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06 April 2011

Witney2 drew 3-3 with City2 last night in our final match of the season. This leaves us in third position in Division 2 on 17 pts, behind City2 in second place only on the account that they beat us 3½-2½ earlier in the season.


  Witney 2


Oxford City 2
1 Searle, Howard AJ (159) 1 - 0 Hayward, Philip (182)
2 Edwards, Derek F (150) ½ - ½ Lee, Anthony (167)
3 van Velsen, Anco (145) 1 - 0 Biswas, Karl (146)
4 Weston, Richard (133) 0 - 1 Yates, John O (139)
5 Moss, Patrick (-) ½ - ½ Smith, Lucy K (133)
6 Plowman, Guy (-) 0 - 1 Brooke, Ian R (131)
    3 - 3  
Match played on 04 Apr 2011.

Bicester1 are promoted with 22 pts. Jon K was stuck in Mansfield and so Guy Plowman stepped in at the last moment on Board 6. City2 outgraded us on all boards and without Otto and Jon K we struggled on the lower boards. There was a nice win for Howard on Board 1 against his 182 opponent - a timely N fork and R capture finished his opponent off just us Howard's Black K was looking a little exposed with the K-side Ps in an advanced position.


Derek finally gained control of the open e-file with his Q, but with the Rs exchanged and an inactive B accepted the draw - a little disappointing but not a bad result against a 167-rated player. Anco finished a fine season with another win on Board 3 with the Black pieces - I didn't see a great deal of this game. Unfortunately Rich lost on Board 4 against the experienced John Yates when John captured a minor piece whilst Rich's clock ticked down to the final few minutes.


Patrick finished his fine season with a draw on Board 5 against draw specialist Lucy Smith. Guy, playing his first game for Witney2, put up a galliant fight on Board 6 against veteren (but still playing very good chess!) Ian Brooke, but unfortunately left his N unguarded at the end of the middle game which Ian gratefully took! I will circulate a detailed summary of the team performance over the season in due course.


- Derek


Great report Derek and thank you for captaining the team so excellently. By my very amateurish calculations of the grading system, I think we may have three 150s and two 140s as the nucleus for the team next season. My preliminary calculation for next season's gradings has Anco coming in at 157, Howard at 155, Otto at 154, Derek in the high 140s and Patrick at 145. With Alan G playing for us for the first few matches before he gets tied to the first team and Rich and Jon K filling in the gaps I reckon we stand a good chance of promotion! The usual suspects will be our biggest challengers namely Ox City 2, Didcot 1 and one never knows what Uni 2 will turn out! I would be surprised if Cowley 3, coming up from Division 3, would be serious contenders for promotion and the rest (Oxford City 3, Wantage 2, MCS/B1) should be able to be overcome. I'm certainly looking forward to next season already!


- Howard

24 March 2011

A thorough thrashing on Tuesday night away to Bicester1 - unfortunately we were on the receiving end! Bicester, as expected, put out a strong side, particularly on the top 3 boards where they were graded 181, 186 (latest grade in 2008) and 174; even on Board 6 their player was a respectable 145.


  Bicester 1


Witney 2
1 Harvey, Marcus R (181) 1 - 0 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
2 Heide, Gerhard ( ) 1 - 0 Edwards, Derek F (150)
3 Portman, Carl S (174) 1 - 0 Sanodze, Otto (-)
4 Hepworth, Nicholas J (147) 0 - 1 Kennedy, Jonathan ( )
5 Beckett, Richard (146) 1 - 0 Weston, Richard (133)
6 Morton, Iain (145) 1 - 0 Turner, Roger N (121)
    5 - 1  
Match played on 22 Mar 2011.

Marcus Harvey (who is bound to become at least an IM one day) soon disposed of Howard on Board 1 after only 30 mins or so - I think Howard's Q got trapped in the middle of the board. Not a good day for Howard on or off the board. Derek on Board 2 managed to survive for another hour or so, although the position looked difficult from the opening with poor piece co-ordination and a lack of space - Black was then unable to recover from a well-timed N sac.


