Win @ Bishops Stortford

The long distance away match – 38 miles there and the same back – gave us our third win of the season

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 2   
 Thursday 02-March-2023            

           Bishops Stortford 2                             Borehamwood
Board  1 : Osiyemi, Lara                       1813   0-1   Simmons, Matthew             2171
Board  2 : Cowlin, Andrew                  1742   1/2   Rubeck, Jonathan               1880
Board  3 : Kerby, Nigel P                      1750   1/2   Kent, Anthony R                    1792
Board  4 : Hirst, Adam                         1649   0-1   Williams, Stephen                1666
Board  5 : Barnard, Thomas                1638   1-0   Sear, Kevin                         1646
  Match Score :                                     2 – 3

A draw on Board 1 and decent positions on most boards meant we were in a good place for most of the evening. Good wins for Matthew and Steve. Now have 3 wins and 5 defeats from 8 Matches.

Action on Board 1

Boards 4 and 5


Second Win in Herts Division 2!

2022/2023 has not been the easiest of seasons with a small squad and top player avaialability an issue. But we have picked up our second win (to go with 5 defeats….) against top of the table Stevenage and move of the foot of the table.

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 2                                 
                                           Tuesday 21-February-2023                                           

           Borehamwood                                     Stevenage 1
Board  1 : Simmons, Matthew      2171   1-0   Amato, Giampiero         2055
Board  2 : Raoof, Adam N               2091   1-0   Robinson, Dominic        1872
Board  3 : Rubeck, Jonathan        1880   1-0   Anigbo, Afamefuna      1801
Board  4 : Kent, Anthony R           1792   1/2   Maynard, Kenneth R     1861
Board  5 : Choudhury, Shakeel      1700   1/2   Rawlings, Stephen L     1764
Match Score :                                     4 – 1

No nice photos – just a diagram from an error strewn Vienna Gambit on board 4.

Black to move: Best is 9…..exf. However, Bxh?? was played but white missed f5 winng a piece,,,,

Open 2022/2023 Season with disappointing Defeat

First Match of the season at home. Stronger on paper. What could go wrong?

Herts League – Division 2
Tuesday 18-October-2022
Welwyn White on odd boards

       Borehamwood                                     Welwyn Hatfield

Board 1 : Simmons, Matthew 2171 0-1 White, David 1840
Board 2 : Raoof, Adam N 2091 1/2 Gordonsmith, Roger H 1835
Board 3 : Rubeck, Jonathan 1880 1/2 Roderick, Andrew 1820
Board 4 : Kent, Anthony R 1792 1/2 Aldred, James H 1738
Board 5 : Williams, Stephen 1500 0-1 Fisher, Jim R 1711
Match Score : 1.5 – 3.5

First result was a draw on board 3. Anthony Kent played a gambit line versus the Caro Kann, which was declined, and a symetrical pawn tructure led to a draw. Adam could not break down his opponents French dame efence. Jim Fisher’s king side attack against Steve Williams, which left us needing a win on top board to tie the match. Unfortunately, Matthew was a pawn down and eventually lost the endgame.

Boards 2 and 3

Action on board 1

First Herts league win of season against Stevenage

We lost 3-2 at their venue 3 weeks previously. On the day, our usual board 2 was not well, so we found a sub, who was then not needed as Stevenage could only field 4 players.

Herts CA : Herts League – phase 2 – Division 2D                               
                                            Tuesday 26-April-2022                             

           Borehamwood                                     Stevenage 1
Board  1 : Simmons, Matthew        2163   1/2   Robinson, Dominic          1885
Board  2 : Kent, Anthony R               1750   1-0   Anigbo, Afamefuna          1775
Board  3 : Williams, Stephen            1500   1/2   Fitzgerald, Patrick          1788
Board  4 : O’Sullivan, Terry J            1510   0-1   Trethewey, Frank              1675
Board  5 : Sear, Kevin                     1653   1-d   default                              –
Match Score :                                      3 – 2

Stevenage were stronger on boards 2 to 4, so the was not going to be easy to win. On Board 2, Black had a good opening with the Scicilian against white’s Grand Prix Attack.

On move 16, black’s Queen on h4 should have exchanged itself with white’s queen. Instead, 18…. Qd8 was which was met by 19. e5! which threatened to cut of black’s bishop with c3. Black had to give up his c pawn, and his postion fell apart after 7 moves.due to king side weakness

Postion after 26. Bxe

On Board 1, black pressed for the inititative but could not break through, so a draw was agreed.


Board 3 was also drawn, giving us a win (an oversight on board 4 cost the game).

Level material on board 3.

