Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Trapped in the bar

No sooner had the decorations come down then it was time for the second great B vs C grudge match.

I say great but that's probably only 25% true. Grudge match is probably also stretching the point a little too far. We all just turned up.

Phil was first to finish. Just for a change he was playing a Scandinavian defence, this time against Bernard R. White's solid handling of the opening led to both side having ultra solid positions and a draw was agreed once the queens had been exchanged. Both players quickly adjourned to the bar.

Next to finish was Mike, who had played a unusual variant of the Colle system to avoid established lines against Bernard C. Bernard gained a slight edge in splitting up white's queen side pawns but solid play by white allowed him to take advantage of mistake to equalise the position. With both players short of time a draw was agreed and they headed off to the bar.

Dave was playing Rod in an advanced french defence. Solid play by black allowed the exchange of all the rooks and then gain control of the c file. White attempted to play on king side but black's refusal to move his pieces to the queen side to exploit his advantage meant that white could not make any progress. Dave survived one draw offer before agreeing on move 26. Off to the bar to analyse further.

With 75% of both teams now in the bar, the club room must have been dead quiet. This was fortunate since Ben had a complicated position against Roy. White had gained space during the opening and was attacking the king side. Most of Ben pieces were defending his position and it was difficult to see how he might win. However, 20 minutes in the bar and suddenly the completed team sheet was bought out and Ben had won. He had somehow managed to free up his position, exchange pieces and win a rook ending, all with about 15 minutes on the clock. Remarkable play.

So a narrow victory for the B team and a good start to 2019.

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