A Chess Club For All

Results week ending 3rd December

Tuesday 30th November   4NCL Online - Play-off games review
For the First team, the drama persisted into the evening, and here’s why.
Our opponents defaulted, tactically we think, to give us the first of the two points we needed on the night. As we were the higher seeded team, a 2-2 draw in the match was all that we needed. So, the perfect start from one of Barry’s better games.
I’ll get my game out of the way next, as it was the least entertaining. Those who play the Alekhine Defence to 1 e4 will know that you can end up in a variety of weird and wonderful places … and I am comfortable in most of those places.
But I will confess that I often arrive at this type of middle game with no clear plan as to what to do next. Equality, yes … but where next? So, I got a bit worse … and then a bit more worse … and, in truth, I was never going to be able to repair the damage.
My learning point is to learn more about this type of position.
All the while, Mark was flying. He is always a threat with White and built up what looked to be an overwhelming attack (+7.1 says Stockfish, +8.3 later). But who among us would chide him for picking up a free Bishop and later finding the ‘not obviously wrong’ King square … and then losing the game as a result?
Chess, you are a heart-breaker.
I defy you to analyse Simon’s game. The opening is in no book, nor will it ever be, nor should it ever be. But you have to know how to exploit mistakes and, while his opponent always seemed to be on top, Simon slugged it out through the middle game and emerged, bloodied and bruised, into a pleasant enough position.
But this is Simon that we are talking about. The Bane of Stockfish. Our cavalier … if Simon was a footballer, he would hang out with Frank Worthington and Paul Gascoigne. Short of time, this was going to be glorious or tragic.
It was not our night.

Our Second team, also understrength, also outgraded.
Nick’s game was like my game. Nick … maybe we have similar learning points?
Allan’s game was an ocean of tranquillity. Seldom troubled, as was his opponent. If Allan was a footballer, he would hang out with … well, those guys whose name you don’t know, but who do the hard yards in midfield.
And Steve? Oh, Steve, oh Steve. An opportunity or two early on … but that final position? Just stick a Rook on c3, pile up on his c2 pawn. Y You are Santa … giving gifts away a month early. A decent enough draw … but a real ‘what if’, I think.
Finally, Alan. A murderous long diagonal for the Black bishop and a bit of a pile up on the d-file. A Kingside pawn push with little venom compared to his opponent’s central rush. Ouch!
So, it was an evening of ‘what ifs’. The Captain was proud … especially for those who stepped in late. And the Club can be proud … not so much about our Chess, although much of it was fine … but about our conduct.
Other teams have a lot more to learn in LifeOnline.
Dave Rudd

Tuesday 2nd November   U1600 Cup
Hertford beat St Albans to win the trophy - for the first time? Congratulation to Mike Gutteridge on his return to the club just in time to steer the team to victory!

29/10/21   I would like to find a good home for the following two books, part of a collection from the 60's and 70's I was given recently. Both in excellent, probably unread, condition.
Karpov's Collected Games, David Levy, Robert Hale & Company, hardback, p303, 1975. 530 games, 60 of which annotated by Karpov himself. A further 144 annotated by others.
The Soviet School of Chess, A Kotov & M Yudovich, Dover Publications, paperback, p390, 1961. As the title suggests, this is a history of Russian chess in the late 19th to the early 20th century. It provides portraits of most, leading Russian players of that period together with numerous annotated examples of their games.
Contact Alan if interested.

Tues 28th Oct 2021   1st team player Stephen Swanson led a demonstration of the Philidor Defence focussing on the two main ways or reaching the tabiya position:
a. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nd7 4. Bc4 Be7 5. Nc3 Ngf6 6. O-O O-O
b. 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Nf3 Nbd7 5. Bc4 Be7 6. O-O O-O

Route 'a' can be difficult for the second player as sight deviations in move order can allow White quick, and sometimes devasting, attacking chances.
Route 'b' is safer and more solid for Black although, again, White can deviate easily from the standard plan.
Paul Byway later quipped "If I could get to move 6 without trauma I'd play it myself."

