Club News Season 2019-2020 (older seasons included previously)

The lightning results will in future be placed on the website after each round, here are monday 7th of October results:- 

Trevor has decided to give me the info i copy and paste without altering more often concerning the club championship more often-please note i do not alter info if any looks different to in-club versions on paper it is not my fault but other peoples as what i get has wierd computer programs all embedded which may effect the text shown to certain people. click on the link below for latest club positions.

Some more great news for the clubs membership and the competitions- Martin Gawne has said he will come back to play in the club competitions.  The current club championship positions can be seen here.

Jon Duffield has returned to our club and is entering all the tournaments is some great news. We now with our other, completely new member,(Robert Jones), who hasnt been beaten yet in 3 rated games that takes our club championship entry to 14 and thus 13 games a season for the championhsip alone.

The Cumbria Individual Championship is in Barrow on the 21st to 23rd of February it will be confirmed as either at The British Legion, Holker Street. or at St Marys Center on Walney. Details to follow.

Robet Jones pulled off a brilliant win knocking me out of the KO club cup in the first round with a high standard of play in his first ever proper English Chess Federation rated game.  So much for 30 years of experience on my part. He will be a valuable addition to the club teams.

The contact details are up on the password protected area of the site- see the info page in a yellow box it says members area, its password protected for the password ask me.

The above position is from a puzzle i saw online- its a tricky-from the start position with only legal moves how did, after the 7th move is made by both sides, you get to this position, only one answer fits exactly- a computer is no help and it certainly had me pulling chunks of hair out. click here for the answer...

The colours of your games in the swiss tournament is worked out see here as is the itenerary here. New rules for the time ladder are here.

 Club News Season 2018-2019

So draws an end to the the season this year with the AGM held, only Brian Parkinson and Scott Bower werent present.  Robert Jones a new member was present as was a suitably tanned (I didnt ask which country he had been to, i was too busy) Chris Underhill.  We look forward to new members visiting our club if they wish to join, next season now is the time to turn up.

The Annual Pairs Tournament was played on the 26th August 2019 and the winner were predictably involving Matthew Mackenzie as usual, Trevor himself did well as well as the other person in the pairing and they proved way too strong for Tony Kirby and Derek Miller as well as the final pairing of George Horne and Frank Whalley.  Those were the only players who turned up it was very poorly supported.  The roll of honour  for the season , with all competitions completed, has been updated see here.

Breaking news: Frank Whalley became Summer League Blitz Tourney Champion (Someone pointed out it was Franks first win in that competition since 1984) with 43.5 points, the deciding match was when Tony Kirby beat Dave Cole, Franks only serious threat was Dave, and when Tony lost to Frank it meant Frank increase his score beyond what Dave could possibly get(Frank had to get better than 4.5 on the night to improve), Dave also dropped another half point which meant he finnished on 42.5, George improved on his top 8 scores but only by half a point and finished in third on 40.5.  If you're none the wiser after reading this its understandable-you need a logic IQ of 190 just to keep up with the ramifications.  Trevor is the Summer League Minor Champion with a score of 38.5.

Tonight (21/8/2019) there is a battle royal going on at the club with the Summer League Blitz Tournament decided. Frank Whalley currently leads with 43 but he has gone more than the top 8 nights that count, and Dave Cole-the usual winner of this tournament, has only got 37 but has only been 6 times and he usually gets atleast 6.5 score every night. Its really 50 - 50 stuff, while George currently on 40 pts stands a mathematical chance of winning it, he has to get 7 pts and hope other results go his way. A full report on the result will be given in this news page overnight.

Trevor Blower has won the Time Ladder Championship-it was tight after an initial misscount it turned into a 11 defences vs 11 defences tie on the last night but in the deciding games against Tony Kirby, despite some great chess by Tony, Trevor held out to win two more defences. 

The traditional end of season is upon us with first (on the 26th august 2019) the pairs-a competition where total points are tallyed between two team mates playing in two different tiers. then the agm on the 28th august 2019.

The above position is from a puzzle i saw online- its white to play and win-of course the solution seems simple and starts with the obvious 1 Rxg7+ and after 1...Kxg7?? there is 2 Bd4+ f6 3 Qxh2 but what if 1...Kh8!! click here for the answer...

The pairs is monday 26th August and the agm is wednesday 28th August the season starts again on the following monday 2nd September.

Below is a recently friendly where derek despite my fierce attack just gets the better of me.  It is a high level of play considering its a ten minute game(ie both players have 10 minutes on their clock at the start).

that we now have an under 140 county team, rather than an under 160. any players up to 139 ECF to

contact me if they're interested in playing for the team. Similarly,

anyone not interested might want to contact me so that I don't pester

them nearer the match dates contact Andy McAtear with email address =

The above position is from the first round of the British Championships Major-Open a game started 27th July 2019. Where Greg Clarke an IM was white.  The point is that Qh6 is threatened when a double mate threat on g7 and h7 cannot be avoided. After 5 minutes of simply looking at the position using my own steam i found the reply 1...Rxe5!! seemed to atleast fight on maybe a piece down but still fight on. the line goes 2 Qh6?? Qxf6 or better is 2 Qxe5(threatening 3 Nh5 disc. check Kg8 4 Qg7#) 2...Qe6 and left the analysis at that now i thought Black has atleast got on parole but then after studing the position in my mind again i found that 3 Qb8!! is curtains because after 3...Qxf6 4 Bh6# and if 3...h5 4Bh6 is still #.

The above position(black to play and win)  is a very easy puzzle i saw online- it may seem hard but is very easy. Click here for answer.

A game between Dave Martin and myself(alan Llewellyn) which was exciting is shown in the video below.  Dave puts up a better than average show but comes unstuck. Note towards the end of the game it looks to the untrained eye like you can take the Rook that checks the desperate king but everytime i am cleverly both discovering a check on the King and making sure the king cant take the rook as it is defended. All Daves pieces are left helpless by the constant checks.

The national ratings from the English Chess Federation are coming out in 2 weeks i think from friday the 12th so should be out on the 26th July 2019. click here for a link to the Barrow Club ratings(automatically updated when the ecf update their site).

As previously stated Dave Cole was the 2018-2019 Barrow Chess Club KO champion and here are the full results:-

Matthew Mackenzie 1            
Dave Martin 0 Matthew Mackenzie 1        
George Horne 1/2. 1/2. 1     Matthew Mackenzie 1    
Jim Woodburn 1/2. 1/2. 0 George Horne 0     Matthew Mackenzie 1/2.  1/2.  0
Trevor Blower 1            
Default 0 Trevor Blower 0 Tony Kirby 0    
Derreck Miller 1/2. 1/2. 0 Tony Kirby 1        
Tony Kirby 1/2. 1/2. 1            
Dave Cole 1            
Brian Parkinson 0 Dave Cole 1        
Frank Whalley 1     Dave Cole 1    
BYE 0 Frank Whalley 0     Dave Cole 1/2.  1/2.  1
Alan Llewellyn 1/2.  1            
Chris Underhill 1/2.  0 Alan Llewellyn 0 Scott Bower 0    
Default 0 Scott Bower 1        
Scott Bower 1            

An interesting position where Derek Miller has a won endgame against me(Alan Llewellyn) in a 15 minute each friendly one off game, i would recomend looking at the game its very instructive 

The club Teams Averages are below:-  Matthew wins it as in most years with a great performance of 83%.. Note how few players played despite having 4 teams going in different events.

Barrow-in-Furness Chess Club League Individual results (Averages for 2018-2019 season)
Matthew Mackenzie 15 12 1/2 83%
Trevor Blower 11 6 1/2 59%
Dave Cole 10 5 50%
George Horne 21 10 48%
Frank Whalley 10 4 1/2 45%
Alan Llewellyn 18 8 44%
Chris Underhill 7 2 1/2 36%
Tony Kirby 12 3 25%
Scott Bower 4 3 1/2 88%

The above position is from a tricky puzzle i saw online- it may seem simple but is very difficult as I couldnt work out why it works White to move. Click here for answer.

