Poole C 3.5 – 0.5 Ringwood B
T’was a….well….it’s November, you can guess the rest.
Arriving nice and early I find 8 sets already set up ready for the two big games, Poole B vs Wimborne B and obviously more importantly Poole C vs Ringwood B. After a quick game against the organized host and board setter-upper SteveB (Albin Counter Gambit, he really should learn that one if he insists on playing Queens Gambit) the players trickled in to commence an amicable friendly affair.
Unfortunately Ringwood started 1 player short allowing Mike R to get his quickest win of the season, this left Simon F vs Rob Davenport, Tarik vs Malcolm Day and Simon P vs Darrell Sturmey.
I was playing along on board 2 with a clear idea that the opponent King starts on e8, so try and move all my pieces towards e8. This seemed to have the desired effect of forcing Black backwards and applying pressure. Looking to my left and right I was sure my fellow Poole players would have similar intentions of actually trying to win…sigh….wishful thinking. SimonF had a very calm locked position with some mild posturing and growling at a distance with a whole pawn being captured each, and SimonP looked like two fighters came together, flapped at each other then backed off.
Undeterred I sent my Queen to say hello in person, followed by a Knight and Pawn. The Knight met up with the enemy King. The King wasn’t very friendly and ate the Knight, so the Knights friend Mr Bishop came along and took a different Knight and proceeded to chase the King and Rook around a very confined corner.
Meanwhile on board 1…it seems the boredom had set in and despite a brief foray into enemy territory they agreed on a draw. I don’t begrudge SimonF a very valuable solid draw….how about a few sacrifices and a charge next time?!
Board 3, which seemed such a safe solid game suddenly burst into life with the opponent’s King side suddenly left in tatters as the Queen invaded, joined by a Bishop and the Rook innocently loitering on an open file suddenly joined in to start tearing things apart. With little connections between the opponent pieces and Simon’s pieces working so nicely together, it then became an exercise to find the most elegant check mate. Well done Simon!
So back to Board 2. What had started aggressively had won a 3 pawn advantage, including 2 of those being clear, so there was little incentive to continue in a cavalier fashion and solid play became the order of the day, depriving the opponent of any good squares. In a position that seemed inevitable Malcolm graciously resigned to save a long drawn out end game which would have been difficult to salvage anything from.
Here’s a position from the game, what I didn’t spot was the forced check mate in about 5 moves (according to the computer due to delaying moves, it’s 3 move checkmate to you and me), see if you can find it. White to move. Answers on a postcard (or e-mail).
Thank you to Ringwood for making the trip and well done to the team on the first victory of the season, off to a good start, Highcliffe, you’re next!
November 2, 2017