Horfield D 5 – Clifton C 1
Oleksii Novakov (120) 0-1 Tom Holmes (129)
Alan Warne (101) .5-.5 James Facey (136)
John Levine (83) 0-1 Pete Marks (117)
Richard Edmunds (UNG) 0-1 Howard Millbank (123)
James Dawe (UNG) 0-1 Mr Alex Dunn (102)
Default .5-.5 Default
We’d rearranged this fixture twice as Clifton struggled to put a team together; a regular occurrence for them this year. As it happened both teams competed with five players as Prakash was too poorly to play.
I finished my game first; John made a complete mess of a Slav and I was rook and two pawns up after 10 moves. The game limped on for another half an hour or so before John called time. Howard and Alex played against pleasant chaps who had not played league games (or very much chess at all) before and it showed. Alex for the second match in a row was spoilt for choice about how to deliver mate and it ended with the below:
Howard eased to victory and finished the season with a 50% score.
On the top two boards Tom and James got reasonable games of chess. Tom and Oleksii had quite a drawish looking game until Tom snaffled a pawn in the endgame and then created a passer securing the point. James was positionally secure in a French but let Alan take the initiative but the match ended in a draw after accurate defending by James.
So a comprehensive victory to finish the season. Let us hope Clifton are able to populate a C team next season and be slightly more competitive than this season. It would be a shame if their focus was only on the top division.
End of season summary
A decent fist of a season. We finished on 22 points from 16 matches (W10, D2, L4). Whilst a couple of the loses were a little galling I suppose some of the wins may well have been a little fortuitous so it evens itself out. We beat every team in the division at least once and were fortunate to have a core of committed and regular players which made selection easier. Tom in particular impressed throughout the season with a grading performance for the team of over 150 and in particular since Christmas on top board he won 6 out of 7 with a grading performance of close to 170. James had a very strong first half of the season but struggled a little in the second half. Prakash found the going a bit tough this year but contributed at key moments. Also we had some strong support and crucial points won from Piotr, Alex, Graham and Mike from the E team which has helped enormously. Louis was available briefly and won a couple of excellent games. Credit to Johnny too for stepping in to play on top board vs Downend E against another junior after the clocks had started and it became clear Tom had cycled to Downend for a home match and wasn’t getting back in time….
Finally thanks also to Howard who while disappointed with his own play meaningfully contributed to the team as he has been doing for many years.
Thank you all for being available and responsive.