Match reports: A and D teams in action (22 November)

No Matias, no Steve for us, and Downend were without the eternal servant of chess Nigel; looking at the line-ups there was a cigarette paper between the teams.

On board one Steve gambitted a pawn early on for a lead in development against Callum. After a little bit of passive play from black the middle game saw white with all his pieces developed whilst black’s king was still in the centre as well as his b8 knight and a8 rook still stuck on their starting squares. The question, as always, was development trump material? On two Oscar had given up the exchange for queenside activity and a pawn majority it looked reasonable for him but Derek was still in the game. On three, in the battle of the Peters, white (Peter C) played an interesting opening with a pawn sacrifice in the early middlegame for Benko-style compensation. It wasn’t full compensation but it was a difficult position for black to defend. Peter K made a mistake and white won back the pawn and kept his piece activity on the a and b files. Certainly advantage to white. Andy was up against Aron, who, considering his grading, surprised us being down on board 4. Andy had ideas of winning the exchange in the opening but realised in time his queen would have been trapped on either a8 or a7. Instead black grabbed a pawn but this gave white significant compensation in terms of activity. On board five Phil considered he messed up the opening against Dominique and into the middlegame was struggling to see where any counterplay would come from with white very much in control of the position. Finally on board six John launched an unusual continuation in the opening against Martin and had developed a reasonable position but with a single open file and the same minor pieces it looked pretty even.

The first three matches to finish were boards three, four and five. Peter K’s view is a reasonable amount of inaccuracy followed until Peter C won another pawn but by this stage they had reached a double rook endgame and black could make no further progress and had to accept a perpetual. On four Aron hadn’t obviously capitalised on his activity and Andy was able to consolidate. However the respite was temporary as a few inaccuracies from white allowed black to build significant pressure around the white king. In the end a blunder from white finished the game but by then it had probably slipped away. On five Phil was still under the pump until Dominique overlooked his bishop was in danger of being trapped. Once black was a piece up the game suddenly became a lot easier. So match level at 1.5-1.5

To the business end of the match. Board two finished next. Oscar had managed to engineer a passed pawn on the queenside and with a rook sat behind it and Derek’s rook out of position the game was won. On board six John thought he had seen a forcing continuation but it turned out there was nothing in it and into the endgame Martin had a piece for two pawns but the white pawns were all over the shop and easy pickings for black’s bishop. With that the match was won. We did get some consolation on board one where Steve had continued to press; sacrificing a knight for a couple of pawns in order to open black’s king up and then an ambitious (foolhardy?) further sacrifice of his rook. White did manage to get some material back but it simplified into a position where Callum could trade queens and end up with a knight for two pawns advantage and he found it fairly routine to convert.

So a hard-fought 3.5-2.5 to the visitors. A 5.5-.5 victory for black. Well done Downend.

1Callum Brewer (2214)1Stephen Meek (2115)0
2Derek Pugh (2142)0Oscar Garcia (2209)1
3Peter Kirby (2064).5Peter Chaplin (2025).5
4Andy Hill (2003)0Aron Saunders (2190)1
5Phil Nendick (1991)1Dominique Conterno (1827)0
6John Richards (1940)0Martin White (1886)1
 Horfield A2.5Downend A3.5

Also playing last night were the D team. Alex won very quickly in good style and Graham made it 2-0 shortly afterwards to take him personally to four wins out of four this season. The University pulled one back on the bottom board where Dougie, who had stepped in as a late replacement for the University took advantage of Kana getting his move order wrong out of the opening and losing a piece. The game finished shortly afterwards. The only game that went beyond 9pm was board three. Shriva was better out of the opening and Joaquim was struggling to develop his pieces. As the game progressed the problem got more critical as white controlled space and had the more active pieces with black reduced to loosening pawn-moves. One-way traffic and the result when it came was a surprise to no one. A 2-2 draw in a mixed bag of a match but the D team remains undefeated at the top of division 4. Props.

1Alex Dunn (1553)1Difu Etiba (1607)0
2Graham Strickland (1461)1Seth Pamifer (UNG)0
3Joaquim Luque (1454)0Shriva Pillay (UNG)1
4Kana Balasubramaniam (1330)0Dougie Buchanan (1772)1
Horfield D2University C2

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