Chess Club Season 2020-2021(older seasons included below)

  1. Post Season 2019-2020 Covid part1
  2. Chess News Season 2019-2020
  3. Chess News Season 2018-2019
  4. Chess News Season 2017-2018

 A proper physical game of chess is a rareity these days but in the netherland, the World Champion (Magnus Carlsen) has pulled off a cracker of a game, defeating, naye slaughtering a very strong junior from Iran who many think will replace him as world champion.  The match was Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja and see for yourelf how Magnus with many sacrifices pulls off a corker...


The above image if you've been on the moon is the character Beth Harmon from the highly popular netflix show 'The Queen's Gambit'.  The most popular show in the world at the moment it has 67 million views and is the most watched TV show in many countries including Britain.

In the show chess is portrayed very realistically because the show had Bruce Pandorfini and Garry Kasporov as consultants.  It is about a chess prodigy orphan girl who takes the chess world by storm and the show portrays Beths demons and battles with sexism and her addiction to tranqilisers and alcohol.

It has a stylish look and the detail in the fashion and decor is part of its appeal to the non-chess player. It is unfortunate that the chess club is closed currently due to covid or we would maybe have a few new members.  Chess has become very popular anyway during the restrictions of lockdow, which allow for online access to chess servers where you can play chess , often for free. 

These chess servers had already recorded large hikes in their numbers but now with this netflix show the figures of new logons have shown a five fold increase. Barrow and Dalton perspective members of Barrow Chess Club should get in contact via the facebook presence we have. Ulverston members need to look for details of the Ulverston chess club, which i believe is also closed currently. 

The above gif is from a game Alan Llewellyn vs Gary Agar from the Online British Championships Qualifier-I end up winning 3 out of 5 games and finishing high up in this tough tourney. 

The above video is from a game I won in the Online Hampstead Congress Open, time controls were 60 10 and I was black against my opponent Keiran Macphail, I also got a draw against Matthew Wilson in the tournament but lost the other games, i finished on 1.5/5

The above diagram is White to move and mate- taken from the Leonard Barden coloumn in the FT newspaper and is a fiendishly difficult problem to solve that no grandmaster solved when they took a look at it-it was composed(made up) by the once top grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk can you solve it-i couldnt- answer here.

Covid has made us look backwards again with another game by Jim Woodburn against a mighty strong Cumbria player, this time Dave Philips, a game played in 2007. Jim said he had only ever beaten Dave two times once in 1966 and this time here. Dave gets an attack going from seemingly no-where but then after accurate defence from Jim he(Dave) gets caught out and loses a pawn and Jim again doesn't give Dave the chance to come back into the game with fine technique.

Hello folks at the club, the new competition director is the Club Secretery, Dave Cole.  An AGM will be arranged for in about 3 weeks a date will be dispersed soon.  The membership fees will be ratified at the AGM as will a new time to start the club at 6pm instead of  7:30pm this giving enough time for the possibly 3 hour club championship games to be played-the 6pm times are in-place now.          

Another club championship win by Martin Gawne is below in a difficult poition after a fine win of a pawn by Martin, Jon panics in a similar way to me against Martin and first plays a loosening g4 then loses his Queen.

Below is a game played on the 5th October 2020 between Martin Gawne as black against myself(Alan Llewellyn). Its a game of cat and mouse especially on the Queenside but its decided by a poor move by me when I had few options due to Martins excellent play...

Theyre a few people pulled out of the club championship-Frank Whalley, George Horne, and Trevor Blower but we have Russell Hayley as a new member and Robert Jones is back-the latest positions for the Club Championship for Oct can be seen here

The octobers english chess federations ratings are out for October click here to see them...

Below are two games from the Barrow Club Championships, the second is a game where Dave Martin plays well for 18 moves then collapses again this time vs Martin Gawne, dave actually misses winning a piece with 13 d6 if he had seen such a difficult line to spot I think Martin G would have cried foul.  Any way Martin G won in the end, he ws strong favourite.

Immediately below is me(Alan Llewellyn) getting totally destroyed by a better player than myself.  Robert Jones as black out thinks me in the opening and after an early e5 by me i get roasted partly because of it.

Below is another game John Toothill as white against Jim Woodburn as black, here a few years after the last game John plays his more familiar English Opening and again nearly comes unstuck -Johns 21 first move 21 Qxb6? is a mistake and with best play with the hard to find 21...Nb6!! it loses a piece the analysis of the position is below.  Note Jims reply of 21...Qxb6?? just fall into Johns hands and John won.

Below is a game from the Cumbria League from a past titanic struggle between club member Jim Woodburn and International Master from Cumbria John Toothill, here Jim plays a blinder of a game and is unlucky not to wipe the floor with John, the end position is probably drawn only because there arent enough pawns left on the board after the melee has ended. John is left with most of his pieces on the back rank after the onslaught and there were clear wins for Jim but difficult to see.

