Swale Chess Club meets weekly and caters for all chess enthusiasts, from young to old, novice to expert.
We are at the UKP Leisure Club in Sittingbourne ( ME10 4DE ) from 7.40pm
Swale Junior Club is also open. Click on the picture below to visit the Junior Page:
My Game Of the Season
By Keith Nevols
This favourite game of last season is from an En Passant match between Swale and Tunbridge Wells where I was at board three. The game took place on Thursday 24 November 2016 and my opponent was Mr H Tassell, graded at 147 – 13 points higher than me.
At club level, the Caro-Kann defence does not come up very often, but I encountered it in a club match earlier in the year. That game had gone down an aggressive line for Black (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6 gxf6!?) and I was well beaten while struggling with a position with which my opponent was much more familiar than I.
So I did some research to find some way to answer the Caro-Kann and came across a video which recommended the second move Ne2. Amongst the variations was an early pawn sacrifice – so I decided to give it a go.
1. e4 c6
The principle is that, generally speaking, Caro Kann players like to put a bishop on f5. From the g3 square, this can be attacked by the knight and White can get time to develop.
2. .... d5
3. e5 Bf5
Other moves Black can consider are 3. ... c5 (to be answered with 4. d4) and 3.. d4 (where White could have some fun with 4. b4!? or the more conservative 4. c3).
4. Ng3 Bg6
The aim of this follow-up is to continue to harass the bishop.
5. ..... h6
If 5. ... h5 then 6. Be2 and Black’s h-pawn begins to look uncomfortable.
6. h5 Bh7
To my surprise, I have got to the position of the pawn sacrifice I mentioned earlier. It is very unusual to get the chance to try out some home preparation of this sort, and I hesitated and considered the natural 7. d4. But after some deliberation I decided to go for it.
Here it is. A positional pawn sacrifice at move seven. I hoped that Black had not seen it before and, judging by the way he now went into some deep thought, I think that was correct.
7. .... fxe6
You can see the point behind the sacrifice. Take a look at the bishop on f8. How it is going to get out? On the e-file, there are doubled pawns that will have to be shifted before it can think of freedom, while on the g-file, if the pawn on g7 moves, it will be exchanged for White's h-pawn and his pawn on h6 is poor.
And, of course, while the bishop on f8 is blocked, the rook on h8 will also struggle to get out.
The other point to note is the opening of the h5-g6-f7-e8 diagonal. White must move fast to exploit this while Black might want to castle queenside quickly to get the king out of the way.
The follow up to 7. e6 which restricts the e5 pawn and prepares to bring the king's bishop to d3.
8. .... Qd6
I took a look at 8. .. Nd7 preparing e5. One line could be 9. Bd3 Qa5+ 10. Nc3 e5 and castling very soon or White could play 9. f4 trying to keep the trap closed.
I also wondered about 8. .. e5!? - immediately returning the pawn with 9. dxe5 e6 to follow.
The idea of the move Qd6, and the next knight move, is to get castling, but Black does not have enough time.
9. Bd3 Bxd3
If 9. .. Na6 I intended 10. Bxh7 Rxh7 11. Qd3 Nf6 12. Qg6+.
10. Qxd3 Na6
11. Qg6+ Kd7
So we have prevented castling, but Black’s king looks quite snug behind those pawns. Now the plan was to get a White rook onto the e-file and hammer at the e5 and e6 squares. The longer those pawns stay on e6 and e7, the more development problems Black will have.
12. O-O Nf6
If 12. ... e5 White can retrieve the pawn with 13. Qf5+.
13. Re1 c5
14. dxc5 Nxc5
Black has succeeded in removing the White pawn from d4 and might now be thinking of e5 at some stage, even if it gives the pawn back, but with the subsequent intention of e6 and developing the kingside. The e5 move would not be possible while White has the option of Nf5 and then taking on g7. And White's queen is very well placed.
I now considered 15. b3 with the idea of bringing the bishop to a3. But after 15. ... Nce4 16. Ba3 the Black queen can simply move to a6 or f4. So I decided to bring the knight into the action while also covering the e4 square - which both the Black knights are currently looking at.
15. Nc3 Rc8
Planning to come to d4 and then e5 - while also peering in the direction of the undefended pawn on a7. Black now can't play 16. .. d4 because of 17. Bxd4 (17. .. Qxd4 18. Red1 wins the queen).
16. .... b6?
A mistake providing White with two free moves to continue the attack. A better option might have been 16. ... Qa6 tucking the queen away.
