Match Reports: A and C teams in action (15 February): Oh dear.

A tough night for us.

Firstly the A team were up against the league-leading University A team. We started out by defaulting on board one (which isn’t the ideal) however we scored with the first result of the night on board four as James launched a kingside attack which Tom bravely decided to castle into. It turned out James simply had too many pieces in the right places and every move for black was fraught with danger as white had so many potential sacrificial and forcing options. Pleasingly white broke through and mated black in 20 moves. On board two Ian made an inaccuracy in the opening that allowed Peter control over the one open file, the question was whether it was enough to gain a positive result. Phil was struggling on board three against Dan. White had forced black’s king to stay in the centre and with an open board and pressure from heavy pieces it looked like it was only going one way. On five Mikey had got into trouble in the opening as Stan set up awkward pins and black to give up a couple of pawns on the queenside to get his king to safety. On six I was confused by an uneven position and had become pretty passive, Jacob had left his king in the centre to try a kingside attack so something was going to happen.

So Phil wasn’t able to find a way back into the game and bowed to the inevitable. 2-1 to the University. On two Ian had gradually untangled his pieces and Peter switched to a kingside attack sacrificing a piece for 3 pawns and a wide open king for his rook and queen to attack. However black’s king escaped and there were no obvious way for white to advance the pawns and keep the his king safe. Peter offered the draw and Ian gladly accepted as he was down to his last few minutes on the clock. On five Mikey battled on as Stan struggled to find a plan to break through. Finally white found a tactic to give up his rooks for pawns to allow the promotion of a pawn. The queen was stronger than the rooks and Stan marshalled his extra pawns up the board with king and queen. 3.5-1.5 to the University and the match won. My game was last to finish; I’d created counter-threats in the centre and got my queen and knight into attacking positions however was completely unable to see how to finish it off. The game swung back and forth as I missed more chances until we agreed a draw by repeating moves with both of us playing on the increment.

So the University march on; not their strongest team but too good for us.

Default0James Clarke (1936)1
Peter Kirby (2057).5Ian Gallagher (2083).5
Phil Nendick (1989)0Dan Varney (2039)1
James Facey (1689)1Tom Shepherd (2047)0
Mikey Wright (1725)0Stan Roynon (UNG)1
Peter Marks (1682).5Jonas Zurba (UNG).5
Horfield A2University A4

The other match was our C team against North Bristol A who brought a very strong team which outplayed us on all four boards. Owen stepped in at the last minute on three and battled gamely even after dropping material early. Black came close to equalising but Richard stayed calm and worked his way to victory with his passed pawn. Kana struggled against Debaditya and black’s more active rooks and extra pawns sealed the victory. On board two Hendrik and Alex had a relatively equal position but black activated his pieces whilst white was somewhat passive and with an semi-open g file to use against a paralysed defence Alex converted the position into a win in good style. Finally on board one Doug’s rook was better than Mike’s bishop in the end game and made it 4-0 on the night and ended Mike’s unbeaten run this season.

1Mike Levene (1912)0Doug Cooke (1937)1
2Hendrik Wessels (UNG)0Alex Kent (1800)1
3Owen Rees (UNG)0Richard Millener (1725)1
4Kana Balasubramaniam (1319)0Debaditya Dasgupta (1708)1
 Horfield C0North Bristol A4

James provided the single highlight of an otherwise desultory evening. Onwards and upwards I suppose….

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