Richmond v Harrow TVKO 27-02-20

Our semi-final match in the Thames Valley Knock Out Cup was at home to Harrow.

Mike Healey reports:

A win!! And a strong match up (considering on paper this was a division one relegation team against a mid-table division 4 team!)

A very close match indeed, with a dramatic finish.

First result was Raghu going down as black. Chris and Richard both held their higher-rated opponents after slightly worse openings. I drew a dull game, with the sole (flashy) exception of Nh1!? followed by Ndf2!?

Our special guest star IM Richard Bates dispatched his extremely strong young opponent. Gavin’s game had it all – touch move/piece placement controversy (VAR needed!), an extremely unbalanced position, a king which could get mated in the middle of the board – and with 17 seconds left a dropped queen with resignation. These IMs, they are a bit good sometimes.

So a final awaits! Our opponents should be either Surbiton or Hammersmith.

Coming up Richmond have another final with Gavin’s London league team (Eastman Cup 11th March), and a crucial TVL relegation decider Monday 9th March away at Ealing (my 6th match against Ealing this season, hurrah..)

Richmond Harrow
1 Richard Bates 232 1:0 Tanmay Chopra 222
2 Gavin Wall 217 1:0 Charlie Nettleton 190
3 Mike Healey 213 ½:½ Miroslaw Walkusz 188
4 Chris White 175 ½:½ Steven Coles 184
5 Richard James 167 ½:½ Nevil Chan 179
6 Raghu Kamath 156 0:1 Rishi Patel 169

This was my third encounter with Nevil Chan. He beat me in a weekend congress 45 years ago. 25 years ago I was lucky to draw from a totally lost position in a London League match. This time I was certainly worse without being totally lost but again managed to hold. Following the mathematical sequence (gaps of 20 and 25 years) our next encounter is due in 30 years time, in 2050, which will take place in what Mike Fox liked to call the Great Swiss System in the Sky. I should be able to win next time!