Basildon Chess Club Championships 2018-19 (Open and Under-140) The 2018-19 Club Championships commenced on 26th July 2018. 11 entries were received for the Open tournament and 4 entries (so far) for the Under-140.
The winner of the Open tournament will be crowned Club Champion and will receive a trophy and engraving on the Club Championship shield, which is also kept for one year. The winner of the U140 tournament will also receive a trophy.
The Open tournament consists of three all-play-all (twice) groups. The winner of each group will qualify for the semi-final, together with the best runner-up. This is defined as follows; the scores of games between the top 3 players are calculated (i.e. the games of the last player in the group are discounted). The highest 2nd place score qualifies, unless there is a 2 or 3 way tie, in which case two rapidplay games (alternating colours with 10 mins + 10 secs per move) will decide. If there is still a tie, single rapidplay games (same time controls) will continue until a wnner emerges.
The U140 Tournament will be all-play-all twice. In the event of a tie, a rapidplay decider (same rules as described above) will determine the winner.
The time controls for all non-rapid games will be 80 mins + 10 secs per move.

Club Championship Group Matches
Group A JB PS EG LS Pts       Group B DK PL BF AD Pts       Group C DM RB AG SC Pts
Q1 Justin Baptie x 1 1 1(D) ½ 1 1 5½/6 Q1 Dave Kraszewski x 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 4½/6 Q1 David Millward x ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 4½/6
2 Paul Savin 0 0 x 1 1 1 - 3/5 2 Peter Laundy ½ 0 x 1 ½ 1 1 4/6 2 Radu Bara 0 ½ x 1 1 1 0 3½/6
3 Ellie Gamal ½ 0(D) 0 0 x 1 1 2½/6 3 Bob Fowles 1 0 ½ 0 x 1 1 3½/6 =3 Arunas Gedvilas 0 0 0 0 x 1 1 2/6
4 Lakshan Siddharth 0 0 - 0 0 0 x 0/5 4 Andy Daniel 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 0/6 =3 Sean Clarke ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 x 2/6

Semi-Final Play Off
Q1 Radu Bara x 1 0 1 1 3/4
2 Peter Laundy 1 0 x 0 1 2/4
3 Paul Savin 0 0 0 1 x 1/4

Knockout Matches
Semi Finals
20-Dec-2018 Radu Bara 0-1 David Kraszewski
20-Dec-2018 / 21-Feb-2019 Justin P Baptie ½ ½-½ ½ David J Millward
21-Mar-2019 (Rapid Play-Off) Justin P Baptie ½ 1-½ 0 David J Millward
18-Apr-2019 David Kraszewski - Justin P Baptie

Under-140 Championship
W1 Lakshan Siddharth x 0 1 1 1 1(d) 1(d) 5/6
2 Bill Rippon 0 1 x 1 0 1 1 4/6
3 Andy Daniel 0 0 1 0 x 1(d) 1(d) 3/6
4 Ken Laundy (Withdrawn) 0(d) 0(d) 0 0 0(d) 0(d) x 0/6
Group and U140 Match Reports Group A
9th August - Paul almost opened with a perfect start against Justin, building up a winning position. Then, after almost 3 hours play, he inexplicably dropped a rook and resigned immediately. This was symptomatic of the evening's play!
16th August - Justin enjoyed a quick win against Lakshan, who overexposed his queen in trying to hold onto a hot gambit pawn and ended up being mated.
30th August - Justin employed his latest anti-Pirc weapon against Paul and, after awesome complications, won through with his king side attack.
6th September - Paul recovered from a misplayed opening to defeat Lakshan. Ellie had the better of her game against Justin, but eventually had to settle for a half point. Thus endeth the last two 100 per cent records.
13th September - Ellie continued her good start with a comfortable win over Lakshan.
20th September - Lakshan was unable to parry Ellie's attack, so Ellie completes a quick double over Lakshan.
27th September - Paul took full advantage of Ellie's opening inaccuracy to mount a decisive kingside attack that won him the point and also kept alive his faint hopes of qualifying for the semis.
25th October - In a repeat of their first game, Ellie made a decisive mistake in the opening to give Paul a quick win.
1st November - Lakshan provided stern resistance against Justin and reached a rook ending just a pawn down. However, Justin's endgame technique prevailed and he gained the point that ensured qualification as Group A winner. Due to work commitments, Ellie has defaulted her final game against Justin, although this has no effect on anybody's qualification from this group.