02/09/2021   At the AGM the following captains were appointed for the 2021-22 season starting in October:
1st team - Barry Cheal
2nd team - Andrew du Boulay
3rd team - Nick Wooster
4th team - Gerald Gregory
5th team - Alan Brewis
U120 League - Mike Humeniuk?
Russell Cup - Andrew du Boulay
Sharp Trophy - Mark Buswell
U140 Cup - Duncan Marshall
U120 Cup - Mike Gutteridge
Herts & District - Corinne Mountford

The summer social in the garden of the Hertford Club proved good fun with plenty to catch up on after a forced absence of 18 months. Two new players, Ewan Fewell and Louis Cowell, joined us as well as Steve Bailes, a member in the 1980's. (See if you can spot him in the photo above). Around 20 had booked and after a pint and some sandwiches, 12 players then took their seats to play Stephen Swanson in a simultaneous. The games continued for more than two hours with two players, Andrew and Nick, managing to win. Thanks to Stephen for supporting the simul and to Andrew for organising the event - a celebration 30 years after the club reformed.
Photos from the event:


U1600 Results
Congratulations to Mike for winning this inaugural event. It was quite an emphatic victory too, 2 points separating him from 2nd place Steve is quite a margin, with the rest of us trailing behind. Mike was also the only player to beat everyone else.

Of the players finishing in the bottom half of the table, special mention to Ron who beat 3 in the top half. James also stole a point from Mike. Judging by the feedback everyone enjoyed it with most of the games proving very competitive.

In comparison to helping organise the 4NCL and HCO competitions, this was a walk in the park with no problems at all. Thanks to you all for that. Extra special thanks to Gerald who helped set it up as well as with the ongoing admin and communication.

Aside from thinking our club has a group of players who might like an event like this, another motivation was to use the English Chess Federation's League Management System (LMS for short). It arranged the pairings, provided 'match cards' with links to lichess, and also lists the results and tables. LMS also 'automatically' (after a nod for Gerald) posts the results for ECF online rating.

Herts Chess Online   The 6th and final round was played on Tues 15th June. Results here.

21/04/21     The 4NCL Season 3 final tables have now been published. These confirm promotion for Hertford 1 and Hertford 2 and likely relegation for Hertford 3. Hertford 4 were a whisker away from the coveted 60th place that we worked so hard for, but I quite like the fact that we finished above Aberystwyth University 2.
Sincere congratulations to all who played and sincere thanks from myself and the Captains for being such a great squad to manage. We hope that you all enjoyed your time and games.
Dave Rudd

08/04/21     4NCL Online
We had a great night on Tuesday in the penultimate round of the 4NCL. All four Hertford teams won. Well done especially to Hertford 4. That win has been a long time coming!
Hertford 1 have secured promotion to the 2nd Division. The final round on Tuesday 20th April will see them fighting the leaders in their group to secure a place in the play-offs.
Hertford 2 will be trying to gain their own promotion and Hertford 3 trying to avoid relegation! It’s going to be quite a night.

08/04/21     Herts Chess Online
First of all, well done everyone who took part in the second HCO competition. Hertford won the U1800 and U1500 competitions and came second in the Open. Brilliant! Our best individual performances (not including the bonus points) were Mark Buswell with 4.5 out of 6, and Aaron Tuveri and Mike Humeniuk with 4 out of 6. A third competition is envisaged.

23/03/21    4NCL Online
Division 3 'Hertford 1' 2½ - 1½ 'Wantage A'. Hertford 1 keep up their challenge for promotion.
Division 6 'Crewe BOL' 2½ - 1½ 'Hertford 2'. Hertford 2 need good results in their last two rounds
Division 6 'Hertford 3' ½ - 3½ 'Shropshire 5'.
Division 7 'Hertford 4' 1 - 3 'Streatham C'. Will we win a match?

09/03/21     4NCL Online
Division 3 'Cork' 1½ - 2½ 'Hertford 1'
Division 6 'Hertford 2' 3 - 1 'Plymouth 2'
Division 6 'Hertford 3' 2 - 2 'Jan Luke's Cyberwarriors'
Division 7 'Uxbridge Fury' 3 - 1 'Hertford 4'

25/02/21     Another entertaining and informative Zoom event. This time Stephen took us from the opening into the middle game of a not-so-popular but quite sharp e4e5 set up. We were taxed with finding the best way forward, faced with some difficult move choices.

21/01/21     Thursday evening and 19 players turned up on Zoom for a 90 minute analysis from Stephen Swanson of a 1st Division League club game played by Paul Byway. This was a real treat with everyone enjoying it.

Updated November 1st 2021

If you see a good move, play it! - Capablanca

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