4NCL: 22-23 September 2001
Saturday 22 September
Wood Green 2
|1||w||Littlewood, Paul E.||2410||½ - ½||Webb, Richard M.||2356|
|2||b||Levitt, Jonathan P.||2415||½ - ½||Rossiter, Philip J.||2363|
|3||w||Pein, Malcolm||2424||1 - 0||Poulton, James||2414|
|4||b||Lee, Graham D.||2321||½ - ½||Corkett, Anthony R.||2283|
|5||w||Sowray, Peter J.||2334||1 - 0||Simons, Martin J.||2215|
|6||b||Tan, Desmond||2253||½ - ½||Yeo, Michael J.||2213|
|7||w||Norris, Alan||2304||½ - ½||Upton, Ian J.||2260|
|8||b||Jackson, Sheila A. (F)||2185||1 - 0||Kosten-Forintos, Gyongyver (F) *||1800|
I hadn't intended to play this weekend as I was committed to attending a party on the Saturday night, in Tunbridge Wells. However, while playing in a tournament in Barcelona at the beginning of September I received a message that we were rather short of reserves (and missing a female player) so I agreed . On my return to the country, I learnt that despite trawling through the entire FIDE rating list of English women, we were still unable to produce a replacement for Emily. Martin Simons, having realised that he might have to pay his share of the petrol on this occasion, had made alternative travel arrangements but mentioned that Tony Kosten was looking for a lift for himself and his wife. Fortunately, about ten years ago, while playing for Southampton in a club match, I had been very surprised to meet Tony Kosten, who had turned up to support his wife who was playing for Eastleigh against another Southampton team! Thus Gyongyver became the third female player to represent Wessex, and the only one to have played for a team in the Wessex region!
We were outgraded on all boards and duly lost. We never looked like winning any of the matches, with the possible exception of Board 8. The contrast between the styles of Gyongyver and Emily was extraordinary - it reminded me of a computer set to maximum or minimum (in the case of Emily) aggressiveness! I had been impressed by the amount of opening preparation that had taken place on the car journey, and even more impressed when the following occured:
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 c5 4.e3 b6 5.d5 h6 6.dxe6!?
Well, what would you do? Faced by an opponent who has a husband (and a father) as a grandmaster that you suspect has spotted that you have had the position after move 4 before, dare you take the bishop?
6...dxe6 [6...hxg5! 7.exf7+ Kxf7 8.Nxg5+ Ke8 9.Qd3 Rh6 =/+ looks safe enough, but only if you know that the opening preparation had only reached as far as 5.d5. 6.dxe6 was invented over the board, and was apparently the first of four occasions over the weekend when Gyongyver attempted to sacrifice a piece.] 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Bh4 Bb7 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.0-0-0+ +/=
I am sure that at this stage (and probably at any time in the first three hours) a draw offer would have been gratefully accepted, but undeterred by the ~400 point rating differential Gyongyver thought she should be trying to win from this position. When I left, I thought she was being gradually outplayed, and eventually she lost.
Elsewhere, Martin played what I will have to start referring to as the Suicide Opening that he played a couple of times in this year's British Championships. (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6....) When I asked why he had taken to playing this, he suggested that it made it more difficult for his opponents to prepare for him. Unfortunately, the cruel reality is that they don't need to when he is lost by move 20. Boards 1 and 7 were drawn without too much difficulty. Tony won a piece for 3 pawns which then became 4 when he played his moves in the wrong order. He baled out to a R&P ending a pawn down which he eventually held.
Having a party to go to, I was able to play my first 20 moves in a minute, by which time I was the exchange for a pawn up in a typical Dragon setup in which Black is supposed to be better (but I am not so sure). Unfortunately, thinking for half an hour produced my only mistake of the game and by the time I had extinguished my opponent's activity, I couldn't find any reasonable way to play on, so repeated moves. When I left, I thought we might lose 5-3 if James held his position the exchange for a pawn down, but he didn't.
Sunday 23 September
|Wessex||Thistle White Rose|
|1||w||Webb, Richard M.||2356||½ - ½||Arkell, Keith C.||2431|
|2||b||Rossiter, Philip J.||2363||1 - 0||Kirsanov, Oleg *||2365|
|3||w||Upton, Ian J.||2260||0 - 1||Gayson, Peter M.||2282|
|4||b||Yeo, Michael J.||2213||½ - ½||Barrett, Steve J.||2210|
|5||w||Simons, Martin J.||2215||1 - 0||Townsend, M. Paul||2238|
|6||b||Corkett, Anthony R.||2283||½ - ½||Stephenson, F. Norman||2246|
|7||w||Pye, David E.||2096||0 - 1||Gourlay, Iain||2210|
|8||b||Kosten-Forintos, Gyongyver (F) *||1800||0 - 1||Keeling, Karen (F)||2048|
A match that looked very close on paper and was even closer in real life. The opposition were missing a number of their higher rated players including Karl Mah who had defaulted on the Saturday. We were missing James who had only played on Saturday on his way to the Lake District (and had to finish by 7.45 pm to catch his last train). I was only present in body, having driven 375 miles and had 4 hours sleep since the day before. The only thing that looked worse was the opposition Board 1, who shambled into the playing area about 20 minutes late, and disappeared out of another door, oblivious to the presence of his team or his board. Fortunately, the opposition manager was alert and ran after him in order to steer him back to his board. Richard took pity on him, and swapped a few pieces off before agreeing a draw. The rest of the games all looked reasonable for us, especially on Board 7 where Dave's temporary pawn sacrifice had given him a wonderful position.