If instead Black plays 16. .. e5 then White has a good choice of 17. Rad1, which is strong. (17. ... e6 18. Bxc5 Rxc5 19. Nge4) or 17. Nf5 (17. ... Qe6 18. Bxc5 Rxc5 19. Nd4).
Remember Black's bishop on f8 and rook on h8 which I mentioned earlier? Look what a miserable time they are having.
17. Nb5 Qb8
18. Nd4 Qd6
Now if White wanted a draw he could simply play 19. Nb5 and Black might obligingly repeat moves. But the gain in tempo meant that I had moved my knight from c3 to d4 where it is very happy, looking at b5, e6 and f5.
I gave some thought here to 19. c4 dxc4 20. Rad1 but then Black has the annoying 20. .. Nd3! turning the tables. So instead it is time for the last piece to join the fight.
After 19. .. e5! the position is equal if, after 20. Ndf5, Black can find 20. .... Qb8!
This would stop 21. Nxg7 because of 21. ...Bxg7 22. Qxg7 Rcg8 23. Qf7 Rh7 trapping the queen.
After 20. .. Qb8, White could try the more aggressive 21. c4 with 21. .. Na5 22. cxd5 Nxb2 23. Rb1 Nc4. White could then consider 24. Qf7 but it is hard to see a breakthrough.
19. ..... Nce4
While Black is effectively playing two pieces down, then maybe it is a mistake to exchange.
20. Nxe4 Nxe4
Now a big think. Firstly, I looked at the piece sacrifice 21. Bf4? - 21. ... Qxf4 22. Qxe6+.
I could not see anything against 22. .. Kd8 (23. Nc6+ Rxc6 24. Qxc6 Qxf2+) and overlooked the simple 23. Qxd5+ which will win the knight and have a winning attack.
A far better move for Black would be 22. .. Kc7 then 23. Nb5+ Kb8 24. Qd7 Rc5! (defending the d5 pawn). 25. Qxa7+ Kc8 26. Qa6+ (if 26. Qa8+ then Qb8) Kd7 27. Rxd5+ Ke8! 28. Qa8+ Kf7.
However, I did not see any need to sacrifice a piece in a winning position where there were other moves available.
I considered 21. f3! which I think is probably the best - clearing the e-file and redeploying the bishop back to f2 and then on to g3.
Instead I went for my third option, to get that bishop to the b8-h2 diagonal by a more immediate route.
21. g3 Nf6
22. Bf4 Qb4
Now, having forced the queen off the centre files, how can I finish off the attack against the king? I saw two options - 23. Qf7! was the sensible option - but, rather foolhardily, I decided to gamble.
The reason I say this is a gamble is because I thought he might now play 23. ... Qxd4!? Then 24. Rxe7+ Bxe7 25. Rxd4, or just 24. Rxd4 Kxe6, and it is queen and pawn against rook and knight - the type of lop-sided positions I do not like.
By removing two of White’s attacking pieces, Black would hold off immediate loss, and could cause White some problems. White should still win but not without a headache.
23. .... Qxb2?
With this move I breathed a sigh of relief. This was my day after all. I saw how I could finish it off from here.
24. Qf5 Kd8
25. Nc6+ Rxc6
26. Rxc6 e6
27. Qxe6 Bc5
The bishop is free at last - just in time to hear the final whistle.
28. Rc8 mate
I was very pleased with this quick win against a higher graded player by the use of a positional pawn sacrifice.
In the position below it is White to move and win, despite being a piece down White has terrific compensation. The game continued Nxc7+ Kf7, Qd5 Kg6 - Here White missed a Mate in 10 but went on to win in fine style. See if you can find the brutal Mate.
Interestingly the game finished on move 55 with Black never moving the Knight on g8!
The Swale League is approaching the end of the first phase and the battle for the top 6 positions is really heating up. After holding top seed Keith H to a draw last week Peter continued his strong play by pushing Trefor for over 50 moves before eventually being ground down. Ian also played superbly to draw with Keith H and Andrew unleashed a vicious combination to force victory against Barry. The longest game was an 80 move marathon draw between Kevin and Duncan
Our En Passant team lost its first match of the season away at Tunbridge Wells, our points came from draws from Keith H, Trefor and Tyrone, we still have every chance to qualify for the semi-finals, so fingers crossed. The Tom Fuller team has two important matches next week, away at Weald of Kent followed by a home tie against Maidstone.
