hostilities! It seemed they had initially been playing at the wrong time control. They drew/cancelled the original game, and after replaying the first 11 moves began proceedings anew. But though he established a small but clear edge from the early skirmishes, it seemed Ed was going to struggle to bring home the needed point. And then a big slip looked as though he had gifted Andy the win, which 38.Bc7 would surely have settled. Happily from a Dundee point of view, Andy missed his chance, and further endgame errors decided the contest in our favour.

A remarkable fight from Castlehill D, particularly after a default start, could easily have seen them score a real coupon buster. As it is, the champions live to continue their title defence, but they will hope there aren’t any scarier bumps in the road ahead!

Week Five TAFCA Matches

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Another busy week for the club with our three 2nd Division sides in action. The C team continue their fine start and are on course to challenge for promotion. Our D and E sides are giving a good account of themselves, and our new members are getting a great introduction to competitive chess.

 Division 2

Wed 17 Nov

                        Dundee C      4-0  Castlehill H

1. 1565 E Ross Bremner           1-0    Clement Prati 950e

2. 1561 John Robertson           1-0     Alexander Barron-Majerik 638

3. 1411 Ray Flood                     1-0     Ananthi Ramachandran u/g

4. 1352 Bruce Wallace             1-0      Judith Firth u/g

A fairly straightforward and expected result given the grading and experience difference. Ross didn’t actually get started till 8pm as his opponent was delayed, but he didn’t hang about once the game got started!

 

Dundee D 1-3 Uni of St Andrews D

1. 1164 Thibault Rosazza 1-0 Beilin Huang u/g

2. 1053 Max Whisson       0-1 Angus Michell B u/g

3 .985 Christine Sim         0-1   Stavros Michalovits    u/g

4 899 Norrie Carroll          0-1 Daniel Majerowicz u/g

Again perhaps a predictable loss against a good St Andrews side, but a fine win for Thibault who played solidly in the opening and took advantage of his opponent’s slips in the early middlegame before finishing with a snappy mating net. 

 

Thu, 18 Nov

                                          Castlehill G  1-3  Dundee E

1. 1132 Norman Waugh              1-0  Steven Knox 700e

2. 1018 Blair Marshall                  0-1  Scott McKenzie 649

3. u/g Ananthi Ramachandran   D-1  Lee Knox  0

4. u/g Judith Firth                          0-1  Camila Montenegro 0

A great win for the E team, though helped by the unfortunate technical problems which prevented Ananthi from making the match. The experienced Norman may have been expected to overcome Steven, but he was unlucky to get a bishop trapped early on – not obvious to see. From there Steven fell victim to several tactical shots. But an excellent competitive debut for our new member Camila. Solid play in the opening, and though the tactics in the middle were not completely sound, she got the better of them to establish a commanding material advantage. A slightly nervy finish perhaps, but she held on to record a fine result, and the experience will be invaluable. Scot turned in a good game. I hate to overuse the word, but solid play pays dividends at this level, and being able to take advantage of the opponents tactical oversights. Some of our more experienced players still have a tendency to value pawn play over development in the opening(!), but no matter here.  

 

                       

Dundee A  -1½  Dundee B 

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  1. Jacques Ophoff 2257  1-0    Sir Philip Cohen 1784
  2. David Findlay 2150     ½½   Alastair Dawson 1734
  3. Ed Spencer 2016              1-0      James Anderson 1577
  4. Alan Borwell 1883           0-1       Ross Bremner 1565e

2½-1½

Jim and Ed played a 30 move game in 15 minutes! Unheard of in over-the-board play, but it just shows the differences. Jim may be wishing he’d spent a bit more time, as his somewhat passive London play handed a clear initiative to Ed’s Modern Defence. Feeling the squeeze, Jim began dropping pawns all round. Three down and facing the loss of a fourth, he graciously conceded.

David has struggled against Alastair’s Caro Kann before, and again didn’t make much impression in the early running here. Alastair was happy to let David grab a pawn, and even Stockfish could find little better for either side than a draw by repetition, perpetually attacking the White Queen.

Phil and Jacques engaged in a heavyweight manoeuvring battle in the early stages, but Jacques space gaining on the kingside was paving the way to future benefits. Then a slip by Phil allowed Jacques to win a pawn and create a weakness around the white king for a clear edge. Further jockeying followed, till an under pressure Phil snatched a very poisoned pawn, allowing a neat mating attack finish.

