Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Total Wipeout

It had to happen eventually, I suppose, but that didn't make it any more enjoyable to lose 4-0 to Warwick University A last night. Seven times in our first two Coventry League seasons we have lost matches 3.5-0.5 (modesty forbids me from saying who got the half point on six of those occasions), but there were no heroes last night and we ended up with precisely nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Sweet FA. Nil points. Rather like the Chilcot Report, it was a complete whitewash.

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Which was very harsh given our concerted efforts. We were outgraded by a minimum of 30 points on every board, but all four of us gave it a good shot.

Ben finished first on Board 2, losing against University newbie Guy Moss - just the 199 grade. Ben slightly misplayed the opening and found his c2 pawn under seemingly deadly attack. But he found some tactics and came very close to winning material. Unfortunately, it was a case of close, but no cigar, as Black seemingly played very well to tiptoe his way to a won ending 2 pawns up.

I was next to subside, against the very strong Dimiter Daskalov. I played an interesting - and probably sound - pawn sac in the early middle game, but missed a golden opportunity to really upset the applecart a couple of moves later. I still had some compensation until I played the move I had missed some three moves later - when it simply dropped another pawn. I played on to past the time control, but the position was hopelessly lost long before I resigned.

Nic went down next on board 4. Interestingly this was a game between two Russians, neither of whom is Russian. As we all know Nic is actually Ukrainian, despite what Roy may call him on a Thursday evening after a couple of pints, and his opponent, Carlo Russian, turns out to be a Belgian. Black played rather well, I thought, against Nic's patent opening and gradually assumed control, eventually winning a double minor-piece ending by breaking through with his king.

And finally - just like last week at Rugby - it all came down to Dave's game. Black against Ioannis Lentzos, he eventually went under in a bishop v knight ending a pawn down, when Dave's knight just couldn't find a way to attack White's queenside armada of pawns.

So a humbling evening for us all but in true British (and Ukrainian) fashion, I'm confidently expecting us to bounce back stronger than ever in the next match. But then again, as I confidently expected us to vote to stay in the EU, I wouldn't put too much trust in my judgement!

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