University A 2½ – Horfield B 3½
(1) Siyuan Huang (190) ½-½ Mike Harris (185)
(2) Ethan Luc (171) ½-½ Paul Helbig (183)
(3) Philipp Prasse (175) 0-1 Dominic Tunks (203)
(4) Alice Lampard (165) 0-1 Peter Kirby (181)
(5) Denis Fradkin (160) ½-½ John Richards (171)
(6) Alex Vaughan (142) 1-0 Roger Pearce (150)
Horfield B were white on odd boards
It was 364 days ago that Horfield B was in the Gromit Room and ground out a narrow victory. We needed to do the same to continue clawing our way away from the relegation zone. On paper it looked promising, and the students had had a poor start also, but we’ve learned not to count our chickens.
Sure enough, it didn’t start well. Roger lost a pawn early on and sac’d a second pawn for a promising position but when Alex blundered he failed to see the right move winning a rook and ended up 2 pawns down. 0-1
Drawmeister Paul took another half, but then Dom got his first win for the B’s to level the match. 1½-1½
I found myself in a weird opening, a kind of deferred Latvian (1 e4 Nc6 2 Bc4 e5 3 Nf3 f5), in which I accepted a gambit pawn and then needed to weather a storm down the e and f files. Both of us ended up with just a couple of minutes on the clock and, realising we were now down to a couple of minor pieces and pawns each, decided it was honours even. 2-2
Mike had bishop and pawn against knight and two pawns. He found the simplest solution, swapping the bishop off for the two pawns leaving a dead draw. So it was all down to Peter versus Alice. At first glance it was also a dead draw. Lots of pawns and opposite coloured bishops. But Peter did have a passed h pawn – could he force it home? Peter kept probing (it went to over 100 moves) and I think probably Alice blundered, or lost the will to live, allowing Peter to force the bishop to give itself up for the pawn. After this, it was straightforward and once again we had got a narrow victory.
We’re now on six points from eight matches. Clifton B are up next and we expect a tough encounter. After losing their first five fixtures they beat University by 5-1 last week!