Sax B go down at Bury


Bury C2½ – 1½Saxmundham B
1Zbynek Strela16750 – 1Mike Usher1784
2Peter Newton15681 – 0Matthew Lawes-Wickwar1650
3Hugo Smith14581 – 0Hugo Brown1333
4Mark Webb1401½ – ½Lee Osmon1364

Sax B travelled to Bury Thursday evening for a top-of-the-table clash with Bury C, and went down to their first defeat of the season 2½ – 1½ in a closely fought match, with all four games lasting late into the evening. Despite the loss, Sax B stay top by just ½ point, with three games to go.

Matthew and Hugo both lost, both describing their game in the same way “I messed up”! Indeed Matthew was still in with a fighting chance when he allowed a simple mate. Lee drew his game and is starting to rebuild his confidence after a string of losses. Mike brought home the full point after playing the Staunton Gambit for the first time (which his opponent declined) and was always better, winning the exchange and seeing out the resulting RvN endgame easily enough.

Sax A win to go 2nd


Ipswich B1½  – 2½ Saxmundham A
1Angus Irving1761½ ½ Simon Wilkes1929
2Simon Riley1750½ ½ Malcolm Lightfoot1892
3Les Jones1727½ ½ John Feavyour1844
4Alonso Paez15950 – 1Sam Gaffney1821

Sax A were back in action last week, making  a successful visit to Ipswich, coming away with a narrow 2½ – 1½ victory, taking them to second place in the Division 2 table. The three top boards all ended in draws after various adventures, including some issues with some of the clocks (not adding the increment), but Sam brought home the full point on bottom board after his opponent blundered a piece.

Sax no match for Bury


1Michael Harris23441 – 0Malcolm Lightfoot1892
2Jaden Jermy20761 – 0John Feavyour1844
3Mark LeVine20661/21/2Sam Gaffney1821
4Jan Balogh19951 – 0Mike Usher1784
5John Adam18871 – 0Dominic Carter1659
6Laurie Pott18381 – 0Matthew Lawes-Wickwar1650

Saxmundham travelled to Bury on Thursday evening to take on the County’s biggest club over six boards in the Norfolk and Suffolk Cup. Bury fielded a hugely strong team, with their top board rating getting on for International Master strength and even their Board 6 was rated on a par with our second board.

Not surprisingly Bury won by a country mile, but Sam gained a very creditable draw on Board 3 to avoid the whitewash. The Sax players certainly put up a good fight and it was not as one-sided a match as the score would suggest. Matthew and Dominic resisted late into the evening, and Dominic could probably have won if he had had a little more time, instead of blundering at the end and having to resign to bring the match to an end. 

Sax A cruise into Rapid final


Sudbury11/2-61/2Saxmundham A
1Robert Sanders19490-1
Simon Wilks1997
2Andrew Donnelly17341-0
Malcolm Lightfoot1768
3Jakob Tulic16020-1
John Feavyour1955
4Robert Kent17170-1
Sam Gaffney1666

Sax A had a comfortable win at Sudbury to make it through to the final of the Division 2 Rapidplay Cup.

Sax B through to Rapidplay final


Saxmundham B41/2 – 31/2 Bury C
1Mike Usher17890 – 1
1/2 1/2
Rowan Kent1511
2Matthew Lawes-Wickwar17000 – 1
1 – 0
Danny Harrison1973
3Hugo Brown15691 – 0 (D)
1 – 0 (D)
Craig Bradshaw1469
4Lee Osmon13641 – 0
0 – 1
George Robinson1313

Saxmundham advanced to the final of the Division 3 Rapidplay Cup last night with a close 4.5 – 3.5 win over Bury C at Benhall. A tough match only went our way due to a default from the visitors.

Matthew and Lee both won one game and lost one, and Mike lost the first game by blundering a piece, and had to settle for a draw in the second when his young opponent defended well to keep him at bay. This meant that it was the two points from the default that saw us through.

Tough day at the office


Saxmundham2 – 2Woodbridge
1Mike Usher17840 – 1Tim Wesson1774
2Dominic Carter16591 – 0Daniel Such1559
3Matthew Lawes-Wickwar16501 – 0Alan Lewis1554
4Lee Osmon13640 – 1Bernard Ross1291

The U1800 Cup team played host last night to local rivals Woodbridge, ending with a 2-2 draw. On paper we probably had a decent edge, but two early losses (Lee and Mike) had to be clawed back by Matthew and Dominic winning.

Mike’s opponent sprang a killer tactic in the early middle-game, taking advantage of Mike’s King being stuck in the centre in classic style and winning the exchange and a couple of pawns. After that he played accurately to deny Mike any counter-play and closed out the game well.

