Atticus 3
138 4.0 : 2.0 Skelmersdale 1 141
1
Stuttard, David
149
1-0
Melia, Steven
168
2
Ewart, Brian R
148
1-0
McGreal, Mike
160
3
Lambert, John F
145
0.5-0.5
Cowell, Russell
137
4
Ellington, Ben
131
1-0
Stanfield, David snr
134
5
Blasczyk, Martin
132
0-1
McHugh, Bart
128
6
Burge, Steve J
121
0.5-0.5
Quickfall, Andy
116

 

Tonight’s match was on a knife-edge until very late in the piece, and that we were able to ultimately take home the points was due to some solid and some quite scintillating performances across the team. 

By prior arrangement, Steve had kindly agreed to act as stand-in captain on the night, since due to work commitments I could not be sure to arrive in time.  The denouement of this particular episode of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” saw my taxi from Manchester Airport arrive at the door the Cross Keys at 7.28pm, which afforded me the luxury of being able to watch the games from start to finish. 

Ben was first to finish.  There is a brutal poetry to his chess right now, of the kind that would surely have appealed to Norman Mailer.  Starting briskly from the opening bell, he dropped his opponent to the canvas inside the opening few rounds, and continued to rain blow with deadly accuracy until the towel was duly thrown. 

Shortly afterwards Steve locked up a further half-point, in a fashion that is starting to haunt my dreams with its familiarity.  Like his beloved football team, he is yet to lose this season and long may that last! 

Brian was next to finish, playing a textbook game which began with kingside pressure, developing into a breakthrough in the centre establishing a strong, centralised knight pair before finally infiltrating his opponent’s position with queen and rook who took personal responsibility for the surrender treaty. 

Martin had looked in a precarious position from early on, with an exposed king, but fought hard and turned weakness to strength in the form of counter-play as his h-pawn began to march.  The result was still hanging in the balance when a late tactic sealed the point for his opponent in the cruellest fashion. 

John looked rock solid in his game, with a slight positional advantage for much of the game, but Russell was able to fight back and equalise. 

Which left all eyes on the game between Steven Melia and Dave Stuttard.  Steven is a class act and will not drop many points this season.  Coming out of the opening he looked handily placed to prevail, but Dave managed to find some sharp play which culminated in piece versus marching kingside pawns where Dave was able to force resignation with just seconds remaining on his opponent’s clock.

Southport 1
143 2.0 : 4.0 Atticus 3 134
1
Sage, Geoffrey W
163
0-1
Ewart, Brian R
148
2
Wright, Fergal
166
0.5-0.5
Lambert, John F
145
3
Dansey, Paul
144
0-1
Ellington, Ben
131
4
Ramsey, Phil
130
0.5-0.5
Blasczyk, Martin
132
5
Nadin, Karl
128
0.5-0.5
Banerjee, Sanjoy K
129
6
Kennedy, Carl
128
0.5-0.5
Burge, Steve J
121

It was a pleasure to welcome Brian back into the fold, fresh from his exploits representing England at the European Senior Team Championship in Lošinj, Croatia, where he achieved a silver medal on Board 5.  I felt like a football manager who had signed a new striker, but how would he fare on a cold November night in Southport?

First to finish was Ben, who came, saw and conquered, eviscerating his opponent in 17 moves, and spending the rest of the evening regretting leaving the house without more change for the bar.

Steve Burge then extended his unbeaten run for the team this season, with a draw in his customary Classical Dutch.  Martin also earned half a point in what appeared to be a sort of King’s Indian, with white aiming at a modest deployment of his forces.

My own game was one to forget.  Dead lost out of the opening, I scrambled my way to an undeserved draw.  Yet it meant we needed only a share of the spoils on the top two boards to achieve our first victory of the season.

Brian had managed to win a queen for a rook, and looked overwhelming favourite, but as his clocked ticked under five minutes, it was no done deal.  Equally nerve-wracking (at least for his captain) was John’s courageous refusal to settle for a draw in a dead equal position, declining both a draw offer and a draw by repetition and seemingly going out of his way to find a creative and hair-raising way to keep life in a king and pawn endgame.

