South Shields teams through to Round 2 of Summer Knockout

Friday’s victory by the A team against the Forest Hall C team by a game score of 4-0 (4-2.5 after handicap) saw them join the B team in round 2. Not a surprise given that the smallest rating difference was over 250 but the handicap system means that one small accident can put the higher rated team out of the competition.

So, the major congratulations have to go to the B team who a week earlier beat the Forest Hall A team against similar odds. Although they lost 3-1 on game score this became a 3.5-3 win after handicap with Lewis Self getting the giant-killing win.

Here is Lewis’ game with his thoughts from the game:

Themed Blitz 29th July – Leonhardt Gambit

First, massive congratulations to Jay Steel for solving the 5×5 Rubik’s Cube under pressure before the last round of last week’s themed blitz – Larsen’s 1. b3. Speaking of which, well done to Kevin Rowden and Paul Bielby who finished 1st and 2nd in that tournament. Full details here.

It was also very nice to see themed blitz first-timers Lauren Rowden, Jack Rowden and Gray Pattinson. Welcome!

For this Thursday’s theme (29th July) we go for the Leonhardt Gambit against the Scandinavian Defence. Play will begin with black to play after 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. b4

Two YouTube videos to help with your preparation / enjoyment. First a video from one of this column’s favourite YouTubers, IM Miodrag “The Butcher” Perunovic. Second, Eric Rosen’s first instructional video gives an alternative way of playing the gambit.

Themed Blitz 22nd July – Larsen’s Opening: 1.b3

Last Thursday, 8th July, the Noteboom themed blitz was won by Brian Towers with 6/7. Ray Wynarczyk was second with 5.5/7 and Jay Steel and Paul Bielby were equal third with 5/7. Full details here. For the statisticians, this was a bit better for white with W15, =1, B12.

This coming Thursday, 15th July, there is a match in the summer knock-out tournament so there won’t be a themed blitz. The next one will be a week later on 22nd July. After the long variations of the last couple of weeks we are going for the shortest possible theme, Larsen’s Opening, black to move after 1. b3.

Two YouTube videos to help with your preparation. First, a long introductory video from St Louis Chess Club’s “Chess Openings Explained” series.

Second, the excellent Simon Williams commentating on a 15+10 game he played against one of his students. One way of looking at this video is of two players making it up as they go along, something I’m sure we’re all familiar with.

Another way of looking at it is to see it as an example of the rich transpositional opportunities in this opening. Black, Simon’s student isn’t sure how to respond and so plays a reversed London System. Simon replies with a reversed Leningrad Dutch. As usual the Ginger GM gives excellent explanations of his thoughts as he plays.

Themed Blitz 8th July – NoteboomVariation (Semi-Slav)

We’re back, folks!

We held a themed blitz last Thursday, 1st July, on the Marshall Gambit in the Semi-Slav. Congratulations to Jay Steel who won with 5.5 out of 6. Paul Bielby was second with 4.5 and Kevin Rowden third with 3.5. For those who suspect that it isn’t a great white gambit the statistics from Thursday would appear to back you up: 6 white wins, 11 black wins and 1 draw. Full details here.

The Marshall Gambit (4. e4) arises in the Semi-Slav when white chooses the most aggressive response to black’s triangle of pawns. If white plays more sedately with 4. Nf3 then black gets the chance to grap the c pawn and play the Noteboom.

This Thursday, 8th July, we will give you a chance to extend your knowledge of the Semi Slav with the Noteboom. Play will begin with white to play after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 a5 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10. b3 Bb7 11. bxc4 b4 12. Bb2 Nf6

As usual two YouTube videos for your preparation. First a long video in the “Chess Openings Explained” series from St Louis Chess Club. I think this was the first video that Jonathan Schrantz did and he was very nervous, couldn’t pronounce ‘Noteboom’ and struggled with Chessbase a few times but the content is excellent and it is worth putting up with his first timer fluffs.

The second one is Alireza Firouzja’s win over Donachenko in this year’s Tata Steel tournament.

End of Season Roundup

The Northumberland league and county championships have been suspended, so there remains a remote chance that more games will be played, but the Durham league has been terminated with further play abandoned for this season.

The South Shields A team has won division 1 with 6 wins and a draw from the 7 out of 8 matches for a total of 13 points. Second were Durham City Abbots with 4 wins, a draw and 2 losses, also from 7 matches for a total of 9 points.

The South Shields B team has won division 2 with 9 wins and 1 loss from 10 matches for a total of 20 points. Second were Hetton Lyons with 7 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss from 10 matches.

South Shields dominance continued in the various individual championships. Unlike the NCA there is no separate competition. Instead the individual results from league matches are used with some compensation built in so that players on lower boards from very strong teams do not have an (unfair) advantage. The rules for this were described on earlier versions of the DCCA website but have got lost with the change in format, so I will summarize.

There are 4 categories: Open, U165, U140 and U120. To qualify, a player must play at least 6 games during the season. The player’s standing is based on their average performance over the season. For each game played the score which contributes to their overall standing depends on the result and the grading difference between the players. If you beat a player of roughly the same grade then you receive 100%. If your opponent is much weaker then this percentage is reduced. If your opponent is much stronger you receive more than 100%

2020 Open Championship

The winner gets the Alan Sayers Trophy and is the DCCA 2020 champion.

