Ealing A 0 Hammersmith A 6

To borrow a tennis term, Ealing suffered the ignominy of a being bagelled in our latest Thames Valley outing. I cannot remember the last time this happened to an Ealing 1st team. The result was not entirely surprising as Hammersmith enjoyed nearly a 300 point rating advantage on all but the top board. Everyone put up a fight, but in the end, the superior strength of the Hammersmith players prevailed.

Hristo had the misfortune of losing on time when, from my cursory inspection of his game, he seemed level.

Jason fell to the opposition captain and John to a 2300+ player on board one. In his own words: “My opponent played a sharp line against my Kings Indian. I played an attacking response which was fatally flawed. I missed two tactical points when selecting this response which meant that a few moves later he was able to force the win of a piece and retain the better position as well.”

My own game went wrong early on, when I conceded the two bishops in a queen-less position and although I grovelled away for 49 moves, it was a downhill struggle throughout.

In his own words, “Mark playing black got a bit passive, never created any threats, and his opponent’s pressure on the kingside meant he had to give up the exchange (rook for knight) to avoid worse. He did get a pawn back but his opponent eventually turned his rook vs knight and pawn advantage into a win without too many difficulties.”

Finally, Simon also succumbed on Board 2. “Given the strength of my opponent (2236), the game started well with an equal position after 16 moves. Unfortunately I was then steadily outplayed, leading to resignation after 27 moves. After this defeat I will not be indulging in self-recrimination, as my opponent played the middlegame at a significantly higher (and deeper) level.”

There is no escaping the fact that, after six games, one win and five losses, we are in grave danger of the drop.

Ealing AGd.ResultHammersmithGd.
John Quinn21930-1Marco Gallana2318
Simon Healeas18630-1Thomas Bonn2180
Mark Winterbotham18850-1Carsten Pedersen2203
Jason Obihara17650-1Bajrush Kelmendi2056
Hristo Colov17580-1James Stevenson2114
Alastair Johnstone1640Gaston Franco1965
7th February 2022