Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - August 2005

Edited by Peter Price
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

4NCL 2004-2005

Once again, the B.C.A. performed creditably in the 4 nations chess league, arguably England’s strongest chess league. After our debut last year, we strove out to better our previous achievements, and delightfully our objective was obtained. I am exuberant to reveal that we were indeed successful in our endeavours and the B.C.A., due to a storming last weekend performance, were proud enough to walk away with a better placing than last year.

At the conclusion of the season, we ended up in 10th place out of a possible 14 teams. This does not reflect badly on the team as this year, due to a new pairing system and division 4 structure, we finished up with more points than last year. We won 4 matches, drew 1, lost 6 and ended up with 9 Match points, exceeding last year's performance of 8. It has to be stated that we faced an incredibly severe drawing system where we were opposed against the top 7 teams within the first 5 weekends. Graft and sheer determination saw our team work efficiently throughout the time and

a commendable final weekend performance saw us triple our match points.

As manager, I can only thank all members of the squad who kindly made themselves available for the matches and I would encourage anybody to contact me if they have any desire to play in the league. You do not have to play all games, one weekend, or even one game may suffice, but the more armour we can add to our squad, the more the team will achieve.

The individual scores for this season's performance are as follows:

Tyson Mordue 7.5/11

Chris Ross 6.5/10

Stephen Burnell 1.5/6

Bill Armstrong 2.5/7

Stephen Hilton 5/7

John Gallagher 0.5/2

David Hodgkins 0/2

Hans Cohn 1.5/3

Richard Murphy 1.5/5

Robin Williams 0.5/4

Yan Kit Chan 0/2

Alastair Irving 0/4

A few congratulating comments are in order here. Readers may see the laudable performance by Steve Hilton, who has entered into the B.C.A. and into the 4NCl squad for a first year, who has walked away with an astonishing 5/7! His first loss may be put down to nerves as that was his first match but from then on, the Scottish steel within him steam-rolled all that confronted him. His performance is not only astonishing, but exceedingly impressive.

Special thanks has to go to Richard Murphy who availed himself on 3 of the weekends when others belatedly withdrew due to illness or more pressing commitments. His willingness to step in at such short notice and to aid all during the weekends was both gratifying and helpful. Without him the B.C.A. may well have lost valuable points. His presence was both immensely appreciated and welcome!

You will also acknowledge the appearance of some of our juniors who undoubtedly have obtained a tremendous amount of experience from the weekends. For those, the fundamental objective is to ease them into the system and their results, although of importance to the team, matter little in comparison to the wealth of experience they gain in playing in such a taxing league.

Dates for the upcoming season are as follows the venue being the West Bromwich Moathouse, apart from rounds 5 & 6 when we will travel to Nottingham.

Rounds 1 & 2: 5th/6th November 2005

Rounds 3 & 4: 3rd/4th December 2005

Rounds 5 & 6: 11th/12th February 2006 (Nottingham Moat House)

Rounds 7 & 8: 18th/19th March 2006

Rounds 9, 10 & 11: 27th to 29th May 2006

Before I conclude this article with a sparkling illustration of the play demonstrated by us, I wish to emphasize the publicity and credit the B.C.A. is gaining whilst playing in this notorious league. All of our squad have behaved and conducted themselves in immaculate ways and the spectators and the teams that we have met have commented on our professionalism and standard of play.

I reiterate, if anybody is interested in participating in the league, can you please contact me as soon as possible and discuss possibilities and details.

Full reports, games and analysis can be viewed on:

Chris Ross

4NCL manager

[Event "4NCL div. 4. 2004-2005"

[Site "Telford, ENG"]

[Date "2005.01.16"]

[Round "4.4"]

[White "Hilton, Stephen"]

[Black "Bourne, Johnathan"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "A61"]

[White Elo "1850"]

[Black Elo "2100"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[Ply Count "61"]

[Event Date "2005.01.16"]

[White Team "B.C.A."]

