You take them into you house, you provide them with a roof over their heads, provide them succour and charity like Pero, and yet, and yet, it turns out like this. Needing a win to keep our outside title chances alive we were without Callum and Peter but still had a healthy grading advantage. However it certainly didn’t go to our preferred script.
First up Phil came unstuck against Roger on board 5. By the early middlegame, whilst objectively not too bad, Phil just couldn’t find a plan or even any useful moves. As a result he ended up moving the pawns in front of his king which swiftly led to Roger exploiting his positional advantage to win the game. It was better for us on 6 where Rob took his record to 8.5 out of 9 for the season by beating Ben. White didn’t get much out of the opening other than the bishop pair which gave him some control over the light squares however in the middle game Rob managed to expand on the queenside, cramping Ben’s pieces and ultimately enabling a skewer of blacks rooks with the bishop. Black didn’t really have any compensation and once the queens came off it was a relatively simple endgame to manage and the capture of an additional pawn led to Ben accepting the inevitable. On 3 Steve found himself out of his comfort zone against a complicated pet variation from Richard. Black gave up a pawn but then tried to regain it too quickly allowing white a dangerous lead in development. Steve seemed to have consolidated into the middlegame but the position remained very confusing and his attempt to get play against white’s queenside was too slow. Richard then produced a tactic on the other side of the board which Steve hadn’t seen and black lost a piece and the game. On board 1 Matias was under pressure from the opening against Alistair and spent the entire game trying to hold the position together. Alistair offered a draw aware of the match situation and the positions on the other boards and Matias accepted because there wasn’t any realistic chance of getting anything more and continuing playing probably would have turned a half point into no points. On board 2 Jerry had held Derek comfortably out of the opening and it wasn’t clear if white was able to create anything. Instead it turned out white lost material and the game. Finally on board 4 Andy took an advantage out of the opening against Patrick exchanging a knight for black’s dark squared bishop meaning his own bishop on b2 was extremely powerful. Patrick was under pressure throughout the game and hung on until the game descended into a time scramble in which Andy was materially ahead. Eventually black made a critical mistake allowing white to deliver mate.
So 3.5-2.5 it finished to Grendel, and whilst the match score looks quite close it never felt like we were going to come out on top from the balance of play. Credit to Grendel, they’ve now won their last two and are up to sixth in the table.
|1||Matias Candelario (2143)||.5||Alistair Gilbert (2008)||.5|
|2||Derek Pugh (2138)||0||Jerry Humphreys (2040)||1|
|3||Steve Dilleigh (2081)||0||Richard Johnson (1855)||1|
|4||Andy Hill (1936)||1||Patrick Flexman (1795)||0|
|5||Phil Nendick (2023)||0||Roger Hardy (1793)||1|
|6||Rob Attar (1920)||1||Ben Radford (1788)||0|
|Horfield A||2.5||Grendel A||3.5|