You wait seven rounds for a victory, then two come along at once ...

Atticus A  3-1  West is Best 1

2327e John Redmond  1  0 IM Jack Rudd 2331
2249 FM Charlie Kennaugh  1  0 FM Jon Blackburn 2235
2155e Steve Kee  1  0 CM Tim Kett 2178
2147e FM Dave James  0  1 CM Alex Bullen 2116
 3  1    

Most of the players in this match knew each other well - the Atticus team contains past and present players for West is Best, as well as the team with they merged with some years ago, the South Wales Dragons. Meanwhile WIB fielded Jon Blackburn, a former Atticus player. Probably this shared history helped the Atticus players as, unlike in some other matches, we 'knew where we stood'. Dave James was a bit unlucky in his encounter with the WIB captain. He built up a nice classical advantage on the Q-side, targeting an isolated c-pawn, but then near the end of the session allowed a tragic fork. My own game say me depart unsuccesfully from theoretical paths and I could have been a good deal worse in the middlegame. Jack, who typically plays quickly and 'all-in', missed a strong continuation then turned down a repetition he should have taken. From that point on his attack on the K-side went rapidly backwards. Charlie and Steve had longer-lasting games which were good value for the spectators. Charlie seemed a bit worse out of the opening, but then Jon seemed to get carried away and, in time-pressue, appeared to sacrifice a Rook incorrectly. Charlie held his nerve to convert. Like me, Steve Kee had faced a perhaps overenthusiastic 'sacrifice' of Bishop and Knight for Rook and pawn and was always going to be better if he could securely anchor his minor pieces. Steve finished the game off with an elegant mating-attack. This confirmed our first match-win. 

Atticus B  3½-½  War & Piece

2020e Luke Boumphrey  ½   ½  James Ward 1742
1892e James Rothwell  1  0 Munroe Morrison 1717
1720e Sanjoy Banerjee  1  0 Stephen O'Neill 1457c
1660c Mark Wadsworth  1  0 Jimmy Blair 1375c

The second team also won. Luke had an interesting opposite-coloured Bishop ending where his opponent found the resource of going into a 'Bishop-plus-wrong-rook-pawn' ending. Sanjoy acquired a terrible pair of passed c- and d-pawns which ended up steamrollering his opponent. Mark went a few pawns up and converted in the ending. James was successful against the Scotch game, winning a miniature. So a successful night for the club in what has been a tough competition.

Although there were some bright spots, Round 7 was a tough experience for the Atticus teams again..

Atticus A  1½-2½  Wood Green Monarchs

2327e John Redmond  1  0 IM Joseph McPhillips 2425
2249 FM Charlie Kennaugh  0  1 IM David FItzsimons 2334
2155e Steve Kee  0  1 IM Jovanka Houska 2381
2147e FM David James ½ ½ FM Michael De Verdier 2302

In this match we were out-rated on every board, and facing a team of three IMs and one FM. Steve had a tough time in his favoured Bird's Opening - he managed to make progress on both wings but IM Houska - who is quite a classical player - made a more decisive breakthrough in the centre. Charlie had good chances to draw a Rook ending. According to him, he had "eight different moves" which drew, but instead played a ninth - which lost. Dave James had more success on the Black side of a Queen's Indian. White emerged from the opening with the two Bishops but Dave had a strong Knight on d4 and always looked actively-placed. In the end White decided to sac an exchange in order to force a draw. In my own game, my opponent went straight down a line where I have had a lot of success - the Delayed Exchange Variation of the King's Indian (I think I am 5-0 with this in 'serious' games.) This is a harmless line if Black is happy to draw, but if Black wants to win (and why else play the King's Indian?) it can be surprisingly harmful. Black went wrong early (arguably, after move 9, he was lost) and the game was over in 22 moves. 

Bon Accord B 3½-½ Atticus B

1872 Richard Jennings  1  0 Luke Boumphrey 2020e
1820 Theodoros Vasilidias  1  0 Steve Burge 1675c
1757c Ross Brennan  1  0 Mark Wadsworth 1660c
1757e Alisdair McLeod ½ ½ Jim Wiseman 1622e

I also did not see anything of the games in our Division 4 match. We had no success on Boards 1-3. Jim Wiseman felt he should have won his game and was a bit disappointed with his draw. 

Round 4:

Atticus A  2-2  Shropshire 1

  Atticus A 2219 Shropshire 1 2053
w Redmond, John P. 2327 e 0 - 1 Cooper, Gavyn 2230 e
b Kennaugh, Charles W f 2249 1 - 0 Zabrocki, Philip 1997 e
w Kee, Steve 2155 e 1 - 0 Gostelow, David W 1990 e
b James, David J f 2147 e 0 - 1 Archer, Richard 1997 e

Although we should probably have done better, in this match we did collect our first point of the competition. The format seems to induce odd opening-decisions and for no good reason I left my repertoire around move 7 - I ended up thinking for ages and then blundering in the tactical-exchanges. Steve and Charlie had nice voctories while Dave James's good run in the competition came to an end.

