Richmond A v Ealing Juniors A 19-12-19

The last match of the year saw us up against a full strength Ealing Juniors team, featuring several of the country’s highest graded young players.

Mike Healey reports:

Another loss, but a fairly decent performance against a team of very active young juniors.

I did not see too much of the other games, being a bit under the weather and trying quite hard to destroy my own game, but from what I can remember:

Sampson, Eamon and myself all set out to prove that white has the early disadvantage in chess (I think my own game can be best summed up by playing Nb1 – twice).

The other white however was Bertie, who continues to impress this season. A very well played game (I particularly liked Be3, exchanging dark squared bishops to produce an isolated pawn but weaken black’s queenside defence). The crowd in the bar thought he missed a finesse right at the death, but overall a very good performance against a much higher rated player.

Gavin held his up-and-coming young rival with black (although things looked slightly dicey at times?). Richard produced a fun game (g5! by black always good), which, as often happens with fun games, ended up in perpetual.

Chris probably should have been a fourth draw, having played a ‘super-Benko’, going a bit wrong but ending up in a drawish rook and pawn endgame. Unfortunately, with time creeping up on him and having batted off many little tricks, he fell at the last. Still, a massive position to get against a young prodigy who did so well at this year’s classic.

Our hero however was the returning Max! E grade beating out A. Max held on in a slightly terrifying position where nearly all white’s pieces seemed to be aiming at a lonely king, defended calmly, swapped off and won the endgame. Excellent work Max!

Richmond A Ealing Juniors A
1 Gavin Wall 224 ½:½ Viktor Stoyanov 220
2 Mike Healey 217 0:1 Alfie Onslow 208
3 Chris White 180 0:1 Rajat Makkar 197
4 Bertie Barlow 167 ½:½ Jacob Yoon 190
5 Richard James 167 ½:½ Christopher Tombolis 187
6 Sampson Low 155 0:1 Haotian Wu 178
7 Max Wood-Robinson 163 1:0 Nishchal Thatte 170
8 Eamon Rashid-Farokhi 144 0:1 Teddy Onslow 154
2½:5½

This was very much a Richmond Junior Club reunion. Apart from myself, six of our team were former RJCC members, Chris being the only exception. Three of our opponents (B2, 7, 8) were regular members of RJCC, two others (B5, 6) I believe came at least a few times, and their B1’s brother has also been to RJCC.

You can see my game here. Stockfish thought the tempting 9… g5 deserved a ? rather than a !, thinking Christopher should have played Rh6, which hadn’t occurred to me at all, on move 15 or 16. After that I was doing fine, and might have stood better if I’d found 23… Qe6. At the end it was just a question of who would play their perp first.