Well ok, we can't promise that the brilliant GM Alexandra Kosteniuk will attend but we will be providing Festive Fun with a Xmas Blitz event on December 15th and possibly a few mince pies!
The Swale League is going to be the toughest and most close fought in recent history. Keith N is currently setting the pace but everyone is within striking distance. Recent strong performances have seen Kevin draw with Keith H and Andrew ' robbed ' of a deserved draw with Trefor at the very end of a long long game.
The up to date league position can be seen on our dedicated page.
Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen who retained his World Crown this week by winning the Rapid Chess Play Offs. After a very tough and tight 12 game match against Sergey Karjakin Magnus dominated the Rapid games and finished off in style with a Queen sacrifice in the following position.
Although it is early days the Club Teams are having a good season. Our En Passant team is currently top of the table having won both of their matches. The Tom Fuller team is also doing well, with quite a few games coming up over the next couple of months, everything is to play for. The Intro team is also playing well and also allowing players from the Junior Club to get used to playing tournament chess.
We play our first match of the season on Thursday 20th October. Swale are at home to Rochester and are fielding a team that includes a couple of players from the junior club. The Intro Cup gives us the perfect opportunity to give all players, old and new, experience in the exciting world of inter-club chess. Good Luck everyone
The Swale League is well and truly underway with most club nights seeing a bunch of exciting and hard fighting games. Sole leader at the moment is Andrew just half a point ahead of a chasing group of 4 players.
Everyone is already off the mark and we can be certain of another tense and thrilling club championship.
As usual the updated league table can be found on the Championship page, see link above.
I was reminded of Irving Chernev's wonderful book last night at the club. This book was one of my favourites as a young man and although admittedly no World Champions turned up, the twelve players who battled in round one of the 2016/17 Swale League played some excellent chess.
I struggled against new member Dennis and was fortunate to catch him with a tricky tactic in his time trouble. Another (almost) new member Karl obtained a small advantage from the opening against Duncan and then skilfully pushed his advanced pawn to decide the game. Peter and Barry played a very close game with both players determined to attack, on this occasion Peter came out on top. Keith H played an aggressive set up against Anthony and whipped up a devastating attack against the black King caught mid-board. The game between Andrew and Keith N was full of pins, forks and threats and in a topsy turvy game where both had chances of a strong attack the game finished even. The longest and hardest fought game was between Tyrone and Ian, Ian secured an advantage from the opening only for Tyrone to fight back and penetrate with his King, somehow Ian defended the intrusion and pushed the King to the a1 corner where he delivered a nice mate.
This looks like being the most closely fought Swale league this century, the updated league table can be found on the Championship page, see link above.
Tyrone is organizing a fabulous RapidPlay Event this coming Thursday, 1st September - This will be an excellent way to blow away those summer cobwebs and have some exciting games at the same time. If you wish to play please let Tyrone know asap so that he can make the draw for the first round, otherwise just turn up on the evening and have a great time.
A reminder that the club fees for the new season are due from 1st September.
Of course we have a reduction in real terms this season as the fee remains the same but now includes, at no extra cost, your membership of the ECF. Please speak with Ian or Keith to make payment.
We had a fabulous evening in the very entertaining company of GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan, the event was made all the more special as we were also joined by Matthew's first coach and renowned author Steve Giddins
After the introductions we were able to enjoy some excellent Alekhine games, really well explained by Matthew, with the audience asking questions and suggesting moves. It was a double pleasure to see the moves from a World Champion explained by such a strong GrandMaster as Matthew, it is funny that once a series of moves is explained how simple chess actually looks.
Natasha then showed us some games played by the English GM Keith Arkell, highlighting his deep plans and drawing attention to the specific pawn formations that have enable GM Arkell to continue to play his best chess well into his 50s, an inspiration to us all, even the juniors amongst the audience. Natasha's tuition was so good that I for one promise to try and play more 'grown up' chess in future matches!.
Time for a short break for refreshments and an opportunity to buy a copy of the brilliant Chess for Life book signed by the two stars.
Matthew then played a simul against those brave enough to test their mettle.
In the above photo you can see George Hollands (Snodland Club) who was the only player not to be defeated by Matthew.
A really excellent performance from George who was winning at one stage,
however as the number of Matthew's simul opponents reduced and George had less time to think his advantage slipped to a draw.
Still a magnificent effort from George, please enjoy the game below
Finally a really big thank you to everyone who supported the event, both from Swale and other clubs.
