Match report: MKO vs Clifton (27 September)

The first of our two MKO games this week.

On board one a slog of a middle game had been reached; it looked pretty difficult for either side to make progress. John had a space advantage but Igor had well structured pawns making any pawn-breaks difficult for white and no obvious entry points or outposts. Potentially a lot of manoeuvring to do to get a positive result. Judd had a backward pawn against James (B) on board two but it was effectively over-protected and again it was difficult to see any entry points for white. On three James (F) was the exchange and a pawn up against Simon. Black had a fortress of sorts but it looked very much advantage to white. On board four Piotr and Jack had quickly entered a pawn and rook endgame where black had an advantage due to his central passed pawn.

Whilst others were still into middle games on board five Mike had finished his game with Sam very effectively. He gained tempo by developing pieces to harass black’s exposed queen then exchanged bishop and knight for rook and a pawn pulling apart the king side cover and with an open g file for white’s rook it was a winning position. Black could have extended the game by giving up his queen for a rook to avoid mate but it would have only extended the inevitable and white mated shortly afterwards. Finally Joaquim, on debut, was a piece up after trapping one of Matt’s bishops by pinning it in front of his queen . On the balance of boards certainly advantage Horfield.

With Mike done and dusted by 9 there was a bit of a wait for other results to come in. Board one finished next with Igor and John agreeing the position was too static to progress; any attempt to break it open would likely have been detrimental to the attacker. Quickly afterwards Joaquim won on board six. Black had dealt with the threats on the queenside effectively and upgraded his piece advantage to a full rook by winning the exchange. Then with pieces coming off the board Matt accepted the defeat. 2.5-0.5. Piotr then secured the match win by advancing his king into Jack’s position whilst white was attending to the passed pawn and black’s more active king was enough to secure the point and the match. Shortly afterwards James converted his advantage on board three. Simon had created some counter-play with his knight and bishop but James gave back a rook for knight and then picked up the loose bishop and the game was won. Finally on board two Judd and James carried on grinding. A swap of pieces led to a rook and pawn ending where white had a pawn advantage but the pawn was doubled and with black controlling the semi-open h-file a draw was agreed to round off a 5-1 victory for Horfield.

We were the stronger team and we made it count. Highly satisfactory!

1Igor Doklestic (1845).5John Richards (1953).5
2James Blegg (1690).5Judd Chidwick (1860).5
3Simon Dunphy (1624)0James Facey (1692)1
4Jack Giltrap (1588)0Piotr Zielinski (1613)1
5Sam Thomson (1823)0Mike Jennings (1524)1
6Matt Palmer (1384)0Joaquim Luque (UNG)1

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