D team held at Hanham

Hanham A 3 – Horfield D 3

(1) Antony Carver (1-0) Cy Russell

(2) Barry Davies (0.5-0.5) Howard Millbank

(3) Kevin Marshall (1-0) James Facey

(4) Doreen Helbig (0.5-0.5) Mike Jennings

(5) Allen Bridgwood (0-1) Peter Marks

(6) Richard Kirk (0-1) Graham Strickland

Horfield D were white on odds

Summer ends, the chess season starts. Hanham are not the strongest team in the division so it felt like a reasonable place to shake off the dust and try to remember some of the things we used to know about chess. We took a team that out-graded Hanham across the boards so I was reasonably confident of a positive result.

First to finish were Mike and Doreen on board 4. After trading minor pieces from a Grand Prix attack a draw was agreed in 24 moves with less than an hour gone. Looking across the boards at this point we had the better of the match. Cy making his debut (and playing his first ever competitive match) was much the better against Anthony Carver; Anthony’s double fianchetto versus the London seemed odd and so it was looking. On board two Howard and Barry, two gentlemen of the game, were deep into pawn chains and manoeuvring. On three James was positionally well placed owning the centre of the board out of a classical French with Kevin. My game was low octane as Allen gifted me a piece after four moves and I was gently strangling the game. The only game causing concern was Graham on board six which looked a struggle.

But you win no points for being ahead half way through a game.

Next to finish was James who missed a two move mate. Sigh. Hanham one up. I evened up the score as the extra piece became an extra piece and a pawn, then two pawns, then three pawns and Allen had had enough. All square after three.

As time began to run down somehow Graham had managed to turn round an end game where he had a rook vs Richard’s bishop pair and ground out a splendid result forcing through a passed pawn with about four minutes left on his clock. Horfield one up.

Two games left. Howard and Barry had battled in what looked like, on occasion, a sharp game requiring accurate calculation however they agreed a draw. A fair result.

So just the top board. Cy, two pawns up and ahead on time, sadly blundered his queen and Anthony quickly polished the game off. A shame as up to that point Cy’s debut had been highly impressive as he controlled the game admirably.

A drawn match. Hanham will be pleased with that.

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