Thursday, 11 November 2021

Surprise, Surprise!

Guess who's leading Division 1 of the Coventry League at the moment!? Yes, amazingly it's little old Kenilworth with 7 points from 4 matches. And if that's not surprising enough, considering we only had 3 confirmed players a couple of weeks before the start of the season, we confirmed our table topping position this week with a surprising, and surprisingly convincing, win over hot title favourites (6/4 on at MarkBet, the bookie you can trust) Warwick University A. But as all match captains around the world know, its not how many strong players you've got that matters, its how many of them you can get to the board! So perhaps our 3-1 win was not so surprising after all, but hey - having thought of a good song for this week's video, I'm not going to let the truth get in the way, am I?

For one of the first times ever, I finished first, refuting a piece sac straight out of the opening, and then adding an exchange to leave me a whole rook up. This early win was counterbalanced by Bernard's subsequent loss on Board Four when his opponent's sac/loss of the exchange proved to be virtually winning on the spot, as a pair of connected centre pawns yomped down the board towards unstoppable touchdown.

So it was 1-1 when I departed the scene, and the match was still in the balance. Mike had just pushed a monster passed pawn to d7 in his game, and although he was a pawn down, it looked as though he was winning, but converting won positions has not been easy for Mike so far this season, so I was certainly not counting any chickens just yet. Earlier in the game I very nearly interrupted the players to point out that they had set up the board wrongly. On move 10, Mike's opponent (Black) had a knight on a8 and a rook on b8 - surely this was a mistake? But on sneaking a look at Mike's scoresheet I discovered it was all above board! And that knight was still there on a8 when I left!

Meanwhile on top board, Andrew was having a terrific battle against Joe Varley. Andrew's bishop on g5 was attacked by a pawn to h6 prod. To which he responded by attacking a Black knight on g4 with an h3 prod. But when his bishop was immediately taken, Andrew did not recapture a Black piece. Instead he threatened a monster knight fork. Then he re-threatened the monster knight fork. Then he attacked the Black queen. And he still hadn't recaptured the knight when I left!

Anyway, news later reached me that both our players had finished off their games favourably - Mike notching his first win of the season to get himself to 50% (with a lot of draws!) and Andrew an incredible 7th consecutive victory to keep his 100% record for the season!

Over to you, Bruce.

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