01Mar19: Poole A vs Southbourne A
With the evenings getting lighter and warmer and the chess season coming into its final sprint, both teams were keen to grab two points to keep the pressure on that Wimborne lot. The Southbourne club members are always very welcoming and this evening was no exception.
The team line-ups were the same as earlier in the year and so the Poole team were keen to exact some revenge for the previous narrow defeat.
Clocks started and after 30 mins it seemed to me that B1: Martin v Grzegorz and B3: John v Brian both looked good from a Poole perspective with some initiative for White in both. B2: Bruce v Mike quickly developed into a queenless middle game with perhaps a slight positional pull for Bruce. B4: Len v myself looked pretty even but with some potential for tactical complications, depending on whether Black could get the d/e pawns moving.
And an hour later things looked about the same.
B4: Len rightly turned down a pretty tame draw offer on my part and perhaps looking to prove white that was better moved his rook d1-d4-h4 to pressure my king, but in retrospect we felt that this made his position less harmonious. I was lucky enough that tactics allowed me to be able to push e6-e5 and the d and e pawns started rolling and from then on the Black position was much the easier to play. But Len plays quickly and played a series of tricky moves with me almost down to increments. I was very happy to find a nice finish of a double rook sac to mate in four to conclude the game. Bad luck, Len. As we discussed afterwards, White didn’t do much wrong.
B1: As my game was concluding, I was surprised to hear that Martin’s position had turned and a tactical miss had allowed Grzegorz to take the full point with another good finish (MartinS advised). A sharp game that could have gone either way.
B3: John was trying hard to find a breakthrough to turn kingside pressure into a point with any success. A mass simplification followed by a nasty pin on the c-file changed the nature of the game and there was little that Brian could do.
So 2-1 to Poole…
B4: Bruce had been applying pressure all game and Mike had had to find ways to complicate matters. A R+4p v R+2p ending with some cheapo opportunities arose and it was my no means certain that a win could be forced, although Mike was on increments and Bruce and ten minutes (very handy in these situations). With a and h pawns running, in practice it was too difficult to hold and Bruce closed out the win to draw the match. When I left, MartinS, Bruce and Mike was deep in analysis (and may still be there now) and so I will be interested to hear and that work clarified matters. Great game.
So an honourable draw. Wimborne are probably the happiest :).
Great games, great company, fair result. Only the odd ‘Are you the A or B Team’ comment made.
March 2, 2019