Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

The Johnny Marr Allegro

Twelve brave souls ventured out on a miserable wet day
to take part in this tribute to Johnny Marr.

Twelve, when you think about it is a perfect number,
it's the same number as a league match and J.M. has being
league matches in the Edinburgh Chess Club since 1965.

Johnny is sitting in the front row (I don't know who the old boy is).

Johnny in action (the other guy has toothache)

Young 'Kafakins' smiling at the camera and not concentrating
on the game. He was doing OK in this game, he built up a promising
attack then blundered his Queen.

(When I played at the Edinburgh Chess Club this was my favourite seat.
I've won quite few great games on that table.
I've also lost quite a few nightmares and blundered away many a Queen.)

Lloyd Hughes who controlled the event.

Here is the final table.

Neil Berry 5
Hugh Brechin 4
Graeme Kafka 3
David Robertson 3
Mark Sanderson 3
Chris Sykes 2
Jeremy Hughes 2
Johnny Marr 2
Andrew Masters 2
David Wilson 2
William Platts 1
Robert Horne

Of course these final placings never tell the whole story.
I watched two of Robert Horne's games. He was winning in both
but then lack of experience side-stepping traps and finding the sneaky
moves in time pressure caught him out.

His came curtesy of Chris Sykes. (not one of the games he was winning)
In this position Chris (Black) is deep in time trouble, he played...

1....Qg8+ and 2...Qxa8 -.
Instead 1...Kb6 wins.

Robert was the only player taking the score of his games.
Here is one where he was winning. The missed win is in the notes.

[Click here to replay the game]
R.Horne - W.Platts

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e3 a6 4.c3 Bf5 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 e6 7.Nbd2 Bd6 8.0-0 Nf6 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 0-0 12.h4 h6 13.Be3 Qd7 14.Rad1 Rab8 15.Ne5 Bxe5 16.dxe5 Qc8 17.Rd3 Rd8 18.Rfd1 Rxd3 19.Rxd3 Qe8 20.g4 Rd8 21.Rxd8 Qxd8 22.h5 Qd5 23.Qxd5 exd5 24.f4 b5 25.Bc5 a5 26.Kf2 a4 27.a3 Na5 28.Ke3 Nc4+ 29.Kd4 c6 30.Bb4 Nxb2 31.Bd6 g6 32.hxg6 fxg6 33.f5 gxf5 34.gxf5 h5 35.e6 Nc4 36.Bb4 Kg7 37.Kc5? [37.Be7!] 37...h4 38.Kxc6 h3 39.f6+ [39.Kc7 h2 40.e7 h1Q 41.e8Q=] 39...Kxf6 40.Kd7 h2 41.e7 Ne5+ 42.Kd8 Nc6+ 43.Kd7 Nxe7

But the day is not about Robert's point. It's about Johnny Marr.

So Jeremy Hughes agreed to keep the score of his game v Johnny so we
could at least have one Johnny Marr game to show.
This was very fortuitous, it turned out to be a humorous classic.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Hughes - J.Marr

1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 e5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nge2 Bg4 7.f3 Be6 8.b3 Nbd7 9.0-0 0-0 10.d3 d5 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Bb2 Qb6 13.Kh1 Qxe3 14.Rc1 Nc5 15.Re1 Nxd3 16.Ng1 Nf2

Neil Berry 'The Balerno Bull' receiving his first prize
from Bill Marshall (he's better to know to you and me as...Ed).

The man himself giving a thank you speech and telling an awful joke.

During the one hour lunch break Johnny and I were left alone in
the club and we reminisced about a few of the incidents we had witnessed.
Far too many to retell here.

We did however work out we must have played over a 1,000 games
against each other. I was caretaker for 4 years which equals 208 weeks.
We used to spend at least one night a week just playing each other
and at a very conservative estimate played five games each night.

Some nights we started at 7:30 and would finish at 3am fitting in
8 or 9 games. So leaning on the moderate we reached 208 * 5 = 1040 games.

Over 1,000 games and none of them were dull affairs.

I had the foresight to record a lot of these games.

If there is just one piece of advice you take onboard from this column,
make it this. Record ALL your games, friendlies, skittles,
5 minute games (if you can). You will be glad you did.

We started playing in 1975 and I was usually on the
receiving end. Slowly I got better. These games helped
me no end.

I recall one game I won and the note I have written
down is 'John said this was a fine game. You are getting better.'

Here is the game in question. I play two combo's to win
both the d- and e-pawns. (look out for my cunning 20...a5).
Johnny blunders a Knight to a discovered check but we had an
unwritten law. If we could, we would sac-back.
It was bad form to win whilst material ahead.
So I sacced a Bishop for a passed pawn but had a wee trick
up my sleeve.
This was played in 1978.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Marr - G.Chandler

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.0-0 a6 5.d3 c5 6.Nbd2 e6 7.e4 d5 8.Re1 Nc6 9.e5 Nd7 10.Nf1 h6 11.c3 Be7 12.Qc2 Qc7 13.d4 Rc8 14.a3 0-0 15.Be3 cxd4 16.cxd4 Nxd4 17.Qxc7 Nxf3+ 18.Bxf3 Rxc7 19.Rac1 Rfc8 20.Bd2 a5 21.Bc3 Nxe5 22.Rxe5 b4 23.axb4 axb4 24.Bd2 Rxc1 25.Bxc1 Rxc1 26.Kg2 Rc2 27.Re2 b3 28.Ne3 Rxe2 29.Bxe2 d4+ 30.Kf1 dxe3 31.fxe3 Ba3 32.bxa3 b2 33.Bd3 Ba6

But I won't leave this on a Johnny Marr lose.
Watch me getting hammered and spot the good and
bad Rook moves in this one.

13.Rfd1 anticipating the opening of the d-file.
18...Rbd8? the wrong Rook. 18...Rfd8 was far better.
In the notes I give the variation I thought we were heading for.
19.Rxe7! the crafty fox has struck again.
I should resigned but I waited for the sac-back.
It came alright (27.Rxg7) and I resigned.
This was played in 1975.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Marr - G.Chandler

1.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.e3 Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 Nf6 6.c4 e6 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd2 Be7 9.Qb3 Rb8 10.Nc3 0-0 11.0-0 Re8 12.Rac1 a6 13.Rfd1 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qc8 17.Qd5 Qf5 18.Rxc7 Rbd8 19.Rxe7 [19.Qxb7 Bh4 20.g3 Qf3 21.Rcc1 Rxe5] 19...Rf8 20.Qb3 Qg4 21.h3 Qh5 22.e6 fxe6 23.Qxe6+ Kh8 24.Qg4 Qh6 25.Bc3 Rxd1+ 26.Qxd1 Rg8 27.Rxg7!

Aye, this was a fine game. He is getting better.

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