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.