How uncanny. After the very last post recorded the loss of my unbeaten record, I now have to do exactly the same for Andrew. And in his case the shock is considerably greater, as it wasn't just an unbeaten seasonal record that came to an end, but a 100% one. However, just as with my loss against Solihull, I'm pleased to report that the rest of the team rallied round, and another KCC win was recorded.
Our opponents this time were Warwick University R, who we saw off by 3-1 in this week's Coventry League match - a result that guarantees we will be top of the table at Christmas in both the Coventry and Leamington Leagues. I can safely say that this was the first time I have ever played against an R team, but don't go thinking that this is Warwick Uni's 18th best team! The team was only inserted into Division 1 after the commencement of the season, and so they were christened the R for Replacement team, as there was already a Uni C team on the fixture list in Division 2.
I have to say that Jonathan Fowler played an excellent game to end Andy's winning run. You know that when Black plays Nh3+ and this has to be taken by a fianchettoed bishop, something has gone wrong with White's opening play. Jonathan went on to sacrifice an exchange for strong pressure against the White king, and when Andy was obliged to return the exchange an ending was reached with an extra pawn for Black. I thought that with bishop v knight (plus a rook each) the position might be holdable, but in time pressure (and with no increment) Andy's bishop was lost. And so was the game!
But not to worry, as by that stage we were 2-0 up. I was first to finish again - for the third successive match! My opponent played very, very solidly with the White pieces, and I feared that I wouldn't be able to get anywhere, but then from what was still an eminently defensible position, she blundered an exchange and a pawn - and found that a knight which had been forced to retreat to h1 could also not be saved. Mike won very efficiently, using his c file control to invade the seventh rank and deliver mate. Hopefully this presages the London Bus syndrome, and that after his first win of the season last week yet more will follow in quick succession.
And so all eyes were turned to Ben's game on Board 4 where - in his 8th successive Black game - he was under some pressure after playing his infamous rubbish defence that leaves his c8 bishop stuck behind pawns on e6, d5 and c6! Probably in the absence of any better plan he decided to grab a couple of pawns, at the cost of an exchange, but this actually turned out to be a very favourable transaction for him, as the White attack ground to a halt, and the extra pawns - now ably supported by that once pathetic light squared bishop - yomped down the board to win first an exchange and then a rook. Game and match won, and we are now set to top the table until at least January 25th - yes it is 10 weeks until our next Coventry League Division 1 game!
But what song do we have this week? I can hardly recycle last week's Jackson Browne offering, even though it would be highly appropriate, so I've gone a bit left field. I'd forgotten all about this song until I heard it at The Gauntlet last Thursday - where the music selection is almost as good as the beer! Consider it a tribute to the lifetime efforts of club stalwart Bernard R - not because it's one of his favourite songs, but because it must be one of very few that gives a name check to that rare breed of super-hero: - accountants!! Happy listening, Bernard. To what is is surely one of the most amusing rock songs ever written.