The Central Week

November 25th, 2015

The wind was howling around our ears last Tuesday as both the First and Third teams ventured into battle against Ashfield 3 and University 3 respectively.

I had volunteered to play for the Third team and after an uneventful trip we found ourselves waiting at the Portland Building outside room C30 along with the Long Eaton squad who were to face Uni 2. Unfortunately no sign of any University chess players. I hurriedly rang Charlie Grainger who asked the rather strange question “Are you waiting outside C30?”. When I answered in the fairly obvious affirmative we were ‘fetched’ and led to the bowels of the Trent Building. Along the way I was able to congratulate Charlie on his excellent win against our own John Harrison a week or two before.

We then proceeded to get thrashed 4-0. I went a pawn up against the ungraded Tom Dabner and was feeling good about my position until allowing a fiendish one-move killer tactic (apparently rather spookily titled a ‘night fork’), losing my Queen in the process. Alex and Harry also lost. John Dell held out the longest against the improving Steve Luland (who went on to success in the County Championship) but wasn’t able to withstand a nasty king-side attack.

I got back to the Billy in time to see the end of the First Team’s match against Ashfield. We had already wrapped up the points and there was just Andy Sutton left trying to defend a King and Pawn endgame two Pawns down against Nigel Wright. It looked hopeless but Andy nearly pulled off the draw. With both squads watching and time running out, Nigel appeared to have run out of ideas and swapped the Rooks off. This led to a technical draw but with time pressure, a big audience and the tiredness that comes with having to get up early, work hard for a living and then concentrate for hours in the evening, he was unable to find the correct moves and Nigel held his nerve for the win.

The County Championship at the weekend saw an excellent Central turnout with mixed results. Steve Foster, Mark Radford, Graham Gibson, Andrew Sutton, Myself and Alex Meade all played with Simon Parham dropping in for support. Andrew got close to some prize money in the Minor but failed to take advantage of a winning position against Steve Luland in the final round (who came equal first). Myself and Alex (who beat Bob Abrahart in the final round) managed one win each. I checkmated Ronnie Watson with about 10 seconds left on my clock. I think he fell into the trap of moving too quickly in my time trouble, the move that allowed my checkmate was played almost instantly even with around 10 minutes left on his clock.

Sunday evening was spent in the Lincolnshire Poacher in the excellent company of a smattering of Gambiteers and the Uni lads (who had done really well, Owen Hunt having won the Intermediate although Sean Grenham was still smarting from having missed a really nice checkmate against Drag). Later on, me, Mike Naylor and Drag continued to put the world to rights, the conversation ranging effortlessly from adjournments to racial stereotypes to bowel movements.

Monday saw Central 2 take on the mighty West Bridgford 3 who already seem assured of promotion back to division 3. We put up a good fight and ended up losing 3-2. Alex got an excellent draw on Board 5 against the experienced Allan Brown (who had crushed me a couple of weeks earlier). In fact she was very disappointed she hadn’t won. Pat and Simon lost to Mike Hunter and David Gold but I managed to beat Chris Budd in a very interesting game where I had a strong kingside attack brewing. I almost threw it away by neglecting to stop any queenside counterplay but an error under board and time pressure by Chris allowed me a mate in three.

All in all an enjoyable chess week.

Latest Central Team Action

November 11th, 2015

On Tuesday 3rd the Second Team entertained Nomads 2 and it started out looking like a straightforward victory as Mike Swanwick rang up twenty minutes before the match start to tell us that they only had three players. Also we were pretty much at full strength (I had left myself out). However, chess being chess, things didn’t quite turn out as planned. They eventually turned up with four players and we started off well, Andy’s opponent blundering a Rook and resigning to add to the default point. Lukasz faced Rob Parker again, the player who had checkmated him quickly a week before. This time he made much more of a game of it but was outplayed to give Nomads a point back.

Pat had a tough game with Mike Swanwick who seems to be playing for all three Nomads teams. I had taken on the role of ‘irritating observer’ and when Pat agreed a draw I wasted no time in showing him a move he had missed that led to – a different draw!

Graham was, as ever, the last to finish and with both players short of time his opponent, Graham Neil, showed great composure to bring home the full point and draw the match.

A week later, both the First and Third teams played at home against Uni 2 and 4. It was pretty cramped in our upstairs room. Added to this was the unique King Billy atmosphere with a folk group downstairs and a woman with an incredibly annoying laugh somewhere outside.

I didn’t see much of the Third Team’s games as I couldn’t physically get to that end of the room. Alex was the first to finish with a crushing win. She later told me that she had ‘checkmated him at least 5 times’ which I took to mean that she had enjoyed an enduring initiative. The match finished drawn.

