|Michael Townsend||0-1||James Cobb|
|David Painter-Kooiman||0-1||John Curtis|
|David Egginton||0.5-0.5||Gareth Morris|
|David Peters||0-1||David Collier|
|Andrew Chapman||0.5-0.5||Duncan Grossett|
|Chris Strong||0.5-0.5||Igor Doklestic|
Chess on a Monday? That must mean a trip to Clevedon. It’s good to have them back in division 1 after their promotion, and also nice not to be there in arctic conditions in January, which is when we usually get to go. For some reason I didn’t see much of the games, probably spent too much time rehoning my ale pouring (and ale drinking) skills.
We’ll go in board order today:
James was white in an odd Slav, with Michael’s bishop hopping from g4-e6-g4. Do bishops hop, or is that just knights? Anyway, James pushed an early e4, which looked a little loose, and it got a bit complex so I went to look at other games at that point. No doubt James had it all under control, and he went on to register his first win of the season.
My game threatened to be a dull draw. Not much was going on, and my main plan was to avoid exchanges as much as possible and see if anything turned up. Something did turn up, when David sacrificed a piece on an empty square. It was very pretty indeed, but unfortunately for him also completely unsound, as he noticed as soon as he’d played it. David got a bit of compensation, but not a piece worth, and with his last ditch attack going nowhere he resigned.
Gareth was also white in a Slav. In this one the queens disappeared quickly, and sparring for good positions for pieces was the name of the game. It looked like Dave might be getting the upper hand, but it was difficult seeing it being anything but a draw. And that’s what happened.
The battle of the Davids on board four produced a standard looking closed Sicilian position. One thing I know about these types of position is that David (Clifton variety) plays them very well. Next time I looked he had won, so he might have played this one well. Or David (Clevedon variety) may have blundered. I really have no idea.
Dunc and Andrew played a very interesting looking game, with pieces all over the place. I wasn’t sure who was better in the opening and middlegame, or even when I looked at the end. Dunc was a pawn up in a N+P ending, but Andrew was very active. My immediate thought was that it was probably drawn, but not easy to play for either side. After some adventures they reached a properly drawn position, and shook hands.
On board 6 something had gone very wrong with Igor’s Sicilian, and he had a truly horrible position. Chris had the two bishops, total control over d5, more space, and several other advantages. There wasn’t a knockout blow however, and Igor is a tricky guy. When I looked next they’d reached an endgame with Igor a pawn or two up, but Chris still had his two lovely bishops and was by no means worse. Wandering back a bit later Chris was the exchange for a couple of pawns up in a much simplified position, and they (probably sensibly) repeated moves.
So, a second win for us, just about deserved, but the scoreline flattered us a little. The rest of the league will be quaking once we get into our stride. Possibly.