Yorkshire League Reports
Wakefield A 5½ vs Alwoodley A 2½
It’s only taken the whole season but a Wakefield team has finally won a match!
Alwoodley were a man short to put us 1 up, but unfortunately our board 5 failed to turn up, so 1-1. Board 2 finished in a quick draw and shortly afterwards we scored a win on board 7, I believe it was a risky pawn grab leading to the queen getting trapped a few moves later. Other boards were looking good for us at this stage, a pawn up on boards 4 and 6, Mike’s queenside attack looking dangerous on 3. I was suffering in an endgame but my position was holding together.
Mike won queen for rook and soon chalked up the point. Dave’s extra pawn wasn’t enough for a win so a draw was agreed, so we had finally stopped the 27-match losing streak for Wakefield this season! I managed to equalise and accepted a draw offer. Barry then converted his extra pawn in a rook ending.
If only we’d played like that at the start of the season…
Report by Peter Shaw
|Wakefield A||5½ – 2½||Alwoodley A|
|Peter Shaw||½ – ½||John Hall|
|Joe Kilshaw||½ – ½||Jim Vickery|
|Mike Denison||1 – 0||Mark Birkin|
|Barry Marshall||1 – 0||John Stephenson|
|Default||0 – 1||Simon Deighton|
|Dave Toulson||½ – ½||Gabor Batonyi|
|Mark Waterhouse||1 – 0||Paul Clarke|
|Simon Skinner||1 – 0||Default|
Calderdale A 6½ vs Sheffield D 1½
So, to the final match of the season – a dead rubber against Calderdale A and a shot at cementing third place in the table. We were missing Oskar, Paul, Louis and Pete from the top half of the team so reinforcements were called for and as late as Friday afternoon we were still a player short; take a bow, 10 year old Kyle Sharpe, drafted in on the Friday to ensure we didn’t default any boards.
With captain David Patrick on 8, Calderdale A were clearly keen to finish the season on a high and ultimately their superior play fully deserved the rather crushing victory they secured. That’s not to say we didn’t battle long and hard, with our juniors doing what they could to try to reverse the tide, but we ended up well beaten.
On bottom board, Kyle put up a good fight against David and things were even until fairly late on. However, under pressure and not realising that he had another hour on the clock, Kyle started to move too quickly and dropped a piece; David ensured that was decisive and we were 1-0 down.
It didn’t stay at that scoreline for long – as I became the next player to lose with an absolute shocker of a move against Darwin taking me from a dodgy position to a simply lost one. Cheap tactics don’t tend to work against a player graded over 180 who has been undefeated all season; cheap tactics that aren’t really tactics at all but just outright blunders, even less so.
2-0 soon enough 3-0 and I was starting to worry about a whitewash. Bill, making a late season D Team debut, was massively outgraded against Mark Whitehead but did well to battle down to an endgame where he was a pawn down. Unfortunately, Mark then proved that his bishop was a lot stronger than Bill’s knight and gradually Bill was pushed back until his knight ran out of squares.
However, our board three ensured the whitewash was not going to happen. In recent weeks, Paul has had a resurgence of form and so it proved here again – Martyn has been unbeaten in the YCA this season, but that record did not survive the final match as Paul sacrificed a piece to open up the kingside. Eschewing the opportunity to win Martyn’s queen, Paul instead opted for a king hunt, driving the monarch from g8 to the other side of the board and although I missed the denouement, the end could not have been too far off when Paul played b4+!
Barry’s game concluded next; he was also significantly outgraded but opted for a quiet opening and seemed to be no worse, albeit somewhat passive. JP managed to winkle out a pawn advantage…and then his queen and rook started to do some damage and a discovered check was enough to force resignation with mate looming. Tom was the next to crash to defeat – his queenside stripped bare by John’s marauding pieces after an unusual opening, and counter-play in the centre not proving enough to turn the tide.
All of which left two more juniors on the top two boards. Robert had taken more space in the middlegame and Miles had sat back somewhat; however, things simplified whilst becoming more complex and a Q+2B endgame looked increasingly difficult to play; I missed the end but it looked like at least one pair of bishops was coming off and a draw was agreed. All eyes on James against Phil on top board. The early stages saw James castle, push all his kingside pawns, and set up a series of pins. After that, it got interesting and Phil attacked on the queenside whilst James tried to bludgeon a way through on the kingside. From what I heard in the car on the way home, it might be that James missed a chance to win but eventually Phil’s attack proved the stronger and that was that.
