On 26 June we welcomed Hammersmith to the Actonians for our final match of the season. Ealing enjoyed higher ratings across all 6 boards but as the match played out, it was clear our visitors were performing particularly well.

As White, Andrew drew. He comments: “I gained control of the squares in front of my opponent’s d5 and c6 pawns, failed to take a chance to grab a pawn on a7 overestimating a …Re8-e2 response, and then failed to find a way to exploit the slight edge.”

On board one, Martin states: “I was Black in a Queen’s Pawn Zukertort (1.d4 d5 2.Nf3) and sacrificed a pawn for some initiative. After building a small advantage I got greedy and retook the sacrificed pawn too early, allowing White to build an attack against my king and eventually break through to win.”

Jonathan skillfully restricted his opponent’s ability to make meaningful moves. He writes: “I played the Bird (1.f4) as White, and built an advantage by pushing my kingside pawns.  He sacrificed the exchange to regain some initiative, but I was able to exchange to a superior ending. For probably the first time, I won by Zugzwang.”

Tony played the slightly unusual Bird’s Defence to the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4). Typically this is a solid line in which Black seeks to gain central activity. However, the game became sharp and complex with Tony losing. Jason was also defeated.

In my own game, as Black, a rather drab Exchange Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5) finally sprang into life on move 34 when a pseudo rook sacrifice led to mate.

So another narrow home defeat but in terms of league position, we finish the season ensconced mid-table (fourth out of seven).

EalingRatingResult HammersmithRating
Martin Smith 2291 0 – 1Thomas Bonn2246
FM Andrew Harley 21530.5 – 0.5Christof Brixel1988
Tony Wells2098  0 – 1Tom Townsend1956
Jonathan White1974 1 – 0Matteo Bezzini1912
Simon Healeas1903 1 – 0Sam Lazarus1826
Jason Obihara1780 0 – 1Charlie Sturt1709
  2.5 – 3.5