There was a very sharp tussle on board 4. An inaccuracy by Alan lost a pawn early on. He was forced into an active assault on the black king, though it never quite seemed to have enough firepower. But both players missed chances in the melee, hardly surprising in such a sharp position in time pressure. Ross was never losing, but Alan might have snatched equality on a couple of occasions. A final slip by Alan allowed Ross to break through to Alan’s own weakened king to claim an impressive win.

Week Three Matches

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Division Two

Dundee E  2-2  Dundee D

  1. Henri Meadows 872  0-1  Andrew Robinson 1150e
  2. Steven Knox 700e      0-1  Thibault Rosazza 1164
  3. Max Wang 559            1-0  Peter Gibson 780
  4. Keith Harvey               1-0  Scott McKenzie 649

You’d expect the higher team to beat the lower team, but with our new members still somewhat in the development stage, it’s not entirely certain which is the stronger.

Andrew won quickly as an out of touch Henri fell into tactical errors. Steven built up a powerful attack and a clearly winning advantage, but as in his previous game he drifted in trying to consolidate and finally simply gave away a bishop from which there was no way back. Peter started brightly and had Max’s king defenceless, but missed a mate in two! He still had a solid edge, and should have increased it, but missed several opportunities and again simply gave away material to fall into a lost ending. Keith blundered a piece early on, but hung in and Scott returned the favour! Keith had clearly benefited from the experience of his previous match, and played solidly to capitalise on Scott’s further mistakes to bring home the point.

A draw was a fair result overall, and our new players are settling in. All good experience.

Uni of St Andrews B  1-3  Dundee C

  1. Conan Liptrott  1-0  John Robertson 1521
  2. Hunter Webb     0-1  Ross Bremner 1565e
  3. Cailan Bailes      0-1  Ray Flood 1411
  4. Adam Brittain    0-1  Bruce Wallace 1352

An excellent result for the C team keeps us going along nicely, still unbeaten after three matches with 5 points.

A quick win for Bruce as his opponent dropped his queen early! All donations accepted. After an early edge, I kept doing my best to let my opponent back into it on several occasions. Don’t think I was ever actually worse though, and got there eventually. Ross’s opponent misplayed the opening to give our man a clear grip on the game which he never looked like losing, but he had us all on the edge with an extravagant finish which included a suspicious rook sac and a knight underpromotion before he brought home the point. I like to think he always knew what he was doing! John blundered a piece early on and was always struggling, but held on and looked as if he was back in it as his opponent went astray in John’s time trouble! Unfortunately John slipped up again and finally allowed a queen exchange into a lost ending.

A fine win against a team who would have to be considered among the favourites. Good start by the C team.

 

 St Andrews  A  v  Dundee  A

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Thu 28 Oct. Division One

Uni of St Andrews A ½-3½ Dundee A

1. 1908 Sam Herring 0-1 Jacques Ophoff 2257

2. 1642 Stuart Ballantyne 0-1 David Findlay 2150

3. 1688 Alexandre Kings ½½ Stephen Hogg 2027

4. u/g Ash Curry-Machado 0-1 Ed Spencer 2016

An apparently comfortable win and a fine scoreline for the defending champions, now on a quest for our own ‘nine in a row’! Not quite as comfortable as the scoreline suggests though.

Ed’s game was a complex affair, and Stockfish flags up a series of errors rather too subtle for most of us to discern. It was finally decided when Ed’s opponent fell into an elementary double attack to lose his rook, one that even I spotted!

David’s win was a bit more straightforward, as he sprung from his customary Philidor-esque cocoon to overwhelm his opponent with a decisive counterattack.

Jacques opponent’s pawn advances from his Dutch stronghold left just too many holes, and he broke through in impressive fashion with Queen, Rook and Pawn combining in a stirring attack.

A rash of middlegame complications left Stephen in quite a state, at one point three pawns down, and an opposing pawn on the 7th.  It wasn’t looking good. But a staunch rearguard action eliminated the potential new Queen, and Stephen managed to get the deficit down to a single pawn, and then steer into a drawn ending. A fine rescue, and the history of this event has shown that every half can count.

The grading difference may have suggested that such a scoreline was on the cards, but delivering the result is a different matter. An excellent start to the title defence guys.

 

Wednesday 27/10 Matches

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Division One

Dundee B 1½-2½ Perth

A tough one for the B Team. Jim found himself in a cramped position after the opening – something he usually doesn’t mind too much! This time though he was unable to unravel and his opponent gradually squeezed the life out of his game.

