Ealing Juniors A v Richmond A 06-01-20

Our first match of 2020 was the return encounter against Ealing Juniors

Mike Healey reports:

Another tough night for Richmond against the kiddies. In some ways, the exact same story as at home. Opposite colours this time, but same score, with the same top five boards matched up.

Last time 2 of our 2.5 points were from black. This time all 2.5 points were from black! Possibly Richmond are trying to demonstrate that white is in zugzwang?

One more coincidence saw myself and Raghu face the exact same line of the Scotch, although we parted ways early enough that removal of one board to the bar was unnecessary. Both of us held, as did Bertie (yet again seeming to gain a superior endgame).

Maks went down after a few funny moves, Richard and Gavin both lost long games.

Our two heroes on the night were Chris and the unknown quantity Conor! Chris played an attack so swish that the ghost of Frank Marshall seemed to be inhabiting our board 3 (or at least his leg brace). Unfortunately his young opponent calculated the way through various variations, the black king moving at full speed from g8 to a7. Still, a welcome return to fun Chris games!

Conor played an even more romantic game on board 8 (pawns and castling not for this man) with more skill in bar analysis than I had appreciated at the time. Maybe not the most accurate game, but certainly an impressive victory to save all our blushes!

Thanks to Richard and Huw for getting us a full team, and to Maks and Conor for playing at the last minute.

Ealing Juniors A Richmond A
1 Viktor Stoyanov 220 1:0 Gavin Wall 224
2 Alfie Onslow 208 ½:½ Mike Healey 217
3 Rajat Makkar 197 1:0 Chris White 180
4 Jacob Yoon 190 ½:½ Bertie Barlow 167
5 Christopher Tombolis 187 1:0 Richard James 167
6 Nishchal Thatte 170 ½:½ Raghu Kamath 157
7 Teddy Onslow 154 1:0 Maks Gajowniczek 139
8 Xavier Cowan 157 0:1 Conor Murray-Playfair –
5½:2½

Another disappointing result, but we were facing strong opponents so really can’t complain. We really need to get some points on the board – and to recruit some 170-200 strength players for the middle order. My opponent played an excellent positional game against me, prevailing in a rook ending. I’ve never been convinced by the theory that juniors are good at tactics but less good in the ending.

Chris has sent some comments about the opening of his game which I hope to post later.