County Championship 2005–06

Under 150

Leicestershire U150 – Nottinghamshire U150

Neil Graham

Two evenly matched sides met at Syston on 15 October 2005 with only seven grading points separating the 16 players when all the players’ grades had been added up. Well at least that was the theory – but in the words of Darth Vader ‘the force is strong in this one’ as Notts swept aside their East Midlands rivals by 11–4½, including a 10–2 drubbing for Leicestershire over the top 12 boards. With 14 of the 16 players who won the National Under 150 Championships selected for Notts, team spirit was clearly in evidence as the county side started the 2005–06 campaign in winning style. I can’t really pick out any individual performances, largely as I had a complex game that took up most of my attention, but I was most impressed by the way the final boards played on to take full points. Leicestershire gave us a tough match in the national semis last year and I am sure that they will bounce back from this setback. Nevertheless, this is just the start we needed with matches against Warwickshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire to come in what is always a closely contested zone.

Leicestershire U150 – Nottinghamshire U150
15 October 2005
Notts White on even-numbered boards
1Paul Deacon1470–1Tim Lane148
2Jacob Mejlvang1460–1Brian Hayward148
3Phil Evans1450–1Sean Foreman143
4James Bingham1440–1Keith Brameld142
5Brian Foreman142½–½Keith Walters140
6Alan Jex1390–1Kevin Harvey138
7James Miller1370–1Dave Flynn137
8Iain Dodds130½–½John Tassi137
9Otto Hardy137½–½Tony Wright134
10Michael Cowley136½–½Neil Graham136
11Steve Wylie1230–1Stan Cranmer132
12Michael Tate1330–1George Murfet131
13Graham Booley1321–0Phil Morgan128
14Peter Harrison1240–1Keith Roper125
15Phil Harlow1311–0Marcel Taylor126
16Steve Turvey127½–½Mike Nailard121

Nottinghamshire U150 – Warwickshire U150

Neil Graham

Thirteen of the sixteen players who trounced Leicestershire in the opening match were in the team that met Warwickshire at Sherwood. Steve Hunter, Dick Edwards and Drag Sudar were in for Keith Walters, John Tassi and Mike Nailard to make up the team.

Warwickshire have always been competitive and I was rather surprised to see them bottom of the Midlands zone last year with their exceptionally strong side.

This time they took an early lead after losses from George Murfet and Kevin Harvey, and although Stan Cranmer played a strong combinative game to pull back a point, Warwicks continued to pile up wins, with only Sean Foreman and Keith Brameld replying.

With three matches remaining their lead was 7½–5½. Last season we rescued any number of these with Houdini-like escapes. I really thought that perhaps we could do it again when Keith Roper’s opponent blundered horrendously, but this time it wasn’t to be. Tim Lane, who had saved the day in last year’s final, couldn't repeat the feat and his defeat meant the match was also lost. Marcel Taylor played on not knowing that the match was already lost and eventually his flag fell, thus giving Warwicks a deserved win.

We were in the same position last year and went on to win our last two matches, but the task facing us now is very much an uphill one.

Nottinghamshire U150 – Warwickshire U150
19 November 2005
1Tim Lane1480–1A. J. Singh
2Brian Hayward1480–1Mark Cundy145
3Sean Foreman1431–0Murray David142
4Keith Brameld1421–0Robert Wallman140
5Steve Hunter140½–½Mike Maher140
6Kevin Harvey1380–1Pablo Padilla141
7Dave Flynn1370–1Gary Hope141
8Tony Wright134½–½Thomas Robinson139
9Richard Edwards1360–1Neil Clarke139
10Neil Graham136½–½John Fahy131
11Stan Cranmer1321–0Keith Thomas131
12George Murfet1310–1Mike Biddle127
13Drag Sudar131½–½Alan Burnett127
14Phil Morgan128½–½Paul Hodgskin125
15Keith Roper1251–0Philip Bull123
16Marcel Taylor1260–1Chris Pitt124

Nottinghamshire U150 – Greater Manchester U150

Neil Graham

This match ended in an 8–8 draw, although with three games to go Notts were leading by 7½–5½. However, time and the Laws of Chess conspired to prevent a Nottinghamshire victory. The match was notable for a high percentage of draws, some more hard-fought than others. Steve Hunter was the only Notts loser until the last three games. There were wins for David Toms, with a discovered check that forced mate, Phil Morgan, who won a piece, and Keith Roper, who comprehensively outmanoeuvred his opponent. With three games to go the score stood at 7½–5½.