In the KO final David Cole met Matthew Mackenzie and after 2 closely fought draws where David had the initiative but kept missing the wins, David final broke through by trapping Matthews queen and so David Cole is the KO Champion of 2019. The first game which was in a book position (ie known to theory) for something like 30 moves -is given in the link below:-(note the errors in the name of Davids opponent have been corrected).

 The South Lakes Congress, a regional chess tournament which attracts many on the northern chess circuit.  Was held in Kendal, run wellvby Trevor and Janet Blower and Dave Cole.  The event has previously recieved national awards by the English Chess Federation in recognition of its brilliance. In the Open an ex-Ulverston player (finishing 3rd) Barry Hymer, was ahead of a visiting Grandmaster Nigel Davies who actually finished only 4th to a chinese junior in 2nd and a regional international master, winning the tournament.

Martin Gawne, an ex-Barrow player did well (3/5) in the Major section (a tournament for strong club players limited to entry by a high rated player). While an ex-Cumbrian player previously from carlisle won the intermediate(thaats syd cassidy).

full results from South Lakes Congress can be see here.

The final of the Knock-Out was nearly won by David Cole but Matthew Mackenzi,  by his own accounts 'swindled a draw'. The two of them will be playing on until a win, the next game being reduced to 1 hour each, time control.

Another funny photo from facebook is below:-

The South Lakes Congress is going on next weekend ie i am writing this on saturday 1st June when the South Lakes Congress is the Friday 7th June 2019 to the 9th. Please support your local tourney if you can.

Matthew Mackenzie and Jim Woodburn both finished on 11.5/13 in the club Championship as joint champions, Alan Llewellyn (thats me the webmaster btw),  I have taken the Minor Club Champion with 7/13.

Final club championship positions here, and click here for summer events list.

While Matthew Mackenzie and Dave Cole still have to settle the knock-out champion which has reached the final between both. Full results to follow.

Latest news-Dave Cole lost to Jim Woodburn in the club Championship, so that Dave the reigning champion is out of it for this year and it also means Jim has to win in the final game against Matthew Mackenzie to share the title with Matthew and if he loses or draws it wot be good enough.

Trevor our esteemed ex secreatery was rushed to hospital in recent days, our thoughts are with him at the club.  It didnt stop him going to Rhyl Congress and getting 3/5 in the Minor though- all the best Trevor.

There have been a few results in the Cumbria Leagues, in the Open League Barrow lost 0.5 - 5.5 to Keswick A, also a depletted Barrow B lost 0 - 6 in the Southern League to Ullverston A and Barrow A lost 0.5 - 5.5 to Kendal enough for them to win the Southern League congratulations to them.

In the club championship it is between Matthew Mackenzie (11.5/12pts) Dave cole(10.5/12pts) and Jim Woodburn on (9.5/11pts).  Jim has to play Matthew and Dave to decide the issue, Matthew became favourite after defeating Dave on the 8th May.

The above position is from a tricky puzzle i saw online- it may seem simple but is very difficult as its a mate in 1 White to move. Click here for answer.

The above position is from a game online between myself (Alan Llewellyn) as black against a human opponent online, it is Black to play and it may seem hopeless at first site with the rook entombed and the king not able to move nor any of blacks pawns, the rook has to sacrifice itself, but i was aiming for this to happen anyway because if white takes the rook the position is stalemate and a fluke draw. 37...Rxd4 draws as the king cannot escape the checks ie 38 Ke2 Re4! 39 Kf1?! Re1+ and after 40 Kxf1 forced its stalemate.  The position to get to is d7 with the king and i played 37...Rxc3+?? which is a blunder because it allows the king to march upto the d7 square which blocks off the rook on h7 entombing the black king thus the rook can be safely taken and the black king has an escape square which it does not want. the game was thus a catellogue of errors as it continued as both sides didnt understand the king getting to d7 importance it went 38 Kd2??(Ke4 wins) Rd3+ 39 Ke2 Rd2+??(Re3+draws) 40 Kf3 Rxf2+ 41 Kxf2?? finally aquiescing to the draw when the position was won for white.

The Whitaker Cup champions are Barrow!!! with  the team below in the final, the final team which won it was Matthew Mackenzie, Tony Kirby, George Horne and Trevor Blower while Dave Cole, Chris Underhill and myself(Alan Llewellyn) played in earlier rounds.  This particular tournament runs on a handicap system where the stronger side knocks points of there board score depending on chess ratings.

17 Apr Barrow 2 Ulverston Diff ( Max 50)
184 Matthew Mackenzie 1 0 Martin Gawne 150 34
131 Tony Kirby ½ ½ Neil Foxcroft 121 10
130 George Horne 1 0 Ian Dacre 118 12
115 Trevor Blower 1 0 Peter Hanks 63 50
Result     3½      ½ Diff 106
Handicap 2   
Adjusted result     1½      ½ this is an interesting radio program by the bbc on the history of chess.

I kept forgetting to publicise the Cumbria Individuals I apologise for that but it was held on the weekend of the 5th of April upto the 7th, 5 games were played and George Horne (of Barrow Chess Club) won the Keswick Knight Trophy for the Minor event with a score of 4/5, yes he actually won it by winning games, that must have been a downer for him (George is known for drawing games) A table is below showing the results (only from the minor sorry-there was no Barrow interest in the Major). One of Georges games will follow (Watch this space).

George Horne recieving the Keswick Knights Trophy from Peter Hanks(the organiser), Peter did brilliantly himself winning the u100 section with a  score of 2.5/5

For the fifth year running Barrow A, made up of Matthew Mackenzie, Dave Cole, Scott Bower, George Horne and Frank Whalley, has won the Cumbria South League although to me there appears a faint mathematical chance if Kendal unlikely as it seems beat Barrow A by 6 - 0 the points will be tied on 34.  Maybe the board count will favour Barrow should there be a tie.  It seems clear anyway Barrow A wont be beat 6 - 0 .

The above position is from the club championship game George Horne vs Jim Woodburn and Jim has quite brilliantly already sacrificed the a-file pawn for a dangerous attack Jim as black was thinking of playing 40...Bd4 which my computer says is winning easily after 41.Bxd4+(41,Nxd4?? Qf1# is mate) 41...cxd4 42.Qa7 (this avoids Qe3+ being such a threat by Black as it pins the pawn to the Queen) Ne4+ 43.Kg1(43.Kd1?? Qb1+ 44.Nc1 Qxc1+ 45.Ke2 Qe3+ and its mate next move with Qd2# or Qf2#) Qd1+ 44.Kg2 Qxe2+ 45,Kh1 Qf1+ 46,Kh2 Qf2+ 47.Kh1 Nxg3# Jim in his analysis concentrated on playing 42.Nf3+?? not 42.Ne4+ and he had only 6 minutes left on his clock so he asked for a draw and George quite uncharachteristically accepted the draw.(that last point was sarchasm as George often accepts draws).

The above position is from the much respected informant publishers encyclopedia of chess combinations edition 4 and is a position from a Nigel Short game vs D Neelotpal from Dhaka 1999(problem 118 in that edition). Note i thought the answer (to the combination) in the book is wrong!!! but i had transcribed the position wrongly myself and missed off a vital pawn on e5 and got a pawn wrong on a2 which was on a3.  The solution is 1...Rxc2!! if 2.Kxf2 Ned4+ leads to a quick mate but if 2.Qxf5 Rg2 3.Qxf7+ Kd8 4.Qf6+  Kc7 the book gives 5.Qe7+ Kb8 6.Qd6+ Ka8 and white runs out of checks. 5 Bf4+ is no longer a valid check and solves none of whites problems. Sorry i got mixed up a little..

