Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Derbyshire Individual Rd.2

I played Harry Ratner in the Derbyshire Individual championship Tuesday night.


I didn't enjoy the game very much, and misplayed the opening. I should have played 7.Nc3. He launched a good attack on my queenside, and I didn't get much of an attack going towards his kingside which was my aim.

When I was starting to hate the position, I tried opening it up and making it quite sharp. But it didn't really phase him and Harry deserved the win. Hopefully one of these days I'll beat him, but I say that everytime!

The main tactical mistake was in the position below. I played d4, it's one of those moves where you realise the mistake as soon as you let go of the piece, but for whatever reason it didn't register when thinking about it before touching the piece.

This weekend should be fun, it's the Spectrum Chess Derbyshire congress.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

English Chess Forum

Just a quick note to let people know that the English Chess Forum has had to move location to It was originally the English Chess Federation official forum, but the ECF has decided to disassociate itself with it, blaming it for losing sponsors. Looks more like they don't want freedom of expression to me. Anyway, the ECF has removed any links to it, but I'd recommend the forum to all English players as a good way of debating issues and keeping up to date with the latest news and politics.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Leicester Congress 2008

I played in the amateur (u80ECF) section of the Leicester congress over the weekend of 10-12th October. Better late than never, here's how I got on.

Unusually for this time of year, we had some very bright and sunny days. The venue unfortunately had no blinds or curtains in the smallish hall we played in, meaning a lot of players were looking directly into the sun in the afternoon games. This was a bit of a let down as the venue for last years congress was much better and bigger.

Anyway I ended on 2/5, with four draws and one loss out of the five games. Too many draws, and I feel like I had good winning chances in most of the games including the loss. But I was happy to play in some good competitive games and a few of them went to interesting end games.


Game 1 on Friday night was against Richard Greenwood (69ECF) of Northampton. It got down to a Queen and Rook endgame, and I felt he had a stronger position. I had a chance of perpetual check and took it, as he had a mating threat on f2. However it looks like I could have played Re2 and have better chances.


Game 2 on Saturday morning was against fellow Spondon player Peter Brace, I was hoping they might keep players from the same club apart. It was pretty much a fair draw with no big mistakes by either of us.


My sole loss was against Colin Ross (73ECF) of Littlethorpe, who apparently reads this blog, so I can't saying anything nasty about him :).

In the position above, Colin chose to sacrifice his knight by taking g4, which looks to probably be a mistake, although he does get 2 pawns and opens up my king. As the pieces were traded off he got a passed pawn on the h-file which caused me a lot of trouble.

In the position above I threw the game away by playing Qxg3, totally miscalculating that h1Q, Bxh1 leaves my Queen undefended. Qf8+ would have given me possible winning chances.


The Sunday morning game against Lucas had a massively tactical opening, so I thought it'd be over quick, but it dragged out into a long game and I had little time left on my clock at the end.

It worked into a Queen, Rook and more pawns versus Queen and 2 Knights. I should really have won this game, but didn't kill him off.


The last game against Dorothy was bit of a non-event. I was very uncomfortable with the sun in my face, and was very thankful to accept a draw offer after 20 moves.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Chess blindness

Last night I had a nice game against Howard Bradbury in the club championship, another long game where I hung on for a while but was gradually outplayed towards the end when he launched his attacks. I'm not too disappointed as I can see myself improving and learning from these types of games. I'm holding on for much longer in games and making less mistakes. These sorts of games will give me experience and hopefully I can improve my mid to end game technique.


I allowed too many of his pieces to assemble around my king and on move 29 had to sacrifice rook for knight due to a mating threat.

On move 39 I had the position below. For the life of me I have no idea why I played Ne5, can't remember what I was thinking at all. Must have been a moment of chess blindness. If I would have played Nf6, Fritz thinks I'm back in the game. His rook is close to getting trapped and the e4 pawn is the only thing defending it.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Leek Congress rd 4&5

I had a much more enjoyable day on Sunday at the Leek Congress (not sure why we in England call tournaments congresses). Even though I lost both games, they were good and competitive against stronger players with lots for me to learn.

The first game was against Alan Millward (95ECF) who plays for Macclesfield. We had a long analysis of the game afterwards, and I learnt a lot when he explained things he was thinking during the game.


He started off playing the Scandinavian but then fianchettoed kingside which I hadn't seen before. On move 20 he blundered his rook for a bishop, but I didn't have a massive advantage with him having the bishop pair.

I think one of my weakness is trying to form a plan for launching an attack. More experienced players tend to sense at the right moment when to start throwing pawns forward towards the enemy king, whereas I tend to play more passively and wait for things to happen. Anyone have any ideas on how I can improve this?

For example in this game, for ten or so moves, Fritz is screaming at me to play h4, h5, but the thought never occurred to me as I naturally think it will weaken my own king?

In the position below I blundered my rook back to even up the game by playing Qc1 leaving me open for Bh6. I tend to overlook bishop tactics quite often I've noticed, whereas I always check for knights. Something I need to actively think about I guess.

After this I was hoping for a draw, so in the position below I exchanged the knight with the bishop to simplify down. But this was a mistake as the knight in this position is stronger, and exchanging leaves his rook with the open file. It's nice to get to this stage of a game and have to think about it though!

He kept control of the open file and gradually squeezed my position until I was running out of moves and just moving the king back and forth. After swapping queens, my rook was stuck defending the b2 pawn and he could bring his king out to attack the pawns on the other side.

Final game was against Paul Clapham (82ECF) who plays for nearby Newcastle Under Lyme.


I rattled off the first 13 moves very quickly whereas he took a lot of time. But after completing the development I was trying to think of a plan of attack, whereas I should probably have had a bit more patience in this case and tried to control the centre.

I think the position below is where I started to go wrong. I moved the king to a8, but this was boxing it in and leaving it without anywhere to escape whereas moving it to e.g. c7 would have made it more active and less easily trapped. Also my light-squared bishop was particularly useless in this game, I'm not sure how I could have got it more involved.

He then picked the right moment to launch his pawns at my king, supported by his rooks, and my king was trapped in the firing line. I made it worse by hemming in the king with more pieces, until his attack was a winning one.

A brief circles update, the chess workbook section has been put on hold for the time being due to other things occurring. But I've been ploughing away at Chess Tactics server on and off.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Leek Congress

Round one of the Leek congress last night was against Nicholas McLean, graded 96ECF.


I played the Moller attack against him but got confused when he played 7...Bxc3, as most people play Nxe4. On move 9 I should have played d5 instead of castling. It was one of the rare games where it was pretty much lost in the opening, I never got into the game and not much more to say about it.

I turned up for round two this morning and was paired against John Fenby, then with 2 minutes to go they announced some repairings. When I looked at the board I was the odd one out without an opponent. I'm pretty annoyed because there was at least one person who turned up at the venue to enter just 10 minutes before the start of the round, and just happened to be a member of the organisers club, then he gets a game but someone like me who applied a couple of weeks ago doesn't get a game.