At this point Tony Wright made a claim under Law 9.2, but unfortunately executed the move on the board. He therefore lost the right to claim under Law 9.4. His opponent refused to accept a draw proferred under the normal rules, and although Tony at first thought he had a perpetual check this proved incorrect and he eventually lost. Score: 7½–6½.

Then Keith Walters, who had been a pawn down for some time, found his opponent able to exchange rooks to leave Notts with a lost pawn ending. Score: 7½–7½.

Dave Flynn struggled past the first time control with seconds to spare. The match suddenly depended on his game. Dave firstly equalised and then won pawns in a queen and pawn ending and was two pawns up. If Dave had had 15 minutes left, I’m sure he’d have won – unfortunately he had closer to 15 seconds. The Manchester player took a perpetual check and the match was all square: score 8–8.

Nottinghamshire U150 – Greater Manchester U150
14 January 2006
1Brian Hayward148½–½Adam Tyton148
2Keith Brameld142½–½Mick Norris146
3Keith Walters1400–1Richard Glover143
4Steve Hunter1400–1Marcial Flores141
5Kevin Harvey138½–½Jon Lonsdale139
6Dave Flynn137½–½Ghassan Ele Gehani138
7John Tassi137½–½Chris Jardine137
8Tony Wright1340–1Michael Compston129
9Neil Graham136½–½Jim Nicholson134
10Bill Ray135½–½Alan Edwards136
11Stan Cranmer132½–½David Pardoe130
12David Toms1311–0Mick Connor129
13George Murfet131½–½Alan Beresford124
14Phil Morgan1281–0Robert Glover109
15Keith Roper1251–0Mick Connolly117
16Marcel Taylor126½–½Chris Murfin109

Staffordshire U150 – Nottinghamshire U150

Neil Graham

Notts had the bye in the fourth round of the above competition. Prior to the fourth round there were some 24 different possible outcomes, with all the five counties competing still in with a chance. The results from that round did not favour Notts – Leicestershire beat Warwickshire 8½–7½, whilst Staffordshire drew 8–8 with Greater Manchester. Without dwelling too much on the outcome of these matches, Notts entered the final round knowing that only a win against Staffordshire would suffice, but that their chances of progressing to the national finals were slim. The other remaining match was between Manchester and Leicestershire – a victory by either side would see them through to the final stages, whilst only the unlikeliest of results – a fourth successive draw for Manchester – would mean Notts could go forward. Warwickshire, meanwhile, could sit at home secure that despite their loss to Leicestershire they would qualify because of the arcane MCCU rules on tie breaks.

Notts were slightly weaker than normal and on paper the two teams were evenly matched; the grading difference between the teams being a matter of single points when added together. As it was, Notts took the lead and after eight results had established a 5½–2½ lead thanks to wins from Kevin Harvey and three Ashfield players. The half points continued to drift in, but Staffordshire started to pick up wins. After 13 boards were declared, the Notts lead had been cut to 7–6, with three Gambit players left to either win or lose the match. Drag Sudar duly obliged with a win and eventually Brian Hayward, realising we led 8–6, agreed the draw to give us the match. I’m afraid I sloped off home then, convinced that Tony Wright’s game would yield nothing more than a draw, only to find that he had engineered an unlikely win to give us a 9½–6½ victory.

Another unlikely scenario awaited me at home – Leicestershire and Greater Manchester had drawn their match after Leicestershire won three of the last four games to finish. Thus Notts had not only qualified, they had also retained the Midlands title. Here are the final placings:

TeamPWDLPtsTie break
4Greater Manchester40404

The quarter-finals are on 20 May – hopefully we haven’t expended all our luck in the Midland stages.

Staffordshire U150 – Nottinghamshire U150
18 March 2006
1Stephane Pedder148½–½Tim Lane148
2Martyn Harris145½–½Brian Hayward148
3Derek Laight144½–½Steve Hunter140
4Philip Porter1401–0Keith Walters140
5Andrew Leadbetter1370–1Kevin Harvey138
6Frank Wood137½–½John Tassi137
7Steve Hill1340–1Tony Wright134
8Manoy Arora1330–1Neil Graham136
9Diarmid Gibson134½–½Bill Ray135
10Alex Pready131½–½Stan Cranmer132
11Michael Roberts130e1–0George Murfet131
12Robert Fell1260–1Drag Sudar131
13Roger Grainger1250–1Phil Morgan128
14Steve Harris125e1–0Keith Roper125
15John Day118½–½Austen Carlton121
16Bob Daniels1220–1Bob Taylor124

National Quarter-Final: Nottinghamshire U150 – Sussex U150

Ian Kingston

Neil Graham signed off his last report with the hope that the team hadn’t used up all its luck in the Midlands stages. I’m pleased to say that there was something still left in the tank, but as always seems to happen it was a close-run thing.

