About as exciting as it got on board 5. One for the purists as they say!
Four years ago, we wrote: “…the Salisbury is a gem! Walk through the door and you travel back in time to a pub interior that hasn’t changed since the 1970’s: flowery carpets, old wooden tables, faux wood panelling on the walls, and a payphone on the wall. The jukebox is even older, resolutely refusing to play anything after 1961. A sign on the wall proclaims the tombola jackpot has reached £195 and Jenny the musical comedian is returning next Saturday by ‘popular demand’. Who these masses are that descend on Saturday, we didn’t get to find out. The only people present were the chess players and the barmaid and a cat that was keen to get out of the rain.”
What has changed in those four years? The decor hasn’t changed, apart from a green bucket to collect the rain water between boards 4 and 5. The cat and the barmaid have gone (sadly). The jukebox is silent. But there is a new barman and, boy, can he talk loudly. Bring back the jukebox, please.
Despite our opening day win we did not travel hopefully. A glance at Bath’s registered A team players will show why:
- Joseph McPhillips, 230
- Aitor Garcia-Ruiz, 211
- David Buckley, 204
- Adam Musson, 182
- Horia Bogdan,178
- Andrew Gregory 175
An average of 197! If they ever get a full team out then Downend are in trouble. However, it was our lucky day. McPhillips is a student at Bath, so has not arrived yet. And Garcia-Ruiz and Gregory were missing as well, so we we facing an average grade of only 172, compared to our 163.
So, after the now commonplace situation of watching people trying to set clocks for the new time limit, it was game on!
Mike L won the exchange with a neat combination but found the position totally blocked by his opponent’s two bishops – his two rooks had no way in so a draw was agreed. Chris was next to take the draw. 1-1.
Jon had what he claimed was an uneventful game which bored its way to the inevitable conclusion. Meanwhile, Brent was mopping up. 2.5-1.5.
John thought he was doing okay against David Buckley, but found himself having to make a succession of odd-looking moves which somehow kept him in the game. Just when he was feeling optimistic it all went pear-shaped. 2.5-2.5.
On board 1, White played 40. Rd2 and lost on the spot. Can you see the winning tactic for black?
All clustered round board 2, where Mike was the exchange up and in a tense piece of mutual time shortage eventually won a piece. 3.5.-2.5.
Two wins out of two! It’s a great start. Next we are at home to Clifton A.
(1) David Buckley 1 – 0 John Richards
(2) Adam Musson 0 – 1 Mike Harris
(3) Horia Bogdan 0.5 – 0.5 Mike Levene
(4) Clive Walley 0.5 – 0.5 Chris Jones
(5) Thomas Matko 0.5 – 0.5 Jon Fisher
(6) Peter Dimond 0 – 1 Brent Perrin
BATH A 2.5 – 3.5 HORFIELD B
NB: Horfield were black on boards 2, 4 and 6.