Gambit time on Board 6. Trouble is you have to know what you are doing…
In my pre-match briefing email (yes, we are very organised) I said that I thought that we had a realistic chance of beating Clifton A this time out, for the following reasons: Clifton A had not won in its five matches since 21 November; we lost 4-2 last time, but we had some missed chances; and it was possible James Cobb wouldn’t play as he’d missed the last two. James was indeed missing as apparently he’s just had another baby (congrats, James!) but the rest still looked daunting.
Chris was first to finish, taking a draw within the hour. He was wrong-footed in the opening and realising he probably knew little about the line while Dave undoubtedly would know it backwards, he opted to head into a dead-level sterile position. Meanwhile, I was trying a gung ho approach, bringing a rook to d3 and then switching to h3 for an unsubtle attack on h7. Igor parried successfully and then I think we entered into a period of mutual dislike of our own positions which resulted in Igor proffering the draw. I didn’t need much time to think about it. 1-1.
Still an hour to go. Things were looking rosy on 4 as Brent danced his way into Duncan’s position. Board 2 didn’t look too bad as Peter seemed to be holding off an attack and Gareth was short on time. Things weren’t looking at all rosy on the other two boards though, where Mike and Jon both had awkward positions with pieces failing to work together.
Then Jon managed to conjure up some complications and a flurry of exchanges left Jon’s knight forking king and rook. He described it later as ‘cheeky filth’ (we look forward to his volume of collected games). Brent duly polished off Duncan but Peter’s game fell apart. 3-2.
Could Mike get the half point needed to seal victory? Down to his last few seconds and a piece down, he battled on in the hope that John C would slip up, but it didn’t happen. 3-3.
An enjoyable match and another point gained. For 48 hours (until Downend A play again)(Editors note – They lost! So Horfield A and B sit a top Div 1) we are second in division one (on games points). In fact the top of the table looks like this:
Horfield A 13 23
Horfield B 16 18
Downend A 13 18
Add in the fact that Horfield C is top of division two and Horfield D is third in division three, and it’s turning out to be an annus mirabilis.
(1) Curtis, John E 1 – 0 Harris, Michael
(2) Morris, Gareth L 1 – 0 Kirby, Peter J
(3) Collier, David O ½ – ½ Jones, Christopher J
(4) Grossett, Duncan D 0 – 1 Perrin, Brent
(5) Doklestic, Igor ½ – ½ Richards, John E
(6) Muller, Anton M 0 – 1 Fisher, Jon
CLIFTON A 3 – 3 HORFIELD B
NB: Horfield were black on boards 2, 4 and 6