Match Report: Horfield C vs South Bristol B (15 November)

More evidence of our generous hosting skills last night.

Luke had agreed to play board one to test himself after his winning debut for the B team. Gareth has a sharp tactical repertoire with white which requires accurate play from black. Sadly Luke got into trouble early, lost the exchange then with his queenside undeveloped found the open lines towards his king meant the loss of further material and with it the game before it had really got started. 1-0 up to South Bristol and the night still young. On board two Jon had come at me with an opening gambit which I knew a just about and we’d reached a relatively equal position into the early middle game. On board three Piotr and Andrew had developed cautiously and the structure suggested positional manoeuvring to try to engineer pawn breaks. On board four James and Rod looked even enough out of the opening. Scott on board five had a clear advantage over Vicky and snaffled a pawn. Finally on board six it looked as if Mike had a reasonable position against John who playing his first competitive game; black’s king was stuck in the centre and he had doubled pawns with white having some potential entry points if he could coordinate his pieces.

The second game to finish was on board five where Scott levelled the match score 1-1. He’d won the exchange by pinning queen to rook then with white’s bishop out of position behind the pawns it was a relatively straight forward job to use the material advantage to press on to the win. A well-played win for black. Shortly afterwards Piotr and Andrew agreed a draw on board three. There wasn’t much to do apart from shuffle pieces around and whilst Piotr thought he may have had some piece-for pawns sacrifices available these weren’t clear and a draw seemed sensible. In much the same manner Jon and I had reached a static position where pawn breaks would be weakening rather than positive so we also halved the point on board two. I’d missed the chance to create trouble earlier in the game with f4-f5 by not doing the hard thinking to work it out. So 2-2 with two to play.

Sadly at this point our chances went south. James and Rod were very equal until white overlooked a sequence by which black won the exchange. White still had slim drawing chances but couldn’t get his bishop into a useful position and once Rod organised his heavy pieces the end came quickly. 3-2 to South Bristol with board six still in play. Pieces had been exchanged leaving just rooks and a knight each and now black’s central king and extra pawn in the centre proved assets. Mike couldn’t find a good square for his knight and John created a passed pawn on the kingside which he gave up for Mike’s c pawn and forcing Mike’s king to the edge of the board. This allowed his connected d and e pawns a free run down the board and white bowed to the inevitable.

Another home game, another defeat. Maybe we’ll get some comfort on the road next time out.

1Luke Millard (1914)0Gareth Cullen (1715)1
2Peter Marks (1714).5Jon White (1603).5
3Piotr Zielinski (1617).5Andrew Milborrow (1360).5
4James Kirk (1656)0Rod Taylor (1478)1
5Scott White (1554)1Vicky Sherley-Price (1648)0
6Mike Jennings (1538)0John Thompson (UNG)1
 Horfield C2South Bristol B4

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