Being a good host is of course important, the C team has been as generous as any this season. Last night was no exception.
Let us start at the beginning (we will finish at the end). On board one I had expected to be playing Stuart. I took advice from better players about approaches and then ignored it. Somehow we reached a very level middle-game where I was content with the solidity of my position and was fairly confident as I couldn’t really see a plan for how white was going to progress. On board two Remi had put all his chips on red with a romantic 19th Century opening gambit but the wheel span and it came up black. Andrew knew the continuations, won a rook and then harassed white’s exposed king to win more material and score the first point of the night. James has had a tough start to the season and it didn’t get any easier. Oliver plays good chess and his opening obviously wasn’t something black was comfortable with. It wasn’t long before the pressure of white’s kingside pawns and the targeting of queenside weaknesses began to look critical; I couldn’t see anything other than a win for white and still early in the evening Clevedon were 2-0 up. On board four Lionel and Paul were fairly even but white’s kingside pawns were compromised and black had obvious targets. Ben was late in arriving on board five but quickly worked his way into an even position against Scott. They’d castled opposite sides but it looked pretty even. On board six Mike missed the chance to pick up a free piece but regardless had engineered a significant space advantage and his central pawns had driven a wedge into Mark’s position. If white kept the pieces on and squeezed it looked like there was a reasonable chance to make something of the game.
Next to finish were Scott and Ben. White had gone into a knight and pawn endgame a pawn up but black was able to create enough confusion to win the pawn back and a draw was agreed. At least we were on the scoreboard. Then on board six white had allowed the pieces to be exchanged down, lost tempo with king moves, and then lost a pawn. A polite ‘I think that is mate?’ followed shortly afterwards from black and the match was won at 3.5-0.5. On Board five Ben had won one of Lionel’s doubled pawns on the kingside and had a three connected pawns against white’s split pair. With pawns on the other side black was able to force through the advantage as the white king couldn’t cover the whole board and another game went Clevedon’s way. Finally on the top board I had turned an even position into one where I thought I was winning a piece but actually it turned out I was losing one. I had some vague hopes based on a pin on Stuart’s knight paralysing all his pieces and a significant time advantage. White tried to free the position on the kingside and I missed the chance of a draw by overlooking a pawn was protected after that I played on too long as I was irritated with myself.
So 5.5-0.5. Generosity to our guests doesn’t get much more fulsome that that.
|1||Peter Marks (1714)||0||Stuart Iles (1812)||1|
|2||Remi Questiaux (1604)||0||Andrew Chapman (1846)||1|
|3||James Kirk (1699)||0||Oliver Isaac (1705)||1|
|4||Lionel Germane (1632)||0||Paul Martin (1689)||1|
|5||Scott White (1554)||.5||Ben Searle (1435)||.5|
|6||Mike Jennings (1538)||0||Mark Brailey (1344)||1|
|Horfield C||.5||Clevedon B||5.5|