Highcliffe D v Poole D

Poole D were, as always, given a warm welcome by our Highcliffe hosts.
In our first away game of the season, and a debut match for Tarik in the D team this season, we sat down to play.

Poole (Av. 1541) out-graded Highcliffe (Av. 1459) on all 4 boards. Despite the disparity, Highcliffe were a long way from a push over.

On board 3, Roger H was the first victor on the night beating Leo. Both players acknowledged and appreciated each other’s strength of play. Quoting Leo, a man of few words, he told me after the game “He’s good”. Well done Roger H 1-0.

I saw down on board 4 to play Jan. The game was a cagey and tense opening and middle game where we both had our full complement of pieces after move 19.
To Jan’s own dismay, the decisive moment in the game came when he miscalculated capturing my c pawn and ended up a rook down. Up to this point I felt that Jan had a slightly better position, especially on the queenside.

I cannot claim any sort of skill or play on my part leading to the blunder by Jan. It was just one of those moments. Jan immediately knew he had blundered and I felt a level of empathy towards Jan as we have all been there before.

I was able to take advantage of the extra rook and felt like I stopped any counter play available to Jan. I won the e pawn back with the d pawn was soon to follow. Jan resigned shortly after. Thank you Jan. 1-1.

On board 2, I was surprised to see a very early queen down position for Tony. Ron played the London, and Tony initially thought he fell foul to an opening trap.

Upon looking at the game afterwards Tony sounded rather annoyed with himself that he didn’t castle. “I can’t believe I didn’t castle. ****!” Well done Ron. 2-1.

On board 1 Tarik played Roger C.

Tarik provided me with the following report;
“It was an attacking game for white, a sacrifice was obviously made on f7, but the continuation didn’t work. After a move to secure the position black failed to get themselves out of the mess and ended up with king and queen going for a walk before returning to their home squares but with white’s queen where blacks bishop should be!

A queen exchange on d8 left f7 (a lovely, well traveled square) free for a knight to fork king and rook.

A battle ensued to get the knight out, but once it managed to get freedom for the cost of a pawn (I thought it was going to cost at least 2, or perhaps just be lost as an exchange), then white was on cruise control with a whole extra rook.

When the slow grind got boring, the only pawn in the king’s side was let go, leaving black with 2 passed pawns but a king trapped on the edge and 12 moves staying just one step away from checkmate led to the game finally being claimed.”

Well done Tarik. 2-2.

Thank you Highcliffe for a lovely evening of Chess.

November 15, 2022