French, Danish, Polish, and a Polar Bear

Hertfordshire Chess League – Division 3
Tuesday 27th February 2018 . Hatfield White on odd boards

Borehamwood                           v                   Welwyn Hatfield 2
Board 1 : Raoof, Adam N 176              1-0    Fisher, Jim R 157
Board 2 : Kent, Anthony R 151           1-0    White, David 147
Board 3 : Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132 1/2     Read, Matthew 135
Board 4 : Sear, Kevin 124                    1/2     Aldred, James H 135
Board 5 : O’Sullivan, Terry J 118       0-1      Wali, Mir M 129
Match Score :                                       3 – 2

A bitterly cold evening, the so-called Beast-From-The-East had graced Borehamwood.

This was the first occasion we had used our new digital clocks, and they were all set to Fisher mode: 70 minutes each plus 10 seconds a move. Adam gained the advantage in the French defence and won against Jim Fisher.


On Board 2, Anthony went along with the weather and played the Polar Bear system (aka Reversed Leningrad). A less than smart piece sacrifice led to a difficult position, but in time pressure, Black played 30…Ne5 to d7 which turned his big advantage into a loss after white replied with 31. e5 . Black followed up with 31…kc7 ,and 32. BxN QxB 33. Ra7 check meant the Black Queen got sucked into the polar vortex on b7. A very fortunate win.

AKvWGCF feb 2018

Malcolm draw against the Polish Opening. Kevin’s Danish Gambit was declined, and after a long struggle, a drawn king and pawn ending was reached.


Terry had a level pawn ending, with a bishop to his opponent’s knight. He overpressed (as board 2 had appeared lost) and unfortunately lost. A 3-2 victory was unexpetidly achieved, which had not looked likely earlier in the evening.



Another win against St Albans

Herts League – Division 3 Monday 12-February-2018
St Albans 3                  v          Borehamwood
Board 1 : Cale, Chris 120              0-1   Raoof, Adam N 176
Board 2 : Cross, Ian K 145           0-1    Marcos, Dan 151
Board 3 : Narbeth, Simon 124    1/2    Kent, Anthony R 151
Board 4 : Fothergill, Craig S 139 1/2    Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132
Board 5 : Laskier, Paul 128          1-0     O’Sullivan, Terry J 118
Match Score :                                 2 – 3

Multiple draw specialist Adam got his first win of the season for the wood. Another good win for Dan.

St Albans Adam.JPG

St Albans Adam




No points at Letchworth & Hitchin

Having beaten Letchworth 3-2 at Home, we lost 3-2 away.

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3 Monday 29-January-2018
Letchworth & Hitchin 2   v    Borehamwood

Board 1 : Thurstan, Tim  164 1/2 Raoof, Adam  176
Board 2 : Nelson, Ian 160       1-0 Kent, Anthony 151
Board 3 : Mutton, Ian 150      0-1 Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132
Board 4 : Barnes, Jon  140      1-0 Sear, Kevin 124
Board 5 : Coates, Tom 118     1/2 O’Sullivan, Terry  118
Match Score :                           3 – 2

Let’s start with our only winner, Malcolm. Nice rooks on the 8th rank. Gotta feel sorry for the black bishops.

Malcolm win.JPG

Next, our board 1, Adam, with a remarkable 6 draws from 6 games this season.

Adam letchworth.JPG

Terry willing took a draw with 2 knights against 2 Bishops (see below)

Terry letchworth.JPG

Now the 2 defeats. Board 4 saw Kevin getting a bit overrun.  Board 2 went from an English to a Dutch, where black definately needs to polish his Warsaw Variation.

Narrow win against St Albans

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3             Tuesday 02-January-2018
Borehamwood                                                            St Albans 3
Board  1 : Raoof, Adam N               183   1/2   Lawrence, Paul             150 (white)
Board  2 : Marcos, Dan                   152   1/2   Cross, Ian K                    143 (black)
Board  3 : Kent, Anthony R            149   1/2   Narbeth, Simon             128
Board  4 : Gesthuysen, Malcolm   131   1-0   Fothergill, Craig S         135
Board  5 : O’Sullivan, Terry J         126   1/2   Flatt, Michael                 128
Match Score :                                            3 – 2

2nd day of the year, and a home match against St Albans 3rd team.  Adam got his 5th draw in the 5 matches we have played this season.  Good win (our only one) for Malcolm who won the exchange, then went a rook up, gave back some material and obtained a won pawn ending.Dan tried his best to win a rook and pawn ending. Malcom St Albans218


Anthony played against a Closed Sicilian and reached a drawn opposite colour Bishop ending. Terry’s game was adjourned on the night, but a draw was agreed a few days later. Position below (Terry black) shows why.




