A new year, teeming rain, but everyone arrived on time in reasonable spirits. Downend brought a large team of support staff whom joined us for a couple of hours of friendly chess whilst the combatants duked it out upstairs.
Boards three and four were played to junior time limits. On three Graham won a bishop early against Charlie and after that was always in control, easing through to a no fuss victory and now has five wins from five matches this season. On four Kana and Alexis were playing an open game where it looked like black had pressure in the centre and the better of the position but it was still relatively even. Alexis then spotted a combination of using a rook down the open h file and a hole on e2 for his knight. White didn’t spot the threat of the black king lift clearing the back rank until it was too late and the mating trap sprung shut on Kana’s chances making it 1-1.
On board one Dan had won a pawn and built a strong positional advantage as Scott struggled to find good squares for his pieces. In a difficult position black offered a queen exchange to try and ease the pressure but fell into a fork that lost the queen and the game. 2-1 to Downend and pressure on Harry to maintain the D team’s unbeaten run this season. The game on board two had seen opposite side castling and the removal of the minor pieces resulting in straight line batteries being set up targeting potential weak pawns. White defended accurately against black’s h file threats and then Ed probably over-pressed and lost a central pawn allowing Harry a protected passed pawn and with queens and a pair of rooks removed it was clear there was only going to be one winner and black resigned.
Match finished. 2-2. Still unbeaten. Still top of the league.
|1||Scott White (1564)||0||Dan Parcell (1606)||1|
|2||Harry Duckworth (1526)||1||Ed Barker (1541)||0|
|3||Graham Strickland (1470)||1||Charlie Higenbottam (1110)||0|
|4||Kana Balasubramaniam (1328)||0||Alexis Malibiran (1105)||1|
|Horfield D||2||Downend E||2|