A close run thing

Horfield B 3.5  – University A 2.5

(1) Mike Harris (175) 1-0 Ian Gallagher (171e)

(2) Paul Helbig (184) 0-1 Alice Lampard (166)

(3) Dominic Tunks (195) 0-1 Alex Vaughan (151)

(4) Peter Kirby (179) 1-0 Ben Mogford (146)

(5) John Richards (167) 1-0 Andrei Eftime (129)

(6) Roger Pearce (138) 0.5-0.5 Jonathan Long (134)

Horfield B were black on odd boards

This was an important fixture. We were six points ahead of the University, having played three matches more. Win and we would be eight points ahead. Lose, and the gap would be just four and we would be in danger of being overtaken. On paper, it should have been an easy one; the disparity in grades was huge. Once again it didn’t quite work out like that.

On board 6, one of the closely matched ones, Roger gambited a pawn in a c3 Sicilian. Jonathan obligingly castled queenside and it was a case of whether Roger’s open lines and attack was going to be sufficient for the pawn. For a long time it did not look like it was going to be, but eventually it all fizzed out for a half.

Boards 4 and 5 put us out in front. Peter got pressure which eventually told. I won a pawn and headed for an ending. Just one more point needed. 2.5-0.5.

So, looking good, except … Dominic had a nightmare and Paul’s kingside attack was not as good as Alice’s on the opposite wing. Suddenly it was all square. 2.5-2.5.

Fortunately, Mike had it all in hand. He had three pawns against a lone bishop. The bishop was working overtime but couldn’t hold up all three.

This takes us to twelve points from thirteen matches and feeling a lot safer.

John Richards

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