The champions start strong with a near whitewash of the B team

Horfield A 5 – Horfield B 1

(1) D. Pugh (1-0) P. Kirby

(2) A. Easton (0-1) M. Harris

(3) M. Levene (1-0) J. Richards

(4) R. Attar (1-0) C. Jones

(5) P. Nendick (1-0) R. Pearce

(6) H. Atkinson (1-0) N. Pollett

Horfield A were white on even boards

No holds barred and no draws incurred for the first match of the season – the A team had this one wrapped up early on in the evening, and it could have been a whitewash. Report from Derek:

The opening match of the season can always be tricky as players seek to shake off rust which may have accumulated during the summer. Online blitz games don’t create match sharpness (at least not for me anyway), so I was a little nervous facing our B team remembering that they are very capable of beating any team in the league.

Although the scoreline suggests I shouldn’t have worried, there were some interesting moments.

Mike won relatively quickly on board 3, catching John’s pieces in a deadly set of pins. I didn’t see much of Harvey’s game on 6 or Rob’s game on 4. I understand that Harvey’s win involved a classic sacrifice on h7. Although this wasn’t accepted, the compromised black king position and ongoing attack proved sufficient for the win. Rob benefited from an oversight from Chris is a position which might otherwise have been level.

In my own game, I thought that Peter came out of the opening with a small advantage. The game really just turned on one mistake by Peter when a misjudged central pawn advance cost a pawn and brought my pieces to life. Both kings were exposed but there was no defence when Peter’s checks ran out.

In Phil’s game, Roger had played the enterprising Sobolevsky gambit. Phil reacted well to this, ultimately securing a strong passed b pawn. Roger resigned when seeing that he needed to give up a piece to prevent promotion, although there was a devilish trick at the end which I think he might have tried:

Black seems to be winning here with the B-pawn about to queen. But after Nxd6 – what would you play?

In this position white should play 42 Nxd6. Phil would probably have played Rxd6 which wins easily enough. However why not 42…b1Q? After 43 Rc7+ Kf6 (Kf8 or Kh8 44 Rc8+ draws), black’s king seems to be heading for open spaces. 44 f4! though would have come as a big shock – the king is now in a mating net and black’s extra queen is powerless to help!

Amazingly, White can play the calm f4! And the only way to stop mate on f7 is by losing the queen: g5, hxg5+ Kg6, Bf7+ Kh7 and Ba2+ wins the queen back and White is two pawns up!

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