Horfield take on the League! Recap and photos

At the beginning of November Horfield celebrated their 75th anniversary by taking on the rest of the league! The Bristol Chess Times reported on it, but we bring you further details, photos and an interesting game position.

A big thanks to everyone who played this event – it was touch and go whether we would get a good and even match, and give everyone good games. It all came together and we managed an 11-board double-round match – making a best of 22.

Puzzles, History, and Food surrounded the match in the heights of the Redland Park Church, autumn sun streaming through the full-length windows (seeming to beg the question why we don’t usually play up there!)

In the absence of the chairman, another club stalwart Howard Millbank gave a wistful speech, reminiscing on Bristol League characters past and old – as well as the new generation – including a commendation of that chairman Alex Dunn. (Well avoided Alex, that could have been awkward!)

Long-time Horfielder John Richards looks on as Dave Collier and Mike Levene battle…

It wouldn’t be an amateur-run chess match without some sort of time-related kerfuffle, so here is an account by our player in question:

“In round one, Mike Levene, playing black against Dave Collier, sacrificed a pawn on move 5 to embarrass his king. Dave kept calm and carried on, eventually castling by hand and consolidating his pawn advantage. Unfortunately, he at one point picked up his pinned knight, had to move it, and lost his queen for a minor piece. Game over? Not quite yet! Mike, doubtless missing simpler wins through time-trouble, eventually forced resignation as Dave faced mate. 0-1. However, what neither player had noticed (but the onlookers of course had) was that Mike had lost on time! He had carried on obliviously, and had enjoyed those ten-second increments too! Once the spectators told him this, Mike was ready to reverse the result, 1-0. However, the team captains had meanwhile conferred and suggested that, in the circumstances, a draw would be appropriate; and Dave, who could justifiably have claimed the win on time, very sportingly agreed with this last result. So you could say that, in celebration of our club’s Jubilee, we played a game which had all three results! This chapter of accidents/oversights was another proof of the good spirit in which games are played in the Bristol League– long may that continue, win , lose or draw!”

Thanks Mike! It was an interesting game to watch! As was this position from Nigel’s game:

Somehow the rook lodged itself on e6! Nigel, playing Black, was able to convert up this game and added to the Horfield treasure trove.

After the match, Phil duly showed some of the club members his famous win against GM Stuart Conquest:

“So here’s where I out-thunk him…”

The final score was 15 – 7 to Horfield, quite a flattering result but then we were favourites on paper, and playing at home.

We hope we can do it all again in 25 years’ time!



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