2019-20 Season

9.9.19  A2 kicked off their season with a 4-1 loss at West Bridgford 1. We'd drawn with them in March with a very similar line-up, and went on to win promotion. West Bridgford were suitable buoyed by this, and 1 of their team was already alarmed at the prospect of promotion to Division 1.

17.9.19 A3 had a bumpy landing on their return to Division 3 with a 4-1 loss at Radcliffe & Bingham. Two boards went South early, and there was no way back into the contest. A3 has not been able to replace the likes of Stan, Steve and Neil, and is short of at least 2 regular players. 

18.9.19 A1 opened with a 1.5 - 3.5 defeat to League Champions, Grantham. David scored the club's first board win of the season, and a very creditable draw by Steve v Paul Cumbers. We gave them a fight.

25.9.19  Home games for A2 and A4. A2 were edged out 3-2 by Newark 2, 4 boards were drawn , including a very good draw on his club debut for Dan Hardman against Richard Myers. An exciting finish to the match with the last game in progress between David and Alex Combie. Alex was pushing for the win despite playing on the 10 second increment , and writing his moves down. Bravo!

A4 scored the Club's first win of the season in a match with Grantham 4 which saw a welcome return to League chess for Geoff Gibson. We won 3-1 , helped by wins from Malc Jackson and Pete Clarke.

1.10.19 Captain, Trevor had to work right up to the wire to assemble a team before travelling to the Adriatic. His labours bore fruit as A3  defeated Central 1 in the first League match played at the Embankment pub, the County's newest and possibly most salubrious chess venue. This is a fascinating, historic Grade 2 listed building, opened as Boots Store Number 2 in 1907. In 1919 the Boots Social Club was formed on the same site. It has had a modern refurbishment and seems a world away from the King Billy where I last played against Central. The two pubs both serve real ales, but the resemblance ends there.
 . We played very solidly. There were good draws for Bob, Nigel, Paul and Richard, and I nicked a win to give us a 3-2 victory..

2.10.19 Our first team played Newark 1. We were all square on Boards 3-5. David scored a dominant win over Alex Combie. Graham Ladds hit back against Neil. Alex Webster drew on 3. On the top boards Murray Smith and Zoltan Tardi  punished errors by Glenn and Steve to seal a decisive away win. 1.5 - 3.5 

7.10.19 Nomads 1 v Ashfield 2. This was a Tortoise and Hare encounter. We raced off. I had a quick win v Shane, and Bob won not long after, two pieces to the good against Maurice.  Neil was also launching a sacrificial attack against Dave Flynn. Headlines for a crushing victory were running through my head.
Slowly Nomads inched their way back into the contest. Neil sacrificed two pieces, but Dave was playing very calmly. Graham Neill was also quietly gaining control of the board against Nigel. David Levens was facing strong pressure on the top board. Nomads levelled the match. All hinged on the top board, all 3 results possible, little time left on the clock, and no increments. David sensibly in the situation offered a draw and the match was tied.
That Aesop guy, he knew a good story.

16.10.19 Ashfield 3 v Nomads 2. The visitors set the pace with Mike Swanwick and Dave Griffiths punishing errors by Trevor and Nigel. We calmly played our way back into the game. Bob's opponent blundered his Queen under some time pressure. John Shaw's heavy pieces broke through decisively, and Peter Brace converted his endgame advantage. 3-2 Home Win

17.10.19 Mansfield 1 v Ashfield 1 Two teams of old men, captains and Peter excepted, met at the Cowshed. Many of us played against each other well over 30 years ago in the pre-computer Dark Ages. Mansfield have been better at recruiting stronger players in recent years, and the match took its expected course. I succumbed first to Jim Burnett. The rest of the team showed a bit more resistance, with  their backs up to the  wall. David's pieces were in the proximity of Jon's King, but not penetrating. Jon's Bishops and Rooks sliced through David's defences. Neil's 2 Rooks on his back rank, split by his King, were dominated by Kev Simpson's 2 Rooks on the seventh. He also had a vulnerable Bishop, which was dropping which prompted Neil to resign. Janos' play is not as sharp as it was in his pomp, but in the end he found a path to convert his winning position against Bob. Steve resisted longest but had to give best to Peter Ackley. Without our usual top boards, John and Glenn, there was a chasm between the 2 sides. 5-0  

23.10.19 Ashfield 2 v Grantham 2. John Shaw scored a good early draw, but when David and myself lost to the visitors' very useful new top board pairing, our race seemed run. Bob and Nigel had different ideas. Nigel found a winning line in the endgame to convert his pawn advantage. Bob was the exchange down, and objectively losing to Chris Holt. He managed to prolong the game, and offered enough resistance to make the clock a factor. Chris was on the brink of winning, when his flag fell.
Coming from behind to grab a team draw from a losing position against the divisional leaders felt like a win.