Dave Cole beat Scott Bower in the other Semi-Final of the Barrow Club Knock-Out, that means the final quite fittingly is between the top two in the club, Dave vs Matthew Mackenzie.

a position from a friendly game between Scott Bower and Alan Llewellyn, which was rapid play 25 mins each side, i find a novel way to equalise and end up getting a draw. Here i play 1...b5!! and after 2.axb5 axb5 3 Qxb5 Qxb5 4.cxb5 i play the cunning 4...f5!! undermining the defence of the d5 pawn i am threatening e6 when the pawn cannot take dxe6?? or I win a rook with Rxd2 so i immediately win the pawn back i have sacrificed. After the dubious move 5.Rc2?!(the wrong rook Rc1 is better)5...Rxd5 6 Rxd5 Rxd5 7 b6!!, Black has the immediate 7...Rd1+ 8.Kf2 Rb1 (that wouldn't have been possible after 5.Rc1!) when white has nothing but 9.Rxc5 Rxb6= and although i even should have lost from there due to him being a better player it is dead drawn with accurate play. 

The club championship positions are out (for april 2019) see here its between four players for the club champion Matthew Mackenzie on 9/9, Dave Cole  7/7, Scott Bower 7/8 and Jim Woodburn 6/7 with the rest playing for places.  Those are the top 4 players in the club so those you'd expect to still be in the running come the end of the season.  The Whitaker Cup has been arranged and our team has been decided its Derick Miller, David Martin, Lennox Lewis(the boxer he has a rating of 1400elo), and Steve Davis(the snooker player who also plays chess) incase Ulverston are looking for clues. Yes we play Ulverston on the 17th April 2019.

 The semi final game between Tony Kirby and Matthew Mackenzie was  going the way of Tony most of the game but Matthew came up with a blinder of a tactic fully played for and it won straight away. The game can be seen  here

A new member came today Tom Ashton, he was at beginner level as he readily admited and needs to get some prctice in but he plays a reasonable game for a beginner, like i kept repeating to him-I hope I didnt put him off in our games.

Barrow A 5.5 - 0.5 Barrow B was the glorious result for the A Team with Trevors B team only mustering half a point. This result in the Cumbria South League all but attains the South League for Barrow A.

In this position above from a game Chris Underhill vs Matthew Mackenzie in the club championship 2018-2019, Matthew spotted the mate after the blunder 1...f6?? as after 2 Nxh7 # Black is mated, but he spotted the wrong mate looking at 2 Bxc6?? Rxd2?? 3 Re8# and didnt spot the more obvious mate.  The game went 1...g6! (the computer recomends the even better 1...Bf5!!) 2 Ree2?! (not spotting the weakness in Whites position which Matthew does spot such is his brilliance) 2...f6!!(this is important to take away the deffence of f3 but at the moment everythings holding together with sticky tape for Chris) 3 Ne6??(over optimistic) 3...Bxe6 4 Bxe6??(and its over after...)4...Nd4!! now if the rook moves from e2, Nf3+ with Rxd2 to follow Matthew went on to win.

A picture of the England team which won silver(left to right) -Jon Speelman(reserve/analyst, Ian Mcshane, Mikey Adams, Gawain Jones, David Howell and Malcolm Pein(strategist/organiser)

The England team won silver at the Chess Team World Championships having qualified because of theyre 5th place in the last Olimpiad  and created by a wonderfull performance all-round to get 2nd behind Russia and ahead of China, India and United States.

In the Barrow Club KO, the draw has been made and Dave Cole will meet Scott Bower and Tony Kirby will meet Matthew Mackenzie.

A local Chess Tournament- The Blackpool Conference was held on the weekend of the 8th to 10th of March 2019 and a few Barrow and Ulverston players attended along with a number of other Cumbrian clubs players.

From Barrow there was Trevor Blower, and George Horne in the Minor (under 135 grade), note Minor is a term in chess associated with chess strength not a junior event. They are both close to 70 years old. And Alan Llewellyn(myself) entered the Intermediate (under 155 grade) even though I could have entered the Minor.

Despite a great start by myself winning in round 1 against a 145 grade (click here) and getting a draw against a 154 in the second round I got totally annihiliated in my 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds.

Trevor got 2 wins and finished on 2/5. Trevor nearly gave up on one win thinking his opponent had stalemate and thus a draw but he was being conned, probably not deliberately. see here.

George again did the best with a 3/5 result, he drew 4 games but won this one to see it click here.

A photo of Trevor at Blackpool 2019

Very latest news and we have lost any chance of winning the Open League this year Barrow 1 - 5 Carlisle A and we were up against it when we found out what we feared that  theyre board 2 was a 190 grade player and theyre board 1 claimed to be a 230 grade.  Our top boards struggled against that might though Matthew Mackenzie managed a draw on top board in a French defence. Dave Cole fought valiantly on board 2 but got his King trapped and that was enough. On boards 3 and 4 the less impressive players were playing but Steve Barnes is still a very strong player and he must have been favourite even against George Horne but George drew his fire.  That left little old me 126 grade and since christmas not even playing that level against Paul Rivers we were the first to finish as Paul never plays his best I feel against me as I don't against him but he has the edge in our meetings.

The above position is from board 2 Stavros Karampatos vs Barrows Dave Cole the game went
{[#]} 1. Rc8+ Kh7 2. Rf8 g5 3. Rxf7+ Kg8 4. Re7 Rh4 5. Rxe6 Rxg4+ 6. Kd5 Rf4 7.
Re8+ Kf7 8. Re7+ Kg6 9. Rg7+ Kh5 10. f7 g4 11. e6 and Dave resigned, the ending was hopelessly lost against someone of Stavroses stature but to the untrained eye it looks pretty even, and Dave did brilliantly well to put up such a good fight. Still we have the South League in the bag, or should I say Barrow A have and we could still win the Whitaker Cup.

I got caught out by a novelty on the 13th move with 13.Nd5 in the most travelled of openings in chess history, the yugoslav Attack of the Dragon System of the Sicilian Defence, it went 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 s6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 g6(the Dragon System) 6 Be3 Bg7 7 f3 0-0 8 Bc4 Nc6 9 Qd2 Bd7 10 0-0-0 Ne5 11 Bb3 Rc8 12 h4 h5 where this position has come up thousand of times in top flight chess when 13 Bg5 or 13 Bh6 are common but Jim Woodburn in a Club Championship game played the clever 13 Nd5 and I didn't come out of the position well and ended up going a vital pawn down.

The latest club championship positions are out see here for rankings as can be seen the favourites are marching on.

Latest news Barrow A now look a cert to win the Southern Division after these fine results Barrow A 5 - 1 Ulverston A and Barrow A 6 - 0 Ulverston B. While in the Whitaker Cup the Barrow 2 team has home advantage against Ulverston in the draw.

Barrow B put up a reasonable show against the strong Kendal team. we lost but it was a close game on every board. The final score was Barrow B 1 - 5 Kendal but they got 2 extra points for winning the match, the board score was 1 - 3 and  with a bit of luck...especially from George Horne (board 1) again who at least had chances of a draw. Tony Kirby (board 2) got a fabulous draw against Peter Shaw. I (Alan Llewellyn board 3 ) looked winning early on, and for most of the game but after relentless pressure, put on my opponent,  for the whole game, my advantage fizzled out, and it was drawn. In Trevor Blowers game (board 4) Trevor went a piece down and couldn't recover despite a dogged defence.

Latest news is Scott Bower is through to the semi final of the Barrow club KO he beat me when i almost had him beat but all he needed to do was take some time to think.
this is the position with me(Alan Llewellyn as white) to play, the game went 1 Bh6!! Nxd5(if 1...Bxh6?? Nxf6 wins the Queen) 2 Bxg7 Ne3?! 3 Qc1 (aiming at getting the Queen to h6 when Black cant stop checkmate) 3...Nxf1 4 Bf6 Nxf5!!!!!!!!! covering the vital h6 square quite remarkably-- from what i can see about this whole combination 2...Ne3 is a dubious move as I have now a way out with 5 exf5 Qxf5 6 Bg5 and the game is totally unclear. i play 5 g4?? and got totally lost position after 5...N5e3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i was expecting 5...N1e3 you see when i have a good game. also if Black plays for the Nc2 trap with 3...Kxg7 i have a nasty trap i saw in 4 Qxe3 Nc2 5 f6+!! Kh8 6 Qh6 when white has a good attack. note if 5...Kxf6?? 6 Qd2 wins the knight as Black cannot get out of possibly losing his queen after Bg4 discovered check. I am quite pleased to have seen all this during the game.

