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Captain's Report

Thames Valley Division 1
3 November 2010

Surbiton A 5.5 – 2.5 Maidenhead A



Surbiton A


Maidenhead A




Chris Briscoe


James Holland




Mark Josse


Liam Varnum




Nick Pelling


John Wager




Edgar Flacker


Stephen James




Stefano Bruzzi


Paul Janota




Paul Shepherd


Anthony Milnes




Ian Henderson


Peter Tickner




Angus James


Nigel Dennis


Rumours that the skipper was seen running naked down the street in celebration after the team secured its first Thames Valley Division 1 match point are greatly exaggerated! I will confess to some relief after this match, though, after a tough start to our season.

Maidenhead deserve a lot of credit for making it tough for us even though we fielded, on paper, one of the strongest sides we have put out for a long time (our 8 board average ECF grade was 187).

It seemed like that, no sooner had the match started (I think I was considering my 6th move), that the Board 1 encounter was over. Chris agreed a draw as Black against James, which he felt was best given his position was perhaps a little worse. It took them about 15 minutes in total and I noted to Maidenhead’s captain, Tony, who I was playing on Board 6, that I was glad we weren’t paying them appearance fees! Well done Chris.

Next to finish was Nick on Board 3 who also got a solid draw as Black against John out of one of Nick’s patented opening systems. Well played Nick.

At this stage it was very difficult to predict the outcome of the match. Mark was better on Board 2, Edgar looked about equal on Board 4, Stef was in trouble on Board 5, I was about equal on Board 6, Ian was worse on Board 7 and Angus was doing well on Board 8.

As time went by Angus continued to press and secured a decisive material advantage against Nigel and really rammed it home to secure a nicely played win on Board 8. Well played Angus.

Stef’s game was up and down. He recovered from a dodgy opening, where he had looked lost, to get a reasonable position. Stef then went for a tactic which he thought would win the exchange by sacking a knight in order to skewer Paul’s queen and rook. Unfortunately, although it appeared that Paul had missed the skewer, it turned out he had a “one mover” way of saving the queen that retained the extra piece, so Stef called it a day. Unlucky, Stef.

Then, out of the blue, the decisive result arrived on my score-sheet. Ian sidled over and wrote down 1-0 to him!!! The last time I had looked he had been an exchange down but evidently he had created a tactic involving forking a rook on c1 and a bishop on h5 with his queen on g5 that turned the tables. Great resourcefulness Ian, this shows the value of not giving up and staying alert.

By this time I had missed what was close to a winning line against Tony by choosing the wrong move order in a combination. Tony defended very well to stay in touch, and although I ended up in a marginally better endgame that I had control of, it looked drawn. Edgar’s game had turned into an extremely interesting but very difficult to assess queen ending. We could not count on Edgar winning. Hence I had to play on in my own marginally better queen ending, declining a couple of generous draw offers by Tony, in case Mark went down on Board 2 in what was an approaching a time scramble.

I confess, although Mark continued to look better, I was sweating a little as the clocks ticked down and the pieces buzzed about the board. I did not fancy the long trip to Maidenhead to try to win my ending! I need not have worried, though. Mark played well right until the end and kept pressing right until the point Liam’s flag fell. Well played Mark, cool under pressure.

At this point I offered a draw to Tony and the match was ours!

Edgar adjourned his queen ending. This was his first game for us and he said afterwards that he felt a bit rusty. Despite that he kept a firm grip on the position and kept making Stephen defend accurately. The adjourned position was given a pretty rigorous analysis by the Flacker/Bruzzi/Shepherd triumvirate and we collectively concluded that it ought to be drawn with best play. However we also noted that it was a difficult defence to conduct 100% accurately and so Edgar choose a line that gave Stephen the maximum chances of going wrong. At the resumption Stephen reeled off the best defence for about seven moves but then made an error that gave Edgar a very active king and a tempo while also placing his own queen in a rather passive position. Edgar won in short order after that. Well played Edgar!

Paul Shepherd 28 November 2010


2014-2015 Season's review for 4NCL Team

2013-2014 Season's review for Thames Valley 1st Team

2012-2013 Season's review for Surrey Ellam Trophy 2nd Team

2012-2013 Season's review for Thames Valley 1st Team

2011-2012 Season's review for Thames Valley 1st Team

2010-2011 Season's review for Thames Valley 1st Team

Into the Black!
Wimbledon B 1.5-6.5 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 9 May 2011

Captains' delight!
Richmond A 4-4 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 14 Apr 2011

Slipping on our own Banana Skins!
Staines 4-2 Surbiton, Thames Valley Knock-out 11 Apr 2011

Perfect Symmetry.
Surbiton A 6-2 Wimbledon A, Thames Valley Division 1 30 Mar 2011

The Origami Game of Doom!
Staines A 1-7 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 21 Mar 2011

Away Day Blues.
Maidenhead A 5.5-2.5 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 14 Mar 2011

Where are you?
Surbiton A 8-0 Staines A, Thames Valley Division 1 9 Mar 2011

We're in the Final
Surbiton 7-3 South Norwood, Alexander Cup Semi-Final 3 March 2011

Tragedy at the end.
Wimbledon A 6-2 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 14 Feb 2011

Staring at the Brake Lights.
Harrow A 4.5-3.5 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 10 Feb 2011

The Champions are Beaten!
Surbiton A 5-3 Ealing A, Thames Valley Division 1 26 Jan 2011

Richmond wheel in the Big Guns.
Surbiton A 2.5-5.5 Richmond A, Thames Valley Division 1 12 Jan 2011

Thanks be to Mark Hogarth!
Surbiton 5.5-4.5 Wallington, Alexander Cup 17 Nov 2010

Running naked down the street?
Surbiton A 5.5-2.5 Maidenhead A, Thames Valley Division 1 3 Nov 2010

It was written in the Bird Excrement!
Surbiton A 2-6 Harrow A, Thames Valley Division 1 27 Oct 2010

Pushing the Champions close.
Ealing A 4.5-3.5 Surbiton A, Thames Valley Division 1 5 Oct 2010

Beating the Pink Doll Gambit.
Surbiton 5.5-0.5 Richmond, Thames Valley Knock-out 22 Sept 2010

Surbiton Chess Club End of Season Report May 2010

Surbiton Chess Club Newsletter Sept / Oct 2009