Despite a promising opening, Rich on Board 5 was knocked out by a quick counter-attack and an even quicker checkmate - his opponent couldn't stop grinning for the rest of the evening.


Although we were 0-3 down at this stage, things looked better in the remaining 3 games and there was still some hope that the match might eventually be drawn. Unfortunately, first Roger, in an interesting Q + R vs 2R + 3 minor piece game, managed to lose his Q to a discovered attack - poor reward for stepping in at the last moment when it was realised that Anco was unable to play - and then Otto on Board 3 managed to lose the Q + R blitz end game after starting the end game with a 2 P advantage. Fortunately, Jon K managed a consolation win for us on Board 4, after another blitz finish in which the game seemed to swing away from Jon when he lost his exchange advantage but then swayed back again as Jon advanced his passed P and his opponent's flag dropped.


A big thank you to Rich who went out his way to pick up Otto only to discover that Otto had missed his bus - both players eventually arrived 15 mins late.


Bicester1 are now promoted to Div1 - thoroughly deserved as they had not lost any matches, although they had defaulted a match against us in December.


Lastly, but most importantly, I spoke to Anco yesterday and he is recovering well at home after his earlier hospitalisation and is looking forward to returning to work next Monday and playing in the chess match in the evening! Thanks to those of you who passed on their concern for Anco. It will be good to see you back to full good health again, Anco.


- Derek

08 March 2011

A bad result for Witney 2 last night at home to MCSB1. MCSB1 seem to be our bogey team - they have won only 3 matches this season and 2 of these have been against us.


  Witney 2


1 Searle, Howard AJ (159) 0 - 1 Daggitt, Matthew (174)
2 Edwards, Derek F (150) 0 - 1 Place, John F (153)
3 van Velsen, Anco (145) 1 - 0 Ward, Eric (142)
4 Weston, Richard (133) 0 - 1 Trefethen, Jacob N (139)
5 Moss, Patrick (-) ½ - ½ Sayers, David (143)
6 Coburn, Matt (122) ½ - ½ Krzysztofik, Marcin (130)
    2 - 4  
Match played on 07 Mar 2011.

We were outgraded on five of the boards, but nevertheless I felt we still should have done better.


Both Howard and Derek lost on the top 2 boards following defensive struggles where our opponents were strong enough to convert a one pawn advantage into a win. Anco had a good win on Board 3 but Richard saw a reversal on Board 4 against a promising youngster.


Patrick agreed to an early draw (15 moves?) on Board 5 and Matt was unable to convert his B advantage on Board 6 after a "perpetual" position; actually Mike T pointed out that Matt could have given back his B to avoid the perpetual checks and his Q + K would ensure that his passed P would be promoted one move ahead of his opponent's P, sufficient probably to gain the victory - nevertheless Matt did well against a higher graded opponent.


This result leaves us ahead of Bicester1 on board count only. However, Bicester have a match in hand and are now clearly favourites for promotion.


- Derek

02 March 2011

A resounding 4½-1½ victory at Wantage 2 last night despite closed roads and the initial difficulties in getting 6 players and shared transport. The victory sees us return to the top of Div2.


  Wantage 2


Witney 2
1 Hemmings, Peter (147) ½ - ½ Searle, Howard AJ (159)
2 Langham, Rod E (144) ½ - ½ Edwards, Derek F (150)
3 Spalding, George H (136) ½ - ½ van Velsen, Anco (145)
4 Carter, Anthony (129) 0 - 1 Sanodze, Otto (-)
5 Rey, Alvaro (109) 0 - 1 Weston, Richard (133)
6 Leake, John (92) 0 - 1 Coburn, Matt (122)
Match played on 01 Mar 2011.

The top 3 boards were evenly matched with draws for Howard, Derek and Anco. The bottom 3 boards saw wins for Otto, Rich and Matt. Howard launched an early K-side attack with his R beyond his P line but was unable to make the decisive breakthrough against the enemy K.


