New Tournament Organiser for the Gambit/Counter-Gambit Tournaments: Alex Relyea

Fred Clough has decided to retire from this role after many years of excellent service to the BCCA – thank you Fred! Fortunately, we have been able to find an excellent volunteer to take over so we would like to welcome Alex Relyea as a new BCCA Tournament Organiser.

The Gambit/Counter-Gambit Tournaments are unique! As far as I know, no other CC club or Federation offers such tournaments. They are played by e-mail only & are not ICCF rated. Each Tourney usually consists of five players in All-Play-All format, so eight games in all, one with White and one with Black against each of the others.    (Occasionally the Gambit and Counter Gambit Tourneys may be combined if there are insufficient entries).

In the Gambit Tournament White selects the opening from a set list of Gambits. In other words in each pairing of two games each player chooses the opening in the one game where he has White. You can choose any combination of Gambits, from the same Gambit in all games to four different Gambits.

In the Counter-Gambit tournament Black selects the Opening to be played from the  list. Thus, in each pairing of two games, each player chooses the Opening in the game where he is Black. Once again you can choose any combination of Counter-Gambits, from the same in all games to four different Counter-Gambits.

You will see below the lists that Alex has provided for the Tournaments that will start in September with the new season. You will be able to enter these Events online from June 1st, or with your paper Renewal form when this is received with the Summer magazine. Why not give it a try!

Gambit List

(1) Double Muzio Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. O-O gxf3 6. Qxf3 Qf6 7. e5 Qxe5 8. Bxf7+
This variation of the King’s Gambit leads to wild tactical play. White sacrifices two pieces in the opening! Is it playable in CC? I don’t know, but an unrated tournament is the place to find out.
(2) Lisitsyn Gambit 1. Nf3 f5 2. e4
An anti-Dutch gambit. An “improved” version is 1. Nf3 f5 2. d3 Nf6 3. e4, but I prefer to offer the original this year.
(3) Bishop’s opening, MacDonnell double gambit 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Bc5 3. b4 Bxb4 4. f4
A player suggestion. Any interest in proving if this is completely obsolete?
(4) French Defense, Papa Gambit 1. e4 e6 2. b3 d5 3. Bb2 dxe4 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. g4
Mike Papa is a national master from New Orleans. This variation of the Reti Gambit is his pet line against the French.
(5) French Defense Alekhine-Chatard Attack: Albin-Chatard Gambit 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. h4 Bxg5 7. hxg5
White sacrifices a pawn against the French Classical for an open h-file and an attack.
(6) Queen’s Gambit Accepted 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3
An extremely topical opening. For those who would wish to try 3. e4, ICCF is offering a postal thematic in that line in December.

Counter-Gambit List

(1) Benko Gambit 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5
Being an American, I can call this the Benko, though you might better know it as the Volga. Unusually, this is a positional gambit, and Black can retain his positional edge into the endgame without needing to win the pawn back. If this proves a popular choice, perhaps I’ll pick a variation of this opening for next year.
(2) Elephant Gambit 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5
Chessbase lists 32(!) moves that have been tried as Black’s second. 2.. d5 is an unusual idea that may be worth a try.
(3) Petroff’s Defense: Damiano Variation 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 4. Qe2
When we were learning chess, it was driven home to us that 3.. Nxe4 led to an automatic loss. Now that we know more, we find it surprisingly playable! I leave to you the choice between .. Qe7 or .. d6.
(4) Bird’s Opening: Schlecter Gambit 1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 Nc6
Last year we tried the From Gambit. This year we experiment with its less common cousin. Note that Black has scored noticeably better with the Schlecter.
(5) Albin Counter Gambit 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4
We recently offered this counter gambit, but offer it again with one more move played.
(6) Bellon Counter Gambit. 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e4 4. Ng5 b5
This opening is also back from last year. Perhaps I’m not the only one looking for a response to the English?

Webserver Trios – April Update

A fairly quiet month for the Trios with just two decided.

BCCA/C1/Tr145 has been won by Jonathan Tymms with a perfect score of 4/4. Jonathan has been awarded 2 BCCA Candidate Master Points and promoted to Class 2, Jonathan now has 6 BCM Points – Paulwell played sir. The other players in Trio were Vincent Palmer and Keith Dudeney.

