Monday, November 10, 2008

Club News, Latest!

Ahead of everything, today let's prioritize the good news and the bad news from The Stoneleigh Trophy. Why? Well, the good news is simple: on Tuesday last week we played our first match in this league, winning 6-2 against a new team called Castles. But it's the bad news that I want to highlight in particular. It is that aside from Castles and ourselves, only one other club has entered a team in the Trophy this year. Yes, there's nothing wrong with three teams competing in two home and two away matches each across the season - but this few teams leaves the League itself with a vulnerable future. What if one withdraws?

So why is the Stoneleigh shrinking? Will it shrink further and disappear altogether? Or will other clubs in the Surrey area enter teams next season? I have no idea . . . All suggestions about what might be done to help this League are more than welcome in the comments. Incidentally, a note on the structure of the Stoneleigh. Each Stoneleigh team consists of four players (good for a car-load) and currently grade-limited to a total of 700 grading points (good for evenly matching opponents?) Then at each match itself, each player faces his opponent twice (the time-limit is half-an-hour each) - once with the black pieces, once with the white. To me the format is fair, happily means all games finish on the night itself, and is a lot of fun; plus, there's always the chance for revenge if you suffer a particularly crushing first-game defeat . . . But what do I know?!

Elsewhere it's good and bad news of a more usual sort: wins and losses. In Division 3 of the London League, our second team lost on Friday 7th November at Morley College by 5½ to 2½, with two games adjourned. Still, it's better news from the team's earlier match versus Metropolitan 3: both adjournments have concluded and both went our way, so we won that one 7-3.

(Incidentally, both adjournments were eventful in their own way: one Metropolitan player failed to turn up to his, not only costing himself the game and his team the match, but earning themselves a default point as well. Meanwhile, the envelope Angus had that contained his opponent's move was in danger of not making it to the resumption, after Angus's block of flats was evacuated with the envelope cruelly left inside. Did his opponent have friends in the police force?! No, it was a drugs bust that culminated TV-style in a man jumping out of a window attempting to escape. Most crucially, the envelope was recovered in time for the match . . .)

It's a similar story from the Surrey Trophy - results-wise rather than crime-wise, that is. We were duffed over on October 28th away against a strong Ashtead team 5½ to 2½. Frankly when you have a patzer called Chivers on top board versus and IM graded thirty points higher than he, the match is unlikely to have a good outcome . . . Still, we did much better a few days later against a Kingston side, with said Chivers being bumped down to board three: We won that one 6-1 with one game still adjourned.

And finally, several Streatham & Brixton Chess Club players were in action this weekend in County Matches. Thanks go to Andrew Stone who has sent in his exciting draw with the white pieces from the Middlesex versus Kent match, played against one of the strongest amateur players around, Rawle Allicock. Here it is for your entertainment, and don't be put off by the opening!


ejh said...

Most crucially, the envelope was recovered in time for the match...

Shame in a way, it would have been the "dog ate my homework" excuse to beat them all...

Anonymous said...

Stoneleigh trophy:
It seems most people would prefer
to play a slow play match rather than 2 Rapidplay games.
They could try 3 Rapidplay games
instead e.g. Board 1 play opponents Board 1 twice and then swap with Board 2 and the same with Board 3 playing Board 3 twice and then swap with Board 4 .

Its an idea, the point being 3
Rapidplay games may encourage more people to play.


Jonathan B said...

If memory serves I've only ever played one Stoneleigh game. I'd like to play more but I'm never picked.

I'm not high enough graded to be useful on top nor low enough graded to make a decent bottom board.

I'm not sure why 3 rapid games would be more attractive than 2 but perhaps they would be.

My own suggestion would be to remove the grading limit.

Anonymous said...

More on the drugs bust at my block here