A few more matches to play till the end of the sesason,

Narrow Loss To Stevenage

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 2D            Monday 11-April-2022                                         
                       Borehamwood White on odds boards                                                

            Stevenage 1                                     Borehamwood
Board  1 : Amato, Giampiero     2110   0-1   Simmons, Matthew  2163
Board  2 : Fewell, Ewan              1900   1/2   Raoof, Adam              2103
Board  3 : Rawlings, Stephen     1795   1/2   Kent, Anthony             1750
Board  4 : Anigbo, Afamefuna    1775   1-0   O’Sullivan, Terry         1510
Board  5 : Fitzgerald, Patrick      1788   1-0   Williams, Stephen       1500
 Match Score :                                   3 – 2

Another tight match, but still winless this season in Herts Division 2. We were evenly matched over the top 3 boards, but their strength on the bottom 2 boards proved the difference.

Anthony finished first on board 3, accepting a draw against the French Defence, Terry’s Queens Gambit declined went awry, and he found himself unable to castle ,and under attack. White won comfortably in the end. Adam played a lively line of the French defence on board 2, and a draw was agreed after many pieces got exchanged.

On Board 5, Steve had some pressure with his 2 rooks and queens lined up, despite being a pawn down. Unfortunately, black managed to swap all the pieces of and comfortably won the pawn endgame. Board 1 saw a 4 knights opening where black had double pawns on the c file and a Bishop for Knight. White played a long term game to swap off the other pieces and use his mobile knight to create queenside threats and win the endgame.

We play Stevenage again at home in a couple of weeks.

The team
Board 1

New year – 2 trips to Hemel

Extremely belated Happy new year. January fixtures comprised to away matches to Hemel – or more accurately Apsley. .Apsley was a 19th-century mill village, but these days it is the part between the interminable roundabouts of Hemel and the A41.

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 2B       Monday 10-January-2022                           

           Hemel Hempstead 2                               Borehamwood
Board  1 : Law, Stephen                        2058   1/2   Simmons, Matthew         2163
Board  2 : Valentine, Brian J                1908   0-1   Choudhury, Shakeel        1803
Board  3 : Matthews, Adrian MS         1878   1/2   Kent, Anthony R              1750
Board  4 : Dunford, Anthony D            1810   1/2   Sear, Kevin                        1653
Board  5 : Simpson, Derek                      1713   1-0   O’Sullivan, Terry             1510
  Match Score :                                   2.5 – 2.5

On paper, we did well to draw this match, though we were never in trouble.

Tight position on board 1
Shakeel’s winning attack on Board 2

H&D : Herts & District League – South        Monday 24-January-2022                                           

           Hemel Hempstead                                 Borehamwood
Board  1 : Dunford, Anthony D         1810   0-1   Choudhury, Shakeel             1803
Board  2 : Rollinson, David                1608   0-1   Kent, Anthony R                    1750
Board  3 : Hall, Ian JL                        1495   0-1   Sear, Kevin                        1653
Board  4 : Hicks, Simon                      1473   1/2   O’Sullivan, Terry J                1510
Board  5 : Shergill, Ranjit                    1038   0-1   Devan, Matthew                     1495
  Match Score :                                   0.5 – 4.5

Our 2nd match against Hemel resulted in a plasing win. Kevin won against the French, and Terry draw playing the French Winawer. Matthrew’s Spanish opening won comfortably, and to complete the European tour, Anthony’s Dutch Leningrad broke through with a strong kingside attack. Shakeel mated his oponnet in the time scrample.


2nd Herts League match ends in defeat

Our fist – and last – Herts league home match of 2021. We managed to play a full 5 player team this time, and the teams looked fairly even on paper, but we lost again to Watford 2:

Herts League – Division 2B     Tuesday 14-December-2021            

           Borehamwood                                     Watford 2
Board  1 : Simmons, Matthew  2163   1/2   Taylor, Alistair 1840
Board  2 : Choudhury, Shakeel 1803   1/2   Gurjar, Roshan 1720
Board  3 : Kent, Anthony 1750   1/2   Sloan, Cecil 1720
Board  4 : Sear, Kevin 1653   0-1   Charles, Simon 1720
Board  5 : O’Sullivan, Terry 1510   0-1   Gurjar, Siena 1578
  Match Score :                                    1.5 – 3.5

Borehamwood were black on odd boards as home team. In truth, we never looked like winning the match. All Boards playing 70 minutes each + 10 second increment per move.

On Board 3, Kevin Seer had a rook for a bishop and 2 pawns. But Black’s bishop pair was too strong.with most pawns still on the board. Shakeel Choudhary could not convert the queenside pressure he had on Board 2. On Top Board, Matthew Simmons was a bit worse off, but managed to reach a drawn ending.I unwisely castled queenside in the Sicilian. On board 3, as black to move, Anthony Kent was offered a draw (see position below). Having only 2 1/2 mins left + increments the draw offer was accepted. Post game, the computer says black was a bit worse off.On Board 5, Terry O’sullivan had an opposite coloured bishop ending. He missed a drawing chance very short on time, and lost to a strong young opponent.

