Match Report: Horfield B vs Thornbury (23 February): Winning the hard way

We didn’t make it easy for ourselves but another step towards promotion.

The evening didn’t start well on boards 4 and 5. On board 5 Nigel made his life difficult by trying to make something out of an even position and castled long-side against Hayden, but it looked like black had the better prospects of a pawn storm. It duly came to pass as white wasn’t able to get started with his attack and Nigel bowed to the inevitable with a black pawn on b2 supported by all of Hayden’s pieces. On board 4 Judd got surprised in the opening but equalised before going wrong in the ending. 2-0 down wasn’t in the script but from there it only got better.

On board 6 Joaquim was worse in the opening and into the middle game but the game turned when Chris attacked impetuously without having a clear way through. While white was bringing his rooks into the attack black managed to force a mass exchange through pressure on the Chris’s knight to go into the end game a pawn up. The extra pawn and rook activity was enough for Joaquim to convert the position into a winning one with Chris resigning when it became clear he couldn’t stop the extra pawn from promoting. The match was then levelled on board 1. Phil had prepared for the wrong David beforehand so was surprised to see Mr Vaughan rather than the long-retired Mr Dugdale. David offered a draw in a double-edged position where black had two bishops for white’s two knights and pawns advanced towards white’s king whereas Phil had the better centre. The match situation dictated Phil should play on. Phil resisted the urge to make any pawn moves in front of his king and found good squares for his knight to defend and counter-attack. Rather than go a pawn or two down David gave up his 2 bishops for a rook. From there Phil decided to play the percentages and exchanged down into an ending where he was much better and proved it. So the match was now level at 2-2.

On board 3 John had an edge against Michael all the way through. However white then made an inaccuracy and black offered a draw. John, realising he was tired and playing on fumes checked the match score (2-2) and took the offer having checked Rob was still ahead in board 2. It turned out to be a good decision because Rob extended his 100% record in Division 2 to six games with a victory over Lynda by converting his rook and 2 v knight and 3 ending which confirmed the match victory 3.5-2.5 and a good week for the club with 2 match wins and a draw from our three fixtures.

Four matches to go, six points clear of third place. Unless we channel the spirit of Devon Loch (1956) or Kevin Keegan (1996) it is looking good.

1David Vaughan (1809)0Phil Nendick (2020)1
2Lynda Smith (1819)0Rob Attar (1913)1
3Michael Townsend (1818).5John Richards (1920).5
4Justin Yau (1613)1Judd Chidwick (1802)0
5Hayden Griffiths (1790)1Nigel Pollett (1750)0
6Chris Smith (1494)0Joaquim Luque (1615)1
 Thornbury2.5Horfield B3.5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: