Category Archives: Games

David Clear (Kent) v Peter Andrews (Surrey)

Kent Under-2050 v Surrey Under-2050, 15 October 2022

Encouraged by John Foley to turn out for Surrey’s under-2050 team, this was Kingston stalwart Peter Andrews’ first county match for about 40 years. He was playing on board one against Kent’s David Clear, and the game hinged on Peter’s disaster with an extremely hot cup of coffee. Always beware the Coffee Gambit!

Peter Lalić (Kingston) v Gavin Wall (Richmond)

Thames Valley Knockout Cup quarter-final, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 6 December 2022

Peter Lalić (centre, right) takes on IM Gavin Wall in a key game in the Kingston v Richmond TVL Knockout match

This game, between Kingston star Peter Lalić and IM Gavin Wall, was board two in the Thames Valley Knockout quarter-final between Kingston and Richmond, which Kingston won 5.5-0.5. Peter’s victory was a crucial one in laying the foundation for the team’s success. John Saunders, associate editor of Chess Magazine and founder of the BritBase games archive, kindly agreed to annotate the game. He said this about it: “Quite an educational game. Gavin’s moves tallied closely with engine suggestions, because he’s a good player, but there was an element of risk there which was exemplified when he overlooked Peter’s clever and unusual tactic.”

Peter Andrews (Kingston) v Andrii Boiechko (Richmond)

Thames Valley Knockout Cup quarter-final, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 6 December 2022

This game was board six in the Thames Valley Knockout quarter-final between Kingston and Richmond, which a powerful Kingston team won by the perhaps slightly flattering scoreline of 5.5-0.5. The veteran Peter Andrews and the up-and-coming junior Andrii Boiechko played a very sharp game in which Andrews eventually blunted Boiechko’s admirable attacking instincts. The latter has quickly learned the lesson that capture the king and nothing else matters, though Andrews – cleverly combining defence with an assault of his own – had too much nous on this occasion.

Michael Basman v Peter Lalić

Bird Rapidplay, Kingston, 14 February 2022

This game was played when Mike Basman visited Kingston Chess Club to give a talk on the Victorian chess player Henry Bird. He pointed out that Bird (who gave his name to the Bird’s Opening 1.f4) played a variety of unconventional openings but rarely the eponymous opening. In order to recreate the same spirit of unconventionality, Mike devised a format that evening whereby the first move for Black and for White was randomised. It was on this basis that the opening moves for his game against Peter Lalić were determined. Ironically, given that both Mike and Peter play unconventional openings, it is perfectly possible that they would have played the same opening as occurred in the game even if they had not been constrained to do so.

The Old Indian Attack is characterised by 1. d3 and 2.Nf3, so White is holding back from occupying the centre with pawns. The opening was first essayed in competitions during the 1850s and was popularised by Aron Nimzovich at the turn of the 20th Century. Nimzovich’s seminal Chess Praxis was Mike’s favourite book. (Mike preferred the simplified spelling of the Riga master’s name.)

We would have forgotten these games but a couple of months later Mike unexpectedly produced a booklet on Henry Bird which included a brief overview of the master as well as the games from the Kingston Bird Tournament. I reproduce his annotations below. We are grateful for having received this publication which draws parallels between the lives of Bird and Basman. Mike Basman died on 26 October 2022.

John Foley

Peter Lalić and Mike Basman playing Chinese chess in Epsom

Peter Lalić (Ashtead) v John Foley (Kingston)

Ashtead 1 v Kingston 2, Surrey League division 2, Peace Memorial Hall, Ashtead, 25 October 2022

This game was played on top board in the match between Ashtead and Kingston’s second team. In the Surrey League, players may play for more than one club provided that they are playing in a different division. So Peter Lalić, who loves to play as often as possible, plays for Kingston in the first division and for Ashtead in the second division. Hence inevitably Kingston team-mates can face each other as here. It was a friendly encounter, even though Peter was gently ribbed by Kingston loyalists. After the game, we spent half an hour analysing game variations which Peter incorporated into his extensive annotation.

Jack Buckley (Ashtead) v Ljubica Lazarevic (Kingston)

Ashtead 1 v Kingston 2, Surrey League division 2, Peace Memorial Hall, Ashtead, 25 October 2022

Ljubica Lazarevic

I had been rather apprehensive about our away match to Ashtead. I’ve discovered of late that evening league matches are somewhat disagreeable with me – a match seems to guarantee no sleep that evening, leaving a less than bouncy and cheerful Lju come the morning. I’m also rather, dare I even say it, rusty, chess-wise. Whilst a very reasonable commute from Kingston, I also had the additional (irrational) fear that the car wouldn’t start having not touched it for a month. Graciously, I had made my peace with what fate the universe held for me, and off I went.

