On 21 November we welcomed Metropolitan to the Actonians. Like us, they were recently promoted to the Middlesex first division.

We started the match well with Alex agreeing a 14-move draw at about the same time Alan was claiming a win by default.

On board 2 as White, Andrew played a Closed Ruy Lopez. He comments, “I tried to open up the position for my bishop with d3-d4 and e4xd5, expecting …Rxd5 when White was better, but had missed the strong tactical response …Ne6xd4! attacking the queen on f3 and overworking the rook on d1. With the correct follow-up, Black could have won a pawn, but as it went, the position quickly liquidated into a drawn rook ending.”

In my own game, I won a pawn which was quickly returned to vacate a square for a knight. The knight was subsequently sacrificed to open lines against the king. Faced with inevitable checkmate, my opponent resigned. Shortly afterwards, Alfie agreed a draw in a rook and pawn ending which secured our victory in the match.

Mark was the last to finish. He writes, “I played White in a Closed Sicilian which unusually went well with me enjoying an advantage for most of the game. Although a pawn down for a strong initiative, I lost some of my advantage by releasing the tension when retrieving the pawn. Still holding an advantage at the end and the match already won, a draw was agreed.”

Overall, this was a solid team performance which gives us two wins from our first two matches.

Alfie Onslow22620.5 – 0.5Ian D. Calvert2003
FM Andrew Harley21790.5 – 0.5Petr Vachtfeidl1914
Alan Perkins2159 1 – 0 (def)Default
Mark Winterbotham18790.5 – 0.5Jan Lepetun1861
Simon Healeas18371 – 0Geoffrey L. Bishop1710
Alex Lushpa1662 0.5 – 0.5John F. Kitchen1733
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