Two cup games during the week. Meh.
Firstly Horfield 2 on Wednesday. In the last round we’d managed to squeeze past Cabot with only four players. This time we had a full team so that was a plus. But as it turned out there wasn’t a lot else to be delighted by. Dave and I finished first; we played something approaching theory, then a series of not the best moves, and reached a position where we both had an advanced pawn that couldn’t break through and a draw was absolutely right.
The top two boards looked even enough, Rob certainly had a space advantage against Toby but there didn’t seem to be any tactics or pawn breaks available and on 2 Nigel was pressing but Ian was keeping it very solid. On four Alex had lost material early but at least all his pieces active whereas Dave had his queenside still on the original squares giving black a chance to make a nuisance of himself. Scott was being squeezed by Tom on board 5 without any relieving moves and it looked a bit grim as he tried to shuffle defensively and hope black couldn’t find a route through. On six Graham and James seemed pretty even.
Board 5 finished next, Scott couldn’t find a way out and lost material on the f file and then after exchanging down Tom had an untouchable passed pawn and white accepted the inevitable. Shortly afterwards on 2 Nigel and Ian reached a pawns and bishops position with absolutely no realistic means of progress and a draw was agreed. Then on 6 Graham was struggling on junior time controls and had given up a pawn. White made his advantage count without any alarms and all of a sudden Downend were 3-1 up. Alex had worked his way back into the game and whilst not better wasn’t completely lost. Dave offered the draw that’d secure the match, Alex obviously turned it down but once white had untangled his queenside his bishop and knight were too good for Alex’s rook and the game and match were done. Finally Rob couldn’t make any progress against Toby who had spent his time defending accurately and a draw was agreed meaning Downend comfortably won through.
If you want a more upbeat version Ian Pickup (the winner’s perspective) has written a very nice report here: Report: New Faces for the Rooks | D&FCC (downendchess.com)
|1||Toby Kan (1913)||.5||Rob Attar (1901)||.5|
|2||Ian Pickup (1782)||.5||Nigel Pollett (1766)||.5|
|3||Dave Tipper (1759)||.5||Pete Marks (1723)||.5|
|4||Dave Williams (1706)||1||Alex Dunn (1565)||0|
|5||Tom Ash (1654)||1||Scott White (1564)||0|
|6||James Thomas (1373)||1||Graham Strickland (1470)||0|
|Downend Rooks||4.5||Horfield 2||1.5|
Secondly Horfield 1 on Thursday away to South Bristol. Boards 2, 5, and 6 finished early. On 2 Judd comfortably drew with Gareth, his only note about the game was ‘nothing much happened’. On 5 Mike was the grateful recipient of a blundered piece on move 10 and from there traded down and won comfortably. On 6 Joaquim was an even early recipient of a gift winning a piece for a pawn with a fork as early as move 5. Likewise he eased home to put us 2-0 up. Next board 1 also finished a draw. Phil had most of the pressure but by the time the draw was agreed it was certainly even. So we were 3-1 up needing just half a point from either boards 3 and 4.
James on 3 had a strong position, albeit a pawn down. He seemed to have won this back with a tactic taking a pawn on h6 with the defending bishop overworked since it was also protecting a knight. However David’s previous move had threatened the other bishop which he now took leaving him a piece up. James battled on creating some threats but resigned when these petered out. On 4 Piotr was playing a new opening, and struggling to understand the structures, burnt time in the opening and middlegame. In the position below Andrew uncorked 19 Bg5!? which looks like it can’t be taken because of Nd6 but Bxg5 is in fact the computer’s favoured move with wild complications.
After Piotr’s reply of f6 he only had 2 minutes left, which soon after became 43 seconds. Piotr managed to weather the storm, touching 2 seconds at one point, and for a while was a couple of pawns up but white was still generating kingside threats. Piotr managed to get the queens off to go into a rook ending with 3 pawns each although one looked doomed and soon fell but then rooks came off and that made the game very lost. So a defeat on board count.
|1||Richard Garrett (2000)||.5||Phil Nendick (2013)||.5|
|2||Gareth Cullen (1703)||.5||Judd Chidwick (1803)||.5|
|3||David Neagle (1719)||1||James Facey (1733)||0|
|4||Andrew Milborrow (1383)||1||Piotr Zielinski (1611)||0|
|5||John Robinson (1862)||0||Mike Jennings (1513)||1|
|6||A N Other (UNG)||0||Joaquim Luque (1544)||1|
|South Bristol 2||4.5||Horfield 1||1.5|
Two matches, two defeats, one by a clear margin the other where maybe we might, on another night, have found a way through. As it goes!