Match reports: C team beats Hanham and D team loses to Grendel B (24 January)

Our rearranged fixture from December against Hanham was played last night and saw the uptick in the C team’s results continue.

In the battle of the Kirks on board 6 James, playing his first game after a short break, gave Richard absolutely nothing. White accurately piled on the pressure, kept black’s king in the centre, and won significant material. Richard battled on for a bit but an early result was never in doubt giving Kirk jr. his first win of the season. Elsewhere it seemed much more even. James and Earnest on board 1 were playing a very sharp game where the open centre meant clear lines for rooks and bishops. Black had the g file to work with to target the white king and white, if he could avoid a disaster on the kingside, controlled the central files. On board 2 I won a central pawn out of the opening against Jon and was trying to avoid tactical resources and take the advantage into an endgame. On board 3 Phil had unleased a pawn charge but Piotr had stabilised and looked better once his king was out of the firing line. On board 4 Scott had control of the light squares and a beautiful knight on c4 he then went on to win a piece and looked well set. On five Mike and Barry, two of the stalwarts of Bristol chess, were playing an even game where there didn’t seem to be any obvious weaknesses to target.

Next to finish was Piotr on board 3. He’d worked a decent positional advantage and then Phil missed a tactic that won black a rook and the game, a well-played game. Shortly afterwards board 4 finished. Matt had launched a series of exchanges that won back the piece and left an opposite colour bishop and pawns endgame where white had an outside passed pawn but it was dead drawn. However Scott benefitted from Matt moving his king to the queenside to attend to the pawn allowing the white king into black’s pawns and securing the win. 3-0 up and cruising. Jon and I finished next on board 2. I’d held my advantage until I got complacent, missed a nicely worked tactic involving a temporary exchange sacrifice which won back my extra pawn and resulted in an equal endgame which we agreed was a draw. 3.5-.5 and the match in the bag. Board 5 concluded soon afterwards with Mike overlooking his queen could be shifted from defending his bishop and the piece was lost. From there Barry was never in trouble in securing a consolation win for Hanham. Finally on board 1 the position remained extremely sharp. James broke through on the kingside to win two pawns but when the dust settled Ernest had found a safe spot for his king and his rooks and knight were much better coordinated that James’. In the final time-scramble white had both rooks on the seventh but black’s knight was holding the key defensive squares and Ernest accepted the draw offer as he couldn’t clearly see a clear route to a win with hardly any time remaining. After the game Piotr did point out white had missed a mate in one….

So 4-2, a good win and we’ve reached the heady heights of mid-table obscurity.

1James Facey (1731).5Ernest White (1808).5
2Pete Marks (1723).5Jon Gould (1674).5
3Piotr Zielinski (1611)1Phil Lawson (1567)0
4Scott White (1564)1Matt Howells (1500)0
5Mike Jennings (1526)0Barry Davies (1469)1
6James Kirk (1519)1Richard Kirk (1111)0
 Horfield C4Hanham2

The D team lost their unbeaten record last night against a very strong Grendel team. Harry lost early on board 2 against Liam. White had won a pawn and had some control of the centre but overlooked that Liam was able to get his rook onto the back rank down the queenside which settled the game. On board 1 Joaquim showed his progress this season by claiming a draw against Roger who outranked him by a mere 242 points. Kana finished next on board 4. He dropped a piece and whilst he had some pressure with his pawns down the centre John was able to resolve that relatively easily and the win became inevitable. So with the match decided Graham and Aimee agreed to a draw rather than endure more shivering in the front room. Amazingly Graham had a time advantage but his pieces were a little out of position and it looked pretty even. Still top of the league but Grendel could go past us if they win their games in hand.

1Joaquim Luque (1544).5Roger Hardy (1786).5
2Harry Duckworth (1526)0Liam Wheen (1654)1
3Graham Strickland (1457).5Aimee Lowry (1629).5
4Kana Balasubramaniam (1328)0John Paton (1580)1
 Horfield D1Grendel B3
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