On paper there was practically nothing between the teams on the top eight boards, while on the bottom eight Notts had an advantage of over 10 grading points per player. But in truly perverse fashion, the top half yielded most of the points, while the bottom half struggled. As the afternoon wore on, the early lead established by Notts looked more and more fragile and thoughts began to turn to the possibility of resorting to board count to separate the teams. Notts reached 7½ points when Tony Wright demonstrated sound technique to win a nice bishop endgame and Steve Hunter successfully withstood some unpleasant pressure to secure a draw. That left Phil Morgan and David Toms to find half a point between them, as it was now becoming clear that the board count would be in our favour.

Phil had the exchange for a couple of pawns, and under normal circumstances a win was certainly possible. Unfortunately, he was desperately short of time, and his flag fell while he was definitely not worse. Meanwhile, David had fought back from being a piece for two pawns down, constructing an apparently impenetrable fortress. Somehow this transformed itself into an unclear queen and pawn endgame, but the Sussex player manoeuvred cleverly to set up a queen exchange that gained a crucial tempo in the ensuing pawn race.

And that was when our small reservoir of luck yielded its last drop of good fortune: in a straightforward endgame with no fewer than three winning plans from which to choose, David’s opponent opted for a fourth option that led to a simple K + h-pawn vs. K draw. Much relief all round, and fitting reward for the captain’s Herculean efforts in finding players.

Nottinghamshire U150 – Sussex U150
20 May 2006
1Tim Lane1480–1Jim Graham148
2Ian Kingston1441–0Ray Williams145
3Keith Brameld1420–1John Cannon142
4Steve Hunter140½–½Anthony Higgs140
5Kevin Harvey1381–0Alan Palmer138
6Dave Flynn1371–0Jerry Stone137
7John Tassi137½–½Keith Davies135
8Tony Wright1341–0Peter Rayment132
9Neil Graham136½–½Brian Izzard130
10Drag Sudar131½–½Tim Woods123
11George Murfet1310–1John Scholey121
12David Toms131½–½Jamie Wilson121
13Phil Morgan1280–1Graham Thomas120
14Shane Bhayat1270–1Mick Plumb113
15Keith Roper125½–½Paul Taylor111
16Marcel Taylor1261–0Daniel Hirsch110
Board count37–42

National Semi-Final: Nottinghamshire U150 – Cambridgeshire U150

Neil Graham

Notts lost in the Under 150 semi-finals to Cambridgeshire by 9–7 at Northborough, Peterborough. Whilst this was a disappointing result, it underlines Notts competitiveness at this level:

2002–03Midlands ChampionsNational Semi-finals
2003–04Midlands Runners-upNational Semi-finals
2004–05Midlands ChampionsNational Champions
2005–06Midlands ChampionsNational Semi-finals

Unfortunately, several key team members – notably Keith Brameld, Tony Wright, Dave Flynn and Keith Roper – were unavailable for this vital match. Whilst other squad members were back, I normally look to the above four players for full points. In addition, I found myself two players short on the morning of the match, one player dropping out after an unexpected death in his close family on Saturday night. I am indebted to Ian Nicholson and Ray Sayer who stood in at the last minute.

We faced Cambridgeshire at the same stage two years ago and then were comprehensively beaten 10–6 as the East Anglian side went on to win the final. Last year we had three strong juniors in the squad, but this time round we had to depend on pensioner power to pull us through. Unfortunately, although we were stronger on the upper boards, the last six boards yielded only two draws. The score was 6–6 after 12 games but towards the end the positions slipped away, with Tim Lane’s top board win a mere consolation. If one board had gone the other way we would have again romped home on board count, but as Ian Kingston remarked last time, the luck reservoir had clearly run dry after our last two matches.

Ian Kingston adds:

There was always a sense that we were in trouble in this match – at no stage did we ever take the lead, although we were never, until close to the end, more than a point behind. We were also giving away an average of three grading points per board, but Ray Sayer showed how little that can mean with his draw on bottom board.

With three games remaining we trailed by a point and needed to find two points to secure a win on board count, but we were obviously losing on two boards, with only Tim Lane having serious winning prospects. As it turned out, Tim displayed excellent technique to win a rook and pawn endgame, but the other games had already been lost.

