We soundly beat Clifton in the last match of the season last year but things have changed. We have lost a number of last seasons’ stronger regulars and Clifton have grown in strength with Anton and James both graded above 140 playing on their top two boards. Across the boards the grading difference was as average of around 20.
The first to finish was Kana who didn’t respond to a straight forward kingside h pawn charge and hack from Paul. Well executed but hopefully Kana won’t fall for this again. Siobhan creditably was even into the late middle game but became very passive and didn’t get her rooks active allowing Luke to pick off her pawns and then promote one of his pawns forcing Siobhan into losing a rook and a little later the game. Prakash had a solid and even position out of a French but even though he was completely aware that the threat was mate on h7 he somehow managed to end up in a position where he had to give up material to avert it and Anton eased home even though Prakash tried to complicate and set problems. Graham was always struggling as Robert’s pieces were much more active and not for the first time this season Graham was behind with development as his king was stuck in the middle and his rooks and white bishop still on their starting squares. He battled on as he does but there was a sense of inevitability long before the end.
More positively Mike held for a draw even though his pawns were looser in a rook and pawn endgame and Piotr did well against James (whose ranking is around +30 on Piotr) to play solidly out of the opening and coordinate his pieces. It didn’t look like either player had winning chances without taking significant risks and a draw was a reasonable result. As it goes. We battled. We lost. No disgrace in that. Yate next week, let us see if we can do a little better!
1 P Chatterje 0-1 A Muller
2 P Zielinski .5-.5 J Aldred
3 G Strickland 0-1 R Smolka
4 M Jennings .5-.5 A Warne
5 K Balasubramanian 0-1 P Whitton
6 S Campbell 0-1 L Webb