Bacchus: Wimborne 1.5 vs 2.5 Poole Knights
We turned up to Merley with the match room to ourselves, the juniors taking centre stage with a combined age of 60. Below the age of Wimborne’s board 1!
All the games got underway with some solid chess on display. Then I look over at Zack on board to and it looks like he just had some bad news. A look at the board and the knight he’s chasing away can leap over the pawns forking the king and queen. It’s his opponents turn. An agonizing wait. Zack’s eyes dart around. I give him a stern glare. I make a mental note to play him at poker and clear up easily. After what seems like an eternity his opponent moves his knight, but not to the deadly square. It looked like Zack had won the game from his reaction. Calm down. Focus on the game. There were still a few choice positions to come, including another bid by Zack to get rid of his own queen. The question is, how does black (Zack for Poole) keep hold of his queen?
The game went on and soon white’s king was in an isolated position. I was very proud when Zack went for the rook sac in the following position to win the game:
Next game was Ben, promoted to top board and feeling the pressure. He was against a seasoned player who managed to keep the pressure on, winning a bishop, then squewering a rook behind a queen. With a solid game he was able to keep pushing until the scores were levelled.
Next up was Matthew, and by this point the position didn’t look good. His king had covered more ground than his pawns and it looked like his most important piece was trying to queen!
The net was closing and soon two rooks and a bishop were correlling the king with a plethora of pawns loitering around, Matthew with just a king and rook. He takes a pawn with his lone rook. A pawn protected by the winning king, check. The king just takes it, but then the realisation of the genius sacrifice. That rook was the only piece that could move. The sacrifice forced stale mate completely against the odds.
1.5 – 1.5
That piled all the pressure onto debutante Venna. Having only played 20 minute games and always struggled for time, the longer format was something she was really looking forward to, and the way the game started it was clear it was going to need more than 20 minutes. Calm considered play from both sides, gradually improving the positions. There was a potential en passant which wasn’t taken, then Venna managed to move to break the deadlock. Can you find it:
After the Bishop was won, it didn’t stop the pressure. Venna had a nice outpost, but the were quite a lot of pieces locked down defending each other. Her opponent managed to take full advantage of that and pushed the defences until it snapped and he was able to regain the Bishop. However, the price of this was a compromised pawn structure and a weak king being very exposed. Venna pushed blacks king into the corner. Black checked her king all over the board, but then after running out of checks, was unable to stop the mate and Venna managed to seal victory in the game and the match.
An excellent match by all boards on both sides. Some impressive chess, some lessons learned and some play improved. To me it showcased what the Bacchus league is all about. Well played all and many thanks to Wimborne for being great hosts, and creating a very supportive environment for the young players.
2.5 – 1.5 to Poole Knights
March 28, 2019