We played our third match in the Division at home last Monday evening and with a stronger team than our opponents we had a satisfying win by 3.5 – 0.5, although they generally played well. We had wins on boards 1,3 and 4 and drew on board 2.
On board 1 Alex played white against a Sicilian defence. He chose a rare system with 2.Ne2 and fianchettoing his light squared bishop. White had a solid advantage by move 10, but made a mistake which led to a desperate position for white. Fortunately his opponent overlooked a quiet but super powerful pawn move, which immediately turned the game again in white’s favour. Black resigned when mate in one was inevitable.
Tony, playing black on Board 2, drew his game and commented “A fun, exciting game with both players being more aggressive than accurate. Tony tried the Scandinavian as black but soon forgot the line and tried an impetuous attack. White responded with an ingenious bishop sacrifice which, with perfect play, might have given him the advantage. Tony defended well and emerged from the complications a clear bishop up. However he’d used a lot of time and was left with three minutes for ten moves. He beat the flag but much of the advantage had dissipated in the rush and a draw was agreed”.
On board 3 Peter played the London system with white to which black replied by quickly expanding on the queen side and fianchettoed the light squared bishop. As they came out of the opening white was stronger, but a premature rook lift gave black the advantage throughout the rest of the middle game. Fortunately black could not capitalize on the advantage and Peter was able to simplify the position and grab a pawn. A few inaccuracies from both sides later and white had two passed pawns. Black also had a passed pawn, but was unable to support it or push it forward. As white progressed his pawns, black scrambled for time and blundered an illegal move before resigning.
Michael played black on board 4; black castled kingside and white castled queenside after the Bishop’s Opening. White then made some obvious threats which black cautiously countered, but could possibly have ignored. In doing so white left a piece “en prise” – apparently thinking of his own moves and not of black’s and lost it. Black then steadily wore him down. White’s king was exposed and black was able to pick off his pawns and pieces. Rook and bishop down and unable to stop black’s passed pawn, white resigned.
David Housego, Hillingdon C team captain.