Match report from Maks:
|Board||Home player||Result||Away player||Rating|
|one||David Henry Maycock s2336A||1-0||Michael W Healey s2250A||+86|
|two||Peter D Lalic s2314A||1-0||IM Gavin Wall s2311K||+3|
|three||Vladimir Li s2099P||1-0||Maks Gajowniczek s1800K||+299|
|four||William J Taylor s2060A||1-0||Jon M Eckert s1895A||+165|
|five||David J Rowson s2047K||1/2-1/2||Bertrand Barlow s1940A||+107|
|six||Peter Andrews s2011K||1-0||Andrii Boiechko –||–|
|Mean rating||Home team: 2144.5||Away team: 2039.2||Δ = 105.3|
|Notes||The match was much closer than the result would suggest.|
|match result: 5.5 — 0.5|
Summary: A heavy defeat for Richmond, although a slight win in another way(explained later).
This was the last match for our top team in the Thamesvalley league before Christmas and marked a bit of a midway point for the season. With exactly 6 out of 12 A-team matches now completed with fine results so far, it remained to see how we could do in the Knock out cup.
The rules of the KO tournament stated that pairings between clubs are selected randomly. This is a bit of a shame as out of the 11 clubs in the league, two of the stronger clubs can possibly get paired in the first round.
This is indeed what happened between us and the Kingston club. It also probably explained Kingston’s captain Alan Scrimgour’s nice comment on the online match card that ‘The match was much closer than the result should suggest’. 5.5 – 0.5 was indeed a beating from Kingston to us.
Anyway, the match started, and here came news of the slight win. If we lost tonight we would not have to go all the way to Maidenhead for the next away match. For those of you who don’t know, Maidenhead is absolutely miles away and causes headaches for captains trying to arrange for people wanting to travel that distance usually having to rely on many generous members providing free lifts.
Kingston’s captain further stated that if Kingston won, they would instead only have to face Maidenhead at their home venue. This was due to a technicality because our match against Kingston was originally an away match at our Adelaide venue, they could alternate back to a home match in their following match.
As the games got underway we were looking like we might be in for a tough ride. On all boards except Gavin’s board two, we were out-rated by around 100 points or more. Although I believe many of us can perform better than expected.
On board 1, Mike playing Maycock this time (avoiding a rematch against Lalic) decided to play an exchange Caro-Kann as white. Gavin on board two played against the rare 1.Nc3 opening and was soon a pawn up after a dubious central pawn gambit from his opponent.
On board 3, I was playing a somewhat improvised Nizmo-Indian. He played a variation I had never seen before and I went for a central bind with f4.
On board 4 Jon was playing his French defense. He had accepted an isolated queen pawn but had the bishop pair.
Board 5 Bertie was playing a very solid game and Board 6 Andrii was playing something that could arise from a symmetrical English opening. It was a closed centre meaning action would most likely happen on the flanks.
The first result came in, and rather disappointingly it was a loss on board 3 for my game. Trying to catch up on the clock, I was deciding between two bishop moves. One of them was just a tactical blunder whereas another one kept the game completely equal. I chose wrongly.
At this point having a look around at other games one could see: Jon was under a lot of pressure as black. It looked like he was losing the central pawn with less active pieces. Gavin was a clear pawn up, although his opponent had castled queenside vs his kingside. It should be a win with no obvious weaknesses. Andrii’s game on Board 6 was still level and Bertie was still playing solidly.
Mike’s game on board one looked level, but I could not quite see what Mike’s plan was and there didn’t appear to be many tactics in his position.
Already looking a bit behind in the match I decided to leave. Unfortunately, Gavin blundered his advantage to a loss, and everyone else lost apart from Bertie. If you would like a fuller report you can also check Kingston’s here: https://kingstonchess.com/2022/12/07/maycock-lands-knockout-blow-as-kingston-progress-in-cup/
Well played Bertie for his draw and many thanks to everyone else who has played so far this season. Looking forward to the second half of this chess season!