4/10/17 – Good start to the season for Poole A

Wimborne B 0-4 Poole A

So the first match of this new season for the A-Team following many good results from the rest of the club; no pressure then, and off to Wimborne’s latest base we go. No more whiffy Scout Hut, but instead the nice Merely Community Centre. Leave yourself a few extra minutes because it is a bugger to find (but great parking!). Eric is there to greet us all and Mike Duggan rolls up bang on time to start his career at the pinnacle of Bournemouth and Dorset Chess.

Now there is something refreshing about Mike.. Is it youthful exuberance, that winning smile? No its those knees! Our own Anton Kovalyov http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/10/world-cup-chess-engulfed-race-row/ is wearing shorts, but an arbiter is not to be found in Merley and so he is allowed to play. I am not sure what Southbourne will say. Sartorial issues circumvented, we sit down to play.

Martin (B1-W) is playing Steve Peirson who plays for Wimborne as well as his home Purbeck club. My initial concern is that Martin has been speaking to much to Chip as we see a double fianchetto and no pawns have made it to the fourth rank in the first half a dozen moves. Oscar (B2-B) has Mark Littleton (who did very well in the weekend tournament of the recent British Chess Champs by the way!) and soon looks well bored because Mark is playing the London System. After an hour, both top boards look about even.

Mike (B3-W) is playing Peter Wilcocks and nice Grand Prix Attack (Bb5) soon has Mark with a significant advantage as Peter is prevented from castling and lines quickly open. As often occurs in such games, there is no midboard checkmate, but a conversion to a clearly won endgame and the game doesn’t last much longer.

That’s lucky because I am not having the best of it (B4-B) against someone I haven’t played before, Steve Appleby, a thoroughly nice chap, but who keeps playing the move I hope he doesn’t play, against my Dutch Defence (Classic, not Stonewall). After 20 moves, he has all the play and a dominating position; I am reduced to drastic defence. I recall Kasparov’s recent quote “Activity is like Oxygen to a Chess player”; well if that is true, I have a plastic bag on my head. Oh well, I hold my breath and wait while my opponent takes 30mins for his next move as he can’t seem to find a plan to improve his position.

I catch Eric who suggests that both top boards have processed most satisfactorily for Poole with Oscar clearly winning now and Martin squeezing the life out of Steve’s position. I don’t feel so bad.

Suddenly I have some tactical opportunities with 20mins vs my opponent’s 10mins left. I have another thought (I know! Two in one evening!) as I am reminded of Toby’s recent game when he unfortunately lost on time with a few minutes extra on the clock, and subsequent discussions with Chip on how to handle such situations (much easier when not actually playing). So I simply make moves keeping the tension where possible, repeating moves when available and generally just playing average moves quickly. It seems to work and with seconds left Steve falls into a cheeky checkmate… And it is an unlikely 4-0 result. Chip: after that chat, if I could give you half of my point I would.

So a heavy weight win by a heavy weight team, probably the strongest team ever fielded by grade for Poole but all games need to be won and our A team achieved exactly that. Commerisations to a very strong and welcoming Wimborne team who will win many matches.

written by David/Eric

Eric Sachs
October 6, 2017