In the club knock out cup we are down almost to the semi final as Tony Kirby and Matthew Mackenzie are both through (Matthew beating a non-too confident George Horne rather conclusively) and they play the winners of Dave Cole vs Frank Whalley and Scott Bower vs Alan Llewellyn(ie myself). Tony will be cheering me and frank on for sure seeing Frank as a 50-50 and me as a 60-40, to him and seeing the two favourites Matthew and Dave as near certain loses. a draw is made at the beginning of every round. I could be wrong but we only have til the 28th feb 2019 to play our games so if there are draws in any of the two remaining matches there is going to be a hold up.

In the Whitaker Cup Barrow 2 got through to the final after drawing 2 - 2 with Carlisle 1 and because its a handicap competition their team got deducted half a point because they were higher rated.  Our team of erstwhile sandbaggers duly delivered with myself on board 3 (126 rated when i am normally in the mid one thirties) getting a draw against higher rated Alan Hyatt and i could have had even more. Then second to finish was Matthew Mackenzie (184 rated when he should be in the one nineties) with a draw against Robert Moss on board 1. Then a beer quenching while later George Horne fortook his spell with Andy MaCtear in the pub for a brilliant win against Dave Siddal who was over 30 points higher, George was a sandbagging 130 grade when he is easily a 145 player really. And finally but not least Trevor '40 move combination' Blower is an incredible only 118 when he usually beats me but even Trevors calculations could'nt stop a player on Carlisle team who plays like a 170 grade and is only 101.

So we are through to a final against Ulverston so even if we have to travel it wont be far, but i can see the wiley Peter Hanks deciding to match up Neil Foxcroft with George and assuming I play, Ian Dacre with myself. Still its good for Ulverston if they win again.

Barrow B 1.5 - 4.5 Barrow A was the result of the much anticipated derby from the Cumbrian South League.  A position from the top board is included below:-

Tony Kirby was to move here and he makes a strategic blunder playing 1...Nf4+ allowing Matthew Mackenzies King to get into the centre with 2.Kg3, a better move was to defend against the h pawn Queening by playing 1...Kg6 the full line to a draw is long but it is possible to draw from here :-(note the pawn sac 1...d3 to get a passed pawn doesnt work as the White Knight saves the day for Matthew stopping the pawn in time.)

[1... Kg6 2. Kh4 b5 3. axb6 axb6 4. h7 Kxh7 5. Nf6+ Kg6 6. Kg4 b5 7. Nd5 Nc3 8.
Nf4+ Kg7 9. Kf3 Kh6 10. Ne2 Kg5 11. Nxc3 dxc3 12. Ke3 Kf5 13. Kd4 b4 14. Kc4
Kxe5 15. Kxb4 Kd4 16. g4 Ke4 17. Kxc3 Kf4 18. Kd4 Kxg4 19. c4 Kg5 20. c5 Kf6
21. Kd5 Ke7 22. Kc6 f5 23. Kb7 f4 24. c6 f3 25. c7 f2 26. c8=Q f1=Q drawn]

In the Club Knock-Out competition the draw was made late in January and Dave Cole plays Frank Whalley(a tough tie), Tony Kirby is already through vurses Trevor Blower, while George Horne has another impossible tie in playing Matthew Mackenzie but he pulled out a win against Jim Woodburn in the previous round so anything is possible. And in whats likely to be my last games in the competition, I, (Alan Llewellyn) play Scott Bower.

an image i created on the computer us a 3d image program with preset images.

Barrow A  3 - 3 Ulverston A is a result that leaves the Barrow A team well placed in second with games in hand, on 13 pts with a match in hand only half a point behind the leaders Kendal.

The latest table of the club championship can be seen here

In the Cumbrian Open League we got the result Barrow 5.5 - 0.5 Keswick B which took us to 30 pts in the league in second place to Carlisle A who have 30.5pts but a match in hand.  We will have to beat them by something like 5.5 - 0.5 to stand any chance of winning the league, when we meet them soon.

In the Cumbrian South League a result was Barrow B 3 - 3 Ulverston B a much needed respite from the poor results we have had this year. We are firmly at the bottom of the league.  Barrow A play against Ulverston A on the wednesday 30th January, Barrow A have won the league every time its been held. Here is a position from Richard Braithwaite vs Trevor Blower on board 4 of Ulverston B vs Barrow B (from the results just given) with Trevor playing Black for Barrow B.

Black plays 1...Rxf2 which after 2.Rc8+ Kg7 3.Rxf2 Qxa5 the computer thinks its even as if the both rooks move to the 7th rank eyeing up h7, white can simply check the king to his hearts content and thus get a draw by repetition of position 3 times, after 4 d6(forced) Qa1+ there is also no way to hold onto the d pawn for white as 5 Rf1(or 5 Kh2 Qe5+ 6 Kg1 Qxd6) Qe3+ 6 Kh1 Qxd6 , but instead Richard plays 2.Rxf2 Qe1+ 3.Kh2, Trevor then lobbed off the rook with 3...Qxf2 and went on to win. It appears after 3.Rf1 that White is up material but after 3...Qe3+ in reply and 4.Kh1 , Trevor would have picked up the other Rook on c5.

The new grades are out now!!!!! look out for them here...


The first result of the season is Barrow 4.5 - 1.5 Penrith A noteable player in their team was Fred Clough, who has 3 degrees separation from playing the great Paul Morphy believe it or not, he is in his eighties and has played a guy called Sergeant (not sure of spelling) who was ancient at the time, Fred played him in the British Championships in the 1950s and Sergeant when he was young played Morphy. He was the only one to get a full point ie against myself.

This is a position from the Fred Clough vs Alan Llewellyn game, i played the god damn awfull 12...b5 thinking after 13.Nxb5??(the obvious move but bad for White) comes 13...Ncxe4 14 Bxe4 Nxe4 15 Rfe1 Nf6 but Fred played the much better 13.e5! attacking the Knight on f6 and attacking the rook on a8 with the Bishop, the remarkable reply 13...b4 (to try and deflect the Knight from the defence of e4 so black can get away with Nfe4) 14 exf6 bxc3?? allows 15 Qg7 checkmate:- the game would have gone 13...dxe5 14 Bxa8 Qxa8 but i resigned.

The end of year and mid season (a season goes from sept to may of the next year) table of the club competition is often deceptive this time of year, I myself are often around top but having played far more games than the others because I am very keen to play, this year i have been more restrained (me being Alan Llewellyn).  The strong favourites for club champion have all played only 2 to 5 games, the key favourites must be Matthew Mackenzie and Dave Cole both on 5/5 ie 100%, other outside favourites must be Scott Bower on 2/2 and Jim Woodburn 4/4 also on 100%. A strong outsider is Chris Underhill on 3.5/4, while George Horne on 3.5/5 and Frank Whalley on 1/3 must still think they may just have an outsiders chance but must be ruing lost opportunities. To see the full positions look here.

The last result of 2018 is that in the Cumbria South League, Barrow A 5.5 - 0.5 Ulverston B so it looks like the Barrow A team of Matthew Mackenzie, Dave Cole, Scott Bower, Frank Whalley and George Horne are looking like strong favourites to take the Cumbria South League title yet again.

Latest results: Barrow 5 - 1 Maryport this was a great result for our open league team against an extremely tough side.  This takes us up to 20 points in the league with Carlisle A leading with 25 points and us in joint second with Windermere.

Barrow B got well and trully whopped 6 - 0 by Ulverston A.  News from the South Lakes Congress- the entry forms are out see here

Latest results: Barrow   3 - 3  Carlisle B (despite a 1 point head start from them only fielding 3 out of the 4 players for a team, we managed to draw) in the Open League and the positions in the club championship are as follows : Barrow Chess Club Championship 2018-2019 .