Of course the biggest thank you is to Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan
who were both friendly and unassuming and ensured that everyone had a thoroughly entertaining and educational experience
We played another tough away match on Monday 4th July against the powerful Weald of Kent team. As in the Maidstone match we were heavily outgunned but still managed to take some scalps, Anthony especially continuing his fine form. The next match in this tournament will be at home on Thursday 28th July.
Here are the individual results against Weald of Kent
|WOK||NAME||ROUND 1;2;3;4||TOTAL||NAME||SWALE||ROUND 1;2;3;4||TOTAL|
|181||DAKIN||Adam||0.5 1 0 1||2.5||THOMPSON||Rob||135||0 1 1 0||2|
|166||COVE||Henry||1 0.5 1 1||3.5||JEFFERIES||Tyrone||122||0.5 0 1 0||1.5|
|139||HART-DYKE||James||1 1 0 1||3||FLETCHER||Anthony||91||0 0.5 1 0||1.5|
|118||ORAM||Clive||1 0 0 1||2||SAWYER||Barry||79||0 0 0 0||0|
The Junior club held their annual awards event last night. After a close and exciting summer tournament all 12 juniors won prizes and are improving quickly, both in the standard of their play and in their concentration.
Swale Primary Champion was Sandra Waugh with Runner Up Samuel Edwards and in the Junior Section Runner Up was Owen Underdown with Ted Vidyarthi the well deserved 2016 Swale Junior Champion.
Swale Chess Club is hoping that many of our exciting young players will start representing the club in matches from next season.
We played our first match last night, away at Maidstone, the format of the Summer Quickplay is two teams of 4 players compete and each player plays every player from the opposing team. There is a time handicap for the higher rated players. Maidstone fielded a very strong team with their bottom board out grading our top board, so a hard struggle was expected. In the end Maidstone won the match 13 - 3 here are the individual results.
|KENT SUMMER QUICKPLAY 2016 RESULTS|
|NAME||ROUND 1;2;3;4||TOTAL||NAME||SWALE||ROUND 1;2;3;4||TOTAL|
|MUMFORD||David||1; 1; 1; 1||4||NEVOLS||Keith||132||0; 0; 1; 0||1|
|HOLLANDS||George||1; 1; 1; 1||4||JEFFERIES||Tyrone||122||0; 0; 0.5; 0||0.5|
|HEATH||David||1; 1; 0; 1||3||FLETCHER||Anthony||91||0.5; 0; 0; 0||0.5|
|BEAVIS||Barry||0.5; 1; 0.5; 0||2||SAWYER||Barry||79||0; 0; 0; 1||1|
The Club AGM was held on Thursday 23rd June,
Minutes can be found on the Club Championship page.
The club held an exciting EU Referendum tournament yesterday. Eight players participated in an All Play All quickplay event with a twist. Each player had just 7 minutes for the game but before each round the player of the White pieces drew a card which contained the first moves of an opening named after a European country or capital. So the event saw wild openings such as the Danish, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese and Irish Gambit, as well as more sensible choices such as the Dutch and Budapest.
Nearly all of the games were exciting and at the end of the evening Keith H was crowned EU champion with 6 points from 7 games. One point behind came Keith N, Kevin and Trefor
Here is the end of the game Trefor (white) v Keith N (black) the game started with a Dutch Staunton Gambit, Black to move can you find the winning combination?
There are still a couple of games to be played but I can announce that the new Swale Champion is Trefor and Peter has superbly won the Plate Competition.
Trefor lost his first 2 games then won 13 in a row to just edge out 2015 Champ Keith H.
New club member Keith N secured a good 3rd place and showed that he will be a formidable opponent next season.
League Tables for Championship and Plate - 03/06/2016
1) Trefor Owens Played 15; W13; D0; L2; Points 13
2) Keith Hyde Played 14; W10; D3; L1; Points 11.5
3) Keith Nevols Played 15; W8; D3; L4; Points 9.5
4) Tyrone Jefferies Played 14; W5; D4; L5; Points 7
5) Andrew Gillard Played 15; W4; D5; L6; Points 6.5
6 ) Ian Lappin Played 13; W4; D4; L5; Points 6
1) Peter Blundell Played 14; W5; D5; L4; Points 7.5
2) Kevin French Played 13; W3; D4; L6; Points 5.0
3) Duncan Marsh Played 14; W1; D7; L6; Points 4.5
4) Barry Sawyer Played 12; W2; D3; L7; Points 3.5
5) Anthony Fletcher Played 13; W0; D4; L9; Points 2.0