Wednesday, 11 January 2017

What's That Strange Sensation? Oh yes, its a Cov League Victory!

We haven't enjoyed too many wins in the Coventry League this season (1 to be exact), so a 3-1 win over Rugby last night came as a very pleasant New Year surprise - especially considering we went down 3.5-0.5 to them in the first half of the season! In a complete reversal of how you are supposed to win team matches, we scored two wins with Black and two draws with White.

Ben got us up and running on board 3, with a very tense win over Simon Turner. Anytime that White gets to play Bg6+ and force your king to the middle of the board you know there could be problems ahead, but Ben successfully protected his king by huddling his pieces around it and by keeping at least one of the central files closed. Then he started to jump into the Black position with a massive concentration of heavy pieces along the c file and the next thing I knew was that Simon had blundered into mate as a black rook slipped decisively across to the h file.

Most of the evening I had thought that our best chance of a win was on Board 4, where Mike won a piece for 2 pawns, after a Catalan where White captured a pawn on c5 and Black couldn't find an easy way of recovering it. But given Mike's current reputation as Kenilworth's Drawmeister (now 10 from 15 games this season by my reckoning), I guess I should have expected the game to be halved in the end.

All this time I was having a very tense game against Jamie Kearney. He played an opening I actually know quite well - not least because it featured a TN introduced by my former team-mate (and now GM) Tony Kosten against John Nunn in 1980. Don't anyone say I'm not up to date with theory!, Even so, I still managed to overlook a very good move of his shortly after, which transformed a slight advantage for me into a slight advantage for him. Around the time control though, he made one inaccuracy which enabled me to win a pawn. The knight ending was probably still drawn, but Jamie went wrong again and had to resign when, a pawn down, he found his knight on b1 completely unable to move due to my pawns on b4 and e3.

I missed most of Carl's game against Nalin Kadodwala on Board 2, even though its started out as the same line of the Barry Attack which I faced last week in the match v Solihull B. As in that game, Black slowly got a small advantage, though it was never too serious. Then in a knight v bishop ending Carl somehow won a pawn and should have been missing, but an inaccuracy enabled Nalin to remove all the pawns except Carl's h pawn which could not make any progress.

So a good win for us that has actually elevated us to the giddy heights of 5th place - our highest of the season. Now our targets are trained on 4th place - watch out Nuneaton B, we're coming for you!

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