[Black Team "Brown Jack"]

{A61: Modern Benoni}

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nf3 c5

4. d5 exd5

5. cxd5 d6

6. Nc3 g6

7. Nd2 Bg7

8. Nc4 O-O

9. Bg5 Re8

{wanting to put pressure down the e file immediately. This prevents e2-e4 by White, but he wasn't planning that in any case. Therefore, the rook may do best on f8, if he's wanting to get f7-f5 in and to avoid any tempi gain by nxd6 ideas with the rook on e8.

9... Qd7 10. a4 Na6 11. e3 Nb4 12. Be2 Qf5 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. O-O Qe7 15. Qd2 b6 16. Na2 Nxa2 17. Rxa2 Ba6 18. b3 Rab8 19. Rc1 Bb7 20. Bf3 Rfd8 21. g3 Bc8 22. b4 cxb4 23. Qxb4 Bh3 24. Nd2

Popov,L-Romanishin,O/Stara Pazova 1988/EXT 97/1/2-1/2 (28)}

10. e3

{A very interesting concept. White denies black the counter-play on the advanced "E" pawn. Black now has to think up of a new strategy that allows him counter-play along some open lines.}

10... b6?

{Black wishes to expand on the q-side but he's a bit too slow really. Action on the light squares seems his best choice and quick development.

10... h6 11. Bh4 Bf5 12. Bd3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 Nbd7 14. O-O Nb6 15. a4 Nxc4 16. Qxc4 Qa5 17. Bg3 Rad8 18. h3 a6 19. Rfc1 Qb4 20. b3 a5 21. Ra2 Ne4 22. Qxb4 axb4 23. Nxe4 Rxe4 24. Re2 f5 25. f3

Romeu Alfonso,F-Torres Sanchez,J/Valencia 1998/EXT 2000/0-1 (46)}

11. Be2

White should take full advantage of the rook on e8 and the inability of being able to defend the d6 pawn with ne8.

{11. Nb5 Ba6 12. Ncxd6 Re5 13. Bf4 Rxd5 14. Qf3 Nc6 15. Bc4 Nb4 16. O-O Bxb5 17. Nxb5 Rd7 18. Rad1 Nfd5 19. a3 a6 20. axb4 axb5 21. Bxd5

1-0 Brinck Claussen,B-Bjarnason,S/Copenhagen 1981/EXT 2000 (21)}

11... Ba6

12. a4 Bxc4

13. Bxc4 Nbd7

14. O-O a6

15. Qe2 Qc8

16. Bd3 h6

17. Bh4 Ra7

{Black is struggling here for a decent enough plan. His queen-side action has been thwarted by White's clamp on the b5 square and his dragon bishop is doing absolutely nothing to help his aggressive set up. His queen is now misplaced and White intends to build up slowly through the centre gaining a small but pulling advantage.}

18. f4 c4?

{dropping a pawn for no good reason. Perhaps Black was trying to get counter-play but he already has a miserable position.}

19. Bxc4 Ne4

{Black is striving to complicate matters but White stays calm and calculated and allows Black no counter-chances at all, playing it slowly and steadily grabbing the pawn and maintaining his solidness.}

20. Nxe4 Rxe4

21. Bd3 Rb4

22. Rac1 Qa8

23. Rc6!

{Powerfully outposted! Black may have pressure on the b2 pawn and along the long diagonal, eventually bringing his dragon bishop into the game, but the backward nature of the D pawn and the loose nature of the Black pawn structure is more important than the B2 pawn.}

23... Rxb2

24. Qg4!

{Wriggling into the Black king-side by penetrating the light squares. Black has to be constantly aware of sudden attacks now by White.}

24... Qe8

25. e4 f5?

{again, striving for counterplay but weakening his position considerably.