Atticus B  1-3  Battersea Howitzers.

  Atticus B 1776 Battersea Howitzers 1899
w Boumphrey, Luke S 2020 e 1 - 0 Buanne, Luca 1922 e
b Banerjee, Sanjoy K 1720 e 0 - 1 Kolani, Arjun 1937 e
w Burge, Steve J 1675 c 0 - 1 Dupuis, Denis K 1870 e
b Blasczyk, Martin 1690 c 0 - 1 Mellor, Jessica 1870 e


Atticus B were outgunned by the Howitzers.


Round 5:

Atticus A  1-3  Oxford

  Atticus A 2219 Oxford 1 2173
w Redmond, John P. 2327 e ½ - ½ Savage, Ben D M f 2273
b Kennaugh, Charles W f 2249 0 - 1 Cont, Arya 2147 e
w Kee, Steve 2155 e 0 - 1 Smallbone, Kieran D 2179
b James, David J f 2147 e ½ - ½ Nataraj, Nakul 2095 e

On paper, we were reasonably matched but got soundly beaten.


To Be Decided  4-0  Atticus B

  To Be Decided 1757 Atticus B 1776
w Gurner, Jem 1975 e 1 - 0 Boumphrey, Luke S 2020 e
b Chadha, Sambhav 1706 1 - 0 Banerjee, Sanjoy K 1720 e
w Vanjare, Aditya 1705 e 1 - 0 Blasczyk, Martin 1690 c
b Jaberansari, Daniel 1645 e 1 - 0 Burge, Steve J 1675 c

Again, on paper, this should have been an even contest. However, we got steamrollered.

Round 6:

Anglian Avengers 3-1  Atticus A

  Anglian Avengers 1 2240 Atticus A 2219
w Walker, Martin G f 2275 e ½ - ½ Redmond, John P. 2327 e
b Kanellopoulos, Panayotis 2265 ½ - ½ Kennaugh, Charles W f 2249
w Talsma, Paul 2177 e 1 - 0 Kee, Steve 2155 e
b Lewis, Andrew P f 2243 1 - 0 James, David J f 2147 e

We were a little out-rated in this match but could have hoped to do better.


Atticus B  2-2  Phone Pals

  Atticus B 1798 Phones Pals 1586
421 w Boumphrey, Luke S 2020 e 0 - 1 Bozinakis, Pavlos 2216
422 b Rothwell, James P 1892 e 0 - 1 Shah, Dipen 1501 o
423 w Wadsworth, Mark S 1660 c 1 - 0 Narang, Vishal 1487 o
424 b Wiseman, Jim K 1622 e 1 - 0 Sharan, Kartike 1140 o

Atticus B finally got themselves a match-point. This was mainly thanks to Jim Wiseman's timely debut and Mark's return. Luke had a challenging assignment on Board 1 and came off second-best. James Rothwell appeared well-placed in a closed position but then fell victim to a tricky Queen-trap. Mark had a fairly wild-looking game where he held his nerve to bring home the victory. Jim won a piece relatively early and duly converted.




Round 2:

Atticus A 1-3 Gonzaga

w John Redmond  2327 e 0 - 1  IM Sam Collins  2457
b Charlie Kennaugh 2249 0 - 1  FM T Kanyamarala 2384
w Steve Kee 2155 e ½ - ½  FM Killian Delaney  2303
b Dave James 2147 e ½ - ½  Stephen Moran 2195
1 - 3  

In the First Division we had another tough match, this time against the second-seeded team. Gonzaga are an Irish side (loosely based around past-pupils of a famous Dublin school) and they have made big inroads into the 4NCL proper. I foolishly tried to improvise in the opening against Sam Collins (who has several GM-norms) and got a bad position quickly. Charlie had chances in his game but unfortunately lost. Steve Kee (who had seemed to be a goner) managed a resilient save in a Rook ending. Dave James continued his good record, drawing with a higher-rated player.

Attius B 1½ - 2½ Catford Cosmonauts

w James Rothwell  1892 e ½ - ½ Stakhey Sedykh 1772 e
b Sanjoy Banerjee 1720 e 0 - 1 Cem Oyvat 1667 c
w Steve Burge  1675 c 1 - 0 Anthony Foreman 1532 c
b Mark Wadsworth 1660 c 0 - 1 Cristiano Marchettini 1382 c
1½ - 2½  

This was a match where - on paper - we might have expected to do better. Steve Burge showed his prowess in attack as White. Sanjoy went into a Rook-ending from a Qc2 Nimzo which he might have held, but went wrong on the 40th move. James played a Ruy Lopez where he was always a bit better but without getting the full point, Playing sharply in the Sveshnikov Sicilian, Mark got cut down by his opponent's vigorous attack.  

