Away matches at Clevedon have often been close, tense affairs. The score-line suggests this one was less so, although it doesn’t tell the whole story.
On board 1, Aaron got us off to a great start with a powerful kingside attack after black had closed the centre too early in a French structure. On board 4, Phil’s theoretical knowledge on the black side of an Evans gambit was crucial – David tried to sacrifice to break through but it wasn’t working and Phil mopped up efficiently. At this stage the other games looked relatively balanced to me. Brent’s game on board 6 looked the most interesting, fighting for space against Stuart’s 1b4 opening.
My own game on board 3 had also been relatively balanced, after my opponent had neutralised my Closed Sicilian set-up. However, the position was complex and both players were using a lot of time. However no sooner had I established what I thought was a clear advantage (actually not as big as I thought), I made a catastrophic blunder losing a piece to an e-file skewer. Only the clock ultimately saved me, as I managed to conjure some swindling chances and was very lucky to win.
Having missed what had been going on in the other remaining games, I was relieved and delighted to discover that they’d all gone our way, apparently involving some trademark sacrificial play on Harvey’s board. I’m not sure when our last 6-0 was but it was very welcome, and with Downend A slipping up against Bath means we get our noses in front in the title race.
(1) M. Townsend 0 – 1 A. Guthrie
(2) D. Eggington 0 – 1 A. Easton
(3) D. Peters 0 – 1 D. Pugh
(4) D. Painter-Kooiman 0 – 1 P. Nendick
(5) A. Chapman 0 – 1 H. Atkinson
(6) S. Iles 0 -1 B. Perrin
CLEVEDON A 0 – 6 HORFIELD A
NB: Horfield were black on boards 2, 4 and 6