Match Report: Horfield A vs Grendel (17 November): Winning away at home.

A match win to keep us in mix at the top of the table with Downend and the University. The score line was close but we were (probably) always in control.

Matias and Jerry drew on board two then we stretched into a lead with Derek winning on board three where he was able to get a pawn avalanche going against Richard’s castled king. White transferred all his pieces across to the kingside for the attack but found it more difficult to break through than hoped. However the defence for black was also tricky and a mistake by Richard allowed Derek’s queen and rook to combine for a quick finish. However the match was levelled on board six where Judd turned an strong advantage into something less palatable. Liam wasn’t conversant in the opening and black went up an exchange and a pawn but from there came unstuck by losing tempo, letting the white knight in, and felt the need to give back the exchange to remove the knight. However black was left with split pawns, which were picked off, and into then an endgame with a clear advantage to white which was converted. A sleepless night for Judd ensued…

Peter restored the advantage on board 5. The centre was blocked and the game became about whose attack would land first; Peter on the queenside and Roger on the kingside. As it transpired white was ahead and won the open a-file. Pieces were exchanged pieces and in the resulting bishop endgame white won through as black had all his pawns on the wrong colour. So 2.5-1.5 with two to play.

On board one Callum got a decent start against Alistair. White held an extra (doubled) pawn in exchange for black’s development, Callum thought he’d found a nice sequence to undouble the d pawns in the centre in return for a slightly weak pawn structure around his king, however an oversight gave black the initiative. On four board Andy had a clear advantage having worked hard initially to create some imbalance and then win the exchange. He looked well placed. Alistair offered Callum the draw on board one and it was accepted to put us 3-2 up as we were better on board four. Andy, whilst ahead, was in in time trouble, and Patrick developed dangerous counter play with queen and knight. With 40 seconds left on the clock Andy accepted the situation and settled for a draw by repetition to close out the match.

Downend A next.

1Alistair Gilbert (1989).5Callum Brewer (2219).5
2Jerry Humphreys (2020).5Matias Candelario (2154).5
3Richard Johnson (1886)0Derek Pugh (2138)1
4Patrick Flexman (1778).5Andy Hill (2009).5
5Roger Hardy (1778)0Peter Kirby (2061)1
6Liam Wheen (1542)1Judd Chidwick (1859)0
 Grendel2.5Horfield A3.5

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