Basildon Chess Club Championship 2017-18 The 2017-18 Club Championship commenced on 20th July 2017. 17 entries were received, resulting in 3 qualifying groups of 4 players and 1 group of 5 players. The groups will be all-play-all twice (one white and one black). Essex League time limits apply (80 mins for all moves + 10 secs per move).
The top 2 players in each group will qualify for the quarter finals.

The winner will be awarded the Shield (to keep for one year), plus a trophy. The runner up will receive a trophy.

TLDR The final was played on July 12th 2018 and the winner was David Millward, beating Justin Baptie.

Group Matches
Group A DK AG PL AA Pts       Group B DM SC KL WR Pts
Q1 David Kraszewski x ½ 1 1 1 1 1 5½/6 Q=1 David J Millward x ½ ½ 1 1 1 - 4/5
Q2 Alaa Gamal 0 ½ x ½ 1 1 1 4/6 Q=1 Sean A Clarke ½ ½ x 1 - 1 1 4/5
3 Peter R Laundy 0 0 0 ½ x 1 1 2½/6 3 Ken Laundy 0 0 - 0 x 1 1 2/5
4 Ademola Abimbola (J J) 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 0/6 4 William T Rippon - 0 0 0 0 0 x 0/5
Group C RB JB DHW LS Pts       Group D TS AG PS BL AM Pts
Q1 Radu V Bara x 1 1 1 ½ 1 - 4½/5 Tamas Somogyi (WITHDREW) x 1 1 - 1 - - 1 1 5/5
Q2 Justin P Baptie 0 0 x 1 1 1 1 4/6 Q1 Arunas Gedvilas 0 0 x 1 0 1 1 1 1 5/8
3 Daniel AR Hardy-Wallace ½ 0 0 0 x 1 1 2½/6 Q2 Paul A Savin 0 - 1 0 x 1 1 1 - 4/6
4 Lakshan Siddharth 0 - 0 0 0 0 x 0/5 4 Bharath Lakshmanan - - 0 0 0 0 x 1 ½ 1½/6
5 Anthony M Miles 0 0 0 0 - 0 ½ 0 x ½/7

Knockout Matches
Quarter Finals
18-Jan-2018 Radu V Bara 0-1 David J Millward
15-Feb-2018 Alaa Gamal 1-0 Arunas Gedvilas
18-Jan-2018 Justin P Baptie 1-0 Sean A Clarke
18-Jan-2018 Paul A Savin 0-1 David Kraszewski
Semi Finals
10-May-2018 Alaa Gamal ½-½ David J Millward
10-May-2018 Justin P Baptie ½-½ David Kraszewski
07-Jun-2018 David J Millward 1-0 Alaa Gamal
07-Jun-2018 David Kraszewski ½ 0-½ 1 Justin P Baptie
12-Jul-2018 David J Millward 1-0 Justin P Baptie
Group Reports Group A
20th July - JJ gave a good account in his first match, but Dave K eventually won the point.
27th July - Peter had some chances against Dave K, but after losing a pawn he decided the endgame was completely lost and resigned.
10th August - Peter escaped with a narrow win against JJ. 'Fritz' would subsequently suggest JJ had overlooked a win in the R and P ending (but it was very tough to see the outcome of Fritz's suggestion). Unlucky JJ!
17th August - Ellie negotiated the middle game complications against JJ to get the edge and win. It was another good show from JJ, his luck must change soon!
24th August - Ellie drew with white against Peter.
31st August - Another hard fought but ultimately unsuccessful game for JJ against Ellie.
21st September - Dave K obtained an opening advantage, but then missed a simple tactic that eventually gave Ellie an extra pawn. Ellie missed opportunities to increase her advantage and they eventually reached a theoretically drawn R+P v R ending. As the clock ticked towards midnight, Ellie finally agreed to the inevitable draw. A fine performance, in spite of the loss of half a point. A routine win for Peter against JJ.
28th September - An equal game was heading towards a draw when Peter blundered, handing the point (and a place in the quarter finals) to Ellie.
19th October - Groundhog day for Peter, as he reached an equal endgame against Dave, but then went wrong again, handing the point and qualification to his opponent.
9th November - Another close game, but another loss for JJ, against Dave.
7th December - Ellie had a seemingly trapped queen early in the game with Dave and felt compelled to sacrifice a piece. The resulting attack failed, Dave got the point, and afterwards it turned out that the queen was safer than she looked! Anyway, it didn't matter too much as both Ellie and Dave have qualified.

Group B
20th July - Bill underwent a temporary brain freeze, losing his queen, and the game, to Ken. The top seeds, Sean and David M, took no chances and shared the point.
27th July - David M and Sean both had wins, against Ken and Bill respectively.
3rd August - 'Top Seeds In Shared Point Shock' read the headline as David M and Sean drew with each other again. Ken moved up to joint first by completing the double over Bill.
10th August - A speculative bishop sacrifice by Ken doesn't work out. David M (the group's top seed) efficiently reduces the material to complete a good win and top this qualification section.
17th August - Another efficient and economic win from David means he is the first to qualify for the Quarter-finals.
24th August - Sean beat Ken.
21st September - Sean eventually ground down Bill to ensure his qualification for the quarter finals.

