Mike Harris rescues B’s with last gasp win

Horfield B 3.5 – Horfield C 2.5

(1) Dominic Tunks (203) 0-1 Patryk Krzyzanowski (197)

(2) Mike Harris (185) 1-0 Rob Attar (177)

(3) Peter Kirby (181) 1-0 Bob Radford (152)

(4) John Richards (171) 0.5-0.5 Jon Fisher (154)

(5) Peter Marks (110) 0.5-0.5 Prakash Chatterjee (137)

(6) Piotr Zielinski (-) 0.5-0.5 Nigel Pollett (145)

Horfield B were black on odd boards

The season is taking shape and already the battle against relegation appears to have narrowed to four teams. Clifton B is really struggling with no points at all from their five matches and the big favourites to go down. There are three teams on two points: University A (4 matches), Horfield C (5), and Horfield B (6). Hence, this was never going to be a friendly match between the B’s and C’s. Both sides desperately wanted the points.

Hence, it was not good news for me when I found myself with just three players a few days before.  I was going to have to work my way through a list of possibles, ending up with Peter M and Piotr. Fortunately, Dom confirmed at the weekend so I was able to field a convincing side, outgrading the opposition.  It looked like we should do okay on the top four boards, but on the bottom boards it was potentially a different story. We were heavily outgraded and could easily find ourselves 2-0 down before we got going.

In the event, the D team  players did us proud. Piotr went two pawns up and Nigel had to fight his way back for a draw. Peter M nearly won his encounter, getting two passed pawns in a tricky queen and pawns ending. In the end, the dual tasks of shepherding the pawns and protecting his king proved incompatible and another draw resulted. My own draw in a bishops and pawns ending completed the even split on the bottom boards.

Dom had lost earlier on top board, meaning we needed two wins on two and three. Peter swapped queens to get a won rook and pawns ending, leaving the pressure all on Mike once again. In a typically sharp position, it looked like either could win. Then, the C’s hopes were dashed when Mike found an exchange sac that resulted in an unstoppable passed pawn.

We have another crucial relegation zone battle next week at the University.

John Richards

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