London Online League Season 3

Wanstead Wolves have entered Season 3 of the London Online League, which starts Wednesday 9 June and runs for 11 rounds. Matches are four boards, starting at 7.00 pm on the tornelo platform.

Team Captain is Nigel White.

The Wolves’ team progress can be followed here and all the games are live online as they happen.

London Online League Season 3 on Tornelo

Download: All Wolves S3 games (zip)

Round Date Team White on odds Score Team Black on odds
1 09 June 2021 Wanstead Wolves 4-0 Metropolitan MetroGnomes
2 16 June 2021 Charlton Chess Mates 2-2 Wanstead Wolves
3 23 June 2021 Wanstead Wolves ½-3½ Wimbledon B
4 30 June 2021 Streatham & Brixton B 2-2 Wanstead Wolves
5 07 July 2021 Wanstead Wolves 3-1 Hendon Harriers
6 14 July 2021 Hackney Hopefuls 1-3 Wanstead Wolves
7 21 July 2021 Wanstead Wolves 3-1 Greater London B
8 28 July 2021 Wanstead Wolves ½-3½ East Ham Beagles
9 04 August 2021 Battersea Dogs 2-2 Wanstead Wolves
10 11 August 2021 Wanstead Wolves 3-1 Battersea Too
11 18 August 2021 Paisley 2-2 Wanstead Wolves

Played: 11, Won: 5, Drawn: 4, Lost: 2 – Provisional finishing spot: 3rd.

Played 9 June 2021

Board Wanstead Wolves v Metropolitan MetroGnomes
1 Ian Hunnable 1942 (W) 1-0 Peter Szabo 1634 (B)
2 Ian Reynolds 1915 1-0 Levente Lencses 1644
3 David Smith 1639 1-0 Nicholas Nardecchia 1646
4 Nigel White 1443 1-0 Mark Nevison 1478

Played 16 June 2021

Board Charlton Chess Mates v Wanstead Wolves
1 John Alderson 1818 (W) 0-1 Ian Hunnable 1942 (B)
2 David Rogers 1600 1-0 Mark Murrell 1858
3 Humphrey Jones 1623 0-1 David Smith 1639
4 Robert Stebbings 1615 1-0 Nigel White 1443

Black wins 4-0.

London Online League S3 on Tornelo

Played 23 June 2021

Board Wanstead Wolves v Wimbledon B
1 Ian Hunnable 1968 (W) 0-1 Georgi Velikov 1747 (B)
2 Mark Murrell 1858 ½-½ Shahvez Ali 1773
3 David Smith 1639 0-1 Andrew Blackburn 1645
4 Laurence Duffy 1312 0-1 Mario Avendano 1608

London Online League S3 on Tornelo

Commentary by skip Nigel: “It was not Wanstead’s finest evening, losing 3½-½, with Mark Murrell securing the only half point. David succumbed to a mouse slip in a good position. The Board 4 game was featured on the Twitch commentary channel this evening.”

A win should have accrued on Board 1 though this would not have changed the result, but short of time, the Webmaster blundered.

Played 1 July 2021

  Streatham 2 v Wanstead Wolves
1 Martin Smith 1960 (W) 1-0 Ian Reynolds 1915 (B)
2 Alan Romeril 1638 0-1 Keith Jones 1840
3 Michael Chung 1630 1-0 David Smith 1639
4 Tim Cutter 1510 0-1 Nigel White 1443

In a strange parallel to the Charlton match (R2), this one also ended 2-2, but with all games won by White; the previous game was four wins for Black.

R4 on Tornelo

Played 7 July 2021

  Wanstead Wolves v Hendon Harriers
1 Ian Reynolds 1915 (W) 1–0 Matty Berenblut 2206 (B)
2 Keith Jones 1840 1–0 David Lewis 1465
3 Nigel White 1443 1-0 Stanley Jacobs 1390
4 Laurence Duffy 1312 0–1 Dev Ranka 1270

Round 5 on TorneloGames below the report.

Tonight’s match clashed with the Euro soccer SF, England v Denmark, KO at 8.00 pm. The players in the chess were given the option of starting their games an hour earlier than normal, at 6.00 pm, but in the absence of agreement the default start of 7.00 pm would apply. In our match with Hendon Harriers, two boards started at 6.00 pm (Boards 2 and 3) the others starting at the standard 7.00 pm.

Skipper Nigel was one of the two early starters and won in just 17 moves with a simple but effective mating attack. Black’s ‘helpmate’ last move shortened the agony but he didn’t appear to have any defence.

The two ‘late’ games on 1 and 4 swung in opposite directions at almost the same time, as Ian won a knight on move 11 and Laurence lost one on move 16. Either or both players on Board 4 clearly wanted to watch the football as the game was played at breakneck pace, starting at or near blitz speeds, before settling down to fast rapid. Times left on the clocks at the end of the game at move 46 were 43:37 (W) and 39:00 (B); our incremental calculator shows that the game took a fraction over 30 minutes, which is a move every 39 seconds.

