On 30 May we played hosts to beleaguered West London: they have lost all their matches this season. With a default win and Ealing stronger across all boards, the outcome of the match looked a foregone conclusion. As so often in chess (and life), events did not play out as expected.
Andrew was the first to finish. He writes: “I had a slight edge playing against an IQP but in trying to prematurely force the win of that pawn, missed a simplification leaving the position equal, and a draw agreed.”
On board 3, Joao returned to form with a nice win. He comments: “As White, I chose the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez. The centre remained closed and on move 12 Black played a speculative bishop sacrifice. After a few moves it was clear Black had insufficient compensation to justify the material deficit. White was in control and Black’s longside castling offered attacking opportunities. Having crashed through Black’s defences and with further loss of material inevitable, my opponent resigned.”
Against his opponent’s 1.d4, Chris played his customary Modern Defence. By move 19, following a series of exchanges, the position was level. Chris goes on to say: “In an attempt to wrestle a quick advantage, I blundered, to go a pawn down in the endgame. With an inferior position, I formed a blockade of sorts and found myself repeating moves quickly. My opponent continued to repeat moves and offered a draw, just when I realised the game was drawn by threefold repetition.”
As Black I played the Chigorin. By move 27 the position had boiled down to a king and pawn ending in which I had the extra pawn. I managed to win but could not help but feel that, on another occasion, it could easily have been a draw.
John has been our top performing player this season but this game did not go as he intended. He played the Sicilian defence but rather than creating dynamic counter-chances, the game reached a blocked manoeuvring position which was fairly level. In the hope of playing against an exposed king, he exchanged minor pieces. White responded by using his rooks actively to both defend and make threats against the black kingside. With the exchange of queens, a complex but level double rook ending ensued. Short of time, John miscalculated, losing a rook and the game.
So, a final score of 4-2 in our favour yielding us 6 points out of 9. With one match remaining, a victory will guarantee we either win the division or at least be runners-up.
|John Quinn||2197||0 -1||Colum Jezierski||1954|
|Andrew Harley||2174||0.5 – 0.5||Andrew Hayler||1947|
|Chris Greenshields||2021||0.5 – 0.5||John Tobisch||1916|
|Joao Santos||1979||1 – 0||Gursharanjit S. Gill||1672|
|Simon Healeas||1840||1 – 0||Graham Chase||1614|
|Mark Winterbotham||1910||1 – 0||Default|
|4 – 2|