Group C
20th July - Match of the day! Daniel put up a heroic performance and reached a theoretically drawn rook ending, but Justin's persistence finally paid off and he bagged the point.
27th July - Lakshan had the misfortune of a very quick loss to Radu, followed by a not so quick loss against Daniel.
3rd August - Justin maintained his 100% start with a win over Lakshan.
10th August - A great win for Radu against Justin, who would demonstrate afterwards how defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory on more than one occasion! It was a rare off night for Justin but history will show Radu took the spoils. Lakshan and Daniel had a close match that looked likely to end level, Black declining a couple of fair draw offers. However, Daniel's knight proved to be better than Lakshan's bishop when it came to the pawn and minor piece ending. A good battle, with Daniel showing great determination to win.
17th August - Radu continued his run of good fortune against Daniel, who, in serious time pressure, stayed calm to secure an end game draw. However, spectators suggested that Daniel had earlier overlooked an opportunity to queen a pawn and probably get the win.
24th August - Radu beat Daniel.
7th September - Radu completed the shock double over Justin. As in their previous game, Justin had the better of things but failed to get the win. Justin's use of the clock probably didn't help his cause as he struggled when faced with time pressure. Congratulations to Radu who qualifies for the quarter-finals as group winner.
14th September - Justin returned to winning ways against Lakshan.
11th September - In spite of a gallant effort in a very close game, Daniel eventually lost against Justin who claims the final qualifying place for the knockout stages.

Group D
20th July - Paul took advantage of Arunas' middle game inactivity and built a winning attack to claim the point. 27th July - Arunas got lucky against Tony, who was a pawn to the good for a long time but played for the draw when he should have been more aggressive. A late blunder then gave Arunas the full point. Paul had a straightforward, but quite lengthy, win against Bharath.
3rd August - Paul continued his quest for a place in the KO rounds with a second win ove Bharath.
10th August - Bharath had the better of his game against Tony. His good play with the black pieces was not adequately rewarded and Tony was ultimately happy to escape with a share of the point. Tamas and Arunas had a lively game that eventually saw Tamas' pressure pay-off. Despite Arunas battling to stay in the game, whites active pieces ganged up on the black king. Blacks time was to expire with white on the brink of a deserved win.
17th August - A good win by Arunas against Bharath keeps his qualifying hopes alive. A nice controlled win by Tamas who's grip on this game against Tony built up as the match progressed.
31st August - A very quick win for Arunas. Bharath admitted afterwards that a recent good run of on-line results meant he was rather overconfident and played far too casually. Another long game for Tony that slowly drifted away from him after Paul’s unambitious Vienna Game opening had failed to yield an initial advantage.
7th September - Tamas v Tony was equal for a long time, until a minor slip allowed Tamas to finally make some headway against Tony's solid position. Tony perhaps resigned a shade early, however it was starting to get a bit tricky.
21st September - Tamas and Paul looked level for most of the evening. Tamas had some really cheap looking mating threats, which were initially easily dealt with, but then he found another mating threat that was anything but, thus forcing Paul's resignation and maintaining his 100% record. Arunas had a straightforward win against Tony.
28th September - Arunas appeared to have effectively handled the trickery of Tamas' opening preparation, only to then drop a rook and concede the game.
5th October - Arunas kept his hopes alive by beating Paul in a highly entertaining, wild game.
26th October - Bharath gained his first win, in his return match with Tony.
11th January - Unfortunately Tamas has had to withdraw from this year's championship, so Paul and Arunas now qualify for the knockout stages.

Knockout Reports Quarter Finals
18th January 2018 - Three matches played and three decisive results. Radu threw the kitchen sink at David M, but he held firm and after defending skilfully, he turned the tables and Radu was unable to cope. Justin looked to have an endgame advantage against Sean, but then a runaway a-pawn swung things Sean's way. With both players very short of time, the game should have been drawn with R+3P each, but tragically (for him) Sean overstepped the time limit, so Justin qualifies for the semis. Paul and Dave K traversed some well trodden Pirc paths until, unusually, Dave castled Q-side after having advanced his b and c-pawns. This brave (reckless?) decision proved justified when Paul tried to open the position too quickly, then blundered a piece (a familiar 10pm mistake). The game concluded in Dave's favour soon after.
15th February 2018 - In the delayed tie, Ellie overcame Arunas to book her place in the semi-finals.

Semi Finals
10th May 2018 - Two extremely hard fought games both ended in draws, so replays will be necessary. Ellie v David M was the shorter affair. Ellie managed to wreck David's pawn structure and looked to have the advantage, but David's counterplay with his rooks managed to keep the balance and a draw was agreed.
Justin tried to blow Dave K away with a very old, very aggressive Austrian Attack variation against the Pirc. The opening and early middlegame complications were horrendous, but after the dust settled, a sort of material equality was reached and the game was agreed drawn with both players having about 7 minutes left on their clocks.

7th June 2018 - David v Ellie started quietly but then exploded into a sharp tactical battle. After the dust had settled, we had a B+4P v N+4P where David's bishop was the better piece, but a draw should have been the outcome. However, Ellie chose not to simplify the pawn structure, David conjured up some complications, Ellie made a mistake and it was game over with David advancing to the final.
Dave K stunned Justin with his ultra-aggressive opening move 1 g3. This worked to some extent as he gained an advantage (albeit slight) going into the middlegame. However, after multiple exchanges we reached an ending where Dave's bishop pair and active rook just about compensated for a dodgy pawn structure. A draw was agreed before the inevitable time scramble commenced, so we entered rapidplay territory. Dave K again had the white pieces and reverted to his normal 1 e4, gained a significant positional advantage and then once again blew it. Firstly, simplifying when the tension should have been maintained and then blundering in an inferior ending with the clock ticking down. Justin took full advantage and is now in the final yet again.

12th July 2018 - David won the toss and had the advantage of the white pieces. No match report as yet, but the result was a win for David when Justin ran out of time. More detailed report to follow when I've received it.