Hendon 5.5 – Ealing 0.5

On 24 February, Ealing 1 visited Hampstead for a second division match against Hendon 2. We were convincingly beaten 5.5 – 0.5.

Jason was the first to finish. He played his trademark Dutch Defence but allowed the e-file to open. As a consequence, time was wasted defending against a couple of central passed pawns which led to a piece, and the game, being lost.

I didn’t even manage to survive the opening and was strategically lost after only 11 moves. I limped on but my opponent gave me little chance to save the position.

In stark contrast, Alex played the Fantasy Variation (3.f3) against the Caro-Kann and secured an excellent position. However, he left a knight en prise which ultimately led to loss of the game. Given his country, Ukraine, had come under rocket attack earlier in the day, it is hardly surprising he suffered a lapse of concentration. I’m particularly grateful to Alex for turning out for the team at such a difficult and painful time.

Playing against the Scandinavian Defence, Mark briefly had the opportunity to generate meaningful play but it was not taken. A level rook and pawn ending finally ensued with a draw being agreed.

It was really pleasing to welcome Joao back to Ealing Chess Club. As White, he won a pawn in the opening but his strong opponent had compensation due to active pieces. However, after he captured a second pawn on a5, his position started to collapse. After a few more moves, White resigned/lost on time with the imminent loss of material.

The last game to finish was that of new member, Peter Melzer. Although never having played classical chess before nor written down moves, he revealed a remarkable feel for the game. He held an experienced 1700+ player right until the end. It was only the outside passed pawns in an equal material knight ending that caused him to finally lose. Indeed, a most impressive debut and a player who is an asset to the club.

So, overall a heavy defeat for Ealing. If I were a football manager, how would our performance be summed up in a post-match interview? “Well, playing at Hendon’s patch is never easy. And our team sheet was not as strong as it should have been. The lads gave 110% but missed a few chances. That is not to take anything away from Hendon who played out their skins. We’ve got to focus on the positives and with 7 matches to go, everything is up for grabs.”

Hendon 2 RatingResultEaling 1Rating
Rob Willmoth 21971-0Joao Santos2013
James Robinson 19191-0Simon Healeas1856
Anthony Bolchover 18520.5-0.5Mark Winterbotham1892
Eric F.Eeedle 18491-0Jason Obihara1786
Onur Ayan  unrated1-0Alex Lushpa1596
Salvatore Pepe  17211-0Peter Melzerunrated
   5.5 – 0.5