The derby, a seven-board extravaganza of chess brilliance.
On board 1 Rob managed to get a comfortable positional advantage out of the opening against Mike (L) and then won a pawn, he looked very much in control. On board 2 I was playing as a late sub against Mikey and we played the first 12 or so moves of a game we’d played previously, then having run out of developing moves I castled long for something to do. It felt wrong at the time and immediately exposed me to pressure with my queen and king on the same file and with very few squares for my pieces. Hmm. On board 3 Shalome and Hendrik had castled on opposite sides and the pawn advances were beginning to roll. It looked like black had the more tangible threats. On board 4 Scott, showing proper commitment to entertainment, decided he’d give himself a challenge by dropping a piece on move nine, money certainly on Judd. On board 5 Remi worked a space advantage and had the more active pieces but there wasn’t an obvious route to progress as Mike, whilst slightly constrained, looked solid. James and Owen had reached an equal-ish middle game on board 6 and finally on board 7 Harry, playing his first league game, and Kana were playing carefully in a position that could go either way.
The first result was on board 3. Hendrik’s position began to get more uncomfortable and trying to hold over-extended pawns meant he missed a fork on his rook and queen and lost the exchange. Shalome created significant pressure around the white king and worked an open file with an excellent return of the exchange. With the open file came a mating sequence and Hendrik did the decent thing. Next to finish was board 2. Mikey allowed me to exchange queens and then rooks came off relieving the pressure and we were left with equal pawns and bishops. Black won a pawn on the queen-side to an oversight but it didn’t really change the balance of the game as progress was blocked by the white king and a draw was agreed. James and Owen finished about the same time. White had loosened the pawns around his king and black gave up a knight for two then three pawns and black’s king supported by the other knight were able to create too much trouble for the white king resulting in an overwhelming lose of material and then the game. A good finish by James. Scott had kept going on board 3 but Judd stayed in control with his extra material and as pieces and pawns were exchanged down the position became untenable for white and the game was gone. Judd now has won 7 out of 8 this season. Solid.
2.5-1.5 to the C team with three matches left. That became 3-2 as Mike and Remi agreed a draw. Black had dealt with the earlier pressure and the resulting split pawn minor piece ending was very much equal. Two matches to go. In both of them the C team had a pawn advantage and comfortable positions. However Harry miscalculated in the pawn end game, giving up his extra pawn and Kana forced a zugzwang on another pawn and won through after a typically tenacious performance. 3-3 and just the top board left. Rob got caught out by a pin and then lost the exchange allowing Mike to win back white’s extra pawn. Then in the rook vs bishop ending Mike gave back the exchange for another pawn and was able then to shepherd home his extra pawn to queen taking the game and the match.
A hard fought match which could have gone either way but ended 4-3 to the B team (and 6-1 to the black pieces).
|Mike Levene (1903)||1||Rob Attar (UNG)||0|
|Mikey Wright (1702)||.5||Pete Marks (1675)||.5|
|Shalome Kurian (UNG)||1||Hendrik Wessels (UNG)||0|
|Scott White (1615)||0||Judd Chidwick (1736)||1|
|Mike Jennings (1498)||.5||Remi Questiaux (UNG)||.5|
|Owen Rees (1596)||0||James Kirk (UNG)||1|
|Kana Balasubramaniam (1315)||1||Harry Duckworth (UNG)||0|
|Horfield B||4||Horfield C||3|