Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Honours Even

We made a reasonable start to our Coventry League Division One campaign against Rugby A last night, the match ending up all square at 2-2. This was certainly better than the 3.5-0.5 pounding we suffered in the corresponding fixture last season, but on the balance of play we were probably unfortunate not to win.

My game on Board 1 didn't last very long. From a pretty innocuous opening I was able to build up a bit of pressure, and was able to give Black doubled isolated c pawns. At least that's what should have happened, but in trying to avoid such a fate (and a long, depressing evening of defence), Jamie Kearney made a massive blunder that lost a whole piece.

We consolidated our lead with a draw from Mike on Board 3 against old adversary Bob Wildig. Perhaps as a political counter to my Spanish opening, Mike went for a Catalan and managed to build up a nice position. However, Bob defended well and the position was pretty level when a draw was agreed.

Ben then ensured we would not lose by drawing with Black on Board 2 against Patrick Reid. The opening was, to put it politely .... irregular. Still, Ben managed to plug the holes on his queenside and a small combination swapped some pieces on the kingside and left the position fairly balanced.

Which left Dave in the spotlight. He had misplayed the opening (a 3 Bb5+ Sicilian) and ended up with an isolated pawn on e6 that seemed certain to fall at any moment. But he set up a good defence and tried to use the open f file and some active pieces to counter the pawn weakness. He looked to have good chances of holding until his king suddenly had to run to h6 in front of his own g and h pawns. It still wasn't lost, though, but at a crucial moment he moved his rook from f6 to g6, putting his king into a mating net, whereas moving it to f5 might have held on.

So while we were close to a match win, victory was nowhere near as close as in the same fixture 2 years ago when Roy lost his famous "bollocks" game and cost us the match! And as Roy has now defected to Coventry Chess Academy, it is quite acceptable for me to dredge up his old failings!

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