Wirral Div.3



Atticus B




Chester G

Ben Ellington (B)




Nethuli Saram (W)

Sanjoy Banerjee (W)




Sam Burchett (B)

Jim Wiseman (B)




Tony Rafferty (W)

Jonathan Curley (W)




Harry Rafferty (B)

Natasha May (B)




Warren Bates (W)

When the enterprising burglar isn't burgling,
When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime,
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling,
And listen to the merry village chime.
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother,
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun:
Ah, take one consideration with another,
The policeman's lot is not a happy one!

Trying to get a team together in mid-December is difficult, rendered more difficult still by the restriction in allowing those under the legal drinking age into the Cross Keys after a certain time.  Thanks again to Wallasey Chess Club for once again allowing us to use their venue for this home fixture.  Yet, an incredible eight other players had confirmed they could not make the fixture, before l’arme secret finally picked up the phone to confirm I had a team.

That said, a game against Chester G, a team which seems to exist in order to showcase junior players, I imagined would be a straightforward fixture.  And so it seemed when I went a pawn up in the opening, again twelve year old Sam Burchett, who is his King’s School Chester uniform took me back to happy times of yore when I wore the same blue and green.

Natasha may having neglected sitting down to dine before leaving the house, since she started gobbling her opponent’s pieces like Cronus devouring his sons.  Jonny too looked to be in the box seat as he too went a piece up, yet it was Jim who was first to finish, when an otherwise equal game was ended abruptly by a discovery on his opponent’s queen.  By the time Natasha had finishing cleaning up the crumbs for a 2-0 lead, Jonny had tripled his opponent’s pawn, albeit in return for his piece advantage.  The greater challenge will be trying to persuade him he really should not be using Instagram during his games.  I may have to actually confiscate his mobile.

Seeing we were 3-0 up was a consolation, since my tyro opponent had by now warmed to the task. I began to regret declining not one, not two, but three pawns that I deemed “too hot”, since after rook, knight and queen began to swarm around my position, I was left to sweat bullets as my clock ran down to less than ten minutes to make ten or so moves and the position began to ratchet up.  Yet it is always darkest before the dawn, and an inaccurate continuation from Sam allowed me to trap his knight and the pressure evapourated.

That left just l’arme secret, who was only just entering the late middlegame in a Closed Sicilian against fourteen year old Nethuli Saram.  Ben had been in a tricky position, as he had to combat a kingside attack, where his king was, with queenside counterplay, where his opponent’s king was not.  Without both players down to their final ten minutes, post time-control, Ben showed his class and experience, to secure a five nil win.  A comprehensive win, but credit to Chester and especially their top two boards, who played way above their nominal rating.

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