News from the World Championship- Tiebreaks   Magnus remains champion after winning the tiebreaks 3 - 0 it was a walk over in the end with Magnus at one point having two Queens on the board to Fabianos one in the final game -the three games are here 

News from the World Championship- Game 12(Final standard play game) was a draw, rather surprisigly in a totallly won position when Fabiano castled Queenside ito create an uneven game what he succeded to do was desperately play himself into a lost position , so when Magnus offered the draw thinking he will win in the rapids or Blitz tiebreakers Fabiano likely didnt have a choice but to accept.  Now

News from the World Championship- Game 11 another draw with a bit of interest after 16 Ng6 sacrifice but it won material if Magnus fell for it but needless to say he didnt and they simply swapped off for no advantage so the game looks like it will go to tie-breaks if not decided in the 12th and final game.  They are tied 5.5-5.5 currently.

News from the World Championship- Game 10 was another Sveshnikov Sicilian Defence like game 8 and was another exciting affair, Fabiano was White and decided to unleash another novelty diverging from game 8 with 12 b4 which i don't think has been seen before. The game is given here:-    it ended in yet another draw 19 Ra3?! got White into trouble but Fabiano got out of it and an error latter on allowing c4 to adance destroying all Magnuses centre pawns meant that Fabiano was going to be a pawn up though yet again it didnt mean diddly squat as they're were still one pair of Rooks on.

I myself have played a few hum dingers recently, i am loath to blow my own trumpet but here is three of my best recent games game 1: (as Black vs Jonathan Rashleigh in the Whitaker Cup Cumbria Team KO) 

game 2: (vs James Lee at the Manchester Summer Tournament 2018(Major Section))

game 3: (vs David Buckell at the Leyland Tournament 2018(Major Section))

for my best moves section on my own website you need internet explorer for it to work-follow this link.

News from the World Championship- Game 9 was an english opening, a type of opening starting with 1 c4, known for its stodgyness and its
reliability for White but wins at this level look unlikely but this was no stodgy game, a repeat of the reversed sicilian dragon as game 4.  The endgame was very interesting showing the resiliance of opposite coloured bishops in creating a draw.  This is the position after move 50...Bb6-e3

game 9: White Magnus Carlsen     vs   Black Fabiano Caruana

51 Kc6 was played but what if white played the obvious 51 a7 then 51...Bxa7 52 Kxa7 c5 53 Bf1 Kf5 54 Kc6 Kxf5 55 Kxc5 or 53 Bg4 c4 54 Bd1 c3 55 Kc6 h5 56 Kc5 h4 57 Bc2??(57 Kc4 h3 58 Kxc3 h2 59 Bf3 Kf5 60 Kd3 Kxf4 is a draw as the bishop gives itself up when the h pawn queens) h3 58 Kc4 h2 59 Be4 c2 60 Bxc2 h1=Q is 0-1

the white king actually returned to try and defend the f -pawn but everything was covered by caruana and the game was drawn so the score is 4.5-4.5 with 3 games of standard time control until the rapidplay games start if they do.




News from the World Championship- Game 8 still no win Caruana nearly did win though after a dubious pawn push ie g5 infront of magnus' king by magnus.  Magnus had to play accurately to hold out for a draw.  Its a rest day the 20th nov. so the score is 4 - 4.

Recent results from the Leagues are in the Open league:    Barrow 5.5  Carlisle C 0.5   , Barrow 1 Windermere 5 , and Barrow 5.5  Penrith B 0.5  , in the South League:  Barrow A  4.5   Kendal 1.5 ,  Barrow BUlverston B  3  and Barrow B  1.5   Kendal  4.5 while a result in the Whitaker Cup  BarrowWindermere 1

For full results in South League:-

Open League :-

Whitaker Cup:- 

News from the World Championship- Game 7 Magnus was again White due to the fact they switch over who leads as a white due to the fact having white is an advantage so from game 7 Magnus takes the lead as the white player.  Fabiano has riden out this difficult period for him well and in the final game he will have White.  The match is resembling an Italian soccer game in that both sides arent taking risks and the longer this goes on you feel Magnus is the one who, being stronger at the quickplay chess it should favour him. The game can be seen here-  it was a tight affair with an opening first seen in a 1962 England - Austria Match, the idea is to meet the obvious 10 b4 by Magnus with 10...Ne4 by Fabiano thus regaining the Knight on c3 because it is pinned to the King by the Queen but 10 Nd2 reintroduces the b4 threat as 10...Ne4 can be replied with 11 Ndxe4 so the options are in the game 10...Bb4 (if 11 axb4?? Qxa1+) or 10...Qd8 as played threatening d4 by black.  The game again was drawn-will there be any wins in this match.

News from the World Championship- Game 6 Carlsen was white and Fabiano actually wins a piece off him in a titanic struggle given here but it still quite incredibly was drawn with Fabianos only chances of winning coming from self trapping his Knight on g1 or playing Bh4 at a key stage but that is like impossible to see for a human. So 3 - 3 at the half way stage and deservably so.

News from the World Championship- Game 5 is given in this link:- it was a magnificent game in which White (Fabiano Caruana) made not 1 not 2 but 3 pawn sacrifices it ended in a draw but was seat of your pants stuff.  It was a similar sacrifice to a Bobby Fischer game and almost as exciting.

News from the World Championship- Games 3 and 4- The match remains even with two hard fought draws and is 2 - 2.  Neither player has the edge but Magnus isnt playing to his ability and Fabiano is playing nervously, though still at a high.level.  Game 3 repeated the Rossilimo Attack in a Sicilian but Magnus deliberately hung a pawn which Fabiano was reluctant to take. The games are lasting over 6 hours.  Magnus is trying to bait Fabiano into home preperation but Fabiano is being canny, so far.

Game 4 was notable for a rare English Opening appearance at a World Championship.  It was a well known line-The Reversed Sicilian Dragon. The diagram below shows the position in the game:-

Magnus Carlsen was White and Fabiano Caruana Black:

position after 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 g3 d5 5 cxd5 Nxd5 6 Bg2 Bc5!!

now the point of the Bc5 move is if Black plays 6...Be7?? instead of Bc5 then White can play the remarkable reply 7 Nxe5 Nxc3 (7...Nxe5?! 8 Nxd5) 8 Nxc6 Nxd1 9 Nxd8 when white is up a pawn. But with the Bishop on c5 there is the devilish trap in that line 8 Nxc6?? is a blunder in the actual played line because 8...Qf6 wins material as mate is threatened on f2.

anyway Fabiano avoided the whole 7 Nxe5 line and the game soon ended drawn.

Note- the Reversed Sicilian Dragon is called that because it is the same positon in this White Opening as is played in colours reversed in an opening Known as the Sicilain Dragon.  Bc4 in the reversed position is a main line so I think thats where Fabiano picked up on the clever trap.

After a good start in the Cumbria Open League we came a cropper against an incredibly strong Windermere team, on the 3rd November, even at home we struggled. Barrow 1 Windermere 3 was the final score, lets hope they dont keep up that strong team else we are doomed in the league to win it as they will certainly win all their matches handsomely.   Still its early days yet.

News from the World Championship- Game 2 of a possible 12-both players This time they played a Queens Gambit Declined signified by the pawn formation d4 c4 and Knight played to c3 with black replying d5 e6 and Nf6. This was a particularly exciting Queens Gambit as often it isn't exciting but stodgy affairs but it was very close. Magnus was White and again the White player struggled to cope with Blacks counter attack.  Magnus actually went a pawn up but had a number of weak pawns and he kind of lost the plot defending them, and went a pawn down.  But again as most rook and a single pawn up endgames are drawn with accurate play, Carlsen agreed a draw he had 0 chance of winning but Fabiano could'nt find the win himself.

News from the World Championship- Game 1 of a possible 12-both players came out fighting in a change to recent world championships (which have been stodgy affairs) but the result was the same with a draw when Magnus had a pawn advantage but most endgames a pawn down and rooks still on are drawn with accurate play. Magnus tortured Fabiano for hours trying to get him to blunder but Fabianos nerves held out for the draw.

photos from the new venue in 2017 for the South Lakes Congress are here.

For anyone interested the Chess World Championship starts the 9 November at 3pm, I will keep people posted here of any wins by either side- its between the Norwegian World Champion Magnus Carlsen and American Fabiano Caruana. Its held in London.  It should be close as they are very equally matched according to the very close ratings.

Latest positions in the club championship are out here.