So anyways I had to kill four hours, and then turned up for round 3 against a 13yr old called Adam S Arshad.


To be honest he didn't seem to be much interested in playing, not recording his moves, and offering a draw after about 10 moves.

Move 14 I was a Queen up, and just played sensibly until he resigned.

Hopefully I'll have some more interesting games tomorrow!

Friday, 12 September 2008

New season

A new season in English chess started for me Tuesday night. I played Ted Pye in the Spondon club championship, a competition that runs throughout the season, an all play all for the members of the club. I counted about 18 people who turned up.

I've had many interesting games against Ted, usually wildly tactical. He was one of the first people I played when I joined a couple of years ago. He used to slaughter me all the time, but the games are more even now and I've managed to beat him once or twice. His ECF grade is about the same as mine, but he has a lot more playing experience and so outplays me in positions that I'm not used to. Luckily for me, he makes tactical mistakes, which I sometimes do and sometimes don't spot, and he doesn't always capitalise on my mistakes. He tends to make very open positions where lots of tactics crop up, I've noticed he tends to get frustrated in closed positions and throws pawns forward to open it up.


So anyway, this was a typical game. I made a mistake so that he had a material advantage, he made a mistake to allow me to have the advantage, he then had the advantage after another mistake, and finally mated me. Lots of things to go over. The good thing is I have lots of things to think about and try and learn from the game.

He played 2. Bd3 against my Scandinavian, a move I hadn't seen before and which I think he just makes up as he plays it. I thought about taking the pawn, but wasn't sure how it would play out so decided on developing my pieces.

The game got difficult for me when I played 22...Kg7 below. This allowed him to play Ng5, attacking the h7 pawn with his rook. I then played Qg8, allowing him to force a trade of my Queen for his rook and knight.

In the position below he played Qg1, but this allowed me to play Bf4+, also attacking his rook. He was able to then fork the rooks with his bishop, but for some reason decided not to take one.

However after this I was getting tired and didn't know how I was supposed to force a win with rooks and a knight versus a queen.

I then made the fatal error of playing Be5 below, not noticing he can fork king and rook on e3. Hen then ended it with a nice mate.

This weekend I'll be playing in the Leek congress, one game on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday, each 2 hours per player long. I'm not sure if there will be relatively weaker players like myself so don't know if I'll expect to pick up any points. Looking forward to it anyway.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

BLundering against BLoomes

Last night I played the final club championship game of the season against Bert Loomes. When I've previously played against him with white he used to play the Philidor, but this time he played the French defence, with some moves that totally threw me. I was lost very early on.

When he played 4...Ba6, I just carried on playing the standard Kings Indian Attack, but in this case I should have altered the plan, playing Be2 so that I could castle safely.

In the position below, I miscalculated and played Bf1, overlooking that taking back with the Knight leaves me unable to castle. I could have in fact trapped his bishop by playing b4 followed by e5.

I then blundered by moving my Queen instead of taking back the bishop, thinking I'd discovered a way out of the mess.


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Peter Brace

I played Peter Brace for the first time yesterday. It was an okayish game but I was pretty disappointed with myself for never really getting any advantage in it. I was impressed with how Peter managed to usually pick the right move and didn't appear to make any major mistakes. The big mistake was from me when I allowed my knight to run out of escape squares.

I attempted to play the closed Sicilian as white for the second time, but soon forgot what I was supposed to be doing. I decided to give up my fianchettoed bishop to give him doubled pawns. Still not sure whether it was the right thing to do as it left him with the bishop pair and I had weakened pawns on the kingside.

I made a mistake in the position below:

I played b3 without thinking about how it lines up the Queen and a1 rook for a skewer. It's little things like that what I need to consider more, I tend to not think about them, that and making sure my pieces always have adequate escape squares.

The e4 knight was then trapped when attacked by a pawn, and once moved he could execute the skewer.

I played on for a bit since I still had two rooks, but Peter played accurately enough to force the win.


Before the game, Ian had me, Martin and Bert playing some weird team game where if you take a piece from your opponent, you can give it to your partner for his board. So lots of silly positions arose.

Thursday, 31 July 2008


Tuesday night I got smashed against the strongest regular player at the club, Ian Gregory, in a club championship game. It was an interesting game where I made an unsound sacrifice, but I was never really in the game and it was good to see how he gradually built up his attack with massive control of the centre files.


There's a good post on the Boylston Chess Club Weblog, which sort of sums up why I am enjoying OTB chess much more than Internet chess. Something else I've found is that it helps to get rid of any other nagging worries and stress, because you're just totally engrossed in the board for a couple of hours.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Gary Davison

8th and final round of the Spondon Summer Open was against Gary Davison. I was originally paired with Stuart Tabberer, but we got repaired after playing a few moves so that Gary could play someone he hadn't already played. In the position below I played 9...Nxd3, but better would have been Nfd7, attacking the loose knight and also threatening Nc5.

The main turning point of the game was the position below:

I'd just played 11...h6, and instead of moving the knight he played h4, sacrificing the knight for an open h-file for his rook. But he wasn't able to take advantage of it so was probably unsound.

Gary spent a long time thinking about move 16, probably about 20mins. So he then had about 15mins left for the 14 moves left until the time control. I just carried on taking my time to find the right moves, and let him bother about the time. I created a very strong attack, and on move 25 with a couple of minutes left he dropped his queen.

Very pleasing end to a good tournament for me: 3wins, 1 draw and 3 losses. Much better than 1 win and 1 draw from 8 last year.


Monday, 21 July 2008

New grade: 56

I'm pleased with my new ECF grade of 56, an increase of 10 points. So I've improved a bit.

Field Value Description
Ref 269843C Grading reference
Name Madden, Dean Name of player, surname first
Sex M
Juniors only, Age on September 1st of current season
Club(s) Club(s) player is listed for
Nationality code
FIDE code


Category A Category A-E
Grade 56 Current Standard grade (amended version, if appropriate)

56 Standard grade (original unamended)
Games 39 Standard games played, latest season

39 Standard games counted (total)


Category E Category A-E or X
Grade 63 Current Rapid grade (amended version, if appropriate)

63 Rapid grade (original unamended)
Games 6 Rapid games played, latest season

12 Rapid games counted (total)

Grade history

Date Cat Standard Cat Rapid
July 2008 A 56 E 63
Jan 2008 RP

July 2007 E 46

Here's the complete list for Spondon:

Ref Name Category Grade Last Year Cat Rapid Last Year
111035E Gamble, Raymond J A 152 152

