03Apr19: PooleA v HighcliffeA (BDCL League 1)
A highly significant match for both teams in the run up to glory or otherwise: PooleA hoping for a slip up by Wimborne in their match on the same night to take the season to the final match; Highcliffe needing vital points to force PooleB to find similar in their remaining two games.
Highcliffe must surely have the most stable formation this season and their trusty four duly arrived in good time and spirits. Poole also had their preferred team selection.
Clocks started and after an hour only B3 seemed to show a slight advantage for JohnW, the other boards seeming pretty even. The key thing to notice was that large gravitational anomolies were causing the clocks to run faster when Poole players were to move (I know these things, I did Physics at university! Well, when i say ‘did’… I turned up…) and soon enough all four Poole players were in their last three minutes or so against significantly more.
Draws were turned down on B3 and B4, reflecting the tension, and then a result occured on the top board. A most unusual situation in that MartinM, with a fierce initiative, missed a simple tactic in time trouble to drop a queen, but such was the activity of his pieces that a mating net forced the regain of material to a trivially won ending. A subconcious brilliancy perhaps. It certainly looked cool in the bar. Bad luck Paul.
B2 had been a tense affair all evening with Mike having more space but Christian keeping the balance. But games played on mutual increment can only last so long and unfortunately for Christian he blundered into a trap mate, a shame as a draw would have been a fair result.
B4 between myself and Rob was also very even although I only had three minutes left after move 25. After playing so well Rob missed a tricky knight jump bagging a pawn in an otherwise drawish minor piece ending and then a tactic trapping a piece when trying to push in my time trouble. The game finished on move 60 and I still had three minutes left so thank goodness for increments I say. Unlucky Rob.
And so to B3 in which John and Ken had been messing about in a very congested position all evening almost waiting for a match result to agree a draw. The rest of us had gone down to the bar and left them to it which seemed to be the final straw and a draw was agreed when John forced the issue with an exchange sac to completely block the position.
And so 3.5 – 0.5, which didn’t really reflect the play on the night and I think that Highcliffe can consider themselves unfortunate with the final result.
And then the Wimborne result came in on the teleprinter… Well done Wimborne for an excellent season, worthy League Champions. We will buy a round when you visit us for the last game of the season, well maybe…
April 4, 2019