Below is the KO Final from last season(played monday 21st sept 2020)  between Matthew Mackenzie and Martin Gawne, Matthew wins but he was on the ropes after weakening his own King position with 29 f4? but Martin had chess blindness which comes about by over thinking a position and being mentally tired. 31...Ne3!! was crushing for Martin but he played 31...Nf4?? instead and blunder a few moves later.

In the Lightening competition from last years covid hit tournament, a deciding 3 game match under lightening conditions was played between Matthew Mackenzie and myself(Alan Llewellyn) which Matt won 2-1.
We were joint top but Matt wanted more silverware on his shelf for longer lol. so we had a decider.

The chess club has a new Facebook page 

 Below is a Puzzle from Bardens great coloumn in the Guardian, it is so difficult i bet you don't get it-Black to move and win. Answer here.

The new 4 digit grades are out for 1st september 2020 click here

The game below is an exciting affair from Martin Gawne against Frank Whalley annotated by Martin.  It is the replay of the KO semi-final of last years season, the KO has beeen continued to this year. played on the 9th September.  Martin with the white pieces goes for the jugular in attempting to checkmate Frank early but does succeed in getting a nice tactic which wins 2 pawns and with it the game.

So the Final of last seasons KO is between Martin and Matthew Mackenzie that should be a hum dinger.

Above is a game from the 9th September 2020 from the club championship, not all the game was included but Dave Martin proves in it after 17 moves he is winning, that he can certainly play well when he wants to but then loses concentration badly with 17...Ke8?? and the rest was downhill fast. Tonys 10 Nh4!! and 12 Bxh7+!! are a delight

Conditions in the chess room are as follows:


Barrow and Cumbria Membership

Barrow membership is expected to remain the same cost as last year, but it will be decided at the Barrow AGM at the end of Sept, beginning of Oct.

Cumbria membership will be decided at a later date once either an AGM has been held or an agreement reached by all clubs and the Cumbria Committee.


Membership of the ECF

Membership rates for 2020-21 are the same as below, now including the new category of ECF Supporter £10.

Note that the £1 discount no longer applies on-line or if submitted before 31st October; this is because the discount agreement on MO’s (Membership Organisations) of which Cumbria was one, has been terminated by the ECF. (This termination was pre-Covid and a push towards individual rather than bloc applications).

If anyone has any problems with on-line membership, please let the Cumbria Membership Secretary (Dave Cole) know.

Their were a number at the club on Wednesday 2nd Sept 2020 including a new possible member in Sam Oliver, and an old member Scott Bowers, Of the regular members were Dave Martin, Dave Cole, Jon Duffield, Tony Kirby, Frank Whalley, Jim Woodburn and myself Alan Llewellyn.

The game above is from the club championship this new season, it is between Alan Llewellyn(the webmaster) and George Horne, some would call a chessmaster, especially if he offered to buy them a drink!! Anyway it ended in a draw but despite my strong play I still make a blunder with 32 Nxf7 can you see why?

Important Announcement- THE CLUB IS  Now Open for business- and social distancing is followed using 2 tables with a gap in the tables so distancing is about 1.5m. Sets and boards have been cleaned and  sanitiser for hands will be available.  No masks will be needed but anyone bringing one will be welcomed. There will be a meeting to work out next seasons competitions in Sept/Oct

In the end we were just not good enough, though it went a lot closer than i expected and we could have hoped. It was 6 - 6 with the final game very close to a draw after several hours of play. Iaan Stone just needed a draw, the tie-break would have left us winning after a tie, but Ian couldnt find the right moves although he came mighty close to winning it for us. So with Ians loss we ended up 6 -7 down Cumbria vs Oxfordshire, in the open challengers section.

Cumbria drew with Somerset 6 - 6 so we made it through to the semi-finals as winners of our group and we play Oxfordshire in the semi-final, it should be tough they mightily out grade us on every board. We play Oxfordshire today ie Saturday the 8/8/2020 so watch this space for the result-I play in this one on board 14 out of 14.

We only got 1 point out of the last 4 so we tied 7-7, an epic encounter anyway, we meet Somerset on the 1st August but I think we have done enough, we lead our Division 2 group with 5 points (2 wins and a tie)

Going to press we are currently 6 - 4 up with 4 matches to go in the Online Inter-County Championships Open Cumbria vs Shropsire, my game involved a poisoned pawn and poisoned Knight in a quite spectacular series of moves. It is below

Below is a position from a puzzle posted on Facebook, try and work it out from visualization, white to be winning -just, I nearly got the answer right doing so answer here