231082L Gregory, Ian B 149 142

210967A Makinson, Paul A D 138 137

107427B Brown, David J A 132 147

164809D Carter, Mark AK C 131 127

166596A Sands, J Graham D 115 114

187429K Sheldon, Philip B 113 98

116587C Pace, Graham J B 103 105

233557J Bradbury, Howard B 100 90

253102B Wright, Nigel C 100 97 D 106
265846L Atkins, Nathan A 99 101 D 95
107075H Bowes, Getting T D 97 92

107186F Bramley, Douglas A 93 91

268242E Hickling, Richard P C 92 84

114581C Loomes, Herbert TT B 81 94

116506K Orridge, MJ B 76 71

117666D Ratner, Harry AJ B 75 78

231470J Davison, Gary C 67 77

265349H Tabberer, Stuart C 59 61

269843C Madden, Dean A 56 46 E 63
274208B Brace, Peter E 56

265866F Pye, Ted C 55 55

265851D Gibson, Martin B 52 55

264243J Pacitto, Joseph A C 33 38 D 37 37

24 Record(s) Found

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Round 7 versus Bert

In round 7 last Tuesday I was initially scheduled to play Harry Ratner, but since he didn't appear, organiser Bert Loomes took his place instead. It was a very interesting game, which I could probably spend hours analysing. It was very tight at the start, but then burst open with lots of tactical opportunities. I would have been happy with the draw initially, as I think I've always lost to him previously, but should really have won the game with the chances I had.

He played the Philidor defence, which looks to me as somewhat defensive for black, and blocks his own pieces in. So I tried to play positive and attacking, developing my pieces to good squares. It looks like I should have taken his pawn on e5 early on, as it would make the pawn that he takes back with very vulnerable. Below is the position before my 13th move.

I struggled for a while to come up with any ideas. I thought about Nh4, but saw that he could play Nxe4 leaving a discovered attack on h4. So I dismissed it, thought about other stuff, reconsidered Nh4, and played it forgetting what I'd only just thought about!

I was very lucky in that white is actually attacking the d6 pawn with his knight if black takes the h4 knight, which then leads to a fork of king and b7 bishop. He actually played 14...Bxd5 leaving the position below.

I rightly spotted Ba5 which attacks both the queen and d5 bishop, leading to a great position, even though the h4 knight is still undefended. When he played Nb6, I should have just taken it as I would still have the same advantage. But I picked the moves in the wrong order, and played Qxd5 instead. I was lucky in that he took back with his bishop after we swapped queens, as it lead to the position below:

I can now play Bxb5 because of the undefended rook. After he then moved his king, I missed the obvious bishop fork on c6, I was too worried about moving the h4 knight to safety. After that I threw away more of my advantage by not playing simply and safely, looking for tactics where there weren't any.

I managed to keep a pawn advantage going into a rook endgame, but didn't really have any strategy on how to force a win. I was trying to push a passed pawn, but he was able to defend against it easily. I should have got my king involved more, but kept putting it off. We swapped off rooks and it was a very drawish 2 pawns each endgame. I offered a draw in the position below but he wanted to play on.

He played e3, which was in fact a big blunder but I didn't take advantage of it. I played Kf1 to stop his pawn, but the possible winning move would have been f4, as I could still take his pawn later, and would have a pawn advantage. There would still be plenty of work to do, but would have had better chances.

Anyway I ended up with pawn against king, but had no chance of winning due to losing the opposition.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Terry Pearson

Tuesday night I played Terry Pearson (rated 124 ECF) in the 6th (out of 8) round of the Spondon Summer Open. I had a decent position up to the 17th move when he'd just played Be3:

I played Rxe4, figuring I'd have the advantage when I could take back his bishop with my bishop. But I didn't calculate any further ahead than that, missing where he could play Bxb6 threatening my queen and attacking my now undefended bishop on e4. A better move in the position above would have been Bxe4, he could have taken my rook but I would be able to win another minor piece.

After this he proved the superiority of two rooks against a rook and minor piece, and finished me off nicely.


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Round 5 win

Last night I played Louise for the first time in a long time control game. My idea was to play the closed Sicilian against her, but as is typical for my memory, I forgot move 3 was supposed to be g3, not d3. This didn't seem to make much difference to the game, and I suppose shows that learning openings is a waste of time for me and I might as well play any old move that develops or helps strengthen my position to get to an evenish middlegame.

By move 14, I'd just played Na4, and Louise had a much better position with a strong pawn centre and better placed pieces. But I think she pushed a bit too much by playing c4. This gave me a nice square for the Knight on c5, and weakened the pawn structure. She pushed the same pawn again which left me a pawn up. Shortly after I won another pawn.

The big mistake, easy to make, was playing Nd7 above. This allowed me to take the knight for free due to the discovered check from the Queen. Shortly after I skewered her Queen to pick up the rook for a bishop and she resigned on move 30.

I'm sure she'll have better luck next time, and is already much better than I was after only playing for a few months.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

John Powell

This evening I won against John Powell in Round 3 of the Spondon Summer Open. A bit of a strange game, where I was never really comfortable but managed to make the most of the strange opening and capitalised on my opponents mistakes.

[Event "Spondon Summer Open"]
[Date "2008.06.17"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "John Powell"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B00"]

1. e4 b6 2. d3 Bb7 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 e6 5. Bg2 Nge7 6. O-O Ng6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. Bd2 d6 9. Re1 h5 10. h4 Nce5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Bf4 Ng6 13. Be3 Qd7 14. Bf3 Ne5 15. Bxh5 g6 16. Be2 Qd8 17. d4 Nd7 18. Bf3 Bxh4 19. gxh4 Qxh4 20. Kf1 Nf6 21. Ke2 Nxe4 22. Nxe4 Bxe4 23. Rh1 Bxf3+ 24. Kxf3 Qxh1+ 25. Qxh1 Rxh1 26. Rxh1 O-O-O 27. Rh7 Rd7 28. Rh8+ Kb7 29. Bg5 e5 30. Rd8 Kc6 1-0

He played 1...b6 which I can't remember playing against before, not sure if it's even got a name.

On move 15 I won a pawn, but I had a scare on move 18 when he sacrificed his bishop by taking my pawn on h4 and I was worried he had a mating attack:

But luckily my king had space and time to escape. We then came down to a rook, bishop and 5 pawns versus rook and seven pawns endgame. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to force a win.

Above I'd just played 30.Rd8, he then played Kc6 and I said I'll move the clocks back for the time control. He suggested a draw which I declined, then as I was picking up the clock he realised his mistake and resigned. I could play d5+ which gives me the rook. I hadn't noticed it yet as was concentrating on the clocks, so who knows if I would have actually played it? A strange end to the game.

