London League East

Team Captain: Keith Jones

The London League has had to reinvent itself to get League activity up and running. The Committee had to grapple with considerable problems in addressing its central venue with regards to playing conditions and cost. Those who have previously played at Citadines know that the over-crowded and cramped conditions were borderline unacceptable pre-covid and completely out of the question during covid. To address these issues, the accomodation at Citadines has been expanded to two rooms so that there is only one game per table and air filters are being installed to complement the air conditioning. But the high cost of a central London venue was something that seemed insuperable.

A partial solution was put forward at the last LL AGM in a prospective alternative/additional venue in Hammersmith, known as “Mindsports”. This has the advantages of ventilation, spaciousness and low cost. The downside for teams based in east London was travelling across central London on the Underground in the evening peak period. After the League’s consultation process with Clubs – as with our internal survey, exploring who was prepared to play where – the hope that the two venues could co-exist to cover the same fixture list – with the advantage that the cheapness of the Mindsports venue could subsidise Citadines and enable the League to continue at the same rate of Board Fee – was quashed when Clubs’ preferred home venues would not generate sufficient income to cover the costs and would have left the League with a deficit that would eat up its reserves.

The pragmatic solution arrived at was to split the League into two theatres: east and west. The west League plays at Mindsports and the east League plays at Citadines, with an eight board competition and a four board competition. The Board Fee is increased to £8, partly-subsidised from the League’s reserves – full beans would be £10. This is viewed as a transitional season.

The Club has entered one team in the 8-board East competition, which will be playing in Division 2, against Cavendish 3, East Ham, Mushrooms East, Athenaeum East 2, Bekenham & Charlton, Dulwich, GLCC and Albany; all well-known opponents, though the difference between what we remember of these teams pre-covid and their makeup now, may be as much a difference as we ourselves present.

Our AGM in 2020 voted to charge members playing in a London League match a Board Fee of £3 to help us cover the cost of playing in the London League. The fixture list now published has given us five matches at Citadines and three matches at our opponents’ home venues (Cavendish, GLCC and Albany).

Link: London League Website

London League East – Division 2

 Date Home Team v Away Team Venue
Thu 4 November 2021 Cavendish 3 4½–3½ Wanstead 1 CAV
Wed 2 February 2022 Wanstead 1 East Ham 1 CIH
Wed 23 February 2022 Wanstead 1 Mushrooms East CIH
Wed 2 March 2022 Wanstead 1 Athenaeum East 2 CIH
Wed 23 March 2022 Beckenham & Charlton 1 Wanstead 1 CIH
Wed 4 May 2022 Dulwich 1 Wanstead 1 CIH
Tue 10 May 2022 Greater London 1 Wanstead 1 GLCC
Mon 23 May 2022 Albany 1 Wanstead 1 ALB

Key to venues

CAV – Cavendish, Millman Street Community Centre, 50, Millman Street, Holborn, London WC1N 3EW – Access: On the door entry panel press the ‘Community Centre’ button and wait to be buzzed in. Start 18:45

CIH – Citadines Hotel, 94-99 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6LF – Start 18:45

GLCC – Upper Vestry House, St George’s Church, 6-7 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HS – Start 18:30
The entrance to Upper Vestry House is up the external staircase which is on your right when you go through the gate at the back of the church. Nearest tube stations are Holborn (5 minutes walk) and Tottenham Court Road (7 minutes walk). Buses from the west end stop directly outside the church on Bloomsbury Way and those from the City and south of the river, in nearby New Oxford Street. There is limited on-street parking near the venue (free after 6.30pm). Bloomsbury Square underground car park is only 5 minutes walk from St George’s.

ALB – Albany, The Wheatsheaf Public House, 25 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1JB – Start 19:00
Nearest tube Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. The venue is a public house and, as such, junior players are not permitted access.

Played 4 November 2021

Board Cavendish 3
v Wanstead
1 Jeff Goldberg 2097B (B) ½–½ Ashley Freeman 1909F (W)
2 Chris Sherwood 2033C 0–1 Ian Hunnable 1970A
3 Anthony Milnes 1971B 1–0 Terry Whitton 1919A
4 Howard Waterman 1938C 1–0 Mark Murrell 1889A
5 Ricardo Velasco 1765D 1–0 Keith Jones 1830A
6 Diego Franco 1600e 0–1 Peter Nickals 1812A
7 Ben Finn 1578D 0–1 Istvan Karacsony 1697*
8 Tomasz Janeczko 1480E 1–0 Krishna Raikundalia 1590D
    4½–3½  

See match card on London League LMS

For our return to London League OTB activity, in the 8-board East competition, we met some familiar faces from Cavendish.

It was a close match throughout, with the issue being decided with the last game. Early wins for Wanstead on boards 5 and 6 were cancelled out by the bottom board and, later, board 5. Two wily operators met on board 3, with the decision going to Cavendish to give them the lead by a point. This was cancelled out a short while later with the Wanstead win on board 2 (moves given below).

This left the scores tied at 3-3 with boards 1 and 4 still in play. Mark was the exchange down against Howard Waterman, while Ashley having gained two bishops for a rook was now a bishop to the good for two pawns, both on the same side of the board, which was crucial (Q-side 2 v 2, K-side 3 v 1). Mark eventually had to give best, which left the issue to be decided by top board, which Wanstead now needed to win to level the match. Here, Jeff advanced his K-side majority to form a phalanx of two pawns on the 5th rank (f4 and e4) supported by the third pawn on g5. Ashley exchanged his g-pawn on f4 reducing the K-side to Black pawns on f4 and e4 supported by the black king and Ashley’s king in front with his bishop waiting in vain for something to pounce on. This appeared to be a technically drawn position as there was no way for the king and bishop to break these pawns, so long as Jeff maintained them side by side. There was also no way to create a passed pawn on the Q-side. Reluctantly, Ashley had to accept the draw, resulting in a win for Cavendish, 4½-3½.

A disappointing result, but the real winner that evening was the game of chess, with the return of London League OTB play.

If anyone else would like to send me their game to add to the game board below, I would be grateful. Use the Contact Form and select Webmaster as the person to send to. – Ian H.

 

To be played 2 February 2022

Board Wanstead
v East Ham
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 23 February 2022

Board Home Team
v Away Team
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 2 March 2022

Board Wanstead
v Athenaeum East 2
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 23 March 2022

Board Beckenham & Charlton
v Wanstead
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 4 May 2022

Board Dulwich
v Wanstead
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 10 May 2022

Board Greater London
v Wanstead
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       

To be played 23 May 2022

Board Albany
v Wanstead
1      
2      
3      
4      
5      
6      
7      
8      
       
nLondon League East – Division 2            
Players Rating P W D L Pts %
Ian Hunnable 1970A 1 1 0 0 1 100.00
Peter Nickals 1812A 1 1 0 0 1 100.00
Istvan Karacsony 1697* 1 1 0 0 1 100.00
Ashley Freeman 1909F 1 0 1 0 ½ 50.00
Terry Whitton 1919A 1 0 0 1 0 0.00
Mark Murrell 1889A 1 0 0 1 0 0.00
Keith Jones 1830A 1 0 0 1 0 0.00
Krishna Raikundalia 1590D 1 0 0 1 0 0.00