The other early game finished just in time for kick-off, some time after the late starting Board 4. With a closed centre, where White had a sort of bind with pawns on e4 and d5 with Keith’s e5 pawn the fulcrum, Keith chose not to challenge this central chain with …c6 and concentrated on activity on both wings. White worked up some dangerous looking play, however, invading on the white squares, first with a knight on f5, then with a rook at c6. Keith’s counter demonstrated the advantage of doubled rooks on the file versus a single rook on the 6th rank – the Russians have a proverb: ‘one man in a field is not an army’ – before benefiting from White’s generous rook sac on move (30 Rh8+), subsequently commuted to the exchange. Keith missed the win of a White bishop with 32 … Rxd5 but the result was by then not in doubt.

Ian’s game, last to finish, ended with Black’s resignation 6 minutes after the footy kicked off. Having won a knight early doors, he had to resist Black’s compensatory pressure, without ever being in trouble. Black’s compensation ceased with the exchange of queens at move 36.

As being the squad member to sit on the bench for this match, your webmaster had the undoubted advantage of being able to watch the chess match and the footy without the constraint of having to play a game of chess at the same time. Best of both worlds?

Hendon Harriers games

Played 14 July 2021

  Hackney Hopefuls v Wanstead Wolves
1 Freddie Sugden 1668 (W) 0-1 Ian Hunnable 1968 (B)
2 Peter Burgoyne 1653 0-1 Keith Jones 1840
3 Zebedee Jones 1638 ½-½ David Smith 1639
4 Joe Thornton 1488 ½-½ Nigel White 1443

A cursory glance of the match sheet shows the results going with ratings. The two boards where the ratings were closest were two solid draws with no drama. Board 1 was a clear advantage or slight advantage to White for some time, until White went astray on move 19 d5 and the game was over in nine more moves.

So 2-1 with Keith still in play, in the second c3 Sicilian in the match (the other was Nigel on Board 4). Keith had saddled Black with a couple of pawn weaknesses in the opening and, as the game reached its critical phase, he snatched a pawn. Peter set up a devilish tactic with 28 …Bc5, the downside being that Keith could and did fork R and B with 29 b4 and Black lost the exchange. From that point the result was no longer in doubt, except that errors were always possible in the players’ mutual time shortage, but Keith brought it home to complete a satisfactory 3-1 win.

Played 21 July 2021

  Wanstead Wolves v Greater London B
1 Ian Hunnable 1968 (W) 1–0 Paul Chantrell 1735 (B)
2 Ian Reynolds 1915 1–0 Peter Pickering 1540
3 Matthias Lataille 1511 1–0 Robert Gordon 1465
4 Nigel White 1443 0–1 Keith Hylands 1360

R7 on Tornelo

First point was Ian Reynolds’ efficient – one is tempted to say ‘violent’ – destruction of White’s King’s gambit in 13 moves. This was followed by the point on Board 1 when Black, already a pawn down allowed a fork which would lose him a bishop. This was closely followed by Matthias’ scything attack to take the match, leaving skipper Nigel with his R&N ending.

Nigel appeared to have the advantage with the better pawn structure. However, White was able to corner Nigel’s king and after White had missed his winning play (38 f6+) Nigel thought he had to give up the exchange, though after 39 …Kxf6 White’s invading forces would be unable to support each other. Thereafter, Nigel always had a chance with his extra pawns and missed another winning opportunity (58 …Ke4)  after which he couldn’t hold it. Find the games below.

Next match: 28 July v East Ham Beagles, division leaders at the start of this evening’s round. They could only share the points this evening with Hackney Hopefuls, while Battersea Too won to join EHB in the lead on 6 points. Wanstead Wolves are a point adrift with 5 points.


Played 28 July 2021

  Wanstead Wolves v East Ham Beagles
1 Ian Hunnable 1968 (W) 0-1 Laith Hayali 1765 (B)
2 Keith Jones 1840 0-1 Roland Glotzer 1735
3 David Smith 1639 ½-½ Stephen Berkley 1683
4 Matthias Lataille 1511 0-1 Dogancan Nazarogl u1600

Round 8 on tornelo

The Wolves go to the dogs? Wolves results are becoming repetitious: after three 3-1 wins, a loss by ½-3½ to East Ham Beagles, the Division leaders, repeating our score against Wimbledon B in R3. In fact we have only one score which has not (yet) been repeated, the opening 4-0 win.

It’s easy to see why East Ham Beagles are topping the division: their  top two boards are virtually ever-present and have incredibly dominant records of 7/8 and 7/7 respectively, the top two places in the standings for the division. Laith has an ECF standard online rating of 1975.

Well done to David for preventing the whitewash.

Next up, more dogs, Battersea Dogs, on 4 August.

Played 4 August 2021

  Battersea Dogs v Wanstead Wolves
1 Alan Palmer 1795 (W) 1-0 Ian Hunnable 1968 (B)
2 Liam Medley 1600e 1-0 Keith Jones 1840
3 Arnold Hunt 1570 0-1 David Smith 1639
4 Chris Rebbeck 1405 0-1 Sean Lightbown 1540e

Round 9 on Tornelo

A match beset with difficulties at the start and a late board order change for Battersea.

