Horfield B cling to 2nd place in Division 1 with cool victory over South Bristol (29/03/18)

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A pretty tactic on Board 6 won the match for Horfield B.  Black to play and win.

Our penultimate match and somehow we were on for 2nd place on Easter weekend if we managed a point – with the skipper away we stuck to our mantra of ‘hold them on the top boards, beat them on the bottom boards’. Our opponents were missing a few regulars but were still very strong.

Facing their pair of 190’s on the top boards we initially looked to our strength in depth for help, but the draw offers and acceptances came thick and fast. Brent was in his customary dynamic open position but I feared some nasty back-rank tactics so was relieved he took the draw; shortly before this Chris has accepted equalisation against Tony.

On 6 Jon was itching to ‘burn a pawn’ and he didn’t take much longer to do it, while Bob was in a fixed game with only a few dodgy pawn breaks possible. He wisely accepted a draw as well, 1.5-1.5.

I was trying to hold the ship steady and gauge the other two games – Peter had been forced to sack a piece and did invade through to the king – but this didn’t phase Patryk at all as he consolidated with a handy knight defence.

It would have been looking grim except that Jon had been pressurising Jason for a while and was looking to be on the brink of something. He checked and shifted around for a bit looking for the checkmate but it was nowhere concrete. So he looked elsewhere and found a lovely temporary queen sacrifice to force resignation on the open board, 2.5 – 2.5.

Who needs pawns anyway? Well it turns out I did – I snaffled one pawn in the opening and then was forced to take another and survive a myriad of threats. For once I got the endgame transition right and the two extra pawns were immediately decisive.

We regain 2nd place behind runaway champions Horfield A (many congrats to them) but it is excruciatingly close. Many of the big clubs have games in hand and it could all come down to game points. Having won all our matches 3.5 – 2.5 our game points don’t look too healthy, but we’ll enjoy watching some more results roll in!

(1) P Helbig 0 – 1 M Harris
(2) P Kryzyzanowski 1 – 0 P Kirby
(3) GA Harvey 0.5 C Jones
(4) I Bourne 0.5 B Perrin
(5) G Cullen 0.5 R Radford
(6) J Blaxhill 0 – 1 J Fisher

SOUTH BRISTOL A 2.5 – 3.5 HORFIELD A

NB: Horfield were black on boards 2, 4 and 6

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