Sadly, this terrific score couldn't turn the match in the B team's favour, as our brave lads went down 5.5-2.5, but yet again - and don't get the idea that I am perpetually biased in these judgments - we could have won. The score was standing at 3.5-2.5 to the University, but Ben was much better against Jonathan Fowler, and ahead on the clock, on Board 1, and Bernard R, despite failing to think for more than a nano-second on any move - was an exchange up against Anish Ramakrishnan and giving the Black king a very hard time to boot. Then, as with Solomon last week, as soon as Ben started consuming lots of time, the quality of his play went rapidly downhill, and a probably winning position became a loss.
Meanwhile, the chess.com engine was showing mate in 14 for Bernard when ...... he disconnected, of course, and got timed out. (What was that phrase of George Santayana again? Oh yes, "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.") Bernard has clearly expunges all the previous disconnections from his mind. Post-match, though, there then followed an amusing exchange where Warwick Uni graciously tried to concede the game to Bernard, and Bernard graciously refused to have any truck with such a thought. Talk about "After you Claude. No, after you Cecil!" Still, its good to know there are nice guys out there, even in the cesspit of online chess, so many thanks to Anish and Jonathan for their great sportsmanship. Oh yes, and in all this I almost forgot to mention that Bernard had a one or two move win of the White queen in Game 1, but refusing on principle to devote more than 10 seconds of his 13 minutes time, he chose to play a losing move instead! Ben had earlier drawn his first game, after being slightly better throughout, while Will had a tough night against Anuman Goel. The engine said he was winning in Game 1 after a piece sac against his king, but in practice it was very difficult to stave off the Black threats. Game 2 was going absolutely fine until Will neglected to swap off his bishop on h3 for the White one on g2 and instead got it trapped. First day back at school clearly not so positive for Will!
And so to the A team's match against Banbury A, which ended in a convincing 6.5-1.5 win for KCC, which keeps us right in the hunt for the League title. Regretfully, though, my 100% seasonal score bit the dust. After a very scrappy, and possibly lucky win in Game 1 against Dan Rowan, I then had a very scrappy and possibly lucky draw against him in Game 2. I was probably just losing at various points, but frustratingly, I then missed a one move win of a piece. Jude had two very exciting games against Banbury's US recruit Ryan Karloff, which finished with honours even. After winning an exchange with a nice tactic in game 1, Jude must have been disappointed to find that the position was anything but easy to convert, and in fact it then turned against him and he found all his pieces dropping off. Game 2 was a great fight, with White going for Jude's jugular, but calm defence and strong counter-attacking won the day for Jude.
But we ran away with the match on Boards 3 and 4, where Mike and Bernard C both notched up 2/2 scores. Mike was playing Banbury's answer to Bernard R, Chris Evans, who still had over 13 minutes on his clock at the end of each game. Mike played a text-book dismantling of the Maroczy Bind in Game 1, and then a text-book dismantling of the King's Indian in Game 2. There was a brief moment of concern in the second game, as after winning an exchange following intense positional pressure, Mike dropped a couple of pawns to two very tricky Black knights, but he soon re-established control and eventually won with an unstoppable passed a pawn. Board 4 was a bit of an enigma, but will hopefully stand as a deeply satisfying cathartic moment for Bernard. After last week's soul-bearing musing on the tragi-comic aspects of blundering, Bernard turned things right around this week by winning from one, if not two, lost positions against Paul Friend! It would be rude to go into more detail, but the games are there online for everyone to see, after all!
Only one match left for the A team, a crucial encounter next week against Coventry A, while the B team have two matches left, starting with Banbury A. Good luck to both