Trevor Blower got a great result from the Minor Section at the Scarborough Congress 2018. He came high up in the difficult (under 135) with 3 points out of 5.  He could have done better but for a draw where he reached the 50 move rule in a King, Bishop and Knight versus King endgame where he was 2 moves off checkmating but ran out of moves, against a 132 grade.

The early positions from the club championship can be seen here .

Also an interesting position arose from a game in the Barrow vs Carlisle match in my game I played against Alan Little.  I wont use the term that Garry Kasparov used in his reference to the Nigel Short world championship match (ie 'It is Short and it will be Short') but the game lasted all of 7 moves and 10 minutes in time.

Here is the position after white has just played 6.e4:-

Its Black to move in the game A Llewellyn vs A Little and I played 6...Nxe4 white replied 7.Bxg7?? falling into the 7...Qxf2# mate.

The AGM Minutes from previous years can be seen from this page.

The Cumbria Team Rapidplay event will be held in October, for more details see the events page or click on here for an entry form in pdf.

The new season starts the first Monday in September 2018 ie 3rd Sept 2018.  The averages for last season were as follows-click here. As we reflect on a new season will we see Matthew Mackenzie or Dave Cole dominate??? or will the likes of Scott Bower, Jim Woodburn, George Horne, Frank Whalley, Tony Kirby, Chris Underhill, or Trevor Blower surprise in the Club Championship, the newer members and older aficionados are also improving fast like Ian Travers, Derek Miller. Mike Taylor, Liam Yeats, and Brian Parkinson, i dont think Naomi and Ray are entering our tournaments this year. Dave Martin is a strong player also, you won't find any weakies at the club.  I (Alan Llewellyn)  may surprise one or two myself but cannot see myself challenging. Who plays who (ie colours) cann be seen here for this coming season. 

Club News Season 2017-2018

The Summer Blitz tourney was a run away success for Dave Cole, who is fast becoming a silverware horder like Matthew at the club, not that either must have any mantelpiece room left, another who must have mantelpiece issues is  Trevor Blower who won the honour of the posh Time Ladder cup achieving a startling number of defences in a hard fought competition.  incidentally Dave Siddall achieved a joint second place position with 4/6 in the extremely tough Leyland Congress Major(u170), I still havent given the averages results, which Matthew has won, they will preclude the Season. Also the Pairs competition was won by Matthew Mackenzie and Trevor Blower both regular winners.The Roll of honour almost finishes whats to be said about the last season it can be seen here ,

There were good results from ex Barrow players and current Barrow players in the Manchester Summer Congress 2018 Major(under 165) :Martin Gawne achieved a brilliant 3.5/5 i myself (Alan Llewellyn) got 3/5 having played a prodigy European under 12 bronze medallist and lost to him, in the last round when I fell for zugwang (the definition of zugwang is that having to move loses you the game) and Dave Siddall had a disappointed result for him as he was a strong favorite in finishing on 2.5/5-it has since writing this come to my attention that Dave withdrew from the event early so it was 2.5/4

Dates for PAIRS is monday 27th and AGM is wednesday 29th

There is an international rating system in chess and the following are the international ratings of Barrow players:-

Matthew Mackenzie


Martin Gawne

Dave Cole 1801
Alan Llewellyn 1464

A Blackburne Book Review (the 19th Century top Brit) has come to my attention please click here to see it

Also if your looking for a trainer and you have skype try international master alex battey, I have already improved a huge amount from studying with him, he gives quality self tutoring on skype using a board to analyse and he gives you work which he shows alot of effort to describe the mistakes your making in your analysis. I am not being paid to refer him i am doing so because he has helped me so much- email address is he is expensive but his work effort is Herculean at getting you to improve.

Hello its approaching that time that people hide behind their settees and steal a look at the number on a certain website appertaining to their chess skill.  Yes you can tell my grade is heading south!!! LOL. Anyway the grades are out soon maybe on sunday 22nd July 2018 or monday 23rd July at a guess.  Keep looking at this link to the English Chess Federation grading website.

i include an email that was forwarded to me for your interest,

Hi Dave, Bill,

I have set up a Cumbria Chess Association League club page here: 

Anyone can create a free account and join.

Once we have enough members we can look towards creating Tournaments, Daily Matches, Vote Chess, Forums, Private Forums, Chat, and Live matches.


Have a look around and let me know what you think and we can progress from there.



John Kelly

Going off the subject of the club for a moment I saw an article on the great unfinished tournament of Mannheim 1914.  The tournament stopped because war broke out during it and the darn tournament organiser had to go to mobilise his forces as an army reserve in the German Army.  It was held in Mannheim a provincial market town.

Mannheim in 1914

The playing hall for the tournament

The actual unfinished scoresheet

Aljechin more commonly known as Alekhine in english. He 'won'

As the main part of the chess season draws to an end, Matthew Mackenzie defeats George Horne in the final of the Knock-Out. In his run Matthew had to beat Dave Cole, Jim Woodburn and Tony Kirby in the Semi, then finally his defeat of George in the final must rank as one of the toughest titles for him in his many Knock-Out wins.  Frank Whalley is the Minor Champion with 7.5/13.

News has filtered through of Trevor Blower finishing high up in the Rhyl Congress Minor, with 3/5.

Well its over now, by drawing his game with Scott Bower, Dave Cole secures an unassailable position with 12.5/14, and even if Matthew Mackenzies final game is awarded to him he will finish on 12/14.  With the grades comming out in July, I am sure its the last thing on Daves mind but will he be in the 170s with his grade. 170s is almost candidate master level and a top club player level.

The club championship is still not over with Dave Cole almost champion with 12/13 points after a draw in the crucial match between the two top contenders, Dave and Matthew Mackenzie.  This leaves Matthew on 11/13 with one game to go for both players,   Matthew has to play Liam Yeats and win, and Dave has to play Scott Bower, and lose, or if that doesnt happen Dave is outright winner.  Dave will win now the Championship, but will it be shared with Matthew??

Here is a chess puzzle for you which will flummox your computer, White to move and draw, for the solution click here although i warn you its a rather complex complete solution.

As of the 25th of April 2018 the new league champions for this 2017-2018 season are the on going champions of a number of years, namely Barrow A with a team of Matthew Mackenzie, Dave Cole, Scott Bower, George Horne and Frank Whalley they managed to win the deciding match against Barrow B by a score of 3 - 1 and they only needed to lose by 1.5 - 2.5 or better.  Congratulations in such a tough league go to them.

Is Dave Cole going to be the next stand alone club champion?  He already shares the title from last year with Matthew Mackenzie but this year he is in a commanding position having dropped only half a point in an extremely tough field standing on 11.5/12, the only person that can realistically catch him is Matthew on 9.5/11 with Jim Woodburn, George Horne and Scott Bower all with a mathematical chance of winning it but big outsiders needing results to strongly go their way. Their are two games to go for Dave, one of them is the titanic battle between Dave and Matthew.  Mention should go to Liam Yeats in his first tournament, he has already beaten Derrick Miller and Dave Martin and now he has gone on to beat the hugely experienced Trevor Blower. Mike Taylor will most probably be joining us as well next season and he will certainly be a strong contender for minor champion. Note-minor competition is not another name for junior-in the British chess scene a Minor competition is for ordinary club members as opposed to the Major competitions which are for strong club members.

In the final matches of the Southern Cumbria League, Barrow A are in control needing to get at least 1.5 board points out of the 4 boards, they would if they lost to Barrow B by the score 2.5 - 1.5, win the title on tiebreak on account they have won more matches than Kendal who are the only ones who can stop them.  I am not playing in the crunch game-I usually play board 2 or 3 but in due fairness to Kendal, we (Barrow B) have a stronger player than myself in possible reserve.  I am not playing because we had a league match the previous wednesday, then I went down to Nottingham Chess Congress (A four hour drive there, a saturday of 3 games, sunday of 2, then a four hour drive back sunday evening), i am still exhausted as of tuesday evening.  I didn't think I could possibly give it my best. Note- each proper rated game lasts about 2 hours.

