Richmond A 4½ Ealing A 1½

Ealing A had another defeat at the board in our match with old rivals, Richmond.

Due to a communication breakdown (mea culpa), we arrived at the home club’s new venue a man short. I say new venue but Richard James informed me that the Adelaide had been hosts to the Thames Valley chess club, as far back as 1902!

Anyway, to the chess. Conceding a default obviously meant we started on the back foot. On top- board, Andrew was facing IM Gavin Wall, who he had faced a number of times before. On this occasion, the honours went to Gavin. As Andrew explained: ” I went wrong straight after the opening allowing him to expand with …g5, …f5, …f4 opening up my kingside. He misplayed it allowing me two brief chances to survive, but I didn’t grab them.”

In my own game, I faced a KID/London System hybrid with the black pieces and was soon in a cramped position having omitted the thematic push with h6, g5 and Nh5 to push back white’s bishop. I also failed to spot a forcing combination in the middlegame which would have temporarily won me exchange and pawn although due to the chronic lack of co-ordination in my pieces, the engines suggest that white could recover the material in due course. In the end white nursed his small advantages into a winning endgame.

Elsewhere, Simon produced the performance of the night. In his own words: “As White, I opened with the Catalan against which my opponent responded with the Tarrasch. I got a slight and stable edge in the ensuing middlegame and by move 26 there was an opportunity to win with Nxe6 followed by Rd4. I completely missed this. A little later, I sacrificed the exchange which should have led to a draw by perpetual check. However my opponent blundered and with the imminent loss of his queen, resigned.”

Jason had another commendable outing achieving a draw with the black pieces against an experienced 2000+ opponent but Alex’s aggressive deployment of a King’s Gambit came unstuck against an opponent with a 350 point rating advantage.

We are running out of matches to pull ourselves out of the present tail spin but, while there’s live, there’s hope.

Richmond ARatingResultEaling ARating
Gavin Wall22841-0Andrew Harley2208
Maxim Dunn19001-0Default
Julien Shepley19710-1Simon Healeas1863
Bertrand Barlow2006½-½Jason Obihara1765
Raghu Kamath18851-0Alex Lushpa1538
Maks Gajowniczek17501-0Alastair Johnstone1640
15th February 2022