On 15 April Andrew kindly agreed to step in as our acting captain for the evening, as we welcomed Albany to the Actonians. We were hoping to avenge our recent loss to them but, in terms of average rating across the six boards, they enjoyed the slightest of edges.

Before the match a one minute silence was held, following the recent death of Polish IM and WGM, Joanna Dworakowska.


Aga writes: “Joanna lost a battle to cancer aged 45. She was a bronze medallist at the 2002 Olympiad and won her last played tournament two years ago at the Menchik Memorial in London which I organised. She was an absolutely lovely woman who was always happy.” 

Aga was affected by this bereavement which impacted upon her chess. Unsurprisingly she lost.  

On board four, Mark secured our sole victory. As White, he faced the Albany captain who replied to 1.e4 with 1…g6. Mark comments: “My opponent played down both flanks with his king uncastled, and his pieces oddly placed. Without having to do too much, and just playing through the centre, I won after 23 moves.”

As in the March encounter against Albany, Andrew was Black in a French Tarrasch…Qxd5. He states: “I equalised and the rooks got swapped on the d-file, leading to a drawn ending. I need to find more ways to generate play in this line!”

Reflecting on his game, Alan notes: “I played the same opponent as in the away match. Again I was White in a Slav. I was going to vary from our previous game on move 11 but he got in first by varying on move 9. I fell behind on the clock but got the advantage after we castled on opposite sides and I advanced h2-h4-h5 towards his king.

I should have continued with the obvious h6 but somehow I over-thought things and played something else, without really checking it. This allowed him to strike in the centre and equalise the position. After further inferior moves I was on the defensive with a passive bishop, a weak d-pawn and the more exposed king. With time running low I was unable to hold the position.”

Hristo returned to the team on board five. He states: “I’m not sure what to say about my game. At the beginning, I was a bit ‘on the ropes’ with most of the time having to defend myself. Gradually I think I equalized and offered him a draw towards the end which he declined. Almost straightaway, I turned the tables around and had a slightly better position. Unfortunately, due to time pressure, I didn’t play the best moves and it ended up a draw which I think was a fair result.“

Martin was the last to finish. He reviews his game thus: “I was Black in a Chigorin and had somewhat the worst of the opening, but was able to parlay my piece activity into a fairly level queenless middlegame.  I gave up a pawn for an attack on his uncastled king, but he fought back and came out ahead in a bishop vs knight ending. White then avoided my attempts to complicate and safely converted the win.”

With five defeats and one draw from eight matches, we now face a relegation battle. We need some wins from our remaining four fixtures to ensure first division status next season.

EalingRatingResult AlbanyRating
Martin Smith2176 0 – 1IM Thomas Rendle2427
Alan Perkins21570 – 1Maxim Dunn2118
FM Andrew Harley21500.5 – 0.5Robert Stern1931
Mark Winterbotham        18631 – 0Chris Todd1888
Hristo Colov18550.5 – 0.5Iozeph Okosieme1877
Agnieska Milewska18020 – 1Howard Groves1864
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