Group B
26th July - It was good to see Bob return after a long absence. Despite suggesting before the match that he had forgotten all his opening theory, early on his active white pieces harassed black and a swift victory looked possible. However Peter managed to push Bob back to a very passive position and Fritz subsequently suggested it should've been all over. A draw was to be agreed in a level position.
2nd August - Peter powered over Andy to continue his good start. Dave K and Bob created a blunderfest, which was highly entertaining for the viewers. Bob won a pawn in the opening, followed by a piece which Dave very unsoundly sacrificed. Bob was clearly winning, but allowed Dave to build an attack which eventually paid dividends and should have led to an endgame victory. Dave then messed this up, allowing Bob to exchange to a dead drawn opposite coloured bishop + 2 pawns ending. It was still not over, as Bob then conspired to drop not one, but both of his remaining pawns, leaving a simple finish which even Dave could not cock up.
9th August - Andy put up a resolute performance against Bob, but eventually it was the latter that prevailed. Dave K's opening prep totally backfired against Peter, who had a won position after about a dozen moves. Dave somehow conjured up some counterplay, and when Peter dropped a rook very late in the game (spookily, almost at the same time as Paul was doing the same!) it looked like a travesty had occurred. However, there was one final twist as Dave blundered a piece and the game ended drawn.
16th August - No mistake this time from Bob, as Dave K's luck finally ran out. A combination of a dubious defensive strategy (Dave) and fine attacking play (Bob) means that any of the top 3 can still win this group.
30th August - Dave K kept alive his hopes of winning the group with a win over Peter.
6th September - Peter maintained an initiative in his game against Bob, and eventually ground him down in the endgame to collect the full point.
13th September - A convincing win by Bob over Andy, who was unable to cope with Bob's king side attack.
20th September - A very lucky escape for Dave K against Andy, who unleashed a stunning piece sacrifice but missed the final key move that would've finished Dave off. This interesting game has been loaded to the Games section of the website if anybody is interested.
27th September - Another 'nearly' night for Andy as he outplayed Peter to obtain a winning ending, but then blundered at the very end to allow Peter to snatch the point.
25th October - Andy's resolute defence was not sufficient to stifle Dave's king side attack and he gained the point required to qualify for the semis as Group B winner.

Group C
26th July - After what looked like a risky h5-h4 pawn push, Arunas looked to have equalised against David, but a blunder on move 19 lost the exchange. This was followed by the dropping of a piece four moves later and immediate resignation.
2nd August - Arunas and David M exchanged colours, but not results. Same story as last week as David takes a grip on Group C.
9th August - Sean returned from holiday without his chess brain, as he managed to lose a piece in the middlegame against Arunas, who took full advantage to score his first win. David M looked to have the better of Radu and was a pawn up, albeit in a typically random Radu-like position. Eventually they reached a queen and pawns ending, where Radu's advanced passed pawn was looking mighty dangerous but David managed to force a perpetual, so a draw was the result.
16th August - Radu continued his good start with another impressive attacking performance, giving him the win against Arunas.
23rd August - Sean and David M had yet another close encounter that ended in honours even.
30th August - David M and Sean repeated their result of the previous week, with colours reversed. Arunas and Radu had another wild encounter with both players in winning positions at various stages. It ended with the final mistake being made by Arunas to hand Radu the point.
6th September - As might have been predicted, David M and Radu had a complicated game, which David eventually won when Radu was unable to force home his attack. This win completes David's games and almost certainly ensures his place in the semi-finals.
13th September - Sean kept alive his qualification chances with a win against Radu, which also confirms David M as the first semi-final qualifier.
20th September - Arunas completed the double over Sean, tying him up on the kingside before quickly changing the focus and sealing the win with a neat mating attack on the opposite flank.
25th October - Radu versus Sean was the Group C crunch match to determine the runner-up and potential qualification for the semis. Both players needed a win to realistically have a chance of qualifying. The game did not disappoint. Radu played in his regular style of throwing the kitchen sink at the opposing king. Sean won a pawn and after the queens were exchanged, it looked as if he had weathered the storm. However, somehow Radu conjured up unfathomable complications with threats of mate and queening pawns. Sean ran short of time and was unable to cope, so Radu gets the point and a play-off opportunity with Peter and possibly Paul to reach the semi final. This game has now been loaded to the website if you want to replay through the moves.

