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Mixed fortunes

SCCU U140: Herts 9½-6½ Essex
At Gadebridge. Having won away to Kent in the opening fixture, Essex came down to earth with a bang away to Herts, going down 9½-6½. Herts won the bottom three.

U140 pageAggregate stats | CCC Website

SCCU U100: Essex 7-5 Kent
At Wanstead. The day before the match, Kent declared five defaults. This was ameliorated to four defaults on the day, but that's bad enough over 12 boards. Kent actually won 5-3 on the contested boards, but four points is too much to spot the national Champions, or anyone come to that; Essex took the match to remain undefeated.

U100 page| Aggregate stats | CCC Website

The World Chess Championship Match - Play-Off

Magnus Carlsen retains the title

Play-off: Carlsen 3-1 Karjakin

One up with one to play, Magnus only needed a draw, Karjakin had to win, not having produced any winning chances in any of the previous three games. Carlsen met Karjakin's Sicilian defence with the Maroczy Bind and Karjakin could find nothing. Carlsen slowly picked up scraps of advantages while Karjakin's clock was once more against him. Karjakin sacrificed the exchange and broke through to the 7th rank, but then Carlsen stunned him with a beautiful mating combination featuring a queen sacrifice.

A Brilliant finish! See if you can find it in the diagram below - White to play. Confirm you findings by using the right arrow below the board. In the final position (where Karjakin congratualted Carlsen) White mates on his next move. For full analysis: Click here (Or click on the c8 square in the diagram.)

The Play-off

30 Nov, in play
4 game match at 25m + 10spm Rapidplay

Play-off score: Carlsen 3-1 Karjakin

Play-off 1: Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 37 moves;
Play-off 2: Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin.Giuoco Piano, 84 moves. Incredible escape by Karjakin! Carlsen was winning at three different stages of the game with a big lead on the clock but couldn't find the finish. Karjakin somehow managed to keep afloat, going down to 2 seconds on his clock at one moment and found a drawing theme to save himself.
Play-off 3: Karjakin 0-1 Carlsen, Ruy Lopez. Carlsen shook off the disappointment of missing several wins in the previous game and dominated with the Black pieces for an emphatic win. Is this the deciding result?
Play-off 4: Carlsen 1-0 Karjakin. Sicilian Defence, Maroczy Bind, 50 moves. Brilliant finish.

Official WCC Website | Chess24

U180 Match Cancelled

SCCU U180: Essex w/o Sussex
Due to have been played at Wanstead, this coming weekend, 3 December 2016. MATCH CANCELLED as Sussex could not get a team out. Essex win.

The next U180 fixture is now away to Surrey on 21 January 2017.

U180 page | CCC Website

The World Chess Championship Match

It's a play-off

The 12-game match between defending Champion, Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Sergey Karjakin, for the World Chess Championship, is currently in progress in New York.

Final Score: Carlsen 6-6 Karjakin, after Game 12. Play-off(s) to follow.

Game 1: 11 Nov - Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin, Trompowsky, 42 moves;
Game 2: 12 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 33 moves;
Game 3: 14 Nov - Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin, Ruy Lopez, 78 moves;
Game 4: 15 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 94 moves;
Game 5: 17 Nov - Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin, Giuoco Piano, 51 moves;
Game 6: 18 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 32 moves.

So the match reaches its half-way point (of the scheduled number of games). Carlsen, as White, has played three different openings; Karjakin as White has played three 'Lopez'. Carlsen is therefore placing a greater test on Karjakin's opening preparation than is Karjakin on Carlsen's. Carlsen squandered better positions in Games 3 and 4, Karjakin was better in Game 5. Karjakin starts the second half with White.

Game 7: 20 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Slav Defence (4...a6), 32 moves;
Game 8: 21 Nov - Carlsen 0-1 Karjakin, QP, 52 moves;
Game 9: 23 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 74 moves;
Game 10: 24 Nov - Carlsen 1-0 Karjakin, Ruy Lopez, 75 moves;
Game 11: 26 Nov - Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen, Ruy Lopez, 34 moves;

Game 12: 28 Nov - Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin, Ruy lopez, 30 moves;
Neither player, it appears, was ready to "finish it here", racing to a drawn B & P ending in rapid time. So to the playoffs.

There is now a series of play-off games, starting with a four game match at 25m + 10 spm Rapidplay, the winner of the 4-game series being declared Champion. If the players are level after those four games, they play a 2-game mini-match at 5+3 blitz. If they are still level, they play another, up to five 2-game mini-matches in all, 10 games; the first to win any of these two game series is Champion. Finally, if needed, the dreaded "Armageddon" game, 1 game sudden death: winner of new drawing of lots gets choice of colours; White has 5 minutes but has to win, while Black has 4 minutes, but needs only to draw to win the tie-break (both players get +3 spm from move 61).

We find it wholly unsatisfactory that something as important as the World Championship should be decided in such a manner as these RP and blitz games. What was wrong with 'Champion keeps the title in the event of a drawn match'?

Official WCC Website | Chess24

Tables turned

SCCU U160: Essex 9-7 Middx
At Wanstead. Having sustained an 11-5 defeat in their first outing, Essex next faced Middx, having lost to them away last season. When Middx raced into a 3-0 lead, Essex faced a stern test of character. One stroke of luck for Essex was a Middx default; just a point and on paper at that, but enough to set the ball rolling. After that, Essex showed much resilience, first to level the match, then to forge a winning advantage.

Read Mark Murrell's report on the U160 page (Middx tab).

U160 page | Aggregate statsCCC Website

Three in a row!

SCCU U120: Surrey 5½-6½ Essex
At Cheam. An excellent Away win to add to the good start against Herts. Surrey suffered a default, giving Richard Joyce a wasted journey apart from picking up the default point which was the difference between the two teams at the end of the day.

Essex U120 struggled last season, losing the first three of four matches to finish bottom, winning only the last match. So success in the first two matches of the current campaign represents a hat trick of U120 wins and rewards all the effort and heartache.

U120 page | Aggregate stats | CCC Website

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