On Board 1, Alex Easton resigned for the first time this season with a nice positional crush from Mike Harris. Both players are enjoying stellar seasons for Horfield this year
The A’s have been on a roll, winning their last 3 matches by big margins (5.5-0.5, 6-0, 5-1), and were sitting pretty at the top of the table. Somewhat to our surprise, the B’s were lying third in the table. We were not ready to give the A’s an easy ride – perhaps we could put a spoke in the wheels, despite the usual huge grading mismatch: 26 points a board.
Things started fairly quietly – Chris and Derek shaking hands on a draw around 9pm. Mike H was looking good on top board against Alex and we seemed in it still on the other boards.
My game started promisingly. Steve has played just two league matches this season, but has been very active (and successful) on the west country congress scene. Perhaps I hoped that he would be unused to the time limit, but it was soon me that was down on the clock and starting to look worse.
The two bottom boards finished close together. Jon salvaged a half when Harvey could not take the advantage of having a rook for knight in an ending. Brent succumbed to Phil’s attack (I think – I was having to spend all my time on my own game). 1-2.
On Board 6, an interesting endgame developed with knight vs. rook. Harvey Atkinson returned the exchange in this position but somehow black had enough time…
In the game white tried Kb5 but the alternative b4 doesn’t seem to work either as both players promote at the same time…
The final position where after Kb5 the pretty c6+ secures the draw. A very enjoyable game Mr Atkinson!
But then Mike H pulled us back into the match with an excellent win against Alex. Mike has been storming this season with 6 wins out of 7. His grading performance is comfortably over 200. 2-2.
The last two games did not go our way. I didn’t see Mike L’s loss. Mine was a protracted death in a rook and pawn ending.
Still, looking on the bright side, we managed to take 2 game points off the league leaders, which is significantly more than their last three opponents have managed.
(1) Alex Easton 0 – 1 Mike Harris
(2) Aaron Guthrie 1 – 0 Mike Levene
(3) Derek Pugh 0.5 – 0.5 Christopher Jones
(4) Steve Dilleigh 1 – 0 John Richards
(5) Phil Nendick 1 – 0 Brent Perrin
(6) Harvey Atkinson 0.5 – 0.5 Jon Fisher
HORFIELD A 4 – 2 HORFIELD B
NB: The A’s were black on boards 1, 3 and 5