Harrow B v Ealing B

Funny game chess. Five weeks ago, Ealing were thrashed by Harrow in a TVL match. Here, with many of the same protagonists in action, Ealing wiped the board exacting ample revenge for the earlier defeat.

Subas was first to finish with victory over the opposition’s captain. In his own words: As Black I played an aggressive d5 against White’s Ponziani opening. Didn’t know and haven’t heard of this opening until my opponent told me. My d5 response was intuitive since it looked aggressive and safe and hoped it will get White out of his comfort zone. The opening transitioned into Spanish Variation with White’s Bishop on b5. The Stockfish engine hates it and treats it as a blunder, but of course I did not know it at that time. After a series of pawn exchange in the middle game I was a pawn up. With queen exchange and my knight’s inroad into White’s position I ended being two pawns up. Towards the end game I was a minor piece up. With one of my pawns close to promoting to a queen in the end game, White resigned.

Simon soon extended Ealing’s lead. Commenting on his game Simon reports:

As White, I played a quiet line to avoid the possibility of facing a Benko Gambit. The opening gave me a spatial advantage and the easier game but Black made a couple of loose pawn moves (17…e5 and 18…fxe6) which gave me a winning position. With a three-pawn deficit, my opponent resigned on move 26. 

As one of those defeated in the earlier match, I was delighted to turn the tables this time around. Both games featured the Steinitz variation of the Ruy Lopez. I lost the the first game through an idiotic blunder which cost me a rook. Here, I was able to gradually build up pressure, navigate the tactical traps before a final decisive breakthrough.

Tony finished off the rout staying calm under time pressure to win. In his own words Tony as black gained a strong position out of the opening with pawns on e5 and d4 cramping white. To take advantage before the advantage dissipated he sacrificed a knight, soon after winning it back and gaining a pawn. The position was now very tactical but clearly strong for black. Tony went a knight up, then a rook. There was a fright at the end when he nearly messed up the endgame under time pressure from his earlier deliberations but came through to win with a rook still up.