On 10 January we travelled to Tolworth in Surrey for a first division Thames Valley match against Surbiton ‘B’. The Ealing captain, Andrew Harley, was unwell so I stepped in as captain for the evening. In terms of ratings, we enjoyed the slightest of edges.

Mark was first to finish. He comments, “As White, I faced a Scandinavian against e4. Both sides castled queenside. Not a lot happened, and my opponent offered a draw around move 20. I accepted to see some more exciting games on other boards.” John also drew despite some difficult moments.

Jason played his trademark Dutch with characteristic energy. He writes, “I had a good position but didn’t take maximum advantage. According to the engine, I was  + 4.4 at one point. But with both of us having about 3 minutes left on the clock, I stupidly put my queen on h6 giving it away for nothing, and hence game over.”

Xavier also lost. Reflecting on his game: “I didn’t play very well in all honesty. I couldn’t settle on the best structure to build from, moving my queen over 5 times in a bid to find its best position. My opponent and I were both under time pressure and he made a sacrifice which I should’ve responded well to but, alas, lost on time despite the increment. All-in-all, quite a disappointing day for me.”

In my own game, I grabbed a pawn and knowingly walked into a pin. I then grabbed another pawn and, yes, walked into another pin. The pawns proved to be temporary gains and a level rook and pawn ending ensured the splitting of the point.

The final game to finish was Jonathan’s. He writes, “My Petroff did its job, producing a Petroff-y middlegame. Sadly I lost on time when there was plenty of play in the final position.”

So, overall a disappointing team performance with a final score of 4.5 -1.5 in Surbiton’s favour. The star of the evening was (non-playing) Leslie Pringle who generously gave up his evening to drive players to and from the Tolworth venue. Many thanks!

Surbiton BRatingResultEaling ARating
Liam Bayly19720.5 – 0.5John Quinn2175
Angus James1994 1 – 0Jonathan White1987
Paul Dupre1979 1 – 0Xavier Cowan1934
Nick Faulks19410.5 – 0.5Simon Healeas1869
Graham Alcock17990.5 – 0.5Mark Winterbotham1867
Andrew Boughen1816 1 – 0Jason Obihara1788
 4.5 – 1.5