Battersea wanted to make a late substitution for their original Board 4 and put forward the replacement as Liam Medley. However, the rating data was a bit sketchy, Liam being described as being “rusty”, not having played a serious standard play game before and a suggested rating of 1450. While this was reasonably close to Liam’s FIDE Rapid rating of 1472, the League Secretary overruled this in favour of his ECF Rapid rating (which takes precedence) of 1728; quite a difference. This required a board order change, so Liam stepped in on Board 2. An allowance for being ring rusty gave rise to a change of rating to 1600e (though why this should replace a published rating, we’re not sure) but this did not amount to a further change of board order. These various changes were agreed by both sides.

The Wolves blooded a new member on Board 4, Sean Lightbown, who similarly has no current standard play rating, but had played one game in our Club Championship (R3) where he lost to Michael Wilson, on which basis an estimate of 1540 was settled upon.

The Tornelo platform had a problem at the start, with the normal URL failing to load the LOL tournament. A replacement link was circulated which enabled the tournament to load, but there were still connection issues affecting some players. However, after a short delay, the games got going. [As we write, Tornelo still has problems. Cross fingers, the above link should work.]

We can’t better skipper Nigel’s succinct summing up: “The result tonight was a 2-2 draw, with wins for David and Sean on the bottom two boards. Battersea’s late substitute on Board 2 (who they originally wanted to play on Board 4) seemed higher than his estimated rating.”

On Board 1, London League President, Alan Palmer, got the better of the opening, but the result stemmed from a later tactic which won him a pawn (28 Bxa6). Keith was on the receiving end of “(Liam) …seemed higher than his estimated rating”. So Battersea convincingly won the top two boards.

Fortunately, the Wolves’ bottom two boards were able to balance the books. David won on time in what was by then an equal position, though he had clearly been winning earlier. Sean had an impressive debut with a striking win with the white pieces. While his opponent could have improved his play, Sean’s incisive pawn moves cut through Black’s defences in style. We have added some brief notes to the game which you can find below.

Played 11 August 2021

  Wanstead Wolves v Battersea Too
1 Ian Hunnable 1968 (W) 1-0 Bill Drennan 1833 (B)
2 Mark Murrell 1858 0-1 Emīls Steiners 1773
3 David Smith 1639 1-0 Edward Clark 1488
4 Matthias Lataille 1511 1d0 Marco Flaccavento 1023

Round 10 on tornelo

Nigel is happy: “Well done to the team tonight who won 3-1 with wins on the board for Ian and David (a substitute for Sean). Matthias won by default as unfortunately his opponent didn’t show. Although it is now impossible for us to win the Division, by my calculations I think we are currently third out of twelve teams, so a good chance of a podium finish.”

However, things might have turned out differently: Board 1 should have gone the other way (see game below, with light notes). We used to think five-board National Club matches were perilous affairs (as they were), but these four-board matches can turn on their head with a single slip.

Mark was the only casualty, dropping material to a discovery with check. David held his nerve in the closing stages, both players short of time – the opponent acutely so. David simply thrust his passed d-pawn down the board and Black had no defence.

Our final match of the season is against Paisley – who by playing online can participate in the London League despite being located in Scotland. (NW)

Played 18 August 2021

  Paisley v Wanstead Wolves
1 Michael Ash 1908 (W) 1-0 Ian Hunnable 1968 (B)
2 John McKenna1690 1-0 Ian Reynolds 1915
3 Anna Marciniak 1459 0-1 Matthias Lataille 1511
4 Jim Dennison 1364 0-1 Nigel White 1443

Round 11 on Tornelo

With only four boards there’s bound to be repetition; fewer variables. However. The Wolves have now recorded four 2-2 results; they go in pairs. Of the first two, one was all wins by Black, the other all wins by White. The latter pair of 2-2 results, in both we lost the top two boards, but won the bottom two.

All games given below, Nigel’s report here:

Thanks to the the team who played tonight – we secured a 2-2 draw, with wins on the bottom two boards. As our closest challengers in the table, Battersea Too, were beaten 4-0, then I think we have secured third place in the Bishops Division. (Charlton who were just ahead of us on games, managed to win their match this evening, so we didn’t catch them).

Paisley did not appear the most sporting of teams – one player arrived just before the default time and another let their clock run out in a lost position. My apologies that I could not speedily sort out these issues, as my game was the longest of the four and while my position was comfortable from early on, I know from bitter experience I’ve thrown away similar ones through lack of concentration.

This was the final game of the season. As you are probably aware, the London League is now devoting its efforts to trying to put together a feasible plan for the resumption of OTB league chess. It remains to be seen what will be proposed and whether another on-line league will occur at some point. (At least with OTB matches we won’t encounter Paisley.)

Thanks to everyone who played this season, especially for making my time as skipper easy.