BDCL SouthbourneA v PooleA
And so we enter the final straight of this Chess Season and so far for Poole A it has been an up and down affair. An excellent start was followed by the speed bump (x2) that was Poole B. So now some consolidation is required to ensure the ‘proper’ league winning team.
Unfortunately, this critical fixture has been dogged by further selection problems with both Oscar and Martin on shift and only I am able to make it (if you consider that a positive) by calling in my full stack of brownie points. Nevertheless, Mike is leading from the front and the ever-reliable Dragi is his usual self on B3. I slot in on B2 and Tarik joins us on B4. Southbourne are at full strength: Simons, Pegg, Forster, Catchpole. We are outgraded on all boards, but hey ho.
B1 As White, Mike seems to make a reasonable start against Martin Simons soon reaching a queenless middlegame. Subtle manouvering ensues and Black seems to gain an edge.
B2 As Black, I respond to Russell Pegg’s e4 with a French Defence (he plays the Morra against the Sicilian and I am fed up with defending) and I am pleased to say that my GingerGM aided preparation runs to move 15 of this Advanced Variation (yes, I couldn’t believe it, following a Shirov game/idea no less, god knows how I remembered all of that at my age). Black has fully equalised and has a slight positional plus with White’s c3 weak.
B3 Dragi and James Forster engage in a very positional affair. From where I was sitting both players seemed to be playing good moves but James was using quite a bit of time.
B4 Tarik, Black, found Jon Catchpole in a very agressive mood and was soon under the cosh. I am afraid that I did not see much of the game in the early moments, but it wasn’t clear the Tarik did much wrong except finding Jon on a good day. A crunching Kingside attack settled matters. Bad luck Tarik.
My game took a turn at this point when Russell seemed to blunder his d-pawn, but not without complications. Unfortunately for me, the one clear line to a +1.00 ish position needed just one further thought in my analysis, but I missed the nuance, and so, after a minor flurry of tactics, we reached a 0.00 ish position. Bugger.
Mike suddenly agreed a draw against Martin. Martin afterwards said he agreed it based on the match position, although Black was close to winning. Ooh, would he regret that? Martin did look a bit edgy for the hour or so. Almost immediately, I agreed a draw with Russell. Our Rook and pawns ending really did look very drawn.
And so to Dragi v Forster with Poole needing a win to draw the match. The position was R+N+4p (same side) with Dragi having slightly more space, so fairly even I felt. With a good time advantage, Dragi pressed hard trying to unbalance the position and indeed looked to have some pressure, but a Knight fork was missed and that was that. James does play well when short of time… these pesky kids! Great effort from both players and credit to Dragi who played unselfishly for the team result.
Well played Southbourne 3-1 victors.
Martin Simons hastily sent off a text to Mike Jay using his phone from the 1980s, giving the result and starting that the match was played in great spirit. I completely agreed.
March 12, 2018