Thankfully Brian’s opponent then blundered while trying to apply time pressure and resigned with mate in two on the board, leaving John to finally settle for a half while he still had enough ticks left.

Overall a match played in a good spirit between the teams.  Improbably the win raises us to mid-table, and sets us in good spirits for an away trip to Skelmersdale in a fortnight.

If you squint your eyes these days, it is difficult to tell Atticus 3 and Atticus 4 apart, which is to say that once again we were missing key players, and with l’arme secrete struck down by flu on the morning of the match, had to borrow another player from Jim’s team to achieve a full turnout. 

Mean, mode or median, we were once again up against it, as was always likely this season even if we had all our listed players available.  Yet if there is a spirit I would aspire to for this team, it would be that we relish a fight, and tonight it was so!

With our top two boards unavailable, we knew we had an uphill struggle to take anything from a full strength Wallasey side, who came down last year from Division 1, and look like early favourites to make an immediate return.  Yet all of our players are more than capable of achieving a result against such high calibre opponents, and as we sat down to play, I was hopeful we would have chances if we were game enough to take them.

As this was our first match of the season, I would like to thank Jim for his excellent leadership of this team over a number of seasons.  I am sure Atticus 4 will have a successful season under tenure.

The cross city rivalry with the excellent Liverpool Chess Club was a good test of where we are right now.  Even without two of their listed player, they were able to field a foreboding line-up, but I have quiet confidence in this team.

Rnk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Pt
Boards
1 Wallasey AX5.0 5.03.55.53.5 X 10 22.5
2 Aigburth 21.0X3.53.02.53.53.5 X 7 17.0
3 Liverpool 2 2.5X3.53.52.53.5 X 6 15.5
4 Atticus 31.03.02.5X4.04.0 X 5 14.5
5 Southport 12.53.52.52.0X3.5 X 4 14.0
6 Skelmersdale 10.52.53.52.02.5X2.5 X 2 13.5
7 Prescot 12.52.52.5 3.5X X 2 11.0

Rnk
GP
W
D
L
Pt
Boards
1 Wallasey A550010 22.5
2 Aigburth 263127 17.0
3 Liverpool 253026 15.5
4 Atticus 352125 14.5
5 Southport 152034 14.0
6 Skelmersdale 161052 13.5
7 Prescot 141032 11.0