Game in ChessFlash format:

Spondon Chess Club. Results
Summer Open Championship.2008

Round 1
Archer Barry W ½ - ½ Atkins Nathan
Heelan David W 1½ - 0 Bowes Getting T
Williams David ½ - ½ Gregory Ian
Hartley Dean M 1½ - 0 Sheldon Phillip
Brown David 1½ - 0 Bradbury Howard
Burke Steve 1½ - 0 Bramely Doug
Loomes Herbert 0 – 1½ Pace Graham
Smith Phil 1½ - 0 Madden Dean
Hickling Richard 1½ - 0 Orridge Mick
Davison Gary 0 -1½ Pye Ted
Tabberer Stuart ½ - ½ Gibson Martin
Somers Malcolm 0 – 1½ Brace Peter
Crawley John 1½ - 0 Brace Louise
Kirk Colin 1½ - 0 Hill Fred

Round 2
Crawley John 0 – 1½ Burke Steve
Brace Louise 1½ - 0 Bradbury Howard
Brace Peter 1½ - 0 Smith Phil
Praeson Terry 1½ - 0 Davison Gary
Gibson Martin 0 – 1½ Williams David
Ratner Harry 0 – 1½ Somers Malcolm
Gregory Ian 1½ - 0 Archer Barry W
Pye Ted 1½ - 0 Hickling Richard
Atkins Nathan 1½ - 0 Tabberer Stuart
Pace Graham 0 – 1½ Hartley Dean M
Kirk Colin 0 – 1½ Heelan David W
Orridge Mick 1½ - 0 Sheldon Phillip
Bramely Doug ½ - ½ Bowes Getting T

Round 3
Bowes Getting T 1½ - Gibson Martin
Burke Steve ½ - ½ Gregory Ian
Heelan David W 1½ - 0 Brace Peter
Hartley Dean M 1½ - 0 Pye Ted
Williams David ½ - ½ Atkins Nathan
Hickling Richard 1½ - 0 Crawley John
Somers Malcolm 0 – 1½ Orridge Mick
Smith Phil 0 – 1½ Praeson Terry
Brace Louise 0 – 1½ Kirk Colin
Tabberer Stuart 0 – 1½ Bramely Doug
Madden Dean 1½ - 0 Powell John
Davison Gary 0 – 1½ O’Flannagan Paul
Bradbury Howard 1½ v 0 Ratner Harry
Sheldon Phillip ½ - ½ Loomes Herbert

Gregory Ian 2½
Madden Dean 1½
Archer Barry W ½
Gibson Martin ½
Heelan David W 4½
Somers Malcolm 1½
Brace Louise 1½
Brace Peter 3
Tabberer Stuart ½
Atkins Nathan 2½
Hartley Dean M 4½
Bowes Getting T 2
Kirk Colin 3
Smith Phil 1½
Bradbury Howard 1½
Hill Fred 0
Pye Ted 3

Burke Steve 3½
Hickling Richard 3
Williams David 2½
Pace Graham 1½
Sheldon Phillip ½
Bramely Doug 2
Crawley John 1½
Orridge Mick 3
Davison Gary 0
Loomes Herbert ½
Ratner Harry 0
Pearson Terry 3
O’Flannagan Paul H 1½
Powell John 0

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Dave Brown - Rest in Peace

I've just read the very sad news that a local player called Dave Brown died last Monday. He played most Tuesdays at Spondon, as well as for Long Eaton chess club. He was a great player who always played with a smile and was very kind and helpful. A sad loss.

It was reported in the Notts News newsletter:

Dave Brown†
Geoff Gibson sends the sad and unexpected news that Long
Eaton’s Dave Brown has died. He writes:
Dave passed away at home [on Monday 9 June] following his
return from cycling to Long Eaton – he had planned to go
further, but changed his mind and returned home – perhaps
he had a premonition of what was coming?
It seems he had a heart attack on his settee and passed as
he had lived – a quiet, dignified man, a little eccentric but
much-loved by all who knew him.
His wife said he has requested no funeral, but the family will
hold a wake in his honour – details to be advised. His only
request was that a beech tree be planted in his memory.
And I’ll just add this: Dave was one of the tiny handful of
players who seemed to treat winning and losing exactly the
same. Whether resigning or accepting his opponent’s
resignation, Dave always had a smile on his face. He will be

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Spondon Summer Open Round 1

Last night was the first round of the Spondon Summer Open, an 8 round swiss tournament that runs during the off-season summer break and attracts players from other local clubs that close over the summer.

[Event "Spondon Summer Open"]
[Date "2008.06.03"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Phil Smith"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Qf3 Qxf3 4. Nxf3 Nf6 5. h3 Bf5 6. d3 Nc6 7. c3 O-O-O 8. d4 g6 9. Ng5 Be6 10. Nxe6 fxe6 11. Bc4 e5 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Be2 Bg7 14. Be3 Kb8 15. O-O Nd5 16. Bd4 Rhg8 17. Bxe5 Bxe5 18. Bf3 Nf4 19. Na3 Nd3 20. Rab1 Rgf8 21. Nc4 Bf6 22. Na5 c6 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Nxc6+ Ka8 25. Nxd8 Rxd8 26. Rfd1 e5 27. g3 e4 28. Kf1 Kb7 29. Ke2 Bg5 30. f3 exf3+ 31. Kxf3 Ne5+ 32. Ke4 Re8 33. Kd5 Kc7 34. Re1 Bf6 35. Rbd1 Bg7 36. b4 Rd8+ 37. Kc5 Bf8+ 38. Kb5 Rb8+ 39. Ka4 Nc4 40. Kb3 Na5+ 41. Ka4 Nc4 42. Kb3 Na5+ 43. Kc2 Nc4 44. Rd4 Na3+ 45. Kb2 Nb5 46. Rc4+ Kb6 47. Re6+ Bd6 48. a4 1-0

I played Phil Smith, the same opponent I played in Round 1 last year. I managed a draw then, but last night played as black against him for the first time and lost.

He played an unusual 3rd move of Qf3, I was a bit worried how to defend against it so just exchanged queens.

My 8th move was a mistake, I played g6 above, allowing his knight to move to g5, attacking f7. This weakened the pawn structure.

By move 22 he'd taken a rook and 2 pawns for a knight and a bishop. I thought I'd blundered to allow him to do this, but Fritz still gives me the advantage. However I think you need a lot of skill to co-ordinate and prove that two minor pieces are better than a rook.

I was desperate to keep my rook on the board and tried to keep the bishop and knight active, and did quite well for a while.

The big move I missed was at move 38 above. I'd just been checking and chasing his king around, so automatically played Bf8+, i.e. as Bobby Fischer said: 'Patzer sees check, patzer gives check'.

I should have played Nd3+ instead, winning a rook for a knight. His rooks then forced the advantage and I resigned on move 48 below.

I'm on holiday for round 2 next week, so will hopefully do better in round 3!


Here's the game in the ChessFlash application, see for more details.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Crumbled by Bramley

I played Doug Bramley in the club championship last night, an enjoyable interesting game, but I was on the back foot for most of it.

