BDCL1 Season Finale: PooleA vs RingwoodA

And so we reach the conclusion, the denouement, indeed, the last knockings, of this BDCL League 1 for 2023. Well, at least for the teams that are not in mid-table obscurity. It could only be more exciting if the clocks were set to explode when time expired, which is a reasonable idea, don’t you think MartinS?

Two fixtures to be played simultaneously, which would decide both the winners and the team relegated. In our fixture, Ringwood needed a drawn match to avoid relegation; Poole needed a drawn match to win the title.

B1: Nick (w) vs Peter: Nick didn’t seem to be in the mood to mess around starting with 1.d4, something, then 3.h4 4.h5 5.h6 (there may have been a couple of other moves inserted somewhere). A rather messy position resulted which was difficult to assess, but looked slightly unnerving for Peter. Nick offered a draw, perhaps slightly concerned himself, or perhaps just happy to get a half point in the bag. Peter thought a while and accepted, afterwards advising that he felt that Black was worse. A detailed post mortem showed that Black did have good play and may in fact have been slightly better.

B4: David (b) vs Martin: I always have mixed feelings playing chess against good friends. (take Chip for instance: I never play my best against him as I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings when I beat him. That is the simple and only reason why Chip has such a good record against me you see) Additionally, I play alongside this Ringwood Team as part of their Southampton League campaign. Therefore, I attempted to create the most boring French position I could think of in an effort to just equalise. The resulting position was indeed very blocked and I heaved a sigh of relief when Martin accepted my draw offer soon after B1 had finished.

B3: John (w) vs Niall: A Scandinavian 3…Qd8 saw normal development of pieces, slightly more space for White and a solid set-up for Black. John seemed to make some progress pushing a Black bishop back to g6 and the exchanging it after Ne5. But despite this imbalance, there didn’t seem to be a obvious way for either side to press for a clear edge and a curious threefold repetition occurred with Knights mid-board.

And so to the final board with just a draw needed for Ringwood to avoid relegation.

B2: Mike (b) vs Tich: For some reason Tich had not arrived by the time the clocks were started and Peter looked very restless! No communication mechanisms succeeded and so we just had to wait assuming that he had got the memo for the 19.30 start time. Sometime after eight, Tich arrived and started playing bullet chess. Forty minutes later the clock times were equal, with an interesting position on the board. Black seems pretty solid, White’s pawns were a mess but offered open lines for pieces. My assessment was that Mike wouldn’t have lost that position in a million years, but I was still nervous. Mike offered a draw which Tich turned down! Ha ha. Peter was, let’s say, slightly concerned. League 1 survival was literally in Tich’s hand, or rather in Mike’s hand if he shook it. Nevertheless, five minutes and a couple of moves later, Tich checked the team score and went back to offer a draw to Mike, which was accepted.

So Match Drawn. Poole A 2 – 2 Ringwood A

Four draws, although it is probably true that Poole were slightly better in two and the other two were even-ish.

Martin Simons had brought along the winners chess board, in case Poole won, in order for some photos to be taken, which they were, and in a couple of them John and Mike weren’t goofing about!

Congratulations to Ringwood for avoiding the drop. Commiserations to Highcliffe who will now be terrorising the Division 2 teams next year.

Well done Poole A as BDCL League 1 Winners.

Many thanks to our two new team members: Mike Waddington with 4/8 this year on the top board, and Nick Lee with 4.5/8 on top/second board.

Many thanks to the ‘engine room’: Mike Duggan with 5.5/9 and John Weatherlake with a massive 8/10 (performance rating 2137), winning the Brien Urry Cup for the best BDCL1 score this season.

Fortunately for the team, I was only required four times scoring 2/4. I like to think that, like Mike Brierley, I was mainly there for what I brought in the captaincy role!

See you all next year.

Results details:

David Fuller
April 25, 2023