Nottinghamshire U150 – Cambridgeshire U150
11 June 2006
1Tim Lane1481–0John Bell146
2Brian Hayward1480–1Nigel Holroyd145
3Ian Kingston1441–0Richard Donaghay144
4Steve Hunter1401–0John Daugman144
5Kevin Harvey138½–½Stephen Pride143
6John Tassi137½–½Colin Byrne141
7Keith Walters142½–½Peter Wagner141
8Neil Graham1360–1Patrick Ribbands141
9Richard Edwards1351–0Bernard Duff140
10Stan Cranmer132½–½Richard Newman140
11Ian Nicholson1320–1Mike Bradley132
12David Toms1310–1Phil Turp135
13George Murfet1310–1Stephen Hart132
14Phil Morgan1280–1Peter Barkas129
15Marcel Taylor126½–½Glyn Ward127
16Ray Sayer109½–½Patrick Heneghan126

Under 125

Nottinghamshire U125 B – Nottinghamshire U125 A

Derek Cronshaw

Goose Fair traffic delayed the start of this chess battle, where 13 junior talents were on display.

A very closely contested match resulted in a 7½–7½ draw. With two games to go, Notts B needed two wins to level the match, which they proceeded to do.

The junior players scored a total of 7 wins, 5 against very experienced adults, and demonstrated skill, knowledge and enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure to see the tigerish attacking skills of Eric Williamson; the methodical endgame technique of Amarjit Mann; and the mastery of strategy and tactics of Toby Thurgood. Our two ladies (girls) battled it out on Board 4, Anjai Lakhani proving the winner on this occasion.

Notts is very fortunate to have such talent. They are so calm and confident! They might be young but they are mature chess players.

Nottinghamshire U125 B – Nottinghamshire U125 A
8 October 2005
Notts A White on odd-numbered boards
1Bob Taylor1240–1Mike Nailard121
2Dominic Heining1200–1Phil Burley115
3Alan Robinson1140–1M. N. Nguyen
4Anjali Lakhani1011–0Lateefah Messam-Sparks107
5Ray Sayer109½–½Mick Harper107
6Alan Morrey1080–1Dave Griffiths106
7Derek Padvis1040–1Toby Thurgood105
8Amar Mann1–0Daniel Lin104
9Graham Gibson991–0Ben Hobson104
10Jonathan Day991–0Ian Fillingham103
11Chris Heining94 1–0Oliver Exton98
12Edwin Justice761–0David Dunne99
13Hamzah Ali750–1Len Darby97
14Teodor Peytcher0–1Eric Williamson96
15Terry Norris-Hunt711–0Ashton Alfred

Derbyshire U125 – Nottinghamshire U125 B

Neil Graham

Derbyshire had begun the Under 125 zonal matches by playing with only 14 players against Leicestershire and being comprehensively beaten. Against Nottinghamshire B, the home side were one player over-subscribed but were still outgraded throughout. Nottinghamshire were eventually all present, including one player who had forgotten but was, fortunately, local, and an extra player who turned up at Syston!

However, the vagaries of the grading system were, as usual, highlighted in that Notts had a last-gasp victory. The match started well enough with a quick win for Jonathan Day, and soon Notts had established a 3½–½ lead. Then the results began to change – top board Bob Taylor capitulated and Ian Harris, who had been a piece down for a considerable time, also lost, and by the time 12 boards were declared, Derbyshire had taken a 6½–5½ lead after several prospective extra half points looked to have been lost by the visitors. However, both Graham Gibson and Richard Myers converted their advantages to wins and then Colin Tribe drew in a game of fluctuating fortunes to give Notts an 8–7 lead.

The final game to finish involved Alan Robinson and Roger Walker. Alan’s clock management had just about seen him through the first time control, but resulted in the loss of a piece immediately afterwards. With two advancing central connected passed pawns, the Ashfield player managed to create enough threats to force his opponent to repeat moves with only seconds left on the Nottinghamshire clock. A more mercenary opponent could well have played on secure in the knowledge that there was insufficient time for Alan to have done anything other than lose on time. So a win for Notts B, with Leicestershire to play in a qualifying decider.