[Event "Spondon Club Championship 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.05.13"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Doug Bramley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C00"]

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 dxe4 5. dxe4 Bc5 6. h3 O-O 7. Bd3 h6 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Re1 e5 10. Nc4 Re8 11. Bd2 a6 12. Ne3 Ba7 13. Nf5 Nc5 14. N3h4 Bxf5 15. Nxf5 Nxd3 16. cxd3 Qxd3 17. Bxh6 Qxd1 18. Raxd1 gxh6 19. Nxh6+ Kg7 20. Nf5+ Kf8 21. g4 Red8 22. Rxd8+ Rxd8 23. Re2 Rd7 24. Kg2 Ne8 25. Kg3 Ng7 26. Nh6 Ne6 27. f3 f6 28. h4 Kg7 29. Nf5+ Kh7 30. Rg2 Rd3 31. Rh2 Be3 32. Re2 Bf4+ 33. Kg2 Nd4 34. Nxd4 Rxd4 35. Rc2 Rd2+ 36. Rxd2 Bxd2 37. Kh3 c5 38. h5 b5 39. Kg2 b4 40. b3 Kg7 41. Kf1 Kf7 42. Ke2 Bf4 43. Kd3 Ke6 44. Kc4 Kd6 45. Kd3 Kc6 46. Kc4 Bg5 47. Kd3 Kb5 48. Kc2 a5 49. Kb2 c4 50. a4+ bxa3+ 51. Kxa3 c3 0-1

It was the first time I'd played him as white, he played the French. I'd just been reading about the best way to play Kings Indian Attack against different openings a couple of days ago, but foolishly skipped the French section as hadn't played against it in ages, doh!

Above is what I was looking at on move 6, he's just played the bishop to c5. I was now worried about him playing Ng4 and taking on f2, so played the weak h3. Better would have been to move the bishop then castle. Letting him take the rook for two pieces would have been ok.

Later on I had chances to push to e5, but left it too late, this left me with a weaker position.

By move 14 above I'd decide on the plan of action to attack his kingside, no matter if it was viable or not (it wasn't). So instead of defending the e4 pawn decided on a fruitless attack.

By move 17 above, I'd realised I'd messed up so decide to take a punt (i.e. make it worse) and sacrifice the bishop to h6. A better move would have been Nxg7 as taking it would have allowed me a discovered attack on his Queen.

I played on as I had 4 pawns against 2 on the kingside but his extra bishop was too strong and I never got anywhere. I certainly learned a lot from the endgame, i.e. how to win it from his side.

I've been reading Silmans Endgame book recently and am trying to digest the Lucena and Philidor positions, so will probably have a post on them soon.

GM Nigel Davies has been blogging recently at Tigerchess, interesting stuff. However I think he's gone a bit overboard in the stuff he's been writing about regarding a post at the Streatham & Brixton blog. Amusing comments here.

There's also been a lot of aggravation going on at English Chess Federation forum, after a number of board members resigned recently.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Jamboree 2008

Last night was the Derby League end of season Jamboree. It's a four round quick play team competition. My first one was last year and I ended on zero. This time I ended up with one win and three losses so by my calculations I'll win every game in 2011.

The games were initially scheduled for 20mins each but were cut down to 15mins due to traffic problems causing delays for some players. I enjoyed the event, but am still quite poor at playing quickly. I either play too fast and blunder, or play too slow and run out of time.

First game was against Mick Orridge, he broke through my kingside very quickly and I was thinking I might lose within the first couple of minutes. But I managed to hang on and had a healthy lead in time. But then when he noticed he was behind on time he played faster and I started hesitating. He had a much stronger position, and eventually my flag fell when I'd ran out of ideas.

Game 2 was against someone who plays for Derby & Mickleover but I can't remember his name. This was one where I played too quickly and blundered early on. He played fast but very accurate.

I got my sole win against Barry Lings in round 3. We got down to an evenish endgame with him having about 8mins left and me 1min. I was able to promote a pawn and luckily stumbled into a mating position with about 10 seconds left.

Round 4 I lost to a girl! Only kidding Pete & Louise if you read this. I was a piece up early on, but shortly afterwards I gave a piece away too and we came to an evenish rook and pawns endgame. However I'd been playing much slower so didn't have much time left. I'm sure we both made loads of mistakes in the endgame, but she played better and when the dust cleared she had forced me to exchange rooks and had an unreachable passed pawn.

The Rolls Royce venue was great and I hope we play there again. Will post the full results here when the hardworking Bert sends them out.


Jamboree 2008
At Rolls Royce Chess Club (Nightingale Hall)
Thursday May 8th 2008


SPONDON (B) 11 Winner

Bert Loomes, Phil Smith and myself played for Spondon D; Gary Davison, Martin Gibson, and Pete & Louise Brace played for Spondon C; Spondon B were Doug Bramley, Mick Orridge, Phil Sheldon and Graham Pace; Spondon A were Ian Gregory, Mark Carter, Howard Bradbury and Richard Hickling (from what I can remember).

The Spondon Summer Open (an 8 round swiss) starts in June, very much looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Last round of Derbyshire Individual

I played Barry Archer last night, and got a draw in a very enjoyable game. That leaves my final score out of the 7 rounds standing at 4 draws and 3 losses. Doesn't sound great, but seeing as I was easily the lowest ranked player in the 16 entrants, I'm more than happy with it, as I was expecting to end on zero.

[Event "Derbyshire Individual 2007/08 Round 7"]
[Date "2008.05.06"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Barry Archer"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Be2 Bf5 7. Bd2 Qc7 8. O-O e6 9. Nh4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. g3 Nbd7 12. Bf3 O-O-O 13. Re1 Qb6 14. Bc1 Nb8 15. Ne2 Bc5 16. c3 e5 17. b4 Be7 18. Qb3 e4 19. Bg2 Rhf8 20. Bg5 Rde8 21. Nf4 Bd6 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Rxe4 Rxe4 24. Bxe4 Bxf4 25. gxf4 Qc7 26. f5 gxf5 27. Bxf5+ Kd8 28. c4 Qf4 29. Bc2 Rg8+ 30. Kf1 Qxh2 31. Rd1 Qh1+ 32. Ke2 Re8+ 33. Kd2 Qh6+ 34. Kc3 Re2 35. c5 Rxf2 36. Qxf7 Rf3+ 37. Kb2 Kc8 38. Re1 Re3 39. Bf5+ Kd8 40. Rxe3 Qxe3 41. Qxf6+ Qe7 42. Qxe7+ Kxe7 43. Kc3 b5 44. cxb6 axb6 45. Kc4 Kd6 46. a4 Kc7 47. b5 Kd6 48. bxc6 Nxc6 49. Be4 Na5+ 50. Kb5 Kc7 51. d5 Nb3 52. d6+ 1/2-1/2

Above, 9.Nh4 was a move I hadn't seen before in the Scandinavian. After a good think I chose the correct Bg6, as I figured that him taking the bishop would allow me to take back with the h-pawn and even though I had doubled pawns the open h-file for my rook would be worth it and would allow me a chance to castle longside and launch an attack on his kingside.