These light squares are even weaker now!}

26. Qf3 Qf8

{Interesting, although White comes out on top is

26... g5?! 27. fxg5 Ne5 28. Qxf5 Nxc6 29. dxc6 Qxc6 30. Qe6+ Kh7 31. g6+ Kh8.}

27. exf5 gxf5

28. Qh5 Nc5?!

{Black should grovel with 28... Nb8 29. rc2 rxc2 30. Bxc2 Rf7 but White is still massively on top with his domination of the light squares.}

29. Bxf5! Rf7?

{The only way to continue although its useless is 29... Qf7 30. Rc8+ Bf8}

30. Rc8 Rxf5

31. Qxf5!

{Pretty finish. Very pretty.}

31 ... 1-0

[Event "4NCl Div. 4. 2005"]

[Site "Telford, ENG"]

[Date "2005.05.29"]

[Round "10.2"]

[White "Adebejo, Feni"]

[Black "Ross, Chris"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "B23"]

[White Elo "2045"]

[Black Elo "2122"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[Ply Count "60"]

[Event Date "2005.05.29"]

[White Team "FCA Solutions 2"]

[Black Team "Braille Chess Association"]

{B23: Closed Sicilian}

1. e4 c5

2. Nc3 Nc6

3. f4 g6

4. Nf3 Bg7

5. Bb5

{Slightly unusual as the bishop is destined for the c4 square in any case, and should go there straight away. The placing of it on the b5 square normally indicates a willingness to swap it off to ruin Black's pawn structure. Similar to the 3 Bb5 lines in the open Sicilian. As Black is not obliged to allow this, the move is slightly mis-placed.}

5... Nd4

6. Bc4?!

{Losing a whole tempo, and thereby giving Black immediate equality. The bishop should be simply left and White should rush to complete development with castling. Black doesn't have to take on b5, but the knight wander to d4 wouldn't make sense if Black was not to take on b5. 3 moves with the one piece can not be good though....}

6... e6

{Wanting to get on with normal development against the Grand-Prix attack. In the main variations, White should be a tempo down. I shouldn't have to worry about the f5 sack lines as my knight will land on e7 one move quicker than the main lines, thereby making the sack lines invalid.

6... d6 7. O-O Nf6 8. e5 dxe5 9. fxe5 Nxf3+ 10. Qxf3 Qd4+ 11. Qe3 Ng4 12. Bxf7+ Kd8 13. Qxd4+ cxd4 14. Ne2 Nxe5 15. d3 Bg4 16. Ng3 Nxf7 17. Rxf7 Bf6 18. Bh6 Be6 19. Rxf6 exf6 20. Bg7 Re8 21. Bxf6+

Iskov,G-Ligterink,G/Wijk aan Zee 1982/MCD/1/2-1/2 (26)}

7. O-O Ne7

8. Kh1?!

{Either this is a sign that White is uncertain of his game-plan or simply is preparing to hack on the king-side, thereby securing his own king first. As there is no direct danger to the White king, the g1 square is fine, although checks on d4 have now been ruled out.

8. e5 d6 9. Ne4 dxe5 10. fxe5 Nef5 11. g4 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Qd4+ 13. Kh1 Qxc4 14. gxf5 Bxe5 15. d3 Qd5 16. fxg6 f5 17. g7 Bxg7 18. Qh5+ Kf8 19. Bh6 Bxh6 20. Qxh6+ Ke8 21. c4 Qd4 22. Ng5 Bd7

Akvist,H-Trincardi,T/Eksjo 1979/EXT 2001/0-1 (38)}

8... O-O

9. a4

{yet another none-developing move by White. He wishes to secure his bishop that now has a flight square to a2, but since the bishop is biting on granite as it were on the pawn at e6, swapping it off on b3 and allowing axb3 is White's best plan for that piece.}

9... d5

10. Ba2 dxe4

11. Nxe4 b6

12. Nxd4 cxd4

{Providing a cramping effect on White's position and gaining the e3 square as an outpost. Also, the c2 pawn has suddenly become a massive target.}

13. d3 Bb7

14. Bd2 Rc8

{Completing development and targeting the backward c2 pawn. White's next came as a bit of a shock.}

15. Bb4

{Neatly exploiting the weakened dark squares in Black's centre. The bishop hasn't got much future on the c1-h6 diagonal and therefore heads out on the q-side. In normal circumstances this would be a good re-employment of the piece. The White knight threatens to be a pain on d6 and harass the Black pieces which can easily get entangled. After some consideration, I realised that the White pieces aren't in fact very well coordinated and somewhat cramped. The refutation didn't take long to find then.}

15... Nf5!

