Sunday, 6 March 2016


A cold night in Solihull and the Kenilworth quintet were feeling merciless. A Leamington league cup semi-final, 5 board match against the league leaders.

Board 1: Paul Lam (w) (201) vs Russel James (197)
Paul opened with his trademark 1.g3 and we soon ended up with a closed game with Russel having more space in the centre, pawns on c5, d4 and e5. Russel stopped Paul’s play on the queenside so Paul went for the king. As time pressure approached Paul broke through and won a pawn. He also had the better minor piece and Russel’s whole pawn structure was shattered. Paul then went into ‘pragmatic mode’ and retreated to quell any counterplay. [Edit] I missed the rest of the game as the bar was calling me, I've since been reliably informed that the game got pretty intense and double edged with Paul getting over the line when Russel's flag fell.

Board 2: Andrew Paterson (b) (186) vs Olivia Smith (180)
Olivia opened with 1.e4 and a Sicilian Rossolimo was reached. (1.e4 c5. 2.Nf3 Nc6. 3.Bb5). An offbeat response from me and Olivia responded passively. The resulting initiative caused Olivia problems and she ended up with a very misplaced knight on a3 with me having pawns on a6 and b5. When I took iron control of the c file, the knight was out the game. The pressure continued until Olivia’s queenside collapsed.

Board 3: Mark Page (w) (190) vs Raymond Carpenter (163)
Mark played the Grand Prix Attack against Ray’s e6 Sicilian (Nc3, e4, f4). Mark played an early Bb5 and chopped the knight on c6 leaving Ray with very immobile pawns and a queenside that was going nowhere. Mark outposted a knight on e5 and the attack began in earnest. Ray’s king was still in the centre and Mark targeted in mercilessly. Mark crashed though and the game ended quickly with some nice tactics from Mark.

Board 4: Mike Donnelly (b) (157) vs Paul Roper (160)
Paul opened 1.e4 and a Pirc, Austrian attack ensued. Mike hit at the centre early with c5 and double edged position emerged with opposite castling, Mike on the kingside, Paul on the queenside. Mike’s attack got there first and he won a couple of pawns. Some nice defensive play to quell Paul's faltering attack and the whole point came home with ease.

Board 5 Ben Graff (w) (145) vs Neil Graff (165)
Outgraded but not outgunned. Ben took the game to Neil and smashed him to pieces (see previous post ‘Game of the month’. The game was over almost before it began and setup the match for us.

So, Solihull 0 Kenilworth 5 and blood all over Solihull’s nice posh carpet. Kenilworth progress to the cup final.

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