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

03rd September 2019 19:45
Round 1 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 1 Liverpool 2 152 : 8 bye
2 2 Atticus 3 126 1.0:5.0 7 Wallasey A 158
3 3 Aigburth 2 142 3.5:2.5 6 Prescot 1 135
4 4 Southport 1 138 3.5:2.5 5 Skelmersdale 1 140
23rd September 2019 19:30
Round 2 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 5 Skelmersdale 1 142
2 6 Prescot 1 144 : 4 Southport 1 144
3 7 Wallasey A 152 5.0:1.0 3 Aigburth 2 140
4 1 Liverpool 2 141 3.5:2.5 2 Atticus 3 131
07th October 2019 19:30
Round 3 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 2 Atticus 3 133 : 8 bye
2 3 Aigburth 2 140 3.5:2.5 1 Liverpool 2 139
3 4 Southport 1 143 2.5:3.5 7 Wallasey A 152
4 5 Skelmersdale 1 140 2.5:3.5 6 Prescot 1 136
21st October 2019 19:30
Round 4 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 6 Prescot 1 144
2 7 Wallasey A 153 5.5:0.5 5 Skelmersdale 1 133
3 1 Liverpool 2 144 3.5:2.5 4 Southport 1 144
4 2 Atticus 3 127 3.0:3.0 3 Aigburth 2 132
13th November 2019 19:30
Round 5 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 3 Aigburth 2 142 : 8 bye
2 4 Southport 1 143 2.0:4.0 2 Atticus 3 134
3 5 Skelmersdale 1 131 3.5:2.5 1 Liverpool 2 140
4 6 Prescot 1 134 2.5:3.5 7 Wallasey A 152
28th November 2019 19:30
Round 6 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 7 Wallasey A 158
2 1 Liverpool 2 148 3.5:2.5 6 Prescot 1 141
3 2 Atticus 3 138 4.0:2.0 5 Skelmersdale 1 141
4 3 Aigburth 2 140 2.5:3.5 4 Southport 1 135
07th January 2020 19:30
Round 7 (First Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 4 Southport 1 144 : 8 bye
2 5 Skelmersdale 1 119 2.5:3.5 3 Aigburth 2 143
2 Pat Noonan played Board 5 for Skem. Aigburth defaulted on Board 6.
3 6 Prescot 1 144 : 2 Atticus 3 133
4 7 Wallasey A 158 : 1 Liverpool 2 152
21st January 2020 19:30
Round 1 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 1 Liverpool 2 152
2 7 Wallasey A 158 : 2 Atticus 3 133
3 6 Prescot 1 144 : 3 Aigburth 2 142
4 5 Skelmersdale 1 142 : 4 Southport 1 144
03rd February 2020 19:45
Round 2 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 5 Skelmersdale 1 142 : 8 bye
2 4 Southport 1 144 : 6 Prescot 1 144
3 3 Aigburth 2 142 : 7 Wallasey A 158
4 2 Atticus 3 133 : 1 Liverpool 2 152
17th February 2020 19:30
Round 3 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 2 Atticus 3 133
2 1 Liverpool 2 152 : 3 Aigburth 2 142
3 7 Wallasey A 158 : 4 Southport 1 144
4 6 Prescot 1 144 : 5 Skelmersdale 1 142
02nd March 2020 19:45
Round 4 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 6 Prescot 1 144 : 8 bye
2 5 Skelmersdale 1 142 : 7 Wallasey A 158
3 4 Southport 1 144 : 1 Liverpool 2 152
4 3 Aigburth 2 142 : 2 Atticus 3 133
18th March 2020 19:30
Round 5 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 3 Aigburth 2 142
2 2 Atticus 3 133 : 4 Southport 1 144
3 1 Liverpool 2 152 : 5 Skelmersdale 1 142
4 7 Wallasey A 158 : 6 Prescot 1 144
02nd April 2020 19:30
Round 6 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 7 Wallasey A 158 : 8 bye
2 6 Prescot 1 144 : 1 Liverpool 2 152
3 5 Skelmersdale 1 142 : 2 Atticus 3 133
4 4 Southport 1 144 : 3 Aigburth 2 142
14th April 2020 19:30
Round 7 (Second Leg)
Fixture
TNo
Home
Grade
Result
TNo
Guest
Grade
1 8 bye : 4 Southport 1 144
2 3 Aigburth 2 142 : 5 Skelmersdale 1 142
3 2 Atticus 3 133 : 6 Prescot 1 144
4 1 Liverpool 2 152 : 7 Wallasey A 158

Date
Leg
Round
Home
Result
Guest
24th September 2019 19:45 1Round 2 (First Leg) Liverpool 2 3.5:2.5 Atticus 3
07th October 2019 19:30 1Round 1 (First Leg) Atticus 3 1.0:5.0 Wallasey A
07th October 2019 19:30 1Round 3 (First Leg) Atticus 3 : bye
21st October 2019 19:30 1Round 4 (First Leg) Atticus 3 3.0:3.0 Aigburth 2
12th November 2019 19:30 1Round 5 (First Leg) Southport 1 2.0:4.0 Atticus 3
25th November 2019 19:30 1Round 6 (First Leg) Atticus 3 4.0:2.0 Skelmersdale 1
06th January 2020 19:45 1Round 7 (First Leg) Prescot 1 : Atticus 3
23rd January 2020 19:30 2Round 1 (Second Leg) Wallasey A : Atticus 3
03rd February 2020 19:30 2Round 2 (Second Leg) Atticus 3 : Liverpool 2
17th February 2020 19:30 2Round 3 (Second Leg) bye : Atticus 3
04th March 2020 19:30 2Round 4 (Second Leg) Aigburth 2 : Atticus 3
16th March 2020 19:30 2Round 5 (Second Leg) Atticus 3 : Southport 1
30th March 2020 19:45 2Round 6 (Second Leg) Skelmersdale 1 : Atticus 3
27th April 2020 19:30 2Round 7 (Second Leg) Atticus 3 : Prescot 1

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