Although the students’ team was a little under-strength, they up stiff resistance, and it was only in the final 30 or so minutes of play that the match went very decisively in our favour.
On board 1, Aaron’s game reached an endgame where he was a pawn up, but with his opponent having an outside passed a pawn, it wasn’t so clear. Fortunately for us, the preceding complications had left his opponent very short of time despite the increment, and this caused him to lose his a pawn asset and the game shortly afterwards.
Alex’s board 2 game looked impressive to me in all phases. An accurate opening had left weaknesses in his opponent’s king position. In the middlegame, his opponent tried to hold the balance by enterprising tactical play, trying to exploit Alex’s back rank. However Alex was able to simplify into a position with an extra exchange which he duly converted.
On board 3, my opponent played the exchange variation against my French defence and continued with very defensive play. However this gave me a space advantage and freedom to move my pieces into aggressive positions. I couldn’t quite make any sacrificial solutions work, but did manage to win an exchange. However this had been costly on the clock (for both players) and I promptly managed to blunder the exchange back leaving a delicate bishop versus knight endgame. However my bishop and better king position proved enough and my opponent’s clock fell in a lost (I think) position.
Steve’s game on board 4 went quickly into a rook endgame where initially it looked as if the chances were with Steve. However his opponent found some serious counterplay eventually winning a pawn, and although this turned out to be insufficient to win, the game did go down to the final pawn. Game drawn.
On 5, Phil was playing a Nimzo-Indian structure, in which he’d found a way of creating a weakness and play against his opponent’s kingside. I didn’t see exactly how the game was won but the result appeared to a logical consequence of black’s positional advantage.
Mike’s play on board 6 was enterprising as ever. After find himself playing against a hedgehog structure arising from a Sicilian, he played consistently on the light squares, sacrificing pawns to open up his opponent’s position for a decisive attack.
(1) A. Guthrie 1 – 0 M. Stranger
(2) A. Easton 1 – 0 P. Prasse
(3) D. Pugh 1 – 0 E. Luc
(4) S. Dilleigh 0.5 – 0.5 V. Kupper
(5) P. Nendick 1 – 0 J. Soares
(6) M. Harris 1 – 0 J. Long
HORFIELD A 5.5 – 0.5 UNIVERSITY A
NB: Horfield were black on boards 1, 3 and 5