Horfield B 2 – Downend B 4
(1) Dom Tunks (203) 0.5-0.5 Steve Meek (183)
(2) Peter Kirby (181) 0.5-0.5 Mike Brigden (172)
(3) Paul Helbig (183) 0.5-0.5 Oliver Stubbs (174)
(4) Mike Harris (185) 0-1 Chirag Hosdurga (170)
(5) John Richards (171) 0.5-0.5 Martin White (170)
(6) Roger Pearce (150) 0-1 Andrew Munn (159)
Horfield B were white on even boards
Hopes were high as we went into this match with a strong side outgrading Downend by several points on the top boards. One novelty was that Downend had requested a faster time limit of 55 minutes plus 10 seconds a move on board 4 for their junior player. This was under a new rule passed at the last AGM and I must admit it had passed me by. Perhaps I assumed (wrongly) that it wouldn’t apply in the top division. Mike kindly agreed to take it on.
Mike was soon in difficulties though, when he was surprised by the junior taking the h2 pawn with his bishop. Mike thought he was going to block the bishop’s retreat with a pawn and so win it, but it turned out to be more complicated than that.
Peter took a draw on two when the position petered out. I was defending a Maroczy Bind and, as is often the case in the Bind, Martin White, playing White, ran out of steam before I made an error, resulting in another draw. Meanwhile, Mike’s position went from poor to dismal. 1-2.
Dom took a draw in another lifeless position on top board to leave Downend 1 point away from victory. Roger was fighting valiantly after gambiting a pawn but was still material down. Paul had given up a queen for rook and bishop, but had some chances. When it became two bishops and 5 pawns v queen and 3 pawns it looked like he might well win it with his passed pawn, as long as Oliver’s queen couldn’t get at his king. Oliver managed to advance his remaining pawns to open it up and force a perpetual. Roger succumbed in the end to leave Downend the victors by 4–2.