Wimbledon A v Richmond A 11-11-19

Richmond A opened their account at the third attempt with a rather fortuitous draw at Wimbledon.

Mike Healey reports:

An away draw tonight! Despite Wimbledon turning up with their strongest team of the season. And us having three players three days ago. Incredible.

Ian started us off by terrifying his opponent into not turning up. Sampson went down to a fiery (and maybe theoretical) attack. Gavin repeated moves in a case of high-level dynamic equilibrium with most of the pieces on.

The other games were less clear. Eamon certainly seemed to have his higher rated opponent on the ropes, but couldn’t find a way through and lost a tight game. Chris, after another of his classic offbeat openings, seemed a bit under the cosh: lashing out with a queenside hack suddenly things were looking good – and just as suddenly everything went south. That left myself, Richard and Andrew with the score at 3.5-1.5.

In a brilliant piece of captaincy, having grimaced at Richard’s fairly horrific position, I told Andrew the match was gone and he could play for whatever result he wished. Meanwhile I finished off my own uncharacteristically tranquil game (possibly the result of too much cough medicine), and Richard seemed slightly less lost than he had been. A couple of inaccurate moves by his opponent, and the draw was proffered.

So a draw was possible – if Andrew could win an opposite coloured bishop middlegame where he had been a pawn down since the opening. A snazzy tactic, a few checks and a mate later, the match was drawn!

Thanks to everyone who played, this could well be a valuable point come the end of the season.

Wimbledon A Richmond A
1 Alberto Suarez Real 235 ½:½ Gavin Wall 224
2 Marcus Osborne 206 0:1 Mike Healey 217
3 Russell Granat 213 1:0 Chris White 180
4 Ian Heppell 177 ½:½ Richard James 167
5 Default 0:1 Ian McLeod 161
6 Philip Gregory 174 0:1 Andrew Hebron 161
7 Neil Cannon 177 1:0 Sampson Low 155
8 Nick Keene 177 1:0 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 144

Congratulations to Andrew (who told me that, many years ago, we played a lot of 1-minute games on ICC) for a fine win against a strong oppoonent in his A team debut. Congratulations also to Mike for managing to get a full team out and for winning his game. I guess a drawn match – and a draw in my game – was a fitting result for Armistice Day. I played the middle game very badly and really didn’t deserve to share the point. Let’s hope for some more luck in our forthcoming matches.