Lee once again lost in an endgame, this time a Q+P ending where his opponent had an unstoppable passed pawn. Matthew was also in an ending, of the K+P variety, and accurate calculation enabled him to win by one vital tempo in the promotion race. This left Dominic to save the day by bringing home the win after an impressive squeeze led to his opponent collapsing.

Sax U1800 team get going


Manningtree 11/2 – 21/2 Saxmundham
1Simon Webber1709 0 – 1Mike Usher1784
2John McAllister16730 – 1Matthew Lawes-Wickwar 1650
3David Welsh15061 – 0Hugo Brown1333
4Adrian Sanderson 1497 1/21/2Lee Osmon1364

The U1800 Cup team had a long, dark, wet trip to Manningtree last night but came away with a 2.5 – 1.5 win. Mathew and Mike won, Lee drew and Hugo lost.

Matthew’s game was tight until his opponent made a slip and he crashed through with a nice mating attack. Mike’s game was essentially over in 15 moves when he trapped his opponent’s Queen, though his opponent played on for a while before throwing in the towel.

Lee and Hugo both got into opposite-coloured Bishop endings, which are notoriously drawn – and so it proved for Lee. Hugo’s game, however, was more unbalanced and his opponent had an advanced passed Pawn which tied Hugo’s King down and eventually he lost on time in a lost position. 

Sax B draw to go top!


Bury D2 – 2Saxmundham B
1Daniel Pugh16161/21/2Mike Usher1784
2Anthony Taylor16031/21/2Dominic Carter1659
3Amy John15820 – 1Matthew Lawes-Wickwar1650
4Raf Calumpiano13281 – 0Lee Osmon1364

A visit to Bury on a chilly winter’s evening saw the B team come away with a rather disappointing 2-2 draw (given our advantage on paper) although those two points were enough to take Sax to the top of the table. Lee had the early bath after messing up a K+P ending, but Matthew made up for this by exploiting his young opponents mistakes before breaking through decisively on the K side, winning material and forcing resignation. Dominic and I drew our games in the face of solid play by our slightly lower-rated opponents.

Sax A Going Strong


Stowmarket1 – 3Saxmundham A
1Tim Lunn20311 – 01892Malcolm Lightfoot
2Stephen Lewis19660 – 11844John Feavyour
3James Irwin17880 – 11821Sam Gaffney
4David Green16100 – 11784Mike Usher

The A Team paid a successful visit to Stowmarket, coming away with a convincing 3-1 win.

Lacking our normal board 1 player, everyone had to step up, and Mike was drafted in to prop up the bottom.  In fact he was, for once, the first to finish when his opponent went astray and he was able to win a vital pawn and transition into an easily won minor-piece endgame.

Malcolm, on top board, had the toughest fight, only going down to his  much higher rated opponent in a R+P endgame. John made up for this loss by scoring an excellent win, and Sam rounded off the evening with an exciting and well-executed attack against his opponent’s King.

Sax B Back in Action


Saxmundham B2 – 2Woodbridge B
1Mike Usher17841 – 0Alan Lewis1554
2Matthew Lawes-Wickwar16500 – 1Daniel Such1559
3Hugo Brown13331 – 0Harry Elman1400
4Lee Osmon13640 – 1Bernard Ross1291

After the festive break the B Team were back in action last night, playing host to local rivals Woodbridge B. After a long tussle the match ended 2-2 with all the games decisive, with added drama thrown in at the end.

All the games were hotly contested and lasted well into the evening.  Hugo was the first to finish with a good win, followed by Matthew painfully losing, having built up an excellent position and then blundering.

After suffering during the opening, Mike was able to exploit his opponent’s imprecise play to activate his pieces and go on the offensive. As the Woodbridge player grew more desperate, he decided to sacrifice a piece, unsoundly as it turned out, and Mike closed out the game quite easily, despite being short of time.

Meanwhile, on Lee’s board, his opponent had stopped the clock, complaining of an illegal move. With only 45 seconds left on his clock Mike, as Acting Captain, was unwilling to stop whilst the Woodbridge Captain tried to sort things out, but when it became clear they couldn’t resolve the issue he stopped his game in order to help.

The crux of the matter was that when an illegal move is made, the opponent is entitled to have 2 minutes added to his time. This mattered, given that he only had 29 seconds left! The illegality had arisen after he gave Lee’s King a check, but didn’t announce it. Lee, concentrating hard on other parts of the board played an illegal move (i.e. one that did not get out of check). Whilst Lee was miffed that his opponent didn’t announce check, it is not a legal requirement, and many players do not bother to do so, and so the illegality stood.

However, neither Mike or the Woodbridge Captain could remember how to alter the clock to give the player the extra time., which was a little embarrassing. The matter was resolved when Lee sportingly resigned the game, as he was worse and was only playing on because of his opponent’s acute time trouble. You can guess what Mike’s homework was for the evening…..!