Thursday, 17 January 2019

The London 'Leeds' Kenilworth to Victory

Ken B in the Coventry League need all the points we can get but it was not looking good for our match against Coventry Club D team, away. By Monday afternoon, with a player short we were facing a default on board four. Not good. However, by Monday evening, CCA coach and prospective full Club member Andy Ward stepped into the breach. Which was nice!

After a brief pep talk from me about not prematurely offering draws, as is his tendency, first to finish, White on board Three, was Jude beating his opponent (Stan) in about fifteen moves and forty minutes. Deploying his London System in Classic Lam mode, he tore into his unsuspecting opponent's fianchettoed kingside with a delayed f3 knight, no castling and an h-pawn push which smashed open Stan's position. With Jude's Queen lurking, waiting to stick in the boot  Stan resigned. Well done Jude.

Second to finish was Andy, White on board One who also crushed his opponent.  My first look at the game - maybe 30 mins - revealed Andy with the exchange and three pawns up. This did not change - although Andy came very close to trapping his opponents Queen - and eventually Black resigned. Andy has offered to send me the whole annotated game which, after lessons from Joshua , I should be able to put on the site. Watch this space.

Matt lost. I saw him down a piece for two pawns but his queen was misplaced and away from the action and he also had a weak pawn structure. It seemed to me that Matt played very reasonably and I would not agree with his analysis that he was 'hammered'.

On board Two as Black against Dave Filer, I only needed a draw for us to win the match and the valuable points. I am sure there are invisible forces from 'the beyond' which have a greater influence on my play than my coach. For some reason ('the beyond') I played a Slav for the first time ever. Played it really badly and blocked everything of mine in. Dave, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, completely me squashed on the Queenside ( not to mention the centre) and it should have been a rapid 'game over'. But I saw a chance to set a trap by allowing Black to pin a piece against my queen, a bait which Black took, overlooking my intermezzo check followed by a simple pawn fork of his queen and bishop. Whilst I did not win outright I gained a strong initiative with Black's King stuck in the centre. However, although I won a pawn I could not translate this into a victory. I was offered a draw, but as I could not see that I would lose I played on for a further million rook and king moves before accepting the inevitable. Dave had 5 seconds to go but it would have been churlish of me to claim a win on that basis and a draw was sufficient for the match win.

Final result 1.5/2.5 to us.


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