Archive for June 24th, 2015

Peter Frost, an Australian friend from Bangkok recently entered the Teplice tournament in the Czech Republic and bumped into Bedfordshire’s finest, the Ledger brothers. If that wasn’t enough of a coincidence, Peter was paired with white against Steve Ledger in the second round. Here is their game.

1 d4 Nf6
2 c4 c5
3 d5 b5
4 Nf3
This is Yermolinsky’s recommendation.
5 dxe6 fxe6
6 Nc3 b4
7 Nb5!? d6
8 a3
It seems as if the Knight has a death wish, but opening up the “a” file fully protects him against being netted by …a6.
9 axb4 Nxb4
10 g3 Bb7
11 Bh3!
Taking aim at the e6 pawn.
12 Nc3 Qd7
13 0-0 Nc6?
I think Stephen  must have overlooked that he was allowing my next move, which is very strong.
14 Nd5! Nxd5
15 cxd5 Nd8
16 dxe6 Qc6
It is too dangerous to play 16…Nxe6 due to various pins.
17 Bg5 Be7
18 Bxe7 Kxe7
White has a strong (indeed winning) attack but needs to execute well. The best way to proceed was to introduce another piece into the attack by the creative Rook lift 19 Ra3!, which unfortunately I didn’t notice at all.
19 Qd2? Nxe6
20 Qe3 Qe4
21 Qxe4?
Once again, 21 Ra3! was better. Now my once substantial advantage has quickly disappeared.
22 Bxe6 Bxf3
23 Bc4 Bb7
24 Rfd1 Rhd8
25 Bd5?!
Seems natural enough, to stop …d5, but this move allows Black to take the initiative on the “b” file.
26 Rxd5 Rdb8!
27 Rad1 Rxb2
28 Rxd6 Rxe2
29 Rd7+ Kf6
30 R(1)d6+ Re6
31 Rxe6+?
Miscalculating the resulting endgame. It was necessary to keep both Rooks with 31 Rd3!, seeking counterplay against Black’s King.
32 Rxg7 c4?
Stephen misses his chance to win fairly simply by advancing his “a” pawn to a2, forcing Ra1, and then after …Kd5, White is one move too slow with own King to prevent Black’s from penetrating to b2.
33 Kf1 Kd5
34 Ke2 a5
35 Rxh7?
It turns out that White doesn’t have time for this, but it was quite difficult to see the problem, a “star” 43rd move for Black. I calculated a long variation at this point, and thought everything was going to be ok, because  I missed the “star” move in my counting (so did Stephen). I think it was Larsen who said “long variation-wrong variation”.
36 Rb7 Kd4
37 Kd2 a3
38 Rb1
All as calculated on move 35 so far…
After 38…a2 39 Ra1 c3+ 40 Kc2 Kc4 41 h4 Rd8 we both assumed that after 42 Rxa2 Rd2+ 43 Kb1 defending the Rook is fine for White. But we both missed the “star” move 43…Kb3! winning immediately. This line continues to be available to White for the next two moves as well.
39 f4 Rh8
40 h4 Rg8
41 Rb7 a2
42 Rd7+ Kc5
43 Ra7 Rxg3
44 Kc2 Rf3
45 Rxa2 Kd4
46 Ra8 Rf2+
47 Kb1 Rxf4
48 Rg8
Proceeding directly to Philidor’s position, as I knew that to be drawn.
49 Rg3
Philidor’s position. The Rook cuts the King off from the sixth rank, and just waits for the pawn to advance to that rank, after which the Rook goes to the 8th rank and checks forever. Black’s only try is to force White to demonstrate long side defence.
50 Rf3 Rd2
51 Rh3 Rd3
52 Rh8 Kc3
53 Kc1 Rg3
54 Kb1!
The key move. The King must go to the short side, so as not to get in the way of the Rook’s lateral checks.
55 Ka2 Rd1
56 Rh3+ Kc2
57 Rh2 Rd2
58 Rh1 c3
59 Rg1 Rd1
60 Rg2+ Rd2
61 Rg1 Rf2
62 Rh1 Rg2
63 Rf1 Re2
64 Rh1 Rg2
65 Rf1 Rh2
66 Rg1 Rd2
67 Rh1 Rd7
68 Rh2+ Rd2
69 Rh1 Rd8
70 Rh2+ Kd1
71 Rh1+ Kd2
72 Rh2+ Kd3
73 Rh3+ Kc4
74 Rh4+ Rd4
75 Rh8 Kd3
76 Rh3+ Kc2
77 Rh2+ Rd2
78 Rh1

Not the best shirt even seen at the chess board Steve.


From left to right, Dave Ledger, Peter Frost, Steve Ledger and Andrew Ledger.

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Bedfordshire’s very first county matches have been documented in the book Chess in Bedfordshire, F.Dickens and G.L.White (Leeds 1933) see below:

za zbzc zd

For detail, I have added newspaper reports detailing some of the matches described.

1908 return match Beds Advertiser and Luton Times Fri Mar20

1908 return match Beds Advertiser and Luton Times Fri Mar, 20

The Bedfordshire Advertiser  Friday March 11th 1904

The Bedfordshire Advertiser Friday March 11th, 1904

The Beds Advertiser and Luton Times Feb 22nd. 1907

The Beds Advertiser and Luton Times Feb 22nd. 1907


Old Bedford Road, Luton

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