Richmond A v Ealing A (4 April 2023)

Maks reports:

Richmond & Twickenham A vs Ealing A
Date: 04-04-2023, Division: 1, Trophy:
BoardHome playerResultAway playerRating
difference (Δ)
oneIM Gavin Wall s2281AIM Gavin Wall had the white pieces1/2-1/2Andrew Harley s2179KAndrew Harley had the black pieces+102
twoMichael W Healey s2205AMichael W Healey had the black pieces1-0John M Quinn s2154KJohn M Quinn had the white pieces+51
threeMaxim W Dunn s2006AMaxim W Dunn had the white pieces0-1Martin Smith –Martin Smith had the black pieces
fourAndrew Hebron s1958KAndrew Hebron had the black pieces1-0Christopher Greenshields s2009KChristopher Greenshields had the white pieces-51
fiveRaghu Kamath s1833KRaghu Kamath had the white pieces0-1Simon Healeas s1878ASimon Healeas had the black pieces-45
sixMaks Gajowniczek s1821KMaks Gajowniczek had the black pieces1-0Jason Obihara s1776KJason Obihara had the white pieces+45
Mean ratingHome team: 2017.3 Away team: 1999.2Δ = 18.1
match result: 3.5 — 2.5

A very close match, won by only one point.  The match started and we had won the coin toss so it was black on even boards for the night. For those of us on even boards, this strangely turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Out of all 5 decisive games of the night, black won all of them!

Our all-important 3 points came from Mike Healey on board 2 playing a Mexican defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6),  Andrew on board 4 playing a Kings Indian defence and Maks(myself) on Board 6 playing against a reverse-dutch (Bird) opening. 

A very important half-point also came from Gavin on Board 1 displaying excellent defensive technique after recovering his position to a draw, after being two pawns down. 

On boards 3 and 5, Maxim played an Italian opening and definitely had great active-looking pieces in the early middlegame compared to his opponent. However, something must have gone wrong later in his game. Raghu played an ‘exchange Caro Kann’ and eventually obtained a very dominant position. Unfortunately, Raghu spoiled it with a miscalculated tactic. I should note, Raghu’s opponent (Simon Healeas) seems to have a talent for swindling lost positions to a win. He did the same to me early in the season in our very close loss to Ealing A many months back.

I’ll go over a couple of the wins here (board 2 and board 6). 

Also, Andrew described his win in the King’s Indian on board 4 as a crazy game, which I am assuming means very double-edged. It also ended in a blitz finish so I am assuming many of the moves were not recorded. Many congratulations to him for defeating his higher-rated opponent.

Mikes game (board 2) : 

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.Qc2 , Mike’s game transposes to a slight side-line of the mainline of the Nimzo-Indian with Qc2. The transposition from the Nimzo-Indian is 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 for those interested. This particular variation gives the game a little bit of a Bogo-Indian flavour, with the main strategy similarly being to trade off the dark-square bishop and play d6 followed by e5. By move 12 Mike has chosen Bg4 as his main strategy and after h3 has a few choices. He is playing with a King’s Indian pawn structure without the dark-square bishop, which means some of the ideas are similar.

After (move 5/ move 12):

The game evolves and Mike’s opponent tries to overwhelm him on the Kingside by castling Queenside and pawn-storming. Mike gets good counter-play by starting with c6 and creating a bit of a dilemma for his opponent in how the queenside will be opened. Mike gets a nice pawn majority in the center and stunts the pawn storm completely with h5.  Interesting Mike decides to play on the Kingside anyway and plays f5 which was taken. On move 23 Mike still has a small advantage with Ne6, but decides to play Kh7 first, losing a little time. At this point, the advantage tips a bit towards Mike’s opponent with the open g-file to put pressure down.

After (move 18/23) :

A few moves later Mike makes a serious mistake. Instead of trading off his knight with an unclear position he moves his rook to an awkward square. It actually loses an exchange whatever Mike plays after Nxf4. exf4 would be suicidal after Rxg6! followed by pinning with e5. Mike finds the relative best at least winning a pawn for a small amount of compensation.

After (move 26/29)

Following on from this in the diagram for move 29, Mike’s opponent plays Rxg6 immediately sacrificing the exchange back. It puts white’s position from much better to much worse in the space of one move. I suspect Mike’s opponent was mixing up the strong light-square tactics he saw earlier and mistakenly applying it to this position.

Finally in the resulting endgame by move 36, Mike’s opponent has one last chance to try to save his position with Qd2. The endgame looks very complicated after Qe3. Instead he went wrong again with Bc2 and as pawns dropped off Mike nicely converted the position to a win.

Board 6 (Maks): 

On board 6 it was my game. He played a reverse Dutch opening. Originally a classical Dutch but then he changed it to a Stonewall. He went for an all out attack which was somewhat telegraphed in advance. I responded in a simple strategic fashion, aiming to kick out his knight from e5 with f6 and keep his dark-square bishop very bad.

Iprovide some diagrams on how the game progressed.

Here his development is very bad. Of course I should aim to open the position but I started to go a bit wrong and give him chances for a drawable position with c4?!

The game evolved into an equalish endgame. I still think practically it was more difficult for him to play.

Finally in a Queen and bishop ending I obtain a very strong and winning Queen battery. It forces the Queens off and of course the good bishop vs terrible bishop endgame is completely winning.

Many thanks to those who played. 

I look forward to the last two matches!