Alastair fought a heavy positional battle where he always seemed a little better, and indeed entered the ending a pawn up. But with the pawns all on the same side he was unable to make headway, even with the same coloured bishops.

Ross came through well in a difficult game where he was mostly better, but John did miss chances to at least draw. Ross seized on his mistake in the K&P ending and never let him back.

Phil was defending a scary looking king-side attack and seemed to be holding on, but a slight innacuracy let Martin crash through and emerge with a decisive material advantage for the ending.

Dundee B Perth
Sir Philip Cohen 1784 0-1 Martin Gourlay 1877
Alastair Dawson 1734 ½-½ Andrew Sutherland 1610
James Anderson 1577 0-1 James Graham 1500
Ross Bremner 1565 1-0 John Williamson 1354
1½-2½

Division Two

Dundee C  2-2  St Andrews D

For the second match running we found ourselves playing just three boards. Unfortunately this time it was us who defaulted when we were unable to reach Bruce.

I equalised comfortably from the opening, but misplayed things badly and stood worse when my opponent offered the draw.

Andrew found himself in all sorts of trouble on his debut – an exchange and two pawns down – but was fighting manfully in what still looked a hopeless ending. He gained a reward for his persistence when his opponent tragically (for him!) stumbled into a knight fork to lose his rook, and Andrew mopped up well.

We were looking good when Thibault built up a seemingly unassailable material advantage (+11 at one point!) but an extraordinary (for him) series of mistakes allowed the game to fade into a difficult ending, even two pawns up. Further errors let the advantage slip completely into a drawn end.

Could have been better, but a draw from a default start isn’t bad.

Dundee C Uni’ of St Andrews D
Ray Flood 1411 ½-½ Beilin Huang 0
Bruce Wallace 1352 D-1 Angus Michell 0
Thibault Rosazza 1164 ½-½ Arjan Musafir 0
Andrew Robinson 1150 1-0 Stavros Michalovits 0

C team Versus St Andrews C

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Dundee C took on a St Andrews team of previously unknown quality. Ungraded St Andrews players are almost always perilous! A depleted but, as quickly became clear, strong side. It was a tad strange that they were only able to field three players even 24 hours in advance, and the default proved crucial. Bruce found himself mugged in the opening by a well prepared opponent whose grade is clearly well understated. Ross found himself in a tough and uncompromising struggle where his command of the 7th rank finally proved decisive for an excellent win. My own game was an equally tough fight, where I recovered from a worse position to equalise. It was again a little surprising that my opponent should offer the half with his team 2-1 down, but certainly the game is drawn.

So a fine start to the C team campaign against a side that will be up there through the season I’m sure.

TAFCA Teams

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Hi all
The TAFCA league starts next week and the fixtures for the league are now on the web site at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_pvW41VxQZdsncSxR7VhRl8CJkNbScuQSd6_JQdc7dg/pubhtml#

Captains will be in touch soon. Some players have not replied to confirm that they are happy to play this year. If you do not wish to play please let me know immediately. Or if your name is not on the team list below and you wish to play let me know.
Regards
Jim Anderson
chessmad501@gmail.com
First Name Surename Pnum Grade User Name Lichess
Jacques Ophoff 29574 2257 realpioneer A
David Findlay 3919 2150 finlidor A
Stephen Hogg 4365 2033 doash A
Ed Spencer 6072 2016 hedgehog110 A
Ross Bremner 29492 1996 B
Alan Borwell 3239 1883 alibor B
Sir Philip Cohen 1784 Phosphiophill B
Gary Weir 6434 1758
Alastair Dawson 13697 1734 Terrydactil B
Frank Stevenson 6107 1624 Paco1960
James Anderson 3051 1577 chessmad501 C
John Robertson 6807 1561 LocheeShuffle C
Ray Flood 3951 1411 AlfyDoor C
Bruce Wallace 7607 1352 Bruciebaby C
George G Burton 7491 1308 WeeGeorgie D
Thibault Rosazza 29391 1164 Pirneote D
Max Whisson 27745 1053 Maximilian_Whisson D
Jean Chalmers 3475 1005 TheDuchess1 D
Christine Sim 18987 985 E
Norrie Carroll 28213 899 Tiggy11 E
Henri Meadows 27916 872 HJMeadows E
Peter Gibson 28212 780 PeterGib E
Scott McKenzie 26931 649 macoinneach E
Max Wang 28556 559 fairtugboat E