Barely into autumn and the first round of the Cup has arrived. We took a strong team to Bath and expected if we could hold their big guns on the top boards we should have the edge further down.
As it turned we did rather better than just hold the top boards. Callum gambited a pawn in the opening which David gave back but white kept finding ways to maintain the initiative and black didn’t get round to castling. In the end it reached an opposite coloured bishop ending which was winning for Callum (even though perilously low on time) owing to 2 vs 1 majorities on both wings. Matias’ game against Roy was far too confusing to understand; all I can report with any confidence is he won. On board 3 Steve maintained an edge from the start and with a lovely tactical sequence trapped Adam’s misplaced rook leading to black resigning. So 3-0 from the top three boards and with grading advantages on the next five we never looked like we would be in trouble for the match result.
On board 4 Steve provided Bath with their only won game of the night; he set up some deadly diagonals by fianchettoing his queen and also black bishop on b2 which provided the killer blow against Andy. On board 5 Peter held an advantage out of the opening but after pieces were exchanged if anything it was slight advantage to Rob in an endgame with a queen, knight and six pawns each. However black was low on time and a draw was offered and accepted in a pretty much equal position. Phil, by his own admission, got in a tangle early on board 6 and should have ended up two pawns down. However Clive didn’t take the second pawn and later gave it back for activity. However the activity didn’t really materialise and the game petered out into a draw. On board 7 Mike went into a late middlegame with Bob an exchange for pawn up. Black had a dangerous looking 3 vs 1 pawn majority on the queenside which turned into 2 advanced connected passed pawns but Mike managed to keep them under control and win them both. Once done it was a case of steering his way through the seemingly limitless possible knight forks to reach the win. After protracted jostling Mike did indeed secure his victory. Finally Judd equalised and then took a strong positional advantage into the middlegame against Andreas. Black converted his advantage into material and in the rook and pawn endgame he converted with the minimum of fuss.
So a convincing win and the first blossoming of a cup run. Clevedon up next in the last four.
|1||David Buckley (2312)||0||Callum Brewer (2240)||1|
|2||Roy Philips (2193)||0||Matias Candelario (2137)||1|
|3||Adam Musson (2083)||0||Steve Dilleigh (2073)||1|
|4||Steven Riley (1972)||1||Andy Hill (2029)||0|
|5||Rob Hearne (1967)||.5||Peter Kirby (2048)||.5|
|6||Clive Walley (1907)||.5||Phil Nendick (1987)||.5|
|7||Bob Gore (1749)||0||Mike Levene (1916)||1|
|8||Andreas Stalidis (1569)||0||Judd Chidwick (1860)||1|