Finally, the player from Syston, Hamzah Ali, did arrive at the venue and played a graded game with Derbyshire’s extra player, which the Nottinghamshire junior won. The mix-up was entirely due to a communication problem between the captain and the player’s parents and my inability to remember the difference between Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

Derbyshire U125 – Nottinghamshire U125 B
29 October 2005
Derbys White on odd-numbered boards
1David Hoddy1241–0Bob Taylor124
2Paul O’Flanagan114½–½Colin Tribe124
3Barry Archer1121–0Ian Harris122
4Doug Bramley101½–½Benny Lim120
5Roger Walker97½–½Alan Robinson114
6Ron Harrison97½–½Ray Sayer109
7Sally McIntosh960–1Alan Morrey108
8Graham Pace960–1Richard Myers 107
9P. Sheldon890–1Norman Davies104
10Howard Bradbury880–1Graham Gibson99
11Nigel Marshall88½–½Amar Mann 95
12Nigel Wright870–1Jonathan Day99
13Phil Smith78½–½Anthony Rourke98
14M. J. Orridge841–0Matthew Moore88
15John Waller72½–½Paul Todd85
16Steve Watson1–0Edwin Justice76

Leicestershire U125 – Nottinghamshire U125 A

Derek Cronshaw

Two closely matched sides played out an appropriately close contest at Syston on 29 October. All games were keenly contested; our top boards did us proud by scoring 4½ points out of a possible 7.

The Notts captain scored an early win after offering a pawn for a ferocious attack and other wins were scored by Mick Harper, Len Darby and Darran Ince, until, with two games to go, we needed 1 point to secure the match. Dave Dunne did for his opponent (pun intended) and it was left to our young Vietnamese star, Gavin, to demonstrate his exemplary endgame technique in a same-colour bishop ending.

Leicestershire U125 – Nottinghamshire U125 A
29 October 2005
1P. Harrison124½–½M. Nailard121
2L. Turner1240–1M. N. Nguyen
3T. Lee122½–½A. Carlton121
4C. Johnson1190–1D. Ince119
5A. Robinson1171–0R. Willoughby111
6S. Smith1170–1M. Harper107
7R. Toon110½–½D. Griffiths106
8D. Ward1091–0I. Fillingham103
9R. Stone1031–0Default
10P. Cresswell1050–1D. Cronshaw105
11T. Pinckard1071–0D. Lin104
12B. Radesk1010–1D. Dunne99
13G. Hewitt100½–½O. Exton98
14T. Clay960–1L. Darby97
15R. King881–0E. Williamson96
16S. Preocanin78½–½P. Smith87

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Derbyshire U125

Derek Cronshaw

The U125 A team moved smoothly into the semi-final of the MCCU championship, beating a Derbyshire team which had struggled for players 11–5, losing only two games. Notts’ bottom 9 boards amassed 8½ points and the top boards more than held their own. Well done everybody!

The semi-final will be on 28 Jan vs. Staffordshire. Please reserve the date.

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Derbyshire U125
3 December 2005
1M. Nailard121½–½D. Hoddy124
2A. Carlton121½–½R. Woods110
3D. Ince119½–½P. O'Flanagan114
4P. Burley115½–½J. Kelsall110
5M. Harper1071–0L. Alldread104
6D. Griffiths1060–1R. Harrison97
7L. Bowen106½–½G. Pace96
8T. Thurgood1051–0P. Sheldon89
9I. Fillingham1030–1H. Bradbury88
10D. Cronshaw1051–0H. Loomes87
11J. Yang1041–0P. Ellis85
12D. Lin1041–0M. Orridge84
13L. Darby971–0P. Smith78
14P. Smith871–0H. Ratner76
15D. Blampied661–0D. Jeffrey
16A. Alfred½–½J. Morrell

Nottinghamshire U125 B – Leicestershire U125

Neil Graham

Notts B lost to Leicestershire by 10 boards to 6 on Saturday. Despite being outgraded throughout Notts held their local rivals on the top ten boards but could only score one point in the lower order. Leicestershire took an early 5–2 lead and although the score was pegged back to 5–4, Leicester then made a match-winning surge. This means that Notts B, who had to win the match, are eliminated.

Final scores:

Notts A32105
Notts B31113

The B team introduced a number of younger players who performed exceptionally in addition to plenty of experienced players. No games were defaulted at all.

The East Midlands matches were affected by the inclusion of a player who clearly was ineligible for this competition; his strength was unknown before the season and it is unfortunate that his results were instrumental in deciding the matches in which he played. The results of the two Nottinghamshire sides has shown that the county can compete at this level and it is hoped that the A team can now progress into the national stages.

Nottinghamshire U125 B – Leicestershire U125
3 December 2005
1Bob Taylor1240–1Steve Wylie123
2Benny Lim1200–1Peter Harrison124
3Alan Robinson114½–½Lewis Turner124
4Anjali Lakhani1010–1John Manger124
5Ray Sayer1091–0Cyril Johnson119
6Alan Morrey108½–½Chris Graves119
7Richard Myers1071–0Anthony Robinson117
8Norman Davies1041–0Stephen Smith117
9Patrick Allen102½–½Roy Toon110
10Graham Gibson99½–½David Ward109
11Amar Mann950–1Lea Adlard107
12Barry Redburn950–1Tom Pinckard107
13Chris Heining940–1Andy Johnson101
14Paul Todd850–1Graham Hewitt100
15Hamzah Ali751–0Robert Stone103
16Edwin Justice760–1Paul Clark90

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Staffordshire U125

Derek Cronshaw

The Notts U125 A team won their semi-final match against Staffs by 9–7 at Spondon on 28 January and will play Warwickshire in the Midlands final.

