Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club News

Richard Sutton Cup 6/10/09

Round 8: Bd 1 Ben Lim vs Jim Cater, a surprise win by Cater, and spoiling Lim's up to now perfect record of no losses. I didn't see the game, but did see Cater's reaction to the win! It fortunately didn't affect the outcome of the tournament for Lim either, who won it first equal with Henry Vital from Manukau-Papatoetoe CC. Bd 2 Yiu Lee vs Henry Vital, I didn't see this game either, but Vital won. Bd 3 Edwin Yip vs Luke Li, several senior players said Yip won after being material up. Bd 4 Stan Yee vs Hugh McLeod, yes I saw this game! Yee won a piece against a Centre Counter Defence, but fell into a skewer from the dreaded Black Bishop with ... Bg4. Yee wriggled out by sacrificing his Queen for a Rook and a Bishop, and proceeded to use his Rook, Bishop and Knight vs McLeod's Queen to exterminate the Black pawns.

The Results: So, Lim and Vital win with 6.5/8, but Lim takes the Richard Sutton Cup as Vital is not a Club member (but always welcome!). They take away $75 each. Cater and Yip come in at 3rd-4th with 6, and take away $50 each. Yee takes 5th place with 5, and takes $30. Lee, McLeod and Alex Pan share 6th-8th and take away $7 each. Prizegiving will be on Tuesday 13th October 2009, and IM Paul Garbett will share some things about Dr Richard Sutton beforehand.

Club Championship and Club Reserve 8/09/09

Round 9: Scott Plyler vs Jim Benson, Benson won by default. Ben Lim vs Henry Jiang, Lim won by default. Luke Li vs Stan Yee, an interesting Benoni Defence with Yee totally controlling the dark squares, forcing Li into a passive position. Yiu Lee vs Paul Spiller, a Dutch Defence with White not knowing how to play against it. The fatal mistake was 15. f4?, preventing help from arriving to protect the beleaguered King. Jim Cater vs Tony Booth, another Benoni Defence with the "g" file half open after 11. gxf3! Black should not have given up his dark squared Bishop with 20. ... Bxc3? and 22. ... f6? was just horrible, allowing numerous weaknesses around his King. Instead of 23. ... hxg6? Black would have been better to knock off the Bishop with 23. ... fxg5. After 24. Bxf6!! it was all over, as the Black Queen was too far away to help. This was the "Game of the Tournaments", see "Games 2009".

The Results: So, in the Club Championship Lim wins with 8/9, and remained undefeated with 8 wins and 2 draws. He retains his title, with three consecutive wins since winning the Club Championship in 2007. Spiller came in 2nd place with 6.5 followed by Yee in 3rd place with 6. Booth and Benson tied in 4th-5th place with 4.5. In the Club Reserve Edwin Yip and Stefan Kolev tied for 1st place with 6/9, and will share the brand new cup for the next 18 months. Leo Zhu came in 3rd place with 5.5, followed by the main bunch in 4th-6th place, Peter Morten, Alex Pan and Karl Zhu with 5.

Fairhurst Pawn 30/06/09

Round 9: Bd 1 Craig Blaxall vs Tony Booth, a good solid game from both players, with a fair result. Bd 2 Ben Lim vs Jim Cater, an unusual game with the White King on h3 in the middlegame, but Lim was still the aggressor, and eventually won a piece. Bd 3 Philip Mukkattu vs Stan Yee, an interesting positional game that turned tactical, and Yee won a piece. Bd 4 Edwin Yip vs Luke Li, a one-sided game, with the White Kings Bishop on g2 pinning the Black Knight on c6 against the Black Queen on b7, totally paralysing the Black Queenside. There were holes also on Blacks g7 and f6, with the Black King stuck in the centre, waiting for the death blow.

The Results: So, Lim and Blaxall were 1st= placed on 7.5 and joint winners of the Fairhurst Pawn, with $75 each. Yee follows in 3rd place on 7.0, with $60. Yip was in 4th place on 6.5, with $50. Tony Booth and Lee Yiu Keung were 5-6th= placed on 5.5, with $35 each. It was a hard fought tournament, with some good efforts from the up-and-coming players. Scott Plyler took a draw from Yee, denying him a higher placing, as the top three players beat each other - Lim beat Blaxall, Blaxall beat Yee, and Yee beat Lim. No soft draws at this Club! Paul Spiller had to withdraw from two rounds in order to go to the Oceania Zonal, otherwise the results would have been even more interesting. He dropped games to Yip and Blaxall, and drew with Yee. Yip was the major surprise result, and has made big improvements lately and now battles on an even keel with the best. Booth dropped games to Lim, Spiller and Yip, beat Plyler and took a good draw from Blaxall. Lee dropped games to Yip and Plyler, but beat Jim Benson - no mug behind the board, and an ex-Club champ. Lee was unrated before this tournament, but now holds the very good rating of 1399. 7-10th placings on 5.0 were Philip Mukkattu, Jim Cater, Li, and Alex Pan, well deserved and very good performances from them all. Cater's result could have been higher, if he had shown up on the Tuesday after Queens Birthday weekend, but "I think in my mind it was Monday night."

