Ealing D lost their match against Maidenhead B 5-1 at their venue on 12th December. We were heavily out-gunned with an average rating difference of 399 to their advantage, but Andy managed a magnificent win and Michael managed to hold out for a long time before resigning.
This is Andy’s report on his game where he played Black:
My opponent played the Nimzo-Larsen attack (1.b3 2.Bb2) which means we were essentially equal out of the opening. I had a slight edge and then he had a slight edge. It got pretty sharp and complex with a lot of pieces on the board: My queen in his backyard, he’s up a solid pawn but his king was exposed. There were a lot of potential lines. At one point I gave up the exchange to further expose his king. The computer said he was leading though to find the suggested moves is hard.
On move 31, probably relieved, he forced a queen trade on e3. I’m sure he thought he was winning at this point. After the trade, you see the position in the attached diagram–I had just gone 32. . . Nc5, activating my knight. I was up a passed central pawn with a bit move activity but down the exchange. I viewed it as equal and confident in my endgame skills to at least force a draw with my passer. Computer says +1.0 for white.
The tension was high. After a minute or two, I was worried he had found a way to consolidate. Then suddenly he goes 33.Re5?? The first blunder. Maybe he thought he pinned my passed pawn. But after 33…Nd3, forking the two rooks, the computer says -1.3.
Then without much thought, he goes 34.Rexf5?? The second blunder. Clearly, he couldn’t take the passed pawn as 34.Rxd5 Nxf2, 35.Kxf2 Be6+ would be the end. He needed to go 34.Re2 Nxe5 35. Rxe5 Rd7 where my passed pawn now has a rook behind it but possibly holdable for white.
Alas, the second blunder, 34.Rexf5, gives back the exchange, after the simple 33…gxf5, I’m now up a passed central pawn with another passer. Computer says -2.5 for black. I could tell at this point he was frustrated. Then to my surprise, he picks up his king for the third blunder in a row. As soon as he lifted his king he saw his remaining rook was going to fall. He let out a small cry. 34.Kf3??, allowing me to have a total advantage with 34…Nxf2. Now the computer says it’s -6.5, with a rook vs knight and two passers.
Three blunders in a row in a matter of minutes. . . go figure.
He resigned in a few moves. He was not happy, understandably.
If anything I think this is a tribute to keeping the pressure up and waiting for your opponent to crack. Create problems for your opponent—everyone blunders. That’s my advice.
Keep the faith, even if your opponent is four hundred points higher.