BDCL League – 1 Poole A v Southbourne B
You know when football teams have rowdy supporters and they have to play a game ‘behind closed doors’? Well, this fixture felt a bit like that last night. Perhaps this was some sort of karma following shenanigans at Abdul’s on Tuesday? I don’t know. But anyway, it was curiously quiet in the clubroom.
Martin turned up in cycling gear, Mike was frightening people with his knees as usual, and so it was up to Dragi and I to uphold sartorial standards. On a serious note, Mike did not look well at all. Well done Mike turning out while on the injured list (for the record, this was not due to excess on Tuesday, which Mike also missed… Get well soon mate).
Southbourne B arrived, via the bar.
B1 Andrew Grzybicki (W) v Martin Machacek
Both players were keen to demonstrate that their surname is more difficult to spell, and Andy won early exchanges with no vowel in the first five letters!… but on the board an early oversight allowing a Qh4+ allowed Martin to pick up the exchange and misplace the White king: the White position was immediately critical.
B2 Mike Duggan v Bruce Jenks
An Open Sicilian soon led to a very active game for Mike. Bruce played an early d5 and then Nf6-e4 after Mike’s e5. An exchange on e4 led to a strange pawn configuration and Black castled Kingside. Mike seemed to be having all the fun after castling Queenside and pushing Gary and Harry.
B3 Grzegorz Sawicki v David Fuller
Out came the Classical Dutch and we were soon into well trodden territory. I felt that Black was fine after getting e5 in (always the mark of a successful Classical Dutch), but I then played e4 to hem his Bg2 in and in retrospect this may have been too hasty. Still, my excuse is that the top two boards looked good for us and I was already in ‘a draw is all we need’ mode.
B4 Dragi Popovic v Lenny Laker
Lenny had obviously been preparing hard as he had the bushiest of moustaches with which to threaten Dragi. But it takes more than dense facial hair to frighten our Dragi and he pushed his queenside pawns with gay abandon. In the bar afterwards Dragi and I agreed that he probably played too agressively in the early stages and Black’s compact position allowed him to take advantage. Curiously, at one stage, Black played Bc6 attacking White’s Rh1 and 0-0 would have helped (although still lost for White). I can’t remember someone castling with the rook attacked. [Aside Question: I know that 0-0-0 is allowed when a Black piece attacks b1, but is 0-0-0 still possible is there is a black piece ON b1? I am sure it isn’t, but not completely]. Unfortunately for the home side, Lenny made no mistake as he converted the full point for Southbourne.
Back to the top boards and Martin efficiently closed out the game against Andy. Mike had a raging attack in a dominating position, but was short of time. Delivering a nice checkmate on move 35 with 8 seconds left was just the ticket for Poole. Score 2-1 and I need just a draw.
It seemed that my plan to keep things simple and avoid weaknesses had been a good one, although my opponent had trebled on the d-file and therefore had some pressure. Moving past the time control, I had 15 mins more than Grzegorz and had time to work of the details (ie. stay solid) of the resulting double Rook endgame. In the end, bits came off and in a slightly better for me (but drawn) King and Pawns endgame I was offered a draw, which I of course accepted.
So a great win for Poole A. Forcing play on the top boards, solid stuff bottom boards. And back to the top of the league!
April 19, 2018