Ealing A 5 Ealing Juniors A 1

Ealing A concluded their season with an unexpectedly comfortable win against the Juniors. The fixture was originally due to be played at the start of the season but fell victim to a Covid closure at the Actonians. The rescheduling clearly didn’t favour the Juniors as they were well short of their usual strength with only Alfie of the usual heavy-hitters in the line-up.

Having said that, all those mustered into the Junior ranks put up a stern fight: there were no gifts on offer but at the end the senior team’s greater strength finally prevailed.

Andrew was the first over the line when his pressure finally translated into the gain of material and a consequent collapse of Teymour’s position.

On top board however, Rick couldn’t break down Alfie’s solid defence with a closed centre and play restricted to the wings.

Simon faced Gabriele in his debut appearance for the Juniors and only his second in a league team. I was impressed by the accuracy of his play on the white side of a Queen’s Pawn opening. Simon also commented on how Gabriele had shown a patience not often found in players of his age. In the end, Simon managed to engineer a knight fork winning the exchange which proved to be he critical break through.

On the remaining boards the Juniors were putting up fierce resistance. Kamran defended stoutly against Hristo until he was finally unable to prevent an invasion by Hristo’s rooks and the loss of a couple of pawns.

On Board six Jason was a full two pawns down for much of the middlegame. I initially assumed he was just in Alpha Zero mode but on closer inspection it didn’t appear that the initiative gained compensated for the material invested. Glafcos however couldn’t find a workable plan to consolidate his position and Jason eventually set up an attack which forced Glafcos to return the material with interest to avoid immediate mate. Resignation followed shortly after.

Finally on Board 2, Leslie (an honorary junior for the day) played a fine hand to keep Mark at bay. I thought he even had chances to trap Mark’s sole remaining piece, a knight, but Mark wriggled free and an honourable draw was agreed.

Our late season surge has dragged the team away from the relegation places and although a number of matches are still to be played, we are now mathematically assured of avoiding the drop.

I am standing down from the captaincy after this match so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support in this and all the preceding seasons I have been at the helm.

I’ll publish a seasons review shortly.

Ealing ARatingResultEaling Juniors ARating
Rick McMichael2260Alfie Onslow2265
Andrew Harley2178Teymour Harandi1652
Mark Winterbotham1905Leslie Pringle1602
Simon Healeas1841Gabriele Palmer
Hristo Colov1776Kamran Harandi1533
Jason Obihara1766Glafcos Tombolis1330
25th April 2022