Jumping into my trusty Jazz as it purred away down an unusually quiet route down to Peace Memorial Hall, everything was looking better than I feared, that is, until I discovered I was up against a junior. I reminded myself that I had made my peace with the situation, and sat down and got ready to play at the specially issued “junior”-sized chess board on the #7 slot.

Onlookers may have been somewhat surprised to have seen that not only had board 1 migrated next door to my young opponent and me, but also leading out the determined Ashtead team was a certain Kingston stalwart in the shape of Peter Lalić. Surrey Chess Association rules specify that you must nominate your strongest players for your first team, which was the case with Peter, and it was nice to see him supporting a very ambitious Ashtead eyeing up promotion. And ambitious they were. The victors of the evening, scooping up an impressive 4.5 points across the seven boards. Kudos to them, and they will certainly be a team to watch this season, along with frenemies Epsom.

As the lone Kingston victor from the match, I was kindly volunteered to submit my game. I must admit, despite the win, I enjoyed this game. It had been a long while since I’ve played and had a pretty good understanding of what was going on, and being able to come up with (sometimes wanting) plans. My junior opponent also had opportunities too – a youngster who has only recently obtained a rating and will undoubtedly only get stronger. I can claim the bragging rights from the first scalp.

On to the game! For those of you who value the finer points of chess, you may want to avert your gaze now…

Jasper Tambini (Surbiton) v John Foley (Kingston)

Played at Surbiton 25 April 2018

John Foley

The recently published games on this site of Peter Lalić against Jasper Tambini evoked a memory of a game I played a few seasons ago against Jasper. It may appear that Jasper has a hard time against Kingston players; I do not know his full record. What is clear is that his games are memorable win or lose.

This game was noteworthy for Black’s two sacrifices: a Greek gift on the 12th move, a momentary opportunity which if not taken immediately will evaporate on the next move, and an exchange sacrifice on the 18th move which maximises the mobility of Black’s pieces whilst gaining a preponderance of pawns.

Jasper Tambini (Wimbledon) v Peter Lalić (Kingston)

Kingston 1 v Wimbledon 1, Surrey League division 1, Willoughby Arms, 17 October 2022

The match-up between Jasper Tambini and Peter Lalić, two highly creative young players, promised to produce fireworks and it did not disappoint. The game was short, sharp and violent, with Lalić enjoying a successful first outing in the Nimzowitsch Defence. His victory on board two was crucial in securing a narrow 4.5-3.5 win against a tenacious Wimbledon team. It was Kingston’s first match back in the first division of the Surrey League after winning promotion last season.

Peter Lalić in action at Yo Sarnie, which was hosting Epsom Chess Club. Photograph: Dariusz Dworakowski

Their previous encounter in a league match at Kingston.

Peter Lalić (Kingston) v Tariq Oozerally (South Norwood)

Kingston v South Norwood, Alexander Cup, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 3 October 2022

This game was played in Kingston’s first competitive match of the new season, in the first round of the Alexander Cup, which Kingston are defending. The game was a board two clash between two players who have had some hard-fought battles in the past. But on this occasion Black’s over-ambitious foray into enemy territory with his queen left it stranded, and the ever creative Lalić was able to trap it. This surprisingly straightforward win, analysed here with characteristic energy and wit, underpinned a powerful performance by Kingston, who ran out 8-2 winners against an outrated but spirited South Norwood team.

Peter Lalić, in action here at the Kingston Invitational, enjoyed a tremendous win in the first round of the Alexander Cup. Photograph: Brendan O’Gorman

Andrii Boiechko (Richmond) v David Rowson (Kingston)

Kingston v Richmond, friendly ‘Megamatch’, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 5 September 2022

This game was played in a pre-season 16-board curtain-raiser between traditional local rivals Kingston and Richmond. Rowson was much the more experienced of the two players and in the end prevailed with an overwhelming attack, but he was struck by the quality of the play of an opponent who was just getting used to the rigours of over-the-board chess at long time controls. “Although his early move choices gave me the opportunity to launch my attack, I think he showed remarkable potential,” said Rowson with characteristic generosity.