BDCL League One: Southbourne B v Poole A

End of season, mid-table obscurity… both teams! Our opponents seemed buoyant with the news that Ringwood had lost the previous night and so removed the chance of relegation for them. Such low aspirations… not the sort of attitude that Poole Chess Club members would expect of its A-Team. We scented blood!

So we sat down in the pleasant, if somewhat sanitised, environment that is Southbourne Chess Club. I could sense something in the air… the smell of rampant testosterone?… of the tea urn brewing up for half time?… Ah, no, it was Dragi’s half eaten fish and chips which his opponent kindly let him finish during the opening phase! (Honestly, but he is a big lad and he needs his energy).

Sergiu arrived and the clocks were clocks were started. Within 20 mins, both Oscar and Sergiu playing the white pieces had good pressure on their opponents. Oscar was playing Paul Kemp, a tough opponent whose 163 grading does not reflect his abilities in my view. Oscar kept improving his position (two bishops, open position, pressure on the queen side), and from board two I mentally chalked up 1-0 and threw a wry grin at my opponent, Lenny Laker.

Lenny is also a nice chap, with a suspiciously low grading, but it was clear that he wanted revenge from earlier in the season when I managed a 16 move win against him with my Grand Prix Attack. Tonight, he had the bloody cheek, as White, to roll out: e4, Nc3, f4 (the GPA) against my Sicilian! I played e6 and a6 and the position quickly got bound up to a point that I offered a draw which was quickly accepted (I then realised that I was actually winning a pawn but I had much less time left than Lenny, thats my excuse).

Looking to my left, Sergiu looked to be wrapping up proceedings nice and promptly. His opponent, after the game claimed he had gone wrong in the ‘c5 Gambit’… I have never heard of it either. It seemed to me that he has simply lost a pawn in a simple tactic. The upshot was that material was equal except for Sergiu having an extra d and e pawns in a minor piece ending. Never in doubt. 1.5 – 0.5.

Dragi had not played his opening well playing Black against his opponent, dropping a pawn with his own pawns broken as well. It seemed that White should win reasonably easily, but some stern defence in a same colour B+4p vs B+3p ending distilled down to B+1p v B. I am not an expert but this is a win I think, but his opponent with only 5mins left to Dragi’s 50 (!!) offered a draw. He might have realised that he could just keep playing as with only a Bishop he could never lose even if he ran out of time.
2 – 1.

And so to Oscar… Now I don’t suppose that I can do this game justice from the point where Oscar was pressing, but I will try. Oscar sacked Bishop for two central pawns and ranging attack, with about five minutes and twelve moves left to the time control. It was great stuff with variations which almost mated (for Oscar) but not quite. There were many tactics for his opponent as well. I really liked the way that Oscar didn’t panic but kept the pressure and threats going even though a quick kill wasn’t there. The finish was lovely… with a White pawn on h7 threatening to queen, Black’s King on f7, Oscar chopped a Knight on g6 with his Queen, and on Blacks Qxg6 recapture, played h8=N forking King and Queen. There is something completely fantastic about under promoting a pawn. The resulting K+5p v K+1p wasn’t going to cause Oscar sleepless nights, but Paul flag fell to complete the game.

So 3-1 to Poole. Phew.

Dragi drew, Sergiu supreme, David defensive, Oscar OMG!

David.

Eric Sachs
April 9, 2017