The first of this season's two intra-club punch ups (Kenilworth A v Kenilworth B) took place on Monday when the B team did the A team no favours at all and became the first side to take a point off them this year. Although quite how this happened is beyond my ken. (That's partly a pun, and partly a nod to my recently discovered Scottish ancestry! Just brilliant, though I say so myself. How do I do it??))
|Let battle commence! Joshua and Mike already trying to hide their identities.|
Left to right: (B team) Ben, Phil, Bernard, Jude; (A team) Mark, Andrew, Joshua, Mike
As always, Joshua was the first to finish, but this time it was because he lost to Phil. Fresh from failing to claim a mobile phone win against Olton, and failing to claim a win on time against Leamington, Phil made it a hat-trick of KCC-self harming incidents in a matter of weeks, by this time playing a thoroughly excellent game to notch up a key point for the B team on Board 3. The end came after a nicely played king and pawn ending, but the truth is that Joshua's position had been dire for most of the game.
This was balanced shortly afterwards when Andrew continued his 100% start to the season (Player of the Year looks to be sewn up already!) by scoring a very convincing win over Bernard C on Board 2. In a game which had strange echoes of his win last week against Warwick University, Andrew's pieces all jumped onto monster squares while Bernard's king was stranded in the centre and his queen side pieces locked in by a monster White bishop on d6. Bernard's quest for creativity can sometimes see him push the boundaries too far. And I'm not talking about his paintings!
My encounter on top board with Jude ended shortly after in a draw. One strange opening move apart, Jude played a very controlled game. Not a lot happened, but he was the one with the more active play, but my position was sound and a crisis was never reached for either party. I wonder if this is the last time I'll ever be able to get a draw off Jude?!
Which left the Mike v Ben encounter on Board 4, where Mike seemed sure to notch his first win of the year after 6 draws in his first 7 games. He was outplaying Ben for most of the game, and while I was busy analysing with Jude next door, reports reached me that he was 2 pawns up with a dominant position in the ending. But then the players emerged and somehow Ben had managed a draw to halve the match and ruin the A team's 100% record. Chess truly is a mysterious game at times!