Wednesday, 25 February 2015

So this is what winning feels like

That statement could equally well apply to either myself or the team, since it seems such a long time since either of those things happened; let alone both together. We can only give official thanks to the Banbury team for being slightly more incompetent than us. Brief details:
Two of the games finished quite quickly, with one win apiece. Mike Donnelly on board 4, continuing his comeback to proper chess, after a few years masquerading as a correspondence IM, won on the white side of a Be7 Benoni, having spent about 10 moves successfully resisting the temptation to play an e5 pawn sacrifice I was incorrectly willing him to. Unfortunately, this success was cancelled out by Carl’s rather surprising loss on board 3 where, after seemingly equalising in a Caro-Kann, he allowed his opponent to advance a pawn to f6 where it created horrible mating threats on g7. These were just about fended off but only through an ultimately decisive loss of material.
Mark meanwhile, having unusually decided not to sacrifice the exchange, was instead a pawn down with a hopelessly passive and lost position (-3.5 according to the computer). However, as he mentioned afterwards, this is well within the “drawing zone” for games he has been playing recently, and only a few moves later the material was blundered back and a draw agreed. This left the match poised at 1.5-1.5 with my game the last to finish, something that happened a number of times last season when I was, admittedly, in much better form than I am now. However, much to my surprise and no doubt my teammates as well, despite launching a rather dubious attack, I was somehow able scrape out a win in my game.
Final score: Kenilworth 2.5 – 1.5 Banbury
You may notice this is a slightly shorter match report than usual. There is a good reason for this, namely that I have another, more important matter to mention. It appears that a Mr S. Blaiklock has been seen playing for the Kenilworth D team for the first time. If anyone knows who let him out of his cell in the vaults of The Royal Oak and released him into the real world could let me know, it would be much appreciated.

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