The Gazette - August 2015

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

ECF National Chess Club Championship

Report by Steve Burnell:

This competition is organised annually by the English Chess Federation. It is open to all chess clubs to enter, and is divided into four sections depending on the average grade of the team. Until two years ago it was run on a knock out basis across the country. This would have made it very difficult for the BCA to enter a team. However, in 2014 it was run for the first time over a single weekend, and this was repeated again in 2015. With the BCA being eligible to participate, it was agreed that we should enter two teams.

In April of this year our two teams took part at this event, which was held at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport. We had a team in the Intermediate section which had to have an average grade of under 150, and a team in the Minor section where the average grade had to be under 125.

The Intermediate team consisting of Bill Armstrong, Steve Burnell, Norman Andrews and Ian Blencowe were seeded midway among the ten teams in this section. On the Saturday we had a narrow win over Redditch, followed by an equally narrow loss to Newport (Salop). On the Sunday another narrow win against Wolverhampton meant that we went into the last round with second place quite possible if we could secure another win. Ironically this last round was against Leamington Spa, which had been my own chess club for many years, and who had won this competition in 2013. It was another close match, which we eventually won 2.5 – 1.5.

Special congratulations to Ian Blencowe who finished with a 100% score on bottom board. One of Ian’s victories is given at the bottom of this article.

In the Minor section our team of Steve Thacker, George Phillips, Dan Rugman and Voldi Gailans were out graded by many of their opponents. In round 1 they had a narrow defeat to Sutton Coldfield, the eventual group winners. However, hearing Voldi (first to finish) announce ‘checkmate’ gave us all encouragement! The next three rounds saw further defeats to Redditch, GLCC and DHSS. As always though, the scores don’t tell the full story as the BCA team came very close in several of their games, and were desperately unlucky to finish without any match points. Another positive for the team was that every member scored something.

All eight of us felt it was a very successful weekend. Taking part in events like this does a great deal to raise the profile of the BCA as an organisation. Playing as part of a BCA team provides valuable experience for members who may not regularly play in national chess events. Having two associate members in the party was a great help to our six visually impaired members, and thanks go to Ian and Norman for their assistance throughout the weekend.

Round 3: Blencowe (BCA) vs Walters (Wolverhampton)

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 d5 4. c3 Bd6 5. Bxd6 Qxd6 6. e3 O-O 7. Nbd2 Nbd7 8.Be2 b6 9. O-O c5 10. Rc1 Bb7 11. c4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 a6 13. cxd5 Bxd5 14. Bf3 Bxf3 15. N2xf3 Rfc8 16. Qe2 b5 17. Rfd1 Rxc1 18. Rxc1 Ne5

19. Nxe5 Qxe5 20. Qf3 Qd5 21. Qxd5 Nxd5 22. Nc6 Kf8 23. Ne5 Ke7 24. e4 Nb6 25. f4 Rc8 26. Rxc8 Nxc8

27. Kf2 Nd6 28. Kf3 a5 29. Nc6+ Kd7 30. Nxa5 f6 31. Nb3 Nc4 32. Nc5+ Kd6 33. Nd3 Nd2+ 34. Ke3 Nf1+

35. Kd4 Nxh2 36. e5+ fxe5+ 37. Nxe5 Nf1 38. Nf7+ Kc6 39. Ng5 Ng3 40. Ke5 Nf5 41. Nxe6 Ne7

42. Nxg7 Ng6+ 43. Ke4 Kd7 44. Nh5 Kd6 45. g4 Ne7 46. g5 Ke6 47. Ng7+ Kd6 48. Nf5+ Nxf5 49. Kxf5 and White goes on to win easily.