Poole B vs Wimborne B (BDCL Div 2)
And so the return match following our narrow squeak of a victory in the first match of the season. Perhaps appropriately the same participants appeared on three of the four boards so some revenge might be extracted.
Mid-sesson tea/coffee orders were placed (all very civilised, but wait until what happened after the match) and off we went.
On B2, Peter and I bashed out the first half dozen moves of his London System similar to our previous hundred or so games of this orientation, until he surprised me with a move that wasn’t in my book and so I had to think for myself. Blast. Nevertheless, some minor pieces got exchanged and it looked about equal until Peter castled long and it got more interesting.
On B1, Richie was also surprised by Steve’s 3… Ne7 in a French and an interesting position occurred with White having some pressure but Black some central pawns. Richie took the opportunity to pinch a couple off queenside pawns and the position became somewhat dynamic.
On B3, Dragi, with the White pieces, playing Michael, spent most of his time moving pawns one square forward in true hypermodern fashion (hypermodern might not be the right term these days, ‘Chip-like’ is the preferred vernacular, certainly in Poole). The game looked balanced when I had a look, but suddenly the White pawns b to e arrived on the fourth rank and some complexities arose. Afterwards, Dragi reported that he made two mistakes in losing a pawn and then making a further error in a drawn queen and pawn endgame to concede the full point. That must be a first, Dragi admitting to an error! Perhaps 2022 will be a year of change after all! Well played Michael, you can tell me your side of the story in March.
Back to B1 and Steve’s central pawns had been held up. Richie was able to close down the Black activity and secured the point. Well played both.
One each at this point in the evening.
On B4 Tim and Graham were keen to establish bragging rights after their see-saw draw early season. Well it started peacefully enough and meandered nicely enough into a N+ps endgame. How well mannered. I glanced over as Peter had offered me a draw and saw that the Knights had comes off and Tim had connected passed pawns, but Graham seemed to have the ability to create two passed pawns five files apart if left unhindered. Hmm, better keep playing.
Back on my B2, it seemed as though Peter’s King would not be as safe as mine as the game developed. Down to 7 minutes each on the clock, a space advantage and a tactic secured a pawn although in a complicated position, but I was pleased too find a good queen manoeuvre to keep everything under control and, if I am honest, my position played itself to settle the point.
Peter was very gracious and then doubled down by bringing a case of beers from his car! Now that is service!!
At this point we realised that there was actually a game still going on. Tim and Graham were slugging out a tricky K+2p endgame with a beer-swigging audience. Luckily Dragi ‘King and Pawn Endgames are my thing’ Popovic had only had one beer and we simply monitored his demeanour to assess the status. With the match result on the line, and opportunities for both sides to force a win in difficult circumstances, the game ended with Graham’s pawn a5, Ka7, and Tim’s Kc7. Blimey. More beer please.
And so Poole pinched the match again. As always, an excellent and well behaved match (that’s Div 2 for you!).
I promised to buy a round when we meet again at Poole in March. That’s what happens when I have a beer, or two.
January 6, 2022