A tough match was expected last night against the 2018-2019 MCA Champions, Hoylake. The match did not disappoint.
I report in reverse board order.
Board 7: Martin Blasczyk v Bahkti Vasiev
Martin played actively in his Kings Indian set-up. Martin won a pawn but it was isolated and while he always had an edge when pieces were exchanged a draw was agreed.
Board 6: John Lambert v Mike Stoddart.
John played F4, E4 and D4 against Mike's Pirc which left the dark squares weakened. John lost a pawn but attacked on the King-side. However pieces were exchanged limiting the attack and a combination saw John drop a bishop and Hoylake had the win.
Board 5:  Nick Martin v E.H. Taylor.
It is good to see the return of Ed after almost ten years away from League chess.
Ed played the Trompovsky exchange and had some space but Nick had the strong bishop. Nick sacced a pawn for good counterplay and when Ed offerred the draw it was accepted.
Board 4: Jim McCarthy v Mike Smith.
Jim played the English against Mike who also plays the English when White. Though Mike seemed to have good piece play he had a weak D-pawn and lacked space. Jim gradually increased the pressure which led to an ending with Jim 2 pawns up and with the bishop against knight. Jim duly pushed his pawns and Mike resigned. This was another fine and controlled victory by Jim against a dangerous opponent.
Board 3.: Dave James v Mike Stone
Mike played his usual and dangerous C3 line against Dave's Sicilian. Dave gained the 2 bishops with Mike having strong centralised pieces. I thought Dave had a slight edge but Mike played a strong knight move equalising and offered the draw which was agreed.
Board 2: Charlie Kennaugh v Tom Carroll saw Charlie win a pawn and though Tom tried to defend resiliently Charlie played the ending so calmly and precisely that Tom could only wait as Charlie pushed his Queenside pawns. This was a great game to watch and this win levelled the match with two games to go.
Board 1: John Redmond v Dave Tebb.
John and Dave have had some epic tussles over the last few years and this was no exception. This was the last game to finish and Atticus were 3:5-2:5 up guaranteeing at least a draw in the match.
The game had been a Tarrasch type system from a Nimzo opening and John obtained good piece play. However Dave won John's A-pawn and all three results were still possible.
As time elapsed John kept creating  threats against Dave's king and obtained serious counterplay with his strong bishop. John sacced the exchange but won it straight back gaining 2 pawns in the process leading to a Queen and Rook ending and John with 56 seconds left to Dave's 1 minute 17 seconds. When John moved his rook despite being in check Dave gained another 2 minutes as queens came off. It was so tense that Dave repeatedly knocked pieces over when moving but John remained calm and was clearly winning when Dave overlooked a back-rank mate with both having seconds on the clock. A fantastic conclusion demonstrating the benefit of counterplay when an opponent is short on time.
Hence Atticus 1 had a convincing 4:5 - 2:5 victory against strong opponents. Report Nick Martin

Atticus 1
173 4.5 : 2.5 Hoylake 1 170
1
Redmond, John P
214
1-0
Tebb, David J
209
2
Kennaugh, Charles W
192
1-0
Carroll, Thomas
202
3
James, David J
194
0.5-0.5
Stone, Mike
175
4
McCarthy, Jim P
170
1-0
Smith, Mike
174
5
Martin, Nicholas E
166
0.5-0.5
Taylor, Edward H
-
6
Lambert, John F
145
0-1
Stoddart, Mike
130
7
Blasczyk, Martin
132
0.5-0.5
Vasiev, Bahkti
127

Atticus 1
170 5.0 : 2.0 St Helens 1 161
1
Redmond, John P
214
1-0
Mazek, Marek
186
2
Kennaugh, Charles W
192
0-1
Hill, David F
170
3
James, David J
194
0.5-0.5
Dugdale, Tom
158
4
McCarthy, Jim P
170
1-0
Potter, Steven
150
5
Wadsworth, Mark S
125
0.5-0.5
Ellis, Gareth
139
6
Martin, Nicholas E
166
+/-
-
7
Blasczyk, Martin
132
+/-
-

Atticus 1 hosted St Helens 1 (the re-branded Widnes team) last night 02-12-2019. Widnes had won the MCA 1st Division title in consecutive years in recent memory, however St Helens are now close to leaving the MCA which would be a great shame. In their previous 2 matches they had defaulted the bottom 2 boards against Atticus 2, and then defaulted the whole match against Formby. Against Atticus 1 they again only had 5 players meaning defeat was inevitable even before the match commenced.

Board 1: John Redmond v Marek Mazek saw John play an aggressive Nimzo-Indian which led to him having a rook and 2 pieces for a queen but Marek had a serious attack on the H-file. John played a set of forcing moves followed by a sacrifice which led to the win of the queen. It was a superbly played game and a joy to watch.

Board 2. Charlie Kennaugh v Dave Hill Dave played a Najdorf Sicilan and obtained pressure on the c-file. Dave then won the exchange and Dave consolidated to get St Helen's solitary victory.