Derek struggled to gain space and piece co-ordination as Black against the Trompasky and, time down, accepted his opponent's second draw offer. Anco was in a comfortable position a P up in the end game but agreed to the draw when progress looked difficult and the match was already won. Otto had an interesting end game struggle with B's on the same coloured squares but unlike his opponent had the understanding to place his P's on the opposite coloured squares to his opponent's B. A mistake by his opponent speeded the victory along.


Rich's game looked level for some time but somehow (I wasn't watching!) he managed to turn it to another victory (following his positive result the night before for Witney3). Matt was the first to win when he emerged a Q (for minor piece) up after his opponent failed to cope with Matt's favoured French Defence. Well done all round!


- Derek

15 February 2011

Witney2 played at home to City3 last night complete with candle light and wine - actually it was more like a St Valentine's Day massacre as we beat the visitors 5-1. I had struggled to get a sixth player for the fixture and Tim P kindly stepped in at the last moment to play on Board 6, making his first appearance for the team this season. Fortunately, City3 turned up minus several of their stronger players and this was reflected in the final score.


  Witney 2


Oxford City 3
1 Searle, Howard AJ (159) 1 - 0 King, Tim J (134)
2 Edwards, Derek F (150) 1 - 0 McLeod, Peter (137)
3 van Velsen, Anco (145) 1 - 0 Brindley, Malcolm (140)
4 Sanodze, Otto (-) 1 - 0 Marham, Zaid (126)
5 Weston, Richard (133) ½ - ½ Jones, Martin E (121)
6 Partridge, Tim R (86) ½ - ½ Rowlinson, John (117)
    5 - 1  
Match played on 14 Feb 2011.

Tim and Richard achieved quite early draws on Boards 5 & 6 (despite Richard's aggressive play and initial decline of the draw offer). Howard was a minor piece up on Board 1 and had neutralised his opponent's pressure down the open h-file when his opponent inadvertently placed his Q on a square covered by Howard's N! It was nice to see the return of Otto on Board 4, where he played a solid game and got the better of his opponent.


On Board 2, Derek had delayed castling until the middle game and launched an early attack on the enemy K's position after Black had long castled. Although Black just managed to avoid a mating combination, he resigned in the end game after simplification and the lost of two P's. Anco completed the clean sweep on the top 4 boards when his opponent run out of time trying to defend against a passed P in a Q + minor piece end game. A great effort by all. At this rate we could find ourselves promoted at the end of the season!


- Derek

02 February 2011

A disappointing 1½-4½ home defeat against Univ2 yesterday evening. The university put out a strong team - don't be confused with the top board players being ungraded!


  Witney 2


Oxford University 2
1 Searle, Howard AJ (159) 0 - 1 Valentine, Mark (158)
2 Edwards, Derek F (150) 0 - 1 Jackson, Mark ( )
3 van Velsen, Anco (145) 0 - 1 Zhang, Ren (-)
4 Weston, Richard (133) 0 - 1 Devane, Eoin (142)
5 Moss, Patrick (-) ½ - ½ Henbest, Kevin B (136)
6 Turner, Roger N (121) 1 - 0 Irving, Alastair (116)
Match played on 31 Jan 2011.

We were destroyed on the top 4 boards with defeats for Howard, Derek, Anco and Richard. Howard resigned in a difficult position with his king still in the centre - Mike T thought that Howard missed a chance to complicate the position with his last move. Derek, playing with the white pieces for the first time in 5 games, was unable to resist black's crushing K-side attack which included a N sacrifice and a rare event - an actual checkmate that I overlooked, although the position already looked lost.


Anco struggled after a difficult day at the office. We fared better on the bottom 2 boards with a win for Roger on board 6 - his first game for Witney2 this season - and a draw for Patrick on board 5 where although the exchange up, Patrick was down on time and took the draw. Finally, Richard's game on board 4 looked drawn but he declined the draw offer in order to play the blitz finish - unfortunately Richard missed the chance to win his opponent's R with a discovered check and lost the game on time.


