I thought people might be interested in how the match went, so I've decided I'll write a short and uninteresting report about it. I'm hoping this will motivate other team captains (or suitably community minded members of their teams) to do likewise, though perhaps without the uninteresting modifier. So, we had a home match against Shirley yesterday, which was composed of two very distinct sections, with sensible chess occurring on boards 2 and 3 with complete nonsense on 1 and 4. I’ll go through the boards in reverse order:
4) Roy Watson vs. Eric Ward. This began as a standard enough Nimzo-Indian defence, before Roy delivered a stunning novelty on about move 7, where after his opponent played Bxc3, rather than capture back with either the Queen on c2 or the pawn on b2, he instead played Bd2. Any hope this may have been a brilliant strategic move was dashed by the look on Roy’s face about 15 minutes later when he finally realised he was down a piece. Further desperate sacrifices followed in a vain attempt to generate an attack, but under the weight of a huge material deficit, Roy was forced to resign.
Kenilworth B 0 – Shirley B 1
3) Frank Jimenez – Rajen Parekh. The opening was a Labourdonnais (2.f4) French, which soon developed into a standard looking French position, but with the light squared bishops exchanged and a white pawn on d3 rather than d4, both develops that I believe favour black. Sure enough, after some strategic manoeuvring and both sides creating dangerous past pawns, black was able to win a piece with a dominant position. Only the ever present threat of serious time trouble was concerning me at this stage, but my fears proved unfounded, as Rajen delivered mate with an unusually comfortable (for him) 37 seconds left on the clock.
Kenilworth B 1 – Shirley B 1
2) Dave Shurrock – Louis Rawson. A mainline Scandinavian, with both players seemingly happy to settle for a quiet position. Three pairs of minor pieces were swapped off early on, which combined with a relatively fixed pawn structure meant white’s nominal advantage of bishop against knight was worth very little, and a draw was soon agreed. Probably the most correctly played game of the night, but not the most exciting to watch.
Kenilworth B 1.5 – Shirley B 1.5
1) John Freeman – Joshua Pink. A relatively standard game of mine. I grabbed a pawn in the opening, then proceeded to ignore my opponent building up a massive mating attack on the kingside. Fortunately, just in the nick of time, my brain switched back on, I was able to wriggle out of the position into a drawish endgame, where I was eventually able to grind down my opponent through the sheer tedium of my moves. For anyone interested in seeing just how much I for some reason ignored by opponent’s build up, and how ropey things were getting, the full game is below.
Final score: Kenilworth B 2.5 – Shirley B 1.5
A first victory since the opening game of the season on September the 5th, so congratulations to the team, and a prescription for a greater dose of concentration for Roy and myself.