Board 3. Dave James v Tom Dugdale This was a G3 Sicilian and Tom still seemed to have quite a lot of play when he agreed the draw offer.

Board 4. Jim McCarthy v Steve Potter Steve played his tricky E6, B6 line against Jim's D-pawn opening. Jim played solidly and managed to get a strong clamp on the dark squares and a pawn on D6. Steve was too open and Jim eventually forced a mate on G7. Yet another calmly executed win from Jim.

Board 5. Mark Wadsworth v Gareth Ellis Out of an unusual opening, Gareth had two bishops but Mark had good piece play and restricted the Bishops well. Mark had slightly the better game as pieces came off. But when it was down to a Rook and pawn endgame both players were happy with a draw.

Nick Martin and Martin Blasczyk played each other as the remaining Atticus players did not have an opponent. Therefore Atticus 1 remain in 2nd place half a point behind Atticus 2 who deservedly top the table.

Report Nick Martin

 

Liverpool 1
152 2.0 : 5.0 Atticus 1 164
1
Tian Yi, Wang
190
0.5-0.5
Redmond, John P
214
2
Mana, Sameen
161
0.5-0.5
Kennaugh, Charles W
192
3
Clarke, Michael
154
0-1
McCarthy, Jim P
170
4
Hawkins, James N
154
0.5-0.5
Martin, Nicholas E
166
5
Lloyd, Stephen M
147
0.5-0.5
Lambert, John F
145
6
Leeming, Dave W
142
0-1
Blasczyk, Martin
132
7
Mellor, Peter
115
0-1
Banerjee, Sanjoy K
129

Atticus 1 travelled to The Vines and came away with a victory without losing any games. John Lambert and Nick Martin had useful draws while Charlie - in a game he later described as 'strange' and which I found hard to understand - also split the point. On Board 1 I never managed more than a symbolic advantage and called it quits when we reached a double-rook endgame. Jim had a good result on Board 3 while Martin had a fairly dramatic KID-style victory as Black, dropping a pawn on the Queenside but getting a big initiative in the centre. Sanjoy's game was the last to finish, his opponent who must have 'over-sacrificed' attacking from a position several pawns down. Sanjoy quietly dealt with the threats and found a Queen-exchanging check to seal the deal. So Atticus 1 maintain their good start to the season and remain close to Atticus 2 at the top of the league.

Atticus v Aigburth matches are generally well-fought and last night's match was no exception with an exciting finish and interesting games on most boards.

After Waterloo struggled in the first half of 2018-2019 they are a resurgent force and a tough away-match was expected when Atticus 1 travelled to their venue last night. The event did not disappoint.

Rnk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Pt
Boards
1 Atticus 2X6.06.03.5 6.05.55.0X 11 32.0
2 Atticus 11.0X4.05.04.5 5.05.0 X 10 24.5
3 Waterloo 11.03.0X 5.04.04.55.5 X 8 23.0
4 Liverpool 13.52.0 X3.04.54.54.5 X 7 22.0
5 Hoylake 1 2.52.04.0X5.04.53.5 X 7 21.5
6 Formby 11.0 3.02.52.0X2.07.0 X 2 17.5
7 Aigburth 11.52.02.52.52.55.0X X 2 16.0
8 St Helens 12.02.01.52.53.50.0 X X1 11.5

Rnk
GP
W
D
L
Pt
Boards
1 Atticus 2651011 32.0
2 Atticus 1650110 24.5
3 Waterloo 164028 23.0
4 Liverpool 163127 22.0
5 Hoylake 163127 21.5
6 Formby 161052 17.5
7 Aigburth 161052 16.0
8 St Helens 160151 11.5