Outgraded on all but two boards, the performance of the top four boards and of the juniors was noteworthy. Rob Willoughby made a welcome return to form, defeating Staffs’ highest graded player, whilst his fellow club member, Phillip Burley, used the Morra Gambit to good effect against a very defensively minded player. Mike Nailard’s was the first game to finish: a kingside attack winning the exchange and leaving two rooks dominant on the 7th. The ever-reliable Austin Carlton turned in a solid draw – three and a half points out of four!

More than a quarter of the team is made up of juniors: I am very proud of them and so is Notts. Toby Thurgood played an English Opening with great positional insight and was coolness itself under mate-in-one threats. Oliver Exton won a sharp dynamic tactical battle and Ted Pynegar made his opponent fight every inch of a long battle, only to be defeated by the clock in the end. Daniel Lin was the first to post a win, his opponent having locked his keys in his car and failing to make the venue. Daniel’s smile said it all, and was a great morale booster. Eric Williamson played a difficult minor piece ending that was admired and praised by the senior players of both teams for its maturity and skill. Well done lads!

Please note the date of the final: Saturday 25 February.

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Staffordshire U125
28 January 2006
1M. Nailard1211–0J. Day118
2A. Carlton121½–½S. Harris120
3P. Burley1151–0K. Francis116
4R. Willoughby1111–0R. Daniels122
5M. Harper1070–1P. Leary118
6L. Bowen1060–1D. Daniels115
7T. Thurgood105½–½M. Wotton113
8D. Cronshaw1051–0G. Rosser113
9D. Lin1041–0Default
10I. Fillingham1030–1A. Stott110
11D. Dunne99½–½A. Dobson104
12O. Exton981–0P. Broomhall104
13L. Darby97½–½J. Montague104
14E. Pynegar960–1K. Jones100
15E. Williamson961–0S. Cooksey100
16P. Smith870–1P. Shaw98

MCCU U125 final: Nottinghamshire U125 A – Warwickshire U125

Nottinghamshire fell at the final hurdle in their bid to capture the U125 title, but nevertheless reached the national stage of the competition.

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Warwickshire U125
25 February 2006
1A. Carlton1210–1C. Pitt124
2M. Nailard1210–1P. Bull123
3D. Ince119½–½M. Walker121
4P. Burley1150–1A. Draper119
5R. Willoughby1111–0J. Asbury117
6M. Harper1070–1D. Lee117
7L. Messam-Sparks1070–1L. Rawson115
8D. Griffiths106½–½J. Murray110
9L. Bowen1050–1D. Seale
10D. Lin104½–½J. Llewellyn109
11I. Fillingham1030–1K. Warren106
12E. Williamson961–0R. Anderton103
13J. Day951–0C. Lee97
14L. Morrell89½–½A. Jones98
15P. Smith870–1K. Gilbert94
16J. Buttery841–0D. McCarthy87

National U125 preliminary round: Nottinghamshire U125 A – Sussex U125

Derek Cronshaw

Without eight of the players who taken the team to the Midlands final, Notts A were seriously handicapped in their match against Sussex, on 29 April. The win on board count therefore, against stronger opposition, was a real achievement for all the players involved. Games were evenly contested throughout, but of particular importance were the late draws from Ken Heath and Darran Ince, and a fine win in a complex game by Rob Willoughby. Well done everybody!

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Sussex U125
29 April 2006
1A. Carlton121½–½D. Hirsch110
2D. Ince119½–½J. Wilson121
3P. Burley115½–½G. Thomas120
4R. Willoughby1111–0R. Jones112
5T. Thurgood1050–1R. Fisher121
6D. Lin1041–0M. Plumb113
7J. Yang1041–0R. Waddingham104
8B. Hobson104½–½R. Hunt112
9D. Cronshaw1051–0N. Carter100
10I. Fillingham1031–0C. Linnett105
11D. Dunne990–1D. Grant103
12Ed Pynegar96½–½E. Hillier106
13L. Morrell890–1R. Cumming98
14P. Smith860–1H. Gold102
15D. Blampied660–1D. Wallis99
16K. Heath64½–½N. Mansfield77

National Quarter-Final: Nottinghamshire U125 – Bedfordshire U125

Derek Cronshaw

Neil Graham and Mike Barnes worked wonders to produce 3 teams for Saturday 20 May. It seemed that everyone who could push a pawn was pressed into service, from baby-faced assassins to grizzled veterans. In the U125 match, Henry Pynegar and Michael Zhang, who don’t yet play regular league chess, got us off to a flying start and for a time it looked as though we might pull off the impossible. However the odds proved too great and we eventually lost, 9–7.