30.10.19 Ashfield 1 v Gambit 2. Our visitors arrived as third in the League. After losing our first 3 games, we felt the underdogs, despite having a grading edge. John Molyneux and Drag were quickly into an equal-looking Rooks and Bishops ending, but John seized on his tactical chances. Neil was winning, but Onos found the resources to  draw. The other games were all tight. David took advantage of a slip by Steve Hunter to seal our win. Steve and myself clung on to our draws. 3.5 - 1.5  Home Win

30.10.19 Ashfield 3 v West Brigford 3. 5 decisive games as in the last A3 match. This time we came out on the wrong side. John S and Nigel won , but we couldn't add to these. Draws can be useful too.  2-3 Home Loss

4.11.19 West Bridgford 2 v Ashfield 3. We succeeded in getting a full team out, despite several unavailable players. Our very experienced captain is questioning the sustainability of the team. Hats off to WB2 , who were too good for us on the  night. Thanks to those who stood including Richard who got us on the score-sheet.
4.5-0.5 Home Win

8.11.19 EMCA 1 v Ashfield 4. Our fourth team returned to winning ways against junior opponents. A draw for Pete Clarke on Board 1 and wins for Daniel, Richard and Ric. Result 0.5-3.5 Away win

13.11.19 Ashfield 4 v West Bridgford 4. Our fourth team's second win in a week with an identical score[ a draw for Pete and wins for Daniel, Richard and Ric. Of our 4 club teams, the fourth team are in best shape. The likes of Richard and Ric have impressive player stats. Result 3.5-0.5  Home Win

13.11.19 Grantham 3 v Ashfield 2. A few days before the match I had 3 confirmed players and was contemplating defaults. Our loyal, senior clubmen, Ray and David responded to my call to arms. The teams were very evenly matched. 4 games were played to a draw on the night. Bob came closest to winning. He was pressing, until his  opponent claimed a draw by 3-fold repetition of position. Players could not agree on this, and submitted score sheets to captains. It wasn't the easiest repetition of position to spot, but on checking the next day, captains and our computers concluded the repetition had occurred. Result 2.5 - 2.5

20.11.19 Ashfield 1 v West Notts1. All games were tight. Neil agreed an early draw . Glenn played very well in defeat against Jonah. Steve was just edged out by Adi. Munshi. The team situation left David and myself needing to find wins. David pressed for a long time, without any real advantage. David's efforts to win obliged Phil to turn down a draw offer, and slide to defeat. The score-line does not reflect the closeness of the match.. Result 1-4  
 
20.11.19 Beeston v Ashfield 3. Player unavailability and unfortunate team planning reduced A3  to a team of 3  It's dispiriting to play as a team of three, especially if you're greeted by players of the calibre of Justin, Richard and John. Trevor, Peter B and Nigel are unlikely to forget their first visit to Beeston. Result 5-0

25.11.19 West Notts 2 v Ashfield 2 David and Nigel on Boards 1 and 5 scored draws. The spine of the team- Phil, Neil and Bob had nights when their calculations went awry. Phil early and late in his game didn't play checks which would have given a material gain, and missed two other tactical coups. Our opponents were more resolute and more accurate in their play. Result 4-1

3.12.19 Gambit 1 v Ashfield 1. We have to be at full strength to challenge the top teams. Most of us faltered at the business end from quite playable positions. Steve got us on the score-sheet. Result  4.5- 0.5

4.12.19 Ashfield 3 v Gambit 3. Our second spanking by Gambit this week, Wins by Keith Roper, John Huthwaite and Gary Hopkinson set up a clear victory.. John S and Nigel claimed our draws. Nigel's game gave us the usual late drama.   Result 1-4

11.12.19 Ashfield 2 v Long Eaton. Draws for Neil, John S and Nigel. Phil and Bob lost to Julian Cast and Andy Robbins. Result 1.5-3.5