26th July - Bill started with a convincing win against Ken, who struggled against an aggressive Ruy Lopez, with white's relentless king side attack winning the day.
2nd August - Bill and Ken also exchanged colours and not results. Same story as last week as Bill maintains his 100% start.
9th August - Bill and Lakshan engaged in a fierce battle, which could have gone either way, until a touch and move mistake by Bill left Lakshan with a clear win. An unfortunate end to a highly entertaining game.
23rd August - Bill gained revenge over Lakshan when his king's-side attack was too quick for Lakshan's equivalent efforts on the queen's side.
6th September - No games played this week, but sadly Ken has had to withdraw on the grounds of ill health.
6th December - The competition resumed with a cracking match between Andy and Lakshan. Lakshan had a material advantage for a long time, but Andy put together a very dangerous attack. Just at the point where it looked like Andy could break through, he miscalculated and the house came down, so Lakshan wins the point.
3rd January 2019 - Lakshan's solid opening restricted Andy’s space, and in the middlegame led to a blunder on move 18. Unfortunately Lakshan missed the forced mate in 4 and, after further exchanges, Andy was able to generate some counterplay and go into a same coloured bishop endgame just a single pawn down. Lakshan played an excellent endgame, and eventually was able to force the last pawn home at which point Andy resigned.
21st February 2019 - Bill and Andy played out a see-saw battle that initially had Bill winning, but then blundered pieces to give Andy the upper hand. Rather than resign, Bill decided to play on for a bit. Good decision, as Andy searched for a non-existent mating threat and allowed Bill two dangerous passed pawns. Andy then promoted a pawn, but lost the queen (now short on time) and Bill's advanced pawns proved too strong, so Andy resigned.
7th March 2019 - Andy made no mistake this time and avenged his earlier defeat by Bill. This result means that Lakshan is the U140 champion.
Group Play-offs 6th December - An enthralling evening of Rapidplay between Paul, Peter and Radu to determine the last of the semi-final qualification places.
Game 1. Radu v Paul. Radu's numerous sacrifices never looked sound, but they did leave him with a significant time advantage. Paul eventually simplified to what should have been a won ending, but spent too long thinking about how to win and overstepped the time limit. Radu 1 Paul 0.
Game 2. Peter v Radu. An excellent performance from Peter, nullifying Radu's attacking chances and then launching a devastating attack on his king. No escape for Radu this time. Peter 1 Radu
Game 3. Paul v Peter. In a repeat of Game 1, Paul built up a winning position only to fall into a cunning Peter trap that cost him is queen. Paul 0 Peter 1.
So at the halfway stage we had Peter 2/2, Radu 1/2 and Paul 0/2.
Game 4. Paul v Radu. This was the critical game, with both players requiring a win to have a realistic chance of qualifying. Paul's Morra gambit gave him a strong initiative, but the position was so double-edged that a single slip would spell disaster. With less than a minute left on each clock, Radu held his nerve, Paul cracked and it was game over. Paul 0 Radu 1.
Game 5. Radu v Peter. Buoyed by his win in Game 4, Radu produced his best performance of the night and Peter had no answer. Radu 1 Peter 0.
Game 6. Peter v Paul. Peter required a win to force a tie-break with Radu. Paul was playing for pride only. Yet another complex game, where Paul once again ended with the advantage. However, this time there were no catastrophic blunders and Paul held on for the win. Peter 0 Paul 1.
And so the final scores are Radu 3/4, Peter 2/4, Paul 1/4, therefore Radu qualifies for the club championship semi-finals. Congratulations to all three players for a scintillating set of games and commiserations to Peter and Paul on what might have been.
Knockout Reports 20th December - Radu was paired with the white pieces against Dave K. Dave achieved his opening goal of preventing Radu from creating a manic, open position in which he excels. However, this came at the expense of allowing what looked like a dangerous attack on the unblocked queen-side, where they had both castled. It turned out that Radu's rooks were not well placed in front of his b and c pawns and when the position opened up, Dave gained what should have been a winning advantage. However, with less than 5 minutes on the clock for most of the last hour of play, Dave gave Radu several lifelines before finally prevailing after 100 moves and nearly 3½ hours.
Justin had white against David M, and after a quiet opening (the ever versatile Justin now employing the London System!?), the game exploded as Justin launched a dangerous attack with his king side pawns. I was too pre-occupied with my problems in the other semi-final to follow every move of this battle, but David must have defended extremely well as he fought off the attack and emerged with the extra piece in a R+5P v R+B+2P ending. However, Justin managed to eventually reduce this to a drawn Bv2P finish, so they will have to do it all again!
21st February 2019 - The long awaited replay between David M and Justin ended in another draw, so we will now proceed to a rapid play-off.
21st March - The Rapid play-off swung more times than a swinging pendulum. In the first game, David appeared to have an advantage but then Justin won a piece and had what looked like a won rook ending. However, tenacious last ditch defending by David enabled him to hang on for a draw -just!. In Game 2, David built up an overwhelming positional advantage, which he converted to a material one, but via an incorrect route that allowed Justin some fierce counterplay. In the ensuing complications David found himself completely tied down and eventually succumbed with the loss of his queen, forcing an immediate resignation. Justin therefore goes forward to meet Dave K in the final on April 18th.