Category Archives: Games

Russell Granat (Wimbledon) v David Maycock (Kingston)

Kingston v Wimbledon, Alexander Cup final, Adelaide pub, Teddington, 16 June 2022

This was the board two clash in the Alexander Cup final between Wimbledon stalwart Russell Granat, a noted attacking player with an ECF rating of 2260, and 18-year-old Kingston star David Maycock, whose ECF is close to 2300 and which will no doubt soon enter the stratosphere. Maycock first rebuffs Granat’s Worrall Attack in the Ruy Lopez and then occupies the centre with a phalanx of pawns. It is a wonderfully controlled display by a young player of enormous promise who has helped to transform Kingston’s fortunes this season.

Vladimir Li (Kingston) v David Ian Calvert (Coulsdon)

Kingston v CCF (Coulsdon), Alexander Cup semi-final, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 30 May 2022

Kingston’s latest star player, Vladimir Li, won this crucial game playing on board five in the recent Alexander Cup semi-final against CCF (Coulsdon), but you might not think it reading his annotations to this game in which he thwarted David Ian Calvert’s Scandinavian. “Poor opening preparation, shallow reasoning, irrational time budgeting, wishful thinking, poor calculation discipline” … Li is extremely hard on himself. But he is a perfectionist who detests weak moves, and his annotations can teach us a huge amount about the potential depth of chess thinking.

Peter Lalić (Kingston) v Chris Howell (Coulsdon)

Kingston v CCF (Coulsdon), Alexander Cup semi-final, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 30 May 2022

This was the board three game in the semi-final of the Alexander Cup, Surrey’s premier knockout competition, which pitted a strong Kingston side against a Coulsdon team that was slightly weaker on paper but had a good blend of experience and youth and fought very hard on the night. Kingston won 7-3, but the scoreline masked some tense individual battles, including this one, which was level for most of the evening. This was the game which took Kingston past the magical five-point mark, and Peter Lalić shows both his endgame skill and customary steeliness in a time scramble. His exploitation of his opponents’ hanging pawns is particularly instructive. As ever, his annotations capture the excitement and uncertainty of the moment. Peter never pretends omniscience; he tells you what it is really like to be there at the chessboard with all its boundless possibility … and potential for pain.

Peter Lalić v Chris Howell

Graeme Buckley v Alan Scrimgour

Cavendish 2 v Wood Green, London League division 1 east, Millman Street Community Centre, London WC1, 7 April 2022

In a recent blog, Kingston stalwart Alan Scrimgour recounted his lifelong love affair with the Sicilian Defence. In this game, played for his London League team Cavendish, he demonstrated its potency by downing IM Graeme Buckley, who was playing for perennial London League champions Wood Green.

Thomas Villiers v David Maycock

Southend Easter Congress (Open), Round 5, 17 April 2022

David Maycock, whose arrival this season has been a big factor in the revival of the Kingston club, made the early running in the Southend Easter Congress, winning his first four (yes, four!) games, with a 2800+ Elo rating performance. This was his fifth game at the congress – as Black against the tactically ambitious, 2219 Fide-rated Tom Villiers – and was played on Easter Sunday as the four-day, seven-round tournament reached its critical final stages. Maycock played with great control against Villiers, who, looking to blast open Black’s kingside, lashed out with a piece sac. The Kingston star had to play more than a dozen moves on the 30-second increment, but kept his cool, traded pieces – each trade increasing his advantage – and, with a passed pawn motoring, forced White’s resignation. A terrific victory for Maycock, which took him to 5/5 and maintained his clear lead in the tournament. Not that any chickens – or indeed Easter eggs – were being counted yet.

David Maycock: One of Kingston’s brightest new talents

David White (Hounslow) v Vladimir Li (Kingston)

Kingston 1 v Hounslow 1, Thames Valley League division 2, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 11 April 2022

This match against Hounslow was Vladimir’s first outing representing Kingston. We had no doubts that he would justify our faith in him. During our introductory chess sessions, he had beaten Kingston’s finest, so now it was time for some real competition.

David White v Vladimir Li (foreground) conducting a post-mortem

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

South Norwood 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 2, West Thornton Community Centre, 17 March 2022

This was the decisive game in the crucial match between Kingston and South Norwood that effectively determined who would win the second division title in the Surrey League. As ever Peter Lalić, playing black against the very capable Tariq Oozerally, proved nerveless, first building a small advantage, then losing it with an error, but finally outplaying his opponent in a time scramble after boldly turning down a draw to claim the vital point. Peter’s detailed annotations capture the ebb and flow of that critical game, and the visceral excitement of its final passage of play.

The crucial position around move 41

Michael Healey (Kingston) v Marcus Osborne (South Norwood)

South Norwood 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 2, West Thornton Community Centre, 17 March 2022

This was the board one showdown for a crucial South Norwood – Kingston encounter, to see who goes up from a trio of ridiculously strong teams in Surrey’s division two (Epsom being the third). Mike is a former South Norwood player, and says it was good to see them fielding such a strong team.

Simon Lea (South Norwood) v Alan Scrimgour (Kingston)

South Norwood 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 2, West Thornton Community Centre, 17 March 2022

This game was played on board six in the match South Norwood v Kingston which determined who won the Beaumont Cup (second division) of the Surrey League and hence which team was guaranteed promotion. Each game was tough and none resulted in a draw. This game gave confidence to the Kingston team. We didn’t know why Alan was the exchange down – maybe he sacrificed the exchange for an attack is always the best interpretation. White seemed to escape the king hunt but was not out of the woods. Kudos to Alan for a well-played game. In Alan’s annotations, he includes some possible lines which end in nice mating patterns which he only discovered in later analysis, so he is not claiming that he saw all these at the board.

Peter Andrews (Kingston) v Michael Dams (Epsom)

Epsom 1 v Kingston 1, Surrey League division 2, Willoughby Arms, Kingston, 21 February 2022

The Kingston v Epsom clash produced some notable games. This is one where the advantage was unclear to the casual observer until matters resolved themselves with both players in considerable time pressure. Peter Andrews was not originally meant to play in this match and only stepped in as a substitute at the last minute when our team captain became indisposed. A supersub is born.