All 7 remaining games developed into time-scrambles of varying severity. This gave Richard Furness problems, partly because he couldn't see half the clocks as they were facing the other way and he didn't have seven pairs of eyes! It was also noticeable that not all clocks were running at the same speed since 4 hours took up to 4 hours and 5 minutes in one case. As I was otherwise engaged, I didn't see most of the entertainment, but it was no surprise given his penchant for time-trouble to find that Philip had emerged with an extra piece. Ian never felt very happy with his game despite having won a pawn. Martin's game looked very level most of the time, although he was about the only person not in time-trouble. Board 8 we lost on time in a lost position (against the second female player to represent Wessex), after Gyongyver's fourth piece sacrifice over the weekend had been accepted but not followed up properly.
After move 40, we needed 3 draws to save the match. This seemed somewhat unlikely. My game had become very random in time-trouble and now looked hopeless.
At this stage, my opponent had six minutes left and I had fifteen. I spent some time looking at Qe4 and also Qf7 and Qe7, before deciding to try and exchange queens.... 24...Qc6?? [24...Na8 25.Qxb7 Rxb7 =/+] I saw the problem as soon as I had moved. I thought about resigning, but the longer he thought, I was trying to work out how I could play on a rook for queen down. At least this woke me up! 25.Qd3?? After two minutes! [25.Rd8++-] 25...Qc3 26.Nf5 [26.Qb1=] 26...Qxd3 27.Rxd3 Rc7 [27...g6!=/+] 28.f4 Nd7 [28...e4!? 29.Rd1 g6=/+] 29.Bd2?! Nc5 30.Rd5 Bxd2 31.Rexd2 I thought I must be winning now - just a question of taking his pawns off in the right order 31...exf4 [31...Nxb3 32.Rb2 exf4 33.Rxa5 Nxa5 34.Rxb8+ Kf7=/+; 31...Ne4 32.Rd8+ Rxd8 33.Rxd8+ Kf7 34.Ra8 Ke6 35.Ne3 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 exf4 37.Re8+ Kd7 38.Rxe4 fxe3 39.Rxe3=] 32.Rc2 Rbc8 [32...Ne6 33.Rxc7 Nxc7 34.Rxa5 Rxb3 35.Ra7©] 33.Nd6 [33.Ne7+? Rxe7 34.Rdxc5 Rxc5 35.Rxc5 Re5-/+] 33...Nxb3? [33...Nb7 34.Rxc7 Rxc7 35.Nc4 Kf7=] 34.Rb2? [34.Rxc7 Rxc7 35.Rb5 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 h5 37.Rxb3 Ra1 38.Rb8+ Kh7 39.Rb7+/-] 34...Rc1+ [34...Rb8! 35.Rxa5 Rd8=/+] 35.Kh2 Rb8 [35...R8c3? 36.Rb5+/-] 36.Rxa5 g5? [36...Rd8 37.Rxb3 Rxd6 38.Rb4 g5 39.Ra7+/=; 36...h6! 37.Ra7 Rc5 38.a5 Rd5=] 37.Ra7 Around here, I began to realise that I was in deep trouble 37...Rc6 [37...h5 38.a5 Rc6 39.Nf5+/-] 38.Nf5 Rcb6? [38...Rc5 39.Nh6+ Kh8 40.Ng4 Rc6 41.Rc2 Nd4 42.Rxc6 Nxc6 43.Rc7 Rb6 44.Nxf6 Ne7 45.Ne4+/-] 39.a5 [39.Re2+-] 39...Rb5 40.Nd6 [40.Nh6++/-] 40...Rb4
41.Re2? Unlike 2 moves earlier, this strong looking move may actually throw away the win. [41.a6 is much more difficult to meet as I probably have to give up my knight for the pawn. e.g. 41...Nd4 42.Rxb4 Rxb4 43.Ne4 Rb6 44.Rd7 Rxa6 45.Rxd4+/-] 41...Nd4! 42.Ree7?! [42.Re8+ is probably the best winning try: 42...Rxe8 43.Nxe8 h6 44.Nxf6+ Kf8 45.h4 Nc6 46.Ra6 Ne5! and the awkward position of the white king probably means that Black can draw] 42...Rb2!= 43.Rg7+ Kh8 44.Rxh7+ Kg8 45.Rag7+ Kf8 46.Rf7+ [46.h4 g4=] 46...Kg8 47.Rhg7+ 1/2-1/2 Phew!
Tony found himself in yet another ending a pawn down that he managed to save. David Pye's game was the biggest tragedy. Somewhere in the timescramble his position had gone from winning to a losing Q+P ending. Later this changed to a lost K+P ending. It was a long drive home.
Last modified: September 25, 2001Wessex Chess Club home page