In the club championship it is beginning to become a bit clearer but only a bit.  The title will go between either Dave Cole as favourite, or Jim Woodburn, Scott Bower, or Matthew Mackenzie with George Horne an outside bet and Chris Underhill can mathematically win it but despite some great results, such is the standard that he is almost certainly out of it. 

The Cumbria Weekday League is still going well for Barrow A but with a match in hand Barrow A are only 1 point in the lead over Kendal, so it will be decided when they play each other most probably, with the match infront putting the Barrow team in the driving seat.

George makes headlines again.  George Horne, probably as expected won his semi-final (in the club KO) against myself, after 4 draws between us.  This makes a tough final of George vs Matthew Mackenzie in the club KO match to decide the KO champion.  George has knocked out Matthew before but then lost in the final to Dave Cole, the only man in the club you would never feel confident in beating regardless of having beaten Matthew.

Blackpool and The Cumbria Championships came and went with only again George putting up a decent show at Blackpool where he got 3/5 in a ridiculously strong intermediate section, which was originally set up for average club players like myself to shine, but they made it under 160 grade limit so that stronger club players could win the spoils.  Blackpool must also be one of the strongest weekend tournaments on the circuit also, because the prize money attracts lots of cheats, who keep theyre rating low to enter lower tournaments and thus win a bag load of money.   George was helped, unwittingly, in the last round, by his opponent missing a 2 move forced mate then giving away a key piece in an almost comical series of moves which had to be seen to be believed.  I include the position below.

after 2 Rh5 the immediate Qxe5 doesn't work because of Qxh7# by White, ie its mate, but because Georges opponent plays 3 f5?? it is check when George takes the Bishop on e5 thus his opponent who must have been totally gutted, must take the Queen or at least swap off Queens some way, a full piece down. After 2 Rh5 Qe4, there is also the extremely pretty 3 Rg6!! on which leads to mate

Barrow A have a 4 point lead, over Kendal, going into the end of the season.  The team of  Dave Cole, Scott Bowers, George Horne, Frank Whalley with a 'reserve' of Matthew Mackenzie brought into the team because it wasn't strong enough-sarcasm.  I actually think the team is strong enough to maybe win the weekend league, maybe they should give it a go, sometime.   It is Barrow As to lose now the mid week title.   Barrow B has been struggling but we will maybe avoid last place.

Chris Underhill now has tiny chances of winning the club championship, those with a serious chance are Dave Cole(favourite), Scott Bowers, Jim Woodburn, Matthew Mackenzie and George Horne.  Frank Whalley has done particularly well against the strong players and remains unbeaten by all of them, but he needed some wins, against the strongest, to stand a chance.

In the KO George Horne and myself(Alan Llewellyn) are still tied, after 4 draws,  for the chance to get beat by Matthew Mackenzie in the final.

Mixed news for the favourite Matthew Mackenzie in the club competitions- he from accounts got away with a losing position, ending up winning against Tony Kirby in the Semi-Final of the Knock-Out, that sets up a final with either me or George, as, in the other semi-final myself (alan Llewellyn) and George Horne played out a rather lame draw both afraid to risk an attack, no pieces or pawns were lost in the 'battle'. But in the Club Chmpionship Matthews chances took a severe knock when he was defeated by a resurgent Chris Underhill in what he admited was a slump of form, but he more than made up for that with a deserved defeat of last years joint champion. For Club Championship positions here. Dave Cole must be favourite now I know he won't like me saying it, incase it puts the kybers on him but with 9/9 and Matthew on 6.5/8 he is certainly in the driving seat. Jim on 7.5/8 is also a good outside bet but there are still any number that can still win it. It would be quicker to list the ones that can't win it than the ones who can but I myself am out of it at least for this year finishing with my poorest ever performance in points from my highest level ever of chess. ????

In the club championship Trevor Blower gave Matthew Mackenzie a fright by threatening to win a piece, it only seemed to spur him on in their game though as it led to Matthew sacrificing a Queen soundly threatening mate and it ended up with Matthew not Trevor going a piece up.

here is the key position (ie the large board below) Black is threatening to win the Bishop on h6 with g5 uncovering and trapping the Bishop and there is no escape but white is actually ahead in the position because he has more immediate threats. One of them is a sound Queen sacrifice which could lead to checkmate. The moves are the combination and it continued a few moves later.


In the Club Knock-Out, it is a choice between (Matthew Mackenzie or Jim Woodburn-yet to play) and (Tony Kirby or Brian Parkinson), George Horne and myself Alan Llewellyn in the semis, who plays who has yet to be decided but I am expecting the winner of Matthew and Jim as I think I have no chance realistically. Note-I made a correction to this as I thought erronerously Tony had beaten Brian.

In the leagues we have been knocked out of the Whitaker Cup , ie both teams are out. But in the mid-week league we are doing great with both teams doing well but Barrow A doing exceptionally well, the team of Matthew Mackenzie, Dave Cole, Scott Bower, George Horne and Frank Whalley, in grading order.

A screenshot from a Letelier vs Fischer game, Fischer has just sacrificed his queen with Q(c7)xf4 and of course after 24.Kxf4 comes Bh6#(ie mate). But the moves added after 23...Qxf4 were added by me to explain why Letelier resigned immediately and were made because I was a bit confused as to why he did resign there. The position looks bad to me and maybe the reputation of Bobby and the shock of the sacrifice had an effect. Generally the play was very naive by Letelier.

A success for Trevor Blower in the Foundation Section of Scarborough Congress 2017  with 4/5 and a joint 4th place and veteran prize for the section.

Here is a bit of general news that probably shouldn't be here[in club news] but is because I have no-where else to put it is this:-

I was going through a game posted on the 'welsh discussion and analysis of chess games' Facebook page and after analysing the game I found no mistakes at all. Now the Welsh player in the game said he found the moves over the board to get a draw in the British Championships Major/Open Section against a croatian of 2100 approx. rating in FIDE. Now on closer analysis of the game I found that not only the opening idea had been played before which was 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Bc5 3 Na4!? Bxf2+!! as far back as Steinitz but that the complete game had been played numerous times exactly from start to finish ( a remarkable 29 times in the database).

The games are given here between the one given by the Welsh player was black, Ivekovic vs Bullen and the indentical game Mamedov vs Aleksandrov which is the most famous example of the game. incidentally Alex Bullen has had a draw in a proper game with Keith Arkell so he may not be lying when he said he found it over the board, he can obviously play a bit. 

The end of the season sees the Time Ladder and the Pairs culminate. Trevor Blowers coronation for the Time Ladder is assured with 8 defences to 5 of Tony Kirby, and one club night to go with Trevor on the top, and Matthew Mackenzie(3/3) and Derrick Miller(2/3) blew away the competition in the Pairs.

The Summer Blitz tournament (called the summer league) went to the wire, with the overall winner only decided on the very last game of the very last night. George Horne, having led for all but the last two games of the tournament (note-which lasts the entire summer of 7 games times 13 different nights), George could not stop the Dave Cole steamroller and Dave squeaked clear with half a point lead. The minor summer league was very narrowly won by myself (Alan Llewellyn), with Trevor Blower hot on my tail.

This is a short animated gif on how to play chess(or what I do playing chess)

The Barrow Club Championship Individual results 2016-2017

    CODE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 POINTS
1 Dave Cole 108582H XXX W W D W W W W W W W W L W D 12    
2 Scott Bower 249719A L XXX D D W W D W W W W W W W D 11    
3 Martin Gawne 201047B L D XXX D D W D L D W W W W W L 8 1/2
4 Jim Woodburn 181407C D D D XXX D W D D W L D W W W D 9    
5 George  Horne 112989C L L D D XXX D D D D W W D W W L 7 1/2
6 Chris Underhill 130998F L L L L D XXX W W L L W W W W D 7    
7 Frank Whalley 124188G L D D D D L XXX L L L D W W W L 5 1/2
8 Tony Kirby 127615D L L W D D L W XXX W W W L W W L 8    
9 Alan Llewellyn 142739J L L D L D W W L XXX D W W W W L 7 1/2
10 Trevor  Blower 106913F L L L W L W W L D XXX W W W W L 7 1/2
11 Jon Duffield 103176E L L L D L L D L L L XXX W W W L 4    
12 Derrick Miller 163614F L L L L D L L W L L L XXX W W L 3 1/2
13 Brian Parkinson   W L L L L L L L L L L L XXX W L 2
14 Dave Martin 192181C L L L L L L L L L L L L L XXX L 0    
15 M Mackenzie 166656D D D W D W D W W W W W W W W XXX 12    

Breaking news!!!:Barrow A win the Mid Week Cumbria League for the Third Time running on 32.5pts. With Barrow B in second  on 31.5pts.