First was Dave Walker (South Shields) with 83% from 5 wins, 1 draw and zero losses

Second was Konst Delidimoudis (South Shields) with 71% from 6 wins, 1 draw and zero losses. Note the lower percentage score even though the results appear better. This is because Dave Walker faced stronger opposition.

Third was Dave Mooney (South Shields) with 63% from 5 wins and 1 loss.

2020 U165 Championship

The winner gets the Robin Horner Trophy and is the DCCA U165 champion.

First was Aswin Bhat (Durham University) with 66% from 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss.

Second was Brian Towers (South Shields) with 63% from 4 wins, 3 draws and zero losses.

2020 U140 Championship

The winner gets the Terry Holmes Trophy and is the DCCA U140 champion.

First (yet again!) was Dave Patterson (South Shields) with 68% from 6 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.

Second was sometime South Shields player, Dave Peardon, wearing his Hetton Lyons hat with 64% from 7 wins and 2 losses.

North East League – FIDE Rated Chess in the North East

The fourth round of this FIDE rated club competition was at Forest Hall on Sunday with 6 teams of 5 players each fighting it out to be the North East’s premier team.

After every round I go round the winning players in the Fewster’s Shipmates team (an amalgam of Leam Lane and South Shields) and ask them if they’d like to contribute their annotated game for inclusion on the website and every time I get the over-modest reply “Meh! Not worth publishing”.

This time I extended the franchise and asked the player of the game of the round, a clinical 19 mover culminating in a queen sacrifice.

The backstory here was that several players who normally play in the league had gone to Bunratty to drink Guinness and maybe play some chess and consequently the Durham Bishops, Robin’s team, had turned up two players short. Robin’s quick win set the scene for an heroic 3 wins for an overall 3-2 victory keeping them in the hunt for first along with Newcastle Magpies and Fewster’s Shipmates.

Full details of the tournament here.

Note that a similar Sunday format FIDE rated individual tournament is planned for the spring with 2 rounds a day planned for the 19th April, 17th May and 14th June. This will be a Swiss with Open, Major and Minor sections. Details to follow later.

South Shields Success in Northumberland Rapidplay Championship

Good to see almost as many South Shields players there as on a typical club night during the season … and it paid off!

Well done to Dave Walker who shares the title of Northumberland Rapidplay Champion 2019 with rising young start, Yichen Han, with an impressive 5/6.

Well done, too, to Kevin Rowden and Brian Towers who share the title of Under 160 champions with Darren Laws on 4/6.

Honourable mention to Konst Delidimoudis for finishing in 3= on 4.5/6 in the main championship.

On 4/6 we also had Dave Mooney

On 3/6, Paul Bielby and Dave Campbell

On 2.5/6 Eddie Czestochowski and Stan Johnson

And on 2/6, Dave Parlour.

Full details here.

Northumberland Championship Rapidplay – 8th December

Get your entry in if you haven’t already done so!

This tournament will take place this Sunday at Forest Hall Chess Club. The entry form plus more details are available for download as a pdf here.

This is a closed championship so entries are restricted to players who are members of Northumberland Chess Association clubs or who live in Northumberland. The overall winner will be the Northumberland Rapidplay champion. There will be 6 rounds and the rate of play is 20+10.

ENTRY FEE: £10, Juniors (U18) £8 if received by Friday 6th December, otherwise £12 if received before the Sunday and £15 on the day.

Prizes: Champion: £100, 2nd £50, 3rd £25.

Major Champion (130-160 ECF) £50, 2nd £20.

Minor Champion (Under 130) £50, 2nd £20

ROUND TIMES: Round 1 – 11.00; Round 2 – 12.10; Round 3 – 13.20 Round 4 – 14.30; Round 5 – 15.40; Round 6 – 16.50

ECF membership required: You need to be at least a bronze member, although if you are playing league chess then you should already be a bronze member.

Grading: This will be ECF graded. The entry form also mentions FIDE rating but since the deadline for FIDE registration is today and it doesn’t appear on the FIDE website, I suspect it won’t be.

Supporting the Durham Congress

This years Durham Congress will be held on the weekend 1st to 3rd May 2020 . Save the date its the week before May Bank Holiday this year . More information will follow in due course or check the congress website

In part of our efforts to find extra funds we have uncovered a grant , but we need your vote to help us get into the top 40 Bids .

Taken at The Word .

Please click on the link to register your vote , up to 3 allowed maximum .

South Shields Success in Northumberland Congress

We had players in all four sections of the Northumberland Congress and they did well. In the Open section, Dave Walker overcame a slow start (Swiss Gambit?) which left him needing a draw with black in the last round against the strongest player in the field to fulfill his number 3 ranking. He finished on 3.5/5 in 3=. Half a point behind in 7= position on 3/5 were Tim Wall and Paul Bielby. This was a particularly fine result for Paul who started the tournament as player 21 out of 23 on rating and it earned him the senior prize.

Here is Dave’s key 5th round game with his annotations. But for a slip on move 34 it could have been the game which earned him a share of 1st

In the Major Dave Patterson and Eddie Czestochowski started in 25th position on rating and finished on a par result of 24= with 1.5/5. Here is one of Eddie’s games which underlines the importance of not giving up.

In the Minor Asanga (3/5) and Stan (2.5/5) both had excellent tournaments.

In the Foundation Roy Merrin, playing in his first congress, was a prize winner on 4/10, winning the senior prize. All those informal coaching sessions at the Word on Saturdays with fellow prize winner, Paul, obviously paid off!