I overcommitted a bit in the early middle game, thinking I had more of an attack than was really justified, and left some weaknesses for him to exploit. By move 23 he was up a pawn, but was forced to weaken his kingside pawn structure in the process.

On move 29 I had the nice position above where I was able to harass his king and get a pawn back. But I let the attack fizzle out and again he exploited weaknesses and picked up another pawn, I was lucky he overlooked some more dangerous tactical opportunities.

By move 43, we reached the endgame position above, and I was expecting to lose. I just played on because I didn't particularly know how I would exploit it so was hoping to learn from his play.

The game ended when he played 52.d6 and offered a draw. This position is indeed a draw according to Fritz, but it looks like he threw it away with 51.d5.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Howards Way

Last night I played Howard in the club championship, I'd played him a few weeks ago with the same colours in the Derbyshire Individual, so was wishing I'd studied that game beforehand. He doesn't think much of the way I play against the Sicilian, but it's all I know really and I don't think it's unsound. Where I'm going wrong is more middle game planning & tactics as far as I can see so won't worry too much about the opening for now.

[Event "Spondon Club Championship 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.04.29"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Howard Bradbury"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B50"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. g4 Bg6 7. d3 e5 8. O-O Be7 9. Nc3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Nd7 11. Bxe7 Nxe7 12. b3 f6 13. Qd2 O-O 14. Nb5 Nb6 15. a4 a6 16. Nc3 Bf7 17. Rfb1 d5 18. Rd1 Qc7 19. Rac1 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Rad8 21. Qc3 Rc8 22. Nfd2 Nbd5 23. Qb2 Nf4 24. Re1 Nxg2 25. Kxg2 Ng6 26. Kh2 Bd5 27. f3 f5 28. Ng3 fxg4 29. hxg4 Qe7 30. Rf1 Qh4+ 31. Kg2 Nf4+ 32. Kf2 Qh2+ 33. Ke3 Qxg3 34. c4 Bc6 35. Ne4 Bxe4 36. dxe4 Rcd8 37. Rcd1 Rxd1 38. Rxd1 Ng2+ 0-1

I'm quite pleased with how I played the first h of the game, I was thinking clearly and had lots of plans during the game instead of aimlessly moving about, and was recognising his threats.

By move 23 he had got a strong knight on f4 (below), I think this shows the power of controlling the centre.

This weakened my kingside greatly, and he was able to launch a big attack that picked up a knight and left me with the position below to which I resigned:

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

CTS current rating

I've decided on making Chess Tactics Server part of my official training, not sure on how I'll monitor it, but it's just something I enjoy doing now and then, it's very easy to just open it up and do a few problems. My current ratings etc are below. I don't think I'm really rated around 1163, but this just reflects the fact that I play quite slowly, if I can speed up a bit it will help my game I think.

Rating 1163
RD 57.4
Tries 829
Success 71.2 %
Highest rating 1181
Date of highest rating 2007-12-08 21:26:03
Latest action 2008-04-28 21:46:20

Looking back at some older posts, my rating is slowly rising, what I hope to get out of it is speed in recognising the basic motifs, whereas my circles training will focus on slightly more difficult problems.

Rating 1105
RD 51.1
Tries 583
Success 71.4 %
Highest rating 1146
Date of highest rating 2007-10-06 22:09:59
Latest action 2007-10-18 22:11:55

Rating 1100
RD 39.2
Tries 290
Success 70.7 %
Highest rating 1100
Date of highest rating 2007-08-12 12:09:55
Latest action 2007-08-12 12:09:55

Update: I've been on a bit of a roll and have got it up to 1215, hopefully this reflects the improvements I've made in my game in the last 6 months or so.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Getting back into the circles

I'm about to continue with the circles, after I put it on hold for a couple of months. I'd got through 136 problems, with about 50% accuracy. So that seems as good enough a point to start on circle 2. I realise the classic way of doing the circles was to do the whole thousand problems in one go, but it seems the alternative way of doing mini-sets works quite good as well. So will see how quickly I can go through the 136 again, and how accurately, then decide on whether to do another circle of the same problems or try another set. As I'm doing the problems from a book, I tend to just do them on lunch breaks etc, when I'm on the pc at home I prefer to use Chess Tactics Server, which I think complements the circles well. Good luck to the fellow knights who have joined during my temporary hiatus.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Catching up with the blogs

I'd taken a break from reading chess blogs for a while, but am now catching up with what I missed, thanks to Bloglines keeping a list of them. More bloggers are now posting video clips, analysing games and books etc. There are a bunch of good ones at Barnet Elizabethans Chess Club, and also BDK has posted reviews of all his books, starting here.

There's a good write-up of a players experiences playing in Moscow here, here and here.

Saturday, 26 April 2008


Last night I played for Spondon 'D' in our last game of the season against West Notts 'C'. This was a crucial game to decide which of us would win a promotion place to Division 3. Luckily for us, two of our opponents didn't turn up, so we knew we were getting promotion after half an hour. Whether this will actually happen though is a bit confusing in that Spondon 'C' may well be swapping places with ourselves, so we might actually stay where we are.

[Event "Derby League Division 4"]
[Date "2008.04.25"]
[White "Michael Zhang, West Notts 'C'"]
[Black "Dean Madden, Spondon 'D'"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d3 c6 5. Bd2 Qc7 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Bf5 8. Nge2 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Nd4 Bg6 12. Be3 Nbd7 13. Qe2 Rfe8 14. Bf4 Qb6 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Qxe6+ Bf7 17. Qh3 Qxb2 18. Ne4 Rad8 19. Ng5 h6 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rab1 Qxc2 22. Rxb7 Bc5 23. Be3 Bxe3 24. fxe3 Qxd3 25. Bxc6 Rxe3 26. Rf1 Ke8 27. Bxd7+ Rxd7 28. Rb3 Qd4 29. Rxe3+ Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 Qe2 31. Qg2 Qxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Rd2+ 33. Rf2 Ne4 34. Rxd2 Nxd2 35. Kf2 Ke7 36. Ke3 Nf1+ 0-1

Anyway, I had a good win against Michael Zhang, graded 90. I played a pretty standard Scandinavian opening. On move 14 he'd just played Bf4.

I don't know why I missed e5, I didn't consider it at all, was too preoccupied with Qb6. After I played that he made his fatal mistake of playing Nxe6, I'm not sure exactly what he was aiming for, but it looks like he miscalculated the sacrifice.

There were some hairy moments after this but I eventually managed to force the extra knight advantage to a win. I concentrated on playing simple safe chess, as I'd learnt from experience that I could still throw it away with all the power that was still left on the board.