Ah, well; it will have to be the World Cup...

Nottinghamshire U125 A – Bedfordshire U125
20 May 2006
1Mike Nailard121½–½John Harbour120
2Rob Willoughby111½–½George Ward123
3Mick Harper107½–½Mark Atlay120
4Toby Thurgood1050–1Pierre Casaubeith105
5Daniel Lin1040–1Mike Botteley112e
6Ben Hobson1041–0Les Mabb112
7Jixin Yang1040–1Nigel Staddon112
8Derek Cronshaw1051–0Chuck Robbins111
9Oliver Exton981–0Barry McLoughlin109
10David Dunne99½–½Jon Bilsberry109
11Len Morell890–1Colin Solloway107
12Peter Smith870–1Kevin Bryant107
13Ebrahim Fredricks800–1Mark Puffett102
14Henry Pynegar751–0Turner Suvek100e
15John Buttery840–1Jack Tattersall97
16Michael Zhang1–0Peter Housden89

Under 100

Nottinghamshire U100 – Warwickshire U100

Nottinghamshire U100 – Warwickshire U100
19 November 2005
1Graham Gibson990–1Adrian Hussain97
2David Dunne990–1Lennie Johnson95
3Len Morrell891–0Kim Gilbert94
4Matthew Moore881–0Graham Gee92
5Peter Smith87½–½Ken Wise87
6Paul Todd851–0John Burke86
7John Buttery840–1John Pakenham82
8Ebrahim Fredricks80½–½Doug Cooper75
9Dorothy Blampied661–0Peter Hodkinson74
10Terry Norris-Hunt71½–½Bram Garner69
11Tracey Clegg490–1Steven Bower
12Ken Heath640–1Adam Parkinson

Leicestershire U100 B – Nottinghamshire U100

Leicestershire U100 B – Nottinghamshire U100
26 November 2005
1Frank S. Hilford970–1David Dunne99
2Tom Lester810–1Graham Gibson99 
3Alan Butler800–1Eric Williamson96
4Stephen Tatlow390–1Len Darby97
5Stan Parsons750–1Amar Mann95
6Edris Kibalama1–0Len Morrell89
7Richard Davis731–0Matthew Moore88
8Peter Wood66½–½Peter Smith87
9Don Lockton630–1John Buttery84
10Default0–1Hamzah AliE75
11Keval Rughani500–1Terry Norris-Hunt71
12Peter Poolan1–0Tracy Clegg49

Leicestershire U100 A – Nottinghamshire U100

Leicestershire U100 A – Nottinghamshire U100
14 January 2006
1Jeff Toon980–1Jonathan Day99
2Mike Thornton960–1Graham Gibson99
3Darren Poulacheris920–1David Dunne99
4Howard Walden½–½Oliver Exton98
5Richard Smith980–1Len Darby97
6Terry Clay961–0Eric Williamson96
7John Leonard0–1Ted Pynegar96
8Stewart Hollingworth½–½Len Morrell89
9Ray Walker91½–½Peter G. Smith87
10George Winterton850–1Paul Todd85
11Stevan Preocanin781–0John Buttery84
12John Creasey861–0Hamzah AliE75

Worcestershire U100 A – Nottinghamshire U100

Len Darby

A good win by Notts with a slightly weakened team, but again the juniors played very well. Hamzah Ali finished first, closely followed by Oliver Exton. Then, after that what seemed a lifetime, Eric Williamson and Len Morrell both won pawn endings. Jonathan Day and Ted Pynegar both won well and the match was ours. It is always nice to be a winning captain (acting), but why doesn’t every team play in grade order like Notts?

PS from Michael Barnes: Thanks to Len, Peter Smith and Len Morrell for driving and Len for assistance before and on the day.

