Ealing A 3½ Wimbledon 1½

10th January 2022

At the fifth time of asking Ealing A finally broke its duck for the season with a fine home win against Wimbledon A.

On exchanging team-sheets it was immediately apparent that the away team were without many of their normal heavy hitters and indeed gifted Hristo an early night by defaulting on board 6. On the remaining boards, Ealing players had the rare pleasure of enjoying a moderate grading advantage. As is so often the case however, the grades proved a poor guide to actual events as close encounters emerged in all the games.

First to finish was Harry who agreed a draw with his opponent in double quick time. I saw nothing of the game.

Next it was Tony who played a strong game before effecting a mating flourish with his two rooks.

Chris played white for the first time in over 10 games. His opponent opened with the French Defence and Chris played the Wing Gambit which his opponent declined with 4…b6. Chris built up his pieces around his e5 pawn, offering it as a sacrifice for several moves but his opponent wasn’t taking the bait. Chris moved to attack on the kingside, hoping to expose his opponent’s centralised king. He overlooked his opponent moving his king to a safe d7 square but this looked exposed when Chris put his knight on d5 offering another sacrifice. Once more however, his opponent declined to accept the sac and when Chris exchanged the knight for a bishop on e7 he handed a big advantage to his opponent. From then on, Chris had to scramble to defend a passive position, but after some inaccurate moves, equality was reached and a draw was hastily agreed with players short on time. The lesson from this one is if you offer a sacrifice and your opponent declines, have the confidence to keep the sacrifice on offer.

Mark played an Old Indian, won a pawn early on with a stable advantage. When I had a look at the position it looked as though Mark had carved out a winning endgame but something went awry in the time scramble and the game ended in another draw. While a disappointment to Mark this result did secure the match point for the home side.

In the final game, Simon adjourned and intends to travel to Wimbledon in pursuit of a win. Simon comments on his own game: “The game followed the typical trajectory of a Benko Gambit: in return for a pawn, Black secured a strong fianchettoed bishop, lasting pressure along the a-file, and long-term positional compensation. However, the game only really came alive after Black’s 27th move (…c4) and in the subsequent time scramble both players missed a win. When the dust settled at the time control (move 35), White enjoyed the slimmest of advantages due to the outside passed pawn but the game was adjourned with a draw being the most likely outcome.”

The match result lifts us away from the bottom of the Div.1 table but we have much work to do before the threat of relegation is averted.

Ealing AGd.ResultWimbledon AGd.
Tony Wells20831-0Tony Hughes1945
Chris Greenshields2035½-½Sean Ingle1810
Mark Winterbotham1885½-½Mike Williams1788
Simon Healeas1863adjn.Alex Brett1540
Harry Symeonidis1828½-½Martin Lake1465
Hristo Colov17581-0Default