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)



Edging ahead against Hertford

Herts League – Division 3 Tuesday 21-February-2017
Borehamwood 1             Hertford 2
Board 1 : Raoof, Adam N 192              0-1    Wooster, Nick 139
Board 2 : Marcos, Dan 155                  1-0    Hutton, Allan 128
Board 3 : Kent, Anthony R 153            1/2    Mountford, Corinne 133
Board 4 : Gesthuysen, Malcolm 132 P-P   Harris, John 102
Board 5 : O’Sullivan, Terry J 121         1-0   Brewis, Alan 101
Match Score : 2.5 – 1.5

After a gap of a month, in more mild weather, we entertained Hertford. They were less strong on paper than the team we faced at their place.

Things started well as Terry build up a good position and won a piece against Alan Brewis, continuing his excellent run of results this season. Dan also won against a Pirc defense which left us well placed. Anthony got the worst of a Dutch defence, but managed to swipe a pawn in a locked stonewall type set up. Black countered very well and the offer of a draw was readily accepted. Adam was doing ok with the classical Dutch. Black responded well building up good pressure on his king. An importune queen move allowed a Knight fork of his King and Queen. Game over. Malcolm’s game remains to be continued, and he is certainly not worse off.
                    Final position Board 5    Adam deep in thought     Adjournment on board 4


Double completed over Letchworth

3 matches on the Road in January, but at least the near 50 mile round trip to Letchworth brought back the spoils – 2 more valuable points.

Boards 1 and 5 both saw the Dutch defence from Black. Terry built up a nice centre, but agreed a draw in the middle game. Adam on top board faced a Classical Dutch. He gained more space and eventually won the exchange (see earlyish position on a historic club prize board below). Kevin had decent Queen side counterplay playing the Kings Indian, and a draw was agreed in the endgame.Adjudication on Board 4, with Malcolm gaining a pawn from a nice combination, and reaching position below as white.  Anthony debuted the Black Lion, which purred rather than roared. Black took a chance opening up the kingside while delaying castling. A small plus built up in position shown below, but time was pressing for both players, and White went 23. Na4? which lost out to b5 forking Knight and Queen. So, black eventually won.

Herts CA : Herts League – Division 3    Monday 23-January-2017
Letchworth & Hitchin 2                      Borehamwood
Board  1 : Ball, Anthony J                   164   0-1   Raoof, Adam N                  192
Board  2 : Mutton, Ian                        155   0-1     Kent, Anthony R              153
Board  3 : Burrows, Anthony G        153   A-A   Gesthuysen, Malcolm    132
Board  4 : Coates, Tom                       123   1/2      Sear, Kevin                        132
Board  5 : Collis, Leon                        66   1/2        O’Sullivan, Terry J           121
Match Score :                                           1 – 3

4 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat last week see us with 11 points after 8 matches. Enough to sit top of the league, but played more matches than everyone else.

The promised pictures: Dutch on board 1, Board 4 close of play, Board 2 before Na4



Joy along the A414 to Hertford

The run continues. Half-way  into a 12 match season, and we remain undefeated. No chicken counting or Asti Spumante Martinis, but ahead of modest pre-season expectations. So on the first working day of 2017, we went up the A1, and across on the A414 to Hertford. Easily found parking spaces on a mild quiet evening, and battle commenced.

Terry got us of to good start with a Queens Gambit declined, winning a pawn early on and never looking back. Malcolm also had a useful Queens Gambit declined, and offered a Greek gift on black’s castled king-side which was wisely declined. Black countered on the queen-side, won material, and soon it was one apiece.

An interesting encounter on top board started 1. d4 h6  . Adam with White built up a stonewall set-up, and castled king-side. Black opted to pawn storm the white fortress together with diagonal threats from queen and bishop. Lots of mating threats by black, but each time white to move could thwart black’s threats. Eventually central pressure on White’s uncastled king told, and white took the point.

Anthony played a Dragadorf Sicilian with Black, developing the queen-side before castling. After 19…d5 (see below), white went 20. fxe. White should have responded ..Nxe4 rather than ..Qxe for a decent advantage. After a few more thrills and spills and some less than accurate moves on both sides, a draw was agreed as time was short.


Kevin drew on board 4, thwarting white’s efforts to queen a pawn, so we won 2 – 3.

Hertfordshire Chess League: Division 3.  03-January-2016

Hertford 2
Simon  Morris
Adam Raoof
Andrew Du Boulay
Anthony Kent
Nick Wooster
Malcolm Gesthuysen
Corinne Mountford
Kevin Sear
Alan Hutton
Terry O’Sullivan

2 – 3







Draw Against St Albans. Still Unbeaten.

An interesting match. Dan won in 9 moves against the French as Black lost his queen (…8e5?? see below). Malcolm also gained advantage in a few moves from the Queens Gambit and won. Adam lost in the Winnawer French after overlooking a tactic. Terry had 2 Bishops for 2 knights, but his doubled pawns were weak and were eventually his undoing. All square Anthony faced a Staunton Gambit and after a tense struggle, agreed a draw. Overall, a fair result. 2 wins and 2 draws is a good start.
Herts League – Div 3  Tuesday 15-November-2016
Borehamwood 1                                                       St Albans 3

Board  1 : Raoof, Adam N (b)       192         0-1   Ramesh, Raghav    172
Board  2 : Marcos, Dan                   155       1-0   Cross, Ian K             147
Board  3 : Kent, Anthony R            153       1/2   Hambly, David J     144
Board  4 : Gesthuysen, Malcolm  132       1-0   Laskier, Paul            135
Board  5 : O’Sullivan, Terry J        121        0-1   Palmer, James C   127
Match Score :                                            2.5 – 2.5


Home win against Letchworth and Hitchen

First home match of season in cosy room 4 at Allum Lane Community Centre.

Out of nothing, Terry unfortunately mislaid his Queen against the English Opening on board 5. However, Malcolm won against the Nimzo-Indian on board 4 and Dan’s Alapin Sicilian also brought victory on board 2.Now 2-1 up Adam had a solid classical Dutch and tried a few things,  but these were well met by his opponent. Anthony Kent’s initially promising Leningrad Dutch went badly awry and led to being the exchange down under severe bank rank pressure. A pawn breakout on the queen-side got some much needed counter-play and an invaluable passed pawn. White refused the offer a draw being well ahead on time (80 minutes each for whole game), but black evened up material and white eventually got checkmated.

Herts League – Division 3                                  Tuesday 18th October
Borehamwood                                                   Letchworth & Hitchin 2
Board 1 : Adam Raoof (W) 192             1/2           Anthony J Ball  (B) 164
Board 2 : Dan Marcos 155                  1-0           Ian Mutton 155
Board 3 : Anthony Kent 153               1-0           Anthony Burrows 153
Board 4 : Malcom Gesthuysen 132   1-0           Jon P Barnes P147
Board 5 : Terry O’Sullivan 121           0-1           Harris, Mark 147
Match Score :                                   3.5 – 1.5