I was a bit nervous of what I'd need to do in a knight & pawns v pawns endgame, but needn't have worried.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Nottingham Congress 2008

This weekend I played in the minor section of the Nottingham Congress. It was five rounds of 36 moves in 90mins plus 15mins to finish. I ended up with two wins and three losses, was hoping for a little bit more, but judging against my opponents grades I did better than would be expected.

I enjoyed the experience, they had to stop any more entries due to so many people entering, about 150. Round 1 I played against David Scorer, graded 92. I only lasted 23 moves.

[Event "Nottinghamshire Congress Minor 2008"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1"]
[White "David Scorer"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E67"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O d6 5. d4 O-O 6. c4 Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. e4 Re8 10. Qc2 c6 11. b3 Qc7 12. Bb2 Nc5 13. Rad1 Nh5 14. b4 Na6 15. a3 f5 16. exf5 Bxf5 17. Qc1 e4 18. Nd4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Nf6 20. Qg5 Kg7 21. Nxe4 Bxe4 22. Rxe4 Rxe4 23. Qxf6+ 1-0

I could have hung on a bit longer if I'd played 21...Qe7 below.

Round two I played young Tobias Stables. Although he resigned after 11 moves, he had me worried early on after playing a move I hadn't seen before against the Fried Liver.

[Event "Nottinghamshire Congress Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Tobias Stables"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C57"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Ke3 Qh4 8. Qf3 d5 9. Bxd5 Bg4 10. Qxe4 Nd4 11. Qxe5+ 1-0

When he played 4...Bc5 (below), I had to do a lot of thinking as to whether to still play Nxf7 as I expected Bxf2+ afterwards which would lead to a wild game.

I rightly decided to play the move, and he indeed sacrificed his bishop. His big mistake was playing 9...Bg4 below, it's easy to overlook that the knight on e4 is no longer protected.

Round 3 I played Gary Hopkinson, graded 83.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor section"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gary Hopkinson"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. f3 h6 4. Bh4 Be7 5. e4 O-O 6. Bd3 d5 7. e5 Nfd7 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Qd2 Qh4+ 10. g3 Qe7 11. Nc3 a6 12. Nge2 Nc6 13. a3 b5 14. b4 Nb6 15. O-O Rd8 16. Qe3 Bb7 17. f4 Rd7 18. f5 f6 19. fxe6 Qxe6 20. Bf5 Qe7 21. Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Nxd5 1-0

He played the Trompowsky against my Kings Indian, something I remembered reading about but what I'd totally forgotten how to play against. I made it up and didn't do too bad in the opening. But by move 20 he'd skewered my queen against a rook and I resigned shortly after as the position was a mess.

Round 5 I had a good win against Dorothy Blampied, graded 57. I was very pleased with the Kings Indian Attack working for once like I intend it to. I had loads of pressure kingside and was able to get a few pawns advantage and convert it to a win.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.20"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Dorothy Blampied"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B50"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 e5 5. O-O Nf6 6. d3 h6 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. Nh4 O-O 9. Nc4 Na5 10. Ne3 Re8 11. Nef5 Bf8 12. f4 Nc6 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. c3 b6 15. Qf3 Ba6 16. Nxh6+ gxh6 17. Qxf6 Qxf6 18. Rxf6 Re6 19. Rxe6 fxe6 20. c4 Nd4 21. Bd2 Kg7 22. Rf1 Rd8 23. Rf2 Bd6 24. Nf3 Rf8 25. Nxd4 Rxf2 26. Nxe6+ Kf6 27. Kxf2 Kxe6 28. Bxh6 Kf6 29. Be3 Bc8 30. h3 Kg6 31. g4 Be7 32. Kg3 Bg5 33. Bxg5 Kxg5 34. h4+ Kg6 35. Bh3 1-0

Round 6 I lost to junior Robert Bowler, who plays very fast but very well, graded 83. I tried the same thing as in the previous game, but the board got very tight and locked up. In the late middle game he played much better, and I couldn't do anything to stop him breaking through.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.20"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Robert Bowler"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A05"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. O-O Bg7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Re1 Qc7 9. c3 Ng4 10. h3 Nge5 11. Nf1 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Bd7 13. Ne3 e6 14. Qe2 b5 15. Bd2 a5 16. Rab1 Rab8 17. f4 Rfe8 18. c4 b4 19. a3 Nd4 20. Qf2 b3 21. Bc3 a4 22. Nd1 Nc2 23. Rf1 Nd4 24. g4 Bc6 25. f5 exf5 26. exf5 Ne2+ 27. Kh1 Bxg2+ 28. Qxg2 Qb7 29. Qxb7 Rxb7 30. Kg2 Nxc3 31. Nxc3 Bxc3 32. bxc3 Re2+ 33. Rf2 Rbe7 34. Rbf1 R7e3 35. fxg6 fxg6 36. g5 Rxf2+ 37. Rxf2 Rxd3 38. Re2 Rxc3 39. Re8+ Kf7 40. Rb8 Rc2+ 41. Kf3 Rxc4 42. Rb7+ Ke6 0-1

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

David Brown

My first post in a couple of months. I've decided to take a break from online chess for a while, as it was getting to be more of a chore, and less of an enjoyable experience. Other interests were also pulling me away. However I've still been playing over the board chess, which I tend to enjoy more.

Since I last wrote, I've played five rated games. I lost to David Heelan of Derby & Mickleover B in the Derbyshire Plate competition for Spondon C, a tough game for us. I had a nice win against Alan Chancellor of Derby & Mickleover C, also for Spondon C, this time in the league. I lost to Howard Bradbury in round 5 of the Derbyshire Individual Championship, and lost to John Wheatley for Spondon D against Foremarke B. The last game I had a lack of motivation, I guess I was at the bottom of a dip in interest.

Last night I played David Brown for the first time, in round 6 of the Derbyshire Individual. I was expecting to get smashed early on as he is much higher rated, but had a good game, and made him work hard for his win.

