Having reached safety in the league we still had the TV Knock Out Cup to contend with. Our semi-final match paired us with second division outfit Harrow, who won the cup last season and can be dangerous at home over six boards.
We were evenly matched on the middle two boards but had a substantial grading advantage at the top and bottom. On paper we expected a fairly comfortable victory, but strange things can happen.
In the event there was nothing to worry about. After an hour and a quarter we were already two points up, with Mike and Max having no trouble demolishing their opponents. A quarter of an hour later Chris completed a clean sweep of our white boards.
Gavin soon provided the winning point, Julien drew an exciting game and Raghu’s opponent managed to hold on in a rook ending a pawn down.
All in all, a very smooth performance. Congratulations to all and thanks for making the difficult journey.
|1||Steven Coles 186||0:1||Gavin Wall 223|
|2||Asad Rahman 178||0:1||Mike Healey 212|
|3||Nevil Chan 173||½:½||Julien Shepley 174|
|4||Pradeep Verma 173||0:1||Chris White 177|
|5||Jan Cobben 148||½:½||Raghu Kamath 169|
|6||James Lyons 140||0:1||Max Wood-Robinson 176|
It looks like the other semi-final is between Kingston and Hammersmith, but I haven’t seen a date yet. I’d guess our likely final opponents will be Hammersmith, but you never know. All we’ll need to win some silverware is for Gavin and Mike to score their usual wins, when a win or two draws lower down will be enough for a win on board count.