Ahead in Hertford

Another away match. The A414 was not quite Bing Crosby and Bob Hope On The Road to Utopia. We arrived at the Bull Plain venue on time, then drove away until we found a parking space a few roads away. Our opponents kindly waited for us to park and get drinks before starting the clocks.

Herts League – Division 3          Tuesday 14-November-2017

Hertford 2                                     Borehamwood
Board 1 :        Wooster, Nick 139                  1/2 Raoof, Adam N 183
Board 2 :        Du Boulay, Andrew 139        0-1 Kent, Anthony R 149
Board 3 :        Rudd, David R 138                 P-P Gesthuysen, Malcolm 131
Board 4 :        Mountford, Corinne 134      0-1 Sear, Kevin 122
Board 5 :       Hutton, Allan 127                   1-0 O’Sullivan, Terry J 126

Match Score :                                              1.5 – 2.5 (Board 5 adjourned)

A tight match as expected. Jazz Band playing downstairs, including a William Shatner style version of ‘Common People’ to aid our concentration.


Kevin looked a bit under the cosh in the Maróczy Bind, but countered down the Queen-side for a top notch win on Board 4. Adam’s opponent on board 1 got the draw he was probably seeking, and Terry was outplayed from a Queens Pawn opening.

On board 4, the Fisher clock 70 minutes plus 10 seconds a move saw White under some time pressure. After 30 moves black had a small plus from an unorthodox Sicilian defense when White below played 31Bb5? . Play went ….RxR 32. QxR QxB 33. Qc7 Kh8! 34. Rc3 Qxd 35. g3 BxR 36. QxBch Qe5 and Black is clearly winning by some margin.


Time was called and Board 3 was adjourned. No comment to protect our analysis, just a picture (White to move).


As always, new members welcome. Please contact us.

Off The Mark Against Letchworth & Hitchin

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3    Tuesday 07-November-2017
Borehamwood 1                                   Letchworth & Hitchin 2
Board  1 : Raoof, Adam N                 183   1/2   Thurstan, Tim M      166  (White)
Board  2 : Marcos, Dan                     152   1-0   Nelson, Ian                 163  (Black)
Board  3 : Kent, Anthony R              149   1/2   Mutton, Ian                149
Board  4 : Gesthuysen, Malcolm    131   1-0   Barnes, Jon P             140
Board  5 : O’Sullivan, Terry              126    0-1   Walsh, Tom               112
Match Score :                                     3 – 2

(Apologies for art deco photo). Good win for Malcolm in the Alekhine Samisch variation. Dan won late on too – see game below.
Terry got the worst of a London System. Anthony gained a fortunate draw as moves were repeated 3 times.

Game on Board 2: Dan Marcos v Ian Nelson B08 – Pirc/Classical Variation

1.e2-e4 d7-d6 2.d2-d4 Ng8-f6 3.Nb1-c3 g7-g6 4.Ng1-f3 Bf8-g7 5.Bc1-e3 0-0 6.Bf1-d3 c7-c6 7.Qd1-d2 Qd8-c7 8.Nc3-e2 Nb8-d7 9.h2-h3 e7-e5 10.c2-c3 Rf8-e8 11.0-0-0 Nd7-f8 12.Nf3-g5 Nf8-e6 13.f2-f3 Qc7-a5 14.Kc1-b1 Ne6xg5 15.Be3xg5 Bc8-e6 16.Ne2-c1 Nf6-d7 17.Bg5-e3 Ra8-b8 18.f3-f4 f7-f6 19.f4-f5 Be6-f7 20.Rh1-f1 b7-b5 21.Bd3-c2 b5-b4 22.c3-c4 Bf7xc4 23.Bc2-b3 d6-d5 24.Bb3xc4 d5xc4 25.Qd2-c2 Qa5-b5 26.d4-d5 a7-a5 27.d5xc6 Qb5xc6 28.Rd1-d5 Re8-c8 29.Rf1-d1 Rb8-b7 30.Rd5-d6 Qc6-b5 31.Rd1-d5 Nd7-c5 32.Rd6-d8+ Rc8xd8 33.Rd5xd8+ Kg8-f7 34.Rd8-d5 Bg7-f8 35.f5xg6+ h7xg6 36.Qc2-f2 Rb7-c7 37.Qf2-h4 Qb5-e8 38.Qh4-h7+ Bf8-g7 39.Be3xc5 c4-c3 40.b2-b3 c3-c2+ 41.Kb1-b2 Qe8-b5 42.Bc5-f8  black resigned 1-0



Open Season with defeat at Watford

One of those away nights. Bus delays coming into Borehamwood, broken rail at West Hampstead delaying trains, and major road closures in Watford that were not on Satnav.

