Match Reports: B, C, and D teams (1 February): Mixed blessings

Three matches in a night again. Exciting times.

B team vs Cabot A

Scott finished early. Unfortunately the wrong side of opening know-how as Alastair created an enormous centre and black had no squares for his pieces, was unable to get his dark-squared bishop out and his king died in the middle. Mike J dropped material pretty much straight away; tried to make the game complicated and lost more. That was that. 2-0 to the Cabot. Mike L and John G drew a game that had some swings in it with Mike possibly standing better early, then becoming concerned by John’s bishops on the open board. Finally after rooks were exchanged the game finished in a draw with black having successfully blocked entry points for white’s king and bishop. The last game to finish was Kana vs David. Black had the edge in a pawn knight, rook late middle game then white fell to a tactical shot and lost the exchange meaning with a modicum of accuracy the result was not in doubt. David happily gave up rook for knight and pawn to create passed pawns on both sides of the board. And that was that. We were out-graded and we were out-played. Although I did manage to fluke a win against Alastair in a rapid game afterwards and that is what matters right?

1Mike Levene (1912).5John Guifoyle (1935).5
2Mike Jennings (1496)0Alan Papier (1757)1
3Scott White (1561)0Alastair Marston (1759)1
4Kana Balasubramaniam (1319)0David McGeeney (1656)1
 Horfield B.5Cabot A3.5

D team vs Clifton B

Remi struggled with his set up against an unconventional opening and Simon developing his pieces quickly taking advantage of black’s uncastled king. Remi did the decent thing material down and positionally broken; a tough game against a solid opponent who knew his way round the opening lines. On two the same story but the other way round. James knew his stuff (I know James I shouldn’t doubt you…) and David was slow to develop any pieces and found his king trapped in the centre as James created a series of devastating threats to win material, more material and the match in 14 moves. Some excellent piece coordination shown in a lovely miniature of attacking chess. Thirty-four moves in total for the two games on boards 1 and 2. In contrast boards three and four went the distance. The game on 4 swung dramatically. Tom had built a good positional advantage out of the opening into the middle game and was close to finishing it off as his active knights and queen were swarming round the white king with white’s pieces all queenside of the board. However black got his move order wrong allowing Lionel to exchange queens, relieve the pressure and his protected passed pawn on the b file became unstoppable. The game carried on for a bit but there was only going to be one winner. So 2-1 to Horfield. Finally on 3 Owen possibly was in trouble in the early middle game but Matt decided on a speculative bishop for h and g pawn sacrifice but the attack was only with the knight and queen and black comfortably found the best defensive moves and came out of the position with a large advantage. However the game ground on (and on) until we were left with Owen having rook and knight and Matt rook and two unconnected pawns and less than 5 minutes on the clocks. Owen manoeuvred to win one of the pawns and Matt resigned. But (keep it quiet folks) it felt like it was still very much a drawn position. A reward for persistence and it secured the match for us.

1Remi Questiaux (UNG)0Simon Dunphy (1628)1
2James Kirk (UNG)1David Budd (1473)0
3Owen Rees (UNG)1Matt Lewis (UNG)0
4Lionel Germane (UNG)1Tom Booth (UNG)0
 Horfield D3Clifton B1

C team vs Yate.

Our road trip crew were in Yate. Piotr and Andy reached a point quite early of equality; generally Andy equalised comfortably out of the opening and tactics in the middle game didn’t produce much apart from an exchange down of pieces. White’s queenside pawns were a mess but could be shored up with the active queen and rook. A draw felt right. Judd got a strong positional advantage out of the opening for a pawn but couldn’t find the tactics to prise open white’s still central king and once Jeremy had tucked it away and tidied the position it felt as if black always had enough (although it took 60 moves to prove it). Alex started well and had a decent position but the continuation wasn’t obvious. Ben stuck to his task, equalising, then going on to control and win the game. Finally on board 4 Adam made it two wins out of two in his Horfield career against the wily and experienced Kevin. Kevin blundered early but Adam played accurate calm chess to consolidate, trade down and force Kevin into further errors looking for a way back into the game. A good win but the match was gone against a strong Yate team who are having an excellent season.

1Andy Penn (1818).5Piotr Zielinski (1595).5
2Jeremy Gardner (1619)1Judd Chidwick (UNG)0
3Ben Mumford (1601)1Alex Dunn (1532)0
4Kevin Langmaid (1542)0Adam Henderson (UNG)1
 Yate2.5Horfield C1.5

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