Category Archives: Games

World senior team championships 2024

Alan Scrimgour (Scotland) v Tony Hughes (Wales)

World Senior Team Championships, round 5, Scotland v Wales, played on 6 July 2024 in Krakow, Poland

It always feels ironic to travel to a distant land only to play against someone local. This is what happened when I represented Scotland during the recent World Senior Team Championships held in Krakow, Poland. Scotland were paired with Wales in Round 5, and I found my opponent was Tony Hughes, three-times winner of the All Saints Blitz. This game was played at a less frenetic pace, which is more to my liking.

Cal Hope Maginn v Jaden Mistry

Fourth-round game played in the Wimbledon Congress (under-1700 section) at Hillside Church, Wimbledon on 25 May 2024

Archive photo by John Saunders

This was a crucial win by 12-year-old Kingston junior Jaden Mistry (pictured above playing in an outdoor event in Kingston) in his fourth of five games at the Wimbledon Congress in late May 2024. It was Jaden’s first Fide-rated classical tournament, and thanks to his triumph in this no-holds-barred game he managed to win the competition. Four players finished on 4/5, but Jaden took the spoils on tie-break. A great achievement by young Jaden, who really came of age in this tournament.

Maks Gajowniczek (Richmond) v Supratit Banerjee (Kingston)

Kingston A v Richmond A, Thames Valley division 1 match played at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston, on 20 May 2024

This was 10-year-old prodigy Supratit Banerjee’s (pictured) second game for Kingston and his second win. He shows tremendous maturity and positional control against Richmond’s Maks Gajowniczek, who is a very capable player. This may also be Supratit’s first ever self-annotated game, in which case it will be a historical document as the young man rises towards titled status, as we all hope he will.

Gavin Wall (Richmond) v David Maycock (Kingston)

Kingston A v Richmond A, Thames Valley division 1 match played at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston, on 20 May 2024

This was an important win for Kingston’s board 1, David Maycock (pictured above), against IM Gavin Wall in the Kingston v Richmond match which decided the fate of the Thames Valley title for the 2023/24 season. Kingston’s 4-2 victory over Richmond meant that we won the league for the second season in a row, pipping Hammersmith. When he played this game, David was enjoying a superb run of form in which he won six games out of six, all against very strong opponents. This remarkable string of successes took him to a Fide rating of 2290 – tantalisingly close to the Fide master title.

David Maycock (Kingston) v Zain Patel (Epsom)

Epsom v Kingston, board 1 in the Lauder Trophy final, played at the Adelaide pub, Teddington on 30 April 2024

David Maycock (pictured above) played this minor masterpiece against the rapidly improving Zain Patel. The game was played in the final of the Lauder Trophy. David departed from his usual king pawn opening and headed towards a simplified position out of the London System. His young opponent was tempted to grab some free pawns on the queenside. With Black’s queen hideously misplaced, David launched a vicious attack which proved decisive.

Zain Patel was unfortunate to meet Kingston’s David Maycock in prime form:. Photograph: John Saunders

Stephen Moss (Kingston) v Oliver Weiss (South Norwood)

South Norwood 1 v Kingston 2, Surrey League division 2 match played at West Thornton Community Centre, Thornton Heath on 4 April 2024

My wins against players rated higher than me have been few and far between this season, so please indulge me by allowing this win against Oliver Weiss (ECF 1915) to be included in our annotated games list. My play on this evening when we had two teams playing at distant South Norwood was far from perfect – insipid opening, wrong-headed guess in a key middlegame position – and my opponent greatly helped me at the sudden denouement, but generally I thought I played OK and at least I had a few modestly creative ideas (albeit at times misguided ones). And I do need all the encouragement I can get after recent over-the-board setbacks.

The photograph above shows Kingston 4 player Leon Mellor-Sewell watching intently as he waits for his opponent to arrive. Kingston 4 beat South Norwood 3 by 4.5-1.5 in a Surrey division 5 match. Kingston 2, for whom I was on board 5, lost 5-2 to a highly motivated South Norwood 1 team. The threat of relegation from Surrey division 2 had encouraged them to get their strongest side out. We are also in the division 2 relegation mix and every game point counts, which was another reason I felt pleased by my much-needed win.

John Foley (Surrey) v Colin Mackenzie (Middlesex)

Played at Cheam Parochial Hall on 2 March 2024 on board 2 in the SCCU under-2050 county match between Surrey and Middlesex

Surrey are doing well in the higher echelons of county chess. Its Open team qualified top of the Southern Counties league stage and its under-2050 team also qualified for the national finals by beating Middlesex in this crucial decider. Surrey needed to beat Middlesex to be sure of going through alongside Essex. Graham Alcock, the team manager, brought out his strongest team of the season so far, fortified by six juniors who performed admirably.

Middlesex’s Steven Coles (right) v Surrey’s Sebastian Galer on board 1

For each of the last three years I have played Colin McKenzie in this match. Our last game was rather short. This game was to be rather longer.

Peter Andrews (Surrey) v Christopher Skulte (Middlesex)

Played at All Saints Church, Childs Hill, London NW2 on 24 February 2024 on board 14 in the SCCU Open category county match between Middlesex and Surrey

This was a game of high drama played in a crucial encounter between Middlesex and Surrey. Middlesex had home advantage and a substantial ratings plus, but the Surrey players performed superbly and ran out winners in the 16-board match by 9.5 to 6.5. That meant Surrey ended the regional stage of the county championships top of the table, unbeaten on 6/6, and progressed to the quarter-finals against qualifiers from other regions. This was a rollercoaster encounter between Peter Andrews (pictured), playing for Surrey, and his Middlesex counterpart Christopher Skulte. Peter said he felt dizzy by the end, while Chris admitted there were times in the game when he found it difficult to breathe. Remind me why we play chess when we could be relaxing on a Saturday afternoon.

Dan Rosen (Wimbledon) v Luca Buanne (Kingston)

Wimbledon 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 1 match played at St Winifride’s Church Hall, Wimbledon on 15 February 2024

Photo: Dan Rosen (left) v Luca Buanne after black’s move 53

This was the board 2 game in the crucial Surrey League division 1 match between Wimbledon 1 and Kingston 1 on 15 February 2024. Against the odds after suffering two late withdrawals, Kingston won the match 4.5-3.5, and this draw with Black by Kingston newcomer Luca Buanne against the vastly experienced Dan Rosen was vital in securing victory in the match.

Gordon Rennie (Wimbledon) v John Foley (Kingston)

Wimbledon 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 1 match played at St Winifride’s Church Hall, Wimbledon on 15 February 2024

This was an important and convincing win by John Foley on board 4 of the crucial match between Wimbledon 1 and Kingston 1 in division 1 of the Surrey League. Kingston’s narrow victory in the match ended any fears of being drawn into a relegation dogfight and even gave us faint hopes of getting back into title contention in the unlikely event of leaders Epsom slipping up.