11.12.19 Ashfield 4 v West Bridgford 5. The visitors defaulted a board, but won the 3 games played. Rik's game was as entertaining as any I've seen this season, with both teams attacking with Queens and 2 Rooks, and the prospect of more Queens arriving on the board. One of them seemed sure to be mated, but it was decided by a flag fall. As the visitors default was on Board 3, they incurred a penalty. Result 1.5- 2.5

8.1.20 Ashfield 2 v West Bridgford 1. Our task was eased. Robert R was absent and the visitors defaulted a board. The cub was packed to the rafters. There was a loud Birthday party in the concert room, with Bingo and a turn. The music included Madness and Billy Fury's 'Halfway to Paradise'. It felt like New Year's Eve. Not ideal playing conditions for chess. Bridgford very sportingly played on without complaint. Stefan for the visitors had a good win on top board and declared he enjoyed the music. Alex scored the win which gave A2 our first win of the season.

15.1.20 Ashfield 3 v Radcliff + Bingham1. All decisive results. Visitors won on top 2 boards. Dan and Trevor hit back with wins on Boards 3 and 4. Radcliff clinched the match on Board 5.  Result 2-3

15.1.20 Grantham 1 v Ashfield 1. Probably our best team display of the season. Champions and runaway league leaders scored their eighth straight win. We became the first side to restrict them to a 3-2 scoreline. A win for Neil, good draws for Steve and Phil  Result 3-2

20.1.20 Newark 2 v Ashfield 2. A tight relegation battle. Newark 's captain, Ian gave his side the lead. Solid draws for  Nigel and Bob. The match swung in our favour late on the top 2 boards. Neil was on course for a draw until Alex blundered a piece. Phil was under heavy attack, but defended calmly and turned his game around.Result 2-3

22.1.20 Grantham 4 v Ashfield 4. Although a player short, our Three Amigos, Malcolm, Dan and Richard all won to move the team to the top of Division 5.  Result 1-3

27.1.20 Nomads 2 v Ashfield 3. Our team's best win of the season so far. Wins for Bob, Andy T on club debut and Trevor. Draws for John S and Nigel.  Result  1-4

27.1.20 Newark 1 v Ashfield 1 A very good point for our first team. John M's loss cancelled out by David's win. Good draws from Steve, Glenn, and Neil, who had a length of the board King march. Result 2.5 -2.5 

5.2.20 Ashfield 4 v Radcliff + Bingham 3. Our fourth team extended their lead in Division 5 Wins for Malcolm, Richard and Ric.   Result 3.5- 0.5

5.2.20 Ashfield 2 v Nomads 1. Bob scored a quick win against Maurice. We could not extend our lead despite promising positions, but 4 hard-fought draws clinched the win. In the doldrums  with just 3 points from seven games, we've since turned this round with a run of three wins. Result 3-2 

12.2.20 Ashfield 1 v Mansfield 1 Our make-shift team received a ' whupping' from our strong visitors. The score was an improvement on our previous meeting. Result 0.5- 4.5

12.2.20 Ashfield 3 v Central 1. Our make-shift team received a whupping from their strong visitors. Nigel got us on the score-board.  Result 0.5 - 4.5

24.2.20 West Bridgford 3 v Ashfield 3. Five decisive games. Wins from Nigel, Andy T and Dan moved us out of the relegation zone. Result 2 - 3

25.2.20 Gambit 2 v Ashfield 1. A season-defining game for both teams. John and Steve held the top boards. Excellent wins by Glenn and Neil clinched the win needed to close the gap with our relegation rivals. Result 2-3

4.3.20 Ashfield 1 v University 1  Visitors defaulted  Result 5-0. A1 moved out of the relegation zone at the expense of Gambit 2. Tough on Gambit who recently lost to a very strong University team.

4.3.20 Ashfield 3 v West Bridgford 2.  The visitors looked in command for most of the evening, but slipped on two banana skins. Dan Hardman won a piece and his game with a knight fork. John S was battling to hold his game  to earn a draw for the team, when his opponent injudiciously moved his King forward, offering a mate in two, which John speedily accepted.  Result 3-2

9.3.20 West Bridgford 4 v Ashfield 4.. A draw from Malc. and wins for Pete and Dan secured our eighth win from ten games, and ensured that A4 have won Division 5 , with 2 games left to play. Congratulations to captain, Richard and his team. We have one successful team this season.. Result 1.5-2.5

11.3.20 Ashfield 2 v Gambit 3 The one bright spot was Geoff's win in his second appearance of the season. Congratulations to our visitors who played with more accuracy, focus and ambition. Result 2-3

16.3.20 Notts Chess League play suspended.