Peter Keffler celebrates 90th birthday

Peter and his cake

It is Peter’s 90th birthday this week and members of Clacton chess club organised a birthday card and celebratory cake to mark the occasion.

Chess cake
The cake design shows a spectacular Queen sacrifice end position from one of Peter’s many victories. Of the many games published during his long chess career this one typifies his style of play, which was never dull. Rather than slog out a slight advantage, he would often find ways to trade in material for a quick mate. This game is dated ‘c1970’, where Peter played Black in a Two Knights Defence against Niemand which lasted only 15 moves! Despite the game taking place some 43 yeara ago Peter instantly recognised it. You can follow the game here:-

Gerhard Niemand - Peter Keffler
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White to move
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Bxf7 Ke7 6. Bb3 Rf8 7. O-O d6 8. Nc3 Qe8 9. Nd5 Kd8 10. Nxf6 gxf6 11. Nxh7 Rh8 12. Nxf6 Qg6 13. Nd5 Bg4 14. Qe1 Bf3 15. g3 Qxg3

During the evening eveyone present had a piece of Peter’s cake with their coffee/tea.
More pictures below, showing Peter playing his game with John Perfect from Maldon (match result here):-

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Cross Tables and Ladders

Most clubs hold one or more internal tournaments per season. Why not have your cross tables and/or ladder tables generated for you in your club page? This is easy to do, especially where game results are already being entered into this site during the season. All club key-holders are able to define the table(s) your club requires and enter the game results on-line from their admin page (examples shown below). The tables will then appear in the competition section of your club page and players will then see these tables automatically updated as soon as each set of new results are entered.

Cross Tables

For multi-round Swiss or round-robin types of competitions. You can define a cross-table at any time, though initialising this before the start of the event allows players to follow progress throughout. As results for each round are added, the table is re-sorted to show players ordered by points gained or by performance (absolute or relative to grade).

Games will be included if the cross table name is contained within the game event name. Enter any bye result with the player as white and ‘BYE’ as black and choose the score that gives the player a half or full point. A minimum number of qualifying games can be specified when creating the cross table. Player names/data with fewer games appear in italic/greyed and will not be highlighted (green background) if they become leaders in the selected ordering.



All internal club game results matching the identifier string are used in the table and shown in your club page (example taken from Clacton 2015/16) :-

The displayed table can be ordered by points (default), performance, or by performance-minus-grade (by clicking on the appropriate column heading).

You can crate a link to use in emails or web pages with a URL of the form http://necl.org.uk/summarybyclub.php?year=2015&club=CLACTON#crosstable
(edit to your club/season, other examples here and here)

Ladder Tables

These are useful to show participation in club games/challenges taking place over a defined period within a season (possibly over the whole season), not necessarily structured into rounds and with few constraints. The 2012/2013 season saw incentives to influence non-match games in clubs away from being ‘mostly casual’.

  • Funding changes meant most players became direct ECF members and entitled to have any number of club games graded at no extra cost.
  • A ‘ladder’ system was suggested at the 2012 Clacton AGM by Martin Alvin, to be based on all qualifying internal games throughout the season. A trophy was later organised to provide something extra to play for.

The ladder was adapted from one of Martin’s previous clubs, who in turn adapted it from elsewhere so we do not know who should take original credit for this. Everyone starts on the same initial (e.g. 50) points and then acquire/loose points based on a scoring system which (as with ELO/ECF grades) adjusts the points for wins and losses based on the current points difference between players. You need to play a minimum number of games (e.g. 8, standard/rapid/any) to qualify for a placing but there is no limit on how few or how many games each person plays. This makes it very easy to run with typical ad hoc club attendances and no pairing requirements to organise!

Initially done on a spreadsheet, tracking the scoring of players as game results were reported was susceptible to errors and the ripple effect on later games. Although Andrew and John kept separate copies and compared notes from time to time, adding in a previously omitted game still involved significant rework/re-sorting. Also, results were not very visible unless the spreadsheet was uploaded. As game results were already being entered on-line I suggested/programmed the web-server to do the arithmetic instead and was able to make this a generic facility so all NECL clubs can each run similar ladders if they wish. Providing a trace facility also gave visibility to each stage of the calculation for the benefit of any players wishing to check details. The suggested rules are published here. You can view the Clacton club page for last season and this season to see examples. Player names are ‘greyed’ until playing the minimum games for a place and any green row(s) in the table indicate the highest scoring qualifying player(s). Parameters can be changed at any time, though it is best to set and keep agreed values from the start of each ladder.



If ‘tag’ is blank (default) all internal club game results matching the ladder parameters are used to produce the table shown in your club page. Use this if you want to be more specific about selected games (where tag text then has to appear in the ladder name) and hence exclude any other internal events you don’t want counted into a ladder.

example taken from Clacton 2012/13 :-

You can crate a link for email or web pages using a URL of the form http://necl.org.uk/summarybyclub.php?year=2014&club=CLACTON#ladder
(edit to your club/season)

If unsure about which calculation method to choose, “increment by day” is suggested.
“increment by game” – adjusts player scores after each game, so results need to be entered in strict playing order for games within the same day – or different end of day scores may result!
“increment by day” – adjusts player scores once for all gains/losses of that day.
Each days results can therefore be entered at any time and in any order.
e.g. scroll down an alongside comparison between the Clacton trace result for 2012/13 season which used the “increment by game” method, and the would-be trace result if “increment by day” had been used. Note the small end-of-day differences that grow to produce a different overall end-result/winner.

Updated 2016: Cross table descriptions added.

2013 Local Events

Some local events coming soon;-

  • An Individual Rapidplay, at Writtle on September 21st 2013.
    This is An Essex Closed event Incorporating the Essex Rapidplay Championship,
    North Essex Rapidplay Championship and Essex Junior Championship.
    Click here for further details and entry form.
  • The 31st Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress, at the Apex on 5th and 6th October 2013.
    Click here for details and entry.
  • The 62nd Hertfordshire Chess Association Congress, at County Hall, Hertford on 9th and 10th November 2013.
    Click here for details and here for entry form.
  • 13th Woodbridge Junior Chess Open, at Woodbridge School, on 24th November 2013.
    Click here for details and entry form.