After a long break following the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to see everyone down at the club again for the first league fixture of the season.
Atticus 1 will need to adjust to life without their top board for the first half of the season, but in spite of the scoreline, the games were very evenly contested.
Luke and Nick Martin were first to finish. An interesting line in the Caro leading to a draw by repetition. Dave Stuttard and James Rothwell also shared the spoils before the first decisive result came as Brian won well against Nick Griffin, making his competitive debut for the club, in an aggressive line of the King's Indian.
Andrej then extended the advantage with a fine win against Dave James, and Derek and Sanjoy agreed a draw in a tight game in the Cambridge Springs. The match was sealed when Steve Kee and Charlie agreed a draw, in a game where Steve looked to have a slight advantage. And Steve Burge rounded off a good evening for Atticus 2 by edging out Steve Philp in an interesting game where both players were on the front foot, but white was ultimately stronger.
The Atticus Summer Tournament, now renamed the Wiseman-Hurley Open concluded last night. Once again all five games were very keenly contested.
Steve Kee went into final round as heavy favourite, having collected four wins and a draw from the previous five rounds, yet Brendan was only a point behind and knew that if he could upset the form book, he could earn a share of first place. The game was a Sicilian Alapin with 3...g6 (Smith-Morra Declined) and Brendan found some nice tactical ideas to give the number one seed pause for thought, but eventually Steve came through, and was crowned champion for a record fifth time.
Colin took clear second place defeating Sanjoy in a Sicilian Najdorf Opočenský Variation, where the theory gave way to a sharp tactical dogfight where both players missed good opportunities before Colin steered the ship home. Consolation for Sanjoy was provided by the U1750 grading prize and a tie for 3rd place with Brendan and Luke, who himself returned to winning ways in the final round but was pushed all the way by Steve Burge in a Classical Dutch.
Peter Jenner rounded off a superb tournament for him with a fighting draw against Brian to achieve a creditable 50% result, tying for sixth place with Brian and Mike Coffey who defeated Steve Winstanley.
Tom Webb and Steve Burge finished half a point further back, and Steve Winstanley will look back at oppotunities missed.
The tournament was well supported throughout by players and spectators alike, and it was great to be able to return to over-the-board chess after a long absence. Thanks in particular to Luke and Martin for assisting with the running of the tournament, as attention now turns to the impending return of league chess on 4th October.
The Atticus Captains meeting took place last night. All the Team Captains took part and the following squads were agreed, including all the listed players for the teams. All players mentioned below have said they were keen to play this season, if anyone else would still like to join up please contact one of the Captain's or Secretary asap.
Nick Martin Captain,John Redmond,Nick Griffin,Charlie Kennaugh,Dave James,James Rothwell
Steve Burge Captain, Steve Kee,Dave Stuttard,Brian Ewart, Sanjoy Banejee,Andrej Stancak,Luke Boumphrey
Tom Webb Captain , Derek Rooney,John Lambert,Steve Burge, Ben Ellington
Chris Wentworth Captain, Geoff Cannon, Natasha May, Neil Tabor, Steve Winstanely, Howard Sleeman, Tim Haggis, Nathan Haddy.
I was lucky enough to watch most of all the games from Round 5, and learnt a lot in the process. Every game had very original ideas, and each player seemed determined to twist for opportunities rather than acquiesce to draw-dom……….. And they were all less than 30 moves, which the crowds love!
Things are hotting up after four rounds. Steve Kee won the big clash on top board against Luke and Colin kept his hopes of retaining his title still very much alive with a good win over Brian. Elsewhere Sanjoy and Brendan picked up wins, while the games between Mike Coffey and Steve Burge and Peter Jenner and Steve Winstanley ended peacefully.
We were lucky to have FM David J James analyse some of the games from this round, which are presented below.
Results from Round 4:
Luke Boumphrey 0-1 Steve Kee
Brian Ewart 0-1 Colin Horton
Mike Coffey ½-½ Steve Burge
Tom Webb 0-1 Sanjoy Banerjee
Ben Ellington 0-1 Brendan Kane
Peter Jenner ½-½ Steve Winstanley
Draw for Round 5 (ties to be played Monday 6th September)
1. Steve Kee (3.5) v Colin Horton (3)
2. Sanjoy Banerjee (2.5) v Luke Boumphrey (2.5)
3. Brendan Kane (2.5) v Mike Coffey (2)
4. Steve Burge (2) v Brian Ewart (2)
5. Tom Webb (1.5) v Peter Jenner (1.5)
6. Steve Winstanley (0.5) v Ben Ellington (1)