Tay wins on Kingston 3 debut, but Guildford prove too strong

Surrey League division 4 match played at the Guildford Institute on 14 November 2022

The trip down the A3 was an adventure for the new crop of Kingston players as they faced the fourth team of the Guildford club in division 4 of the Surrey League. Losing 4.5-1.5 was a formative experience in a match in which we were heavily outrated. To add insult to injury, we were subsequently penalised for a board order infringement. That ruling cost us a point, making the official score 4.5-0.5. We live and learn.

Our most impressive performer was Sean Tay, making his debut for Kingston. Sean defeated a player rated 1723 after a hard-fought game. The match also saw the debuts of juniors Shauyra Handu and Jaden Mistry on boards four and five respectively. They came up against players rated 1656 and 1607, and despite sturdy performances by the Kingston duo their opponents were just too strong. Kingston treasurer Adam Nakar seemed to have the advantage on top board at one stage, but ended up with a draw.

Kingston players (background from left): Greg Heath, Stephen Daines, Jaden Mistry, Shauyra Handu
Foreground: Sean Tay on right

The only player I was frustrated with tonight was myself. As White, I opened with a Colle System to try to gain positional superiority in the centre. I missed an opportunity to win a bishop and then lost the exchange. The worst part was that despite my material disadvantage I manoeuvred a passed pawn to the seventh rank and missed the opportunity to queen.

In spite of the loss, all the players learned something and enjoyed the experience. With a lot of new players at the club – and more arriving by the week – it is essential that we give as many as possible game time. We don’t want to be a club divided into league players and social players (unless the latter wish to restrict themselves to fun chess at the club of course). We are looking to build clear pathways into competitive rated chess, and are happy to take a few defeats along the way if we have to.

Stephen Daines