A heavy defeat…but no disgrace and yet another match with four juniors in the side which can only bode well for the future. Well played to Calderdale, who might yet have sneaked into fourth if Rose Forgrove slipped up in their final match.
Report by Andrew Hards
|Calderdale A||6½ – 1½||Sheffield D|
|Phil Watson||1 – 0||James Bowler|
|Robert Newton||½ – ½||Miles Edwards-Wright|
|Martyn Hamer||0 – 1||Paul Blackman|
|Darwin Ursal||1 – 0||Andrew Hards|
|John Morgan||1 – 0||Tom Wills|
|Mark Whitehead||1 – 0||Bill Ward|
|JP Waering||1 – 0||Barry Williams|
|David Patrick||1 – 0||Kyle Sharpe|
Bradford B 1 vs Rose Forgrove A 7
With both teams safely in the middle of the Woodhouse Cup, both teams were playing for pride and a higher finish in the league. Due to a late withdrawal, Bradford started with a man down against a Rose Forgrove team who had previously beaten Sheffield A this season.
With the Grand National taking place today, the Rose Forgrove players were looking to finish before 4.15! Indeed, they got off to a quick 3.5-0.5 wins courtesy of wins by Clive Davies and Michael Round and a draw between David Grant and our Mitchell Burke.
I had already dropped a piece against Taka Chipanga and Roger was a piece up by the time the Grand National started, so we toddled off downstairs to watch one of the most exciting races for a long time! Shortly after returning to the boards, Taka and Roger both converted their advantages to leave Rose Forgrove 5.5-0.5 up.
Eddie Hurwitz managed to win an exchange and trade to an ending to chalk up Forgrove’s 6th win, whilst Gawain Ako defended very tenaciously and managed to secure a draw with a queen vs rook and 3 pawns to double Bradford’s tally.
Not a great result for Bradford, but the hard work had already been done earlier in the season! I want to thank all the many players who have played for us this season and helped us to be a competitive team. Roll on next season!
Report by Andy Bak
|Bradford B||1 – 7||Rose Forgrove A|
|Andrew Bak||0 – 1||Taka Chipanga|
|Mitchell Burke||½ – ½||David Grant|
|Gawain Ako||½ – ½||Mark White|
|Sam Scurfield||0 – 1||Michael Round|
|John Saxton||0 – 1||Roger Jennings|
|Chris Bak||0 – 1||Eddie Hurwitz|
|John Holliday||0 – 1||Clive Davies|
|Default||0 – 1||Andy Bagley|
Bradford A 4½ vs York A 3½
Bradford A faced the newly crowned Woodhouse Cup Champions York A in the last match of the season. To make sure we would put up a reasonable fight we fielded our strongest line up of the season with a 170 on bottom board, but despite this we were still heavily outgraded.
Mike Bramson got us off to a dream start finding a neat trick in the opening to win material and hang on to it to earn our first point. Martin Carpenter had to find some only move defences to keep Chris Wright at bay and duly replied for York.
Most of the other games were too tight to call but closing in on the time control Al Walton offered Richard Palliser a carefully considered draw. Richard had less time than Al but quickly looked around the remaining games and decided he needed to carry on for the team. At least that’s what I presume, this is what I was clinging to and I began to believe that we could get an unexpected result.
I was locked in my own battle with Jos Woolley who beat me badly the last time we played and I was determined not to give him any weaknesses to target. Soon some other results started appearing on the scorecard while we were approaching the first time control. Jim Nicholson gave York the lead but this was quickly cancelled by Alan Walton winning. Dave Barlow drew his game with Detlef Plump then Jean-Luc Weller managed to see his way through the complications in the time scramble to inflict the first defeat of the season against Mike Walker.
I won the exchange when the dust settled in my game and I glanced at Winston on the next board and prayed he could get something from his complicated position against Paul Townsend. He managed to hold his nerve to cap off a tremendous result for Bradford A. It must be a long time since York A lost all three top boards in the Woodhouse Cup. Despite this setback for York A we still congratulate them on being worthy champions again. But it does give us all hope for next season.