Watford generously waited as we arrived late, and no excuses for picking up nil points. We were outplayed on the night.

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3 Monday 09-October-2017
Watford 3  v Borehamwood 1
Board 1 : Lancaster, Roger 173 1/2 Raoof, Adam N 183
Board 2 : Pigott, Darrell N 155  1/2 Kent, Anthony R 149
Board 3 : Yassir, Samir 153       1-0 Gesthuysen, Malcolm 131
Board 4 : Charles, Simon 144   1-0 Sear, Kevin 122
Board 5 : Sloan, Cecil 140          1/2 O’Sullivan, Terry J 126
Match Score :                           3.5 – 1.5

Borehamwood finish season as runners up

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3
Tuesday 9th May 2017

Borehamwood                                  Bishops Stortford 2
1 Raoof, Adam N 192 (b)        1-0     Acton, Tim 144 (w)
2 Marcos, Dan 155                  1/2     Heffer, Mark 138
3 Kent, Anthony R 153           0-1     Heffer, Judith 132
4 Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132 1-0      Willbe, Charles 123
5 O’Sullivan, Terry J 121       1/2      Jurd, Peter 120
Total:                                         3-2

Before the match, we knew that if we won 5-0, we would be joint champions. However, since we don’t particularly want to be promoted and don’t need pressure, a 3-2 win did nicely. We ended up with 18 points, same as Royston 2, but with 2 less game points.

7 wins, 4 draws and only one defeat represents a successful season. But we need MORE PLAYERS in the squad!

Starting with tonight’s winners. Adam’s Classical Dutch put his opponent into time pressure, which gave us a point. Malcolm got excellent pressure from the Queens Gambit.

The draws: Terry drew against the London System, and Dan’s Advanced French led into exchange of pieces and an even position.

Anthony noticed Becker v Short, 24 April 2017, World Seniors, in the paper and tried out the same line. White played 5 NxN and …Rg8  (as in Short game) gave Black good pressure and better development.


However, fair play to white who fought back and won. Definitely worth playing line again.



Good win over Stevenage

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3
Tuesday 2nd May 2017                    Stevenage White on odds as away team.

Borehamwood                                  Stevenage 2
1 Raoof, Adam N 192             1-0    Fitzgerald, Patrick 145
2 Marcos, Dan 155                 1-0    Price, Derick 134
3 Kent, Anthony R 153          1-0   Thompson, Neal A 142
4 Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132 1/2   Reilly, Gerard 123
5 O’Sullivan, Terry J 121       1/2   Bailey, Russell 126

3  Good wins on top boards for a solid win. Good attack for black (to move) on board 3


The Lion, the Trompowsky and the Roundabout

Our last away game of the 2016/2017 season was at Bishops Stortford, so we agreed to meet and set out early from Borehamwood. Unfortunately, there was a serious accident at Sterling Corner roundabout, and the A1 going North was closed. This delayed our departure, and meant travelling via Shenley. Fortunately, the M25 gods were in a benign mood, and texting ahead, our opponents kindly agreed to a 15 minute delayed start from 8.00pm. The spoils were shared.

Herts League – Division 3 Thursday 30-March-2017
Bishops Stortford 2                    v     Borehamwood
Board 1 : Lara Osiyemi 156     0-1  Adam Raoof 192 (White)
Board 2 : Laurie Mercer 140   0-1  Anthony Kent 153 (Black)
Board 3 : Tim Acton 144          1-0  Malcolm Gesthuysen 132
Board 4 : Mark Heffer 138      1-0  Kevin Sear 132
Board 5 : Judith Hefffer 132    1/2  Terry O’Sullivan 121
Match Score :                        2.5   –     2.5

Terry drew a rather locked Kings Indian defense with all the pawns still on the board. Kevin lost a Pirc defence. Malcolm emerged worse off from the Queen’s Gambit, facing the Hennig-Schara (counter) gambit (1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cd cd). He castled queenside into a spot of bother.

On top board, a Trompowsky Stonewall gave Adam an initiative leading to a vital win. Board 2 saw the interestingly named Anti-Philidor Lion’s cave (1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nbd7 4. f4 e5 5. Nf3 exd4 6. Qxd4). Black managed to build up an advantage to the diagram below, and a few of moves later white lost on time. Honours even overall.

Mercer v Kent – Black to move (….27 Bxa2)