Narrow loss for division 4 leaders Horfield E

Horfield E 1.5 – Clevedon C 2.5

 

Horfield E Clevedon C
Mike Jennings (110) 0 1 Steve Roberts (137
Pete Marks (110) 0.5 0.5 Geoff Dring (113)
Loni Anderson (UNG) 1 0 Doug May (72)
Johnny Zeng (78) 0 1 Christi Manouvel (UNG)
Total 1.5 2.5 Total

Being a middle-aged man I have over time collected a number of amps for my guitars. My favourite is a Marshall JCM900. Sitting at the board having started 1.d4 d5, 2.c4e6, 3.Nc3 c6 I obviously decided playing the Marshall Gambit (4.e4) was the right thing to do. I don’t know it, Geoff did. I obviously have none of the skills of Frank Marshall, I don’t know how to turn my attack up to 11, I have no Marshall Plan, Napoleon wouldn’t use me as a Marshall in his Grande Armée. Somewhat inevitably I found myself a pawn (then two) down for no discernible compensation based on piece activity or development. Sigh. A slog ahead.

Distracting myself from my pitiful play I had a stroll to look at the other games. Mike on the top board had played his standard accelerated dragon and had quickly gained equality or slightly better and was trading down minor pieces. Loni on board three had carefully watched the game in front of him against Doug, and responded well castling queenside and lining up his heavy pieces on the f-file supported by two active knights. Johnny on board four had lost a piece early and was under significant pressure against Christi who is returning to chess and looks a decent player. The end happened quite quickly for Johnny meaning we were 1-0 down.

Mike had traded queens at the right point and his more active rook in the end game meant he had forced himself into a winning position four pawns to two against Steve. Loni had cashed in on his pressure and was a piece and two pawns up. Pleasingly I managed to begin to stabilise the centre and slow down Geoff’s initiative and it began to look drawish as I swapped off rook and knight leaving just clogged pawns and a bishop each. With both the other boards looking good I took a draw. Maybe Napoleon would have employed me on the basis he preferred lucky Marshalls rather than good ones.

Loni duly finished the game off. His first win of the season and his best play. 1.5-1.5. Eyes turned to Mike and Steve’s game where a home win or at worst a draw looked very short odds. With both players short on time sadly Mike got his king isolated on the h file on the wrong side of Steve’s rook letting Steve create a passed pawn protected by his king. Mike had no option but to trade rook for pawn and that was that. A pity for Mike who should console himself with how well he had played up to that point against an opponent graded 137 but games aren’t won until they are won. 2.5-1.5 to Clevedon.

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