06Mar19: Poole v Ringwood (BDCL Handicap KO)
We at Poole CC are very proud of our recent record in this excellent competition organised by Martin Simons. The handicapping mechanism really does a really good job of leveling the playing field, or playing board, or whatever, and I think that many of the recent Poole wins have been knife edge matches all the way. Tonight was no different.
A six board match had us decamping into the larger room downstairs at the White Hart. Calculations suggested that Poole needed a 4-2 win to progress due to the higher grade average. Clocks started (no increments).
B1: Duggan-Clancy. Black come out fighting pushing harry against a Closed Sicilian set-up, saccing a piece for three pawns and generally not playing nice. I thought Black was doing well.
B2: Donaldson-Fuller. I misplayed a line of the French which put Peter in a strong position with Black king exposed. White was doing well. (Do you see a theme here?)
B3: Popovic-Davenport. The first time I looked Black was a two pawns up, then soon a piece and two pawns.
B4: Day-Jaggard. Whilst even materially, White had much the better of the position, so much so that Black sacced a piece for a couple of pawns and activity.
B5: Rider-Wykes. An even game pretty much from start to finish. Neither side looked likely to lose at any time.
B6: Bacon-Ambrose. The bright light for Poole as Black won a piece early and then more quite quickly.
So, to sum up half way. Gulp (Poole-wise).
I had to get my head down at this point, trying to find some sort of counterplay in my (Fritz says) -6.00 position and so didn’t see much more until I was tapped on the shoulder with surprising news.
Boards 3/4/5 were agreed as draws, the latter because it was completely dead, but 3/4 due to practical time trouble decisions being taken by the Ringwood players. Chris Ambrose took the full point on B6 as expected.
Mike Duggan had managed to activate two bishops very nicely against Martin Clancy and converted the point.
And so I only need to draw my game, which fortunately for myself had turned completely around to +6.00 (or something). I bit of a swindle I am afraid. Peter, ever the gentleman, conceded defeat as it was clear (at least to Peter) that even I couldn’t lose the reduced material ending a piece up.
So Poole win 4.5-1.5, coming back from 2-nil down at half time, I have to say.
Aside from the chess, it was a lovely evening, catching up with some old friends and hosted perfectly by Peter.
March 7, 2019