Two bits of new news- first Barrow A are looking very likely to win the mid-week league, I think only a 3 - 1 result to Barrow B, from the last match, can stop them, the team is made up of Dave Cole, Martin Gawne, Scott Bower, George Horne, Frank Whalley and Derick Miller: the table with one match to go between Barrow A and Barrow B is below:- Note/ I should say Barrow B will be champions if they do win 3 - 1 I think.

  Team Matches
Games Matches Total
Won Drawn Lost Won Drawn Lost
Barrow A 7 16 8 4 5 1 1 31
Kendal 8 14 9 9 4 3 1    29½
Barrow B 7 15 4 9 4 2 1 27
Ulverston A 8 10 8 14 1 3 4 19
Ulverston B 8 2 9 21 0 1 7      7½

And in the Barrow Club Knock-Out Competition, Matthew the favourite was knocked out by Dave Cole after a series of draws between them in one semi-final and in the other Martin Gawne beat Scott Bower, which means Martin Gawne will play Dave Cole in the final.

2017 Cumbria County Championships -George Horne(on Left) holding Higgins Castle and Trevor Blower(on Right) holding Keswick Knight after prize giving.

George Horne who was a previous County Major Champion won the ultimate county accolade of County Champion when he finished with 4/5 in the county championships :Major Section, held at Duddon Sports and Social Club, in Askam on the 24th to 26th of March 2017 (photo from event above -a link to the results). George met Jonathen Rashleigh in a tight last round decider in which a draw would have been enough for him. George wasn't in a drawing mood unlike what he is usually known for (he offers many draws) and he duly won the game and the title and the Higgins Castle Trophy.

Trevor Blower won the other section (the Minor-which in chess terms is mainly for adults not juniors although there was a British Ladies Under12 champion in that field) although he didn't meet the child star, he did beat Andy McAtear and Neil Foxcroft who are both extremely strong players and scored 4.5/5. He won the Keswick Knight Trophy.

In the Cumbria mid-week league: the Barrow A Team of Dave Cole, Martin Gawne, Frank Whalley, George Horne and Scott Bower have romped towards the 2016-2017 Cumbria title especially as they beat their nearest rival, Kendal 3.5-0.5 in January 2017.

In the Knock-Out Barrow Club Tournament 2016-2017 the pairings for the semi-final are                      (Jim Woodburn or Dave Cole) vs Matthew Mackenzie         and      Martin Gawne vs Scott Bower,

lets face it with such a tough group of players as that its anyones call of the five, who'll win it. 

Dave Cole is at it again helping the Barrow B team of him, Tony Kirby and Jon Duffield on the three board team, to victory in the inaugural Cumbria Team Rapidplay 2016. Both Dave and Jon finished with a board 1 and board 3 gold medal for board best performances. I myself (Alan Llewellyn) picked up the board 2 medal, but as a total sell out I was playing for an Ulverston team, which finished 3rd in he team standings.

Another Ulverston team got the team 2nd placings A link to the results on the Cumbria Chess Association site will be included when results are up.   


Breaking news: Dave Cole finished joint 1st in the Scarborough Chess Congress 2016 (Major u170) with 4/5 He deserves a medal!!!!!!


Club News Season 2015-2016

The internal club grades as worked out by martin are as follows for season 2016-2017:-

Jim Woodburn 152

Derek Miller 79

Ian Travers 70

Brian Parkinson 61

Dave Martin 33

It looks like Tony Kirby is going to take the ladder competition. congratulations go to him, I know it is hard work to win it -it is very competitive especially in recent years.


  CODE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18   POINTS
M Mackenzie 166656D XXX W W def D D W W W D W W Wdf W W W   W   13 1/2
Dave Cole 108582H L XXX D def W L W W W W W W Wdf W W W   W   12 1/2
Jim Woodburn 181407C L D  XXX def D D L D D W W D Wdf W W W   W   10   
Scott Bower 249719A def def def XXX D D W W D D D def Wdf W W W   W   9 1/2
Frank Whalley 124188G D L D D XXX D D L L L L L Wdf D W W   W   7   
Martin Gawne 201047B D W D D D XXX D W W W W W Wdf W W W   W   13 1/2
George  Horne 112989C L L W L D D XXX D D W W W Wdf W W W   W   11   
Tony Kirby 127615D L L D L W L D XXX D D W L W W W W   W   9   
Chris Underhill 130998F L L D D W L D D XXX W W W Wdf W W W   W   11   
Alan Llewellyn 142739J D L L D W L L D L XXX L L Wdf W W W   W   7 1/2
Trevor  Blower 106913F L L L D W L L L L W XXX W Wdf W W W   W   8 1/2
Jon Duffield 103176E L L D def W L L W L W L XXX Wdf W def W   W   7 1/2
Marcus Barrie 230065J Ldf Ldf Ldf Ldf Ldf Ldf Ldf L Ldf Ldf Ldf Ldf XXX Ldf Ldf Ldf   Ldf   0
Derrick Miller 163614F L L L L D L L L L L L L Wdf XXX W L   W   3 1/2
Ian Travers 165952C L L L L L L L L L L L def Wdf L XXX def   def   1   
Brian Parkinson   L L L L L L L L L L L L Wdf W def XXX   W   3
Dave Martin 192181C L L L L L L L L L L L L Wdf L def L   XXX   1

Barrow Club Championship 2015-2016 results

Club Averages for season 2015-2016

Martin Gawne 13    9 1/2 73%
Frank Whalley 11    7 1/2 68%
Matthew Mackenzie 11    7 1/2 68%
George Horne 23    15 1/2 67%
Jon Duffield 8    5    63%
Chris Underhill 7    4    57%
Dave Cole 12    6 1/2 54%
Scott Bower 2    1    50%
Trevor Blower 15    6 1/2 43%
Alan Llewellyn 11    4 1/2 41%
Tony Kirby 14    3 1/2 25%
Derrick Miller 1 0    0%
B Parkinson 1    0    0%

What could be the deciding result in the Barrow Club Championship happened on the 1st June 2016:- Matthew Mackenzie beat Dave Cole. For analysis of an important position see this link

Breaking news- Matthew Mackenzie and Martin Gawne tie for first and are joint Barrow Club Champions with 13.5 points.. Dave finished in 3rd.


Section: Seniors
Round: Semi-final

Date: 3-Apr-2016


Home Team


Away Team















Julian Chapman




Dave Cole




Ihor Lewyk




Martin Gawne




John Holliday




George Horne




Werner Rieser




Trevor Blower







 Signed: I Lewyk


 Signed: D Cole


Section: Seniors
Round: Final

Date: 28-May-2016


Home Team


Away Team















Paul Kendal




Dave Cole




David Mills




Martin Gawne




Alex Grice




George Horne




Dave Gibson




Frank Whalley







 Signed: D Mills


 Signed: D Cole

So the seniors of the club [and Martin] won it for Barrow, the stipulation was that the average of of the four players be over 55 in age. I think it is clear by the results that George did indeed win the cup for Barrow.[joke]

Martin Gawne, achieved great series of results in the 4NCL playing for Manchester Manticores Division 3 North, he was undefeated with a score of two draws and one win.

Dave Cole, achieved a great score of 1.5/5 in the Gibraltar Challengers under 2250 section. 2250 FIDE is way into National Master territory 

A list of successes (by club members) is included for the season 2014-2016 in top weekend congresses:-

Martin also has an internal grading list for non-ECF members.

Jim Woodburn

Derek Miller 89
Brian Parkinson   63
Dave Martin 45