Dorset League 1: PooleA v DorchesterA

Following an excellent showing in the mid-season grading review, led by Poole Chess Club’s favourite Hipster, John ‘191’ Weatherlake, a confident Poole A Team made its way across Dorset to the Collation Club (they have WiFi! Posh!). John turned up clean shaven: was this a nod to a new era of hard-bitten chess? Or could this be a Samson-like strength sapping event? We didn’t care! We were just keen to get the Chess bit sorted so we could check the bar out!

Chip had asked me to be Captain for the evening, as if I could control these three, and so the line up was set Oscar, John, Mike, myself. Our top three could have played in any order but John asked to play Black and so it was.

B1 Oscar (W) v Mike Waddington was a curious affair. A c3 Sicilian turned up and after a couple of cautious moves by Black, White had a good initiative, which quickly turned into a winning initiative. And that was that. Bad luck Mike, a strange game worth no obvious errors. I won’t say any more because Oscar is threatening to scotch the rumour that he is crap with technology and will annotate his game on the club site.

B3 Mike (W) v Geoff Searing also developed nicely for the Away Team. Mike said afterwards that he was pleased how the game always felt in control and he was simply allowed to improve and improve to the win, and that was certainly how it looked. Looking for alternatives to his Kings Indian Attack against the French, after recent poor results against GMs, an Exchange French with c4 looked a good option to ‘just get playing’. I had to think for a bit in my game and when I looked back, Mike was playing in a Rooks and Pawns ending with the handy advantage of an extra Rook. They say that all Rook Endings are drawn, this one wasn’t. So Poole 2-0…

B2 John (B) v Bill Adaway was a cagey affair. When a game starts e4, c5, d3, you know you are in for the duration (or you are playing Magnus). Now I didn’t see much of this game, I just looked up occasionally and saw John scratching his chin where his beard used to be and he looked relaxed enough, as did Bill, but he usually looks relaxed anyway. Back to this game soon…

B4 Myself (B) v Chris Webb. I wasn’t too happy with my Dutch response to Chris’s London System, I tried a Bg7 fianchetto setup, which would have been fine if I had remembered to hold of castling until White had. My too early O-O met Harry-4 (h4) and despite there not being any immediate danger, I found myself in a tough position with a backward e-pawn. I have to say that Chris played very well and didn’t put a foot wrong despite me trying to cause problems. I don’t mind losing (too much) to a nice chap who plays a good game.

So all we need is a draw from Mr 191 (sorry John, this is the last time I will say that… but it said with affection :)), and Bill offers a draw… What’s this, playing on? Ha ha, I am not sure that John isn’t winding us up here as he forces a perpetual the next move. Hmm, as captain, I nominate the first round (in the bar) to John.

And so the final result is yet another close 2.5-1.5 win for Poole. We seem to be doing just enough each match (except against those upstarts PooleB!) to take the points. Great games from Oscar and Duggs making the difference. Five points clear now. And no Poole B Team to annoy us in this league!!

As always, excellent hosts. It was nice to see some of the Dorchester chaps again. And it was great to see some of those Coldfield Chess Clocks from the 70s with the funny flags again.

John jumped straight in the chair and bought the first round. Oscar and I left after one as we both had to get up early this morning. John and Duggs might still be there…


David Fuller
January 26, 2018