On 23 January we travelled to Kingston for a first division Thames Valley match. The Ealing captain, Andrew Harley, was unavailable so I stepped in as captain. Due to an illness, we were missing a player and consequently defaulted on board 6. Kingston enjoyed a large rating advantage and this disparity in playing strength was evidenced as the evening unfolded.
On board 2, Jonathan faced an opponent a shade under 2300. He writes, “I was on the black side of an unusual opening – 1.Nc3 f5 2. e4 d6. It took us about an hour to get to move 5. Things stayed even and cagey into the middle game, but my queenside castling was misjudged – my opponent built up a strong attack and completed it with a fine combination.” On top board, Tony faced an even stronger opponent and lost. I battened down the hatches and drew.
Harry played with typical vigour and verve. His well-oiled King’s Indian Sӓmisch led to an attack culminating in the sacrificial 19.Nxh7! Sadly the follow-up was not played sufficiently accurately which, coupled with his opponent’s precise play, led to resignation after 36 moves.
Mark’s game was the last to finish. He comments, “As White I got into a slight tangle in the Sicilian, getting caught between pushing the f-pawn to f5 or playing c3 and d4 against my opponent’s advance of queenside pawns. I managed neither, and eventually had to concede a pawn. There was an interesting tussle, but in the end Black crashed through. My main chance was winning on time when my opponent appeared to fall asleep but he awoke after about 5 minutes and the chance was gone.”
Overall this was a heavy defeat, admittedly against a strong side. Hopefully it should stimulate us to improve our results in the remainder of the season, thereby ensuring the team’s survival in the first division.
|Kingston 1||Rating||Result||Ealing 1||Rating|
|David Maycock||2341||1 – 0||Tony Wells||2042|
|Peter Lalic||2292||1 – 0||Jonathan White||1987|
|Vladimir Li||2111||1 – 0||Mark Winterbotham||1867|
|William J Taylor||2060||0.5 – 0.5||Simon Healeas||1869|
|David Rowson||2061||1 – 0||Harry Symeonidis||1852|
|Gregor Smith||1716||1 – 0||Default|
|5.5 – 0.5|