This is the result for the match that happened yesterday. A close one!
|Board||Home player||Result||Away player||Rating|
|one||Alfie Onslow s2270A||0-1||IM Gavin Wall s2311K||-41|
|two||Rick McMichael s2265K||1-0||Michael W Healey s2250A||+15|
|three||Andrew Harley s2182K||1/2-1/2||Jon M Eckert s1895A||+287|
|four||Jonathan White –||1/2-1/2||Bertrand Barlow s1940A||–|
|five||Mark Winterbotham s1887K||1/2-1/2||Raghu Kamath s1865K||+22|
|six||Simon Healeas s1845A||1-0||Maks Gajowniczek s1800K||+45|
|Mean rating||Home team: 2089.8||Away team: 2010.2||Δ = 79.6|
|match result: 3.5 — 2.5|
As our first proper away match of the season, we managed to get together a strong team with both Gavin and Mike on our top boards. Unfortunately, Ealing seemed to be able to get together their strongest team so far, at least compared to last year.
The match started and on lowly board 6 my opponent responded to the Queens game with the slightly dubious Chigorin defence (d4 d5, c4 Nc6?!) and after just a few moves he blunders 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. Nc3 Nf6?! 5. Ne5!? Bh5?? 6. Qa4! and after Nfd7 which he played over Qd6, he is at least a pawn down and in a losing position.
Great, I thought, this will be an easy win. More time to look around and see what others are doing so I can write a nice match report.
Gavin on board 1 had yet to arrive, having been delayed by non-stopping Kingston buses and Raghu and Bertie had both obtained solid positions. Jon’s position on board 3 already looked very tricky, and glancing over at Mike’s position I noticed the unusual pawn structure. e3 d2 c3 b4, with light square bishop rerouting through d3-square; A creative strategy.
Soon Raghu had expertly equalized, having the bishop pair counteracting his opponents strong center and Bertie had a risk-free position, with potential for a slight pull. Raghu and his opponent agreed to a draw. Mike lost against his strong opponent. Meanwhile Gavin had arrived and was playing against the strong former junior Alfie Onslow, having given him about half an hour time odds!
Bertie then achieved a draw and then Jon Eckert and his opponent, the new Ealing A captain agreed a draw both being very low on time in a tricky position. A great result for Jon, being out graded by around 300 points and still keeping up with his opponent.
Meanwhile unfortunately I had completely lost the plot. A series of sloppy moves, my opponent obtained serious counter-play and at some point my position looked like this.
Puzzle position: Evaluate and find the right move
(If you want to try to solve this before looking below you can send me your move and evaluation – I would be curious to know)
Rejecting losing a pawn by a3 Qxd4, with a counterattack on the bishop, I found a worse way to lose a pawn with Bd2 followed by e3.
Soon I castled queenside and in an already untenable position I blundered a knight, by accident, trying to forgo a deadly exchange-sac.
Last to finish was Gavin v Alfie, both down to Blitz time control.
Alfie had slightly outplayed Gavin having 3 pawns vs 2 with a Rook and Bishop for both sides.
At some point just after Gavin offered a draw as black, white was to move and the position looked something like this:
His opponent, slightly flustered, then committed his first grave blunder. Bxg4 was met by Re4 forking bishop and king. The position was still tricky with Gavin having a bishop for two pawns, but he pulled through and won his game.
Overall despite the loss it was solid play from our team with a nice swindle from Gavin and a bit of lemon from me. Mike, who usually plays decisive games, didn’t quite work out either.
Better luck next time, and many thanks for your support!
I will now be sending out a call for the next match vs Kingston A, a home match happening in exactly a week on 8th November.