BCCA/C1/Tr140Malcolm Winter is the winner with another perfect score of 4/4, well played – Malcolm is awarded 2 BCM Points taking his total to 16 (Just a Class 2 win needed to take the title) and promoted to Class 2. The other players in the Trio were Paul Wood and Chris Kent.

Webserver Trios – March Update

Seven Trios have been decided this month  4 of which were Class 3’s which means that 9 of our Top Players now have the option of playing in a Trio Championship Qualifier.

Class 1 Trio No.153John Dunn has won this Trio with a perfect score of 4/4 against Patrick Walsh and Martin Hardwick. John is awarded 2 BCM Points bringing his total to 10 and promoted to Class 2.

Class 1 Trio No.154William Lindberg is the winner with a perfect score of 4/4 against Iris Pardoe and Patrick Walsh. William is awarded 2 BCM Points giving him a total of 10 and promoted to Class 2

Class 3 Trio No.41Robert Rozanski wins with an excellent score of 3.5/4 against Graham Patrick and Phil Beckitt – well played. Robert receives his first 3 BM Points towards the title

Class 3 Trio No.46 BM John Brasier has won this close fought Trio with a score of 2.5/4 against Alex Sherwood and Phillip Tolhurst. If John wins his next Class 3 Trio he will qualify for the New Webserver Trios Championship.

Class 3 Trio No.37 – The result was a three way tie between Russell Sherwood, Alexander Relyea and Eoin Campbell and they share the 3 BM Points available. This kicks off the BM Campaigns for Alex and Eoin.

Class 1 Trio No.74John Horton and BCM Raymond Burridge are joint winners. John receives 2 BCM Points and both he and Raymond are promoted to Class 3. The third player was Raymond Cox

Class 3 Trio No.45LIM Dawn Williamson has won this Trio in a tight finish with LIM Helen Sherwood and David Cook. Dawn finished with a score of 2.5/4. and is awarded 3 BCCA Master Points bringing her total to 6. David came within half-a-point of making it a three way tie. Well played all.

Webserver Trios – February Update

Another busy month in the Trios with 5 Matches decided. The strong support for the tournament has prompted the creation of the new ‘Trios Championship’ with cash prizes available. Check it out HERE

Class 1 Trio No.121 has been won by Jonathan Tymms with a perfect score of 4/4 against Hilary Walsh and new member Stuart Honey. Jonathan is promoted to Class 2 and receives 2 BCCA Candidate Master Points taking is total up to 4.

Class 1 Trio No.150 has been won by new member, Ray Kappel, with an impressive score of 3.5/4 against David Roberts and John Dunn. Ray is also promoted to Class 2 and receives his first BCCA Candidate Master Points.

Class 1 Trio No.143 has been won by John Walker with an impressive score of 3.5/4 against David Elwood and David Richardson. John is promoted to Class 2 and receives his first BCCA Candidate Master Points

Class 3 Trio No.42 has been won by Yosua Sitorus with a very impressive 3.5/4 against Allan Gardner and Richard Akrill. Yosua already holds the BCCA Candidate Master Title and receives his first 3 BCCA Master Points, Well played Yosua!

Class 2 Trio No. 67 has also been won by Yosua Sitorus with a score of 3/4 against Pablo Moulan and Sandy Smyth

Trios Championship now available

OK you have achieved the BCCA Candidate Master & BCCA Master Titles why continue to play Trios? To become a Trios Champion and win £80!

Starting from Class 3 Trio No. 49 all Class 3 winners (must be outright wins no 2 or 3 way draws go through) will be eligible to enter a Championship Trio Semi-Final, once we have three entries a Championship Trio Semi-Final will start and the winner will go through to the Trio Championship  Final and a guaranteed cash prize.

When we have three Semi-Final Winners a Final will be set up with a Cash Prize of £80 for the winner, £40 for second and £20 for third. In the event of a two or three way draw the prize fund will be split accordingly. There will be no entry fee for the final.

The Trios Championship will continue to run on a continuous basis for Class 3 Trio winners.

Don’t miss out – enter a Trio today, BCCA Candidate Masters and players rated > 2200 start in Class 3 

John Brasier awarded ICCF Title!

Congratulations to BCCA member John Brasier who has been awarded the ICCF Title “Correspondence Chess Expert”! The Title Norms were obtained in a German Masters strong event: and the North Atlantic Team Tournament playing for England:  Given John’s rating is now well over 2400 I hope that other higher ICCF Titles will soon be in his grasp. Well played John!