Playing the mighty Surbiton we’d half expected a St Valentine’s Day Massacre, but were encouraged to find that our opponents were some way short of full strength. I was reliably informed that this was to do with the day of the match. Apparently, Surbiton chess players are more romantically inclined than their opposite numbers from Richmond.
With Gavin and Mike on the top two boards anything is possible. We always have to hope that they win their games and we can scrape a couple of points together elsewhere. We managed to do just that, but it could have been even better. Chris had a choice of two pawn captures, but, in a time scramble, chose the losing rather than the winning option. I also missed a win in my game.
In the two unfinished games, Masoud is a piece down and will probably resign. Maks has an equal position with chances for both sides. His opponent is considering offering a draw but wanted to look at the position first.
All in all, though, an excellent result and an important half (and possibly full) point. Congratulations to Gavin, Mike and Bertie, and thanks to all who played.
|Richmond A||Surbiton A|
|1||Gavin Wall 223||1:0||Jasper Tambini 199|
|2||Mike Healey 212||1:0||Oliver Gill 198|
|3||Chris White 177||0:1||Altaf Chaudhry 190|
|4||Richard James 167||½:½||Paul Shepherd 183|
|5||Raghu Kamath 169||½:½||Angus James 180|
|6||Bertie Barlow 162||1:0||Nick Faulks 172|
|7||Maks Gajowniczek 135||½:½||Heiko Cassens 159|
|8||Masoud Molazadeh 136||0:1||Liam Bayly –|
It was good to meet up with former RJCC member Liam Bayly again, returning to chess after an absence of more than 20 years. He was one of five RJCC alumni in the match (Gavin, Mike, Bertie and Jasper were the others). I note that several other former RJCC stars have started playing again after long absences in the past year or so.