Our next match is at home to City3 on February 14th. I know it's Valentine's Day but you will have to take your partner out over the weekend instead - it's cheaper and more relaxing anyway!


- Derek

21 January 2011

A useful 4½-1½ victory by Witney 2 at Cumnor last night. The victory sees Witney 2 leading the Division 2 table by 3 pts and with an impressive board count. City 1 are three points behind (but with a match in hand) in second place.


  Cumnor 1


Witney 2
1 Stevens, Gareth (134) 0 - 1 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
2 Down, Edward (141) ½ - ½ Edwards, Derek F (150)
3 Sayers, Mark (139) 0 - 1 van Velsen, Anco (145)
4 Carr, Robin (126) 1 - 0 Appleyard, John R (143)
5 Glenn, Liam (122) 0 - 1 Weston, Richard (133)
6 Plant, Kevin (113) 0 - 1 Coburn, Matt (122)
Match played on 20 Jan 2011.

Howard achieved a quick victory against Gareth Stevens on board 1 after a crushing attack against the black king's position. Gareth obviously found GM Peter Wells an easier opponent with his draw in the simultaneous earlier in the week! Richard followed up with another quick victory, again with the white pieces, on board 5.


Derek was finding life more difficult with the black pieces on board 2 against Cumnor's highest graded player - both the Cumnor players on boards 2 and 3 were higher graded than their board 1 player - as the decision to sacrifice the pawn structure in the opening in return for open lines and quick development was creating defensive problems in the middle game for black.


Although the teenage Cumnor opponent was up on time, Derek managed to find a solid defence and hold on for the draw. At this stage it was looking very promising for Witney 2 in the three remaining games. On board 6, Matt's central attack involving queen, rook and passed pawn(s) was unstoppable - the only doubt was as to which combination of several possibilities would be used to win the game. Anco on board 3 also had a passed pawn which was used to achieve a conclusive material advantage. On board 4, John with black had two passed queen's side pawns and a significant time advantage. However, after a hard day's work John confessed that his "brain turned to jelly" in the end game when he blundered away his bishop and withdrew his rook to a passive position. Still, 4½ - 1½ was a decent team effort.


- Derek

1 December 2010

A disappointing 4-2 defeat at MCSB1 last night. Defeats for Howard (up against Matthew Daggitt, one of the best junior players in the country), Richard and Matt.




Witney 2
1 Daggitt, Matthew (174) 1 - 0 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
2 Ward, Eric (142) ½ - ½ Edwards, Derek F (150)
3 Trefethen, Jacob N (139) 1 - 0 Weston, Richard (133)
4 Sayers, David (143) ½ - ½ Sanodze, Otto (-)
5 Krzysztofik, Marcin (130) 0 - 1 Moss, Patrick (-)
6 Horsley, Keith (115) 1 - 0 Coburn, Matt (122)
    4 - 2  
Match played on 30 Nov 2010.

A special thanks to Matt for stepping in for Anco at the last minute. Matt, with the last game to finish, almost pulled off a victory, two P's up and up on time - unfortunately his opponent found a devastating combination that won major material at the finish.


There was another solid victory for Patrick on Board 5 and draws for Derek and Otto.


In Otto's game, the same position was reached 3 times (but not after consecutive moves), upon which his opponent claimed the draw - can somebody (Roger/Mike/Alan?) confirm that this is correct, as opinion was divided last night! 


Hope to see as many of you as possible at the quiz at the club this Saturday. Please support it.


- Derek

18 November 2010

A busy couple of days from work commitments, hence the lack of comment about Monday nights result! A disappointing result at City 2 with defeats for Alan G (up against a player rated over 180), Richard and Otto. Good victories for Howard and Matt (who beat a very experienced opponent rated 10 pts or so higher - I lost count of how many doubled pawns his opponent had in the middle game!) and a draw for Derek.