Unfortunately the First Team unexpectedly lost 3-2 with both Alan and John uncharacteristically losing on the top two boards. Andy had a small advantage from the opening but made a mistake in recapturing with the Queen instead of a Pawn and his opponent took full advantage with two connected central passed pawns eventually deciding the game. Steve and Graham both won well but it wasn’t enough to save the game.

Still, as is the Central way, the night finished with some rousing choruses of ‘Rolling Home’ from me, Andy and Simon before we eventually did roll home.

Latest Club Champs Results/Pairings

November 3rd, 2015

Sept/Oct 2015 Results

S.Foster 1-0 M.Radford; P.Allen 1-0 L.Kacprzak; A.Sutton 0-1 A.Griffiths; J.Dell 0-1 G.Forster; A.Lester draw M.James (not played); G.Gibson 1-0 A.Meade; K.Argyle draw A.Lathif (not played); S.Parham 0-1 M.Frings.

Round 5 – November/December 2015 Pairings

S. Foster(4) v P. Allen(3.5)

A. Griffiths(3) v G. Forster(3)

M. Radford(2.5) v L. Kacprzak(2.5)

A. Lester(2) v G. Gibson(2)

M. James(2) v A. Sutton(2)

A. Lathif(1.5) v J. Dell(1.5)

S. Parham(1) v K. Argyle(1.5)

A. Meade(1) v M. Frings(1)


Central News

October 28th, 2015

An interesting week and a bit for Central with all three teams in action. Unfortunately Central 3 took the only point with a draw against Nomads 3 last night.

Last Monday Central 2 travelled to The Willow Tree to take on the lowest of three West Bridgford teams in division 4. As always, a Monday away match proved difficult for recruiting players and I am grateful to Mick Frings and John Dell for answering the call when they would rather have been doing something else. Pat had completely forgotten about the match but luckily Simon cleaned his windows earlier in the day and reminded him.

With four players graded under 100 it was always going to be difficult and so it proved. I lost horribly, badly misplaying the opening, losing a piece and allowing my King to be flushed out into the centre. It was actually quite relaxing as after move 10 pretty much all of my moves were forced leading up to checkmate. Simon was a piece up and cruising but allowed a perpetual check. Pat got a solid draw. Again. Mick also drew but John was unable to save a King and Pawn ending a Pawn down. We lost 3.5-1.5.

The U100 County Team was well-represented by Centralites away at Leicester. John Dell, Alex, me, Simon (who was travelling as a sub) and Mike Seagrave from Gambit made the short drive and we were unbeaten. Upon arrival, Dorothy Blampied gave up her place in the team to Simon having spotted the bar and immediately set about making inroads into their brandy supply. I was able to join her soon after, my young opponent blitzing out bad moves despite the long time controls. Alex won very quickly, John drew and Simon once again threw away a win by stalemating his young opponent in an overwhelming position. Mike also won. A really enjoyable afternoon. Not sure of the final score but Notts won comfortably.

The First Team travelled to Nomads 1 Monday night and were again unlucky in that John Harrison thought it was a Thursday match and didn’t turn up. There were all sorts of shenanigans regarding board order, defaults, then no defaults before we eventually lost 4-1. Steve has already put out a full report. The important part was “A good night out in a good pub”.

Last night the Third Team entertained Nomads 3. Lukasz, on board 1, played his favourite Scandinavian and was checkmated after 6 moves. There was a silver lining in this as he was able to play his Club Championship game against Pat. It appeared to be a very interesting game judging by the amount of time they spent analysing it afterwards. It was almost like being at Gambit. Pat eventually won after Lukasz dropped his Queen, but he had serious winning chances earlier.

I won (again!) with a pleasing game against Clement Owusu who is ungraded but has been doing well so far this season. Simon managed to win a won game. John eventually succumbed to Mike Swanwick to leave the match drawn 2-2.




Latest League Action

October 15th, 2015

All three Central teams were in action this week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with mixed results.

The 3rd team made the long trip to Newark on Monday evening. It’s always a struggle to get a team together for Monday night away matches and this was no exception. John Dell recorded the only victory in a 3-1 defeat.

The 2nd team hosted the newly formed Grantham 3 in their first ever fixture and managed to inflict their first ever defeat in an exciting match that went down to the last board. Lukasz was totally outgraded on top board but Andy & Pat played their usual solid games and drew. Andy’s opponent got into serious time trouble but when his flag finally fell Andy had insufficient mating material (King and Knight) and a draw was declared. Me and Mick were facing inexperienced opponents on the bottom two boards and won reasonably comfortably.

A welcome win after the quite frankly depressing visit to West Notts last time out.

1. L. Kacprzak  0 – 1     G Wollerton

2. A. Sutton      draw   A. Carrasco

3. P. Allen         draw   C. Cumbers

4. M. Frings     1 – 0     K. Laing

5. K. Argyle      1 – 0     J. Pocock

Central 2 won 3 – 2

The 1st team, with the welcome return to action of John Harrison, travelled to Long Eaton but had some bad luck in that Steve was not well and Geof arrived late after getting lost in a traffic diversion. Alan maintained his 100% record on top board. They lost narrowly 3 – 2.