Worcestershire U100 A – Nottinghamshire U100
11 February 2006
1John Loynes930–1Jonathan Day99
2Ian Ellis980–1Graham Gibson99
3Terry Pountney961–0David Dunne99
4Michelle Clark950–1Oliver Exton98
5Maureen Clark94½–½Len Darby97
6Derek Digger980–1Eric Williamson96
7Bert Foord950–1Ted Pynegar96
8Penny Wood940–1Len Morrell89
9William Pugh851–0Matthew Moore88
10Fred Freshwater90½–½Peter G. Smith87
11Ashley Davis0–1Hamzah Ali75
12Martin Boreley841–0Ashton AlfredE60

MCCU U100 Final: Shropshire U100 – Nottinghamshire U100

Michael Barnes

Two evenly matched teams met in the MCCU final. This was shown by the closely fought games, with the result only decided just before the first time control.

Ted Pynegar won first with his usual steady play. This cancelled out a couple of games which were going against us. Ken Heath, who stepped in at 10:30 due to illness (thanks again Ken), fought back well to win. Paul Todd’s opponent played better than any 82 I’ve seen. Len and Oliver both drew a pawn down. Once the match was decided, Peter Smith gave his opponent a draw.

Congratulations to Shropshire.

Notts U100 will now play the winners of the SCCU on 20 May in the National quarter-final. Opponents and venue to be decided.

Shropshire U100 – Nottinghamshire U100
18 March 2006
1R. Brown941–0Jonathan Day99
2C. Lewis971–0Graham Gibson99
3D. Oguhside990–1David Dunne99
4K. Grice95½–½Oliver Exton98
5Ian Davies92½–½Len Darby97
6D. Powell920–1Ted Pynegar96
7G. Hampson85½–½Len Morrell89
8A. Pickles86½–½Peter G. Smith87
9S. Davies821–0Paul Todd85
10A. Taylor831–0John Buttery84
11I. Fenton821–0Hamzah Ali75
12H. Graham0–1Ken Heath 64

National Quarter-Final: Essex U100 – Nottinghamshire U100

Michael Barnes

Firstly thank you to all who played for both the U125 and U100 teams, often at short notice.

The clash with the U125 match meant that eight players under 100 were not available. Also, the time of year meant that several people were on holiday or playing cricket. So a much weakened team were playing against a team with a lowest grade of 87. We were outgraded by an average of 16 points a board.

All players fought right to the end and made it as difficult as possible for their opponents, which is great for the whole team. First to finish was Andrew Garside, who won well against a 92 grade who several times told me he couldn’t believe how good he is. Ashton only lost to a one move blunder after being about equal after 25 moves. Ken on bottom board played steadily and got what turned out to be a crucial half point. Graham Gibson played one of the best five games of his life to destroy his opponent. Clifford won after being a piece down.

When the dust settled we needed one point from the last two games. Edwin Justice defended really well in a difficult position for about two hours when his phone rang after it had switched itself on in his pocket, resulting in an automatic default. Really unfortunate. Jonathan Day was a pawn up in a rook ending, but with split pawns. He lost one but outplayed his opponent in superb fashion to win.

So the semi-final is on Sunday 11 June vs. Norfolk (probably) at 1 p.m. at Peterborough (to avoid the England World Cup match on Saturday). This will be the same venue as the U150 match vs. Cambridgeshire.

I now face the problem of who to leave out, as many regular players who played for the U125 team are now available. I thank all who played and apologise if anyone is offended.

Essex U100 – Nottinghamshire U100
20 May 2006
1J. MacWain940–1Jonathan Day99
2C. Phillips980–1Graham Gibson99
3D. Lewis99½–½Barry Redburn95
4S. Burns951–0Matthew Moore88
5G. Gooding950–1Clifford Potter87
6A. Haydon951–0Edwin Justice76
7V. Chtym940–1Hamzah Ali75
8G. Lane920–1Andrew Garside57
9R. Prickett911–0Ashton Alfred37
10M. Crane871–0Mike Falgate72
11L. Whittaker891–0Terry Norris-Hunt71
12W. De Jong89½–½Ken Heath64

National Semi-Final: Norfolk U100 – Nottinghamshire U100

Norfolk U100 – Nottinghamshire U100
11 June 2006
1Crompton Clarke99½–½Graham Gibson99
2Victor Morris990–1David Dunne99
3Robert Rickard98½–½Oliver Exton98
4Nicholas Slater96½–½Ted Pynegar96
5Gabriel Barr931–0Eric Williamson96
6Mark Collins831–0Barry Redburn95
7Steve Crane811–0Amar Mann95
8Mark Lavine781–0Len Morrell89
9Christopher Bartram640–1Peter G. Smith88
10Ben Slater57½–½Hamzah Ali75
11Colin Goodchild801–0Ebrahim Fredericks80
12Richie Downie641–0Dorothy Blampied66