An interesting position from a Nf6 Scandinavian on Board 5…
A new season and a new time limit. Increments have arrived! The beauty of them is that it gets rid of those ridiculous time scrambles and matches being decided by the clock instead of by play. Anyway, that’s the theory.
First, though, you have to set the clocks. In the old days, even a five year old child could set a clock. Nowadays, you need that five year old child to show you how to do it. Sadly, we are all a lot older than that. Despite the intensive half hour training session at the last Horfield AGM (imagine, if you can, twenty men standing in a circle, each holding a clock and frantically stabbing buttons) it took several minutes before the clocks were all ready.
And so we welcomed newly-promoted Clevedon. If we are to (sorry, When We Do) stay up, we have to take points from sides who could be relegation rivals. However, we started underdogs, being outgraded on every board.
Bob (making his B team debut) was the first to finish, agreeing a draw. Peter Chaplin had sacced the exchange against John for what looked like a serious attack, but was more bark than bite. Mike L’s position was looking decidedly tricky, with Dave Egginton having much the better of the open centre. Brent seemed well set up but was having to swat away forays by his opponent’s queen.
Last time out, Jon’s game against Dave Peters had featured five sacrifices. Those who were hoping for more fireworks were disappointed and a draw on five was agreed. 1-1.
Brent, meanwhile, had ended up in a pawns endgame. Unfortunately, it was a lost pawns endgame and he was low on time. 1-2.
Dave Egginton was also low on time and the increments weren’t sufficient to save him from a flag fall. 2-2.
Peter was also low on time and had been playing with just a few seconds for about 15 moves. John played a sequence of checks, and Peter gratefully used his forced responses to rack up a few increments. Then John found a quiet move which Peter pondered … too long. Flag fall. 3-2.
So, it was all down to Chris versus Mike Townsend. It did not look great. Chris had rook versus rook and a pawn on the sixth and was having to work hard to hold the draw. Then he blundered horribly gifting the win to his opponent. Angry and frustrated, Chris stood up and went for a walk. The win was sitting there for all to see.
His opponent had 20 seconds on his clock and sat there staring at the board until the flag fell, much to the bemusement of the spectators. It seems Mike was unsure of how increments work, so Chris sportingly offered a draw, sealing us a 3.5-2.5 victory in very lucky circumstances.
So, there you go. Our first match with increments and half the games were decided by a flag fall. It can only get better.
(1) John Richards 1 – 0 Peter Chaplin
(2) Mike Levine 1 – 0 Dave Eggington
(3) Chris Jones 0.5 – 0.5 Mike Townsend
(4) R P Radford 0.5 – 0.5 Andrew Chapman
(5) Jon Fisher 0.5 – 0.5 David Peters
(6) Brent Perrin 0 – 1 Matt Wilson
HORFIELD B 3.5 – 2.5 CLEVEDON A
NB: Horfield were black on boards 1, 3 and 5.