Central 1 Away to Gambit 4

September 19th, 2015

Our first team managed to exactly duplicate Central 2’s result from the week before with a draw against Gambit 4 in their first game in Division 3.

Both Andrew and Geof produced their usual solid performances, Andrew now being unbeaten in 7 games, playing confident chess, and more than able to hold his own for the first team.

Alan, on board 1, pretty much outclassed his lower rated opponent. The position became complicated in the middlegame and his opponent eventually lost on time with Alan very much in control.

Steve also was pressing, turned down a draw but was unable to break his opponent down.

Unfortunately Graham was unable to repeat his heroics from the previous week and went down to Mike Harper.

1.  Peter Gorecka-Marshall     0 – 1      Alan Griffiths
2.  John Huthwaite                  draw      Stephen Foster
3.  Derek Padvis                      draw     Geof Forster
4.  Michael Harper                  1 – 0     Graham Gibson
5.  Margaret Gretton               draw     Andrew Sutton    match drawn.



Central 2 Away to Gambit 5

September 11th, 2015

The 2nd team got the new season underway on Tuesday night with a visit to our near neighbours and newly promoted Gambit 5.

We turned up ready for battle so there was no need for Graham’s (in)famous ‘car-park speech’. Indeed Gambit have no car-park so it would have been tricky.

The teams were fairly well matched so it was no surprise that the honours were even at the end of the night.

Graham recorded a smooth win on top board against Ronnie Watson, whilst both Andy and Pat split the point without too much drama.

Simon, after shouting ‘QUIET!’ at the top of his voice just after the start due to excessive Gambit raucousness possibly managed to put himself off and made a bad mistake in the opening. The position became pretty complicated and unbalanced later on (at one stage it appeared that the pieces had been dropped on the board randomly) but eventually he succumbed.

I unleashed Bird’s Opening on an unsuspecting Ken Heath and played pretty solidly, setting up a Stonewall pawn formation completely neutralising his Bishops. The stage was set for my Knights to maraud but somehow the pawn formation neutralised my Knights as well. Oh well, I’m happy with a solid draw in the first game of the season.

1. Ronnie Watson   0-1     Graham Gibson

2. Derek Padvis      draw  Andrew Sutton

3. Mike Seagrave    draw   Patrick Allen

4. Alan Groves        1-0       Simon Parham

5. Ken Heath          draw     Kevin Argyle         Match drawn.


Round 3 Results/Round 4 Pairings

September 3rd, 2015

M.Radford draw P.Allen; G.Forster 0-1 S.Foster; L.Kacprzak 1-0 G.Gibson; A.Griffiths 1-0 A.Lathif; A.Meade 0-1 A.Sutton; J.Dell draw M.James (not played); K.Harvey draw A.Lester (not played); M.Frings 0-1 K.Argyle; S.Parham 1 point bye.

Round 4 Pairings; (Games to be played in September or October)

S. Foster (3) v M. Radford (2.5)

P. Allen (2.5) v L. Kacprzak (2.5)

A. Sutton (2) v A. Griffiths (2)

J. Dell (1.5) v G. Forster (2)

A. Lester (1.5) v M. James (1.5)

G. Gibson (1) v A. Meade (1)

K. Argyle (1) v A. Lathif (1)

S. Parham (1) v M. Frings (0)

Club Championship Round 3

August 1st, 2015

Round 2 Results; P.Allen 1-0 A.Griffiths; A.Lathif 0-1 M.Radford; S.Foster 1-0 A.Lester; M.James 0-1 G.Forster; K.Harvey 0-1 J.Dell; K.Argyle 0-1 L.Kacprzak; G.Gibson 1-0 M.Frings; A.Sutton 1-0 S.Parham; A.Meade 1 point bye.

Round 3 Pairings (to be played in August);

M.Radford v P.Allen

G.Forster v S.Foster

L.Kacprzak v G.Gibson

A.Griffiths v A.Lathif

A.Meade v A.Sutton

J.Dell v M.James

K.Harvey v A.Lester

S.Parham 1 point bye.

Sheffield Success For Andrew Sutton!

July 5th, 2015

Central were represented at the recent Sheffield Congress by AK and Andrew who both entered the Minor Section.

After a draw in the first game Andrew stormed away to take a share of first prize, the highlight being a win in 10 moves on the Sunday.

AK finished on a respectable 50% score and will be amongst the prize money at Congresses before too long.


AK and John Dell played for the U-100 County team in the Final against Kent on Saturday 4th. Kent are considered a strong team and were expected to win but Notts upset the odds and returned with the trophy.




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