BDCL1 – Poole A vs Highcliffe A

So following the humbling loss (of bragging rights) to Poole B a week or so ago, we approached this fixture with the runaway champions of last season with some trepidation.

That said, we had recently gained the services of Nick Lee (see DCL1 Poole A vs Wimborne A match report for the nice things I have said about him; once is enough), and so, the introduction of Mike Waddington and Nick Lee on boards one and two this season have made for a very strong, new look, Poole A Team. A team, in fact, which had no room for me, the captain!. Well, some might say it is an improvement, and they would be right, because I was able to attend and watch some great chess.

So Poole: MikeW, Nick, with MikeD and John languishing on the lower boards. Christian, DavidBB and Rob were joined by Madison on B2 for Highcliffe, who I hadn’t seen previously.

I hadn’t seen any of the opening moves as I arrived about thirty minutes in, but some exciting games were already in progress.

B1: MikeW (w) vs Christian quickly seemed to focus around Mike’s Ne5 and the potential for a full-blooded Kingside assault. Not worried about a Black Rook taking the b2 pawn and the Black Queen on a3, Mike continued as if only concerned about files e to h. Exciting stuff. Christian had a solid defensive setup and the game looked in the balance.

B2: Nick (b) vs Madison seemed to end up, by transposition, in a Benko structure with a misplaced White King on f1 and loads of Black pressure down the a and b files. Again, Madison was defended well and, similar to the B1 game, it seemed that Black just needed to find a killer blow somewhere to grab the full point.

B3: MikeD (w) vs David yet again seemed a complex affair with Mike saccing a pawn for open lines, a Black King stuck on d1 and a strong attack. David defended well blah blah blah, just cut and paste the comments from the above two games. All three top boards were complex and tactical.

B4: John (b) vs Rob was slightly less complex by the time the middle game was reached, although Rob did his level best starting with the Smith-Morra! After twenty moves or so, the extra pawn and slightly better-placed pieces allowed John to increase the pressure and secure a rook ending which ‘just needed technique’ as they say. Rob fought well, but John took the full point.

By this time, on B3 David had managed to repel Mike’s attack and a sort of dynamic quality had been reached. A draw was agreed and discussions commenced as to how White might have done better.

All sorts of fun was being had on B2 where a complex middle game had developed with White having a Queen for three minor pieces and an advanced passed pawn. Madison was hanging on well in a difficult position, it seemed to me, and succeeded in opening up the king side to force a perpetual check. And so a draw ‘after many adventures’, as they say.

And so 2-1 to Poole with just MikeW and Christian playing. Whilst I was looking away, Mike won the exchange. I looked away again and the exchange had been returned for a simplified, but significantly better Rook ending for Mike. The match result looked certain, but Mike closed out the position and proved that not all Rook endings are drawn. Bad luck Christian, a tough game.

I suppose that 3-1 to Poole was a reasonable reflection of the direction of play over the evening, but some of the games could have gone the other way. All the games were interesting and tactical. What more could a casual observer ask for?


David Fuller
October 28, 2022