Philip Mukkattu has been a regular visitor to this Grand Prix tournament for the last three years, and I think it is more interesting playing other Club players rather than facing off against the same old Club players. Jim Cater has also been a regular visitor to the Fairhurst, and liked the Club so much he joined us! In the past we have also had regulars Leonard McLaren, now our Club Coach, Fuatai Fuatai and Bob Gibbons. We do welcome more visitors for the Fairhurst Pawn next year, and for the Richard Sutton Rapid Grand Prix tournament from 15th September to 6th October 2009. We renamed this tournament from the Swiss Rapid, in honour of our founder Dr Richard Sutton, who passed away recently - see "Members". Congratulations to Ben Lim and Craig Blaxall.

A special thanks to Jim Cater, Ben Lim and Jim Benson for their invaluable help with loading the games onto a pgn file.

All games (pgn file)

Allegro Swiss Rapid 28/04/09

Round 8: Bd 1 Stan Yee vs Edwin Yip, Yee sacrificed a pawn to expose the Black Queen, Yip exchanged off the Queens and the attack fizzled out. Yip won the ending with the better Bishop. Bd 2 Jim Benson vs Leo Zhu, Benson won (no scoresheet). Yip and Benson are the joint winners, congratulations.

Juniors vs Seniors 7/04/09

A great turnout, with 19 Juniors and 9 Seniors entering, so 5 Juniors had to play for the Seniors! Included in the Seniors was a parent, and it's not the first time a parent has been recruited to bail us out. The supper was fantastic, all brought along by the parents and Seniors. Lots of cakes, biscuits, finger food, and even flavoured milk. It was a real family occasion. The Seniors scrapped in by 7.5 to 6.5, over 14 boards.

Bd 1: Stan Yee vs Edwin Yip, Yip as Black attacked on the Queenside, and Yee counter attacked by giving up a pawn to swing his Queen over to the shattered Black King position. Yip hung on and exchanged off the last pair of Rooks, and a draw was agreed. Bd 2: Yiu Keung Lee vs Scott Plyler, Plyler as Black pushed a passed pawn down the Queenside and Lee was forced to give up a piece. Bd 3: Tony Booth vs Karl Zhu, too many errors in both scoresheets. Bd 4: Leo Zhu vs Jim Benson, Zhu won a pawn then the exchange. Bd 5: Stefan Kolev vs Luke Li, Kolev pseudo-sacrificed his Rook to expose the uncastled Black King. There was only one scoresheet and a few moves were missing.

Parkinson Cup 24/03/09

24/03/09 Round 6: Bd 1 Henry Jiang vs Stan Yee, the joint Junior Champion Jiang as White was on a "hat trick" having just defeated Paul Spiller and Craig Blaxall, not a mean feat as they are both rated over 1800. There was some shadow boxing in the opening, until Jiang made a mistake on move 14, dropping a pawn. Yee decided to play simple chess and take advantage of the extra pawn, manoeuvering about to see if Jiang could figure out what he was up to. On move 22 came the fatal mistake, with 22. Bb4?, leaving the "d4" square insufficiently protected. Then came a wild explosion of tactics that threatened the win of material and mate, see "Games 2009". Bd 2: Tony Booth vs Craig Blaxall, a uneventful game with just the major pieces and a pair of Knights on the board, with Blaxall as Black a pawn up. Blaxall was content with the draw, rather than play on. Bd 3: Edwin Yip vs Yiu Keung Lee, Yip played well and had Lee on the ropes, with a bad light squared Bishop and a White pawn hemmings him in on "f6". But Lee resigned prematurely, as 26 ... Rg8 and 27 ... Qf8 pushes the White Queen on "h6" back. Lee is a new member, so is unrated, but has shown excellent promise. Bd 4: Paul Spiller vs Kees van den Bosch, van den Bosch dropped a pawn, then a piece.

The Results: So, Yee wins with 5/6, Yip and Booth were placed 2nd= on 4.5, Spiller, Blaxall and Jiang were placed 4th= on 4, followed by the main bunch: Plyler, Morten, Pan and Lee placed 7th= on 3.5. Yee was the defending Champion, and retains the Parkinson Cup. The real winner is the Club, as we have seen some serious potential in several of our Juniors and new members.

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