Round 3:

Surbiton 1 3-1 Atticus A

w FM Koby Kalavannan 2324 ½ - ½ John Redmond 2327 e
b Ranesh Ratnesan 2258 1 - 0 Charlie Kennaugh 2249
w Mark Josse 2235 1 - 0 Steve Kee 2155 e
b Tim Seymour 2119 ½ - ½ David James 2147 e
3 - 1  

Not such a good result for us. I was a bit better from the opening against my opponent (who had beaten GM Maze in Round 1.) Charlie had a tough loss. Steve Kee got a bad Marcozy ending as Black and always seemed to be on the back foot. Dave James earned another solid draw.

Manchester Juniors A 2½ - 1½ Atticus B

w Ben Clissold, 2135 1 - 0 Luke Boumphrey 2020 e
b Sam Parry 1812 1 - 0 James Rothwell 1892 e
w Julian Clissold 1795 c 0 - 1 Martin Blasczyk 1690 c
b Ethan Gardiner 1795 e ½ - ½ Steve Burge 1675 c
2½ - 1½  

This was always going to be difficult. I didn't see Luke's game but he did report that he "played like a lemon." James got edged out in a theoretical and complicated Sicilian Dragon. Martin recorded our best reult of the evening with an excellent win. Steve Burge continued his solid start to the competition with a useful draw.

So we remain in pursuit of match-points. Hopefully, we can open our account(s) in Round 4.

The chess24 website is currently redesigning its playzone for playing chess games online.  The new playzone is still in development, but we would like to invite testers to try it out and feed back on their experience.

Anyone who is chosen to participate will receive a free 12-month Premium subscription to the website (or an extension of 12 months for existing Premium members).

For anyone who is interesting in taking part, please drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



If you fancy some more games on Lichess, Phil Hopkins former Atticus member is now also running regular tournaments on Wedneday night 19h30-21h30. 10 minute each games.

Phil has invited all members of Atticus Chess Club to join in and he can be contacted directly for the link on his mobile 07912434358 (or whatsapp) email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Just a reminder the Club continues to run Tournaments on Monday and Thursday nights, please contact Martin Blasczyk for more further information.


The Atticus matches in 4NCL can be followed live now on lichess, once you have signed up you just need the username of the players to follow the games,you can follow all games by opening up more lichess windows.

  Hatch End A 1802   Atticus B 1847
471 w Phillips, William
  1870 e - Boumphrey, Luke S
  2020 e
472 b Breed, Greg J
  1825 e - Rothwell, James P
  1892 e
473 w Hayali, Laith
  1757 c - Lambert, John F
  1757 c
474 b Pattni, Kishan
  1757 e - Banerjee, Sanjoy K


  Arkell's Angels 2347   Atticus A 2219
111 w Arkell, Keith C
g 2429 - Redmond, John P.
  2327 e
112 b Neelotpal, Das
g 2425 - Kennaugh, Charles W
f 2249
113 w Littlewood, Paul E
i 2347 - Kee, Steve
  2155 e
114 b Friedgood, David
f 2188 - James, David J

Congratulations to the Club for Winning this Years World Chess Club Dancer of the Year 2019/20. Well done to all those who have contributed so much towards this magnificent achievement.

Just a reminder Martin has arranged another Blitz Tournament on Lichess Site Tonight at 19h30, please register on the site and join in.

Let's play online against each other!

Become a member of Atticus at!

A few words at the beginning

Lichess is a French charity, non-commercial, without ads. It keeps your privacy, does no data-mining and does not transfer data to third parties. You may read their Terms of Service and their Privacy Policy to check for yourself. It is free and costs nothing.

About is a free/libre, open-source chess server powered by volunteers and donations. Most “free” websites subsist by selling ads or selling user data. Others do it by putting all the good stuff behind paywalls.
Lichess does none of these things and never will. With no investors demanding profits, Lichess staff can focus on improving the site as their only goal.

Lichess Privacy Policy

4. Disclosing your information.

Your information will only be disclosed if it is legally necessary to do so. For example, if Lichess is ordered to hand over a certain user’s information, or if someone hacks Lichess.

Lichess Terms of Service

Lichess is a registered French charity. Lichess is open source, non-profit, mainly operated by volunteers, and funded by donations. A full breakdown of costs and expenses is publicised monthly, and can be viewed here.

Please read the "Fair Play and Community Guidelines", they are part of the Terms of Service.

How to become a member of Atticus at Lichess:

Register yourself at (Username, Password, e-mail). I would like to suggest that you register with your real name to enable everyone to recognise you.

Join the team "Atticus". Click on this link or click on "COMMUNITY, Teams", search for "Atticus" (see the magnifier-icon at the top-right) and click on the green button "Join team" at the top-left. As I am the Team Leader I will activate your membership.

Edit your profile: login at, click on your name, then on "profile". On the top-right click on the tool-icon ("Edit profile"), enter "Given Name", "Surname" and your ECF-grade/rating. This is important for generating the pairings in a tournament.

Our first tournament:

Let's have a try and test it, let's play a blitz chess tournament on Monday, 23/03/2020 at 8:00 PM. Please register at the latest by 7:30 p.m.,  to enable me to activate your membership in this team so that you can play.

See you there next Monday!




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