Report by Ihor Lewyk
|Bradford A||4½ – 3½||York A|
|Alan Walton||1 – 0||Richard Palliser|
|Winston Williams||1 – 0||Paul Townsend|
|Ihor Lewyk||1 – 0||Jos Woolley|
|Mike Walker||0 – 1||Jean-Luc Weller|
|David Barlow||½ – ½||Detlef Plump|
|Chris Wright||0 – 1||Martin Carpenter|
|Ian Hunter||0 – 1||Jim Nicholson|
|Mike Bramson||1 – 0||Richard Mounce|
Calderdale B 3 vs Sheffield E 5
And so… it all came down to this. After a season where, to be frank, we have underperformed on occasion, our fate was barely in our own hands as we travelled to Halifax for a showdown with Calderdale B. The winners were safe, the losers relegated, and a draw would suit our hosts. On paper, we had a strong side – arguably stronger than the D Team playing on the other side of the room! Calderdale were also out in force, but we actually outgraded them on every board so I was hopeful that we would have chances.
Chris and David were first to finish – queens and most pieces off early doors, doubled rooks, solid pawn structures, draw. Not long after, Srini and Malcolm also shared the point, albeit Srini had used considerably more of his time, with no doubt a fair proportion of that spent ensuring his queen wasn’t trapped after it ended up deep in opposition territory with only a few squares available. Two games gone, 1-1. And a quick wander around the boards suggested we might be struggling to achieve our objective.
Not for the first time this season, Daniel was able to lead the way. Facing David’s Budapest, he steadily improved his position, worked a small advantage and then a slightly bigger one, picked up a pawn and slowly edged up the board; eventually two connected passed pawns were enough to seal the win. This was followed by a win on two for Tom, absent for nearly the entire season whilst at university. A Budapest had given him a pawn advantage over Peter and he too slowly improved his position before a rook on the seventh proved decisive. 2 wins became 3, as Andy also won after an unusual opening and some queenside pressure eventually gave him a breakthrough and the point against Neil. A clean sweep of the top three boards, and a 4-1 scoreline. One draw from the last three games and it was all over.
Naturally, we made it as hard as possible for ourselves…. Seabelo was 2 for 2 going into this match but had managed to lose the exchange at some point and as pieces and pawns came off, this disadvantage proved increasingly hard to play around… Steven didn’t give an inch and the score was 4-2. However, both remaining games looked comfortable for us; I couldn’t see either player losing and we only needed one draw when…disaster! Mike looked like he was dropping the exchange, but found a way to save his rook. Andy then seemed to be getting his knight trapped…but in fact there was a sting in the tail and when Mike shuffled his king over to the pinned knight, Qe6+ led to mate in two. 4-3… and now everything was riding on the final game. Stuart had given a pawn up in the opening for rapid development but never really got an attack going. However, Martin wasn’t making any inroads himself and with both players knowing that their match was all-or-nothing, it wasn’t fo!
r the faint-hearted. Time was slipping away too, with both players deep into the last five minutes of their allotted time and 42 moves some way off… and then it happened. Stuart pushed a pawn to hit Martin’s bishop. Martin responded by pushing a pawn to hit Stuart’s rook…but this left his bishop unprotected. Stuart captured, Martin offered his hand…and we had done it! Saved by the skin of our teeth, in the last game of the last match of the season.
Sheffield E live to fight another season in division two, whilst Calderdale will no doubt be looking to bounce straight back up next season.
Report by Andrew Hards
|Calderdale B||3 – 5||Sheffield E|
|David Shapland||0 – 1||Daniel Sullivan|
|Peter Hughes||0 – 1||Tom Whitaker|
|Neil Suttie||0 – 1||Andy George|
|Andy Leatherbarrow||1 – 0||Mike Newett|
|Martin Syrett||0 – 1||Stuart Crosthwaite|
|Malcolm Corbett||½ – ½||Srinivasa Muthukrishnan|
|David Sugden||½ – ½||Chris Willey|
|Steven Priest||1 – 0||Seabelo Manenye|
Bradford Central 6½ vs Hull DCA 1½
Please find attached the result slip for Bradford Central v Hull & District on 14.4.2012. The score is a reasonable reflection of the play. I put out the strongest team available to me in order to be fair to Sheffield ‘B’ but 4 of our strongest players were not available and we were simply outgunned. The match was not decided until well into the fourth hour of play.
Report by David Mills
|Bradford Central||6½ – 1½||Hull DCA|
|Peter Rooney||1 – 0||DW Stephenson|
|James Dannenberg||1 – 0||John Thackray|
|Mark Crowther||½ – ½||Eric Gardiner|
|John Milnes||½ – ½||Bryan Hesler|
|Dennis Breen||1 – 0||Paul Dearey|
|Nick Edwards||½ – ½||David Mills|
|Paul Day||1 – 0||Alec Grice|
|Abraham Chundusu||1 – 0||Malcolm Hara|