A team rocket to top of the table

Clevedon A 1.5 Horfield A 4.5: 

  1. D Pugh 0 – 1 D Egginton
  2. A Easton 1 – 0 D Painter-Kooiman
  3. S Dilleigh 0.5 – 0.5 P Spiller
  4. M Levene 1 – 0 M Walker
  5. P Nendick 1 – 0 C Strong
  6. H Atkinson 1 – 0 N Cunliffe

Two out of two for the champions who go to the top of division 1 at this early stage. Report from Derek below:

Our matches against Clevedon always seem to produce some enterprising chess, and so it proved again, at least on the boards I was able to follow.

I’m afraid that I didn’t see much of our wins on board 5 and 6. At an early stage of the evening they looked relatively balanced and by the later stages I was in too much trouble in my own game to observe.

I do know that Alex on 2 and Mike on 4 were both involved in entertaining games. Mike built up a powerful kingside attack when won queen for 2 pieces which was sufficient for the win. On 2 Alex’s Winawer French turned into a typical mess (although quite theoretical according to Alex!) but a good mess from Alex’s point of view as the white king turned out to be the more vulnerable of the two. Steve’s game on 3 levelled out in a rook endgame.

I was to blame for our team’s only defeat, although I should credit Dave with some good practical play in a difficult position:

position
Black to play – how to deal with the pawn on f6 and an incoming Qe6+?

 

After 20…Rxf6 21.Rxf6 Bxf6 22.Qe6+ Kg7 23.hxg5 black’s bishop is lost. However, Dave found the best practical chance, quickly playing 23…Rf8.

I didn’t look beyond 24.gxf6, but after 24…Rxf6, black has 2 pawns and good practical compensation based on white’s undeveloped queenside. After some further mistakes by me, and good play by Dave, the black counterattack prevailed.

position2
Dave played Rf8 here, so after gxf6, Rxf6 Black is a piece down but has some active plans and a passed pawn – which Dave eventually converted.

Instructively I should have at least spent more time on my 24th move (taking the bishop), and might have realised that there is no hurry to take the bishop (as moving it away allows some combination of Qh6+ and Bd5). White can even afford a slow move like 24.a4, but 24.Nf2 is the most human move and should allow me to convert fairly easily.

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