[Event "Derbyshire Individual 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.03.25"]
[Round "6"]
[White "David Brown"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. d3 c6 6. Bd2 Qc7 7. Nge2 Bf5 8. Ng3 Bg6 9. Qf3 e6 10. Bf4 Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. O-O Nbd7 13. Qe2 O-O-O 14. Rfe1 Rhe8 15. Nce4 Bxe4 16. dxe4 Ne5 17. Bb3 g5 18. Rad1 Qc7 19. Qe3 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rd8 21. c3 Rxd1+ 22. Bxd1 Nc4 23. Qe2 Ne5 24. b3 Kb8 25. Qe3 h6 26. h3 Qd7 27. Be2 b6 28. f4 Ng6 29. fxg5 hxg5 30. Qxg5 Qe7 31. Qe3 Nd7 32. Nf1 Nde5 33. Qd4 c5 34. Qd2 Kb7 35. Nh2 f6 36. Qh6 Qf7 37. Bh5 Qf8 38. Qh7+ Ne7 39. Nf3 Nd3 40. e5 Nxe5 41. Nxe5 fxe5 42. Qe4+ Nc6 43. Bf3 Qd6 44. h4 Kc7 45. Qxc6+ Qxc6 46. Bxc6 Kxc6 47. h5 1-0

When I play the Scandinavian against stronger opponents, I always tend to feel I'm going to get over-run in development, but usually as in this case I got a good position into the middle game:

Ian Gregory told me before the game that David is excellent in the endgame, so I was happy to get a relatively unbalanced position with my knights in the middle. What would have been best now would be to attack with my queen, e.g. Qc5, but I played more passively, too respectful of my opponent and worried of phantom weaknesses. I'm always surprised afterward to realise that I had the advantage in parts of the game, when during the game I feel I'm doing badly.

From around moves 27 to 36, I was quite short of time to meet the time control, this has become more of an issue of late in my game. I eventually reached move 36 with about 30 seconds left on the clock, but by then I was down a pawn. I'm trying to figure out what is causing my time trouble, I think a lot of it is hesitancy, worrying that I'm missing something. A lot of time I'll decide on a move, but then reconsider lots of other candidate moves before going back to the original move I'd decided on.

He forced off an exchange of the remaining pieces, and the resultant end position gave him an unstoppable passed pawn:

I suppose since more club members are reading the blog, I should hold back on any controversies. But I had a wry smile to myself when someone made a total en-prise blunder during an important game, 20 minutes or so after intentionally distracting me and my opponent during our important game. What goes around comes around?

Friday, 1 February 2008

Broke the drawing streak...

...unfortunately I broke my five match drawing streak with a loss. I played for Spondon 'D' against Rolls Royce 'B', my opponent was G.R. Cooper, not sure whether he's called George, or Ron, or both.

As is the custom in my games, I was winning, up a pawn after he decided not to retake. But then in the dreaded endgame, I played moves without fully considering what he'll do next, he gets in behind the pieces and attacks the pawns, then I go from bad to worse and play recklessly to swing it from a win to a loss.

[Date "2008.01.29"]
[White "Dean Madden, Spondon D"]
[Black "G.R. Cooper, Rolls Royce B"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B30"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d3 h6 4. g3 e6 5. Bg2 b6 6. O-O Bd6 7. Re1 Bb7 8. e5 Bc7 9. Nbd2 Nge7 10. c3 Ng6 11. Nc4 d5 12. exd6 Bxd6 13. Nxd6+ Qxd6 14. d4 Nce7 15. dxc5 Qc7 16. cxb6 Qxb6 17. Qd4 Qxd4 18. Nxd4 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 O-O 20. f4 Rfd8 21. Be3 Rd5 22. Rad1 Rb8 23. Nb3 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 a6 25. Rd7 Nf5 26. Ba7 Rb5 27. Rd8+ Kh7 28. Rd2 Nfe7 29. c4 Rb4 30. Rc2 Rb7 31. Bf2 e5 32. fxe5 Nxe5 33. Nd2 Rc7 34. Bd4 Nd3 35. Kf1 Nb4 36. Be5 Rd7 37. Rc1 Rxd2 38. Rc3 Nxa2 39. Re3 Rxh2 40. Bxg7 Nf5 41. Re2 Nxg3+ 0-1

I was quite pleased with the opening, and had the better middle game position, his pieces were stuck in his own half not doing much.

Before move 28 I was in the position above and this is about the time I start to run out of ideas. All I'm thinking of is getting my rook on the last ranks, ok I've done that, now what? So then I'm thinking, ok, need to push that passed c-pawn. So I brought my rook back from it's trip up north to sit behind the c-pawn. Better would have been to get that bishop away from the side of the board and put it on c5.

Move 34 above is when I start moving without thinking, I allow his knight to encroach on my territory, then he forks rook and pawn on b4.

I should then have played simple defensive moves, but I was annoyed with myself for losing the pawn, so played recklessly and gave him a knight for free as well.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Stan Kirby

Tuesday evening I had a very enjoyable game with Stan Kirby, the first time I've played him. It was round 4 of the Derbyshire Individual Championship. My standard OTB drawing streak is now at five. Of course since Stan's rating is 101, more than double my 46, I would have been happy with a draw beforehand. But I was very disappointed afterwards because I was up two pawns in the middle game, but then stupidly got my knight trapped as we went into the endgame. I think this partly due to lack of experience in endgames, and the fact that I've never really studied the endgame. So hopefully I'll give myself time to work on it.

[Event "Derbyshire Individual 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.01.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Stan Kirby"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 e6 9. O-O Bb4 10. Ne4 Nbd7 11. c3 Be7 12. Bd2 O-O-O 13. c4 Qb6 14. a4 Qxd4 15. Bc3 Ne5 16. Qxf6 Bxf6 17. Bxd4 Rxd4 18. Bc2 Nxc4 19. b3 Rxe4 20. Bxe4 Bxa1 21. Rxa1 Nd2 22. Bc2 g6 23. f3 f5 24. Kf2 Rd8 25. Rd1 Nxf3 26. Rxd8+ Kxd8 27. Kxf3 Ke7 28. Bd3 e5 29. Bc4 e4+ 30. Kf4 h6 31. b4 Kf6 32. g3 g5+ 33. Ke3 Ke5 34. b5 f4+ 35. gxf4+ gxf4+ 36. Kd2 Kd4 37. Bf1 e3+ 38. Ke2 Ke4 39. Bg2+ Ke5 40. bxc6 bxc6 41. Bxc6 Kf5 42. Kf3 Kg5 43. Bb5 Kf5 1/2-1/2

I was up a pawn on after 14 moves, when in the position below, Stan played a4, he said he completely overlooked me taking d4.

I spent a lot of time on move 15, and eventually found the correct Ne5 in the position below:

This is much better than retreating the Queen to b6 and maybe getting it trapped. Shortly after I was able to take his c-pawn.

We then traded down, and on the day I thought the position below was where I made my mistake:

I played Nd2, and then when he plays Bc2 there are no safe places for the knight to go. So I should have recognised that. But there is actually an escape route: push the c-pawn up to c5 then c4, he has to take it.

So anyway I lost the knight and it turned into an endgame of me with seven pawns against him with four pawns and a bishop. I tried my best to force the passed pawns forward, and advance my king towards his.

However at the position above, I totally overlooked that I could play c5, adding another pawn to the advance. This again cost me any winning chances. I would have spotted it if I'd spent more time I think.

We agreed a draw in the position below. However luckily for me, Fritz thinks white has winning chances.

He could have brought his bishop round and blocked off the king from defending the passed pawns as below:

He could then use his bishop to stop the king defending the other pawns. Interesting!