Draw agreed on Board 3 (Black to move)

There are more fixtures in the new year, and hopefully these will go ahead on schedule. The players who want to play should be allowed to make their own choice, subject to being in good health. Wishing all our members and readers an enjoyable festive season and happy new year.

First league match for over 18 months….we lost

Over the board league chess ceased in March 2020 and leagues were suspended during lockdown. For some, the various online leagues that were organised have provided continuit. The chance to play competitive matches, with post match discusions on zoom. Others took a prolonged sabbatical from game.

19 July 2021 – Freedom Day – meant weddings, nightclubs and chess could resume without restrictions. Chess tournamemts were held, with suitable precautions. Emails were sent enquiring about club appetites to resume leagues, and fixtures were drawn up. We only had a week to find 5 players for our first fixture. At such short notice, we managed to find 4. The most important thing was to fulful the fixture and start the season.

 Herts CA : Herts League – Division 2B   Monday 8th November 2021         Borehamwood white on odd boards            

           St Albans 3                                     Borehamwood
Board  1 : Hotala, Grzegorz            1710   1-0   Choudhury, Shakeel             1803
Board  2 : Taylor, Stephen A          1750   1/2   Kent, Anthony R                    1750
Board  3 : Cross, Ian K                    1728   1-0   O’Sullivan, Terry J                1510
Board  4 : Ball, Matthew P              1690   0-1   Devan, Matthew                   1495
Board  5 : unlisted player                       –   1-d   default                              –
  Match Score :                                    3.5 – 1.5

The league kindly split Division 2 regionally to cut down on travel. We were last in Division 3, so a handy backdoor promotion. Shakeel was outmanouvered by his opponent on board 1. Terry was under pressure and had to cede the exchange, from which he could never recover.. Matthew played the black side of the Ruy Lopez and secured a fine win. After a Leningtad Dutch, black (to move) on board 2 reached the following position. With a time control of 70 minutes + 10 seconds a move, black needed the righ strategy to win.

28…Qg7 was played won black the b pawn, but but allowed the white to f3 and some counterplay. The computer likes 28…Qe6 which threatens Qe1 and then targetting white’s king f pawn. Black settled for a draw in a fairly level position where it was not easy to make progress.

Every player from each team seemed pleased to see each other. People matter, even if you only see them once a year at a chess match. We are all part of the eccentric chess ecosystem, and it was great to be back pushing wood again.

Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council Civic Festival- Chess Evening 2021

Over the board chess came to a halt in March 2020 with lockdown. With restrictions, and understandable trepidation, games could only realistically be played outdoors till this summer. Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council again kindly offered us a spot in their annual civic festival at Fairway Hall, Borehamwood.

6 sets and clocks were set up, the mayor was present, and the doors opened. 14 people turned up, which was brilliant. 3 Chess club members, strong juniors, families, and the curious. We were asked if we could do this every week. Sadly not! Volunteers are needed, and rooms have to be to be hired and paid for.

Hopefully league chess will return in the coming months. Enjoy the summer!

The mayor opens proceedings.


We are still here – but online as Lonely Herts

Covid-19 stopped all UK over the board chess back in March 2020. Borehamwood Chess Club could not complete its fixtures in the Hertfordshire League and things went quiet for many weeks. Over the Summer, more and more tournaments went on line as existing and new leagues started online versions.

Online team chess is not the same as face to face. It lacks camaraderie, though zoom chats going through games can help restore this to some extent. Borehamwood were invited to join the Herts online league which runs every other Tuesday evening. Only two of us signed-up because online chess is not to everybody’s taste, and there are other Tuesday chess (or non-chess) alternatives. We have joined up with Stevenage to form a Lonely Herts team.

Dan Marcos

Anthony Kent

Dan has had some good games. Here is his win against Andrew
du Boulay (Dubzwang) of Hertford Chess Club.
Dan is worse off worse off with black, and has just played 19..Qb6?! leaving has Knight unprotected on Q7. White sees the ‘free’ knight and takes it….
But 20 QxN check is met with 20…Rf7. The white queen must retreat (back to Q2 in the game), but black has Qg1 check winning the h2 rook. With hindsight, 20. 0-0-0 was strong for white. Dan went on to win.

Anthony’s most recent game on Tuesday 10th November was against Terry Douse (Roysturdee) of St Albans Chess Club. As Black, Anthony was a bit worse off after playing 23….. Ng6-d5?? which allows 24 Bxb5! However white chose to play 24. Nd4 ??

which allowed 24…NxN 25. exN e3! and now white has problems, He cannot take the e pawn, and f4 and Bf5 are threatened. Black went on to win comfortably.

More games and news to follow. New online members welcome.