I feel the title should be self-explanatory by this point. A minor point of note that we (Kenilworth B that is) actually won 3-1 in this match against Olton instead of our usual 2.5-1.5, but I’m in a thoroughly bad mood about the whole thing.
The start of the evening did at least produce some amusing
early stress, as our two home matches in one evening became something of a
space problem once we realised there was already an AGM taking place in the
main bar area, meaning we had to fit 8 boards into the space usually taken up by
4 (or, to be precise, 7 boards there and one in the corridor). The confusion
was then confounded by Steph and her opponent’s decision to sit on opposite
sides of the table from everyone else in the room, meaning I was constantly
confused by which team was doing well on that board every time I looked.
However, focusing on our match for a bit, it all seemed
(with one specific exception to be covered later) to go quite well. Andrew as
black against Alan Lloyd played an excellent looking gamer, neutralising Alan’s
traditional English, winning a pawn in the middlegame and then converting.
Keatan also had a nice win in his debut B team game, pushing a pawn up to f6 as
white early in the game which, although it never quite led to a mating attack,
did stay there for most of the rest of the game, and eventually cost black a
piece in the endgame. 2-0 and looking smooth.
3-0 followed not long after, with Mike converting a game I
assume he must have been much better in for quite some time. Relatively early
on as black, after white had castled kingside, he played Bg4 attacking a white
knight on f3. White responded with h3 to attack the bishop, and black captured
the white knight. So far so normal, except that white had no piece defending
the knight, and so had to play gxf3 in front of his own king. It took a while
for this to prove catastrophic, but it looked very ugly for most of the game,
and did eventually cost Olton a third point.
The match should have ended 4-0 to us – it did not. I was playing Mark Cundy and, after a not very impressive game from either player, I eventually bumbled into a better rook endgame, normally something I am not that terrible at.
In that position, I played the quite exciting (I think) move
Rc7+, sacrificing the rook to get the passed pawn moving as fast as possible.
Not a necessary move, other things also worked, but it is winning for me, and I
would argue the most fun way to do so. A few moves later, we reached the
You will see three noted possible moves in the position. I spent most of my last 3 minutes deciding between Kb1 and Kb3, thinking they were both winning, and eventually settled on Kb1 it looked the simplest win. It turns out both moves lose for me. I played Kb1, and after b3 I do indeed get a queen, but it turns out I then get mated by c2+, Ra1+ and c1=Q+. The move Kd3 wins for white, but this is a move I did not even notice was a legal one to play. So, a loss from a winning position, and the fancy rook sacrifice wasn’t even the move to blame. What a disappointing way to go back to the top of the table.