G = Number of matches played; S = Win; R = Draw; V = Lost

09th September 2019 19:30
Round 1 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 1 Atticus 1 173 1.0:6.0 8 Atticus 2 175
2 2 Aigburth 1 171 5.0:2.0 7 Formby 1 145
3 3 Waterloo 1 179 5.5:1.5 6 St Helens 1 166
4 4 Hoylake 1 174 4.0:3.0 5 Liverpool 1 149
30th September 2019 19:30
Round 2 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 179 3.5:3.5 5 Liverpool 1 179
2 6 St Helens 1 164 3.5:3.5 4 Hoylake 1 158
3 7 Formby 1 146 3.0:4.0 3 Waterloo 1 175
4 1 Atticus 1 177 5.0:2.0 2 Aigburth 1 165
09th October 2019 19:30
Round 3 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 2 Aigburth 1 165 1.5:5.5 8 Atticus 2 175
2 3 Waterloo 1 174 3.0:4.0 1 Atticus 1 177
3 4 Hoylake 1 174 5.0:2.0 7 Formby 1 146
4 5 Liverpool 1 167 4.5:2.5 6 St Helens 1 164
04th November 2019 19:30
Round 4 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 161 5.0:2.0 6 St Helens 1 161
2 7 Formby 1 145 2.5:4.5 5 Liverpool 1 171
3 1 Atticus 1 173 4.5:2.5 4 Hoylake 1 170
4 2 Aigburth 1 165 2.5:4.5 3 Waterloo 1 180
4 NOTE: Aigburth had to make a late substitute on board 2.
18th November 2019 19:45
Round 5 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 3 Waterloo 1 152 1.0:6.0 8 Atticus 2 167
2 4 Hoylake 1 173 4.5:2.5 2 Aigburth 1 167
3 5 Liverpool 1 152 2.0:5.0 1 Atticus 1 164
4 6 St Helens 1 0 0.0:7.0 7 Formby 1 146
4 St Helens defaulted match per G Ellis e-mail 18/11/19 to MDB and JDW
02nd December 2019 19:30
Round 6 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 171 6.0:1.0 7 Formby 1 142
2 1 Atticus 1 170 5.0:2.0 6 St Helens 1 161
2 St Helens Defaulted boards 7 and 8
3 2 Aigburth 1 170 2.5:4.5 5 Liverpool 1 179
4 3 Waterloo 1 180 5.0:2.0 4 Hoylake 1 174
14th January 2020 19:30
Round 7 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 4 Hoylake 1 174 : 8 Atticus 2 175
2 5 Liverpool 1 182 : 3 Waterloo 1 184
3 6 St Helens 1 147 : 2 Aigburth 1 170
4 7 Formby 1 146 : 1 Atticus 1 177
27th January 2020 19:30
Round 1 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 175 : 1 Atticus 1 177
2 7 Formby 1 146 : 2 Aigburth 1 170
3 6 St Helens 1 147 : 3 Waterloo 1 184
4 5 Liverpool 1 182 : 4 Hoylake 1 174
11th February 2020 19:45
Round 2 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 5 Liverpool 1 182 : 8 Atticus 2 175
2 4 Hoylake 1 174 : 6 St Helens 1 147
3 3 Waterloo 1 184 : 7 Formby 1 146
4 2 Aigburth 1 170 : 1 Atticus 1 177
24th February 2020 19:30
Round 3 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 175 : 2 Aigburth 1 170
2 1 Atticus 1 177 : 3 Waterloo 1 184
3 7 Formby 1 146 : 4 Hoylake 1 174
4 6 St Helens 1 147 : 5 Liverpool 1 182
11th March 2020 19:30
Round 4 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 6 St Helens 1 147 : 8 Atticus 2 175
2 5 Liverpool 1 182 : 7 Formby 1 146
3 4 Hoylake 1 174 : 1 Atticus 1 177
4 3 Waterloo 1 184 : 2 Aigburth 1 170
23rd March 2020 19:30
Round 5 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 175 : 3 Waterloo 1 184
2 2 Aigburth 1 170 : 4 Hoylake 1 174
3 1 Atticus 1 177 : 5 Liverpool 1 182
4 7 Formby 1 146 : 6 St Helens 1 147
07th April 2020 19:30
Round 6 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 7 Formby 1 146 : 8 Atticus 2 175
2 6 St Helens 1 147 : 1 Atticus 1 177
3 5 Liverpool 1 182 : 2 Aigburth 1 170
4 4 Hoylake 1 174 : 3 Waterloo 1 184
20th April 2020 19:30
Round 7 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 Atticus 2 175 : 4 Hoylake 1 174
2 3 Waterloo 1 184 : 5 Liverpool 1 182
3 2 Aigburth 1 170 : 6 St Helens 1 147
4 1 Atticus 1 177 : 7 Formby 1 146

Date
Leg
Round
Home
Result
Guest
09th September 2019 19:30 1Round 1 (First Leg) Atticus 1 1.0:6.0 Atticus 2
30th September 2019 19:30 1Round 2 (First Leg) Atticus 1 5.0:2.0 Aigburth 1
14th October 2019 19:45 1Round 3 (First Leg) Waterloo 1 3.0:4.0 Atticus 1
04th November 2019 19:30 1Round 4 (First Leg) Atticus 1 4.5:2.5 Hoylake 1
19th November 2019 19:45 1Round 5 (First Leg) Liverpool 1 2.0:5.0 Atticus 1
02nd December 2019 19:30 1Round 6 (First Leg) Atticus 1 5.0:2.0 St Helens 1
St Helens Defaulted boards 7 and 8
21st January 2020 19:30 1Round 7 (First Leg) Formby 1 : Atticus 1
27th January 2020 19:30 2Round 1 (Second Leg) Atticus 2 : Atticus 1
12th February 2020 19:30 2Round 2 (Second Leg) Aigburth 1 : Atticus 1
24th February 2020 19:30 2Round 3 (Second Leg) Atticus 1 : Waterloo 1
10th March 2020 19:30 2Round 4 (Second Leg) Hoylake 1 : Atticus 1
23rd March 2020 19:30 2Round 5 (Second Leg) Atticus 1 : Liverpool 1
08th April 2020 19:30 2Round 6 (Second Leg) St Helens 1 : Atticus 1
20th April 2020 19:30 2Round 7 (Second Leg) Atticus 1 : Formby 1

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