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Captain's Report

Thames Valley Knock-out Trophy
22 September 2010

Surbiton 5.5 - 0.5 Richmond









Chris Briscoe


James McCarthy




Mark Josse


Julien Shepley




Nick Pelling


Jon Eckert




Stefano Bruzzi


Chris Kreuzer




Paul Shepherd


David Heaton




Ian Hendersdon


Abraham Neviazsky


It was with a small amount of trepidation that your new Thames Valley first team captain awaited his first fixture. Richmond A had finished second in the Thames Valley League last year and had turned us over 5-3 both home and away in the process.

It was, therefore, a surprise when Richmond showed up with a team that didn’t contain all of their stars (their average ECF rating was 160). We had our top six players available (average ECF rating 190). So we were suddenly the clear favourites and the gradings statistically suggested a 5-1 or 4.5-1.5 scoreline. We outperformed!

First to finish was your captain on Board 5. After an unusual opening in which David dropped a centre pawn for nothing I seemed to be cruising along. I was focussing on my clock management, my bete noire last season, and was moving at a lick of about a move a minute. However moving quickly is only fine if the moves are Ok! David went kamikaze quite early, sacking an exchange for a speculative (unsound!) attack on my King. I slipped at move 16 and gave David the opportunity to either force a draw or cause me to play for a win in a much less clear position. Fortunately David repaid the compliment on his move 16 and his attack petered out with him a rook down. 1-0   

Next to finish was Nick on Board 3. Jon introduced a new gambit by bringing along his very young daughter who immediately sat next to the table, placed her bright pink doll next to the h-file and proceeded to give a running commentary! As a new captain I was feverishly considering how the laws of chess should deal with such circumstances when Paul Durrant came to the rescue and took her away to play catch in the back-room. Thanks Paul! Fair play to Nick, who was great about the whole thing. I didn’t see too much of this game other than to note it was Nick’s favourite White opening and that he came crashing through on the c-file and executed a neat tactic to snaffle a bishop on b7 to go the exchange up, while keeping the queens on to maintain the attack. The game didn’t last much longer after that. 2-0

Mark on Board 3 was next to bring home the bacon. Again, I didn’t see too much of this game but, as is his want, Julien played some aggressive stuff in the opening. Having thrust several pawns forwards Julien’s position had a resulting large number of holes in it while his King remained stuck in the centre. At one point Mark had the pleasant choice of Bh4+ or Nd3+, both of which would scupper Julien from ever castling. Nd3+ it was and Mark showed the experience he gained from playing in the British Championship 2010 by pressing home the advantage in a ruthless manner. 3-0

At this point we already had the match sewn up as the worse case scenario was a victory on board count, however this was not obvious in the heat of Chris’s battle on Board 1. I wont pretend to claim I understood much of what was going on in this game other than the facile observations that most of the bits were still on, Chris had a space advantage but James’s pieces seemed to have a lot of potential energy and might spring into life shortly. James offered Chris a draw and Chris, thinking that the draw was necessary to take the match, accepted. Well done and thanks to Chris for his team-play! 3.5-0.5

Meanwhile on Board 4, Stef had gone into a queen and bishop each endgame with Chris. I guess Chris will have learned his lesson but it is not a good idea to go into an endgame against Stef unless you really, really have to or you simply want to see how it should be played! Compounding this was the fact that Stef had a 15 minute time advantage entering the final time control. Stef swapped the bishops off, winning a pawn with check in the process. Chris chose the wrong square to escape check with his King and Stef ended up creating a passed pawn that could be quietly marched up the board while his own King was kept perfectly shielded from any checks. 4.5-0.5

Last to finish was Ian on Board 6. Ian got what looked like quite a nice position in the middlegame after a 1.b4 opening. Abraham fought back well and the position looked pretty balanced at move 30 but with Ian having established a protected passed pawn on e3 although this was well blockaded. The pawn chains were locked across the board and so there was limited mobility in what had become a double rook ending. The remainder of the game was a real study of solid match play by Ian. He kept 5-10 minutes up on the clock while pressing in a controlled manner. He opened lines on the kingside with the only available pawn breaks and around here Abraham probably went wrong. A pair of rooks got swapped off and Ian’s remaining rook got in round the back of Abraham’s pawn chain and the White pawns started dropping off like ripe apples. 5.5-0.5    

A resounding victory to welcome in the new season! Well done to the whole team!

Paul Shepherd 23 September 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