{Stopping Nd6 and beginning to move the pieces away from the a3-f8 diagonal, which will eventually prove the bishop to be stupidly placed. The threat is to invade the e3 square with multi tactics on the White queen, which doesn't have many squares. The 2nd rank is vulnerable to Rxc2 ideas and f3 allows f7-f5 with the knight on e4 pinned. There are several variations where the exchange sack is unclear but the dark squared bishop would be a fair trade for the compensation Black would get.}

16. Qe2

{Perhaps not the best square as Rxc2 is always in the offing for Black and the queen may just become overloaded. White's idea is to undermine the outposted knight at e3 with the move c2-c3, but Black isn't in a rush to get his knight to e3.}

16... Qh4!

{clearing the second piece away from the rook's retreat. Black now threatens Bxe4 and Ng3+ winning material. Therefore, has 8 Kh1 and Qe2 proved not to be White's best placing of his pieces?!}

17. Rf3

{Very ambitious. White still has aggressive intentions although it should be obvious from the two previous moves that Black has absolutely no concerns at all. Unless the rook has a specific role on h3 and White can carry out a useful attack, the rook is simply misplaced on the 3rd rank. Qe1 and the liquidation of a few pieces and the defence of a bad ending is White's best hope.}

17... Rfd8

{Having moved the pieces out of the way, the rook now moves away from the attack. The bishop on b4 isn't doing all that much now though...}

18. Rh3?

{Blundering a pawn and effectively the game. There doesn't seem any good reason for this blunder. The Black queen has only one safe square.}

18... Qxf4

19. Bb3 Bd5

{Better than stealing the e4 pawn. The removal of the defender of the c2 weakness has to be best. The threatened damage to the White pawn structure has to be avoided really, but how....}

20. Rf1 Qe5

21. Bxd5

{Not like this. Having driven the Black queen to a better square, the knight on e4 is effectively pinned now (Ng3 allows Nxg3+ - another helpful result of 8 Kh1). Taking on d5 allows some messy tactics but Black is positionally winning it still.}

Best probably was 21. Bd2 Bxb3 22. cxb3 although its still hopeless for White.}

21... exd5

{making a mess of my pawn structure but the tactics will soon finish and Black will be simply material up.}

22. Rxf5

{Getting desperate. White goes for a last-ditch feeble attack which is easily refuted. 22. g4 Nd6 23. Ng3 Qxe2 24. Nxe2 Rxc2 25. Nf4 Rxb2 26. Nxd5will soon clear up.}

22... gxf5

{Again demonstrating that pawn structure doesn't really matter as tactics will be my path through here. Taking on f5 with the queen and allowing the fork on d6, with an easy heavy piece ending is always my back-up variation.}

23. Qh5 h6

24. Ng5 Qf6

{Calm defending is now demanded. 24... Rxc2?? 25. Qxf7+ Kh8 26. Rxh6+ Bxh6 27. Qh7# would not be clever.}

25. Nf3 Rxc2

26. Kg1

{White has now been driven backwards and the weakness of his back-rank has now told. The king tries to avoid the mating threats, but this only allows Black to get the queens off and to iron out his pawn structure.}

26... Qg6

27. Qxg6 fxg6

28. Ba3 Re8

29. Rg3 Ree2

30. Kf1 Kh7

{Being ultra-solid. 31. Ne1 now would win the exchange but I was more than prepared to sack it back on b2 and then roll the queen-side pawns through. Seeing that it was useless, that his rook couldn't get back into the game easily enough. Black called it a day.}

31. 0-1

Chris Ross.