Ealing A v Richmond A 29-11-21

The match currently stands at 3-2 in favour of the good guys, with one game for adjudication!

  1. John Quinn (2193) 0:1 Gavin Wall (2284)
  2. Simon Healeas (1863) ½:½ Mike Healey (2267)
  3. Mark Winterbotham (1885) ½:½ Bertie Barlow (2006)
  4. Jason Obihara (1765) ½:½ Ian McLeod (1908)
  5. Hristo Colov (1758) 1:0 Raghu Kamath (1885)
  6. Alastair Johnstone (1640) 0:1 Maks Gajowniczek (1750)

Mike Healey reports:

Well, it *might* be a win…not exactly a smooth one. I guess the sign of good teams is winning even when they play terribly?!

Our star performer was undoubtedly Gavin, who put away a class player in John Q. Although there didn’t seem too much in it, after Ba7!? and a few tactics it was over before the 2nd column of the scoresheet. 

The rest of us struggled. There were many stodgy games (blocked up by pawns, but also just plain grim).

Raghu reacted to his blocked position with a speculative piece sac (or possible miscalculation?!). Whilst White got some pawns and activity, the piece eventually told. I managed to block up the entire board, producing one of the worst Bishops in history, then realised it was coming up to move 35 and my opponent would just go home and be content with a draw. A speculative pawn sac meant I was then probably lost, although Simon kindly (and matchwise inadvisedly) offered a draw as time was called.

Bertie had a pretty standard Maroczy bind against a Philidor (is this called something else with the Sicilian c-pawn on e? Philly bind?). He seemed well on his way to a gradual positional win, but a few errors and White was left with an unwinnable Bishop and a-pawn v Knight endgame. Maks was also playing a smooth game, as Black in a Dragon, reaching a slightly better endgame. Pieces came off and just kings and pawns were left. Our resident IM dismissed the game as drawn, but Maks (and possibly his opponent) found a way for Black to score an important win. 

Finally we got to time called on Ian’s board, another slowplay – which is going to ADJUDICATION. What fun we’ve missed over lockdown!! Both players seemed determined they were winning. Having put the position into Stockfish, if anyone Black (Ian) is slightly better (despite White’s nominal pawn advantage). We must hope that whoever is adjudicating TVL these days sees further than material concerns, and has access to an engine!

Whilst Richmond were reacquainting themselves with the joys of TVL slowplay chess, across the way Hammersmith and Ealing Juniors were having their own fun with quickplay. This seemed to involve chaotic blitz finishes and noisy arguments. Real life chess in all its questionable glory.

So *hopefully* another win! Thanks to those who played, and I will try and let you know – when I know – what’s happening with our next game!? Possibly that is it for 2021 though!?

Richmond are having a meet up to test a new venue tomorrow evening. ‘A’ team players please go test in my place!

Update: the unfinished game on Board 4 has now been agreed a draw, giving us a victory by 3½ points to 2½.

My latest Minor Piece post tells the story of a former Ealing player who started his chess career at Twickenham Chess Club.