Manchester League team

Season 2023-24

(PGN viewer used on this page is from https://chesstempo.com)

We are playing in B division. We have also entered the Wahltuch Trophy knock-out competition, which we won on the last two occasions that we entered (2017 & 2018).

(Click here to view previous seasons)

Date Competition Opponents H/A Result Score
02/10/2023 Wahltuch Trophy 3Cs II H Won 3½-2½
12/10/2023 B Division Urmston I A Draw 3-3
06/11/2023 B Division Swinton & Worsley II H Lost 1½-4½
29/11/2023 B Division 3Cs II A Lost ½-5½
18/12/2023 B Division Great Lever H Lost ½-5½
15/01/2024 Wahltuch Trophy Northenden I H Lost 2½-3½
01/02/2024 B Division Swinton & Worsley III A Lost 2-4
11/03/2024 B Division Bolton II H Draw 3-3
02/04/2024 B Division Chorlton II A Lost 1½-4½
22/04/2024 B Division Eccles II H

Full details of all matches and league tables can be found on the LMS Manchester League page

02/04/2024 - Chorlton II 4½ Altrincham 1½

Another defeat, but three drawn games by Alan, Bill and Reg were good results against higher rated opponents, with Reg's game lasting about 100 moves before his 2000-rated opponent acquiesced to the draw. Tony, AJ and Steve D were unable to overcome similar rating gaps. This defeat means that we will likely be relegated from B division, though a win in our final match would give us a marginal chance of staying up if other results go our way.

11/03/2024 - Altrincham 3 Bolton II 3

We stopped our run of defeats in the Manchester League with a drawn match v Bolton II. A good result on paper since Bolton were higher rated on all boards, but we came close to winning the match. Some poor endgame play on both sides, although those of us who finished with early draws didn't have the opportunity to demonstrate our bad endgame technique! There were wins for Tony and Richard, draws for Mark and Reg, and defeats for Tom and AJ.

15/01/2024 - Altrincham 2½ Northenden 3½ (Wahltuch Trophy)

We lost our Wahltuch Trophy match to Northenden, bringing to an end our bid to win it three consecutive times (we won it in 2017 & 2018, but haven't taken part since). Kudos to Northenden who were significantly outrated, but won on boards 3 & 4 (against Sheraz and Tony) with draws on boards 5 & 6 (Tom Tomkins and Steve Douglas). Reg was our only winner, which left Mark Hann, last to finish, gallantly trying to win a totally drawn position to square the match, which would have given us the win under the board count tie-break rule. He eventually had to bow to the inevitable and agree a draw.

29/11/2023 - 3Cs II 5½ Altrincham ½

We were missing our three top players, and were outrated by almost 400 points per board so the heavy defeat was not surprising. Vijay had difficulty finding the venue, losing time on the clock, and then lost due to his mobile phone sounding, having forgotten to turn it off in the rush to get there. Alan Tyson was playing his first serious game since 2007, so this was a tough baptism - hopefully he will soon get back to his previous level. Sheraz, Tony and Tom all lost to players rated over 2000. A very good draw for Bill to save the whitewash.

06/11/2023 - Altrincham 1½ Swinton & Worsley II 4½

Our first defeat in the MCF this season. Mark had a winning advantage after just 6 moves but somehow contrived to lose - his comments about what went wrong are unprintable! Thomas Hague continued his 100% record since the pandemic, the only other scorer being Reg with a draw. Defeats for Tony, Tom and Steve Douglas.

12/10/2023 - Urmston I 3 Altrincham 3

We started our league matches at Urmston, whose team contained three of our former players, Dave & Kieran Newell and John Reyes.

Sheraz was first to finish with a quick draw against John. My game with Dave was also quick if measured by the number of moves (15) - however we each took well over an hour for those 15 moves, and with time running short and neither of us sure what was going on we agreed a draw. Danilo put us in front with a win on board 1, but Kieran levelled the scores with a win over Tony, exploiting a dark square weakness around Tony's King. Mark seemed on course for victory with extra pawns in a Rook ending, but transposed to an ending with Rook and two connected pawns v Rook which sounds good - but the pawns were on the g & h files which gives the defender good drawing chances if he can get his King in front of the pawns, and so it proved. The last game to finish was Tom, with Rook, Knight and three pawns v Queen and two pawns which looked drawn until his opponent contrived to give away his two pawns which gave Tom winning chances, but it would have been hard work and eventually a draw was agreed to leave the match score 3-3.

02/10/2023 - Altrincham 3½ 3Cs II 2½ (Wahltuch Trophy)

We started the winter season with a 1st round Wahltuch Trophy match against 3Cs II. They put out a much stronger team than in the Summer League a few months earlier, when we had a comfortable victory - this time the average ratings of the two teams were very close.

First to finish was Sheraz, who chose the right time to return to winning ways after an unproductive summer season. Draws followed from Tony (an impressive result against a much higher rated player), Richard and Mark. Reg then blundered in a level position, to leave the match level with just Danilo to finish. A draw would have been no good as the tie-break would have favoured our opponents, and Danilo duly obliged with a win to give us the match 3½-2½.

Below is Danilo's game. He comments "My opening play was hesitant and I ended up in a cramped position, but managed to mount a successful counterattack after he overextended on the queenside. Looking over the game with a computer now there were mistakes on both sides. My 25...Bf5 was actually a serious oversight which blundered the game away, but fortunately he didn't spot the only move to take advantage of the error. There were easier ways for me to convert my advantage in the end, too, but the finish was still interesting - it's not every day that one gets to write Qae5+ and Qee4 on a scoresheet."

Robert McLean v Danilo Soares