  Oxford City 2


Witney 2
1 Hayward, Philip (182) 1 - 0 Gentry, Alan (165)
2 King, Simon E (146) 0 - 1 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
3 Biswas, Karl (146) ½ - ½ Edwards, Derek F (150)
4 Yates, John O (139) 1 - 0 Weston, Richard (133)
5 Godfrey, David (142) 1 - 0 Sanodze, Otto (-)
6 Brooke, Ian R (131) 0 - 1 Coburn, Matt (122)
Match played on 15 Nov 2010.

The match was finely balanced with 2 games still playing; although a P up, Derek was unable to get more than a draw because of the opposite coloured B's.


Richard was 2 P's down in a blitz finish but with Richard being a strong blitz player it looked as if he might get something out of it until his opponent found a (lucky?) mate. Our first defeat of the season (2½ - 3½).




- Derek

9 November 2010

Another successful night yesterday with a 5-1 win over Wantage 2. There were wins for Howard, Derek, Otto (despite arriving 15mins late), Patrick and Jonny Kennedy. There was an unfortunate reversal for Anco (despite a good opening). A particular thanks to Jonny for stepping in to replace Richard - this is the first game Jonny has played for some time but he still registered our first win in the match when his opponent's K was exposed in the centre of the board.


  Witney 2


Wantage 2
1 Searle, Howard AJ (159) 1 - 0 Hemmings, Peter (147)
2 Edwards, Derek F (150) 1 - 0 Spalding, George H (136)
3 van Velsen, Anco (145) 0 - 1 Ashford, Martin E (136)
4 Sanodze, Otto (-) 1 - 0 Holmes, Nigel H (132)
5 Moss, Patrick (-) 1 - 0 Booker, Julian (126)
6 Kennedy, Jonathan ( ) 1 - 0 Punter, Derek B (89)
    5 - 1  
Match played on 08 Nov 2010.

This leaves Witney 2 top of Div 2 with maximum points from 4 matches. However, I think our sternest tests will be against Bicester and City 2, who we have yet to play.










- Derek

2 November 2010

A great 4 - 2 result away to City 3 last night sees Witney 2 ahead at the top of Div2 with maximum points from 3 matches. There was a relatively quick victory for Richard and a defeat for Patrick on Boards 5 & 6 respectively.


  Oxford City 3


Witney 2
1 Marlow, Mike (169) ½ - ½ Searle, Howard AJ (159)
2 March, Mike (162) ½ - ½ Edwards, Derek F (150)
3 Bugdayci, Mustafa (-) 0 - 1 van Velsen, Anco (145)
4 Brindley, Malcolm (140) 0 - 1 Appleyard, John R (143)
5 McLeod, Peter (137) 0 - 1 Weston, Richard (133)
6 Riley, Adrian K (132) 1 - 0 Moss, Patrick (-)
    2 - 4  
Match played on 01 Nov 2010.

Derek agreed a draw on Board 2 playing with Black. John was the exchange down on Board 4 but managed to turn the game on its head in dramatic fashion.


Anco was 2 pawns down on Board 3 but caught his opponent (who had failed to castle) out in the end game. Howard had his opponent in time trouble on Board 1 and accepted the draw offer when he only just failed to win a piece. This was another great effort all round. We were significantly outgraded on the top 2 boards.

- Derek

29 October 2010

A great 4 - 2 result against Univ 2 on Wednesday, with wins for Alan G, Alec (in his last match for Witney before returning to Norfolk), Richard and Otto. Unfortunate reversals for Howard and Matt. A particular well done to Alan and Alec for their second wins in 48hrs - both turned out for Witney1 on Monday night!

  Oxford University 2


Witney 2
1 Rey, Daniel (159) 0 - 1 Gentry, Alan (165)
2 Woolacott, Samuel (159) 1 - 0 Searle, Howard AJ (159)
3 Devane, Eoin (142) 0 - 1 Toll, Alec (157)
4 Henbest, Kevin B (136) 0 - 1 Weston, Richard (133)
5 Bazant, Wojciech (-) 0 - 1 Sanodze, Otto (-)
6 Mitchell, Alex (135) 1 - 0 Coburn, Matt (122)
    2 - 4  
Match played on 27 Oct 2010.
- Derek



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